While the odds may not be in their favor, every year we see players selected in the second round of the NBA draft come out and become valuable contributors for their team and occasionally go on to have exceptional NBA careers. While the 2013 draft is widely regarded as weak, it is more due to the lack of superstar talent at the top of the draft and there is in fact quite a lot of depth once you look past the first picks. There is always talent to be found late in the draft and this year will be no different. Here are five players to watch for in the second round who could potentially turn out to be huge steals for whoever selects them.
Livio Jean-Charles – SF, 6’9”, 220 lbs, France
Livio Jean-Charlies put himself firmly on the 2013 NBA Draft map at the Nike Hoops Summit where his dominating 27-point, 13-rebound effort led the World Select Team to a victory over the USA. At 6’9” with a 7’2” wingspan, Jean-Charles has tremendous size for the small forward position and is a fluid athlete for a player his size. He has the ability to score inside off drives and on the fast break, where he runs the floor extremely well and continues to develop his outside shooting stroke. With the physical gifts and an impressive skill set, Jean-Charles has all the tools to become an impact player in the NBA. With a versatile game on both ends of the court, Jean-Charles should be able to provide great value as a role player but in the right situation could develop into even more.
Archie Goodwin – SG, 6’5”, 198 lbs, Kentucky, Freshman
Archie Goodwin has been slated in our mock drafts as a first-round selection, but more and more it seems as though the Kentucky freshman guard may be waiting longer than expected to hear his name called. Goodwin has tremendous physical tools to play the shooting guard position in the NBA, including a 6’10” wingspan and explosive athleticism. He has the ability to get to the rim at will, can create his own shot off the dribble and his attacking offensive game will likely see him get to the free-throw line with regularity. Goodwin has good potential defensively, but needs to remain focused on that end of the floor as well as needing to significantly improve his outside jump shot. Goodwin is one of the youngest players in the draft and if a team can get him to improve in his areas of weakness he could be a tremendous pickup in the second round.
Mike Muscala – C, 6’11”, 230 lbs, Bucknell, Senior
Due to a lack of high-level competition or exposure in big games, there are questions over Mike Muscala’s ability to compete against NBA-caliber frontcourts, but there can be no argument that he possesses a rare mix of size and skill, especially for a second-round selection. Muscala is a seasoned player with great touch on the offensive end. He has the ability to knock down the mid-range jump shot, is a good passer and has a number of crafty post moves using either hand to finish. A solid rebounder with a strong natural frame, Muscala will benefit greatly from NBA strength and conditioning as he continues to add muscle and strength. He moves well for a man his size, is surprisingly agile and moves fluidly. He will have to adjust to a huge jump in competition and continue to work hard physically to allow him to utilize his skill set, but could be a huge steal as a productive big man in the second round.
Ricardo Ledo – SG, 6’7”, 197 lbs, Providence, Freshman
One of the more interesting and polarizing players in the entire draft, Ricardo Ledo comes with a checkered past and some character concerns, but has undeniable talent that will see a team take a chance on him in the second round. At 6’7” he is an excellent shot creator both for himself and his teammates. A potent scorer who was one of the more highly regarded players in high school, Ledo has tried to turn his image around after bouncing around numerous schools in the past few years. Ledo is a natural basketball player, with a great handle and ability to see the floor. He will have to prove the doubters wrong but he is bound to impress once teams get him in workouts and will no doubt find numerous teams willing to take a chance on his extremely high ceiling as a player.
Nate Wolters – PG, 6’5”, 196 lbs, South Dakota State, Senior
Nate Wolters was one of the most productive and efficient guards in the NCAA this season displaying the full range of skills from the point guard position. He has tremendous size for a point guard, which he uses to his advantage by getting into the lane and shooting over smaller defenders. He has great skills with the ball in hand, plays under control and displays a variety of skills offensively. Wolters has a great first step and change-of-pace dribble which allows him to get past defenders and he creates well for his teammates. He has also drastically improved his outside shooting stroke. Wolters is a natural leader and controls the game well as a lead guard. Concerns over his lateral quickness and ability to defend at the NBA level may cause him to drop into the second round, but there is little doubt that Wolters has the skills, size and attitude to compete in the NBA and could find a niche sooner rather than later.