The 2013 NBA Draft class was dubbed by pundits as being a “weak” class. Whether that’s true remains to be seen, but I believe there are definitely intriguing first-year players worth watching. Here are five rookies that I’m especially excited to watch:
1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope:
You down with KCP? Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is on this list for good reason. Yes, partially because of his fantastic name, but also because of his silky smooth jump shot.
I go bonkers whenever there is a shooting guard in the draft labeled as a hybrid with the attributes “athletic freak” and “natural shooter”. Those are my favorite kinds of players besides bruising centers that can crash the glass. KCP falls under that shooting guard hybrid category. If you ask anyone that watched Georgia basketball last year, they’ll tell you how KCP carried the team. He posted an offensive rating of 115.7, along with 3.9 offensive win shares and 6.3 total win shares. Get this: Caldwell-Pope led the team with his 3.9 offensive win shares while the second highest OWS on the team belonged to Vincent Williams at 0.5. Crazy, right? More
I don’t love this pick. I don’t love this pick because a) I don’t like the player and b) there were players I liked who were still on the board. The Knicks should’ve taken Reggie Bullock from North Carolina, who went 25th to the Clippers, but I digress.
When the pick was announced, my first thought was “WHAT THE F***!?!”. My second thought was that this is probably insurance in the event that JR Smith walks in free agency. Alan Hahn shared this thought as well:
Hardaway Jr. is in no way as good or better than JR Smith, so it’s not like the Knicks can just let Smith go. Hardaway is athletic and does have some ability, but he’s incredibly inconsistent and doesn’t have the ball handling ability that Smith has. He’s far from a finished product at this point. More
Today’s featured draft profile will be on University of North Carolina swingman, Reggie Bullock. I love hard-working, 100% effort guys, and if you were to study Bullock’s game as I’ve been doing over the past few days, you’d see just that. Bullock leaves it on the court every night and finds ways besides scoring to contribute to the win. A scrappy defender and dependable 3-point shooter, I’d go as far to say that Bullock reminds me of another former Tarheel: Danny Green.
Birthday: 3/16/91 – Projected NBA Position(s): Shooting Guard/Small Forward – Class: Junior – Ht: 6-7 – Wt: 200 – Hometown: Kinston, NC
2012-13 Per Game Averages: 13.9 Points – 2.9 Assists – 6.5 Rebounds – 48.3 FG% – 43.6 3P% – 76.7 FT%
Bullock’s Pre-Draft Combine Results