With the All-Star break in the rear view and the dust settling more and more every game, we will continue to change up our Not-so-Big board to cater to where the Cleveland Cavaliers can be anticipated to make their selection. No longer can we just anticipate top-three or top-five status as the Wine and Gold find themselves three games behind the eighth-seeded New York Knicks.
We will be operating under the assumption that, as of now, the Cavs will not be drafting in the top-five this summer. Sure, the lottery can work wonders — it did just that this past year. That said, you’ve seen enough of these Boards to know which players we prefer in the event luck bounces Cleveland’s way once again.
If anything, this updated format will lend insight into any relative drop-off between the top-five and the top-10.
As always, we are slowly accumulating larger samples of these top-flight NBA prospects. We will attempt to update this not-so-big board on a bi-weekly basis – feel free to comment, critique or debate in the comments below. We have a little more shake-up this week following some excellent NCAA contests.
Anticipated top-five: Anthony Davis (PF, Kentucky), Andre Drummond (C, Connecticut), Harrison Barnes (SF, North Carolina), Thomas Robinson (PF, Kansas), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
*Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been removed following his comments regarding a likely return to Kentucky.
A few more thoughts on…
Quincy Miller, SF (Baylor) Essentially taking the polar opposite path of his teammate Jones III, Miller has completely fallen flat on his face over the last couple of weeks. His size is tough to pass up, but he desperately needs to stop taking so many jump shots that ultimately provide 2-for-8 and 3-for-9 nights; four of his last five games have been played with nary a free throw attempt. No bueno.
Damien Lilliard, PG (Weber State) In a draft limited in the point guard department, Weber State’s Lilliard is slowly creeping into lottery territory with his very surprising 2011-12 campaign. Sure, he’s a junior, but team’s will gladly look past his age when they see that he’s averaged 23 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game over his last five. Kid’s also a stud from downtown.
Terrence Jones, F (Kentucky) It will be interesting to see where NBA scouts choose to position the 6-foot-9 Jones. He’s one of several players (i.e. Sullinger) who could benefit greatly from post regular-season play. He was a lottery lock had he came out last season, but is presently looking at the mid-to-late first round. He’ll need to keep filling up the box score as he recently has; teammate Kidd-Gilchrist opting out of the NBA Draft also helps his relative stock.
Terrence Ross, SG (Washington) I’m a big fan of the 6-foot-6-inch Ross’ game and think it could translate very well to Byron Scott’s system. He’s solid on the boards, can hit the mid-to-long-range jump shot, is a solid defender and can run the floor. He won’t get a lot of love out this way do to the time zone issue, but if the Cavaliers can somehow acquire another first-round pick, they could do a lot worse than Ross.
Dion Waiters, SG (Syracuse) More of a Dwyane Wade, slashing type of off-guard, but Waiters can jump and score in bunches. He shows a ton of confidence and absolutely zero fear when driving to the rim. His relative lack of range is concerning, but, like Washington’s Ross, could provide excellent value if he’s available at the end of the first round. He’s one to watch in the coming weeks.
Any conference tournament game between now and the start of March Madness. You’re doing yourself a disservice otherwise. Seriously.
Previous Not-so-Big Boards: