The Top 5 Boom or Bust Prospects in the 2015 NBA Draft
Come June 26th, 60 prospects will get to live their childhood dream and become professional basketball players as the 2015 NBA Draft makes dreams a reality.
Tragically, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for most of these prospects after the draft. Some of these players will become future stars, dominating the NBA for many years to come.
The rest will underperform very quickly. Becoming role players glued to the bench, and maybe even D-leaguers. Potential is a scary thing. Every prospect in the NBA Draft has potential. Not many players get to unlock their potential
In this article, I’ll be looking at the five players in the draft that are high-risk, high-reward NBA prospects who could make or break a NBA team.
Myles Turner, C, Texas
Vitals and Measurements : 19 years old, 6–11.5 with shoes, 239 lbs, 7–4 wingspan
2014–15 Stats: 10.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 45 FG%, 22.2 MPG
Draft Projection: Late lottery
One of the most intriguing prospects in the draft, Myles Turner has the highest upside of the five players listed in my opinion.
Before the college basketball season started, Turner looked like a near lock for a top-five pick in the NBA draft. He was ranked second in ESPN’s top 100 high school players, seven spots ahead of Karl Anthony-Towns.
As the season started, Turner saw his draft stock plummet. He’s still projected to go in the lottery, but NBA teams saw him and his Texas team underperform. He could find his way falling out the top 10 very easily.
A stretch big man with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. Turner has the tools to be a solid defender — but his slow feet and poor athleticism are a concern at the next level.
“I’m not completely comfortable [with my size] yet,” Turner told the Dallas News back in February. “I definitely need to get bigger and stronger to be able to go down there and bang more.”
Turner’s lack of strength and athleticism hurts him on the offensive end. 76.2% of his shots in College came from 2 and 3-point jumpers.
With his strengths and weaknesses, Turner reminds me of another Texas big man: LaMarcus Aldridge. While it’s unknown if Turner can perform in the NBA the way LaMarcus did, I still think Myles is worth the risk on draft night.
Look out for the 19-year-old on draft day, June 26th.
Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
Vitals and Measurements : 19 years old, 6–2 with shoes, 185 lbs, 6–5 wingspan
2014–15 Stats: 11.8 PPG, 5.6 AST, 1.9 TOs, 41 FG%, 33.9 MPG
Draft Projection: Mid-first round
Tyus Jones had a hell of a run in his freshman year at Duke University. Averaging 11.8 points, 5.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals while getting named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
Jones has proved that he’s a great college point guard. If he decided to stay, Duke would have been even more deadly — possibly repeating. Nonetheless, he decided to forego his final three seasons of college eligibility and enter the 2015 NBA Draft.
The point guard from Apple Valley, Minnesota is an interesting prospect. Not many people were talking about his draft stock until his late splendid stretch of games in the NCAA Tournament.
A very smart and confident point guard, Jones has a wonderful feel for the game. He was second in the ACC in assists, and nearly had a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Decision-making and passing certainly won’t be an issue going to the next level.
Jones is a great prospect, but his size and athleticism will turn a few off teams as we get closer to the NBA draft.
Defensively, he’ll probably be a liability with faster and more athletic guards in the NBA. Offensively, he might have issues finishing at the rim and even getting to the rm with his lack of size and speed.
Still, I think Jones will be a solid player in the NBA. If you’re a team needing a solid point guard in the mid-first round, I’d certainly take a look at Tyus Jones. Maybe he can prove his doubters wrong and become more than just an average point guard at the next level
Can he show that he is a better prospect than Jerian Grant, Delon Wright, and Cameron Payne? Only time will tell.
Kelly Oubre Jr, SF, Kansas
Vitals and Measurements : 19 years old, 6–7 with shoes, 203 lbs, 7–2 wingspan
2014–15 Stats: 9.3 PPG, 5 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 44 FG%, 21 MPG
Draft Projection: Late-lottery
Another player whose team didn't play great come the NCAA Tournament. At 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Oubre has the size and athleticism that a wing needs at the next level. Defensively, he gets into shooters with his long arms and creates havoc with all of his steals.
As his numbers show, Oubre is a player who’s solid in a lot of things. His development in the NBA will depend on what team he gets drafted by.
“Basically, Oubre is a blank canvas for NBA coaches to mold into whatever they want him to become. There are a lot of different potential outcomes here. Maybe he becomes a terrific 3-and-D player (he made 36 percent of his catch-and-shoot shots this year, which is solid). Maybe he becomes a slashing terror. Maybe he’ll do it all and become a star.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. will likely be a lottery pick. Expectations will be high. He certainly has a huge upside, maybe even star potential.
However, will his future team be satisfied if he doesn’t unlock his maximum potential and turns out to be a role player or 3-and-D guy?
Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
Vitals and Measurements : 18 years old, 6–5.5 with shoes, 206 lbs, 6–8 wingspan
2014–15 Stats: 10.0 PPG, 47 FG%, 41 3PT%, 21.5 MPG
Draft Projection: Late-lottery to mid-first round
A knock down shooter with a great shooting stroke, Devin Booker was a great addition to an already great Kentucky team. Shooting 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc, he provided the floor spacing that the Wildcats needed.
Out of all the five players listed on my boom or bust list, Booker might be safest. Going into the NBA draft, Booker is projected to be a late lottery-mid first round pick. I’m not necessarily sure I’d draft him there.
He’s an extremely gifted shooter, but a one-dimensional offensive player. Almost half of his shots in college came from the 3-point line, and he only got to the free throw line once a game.
His average athleticism hinders his finishing ability, which is why he rarely takes it to the rim. Defensively, his lack of athleticism hurts him as well.
With good shooters such as guys like R.J Hunter and Justin Anderson, I don’t know if Devin’s career will be better than them. Booker is a terrific shooter, and there’s always a place for those guys in the NBA.
Is he really worth drafting in the lottery is the question.
Chris McCullough, PF, Syracuse
Vitals and Measurements: 20 years old, 6–9 with shoes, 199 lbs, 7–3 wingspan
2014–15 Stats: 9.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 47 FG%, 28.1 MPG
Draft Projection: Late-first round/Early-second round
When Chris McCullough decided to declare for the NBA draft, it shocked many scouts, as he just tore his ACL in his freshman year and his numbers weren't impressive at all.
“I can’t see him making a team’s opening-day roster,” An Eastern Conference scout said. “He’s going to have to do what he does in the D-League. He’s not going to get any NBA shot. If he’s good, he’ll get called up from the D-League.”
“I was hoping that he would stay in school,” a Western Conference team’s scout said. “It’s a difficult evaluation. You have to go on what you have and you don’t have a lot. It’s almost like evaluating a high school kid.”
Based on his ACL Injury and numbers, a lot of teams will probably stay away from the 20-year-old kid from the Bronx.
However, other teams love his rim protection, size and athleticism at the power forward position — so much that he could sneak up on some draft boards and get drafted in the late first round.
McCullough’s midseason ACL injury brings a lot of questions to the table. Knee injuries are deadly on big men. Nonetheless, it looks like for now that McCullough will get a chance to prove the teams that passed on him wrong.
If a team has multiple first-round picks or has a great team already, maybe drafting Chris McCullough is worth the risk.