2013 NBA Draft: Top Point Guards

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Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

There may not be another prospect in the country that has boosted his stock as much as Burke. When he arrived as a freshman, Burke was most effective creating his own offense, but with a focused offseason Burke dedicated himself to becoming a balanced point guard, and the results have been excellent. Arguably the most important player in the Big 10, Burke has led the Wolverines’ renaissance and has eased the transition for talented freshmen Glenn Robinson III, Nik Staukas, and Mitch McGary. His stats, including averaging over 7 assists per game while shooting 50% from the field, 40% from 3, and 80% from the foul line, have caused NBA scouts to take notice. It is no longer a question of whether or not Burke is a first rounder, but rather if he can crack the lottery. Ultimately, concerns about his size may drop him out of the lottery discussion, but he should definitely be in the top 20 or so.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

Perhaps no player in college basketball has broken out as much as Carter-Williams, who is leading the nation in assists at 9.4 per game. Carter-Williams has surprised many as there were some who questioned if he had a true position, or thought he was more of a shooting guard. The 6’6″ Carter-Williams creates headaches for smaller defenders with his length, and has very good floor vision as well. So far at Syracuse Cater-Williams has been more facilitator than scorer, which was a skill he displayed while in high school. NBA teams will have interest in Carter-Williams, especially because he has transformed himself into a willing passer and facilitator. If he can have a big conference & NCAA tournament where he also displays some scoring punch, then Carter-Williams could solidify his stock in the lottery.

Phil Pressey, PG, Missouri

One of the quickest players in the country, when Pressey is on he can be electric, not only as a passer but as a scorer as well. While Pressey’s signature performance might have been his 19 point and 19 assist performance in an overtime loss to UCLA, he has given NBA scouts and executives more than enough highlights to show why he has a place in the NBA. While he may be too small to be an elite starter in the NBA, and a potential defensive liability, Pressey can easily be an above-average player off the bench and a great change of pace option for teams. NBA teams will be watching Missouri closely the rest of the way and they could see Pressey play himself into the first round with a strong March.

Russ Smith, PG, Louisville

Smith gives Pressey a run for his money as one of the quickest players in the country. A threat to go coast-to-coast on nearly any possession, Smith has improved as a shooter but still must show he can play PG at the NBA level. Two major concerns NBA scouts have voiced about Smith are his recklessness and inability to facilitate for others. Sometimes Smith plays too fast and can look for his own opportunities too much. Because of size concerns Smith is likely seen as a backup point guard, however, playing alongside Peyton Siva has shown how dynamic he can be offensively and some team may envision him as a Jason Terry type of guard off the bench. Due to the aforementioned concerns Smith is a borderline first rounder but should be a top-40 selection.

Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas

Kabongo is serving a 23 game suspension related to improper benefits he received over the summer and is not eligible to play until February 13. While a point guard with baggage like that, who also underperformed as a freshman, would not normally warrant consideration like this, Kabongo is an exception. Athletically, Kabongo may be the best prospect on the board at the position. With a 6’7″ wingspan and high basketball IQ Kabongo should step in right away and make an impact for Texas. Once he returns from suspension, NBA GMs and scouts will likely want to see Kabongo’s development from his freshman year and whether he has improved offensively. From a defensive and passing standpoint Kabongo is already good enough as a prospect but adding the threat of an offensive game could cause his stock to rise into first round status.

Ray McCallum, PG, Detroit

Perhaps the least known prospect at the position among fans, McCallum has been attracting NBA scouts to his games since his freshman season. The son of Detroit’s head coach, McCallum displays great instincts, IQ, and athleticism. Defensively, McCallum has room to improve but has quick feet and hands and anticipates passing lanes well. If McCallum was playing on a premiere program he would likely post even better stats, but as it stands his game will translate well to the NBA. McCallum is a lock to be a second round pick should he declare for the draft this season.

 

Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State

Canaan, considered a potential first rounder over the summer has played well this season but has not dominated like a year ago. Statistically, Canaan has improved marginally in most categories. While many in the NBA love his game, to expect Canaan to be anything more than a backup or shooter off the bench is unrealistic. With his thick frame, and his lack of the elite quickness required to cover the top point guards in the NBA, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Canaan chosen late in round 2.

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  1. stepxxxxz says:

    should have read he IS too small. Burke I mean.

  2. stepxxxxz says:

    I think there is a touch of Rondo to Smith’s game. I like his defensive intensity a lot. He can learn some of the rest. Pressey is for sure an NBA guard. Maybe a role player because of size, but size didnt hurt ty lawson and I can see Pressey doing that. I love McCallum…..I think this kid is a second round steal. Im less impressed with Burke…..he’s not too small. Watch our for Nemanja Nedovic, a kid i saw in europe two years ago. He’s very big for one thing…and strong. Has insane vertical …really in the high end…..he has a less than tight handle, but he can learn. He’s also really tough. If Aaron Craft comes out, which i doubt, he’s as good defensivly as anyone I ve seen. Wolters is intriguing, but man……defense….can he play defense in the bigs?

  3. Stc balla says:

    Phil pressey not an NBA Pg… And Nate wolters is better than over half of those guys you talked about

    • I do like Wolters but project him as purely a shooter. Doesn’t have the quickness to handle to be a PG from what I have seen in person and on film. Wolters is a candidate to go in round 2.

      • I have seen Wolters play countless games live and your projecting him as a shooter shows that you haven’t took the time to truly “watch” him play. He is a scorer and a playmaker far more then a shooter and everytime he matches up against a “NBA level” guard he shines. His first step and lateral quickness are far underated, ie held Isaiah Canaan out of the paint and held to 6 points in first half until he injured his back. No player in his position can play 39 minutes put up 23 6 and 6 and go 100% pressure defense, that is the disadvanage of being on a midlevel team with fewer guys that can defend. Wolter’s is the best pure point guard in the country and whoever picks him up won’t regret it.

        • Richard Faust says:

          Right on Jesse! A message to all the Wolters doubters: check out the YouTube highlight reel of Wolters dismantling Tony Wroten and the Washington Huskies last year, and this year’s opening game at Alabama where Nate the Great dropped 30 on Alabama (both games on the road, btw), and SDSU lost on a buzzer-beater. Last I checked ,Alabama was tied for 2nd in the SEC, and no one besides Wolters had even scored 25 against the Crimson Tide in 2012-2013. Just sayin’. Over and out.

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