Monday, June 21, 2010

Top 10 Riskiest Picks

  1. DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins is the mother of all risky picks. He has character and maturity red flags, as well as questions about his weight and work ethic. On top of all of that, it will require a top 6 pick to acquire his services.

  1. Hassan Whiteside

Like Cousins, Whiteside is a huge wild card. He played one year of college ball in a less than competitive conference, and he also has character and maturity concerns. He is slightly less risky than Cousins because the asking price is lower (he'll probably land in the late lottery or the teens), but the return on investment will likely be farther down the line.

  1. Lance Stephenson

Stephenson looks like he'll fall into the second round, and he could be a steal in that range, but he's still extremely risky, especially if the New York Knicks pin their hopes on him. Stephenson built quite a reputation in NYC, but that cred has only hurt him from a psychological standpoint. He'll have to work very hard to make it at the next level, and I'm just not sure he has it in him.

  1. Daniel Orton

Orton is the ugly stepchild of a Cousins- Whiteside marriage. He combines Whiteside's lack of experience with Cousins' weight issues, but interestingly doesn't seem to encompass any of the character red flags which torment the players higher on the list.

  1. Devin Ebanks

Ebanks is somewhat of a conditional risk. He was a heralded high school recruit and a relatively successful college player, but questions linger about his role at the next level. He could work well in the right system, but he also has very serious bust potential.

  1. Miroslav Raduljica

Raduljica didn't endear himself to scouts when he skipped out on his individual workout at the Adidas EuroCamp. Serious questions linger as to whether or not he has any intention of ever playing in America.

  1. Greg Monroe

  2. Ed Davis

Monroe and Davis are both very talented players with high ceilings, but each provides sizable risk due to questions about their motors. As sophomores, they were supposed to carry their teams deep into the NCAA tournament. Instead, Davis' Tar Heels missed March Madness altogether, while Monroe's Hoyas were a first round upset at the hands of a #14 seed. Each player will be a lottery pick (Monroe in the top 6 and Davis likely in the top 10), but teams should proceed with caution.

  1. Greivis Vasquez

Vasquez has garnered some first round buzz after several strong individual workouts, and I personally love his heart and attitude, but the jury is still out on his physical skills and natural position. He is tall and very thin, with great basketball IQ, but may not be strong enough to play off the ball or quick enough to play on it.

10a) Paul George

10b) Avery Bradley

George and Bradley each have a good chance of going in the lottery, or at least in the first 17 picks. However, each man has a problem with the translation of his skills. George was an adept scorer in a mid-major collegiate conference, while Bradley garnered the reputation of a defensive stopper. As the quality of their competition increases, it will be interesting to see how their roles and skills develop.

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