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Each and every year, there are NBA prospects that for whatever reason, fall out of the first round, and sometimes even out of the entire draft. There are always players that were either stars in college, or exemplified significant potential, yet were overlooked by many scouts. And, each and every year, at least some of these unheralded prospects go out there in the NBA, and perform better than any scout had ever expected.
In last year’s draft class, many 2nd rounders ended up playing significant time, much to the surprise of the “experts”. Jeff Taylor, Jae Crowder, and Draymond Green were all 2nd round picks who did just that- exceed expectations. We also saw Chris Copeland and Brian Roberts- who went undrafted in past drafts (they didn’t go directly into NBA)- perform at levels that nobody expected. Let’s not forget Patrick Beverley and Kyle Singler, who each went in the 2nd round of a NBA Draft (but not the 2012 draft) play impact roles for the Rockets and Pistons, respectively.
I expect to see even more players of that classification during this draft. Here are the basically unheralded NBA prospects that I believe will exceed their expectations:
Ricardo Ledo: Ledo is an excellent shooting guard from Providence. He is slightly taller than the average NBA SG at 6’6, and he weighs a muscular 197. The best asset to his game is that he is able to create his own shot, no matter where he is on the floor. He also has extremely quick hands and can play PG if necessary. While NBADraft.net has Qyntel Woods as his NBA comparison, I’d give him a best case scenario comparison (BCS comp) of Arron Afflalo
James Southerland: the 6’8 Syracuse grad should have no trouble adjusting to the NBA game. Playing 4 years in the Big East, under Jim Boeheim, really adds to his pedigree. Southerland is able to successfully play at either SF or PF. If given an opportunity, this outside shooting big could become a solid role player or even starter in the league. While NBADraft.net compares him to Donté Greene, I’d give him a BCS comp of Andrei Kirilenko
Ryan Kelly: Kelly is an excellent offensive big man. Standing at 6’11, he is average-to-slightly above average height for a PF. He is a very solid defender, and defense isn’t even the main strength in his repertoire. Kelly could function as one of the best stretch 4′s in the NBA, if given the opportunity. While NBADraft.net compares him to Nick Fazekas, I’d say that his BCS comp is Ryan Anderson
Myck Kabongo: Kabongo had very good statistics at Texas this year, averaging about 15 points and 6 assists. Being in the Big 12, he had to face off against Kansas and Oklahoma State, who each have excellent guard play, so he didn’t lack in competition. The 6’2 point guard is extremely quick and makes great passes. He is very unselfish and can drive to either side of the basket. The one knock on him could be that he tries to do too much with the ball, but this could be expected, considering that he was far and away the best player on his team, and was virtually the only player that could propel the Longhorns to a victory against a tough opponent. While NBADraft.net compares him to Erick Barkley, I’d say that his BCS comp is Goran Dragic
Mike Muscala: the 6’11 Bucknell grad had an outstanding season for the Bison in 2012-13. He averaged about 19 points and 11 rebounds this past year. He is very mobile and agile, as well as an excellent passer for his size. Unlike most players of his size, he can consistently make mid-range shots. While NBADraft.net compares him to Kirk Haston, I’d say his BCS comp is Marc Gasol
Seth Curry: Stephen’s little brother played a year at Liberty, and later 3 seasons at Duke. He was always an excellent scorer, but he really excelled in his freshman year as well as his final season with Duke. He is an unbelievable shooter, as he hit nearly 44% of his 3-point attempts! His shot is nearly identical to those of his brother and his father, Dell. He is an extremely crafty and smart player on the court. While he has the ability to be an excellent passer, he, like his brother, is a score-first guard. While NBADraft.net compares him to Chris Lofton, I’d say that his BCS comp is his father, Dell Curry