2013 NBA Draft Preview: Jayhawks

We’re almost done with basketball season which means the 2013 NBA Draft is a little over a week away! June 27th should be a really exciting day for Bill Self and Kansas fans as the Jayhawks may finally have another superstar in the League. Self has yet to produce a perennial All Star at Kansas and his last great NBA player was Deron Williams.

Every year, Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com contributes to my site and gives me his predictions of the Jayhawks that have a shot at playing in the NBA.

Make sure you follow Ed on Twitter:


 

Ben McLemore

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  • Strengths – McLemore is known best for his ability as a knockdown perimeter shooter with great form and good range. He is athletic with the ability to finish in a variety of ways around the basket. His defensive ability, especially on the ball, is underrated.
  • Weaknesses – A lot has been made of a tendency to defer to much to his teammates, but I don’t think it is a long-term issue. He needs to become a better ballhandler and use his athleticism to attack the basket more often. Also, needs to become more consistent perimeter defender.
  • Why teams want him – Scoring ability and a lot of untapped potential on both ends of the floor.
  • Draft value – Top 5 pick and potential All-Star
  • Read more from NBADraftBlog.com on McLemore. 
Jeff Withey

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  • Strengths – Withey was one of the best shot blockers in college basketball and his ability to defend the rim should translate to the next level. He is efficient around the basket and he has developed a couple of go-to post moves. He has good defensive awareness and is a strong help defender in the lane.
  • Weaknesses – Withey needs to develop more strength to battle in the NBA post and to help his rebounding. Showing that he can consistently knock down the mid-range jumper will help him earn more court time and allow him to fit different systems. He is an improved defender on the pick-and-roll, but he will need to be quicker to hedge at the NBA level.
  • Why teams want him – His ability to block or alter shots
  • Draft value – Mid-Late 1st round pick – Withey has the potential to earn a spot in a frontcourt rotation rather quickly and could have a good career as a backup center/defensive specialist.
  • Read more from NBADraftBlog.com on Withey.

Travis Releford

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  • Strengths – Releford is a strong perimeter defender and is capable of guarding a couple of positions. He is capable of hitting the spot-up jumper with some consistency. Releford is extremely active on both ends and his energy is capable of sparking a team.
  • Weaknesses – Releford is good at a lot of things, but isn’t great at any one thing. He needs to be capable of creating his own offense, both attacking the basket and creating space for his jumper.
  • Why teams want him – Perimeter defender able to guard multiple positions
  • Draft value – Undrafted, but with some D-League or overseas experience to strengthen his offense. he may get his NBA shot in a few years.
Elijah Johnson
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  • Strengths – Johnson is a strong athlete who is capable of playing either guard position. He is a good spot-shooter, with range beyond the college 3-point line. Plays strong defense on the perimeter.
  • Weaknesses – His future at the pro level is as a point guard, and he has to show better ballhandling and vision. Consistency on both ends of the floor has been an issue during his whole college career.
  • Why teams want him – Athletic ability and perimeter defense
  • Draft value – Undrafted. Needs to develop into a better point guard somewhere 
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What do you think of the Jayhawks’ draft stock? Comment below where you think the former KU players will go in the Draft. Stay tuned for more Draft coverage from RockChalkBlog.com. We will have a breakdown of each player eligible for the Draft from Kansas and their ceiling/floor in the NBA coming soon.