NBA draft 2013: Second-round sleepers
The 2013 draft is universally regarded as light on top-end talent, but its significant depth has been understated. Smart teams will be able to pick up value later in the first round and well into the second, as there is not a ton of separation in the ability of prospects as you work through that section of the draft. Here are five guy expected to be available in the second round that should be well worth a pick as teams look for the next Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer or Paul Millsap.
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
Everyone say it with me: “Undersized prolific college rebounders translate really well to the NBA.” Especially when they’re built like a brick house and have a grown man’s body like Mbakwe. He’s listed at 6-foot-8, but with a 7-4 wingspan and huge hands. Who cares if he’s already 24 years old? He’s a beast on the glass, blocks a good number of shots and doesn’t need a ton of shots on the offensive end to be productive. Whoever selects him in the second round is going to get an immediately productive rotation guy.
Colton Iverson, Colorado State
A former teammate of Mbakwe’s at Minnesota, Iverson moved to Colorado State and spent his senior season dramatically improving his pro stock. A legitimate 7-footer with a strong body, Iverson should be able to rebound and defend at the NBA level. His offensive game is still fairly limited, but he plays with a nasty streak and likes physical contact. As a baseline, that should find him rotation minutes as a pro.
Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State
Casual hoops fans may remember Carmichael most for his Kung-Fu Rebound in the final minute of the Redbirds’ game against Wichita State. The subsequent flagrant foul helped the Shockers score the final eight points of the game and swipe an improbable win. Hardcore fans know Carmichael as a skilled power forward who is excellent on the defensive glass and should have the size to defend legitimately at the next level.
Erick Green, Virginia Tech
Oh, he only led the nation in scoring while being the only offensive option on a young, shorthanded Hokies team in one of the nation’s top conferences. Green played a ton of minutes, shot almost 39 percent from the arc and over 50 percent from inside it, and got to the free throw line a ton. He has legitimate NBA point guard size (6-foot-4) to go with his ability. He’s also excellent pulling up off the dribble, which bodes well for his ability to run the pick-and-roll at the next level.
Mike Muscala, Bucknell
Every year, there’s a smaller conference standout who surprises NBA types with his ability to actually play. This year’s guy is Muscala, who has impressed people during workouts with the terrific skill packed into his 6-foot-11 frame. Muscala hung 25 and 14 on Missouri this past season on the road and shredded Arizona in an NIT road game the season before. He has a sweet shooting stroke, is an excellent rebounder despite not looking like an imposing figure, and is an 80-plus percent free throw shooter.
Bonus: Possible undrafted free agent
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s
There’s much buzz about South Dakota State efficiency legend Nate Wolters, but curiously little is said about Delly, who may not even be drafted after a standout college career. The common wisdom is Dellavedova is too slow to defend at the NBA level and that his lack of physical attributes (his wingspan — 6-foot-4 — is equal to his height) may impede his ability to run the pick-and-roll effectively. But Dellavedova is a consummate point guard, a terrific passer who can hurt you with his shot, as well. He always stays facing the defense while dribbling, even when backing up to survey the floor, and made some fairly pedestrian Gaels teams quite good. If he lands in the right spot, the Australian Olympian could open some eyes. Former Gael point guard Patty Mills is now a backup on the Spurs, and Delly has better size and was more of a true 1 in college than Mills ever was.