NBA Draft prospects: Mejia’s Top 10 SFs
1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky: Super glue guy here, with skills so valuably versatile that anyone who watches him for five minutes can overlook the warts. Relentless with an extremely high IQ, he’s someone you’ll always want out there finding a way to make an impact.
2. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina: Once considered the top prospect in the country, one must remember he just turned 20 when you take in all the scrutiny he’s faced over not becoming the face of college basketball. An excellent small forward prospect and a lock as a top pick. Yes, we all did once say that about Marvin Williams.
3. Terrence Ross, Washington: He doesn’t put the ball on the floor well enough to lump in with the guards at this point, but he’s an elite athlete who will be able to guard both wing spots as he progresses. His offensive strengths lie in a terrific jumper that he shoots effortlessly, has crazy range and an ability to finish emphatically at the rim. He could become a great finisher as his skills progress.
4. Moe Harkless, St. John’s: Has the tools to be a legitimate starting small forward candidate from the word go if he continues to put in work. With a great motor and an ability to put it on the floor, he’s a fluid stroke away from being a real weapon. Had to do too much because of the Johnnies roster issues, but was a force in the Big East despite the adversity.
5. Quincy Miller, Baylor: Long spider-like wingspan and athleticism opens eyes with his raw skills, especially since he’s not a finished product and rightfully paced himself as a freshman coming back from an ACL injury. Individual workouts will determine how high he goes, but there’s no question that you’re picking him based on substantial promise.
6. Terrence Jones, Kentucky: He’ll eventually be a value pick outside the lottery or someone the team that reaches for him loses sleep all summer over. Questions over what type of players he’ll be most effective against and an individual college career that fell below expectations make for a murky forecast.
7. Draymond Green, Michigan State: There are tweener limitations that will pose obstacles. Still, you take a flier and be sure that if there’s a way, he’ll find it or go out swinging. Hard to imagine he wouldn’t be a positive influence over the course of a full season.
8. Jeffrey Taylor, Vanderbilt: Yes, it will be almost impossible not to call him the Swedish Thabo Sefolosha, even without the vast wingspan. He’s gonna make his money as a defender/glue guy and needs more seasoning and consistency to have an impact.
9. Darius Miller, Kentucky: John Calipari gushed over his veteran influence all last year, so it’s clear he’s learned how to be a pro by playing with all the one-and-dones. Throw in his long frame, willingness to defend and history of delivering in the clutch and you have yourself a second-rounder asset.
10. John Shurna, Northwestern: Muscle memory is a wonderful thing. He’s got a lot of factors limiting him to role player status, but shoots effectively enough to find a niche.
Others: Tony Mitchell, Alabama; Kostas Papanikalaou, Greece; Kris Joseph, Syracuse; Wes Witherspoon, Memphis; Hollis Thompson, Georgetown.