Jared Dudley, forward
The Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year rarely shows up for the pre-draft camp, but Dudley came to show NBA executives the many ways he can contribute to a team. Unlike Nichols, who is a pure shooter and has other weaknesses, Dudley plays a well-rounded, intelligent game that makes him very attractive.
There were reports from the camp that the Boston College senior has improved his shooting stroke and seems more confident from a longer range. Dudley plays with terrific intensity, can bring the ball up the floor, passes well, and is a monster on the boards. He may not have a true position in the NBA and he may not be a lottery pick, but Dudley should have a long career as a pro.
Rodney Stuckey, sophomore
A dominant player at Eastern Washington, he might have been a lottery pick if he had been playing in the Pac-10. Poor grades prevented him from doing that.
Stuckey is 6-5 and 207 pounds, which gives him enough size and strength to play both guard positions. While some doubt his ability to make the transition from the Big Sky to the NBA, he has been projected as high as the No. 15 pick by others. There are numerous reports that Detroit wants to take him at that spot.
Stuckey averaged 24.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists as a sophomore. He has hired an agent, so there is no turning back to the college game. That shouldn’t be a problem because his scoring ability and three-point range will make him appealing to at least one team in the middle of the first round.
Taurean Green, guard
It seems strange referring to the point guard of the two-time defending national champions as a sleeper. Green will watch as his Gator teammates Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah get picked in the lottery and then wait his turn. Green is projected to go late in the first round or early in the second round, but he played well at the pre-draft camp. Point guards Mike Conley Jr., Acie Law and Javaris Crittenton are projected ahead of Green.
Derrick Byars, forward
Another player who popped onto the NBA radar with a strong senior season, followed up by solid play in the NCAA Tournament. Byars emerged as the Southeastern Conference player of the year. His versatility and defensive play makes him attractive enough that he should be drafted in the second half of the first round.
The Vanderbilt senior’s shooting has been streaky but his ability to play both the shooting guard and small forward position enhances his position in this draft. Byars has strong defensive fundamentals and is a good passer as well. He’s not a great athlete but his game is so well rounded that he should be gone before the second round begins.
Jared Jordan, guard
This is the promised bonus sleeper.
Jordan is an old school, throwback kind of point guard who had a great career at Marist. That isn’t the kind of resume that guarantees success in the NBA, but Jordan may have been the most talked about prospect at the pre-draft camp. He showed tremendous court vision, made perfect passes and demonstrated poise against a higher caliber player than he faced in college.
San Antonio is one of at least nine teams that have scheduled workouts for Jordan. If he shows he can shoot consistently and proves quickness won’t be a problem defensively, Jordan could move into the first round. It’s also possible he will never hear his name announced on June 28.
Either way, Jordan will be one of the most compelling stories of this year’s draft.
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