Breaking down the one-and-doners
Welcome to our new NBA draft blog, in which Fran Fraschilla and I will keep you updated on everything draft related, all year long. From features on the top prospects to scouting reports on anyone with a shot of having his name called in June to the freshest info you can find from our cadre of scouts, GMs and other league sources, we've got you covered. First up? With the college season tipping off, we examine the newest faces ... who might not be on campus for long.
The most coveted asset in any NBA draft? Scouts and GMs say it's experience/NBA readiness. Of course, they rarely act that way. The last time a college senior was selected among the first five picks was in 2006, when Duke's Shelden Williams went No. 5 to the Atlanta Hawks.
The truth is that youth and upside are the most titillating qualities in the draft war room. And because of that fact, no single group of collegians has dominated the draft more than freshmen since the NBA prohibited players from entering the league straight out of high school, beginning in 2006.
This past draft was an anomaly, with just two freshmen -- Tyreke Evans and DeMar DeRozan -- ending up as lottery picks, but in 2010, the freshmen are expected to be back and once again have a major impact at the top of the draft. For 2010, I'm projecting between four and seven current freshmen as lottery picks, along with several other freshmen as potential first-round picks.
Here's a sneak peek at seven freshmen who could crack the lottery in June.
1. John Wall, PG, Kentucky
Wall isn't super-athletic -- he's extraterrestrially athletic. He's been compared to Derrick Rose, and truthfully, he's even more explosive. While Wall doesn't have Rose's steadiness on or off the court, when you turn him loose, he's virtually impossible to guard. Wall has the inside track on the No. 1 pick right now. Point guards with his physical abilities come along only two or three times a decade.
Scouts will be scrutinizing Wall this season, and here's what they'll be looking for:
To read what scouts want to see from John Wall, plus similar breakdowns for other top freshmen, and news and notes, you must be an ESPN Insider.