The Insider: Level assessment

How do OK NCAA Joes end up as top NBA pros? Maybe they're more than just OK

Originally Published: June 18, 2010
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider

This article appears in the June 28 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Daniel Orton averaged 3.4 points as a freshman for Kentucky last season, but that hasn't stopped some GMs from thinking the 19-year-old center might be worth a lottery slot in the upcoming draft. His stats and status may seem incompatible, but a team builder's job is to project what a player will do, not grade what he has already done. Anyone can see POY candidates like Kevin Durant or John Wall will do fine in the NBA. Tabbing a guy who turns out to be a way better pro than his college career would have led you to believe is the real draft-night coup.