I spoke with NBA Draft expert Aran Smith this afternoon to get some insight on the draft stock of Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond.
Neither has officially declared for the draft yet, but both project as lottery picks.
Here’s a quick take from Smith, who scouts college and high school basketball full-time and has been operating NBADraft.net, the Internet’s premier mock draft site, since 2000.
*Jeremy Lamb (No. 6 overall)
“I personally really like him. He’s right there with Drummond in terms of upside. Other than (Kentucky’s Anthony) Davis and Drummond, I don’t think there are too many guys with his upside.”
“He goes hot and cold, doesn’t have the assertiveness, was not a vocal leader at all, but you have to look at his length and shooting ability. In terms of the shooting guards , some people like (Florida’s) Bradley Beal over Lamb. I personally would take Lamb. Yeah, he may never be a true No. 1 (scorer) and you say how can you take a guy that high if he’s not going to be a No. 1, but teams need a second guy, someone like Stephen Curry.”
“I have some scouts that are on my case about (having him sixth overall). I think he’s a top 10 pick, worst case. I think he’ll work out well and he’s a good kid. Teams will realize that, yeah, he’s not that vocal guy, but I have a really hard time imagining him falling out of the top 10.”
*Andre Drummond (No. 5 overall)
“Drummond has a ways to go. Depending on who you talk to, some (scouts) look at his body language and are down on him and think he’s a bust waiting to happen. Others think he gave great effort, and think the offense or lack of production at times is just a confidence thing.”
“I have a hard time thinking about taking someone over him because I think there’s a big dropoff in potential. He’s going to be scaring teams in both sides. If you don’t take him, he can burn you, if you do take him, he might still burn you.”
“He needs to be able to flip the switch on the court and play with the intensity and still be the nice, good natured kid off the court.”
*Smith also touched on Alex Oriakhi, who informed UConn of his intentions to transfer and requested a release from his scholarship Wednesday.
“He’s a great kid, the coaches rave about him. I had scouts liking him early in the year, so I moved him up a little. He’s pretty underskilled, you look at him and you want to fall in love with his length and strength, and such a great character guy, too. He’s really underskilled, though, and would be looking at mid-to-late second round if he came out this year. It’s a shame he decided to transfer, he could have been one of those guys who developed in his senior season, kind of like Hilton Armstrong. Depending on what situation he lands in, for the future, it’s possible he can get into the late first round.”