Several NBA scouts say UK guard Doron Lamb has slipped out of the first round for the NBA Draft Thursday night.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Most college basketball programs would hire a sky-writer to spread the news if they placed four guys in the first-round of the NBA Draft.
Duke has only pumped three into the first round over the last five seasons. For Louisville, the number is three in eight seasons. For Indiana, it's three over the last decade.
Kentucky pushed five players into Round One after John Calipari's first season in 2010. When the Wildcats won the NCAA title in April, expectations raged that Kentucky would celebrate another fab five draft moment.
Calipari suggested that this Thursday night at the Prudential Center in downtown Newark, N.J., could be an even more spectacular night for his formidable program.
"I'm hoping there are six first-rounders on this team," Calipari said after UK defeated Kansas to win the national title in New Orleans.
Six would be spectacular. Five would tie the Wildcats' record.
Four looks like the new reality.
A month ago UK guard Doron Lamb projected as a guy whose name would be called in the final 10 picks of the first round. If you wanted a shooter, you wanted Lamb.
Times have changed. I compiled the results from 14 mock drafts. Only two will include Lamb as a first-round selection. None feature Darius Miller in Round One.
"Doron needs to go with the right team with the right coach and land in the right spot for him," said Mike Pratt, a former NBA scout and coach who now works as the analyst on the UK radio network.
"Is Lamb better than Jodie Meeks?" said Jim Clibanoff, a scout based in Philadelphia who sells his service (ClibHoops) to NBA teams. "Why is he better than Jodie Meeks?"
No, Lamb is not better than Meeks, another former Wildcat. Stronger and more athletic, Meeks is a better overall player.
"OK, so Jodie Meeks was a second-round pick (taken 41st overall in 2009) who has struggled to keep his playing time," Clibanoff said. "He [Lamb] is a one-dimensional player. He's an NBA shooter who doesn't have great speed, quickness or athleticism and the ability to create off the dribble. I would be amazed if somebody took him in the first round."
Nobody will be amazed if four of Lamb's national championship teammates are taken in the first round. All 14 mock drafts I studied feature Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones and Marquis Teague.
Davis will be taken first by New Orleans. Period. That was easy.
Kidd-Gilchrist will be gone by the sixth selection, perhaps as quickly as number two.
Opinions on Jones are divided. Several analysts have Golden State taking him with the seventh pick. But most mock drafts have Jones in the 14-to-17 range.
Teague will likely be taken in the final 10 picks of the first round by a team that needs a back-up point guard. Memphis, which drafts 25th, is my pick.
Pratt said that several scouts have told him that Miller intrigues Miami, the NBA champions. The Heat have the 27th pick. They brought Miller to South Florida for a workout June 15.
"He fits the profile of guys they like on their team," Pratt said. "He's a versatile player, he's a competitor and he's a great guy to have on the team."
If the names in the draft would have been called May 28, Lamb might have remained in the first round. But word among scouts is that Lamb's workouts have been ordinary, and that several of his interviews with team personnel have not been great.
"He's not a great athlete," Clibanoff said. "He's not going to be able to create his own shot. He has extended his range, but I'm not sure he's going to have drop-dead 45 percent NBA three-point shooting range.
"When (Kentucky) tried him as a back-up point guard, he did a serviceable job of handling the ball and not turning it over, but by no means is he an NBA point guard. His luster is going down a little bit."
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:33 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:33:46 GMT
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