Underrated - 2007 NBA Draft

I have been studying this draft for a few months now. First off I must say that I have a personal statistics system (of my own creation) that I have been using for a couple years now that has netted some very good results. Last year for instance it correctly (through most people's eyes and the Rookie of the Year award) picked Brandon Roy as statistically the best talent in the draft. Now Roy may not be the best 3 years from now from the 2006 crop but he should be up there and yet he was chosen 6th overall. Adam Morrison, a nice player, who was drafted 3rd and considered a top-3 prospect all year was only my 9th highest rated player below such players as Tyrus Thomas (4), Rajon Rondo (21) and Marcus Williams (22). Each of those players except maybe Thomas played better than their draft position. Paul Millsap, picked 47th, was my #8 rated player and he has played very well for Utah in limited minutes. Now, I will admit that it also had Quincy Douby listed #5 so it's not perfect (though I still feel he could become a very good player in time). Still, it's done fairly well.

As far as for 2007, there are a few prospects that are again rated higher and lower than where they are projected. I want to address the ones projected significantly lower than I have them rated.

1.    Rodney Stuckey, G (6'5") - He looks AWESOME on paper. Simply awesome. This guy is a sophomore, NOT senior, that can put the ball in the hoop. He is fearless and goes to the rim like a man possessed. He averaged 17 shots per game in college which means one of 2 things - or both: He is either a ball-hog or a guy that really knows how to get his shot off. The thing with Stuckey is he is almost ALWAYS rated below Nick Young in the mock drafts yet he is a better scorer than Nick, he is a better rebounder than Nick AND a much better playmaker. He is rated third overall on my system (behind Durant and Oden, in that order) by statistics alone, however due to his playing for a small college he gets negative points for that. Still, he is projected as a 15-20 pick and he may be a STEAL at that spot. He may end up being the best guard in the whole draft including Conley Jr and Acie Law.

2.    Nick Fazekas, F/C (6'11") - 27 points and 15 rebounds per game. Wow. That's his stats per 40 minutes. Add 2 ½ assists and some blocks with fairly limited turnovers per game and the fact that he is projected 25-40 and you have an underrated player if I've ever seen one. What if those were Spencer Hawes' numbers or Sean Williams'? On my list he is statistically ranked fourth. Super efficient and he does a bit of everything. He can shoot off pick and rolls (!!!) and from out to 20 feet as well as rebound with the best of them. Again though, he is from a smaller college so that is hurting his draft stock as it should.

3.    Jared Jordan, PG (6'2") - I feel he is the most underrated point guard in the draft bar none. Guys like Gabe Pruitt, Aaron Brooks and Taurean Green are usually rated much higher than him but he is someone to take a chance on in the lower picks and if my system is correct could be much better than them. Per 40 minutes his stats are eye-popping: 18 pts, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. He ranks 10th overall on my list. 2.6 assist/TO ratio is VERY good for college. Yet again, he plays for a small college and so his stock is not as high as other point guards. Still, he is projected as a second rounder to undrafted. With numerous double-doubles last season and TWO triple-doubles, the guy can play and is underrated big time in my eyes.

4.    Javaris Crittenton, PG (6'5") - I see Javaris as POTENTIALLY better than Conley or Law. On my system he is statistically ranked in the top 20 but due to only being a freshman and the fact he is projected to go somewhere around 14-20, I feel he may end up being a star PG in the league and to nab him with the 15th pick or so, that is not bad.

5.    Jason Smith, C (7'0") - OK, most of you know him and some of you think as highly about him as I do. I don't think he will be as good in the NBA as he was in college since he seems to have some limitations such as supposedly not being able to use his left hand. Still, at 7 feet and VERY mobile with a nice shooting touch, Smith is possibly a better prospect than Spencer Hawes and Sean Williams, both are ranked above Smith on some drafts. Especially Hawes. I like Hawes but not for the Kings. Smith however could be a very good player. He rebounds per minute as well as Greg Oden and scores more. As with just about all my underrated picks, they come from smaller schools and Smith is in that same boat.

6.    Dominic McGuire, F (6'8") - As a long-shot I want to mention Mr. McGuire. He is pretty much projected as a mid to late second round pick but any team in the second round that is looking for an athletic SF that can rebound like crazy, pass, block shots, play tough aggressive defense and run the floor, Dominic would be a steal. He has NBA talent and is still young as a junior. He was one of the stars of the pre-draft camp in Orlando and on my statistical rankings, is listed in the top 25 of all prospects. Watch for who picks him and keep an eye out for him next season.

Now the thing is, it's likely that at least one of these players will come close to their college stats at some point in their career. If they do, they will be solid NBA players and in the case of the first two, could become stars. We will see. What does everybody else think?

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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