NBA Draft Stock Report: McDonald’s All-American Game Edition

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Am I really doing a NBA Draft Stock Report on kids that have not even graduated from high school and will not be eligible for the draft for another year? Yup.

The McDonald’s All-American Game is like the Super Bowl for high school basketball players with NBA scouts flooding the United Center to get a look at some of the potential top prospects for the 2012 NBA Draft.  Even though it is a lot like the NBA All-Star Game– nothing more than a glorified pick-up game where defense is usually non-existent, it’s still a great venue to see how some of the top recruits stack up against equally talented players.

Besides, when I went to the 2008 game in Milwaukee, I fell love with Tyreke Evans’ game and started praising his pro potential.  And well, that turned out okay didn’t it?  Here are some players who really stood out and should be top prospects in the 2012 draft.

By: David Kay

BUYING:
Anthony Davis, Kentucky, 6-10, F
It is easy to see why Davis is considered the top prospect for the 2012 NBA Draft.  Because he had a seven inch growth spurt in the past year and a half, Davis possesses some very unique talents for a 6-10 player.  He can play like a guard with his ability to handle the basketball, shoot the rock, and run the break, but also has ridiculous length that allows him to be a difference maker in the paint on the defensive end.  Like most high school players Davis needs to put on some muscle and work on his low post game while at Kentucky, but he reminds me a little bit of Baylor freshman Perry Jones due to his untapped potential

Bradley Beal, Florida, 6-5, SG
Early on it seemed like Beal was taking his match-up with top recruit and former Florida recruit Austin Rivers personally.  He showed his ability to stroke it from the outside but also use his solid frame to get to the basket.  ESPN listed him at 6-5 during the game which is a good size for an NBA shooting guard.  Depending on how he finds his shots in a fairly selfish Gator backcourt consisting of returning starters Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton, and Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario, Beal has lottery potential written all over him.  Improving his ball handling will be the one area he needs to work on in Gainesville.

James McAdoo, North Carolina, 6-8, F
An inside/outside threat, McAdoo ended up earning game co-MVP honors with his 17 points.  He showed the ability to get his own shot by putting the ball on the deck, was active on the glass and in the passing lanes, and was terrific in transition.  The nephew of NBA legend Bob McAdoo, James should be able to play either forward spot at UNC especially if he can add consistency to his outside and will be a great fit in Roy Williams’ up-tempo offense.

Khem Birch, Pitt, 6-9, F/C
I am ignoring the fact that dude wore a long sleeve t-shirt underneath his jersey which has to be one of the biggest pet peeves in all of sports.  Nevertheless, Birch was extremely active on the glass (nine offensive boards) and as a shot blocker which probably has Jamie Dixon drooling.  His offensive game is fairly limited at this point and should improve over time, but his effort and intensity is something that caught my eye and probably stood out among NBA scouts as well.

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NOT BLOWN AWAY BY:
Austin Rivers, Duke, 6-4, SG
This is some tough love since Rivers is obviously an outstanding talent and deserving of the number one ranking that many recruiting places have given him.  However, he certainly did not wow me with his play.  My biggest concern about Rivers when he eventually gets to the next level is his ability to handle contact.  He seemed to shy away from more physical play and for the most part, struggled when trying to finish in traffic.  Rivers also has a long way to go as a defender.

Maybe I am crazy, but Doc’s son is still a terrific pure scorer and already has NBA range on his three-point shot which is why he reminds a lot of Steph Curry.  He will almost certainly be one of the top players chosen in the draft when he decides to declare but I think there are a few players in this class who are better NBA prospects.

Marshall Plumlee, Duke, 6-11, C
The youngest Plumlee brother almost seemed like he did not belong on the court.  He had one moment where he made a nice post move on the block but could never really acclimate himself to the up-tempo game.  Marshall needs to work on his all-around game but seems to have more of Miles’ build to go with Mason’s athleticism.  Neither of his older brothers have done anything to establish themselves as future NBA players and Marshall will need to do some serious developing of his game at Duke if he is going to break into the next level.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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