Daring picks that can pay off

By bucking popular opinion, GMs can score more productive players

Originally Published: June 4, 2012
By Doug Gottlieb | ESPN Insider
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy LambGetty ImagesKidd-Gilchrist has many NBA types enamored, but Doug Gottlieb prefers Lamb.

With the NBA draft lottery order set and Chad Ford's most recent mock draft released, it's a good time to take a closer look at some of this year's highest-touted prospects. Because I've seen these players throughout their college careers, I'm more skeptical of a few when it comes to their NBA potential. Here is a look at five players I would be leery of taking, with a better alternative pick whom teams should consider.

1. Don't take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ...

MKG is a phenomenal competitor, and his tenacious drive to help a team win has many thinking he can change the culture of his first NBA team. My opinion of MKG is not truly negative. In fact, I totally understand the value in finding a big-time competitor early in his growth curve. On the other hand, it is fairly obvious to most that MKG is not a true guard yet.

In the days ahead, Kidd-Gilchrist will devote his time to learning the nuances of being a guard in addition to practicing his work-in-progress jumper. In many ways MKG is a bigger, worse ball-handling, better-rebounding version of Tony Allen. People forget that Allen was a scoring machine -- minus a jump shot -- out of Oklahoma State. Allen, like MKG, has a flawed jumper but is a ferocious competitor. If an Allen clone is your idea of a top 2-guard draft pick, at least you know what you are getting.

... instead, take Jeremy Lamb
Lamb had an up-and-down season after being a huge part of UConn's national championship team in 2010-11. But most important for his future is that his ability to shoot, score and move without the ball, combined with his length and height, makes him an ideal wing draft pick.