Five boom-or-bust NBA prospects

These five players have a ton of potential but also pose significant risks

Originally Published: June 15, 2012
By Doug Gottlieb | ESPN Insider
Andre Drummond AP Photo/John BazemoreAndre Drummond still has a long ways to go in his development.

There is no such thing as a sure thing. This, we know, is inarguable, even in the NBA draft. While top picks like Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and Kyrie Irving have done very well recently, there are still plenty of cautionary tales of the Hasheem Thabeet and Robert Swift variety as well.

Factors such as injury history, position switches and general softness are among the ones that can make players very risky, and these factors are weighed heavily in draft rooms across the NBA.

Here are five very risky picks from this year's draft class that could also reap great rewards for the teams that end up drafting them.

1. Andre Drummond, Connecticut Huskies

The reward: Drummond has the potential to be a dynamic 21st century center. He is 270 pounds, laterally and vertically athletic, and while his offensive game is underdeveloped, he has good footwork and hands. He's a relatively blank canvas. A logical best-case scenario for Drummond is somewhere in the Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan category, with the potential to develop more low-post scoring depending on his work ethic.

The risk: Drummond does not have any one thing that he actually does well on a basketball floor. He is not a great rebounder, his shot-blocking is erratic and his timing is not natural. While the athleticism is obvious, it hasn't yet translated into his having an elite skill on the floor.


To read Doug Gottlieb's full list of boom-or-bust prospects for the 2012 NBA draft, you must be an ESPN Insider.