Notes: Insider Only
Notes: A native of the Sudan who had to, along with his family, flee the country because of political violence. Began playing basketball in England and made a name for himself at the European Junior tournament. Played three years of U.S. basketball in New Jersey. Former teammate of Charlie Villanueva. Was the second ranked high school player in his class behind LeBron James. Has declared for the draft, and hired an agent ending his college eligibility.
Upside: He's the complete package. Deng has it all. AnNBA-ready body, fundamentals, a nice shooting touch and a great feel for the game. Deng is an unselfish player who can handle the ball, nail the mid-range jumper, grab a rebound in traffic or lock down an opponent in crunch time. His long arms and nice vertical leap make him play much longer than his height. He's a good shot blocker for his size. The comparisons to Grant Hill are obvious. Not as obvious is a game strikingly similar to the Jazz's Andrei Kirilenko.
Downside: Teams worried a bit about his athleticism and lateral quickness, but he's looked really good in indivudal workouts in that area. His 3-point shooting is still an issue, as Deng is much more comfortable taking the mid-range jumper. He averaged three 3-point attempts per game this year and shot a respectable 36 percent from behind the arc, but scouts know it's not his strong point
Insider Projection: Arguably the best NBA small forward prospect in the land. His numbers don't blow you away, but when you consider that he's playing on a team filled with older, more experienced All-Americans, they're pretty impressive. His great play and leadership in the NCAA tournament put a lot of pressure on him to declare. Right now he's considered a top-five pick in the draft.