- Chad Ford, Senior Writer, NBA Insider
This article appears in the June 28 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
Daniel Orton averaged 3.4 points as a freshman for Kentucky last season, but that hasn't stopped some GMs from thinking the 19-year-old center might be worth a lottery slot in the upcoming draft. His stats and status may seem incompatible, but a team builder's job is to project what a player will do, not grade what he has already done. Anyone can see POY candidates like Kevin Durant or John Wall will do fine in the NBA. Tabbing a guy who turns out to be a way better pro than his college career would have led you to believe is the real draft-night coup.
In advance of the NBA draft, Chad Ford examines why so many players, like Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook, excel in the NBA after middling college careers. There are many reasons, including college systems, different rules and evaluation errors.