McLemore rising on Big Board

Kansas star is climbing Chad Ford's ranking of the top 30 NBA draft prospects

Originally Published: January 30, 2013
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
McLemore & Porter & Robinson III USA TODAY SportsBen McLemore, Otto Porter and Glenn Robinson III are all rising on draft boards.

Two weeks have passed since we released our first Big Board of the season.

The top of the draft remains, as a whole, a bit underwhelming. While a number of prospects project to be impact players at the next level, no one here looks like a potential franchise player at the moment. What this draft does have, however, is depth. You might not want to have a top-three pick, but the Nos. 8 to 20 range in this draft has promise.

There is still plenty of time for these prospects to make major leaps up (or down) the board, but what's more interesting to keep an eye on is the direction certain prospects are trending.

So, how are we ranking the top 30 prospects of the 2013 draft right now? Here is our second Big Board of the season.


1
Nerlens Noel
SCHOOL: Kentucky
CLASS: Fr.
HT/WT: 6-11, 215
POS: C
10.2 ppg
9.3 rpg
4.7 bpg

Noel is still a placeholder here for the top pick. Noel isn't close to wrapping up the top spot and will probably land only here if a team with a need for shot-blocking in the middle, like the Cavaliers, for example, lands the No. 1 pick. Noel is still trying to shrug off the perception that his freshman season is a disappointment. I think he's been exactly who he was advertised to be -- a super-athletic defender with a very raw offensive game. He has played four times since the last Big Board update and totaled more blocks (32) and rebounds (37) than points (30). While his offense is still a work in progress, he continues to get better and better on the defensive end of the floor.

PREVIOUS RANKING: 1 | PLAYER CARD

2
Ben McLemore
SCHOOL: Kansas
CLASS: Fr.
HT/WT: 6-5, 195
POS: SG
16.1 ppg
5.4 rpg
45 3p%

McLemore continues his meteoric rise up our Big Board and, if he can keep it up all season, might be the one guy who could end up being a consensus No. 1 pick by June. His numbers the past few games haven't been particularly dynamic, but he's doing the little things it takes to move Kansas all the way up to No. 2 in the rankings. A number of general managers now have him atop their draft boards, and I think that number could continue to grow as the season progresses. Adding "winner" to his final NBA résumé could be what pushes him over the top, especially when you consider that Noel, Shabazz Muhammad and Alex Len all play for teams that have been up and down this season.

PREVIOUS RANKING: 3 | PLAYER CARD

3
Shabazz Muhammad
SCHOOL: UCLA
CLASS: Fr.
HT/WT: 6-6, 225
POS: SF
18.2 ppg
4.8 rpg
44 3p%

Muhammad continues to rebound from a shaky start. In the four games since our last update, he averaged 18 points per game and shot better than 50 percent from the field. But there's a growing feeling among scouts that Muhammad might have leveled off a bit. His motor and killer instincts are apparent, and most scouts believe he could be a 20-points-per-game scorer at the next level. But does Muhammad have the ability to go from very good to superstar? Most scouts are still waiting to be convinced.

PREVIOUS RANKING: 2 | PLAYER CARD

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider