We’re six NBA prospects in, but the possibilities remain endless for the Charlotte Bobcats heading into the 2013 NBA Draft. We’ll eventually cover all the bases by even scouting a guy Charlotte probably doesn’t necessarily “need” in Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart, but for now we’re trying to nail down the main big name prospects that make the most sense.
The Bobcats will likely have to get a tad screwed in the lottery to fall far enough to pick up Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk, but after taking a look at him, I’m starting to think that will only be the immediate popular knee-jerk reaction, and not the eventual reality. Let’s find out why:
Kelly Olynyk’s Strengths
Just an all-around strong prospect. His insane work ethic and determination alone put him ahead of a lot of other big men in this draft class. His improvement in one year shows you his ceiling could still be fairly high. Knocks down free throws at a great rate for a big man and is an extremely efficient player (shot 62% from the floor in 2012). Has great size and underrated overall athleticism. Finishes strong around the rim. Has a complete offensive arsenal loaded with back-to-basket moves and a solid face-up game. Has good range on his shot, all the way out to the NBA three. Has great vision, court awareness and a leadership quality. Really understands the game. Not a freak shot-blocker, but he can make an impact on defense.
Kelly Olynyk’s Weaknesses
Not a freak athlete. Not the fastest or quickest big man out there. Can block shots, but not at an elite level. Can struggle on defense and get into foul trouble. Not weak by any means but could stand to get stronger and tougher inside.
Should the Bobcats Draft Kelly Olynyk?
If Charlotte drops outside of the top 10 picks and he’s hanging around, absolutely. If they’re outside of the top-five, they should at least strongly consider him, too. Olynyk isn’t a freak athlete, but he’s a solid one, and he’s probably the most efficient and fundamentally strong prospect in the entire draft. He literally took an entire year off of basketball to complete the transition from a former guard player to a legit big man. He has the type of toughness, desire and versatility NBA scouts crave in bigs, and he’s got a great head on his shoulders. There’s little reason to suspect he won’t have a positive impact at the next level. Just how big that positive impact is, however, will end up dictating how high he goes.