The 2012 NBA Draft is a week away. How are the draft prospects of the Orange shaping up?
Fab Melo: Most of the post-combine buzz has been centered around Fab. He recently worked out with the Pacers, where he earned some praise. One person in attendance even said that Fab was "off the charts", a description that many though would only ever apply to Fab's numbers on the scale. Indy already has a legit center in Roy Hibbert, so chances are Fab wouldn't be called on to play big minutes right away, which is a good thing. Hibbert is also a strong low post scorer, so he might be able to teach Fab a move or two. And, if nothing else, Fab will have the comfort of being able to dunk on a Hoya just like in his college days. The Pacers' first pick in the draft is at 26.
Not everyone is sold on Fab, though. He's on a couple of early "bust" lists as people continue to question his work ethic, largely stemming from the academic suspensions that cut his Syracuse career short. He's done what he can to ally those concerns and is still rated as the fourth best center in the draft. The latest NBADraft.net mock draft has Fab going 26th to Indiana.
While opinions of Fab's draft potential vary widely, the fact that people are talking about him onlyhelps him, especially since every report has been of execs being impressed with him. Indy might be hoping that he's still on the board at 26, but I really think he's going to be gone by then. Look for Boston to grab him with one of their back-to-back first round picks.
Kris Joseph: As much as Fab has just about the whole league talking about him, KJis just the opposite. He continues to quietly make the rounds for individual workouts, including Washington, Charlotte and Atlanta. He's also scheduled to work out with the Detroit Pistons two days before the draft.
The fact that teams continue to invite KJ to work out is a good sign. It's tough to read too much into it since teams are going to take a look at just about anybody at this point. It's hard to see Washington taking him with the recent acquisition of Trevor Ariza, but at this point, KJ should be glad of any team that picks him. Still, his draft stock is on the rebound. He's currently projected to go Portland with the 41st pick, after falling as low as the 60th (and last) pick not long ago. It just goes to show how wildly a the opinion of a player can fluctuate in the weeks leading up to the draft.
Scoop Jardine: Much like KJ, Scoop has had to rely on individual workouts to generate interest. Things have slowed down a bit for the Jade Scorpion. After a flurry of workout that included the Knicks, 76ers, Spurs and Wizards, Scoop's only recent work has been with the Dallas Mavericks (55th pick).
The Mavericks wouldn't be a terrible destination for Scoop. Outside of Steve Nash or Rajon Rondo, he'd be hard pressed to find a better person than Jason Kidd to teach him how to play a pure NBA point guard. Plus, Kidd's advanced age has left him drained athletically, so the Mavs are used to playing with a PG who can't guard anybody and lacks an explosive game. What they have in Kidd is a PG who can run a fast break and get the ball to his scorers, which is what they'd be getting in Jardine as well. Of course, Kidd is all out bigger and a much better shooter than Scoop, but those are things that hours in the gym can rectify. Still, it's tough to see a team using a selection on him. 55th is low enough where he might have a chance, but it's still far more likely that he gets picked up as an undrafted free agent for the summer leagues.
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