In professional basketball, players generally don’t arrive from college as ready-made performers. Receiving (and accessing) continuous instruction and strength training – instead of being boxed in and choked off by college-imposed parameters – enables a professional player to develop his body and his game in ways that college basketball simply can’t match. Being unshackled from the chains of NCAA bylaws enables a professional player to devote himself full time to the development of more skills and greater physical prowess. This full complement of basketball virtues – the mental, the tactical, and the physical – isn’t generally in evidence when a player leaves college; it is something that is established over time in the NBA ranks. The college player who enters the NBA with a full skill set is the exception, not the rule. It’s worth wondering, then: Which four players can help a team quickly and make the most immediate basketball betting impact at the professional level?
1) Trey Burke, University of Michigan
If there’s one player who appears to be ready to play at a high level in the NBA from the beginning, most pundits would agree that point guard Trey Burke, from the University of Michigan, is the best answer. It is widely known that Nerlens Noel, expected to be the top overall pick in the draft, is still recuperating from an injury suffered this past February. Noel is not ready to play now; that’s widely accepted. Noel’s value lies in how good he could be in five years, not one or two. If there’s a player who can immediately perform at a high level in the Association, it’s Burke. The Michigan guard has a great handle, a solid jump shot, noticeable quickness, a lethal first step to the basket, and sound defensive instincts. He has fewer weaknesses and more polished skills than anyone else in this draft class. He has a winner’s instincts and a fearless mentality in late-game situations. He’ll make an NBA team very happy.
2) Victor Oladipo, Indiana University
The debate begins after Burke. Is Kansas guard Ben McLemore – a marvelously talented wing – ready to play right now? McLemore has the physical makeup, but he was so erratic in his one season of college ball at Kansas that he might not deserve that much trust. Michael Carter-Williams has an NBA body and will be a long, bothersome wing defender for opposing teams, but his offensive skill set is noticeably poor. All in all, the two other players who look ready to play right now are Indiana wing Victor Oladipo and Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum. Let’s start with Oladipo: He defends, rebounds, and attacks the basket with savvy and strength. He has a high basketball IQ and figures to be a competent two-way player who can then develop his game in his second and third seasons. He can contribute right away to an NBA team.
3) C.J. McCollum, Lehigh University
McCollum, briefly mentioned above, is a scorer who exhibits great command of his dribble, his drive, and his shot and unifies his game in very impressive ways. McCollum has more polish and smoothness in his game than a lot of other guards. He functions naturally and without hesitation in halfcourt sets and will need less of an adjustment period than many of the other guards in this particular draft class.
4) Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
The fourth player on this list is Jamaal Franklin, who is in so many ways cut from the same mold of Kawhi Leonard, another San Diego State product who has helped the San Antonio Spurs get back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. Franklin does a lot of dirty work on defense and on the glass, much as Leonard did in college. Franklin doesn’t have a polished jump shot, but neither did Leonard when he got into the NBA. Franklin can do so much as a defender and rebounder that he’ll be able to produce right off the bat and affect the NBA odds for any team that drafts him.