It appears self-evident that if anyone is going to declare early from the NBA Draft, it's going to be Aaron Gordon of the Arizona Wildcats. Gordon is so tantalizing because of his all-around game and outstanding athleticism that he won't be on draft boards long.
Gordon may not be a primary option, but he's probably my favorite player in this year's class. If this was a ranking of guys who played the game "the way it was meant to be played", he would be No. 1. Gordon is a do-it-all 6'9, 215-pound combo forward who can take over the game on either end of the floor. He's an elite athlete who doubles as the ultimate glue guy. It's a real advantage for Arizona and one of the main reasons they are the No. 1 team in the country.
Two UCLA Bruins also have the potential to get picked quickly if they have a chance to stay up there. One of them has been circulated for awhile in Kyle Anderson. Anderson gets picked 15th overall because of his intriguing everything, and could project to be quite a versatile talent capable of doing a variety of things against good teams.
I'll round out the list with one of the more fascinating characters from this class. Anderson, a sophomore at UCLA, has a bizarre mix of pluses and minuses. He's a 6'9 235 point guard who can play a number of positions on the offensive side of the ball, but he was given the "Slow Mo" nickname for a reason and he isn't a great shooter either. Anderson's basketball IQ is too high for him not to figure out. He's Boris Diaw before the fourth and fifth trips to the buffet line.
But he isn't the Bruin who gets picked the highest overall. Zach LaVine gets picked 11th overall and is just such a tantalizing talent that could get snatched up if anyone wants to take a chance on his incredible shooting acumen.
This may be too low for LaVine. After I watched him score 15 points in eight minutes against Arizona State, I don't know what to believe anymore. That was one of those sequences where LaVine let everyone on the floor know he was a bad MFer. He would be putting up better stats if he weren't playing behind another NBA prospect with more experience in Jordan Adams. LaVine looks like he could roll out of bed and do windmill dunks in his slippers. From an entertainment perspective, he is the one to watch.
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