Unlike the real stock markets where everything just tends to fall nowadays, the NBA Draft Stock report has some gainers. With seasons underway both in the U.S. colleges and across the pond, it’s a fine time to take a peek at whose stock is on the up, and who is crashing like its 1929 all over again.
James Harden — Arizona State
Draft Range: Top 5
The Sun Devils’ James Harden has been scorching the competition in the early going, averaging 27, 7 and 4. The silky smooth sophomore has already topped the 30-point mark three times, including a 40-point game versus UTEP (his teammates only scored 48 points). If he can stay hot once Arizona State starts playing some real competition he should be a lock to go Top 5 next June.
Stephen Curry — Davidson
Draft Range: Lottery Pick
The question of whether Stephen Curry can play the point guard spot seem to have been answered (at least on the college level). He’s gone off for 29 points a game, but perhaps more impressively is the fact he is averaging seven dimes a game and has a sparkling 2.8 assist to turnover ratio. Curry has showed that he is more than just a gunner, so he should be a safer draft pick than a sharpshooter like J.J. Redick was, who pretty much only had his deadly shooting stroke as an asset.
Victor Claver — Spain
Draft Range: Late Lottery Pick
To read the full scoop (and watch video) on Victor Claver take a peek here. His strong start to the season in Spain has seen his stock creep into the lottery range.
Al-Farouq Aminu — Wake Forest
Draft Range: Lottery Pick, possibly Top 5
The Norcross, Ga. product had a solid start to his collegiate career for the undefeated Demon Deacons. Posting three double-doubles already, he also is shooting over 60 percent from the field. If he can get his outside shot straightened out (he’s currently 1-7 from three), the skies the limit for the 6-9 215-pound forward.
B.J. Mullens — Ohio State
Draft Range: Top 10
Once considered a serious threat to go first overall next June, B.J. Mullens has had a disappointing start to his career in Columbus. Coming off the bench, he has yet to hit double figures in points or boards and is shooting 43 percent from the field. Not exactly the second coming of Greg Oden (or Kosta Koufos for that matter).
Demar DeRozan — USC
Draft Range: Top 10 to late-First Round pick
SoCal’s DeRozan is another precocious frosh who has found out the hard way that he isn’t in high school anymore. Much more was expected out of him than the 10 and 4 he is averaging, but the season is young still. With the tough Pac-10 schedule getting underway shortly; however, the time is now to get his game on track.
Damion James — Texas
Draft Range: Top 10 to Late-first round pick
After a summer of working on his perimeter game with Kevin Durant, Damion James was looking to prove this year that he is not just an undersized power forward but a legit small forward prospect. Shooting 27 percent from deep and having almost twice the amount of turnovers than assists isn’t proving his case too well.
Gerald Henderson — Duke
Draft Range: Mid- to late-First Round pick
This was supposed to be the breakout season for Gerald Henderson also. With his experience, athleticism and skill set, Henderson was expected to be a big scoring threat for Duke on the wing. Yet he is averaging only 10 points a game and is shooting 42 percent from the floor. His last two games he is a dreadful 3-15 shooting for nine points total.
A regular feature to the Draft 365 space, Introducing…brings you the goods on off-the-radar NBA prospects worthy of being a blip on your GPS.
Gani Lawal — Georgia Tech
A high school teammate of the above mentioned Aminu, Yellow Jackets sophomore Gani Lawal is doing his best impression of a former Georgia Tech four-man Chris Bosh this season. After averaging a solid 7 and 4 last year, the 6-9 233-pounder busted out of the gate this season, going off of 22.2 ppg and 11.2 rpg through the team’s first five games.
Possessing a huge wingspan (7-feet plus), a good work ethic, solid athleticism and a developing post game, Lawal has himself positioned to be taken in the first round–and possibly the Lottery–in the 2009 draft. In the meantime, the rest of the ACC better beware.
Jeff Fox also writes about college hoops and the NBA draft at collegehoopsnet.com.