Ten to Die (or Lose) For

"Tanking [in order to draft higher] happens every year," says one Eastern Conference executive, noting that, "this year it's going to start earlier." Here's the cream of a tantalizing crop
July 22, 2013

Andrew Wiggins FKansas freshman

The smooth 6'7" Canadian import is seen by some NBA execs as a LeBron James--level talent, with a variety of moves in half-court sets and the spectacular athleticism to finish in traffic.

Julius Randle FKentucky freshman

At 6'9" and 240 pounds, he has an intoxicating blend of power and speed that will allow him to overwhelm small defenders in the post and outrun plodding forwards in transition.

Jabari Parker FDuke freshman

The sturdy 6'8" power forward is a lethal perimeter shooter with a burgeoning low-post game that will undoubtedly develop under Mike Krzyzewski.

Marcus Smart GOklahoma State sophomore

A middle linebacker masquerading as a point guard, he would have been a top five pick in last month's draft. His powerful first step and 6'4", 220-pound frame perfectly fit the NBA's supersized playmaker mold.

Aaron Gordon FArizona freshman

There may be no better athlete in the nation next season than Gordon, a 6'8", 215-pound Blake Griffin--type who should blossom once he settles in at small forward and fine-tunes his game.

Andrew Harrison GKentucky freshman

With his size (6'5", 205 pounds) and instincts, this prescient playmaker will put up big assist numbers dishing to his fellow fab freshmen, including his twin, Aaron.

Isaiah Austin CBaylor sophomore

The 7'1" 220-pounder often appeared to be physically overmatched in his first season in Waco, which ended with a torn labrum. Once he shows greater consistency and makes better use of his height, his inside-out talent will rocket him up draft boards.

Mario Hezonja GCroatia

The NBA loves shooters, and Hezonja can hit from anywhere. Couple that with his size (6'6", 200 pounds) and pick-and-roll game, and the 18-year-old is a big-time prospect.

Mitch McGary FMichigan sophomore

He was the breakout star of the 2013 NCAA tournament, averaging 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in the Wolverines' run to the final. If the 6'10" bruiser with the soft hands keeps up that pace, he's a lottery lock.

Alex Poythress FKentucky sophomore

Scouts desperately wanted to see more small-forward skills (ballhandling, perimeter shooting) from him last season. If he develops those, then his size, scoring and rebounding abilities could make him a star.

PHOTOBRENDAN MALONEY/USA TODAY SPORTS (SMART) PHOTOKEVIN JAIRAJ/USA TODAY SPORTS (AUSTIN) PHOTOGREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MCGARY)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)