There have been rumblings that the Boston Celtics will look to move down from the sixth pick if they are unable to make a trade for Kevin Love; according to ESPN's Chad Ford, the Celtics most likely will select Arizona forward Aaron Gordon if they stay at sixth, but they will also take looks at Michigan State guard Gary Harris, Michigan guard Nik Stauskas, and Creighton forward Doug McDermott.
Included in my 2014 NBA Draft Guide is an article titled "Digging for Diamonds", which will discuss scorers throughout the draft that have chance at turning into something beyond their expected potential. For example, nobody expected the 10th pick in the 1998 draft to turn into a legend, but he did. Of course, that player is Paul Pierce.
These players are impossible to identify, but the clues are there for us to see. Below is an excerpt from the article "Digging for Diamonds", which discusses two players (Stauskas and McDermott) the Celtics are rumored to have interest in if they trade into the 8 to 12 range of the draft.
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"Doug McDermott improved drastically every season of his career with Creighton. Even though the numbers remained consistently legendary - he's the NCAA's fifth all-time leading scorer for a reason - he added a new facet to his game each year.
McDermott has always been outstanding moving off-ball, but he was primarily a back-to-the-basket scorer as a sophomore before adding a savvy mid-range game as a junior. And of course, he's always had a knockdown three, but he extended his range to the NBA three-point line as a senior.
One of the remaining criticisms of McDermott's offense is understandably his first step and his dribble, but his ball handling was significantly better during his senior season than it was any other year. McDermott was basically just a straight-line driver, who got many of his at-rim opportunities via drop offs or post ups, but he added a savvy mid-range game with a Dirk Nowitzki fadeaway as a junior, and he continued to progress his handle with some quick crossovers and change-of-pace dribbles as a senior.
I like players who watch film - I don't think enough basketball players do it - and McDermott is a film junkie. He reportedly watches film of players like Dirk, Paul Pierce, and Larry Bird, and does everything he can to "steal" their moves. He has already displayed the ability to learn anything, considering his steady improvement at Creighton, so I don't see how it's unreasonable to assume that he can continue to add versatility to his game and there is a chance he becomes "something more."
Michigan's Nik Stauskas is very much in the same boat as McDermott, or even a player like Stephen Curry. Coming out of college, Curry was touted as one of the draft's greatest three-point shooters, with the ability to drain shots off the catch or the dribble, but he was also labeled as unathletic, a poor defender, and a combo guard, so naturally his stock took a hit and he fell to the 7th - behind more "traditional" guards like Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, and Jonny Flynn.
Stauskas is very much in the same mold as Curry in that he is excellent at playing off-ball with the ability to handle the ball himself and play some point guard. If Stauskas is able to speed up his dribble to the level of Curry's, just like he had to, then it's not out of the question for him to reach that level.
On the other end of the spectrum, a player like T.J. Warren can get anywhere he wants with the ball as if he's a magician playing card tricks. Warren has the basketball IQ of a ten-year vet, but he can't hit jumpers with his absolutely disgusting looking form.
But Warren has something a lot of players don't: touch. Whenever he missed his go-to mid-range floaters or even his threes at N.C. State, the ball still tended to come off soft. Imagine for a moment that T.J. Warren was a consistent 38 percent three-point shooter in college, because he would be guaranteed as a top five pick. If he's able to add a jumper, teams are looking at a legitimate steal at that area of the draft."