Which player would you want your NBA team to draft?

The NBA Draft is just over one week away, which means that former Big Ten stars such as Noah Vonleh, Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris, Adreian Payne and Mitch McGary, among others, will soon find out where their NBA homes will be. It also means that NBA general managers are doing their homework and completing their final evaluations.

Being an NBA GM is no easy job, but let’s flip the script and put yourself in those shoes. If you were an NBA general manager, which former Big Ten standout would you want on your team the most?

I asked the BTN.com team that very question, and you can see our answers in the post below.

[ MORE: Ranking the top 10 Big Ten NBA players ]

STEPHEN BARDO: Noah Vonleh, Indiana.
He wasn’t a featured player in Indiana’s system, yet he is a Top 10 lottery lock. His athleticism, size, demeanor, and work ethic are impressive. He’s still very young and will progress quickly under the right guidance for a more open game. I think Vonleh possesses the ability to eventually move his game to more face-up than post-up. He’s not going to a good team so his role will depend heavily on where he goes. I remember the Indiana coaches raving about his attitude and passion for the game. He took coaching very well, even when he wasn’t getting the ball. His efficiency this season with limited touches had to be near or at the top of the Big Ten.

SEAN MERRIMAN: Adreian Payne, Michigan State. It is fascinating to me that a 6-10, 240 pound power forward who can shoot from outside, as well as dominate inside, is not higher up on team’s NBA Draft boards. I understand that his age (23) doesn’t do him any favors, but this guy has all the needed attributes to have a successful career at the NBA level. Payne can score in a variety of ways, whether it be posting up, shooting from long range, or taking it to the hoop off the dribble. Playing under Tom Izzo, you also know that Payne is a solid defender, which seems like such a rarity in the NBA in this day and age. It’s tough to find a weakness in his game, which is why if I were an NBA GM, I would want this guy on my roster.

BRENT YARINA: Nik Stauskas, Michigan. The critics will point to his defense, but few NBA prospects are flawless. Make no mistake, it’s Stauskas’ stroke, athleticism, confidence and ability to distribute that will make him an immediate success. This is a “cold-blooded” player who isn’t afraid to take the big shot; in fact, Stauskas is cocky, a quality that fuels his game and often irritates opponents. A prospect who made significant strides from his freshman to sophomore seasons, Stauskas is trending in the right direction and showcased he can thrive as a role player (No. 3 scorer on 2013 national runner-up) or a star (2014 Big Ten Player of the Year).

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Show Comments (5 Comments)
5 Post Your Comment
maryam on 6/19/2014 @ 12:26am EDT Said:

Of all the Big 10 players, Nik Stauskas offers more NBA ready skills than any of the others.
Stauskas is the best shooter of the group and has improved his game more than anyone else to be NBA ready. Hs quick release and passing skills will be noticed from Day 1.
Payne has played four years of college ball and I question his conditoning and his penchant for settling for jumpers too easily and not playing in the post more.
Harris is soft physically and I see Maurice Ager 2.0 who will be overwhelmed.
Vonleh has the NBA body but I feel his lack of fundamentals will either send him to the D League or the end of the bench immediately.
Stauskas will be in a rotation immediately with his shooting ability.

matthew on 6/19/2014 @ 4:01pm EDT Said:

NiK Stauskas is buy far the weakest of the group. Gary Harris played with a bum shoulder for two years. Plus he is a lock down defender. Stauskas has never played defense in his life. Vonleh might make it if he goes to a team where he can sit for a season or two. Payne has small lungs (lack of conditioning), but he is the best big man out there. McGary has back problems….. Stauskas comes off the bench one because he doesn’t defend and two he is a in betweener. Harris plays right off the bat. One because he has the best shot in the BIG 10 and two he defends.

maryam on 6/19/2014 @ 5:22pm EDT Said:

@matthew-I can’t help but laugh at your statements that Stauskas BUY far (college education is not helping you) is the weakest of the group and the excuse of Harris played with a bum shoulder for two years and how Harris is a lockdown defender.
Stauskas was the Big 10’s only All American in 2014, their Big 10 POY winner, the only unanimous pick in 2014 who went from a complimentary role to a starring role in just one season.
Payne never did that in four years but let’s get to the excuses for Harris.
All year MSU was the favorite to win the national title and we’ve seen how Harris does when the bright lights hit him. If he has been banged up for two years playing college ball, what will over 100 NBA games against grown men do to him in summer league, preseason, regular season and possible playoff games?
Harris’ shooting this year regressed from his freshman year as the star player. Harris being a lockdown defender is a joke.
I didn’t see it twice against Stauskas.
I didn’t see it against Connecticut’s guards in the Elite 8.
Stop kidding yourself with this myth about Harris being that great.
Stauskas played two years in college like Harris, accomplished more team wise with trips to the national title game, Elite 8 and a outright Big 10 title.
Individually, he scored more points, shot better from the floor, three point line, foul line, was All Regional twice and made 7 different All American teams and was the Big 10’s unanimous Big 10 POY-all accomplishments Harris cannot claim, despite Harris being the high school All American player.
So if that’s the weakest of the group, he’ll gladly accept that.

maryam on 6/19/2014 @ 5:28pm EDT Said:

Michigan was Big 10’s youngest team the last two years and had the NCAA Tournament’s youngest team in 2013.
In one week, that 2013 team could very easily have the stating five from the national title game the NBA as first round picks and none would have made it to their senior season and the other four would have been second year players.
@matthew, if Payne is the best big man out there, why after four years are they looking at Kansas’ big man, Jabari Parker and foreigners more?

maryam on 6/19/2014 @ 5:36pm EDT Said:

@matthew, Nik Stauskas’ shooting numbers at the foul line BOTH YEARS, three point line BOTH YEARS and overall shooting BOTH YEAR were superior to Gary Harris’.
Harris shot a poor 42% from the floor yet you claim he is a better shooter.
Also, you called Stauskas a IN BETWEENER at 6-6, which makes no sense due to that being shooting guard size, but didn’t use the term for the 6-2 Harris, who will not be a shooting guard at that size and a guy that isn’t talented enough to play point guard.
Take off the blinders and face reality.
The EXCUSE you used about him being hurt with the bad shoulder for two years will be even worse in the NBA when screens will show how soft and brittle he really is.

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