Which current MBB player will have the best NBA career?

Submitted by DemetriusBrown on January 27th, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I'm going with Glen Robinson III.  He has the skill set, size, and potential to have a long and productive NBA career. 



January 27th, 2013 at 5:55 PM ^

I love Trey's game and I'm really glad he plays for UMich, but I don't see either of those comparisons.

* CP3 is pretty far ahead of Trey in athleticism.

* Derrick Rose is 6'4" _and_ athletic (though maybe not in the same way as CP3).

I wouldn't be surprised if Trey wound up starting for someone for a few years (especially considering the way the game is going in the NBA), but he looks like more of a rotation guy at the moment. When I look at him, I see a guy who, in some areas, has just enough ability to stand out in college.

- - -

My money is with GRIII. Pretty high ceiling, pretty good range of skills.

I'd also expect to see McGary land somewhere for at least a few years.

THJ? I think he has a pretty high ceiling, too, but for some reason I don't have the same level of confidence with him as I do with GRIII.

Horford and Levert are interesting wildcards.

turd ferguson

January 27th, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

I'm with you on GRIII for the reasons you said plus, above all, athleticism.  He really looks like a lottery pick to me after a season of being Michigan's brightest star (post-Burke, post-Hardaway).  Hopefully he sticks around for that year.


January 27th, 2013 at 4:57 PM ^

First, can I just say how fucking cool it is that we can have this thread.

As for the actual question, the safe bet for me is GRIII. He has a great shot already, good ball handling, and crazy athleticism. He already looks like an NBA player and with a couple more years of good coaching I'd honestly say his floor is about as high as any college player's floor can be. I doubt he does much worse than start for an NBA team. But if I had to guess who's most likely to be a star I have to go with Trey. He looks like Chris Paul in a lot of ways, from ball handling to distribution to shot taking and smart play, he has all the skills to make it big time in the NBA. There's always a chance that with his height those skills just don't translate, but if he does succeed he's going to do it big. Hardaway will also be a good player but until I see some better ball handling (which he just seems to be naturally not great at) I doubt he'll be a star. McGary should make it as a good 6th man somewhere once he goes through a couple more years of college conditioning & coaching. I also wouldn't be shocked to see LeVert make it in some capacity down the road.


January 27th, 2013 at 5:32 PM ^

I really don't see McGary's game translating well to the NBA.  He turns 21 in May or June, so even though he is in his first year of college he is behind, as most kids his age have been in college for 2-3 years.  I think he makes an NBA roster at some point, but is pretty much a nonfactor.

GRIII has sky high potential as you can't teach athleticism like his, and would be my pick as most likely to suceed in the NBA.

panthera leo fututio

January 27th, 2013 at 5:57 PM ^

He has pretty legit size for an NBA 4, and even though he's old for a freshman, this is probably his first year in a really advanced strength program, so I imagine his body still has plenty of developing to do. Also, he shows really good instincts with things like outlet passing, he has a great motor, and he has great per-minute rebounding numbers. I'd be surprised if he was ever an all star, but I wouldn't be shocked at all to seem him stick in the league for a while.


January 27th, 2013 at 11:06 PM ^

For me, that's the ceiling for McGary, and it would mean a productive NBA career if he got anywhere close to it. Active and tireless (that part needs work obviously) big man with a huge rebounding radius, good at defending the screener on a pick and roll because he can hedge effectively and still get himself back into the play, doesn't slow down your running game. Any scoring you get out of that guy is a bonus.

Noah made enormous strides from his freshman to his sophomore year; McGary's in between those two levels (he's way ahead of what I remember of Noah as a frosh, which isn't that much because he didn't get a lot of playing time); he's also seven months older than Noah was so he's in between in age as well.

Any FC Barcelona fans out there that can compare him to Varejao at the same age?

I'm sure there are similar players that didn't develop but I can't seem to think of one right now.



January 28th, 2013 at 12:39 AM ^

He's a white guy. 

Not endorsing that it matters/helps but owners do seem to like keeping at least one around, and high energy big man off the bench is as good a spot as any for one.  If Mark Madsen can stay on an NBA roster for 9 seasons, McGary has a chance to make a lot of money playing just a little bit of basketball.


January 27th, 2013 at 5:02 PM ^

Burke is the safe pick. GR3 has the highest ceiling and he could very well be the best howeva Burke has such a great feel for the game. I don't think he'll get to Chris Paul's elite level but that's the guy he plays like.

His ability to stop and then start so quickly and his overall craftiness with the ball is why I see that comparison. Burke also has a great instinct to make the "right" play which is evidenced by his ridiculous A/TO ratio.

Inertia Policeman

January 27th, 2013 at 5:07 PM ^

For all the reasons the OP mentioned. 

I think THJ has elevated his overall game imensely this year and could be a solid contributer at the next level.

Trey - could be a star if he can improve his defense, which may be somewhat limited given his height.

The wildcard here - Stauskas. The guy could be Mike Miller ++ if he's on a team with an all-star or two, he could absolutely thrive on the open looks. 

How nuts is it that we could have something like 3-6 future NBA players on this team?


January 27th, 2013 at 5:16 PM ^

About all the guys who could possibly make it to the league.  I know "best NBA career" is subjective but left it open so people could debate it with their own opinions.

My reservations with Trey are his size.  I think he could excel but question for how long once he loses a step.

Stauskas I see as a system guy who could flourish in the right circumstances but see him as a defensive liability.

McGary could be a solid back up and hopefully proves me wrong.

Hardaway Jr. I see as a solid role player at the 2 or 3 but don't see him as an NBA starter and hopefully again he proves me wrong.  

Caris is a wildcard who could possibly enter the discussion down the road.


January 27th, 2013 at 5:49 PM ^

Tough question considering 4 of the possible NBA players are only TRUE freshman.  The potential when these guys when they are are 26-28 years old is hard to read.  I think Stauskas could have a great career if he continues to develop other parts of his game.  Shot-makers are always in demand.  

That said, Burke will almost certainly be a starting point guard in the NBA for years barring injury.  THJ has shown me enough this year both athletically and with the maturity of his game to make me think he has a very solid NBA career as well.  GR3 has SO much room to grow his game; I think his ceiling is the highest.  McGary could certainly make an NBA roster at some point as well.  Levert is a total wildcard.  


January 27th, 2013 at 5:52 PM ^

GRIII has the most transferable skills.  The fact that up to six current players, I am including Stauskas, have the possiblity is a testament to Coach B's recruiting and talent recognition.

Lucky Socks

January 27th, 2013 at 6:10 PM ^

Depending on the definition of best I think you could justify anyone in the group of Burke, Robinson, Hardaway or Stauskas.  I'll take Stauskas for a change of pace.


He's 6"6 and a deadly shooter.  Kyle Korver has played 10+ years in the league and had a great career by most standards.  I think Stauskas is showing a sneaky ability to get to the rim and is an above average passer and ballhandler.  I think his elite skill (shooting) makes him stick around, and his potential elsewhere can make him a solid starter on a playoff type team.  

panthera leo fututio

January 27th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

Given his ability to create off the dribble, size, and the likely defensive struggles he's going to have in the NBA, I think a decent player comparison for Stauskas might actually be Jamal Crawford. Crawford's a good bit quicker, but I think Stauskas might be able to play a similar role as a designated scorer off the bench.


January 27th, 2013 at 6:27 PM ^

I agree with you on GRIII. He seems to be the most well rounded player on the roster. I hope he sticks around a few years so we can see what he is capable of offensively when he's the first or second option every time down the floor.


January 27th, 2013 at 6:52 PM ^

They're all somewhat flawed from an NBA standpoint. (EDIT: I mean that in that they're all unlikely to become genuine NBA superstars)

Burke - Size is somewhat of an issue, and defesively he leaves a good bit to be desired. On the offensive end, though he does a good job of running an offense, he isn't the most creative passer you'll ever see. I expect him to be a solid starter, but I don't really see him being a star on the NBA level. I'd say it's a whole lot more likely that he ends up being a Mike Conley caliber player than he ends up being Chris Paul.

Robinson - Doesn't handle the ball especially well, wouldn't expect him to be a guy who ever really creates for himself. I don't know how much room for improvement he has in that regard (ball handling is one of those things that's REALLY hard to greatly improve). How good he is in the NBA will largely hinge on how much he improves his jumpshot. He's a solid set shooter from three, but his jumpshot in general is pretty average. He's not a guy who's going to hit jumpers off screens, or pull up for a contested mid range jumper off the dribble. I could very well see a Gerald Wallace type career, though Robinson isn't that caliber of shot blocker.

McGary - He's big, he's mobile, and he has a great motor. There will always be room in the NBA for guys like that. But he's not going to be a shot blocker/defensive game changer on the next level, and he isn't going to create for himself on offense. He really needs to work on developing a reliable mid range jumper.

Hardaway - Skill set wise, he has pretty much everything you want from an NBA wing. Solid size, he can shoot off screens, off the dribble, or while set. Solid finisher. Handles the ball decently, rebounds, passes. The problem for him is that he doesn't do anything exceptionally well, and unless you're a superstar, it's hard to stick in the NBA if you don't have a specialized skill. If he improves his jumpshot he'll stick.

Stauskas - For the same reason Hardaway might struggle to stick on the next level, I think Stauskas makes it. His shooting combined with solid size and a pretty well polished offensive game makes it likely he finds a role somewhere. Defense will be a big question mark of course, but if he can consistently shoot 40%+ from 3 in the NBA he'll find a home.


These are all 19-21 year old kids though, so of course none of them are finished products. A lot of how they fare on the NBA level will have to deal with the situations they're drafted in, the coaching the receive, and how their development is directed.


January 28th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

And I agree with most of that, but I think you CAN learn to improve your handle enough to be effective, and Robinson's shooting range is likely to improve as well.  Robinson's the clearcut #1 NBA prospect in my mind.  You can slot him into a Kwhai Leonard role very quickly and, since he's young, the upside for more is still there.

Conley is certainly a better comp than Paul for Burke.  The difference between being a complimenary player and probably backup, as compared to a starter, will be if Burke can turn into a 38 or 40% shooter from NBA 3 and be more of an impact defensively.  Size is going to be a problem always and his quickness isn't great at the NBA level.  He does have great character and composure and a reliable handle.  He's a sure thing IMO, to at least be a decent NBA backup.

Hardaway will get a shot.  He could stick as an Afflalo-type if he gets stronger and keeps improving his defense.  That's his ticket to the NBA if he can develop that skill.  More likely, he'll be a very good player in high-level Europe, where his all-around game will fit a little better.

McGary has size for a college player, but he's not big by NBA standards.  His arms aren't long enough to make up for meh athleticism.  IMO, his only chance to be an NBA player would be if he can develop into a 35% 3 point shooter to complement his hustle/rebounding game.  He's a longshot, IMO.

Stauskas just doesn't have the athleticism to defend in the NBA.  There are a lot of dead-eye shooters out there - fewer who are 6'6, but you still have to have a minimum level of athleticism and I'm not sure he has it.  Maybe he gets better over the next 2-3 years...

I actually think LaVert might have a better shot at the NBA than McGary or Stauskas, but his game has much further to go.  Horford too, if he gets stronger.  He's shown potential to have a quality jump shot while being a plus rebounder.  A few years down the line he could certainly be an NBA prospect.


January 27th, 2013 at 6:52 PM ^

He still needs to work on his handles. He's not really someone who can't take his guy off the dribble. Remember in the pros his matchup would be Lebron or Durant.


January 27th, 2013 at 7:19 PM ^

he has to put in the work but has the highest ceiling. everything we see looks so effortless. we dont  know how much he wants "it"  but i think he will explode the next 18 months!


January 27th, 2013 at 8:04 PM ^

THJ will not have a meaningful NBA career. His lack of handle will not translate at all with the heavy reliance on iso offense. The only way I see him contributing is on a team like the Spurs where he can focus on rebounding and hitting open shots but in the NBA, a two guard should be able to create for himself.


January 27th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

It is GRIII.  He reminds me a lot of Michael Kidd Gilcrest from Kentucky last season.  He is someone who is absolutely special with great athleticism that is sacrificing some numbers he could probably get so the team is the best they can possibly be.  I think he sticks around next season and is an absolute superstar.