One of the many benefits of working with the SB Nation crew is the amazing resources that our team has accumulated across the network. For the NBA Draft, expert Kris Habbas who runs NBA Draft Insider.com, has volunteered his services to help answer draft-related questions. We picked his brain on two key ones in our eyes regarding Jared Sullinger and Damian Lillard:
1) RaptorsHQ: How worried should we be about Damian Lillard's lack of "elite competition experience?"
Kris Habbas: On the Lillard note it is a valid claim. The thing about his game is that he is a great pick-and-roll point guard. The competition was lighter in the Big Sky than it was in say the ACC (for Kendall Marshall) or the PAC12 (like Anthony Wroten) had to offer. His size and shooting will allow him to make the transition to the NBA. Small school point guards have made an impact despite competition looking at recent history. Rodney Stuckey, Eric Maynor, Jameer Nelson, and etc. He is more of a scoring point guard with a game similar to a Chauncey Billups type player.
2) RHQ: How real are these "back issues" regarding Jared Sullinger? I spoke with him on Thursday when he was here in Toronto and he assured me his back is fine but now no Green Room invite and it sounds like his stock is dropping like a stone.
KH: As for Sullinger the injury issues I feel are overblown. He has back problems caused in part by his legs not being the same length. The doctors red flagged him, but they also said he could have a 10 year career without a hitch. This past season he was a mixed bag. The weight loss allowed him to play a little more and show his mobility on the perimeter, but took away from his ability to dominate the block. Athletically Sullinger will struggle around the rim in the NBA. He is a great rebounder on the offensive and defensive glass, but will have trouble finishing off the hard work over the length of NBA athletes.
Both will be very good NBA players.