The Big Blue Lowdown

Insight, Analysis and Expertise on All Things Kentucky Basketball


NBA Comparisons for Kentucky Freshmen

It is only the summer, but with the 2013 NBA draft approaching, now might be as good of a time as ever to come up with NBA comparisons for the star-studded 2013 freshman class for the Wildcats. Most, if not all of these recruits will get a shot to play in the NBA at some point, which is the reason they signed with Kentucky in the first place.

Of course, all NBA comparisons are best-case scenario. Odds are not all will develop into All-Star caliber players, but at this point in their development, they very well could.

Julius Randle

NBA Comparison: Amar’e Stoudemire/Chris Webber

At 6’9” and 248 pounds, Randle has the size and the skills to play in the NBA this upcoming season. Yes, he is still learning, but he seems the most likely to be a one-and-done player for Kentucky next season.

As a lefty, he can be a matchup problem for guys first going up against him, something to take note of if you are a fantasy basketball player. He might not be as athletic as Stoudemire, but he probably is further along fundamentally than he was. Before both were injured, Stoudemire and Webber are probably the two best comparisons.

James Young

NBA Comparison: James Harden

Young can score in bunches, which helps him draw comparisons to a lot of combo wings out there in the NBA right now. Like Randle, he is another lefty, so comparisons to guys like James Harden and Michael Redd are the most convenient.

He is probably a better athlete than Harden at this stage, but his shooting and ball handling is a tick behind. Still, he will get to play in a system that could allow him to be the leading scorer for Kentucky as a freshman.

Andrew Harrison

NBA Comparison: Deron Williams

Andrew is the slightly better NBA prospect at this point, mainly because he has the ability to play either guard position. At 6’5”, 214 pounds, he will be able to step into the NBA and hold his own right away. He is still a streaky shooter, but he can get into the paint and create offense in a variety of ways.

Aaron Harrison

NBA Comparison: Dion Waiters

In order to truly excel at the NBA level, Aaron will need to learn how to handle the ball as well as Andrew. He probably shoots better than Andrew at this stage, but he seems to be a guy who might be better off playing a year at Kentucky after his brother goes to the NBA. He could step in and work on his ball handling and polish his game without being overshadowed by his brother.

Marcus Lee

NBA Comparison: Shorter Javele McGee

He might not be as long and as talented as Nerlens Noel was when he arrived in Lexington, but Lee is a defense-first inside presence who can change the game with his shot blocking. There will be no need for him to score a lot at Kentucky, but he does need more of an offensive game before he is a NBA lock. He is another guy that could possibly return to his sophomore season and help his stock by getting better offensively.

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