In the past years, we've been lucky enough to see a multitude of Canadian basketball talents get drafted into the NBA. As college stars start declaring for the upcoming draft this season, it should be no surprise that once again, there will be another strong group of Canadians preparing to enter the league. This week, we’ll like to take a look at some of Canada’s hopefuls going into this summers draft.
If you haven’t heard of the Canadian ‘Wonderkid’ by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past two years. Before he committed to Kansas, there were already some commentators looking at Wiggins as potentially being a ‘once in a generation’ talent. Since then the expectations have been tempered a little, but Wiggins is definitely still one of the favorites to go first overall. A lot of the criticism surrounding Wiggins has pointed to his disappointing performance against Stanford, but let’s not dismiss the fact that Kansas’ team as a whole has difficulty with Stanford’s made-for-college zone defence. At the end of the day, Wiggins represents the player with arguably the highest potential ceiling, and will be a legitimate number one player should he be selected with the top pick.
Last year, no one would’ve predicted Brampton’s Tyler Ennis as a first round pick. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a lot of people who thought Ennis would leave college after only one year. However, after what has been a truly outstanding freshman season, in which Ennis led Syracuse to a 27-5 record, it would now be shocking if Ennis didn't get drafted in the first round. Ennis is one of those players, who despite lacking the high end athleticism present in a lot of good NBA players, makes up for it with one of the highest basketball IQs. His ability to see the floor and read defences is one of the best in this years draft. This ability coupled with his great basketball skills and perimeter shooting, should make Ennis an attractive first round pick for any team.
As one of the NCAA’s best three point shooters, Stauskas will no doubt have a very good chance at being drafted in the first round by a team looking for that perimeter threat to help stretch the floor. Even more so, should Stauskas be drafted in the late first round by a strong team, he would fit in nicely as a long ball specialist coming off the bench. Despite being known for his shooting range, Stauskas offers a lot more than just the long ball. His fierceness and competitiveness, coupled with his IQ will make him a solid NBA player. His biggest weakness however, will be his speed, especially on the defensive side of the ball. While he may have been able to hide this in the less experienced NCAA league, NBA offences will be able to exploit this if Stauskas isn’t drafted into the right system. Nonetheless, many mock drafts have Stauskas going in the first round, and he should end up being a solid choice for whoever picks him up.