The NBA Draft is Thursday evening, which means in roughly 36 hours we'll know where Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb will begin their professional careers. The former Huskies left school in the spring and both are expected to be lottery picks. Drummond, younger, bigger, more raw, is considered the best prospect over the long haul. Meanwhile, Lamb, the sinewy shooting guard, is expected to contribute sooner.
Both players come with questions. For Drummond, it's whether he'll ever develop into a dominating big man. For Lamb, it's if his laid-back style will affect his on-court performance.
"I never really saw Jeremy play at the level he played a year ago when he had Kemba Walker running the ballclub," Phoenix Suns director of player personnel John Treloar told radio station KTBR after Lamb's workout in Arizona (via the Hartford Courant). "But he's a very talented two-guard prospect, very good size for a two guard, and he has a very good scoring component to him."
Jim Calhoun has no such reservations and according to the Courant's Dom Amore, the UConn coach considers Lamb the best long-range shooter available. At this stage of the proceedings, almost every player comes with disclaimers. It's the nature of the draft. In a day, however, none of this will matter because Drummond and Lamb will officially be members of the NBA.
"I just want to make it," Lamb told reporters at the NBA combine (via the Courant). "I've never really thought I might go here or go there. I just want to make it. I just want to go to a good situation."
Drummond's an even bigger risk for NBA teams because he's the second-best big man in the draft after Kentucky's Anthony Davis. He's also expected to go in the top 10, which raises the stakes further. But as Calhoun warned recently, wherever Drummond lands, patience will be a virtue.
"(The NBA coach is) getting one heck of a piece of clay. It's going to take time for him to develop; it may take five years, but you're going to have something awfully special when he does develop. And Andre's a great, great kid; he wants to learn. You'd rather have a kid that doesn't have all the answers than a kid that thinks he has all the answers."
Despite all the reservations, NBADraft.net projects Drummond going No. 7 to Golden State and Houston taking Lamb at No. 14. We'll know for certain Thursday night.