2013 NBA Draft Preview: DeShaun Thomas Is A Poor Man’s ‘Melo (That’s A Good Thing)

Upside: Here’s the first thing you should know about DeShaun Thomas. He can put the rock in the hole; point blank, period. He’s a consistent shotmaker, who via technique is able to score points against elite defensive sets. He is, essentially, a poor man’s ’Melo, with both the ability to make long-range bombs and force his way into the lane. He averaged 20 points (leading Ohio State and the Big Ten in that category) and six boards during his junior campaign, and helped the Buckeyes get to the Elite Eight. Whatever team drafts him just needs to let him warm up on the bench and plug him. He will bring instantaneous point production.

Downside: Once a lottery prospect, he is now projected as a second-rounder. The reason for that is his deficiency in every category other than scoring. His rebound average looks great on paper, but if you watch Thomas enough, you’ll rarely see him dominate a game on the boards. He doesn’t pass well, nor does he have great ball-handling skills. Simply, his game is very one-dimensional. Additionally, he’s an average athlete and doesn’t get a lot of lift on his shot. He doesn’t have much quickness, either, and because of this, struggles to stay in front of his man defensively.

But at 6´7 and 225, he has good size, and if coached properly, may be able to keep himself from being a liability. It’s essential that he lands with the right team. Whatever team he lands on needs to already have a fortified defensive group, that just needs more scoring to balance out their roster. Thomas recently worked out for the Pacers, which considering he’s predicted to be available when they select with the 23rd pick, would be ideal. He would make their bench, which was a weakness for the Pacers, much more formidable. Thomas is also a Indiana native, so, this is almost too perfect. With the 23rd pick, I can’t see the Pacers letting him get past them.

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