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St. John’s Players With Outside Shot of Being Drafted in 2014 NBA Draft

by Edward Kim | Posted on Thursday, June 26th, 2014

(Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images)

The NBA draft is about to go down and the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson are trying to claim the back pages of the local newspapers but what has St. John’s been up to?

JaKarr Sampson has showcased his talents to somewhere between nine and thirteen different NBA teams and yet it seems that it is no lock that he hears his name called in either round of tonight’s NBA draft.  With two years of college eligibility remaining, Sampson decided to declare for the draft rather than develop at St. John’s.

Per Roger Rubin from the Daily News (read more), “His ball handling is improved. He’s put on 10 pounds of muscle. He’s nearly smoothed out the hitch in his shot.”

Regardless of the improvements he’s shown since declaring for the draft, skeptics still question his ability to play the small forward position in the NBA and wonder whether another year at St. John’s would have been in his best interest.  His athletic ability and wingspan is attractive regardless of the league but the burden has been and will continue to be on Sampson to show that he has developed his game and his understanding of how to play at a higher level.   He has the upside and potential but only time will tell if he puts it all together against the best basketball players in the world.

Orlando Sanchez, although less heralded than JaKarr Sampson, may be more of a NBA ready player.  He’s displayed his abilities during the adidas Eurocamp and at minimum has worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers.  Recovering from shoulder surgery and not playing competitive basketball, Sanchez showed glimpses of a stretch power forward that can lead a fast break during his only year at St. John’s.  He hasn’t put up the numbers or received the attention, but he has the skill set that may land him in the NBDL or at the end of a NBA roster.  He may not possess the potential of Sampson but still may have a better shot at landing a job in the NBA or NBDL if he doesn’t play. oversees.

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