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HAMMOCK: NBA Draft should be interesting for Gwinnett this year

FILE - In this Dec. 28, 2011 file photo, Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb (3) shoots over the South Florida defense, including forward Augustus Gilchrist and forward Ron Anderson Jr. during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tampa, Fla.  Lamb has declared for the NBA draft. Lamb said in a statement released Tuesday, April 10, 2012,  by UConn that it was a difficult decision to go professional but it is in the best interest of his family.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 28, 2011 file photo, Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb (3) shoots over the South Florida defense, including forward Augustus Gilchrist and forward Ron Anderson Jr. during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tampa, Fla. Lamb has declared for the NBA draft. Lamb said in a statement released Tuesday, April 10, 2012, by UConn that it was a difficult decision to go professional but it is in the best interest of his family. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

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FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2012 file photo, Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb, right, drives to the basket while guarded by Cincinnati's Yancy Gates (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn. Lamb has declared for the NBA draft. Lamb said in a statement released Tuesday, April 10, 2012, by UConn that it was a difficult decision to go professional but it is in the best interest of his family. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

The NBA Draft comes and goes some years without a chance of a Gwinnett product being selected. That shouldn't be the case this summer, thanks to Jeremy Lamb.

The Norcross grad declared for the draft on Tuesday -- a no-brainer with his status as a likely lottery pick -- so basketball fans in this area will have a good reason to watch the early picks.

ESPN's Chad Ford ranks Lamb 12th on his top 100 draft prospects and NBADraft.net has him going sixth to the Toronto Raptors in a mock draft.

A lottery selection will be another chapter in the meteoric rise of Lamb, who went from a relative unknown after his junior season at Norcross to a heavily recruited senior who signed with UConn. He averaged 16.2 points in the NCAA Tournament as the Huskies won it all his freshman season, then averaged a team-high 17.7 points this past season.

Lamb has the makings of an ideal two-guard in the NBA with his athleticism, his 70-inch wingspan and his scoring ability, so it's not a surprise to see him as a lottery lock.

The same can't be said for Gwinnett's other prospects who are draft-eligible. It remains to be seen what will happen with Berkmar grad Wesley Witherspoon and Meadowcreek grad Chris Allen, who completed their college careers this past season. Both will get the chance to play pro basketball somewhere, hopefully in the NBA.

Witherspoon is an intriguing prospect for his potential and his versatility to play guard at 6-foot-9. Early in his Memphis career, he was touted as a likely first-round pick, but now most consider him a second-round pick at best.

He had an up-and-down college career, averaging double figures just once (12.7 points as a sophomore) and battling through injuries and a brief suspension as a junior. He averaged 7.2 points and 3.6 rebounds as a senior, starting just nine games and averaging only 22 minutes.

That said, Witherspoon still has potential on his side if he can finally put it all together. He will get a chance to impress at this week's prestigious Portsmouth Invitational.

Allen played on some successful college teams for three seasons at Michigan State and this past season at Iowa State, but had some well-publicized issues with Spartan head coach Tom Izzo that contributed to his transfer.

Allen is athletic and a dangerous shooter, but he doesn't have a lot of experience at point guard, which would help his NBA chances since he's 6-3.

But I think Allen has the ability to play in the NBA. So does Witherspoon. Hopefully both will get their chance.

I know Lamb will get his, along with a nice lottery-sized paycheck.

Will Hammock can be reached via email at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock. For Hammock's blog, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willsworld.