I’ll say it: I would draft Renardo Sidney, and you should want him, too

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Late Wednesday night, I rambled on about the cautionary tale of Renardo Sidney.

And I stand by what I wrote. But I also stand by this: I not only think that Sidney will get drafted, I think that it would be foolish to pass over him in the second round.

For everything that Sidney did wrong during the last five years — the weight gain, the utter lack of conditioning, the fighting, the apathetic mindset towards the game — his talent was simply undeniable. You can see why he was slobbered over as a prospect years before he could legally drive a car.

He’s 6-foot-10 in shoes. He has a wingspan that border on 7-foot-5 and a 30″ no-step vertical despite being 304 pounds and notching the second-highest body-fat percentage (22.4%) in Draft Express’ database. More importantly, you can see signs of his ability as a basketball player: good footwork, a soft touch around the rim, range on his jump shot.

If he ever does figure it out, Sidney has the ability to be a star.

That’s a massive if, I know, but the great part about second round picks is that nothing is guaranteed. The teams have the rights to the player, but they aren’t committed to giving them a contract the way that they are with first round picks. There is no guaranteed money. Sidney would have to earn his spot on the team.

If he doesn’t put in the work to get into shape, he’s cut. If he doesn’t develop the right attitude, he’s cut. If it ends up that he loves fatty foods and long sessions of couch time more than he does playing basketball, he’s cut. The NBA loves self-starters, guys that don’t have to be told to workout and that don’t need to be given motivation from their coaching staff to get in the gym. If Sidney can’t adapt to that, the NBA won’t spend much time waiting.

But if he can — if he ever figures out how to get into shape and live up to his natural ability — than I don’t think it is crazy to say that Sidney could make an all-star team one day.

There is literally zero risk in picking Sidney and a huge reward on the slight chance that he puts it all together.

And when the other post options late in the second round are guys like Henry Sims and Miles Plumlee, Justin Hamilton and JaMychal Green … well, the choice is obvious.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.