June 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

Strengths, weaknesses of local players who could be taken in NBA draft

Oakland University's Travis Bader could go late in the second round. (Jose Juarez / Special to Detroit News)

A number of college players with local ties could be taken in the NBA draft Thursday night. Rod Beard of The Detroit News breaks down their strengths and weaknesses:

Keith Appling

Position: Guard

School: Michigan State

Ht./Wt.: 6-1/182

2013-14 statistics: 11.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists

Strengths: He shot 45 percent overall, 36 percent on 3-pointers, and can be tough to guard in transition. A shooting guard in high school, he became more versatile as a point guard.

Weaknesses: Although he showed flashes of being a good leader on the floor, Appling didnít make a huge jump his senior year. He doesnít possess one skill in which he excels and doesnít have elite height or speed.

Status: Late second round or free agent

Travis Bader

Position: Guard

School: Oakland

Ht./Wt.: 6-5/184

í13-14 statistics: 20.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Strengths: A deadly outside shooter, he shot 41 percent on 3-pointers. He could excel in a system where he comes off screens or gets a role as a secondary option off the bench. His quick release and versatility will make him a hot commodity.

Weaknesses: Bader isnít proficient at creating shots and would need to latch on with an NBA team where he could be a spot-up shooter and feed off dribble-penetration. His one-on-one defense must improve.

Status: Late second round or free agent

Gary Harris

Position: Guard

School: Michigan State

Ht./Wt.: 6-4/205

í13-14 statistics: 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists

Strengths: He is as good on defense as he is on offense. He creates havoc in transition and can be as dangerous from 3-point range as he is getting to the rim.

Weaknesses: His was closer to 6-2 or 6-3 than the 6-4 heís listed. That wonít detract from his tangible skills, and his 6-7 wingspan more than makes up the difference. Injuries were a concern at Michigan State.

Status: Lottery pick

Mitch McGary

Positon: Forward

School: Michigan

Ht./Wt.: 6-10/263

í13-14 statistics: 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds

Strengths: He played eight games last season because of back surgery. He has the skills of a small forward in a big manís body.

Weaknesses: Which is he ó the jaw-dropping big man from the 2013 NCAA Tournament or the oft-injured enigma? There isnít enough proof to say either.

Status: Late first round

Jordan Morgan

Position: Forward

School: Michigan

Ht./Wt.: 6-8/240

í13-14 statistics: 6.4 points, 5.0 rebounds

Strengths: In five workouts, he showed he has all the fundamentals to at least get a second look on a summer-league roster. He can guard the pick-and-roll and has more offensive skill than he showed at Michigan.

Weaknesses: At 6-8, he doesnít have ideal height for a power forward and could have some difficulty against bigger and stronger players. His shot isnít automatic on offensive rebounds.

Status: Late second round or free agent

Adreian Payne

Position: Forward

School: Michigan State

Ht./Wt.: 6-10/239

í13-14 statistics: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds

Strengths: Showed his versatility in shooting 3-pointers (42 percent) and playing with his back to the basket. He was effective as a rebounder and defender, and a good help-defender as well.

Weaknesses: Although heís long and lanky, he may need to bulk up.

Status: Late lottery or first-round pick

Glenn Robinson III

Position: Forward

School: Michigan

Ht./Wt.: 6-7/211

í13-14 statistics: 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds

Strengths: Heís one of the most athletic players in the draft, which translates better to the NBA style than college. He excels in transition and played out of position at Michigan, which will benefit him in playing against bigger opponents.

Weaknesses: At times during his two years at Michigan, he seemed to get lost behind other teammates and didnít get enough shots. His 3-point shot (31 percent) will need to improve, as will his rebounding.

Status: Late first round

Nik Stauskas

Position: Guard

School: Michigan

Ht./Wt.: 6-6/207

í13-14 statistics: 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists

Strengths: Already was an accomplished outside shooter as a freshman, he improved to 44 percent on 3-pointers last season. He has ideal height for an NBA guard and showed with his dribble drives that he can be a dual weapon.

Weaknesses: His defense will need to improve to guard more physical NBA guards and small forwards.

Status: Lottery pick