Tuesday, July 01, 2008
A few quick thoughts on the top prospects in the NBA Draft. This is in the order that we would rate their talents.
One note, this is an exceptionally weak draft filled with overrated future back-ups.
1. Derrick Rose, Memphis- Looks like a super solid point guard in an era of point guards. If Chicago takes him number one, how will they break up their logjam in the back court? Kirk Hinrich has value. Larry "Hustle" Hughes is just happy to cash the checks. Ben Gordon can score off the bench. Chris Duhon quit on the team last year. Only Hinrich and Gordon are tradebble.
2. O.J. Mayo, USC- He survived a year in California with those initials, he has to get some credit for that. Seems a bit demented, but hey cameras have been following him around since eighth grade. He has more in common with a childhood Hollywood star than most of his fellow draft picks. He can score, but is he big enough or quick enough to defend two guards?
3. Kevin Love, UCLA- Perhaps the best passing big man since Bill Walton. Sure, yes, he needs to get in the weight room and lose the baby fat. He is a great teammate. He hustles every night. He is as fundamentally sound as they come, what a basketball IQ! Is he too slow too defend in the NBA? Maybe.
4. Russell Westbrook, UCLA- He is an excellent defender who hustles and plays hard. He is totally unselfish and happy to make the guys around him better. No question about his ability to play NBA defense. He was a winner at the college level.
5. Joe Alexander, West Virginia- A bright, athletic kid who hasn't been playing basketball nearly as long as most of these guys because his dad was a diplomat and he grew up in Taiwan. Word is he speaks some Mandarin, so there's that. Also, word is when the Nets worked him out last week, he put his elbow on the rim, several times. They say he can reach 12 feet from a standstill jump.
6. Michael Beasley, Kansas State- Shawn Kemp's personality and work ethic without the body. Beasley measured two full inches shorter than he was listed at K-State. On his way to one year living at a college, he was kicked out of approximately 11 high schools, give or take. He has a better chance of making the all-penitentiary team than the All-Star team. He is too small to player power forward and too slow to play small forward. Glenn Robinson ring any bells? He, too, lit up the NCAA on team with a bunch of scrubs in a big time conference.
7. Darrell Arthur, Kansas- He is very athletic, but needs to bulk up. He looks like a smooth shooter. He played a lot of big games in college and came up big in the biggest of them all, the national championship.
8. Brandon Rush, Kansas- The question is where does fit in the NBA? He is heady, he is quick, he's a great defender, he can score a little, he's a character guy. What's not to like? A sixth man, perhaps? Clarion fave Bill Simmons compares him to one of the keys to the Celtics run, multiple ring owner, James Posey.
9. Roy Hibbert, Georgetown- Don't all Georgetown centers come with a guarantee of at least ten years in the NBA? Yes he is slow, slower than slow, but he is a 7' 2", fundamentally sound and plays good defense. He won't be a star, but he will be a contributing role player.
10 D.J. Augustin, Texas- This is the guy, after Kevin Love, the Clarion would most like to see our beloved Knicks take. He has great speed, he's a tremendous dribbler and his heart can't be underestimated. Seriously. His Texas team got better in the best conference in the NCAA last year, after Kevin Durant left. Yes, we know, he's too small. (Note that was the rap on the real MVP, CP III, and the Celtics Rajan Rondo, too.)
A few more notes...
We have no opinion on Danilo Gallinari, a young kid from Italy. We have never seen him, but we hear he is slow. We are praying he is not the Knicks pick, but Coach Mike D'Antoni reportedly played with Gallinari's Dad. Uh-oh.
Eric Gordon is terrible, awful, overrated, fat, slow, selfish and he can't shoot. ESPN's Chad Forde who gushes about everybody says, "I'm scared of this kid. He collapsed in the second half of the season. He has no handle. He's undersized."
Mario Chalmers of Kansas will be a contributing member of somebody's NBA rotation for a long time. He plays at NBA speed. He is an intense battler.
Chris Douglas-Roberts from Memphis will play and score points in the NBA. Will have a better career than at least 15 guys who are drafted ahead of him. Ditto for D.J. White of Indiana.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute of UCLA has the best name in the draft and the talent to replace Bruce Bowen as the Spurs designated defender.