From Stephen A. Smith’s story on Tyler Hansbrough and Blake Griffin. Some great quotes on Griffin’s NBA potential.
“Blake Griffin is a man,” one NBA scout said. “You can end whatever speculation there is right now. Come June, he will be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft by anyone who gets it. Anyone.
“The only way that doesn’t happen is if he elects to stay for his junior year. His skills are too superior to everyone else. He can score at will. He’s a ferocious rebounder with quick jumping ability. He’s about to be the player of the year. There’s ‘star’ written all over this guy.
“Tyler Hansbrough is a very good player with a place for him on the next level. He’s simply too good a kid, too productive and too hard a worker not to be picked somewhere in the top 15. But Blake Griffin is just special. They shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence.”
After watching Blake for two years in college and four in high school, I’m honestly starting to wonder if he’s the type of player you sell the farm to get. People can question the little things about him – free throw shooting, defense, mid-range jumper – but he’s got those tools. They just weren’t always on display. He didn’t need the mid-range game because he could post up any player in America. His defense sometimes didn’t look great because he was concerned with foul trouble – OU couldn’t afford for Blake to not be on the floor. And his free throw shooting numbers look bad, but he’s got a great release and a small mechanical hitch. Nothing some good coaching can’t fix.
Blake Griffin is an incredibly special player because he combines unreal ability with passion, intensity and outstanding character. Regardless of where the Thunder lands in the lottery, I know I’m doing just about anything (within reason) to get Blake. He’s worth the price tag. Maybe you don’t think he fits well or there’s a place for him. Trust me, a guy like this, you find a place.
And don’t count the Thunder out of the Griffin Sweepstakes quite yet – if you have the worst record in the league you get just a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick. That means there’s a 75 percent chance you don’t. Right now, OKC stands at 8.8 percent. The Bulls had just a 1.7 percent chance last year and won the top spot. It can happen people.