The draft is 52 days away people. And tomorrow it will be 51 days. And before you know it, it’ll be a week away. But right now we’re counting the days until the lottery (15), and reader J.G. has put together an incredibly extensive “What if we get this pick?” piece. Agree, disagree, whatever – but good discussion should definitely come about. And right now, that’s what it’s all about – arguing about stuff. It’s long, but hey, what’ve you got to do that’s better? Work? Plus it’s an extremely informative and fun read.
By J.G. Marking
Special to Daily Thunder
Disclaimer: Like any good mock draft, this prospect analysis is equal parts research-driven hypotheses and equal parts utterly opinionated and completely indefensible guesswork. Obviously if the Pre-Draft Combine reveals shocking measurements, weaknesses or strengths, then these picks will change (except for #1, I don’t care if Blake Griffin turns out to be 4’9 and 110 pounds). So have at it!
The #1 Pick – “Thank you, David Stern! Thank y-What? Tampering? I didn’t see anything!”
It wouldn’t be unprecedented but you know that everyone in the NBA, including yours truly, would have to raise an eyebrow at the Thunder somehow landing the first pick when yet another hometown hero is projected to go #1. But hey, look at the bright side, the rest of the league couldn’t hate the Thunder anymore than they already do if they land the best overall player with the fourth-worst record, right? So with that in mind, come on 11.9 percent! By the way if this happens, only two cities are not allowed to gripe whatsoever and should be docked 10 fanhood points if they do: Chicago and Cleveland.
The Pick: Blake Griffin – 6’10, 245 – PF – Oklahoma
This would pretty much be penciled in the moment the Thunder were awarded the first pick. Had the Tyson Chandler ‘Turftoegate’ extravaganza not occurred, then maybe we could have a real discussion about who the Thunder would take with the first pick (actually, probably not but this is supposed to promote discussion, right?), but since the biggest hole on this young team still is interior toughness, rebounding, and a desperate need for a physical body in the post alongside with the fact that he’s the unquestioned prize of this draft class, it’s really a no-brainer. The only question would be how soon could Presti turn in the card? Is a month too soon? Is thirty seconds?
NBA Comparison: Everyone says Boozer, but I disagree. With his agility, athleticism and surprisingly soft touch (when he’s not trying to rip the rim off), I say Griffin is a more athletic Karl Malone sans the sweet jumper. Here’s hoping Blake can fix his odd free-throw (I don’t understand the tippy-toes bit) mechanics and add a 20 foot jumpshot to his repertoire. Also, I don’t agree with some people who question his defensive abilities. The major component to defense is desire, which we all know. It’s all about effort. And since A) he didn’t want to foul out, B) never retaliated to numerous cheap shots and C) he still jumped over tables for loose balls and did actually block shots/get steals (he averaged 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals per game), his defense will only improve in the NBA because Griffin is incapable of not giving all the effort he can.
The Problem with selecting Blake Griffin: What do you do with Jeff Green? No, seriously, what do you do with Jeff Green? Do you move Durant back to the 2 (ugh) and Green to the 3 to play Griffin at the 4? Well, I guess you could, but are we totally set on Krstic as the starting 5? And isn’t that a huge no-no to tamper with Durant’s skyrocketing success at the 3? Others would suggest not having a true 5 and starting Durant, Green and Griffin with a three forward lineup (it’s what I would do if I was set on Griffin starting immediately and not logging some time on the bench as Green’s backup for a little bit. Why? Due to his athleticism and bulk, Griffin plays bigger than a 4 already). But the question will remain to see if Griffin’s wing span and 6’10 frame can be enough to stop legit 7 footers night after night. All that being said, it’d be a great problem to have since he’s the most surefire elite prospect in this draft-and it’s not even close.
The #2 Pick – “Well, it could be worse. Maybe we can trade up to get to Griffin! We love you, Blake!”
Don’t think every single Oklahoman, including my Oklahoma State brethren, wouldn’t be thinking this. But the issue, much like everything these days, comes down to cost. What would the Thunder have to give up to make that one spot jump? And is it worth it? And in what universe are we pretending to exist in where ANY franchise would give up the #1 pick in the draft? Yeah, not happening. Ever.
So with Ricky Rubio and James Harden and Hasheem Thabeet sitting there at #2, who does Presti roll the dice on? Does he go after the huge upside of the 6’4 elite point guard in Rubio and reboot Westbrook’s development? Does he take the lower ceiling but more definable production value of the 6’4 Harden and keep RW at the 1, where his end of season form looked insanely promising? Or does he utterly and questionably roll the dice on the softest 7’3 shot blocker since Manute Bol because he might be able to fill the biggest hole on the team-in two or three years?
Each would certainly fill an immediate need if the Thunder do not want to mortgage this draft and future drafts for Blake Griffin, but who do you choose? This would be the biggest decision regarding the future of the franchise without a doubt because if Presti is set on Westbrook at the 1, his phone will be ringing and deals will be there to be had. This is where Presti would earn his paycheck (or forfeit the team’s future success, you know, either one).
The Pick: Ricky Rubio – 6’4, 180 – PG – Spain
I know, I know…but let me explain. I love Russell Westbrook. Maybe a little too much. In fact, I think my commenting history at the Daily Thunder confirms this as I’ve been one of his staunchest and most vocal supporters as a PG. But here’s the deal: Ricky Rubio is the second best player in this draft. Period. He is the only other player not named Griffin who can come in and immediately contribute to almost any NBA team. He is special, potentially elite special. Really, that’s where any debate or argument should end.
Now I do like James Harden. A lot. I’m also intrigued by DeRozan’s upside (and terrified of his on-again, off-again motor and possible timidity issues. Also known as “Thabeet-itis”). But Rubio is hands down the second best prospect in this draft.
It’s understandable for anyone who didn’t see him in the Olympics and isn’t obsessed with the draft to question the amount of hype Rubio’s receiving because he’s certainly getting a lot of it. So here’s a quick rundown: Rubio played for DKV Joventut in the Spanish ACB and the Euroleague and had to overcome a wrist injury that just wouldn’t heal and sidelined him for the first two months of the season. He struggles with the deep jumper, is not the most athletically gifted prospect, is a bit slow laterally and since he’s 6’4 and 180 pounds soaking wet, lack of muscle is an issue (did I mention he’s only 18 years old though?) Those are the ONLY negatives you can pin on him. Seriously, that’s it.
The positives: Rubio has the highest basketball IQ in the draft and would probably be in the top half of the league as a rookie in terms of understanding the game. The kid makes plays, spectacular ones that make your eyes bug out and forces you to share a look of disbelief with the person sitting next to you. He sees a passing lane two-to-three steps before it opens. He’s silky smooth and shifty in the lane and plays one step ahead of everyone else on the floor (did I mention he’s 18 years old? I think I have.).
Rubio also has great wingspan for a PG, which for the Thunder means, he could easily guard the 2 and Westbrook could handle the 1 defensively if they were on the court at the same time. Rubio has no fear and doesn’t seem to know that he’s younger, skinnier and less experienced than the people he’s going against. Lastly, he does have a pretty strong midrange game and doesn’t cower on the big stage (see: Gold-medal game vs the Redeem Team).
So, there you go. Feel free to argue/bash/go crazy about the pick, because, honestly, I understand your points before you even have to make them. Really, I do.
NBA Comparison: Manu Ginobli’s awkward effectiveness and crafty scoring meets Deron Williams floor vision and height/length advantage. In other words, Tony Parker.
The Problem with selecting Ricky Rubio: The Thunder would have to pony up $500,000 for Rubio’s European Club, which rings false for a notable penny-pincher in Presti. It would also mean that Presti and the organization will now have to re-train Westbrook to think like a 2-guard, hampering his sophomore improvement.
Also, there would be screaming at my television. The argument about needing a “pure” PG has always been a bit of a joke to me since it really comes down to having an effective point guard or not. You think Magic was a pure PG? I’d scream (at my television) that Westbrook has more game-changing ability than a “true” PG because of his pure athleticism and since Durant and Green can create their own shots, slash, etc. But the scary thing is, if you stop for a minute, can’t you see this pick making more and more sense with the fire sale that this summer’s NBA Free Agency market should be, especially for big men (everyone say it with me: “We Want The Polish Hammer!”)?
The #3 Pick – “All right, we lost out on the two prizes, so this pick has to count.”
From this pick on, honestly, it’s going to be hit or miss for such a high selection in the lottery. Sure, there’s always a certain amount of uncertainty with any draft choice but there’s just not much difference between pick #3 and pick #10 in terms of hit or miss prospects in this draft. There’s definitely a tiered makeup to this draft, but it consists of Tier One: Blake Griffin, Tier Two: Ricky Rubio, Tier Three: Jordan Hill, James Harden, Hasheem Thabeet and Tier Four: Everyone else until about pick #20! That’s how important this pick is. You’re either going to get a potential starter and major contributor-or another guy to warm up the pine and maybe help off the bench.
So if we put our Presti-rim glasses, meticulous hair and poker face on, the choice really becomes clear for the third overall selection because he’s the only prospect on the board that is a perfect fit.
The Pick: James Harden – 6’4, 215 – SG – Arizona State
Shocked? You shouldn’t be. He had his ups and downs like most players do, especially that horrible down towards the end of the season and into the NCAA tournament that hurt his stock a little, but the simple fact of the matter is that you know almost exactly what you’re going to get from James Harden and what the Thunder would get is a player who would fill two of their biggest needs immediately: a three point shooter to spread the floor and an efficient offensive scorer.
Harden’s not flashy, not athletically intimidating, a moderate-to-questionable defender and since he’s not the same height as the greatest SG/NBA player of all time in His Airness, most individuals would say he’s undersized for the position. And all of those are understandable critiques (especially the defensive concern) but ultimately all are much ado about nothing since Harden answers the only crucial question: Is he an effective shooting guard?
In a word: Absolutely. Harden is probably the best scoring guard in the country and his three-point jumpshot has incredible, if not limitless, deep range. He’s solidly built, sneaky strong and has excellent wingspan. His high basketball IQ helps compensate for his lack of lateral quickness and general explosiveness. Despite his athletic limitations, Harden is a lot like Jeff Green in his crafty shiftiness and his ability to always get to the basket despite being guarded by faster, more athletic defenders because he knows how to use his NBA body to his advantage.
Harden would spread the floor instantly for the Thunder because of his three point shooting ability and he would absolutely punish opposing defenses that lean towards Durant and leave Harden space to shoot. Also, Harden would be a great compliment to Westbrook because of Harden’s court vision and passing ability, which would allow Westbrook to attack the basket more. In essence, Harden knows how to play to his considerable strengths and minimize his weaknesses to make his teammates better. And this is why he is a perfect fit for the Thunder, Harden’s two biggest weaknesses are already taken care of on the Thunder roster: explosive athleticism and clutch-scoring. The Thunder have all the explosiveness they need in Westbrook and Durant and have two clutch scorers in Durant and Green. In other words, Harden and the Thunder are a perfect match.
NBA Comparison: A slightly more defensively oriented Michael Redd (I said slightly, right?) with better court vision and passing capabilities but not quite the dribbling skills or mid-range game that Redd has. You could also make a case that Harden is a less athletic Brandon Roy but that may be a bit high as an upside. I’d say that Ginobli 2.0 is Harden’s ceiling.
The Problem with selecting James Harden: Is it enough? With the more pressing need for a post presence on both ends of the floor and Harden’s clear-cut negatives, is Harden enough of a scorer, three point threat and crafty guard to solve the Thunder’s second biggest need being the two guard position? Will Harden’s old-school game translate in the NBA or will the athleticism of the league limit him?
The #4 Pick – “Well, warm up the dice because here we go…”
Has it come to this? Do I really have to choose when the three that would immediately contribute in big ways are gone and, well, everyone else is either going to take 2-3 years to develop into a starter (Hey, Mr. DeRozan!) or is going to be the second or third BACKUP for his position on your squad (Hey, Mr. Hill!). Which leaves…oh no. Please don’t tell me it’s come to this. I know that at this point in the draft the potential of an individual’s upside and ability to fill the biggest need on your team would probably sway a GM to swing for the fences since he really wouldn’t have a whole lot to lose but-I don’t think I can bring myself to even consider this.
And you already know who this is going to be, don’t you? (unless we nab the Polish Hammer first, right?! Come on, Gortat!). You know because Greg Monroe’s going back to Georgetown, Aldrich is going back to Kansas, Mullens is just not NBA ready and only declared because of monetary reasons, and even Jerome Jordan is going back to Tulsa, so the thought of grabbing a guard with the first pick and then getting a shot-blocking big man later in the draft is officially out of the window. So, well, that means that this “hugely lacking in big men draft class” pretty much leaves Presti with just one choice to select with the fourth overall pick-even if it makes my skin crawl at the sheer thought of it.
The Pick: Hasheem Thabeet – 7’3, 265 – C – Connecticut
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! That’d pretty much be the sound you’d hear from somewhere in Edmond, Oklahoma. But alas, this is the Mock Draft of what I think Presti would do in this situation, not what I know I would never, ever, ever, EVER do. It’s not that I dislike Thabeet. From every article I’ve read and every interview I’ve seen he appears to be an exceptionally courteous and amiable young man, which is great, for a best friend or a pen pal. I don’t want to hear my defensive stopper say, “I just can’t stop smiling during a game,” when he’s supposed to be the intimidating enforcer in the paint for an entire team/franchise/city. I want a snarl or a glare or something! He’s just too cordial, all the time, even on the court. I just want to see him wag his finger once after a block. I’d embrace the technical and cheer like a madman because that would at least be a hint that Thabeet has a mean streak somewhere inside him, which he will need in the pros. And all I can see when someone says “Thabeet” is Dejuan Blair’s textbook Judo throw of Thabeet over his shoulder. Then I hear a voice that says, “This is the guy who’s going to strike fear into the hearts of player’s driving to the Thunder basket?”
So, yet again the questions are there for another big man that this franchise (luckily not Presti) will draft in the hopes of finally solving that Center Puzzle Piece. And, again, the prospect in question pretty much looks like a boom or bust center. And if we have learned anything from the past year, including last year’s draft, it is that legit big men just don’t come along all that often and are the hardest whole to fill.
But Thabeet is the only one left in this draft with even the potential to become a starter and defensive game changer and major force, even if it’s abundantly clear that he really dislikes contact in the post. Ugh. But that’s the thing, Thabeet has always been hit or miss against good post competition. Again, there’s A LOT to like about Hasheem Thabeet. Especially his stats for the past season even despite the reality that he’d be called for illegal defense 1,000 times in the NBA for parking under the basket: 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.2 blocks per game.
Nice, right? But take a look at these numbers and you’ll see the problem: 9.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 blocks. Those are Thabeet’s stats when he played against potential first round big men in Dejuan Blair and Greg Monroe (2010 Draft now) and second round-to-undrafted big men in Josh Heytvelt (mid second round) and Goran Suton (late second round/undrafted). Those numbers basically sum up my greatest fear with Thabeet: Any time he comes up against someone anywhere near his size and strength, he gets bodied and dominated. And guess what, that’s all he’ll see in the NBA.
But hey, he’s 7’3, absurdly athletic, acceptable hands, has a huge wingspan, and could potentially dominate the glass and send shots into orbit if he can put it all together. If Thabeet harnesses his potential and develops any offensive game, he could be unstoppable. That’s the intrigue and the frustration. And that’s the 7’3, 265 pound IF that would drive every Thunder fan crazy.
NBA Comparison: He will either be a Samuel Dalembert or a Momo Saer Sene. Boom or bust all the way.
The Problem with selecting Hasheem Thabeet: Really? Do I need to answer this? This franchise wants to try drafting a center in the lottery that’s going to be a project? Again? Especially one with a questionable motor (again), a non-existent offensive game or repertoire of post moves (again), one who is just now learning the subtleties of the sport because he came into basketball late in life (again) and whose blocks and rebound numbers are inflated due to the coaching style of his program and the non-existence of an illegal defense rule (hey, a new one!)? But he’s 7’3, I tell ya! And he dominated teams that didn’t have a true big man! Yay.
Now excuse me please, I need to think happy thoughts (Anyone but Thabeet, anyone but…)
The #5 Pick – “We got hosed, Tommy! We got hosed!”
Well, somebody with a lower percentage of hitting the lottery than the Thunder would have to jump them for this scenario to play out and, unless somebody in the Top 4 really reaches for a player, all of the immediate impact players and glaring need-fillers will be gone. Yes, that’s right. Gone.
Now before you start shouting other player’s names at the screen or calling me names under your breath, that’s not to say that there are not good talents left on the board who could help the Thunder out, especially with guys like Demar Derozan (the most intriguing one left), Jordan Hill, and even Tyreke Evans still there. It’s just that none of these players would be a tailored fit for the needs of the Thunder, especially since there are more questions than answers with all of them. Of course some more than others, but with a Top 5 draft pick, you have to try to select an impact player on some level who can help your ball club, even if he might make an impact from off of the bench (have I mentioned how top-heavy this draft class is?). So who would help fill at least one legitimate need right away…
The Pick: Jordan Hill – 6’9, 235 – PF – Arizona
Simply put, he’s the only player left on the board that can contribute immediately to help fill two major areas of need for the Thunder and has a pretty solid history of improving and performing at a high level, so you certainly know more about what you can expect from Jordan Hill than any of the other prospects. I like DeRozan’s upside a lot more and love that he could be the SG of the future. But sooner or later you have to stop having a “well, in three years we’ll…” mindset and start winning ball games. That being said, there are a lot of question marks with Hill.
Will he be just a one-dimensional rebounder in the NBA? Does he have any offensive feel for the game? Is he capable of developing post moves? How limited is his basketball IQ? Can his above-average shot-blocking ability translate to the next level? Can he bulk up?
The bright side of Hill is that he used to have even more questions during his freshman and sophomore years than now because he has improved a great deal and answered them, so it’s possible that his raw game will continue to develop. Why so? Because Hill plays with one of the highest motors you’ll ever see and will not be outworked on the basketball court. He’s a very solid rebounder with great jumping ability, elite quickness for his size and he possesses great wingspan. Also, Hill’s frame is long and broad so he can add 10-15 pounds of muscle and truly be a bulldozing force down low.
So, even though Hill is definitely a reach as a Top 5 pick, when you take a glance at the rest of the prospects left in the draft, he rises to the top almost by default because of the thinness of this draft. But the hope is there that Hill will continue to work hard and since his game is so raw, he may have a higher ceiling than he appears to have right now. Really, really hope that’s the case. And because of his ability to rebound and, surprisingly, block an above-average amount of shots at 6’9, Hill would help the Thunder’s need for interior toughness.
NBA Comparison: A less polished Chris Wilcox or a more explosive Ronny Turiaf.
The Problem with selecting Jordan Hill: Look above. The problem is that the Thunder already had a better (at least for right now) version of Jordan Hill named Chris Wilcox-and traded him-because he never saw the court. Hill has a little higher ceiling as a rebounder than Wilcox, but he doesn’t have Wilcox’s offensive abilities at all. Also, how many power forwards is the Thunder going to collect that are not natural 5′s? Jeff Green, Nick Collison, Nenad Krstic (sorry, it’s true), DJ White, Serge Ibaka and Jordan Hill? Do you really want to spend the fifth overall pick on a player that will be 3rd or 4th at his position on the depth chart? If Hill is chosen, Brooks would almost have to force an undersized Collison or Hill to play center, which is unnatural for either one.
The #6 Pick – “Well this is just getting ridiculous.”
Come on. Really? I mean, this wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world since there is still one very special player that is available that could help the Thunder…in about three years. But even with the wait, in this draft and at this pick, being able to land a guy who could be a legitimate starter for your franchise and solve some of your needs (albeit a little further down the line than I’d like) means that the stars aligned for your team with this pick and you should thank them adamantly.
The Pick: Demar DeRozan – 6’6, 200 – SG – USC
Despite the serious shock and disappointment that the Thunder were jumped by two teams in the lottery, I would not be at all upset with this pick at #6. Demar DeRozan could honestly be the biggest sleeper in this draft if you consider just how many physical tools and potential this young man has. Now if we’re discussing physical tools and potential, that means that he lacks a considerable amount of polish and proven skills you’d like a draft pick to have before you can get really excited about him…you know, kind of like when someone tells you that the blind date they set you up on has a “wonderful personality.”
DeRozan has the prototypical size for an NBA shooting guard already (6’6 and 200 pounds and has a freakish 6’9 wingspan) and probably possesses the most elite athleticism and explosiveness of the draft (sorry, Blake). DeRozan plays with an excellent fluidity and is a slashing high-flyer. He is also a very unselfish player and always seems to have at least one at-the-rim highlight every game and he is only going to get better. Let me repeat that because I believe it bears repeating: DeRozan IS only going to get better and better. So, all of the physical tools are there and his clutch performance for USC in March proves that DeRozan can become a monster SG in the NBA. But about that waiting part…
DeRozan also has a few red flags. He does not possess above-average ball-handling skills, he is way too passive in all aspects of his game, he lacks a strong midrange game, he lacks anywhere near a consistent three point shot, he lacks desire while playing defense (if you can call what he played at USC defense), he does not show that he has any real understanding of the game and plays an entirely reactive game instead of initiating AND DeRozan can honestly not drive using his left hand (aka, he can’t ever go left. I’m serious, watch any of his USC footage and count how many times he drives to the left successfully).
Now after all that, I would still love to have him. What? That’s right. In fact, I’d be thrilled because this kid is only going to get better. All of his negatives except the shaky shooting and poor basketball IQ can become non-issues and even those can be improved upon to where they are just minor weaknesses. After all, there’s a reason this kid will not slide past pick #7 or #8 in the draft. All of the tools are there and he’s really the last player in the draft who has the potential to solve a good amount of the Thunder’s main concerns at shooting guard…even if we would have to wait a few years for him to develop.
NBA Comparison: An even more explosive and athletic Richard Jefferson with an even shakier jumper.
The Problem with selecting Demar DeRozan: Whoever drafts him better be patient because DeRozan is simply not ready and will need time to grow. “But I want 10 more wins now! And an Oompa-Loompa!” In an impatient industry, is there such a thing anymore as a fan base or front office that will allow a lottery pick 2-3 years to develop without any negative comments or public whining about it? That’s the question.
The #7 Pick – “What?! Well forget this.”
Well they’ll probably pick…ah, who cares? Somebody is against us.
I wouldn’t even be angry at this point, just pretty much disgusted and honestly wondering if someone from the Northwest or one ‘Simmons, Bill’ was the one selecting the ping pong balls (hey, don’t think it wouldn’t cross your mind). At this point there’s still some guys who I personally like, but they’re both definite combo guards that are either way too small for their more natural position (yes, Mr. Curry, I’m talking to you) or lack a consistent aspect of their position’s role in the game (it is called a Shooting Guard, Mr. Evans). But here’s the rub, no matter how much I may personally like one or both of these guys, one is a much better fit than the other and that’s probably who Presti would pick.
The Pick: Tyreke Evans – 6’6, 220 – SG – Memphis
It just comes down to pro’s and cons at this point. Stephen Curry is just not an NBA shooting guard…and he’s not anymore of a true point guard than Russell Westbrook is, so there’s no upgrade at that position either. Plus, if you take Curry that means you will have an entire backcourt of sub 6’4 defenders who could easily be posted up by taller shooting guards. Sure you could say that they could both alternate at PG and SG while both on the floor, but that’s just confusing and like any good football coach knows, anytime you have a two-quarterback system, it means that you really don’t have one quarterback.
Also, Curry will primarily (if not, only) excel in a shoot-first style of system, a la the Knicks or the Suns, and frankly the Thunder are a horrible fit for that one even though I do think Curry will be able to get off his jump shot despite his lack of size because of his quick release and sneaky footwork. Again, I’d really take a long look at him here but I’m afraid that it really comes down to the fact that Evans is just physically a classic shooting guard both in build, mentality and intangibles…he just needs to, you know, shoot better (both in consistency and selection).
Tyreke Evans is already an NBA specimen physically. He has a ridiculous 6’11 wingspan, a strong build and a very quick first step. Even better for the Thunder, he has serious dribbling ability and has shown that he can distribute the ball if needed (which would ease some of the load on Westbrook from time to time). Evans is a scorer first (both positively and negatively) and has a nice little mid-range jump shot who will drive to the hole until the other team proves that they can stop him (again, both positively and negatively on that one).
Yet it is Evans strengths that highlight his weaknesses. He often over-dribbles because of his serious handle and relies upon his midrange and driving abilities because he lacks a consistent long-range jump shot (see: Might Not Have One). He’s built wonderfully but his leaping ability is not as explosive as you would like from a two-guard and since he can pass so well, it is unbelievably frustrating that he can be quite self-centered in his mindset and that he takes poor shots while doing so.
But the bottom line is that Evans would benefit Westbrook and the Thunder as a player better than anyone else left and, if he ever developed a consistent three-point shot, would become a pretty special player. His ability to change directions and finish strong are already better than most NBA two-guards and it wouldn’t take Evans 2-3 years to develop as he is pretty NBA ready right now (for a rookie).
NBA Comparison: Say hello to a more physically gifted Jerry Stackhouse with a dash of Joe Johnson (sans the ridiculous range).
The Problem with selecting Tyreke Evans: Do you really want to select a shooting guard who forgets that he has teammates, plays out of control and has a horribly unreliable jump shot but is a great defender, excellent finisher and has proven that he can single-handily give the other team indigestion? Or simply, do you want a taller and bigger version of Russell Westbrook without the ridiculous hops? And is that a good or bad thing? Well…is it?
J.G. Marking is the author of the Christian Living book, “A Voice Is Calling.” He holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and a Bachelor’s Degree in English. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.