Final college player evaluations
Shouldn’t I be writing about the NFL Draft instead, with it less than three weeks away? Yeah, probably, but I sort of don’t care as much as I usually do, and SML’s stellar Knicks post yesterday got me all riled up. With the college season all over, here’s a quick look at some of the top NBA prospects.
Derrick Rose: From Cobra Brigade’s preview of last night’s game:
I wasn't sure how Memphis would do because I didn't know much about their Fab Frosh PG Derrick Rose and they always seem to be a team that falls short. It turns out that Rose makes Mike Conley look like a second round draft pick.
I actually liked Conley a lot, but he’ll never be in the Chris Paul-Deron Williams stratosphere (does Tony Parker deserve inclusion in that group as well?) which Rose will join by his second year in the league. Even though I hate saying shit like this, I’m gonna bust it out for Rose: he’s a winner. He won state titles at Simeon his junior and senior seasons and those teams never lost more than two games. This year at Memphis, he leads them to the all-time wins mark, and loses only two games- one by two points against a really good Tennessee team and one in the National Championship in overtime against a really, really good Kansas team. He probably won’t go first, but Rose is guaranteed, money-in-the-bank to be a superstar. I’d go far enough to say he’ll be able to be the best player on a title team. (Side note: if the Bulls can’t get him, I pray he goes to Seattle. Durant and Rose would be more fun to watch than the 08’ White Sox)
Where he’ll end up: Slightly worse than Chris Paul, slightly better than Deron Williams.
Michael Beasley: The thing with Beasley coming out of high school was that he had big time maturity issues. He seemed perfectly well behaved at K-State this year, so that likely won’t be an issue. Really, the only problem I see with B-Easy is that he’s kind of a tweener in the pros (between a 3 and 4). In college, at 6-9, he was pretty much bigger than everyone and he was certainly more athletic than everyone. In the NBA, that won’t be the case. I have a hard to finding a player comparison as well. He draws the vaunted Derrick Coleman comparison from time to time, but I’m too young to remember Coleman as anything else then a fat slob, so let’s stay away from that one.
Where he’ll end up: A 25 ppg scorer and one of the league’s 20 best players.
OJ Mayo: Good to see my guys at NBA Draft Dot Net finally came to their senses and moved Mayo in the top three. They had him pegged at 11 as recently as two weeks ago. Here’s what I wrote over on SML’s post about Mayo:
The Knicks desperately need one of those first two picks, but if it doesn't happen, I think Mayo would be the way to go. Like you said, his rep has been soiled a tad by the media, but also by expectations everyone had for him. I first heard of Mayo when he was in eighth grade. He was supposed to be LeBron, and he just isn't that type of transcendent athlete. Mayo actually reminds me a lot of 'good Larry Hughes', and someone like that is very useful. The best player on a title team? No, but definitely a starter and someone who could maybe get you 20 ppg.
We also know that he has the Bobby Stompy seal of approve, which may or may not be consequential at all, but is worth noting.
Where he’ll end up: Solid all-around 2-guard who should develop into an all-star. I really like that ‘good Larry Hughes’ comparison. Think back to how awesome he was on Washington. That should be Mayo.
Brook Lopez: I think he’ll be better than Spencer Hawes, but I’m not sure what exactly that means. Lopez can probably give Andrew Bogut-type production (15 points, 9 boards), and that’s probably good enough for a top five pick.
Eric Gordon: Can he be Gilbert Arenas? I wouldn’t bet on it. He’ll certainly score, but at IU he didn’t show the ability to run a team. I think Ben Gordon is a perfect comparison.
Jerryd Bayless: I saw Bayless scorch the Illini in person this year at the United Center. He’s unbelievably quick (especially with Trent Meachum and Chet Frazier chasing him), but, like Gordon, I’m not sure he can play the point. Right now I’d compare him to Monte Ellis (who happens to be one of my fav players), though who knows what Ellis would have turned into in a different system.
Kevin Love: Obviously he’s incredibly skilled, but there’s no way he’s scoring inside in the NBA. Too slow, too fat. But he’ll still be very useful, and he’s kind of a sure thing. Love will be good for about 15 points and seven boards a night, and that should make him a lottery pick.
DJ Augustin: After seeing Rose own him, I’m not sold on Augustin as a franchise point. He’s a little like Conley, but I’d take Conley over him.
Roy Hibbert: A cooler version of Aaron Gray. Probably not worth a lottery pick unless it's a perfect fit.
Chris Douglas-Roberts and Brandon Rush: I like both these guys, but it’s hard to see either becoming anything more than the fourth or fifth best player on a good team. CDR will be an effective scorer wherever he goes, but if Rush’s 3-point shot translates from college to the NBA, he should be the better pro. Neither is particularly athletic (especially after Rush’s knee injury) and won’t be lockdown defenders. I wonder how good CDR will be when he’s not the primary offensive option. He seems to like to score on isolations a lot, and he won’t be getting any of those plays called for him early in his career.
Note 1: Totally unrelated but this is the 250th post on this site.