Since I can’t live vicariously through myself (like the most interesting man in the world), I have to do it through Chad Ford, who attended the Chicago Draft Combine, spoke with many GMs and coaches, and came away with some solid information.
Notably, four point guards are rising…I’m not surprised that they are Stephen Curry, Johnny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, and Maynor. Three out of these four are on my wish list. The two ishiest guys on my ish list didn’t even show up for workouts.
…UCLA’s Jrue Holiday garner[ed] the most attention. He was the biggest point guard of the top group and seemed to tower over several of the smaller guys on the floor.
During one 3-on-2 full-court drill, Holiday looked like a power forward running on the wing. And while his size was impressive, so was his game. He was hitting his jump shot, finishing with both hands and showing versatility and an excellent handle.
Flynn continues to generate buzz with his combination of speed and power — even if he was the shortest guy on the floor. Every GM I spoke with now sees him as a lottery pick, with many projecting him in the Top 10.
Curry put on a shooting show — no surprise there — but many GMs commented that he really looked like he belonged when he participated in a number of ballhandling and full-court drills. If Curry can prove to teams that he can play point guard, he’ll go somewhere between No. 5 and 13. If he can’t, he could slip out of the lottery. The results of the first day of camp had to be encouraging.
Maynor also generated some significant buzz with his decision-making and shooting.
“He looked like he was totally in control out there. There’s a smoothness to his game that I really like,” an NBA head coach said.
I’d be happy with any of these guys. I don’t think Maynor will be a lottery pick. If he is one it will be late in the lottery and if the Knicks wind up with him it will be because they traded down.
Holiday is taking a rocket ship out of the Knicks stratosphere. I’d be happy if he fell though.
I like Flynn’s toughness, and power and speed go a long way in the NBA. He’ll be a capable starter.
And can we finally put to rest the notion that Curry is an undersized 2 who can’t play 1? Isola has been insisting that Curry is unproven, but I think he proved a lot last year and will continue to prove himself in workouts and as a rookie. Now it seems like there are teams ahead of and behind the Knicks who want the kid. If he really wants to be here (and he can’t seem to hide his desire to be on the big stage), he won’t work out for anybody except the Knicks.
Also, according to Ford (link requires ESPN Insider), Rubio is slipping, with teams questioning his touch and his propensity to turn the ball over:
Speaking of Rubio, I encountered a number of NBA GMs and scouts this week who were pretty skeptical about Rubio’s NBA future. They see him as an average athlete who can’t shoot well and who is turnover prone, and wonder aloud why he’s ranked so high.
A few GMs said Rubio isn’t in their top five. While I’ve heard doubts expressed before, the skepticism was expressed much more strongly this week by more execs. I’m going to keep digging. Maybe Henry Abbott struck a chord with his TrueHoop post on Rubio.
In any case, if Memphis and Oklahoma City decide against Rubio and don’t trade either of their picks to a team that wants to move up to get him, it’s hard to see the Sacramento Kings passing on Rubio at No. 4.
Ford also reports that there are lots of potential trades being discussed at the top of the draft. Things are very fluid. I don’t know about you, but I love draft time.