Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NBA Draft: Position Breakdown-Guards

It's amazing and almost scary how much this year's crop of guards resembles the group from the 2009 draft. I can almost make a very similar comparison between a guard taken in 2009 and a guard that will be taken early this year. In fact I will here it is:

2009 draft pick and number is listed first:
3. James Harden-Klay Thompson-both are incredible scorer who were the best player in the PAC 10
7. Stephen Curry-Jimmer Fredette-both are incredible shooters and were cult hero college players and both had questions on if they were big/athletic enough to make it in the NBA
10. Brandon Jennings-Kyrie Irving-both were high school stars with a ton of talent but have some mystery heading into the draft
12. Gerald Henderson-Alec Burks-both are great slashers and great athletes, but less than solid shooters
17. Jrue Holiday-Brandon Knight-both long point guards that are good shooters that spent only one year in college
18. Ty Lawson-Kemba Walker-both undersized but led their team to a national title

Several other starting guards were taken in the 2009 draft including
4. Tyreke Evans
9. Demar DeRozan
19. Jeff Teague
21. Darren Collison

This year's crop looks just as good

Here are my Guard rankings

1. Kyrie Irving-PG Duke-Fr. 6-3/191/8-3

Last year's stats: 17.5ppg, 4.3apg, 3.4rpg (played in only 11 games)
NBA comparison: Mike Conley/Brandon Jennings
Like Jennings two years ago their is still some mystery to what Irving can truly do. Like Conley and Jennings he has solid size and great quickness but isn't a Derrick Rose/Rajon Rondo/ Russell Westbrook type of athlete. The best thing about Irving is like Conley he is a true point guard that from day one will look to get others involved.

Likely career role: starting PG with star potential, a possible 17 and 8 guy
2. Brandon Knight-PG-Kentucky-Fr. 6-3/177/8-3
Last year's stats: 17.3ppg, 4.2apg, 4.0rpg
NBA comparison: Jrue Holiday/Chauncey Billups
Like Holiday, Knight was highly touted high school prospect who only played one year of college. Just like Holiday and Billups, Knight is a bigger guard that has a nice mid-range shot. It took Billups almost 5 years and about 3 teams to become a true point guard that makes others better. It has take Holiday a little time to adjust to being a true point guard and it will take a good 2-3 years before Knight becomes a true point guard that can create for other.
Likely career role: starting PG with star potential, a possible 18 & 6 guy.
3. Kemba Walker-PG-UConn-Jr. 6-1/184/7-8
Last year's stats: 23.5ppg, 4.5pg, 5.4rpg
NBA comparison: Jameer Nelson/Tim Hardaway
I could also compare him to Isiah Thomas but that seems a little too lofty right now. Like Hardaway and Nelson, Walker is an undersized point who can penetrate at will. He looks to score first right now but does have the ability to create for others.

Likely career role: a star on a bad team, a 3rd or 4th best player on a playoff team, however his size may one day limit him to a quality backup.
4. Alec Burks-SG-Colorado-So. 6-6/193/8-7
Last year's stats: 20.5ppg, 6.5rpg
NBA comparison: Brandon Roy
Like Roy, Burks has great slashing skills, a solid mid range game, and is an all around scorer. Neither player does any one thing great, but they do everything solid.

Likely career role: starting SG, 4th/5th best player on a playoff team
5. Klay Thompson-SG-WSU-Jr. 6-7/206/8-8
Last year's stats: 21.6ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.7apg, 39%-3 point shooter
NBA comparison: Kevin Martin
Like Martin, Thompson is a straight up lights out shooter. Whoever drafts Klay will expect him to make a lot of threes and score a lot of points He has better size than Martin already which is a plus.

Likely career role: starting SG/specialty shooter, could be a 20ppg scorer eventually
6. Jimmer Fredette-PG-BYU-Sr. 6-3/196/8-1
Last year's stats: 28.9ppg, 4.3apg, 39%-3 point shooter
NBA comparison: Gilbert Arenas/Mark Price
Had good slashing skills... Nice shot off the dribble... Can post up smaller guards... Able to score in many different ways... Able to hit impossible shots... Unlimited range... Can play the two spot... Takes some shots he should not take... Not the most accomplished defender. That is the hoopshype player description of Gilbert Arenas. That describes Jimmer in almost every sense as well.
If you want to compare Jimmer to a white guy please don't compare him to JJ Reddick and please don't compare him to Steve Nash. Mark Price is the most accurate comparison.
Likely career role: specialty shooter/scorer off bench with starting PG potential
7. Darius Morris-PG-Michigan-So. 6-5/190/8-6
Last year's stats: 15.0ppg, 6.7apg, 4.0rpg
NBA comparison: Andre Miller's game with Jamal Crawford's body
Make no mistake, Morris is as true of a point guard as there is in this draft. Like Miller he's a tall creator who has great ball handling skills for someone over 6-4.

Likely career role: starting PG to pair with an undersized scoring SG a la Monta Ellis or Eric Gordon
8. Marshon Brooks-SG-Providence-Sr. 6-5/195/8-5
Last year's stats: 24.6ppg, 7.0rpg, 48%-FG%
NBA comparison: Nick Young
A long slender shooter and scorer just like Young. Like Young, he would be best used with a point guard that can create good scoring opportunities for him.

Likely career role: specialty scorer.shooter off the bench 5th/6th man in rotation
9. Reggie Jackson-CG-Boston Coll.-Jr. 6-3/208
Last year's stats: 18.2ppg, 4.5apg, 4.3rpg, 42%-3 point shooter
NBA comparison: George Hill
Like Hill, Jackson is an extremely long and athletic combo guard that can create both for himself and others. Also like Hill there are some questions if he can run a team.

Likely career role: backup combo guard on a solid or playoff team
10. Shelvin Mack-CG-Butler-Jr. 6-2/209/8-1
Last year's stats: 16.0ppg, 3.4apg, 4.5rpg, 35%-3 point shooter
NBA comparison: Bobby Jackson
Despite being a little short and too thick for the average 2 guard Jackson created a nice niche in Sacramento as an instant offense scorer and shooter for some very Sacramento team in the early 2000's. Mach will hope to do the same for the team that drafts him
Likely career role: backup combo guard/instant offense type of guy, 6-8th man in a rotation
11. Nolan Smith-CG-Duke-Sr. 6-4/188/8-3
Last year's stats: 20.6ppg, 5.1apg, 4.5rpg, 35%-3 point shooter
NBA comparison: bigger/better Chris Duhon
Both guys were standout point guards and more importantly winners at Duke. Like Duhon, Smith will be a quality backup from day one. Smith's ability and size to defend smaller NBA 2 guards will allow him to see a lot more minutes than Duhon.

Likely career role: backup combo guard, 6-8th man in a rotation
12. Malcolm Lee-SG-UCLA-Jr. 6-5/198/8-5
Last year's stats: 13.1ppg, 3.1rpg
NBA comparison: Aaron Affalo
They have very similar size and both played at UCLA. If Lee is going to have an impact in the NBA then he will need to create his niche as a lock down defender like Affalo

Likely career role: lock down defender with size, speed and length to defend both guard spots
13. Norris Cole-PG-Cleveland St.-Sr. 6-2/174/8-0
Last year's stats: 21.7ppg, 5.3apg, 5.8rpg
NBA comparison: Nick Van Exel
Similar body, game and hair cut in college. Like Van Exel, Cole is undersized and will likely be drafted early in the second round. Both guards are great shooters, at the very least Cole can be a solid backup on a good team

Likely career role: solid backup PG on a good team a get 10-15 minutes per game, a starter on a bad team
14. Iman Shumpert-SG-Georgia Tech-Jr. 6-6/222/8-4
Last year's stats: 17.3ppg, 5.9rpg, 3.5apg
NBA comparison: Antonio Daniels/Shannon Brown
Shumpert, Brown and Daniels are all built more like NFL wideouts than NBA 2 guards. All three have/had incredible athletic gifts and a good skill set. However if a franchise is banking on them to be a startin point guard they have another thing coming. Daniels had his best success as a backup 2 guard despite people thinking he can play the point. Shumpert could have some

Likely career role: lock down starting SG or solid backup SG on a good team
15. Josh Selby-SG-Kansas-Fr. 6-3/195/8-2
Last year's stats: 7.9ppg, 36%-3 point shooter
NBA comparison: Avery Bradley
Just like Bradley last year, Selby left college after his Freshman season where he never fit in. Neither guard is ready to become a NBA point guard so both will need to hope that a team sees some promise in them as a Jason Terry type of undersized 2 guard

Likely career role: backup combo guard with skill set to eventually become a very good player in the league but will need a good 3-5 years to develop
16. Charles Jenkins-CG-Hofstra-Sr. 6-3/216/8-1
Last year's stats: 22.6ppg, 4.8apg, 3.4rpg, 42%-3 point shooter
NBA comparison: Rodney Stuckey
Like Stuckey, Jenkins is too short to be a shooting guard yet is clearly more of a scorer than a tradiotional point man. Both came from small colleges where they had to do literally everything.

Likely career role: backup combo guard who could start in the right situation

Other possible 2nd round picks:

17. E'Twuan Moore-SG-Purdue-Sr. 6-4/191/8-4

18. David Lighty-SG-Ohio St.-Sr. 6-7/216/8-5

19. Andrew Goudelock-SG-Coll. of Charleston-Sr. 6-3/198/8-1

20. Ben Hansborough-PG-Notre Dame-Sr. 6-3/203

21. Brad Wannamaker-CG-Pittsburgh-Sr. 6-4/208/8-3

22. Isiah Thomas-PG-Wshington-Sr. 5-10/186/7-8

23. Travis Leslie-SG-Georgia-Jr. 6-4/205/8-7

24. Demetri McCamey-PG-Illinois-Sr. 6-3/204/8-4

25. Scottie Hopson-SG-Tennessee-Jr. 6-7/205/8-8

26. Jon Diebler-SG-Ohio St.-Sr. 6-7/197/8-3

27. Cory Joseph-CG-Texas-Fr. 6-3/186/8-3

28. Cam Long-SG-George Mason-Sr. 6-3/191

29. Ravern Johnson-SG-Miss. St.-Sr. 6-5/170

30. Malcolm Delaney-PG-Virginia Tech-Sr. 6-2/185

31. DeAndre Liggins-SG-Kentucky-Jr. 6-6/202/8-8

32. Gilbert Brown-SG-Pittsburgh-Sr. 6-6/215

33. Julyan Stone-PG-UTEP-Sr. 6-7/200

34. Jacob Pullen-SG-Kansas St.-Sr. 6-1/200

35. Jeremy Hazell-SG-Seton Hall-Sr. 6-6/185

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