According to the good folks at Raptors Republic, Toronto would be best served by selecting Avery Bradley [G, 6-3, 180, 19 yrs/Texas] with the No. 13 [overall] Pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, if the proceedings follow the path prescribed by the collection of team blogs asked to contribute to the TrueHoop Network’s annual mock draft yesterday:
1 John Wall, PG [Washington Wizards]
2 Evan Turner, G/F [Philadelphia 76ers]
3 Derrick Favors, PF [New Jersey Nets]
4 Wesley Johnson, F [Minnesota Timberwolves]
5 DeMarcus Cousins, C [Sacramento Kings]
6 Greg Monroe, C [Golden State Warriors]
7 Ekpe Udoh, PF [Detroit Pistons]
8 Al-Farouq Aminu, G/F [Los Angeles Clippers]
9 Xavier Henry, G/F [Utah Jazz]
10 Paul George, G/F [Indiana Pacers]
11 Cole Aldrich, C [New Orleans Hornets]
12 Ed Davis, PF [Memphis Grizzlies]
13 Avery Bradley, G [Toronto Raptors]
Yours truly does NOT share this same opinion.
If the Raptors exercise their right to make the No. 13 [overall] Selection tomorrow night and Gordon Hayward, Luke Babbitt and Hassan Whiteside are each on the board, then, the Raptors would be making a serious blunder if they use this pick on a combination guard with the attributes of Avery Bradley.
While there is little doubt that Avery Bradley has what it takes to become a solid player in the NBA, when you consider his:
i. Relative quickness at the position he plays best;
ii. Explosive power;
iii. Size; and,
iv. Specific skill-set;
there is still considerable doubt as to whether or not he has what it takes to become a “star” player in the best pro basketball league in the world.
However, when you look at the attributes of the following 3 players:
Hayward’s Q rating should explode this summer, though, following a freshman year at Butler in which he averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds, and helped the Bulldogs reach the NCAA tournament after being picked to finish fifth in the Horizon League. On Wednesday morning at USA Basketball’s 19-and-under trials, there was more buzz over Hayward than any other player in camp.
Sharing a court with mega-recruits like Florida-bound Kenny Boynton and former top 100 big men such as Minnesota’s Ralph Sampson III and Georgia’s Howard Thompkins, Hayward dominated an early scrimmage with his stellar long-range shooting (6-of-9 from the field for 15 points) and passing ability (three assists, no turnovers). He had the gallery of NBA scouts and college coaches atwitter. “This Hayward kid is impressive,” one scout remarked. “He’s not just a shooter, either — he can put the ball on the floor and make plays.”
No one was rushing to put him on their 2010 draft boards — Hayward still projects as a 3-4 year college player who, at 200 pounds, has yet to fill out his frame — but he could eventually become Butler’s first NBA player since Ralph “Buckshot” O’Brien in 1953. In the meantime, after making Jamie Dixon‘s 12-man roster for the 19-and-under team, Hayward should begin to be viewed as a high-level national talent rather than merely the All-Horizon League player he was as a freshman. As Butler’s Stevens says, Hayward is a player “with a very high ceiling.”
there should be little-to-no doubt, whatsoever, that each one has the ability to become a PRIMETIME player in the NBA, in the not-too-distant future.
If your team is gifted with the opportunity to select a player who …
Was named 1 of the 5 best players at the 2009 U19 Men’s FIBA World Championship, or
Has an individual game which resembles a high motor, hybrid version of two members of the original USA Dream Team [i.e. Larry Bird and Chris Mullin], or
Has the ability to average 5.4 blocked shots per game, as a freshman in college + a 7 foot, 7 inch wingspan + a father whose DNA allowed him to play professional football in the NFL and CFL, as a 6-4, 250 defensive end,
you do NOT pass THAT up for a combo guard whose best “skills” are found on the “defensive” side of the floor, and in his ability to “create his own shot”, on offense.
Whether or not the Raptors are eventually able to re-sign Chris Bosh should actually be irrelevant … when it comes to making this specific decision … if any of these 3 players is still on the board and Toronto has the chance to make the No. 13 [overall] Selection in the 2010 NBA Draft.