Posted 06/05/2008 at 03:53 PM
The 2008 NBA Draft is coming up later this month, so let’s take an early look at the players coming into the Association. Here’s my Big Board, listing the top 15 players in my opinion.
Keep in mind that I haven’t seen the two Europeans – Danilo Gallinari and Nicolas Batum – that are expected to be first-rounders, so neither made my list.
Overrated: Bayless, Mayo, DeAndre Jordan and D.J. Augustin
Mayo is going to have to learn to be unselfish. Augustin has got to improve his perimeter jumper and his lack of height could make him a liability on defense against some point guards. Jordan has got to mature. Bayless is going to be outstanding, but I just think it’s ridiculous that he might go in the top five.
Underrated: Koufos, Rush, Gary Forbes, D.J. White, Richard Hendrix, Joey Dorsey, Courtney Lee and Joe Crawford.
I really like Forbes a lot. He’s relentless in his effort, explosive offensively and best of all, he’s got that ‘nasty streak’ in ‘em.
As for Koufos, I haven’t seen him play enough to determine if he’s tough enough to battle in the lane against NBA players right away. But I do know this: Dude is seven foot with a ‘European skill set’ and can step out to 22 feet and stroke a smooth jumper. That package is extremely rare.
Hendrix might stay in school and should if he doesn’t have a first-round guarantee. But he’ll be a player in the league for at least a decade. Hendrix reminds me of Udonis Haslem (before the UF great went to France and got rid of his body fat). He’s got a real nice mid-range jumper, can bang with anybody and embraces contact (a must for NBA power forwards).
Dorsey talks too much, plays like a knucklehead at times and has a limited offensive game. In other words, his back-to-the-basket post moves are totally non-existent.
With that said, he’s a beast in the paint. He doesn’t just have an NBA body; he’s had an NBA body for years now. Despite his offensive limitations, he’ll find a way to give you 20 productive minutes off the bench. Think Rick Mahorn and hey, every team in the league could use a Rick Mahorn, especially if you can get ‘em in the second round.
White has had injury issues through the years, and that’s the main reason why he’s viewed as a late first or early second-round pick. He’s a steal in the second round. He’ll play right away as a rookie.
Now I’m not suggesting Crawford is a first-round pick by any means, but he’s worth a shot in the second round. I think he can have a Keith Bogans type career.
I have Chris Douglas-Roberts rated higher than most mock drafts you’ll find on the Internet. I think he’s going to be a big-time player for a long time. He sort of reminds me of Rip Hamilton.