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Evaluating the Prospects for the 2008 NBA Draft

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Before we start make sure you check out the live blog on Ridiculous Upside. I will be checking in from time to time, but do not let that stop you from participating.

I do not think I have really communicated how much I love the NBA Draft. I love watching games and video and trying to project whether a player can hack it in the NBA. In that spirit here are my thoughts on some of the draft eligible players.

Derrick Rose – I think the Rose bandwagon is getting a little carried away. He absolutely is a special player, but I think the comparisons of his point guard skills to those of Chris Paul are way off. I reviewed the Kansas/Memphis title game last night and Rose has great size and strength for a point guard, he can get in the lane at will and has nuclear athleticism, but he is a limited shooter and I think his passing skills are overrated. He also does not seem to have that instinct to see two or three moves ahead. I am sure I will take some heat for this, if anyone actually reads it, but I think Rose is being set up to fail with such high expectations. Especially considering there is almost no debate over whether or not he should be the top pick.

Michael Beasley – Conversely I think Beasley is being undervalued. The only knock on him that I think is relevant is his lack of defense and that is a big knock. However, he has the skills and size to be a good defender. I am not concerned about his prankster/joker personality. I think he is a worker and plays with great intensity. He knew that playing at Kansas State would be his one season dress rehearsal for the NBA and he proved that he took the game seriously.

OJ Mayo – I agree with the general consensus that OJ is the third best prospect in the draft. He has been picked apart more than anyone else which is to be expected since he was on the radar screen as a 16 year old. He is strong, can handle the ball and shoot and has the ability to play great perimeter defense. He certainly is not going to live up to his former billing as the next LeBron, but he is going to be an all-star.

Kevin Love – I have almost no feel for how Love will turn out. I could see him being a very good starter or a rider of the bench. I have serious concerns about his ability to keep up in the NBA, but on the other hand he has some amazing skills as a big man. Maybe he is a capable of passing on the last four pieces of lemon meringue pie version of Oliver Miller. Love will clearly not eat himself out of the league and is reportedly in great shape, but he just is not explosive and needs to go to a team who is more half court oriented.

Anthony Randolph – He has some impressive skills, but it seems to me like if he pans out it will be for a team other than the one that drafts him.

Robin Lopez – I do not see a first round pick here. He may stick in the league simply by being tall and working hard, but he will never play more than 15 minutes a game for a decent team.

Mario Chalmers – You know me likey. After watching his performance in the championship game again I was even more impressed. He is fast yet under control, makes great entry passes to the post. Can drive with either hand (he is very good going to his left) and we all know he can shoot. If he is still on the board when the 20th pick comes up I will be difficult to be around.

J.J. Hickson – I do not see what is not to like. This guy is going to be a steal in the 20’s.

Roy Hibbert – I do not understand how anyone can watch him move and still think he can survive in the NBA. He is Gheorghe Muresan without the ability to rebound or sell cologne. Bad combination.

Chris Douglas-Roberts – He is the Antawn Jamison of perimeter players. He is very unorthodox and it makes him highly effective. If he could get to the point where he can hit 37% from the NBA three point line he will score 20 points a game.

Jason Thompson – I do not know what the big deal is with this guy. There are reports he could go 14th! He has size and is somewhat mobile, but I am not impressed. He is not particularly athletic and does not protect his shot very well. He opens the ball up to the defender which is fine when you are playing Siena. It is not fine when you are playing Dwight Howard.

Bill Walker – He will be an absolute steal wherever he goes. He already has an NBA caliber post game for a shooting guard. He can get to the rim and you know he is a hard worker after coming back from two major knee injuries. I would take him in the 20’s ahead of all the big stiffs like JaVale McGee, Jason Thompson, Alexis Ajinca and Hibbert. Way ahead of them.

Richard Hendrix – I have liked Hednrix’s game since I saw him in one of the high school all-star contests. He is small, but can score around the basket. Think a slightly smaller and saner Zach Randolph. He will make a very good early second round selection.

Malik Hariston – He never lived up to his billing as a high school stud, but he knows how to play has good size and will help someone next year. Then he will only get better.

Longar Longar – I just want to hear Jay Bilas say Longar Longar has great length. I think there is a potential nursery rhyme in there somewhere.

Enjoy the darft everyone!Is D