Friday, June 19, 2009

More NBA Draft PG Talk: Calathes? Really?

Honestly, experts: Nick Calathes as the 3rd-best PG in the draft? John Hollinger rates Nick Calathes as the 6th-best player in the draft, overall. (Behind a pay wall: Boo!)

I'm a huge Florida hoops fan, and I just don't see it. (Then again, Hollinger was very high on Marreese Speights a year ago, and I thought Speights would be a terrible pro. So there you are.)

In addition to Calathes, the stats support Ty Lawson as having massive NBA potential -- maybe he IS the next Jameer Nelson (consider Nelson was underrated by draftniks, too). But maybe Lawson is just the next Raymond Felton. Put Flynn, Jennings, Rubio, Evans, Holiday or Maynor at the point for UNC and the Tar Heels still win the national title -- with one of those guys winning MOP. I'm not particularly high on Lawson -- most NBA execs seem to agree with me.

I will say this about Calathes: Because he's going to Greece next season, a team can use a 1st-round pick on him but not have to deal with his salary, but still retain his rights. (And, presumably, a year in Europe would make him more pro-ready than another year in college.)

But when a player's top skill is "He'll save you money!" that's not saying much. But the stat experts seem to argue otherwise -- that he has serious pro potential. I actually really hesitate to dispute or dismiss sound statistical reasoning. But...really?

If I had to take a flier on one of those PGs, I'd draft Evans, who isn't a true PG but can play a PG role alongside another combo guard, and in some kind of best-case scenario world, he is sort of like a poor man's Dwyane Wade. If I was playing it safe, I'd take Maynor. I'm not down on Jennings like many, but he can't shoot. Rubio? Ehh. Sizzle. Experience. But can he shoot?

-- D.S.

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