Well it has been awhile since we have had a conference call with it being the offseason and all. With the NBA draft upon us though we decided it would be a good time to discuss a few topics such as who we think the best pro will be out of the Big 12 players and then naturally who will be the biggest flop. Other topics touch on Josh Selby and Jacob Pullen's draft prospects along with who we each think will be the best overall player to come from this years draft. As usual please let us know your comments and whether you agree or disagree with any of us.
- 1. Which Big 12 player drafted tonight will turn out in your opinion to be the best Pro?
EP: I am torn between Marcus Morris and Alec Burks. Each needs to improve their game, but I think Morris' outside shooting can extend defenses and turn him into a legitimate inside/outside guy. Not a rough and tumble big man, but more like Marcus Camby, who extends Ds and then gets in for boards. But if Burks can extend his range to the NBA three, then he can use athleticism to blow past defenders who have to be honest to his outside shot.
MP: Funny, I really dislike Morris as a pro. I think he's ready now (and thus valuable), but I don't like his upside even compared to his brother. As for the best player, I think it will come down to Tristan Thompson and Burks. I think Thompson will win out in the long run: he's a phenomenal athlete, rebounder and defender. Assuming an NBA team takes the time to work with him on his offensive game, I think he could be a monster in four or five years.
JL: I am really horrible at trying to figure out who is going to be the best pro since a few years ago I couldn't believe Derrick Rose was being taken over Michael Beasley and we all know how that one looks today. My first instinct is Alec Burks since he has the size and ability to get to the rim and draw contact but I am going to go out of left field a little bit and say Jordan Hamilton. He is big enough to be able and get his shot off in the NBA and his attitude seemed better last season so maybe he is maturing as a player.
- 2. On the flip side which Big 12 player drafted will turn out to be the biggest flop in the NBA?
EP: Not sure he'll be drafted, but Cory Joseph has no business being in the draft. He needs time to improve and he won't get it riding on an NBA pine. I see him going overseas and never returning.
MP: Of the early leavers I think Joseph is definitely pushing his luck. I think someone will take him in the late second round, but I'd be surprised to see him suit up for a game at all next season. That said, I'm not sure he qualifies as a flop, since people don't have high expectations for him. I worry a lot about Jordan Hamilton. He played much better defense last season, but struggled mightily his freshman year when he wasn't the primary scoring option (which will be the case in the NBA). He's definitely going to have to adapt his game for the next level.
JL: Well it appears that Matt and I just have to agree to disagree since I think the player with the biggest flop potential is Tristan Thompson. He is much shorter than what he was listed at last year at Texas and he doesn't have much face up game plus his free throw shooting is at best average. I know there are certain undersized power forwards who thrive but memories of guys like Robert Traylor come into my mind as well.
- 3. Josh Selby - 1st rounder?
EP: No. The only time he showed any promise was in high school. Granted he was injured last season, but nothing in his game told me he could play at the next level. In fact his game went downhill as the season progressed. He'll be drafted, because NBA GMs love promise, but I can't see taking a first round flyer on him after what we saw (or rather, didn't see) last year.
MP: No, but he should be. Part of me thinks he should've stayed another year and improved his draft status, but most of me looks at next year's already stacked draft and his disinterest and Kansas and thinks he should never have come to Kansas in the first place. I'll be very interested to see how Selby pans out. I think he'll be very motivated once he's getting paid, and that limitless potential people saw back in high school will start to show up again.
JL: I think he will sneak into the 1st round somewhere based strictly off upside. He wasn't ranked by some as the #1 player in last years high school class because of nothing. Granted his college "career" definitely does not warrant him being picked in the 1st round but let's remember no one is talking about LaceDarius Dunn or Jacob Pullen in the first round and they had great college careers.
- 4. Is Jacob Pullen a good enough player to be picked in tonight's draft?
EP: I don't think he'll be drafted. Pullen will be hurt by not having an NBA Summer League this season. He won't be drafted and will end up overseas. Hopefully he can get better and play in next season's summer league and make an NBA roster.
MP: I totally agree about no summer league hurting Pullen a lot. I doubt he'll be drafted, but I wouldn't be shocked if he made a roster at some point this season. I do think his future will be in Europe though.
JL: I think there is a very small chance he might be taken in the late 2nd round based strictly off his ability to occasionally get real hot from deep and the fact that he is a strong and willing defender. I do have to agree though that he probably won't ever see an NBA floor but he should make a very nice living in Europe which isn't such a bad thing either.
- 5. When we look back 5 years from now who will be the best player from this draft?
EP: It'll either be Derrick Williams of Arizona or Enes Kanter of Kentucky/Turkey. Right now I have to go with Williams because of what he did in the clutch last season.
MP: I think Kanter and Kyrie Irving will be the biggest instant impact players (and shockingly, Cleveland could get both of them). I haven't seen enough of Kanter to know much about his potential, but everything I read lists him as the real deal. That said, I think Irving could be a terrific pure point guard in a point guard's league. I'll go with Irving, assuming he can stay healthy.
JL: I am going to have to go with Kyrie Irving based off how good he was in the small sample size we saw of him last year at Duke. One player who I am really interested though in watching in the NBA is Kemba Walker.
- 6. Take a guess on 1st overall pick in 2012 draft
MP: I like Barnes here as well, though depending on the team I could easily see Kentucky's Anthony Davis moving up to that spot as well.
JL: Yep gotta say that Barnes is the most obvious choice but I think Perry Jones definitely has a chance since size always seems to move people up.