Question of the day: What is going to be the biggest surprise of the NBA draft? [Updated]
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The biggest surprise will come in training camps, when teams recognize the reality of how incomplete the majority of prospects truly are. The bulk of wing players available can slash or shoot, but few in the process can do both.
Virtually all of the point guards (beyond John Wall) tend to be score-first types who spent a significant portion of their collegiate careers playing off the ball. The big men can block shots and rebound but offer precious little when it comes to post play.
This is what you get when college is a mere way station on the way to a payday: players who lack the preparation necessary to become instant contributors.
In the win-now college game, player development has become an afterthought.
[Updated at 12:30 p.m.:
Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel
Mark these words: Some team will find a hidden gem in the second round of the NBA draft.
We just won’t know that player’s identity until midway through the 2010-11 season or even later.
In 2000, the Milwaukee Bucks selected Michael Redd with the 43rd overall pick. In 2002, the Cleveland Cavaliers used the 35th pick to choose Carlos Boozer. Redd and Boozer became stars, winning gold with the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing.
Not all second rounds of the draft produce a star, but they all yield at least one or two difference-makers. Goran Dragic, picked 45th in '08, is now a reliable backup to Steve Nash in Phoenix. Jonas Jerebko, picked 39th last year, started 73 games as a rookie for Detroit.
Who is a potential sleeper this year? How about Alabama guard Mikhail Torrance? He’s 6-foot-5, made 86% of his free throws in college and can become an excellent defender. Sounds like a potential hidden gem.]
[Updated at 1:40 p.m.:
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
Paul George will be the biggest surprise of the NBA draft. The Fresno State product had received some mild criticism for not taking his college program to greater heights.
But he's created a buzz with his athleticism and maturity. And with his length and shooting ability, he's got star quality written all over him.
I'm not sure how much of a "surprise" a late-lottery to mid-first-round pick can be. But while George has drawn comparisons to Trevor Ariza, his knack for rebounding and his work ethic will help him overcome that.
He's one of those classic players who just has been waiting for the NBA game. That's where his skill and athleticism will flourish.]
Photo: Kentucky's John Wall participates in a news conference after a pre-NBA draft workout for the Washington Wizards on June 17. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press