Friday, 12 June 2009

NBA Draft 2009 Preview: Shooting Guards

This article can also be found here.

If you are looking for a franchise shooting guard in the 2009 NBA Draft, you best look elsewhere. There are some solid rotation players, and maybe someday an all-star or two amongst the group, but it is a position that is lacking in both star power and depth this year.

The head of the class is James Harden from Arizona St. In two years, he has helped turn the Sun Devils program around, being one of the most productive players in the country. While he is not blessed with great athletic ability, he is a very crafty, refined player. He is a silky smooth left-hander, with the ability to both hit the outside shot and get to the rim and score. He can rebound, pass, and defend. He will not wow you in any area, but he is just a very solid player. He will be helped by the weakness of the draft, as it should propel him into the top 5 and likely the top SG off the board.

Next there is Tyreke Evans, who is more of a combo guard from Memphis. While he predominantly played the point in his one year, shooting guard looks like his more natural position. He is a very athletically gifted player, and should be able to get to the rim at the next level. If 2 guard does wind up being where he plays in the NBA, he should be able to score and defend very well and be a solid starter on a good team.

Next is DeMar DeRozan from USC. He is one of the 3 most athletically gifted and overall talented players in the draft, but his production did not match his talent in his lone season at USC. He has all of the physcial tools necessary to be a great player, but he was plagued by inconsistency. At times he looked like a star, and at other times he looked like, well, a freshman. If he can continue to improve his jump shot and work on bringing his best every night, he could be a steal for someone in the late lottery.

After that are a couple of tweeners... guys that played the 3 in college but might be better suited for the 2 in the NBA. Gerald Henderson from Duke is one of the most athletic players in the Draft, but he will likely fall out of the lottery. There are questions about his jumpshot and handle, and so it's hard to project his role in the NBA. He can defend, and he can use his athleticism on the break (which makes him ideal for a running team), but he might be a little limited other than that. Terrence Williams from Louisville is a guy that got better and better as his career went on. He doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but he solid all across the board. He is a solid shooter, great rebounder, and great passer. He can be a really good role player on a solid team.

So there are no real stars at the SG position of this year's NBA Draft, and there's not a lot of depth, but there are some guys that should be solid NBA players. James Harden looks like the best of the lot, but there are a few guys here that should have nice, productive careers in the NBA.