So I’m not ready to talk about the Suns’ offseason quite yet. I have some thoughts about some things, but nothing that’s ready for posting yet. But hey–it’s still the offseason, right? So let’s talk about some other things. As much as I love the NBA, I feel sometimes like the non-game aspects of the league are becoming more fun than the actual games. Why? You know why! Because games are moving further and further in the direction of the WWE, with predetermined outcomes handed down by Papa from on high. But the offseason and the draft and the trade deadline and what-have-you? Still fun, because they don’t feel rigged! Awesome, right? Right. So over the next couple weeks, we here at Sun-N-Gun will be putting together some commentary on various teams and free agents and draftees and so on. Sounds fun, right? Right!
Let’s start off with a fun one…compare, if you will, these two stat lines. Each stat line belongs to an NBA draft prospect in his final year of NCAA play:
Ok, so those two dudes seem fairly comparable, right? Player 1 was a slightly better shooter from the floor, but a significantly better shooter from both lines–3-point and free throw. Player 2 had an edge of just over 2 boards per game, but in the rest of the categories, the differences are pretty negligible. Player 1 has an advantage in that he graduated from college, so these statistics are from his senior season, while Player 2 is departing after his sophomore year. Player 1, however, played in a better conference (the Big East) while Player 2 played in the Horizon League.
Player 1 was picked in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft. Player 2 is being discussed as a likely lottery pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Player 1, for his NBA career (4 seasons so far) has averaged 10.1 minutes per game in 195 games played. He shoots decent percentages, but has averaged only 4.1 points per game.
Maybe my expectations are off, but if I were picking in the lottery, I’d certainly want a hell of a lot more out of my top pick than 791 points over four seasons. I mean, I know NBA GMs aren’t always known for their smarts when making lottery picks (see The Kandi Man and Darko and Kwame Brown and so on and so on), but I’d like to hope that maybe they’re getting just the tiniest bit smarter as time goes by. Just kidding. I know they’re not.
You know how I know? Because some lottery team is probably going to draft Player 2. And if Chad Ford knows anything (which he occasionally does), the Clippers are going to draft Player 2 at Number 8 Overall. Player 2, of course, is Butler’s Gordon Hayward. He seems to me a potentially useful complementary player who’s leaving college too soon because somebody’s going to pay him a lot of money to sit on their bench. But many players seem to think of him as a lottery-worthy potential star. Me? I’m not seeing it.
Oh, and Player 1? Well, the interesting part of this is that the same Clippers who may draft Hayward already have Player 1. He’s Steve Novak.