Ziller: At the end of our last debate, you asked who I thought deserved more hype. That is, of course, a tricky question, considering the entire draft is built on hype. In fact, the role of the media (professional, semi-pro and amateur) is often to debunk hype. As many have ruminated, it's highly unlikely the next Amar'e, Maravich, Wade and Dikembe are really in this draft.
But I will offer up that I think Tyreke Evans (the so-called "Next Wade", according to me) isn't getting enough credit for some marvelous college production. His relative lack of athleticism, quickness and a jumper have dampened his stock in workout season, and his insistence on individual workouts until the final week before the draft didn't help. But his defensive potential is as high as any guard prospect in recent memory (Rajon Rondo included), and he happened to score a ton of points at Memphis. Is he suddenly going to forget how to penetrate? Of all the combo guards in the draft, doesn't he stand to best benefit from the NBA's hand-check rules? How is he slipping to No. 9 in any mock draft?
I know you're also high on Evans, and I'd like to hear your reasons (even if only to fill up my private echo chamber). But to provide a bit of potential dispute, I'll note that Stephen Curry could be a star, and Tyler Hansbrough will be better than Brandon Bass.
Moore: I'm right there with you on Evans. In the NCAA tournament, we saw him attack the rim again and again and finish each time. That's one of the huge things I look for in a rookie. The ability to get to the rack and finish. The jumper, the defense, those are things that will come with time, development, and (insert Iverson-voice) practice. Having the basic mindset and ability to attack the basket and have the size to get there (love the kid's length!) are the things that make my eyeballs pop out of their skull. He's a combo guard's combo guard. Can you imagine stacking him with pure shooter O.J. Mayo? How about giving him interior weapons like Al Jefferson and Kevin Love? Wouldn't a 1-2-3 of Arenas-Evans-Butler be terrifying? Good Lord, can the Thunder STAND another freak young talent like Evans on their squad?
You had to goad me into more Haterade, didn't you? The Curry thing has been like watching soccer to me. I can see that people care, and that it's a very popular sport, and that it takes a lot of skill, but: a) I'd still never watch it, and b) I don't understand why other people do. Curry's going to make a nice shooter for someone. But unless he's in the perfect situation where he's expected to create shots, and somehow his not fantastic ups enable him to avoid getting blocked each shot, I can see him struggling.
Hansbrough, I think, will be fine. And since a fair share of picks above the 10th pick are fine players, I think he'll end up fine. My hope is that he falls on draft night, and the Spurs take him. Outside of his reputation, his game fits perfectly with them.
Terrence Williams is my new latest obsession, and usually I balk at seniors. But his athleticism, intensity, and commitment to defense have my interest piqued. DX's situational breakdown poured some water on that, but I love him as a value pick. I'm absolutely convinced that DeJuan Blair is going to end up being incredible. I kind of want him and Jerryd Bayless to defect and start their own team. I would be equipment manager for them.
Is Jonny Flynn geting too much hype or not enough? I can't decide.
Ziller: I'm on board with Williams and Blair. Should be solid rotation players at worst, which is more than you can say for a lot of these players.
I think Flynn is a weird case, because Sacramento is the only team in the top nine giving him a lot of hype. So, yes, I think he's getting too much hype in that he should not be the No. 4 pick. But he's not as bad as we all assumed a few months ago -- his athleticism is astounding, his assist numbers were pretty good, and he's a fantastic finisher. But he's tabula rasa on defense and he's shorter than Chris Paul. I don't know. You need to be amazing to be a 5-foot-11 No. 4 pick, in my opinion. I'm not sure that's Flynn. (However, I do tend to trust Sacramento in the draft. Even the players they don't pick but try to grab -- Aaron Brooks, for example -- end up being great.)
I'm shocked Patrick Mills isn't getting more attention. It's amazing what a broken hand can do to your draft stock. He was amazing in his freshman season at St. Mary's, amazing in the pre-Olympic tour (famously shredding Jason Kidd and Paul), great in the Olympics ... and he gets injured in his sophomore season, basically falling off the first-round map. I don't see how you take Eric Maynor or Darren Collison over Mills.
I also think James Harden deserves the top-5 love he's getting.
Moore: Harden is scary territory for me. The lack of athleticism and limited game makes me concerned for a repeat of my flawed faith in Al Thornton. But Harden's game is more well rounded, I could see Harden becoming a solid rotation guy. DeRozan was hot at the beginning of the year, cooled, and now is picking up steam since he has some height to go with the talent.
What I think is crazy is that the second round has a lot of potential guys who have good tangibles, athleticism, and talent. Mills, Danny Green, Demarre Carrol, Dajuan Summers, all of these guys are projected in the second round. Low risk, high reward guys, music to GM ears.
Speaking of low risk, high reward, you have to say that after missing out on the top three picks, it may turn out that the Kings, Wizards, and Wolves actually lucked out. How bizarre is that?
Next time: can you lose with picks 4-7?