This Draft Is Big, and That's Not Bad
In 2009, we were subjected to the Summer of Guards. For this year's draft, there's nary a guard in sight. Wait, let's back up here. Blake Griffin was the top pick in 2009, but he ended up not playing a single regular season game. Hasheem Thabeet, well, he was drafted too high, and has since become a symbol of how the D-League can work, and work well.
But the meat of the class was the guards, guards everywhere, so many that no PG should consider coming into the NBA until 2052. The position is that saturated.
Step in front of a mirror and repeat these same words, and you'll get Draft 2010. At the top of the peak is John Wall, point guard supreme. If Griffin was the consensus number one because of his college dominance and size amidst the little folks, Wall's coming into the NBA with as much star power as anyone since LeBron James. Griffin appealed to the "size conquers islands" orthodoxy; Wall, the new guard-focused mentality.
After Wall, it's like 2009, but different. Nothing but giants, as far as the lottery-scanning eyes can see. Okay, it's not really fair to call very worthy Evan Turner, the number two to everyone but the Sixers (who hold the pick), a big man. He's a tall, multi-purpose wing who seems like a rare bird about to go extinct -- we can't dismiss him like Thabeet, but he's the slippery slope into a draft pool that's chock full of non-guards surrounded by questions. Even Turner is catching some grief for his less-than-stellar wingspan.
There's loose-screwed DeMarcus Cousins. Raw Derrick Favors. Free-spirited Al-Farouq Aminu, probably a small forward but one who approaches the game like a bouncy PF. The refined Greg Monroe. Cole Aldrich and his mighty crew cut. Ekpeh Udoh, Ed Davis, Daniel Orton, Hassan Whiteside ... the beat goes on, interminably. Syracuse small forward Wes Johnson, has shot up draft boards simply because no one wants to sort through this morass of sometimes intriguing, sometimes demoralizing bigs.
Want a clear-cut guard? There's always the hyper-limited shooter Xavier Henry, expected to sneak in at the tail end of the lottery. That's what conventional wisdom says about this draft. But then again, remember what we heard about last year, and look at how that turned out. Thus, I predict at least eight quality starters to come out of the bunch, all of them 6'8" or taller. Wall, though, is still winning Rookie of the Year -- unless I jinxed him by comparing him to Griffin. Or if Griffin, technically a rookie, beats him on it.