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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting to Know Jerryd Bayless

I focus much more of my attention on the NBA game than the college game, so I hesitate to make sweeping proclamations about the NBA Draft because I realize that I don't have enough information about all of the prospects to analyze the draft in the same in depth manner that I evaluate players who are already in the league. I filled out a mock draft at Yardbarker just for fun--and on the off chance that I may actually get enough picks right to win the autographed Greg Oden jersey. Wouldn't it be funny if I do a better job projecting the draft than all of the "draftniks" who devote so much time to studying it? Of course, the key here is not even just pure talent evaluation but also trying to figure out what each team is thinking, so I did not necessarily list who I thought were the 14 best players but rather who I think/guess the teams might choose.

For me, the real evaluation process will begin during summer league play when I get to see some of these guys on the court playing under NBA rules against NBA players (or, at least, fringe NBA players); after I watched Kevin Durant struggle during summer league play last year I correctly said that people should stop expecting him to be some kind of instant superstar. Durant performed better toward the end of the regular season but by that point the so-called "experts" had figured out what I had been saying all along, namely that Durant must improve his all around game in order to live up to all of the hype that had been prematurely showered on him.

That does not mean that I don't care about the college game and the NBA Draft, just that I devote more of my viewing time and analysis to players who are already in the NBA. I certainly am interested to learn as much about college prospects as possible. Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless averaged 19.7 ppg and 4.0 apg last season. He is considered to be a top prospect in this year's draft and he may go as high as fourth overall. Paul Dalessio passed along this video about Bayless:

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posted by David Friedman @ 4:42 AM

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