With NBA teams stocked with new players to sell NBA tickets after the 2008 NBA Draft, let’s take a look at some of the top players in next year’s draft class.
Blake Griffin, Forward, Oklahoma: At this point, Griffin is the frontrunner to be the number one pick in the ’09 draft. He had a great freshman season at Oklahoma and likely would have been a lottery pick in the ’08 draft had he not decided to stay in school. Griffin reminds some scouts of Carlos Boozer and possesses both NBA-readiness and solid upside.
Ricky Rubio, Guard, Spain: Rubio has been on NBA radar screens since he was 15. He’s a pure point guard and a fantastic playmaker. At 6-4, he’s got great size for the position and has drawn some comparisons to Steve Nash. While he isn’t the most explosive of athletes, his basketball IQ is off the charts and he should make a great floor general.
Brandon Jennings, Guard, Arizona*: Jennings has the potential to be a special playmaker. His athleticism is nearly unparalleled and it allows him to play above the rim much more than one would expect from a 6-2 player. He’s an excellent passer, but tends to get flashy at times which could lead to a high turnover rate on the next level. He’s got all the talent in the world, but there are questions about his coachability and decision making. He’s definitely a player who will sell NBA tickets, but it’s not certain that he’s a player whose style will win games.
*Jennings has had some trouble scoring high enough on his SATs to be eligible to play basketball at Arizona. There has been some talk of him sitting out a year or playing in Europe before making the jump to the NBA.
Demar DeRozan, Guard, USC: Derozan has the talent to develop into a premiere superstar in the NBA. He has all the tools you look for in a scorer. He’s an explosive athlete, has an NBA-body, has good size and possesses deep range on his jumper. He can really finish and reminds some scouts of Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter. There have been some questions about his effort on the defensive end and his basketball IQ. He’s a likely one-and-done guy on the collegiate level, but will have to refine his overall game is he’s going to become a dominant player in the NBA.
These players could be the first four selected in the 2009 draft and should help sell NBA tickets in whatever city they land.