Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Curry rising on draft boards; Lawson falling

Our own Rick Bonnell offered some excellent commentary from the recent NBA draft combine in Chicago -- here was his take on Stephen Curry.

I also found very interesting a recent story from ESPN.com's Chad Ford, who spoke with 15 different GMs and NBA executives recently. As Ford wrote, he "gave them the task of ranking the top 13 point guards in the draft, including a couple of players -- like Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry and Toney Douglas -- that some GMs see as 2-guards. I then took those 15 responses and averaged them to get a more comprehensive ranking of where each prospect fell."

Here's the interesting part locally -- Curry was ranked No.2 in this straw poll among the 13 point guards. Lawson fell all the way to No.9.
Curry trailed only Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio, while Lawson trailed everyone from Wake Forest's Jeff Teague (No.6) to Jrue Holiday and Eric Maynor. Here are Ford's ratings based on his 15 responses from league execs, as well as the story's comments about Curry, Teague and Lawson. (This draft is mostly characterized as weak overall but very strong at point guard).

Top point guards in 2009 draft from ESPN.com's Chad Ford:

1. Ricky Rubio (18-year-old Spanish pro player)

2. Stephen Curry, Davidson
Curry was somewhat of a surprise as the second-place finisher, which speaks to how well he was received at the combine, where he shot the lights out, measured a little bigger than expected and looked like he fit in with the other point guards on the floor. He also was a pro in the interviews, and many of the older GMs feel the fact that he grew up around the NBA game will help him make a quick transition to the pros.
Three GMs had him ranked as the top point guard in the draft, and he received seven second-place votes, too. One GM had him ranked sixth.
This coincides with a number of things I heard at the camp that had the Thunder, Wizards and Warriors all looking at possibly selecting Curry before the Knicks draft at No. 8.

3. Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
4. Jrue Holiday, UCLA
5. Tyreke Evans, Memphis

6. Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
Teague has a tough decision to make soon. While a number of GMs like him, many think he should go back to school for another year.
His highest ranking in our poll was sixth, and his lowest was eighth. That's probably good for a late lottery to mid-first-round pick in the draft. But given Teague's talent, he could do better with a breakout season at Wake Forest next year.
Teague's range probably starts with the Pacers at No. 13. The Sixers, Wolves, Hawks and Mavericks will also take a long look at him.

7. Brandon Jennings, Italian pro league
8. Eric Maynor, Va. Commonwealth

9. Ty Lawson, UNC

Lawson is coming off a rough week: Some GMs didn't like him in the combine setting, he measured the shortest of any point guard in the draft, and there were questions about his conditioning and a potential toe injury. Put all that together and Lawson seems to be the one guy slipping on a lot of boards.
Two GMs had him ranked as high as sixth on their point guard list, but a number of others had him much lower, with two GMs ranking him 10th and one GM ranking him 11th.

10. Patrick Mills, Saint Mary's (Calif)
11. Darren Collison, UCLA
12. Nick Calathes, Florida
13. Toney Douglas, Florida State

Note: The NBA draft is June 25th.


Anonymous said...

I cant believe Lawson was that high! Patty Mills and Toney Douglas are better

Jermel said...

I can't say I know much about many of the PGs they have ranked above Lawson and I wasn't at the combine, but I can say throughout his college career Lawson was a top 5 PG and I personally think he was the best PG in the NCAA this past year. With that said, the ranking doesn't really surprise me that much. Scouts are usually more concerned with physical tools than past performance. Personally, I want the guy who has performed in pressure situations on a consistent basis. I'd rank Curry #1and Lawson #2. But maybe I'm just a homer.

Anonymous said...

That's way too low for Lawson, he's an amazing point guard who will do well in the nba. He has amazing speed and good jump shot. I would pick him over Curry and I'm a Duke graduate.

mike said...

Jermel, you are a homer. Ty is a perfect fit for the Knicks with his speed, which is by far the best in the draft, but they won't take him a #8. Where he fails in the NBA is that he isn't that great of a passer as opposed to a lot of others on this list, he can't shoot well consistently, and he is a lock to be injured once a year. There are 4-5 guys on this list that could have performed better than Ty with the team UNC had around him, but no one could get the ball down the court as fast as Ty, I will give him that. Ty will be a Felton clone, which means in 2-3 years he will be a solid floor leader point guard, just not an All-Star.

Anonymous said...

Lawson may not be the best shooter out the bunch but he's the only proven winner. The guy put the team on his back all year and made big shot after big shot. Not to mention he doesn't turn the ball over. I'd rather have my PG protect the ball than score 20pts and turn it over all game.

Anonymous said...

BS in my opinion. I can see the knock on Lawson because of his hight, but what about Paul, Nelson, and other "short" guards who are quick enough and strong enough to get it done in the NBA. I love Curry's game, and hope that he does well in the Pros, but he isn't even a true PG. The Knicks would be perfect for him with their style of play. Several teams out West would probably work for him as well.

Anonymous said...

Toney Douglas would be a much better 2 Guard anyways ty lawson would be perfect for a transition team like Golden State or the Knicks, other than Rubio, Curry and Flynn the others arent very impressive.

Anonymous said...

Eric Maynor will turn out to be the best of the bunch. He can score in traffic, defend better than the others besides maybe Collison, and push the ball at the same pace as Lawson. His jumper is a work in progress but that has improved each year in college.

Anonymous said...

LOL.. I can't believe there are so many Lawson fans here. Must be college basketball fans and not pro ball. This is a very accurate ranking whereas Lawson won't be a good NBA starter. And as for the proven winner thing Felton won more than Chris Paul.. who is better? You must understand the difference in college vs pro game fellas.

vann said...

Anyone putting Jeff Teague over Lawson didn't watch much NCAA basketball late in the season.

Anonymous said...

All you people that follow what these Charlotte sports writers put together for an article are following "losers." They fail at about everything they predict. Lawson can outshoot Felton and most of the point guards listed and he does not turn the ball over. Whoever goes with him and leaves JJ Curry off their roster is the real winner. And the dumb A_ _ that said he can't pass is totally ignorant about the game of basketball. Anyone know what Lawson's won-lost record at Carolina was for 3 years? Find me a better 3 year record. Guess what? You won't! Lawson will score more points for average than he ever scored at UNC..LOOK AT JORDAN AND CARTER ALL YOU DUMB BUTTS OUT THERE. Curry trys to imitate JJ AND IS JUST LIKE HIS OLD MAN WHO WAS OK BUT NOT A REAL NBA STAR! Put that in your pipes and smoke it! Curry runs all over the court looking to be the MAN TO SHOOT. Lawson looks for the man that is open. That is what you do at little Davidson when you are the "only" player. A few elbows and rough screens will change that crap in the NBA-YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK WITH THAT SHRIVELED BODY OF HIS. LAWSON IS A MAN AND CAN TAKE THE BUMPS AND GRIND ALL DAY LONG! His old man paid Labron to cheer for him like he was the second coming of Michael Jordon. What a friggin JJ joke he will wind up being!

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster: apparently you didn't watch a whole lot of "JJ" Curry this year or you would have seen why Bob Knight called him the best passer in the country. And while Lawson may have averaged one more assist per game than Curry, that assist came at the expense of twelve fewer ppg, fewer rebounds, and fewer steals. Also, maybe one more assist per game isn't a big deal considering Lawson had an all-american post player and Ellington to shoot the ball; it's one thing to manage the offense, it's another to create it. I guess the NBA scouts agree.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anonymous at 9:45 pm. I totally agree.

AJ said...

I vaguely remember another ACC PG that people outside the ACC said was too short to play in the NBA and not a good enough shooter. His name was "Bugsey" or "Muskey", something like that. He actually turned out to be a pretty darn good player, even though he usually gave up at least a foot to the guys he played against.
Like Bogues, Lawson can flat out play with anyone. His speed and vision are what will allow him to excel in the NBA, and his shot is much better than Bogues' shot was.
I have a feeling that most of the teams that need a PG and pass on Lawson, will come to regret it down the road.

Anonymous said...

I think Teague dropped 34 on Lawson the only time they played! Lawson is a defensive liability and thats why he is down on these projections. It has nothing to do with his ability to pass, score and protect the ball. He has all of that.....and by the way, I think I would have had a great record with all that talent at Carolina the last three years.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fowler is still the worst sports writer alive.

This has nothing to with rankings

Hoopster said...

To AJ's post and everyone else who keeps referencing Mugsey B. as the poster boy for undersized point guards:
Conveniently forgotten is what a defensive liability he was. He was often absent at the end of games because the Gary Paytons of the world would simply post him up. He was okay, and I personally like Mugsey, but c'mon-he was never in the conversation of great point guards.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous posts at 9:45 and the next one after him were done by jealous little loser dukies who nobody gives a crap about anymore since Sheriff Roy took the ACC over and busts coach K's a - - regularly! JJ THE FLOP- DON'T COMPARE Lawson to him when JJ never won crap in 4 friggin years! Compare unc players to duke players in the NBA AND DUKE WILL MAKE ACC FANS VOMIT!

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster: please don't call me a Dukie--I went to Davidson, which is why I answered the comparison about Curry and Lawson, one which you haven't answered. Lawson will probably be a solid pro, but not as good as Curry, which was my point in the first place. I said nothing about JJ, although I would like to point out that he won player of the year--in response to your claim that he didn't do anything in college. Anyways, I'm assuming that you didn't [don't] go to Carolina; otherwise you would be able to understand the distinctions.

Anonymous said...

Curry is not a real PG. He's a shooter (SG) like Dad. Run him off screens all day and he'll be effective but he's not going to run an NBA offense the way Lawson will. I like both guys a lot but Lawson is the better PG. As far as defense, I can see both guys struggling at first. Curry's weak and Lawson's short. They both can overcome it though.

MichaelProcton said...

@Anon 10:36: OK, I'll bite. Let's compare.

Duke: 14 players in the league on opening night '08 (1st NBA) with a combined salary of $74.3 mil (1st NBA)
9 starters, 4 for playoff teams (Battier, Boozer, Deng, Redick), 2 for 2nd-round teams, 1 for NBA Finals
1 All-Defensive team member (Battier)
1 All-NBA hon. mention (Boozer)

UNC: 12 players in the league on opening night '08 (t-2nd NBA) with a combined salary of $69.1 mil (3rd NBA)
4 starters, 1 for playoff team (R. Wallace for first-round losers DET)
1 All-NBA hon. mention (Jamison)
0 All-Defensive team members

I'll take what the Duke guys are doing now over what Carter and Jamison did seven years ago, thanks.

Anonymous said...

That's still pretty weak Procton. I'll give you credit for trying though. Duke's NBA crop isn't too much to brag about. I'll admit UNC's current guys aren't a bunch of All-Stars either but overall it's not even close. With the amount of UNC talent going in the league regularly, the quality of pros will increase...Meanwhile Josh McRoberts and Shavlik Randolph struggle to average 6ppg in the D-League. LOL.

Anonymous said...


MichaelProcton said...

Please. Danny Ferry won a ring. Doesn't make him better than Karl Malone.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:45 I agree with you. Just one other thing. I did not play basketball in college but I would not trade my Duke diploma with one from UNC or anywhere else - especially if for bragging rights on the basketball or football teams. Our Duke men are respected. We do not have a Sean May.

As far as Lawson goes, he sat out alot at the end of the UNC season. I think this does not add to his value - the toe business.

Anonymous said...

Geez, are all UNC fans ignorant rednecks or just the ones that post on charlotte.com and espn.com? I am not a Duke fan, but the difference in class between Duke posters and UNC posters is staggering.