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.