1) Ricky Rubio- Rubio is the prototypical NBA point guard. He has all the physical tools- size, athleticism, flash, and unequaled court vision. If his mental maturity can mimic his physical maturity, he’ll be very productive in the League very soon. Rubio does have a history of injuries, which is probably the biggest concern surrounding him at this point (besides the reported $8 million buyout that his Spanish League team is requesting).
NBA Comparison: Jason Kidd
2) Stephen Curry- Curry is an absolute beast with the ball in his hands. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor and should have no problem adapting to the NBA 3-point distance. He also showed the ability to create for his teammates last season. The thing that distinguishes Curry, however, is his competitive fire. This kid is a leader and a real winner, and he’ll have a positive impact on everyone who plays alongside him.
NBA Comparison: Derek Fisher
3) Jonny Flynn- Flynn’s stock has been rising since he officially declared for the draft, and his strong showing at the pre-draft camp only added to his prospects. Flynn will almost certainly be a top-10 pick, with Indiana at 13 a possibility as well. (The Pacers are reportedly very high on Flynn, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try to move up to get him.) Flynn’s comfort with the ball and speed in the open floor are his major selling points. I see Flynn as the closest thing to Russell Westbrook in this class, and someone in the top 5-to-8 could take a flyer on Flynn, just as OKC did with Westbrook last year.
NBA Comparison: Jameer Nelson
4) Brandon Jennings- Jennings’ stock has cooled recently because of his disappointing season in Italy and his absence from both the pre-draft camp and the Reebok Eurocamp. Questions also remain about Jennings’ character after his standardized test scores were invalidated, forcing him to play overseas. Jennings’ talent and athletic ability are givens, but a successful NBA career requires more than pure physical gifts. Jennings could excel in the right situation, but would struggle without experienced veteran leadership.
NBA Comparison: Rafer Alston (more athletic)
5) Jrue Holiday- Holiday is one of the enigmas of this draft class. He was very highly touted entering the season, but struggled to adapt to the college game. He has good size at 6’4” and a ton of upside, but very serious question still remain about his ability to run the point. Like Flynn, Holiday has some Russell Westbrook in him in terms of athleticism, but Holiday is light-years farther away from becoming a productive NBA player.
NBA Comparison: Rajon Rondo
6) Eric Maynor- Maynor shares a lot of traits with Curry. Maynor is also 6’3” and perceived as being “undersized” for the League. He is also a deadly shooter and a proven winner. As a four-year starter at point guard at VCU, Maynor has fewer questions about his ability to lead a team, but has a less explosive offensive arsenal. He’ll become a steady NBA player, but never a star, and would benefit from a team with athletic, defensive-minded wing players.
NBA Comparison: Randy Foye
7) Jeff Teague- Teague has good size and is still pretty raw, and his stock is rising because of the versatility of his game. However, he was very inconsistent last year and really struggled down the stretch. I have a lot of concerns about his mental toughness, a lot like Jennings, but come draft night, he should hear his name called in the top-20, with Milwaukee at #10 a real possibility.
NBA Comparison: Anthony Carter
8) Ty Lawson- Lawson is lightning-quick and makes good decisions, but he’s a little undersized and will have a tough time scoring at the next level. In the right situation, Felton could be a very serviceable point guard option, but he’ll never lead a successful NBA team if they rely on him offensively.
NBA Comparison: Raymond Felton
9) Darren Collison- Collison was overshadowed at UCLA by the likes of Jordan Farmar, Russell Westbrook, and Jrue Holiday, but he was a very consistent and clutch performer throughout his career. He doesn’t excel in any one area, but shows a solid understanding of the game and good maturity. Along with Maynor, he is among the most NBA-ready point guards in this class, and will be a welcomed addition to a team in the mid-to-late 20’s, or maybe at the beginning of the second-round.
NBA Comparison: Mario Chalmers
10) Patty Mills- Mills had a fine showing in the Olympic games last summer, but in the 12 months since, Mills has gone from a sure-fire first-rounder to an also-ran. He missed the majority of the regular season at St. Mary’s with an injury and had a very poor showing at the Reebok Eurocamp. Playing against longer European competition, Mills had difficulty getting up shots, leading many to believe that he’ll struggle against bigger competition in the NBA.
NBA Comparison: DJ Augistin (less range)