2012 NBA Draft: Why Damian Lillard Is a Future All-Star

Vishruth Reddy@@vishthefish9Contributor IJune 4, 2012

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 17:  Tre'Von Willis #33 of the UNLV Rebels goes for a steal between Damian Lillard #1 and Matt Washington #33 of the Weber State Wildcats during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center December 17, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Damian Lillard is the best scoring point guard in this draft class, and very well might be the best overall point guard, too. Lillard boasts immense athleticism and an uncanny ability to drive to the rim but also has the ability to step back and hit a jump shot. Lillard has the ability to score from anywhere on the floor, evoking comparisons to scoring point guards like Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Lillard still has passing ability, as he averaged just under five assists last season at Weber State last year. Lillard has also shown a lot of growth, as his per-game stats have increased every year. Although he is a bit older than most prospects in the draft, he is mature both on and off the court.

Many analysts think that this year's draft class is weak at point guard and will only yield a couple of serviceable starters. The two top point guards, Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall have both had a lot of questions asked about them. Analysts are concerned about Lillard's less-than-stiff competition in the Big Sky Conference, and think that he won't be good enough to compete in the NBA.

I disagree.

Damian Lillard will be the biggest steal in this draft. Yes, the Big Sky conference isn't full of basketball powerhouses like North Carolina and Kentucky, but Lillard's sheer domination at Weber State shows that he will at least be a good player in the NBA. Lillard has the work ethic of a champion, and averaging 24 points in the shorter and slower college game is no easy feat. Concerns about his passing ability are misguided; at Weber State, he was the best player on the court and needed to lead his team to victory. There are also questions about Lillard's size; at 6'2", he is a little shorter than Westbrook and Rose. However, the difference in size is not much and could be inflated. Either way, point guards like 6'0" Chris Paul have great scoring ability, so that shouldn't be a concern.

Damian Lillard has all the tools he needs to succeed at the next level. He has the explosiveness, scoring ability and passing technique of a young Russell Westbrook. Although he played in the Big Sky Conference, he is still an outstanding talent. If any team takes a chance on the Weber State point guard, they will get a future All-Star with immense scoring ability.