With the third pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Ricky Rubio, point guard from Spain. If ESPN’s Chad Ford is on point with his NBA Mock Draft, Rubio will be the third player taken off the board come the night of June 25th, following only the surefire first overall pick Blake Griffin (unless the Clippers front office has no idea what they’re doing, which wouldn’t be a shocker) and 7’3 Tazmanian center Hasheem Thabeet.
A number of online mock drafts are in concurrence with Ford (insidehoops.com), while the remainder of the online mocks (nbadraft.net, draftexpress.com etc) have the kid from Spain going fourth overall to the Sacramento Kings. If these forecasts are accurate, the PG from professional Spanish basketball team Joventut Badalona will be the first point guard taken in Madison Square Garden on the night of the draft. I smell a bust!
Well, I’m not the only one who anticipates a Ricky Rubio bust. Brandon Jennings, the highly touted PG who forewent college ball (AKA wasn’t smart enough to pass his exams, c’mon, even Derrick Rose did!) to play in the Euro league, has played against the shaggy-haired Rubio in International ball, and apparently he wasn’t too impressed (Rubio had 0 pts, 3 asts, 3 TOs). Jennings had this to say about the Spanish point guard:
“I think the dude is just all hype. I can’t even front. I’m just going to be real with you guys.”
Although Brandon Jennings hasn’t exactly played like a stud in the Euroleague (7.6 pts, 1.6 asts), I can’t disagree with him. With a draft class that includes players like Rubio, Jennings, Stephen Curry, Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague and Eric Maynor, there is certainly no shortage of talent at the PG position.
Is Rubio really the best out of this group of players? In regards to the depth at the position and the hype surrounding Rubio, Jennings asserted:
“Well, put it like this: If he was in a workout with me [and fellow point-guard prospects] Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, Tywon Lawson, Stephen Curry, he wouldn’t probably be at the top” (SI.com)
I couldn’t agree more. Maybe the kid from Spain fears he would get shown up by the other PGs, which would explain why he has yet to work out for any NBA teams. I mean, why wouldn’t a potential lottery pick work out with some teams? Afraid to step away from International ball? Worried he might get shit on by better athletes?