With the seventeenth pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected the freshmen sensation Jrue Holiday.
In no way, shape, or form did I think Jrue Holiday would be at the number seventeen picks. Most mocks had him going in the top ten. For about six or seven picks and he was ranked, not surprisingly, at number one on Jay Bilas' best available players.
The Sixers took the best available point guard, and the best available talent, in one pick. Holiday was ranked as the top guard a year ago coming out of high school, ahead of players like Tyreke Evans and BJ Mullens.
Holiday is considered the wild card of this draft, and most mock drafts had him as a lock for the lottery. Most fans wanted Ty Lawson or Eric Maynor.
Holiday is a much better prospect than a player like Ty Lawson or an Eric Maynor player. Even with Andre Miller gone, Holiday probably won’t start immediately since he has a ton of upside and must be brought up slowly, which is the only downside to this pick. But I can’t express how much I love this pick.
The former McDonald’s All American, was the best player at number seventeen. He has the largest upside of anybody in the draft. As much as people liked Lawson, he is what he is, he has reached his ceiling. At 19-years old he hasn’t even shown us what he can do. Maynor is 22-years-old, and has also reached his ceiling.
Based on potential and upside of a player, the Sixers get a consensus lottery pick at number seventeen.
I’m not afraid to rip Ed Stefanski, I did it when he hired Eddie Jordan. However he would have been ripped if he passed on a consensus lottery pick. Holiday may turn out to be a horrible player, which I doubt, but he was the right pick at seventeen.
I see the numbers for Holiday. He only averaged 8.8 points per game. However this is very misleading he played out of position since Darren Collison elected to return to school which surprised Ben Howland. Howland landed the top recruit and apparently thought he was good enough to get twenty seven minutes of game time as true freshmen.
At 6'4'', Holiday is a lock down defender, has an NBA ready body, is extremely athletic and did I mention he has a massive upside.
Holiday has a soft touch from the inside, although he needs to improve his range. Ty Lawson is less than six-feet tall and can’t defend. Maynor has issues with his defense already. Holiday needs to improve, but years from now I think he could develop star potential. Lawson will be a nice player for awhile and the same goes for Maynor.
The question is what do you do with Andre Miller.
Do you resign him?
With him, you are a sixth seed in the East and without him you are a borderline playoff team and may pick in the lottery again. I am actually willing to let Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday run the point for a year in order to let Holiday develop. This is how you build your teams, by drafting young stars like Jrue Holiday, the player with the highest upside in the draft.
You have to give props to Ed Stefanski and with a young nucleus of Iguadala, Young, and the latest addition Jrue Holiday, the Sixers should be a team to watch out for in the future.