The 2009 NBA Draft: Three Busts
Even though the NBA Draft is a night for lottery teams to dream big and hope for a better future, many teams are actually headed towards head-ache, frustration, and most of all, regret.
For every draft gem which surprises the world there is a player who doesn't live up to the hype. For every Gilbert Arenas there is a Kwame Brown. Just last season we saw Danilo Gallinari get taken with the fifth overall selection by the Knicks and make no apparent impact on the team.
There will never be a draft where a player isn't drafted way too high and in 2009 I think we will see many players disappoint.
7th Overall Pick- Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry captivated college basketball fans by leading the Cinderella story Davidson Wildcats all the way to the Elite Eight in the 2008 NCAA tournament.
His dynamic shooting made everyone from Jay Bilas to LeBron James stand up and take notice. It didn't matter how difficult the jumper was, Curry knew he could knock it down and he did.
Not only was he a sensational scorer but he payed attention to the defensive end. These memories of the 2008 NCAA tournament lifted Curry to the lottery but I have a hard time believing in a NBA playoff encore.
Curry's March Madness performance was a hot streak, that's it. He was hitting shots that weren't even close to in rhythm and did it over and over again.
Many will point to the numbers and say that he performed like that all season long. Well, in reality, Curry's numbers were augmented by the lack of competition in the Wildcat's league.
In the regular season, whenever Davidson would play against a ranked opponent, Curry would struggle. The length of defenders on teams like Duke created havoc for Curry and forced him into tough shots.
In the NBA, defenders are even more athletic and bigger. Curry's inability to attack the basket will result in him struggling to score unless he learns how to run an offense.
At best, Curry will be a spot up shooter who kills in transition.
5th Overall Pick- Ricky Rubio
I'm completely aware he's crafty with the ball and has proven his leadership ability by running the silver-medalist Spanish national team's offense in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
His skill set has created comparisons between him and Pistol Pete Maravich. However, I'll be shocked to see Ricky Rubio inducted to the hall of fame.
In today's NBA where a big man's primary purpose is to alter shots, playing under the rim is a disadvantage. Also, Rubio's inconsistent jumper will make it harder for him to put pressure on defenses.
It will also be some time before Rubio can adapt to the NBA game after opting to go back to Europe for two more seasons. That's right, the Timberwolves won't even get his services until the year 2011.
Even though Rubio is a star in Europe, his numbers on DKV Joventut are suspicious.
Rubio only plays 23 minutes a night and shoots under 40 percent from the field. He does average a solid six assists but his scoring inability is extremely disturbing.
When Rubio faced fellow 2009 draftee and Milwuakee Buck Brandon Jennings in Europe, he had a measly zero point and two assist performance which led to Jennings voicing his opinion that Rubio was 'all hype'.
Maybe he was right.
2nd Overall Pick- Hasheem Thabeet
Hasheem Thabeet has the body of a great NBA center. He may be slightly skinny but many seven footers enter the NBA thin as twigs. There is no reason why he wouldn't be able to hit the weight room and bulk up.
Sadly, Thabeet's lack of offensive ability and fundamentals will keep him from ever living up the the 2nd overall pick.
Thabeet struggles scoring against college centers so what will happen when he's matched up with Shaq or Dwight Howard? I fear that Thabeet will become an offensive liability and teams will be forced to score four on five.
As long as he hit's the weight room he'll be a good defensive center but to truly make him a reliable starting center he needs to be able to develop some sort of offensive game. He needs a post move he can go to consistently or he'll never be more than a prospect.
However, in my book, Thabeet is a wild card. He has as much of a chance of succeeding as failing.