Russel Westbrook: Breaking Down the Sonics No. 1 Pick

jereima gilgContributor IJune 27, 2008

In the past, the Sonics have made many very debatable picks in the NBA draft. They chose Robert Swift out of high school. They took Sene because they heard he could touch the rim without jumping with the No. 11 pick. They also drafted Johan Petro from France.

All three of these players have gone in for knee surgery this year. All of them were unproven. Last year they picked KD and Jeff Green, so there was no possible way to mess up that class.

This year they chose Russell Westbrook over:

Kevin Love - He would have made a nice front court with Green and Durant, however, he may not succeed at the NBA level.

Jerryd Bayless - He is a combo that is extremely quick and will be a PG in the NBA in time.

Eric Gordon - Everyone underrates him because of his late performance. He will be a great scorer and is very, very, explosive.

Brook Lopez - He fitted a need and is a great scorer inside who will be solid.

Those four players will all be good in the NBA except for Kevin Love, who, I think, is too small and not long enough to succeed at the NBA. The other three will each have at least one All-Star year.

Russell Westbrook is like Jeff Green in that he may be an over pick but he was the guy the Sonics wanted and is at least a key role player. He is not used to his skills like O.J. Mayo, who has been an NBA player since middle school. In fact, Westbrook couldn't even dunk until his Senior year. He now has great athleticism and is the best on-ball defender in the NCAA.

The last guard the Sonics drafted in the top five out of the PAC-10 was Gary Payton. Gary was a lock-down defender who couldn't shoot at Oregon State. 

Russell Westbrook is a far superior athlete than Payton, and a better defender who hasn't even scratched the surface of his potential. If anyone can reach his full potential it would be Westbrook, he is a gym rat that puts his time in the gym. Just ask O.J. Mayo.

He rarely scored 20 points and is called a combo guard but he just could be the best defender in the NBA. He could learn to shoot the three, he could be a great scorer and will work his hardest to be the best.

Who knows? He could be the best Pac-10 player selected in the top five by the Sonics.