With only nine days left until the 2010 NBA Draft, we’ve looked at who is projected where and weighed in on who we’d rather have.
Basically, we’re asking Who Ya Got? Is it the proven performer, or the younger player with bigger upside? Do you want a stretch four, or a banger in your front court?
Here, two of our writers each took a player and made their cases for that particular player.
The conversation doesn’t end with our opinions though, so in the comments let us know: Who Ya Got?
The Case for Dominique Jones—Shooting Guard | 6′5″ | 216 lbs
Dominique Jones was born and raised in Lake Wales, FL., the same city NBA stud Amar’e Stoudemire was born in. Unlike Amare, Dominique opted to attend college. He decided to keep his game local, eventually landing at the University of South Florida. Although he could have played at a bigger name school, it turned out to be a great decision.
In his three years with the Bulls he not only improved in each statistical category, but he also led the Big East in scoring his junior and final season with 23.2 points a game in conference play. His career high is 46 points, a number not many college players can say they ever reached.
When you play three years in a conference with teams like Connecticut, Villanova, Georgetown, Louisville, and Pittsburgh, and you’re selected to the All-Big East First Team, you must be an incredible player. Jones is an explosive shooting guard who can certainly light it up, as he showed in college. He has a freakishly long wingspan for someone of his size (almost five inches longer than his height), which will help him defend off the ball in the NBA.
The one concern teams may have with Jones is whether or not his shooting will be up to par. He shot only 31 percent from three-point range, which isn’t too promising for a player who projects to play primarily shooting guard in the NBA. However, what Jones lacks in long distance firepower he makes up for with his mid-range shooting (45 percent) and his explosiveness and body control around the rim.
He has the ability to finish around the rim with a variety of moves. His repertoire includes a floater, a pull-up jumper, and the ability to take it all the way to the cup and finish with either hand, even through contact.
Compared to Jordan Crawford, Dominique is much less of a chucker. Crawford shot over 70 more two-point attempts than Jones and 35 more three-point attempts. What does that mean? It means that Crawford will have to find other ways to contribute on the floor because no NBA team will be successful with him taking that many shots.
Jones is also slightly faster than Crawford and sports a three-inch longer wingspan, which will prove to be helpful at the next level on both ends of the floor. USF may not have made the NCAA Tournament like Crawford’s Musketeers, but while Crawford was destroying cupcakes in the A-10, Jones was tangling with the big boys of the Big East.
Jones may end up hearing his name called in the latter part of first round, but he isn’t caught up in that. He hopes to land in the right situation where he can get on the court and continue to improve. For Jones that may mean landing on a young team in the rebuilding stage. With the young nucleus the Nets have in Brook Lopez, Terrence Williams, CDR, Devin Harris, and whomever they nab with the 3rd overall selection, Jones’ shooting guard services would fit in nicely. The Nets have a late first round pick (27) and an early second round pick (31), and either would be a sensible spot to take Jones.
The Case for Jordan Crawford—Shooting Guard | 6′4″ | 198 lbs
If you need a scorer this year in the NBA draft, look no further than Xavier’s Jordan Crawford. The Detroit, Michigan burst onto the scene with a posterization of LeBron James at a summer event. Real college basketball fans knew of him a year earlier after a great freshman year at Indiana. After Coach Sampson left the school Crawford transferred to Xavier, where he really found his game.
There is no question that Crawford can drop 30 on any given night from anywhere on the floor. As evidence look no further then what ended up being his final collegiate game, a loss to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament. In the overtime loss Crawford was the best player on the floor, going off for 32 points, including a three to force a second overtime that will live on in NCAA lore for years to come.
His range is one of his biggest strengths, as he easily shoots the ball from NBA three-point range and shot nearly 40 percent from behind the arc last year. Crawford not only can knock it down from deep, but he can also put the ball on the deck and then pull up against his man. His lift is unquestioned, but he could improve getting to the basket at a higher rate.
Dominique Jones is a good player in his own right, but he simply doesn’t have the scoring ability of Crawford. Crawford has the ability to elevate over defenders, where Dominique doesn’t have quite the bounce, tallying a slightly lower vertical at the NBA Combine in Chicago. Also, Dominique doesn’t shoot the ball as well as Crawford, shooting lower percentages from both the field and from three. Add in the fact that Crawford carried his team to the NCAA Tournament, while USF and Dominique Jones had to watch from home, and it’s clear that Crawford is the better pick.
Crawford won’t last past the first few picks in the second round, but we’d take him somewhere in the 20s. Orlando has the 29th overall pick, and for a team that lives and dies by the three a shooting guard who knocked down nearly 40 percent from behind the arc would be a nice addition.
Additionally, the Wizards at 30 will have added a franchise player in John Wall with the first overall pick, but they could find a career-long sidekick in Crawford. If he lasts until the second round it’s hard to see him being on the board after the Knicks' pick, since he would absolutely thrive in their up-and-down style.
FOR COMPLETE NBA COVERAGE VISIT: THEROOKIEWALL.COM!