TheRookieWall.com continues its, “Who Ya Got?” column with a look at Avery Bradley of Texas and Eric Bledsoe of Kentucky.
Here, two of our writers each took a player and made their case 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 Avery Bradley — Guard | 6′3″ | 180 lbs
A 6’3” shooting guard for the Texas Longhorns, Avery Bradley may have to adjust to playing point guard in the NBA as he is undersized at the two spot.
Although only playing one year under head coach Rick Barnes, Bradley had a solid year for Texas in the Big 12; his best performance coming at home against Colorado, going off for 29 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
It’s hard to project how Bradley will perform as a point guard at the next level because he was rarely asked to do so in college. He only averaged two assists per night; with six assists against Iowa State being the most he had all year. Being a shooting guard, you would expect much more from Bradley at the charity stripe. He struggled mightily there, only hitting 55 percent of his shots.
The one thing Bradley will have to work on is his ability to finish at the rim. Driving down the lane with only 180 pounds on your back will be tough in the NBA. The one thing he has going for him is his youth, so you can certainly expect him to add muscle to his frame.
The major plus on Bradley is his lock down defense. Having a long wingspan for his size will be an asset in the NBA and something that will help him see the floor early in his NBA career.
Compared to Eric Bledsoe, Bradley has a major plus on his side, he won’t be a distraction by having to answer NCAA violation questions throughout the year.
Aside from that, Bradley and Bledsoe both had extremely similar numbers across the board. Additionally, like Bradley, Bledsoe will not play much shooting guard at the NBA level, something he played a lot of at Kentucky because of running mate, John Wall controlling the show.
Bradley possesses more upside and a more versatile offensive game, getting his shot off at will where Bledsoe played more of a spot up role for the Wildcats.
Avery Bradley will likely be off the board before Bledsoe as Bledsoe has seemed to slip as of late. After Wall and Turner, guards don’t seem to be needed by any teams until later in the lottery, and Bradley will likely be off the board in the early teens.
He is being targeted by the Raptors at 13, but there is discussion they’ll move the pick. Also, the Pacers are said to have interest at 10 overall. Bradley is an incredible player, but he could be in for a long night on Thursday if he doesn’t come off the board at 13.
The Case for Eric Bledsoe — Guard | 6′2″ | 192 lbs
Eric Bledsoe spent his freshman season playing behind John Wall at Kentucky. What many people don’t know is that Bledsoe is more of a point guard than a shooting guard, despite his ability to score that he showed while at Kentucky. He possesses length and speed that rivals any player in his class and that translates well on his ability to defend either guard position at the next level.
The best game we saw Bledsoe play from a scouting perspective was probably the game he dominated Eastern Tennessee State where he put up 29 points on eight of nine shooting from behind the arc.
From a physical standpoint Bledsoe is undersized, but measured out well at the combine with a long wingspan that should help him to guard shooting guards at the next level.
It isn’t proven that he could run an offense, but we have faith that he’ll be able to revert back to his high school skill set. That will be a big question going forward for Bledsoe though.
In my opinion Bledsoe is a better prospect than Avery Braldey due to the fact that he can play point guard full time.
He has the ability to defend either position like Bradley, but also has the ability to run the point full time, something that Bradley hasn’t proven he can do. Also, the infractions that Bledsoe is alleged of haven’t come to fruition yet.
As far as draft position, we think that Bledsoe is a lottery talent, that probably slips into the late teens. He could come off the board as No. 10 at Indiana who is interested in him.
If he doesn’t go there he could be in for a slide back to 18 at Miami, where he would be the best player on the board and go to a team that needs help at every position, especially point guard.
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