Jrue Holiday at UCLA
Not quite sure how I feel about this pick. Based on all of the analysis and rankings prepared by so-called college and pro basketball experts, Jrue Holiday was the right selection. Drafting at 17, you need to select the best available player. Holiday, apparently, was the best available player. However, wouldn’t it have made sense to take a proven point guard, specifically, an Eric Maynor or Ty Lawson? Those guys would have helped the Sixers now, maybe not from a superstar perspective, but from a depth standpoint. Look, Holiday might turn out to be solid, but he isn’t a sure thing. Based on information I read and have heard, Holiday is a true point guard, he just was stuck playing out of position at UCLA and has abilities as a floor leader with defensive capabilities. The one time I watched UCLA this year was in the NCAA tournament against Villanova and I barely recall Holiday touching the ball – makes me a little uncomfortable that a top pick in a tournament game didn’t have an impact. (I know, it’s just one game).
The drafting of Holiday leads me to believe that rankings and analysis are flawed. It appears that the rankings are based on the POTENTIAL of being a good NBA player, not on whether you would be a good NBA player NOW. First round picks should be used on players that can contribute now. Drafting potential is dangerous, especially when the salary is guaranteed. A few years back, the Sixers drafted Lou Williams out of high school in the second round when they could afford for him to learn, develop and craft his potential. His salary wasn’t guaranteed and there was no risk to the pick. By selecting Holiday and passing on true point guards Maynor and Lawson, this pick will be continuously scrutinized.
I’m going to hold judgment on Holiday until he shows up for training camp. I hope he works out, but realistically he might just be another Andre Turner.
Editor’s Notes: Overall, this was a weak draft. My favorite parts of the draft were the Ricky Rubio interview, the Knicks fans reacting to the selection of Jordan Hill and Commissioner Stern standing in front of Hasheem Thabeet. Ricky Rubio is going to be a solid NBA player, he has all of the skills and vision needed to play the point, but in all of the highlights I have seen (even the Olympics) he appears to be a little slow. It might just be because his teammates are slower or the style of play is designed to be more developing than the teams that run and gun in the NBA. Regardless, Rubio will find a way to overcome his slowness, if he even is slow.
Reading a few other Philadelphia related blog posts, I was rather surprised to see so much outrage about Dionte Christmas of Temple not getting drafting. I was a little disappointed, but the knocks on Christmas outweighed his strengths. I see him ending up in a training camp and having a solid career in Europe.