(Note: This is my personal opinion and in no way represents the views of the Powers That Be at Sactown Royalty. Make up your own minds on the polls. But it's probably best just to agree with whatever I think. And never forget: I am a complete idiot. Thank you. -Ex. G)
Chad Ford has him projected as being drafted anywhere between the 8th and the 12th. DraftExpress currently projects him 9th. But should Stephen Curry be going even higher?
Section recently showed us the evidence that Petrie is nothing if not unconventional. I'd still be shocked if Petrie passed on Rubio or Griffin, but Petrie should take Curry if we end up at the 3rd or 4th pick. That's right, not "Petrie might", I think "Petrie should". In the poll I voted for Jennings 3rd, but the more I think about it, the more I like Curry.
Curry is known to have been one of the best, if not the best, scorers in the NCAA the past 2 seasons. He learned the game from his father, former NBA player Dell Curry. He clearly knows the game, and has a great overall awareness on the court. As a shooter and a 2-guard, he was a lottery prospect.
Last season he took over as PG for Davidson, and handled the new responsibilities well, elevating his draft status. His assists went from 2.9/game to 5.6/game. With more time handling the ball, his turnovers naturally increased from 2.6 to 3.7, but his Assist-to-Turnover ratio improved. To be fair, it's still not stellar at 1.5, but it was his first season handling point guard responsibilities. He showed court vision and passing ability. Those skills paired with his scoring make him a devastating guard.
When we consider Curry's scoring, it's important to also remember that every defense was geared specifically around stopping him. You think defenses geared around Blake Griffin? Griffin's supporting cast was far better that Curry's teammates at Davidson. Curry will face tougher defenders in the NBA (well, except for Jason Kidd), but he also will not be the main defensive focus. NBA teams will not be geared specifically towards shutting him down.
An anonymous GM, as quoted by Chad Ford, said,
"He's a great scorer and I think he can be a point guard in the NBA with time. His value all depends on who drafts him. He needs to be in the right system. If you have players who you can surround him with, he'll be really good. If he has to be the man, he'll struggle."
Do we need Curry to be the man? If we're picking 3rd or 4th, are any of the available players truly capable of being "the man"? It's possible, but unexpected. DX compares him to Mike Bibby or Mo Williams. I think I see scoring like Arenas, but with better passing.
There are concerns about his size. He's a bit frail. A bit undersized. But so is Kevin Martin, and that's worked out pretty well for us.
Stick with me for a moment as I discuss a hypothetical situation. If we're focused on a Princeton offense next season, is there any guard in the draft better suited? The Princton offense involves a lot of ball movement, so we'll need passing. Check. We'll need an active player who can shake his defender and get free. Check. The Princeton offense is very complicated, so we'll need a smart player. Check. Curry is certainly more of a scoring guard than a traditional point guard, but the Princeton offense doesn't necessarily require a traditional point guard. Again, look at Arenas as the "point guard" in Washington. We shouldn't draft a player based on what we think might be the offensive scheme, but it seems like icing on the cake. And speaking of cake, I absolutely salivate when I think about a backcourt of Martin and Curry creating open shots in the Princeton offense.
If a player has one standout skill (shooting, rebounding, defense), they can generally make it in the league. Now, with the 3rd or 4th overall pick you generally want to draft more than just "a guy who can stay in the league". But Curry has the additional skills that make me believe he'll be a very solid contributor, and a guy who can help lead a team. And his worst-case, bust-scenario result would be a guy who stays in the league as a shooting specialist. It never hurts to have scorers on your team.
Besides, I bet he looks absolutely dapper in purple.