Let me preface this by saying that I do not watch college basketball. At all. You could tell me that Poopscoop McGee led the nation in scoring this year and I would believe you. The entirety of my opinions on this draft class are based solely on what I read; mostly, other peoples' opinions of this draft class.
So, this has really been a learning experience for me over the last couple of weeks being involved with trying to figure out who we think the Kings should take in this draft and who we think they will take in this draft, with varying degrees of overlap. There is, of course, the nebulous situación de Rubio- I'm pretty sure that most of us would be happy and excited to see the young Spaniard in a Kings jersey, and most of us would agree that if he's available at #4 we're definitely taking him.
Beyond that, things get more interesting. It almost seems like every day brings a new "buzz man", and I learn about them and wonder about them (Holiday, Evans, Kleine). It occurred to me though that something doesn't quite feel right about this process. The part of the conversation about who we think the Kings should take is fine; we all have our various opinions on players and on the direction the team should take. I've been feeling, however, like maybe the conversation about who we think the Kings will take is lacking. I'm hoping this post will provide a bit of an impetus for that conversation.
I think what may be bugging me a bit right now is that most of the players we've been talking about the Kings taking with their first pick may have a lot of good things going for them, but they don't feel right to me. They don't feel like Petrie picks. I won't pretend that I've got GP all figured out (though I do feel like I understand Petrie a gazillion times better than Chad Ford does), but I think we can look at his drafting history and identify a few things that would give a pretty good indication of what he's likely to do this time:
1. The number one attribute that Petrie values in a player is a high level of skill. Primarily shooting skill, I would contend, but also passing and ballhandling. Not size, not athletic ability (one exception I could come up with was Tariq Abdul Wahad, who I recall as being a freak athlete with little else to offer. Maybe Petrie learned his leason?). That's not to say that the players he drafts don't have size or athleticism, but this is not the reason they were drafted. Peja, Hedo, Shawes, and others all have good size for their position, but they were drafted because of their (offensive) skills, not their size.
2. We're not likely to trade down, or up for that matter. If Petrie really falls for Rubio (or Griffin), I could see him trying to put something together to try to get him, but my gut says this won't happen. I think in regards to Rubio, assuming that's Geoff's top choice, he'll sit patiently in the 4 spot that the Lottery Gods damned him with and take him if he falls to us. Otherwise, he'll happily take the guy that he loves slightly less, whoever that may be. Even if he's pretty sure he could get his man later by trading down, I don't see this happening either. For one thing, it's just not Geoff's style. I'm sure just about every year we could've traded down a bit and still gotten our guy. Also, there would have to be another team that wants our 4 spot bad enough to give us a worthwhile offer for it, and it appears that this year's draft doesn't really setup that scenario very well.
3. Geoff Petrie is his own expert. Buzz doesn't matter, hype doesn't matter. He trusts his scouts and he trusts himself. And he's almost always right.
Now, moving on to the speculation. Again, I'm very open about my ignorance of pretty much all of the players we could draft. There is, however, one player that makes me wonder why we haven't really been talking about him much yet. Stephen Curry. My impression, loose as it may be, is that he is probably the most skilled player in this draft maybe other than Rubio (and Griffin?). And he's got pretty good size. And he plays our position of biggest need. Maybe he's not necessarily a "true point guard", but what would give us even the slightest indication that Petrie is looking for a "true point guard"? It's been talked about often on StR before that the Princeton Offense doesn't really need a "true point guard" to distribute the ball. It needs someone who can pass, and primarily someone who can shoot. It looks to me like Curry would fit this role quite well. When studying up on him, the player that came to mind was Mike Bibby. Coincidentally, I checked out his profile on Draft Express and they list his "Best Case" as Mr. Bibby himself (and his "Worst Case" as Jannero Pargo, but we can ignore that).
Is Curry a reach at #4? Who wouldn't be considered a reach this year? Was JT a reach at #12? Spence at #10? So why not Curry? Seriously, please tell me why not, since a lot of you know a lot more than I do about these guys. Maybe we can at least get Amick to write a blog entry titled "Kings might maybe should be interested in Curry" so that Chad Ford will pickup on it and have us taking him in his next mock.