Last year I did a quick article on who different draft prospects reminded me of. Looking back on that article, I think I did pretty well overall. Three calls were tough to judge: Rubio, Griffin, and Monroe. Tough to judge my Rubio call since he hasn't come over to the NBA, and you could easily argue that Tyreke Evans (noticeably absent from last year's post) will be the best guard from last year's draft class. Also tough to make a call on Blake Griffin, since I apparently should have compared him to Greg Oden. And, of course, Monroe opted for another year in college.
Since I didn't completely crash and burn, I figured I'd give it another go for this year's prospective draft class, in accordance with my motto of "if at first you don't fail miserably, keep going until your luck runs out". My simplistic observations after the jump.
Similar to last year's installment, this is not making comparisons to styles of play. This is a comparison of how players are perceived in light of the draft. Since the Kings are assured a top 6 pick, I'll review the players who will be in play for the top 6 picks, along with a bonus thought on Greg Monroe (who probably won't be top 6 in any mock drafts, let alone the actual draft).
John Wall reminds me in some ways of Michael Beasley. Beasley was considered the hands-down Number 1 pick during his season at Kansas State, only to have the Bulls snag Derrick Rose at the last second due to questions about focus and work ethic. Let me first say that I would be stunned, absolutely stunned, if Wall doesn't go first overall in the upcoming draft. But I think he could be one of those "can't miss" prospects who might not end up as good as advertised. Wall could easily turn out to be the amazing talent that everyone expects him to be, and I would be delighted if the Kings lucked into the first pick this year. But there's just enough of a question lingering in the back of my mind, and I can't fully explain it.
I really think Turner has a chance to end up as the best player from this draft. He reminds me of Kevin Durant's college and draft situation. Everyone figured Oden would be the number 1 pick all season long, despite Durant leading an upstart Texas team to a really solid season. At this point, even an Oden defender would struggle to tell you that Durant didn't deserve that first overall pick, but such is life. Wall will probably still be the number 1 pick, but Turner could turn into something special. All of that being said, I feel the need to reiterate that I am comparing the situation, not Turner's potential ceiling compared to Durant.
Favors reminds my of our very own Tyreke Evans. A lot of people were high on Evans as he was coming out of Memphis, but I didn't get it. I hadn't seen Evans play very much, and I just wasn't convinced. I feel the same way with Favors. A lot of folks are really high on Favors right now, but I didn't see a lot of him. It's seems like he's been good, but I can't tell you much about him.
Everyone goes with Derrick Coleman because they play a similar game, but both have questions about work ethic. To me, Cousins is a dozen other players who came into the league with question marks. I have no idea if he'll be successful or not. Personally, I tend to be wary of players who have questionable work ethic before they become millionaires.
Johnson reminds me a lot of fellow 'Cuse alum Jonny Flynn. Flynn will be a solid NBA player, but was probably taken a bit too high. I think it has a lot to do with Syracuse being right in the heart of the East-Coast Bias. Not every player from Syracuse is going to be amazing. I still think Johnson can be solid, but I'm not completely sold. But I'm an idiot, so he's probably the next 'Melo.
Aminu remind me of Jeff Green. Coming out of Georgetown, I knew basically nothing about Green. I hadn't heard a lot about him, but suddenly he was being considered worthy of a high pick. I've heard almost nothing about Aminu. This doesn't mean he'll be successful like Green, it just means that I can't really make any other type of prediction. It also means I should probably watch more college hoops.
Aldrich reminds me of J.J. Redick. Very solid player, high basketball IQ, but he's probably not going to grow a ton more as a player. You know what you'll get, and you'll get a solid contributor, but he's not going to turn into the next Dwight Howard.
Here's what I said about Monroe last year:
Greg Monroe - Monroe reminds me of Kevin Love. In case you're not picking up on a theme, I'm not necessarily talking about specific skill sets. Kevin Love was knocked with the "not big enough" label, and Monroe is quickly going the same route.
My goodness, another year proving his skills, and yet the same criticisms remain. I still believe the Love comparisons. "Not big enough" seems to be getting replaced with "not athletic enough" or "not driven enough", but I think the comparison still works. Remember hearing about Love running like a duck? Hasn't stopped him from having a productive NBA career. I think Monroe will be a very solid, and possibly a very, very good NBA player.