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2012 NBA Draft

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I don't like this "4th best player on a good team" talk anymore. That is an incomplete (lazy?) way to to describe players like Camby and their impact. He was the key to the Knicks making the Finals in 98. Best player on the court in that Indiana series. If Davis becomes Camby, he should consider himself lucky.

Edited by ScrubBeaterUpper

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I'm aware of what Camby has accomplished, but he always had a ceiling. He was never going to be better than probably the 4th best player on a good team. I still think as a prospect, he doesn't compare to Davis. Davis is just much more skilled and athletic.

Calling Davis a product of a good team is pretty weak. Terrance Jones was on that team and is a plus athlete and overall talent. He never dominated like Davis. You don't see John Henson doing at UNC what Davis did at UK. The guy probably had the 2nd most dominating freshman season of all time. That's no fluke

We can agree to disagree on Camby's worth to an NBA team through the course of his career, and in comparing him, as former #2 overall pick in a very good lottery, to Davis who will certainly be a #1 also in what should be a pool of good players in the lottery.

I never said Davis was the product of a good team, I said his high FG% was a product of being on a superior college team and I'll say it again.

And who was comparing Henson to anyone here? A good friend of mine who is a UNC alum and basketball nut told me that Henson "might end up being a good rotation guy in the NBA, but wasn't sure he was starter material". Nobody says Davis is that guy, nor was Camby that guy.

And having a dominating freshman season in this era where virtually all top-end talent leaves after the first two year doesn't do much for me. Davis certainly accomplished a lot and he excelled under a big spotlight this season—which is something that could translate to the next level for him.

Without seeing real development in his offensive repetoire, though, it is hard to say how he will translate through his rookie contract. He'll be competing against men at the next level. I've been through too many drafts to get too excited over any one prospect, I guess.

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We can agree to disagree on Camby's worth to an NBA team through the course of his career, and in comparing him, as former #2 overall pick in a very good lottery, to Davis who will certainly be a #1 also in what should be a pool of good players in the lottery.

I never said Davis was the product of a good team, I said his high FG% was a product of being on a superior college team and I'll say it again.

And who was comparing Henson to anyone here? A good friend of mine who is a UNC alum and basketball nut told me that Henson "might end up being a good rotation guy in the NBA, but wasn't sure he was starter material". Nobody says Davis is that guy, nor was Camby that guy.

And having a dominating freshman season in this era where virtually all top-end talent leaves after the first two year doesn't do much for me. Davis certainly accomplished a lot and he excelled under a big spotlight this season—which is something that could translate to the next level for him.

Without seeing real development in his offensive repetoire, though, it is hard to say how he will translate through his rookie contract. He'll be competing against men at the next level. I've been through too many drafts to get too excited over any one prospect, I guess.

I'd be more apt to agree with your skepticism if Davis had been a big man for his entire career. He's just learning to play within his body, and could still even grow another inch or two.

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We can agree to disagree on Camby's worth to an NBA team through the course of his career, and in comparing him, as former #2 overall pick in a very good lottery, to Davis who will certainly be a #1 also in what should be a pool of good players in the lottery.

I never said Davis was the product of a good team, I said his high FG% was a product of being on a superior college team and I'll say it again.

And who was comparing Henson to anyone here? A good friend of mine who is a UNC alum and basketball nut told me that Henson "might end up being a good rotation guy in the NBA, but wasn't sure he was starter material". Nobody says Davis is that guy, nor was Camby that guy.

And having a dominating freshman season in this era where virtually all top-end talent leaves after the first two year doesn't do much for me. Davis certainly accomplished a lot and he excelled under a big spotlight this season—which is something that could translate to the next level for him.

Without seeing real development in his offensive repetoire, though, it is hard to say how he will translate through his rookie contract. He'll be competing against men at the next level. I've been through too many drafts to get too excited over any one prospect, I guess.

Some of what you say may or may not be true, but its all rhetoric at this point. Nothing you are saying is based on tape or facts and that's frustrating. Did you watch any UK games? To suggest his FG% is some how a product of his team is ridiculous. You MIGHT be able to argue that his teammates FG% was higher because of him, but the other way around? Not buying it. I used Henson because you made it sound like Davis was some tall, athletic guy who benefited from being on a good team. I know Henson isn't all that great and that's why I used him, to make the point that an average player isn't going to be made to look special because of the team he plays on. A lot of guys have played on good teams, a lot of guys have played against this level of competition, including some current NBA stars, and few if any of them did what Davis did. Grade him how you like as a propect, that's your opinion, but your logic here is ridiculous.

Curious as to how you disagree on Camby's value. I'm a pretty big Camby fan, but did you see him as a top 2 player on a championship team in his prime?

Edited by Nastradamus

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I don't like this "4th best player on a good team" talk anymore. That is an incomplete (lazy?) way to to describe players like Camby and their impact. He was the key to the Knicks making the Finals in 98. Best player on the court in that Indiana series. If Davis becomes Camby, he should consider himself lucky.

I'll give you that its a bit of a lazy way to describe him, but in the end I always felt Camby was a bit overrated. Very good shotblocker and rebounder, not a great defender overall IMO. Takes a lot of gambles, not great man to man and he's not giving you much offensively. He was good for that Knicks team, don't get me wrong, but he was more of an energy boost guy than some dominant player leading the way. Very efficient and all, but he was the 3rd or 4th best player on that team and he got owned in the Finals by a good big. If Davis is a 17 PER guy for his career and an equivalent defender to Camby, I will be disappointed.

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Some of what you say may or may not be true, but its all rhetoric at this point. Nothing you are saying is based on tape or facts and that's frustrating. Did you watch any UK games? To suggest his FG% is some how a product of his team is ridiculous. You MIGHT be able to argue that his teammates FG% was higher because of him, but the other way around? Not buying it. I used Henson because you made it sound like Davis was some tall, athletic guy who benefited from being on a good team. I know Henson isn't all that great and that's why I used him, to make the point that an average player isn't going to be made to look special because of the team he plays on. A lot of guys have played on good teams, a lot of guys have played against this level of competition, including some current NBA stars, and few if any of them did what Davis did. Grade him how you like as a propect, that's your opinion, but your logic here is ridiculous.

Curious as to how you disagree on Camby's value. I'm a pretty big Camby fan, but did you see him as a top 2 player on a championship team in his prime?

Put Camby his junior year on UK's team last year instead of Davis—is the result different? Does UK not still win a title, and is Camby still not the elite big in the draft? Being surrounded by McD's AA's will do nothing but help a big's fg%—far fewer double and triple teams. How is that logic flawed?

As far as Camby's value coming out of college, I saw him as a guy who could be everything John Salley was supposed to be—and he was. I was concerned that he would be injury-prone in the NBA, and he was. This stunted his growth as a player, causing him to level off early.

Much like I see Davis, I saw Camby as a shot-blocking beast who was capable of controlling the paint for long stretches. Camby may not have been an all-star, but he was the kind of player who could be the difference between a first-round playoff exit and a trip to the conference finals. I never saw him as a player you build your team around, but I did see him as a great complementary piece. I see Davis the similarly.

My jaw didn't drop when I saw him play the first time like it did when I saw Kemp, Garnett, Durant, LBJ, Ralph Sampson, Ewing, and other diaper dandies. Davis, IMO, is not a super-elite prospect like these other guys were at the same age.

Perhaps it is just me, I'm pushing 40 and getting old. But unless Davis is the next coming of Bill Russell, and he happens to land on a team that will put a Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, JoJo White, Sam Jones, Tommy Heinsonn, etc . . . around him, teams will expose his offensive weaknesses early and often. He needs a few big man camps, summers spent at Hakeem's house, ask Kareem to adopt him for a summer, get Kevin Willis' workout plan—do whatever it takes to develop his body and a real offensive game. You can make a great career out of collecting garbage and lob dunks, but it won't make you a franchise big.

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I'll give you that its a bit of a lazy way to describe him, but in the end I always felt Camby was a bit overrated. Very good shotblocker and rebounder, not a great defender overall IMO. Takes a lot of gambles, not great man to man and he's not giving you much offensively. He was good for that Knicks team, don't get me wrong, but he was more of an energy boost guy than some dominant player leading the way. Very efficient and all, but he was the 3rd or 4th best player on that team and he got owned in the Finals by a good big. If Davis is a 17 PER guy for his career and an equivalent defender to Camby, I will be disappointed.

I think it will take Davis awhile to average 17 per game, if he does.

Camby/Larry Johnson's shadow vs David Robinson/Tim Duncan; I'm not sure what you expected out of Camby with this matchup against two HOF bigs??????? Robinson was still effective (15.8/10/2.4) at that point in his career and Duncan (21.7/11/4/2.5) was the unquestioned best big to enter the league since Shaq.

Camby was coming off injuries and only played about 20 MPG during the regular season. Johnson averaged about 12.5/5.5/0.5 that season, and looked pretty washed up. Sprewell was the man on that team, at that point in time once the playoffs hit—he willed a team that had no business being there into the Finals.

To blame Camby for not being better than SA's bigs is pretty harsh, don't you think?

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Look, here's all I'm saying. You are propping up CAmby pretty hard here. You didn't want me to say Davis could be KG or better than Griffin, but then you talk about Camby like he is in range with guys like that. Which is it? I expect Davis to be KG caliber and while Duncan was better than KG, we wouldn't say we expected KG to get owned by Duncan either. Its not that fine of a line.

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Davis's worst case scenario is Camby, Davis upside is KG. Camby isn't on the same level as KG/Griffin, he's his generations Tyson Chandler, valuable player but not elite. I do agree on one of the other points, that this draft is devoid of elite prospects except Davis, lots of good players but no future super stars. I think most people are projecting Davis to be the next Olajuwon, the next great smooth players who can do whatever they want on offense and defense.

Edited by DrWho17

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Look, here's all I'm saying. You are propping up CAmby pretty hard here. You didn't want me to say Davis could be KG or better than Griffin, but then you talk about Camby like he is in range with guys like that. Which is it? I expect Davis to be KG caliber and while Duncan was better than KG, we wouldn't say we expected KG to get owned by Duncan either. Its not that fine of a line.

Why does it have to be one or the other? Basketball is not a black or white game, just like projecting teenagers isn't black or white.

And when did I ever say Camby was in the same league as KG or Griffin . . . ever? The Camby/Chandler comparison is a pretty good one made by Dr. Who, IMO. Point was is that Camby was a very good prospect coming out of UMass. Another point was that his injuries stunted his growth. Not necessarily in an obvious way like it did Danny Manning, but it did none the less. Could it be because of Camby's obvious avoidance of hitting the weight room? Possibly, and if Davis isn't afraid of hitting the weights he will improve on Camby's lack of conditioning.

On what level are you expecting Davis to be KG caliber? Perhaps as a defender if he gets into the weight room and gets on a really good strength and conditioning program, but on offense he's all oops and put-back dunks at this point. He needs major time put in on his footwork/post offense, and he needs to expand that range out to 18' like KG has. I'm not saying he can't do all of this, but let's not pretend he's on the same level as KG at the same age, either. At this point, does Davis really present more of a threat in a half-court offense than Mutombo coming out of Georgetown? At least he had that mechanical jump hook that worked on the block, we've seen nothing like that out of Davis. Griffin is so athletic he hasn't needed to add things like that to his game to be effective, but like McDyess learned with age and injuries he'll have to evolve his offense over dunking over everyone.

As long as we are talking about big, and you are saying Duncan is better than KG—I think the difference between the two is one played next to David Robinson at the start of his career and the other had to hold down the middle with little help through his 12 years in Minnesota. Garnett also grabbed four rebounding titles in a row, Duncan has none. Duncan walked into an NBA Championship caliber situation in SA, and he produced as advertised winning rings. Garnett walked into an abysmal situation in Minnisota, helped make the team relevant, and then went to Boston to win his ring. If you look at their career starting at age 21, Duncan's first year in SA, and follow it to current the stats are very, very close. Duncan has as big an edge in shot blocking a Garnett has in steals over their respective careers. Garnett is much better 3pt and free-throw shooter, boasting over a 10% career advantage in both areas.

The difference between the two as pure NBA players is essentially negligible and both were elite prospects when they were drafted. Both will be first-ballot HOF'ers.

I just can't compare Davis, who has had one outstanding freshman year at Kentucky playing against middling competition in the paint, to a prospect like either KG or Duncan. He's not as athletic or skilled as KG and he's not as polished or fundamentally sound of offense as Duncan. IMO, he has neither of their upsides as a prospect.

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Davis's worst case scenario is Camby, Davis upside is KG. Camby isn't on the same level as KG/Griffin, he's his generations Tyson Chandler, valuable player but not elite. I do agree on one of the other points, that this draft is devoid of elite prospects except Davis, lots of good players but no future super stars. I think most people are projecting Davis to be the next Olajuwon, the next great smooth players who can do whatever they want on offense and defense.

I just don't get the KG comparison. Just go back and look at footage of each at the same age, KG was just a bigger monster. Davis has a long way to go before he can put his name in that same sentence with Olajuwon as well. Hakeem had the best footwork I've ever seen in a big. He was agile like a small forward and was a defensive prototype. Davis may end up being Olajuwon good on defense, perhaps, but I don't see Davis possessing Hakeem's footwork, footspeed or agility that made him the best offensive big—or big, period—of my generation.

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Why does it have to be one or the other? Basketball is not a black or white game, just like projecting teenagers isn't black or white.

And when did I ever say Camby was in the same league as KG or Griffin . . . ever? The Camby/Chandler comparison is a pretty good one made by Dr. Who, IMO. Point was is that Camby was a very good prospect coming out of UMass. Another point was that his injuries stunted his growth. Not necessarily in an obvious way like it did Danny Manning, but it did none the less. Could it be because of Camby's obvious avoidance of hitting the weight room? Possibly, and if Davis isn't afraid of hitting the weights he will improve on Camby's lack of conditioning.

On what level are you expecting Davis to be KG caliber? Perhaps as a defender if he gets into the weight room and gets on a really good strength and conditioning program, but on offense he's all oops and put-back dunks at this point. He needs major time put in on his footwork/post offense, and he needs to expand that range out to 18' like KG has. I'm not saying he can't do all of this, but let's not pretend he's on the same level as KG at the same age, either. At this point, does Davis really present more of a threat in a half-court offense than Mutombo coming out of Georgetown? At least he had that mechanical jump hook that worked on the block, we've seen nothing like that out of Davis. Griffin is so athletic he hasn't needed to add things like that to his game to be effective, but like McDyess learned with age and injuries he'll have to evolve his offense over dunking over everyone.

As long as we are talking about big, and you are saying Duncan is better than KG—I think the difference between the two is one played next to David Robinson at the start of his career and the other had to hold down the middle with little help through his 12 years in Minnesota. Garnett also grabbed four rebounding titles in a row, Duncan has none. Duncan walked into an NBA Championship caliber situation in SA, and he produced as advertised winning rings. Garnett walked into an abysmal situation in Minnisota, helped make the team relevant, and then went to Boston to win his ring. If you look at their career starting at age 21, Duncan's first year in SA, and follow it to current the stats are very, very close. Duncan has as big an edge in shot blocking a Garnett has in steals over their respective careers. Garnett is much better 3pt and free-throw shooter, boasting over a 10% career advantage in both areas.

The difference between the two as pure NBA players is essentially negligible and both were elite prospects when they were drafted. Both will be first-ballot HOF'ers.

I just can't compare Davis, who has had one outstanding freshman year at Kentucky playing against middling competition in the paint, to a prospect like either KG or Duncan. He's not as athletic or skilled as KG and he's not as polished or fundamentally sound of offense as Duncan. IMO, he has neither of their upsides as a prospect.

1. I didn't say you said Camby was KG, but you got mad at me for saying he could be as good as KG and then got mad at me when I said anything other than Camby is an all time great. You didn't leave me much in between and that was my issue.

2. I didn't say Davis was as good a prospect as KG, just that I thought he could become as good as KG. Also if you are going to talk about offensive refinement, there is as much gap between Davis and CAmby at this age as there is KG and Davis, at least. Overall I think you are undercrediting a guy who had one of the most dominant NCAA seasons in recent memory, as a freshman.

3. Duncan took one of the worst supporting casts I've seen to a title and has 4 overall. Ready made or not when he got there, he'd still have 3 most likely. I like Duncan better for his back to the basket skills, but in the end they are probably the 2 best PFs of all time. I don't have a huge problem if you like KG better. However, 4 rebounding titles or not, Duncan has a better career rebounding rate, block rate, PER and a significant edge in win shares per game. Plus the titles. I'm not saying its an open shut case, but I'm not pulling Duncan being better out of my arse either.

Edit - here's one of many scouting reports on Davis. I'm in no way saying these things are gospel, but hopefully it gives you an idea that your opinions of DAvis' offensive game are not by any means universally shared by those who have watched him.

NBA Draft Room: Anthony Davis Scouting Report

Edited by Nastradamus

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1. I didn't say you said Camby was KG, but you got mad at me for saying he could be as good as KG and then got mad at me when I said anything other than Camby is an all time great. You didn't leave me much in between and that was my issue.

2. I didn't say Davis was as good a prospect as KG, just that I thought he could become as good as KG. Also if you are going to talk about offensive refinement, there is as much gap between Davis and CAmby at this age as there is KG and Davis, at least. Overall I think you are undercrediting a guy who had one of the most dominant NCAA seasons in recent memory, as a freshman.

3. Duncan took one of the worst supporting casts I've seen to a title and has 4 overall. Ready made or not when he got there, he'd still have 3 most likely. I like Duncan better for his back to the basket skills, but in the end they are probably the 2 best PFs of all time. I don't have a huge problem if you like KG better. However, 4 rebounding titles or not, Duncan has a better career rebounding rate, block rate, PER and a significant edge in win shares per game. Plus the titles. I'm not saying its an open shut case, but I'm not pulling Duncan being better out of my arse either.

Edit - here's one of many scouting reports on Davis. I'm in no way saying these things are gospel, but hopefully it gives you an idea that your opinions of DAvis' offensive game are not by any means universally shared by those who have watched him.

NBA Draft Room: Anthony Davis Scouting Report

Nas, I respect your insight and opinions here—let me say that first and foremost.

1) Perhaps I got over-defensive of Camby when you felt I was slighting Davis by comparing them as prospects, but my point was that Camby was very worthy of being the #2 pick in the draft that year coming out of UMASS and he would have been the #1 overall if it weren't for Iverson—who who was probably the best 6' guard prospect ever.

2) You could very well be right about the gaps you are speaking of in terms of offensive development between said players at similar ages. I am undercutting Davis' standout season because I firmly believe the level of competition Davis went up against was weaker than it has been in previous eras.

3) We could have the Duncan-KG argument for weeks. Duncan was smart to stay in school and get a valuable Wake Forest education, but while he was doing so Garnet threw himself right into the tough NBA paint. Like I said before, if you are going to judge their averages you should do so from 21 and on, when Duncan came into the league. If you do so, their numbers are even closer than they already are on the average. As far as career totals, KG has racked up more of everything except for blocks where he is still 22nd all-time for all NBA/ABA players. Duncan has a higher win share per 48, but Garnett is higher overall. To me this is personal preferance.

If you put Duncan on the T'Wolves and put Garnett on the Spurs under Coach Pop the same year they drafted Duncan, does Duncan lead the T'Wolves to a title—ever—and does Garnett NOT win four titles? Garnett had four coaches at MIN, Duncan has had arguably the best coach in basketball sans-Phil Jackson. The T-Wolves had their 2001-2005 first round picks stripped due to the Joe Smith incident, and during those years—Garnett's prime—they just couldn't get over the top and recover. Let's not pretend titles are all about either KG or Garnett, it is about an organization.

I think Duncan-KG is an honest push, and who is viewed as better is personal preference.

Until I see Davis match up against a higher tier of talent—which I hope to do during NBA summer league if I can pull a few strings—I just can't put him up with some of the great former prospects of the past 25 years.

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Fair enough. I don't have a huge issue with your take on KG/Duncan. All I can really say is that KG has had better teams than the first Duncan lead Spurs title team(his 2nd overall) and never won jack in Minnesota. I don't think its a given that he would have won those titles, that's for sure. I like Pop quite a bit, but its also possible that Duncan has made him look good as well. Also KG has always had trouble being the go to guy down the stretch, where Duncan excelled there.

My biggest issue is this idea you have that somehow Davis can put up this huge season due to the competition in NCAA right now. Yes, it is at a lower level than it used to be, but you just don't see guys do what Davis did and when Camby in college, this stuff had already started(Iverson, picked ahead of him, was a sophomore, KG,Kobe and co came out around then as high schoolers etc.). The competition certainly wasn't better then. It was probalby worse before the one and done rule in fact. This theory is just unfounded and unsupported by any sort of evidence. Watch the guy play and judge him. We've had plenty of good players come out of college lately and usually you could tell what they would be coming out. Its not a perfect science by any means, but no need to reinvent the wheel either.

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Which Minnesota team did you think was better than the 2003 Spurs? Was it one that had to face a Shaq-led Lakers team? To be sure, no big man had an answer for Shaq when he was healthy back then.

I also don't think you can dismiss how rough of a blow forfeiting five-consecutive first-round picks was for the T'WOlves. For a team that had recently lost Marbury and Sealy and replaced them with aging parts on Brandon and Sprewell, they just weren't able to surround Garnett with what he needed. Compare that to Pop, who drafted future three future NBA All-Stars in Jackson, Ginobli and Parker for their 2003 championship run alone, and that is a stark comparison. The 2003 team had a great mix of kids like this and great, grizzled veterans like Kevin Willis, Steve Smith, Steve Kerr and even David Robinson. For Pop, this was the perfect mix of old and new. Is there anyone better at snagging late pick talent than Pop?

Getting back to Davis, of course he's talented. Whether or not he could hold his own over really great college bigs of the past like Shaq, Zo, Mutombo, Camby, Robinson, K-Mart, or Webber is another thing altogether. The dude doesn't blow me away like he did the first time I saw Webber in high school, or Shaq at LSU, or Hakeem at Houston, Ewing at G'Town, or Sampson at Virginia.

As for competition being worse before the one and done rule, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. What I see are teams like Baylor, Texas, Kentucky, UF, and UNC renting out McDonald's AA's so they can win now. This tells me the talent pool of upperclassmen is low—how could it not be with all the kids jumping? My eyes confirm this when I see point guards drafted in the first round who can't drive effectively with their off-hand, bigs who are drafted in the lottery who barely crack 200 lbs and can't play with their back to the basket, and small forwards who can only do one thing really well but feel they need to come out as a 19-year-old. It is beyond frustrating to see these fundamentally wanting kids forsake both their academic and athletic development so they can "live the dream". Nobody wants to refine their games anymore, and that is one reason why NBA basketball has become borderline unwatchable during the regular season.

It used to be only the elite were coming out really early like when Iverson and Marbury came out as soph and frosh respectively. Thing is, these are two of the best pg prospects I've ever seen! Now we have guys Trey Burke, a very good college player with underwhelming size and no off-the-charts tools, who either declare as freshmen or who genuinely struggle with coming out as frosh and then come out the next year (which Burke has all but said is his plan). Would Austin Daye have been a first round pick ten, fifteen years ago?

Players aren't developing like they used to, but it is good for older big men. Guys like Ben Wallace can hang around because they know how to play certain aspects of the game like team defense, rebounding position, and low-post defense much better than these underdeveloped bigs can.

There are some individual players in the NBA who are incredible, but there is no way it is as good of a league as it was ten years ago . . . let alone 20 years ago. The top ten players are likely on par with the top ten players from other generations, but after that I think you see the difference. Let's look at even 3rd team All-NBA:

2011:

LaMarcus Aldridge

Zach Randolph

Al Horford

Manu Ginobli

Chris Paul

2001:

Karl Malone

Dirk Nowitzki

David Robinson

Gary Payton

Ray Allen

1991:

James Worthy

Bernard King

Hakeem Olajuwon

John Stockton

Joe Dumars

This is just an example, but I see a significant deficit between last year's team and the other two squads. I see Chris Paul, a legit superstar, and four other players who are not (well, to be fair Ginobli is a superstar in South Amercia). Even Paul, was he better last year than Payton in 2001 or Stockton in 91? Maybe, but the other four are a solid no on both lists.

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Freshmen leaving lowers the talent pool but HS seniors doesn't? Huh?

2003 Spurs were nothing special. Those KG,Gugs,Marbury teams were probably better and at worst equal. DRob was 37 and Parker and Manu weren't big contributors yet.

FTR I don't disagree with your statement about the lack of fundamentals in many of these kids coming out. Its just that to suggest that a guy could dominate on the level that Davis is because some of these kids are leaving early is way too far. You don't see anyone else doing it. I don't see how you didn't look at him last year and see a man among boys. He played his best against the best teams it seemed as well, like the title game.

Edited by Nastradamus

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Those 50 combined freshman and sophomores leaving in 2011 and 2012 hurts the talent pool a lot, IMO, and for several reasons. This portion represents most of the best prospects, and they are leaving before they can really develop not just their game but their minds as well.

The high school kids that were jumping before by in large were the best of the very best 5* kids. Mixed in were some kids who couldn't qualify academically in college and some misguided kids who thought their talent was way better than it actually was.

There are only a handful of guys who have left after their soph and freshman year in collage who gone on to be a main cog on a title team. That list consists of Dr. J, Magic, Isiah and I guess you can add Kidd if you feel that Dallas really couldn't have won with another decent veteran starting at PG. Add Lamar Odom as a key to L.A.'s teams, but it wasn't like it was "his" Lakers team

Between these four players, they are some of the best talents I've ever seen. Odom was really the only one who underperformed compared to his talent, but he still had a nice career for a kid who was never meant to go to school (multiple high schools, Harrick's URI program never cared if Odom cracked a book).

Now, we have dime-a-dozen pg's coming out after one or two years—guys who could develop into useful NBA players if they chose to learn their craft at the NCAA level We have swingmen coming out who can only do one thing well rather than develop a more complete set of tools formerly required by NBA 2's and 3's. We have 4's and 5's who looked like they have been prisoners at Gitmo because they are so physically underdeveloped, and rarely can they shoot FT's or display a back-to-the-basket game on offense.

Talented players who stayed in school longer years back were more NBA-ready. The ones who jumped to the NBA years back were largely seen as projects—guys like Kemp, Garnett, J. O'Neal, and Kobe were not counted on to be major contributors at first and for the most part they weren't.

Now, we have frosh coming in and starting from from day-one and they just aren't ready. With as much promise as Knight shows, there is no doubt in my mind that he could have used two more years of school. He's so smart, he would have graduated from UK early anyway—where's the fire?

Prototypes like Iverson, Marbury and Anthony jumped as frosh and sophs, but look at the problems they've had. What if they stay and learn how to be a leader, get some life under their belt, and develop everything better? The worst part is that the kids who have declared after one or two years are lesser players than their counterparts. A good example are three gifted PG's who have jumped after one year:

Derek Rose>John Wall>Kyrie Irving.

There is a clear downward trend here, and it just seems to be acceptable to everyone that these kids just come in with just their gifts and little life experience to back it up. All three could have really benefitted by staying in school and developing better PG skills, which would have made them even better NBA players. Even Chris Paul could have used another year in school, as good as he is.

By keeping these elite talents in school it encourages lesser-talented kids to stay and hone their games—it is a cycle. If one kid jumps, another one jumps because he's the 2nd or 3rd best prospect and surely he will get drafted in the first round too—right? And it goes on down the line from there.

When kids jump straight from HS it is much more real right away. If they don't make that NBA team, they have ruined their college elig and they are either playing overseas, the D-league, or whatever as long as their bodies hold up. It is much more of a risk, and smarter elite players will know they need to go to college. These smarter kids now sometimes stay until a few years, but hardly ever all four.

This generation wants it all now, and their impatience is hurting the level of competition in college basketball. The self-promotion of these players extends to the court, where there is more one-on-one play than ever before.

I never said the 2003 Spurs were special, but it was a nice mix of vets and good young talent. Parker was starting on that team and Manu was coming off the bench as an energy guy. DRob wasn't glamourous, but do you really think having one of the most respected personalities in NBA history in your starting lineup and locker room isn't going to help your team? This year's Pistons make the playoffs with that 37-year-old version of DRob starting next to Monroe, BTW.

You refer to "those KG, Gugs, Marbury teams" as being better and that's just not true. Gugliotta, a very good offensive player who played defense like a slow 6'10 shooting guard, was an all-star one year with Garnett in 96-97. That was also Marbury's rookie year, who didn't become an AS until he played in NJ. That team went 40-42 and lost in the first round to the Rockets (57-25: Olajuwon, Barkley, Drexler, Elie, Willis). Olajuwon, Barkely and Drexler combined to average a combined 60.2 PTS and 28.7 REB that year. Sam Mitchell was the 4th leading scorer, James Robinson the 5th, an old Terry Porter the 6th leading scorer for the Twolves—get the idea? There was far less talent on this team than on the 2003 Spurs team.

Career KG v. Duncan head-up during the regular season, couldn't find playoff stats (sorry):

KG: 20.6 PTS, 11.1 REB, 4.3 AST, 1.4 STL, 2.0 BLK

TD: 20.6 PTS, 11.9 REB, 3.4 AST, 0.9 AST, 2.5 BLK

I'm not seeing a dropoff here.

All-time, Duncan's teams are 29-29, and 6-2 in the playoffs. Since moving to Boston, Garnett is 4-3. I still maintain that if you traded their uniforms for their careers, you could pretty much reverse the stats.

Also, look at what both Garnett and Duncan are doing in the playoffs this year:

Garnett: 19.2 PTS, 11.0 REB, 1.8 BLK on 52.7% shooting in 37.5 MIN.

Duncan: 16.8 PTS, 8.3 REB, 1.3 BLK on 53.0% shooting in 31.3 MIN.

Edge for Garnett so far, but their regular seasons were pretty similar.

A. Davis was a man amongst boys last year, but there sure weren't than many men he was playing against—that's my point, and that's about to change in a big way. A lot of the great college bigs of the past had measuring sticks when they came out from either playing against them or playing against similar competition that you would really compare: Walton/Hayes/Alcindor, Ewing/Sampson/Hakeem, Mourning/Mutomobo/Shaq/Laettner/Webber. Some great college bigs were the measuring stick and they had nobody to compare to: Wilt, Russell, DRob, Duncan. And some are high school freaky talented kids with nothing to compare to: Moses, Kemp (more or less), Garnett, Howard.

I see Davis at the lower end of this list of once-promising/legendary big men. If he stays at UK and adds some tools does he jump up? Probably, but any team who thinks they will be a playoff fixture by simply adding him better have another good big to put with him. He would be ideal here in Detroit, but not so much in places like Charlotte or Cleveland where they need so much help. Teams like that will need to keep building, and not expect Davis to be some sort of messiah.

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Potential good news for Detroit, Chad Ford notes that scouts/GMs see Dion Waiters as a potential top 10 pick. Hopefully he jumps ahead of us allowing a player to slip. Ford has moved Waiters up to #8 on his topp 100 board.

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Anyone talented fits the team perfectly.

I tend to agree, especially in regards to Sullinger, but OTOH I also hope he doesn't end up being the pick.

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I am excited for the lottery tomorrow night. I know our chances of getting in the top 3 are slim but even that sliver of hope makes it worth watching.

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Same chance the Bulls had for Rose! Lets go Davis! A top 3 pick would be huge for us this year. I think I'd goDavis,Robinson,Drummond. Maybe Beal if I could trade Stuckey.

I loved Chad Ford not putting MKG in the top 5. He's been overrated for a while now. Minimal upside IMO. He'll be in the league, but he's this years Jeff Green,Wes Johnson or Al Farouq Aminu.

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Same chance the Bulls had for Rose! Lets go Davis! A top 3 pick would be huge for us this year. I think I'd goDavis,Robinson,Drummond. Maybe Beal if I could trade Stuckey.

I loved Chad Ford not putting MKG in the top 5. He's been overrated for a while now. Minimal upside IMO. He'll be in the league, but he's this years Jeff Green,Wes Johnson or Al Farouq Aminu.

If we get Davis, we are 3rd best team in the East next year (behind Miami and Chicago). Big drop off between Robinson and Drummond. Drummond is more potential than anything, he didn't impress me at all last season

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If we get Davis, we are 3rd best team in the East next year (behind Miami and Chicago). Big drop off between Robinson and Drummond. Drummond is more potential than anything, he didn't impress me at all last season

I'm not sure we are better than Indiana right away just by adding Davis but maybe I suppose. PG is a wash, C is a wash, they get SG and SF and we'd have the edge at PF. They have the better bench too probably, though they lose Barbosa.

I don't know if I'd say huge dropoff. They are different kinds of players, though Robinson may have more upside than he is credited with having. Drummond wasn't amazing last year, but he put up 10 points, 8 boards and almost 3 blocks in 28 minutes a game as a freshman. He has his issues, but you always gamble on high upside bigs IMO. Sometimes you get a Darko, sometimes you get a Dwight Howard, usually somewhere in between. I think Drummond is minimally a Deandre Jordan type and that would be a great get for this team. We need size and rim protecting ability and we also need the ability to finish at the rim offensively.

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