2007 NBA Draft: Point Guards
By Aran Smith
With less than a week until draft day and the field of players set, we will preview each position starting with the point guards. This year's point guard class features 3 surefire first rounders (Conley, Crittenton and Law), and a number of other potential late first rounders as well. It's not as tremendous a class as next year's is shaping up to be, but with some quality early entrants, the field has improved.
[img_assist|nid=3810|title=Mike Conley|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=377]1. Mike Conley 6-1 180 PG Ohio St. Fr. -- 11.3 ppg, 6.1 apg, 2.2 spg, 51.8 fg%, 69.4 ft%, 30.4 3p% -- Conley showed amazing composure and confidence leading Ohio State (along with Oden) all the way to the National title game. He's wise beyond his years and has a great feel for running the point guard position. His speed and athleticism make him a bigtime prospect, some scouts even using the term special to describe him. On the negative side, he still must improve upon his consistency shooting from the perimeter. Most troubling is that there hasn't been one successful point guard (with the exception of Marbury - who hasn't won anything) with less than two years of college experience, so he will have to buck the trend.
Outlook: Conley is the most coveted point guard in this year's class. His quickness gives him a chance to be among the elite point guards on the next level, if all of his skills develop. Look for a team to trade up in the 6-9 range or worst case the Hawks will grab him at 11.
2. Javaris Crittenton 6-4 195 PG Ga. Tech Fr. -- 14.4 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.0 spg, 45.0 fg%, 78.3 ft%, 35.6 3p% -- Crittenton is the modern day NBA point guard who looks to score first and pass second. For many, a true point guard is the only way to go, but Crittenton is extremely athletic and talented and has really impressed on his workout tour. Like Conley, the lack of experience coming in at the quarterback position poses some concerns.
Outlook: Crittenton has really become a hot name among scouts and benefits from the lack of depth at the point guard position this year. He should find a spot in the late lotto to late teens, with a chance to go 11 to Atlanta if Conley goes higher.
3. Acie Law 6-3 185 PG Texas A&M Sr. -- 18.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 50.0 fg%, 77.8 ft%, 45.8 3p% -- Law has experience and clutch shooting over both Conley and Crittenton. He has excellent size and his scoring and leadership are both strong attributes for him. However he lacks stand out athleticism and his ability to play the point guard position and run a team is something many scouts question. His role with the Texas A&M squad was mostly scoring, which may have been out of necessity, but also may have covered up some holes in his game.
Outlook: While some feel he can find a spot in the late lottery area, it's more likely he will land somewhere in the late teens to early 20s as teams like him but don't love him as a floor general.
4. Aaron Brooks 6-0 160 PG Oregon Sr. -- 17.7 ppg, 4.3 apg, 1.4 spg, 46.0 fg%, 84.6 ft%, 40.4 3p% -- Brooks is right with Conley in terms of quickness. Throughout his first three seasons he was too wild lacking a great shot selection. In his senior year, he really matured as a floor general and won a number of games with clutch shots. Brooks had a solid performance at the Orlando predraft camp averaging 9.7 ppg, 45 fg%, and 3.6 assists.
Outlook: The success of smaller point guards such as Chris Paul puts players such as Brooks in better standing. Despite being small, his great quickness and heart gives him a shot to get into the late first round.
5. Gabe Pruitt 6-4 170 PG USC Jr. -- 12.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, 1.8 spg, 41.6 fg%, 80.0 ft%, 35.0 3p% -- "Smiling" Gabe Pruitt has not blown teams away in work outs. He's extremely athletic and big, but lacks great point guard skills. He's an excellent jump shooter and can become a solid pro if he adds toughness and intensity.
Outlook: Pruitt has a shot to get into the late first round, but may slip to the early second. Returning to USC probably would have been his best option if getting into the first round was important to him.
6. Ramon Sessions 6-3 190 PG Nevada Jr. -- 12.3 ppg, 4.7 apg, 0.9 spg, 45.2 fg%, 82.5 ft%, 38.0 3p% --Sessions had a great showing at the Orlando Predraft camp with a tremendous 13 assists to 1 turnover. He proved what a heady floor general he is setting up teammates and using his quickness to get inside for mid range shots. Sessions has the look of an excellent back up NBA PG.
Outlook: Sessions is in a good draft as the competition isn't great at PG, however his inability to shoot from outside with any consistency probably keeps him out of the first round. He should find a spot somewhere in the first half of the second round.
7. Petteri Koponen 6-4 195 PG Finland 1988 -- 12.4 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.7 spg, 54.2 fg%, 82.9 ft%, 39.2 3p% -- Koponen made a name for himself in the same game (Nike Hoop Summit) that put Tony Parker on the map. And he could end up being drafted in the exact same spot: 28th to the Spurs. Koponen needs to improve as a ball handler but has great size and attitude to develop.
Outlook: Koponen has a real shot to land in the late first round area. His ability to stay in Europe and develop gives him a leg up on some of his American counterparts, as he is just what some teams with cap issues in the late first round are looking for.
8. Taurean Green 6-0 177 PG Florida Jr. -- 13.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 44.4 fg%, 84.9 ft%, 40.4 3p% --Green has two national championships under his belt and stepped up in a number of big games. He's got excellent toughness and has proven to be a clutch shooter. On the negative side, he's a questionable floor general as his number of turnovers have been too high.
Outlook: Green had a solid showing in Orlando especially shooting the ball and limiting turnovers and should find a spot in the mid second round.
9. Bobby Brown 6-1 175 PG Fullerton Sr. -- 20.2 ppg, 5.1 apg, 1.3 spg, 46.8 fg%, 78.9 ft%, 38.8 3p% -- A bigtime scorer and solid outside shooter with good aggressiveness and feel for the PG position. Brown can be dazzling at times, but that can be a negative for him too as he often goes for the spectacular when the fundamental play will do.
Outlook: After a solid NCAA career, Brown has a shot to get drafted in the second round and make an NBA team.
10. Mustafa Shakur 6-3 183 PG Arizona Sr. -- 11.9 ppg, 6.9 apg, 1.5 spg, 45.5 fg%, 78.8 ft%, 32.5 3p% -- After coming into college as a top 5 national recruit, Shakur struggled to live up to the hype. His jumpshot went through a major alteration, and it had an affect on his overall game and confidence. Shakur has had some big games, including his performance in last years NCAA tournament against Villanova, but he hasn't sustained any level of consistency. He's got terrific size and athleticism and can run the PG position and was third in the nation in assists at 6.9 per and a 1.9 a/to ratio.
Outlook: Shakur played in each of the last two Orlando Predraft camps, and had a strong showing this year. Whether it's enough to erase the memory of his up and down college career is the question. Regardless if he gets drafted, he will likely be on a summer league team with a shot to make a roster.
Others: Engin Atsur 6-3 200 PG NC State Sr. | Yannick Bokolo 6-2 180 PG/SG France 1985 | Stanley Burrell 6-2 200 PG/SG Xavier Jr. | Zabian Dowdell 6-3 205 PG/SG Virginia Tech Sr. | Jamon Gordon 6-2 210 PG Virginia Tech Sr. | Brandon Heath 6-3 183 PG SD St. Sr. | Jarrius Jackson 6-1 185 PG Texas Tech Sr. | Jared Jordan 6-2 180 PG Marist Sr. | Derek Raivio 6-2 177 PG Gonzaga Sr. | JR Reynolds 6-3 180 PG/SG Virginia Sr. | Loren Stokes 6-3 180 PG Hofstra Sr. | Jamaal Tatum 6-2 175 PG So. Illinois Sr. | Ayinde Ubaka 6-4 200 PG California Sr. | Dashaun Wood 5-10 170 PG Wright St. Sr.