2007 NBA Draft: Shooting Guards
By Aran Smith
This year's shooting guard class is balanced with a lot of quality, experienced players. Although there aren't any surefire superstars, look for around 7-8 to make it into the first round (possibly the most of any position) with most landing in the later half of the first round.
[img_assist|nid=3804|title=Nick Young - AP Photo: Thomas Boyd|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=356]1. Nick Young 6-6 195 SG USC Jr. -- 17.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.4 spg, 52.5 fg%, 78.6 ft%, 44.0 3p% -- Young heads this year's shooting guard class. He's a tremendous athlete who has really developed offensively in his three years in Southern Cal. He still must work on his ball handling but his fade-away jumpshot has become a real weapon and will be an effective move on the next level.
Outlook: Young could go as high as 9th overall if a deal is made between Chicago and the Lakers or some other team. More likely he will fall in the late lottery to mid-first round somewhere. Interested teams include New Orleans, LA Clippers and Detroit.
2. Rudy Fernandez 6-6 172 SG Spain 1985 -- 15.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.1 spg, 54.2 fg%, 81.4 ft%, 42.9 3p% -- Fernandez may be the most NBA ready player of all the Europeans. He's got a buyout to settle, but if he's taken in the mid-first round it shouldn't be a problem. Rudy has excellent offensive ability, above average athleticism and a great feel for the team game.
Outlook: Fernandez has had a fabulous season and in the process overtook fellow Euro 2G Marco Belinelli on team's lists. Look for him to find a place somewhere in the mid first round, with a running team such as Golden State possibly grabbing him.
3. Rodney Stuckey 6-5 205 SG E. Wash. So. -- 24.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.4 spg, 45.3 fg%, 84.6 ft%, 26.7 3p% -- Teams scouted Stuckey this year after his huge scoring output as a freshman with the idea that he was a great shooter. But it's all the other things that he does well besides shooting that scouts came away impressed with. His feel for the game, passing ability, floor game, defense and body make him an excellent prospect.
Outlook: Stuckey's versatility to play both guard positions gives him intrigue over many of the other guards in this year's class. Despite playing in a small conference, he's seen as a likely mid to late first rounder.
4. Marco Belinelli 6-6 200 SG Italy 1986 -- 16.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 53.7 fg%, 74.8 ft%, 32.9 3p% -- Belinelli fell out of favor with scouts after his dismal performance this year with Climamio Bologna having such a nightmare season. He's a polished offensive talent who saw his 3-point stroke fail him as his % dropped to 32.9 after shooting over 40% the previous 3 seasons. In Treviso (Eurocamp) he displayed his great passing ability which he retained from his days of running the point guard position in juniors.
Outlook: Despite the disappointing season, scouts are still high on Belinelli and he fits well with a team that likes to run and wants a quality shooter to help spread the floor. Belinelli should find a spot in the teens or early 20s.
5. Daequan Cook 6-5 210 SG Ohio St. Fr. -- 9.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.7 spg, 44.5 fg%, 69.7 ft%, 41.5 3p% -- Cook is a bit of a high risk/reward pick. How quickly and well he can adapt to the NBA will likely determine his long term success. He proved in Orlando that he's a cut above athletically with a reliable jumpshot. But on the negative side, he may take a while to adapt to the NBA game.
Outlook: Some scouts feel Cook rushed things leaving after just his freshman season but he didn't want to get left behind by his buddies Oden and Conley. With his inexperience, and a number of quality shooting guards in this year's draft, Cook is not a lock for the first round but stands a good chance to get in.
6. Derrick Byars 6-7 225 SG/SF Vanderbilt Sr. -- 17.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.4 apg, 0.4 spg, 52.5 fg%, 78.6 ft%, 44.0 3p% -- Byars is one of the most NBA ready players at any position coming in as a senior leader. His performance against Washington State in the NCAA tournament showed his tenacity and leadership ability to carry a college team. Despite his lack of great foot speed laterally and off the dribble, teams in the mid first round are high on Byars and feel that he will make an excellent role player. His 3.4 assists per game display what a tremendous passer he is.
Outlook: Byars instant impact ability makes him intriguing to teams. He should find a spot somewhere in the mid to late first round.
7. Arron Afflalo 6-5 210 SG UCLA Jr. -- 16.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.6 spg, 46.1 fg%, 80.2 ft%, 37.5 3p% -- Afflalo lacks the upside of some other shooting guards in this year's draft, but teams are always looking for 2-guards that can shoot from outside. He is still having Corey Brewer flashbacks after two tourney runs ended with Afflalo being locked down by the pesky defender.
Outlook: Afflalo makes sense for teams such as Utah and Houston in the late first round or he could fall to the early second round.
8. Morris Almond 6-6 214 SG Rice Sr. -- 26.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 spg, 48.3 fg%, 84.6 ft%, 45.6 3p% -- Almond had a tremendous season as the third leading scorer in the nation and developed better consistency as a long range shooter. He's not a jaw dropping athlete, but his scoring ability and size make him a nice 2-guard prospect.
Outlook: Almond is a darkhorse first rounder for this year's draft. With so many quality shooting guards, he could end up a steal in the early second round.
9. Marcus Williams 6-7 207 SG Arizona So. -- 16.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 49.4 fg%, 69.5 ft%, 28.8 3p% -- Williams was seen as a potential lottery pick midway through the season. His collapse was a result of a number of factors including strength, attitude and performance. Williams seemed to play more selfishly at the end of the season. He's intriguing due to his ability to handle and pass, but outside of his amazing length his offensive ability and athleticism are average.
Outlook: Williams may have entered the draft prematurely as it's uncertain whether he will find a spot in the late first round.
10. Marko Tomas 6-8 198 SG Croatia 1985 -- 3.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 54.0 fg%, 59.0 ft%, 41.0 3p% -- Tomas has struggled for playing time and with productivity this season playing for powerhouse European team Real Madrid. Despite that he's a legit NBA prospect due to his size and potential. He had some solid performances late in the season, and scouts like his versatility and feel for the game.
Outlook: Tomas has been on the radar for some time, and though he's struggled some since joining Real Madrid, he remains a prospect that scouts are high on. Look for him to find a spot somewhere in the mid-second round.
Others: DeAngelo Alexander 6-5 215 SG Charlotte Sr. | Russell Carter 6-4 220 SG Notre Dame Sr. | JamesOn Curry 6-3 171 SG Okla.St. Jr. | Adam Haluska 6-5 210 SG Iowa Sr. | Mike Jones 6-5 204 SG Maryland Sr. | Coby Karl 6-5 209 SG Boise St. Sr. | Ron Lewis 6-4 195 SG Ohio St. Sr. | Sammy Mejia 6-6 200 PG/SG DePaul Sr. | Brad Newley 6-6 198 SG Australia 1985 | Blake Schilb 6-6 209 SG Loyola-Chi. Sr. | Renaldas Seibutis 6-6 180 SG Lith. 1985 | DJ Strawberry 6-5 201 SG Maryland Sr. | Sun Yue 6-9 205 SG China 1985