There is always a discussion on which players should return to school because their not ready, but which underclassmen are the most ready to enter the 2009 NBA Draft? (Seniors of course don't count) Here's my choices: Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, Arizona State's James Harden, UCCON's Hasheem Thabeet, Louisville's Earl Clark, Kansas's Cole Aldrich, Syracuse's Jonny Flynn, UNC's Ty Lawson, Kansas's Sherron Collins, Oklahoma State's James Anderson, Iowa State's Craig Brackins, Davidson's Stephen Curry, Duke's Gerald Henderson, Duke's Kyle Singler, and UNC's Wayne Ellington, Kentucy's Jodie Meeks, Kentucky's Patrick Patterson, Arizona's Chase Budinger, LSU's Tasmin Mitchell, and Tennesse's Tyler Smith.
For the argument of stock-wise you have to go Singler and Ellington because their stock won't go up any if the stay longer. But most ready to me would have to be Harden. He is smart, and can do it all on offense. He is definitely ready for the NBA.
Are the only one's who are NBA ready. Guys like Budinger, Aldrich, Blair, and D. James are about as good as they are going to get so they should come out now while they are considered lottery or first round picks. Guys like Thabeet, Hill, Clark, Teague, and Henderson all could use another year but their stock is high and they are projected top 10 so they should come out as well.
I think that your picks are very good but i would have to say that griffin and harden are very ready but i would have to disagree with the fact that Thabeet is really ready its a weak drft so he will go high and th fact hes 7'3 will make him go early but he could really benifit from more college to get better on offence and to fillout a bit more.
too much money to turn down, plus if he doesn't improve he could fall out of the top 10 Roy Hibbert style. Harden is ready to go from Day 1, I think Meeks is too. Wings usually are ready to score at the next level more than points and bigs. Steph Curry is ready to go right away too, say what you want about him, the fact of the matter is the guys skill set is through the roof, at a higher level than most NBA point guards right now. Im not sayin his game doesnt have some flaws and he is gonna be the next Kobe, chill, Im just saying you can't deny that he can really play basketball. 3 points is more than 2 that he would get if he was bigger and stronger and dunked on people all day, and he is really really good at making those already, so he should be able to contribute that if nothing else. My biggest concern with him is that he won' be able to guard 2 guards to save his life in the NBA, and im not sure he can guard points either. I can't see him matching up favorably with either a Dwayne Wade or a Chris Paul, but then again who can?
meeks? though meeks might be ready, you might have to re-phrase it as "he is as ready as he is going to be".ThaBust are you serious, at worst thabeet will be a solid centre who gets boards and blocks shots, there is no reason why he should stay. the training and coaches are way better in the nba, if he stays he will stunt his growth. haha steph curry at the level of most point gaurds in the nba. do you think he can get his shot off in the nba like he does in college. guards are bigger, quicker, better defenders, and have wing spans that he could only dream of. at the college level jj redick was just as good, now look at him. jj was also 6'5. though 3 points is more than 2, the probability of scoring a three is way less than a two, and the added strength and athleticism would be better for him than being a pure shooter. though there is no such thing as a pure shooter anymore. strength and athleticism will give the coaches more to work with than a 6'1 2-guard. anyways away from my rant, the most nba ready is james harden bar none. no question about it, even blake griffen isn't as ready, and will not be able to force his strength on anyone in the nba. i'm really curious to see how he lives up to the hype, i dont see him as a super-star, not even an all-star, but a solid 18-9 guy for years to come. i thought when al hortford came out, he had more potential than griffen, also much greater size, and doesn't have these questions surrounding about his size.
After reading all the post and pondering the question myself, I cant really think of any underclassman that is sure fire ready fo the NBA. Harden might have trouble getting to the bucket against good NBA defenses. Who really knows how Griffin's game will translate, could be the next Shawn "Rain Man" Kemp or the next Marcus Haislip. Curry's game is sick and I Iove watching him play but his lack of overall size is gonna hinder him something fierce in the NBA. Pretty much everybody has some flaws that could prevent them from being impact NBA players. I'm a little old school so I think the safe bet is Thabeet, give me that size, shotblocking instinct, solid athleticism/coordination and his ability to learn and improve (like he has done every year he has been at UCONN) and if I'm a GM I pray that he can develope into the next David Robinson and not the next Shawn Bradley.
I think Aldrich and Collins are ready, but don't you think they have a chance to make their stock better by winning another national championship next year possibly with a Lance Stephenson commit?
To Kpi03: You have a point, but it seems like Maryland has the better chance of landing Stephenson. It's closer to New York, his hometown and Under Armor is pushing him to go to Maryland, becaue they sponsor there and when he decides to go the NBA, they would like to sign him to an endorsement deal.
How do you know all of that stuff Don? Lance has a deal with Under Armor?? That makes perfect since to why he would want to go to Maryland. I always wondered why he would consider MARYLAND, and not Joe's. Lance does have that type of game where he strives on having sucky players around him. He's not the player who plays well with other good guys around him. ANd his attitude! Lance should really try and clean that up, fast. That is why he didnt play on the U18-U19 Usa team, beacuse of his nasty attitude.
I have heard that they are pushing him hard to go to Maryland also. He did take a visit to Kansas a couple of weeks ago and sat behind the bench and was quoted as saying 'ill be back'.. which really doesn't mean anything. It all depends on what kind of person he is... Bill Self would make him a better basketball player, but would probably not let him have his way on the court like he would at Maryland. He would likely not be the 'star' he wants to be in the system but in the end it would be better for him and his career. The atmosphere at Kansas is crazy though and would be hard to turn down after a visit.
The most ready to contribute players besides the obvious guys like harden and griffin are: gerald henderson-he has a mid range game and more than decent athleticism for NBA standards with good strength and a high basketball IQ. Jonny Flynn: a good athlete with a lot of swag on the floor, he can shoot it decent and is a good looking playmaker and he is in my opinion a chris paul clone, I think flynn will be the best player in this draft class later,probably not his rookie year, but eventually. And Earl Clark would be another person, he is a boom or bust but if he booms,the rest of the league could be looking at Rudy Gay type production, with Clarks rebounding numbers being better. He is the most physically gifted player in the draft in my opinion and will be a immediate starter on his team as a rookie,I guarantee it. He isnt a high energy guy so that has to change, but all he has to do to reach his upside is polish up all of his skills which is what all players have to do so I dont see a real steep learning curve.
i'd be surprised if stephenson went to maryland. gary williams isn't the type of coach that has proven he can land these type of recruits and in general isn't the type of coach that is going to cater to a player like stephenson and completely overhaul his system for him. williams is a good coach and obviously needs to land a player like stephenson but i'm not sure he is willing to make the appropriate concessions/changes to land him.
as for the draft/being ready, obviously griffin is head and shoulders above the rest. gerald henderson has a pretty sound game too. as far as the high lottery, aminu strikes me as someone whose game is very raw and needs to be more refined even though he obviously has alot of potential. all of these guys could use more polish but guys like singler/ellington can go pro for sure considering its hard to imagine how their stock could fall and its not as though they can really improve their stock to the point where it elevates their stock due to different limitations (i.e. singler's athleticism). lawson should probably go pro to avoid the darren collison effect as he would ahve been a higher draft pick 2 years ago than now.
harden adn thabeet are pretty solid too. thabeet's offensive game can use more polish before the next level but he can definitely contribute in other ways
Earl Clark should stay on more year dont get me wrong the dude got game but he is inconsistent at times and if he gets exposed in the NBA people might be calling him a bust. But there's still time from him to show how good he really is but he needs to lead his team through the conference tournament and NCAA tournament then he may improve his draft stock.
to make a point this whole board will change after the tournment
we will see whos clutch and has the drive to elevate their game n there teamates to play better
beasley got knocked out earlier
hes doing alrite in the laegue
bayless did to n hes doing alrite
brooks stood in for a while hes soild in the nba
westbrook n rose made it to the ship
n there two of the best rookies this seson
so earl clark might move up alot of spots or even might fall spots
by his ncaa perfromance
and everybod else
the thing about this is u play ppl out of ur confernce strong teams
n who knows
who will b the wally szeberiak
or stephon curry of this year