Napier will probably go late 1st to 2nd round because he’s a senior in a draft full of point guards with great potential. Have basketball players reached their full potential at 22 years of age?
Shabazz Napier is the most complete NBA ready point guard coming out this next draft. The 6’1 crafty guard out of Roxbury, MA has a serious knack for creating space whenever he pleases to do so. Napier has all the tools to be successful at the next level. He is excellent in the pick and roll and he shoots a true jumper (i.e. none of that set-shot business that smaller guards can’t afford to do if they want to get their shot off in a league full of athleticism). At 6’1 Napier rebounds very well, the UConn guard led his team in rebounds, points and assist this past season. He manages to do so much on the court that many overlook his exceptional on the ball defense, which is what he was known for his freshman year when the Huskies won the National Title with Kemba Walker.
Napier does lack size and he is not the freakish athlete everyone has grown to love, however he does have many intangibles that will allow him to stick in a league full of remarkable athletes. If you’re a GM looking for a solid young point guard you may want to think twice before passing up on Shabazz Napier. There are so many players drafted off potential that have never materialized in the NBA. GM’s are fired for drafting players off potential that don’t pan out and they’re fired if they don’t roll the dice on a player that ends up being very successful. At the end of the day, teams must continue to search for the best players but they must remember, “Potential has a shelf life (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).”
Standing 6’3” 190lbs Elfrid Payton appears much longer as his 6’8” wingspan allows him to pull down 6 rebs a game at the point guard position. Rajon Rondo’s success in the NBA will assure scouts to take a long look at Louisiana–Lafayette’s Elfrid Payton, as he has the potential to materialize into a more explosive version of Rondo. Payton just may have the quickest first step in all of college basketball. He gets to the rim at will no matter who or how many players are in front of him. Payton is also impressive against top talent, which allowed him to join Marcus Smart in the backcourt on the 19 and under US team this past summer. Elfrid Payton absolutely fills up the stat sheet averaging 19.1 pts 6 rpg, 6 apg and 2.4 stls. His three opportunities will be adding consistency from beyond the arc, as well as from the free-throw line and to cut down on turnovers as he has the tendency to play too fast at times. Regardless of his his few weaknesses, Payton is a NBA talent and is a must watch!
Could this effect the rest of Felton’s career?
Police arrested New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton early Tuesday morning after allegedly pointing a gun at a woman (his girlfriend), sources said. Felton’s wife Ariane Felton, who recently filed for divorce, was also questioned at the 20th Precinct Station House on the Upper West Side, according to law-enforcement sources. Regardless of the situation that took place last night the Knicks should have traded him before the trade deadline. Raymond Felton is a decent player but he is arguably the worst starting point guard in the NBA this season. This is going to be tough to follow for Knicks fans and is very unfortunate for Felton but this incident shouldn’t hurt the Knicks very much. As far as the basketball court, the only terrible thing is that the Knicks didn’t receive anything for him. Felton is averaging a career low 10.4 ppg, while his season averages for rebounds and assists are below his career average at 3.0 rpg and 6.0 apg. Felton will play Thursday against the Heat, however if he’ll finish the season or not is yet to be determined.
Marcus Smart Delivers in First Game Back
If Oklahoma St. wants to make a valid push towards NCAA Tournament they must win out and perform well in a very tough Big 12 tournament. Smart helps keep hope alive with 16pts, 10asts, 6 stls and also added 2 blocks as he helps stop the dreadful 7 game losing streak. The Cowboys are currently 17-10 (5-9 conf.) and a 22-10 (10-9 conf.) finish in the best conference in the country should be enough to punch their March Madness ticket. Smart made conference history his first game back from suspension with double-digit points, assist and 5 or more steals. If Smart could overcome the adverse situation successfully this season his name may stay amongst the top names on the NBA draft board.
Should there be a system in place for troubled fans?
Marcus Smart was a possible first overall pick to begin the season then after a mid season slump Smart dropped to the first guard to be chosen in most scouts eyes. Now, after kicking a chair on his bench after a four-point play against West Virginia and pushing a fan during a crucial point in a game versus Texas Tech Marcus Smart may have dropped a bit further. The Cowboys were down two points with seconds remaining when Smart chased down an open slam dunk attempt that sent him flying into the crowd. While being helped to his feet a fan apparently said something that rubbed Smart the wrong way, which led to a two hand shove by the All-American. This could very well be a million dollar mistake by the super sophomore. Many players in the past have gone later in the draft due to behavior or off the court issues. Smart must be smarter!
Reggie Jackson is getting the job done.
Reggie Jackson is performing at a very high level. Jackson has helped aid Oklahoma City to become the hottest team in the league right now with 10 straight wins (Blazers, Heat, Spurs and Warriors). Most importantly, Jackson has brought out the best Kevin Durant we have ever seen. Is there any correlation of Durant putting up ridiculous numbers while Russell Westbrook has been sidelined? Kevin Durant was averaging 28.1 with Westbrook and he has averaged a whooping 37.4 with Jackson running the show. Jackson has run a great campaign to become a starting point guard in the league with 15pts and 5ast since Westbrook ‘s injury. The Thunder are spending 13.4 million less for Reggie Jackson’s services. If he continues to bring out the best KD he could get the Thunders vote.
Buckeyes Need Craft to be Crafty
Aaron Craft is a great leader who leads a talented team, however this is Craft’s first time without a dominant post player. The guard who is often labeled the best college level leader or floor general seems to be indecisive on where to go with the ball during key possessions. Craft is averaging the most turnovers of his college career this season. Ohio St. has now lost 4 of their last 5 games. Craft needs to find a way to be more aggressive on the offensive end if he wants to help his Buckeyes turnaround this season gone sour. It doesn’t help that Ohio St. plays in the Big Ten, which is one of the top two conferences in college basketball. Ohio St. still has time to turn things around but it falls on the shoulders of Aaron Craft.