On a blog from a few days ago, someone posed this question: ďif you were GM and were starting a team and had any player from any team to choose from, who would you take? LeBron or Howard?Ē
Itís not a stupid question Ė Howard is having a monster year and is not yet 22 Ė but we eventually came to our senses and went with the obvious choice of LeBron James.
If youíre picking second, however, who would you take? Letís assume all of the other GMs are building franchises from scratch (i.e. you donít have to try to compete with the current Suns or Spurs), money is no object, and you have to be concerned with injury history, age, reputation, and so forth. Youíre in this for the long haul, so a player at the end of his career wonít do you much good. What would you be looking for? Is it Howard? Yao Ming? Kobe Bryant? Steve Nash?
I made a list of about 40 players that could conceivably make my top ten in such a draft. They ranged in age from 19 (Kevin Durant) to 34 (Jason Kidd), but eventually I settled on the ten players below. I know you have your favorites, and Iíd like to hear them, but I just couldnít pick Nash, Kidd, or Allen Iverson (too old), Tim Duncan (too many miles on the tires), and a host of other players who are good, but just not quite good enough (Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce - Iím looking at you).
I also had to eliminate youngsters like Durant, who have all of the potential in the world, but just havenít quite put it all together yet in the NBA. Yes, I know that Durant is about 20 games into his NBA career, but we still donít know what we have.
Hereís what I came up with (with age as of November 1, 2007 in parentheses):
1. LeBron James (22)
2. Dwight Howard (21)
3. Dwyane Wade (25)
4. Yao Ming (27)
5. Kobe Bryant (29)
6. Chris Paul (22)
7. Carmelo Anthony (23)
8. Gilbert Arenas (25)
9. Amare Stoudemire (23)
10. Kevin Garnett (31)
I really wanted to include Deron Williams (23) and Josh Smith (21), but I just couldnít quite find room for them. If I expanded the list to 15, Iíd include those two, along with Duncan (29), Nowitzki (31) and probably Chris Bosh (23) or Carlos Boozer (25).
Is Paul too high? Maybe, but he looks like the next great point guard and the best point guards in the league are getting old. Stoudemire, Arenas, and Wade are all injury risks, but Iíll take my chances with them.
So who did I miss? Who would be in your top ten?
Posted by Kenn Ruby at 12/7/2007 8:28:00 AM