We think we know everything in June. We think we know everything in December. Generally we're wrong both times.
Yep, in June, when the draft rolls around, general managers, coaches, draft prognosticators, Knicks fans, and even Dick Vitale are all sure they can rank the players in the draft and are sure they've got it right. Yet a few short months later - one month into the regular season - we're all already wrong about June.
But we think we're right now.
And we're not.
Right now, we think Brandon Jennings is the best guy in the 2009 draft class and that his European experience paid off. He's not even a superstar-in-the-making - he's already arrived. A double-nickel in the seventh game of your career will do that for you (it's D-Wade's career-high, and Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, and Carmelo Anthony, among others, have never done it). Somehow, nine teams passed on Jennings. We know those teams are stupid now.
Of course, the first two teams were the Clippers (Blake Griffin) and Grizzlies (Hasheem Thabeet), and we really have to throw them out since Griffin had a freak injury and Thabeet is just a freak (OK, I'll be nicer, he's a project. Guys his size don't grow on trees). And the T-Wolves, as crazy as their draft was, picked up one of those can't-miss Europeans (Ricky Rubio) who isn't supposed to come to the NBA until like 2019. So those teams can't be faulted for those picks...yet.
What about the rest? Well, the Knicks, who really really wanted Stephen Curry at #7, probably had the biggest bust in the top ten with Jordan Hill, but for the most part the top 10 was OK. Tyreke Evans, who went #4 to Sacramento, is probably Jennings' top competition for Rookie of the Year right now, and considering how well he's played the past couple of weeks, compared to Jennings, we don't need to coronate Jennings just yet.
Since Jennings' 55-point game on November 14, he's played in 10 games. Want to guess how many of those games he shot over 50|PERCENT| from the field? One. In fact, in only three of them did he shoot over 37|PERCENT| from the field. In his last six games, he's 32 for 105 (that's just 30|PERCENT| folks). He's still scoring points, but his shot selection is going to have to get better, and fast.
Meanwhile, Evans has been on fire. He recently had a stretch of seven games in a row at 20+ points, and he fills the boxscore very well for a guard, particularly in the rebound column. He's my pick for ROY right now, but there's a lot of basketball to be played.
One last thing. Look farther down in the draft - who is playing the best among the players not in the top 10? Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, and DeJuan Blair might be the top three. If you watched college basketball last season, you'd know why. Maybe Dicky V sometimes knows what he's talking about.