NBA Draft: 2007 Picks vs 2008 Hopefuls
It's been almost a year since the Portland Trailblazers selected Greg Oden with the #1 overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. Here's a comparison of last year's Top 16 prospects versus this year's class.
Winner: Oden (07)
Summary: The Big O's season was obviously lost, but he's still such a super prospect that you have to give him the edge.
Winner: Durant (07)
Summary: Durant vs. Beasley would be a great debate.. but this one seems like a no-brainer to me.
Winner: Mayo (08)
Summary: Hawes actually averaged 11 ppg in April.. but Mayo has All-NBA potential while Hawes will never be All-anything.
Winner: Gordon (08)
Summary: Don't give up on Yi yet.. he's still got loads of talent, but Gordon's always struck me as a major NBA contributor.
Summary: Wright was a complete non-factor last year, but its too early to lose all hope.
Winner: Horford (07)
Summary: Two very different types of players. Horford seems set to be a long-time starter, while Bayless is a bigger unknown with bigger upside.
Winner: Conley (07)
Summary: Conley had a solid, yet unspectacular season. Batum has the higher ceiling, but at about 5 times the risk.
Winner: Gallinari (08)
Summary: Noah was better than many realized last year, but something about the Italian's skill-set intrigues me.
Winner: Love (08)
Summary: Wright's only scratching the surface of his talent, but Love could & should easily double Wright's rookie production.
Winner: Augustin (08)
Summary: Considering Splitter might play in Spain for 3 or 4 more years, there's not much to argue here.
Winner: Randolph (08)
Summary: No-brainer here. McRoberts is a major blot on our otherwise solid 07 ranking.
Winner: Green (07)
Summary: This one was pretty close to me, a pair of players likely to be long-time role players. But Green gets the edge for actually doing for a season.
Winner: Alexander (08)
Summary: I was never a big Brewer fan, and his ho hum rookie season did nothing to change my mind.
Summary: Part of the Gasol trade, Javaris still has a ways to go.. but Koufos is no more developed.
Winner: Thornton (07)
Summary: On a bad team, Clipper averaged 12 ppg, which is more than Westbrook ever will in his pro career.
Winner: Young (07)
Summary: Young was a major surprise as a rookie, averaging 10 ppg. Plus, he's the same age as Budinger, and more physically gifted. Not even close.
I fully expected last year's group to have the edge, but it actually comes out a tie. Splitter remaining in Spain and our inexplicable ranking of Josh McRoberts were the major blows to 07's superiority. Of course, the true comparison won't come for years to come, but its interesting nonetheless.