My name is Ed Isaacson and I am the Draft Analyst for NBA Draft Blog (NBADraftBlog.com). My work has appeared in SLAM, and I have appeared as an NBA Draft expert on numerous radio shows across the country. I will be publishing several draft-oriented columns for Rotoworld between now and the NBA Draft on June 27.
Check out the latest Rotoworld Mock Draft (Version 3) by clicking here.
Point guards are always a commodity in the NBA Draft, and if they are ready to play at the NBA level, all the better. The top of this year’s point guard crop contains very different types – playmakers, scorers, and some who do a little of both. Overall, the draft is very deep in point guard talent, and many good back-up solutions may be found in the 2nd round this year. If teams are looking for a starter for the near-future, they’ll have to get them in the Top 20 picks. Here are this year’s Top 5:
Trey Burke, Sophomore, Michigan – Burke made tremendous strides in his sophomore season and his play was a large part of getting Michigan to the National Championship game. Burke sees the floor extremely well, and he continues to improve his ability to make reads in pick-and-roll situations. Some have questions about his size (6’1) at a position where the norm seems to be trending bigger, but Burke has always adjusted his game accordingly. A capable perimeter shooter, Burke needs to work on finishing in the lane and around the basket to make him a bigger pro scoring threat.
C.J. McCollum, Senior, Lehigh – McCollum is capable of playing either guard position, but as a point guard, he is able to both score and distribute. McCollum can score in a variety of ways and providing scoring options around him should give him the space to dictate the offense how he wants. While he missed most of his senior season with a foot injury, McCollum should be able to show teams that he is 100%, and getting to watch the game from the sidelines could give him a new perspective on how he can influence the game.
Michael Carter-Williams, Sophomore, Syracuse – Carter-Williams wowed many with his assist numbers in Syracuse’s high-powered offense, but there will still a lot of issues which still leave the 6’6 point guard behind Burke and McCollum. Carter-Williams has tremendous court vision and his size allows him to see over the top of defenses. He is at his best in transition, though he has had control issues in most situations. Carter-Williams is capable of scoring off penetration, but his jumper is very shaky, so until he becomes more consistent, defenders will be able to sag off him.
Shane Larkin, Sophomore, Miami (FL) – Larkin was the beneficiary of being surrounded by a veteran Hurricanes squad last season, but he was the engine that made the team go. Larkin is very quick and is very adept at making plays off the pick-and-roll, including turning the corner quickly and heading to the basket. Add to that Larkin’s ability to hit his jumper, he has the potential to fit into many teams’ offenses quickly. Larkin has had trouble defending stronger guards, but he should progress in time.
Dennis Schroeder, Germany – Schroeder made a strong introduction to American fans at the Nike Hoop Summit last month and he is hoping to parlay that showing into the middle of the 1st Round. Schroeder has excellent speed, is improving as a playmaker, and can be a pest on the defensive end. Schroeder has the ability to provide a nice change of pace for teams and can make an early impact with his on-ball defense.
Five more to watch – Nate Wolters, Senior, South Dakota State; Lorenzo Brown, Junior, North Carolina State; Pierre Jackson, Senior, Baylor; Ray McCallum, Junior, Detroit; Isaiah Canaan, Senior, Murray State.