I'm all about optimism. I've been basking in it since the Porter hire, because what's the point of being all gloom and doom before the season has even begun? But...
For the sake of providing a fair and balanced look at what Suns fans have to look forward to, I dug up these John Hollinger pieces from before the draft. He did not think highly of either of the Suns' picks before they made them.
Walter Sharpe, UAB, 12.45; Joseph Jones, Texas A&M 12.36, J.J. Hickson, N.C. State, 12.31; JaVale McGee, Nevada, 12.25; James Gist, Maryland, 12.23; Sasha Kaun, Kansas, 12.09; Robin Lopez, Stanford, 12.08.
This is where things really shift in terms of a player's chances of sticking in the league.
Below 12.5, players face long odds in establishing a career -- forget becoming stars, these guys will just be trying to get to a second contract. Generally, players in this range should be second-rounders, as we're talking about the 14th-to-20th-rated college big men.
Three highly-touted bigs show up surprisingly low here. Robin Lopez has been talked up as a mid-first-rounder, but doesn't appear to have the goods to back it up. Hickson and McGee also are seen as late first-rounders. Any of the three would be among the lowest-rated players taken in Round 1 in the past few years.
Several other European second-round prospects project somewhere between bad and awful. Semih Erden, Goran Dragic, Mantas Kalnietis, Novica Velickovic and Uros Tripkovic all project to single-digit PERs, and not necessarily high single digits either. Each appears to be a waste of time even as a second-round pick.
Certainly, Hollinger's statistical analysis is not the alpha and omega of predicted basketball success. However, now that we've had a few days to let this sink in, in light of this and other less-than-stellar reviews of the Suns' draft, what do you think? Did Kerr and company brick this draft? Were Roy Hibbert or Mareese Speights better options? Or did the Suns and their wiley scouting staff outsmart the numbers?