Doc Brown wrote:
You guys even watch the Pacers?
Most people aren't.
@jeter- I've done my research just as much as the rest of us have on this site. Smart to me is going to be a decent NBA player. I think his ceiling is low, but yes he's basically NBA ready right now. So is Parker, but their ceilings for growth are lower than Exum, Embiid, Wiggins, and even Gordon. Those first 3 could be All-Stars some day and one of them could be a transcendent player. I see Parker and Smart being good role players right out of the gate and then maybe being better than that as things progress.
I'm going to preface this by saying that I know these comparisons are a) their ceilings and b) great players. But there's a reason why I want some more than others.
Exum, per Fran Frachilla, looks physically like a Michael Jordan circa his days in UNC. He's already hired Kobe's agent, is interested in meeting Kobe and learning from him, has attended at least one Laker game, and has approached Mayweather asking for tips on how to train for greatness. The kid seems to have the right mentality, he seems to have the physical body for the NBA, and the worst case scenario is we're stuck for 4 years with an athletic combo guard.
Smart, per my eyes/articles I've read, has trouble finishing around the rim in traffic, even after an extra year of school isn't the best decision maker, and at 6'4" he'd be more suited for PG but does he have that kind of court vision? He reminds me of a kid that could be Chauncey Billups over time, but that's a generous comparison. There's been a few guys like him over the years: physically not quite there, but strong mentally.
Parker, the comparison that I keep coming up with when I watch him is Paul Pierce, not Carmelo. He won't be a prolific scorer, just a very good one. I think he'll adjust nicely as a SF in the league and has a chance to be a good player if he ends up in the right situation. He's got to end up in Boston or LA though out of those top teams for him to really find a niche in the league. He's probably going to be Rookie of the Year though just because he's the most NBA ready scorer of the group.
Embiid, the obvious comparison is Olojuwon. I don't know that he'll ever get there, but he's certainly got the tools. He hasn't been poisoned by the AAU crowd and he is very obviously a quick learner. His major problem will be his size. He needs to bulk up. His first year or two he'll get pushed around on the block by bigger, albeit less talented, guys. If he can train up his core and his lower body, he'll have a great NBA career ahead of him.
Wiggins has elite athleticism and that's going to help set him apart. Right now he hasn't shown enough grit and enough aggressiveness. He could be a really great player if he comes out firing in the NBA. His first step is lightning quick and he could really make a difference with it. He also needs to perfect his outside shot and work on his motor. With that kind of athleticism, he could take the league by storm or he could be the next Gerald Green.
Gordon could be the next Faried and Randle really looks like Zach Randolph with more athleticism and less of those crazy shots around the rim. He could do with a little mid-range shot too.
Bottom line is that there's a lot of NBA talent in this draft, but the Lakers don't need a solid guy they need the next GREAT player. Exum and Embiid have a shot at that. Wiggins might too. Parker and Smart could, but I think their road really is more dependent on outside factors than something that they can do themselves. Gordon, Randle, Grant, and I'm missing a few others could be real NBA role players as rookies. They have some potential too, but that's not what the Lakers need.
What the Lakers need is a) an exciting player the fans can rally around and b) someone who has the ability to step into Kobe's shoes if we can't make it in free agency.
All in all though it'll depend on where we draft. If we draft 6th and get Randle then I'm willing to trade his butt to get Love if we have to. If we get 3rd and get Wiggins, Parker, Embiid, or Exum, then I'll keep them and take my chances.