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By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s interesting to continue to follow the NBA mock draft projections. No, they are not foolproof or scientific. However, I do think they can provide a gauge as to what Kentucky freshmen Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones might do.
Christopher Reina of http://basketball.realgm.com not only has Knight as a lottery pick in his mock draft, but he has him going No. 7 overall to the Detroit Pistons.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I see Knight as a definite NBA starter, even if he is better suited to backup a lower minute veteran during his first season or two. He has a lot of NBA style moves and has a lot of intelligence for the game off the dribble,Ã¢â‚¬Â Reina wrote. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is my fourth year running where I am over the top high on a ball-dominant John Calipari guard. The point guard position has always been my favorite, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m predisposed to prefer that position over others, but I also am harder on those players I see as not being true to the position.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Even though Knight has enough other skills to not be a true point guard, I see him as embodying the position and it is manifest for me especially with how he gets the outlet off defensive rebounds to trigger the transition game. He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have Derrick RoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shot creation, Tyreke EvansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ physicality off the dribble or John WallÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s preternatural passing ability, but he has a bit of each of those guys in his game.Ã¢â‚¬Â
However, Jones has slipped to No. 18 in ReinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s projections and he makes it clear he thinks Jones should stay at Kentucky even though he apparently still expects him to declare for the draft and keep his name in the draft.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jones is very skilled for his size, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure how he will have a chance to develop if he declares because heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the type of player that needs the ball in his hands as a playmaker to be effective and better for those reps to happen at Kentucky than in garbage time (in the NBA),Ã¢â‚¬Â Reina wrote. Ã¢â‚¬Å“While it is impossible not to want to compare him to Lamar Odom, I suspect his NBA future will be more closely associated with Anthony Randolph, who was a much better prospect at this point in 2008.”
Again, it’s just one man’s opinion, but that seems to be more and more of a trend with Knight’s stock rising and Jones’ stock dipping enough to make it much easier now to see him staying at UK for at least another year.