SLAMonline Mock Draft: Brandon Jennings, No. 4
He is now officially ready to rock the NBA.
With the fourth pick in the SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Sacramento Kings select…
Eddie Jordan. As the coach. But, for real, Brandon Jennings is gonna look good in purple-and-black—well, as good as any man can look in those colors.
Last time you saw the Kings play, Kenny Natt was coach, Geoff Petrie was in charge of player personnel and Beno Udrih was playing the point. Well, the Maloof brothers have come to their senses. First, they screwed over Bill Simmons and made me the first Internet writer-turned-GM. Then, no questions asked, they allowed me to hire my man, Eddie Jordan. Once he was entrenched as the coach—and the offense that the Nets used when they were good, and that the Wizards have been using was emplaced—I didn’t have to think too hard before settling on cover boy, Brandon Jennings.
Usually I don’t feel the need to justify my picks to the public, but this one time I’ll do it. So let’s analyze my reasoning.
First on my checklist was “team need”. Yes, I usually draft the best talent on the board, but in this case—with Blake and Rubio taken—I didn’t see one player who was far-and-away better than the rest. So I focused on the players that we already had inked.
Looking up and down the current roster, I felt that our bigs were set, with a few young prospects at those spots (Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson). When it comes to the wings, we are also happy with what we have there—Kevin Martin, Donte Green and ’Ciso Garcia—and can’t afford to spend another pick, and more money, on that spot. Yes, I like Demar DeRozan, but not enough to draft him. He is not ready to contribute and I don’t feel like teaching him to play, only to lose him in a couple years to free agency. As for James Harden, I liked him as a college frosh, but didn’t see his game progress as a sophomore. When you toss in his March Madness production, he fell down our board. Now, at the 1 spot, for some reason the previous group of decision makers decided to lock up Udrih long-term. But his game is so average it would fit in well with the D-League. No. He wasn’t gonna be my starter this year.
I thought about some of the PGs in the Draft. Stephen Curry didn’t even enter my mind; he’s a SG. Ty Lawson is real nice. And he’s also 5-10 and injury prone. When it came time to evaluate Jennings, I was skeptical. The kid’s a little short and didn’t put up good numbers this year in Europe. But after working him out, I decided I had to have him—you would have to, the kid didn’t miss a J, showed great speed, court vision and displayed the work ethic Eddie Jordan needs. I think he’ll be able to step in this year, play 30+ minutes a game and bring us back to respectability. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a little flashy—remember the cow-bells that Jason Williams had ringing here 10 years ago?
You want to know a little bit more of our scouting report on BJ, well here it is: A lefty, Jennings is quick and fast—and there is a difference there. Because of this, he has no trouble getting where he wants to on the court, be it the lane or the spot on defense. When it comes to handling the rock, ain’t no one better. His handles are as good as anyone out there. When you combine that with serious case of mad court-vision and a knack for the spectacular, SportsCenter should be his middle name. He does like to shoot, too, and even though he only shot 38 percent this year in Italy, he possesses a nice mid-range and long-range stroke. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot; Brandon has springs, and doesn’t mind bangin’ on bigs when they give him the lane. When you let him run with the ball, as Eddie will, watch out because the results are gonna be spectacular. I know I’m not mentioning his flaws, but when you put it all together, BJ is the best PG to call Cali home since Jason Kidd and Gary Payton. Hopefully, for him (and me), he has the kind of careers that those two had.
You know, we were looking forward to that first pick. Blake Griffin would have made Eddie Jordan look good. He would have made all of us look smart. But C-Dub (Chris Webber, the man who repped us at the lottery) couldn’t come through—nothing’s changed, I guess—and we ended up with the fourth pick. This is only the second time the franchise has picked in the top-five. The other time, in the one slot, we selected “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison. That makes me feel good because even if Jennings busts, he’ll never duplicate Ellison’s wasted career. And, just maybe, he’ll help keep the franchise in Sacramento.
|2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft Results|
|1||L.A. Clippers||Blake Griffin|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Hasheem Thabeet|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ricky Rubio|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Brandon Jennings|