Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rose v Beasley

This NBA draft is centered around two players that have switched more places than there have been Mock Drafts. Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley have generated more fanfare than even Oden-Durant debates a mere year ago. So, who's better? Who's got more upside? Which team will choose who?

Derrick Rose - The quintessential offensive minded, yet mentally collaborative and athletic point guard needed for today's NBA. To say that he led his team to the NBA finals would be a bit of a stretch, seeing how that team had other extremely good players, but when a basket needed to be made it was CDR only marginally ahead of Rose in line to get the ball. Athletically, he's as gifted as any guard that's ever entered the NBA. He has tremendous size for a point guard, incredible jumping ability, and an even more amazing amount of body control to contort himself for baskets in traffic. I can go on and on about his abilities, but I think the best example was his extremely efficient carving session of Michigan State in the NCAA tournament. He does a great job handling the ball, and there's no limit for how fast he can force the game at.

Michael Beasley - What's not to like about his floor game? Nearly nothing. His athleticism pushed KSU to something they haven't done in some 20 years. But it's not just that, it's the total package of his inside-out game, and his aggressive yet feathery touch around the basket. He wants the ball, he demands the ball when his team needs it, but seemingly does not force something that isn't there, and passes well out of double teams. He can move all the way to the three-point line, and he has a variety of post moves under the basket. Here's a guy you can build around, even if he's got the Tracy-McGrady-I'm-high stare.

The order of these two was relatively known until the NCAA tournament, where Derrick Rose was able to lengthen his audition all the way to the title game. The unanomous #1 pick was now split into two camps. But anyone who believes it wasn't cemented on Lottery Night is a fool. Chicago is picking Rose. It's not like they have to take a longshot and be nice to a homegrown kid. You've got a future star right there for you - and not like they need to put asses into seats - but he's also got great PR written all over him. In that sense, he's in the mold of LBJ.

It's a mystery to me why Miami is so in love with Rose that they reportedly want to trade out of the #2 spot because they aren't going to get him. Beasley fits flawlessly into the front-court. Moreover, Wade is a point guard; sure you can shift him over to the 2, but why get another player who does exactly the same thing. Even if they were first, conventional wisdom would have Beasley as their pick.

More and more history tells us that in the NBA draft, you get the best player available, because when you draft for need you get Bowie over Michael Jordan, and Darko over 'Melo. Chicago has some three point guards on the roster right now, and none of them can hold Rose's jock strap and he hasn't even played an NBA game yet. I still think that Beasley is the better overall player, but much like his end to the season, we're left with that as the lasting memory of him not being able to get over the hump.

But, who can pass up on a young athletic point guard? Just Atlanta.