2012 Draft Preview: POINT GUARDS
As we do each season leading up to the Draft on Cavs.com, let’s take a look at what some of the scouts had to say about the prospects the Cavaliers may choose from on June 28.
Cleveland is set at starting point guard, but the Wine and Gold struggled to replace Ramon Sessions after a deadline deal last season and could be in the market for Kyrie Irving’s backup when they’re on the clock for one of their four selections.
Here’s a look at some of this year’s playmakers …
Damian Lillard – 6-3, 189 – Born: July 15, 1990 (Oakland, CA) – College: Weber State – honorable mention All-American in 2010; Oakland native, played at small Weber State in Ogden, Utah; not heavily recruited out of high school; won two conference championships in two years; averaged 19.9 ppg as a sophomore; was Freshman of the Year; ideal size for NBA point guard – 6-3 with a good wingspan; limitless range and confidence as an outside shooter; gets into the paint at will and is an excellent finisher; great at getting to the stripe – averages eight trips to the stripe per game and shoots 88 percent when he gets there; quality passer with great hands and good handle; shooting guard in a point guard’s body; had to carry scoring load at Weber State but will be asked to distribute at the next level; hasn’t faced real strong competition; missed an entire season because of injury; solid but not spectacular athlete; versatile shooter; could be the first point guard chosen
Kendall Marshall – 6-4, 197 – Born: August 19, 1991 (Dumfries, VA) – College: North Carolina – big improvement from freshman to sophomore season; broke a bone in his wrist in NCAA Tournament; passing ability is greatest strength; prototypical pass-first point guard; instinctive and intelligent, plays with his head up; slightly turnover prone, takes a lot of risks; doesn’t have an overly quick first step, lacks big burst; below average lateral quickness could make him a below-average defender at the NBA level; has drawn comparisons to guards from Ricky Rubio to Andre Miller; innate understanding of the game; well-coaches and well-adjusted to top level competition; excellent running sets in the halfcourt; great PG size at 6-4; top passer/playmaker in college ball last season; not a willing or consistent scorer; lack of offensive game makes him easy to defend on perimeter; doesn’t get to the stripe often and not very confident when he does; needs to add consistent jump shot
Tyshawn Taylor – 6-3, 180 – Born: April 12, 1990 (Jersey City, NJ) – College: Kansas – one of Kansas’ senior leaders, finished behind only Thomas Robinson in scoring; stands 6-3 with a strong, wiry frame; turnover prone; good speed with the ball in his hands; good at getting to the rim, but also an impressive mid-range game; improved his outside shooting every year at Kansas and shot 38 percent from 3-pt range as a senior; impressive ball-handler; has the size, lateral quickness and nasty disposition to be a strong defender at the NBA level; isn’t seen as a true point guard; can be overly-aggressive and makes some poor decisions; shoots under 70 percent from the stripe; had some off-court issues he’ll have to answer for; as a point guard, not a true floor leader; can check both guard positions and will likely makes his bones as a defender in the NBA.
Marquis Teague – 6-2, 189 – Born: February 28, 1993 (Indianapolis, IN) – College: Kentucky – led the National Champs in minutes as a 19-year-old freshman; only pure point guard on UK’s roster; solid Tournament made up for uneven first year at Kentucky; has good NBA bloodlines – brother Jeff starts for Atlanta; tends to struggle with inconsistency and turnovers; excels in transition but not as polished in half-court sets; flourishes in the pick-and-roll; wiry and strong, possesses a good frame for a point guard; good finisher at the rim with either hand; prototypical athlete with size, speed, explosion; has a great first step; good handle with both hands, but prefers to go right; more comfortable shooting off the dribble than spotting up; likes to get into passing lanes to create steals; not great floor vision; has a chance to be standout NBA defender; has to improve jump shot and improve defensive intensity, but has a big upside among PGs in his class.
Tony Wroten – 6-6, 203 – Born: April 13, 1993 (Seattle, WA) – College: Washington – one of the bigger PGs at 6-5, with good length, strength and athleticism; more of a combo guard but excels at finding open teammates; aggressive playing style; creative passer; uses size and strength to become a stellar defender; biggest skill is ability to change direction; has excellent body control, quick to adjust to the situation; can be an intense player; inconsistent jumper; lefty who has well-publicized difficulty going right; his overall game – in addition to his size and athleticism – should help him translate well at the next level; was Pac-12 Freshman of the Year; still needs some maturation; needs to work on his right hand or will be exposed at the NBA level; can break his man down off the dribble and create his own shot; very good rebounder at both ends of the court; needs to work on his conditioning; intriguing prospect projected to go late in the first round