When NBA GM’s go after a Patrick O’Bryant-type in the first round, they have to know that the kid isn’t ready to compete in the League. But they see something. Whether it’s a prospect’s height, or length, or quickness that has a GM drinking the Kool-Aid, they hope that those skills can develop over the course of their first couple of years in the League.
With O’Bryant, the Warriors didn’t get so lucky. But there are a number of other studs from the ’06 draft who took a year to develop before realizing their potential last year. LaMarcus Aldridge jumped from 9 points and 5 boards per game to 17.8 and 7.6 in his sophomore season. Rudy Gay made an astronomical leap from 10.8 to 20.2 points per night. Ronnie Brewer got some burn in year two and made it worthwhile, adding 7.8 points per game to his average while shooting an improved 56% from the floor. Rajon Rondo benefited from the Big Three, but also grew into a far better point guard after his rookie season.
So among the ’07 draftees, who do you think is going to come out for a strong sophomore season in ’08-09?
Mike Conley, Jr.