With a successful and entertaining season now over, the true fun can finally begin. The off-season, for me at least, may be even funner than the regular season. I just love discussing, contemplating, and breaking down possible moves the team could make. It has a unique flavor of the unknown that excites me.
Which brings me to the point of this post, I would like to give my own (crappy) opinion of potential players the Indiana Pacers could draft (though I probably won't do anymore). I figured I would use an arbitrary and inaccurate rating system inspired by (
stolen from) nbadraft.net. Rating players from 1-10 on various basketball related skills with 1 being the worst and 10, obviously, indicating all-world ability. For instance, Lou (Amundson) would be a 1 on shooting, while Ray (Allen) would be a 10. Pretty simple right, even the dimmest of minds can figure it out. I'm going to err on the low side, because I'd rather undervalue than overvalue a player. I'm not going to break up the abilities by position because that would just muddle things a great deal.
After the Jump, I'm going to profile/rate a personal favorite of mine, Quincy Miller.
Quincy Miller is 6-9, 200lbs (unofficial) guard/forward from Baylor University, which has recently developed some very impressive sports programs. Miller was highly recruited out of high school, despite experiencing an ACL injury during his senior year, getting offers from national basketball powerhouses Duke and Kentucky, amongst others. Quincy, also, played for the U.S. Men's U18 team in 2010, as the sixth man, that won a gold medal in FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship. Okay, that's enough background let's get to the basketball stuff.
Quincy is very adept at handling the ball, despite a very long frame he manages to keep the ball in tight to his body and low, minimizing the chances a defender can't swat it away. He can change direction effectively and doesn't appear to struggle with his left hand. Miller isn't as good as a point guard, but he will be better, or as good, as most shooting guards/small forwards in the NBA. Certainly better than Granger and George.
Miller has an effortless, smooth jump-shot that just loves to find the hoop (44.7 FG%). Although, he may have a tendency to bring the ball a bit too low and it's strange looking, I'm not going to argue with results though. It's a fixable problem, so it doesn't concern me. Miller finishes well against contact, altering his hands and body accordingly to get the ball in the basket. He has undoubtable 3 point range, should easily handle the the longer distance in the NBA. Due to his great handling ability, shooting prowess, and length he absolutely kills it in the mid-range game. Good luck finding someone that can stop him from being able to score.
Miller isn't the freak of an athlete his college teammate Perry Jones III is, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Has the hops to dunk on a guy's face and has a respectable amount of foot speed. I feel it should be noted again that Quincy had an ACL injury in college and the ruling school of thought on this type of injury is that it takes around 2 years for a player to come back completely. I would point towards West and ask people to take note of how much better he got as the season progressed. So, honestly I think he could be actually be more athletic than a 'simple' 8.
Okay, okay it needs work... quite a bit actually. But, it should be fine, I mean he does have insane length, so it's like he'll be Barbosa. Miller would is, at the least, an average NBA defender at this point. Quincy will struggle to fight through screens, makes me think of Paul George. Miller would be a liability against larger offensive players, because he lacks strength and weight. Slow to move side-to-side when guarding a player, think of how Granger can have trouble against faster guys. Rebounding is a bit disappointing because of his sheer length, but not surprising given his lack of (again) strength and weight. He just can't hold his position and doesn't have a real firm grasp on the intricacies of the duty itself. I will say that I think he can improve greatly, if he would gain some weight/strength, work on the fundamentals, and gain some of that pre-injury ability.
Passing: N/A (^7)
I apologize, I can't recall how good or bad of a passer he is. Miller wasn't exactly asked to pass it a ton and why should he? He has mismatch almost of all the time and has a grand ability to score. I'll say this after looking at some pre-college highlights, Miller has the ability to make the pass and I imagine is probably pretty damn good at it. I don't think it would reasonable to for anyone to think he'd be a liability in this area.
6-9 with a 7-4 wingspan, yeah that is what I'd call fantastic size. You could not hope for a better physical specimen at the 2/3. The only reason he doesn't get a 10 is the result of his lackluster weight, 200lbs. Seriously? How does that even happen? The good news is that Miller appears capable of handling extra weight (yay!) and should be comfortable at a more natural SF size (220-230).
I love the kid. I think he has what you want in a player being the drive to be great and the work ethic to get there. I believe he would fit in very nicely with this team and would only feed off of the great atmosphere that surrounds the team. No bad history to speak of, seems to be a good kid.
Overall: 56 (out of a possible 70)
If the Pacers can get this kid at the end of the first round, the team got a steal. I think the kid can be a superstar someday, even if he doesn't reach that level he should become a very stable scoring option. I can't wait to see how wrong I am in the comments.
NBA Comparison: Kevin Durant
I was thinking about it and thought, "Hey, maybe we could make this a community thing and everyone could take a chop at writing and posting about their favorite college player the Pacers could draft." What do you guys think of that?