Through the process of elimination, DJ Augustin has surfaced as the safest, most logical pick for the Indiana Pacers. Unless the #11 pick is involved in a trade, the Texas point guard seems like a good fit. Someone with the Pacers floated Mike Wells a little doubt on the Augustin pick, so that should at least keep our attention.
Augustin is from the New Orleans area but finished his post-Katrina high school days in Houston. The Houston Chronicle has a nice, tidy analysis of Augustin which offers opposing view points on his NBA skill set.
"He's a pure point guard, and that's what teams are looking for," said Kyle Manary, a former NBA scout who works with John Lucas. "A player like D.J., who is a perfect fit in the pick-and-roll game and is a threat to shoot, puts more pressure on the defense. And he's going to get everybody involved.
"He's a pass-first guy, but someone who can really play the pick-and-roll, and that's what the NBA is all about these days. You look at pure point guards who can play the pick-and-roll, guys like (New Orleans') Chris Paul, (Utah's) Deron Williams and (Phoenix's) Steve Nash, that's what everybody covets."
Still, some remain unconvinced.
"I like D.J. and think he's a first-round talent, but I don't know if I would take him in the lottery," said one Eastern Conference general manager. "He doesn't have a quick first step, he doesn't have a particularly quick release (on his jumper) and you have to question if he will be able to defend at this level."
And there you have it, the risk and reward involved with taking DJ Augustin in well under 200 words. I guess we'll find out which side of the analysis the Pacers fall on when their pick is made on Thursday. The Pacers need talent all over the place, so if they indeed aren't sure about Augustin, I'd have no problem if they passed him up. Thursday can't get here soon enough.