John Hollinger of the worldwide leader has produced something original. I know, I know, who knew that ESPN knew how to make up something worthwhile. No, their MLB player ratings don't count, they were the opposite of worthwhile. This invention is extra special because despite the fact that it is Insider material, as is anything and everything from ESPN, they allow to view it 100% free of charge. How nice of him, I feel special now. Anyways, let's start discussing the actual ratings.
After discussing all of the factors that go into such an unique invention, Hollinger gets into it by first breaking down the 2002 Draft. After working our way up through the ranks we finally reach this Thursday's selection process, giving a cute little chart for easy reference of the top 30 college players available. According to Holly Mr. Do-Rant of Tayjas, the one I declared deserving of the #1 selection, is not only the highest rated player this year but in the history of his ratings system. As previously mentioned, he started keeping track of such things in the glorious year of 2002, meaning that Do-Rant should be the best college player to come out in the lasat 6+ years. This includes Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Kirk Hinrich and Carlos Boozer, not to mention scores of others. That is an impressive feat and solidifies his position in my mind as the best player in this Draft.
Moving on from the best player, let's focus on Julian and his standing in this newfangled rating system. Jules is listed as the 19th best collegiate player in the Draft. Now that high school players are disallowed from participating in this specatcle, a few foreign players are the only variables to be added to those having attended colleges across America. His standing behind obviously better players such as Do-Rant, Greg Oden, Al Horford and Brandan Wright comes as no surprise, but the fact that little-thought-of prospects Nick Fazekas (7th), Jared Dudley (10th), Kyle Visser (15th), Herbert Hill (17th) and Wilson Chandler (18th) is shocking to say the least. I have said this before, Julian is a very talented kid with boatloads of potential, but if he doesn't get drafted by a team that can teach him an outside shot he will struggle to find playing time as well as the bucket. He certainly is a higher-reward player than most in this Draft, but his floor is lower than most as well. It would behoove Wright to be selected by a team already in good shape for the postseason, so he could have more time to develop his game. Despite spending two years in Lawrence he remains a long term project, something that will have to be crafted over a couple of years. Some experts have him sliding all the way down to #16 to Washington, calling him "this year's slider".
I will be watching the NBA Draft, at least until Julian is selected, and I certainly hope that he won't be the NBA's version of Brady Quinn. I will talk about him and the NBA Draft much more on Draft Day, Thursday, including my prediction about where he will land up.