Other than Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet and a few others, this draft is light on quality big men. For that matter, there aren't many special swingmen, either. But when it comes to point guards, there are a whole bunch of talented playmakers of all shapes and sizes available and a lot of NBA teams that need them. Adi Joseph of NBADraft.net ranks the top 10 floor leaders and projects where they'll go in Thursday's draft.
Jrue Holiday, 6-4, 199, UCLA
If Stephen Curry has gained the most hype since the end of the NCAA season, Holiday is following close behind. Perhaps the biggest underachiever on an underachieving UCLA team, Holiday received some praise for his selflessness but more criticism for his lack of confidence on offense and an inconsistency that plagued him all year, culminating in an 0-for-8 performance against USC in the Pac-10 tournament. He scored 20 points just once, against Florida International, (averaging 5.6 ppg over the final 12 games) and was relegated to shooting guard because of Darren Collison's veteran presence. Not exactly lottery pick-type numbers. Likely range: Between 11-35.
Toney Douglas, 6-2, 183, Florida State
Douglas sets himself apart from the rest of this list with his defense. And though he's not a true point guard by any means, his ability to play the combo guard position and lock down any opposing point guard make him a very valuable commodity the draft's middle 20 picks. Former combo guard and Pistons GM Joe Dumars is said to be very enamored with him. Douglas also proved himself a more than capable scorer, as he dominated at times in the ACC, carrying Florida State to a shocking regular season, culminating in a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. Likely range: Between 20-40.
Darren Collison, 6-1, 166, UCLA
In Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson, you have two point guards with good skills and incredible speed who have suffered because of their height. Collison has all that, but he's also 30 pounds lighter and significantly weaker than his speedy contemporaries. The collegiate star, who was a major force in three Final Four runs for the Bruins, would have been best off leaving after his sophomore year (a surefire top-20 pick). But time has exposed Collison's greatest weakness, which is, of course, weakness. Collison is a winner, though. And he should make a great reserve for years to come. Likely range: 25-40.
Ty Lawson, 6-0, 197, North Carolina
Quite possibly the fastest player in the draft, Lawson was the guiding force for North Carolina in its NCAA championship run last season. After two years as a questionable prospect with major holes in his game, the stocky Tar Heel guard worked on his jump shot and defense to the point where he became one of the most efficient players in the nation. There are still concerns about whether he'll be able to get off his jumper against taller opponents, but then again, that assumes those opponents can keep up with him. Likely range: Mid- to late-first round.
Eric Maynor, 6-3, 164, VCU
Maynor ranks as possibly the best senior in this draft class, which says more for the status of college basketball than anything else. But he's a savvy guard with great instincts who appears ready to step in and play significant minutes as a rookie. Long-term, Maynor's potential is limited by his thin physique and lack of athleticism. But his defensive prowess and ability to rise to the occasion in big moments are well documented and there's no reason to believe he can't be a long-time NBA point guard. Likely range: Mid- to late-first round.
Jeff Teague, 6-2, 175, Wake Forest
Perhaps the highest-rated player who probably should have spent another year in college, Teague burst into everyone's top 10 prospects last season in leading the Demon Deacons to a 16-0 start. Along the way, he drew comparisons to some of the top scoring point guards in the league, oozing potential with every quick, athletic drive or smooth, accurate 3-pointer. But the second half of the season, when Wake Forest tanked, exposed Teague's flaws. And while he's still a fantastic scorer, his decision-making and shot selection have come under fire. Likely range: 10-20.
Jonny Flynn, 6-0, 196, Syracuse
The feistiest player in the draft is also one of its smallest. Flynn barrels through the lane with the aggression of a ravenous bear, even though he's often the shortest player on the court. His size might have been a bigger issue in the past, but the success of Chris Paul has popularized the super-speedy, undersized point guard. It also helps Flynn's case that, unlike many shorter point guards, he's a great athlete (highest vertical in Chicago draft combine), and a hard-nosed defender, using his strength, athleticism and 6-4 wingspan to guard taller opponents. While Flynn does play out of control at times, his penchant for big-game performances gives him a bright future. Likely range: Lottery.
Stephen Curry, 6-3, 181, Davidson
No player has drawn more hype since the close of the college season than Curry. Despite his boyish figure and an NIT appearance last season, the high-scoring junior declared for the NBA draft with lottery aspirations. Now, his stock has climbed to the point where he may be a top-5 pick. Curry is the best shooter in the draft, and his transition to point guard last season was rather seamless. One of the safer picks in the draft, Curry lacks the upside of some but could be a great fit in a modern pick-and-roll-based NBA offense. Likely range: 2-7.
Brandon Jennings, 6-1, 170, played in Italy
The experiment has come to an end. The results will be determined Thursday night. Jennings became the first top American high school prospect to eschew a year in college in favor of the professional leagues of Europe since the age limit ban last summer, after he bolted from a prior commitment to Arizona. His year abroad had its ups and downs, as he struggled for playing time against veterans and came out with only flashes of brilliance. But Jennings is the draft's most athletic point guard and his creativity and vision as a playmaker are second to none. Likely range: Mid-lottery.
Ricky Rubio, 6-5, 180, Spain
The Ricky Rubio saga began when, as a lanky 14-year-old, the Spanish point guard was already playing in his country's professional leagues. By age 16, he was a sensation. The fans were calling him "La Pistola," a reference to NBA legend Pistol Pete Maravich. Here is the favorite son of Spain: a soccer country's first true basketball prodigy. These days, Rubio, 18, is beginning to shape into a man. He's 6-foot-5, 190 pounds. After an Olympic experience last summer had folks talking about him as the first pick of the 2009 or 2010 draft, things have leveled out a bit. Rubio has the potential to be a star, but he's not without flaws. His jump shot is still raw, and he would benefit greatly from some time with an NBA trainer to work on those lanky, thin arms and legs. But many consider Rubio the second-best prospect in the draft, behind Blake Griffin. He's got an unbelievable feel for the game as a teen, and his passing skills and defense are advanced well beyond his years. Plus, any team t