This upcoming NBA draft will have three starters in the NBA for a long time to come and one might surprise you. The three are Trey Burke, CJ McCollum and Isaiah Canaan. Michael Cater-Williams has the potential to be a very good player in this league but my guess is he’ll fall short of expectations which I’ll explain in my next post.
Everyone that watched any college basketball this last year knows of Trey Burke, especially after he led the Wolverines to a victory against Kansas. He’s explosive and will be a good to great player in this league for many years and very few doubt that.
The next two guys many have not heard of and most have not seen play. CJ McCollum is a lot like Damian Lillard without the explosive power. Damian will always be a better player, but CJ will be a solid starter with his ability to score and rebound for a point guard. The last guy I’m guessing most casual fans have never heard of and maybe saw him play once. Isaiah Canaan is a baller and will be available for the Jazz to draft if they choose to.
Canaan averaged 21.8 points and 4.8 assists per game this past season as teams double and triple coveraged him all game long. He plays a lot like Ty Lawson with the ability and speed to get inside and also the range to shoot consistently from 18 feet to the three. He’s 6’0″ and 171 pounds so he’s not very tall but it’s not about height at the point guard spot. He does a lot of screen and roles and can break down defenses with his ball handling and quickness off the dribble.
In his last game as a Racer, Canaan put up 22 points 10 assists and 9 rebounds as his team lost by 2 points to the eventual OVC champs and NCAA Tournament Belmont Bruins. The guy can flat out play and should be available when the Jazz draft at 21. Right now Canaan is expected to be a late first round or early second round pick but as teams start to bring him in for workouts expect him to move up the draft board. He’s the safest bet and has the most upside of anyone projected in the 20’s or lower so if he’s available expect the Jazz to draft him if they don’t take a point at 14. As unlikely as it is the Jazz also might pull a Minnesota and draft two point guards which would allow them to take less of a risk on for getting the guy that will prove to be a starter in this league.
Watch his highlights on you tube: http://youtu.be/wtExDJnUi0M