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Character matters, but let’s not go too far, draft personnel.

Jun 11, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Brandon Knight Kentucky AP

Look, I’m no friend to the college game. 30% shooting, sloppy ball-handling, perimeter-pass-perimeter-pass-perimeter-pass-contested-jumper ball is not my forte (even if that sounds a lot like the Finals… zing!). I think that just because you look like a great player in college means squat at the next level. The NBA is simply that much more competitive, that much different, that much more intense. Kemba Walker was a college superstar. Kemba Walker will not be an NBA superstar. Good rotation player is really his ceiling, and that’s still pretty good. So it’s not like I’m a guy that overvalues games against inferior competition. But this workout madness has got to go.

We told you earlier Friday about how Brandon Knight is dropping on some boards because of his workout policies and behaviors. This has been expressed simultaneously with a lot of talk about Enes Kanter climbing boards as the hype registers at a fever pitch for the Turkish big man. Let’s just review these things here.

Enes Kanter has not played a game in competitive competition in nearly two years.

Brandon Knight shone like a top-5 pick in the NCAA tournament by being a capable point guard with this thing called a jumper which is hard to find, picking up steam against the best competition he could take on.

And Knight is the one dropping.

This is how it is with GMs, who more and more put their pride before their brains. Just as Pat Riley had to split Executive of the Year when he got LeBron James and Chris Bosh and the Bulls got Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, GMs decide what offends their sensibilities and make decisions based off of that. Not off of actual performance, but perceived attitude, without doing a psych profile. Maybe Knight will slip. But if he slips, it’ll only be to the benefit of a team that considers performance more important than how a kid is handled. There are character issues, to be sure. But if your worry is about Knight’s behavior coupled with his connections to John Calipari, who is connected to CAA? Consider where Derrick Rose went to school, and that Kanter would have gone to Kentucky, and that in the end, all you can do is draft the best player for your organization you can.

Or, you can get caught up on irrelevant details and draft an unathletic, undersized guard who’s used to a high usage mark just because he’s willing to do whatever workouts to try and make up for his in-game deficiencies. Your call, really.

  1. seanb20124 - Jun 11, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Could you imagine if the truth ever came out about Calipari’s programs? I mean I love the guy he is the slickest of the slick

  2. smitheye - Jun 11, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    You’re take on college basketball makes me want to puke.

  3. smitheye - Jun 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    Your* phone t9 garbage

  4. Filipe Furtado - Jun 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Too bad overvalueing the tournment leads to mistakes as big as overvalue of workouts (one lead us to Patrick O Bryant, the other to Joe Alexander).

  5. ndirishfan1 - Jun 11, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Tournament performances can lead to people being overvalued — Jonny Flynn with Syracuse a few years back is a prime example. He played an epic multiple overtime game against Connecticut and followed that up with another great overtime performance the next night. His stock rose faster than anybody in recent memory… and then he was the second of David Kahn’s point guard picks… over Steph Curry, Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, etc. I think Flynn’s got a shot at a decent NBA future (unfortunately he’s with the Timberwolves and will have to compete with Rubio in an already crowded backcourt — how a backcourt can be ), but he won’t be the player the aforementioned PG’s will be.

    I fear the same thing will happen with Kemba Walker who played exceptionally well in Maui, Big East and NCAA tourneys, but doesn’t have the skill set that Knight has, and needs the ball in his hands to be effective offensively. I’m aware Knight played well in tournament play too, but his ceiling has always been perceived to be pretty high, whereas Walker shot up the boards strictly because of tournament play. If UConn drops to Arizona in the Elite Eight or even Kentucky in the Final Four, I don’t think we’re talking about Walker as a top 10 pick.

  6. zblott - Jun 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Knight should slide – he takes a lot of bad shots and isn’t really a PG. We’re talking about a guy who shot 39% or higher in only one of his last 10 games (45% vs WVU) including only 31% from distance in that stretch (20-for-64), plus he had 44 assists to 31 turnovers. But at least he’s fast while he’s being inefficient.

    Here’s the one draft board that actually considered his production when ranking him:

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