OK folks, it's time to really start thinking about the draft. Let's forget for a second that the team we love to follow is being run by someone who doesn't know what he's doing and that no matter how much we may wish otherwise, this year's draft will once again be screwed in a royal fashion. What if the team was run by competents?
One of the most interesting debates in this year's draft will be how much Jimmer Fredette resembles Stephen Curry. Are they similar players? Do they have similar upsides? Should the Wolves draft the nation's leading scorer like they should have drafted Curry in 09? We'll break things down below the fold.
Let's take a look at a few basic stats. One of the things that jumps right out is that Curry put up some stupid numbers over his college career. On most of the metrics we look at, he, at one point or another, had the better mark between him and Jimmer.
Look at Curry's 2%. One of the reasons we really, really, really liked him in the 09 Draft was that he was sort of a reverse Tony Parker. He could dominate a game from mid-range and beyond (instead of the paint) and he could run the hell out of the pick and roll (which would have been great with Kevin Love). Jimmer is not the mid-range shooter that Curry is. He is also not the passer, not even by a long shot.
Take a look at what Curry did at the point in his last year in college. His assist rate is through the roof and...well, if Jimmer is going to give any hope on this front, he needs to maintain a positive PPR for the rest of the year.
Where Jimmer might be an interesting prospect for the Wolves is that he can handle the ball a ton without turning it over while shooting the living hell out of the 3 pointer. I watched the entire SDS/BYU game today and I saw a guy who was literally triple teamed because of his ability to hit the 3 pointer. It was insane. The guy has an uncanny ability to a) get his shot off as quickly as possible and b) square his shoulders to the rim from anywhere on the court. Jimmer doesn't seem to have the mid range game of Curry and he relies too much on splitting double teams that won't happen in the NBA and on getting to the line, but he can hit the living hell out of the 3 pointer.
For the Wolves, Jimmer would provide Curry-esque defense while possessing a good enough handle to not turn the ball over and run the pick and roll. What makes him different than Curry is that he simply doesn't have the track record to show a mid range game like what we saw in Curry. At this point, he's a 3 point specialist in the pros. That makes him a bench player. He relies far too much on getting to the line in situations that simply will not exist in the pros. Watch 5 minutes of his action and you will see him absolutely needing double team splits and free throws. These will dry up in the NBA for a guy with his physical profile. Ditto for Curry. The only thing that made Curry different is that he doesn't/didn't need to muck it up inside the paint. He can kill it from mid-range. He can kill it from beyond the arc. In this sense, he is completely unique from Jimmer. Until Jimmer develops a 15-18 foot game like Curry had while continuing to reduce his reliance on free throws to be efficient, he's a 2nd round pick. Guards like Curry and Fredette need to be good from both 3 and mid range to work in the NBA, as they'll never make a living in the paint.