*As a brief introduction to the upcoming NBA draft, we’ll be looking at 10 different prospects, 2 at each position. DraftExpress and NBADraft.net were used as mock projections based on their relative accuracy in the past, and because Chad Ford wants money.  After reading the profiles we’re asking you to put yourself in a hypothetical situation; If you were Bryan Colangelo and you had to choose one of the two players, which would you choose, and why?

This year’s draft is being touted as one of the most complete classes we’ve seen in years, going all the way back to the 2003 draft that netted the Raptors their most recent franchise player/drag queen. One of the glaring weaknesses in the 2012 draft class is a lack of quality point guard prospects. DraftExpress is currently projecting only two point guards to go in the top 20 picks, and we begin our look at the 2012 draft with those two players: Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall.

Damian Lillard (#13 DraftExpress, #11 NBADraft.net)

As a 6’2, 21-year-old junior from Weber State, Lillard is a shoot first point guard with the skills to back it up. He has solid (if unspectacular) handles that allow him to attack the basket with both hands, and a shooting range that extends to the NBA three point line. He thrives at getting to the charity stripe, where he converts 88 per cent of his attempts, and is continuing to improve an already impressive mid-range game. Playing in the Big Sky Conference, there have been questions about the level of competition Lillard has been facing, and it’s possible his offensive numbers are inflated. With an unspectacular assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.5:1, and no clear indication that he’s had a big impact on improving the play of his teammates, you wonder about his potential to improve those facets of his game at the nextlevel. He is a capable defender who uses his quickness and strength to handcuff opposing point guards, but once again the level of competition is a concern. No matter the conference, however, Lillard is one of the most efficient scorers in college basketball and an intriguing prospect for any team looking to increase the offensive output from their point guard position.

Best Case: A poor man’s Stephen Curry

Worst Case: Jerryd Bayless

Kendall Marhall (#18 DraftExpress, #16 NBADraft.net)

The best way to describe Kendall Marshall is as an old-school, pure point guard, a dying breed in the current NBA game. Possessing great size for the point at 6’4, the 20-year-old sophomore broke onto the scene in his freshman season when Roy Williams turned to the inexperienced freshman after running out of any other viable options. Marshall did not disappoint. Boasting perhaps the best passing ability in the nation as well as a great understanding of economy of movement, Marshall is unlike any point guard prospect in recent memory. His basketball IQ allows him to overcome (to a certain extent) the negatives in his game, and accentuates the positives. But before I gush more about his beautiful point guard play, there are concerns that must be taken into account. His offensive game is practically non-existent, and while he is a capable defender, he lacks the foot speed to project as an above average defender at the next level.  He is athletically limited, which hurts his ability to get to the rim and subsequently draw fouls. Marshall represents something that’s in short supply in the NBA, and would be an asset for any team looking for an upgrade at the point.

Best Case: Mark Jackson

Worst Case: Eric Maynor

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  • Brian B

    No choice here – Marshall is just better all around. Lillard’s higher projection shows how draft profilers (and sometimes GMs) overvalue pure athleticism over the ability to play the game. 

  • CantDL

    YES. keep the draft analysis coming. I dont wanna pay for ESPN insider, i’ll settle for this.

  • Triano?

    How about neither? 

  • jeffdg

    ESPN Insider is worth every penny and more. 

  • Annbill Findlay

    Given the two choices I pick Marshall. While he does not score the ball a tonne, he has shown an ability to be efficient doing it. On limited attempts he shoots over 35% from 3, and shooting is considered one of his weaknesses. Great size and a pass first guard. He knows how to play with quality bigs, so he should fit well with Jonas and Bargs, as well as keep Amir and Ed productive. 

  • 4gmenance

    Marshall = young Calderon?

  • Lorenzo

    If we were to trade our two second rounders for a first, i would take a look at this Marshall kid. He’d be a golden partner to our young frontline calling for the ball, and we could finally get rid of Bayless. And since Jose and him have similar play-styles; he could be a good mentor and quite possibly be our PG of the future if he pans out well. 

    • Pesterm1

      What do you mean by get rid of bayless????
      If anything i  want bayless to stay. Give him the Barbosa role. Jerryd Bayless is the future Jason Terry. Have you not watched the last 4 games ?!

      • Lorenzo

        Based on 4 games you’re going to give a long-time commitment to Jerryd “Black Hole” Bayless? Pfft.

        The dude CANNOT play the 2 position, he is too small and will get overpowered and abused against bigger SG’s… take into consideration that game against Atlanta where the Hawks would give the ball to Joe Johnson every possession while Bayless was guarding him. I’m pretty sure you know what happened next.

        Don’t let last night’s game fool you, a lot of questionable calls went our way and Memphis just simply did a lot of stupid things throughout the whole game. And don’t even get me started with that lucky last second bucket Bayless got where he almost lost it due to trying to play hero ball.

        • Pesterm1

          i dissagree. You should watch more DAllas BBAL. They rely alot on small quicker players moving the ball and attacking the basket. Jason Terry plays exactly the role Bayless should be playing which is a 6th man role .(look at their stats, similar)

          About last ngihts calls…. i again disagree. You think it went our way ??? The refss were clearly trying to give that game to Memphis but they couldnt get enough going and conley miss a crucial foul shot at the end.
          *2 no calls on demars drives.
          *lane violation on bayless ( BS)
          *3 ft attempts for conley (it shouldnt have been in the actt)

          I know there is alot of bayless haters but it seems that nothing he does is good enough. It took bargnani 13 games and years of hate were forgotten. I bet people come around on bayless soon.  Raptors record with Bayless starting ( 2-2 )

        • Pesterm1

          dont even get me started on Bayless’ defense over calderon.

      • Nilanka15

        Bayless has repeatedly shown that’s he’s nowhere near the same player coming off the bench.

  • Cdhall

    Bayless is not too small compared to other SG’s in this years draft.

  • Blackjitsu

    Question, is Marshall dramatically better than Scoop Jardine, who’ll most likely be available in the second round? He may have more upside but Scoop is still young, brings proven leadership, and has a similar game.

  • Matt52

    Lillard = Charlie Jenkins, Reggie Jackson

  • Nilanka15

    I personally think Pierre Jackson is worth a 2nd round flyer.

  • Kevin

    don’t know when he’ll come out, but i think aaron craft would be excellent for this team