Suppose that conventional wisdom holds true, and Wall, Turner, Favors, Cousins, and Johnson all go somewhere in the first five picks. Then let's suppose that the Warriors and Pistons divide up Aminu and Monroe in whichever order. That's actually pretty plausible, and it would leave us in a tricky spot with the next dozen, approximately equal mid-tier talents. The buzz this last couple of days has been over Paul George, but I don't believe we should be too sure about him yet. Hoopsworld still has him going somewhere in the late teens, which may better reflect his true potential. Other citizens have suggested that we trade down to get him, perhaps picking up another late first round pick in the process. That might be smart, but because of the equity of talent, I'm a little skeptical that teams who have two picks to trade will want to swap with us. For the sake of argument, then, let's suppose that such a deal proves too difficult to swing.
What should we do at that point? It appears that several citizens would have us choose one of the remaining bigs, most notably Aldrich or that European whose name I can't spell or even remember. The logic is that with a glut in the front court, we might eventually pull a trade to our advantage... Kaman for a quality 3, or something like that. Other citizens, meanwhile, have wisely maintained that we should pick the top talent remaining, whomever that turns out to be. If he isn't a dark horse wing like George, then he'll probably be a big, or at least that's the gist of many conversations I've been reading.
Of course, then there's also Xavier Henry. The problem is that he's really a shooting guard, and we already have one of those. According to Draft Express (see fanshot “We have measurements”), Henry sizes up 6' 5”, which is really too short for a 3, especially since EJ is already short for his position. On the other hand, according to Hollinger's recent analysis on “pro potential,” Henry ranks 6th among all draftees, ahead of both Johnson (13.03) and Aminu (13.30). His rating of 13.52 is comparable to Roy's and Iggy's college scores. By comparison, Aldrich rates at 10.83, Udoh at 10.03, and Davis at 9.88. George and Hayward are tied at 11.87. The bottom line is that, if we want to go with top talent and decide to trust Hollinger, then Xavier looks to be our best option in the above draft scenario.
All of which brings me to kind of a creepy thought. If we were to take Xavier, and if in the course of the season he were to show excellent promise, then we'd have a bit of a glut at the 2 spot. Depth can be a good thing, of course, but on the other hand, EJ would have considerable trade value. So I ask: Is EJ untouchable? Are we willing to consider the same create-a-tradable-glut strategy at the shooting guard?
This post is really about calling Henry to our attention and to get us thinking about the possible ramifications...
... But I have to say, the thought of trading EJ has put a crazy idea into my head (one you'll probably hate me for). Philly has shown interest in trading their #2 pick for a veteran, presumably if Brand is also included. If we offered EJ for Turner and EB... yikes, I bet they'd take it. They'd be dumping salary AND satisfying a need position. Before you go cursing my name, just think for a moment about what we would look like. Picture Turner and Baron creating all that dribble penetration, while defenses have to worry about Griffin and Kaman on the inside AND Henry prowling on the perimeter. Turner is a smallish sort of 3, but Xavier is a bigger 2. It actually kind of fits, then. Meanwhile, for all his faults, Brand would be a quality backup and a veteran presence, which might prove useful as we suffer through the growing pains of THREE touted rookies! We probably would not win right away, but we would win eventually, and in the meantime we would surely be something to watch. Finally, we'd also get to practice some forgiveness... a calling to our higher natures. Man, it's a win-win (sort of).