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Mike DeCourcy
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Counterpoint: Draft DeAndre Jordan
Posted: June 22, 2008

Fagan: DeAndre Jordan is a bust in the making

You want a challenge? Search through DeAndre Jordan's freshman season for even the slightest hint he is ready to play in the NBA. Compared to that, learning to speak Mandarin or cooking up a nice crawfish etouffee should be a breeze.

Jordan had his biggest games for Texas A&M; when the challenges were smallest. Like his 18 points and nine rebounds against Texas State. Sorry, but that's not quite like going against the Boston Celtics.

Jordan was poor enough that by the end of the season the Aggies basically moved on without him. He was poor enough with the United States U-19 team in last summer's world championships that he wound up playing nine minutes per game. It seems he has never been really good against serious competition.

So why should a team draft him? Because by the time any one of them would have cause to seriously consider it, all the "sure things" already will be off the board. And a team that regards Jordan will be staring at a 7-0, 260-pound giant who brings more raw physical potential to the league than Andrew Bynum did a few years back. If you're going to take a chance, why not on someone who most certainly looks like a player?

NBA draft debates
Draft quality: Good draft | Bad draft
Sleeper: Ryan Anderson | Chris Douglas-Roberts
DeAndre Jordan: Likely bust | Worth the risk
Heat's No. 2 pick: Trade it | Hold on to it
Foreign players: Origin irrelevant | Avoid them

Jordan has height and length most any big man would covet. He is far more dynamic an athlete than most you'll see at his size. One thing he did extremely well for A&M;, in his limited playing time, was block shots. He swatted down 1.3 per game while playing only 20 minutes, and he did it without encountering major foul trouble.

It's fairly well established selecting Jordan will be the biggest gamble of this draft. But it's only a bad bet if he is selected ahead of somebody like Michael Beasley, and if the team picking him is neither willing to invest the time to train him nor able to wait on his development.

Just as there is uncertainty over whether France's Nicolas Batum has enough of a game to make it in the league, over whether D.J. Augustin is tall enough, over whether Italy's Danilo Gallinari can get his excellence through U.S. Customs, there is uncertainty over whether Jordan is any kind of player.

He is big and long and can jump to the ceiling, though. NBA teams generally can make some use of all three qualities.

Mike DeCourcy is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at decourcy@sportingnews.com.

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Comments
non descript
alvinkrueger on Sun Jun 22, 2008 09:16 pm
i really hope that my team doesn't go for this guy.

everybody knows that you can't teach size.

everbody knows that you can't teach heart, either
PabloDeTejasBlog on Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:39 pm
I agree with Decourcy - under the right conditions, it is worth gambling on this kid. While the odds of him panning out are not good, if he does, he will make some GM look like a genius.

But it is going to be just that - a gamble.
LakerKevBlog on Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:41 am
If you want to take a chance on a head case like DeAndre Jordan then fine but for God's sake dont waste a first round pick on him.
huh?
mhawk19 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 05:39 am
When has a big guy with this many questions ever panned out? I can't remember one, except the high schoolers, but we never got to see any of them and get this much info. At best this kid is Stromile Swift. With all those negatives he's not gonna just cash his paycheck and all of a sudden get it. He deserves to go to the Isaiah Thomas Knicks, but since they don't exist, please only use a second rounder on this guy.
Project Big Men
dirtydannnnnBlog on Mon Jun 23, 2008 01:27 pm
When is the last time a project big man that has been taken in the lottery been successful?

NONE.

Ok he's big, and thats great. But what use is his height to him if he isn't able to take advantage of it?
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