We’re just three weeks away from the 2013 NBA draft and from the looks of things Nerlens Noel is going to become the third number one pick from the Cats in the past five years. Since Cal’s arrival at UK the bluegrass state’s leading export has been NBA draft picks. Former Cats are making an impact all over the league but which former Cat is currently playing at his best? Time to break it down in this week Cass’ Court:
John Wall Career PPG:16.9 , APG: 8
The Case For: All you have to do is look at this season with and without Wall on the court. While John was out recovering his knee for the first half of the year the Wizards were a terrible 5-28. Once he returned the Wizards had a respectable 24-20 record. The Wiz could be on their way to a playoff birth next year with a healthy Wall and Nene. That sort of impact is the reason Wall is Cal’s best pro.
The Case Against: While Wall is an unquestioned rising star and could prove to be deserving of the number one pick. As of now though the jury is still out. The Wizards had a lot of rebuilding to do which has hurt Wall having a breakout year. Is Wall having a better career than fellow Cat Cousins or 10th pick in 2010 Paul George? If Wall is going to be considered Cal’s best pro he will need to lead the Wiz to a playoff birth.
DeMarcus Cousins PPG: 16.3 , RPG: 9.8
The Case For: Big Cuz is quickly becoming one of the better big men in the NBA. He’s only 22 and has averaged over sixteen points per game over his career and those numbers have been on the rise. Cousin’s dominance can be seen in games like the one he had last season against the Suns where he went for 41. If Cousins can mature at bit more it wouldn’t be hard to see him become the league’s premier big man.
The Case Against: Maturity. Perhaps Cousins could have a bigger impact on the court if he could stay on it a bit more. Cousins lead the league in technical fouls last season and was constantly butting heads with former Coach Westphal. The lack of maturity has Cousins possibly on the trading block this season which could be a major benefit for the former Cat. Get him with a great organization and Cousins’ ceiling is limitless.
Brandon Knight PPG: 13.1, APG: 3.9
The Case For: Knight is a major part of a young core for the Pistons which could prove to be dangerous in the future. Knight has proven to be a capable scorer as one of the league’s capable young guards. Brandon is the future of Detroit basketball.
The Case Against: While Knight can score he really hasn’t established himself as an elite point guard. BK spent some time at shooting guard this year where he just appeared to be too small against the NBA’s great wingmen. Brandon will need to find his spot within the Pistons organization before he can be considered Cal’s best pro.
Anthony Davis PPG: 13.5, RPG: 8.2
The Case For: Davis ended the year nearly averaging a double-double. Pretty solid numbers for a rookie especially during a year in which Davis battled injury. The unibrowed fellow helped the Hornets win 6 more games than the previous season a number which should see a steep climb in the coming years with Anthony down low.
The Case Against: Davis has only been in the league for one year on one of the Association’s worst teams. A year which saw the player of the year and his teammates hobbled by injury. Davis’ rookie year was solid but it’s just not enough for him to be considered Cal’s best…yet.
It won’t be too much longer until there is a Cat on every team and the all-star game is all former players. But for now those are my four picks for the Cats making the biggest impact on the NBA. Who do you think is the best player Cal has sent from Kentucky?