Okay, so there's a half an annum, two dozen games, and countless workouts until the NBA draft, but with a relative dead period, there's a good opportunity to discuss Greivis Vasquez's quest to make it the NBA.
Vasquez is in a unique position. Not only does he have the burdens of his own pressure and Maryland's fanbase, but he also needs to provide for his family back in Venezuala. That in itself may not be unique, but he has the entire nation's hopes resting on him. Never before or after has Venezuala put out that kind of talent, and they're waiting for him to get to the NBA and make it big.
Like I said before, it's early, but more than a few sites already have mocks out.
The leader of the pack is NBAdraft.net. The unimaginatively named site has Greivis going #47 overall, updated on the 4th. The team (Toronto) isn't important yet - it's an order thing right now - but after his bad start, I think most would consider 47 okay.
[Note by Ben Broman, 01/06/10 6:36 PM EST - As reader terplaw pointed out, perhaps the really surprising thing about that, though, is where Landon Milbourne is - 43rd. That's ahead of Vasquez. Never before have I heard Milbourne mentioned as a possible NBA draft pick, but I guess if D.J. Strawberry and James Gist can, he can too. Still, being ahead of Vasquez is a little shocking.]
Another premier draft site, DraftExpress, had been kinder in the past to Vaz. Not now. He's not even listed in their mock (updated the 3rd). I'm no Vasquez homer, but the fact that Jon Scheyer would get picked and Vasquez wouldn't makes me a little sick.
First off, I'm far from an NBA draft expert (though I was in the NFL mock business awhile back, so I know a thing or two about the general process), but both seem low to me. Gary Williams, while not the most objective of commentators, said he thought Vasquez was a borderline first-rounder last year. Andy Katz said he was likely a first rounder last year. So why the drop? The slow start might have something to do with it, but he's already rebounded, and few people pay that much attention.
Vasquez is the type of guy mocks ignore. He's far from athletic, and though he's exciting, he's not an overly dominant player at any one aspect. That doesn't mean he's not a potential first round pick - he surely has that potential - partially thanks to a certain Tebow-ian quality in him.
Walter Football - a football site, admittedly, but one with a separate NBA mocker - is traditionally one of the smarter, more correct mocking sites, and they have Vasquez at 34 (updated Dec. 30). That, my friends, seems much closer to the truth.
Like Gary, I'm a little biased, but provided Greivis has a solid ACC season, middle of the second round shouldn't be a stretch, and first round could be a possibility. The passion and the solid 4 year career will be a big draw to some. His height and court vision is impossible to find elsewhere, and pure point guards that still have versatility aren't flooding the NBA.
He won't be worse than Renardo Balkman if he were to go in the first round, that's for sure. Depending on what Terrico White and Avery Bradley do, the class could be weak on PGs. Vasquez is too intriguing and talented to fall out of the draft, especially at a position of potential weakness.