2012 NBA Draft: Austin Rivers to the Hornets?

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils drives the ball against Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans during the 2011 State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

I've written a couple times about how I really, really wouldn't want Austin Rivers at #10, but here's the thing - I'm far more confident in the infallibility of my player projections than I am attached to my Rivers pessimism. Over the years, the Hornets have proven more than capable of annoying me supremely on draft night (see: selling their pick, passing on Blair, selling their pick, selling their pick), and so I'm already braced to welcome Eric Gordon's backup as our newest player.

So! This thread is more for me than it is for you, really. I know a number of you wouldn't mind a Rivers pick at #10. Your goal: sell me on him. I'm more than willing to be convinced.

My objections to Rivers:

(outlined more fully here)

- does very little on the floor outside of "score"

- very poor scorer, ranked among other prospects

- very poor scorer, ranked among among college freshmen historically

- mediocre scorer, ranked among college freshmen on crappy teams/"bad situations" historically

- doesn't create for others, both by the eye-test (continuous tunnel vision on drives) and stats (-2.25 PPR)

- at 200 pounds, highly doubt he can guard his position (the 2) at the next level

- career path blocked by a top-3 NBA shooting guard in Eric Gordon

- playing style (heavy iso, mediocre passing) doesn't mesh well with Gordon's playing style (heavy P&R, heavy iso)

Things that won't change my mind on him:

- Doc Rivers' son. (his brother was also Doc Rivers' son and now plays in Serbia. Last year, we had Patrick Ewing's son. Bill Walton's son wasn't very good. And so forth).

- #1 high school prospect. ((a) this was by only one rating service (Rivals). and (b) Gerald Green was Rivals' #1 player in 2005. B.J. Mullens' was Rivals' #1 2008. Josh Selby was #1 in 2010. These are simply a means towards college projection and nothing more).

- Small Sample Size. (trusting a high school projection based off of games that 99.9999% of the universe never even saw over 35 televised, highly covered, scouted, and documented collegiate games at arguably the most famous NCAA program in basketball seems a bit strange.)

- "Big shot maker." (think this is a nebulous term that doesn't actually mean anything, Rivers was pretty terrible in terms of the "big shots" he did attempt, and this tag likely wouldn't exist with such force if Tyler Zeller had defended Rivers more adequately on the infamous UNC shot).


And so there you have it. Sell me down the Rivers please!

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