Is Anthony Randolph Going to be the Next Big Thing? John Hollinger Didn't Think So

It’s been a whirlwind coupla months for Golden State’s springy, lithe power forward of the future, 20-year-old Anthony Randolph.

* Started the last 11 games of his rookie season, scoring double figures nine times, and collecting double figure rebounds seven times
* Tied a summer league scoring record (later broken by teammate Anthony Morrow) and averaged 26.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg, in finishing a controversial 2nd to Blake Griffin in MVP voting
* Invited to the US Basketball team gathering in Vegas this week

Nobody’s more surprised than ESPN’s John Hollinger.

As some readers here pointed out, Hollinger’s pre-2008 NBA draft stat-crunching told him that Randolph would be a disaster. “Gambling on Randolph with a high first-round pick looks like the basketball equivalent of hitting on 19 in blackjack.” The Warriors took him 14th.

Between Me and the Scouts, One of Us Will Look Like an Idiot
Anthony Randolph, LSU, 9.85

Yes, this is true. Seen in many quarters as a high lottery pick, Randolph has virtually nothing in his statistical record to justify such a lofty selection.

In particular, his woeful ball-handling numbers are a major red flag. Randolph had more turnovers than any prospect except Beasley and Thompson, but those two players had every play run through them; I’m still waiting to find out Randolph’s excuse.

Additionally, his 49.9 true shooting percentage is alarmingly bad for a guy who is supposed to dominate athletically.

He can block shots, and the fact his team was such a mess probably didn’t help his numbers any, but gambling on Randolph with a high first-round pick looks like the basketball equivalent of hitting on 19 in blackjack. Hey, maybe the dealer throws out a 2 and everyone thinks you’re a genius, but chances are you’re going to bust.

It appears he’s going to be drafted in the middle of the first round at worst, but even that appears to be a terrible mistake — there is no track record whatsoever of a player rated this poorly achieving pro success.

Of course it’s much too early to say Randolph will be a star (he is, after all, being coached by Don Nelson), but having just turned 20 a week ago, he’s only scratched the surface offensively. Based on what’s happened on the court in the last year, if the 2008 draft were held again today, the No. 1 would still be Derrick Rose.

But how might 2-5 go? OJMayo’s gotta be in there, and probably Kevin Love, and maybe Eric Gordon or Russell Westbrook, and maybe Brook Lopez, but definitely Anthony Randolph.

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