GREENBURGH, N.Y. - It seems evident by now that the 2009 NBA draft will be known as the Year of the Point Guard. The question that remains to be answered: Which member of this intriguing crop will emerge as the best?
Brandon Jennings, who last week dissed the consensus top guard, Ricky Rubio, by saying the Spaniard was "just all hype," says he hopes to be No. 1.
"Of course, I think I'm the best point guard in the draft," Jennings said Monday after his pre-draft workout for the Knicks at the MSG Training Center. "I would hope [Rubio] would say the same thing. Since I can't be the No. 1 pick in the draft, I at least want to be the No. 1 point guard in the draft."
With a little more than a week to go before the June 25 draft, there is a great deal of mystery after Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin going No. 1 to the Clippers. From picks two through eight, where the Knicks select, it is a crap shoot. Jennings, the high school star who made headlines when he bypassed college basketball to play in Italy, says he isn't sure if he'll still be on the board when the Knicks select. Tyreke Evans, the Memphis freshman guard who was also part of Monday's workout, said "a lot of teams" are interested in him, but none have committed.
"It's wide open," Evans said. "One minute they're looking at somebody and the next minute you hear they're looking at another guy. There's a little mind game going on around it, so you never know who is going where. All you know, hopefully, you end up in a good place where you'll have a good time there."
"I really want to come here, I'm not going to lie," he said. "D'Antoni's system is great for all point guards. You see what he did for Steve Nash, the two years MVP back to back, and the Phoenix Suns were one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NBA for those two years. So his system is great for me."
As it would be for Curry, or perhaps even Rubio. Jennings wasn't as quick to criticize his counterpart like he did on Friday when he worked out in Sacramento.
"I think I got a little carried away with it," Jennings said. "I was having too much fun with it. He's not all hype. The kid has more experience than everybody in this draft, he's been playing since he was 14. He's a great player, he did his thing in the Olympics . . . No disrespect to Ricky Rubio."