This thread is based on a premise: that the Pacers will trade Tinsley for a higher spot in the draft in order to nab one of three very good point guards available this year.
Given that scenario, I'd like to hear opinions on the three available players: Paul, Williams and Felton.
I can't comment on Paul from Wake Forest because I didn't see him play--don't follow college hoops much anymore. However, I did get to see the final four and championship in person, so I saw Williams and Felton twice in the biggest games of their careers.
On Devon Williams: Solid player. Strong leadership ability. Clutch shooter. At 6' 3'', in a better position than the other two to D up opposing point guards. Is known already as a strong defender.
His weaknesses include not being as athletic as the others. If the Pacers picked up Williams, I'd be happy. He would provide the outside threat we've been missing with Tinsley and would be a better point guard than AJ. He's be a better defender than both.
On Raymond Felton: This is the player I'd love to see the Pacers pick up. But it would be risky. He could be the key link to gain a ring, or he could be another Tinsley.
During the Final Four, it was very clear that Felton was the most valuable player. They gave the award to Scott May, and props to him for playing well. But take away Felton from North Carolina and you have just another good team--not a champion. When he was out of the game, they struggled greatly.
He runs the floor incredibly well. He's as good or better than Jamaal at this. Scouts say his halfcourt offense needs work but he has improved with each year. The same is true for his shooting. His percentage went from, I think 40 percent to 42 percent to 46 percent in three years.
However, I think Tinsley's shooting percentage has improved as well. With the above description, you can see how I fear that drafting Felton might be just more of the same.
However, here's the two big differences IMO. The game-changing shot in the national championships was a three by Felton. This is an isolated incident, but I believe other situations would show that he is a performer under pressure. Clutch. When you get to game sixes and sevens in the finals of the NBA playoffs, it really comes down to that. The Pistons have at least four players who are clutch in those situations. The Pacers had one this year and he is retiring. I think Jax is close. I also think Artest is clutch. But we need another clutch player, especially at point guard.
The second key difference. Felton was the leader for North Carolina. He was the leader OF THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. That's big. Because of this, I think it is possible he could come into the NBA and start immediately and be a force. Jamaal did as much, and didn't have a college ring on his resume.
Those are my thoughts. I'd like to hear you guys's opinions, especially regarding Paul. Also, it would be interesting to hear about which teams might do a trade for us to get a higher draft pick.