Friday, May 2, 2008

Heat Should Draft Derrick Rose

Kansas State's Michael Beasley averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds a game. Reading that line over again, as a Heat fan, brings out my inner drooler. He is that rare "can't-miss" prospect who is #1 on most NBA teams' draft boards. So why in the name of Abe Vigoda would I possibly prefer Memphis Tigers point guard Derrick Rose?

Because college stats don't matter much to me, and "it factor" does. A brief list of big men who were stat monsters in college - Derrick Coleman, Danny Manning, and Kurt Thomas. I don't have to tell you that none of them will be sniffing the pro basketball hall of fame in this lifetime. Maybe Beasley turns out to be a star. I am not saying he won't. But as I was watching Rose lead his team through the Final Four (Memphis doesn't dream of the Elite Eight in Rose's absence), I saw what the Miami Herald's Israel Gutierrez accurately described as "the point-guard version of (Dwyane) Wade" (Anybody remember Marquette's run to the Final Four in 2003?).

Rose is everything the Heat needs more of - youth, explosiveness, scoring ability, a dazzling passing game, and leadership. Truth is, the Heat needs a point guard and it does not need a power forward. Udonis Haslem, when he was healthy, was one of the bright spots of the 2007-2008 season. We don't need to replace Haslem, we need to supplement him.

Think of this tantalizing thought - Chris Paul on the Heat. That is the type of upside potential Derrick Rose has. Conjure for a minute a lineup of Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem, and Random Decent Center. Tell me that is not a fantastically dynamic core of stars and semi-stars oozing championship potential for the next several years.

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