With the______pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the _______ select Tony Wroten Jr. out of the University of Washington. The man has been dreaming of this moment since arriving on the scene as an 8th grader in inner city Seattle. Like his teammate Terrence Ross, Tone is going to forgo the rest of his collegiate eligibly and enter the NBA Draft. Unfortunately, the lasting memory fans will have of him is at the free throw against Oregon State and missing four consecutive free throws with a chance to tie or win the game.
There has been rumbling about his decision since the teams collapse in the Pac 12 Tournament and NIT. Many different prolific basketball sources think he should have came back to school due in part to different holes in his game. Chad Ford’s mock draft predicts Tony to be a late first round to early second round pick. I think he made a good decision to leave. Being placed in the right situation, you may see him flourish. Wroten has an NBA type body standing at 6’5 206 lbs. Most point guards in the league are shorter in height and smaller in stature. The quickness factor is the biggest attribute, like the saying goes “fast don’t lie.” Luckily he knows how to use his speed to his advantage. On defense he posses’ quickness to keep his defender in front of him and the anticipation to jump passing lanes and steal the ball. On Offense most defenders have a difficult time keeping up with him in the open floor, but everyone knows he is going left. Aside from shooting the focus needs to be on dribbling and finishing with his right hand, the off hand.
The comparison to a freshman Gary Payton is unreal. The finishing stat lines at the end of their first season are almost identical. In field goal percentage (GP: 45.9%, TW: 44.3%), steals (GP: 1.9 spg, TW: 1.9), rebounds (GP: 4.0 rpg, TW: 5.0 rpg), and turnovers (GP: 3.1 topg, TW: 3.8 topg).
Tony Wroten can be the biggest steal of the draft. Raw talent and quickness as well as basketball IQ make him an easy first round pick. If only he could shoot. If a jumper is developed and the erratic play slows down, you will be looking at one of the best guards in the game. Like mentioned above, a young Gary Payton had somewhat of a loose handle and struggled from the field. Those are things that you can correct with good coaching. Like Wroten, he had the intangibles and the work ethic, which lead to becoming a superstar and an All NBA defender.
It is going to take a lot of work for Tone to change the mind of scouts. Besides countless hours dribbling and shooting in the gym, I expect him to reach out to some of his Home Team friends Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford to help with shooting. If reaching out to them isn’t on his mind, it would not be a bad idea, especially with shooting being the strong suit of both players. The ball is tipped, the clock is running down, let’s see what Wroten can do before the draft buzzer sounds.