For a while now, ESPN.com has been unveiling something it calls NBA Rank. It’s basically what it sounds like. They gathered nearly 100 NBA experts and had each rate 500 players on a 1-to-10 scale, in which 10 was LeBron James and 1 was Luther Head. (My description of the scale, not ESPN’s.)
As you can guess, there were a lot of former and current Pacers in the first few hundred spots. But there are also four in the top 100, which the Mickey Mouse-owned sports media empire is now unveiling.
Today, they have asked five of their experts which former UCLA Bruin is the best NBA player out of Indiana’s own Darren Collison, Philly’s Jrue Holliday and the
Denver Nuggets of Shanghai’s Denver’s Arron Afflalo.
No one chose DC. Here are the full answers.
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Arron Afflalo. He can guard almost any perimeter player, and he has this thirst for the big shot. Maybe Darren Collison or Jrue Holidaycould do a better job of creating his shot, but I’d take Afflalo to make it if he’s open.
Jovan Buha, ClipperBlog: Holiday. Honestly, each player has a legitimate case for outranking the others — they’ve all had similar success thus far. Conversely, Collison and Afflalo do not have as high of a ceiling as Holiday. At his peak, Jrue is the best of the three players and has the most complete game.
Danny Savitzky, Nets Are Scorching: Holiday. He and Collison come in as clearly better than Afflalo, and Holiday is a better scorer, passer and rebounder than Collison. Still, Collison could bounce back in his second season with Indiana.
Kyle Weidie, Truth About It: Holiday. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the name. Maybe it’s the moxie he showed against John Wall. Maybe it’s because his girlfriend, Lauren Cheney, scored a goal for the U.S. against North Korea at the ’11 Women’s World Cup.
Royce Young, Daily Thunder: Afflalo. If we value defense as much as we all pretend to, I don’t think there’s a question. Holiday quietly had a breakout season as a sophomore in 2010-11 and Collison was solid in his first full-time starting role, but Afflalo is a shutdown wing defender who shoots better than 40 percent from 3.