Arizona fans are not surprised that Andre Iguodala left school early, after all talk of his NBA interest started shortly after the Pac-10 season started. Knowledgeable fans weren't even shocked to hear that he was projected as a Lottery pick. They knew the NBA drafts on upside as much as previously shown ability.
What may surprise people is that he is now projected as a top-10 pick, with some thinking he could go as high as third overall.
"Some people look at the athleticism and the versatility and think he's special," said Chris Monter of the Monter Draft Report and College Basketball News.
Just where will Iguodala wind up?
"He could go as early as No. 3 to Chicago, but he won't get past Phoenix at No. 7," Monter projected before the Suns traded their pick to the Bulls for a second rounder and future consideration.
The current thought is that the Bulls covet both Iguodala and Oregon's Luke Jackson and will try and land both with the two early first rounders. One NBA front office person claimed that was a persistent rumor making the rounds shortly after the trade went down Wednesday afternoon.
Although Iguodala's stock has gone through the roof since he started individual workouts for various teams, he does still have a number of limitations, most notably his ability to score. Last season he averaged 12.9 points a game, and shot less than 32% from behind the arc.
"He can't shoot but he's so versatile," Monter noted. "Some think he can even be a point guard."
Iguodala's ability to pass, plus his raw physical ability, make his offensive limitations something NBA GM's are willing to overlook. In a draft where upside is king, few have as much upside as anyone.
"People look at the passing ability," Monter explained. "They look at his athleticism. They see his wingspan and think he could be a defensive stopper."
In the end Iguodala will benefit from this being a weak draft. He's rated as the best shooting guard available, yet he can't shoot. He is Lute Olson prototypical small forward, yet he's too small to play the position in the pros. "He's in a good situation," Monter said. "He's a shooting guard really, in a draft that is weal at shooting guard. He's the best shooting guard and will be picked early and if a team needs a shooting guard they will grab him."
Unless Iguodala takes a mighty tumble come draft night, and that is very unlikely, he will be a millionaire or close to it in a manner of weeks. Although another year at Arizona would have made him more ready to make an immediate impact in the pros, it wouldn't have improved his stock. For Andre Iguodala it is not a matter of if, but when and how early.
Chris Monter runs the MONTER DRAFT REPORT and COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS for the Insiders.