Meeks makes the right decision

While some of the "experts" may be scratching their heads of the decision by Kentucky's All American to remain in the draft, the reality is for Meeks the decision makes a lot of sense.

Kentucky and SEC TV personality and sportscaster Dave "Buzz" Baker was correct in seeing the decision by Meeks to skip a Portland Trail Blazers workout as meaningful. IMO, while Buzz read the tea leaves and concluded the cancellation meant Meeks would return, I feel he misread the tea leaves and the cancellation with Portland.

At present Portland holds the 24th pick in the first round and the 3rd and 8th picks (33rd and 38th overall) in the second round as a sign that at least one team that picks ahead of Portland's final pick of the second round has told Jodie that they would draft him if he is available; or he is being guaranteed a spot in the league for next season.

This cancellation is in part some of the circumstantial evidence that indicates Meeks may have a first round guarantee.

It is interesting that Jodie's cancellation of the Portland workout came on the heels of a scheduled workout with the Bulls, which have first round picks at 16 and 26, but no second round choices.

Other workouts Jodie has had include, but are not limited to, Oklahoma City (#25), Detroit (considering Meeks at #15), Washington (#32), Atlanta (#19) and Minnesota (#18 and #28). Lots of mid and late first round drafting teams in that lot.

Could this be a bit of foreshadowing?

The NBA scouts and executives that evaluate a player's draft position had Meeks going anywhere from mid first round to early second round, as players who have been on the board ahead of Meeks opted out of the draft Meeks will have moved up the draft ladder.

Like Fox's Jeff Goodman I'm not sure why the mock drafters keep undervaluing the UK junior. Jodie is better than a number of the wing guards that the mock drafts proclaim will be drafted ahead of him. A number of the players being forecast to go ahead of Meeks are much more one dimensional, and have a range on their jumpshot that is more limited than the jumper Meeks put on display last season.

Another valuable commodity that the UK junior brings to the table is his ability to defend, which in the NBA is a much more valuable asset than the average fan might think.

Where Jodie may excel the most is with the intangibles he brings to the team which drafts him, He has a high basketball IQ, he has been a model citizen at UK, and has an incredible work ethic. All are intangibles the NBA GMs and scouts like in their draft choices.

An NBA scout spoke to KSR's Larry Vaught regarding Meeks, with a anonymity because his team has an interest in Jodie. "I think he will make a team. I will be stunned if he is not on a team next year. If we don't draft him and he's let go by another team, we will pick him up in a heartbeat," the scout said. "He's better than a lot of the shooting guards in the league right now."

The NBA scout expressed confidence when he spoke with KSR's Larry Vaught about Jodie's chances of being in the NBA next year. The scout who spoke with Vaught wishes to remain anonymous, because his team has an interest in Jodie.

The scout told Vaught "He's a shooter, He can take the ball to the rim and finish. And he's a great defender. He'll be playing somewhere next year and if that's what he wanted, then he made the right decision."

For Meeks he is coming out in a year when the wing guard pickings are pretty slim, and the draft overall isn't real strong.

Many point out that another year at UK would give Meeks the opportunity to work on his weaknesses, and possibly improve his draft stock. Meeks would get at most 20 hours a week next season to work on those weakness, meanwhile he will be a senior and for some reason the NBA tends to devalue seniors. For some reason what is "potential" in a 20 or 21 year old is a weakness for a 22 year old.

One must also factor in the coaching change. Playing for three coaches in four years would be tough, and Jodie would have an adjustment period. Whle Kentucky would gain when Meeks clicks in the offense by midseason, his stats would likely take a hit, and wrong opinions could be formed in that period of time. Look at what one all star appearance did to the stock of Andre Woodson just over a year ago. Throwing a player into a different system and expecting him to excel and remain well thought of may be asking too much of any player.

My prediction is that Meeks goes just as predicted by the NBA committee which evaluates players declaring for the draft. He is likely going anywhere from mid first round to very early second round; based on the teams who have worked him out it looks like many have him on the board as a late first round candidate. I will be surprised if Meeks is playing his basketball anywhere but in the spotlight of the league next season

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