Below is a select transcript of a recent conference call TNT analyst Reggie Miller, who addressed the NBA draft prospects and Kevin Love’s future.
On who Miller sees as the top pick in the NBA Draft:
Miller: In today’s age, it’s so hard for these guys to figure out who can potentially be an All-Star, super star and potential Hall of Famers and actually get a chance to see them lace them up and get on the court. The early names everyone is talking about with Joel Embiid, Wiggins, Jabari Parker, the one guy that keeps popping out that everyone is talking about that I haven’t seen is the kid from Australia, Dante Exum.
I know he was at the combine and measured well and did pretty well in the sprints but didn’t take part in the drills and contact. Everyone is talking about this kid as a 6’6’ point guard and no one has ever seen him. I haven’t seen any game film on him. I’m curious to see how it will translate. Zach Levine, Kyle Anderson are guys from UCLA and I’m curious to see where they will end up. But if you’re asking who is going to be the number one pick and who’s going to separate themselves, it’s hard to say.
If I had to pick one guy because I personally saw him and called his game because Jabari Parker. On TV, I thought he was 6’8, 215-220, when I watched him play in that first round matchup that he lost he was more 6’8 1/2 , 6’9, 245. I know he’s going to have to lose some of that weight. But personally seeing him, I can see how his game can translate to the next level. He’s long and needs to work on his athleticism a little bit. But he kind of reminds me of a Carmelo Anthony of that time. He can score in the low post and can face you. He’s wide down low and gets in good position. It’ll be interesting to see all these guys. But it’s hard to pick all these 18, 19 and 20 year olds without seeing them against any professionals.
On Kevin Love’s future
Miller: From all the talk and everyone I’ve been reading, obviously it could be a package or Kevin Love. Whether it’s Houston or the Lakers, possible Golden State, Kevin Love has been adamant about not resigning an extension and will test free agency. That plays a big part. There’s a few places where I think it would be pretty cool that he played. If you get him in Golden State with Klay Thompson and Steph Curry with all three shooters at the same time with Andrew Bogut in the middle, that’s a pretty good lineup. I could see him in Houston playing alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard. But I always thought he would be a lifer in Minnesota. Apparently not. I thought he was going to create his own niche there. But for whatever reason, he’s not happy. Every player has the right to free agency and he’s going to be one of those guys.”
If Minnesota is at a disadvantage because of being in a small market:
Miller: I hope the underlying reason Love wants out of Minnesota isn’t because it’s not a small market. If you look at the conference finals we’re in now with Indiana, OKC and San Antonio, these are all small markets and they’re all doing pretty well. They’ve all drafted well and are well managed. Even Miami, it’s not a huge market, but there is the lure of South Beach and all that makes it a bigger market. But they’re well managed. They all have done well in the draft and in trades. They all have quality guys and these are all small markets. If there’s anything that’s great for the league, it’s when the small markets do well because it well help out the league overall.
You can’t always have Boston, New York, Chicago or LA in the Finals. If that’s the case, we need to have a 10-team league and that’s it. It’s always good when Utah, Milwaukee, Indiana, Memphis does well. It helps. I just hope players don’t always look at the dollar signs and big markets and equate that to success. You can have success. The biggest star behind LeBron James is Kevin Durant and he plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The last time I checked he’s on every commercial in the NBA. That shows you can have success in a small market.
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