Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pitarresi: Flynn moving up


Jonny Flynn is moving up.


Sports Illustrated has the former Syracuse University point guard projected to go fourth in  Thursday's NBA draft. Flynn was regarded as a low first-round choice when Orange season ended, and a few weeks ago was talked about as being a mid-first-rounder. Now fourth. That's quite a jump. Apparently it's due to impressive workouts with several teams.


I'm don't know if Flynn is worth the fourth pick in the draft, and I don't think the scouts really know, either. The kid is a great athlete, very strong, plays with passion. He has holes in his game, some of them that have to do with maturity, but he just turned 20 Feb. 6, so he has plenty of room  to grow.


Flynn's size could be a factor. SI lists him as 6-foot-1, but that certainly is not true. Having stood face to face with him many times, I'm sure the 5-11¼ I saw on one scouting report is much more like it. But plenty of guys that size and shorter have made it in the NBA, although not many lately. Well, Flynn is not likely to grow taller, but he can improve his shooting, and he will have to, especially from long range. He was a capable shooter in college, sometimes terrific, but rather streaky. That has to get better. And I can't see him attacking the basket consistently in the NBA. He often did in college, where I thought he often got the better of calls when initiating contact with big guys, but I don't think that will pay off at the next level.


Flynn has the athletically ability to play in the NBA. He is fast and powerful and gets off the floor like a rocket. If he can make up for his lack of size, improve his shooting – that's a skill that responds more to hard work than almost any in any sport – and continue to increase his basketball IQ, he has a good chance of being a success.






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