Editor's Note: We asked fellow Bloguin member Ed Issacson from NBA Draft Blog to give us his thoughts on the Huskies' current NBA prospects. Check out his analysis and let us know what you think in the comments!
Isaiah Thomas, Washington - Junior
Guard- 5’8, 185
Thomas is an offensive dynamo who has really stepped in the point guard role in the absence of Abdul Gaddy. He has great range on his jumper, knows how to find holes in the defense, and has the speed and ballhandling ability to get into the lane. In transition, he is a blur and is a threat to either pull up for a long jumper or finish at the rim. He still has issues with shot selection, and while he has made great strides as a point guard, his decision-making is still not at the level of great point guards. The important thing for him is to balance his scoring mindset with his ability to create for others.
On the defensive end, he can be a very good on-ball defender. He positions himself well, moves his feet well and has very quick hands. Of course, while his size does give him some advantages, he is very prone to getting caught in mismatches. This is especially true since he has not shown a great ability to work through screens and is often caught having to switch. If he can improve this, he will go along way to showing he can guard larger guards at the next level.
While I think he would have a shot in the mid-second round if he was to come out this year, it would be best for him to stay in school one more year and work on developing more of those true point guard skills. If he was to stick around one more year, I can see him easily going in the high second round, or possibly the very late first round.
A full scouting report on Thomas can be found here.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning - Senior
Forward- 6’9, 240
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Bryan-Amaning has improved over a 4-year span more than anyone in the Pac-10 and has clearly enhanced his future professional prospects. He is become a legitimate post threat, with great hands, solid footwork and a nice touch around the rim. What’s more impressive his the way he runs the floor for his size, fillings the lanes well and making himself available to finish strong. He has developed a varied series of post moves, though he needs to become better with his face-up move. Also, if he wants to have a legitimate shot at the NBA, he will need to become more consistent with his mid-range jumper. He is extremely active on the offensive boards and has shown a great knack for getting second shots up quickly.
Defensively, he is not as polished as he is on the offensive end. While he holds his position well in the post, he needs to become more physical in pushing the offensive player off the blocks. Also, while he does a good job rebounding, he needs to make sure to put a body on someone before he goes for the ball – he will not have the same strength advantage at the next level.
Bryan-Amaning is an intriguing player – while he has improved greatly over 4 years, I think there is still some untapped potential. That being said, unless he has some spectacular pre-draft workouts, I would be surprised if hears his name called on draft day – though a Summer League invite could get him more visibility. Returning to Europe could be an option for him, though I think the work he needs to do to improve could best be accomplished in the D-League.
Justin Holiday - Senior
Forward- 6’6, 185
Photo Source: (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Holiday is another interesting player, mainly because we will look at his defensive skills as his possible ticket to the NBA. He has good size and long arms, with the ability to guard the 2 or 3 well, and in certain situations could guard the 1 or 4 positions. He moves his feet well, is active both on and off the ball, and is an excellent help defender. On the offensive end, he is far from polished, but is active on the boards, and can hit the open mid-range jumper. What impresses me the most about Holiday is his basketball IQ – he does all of the little things you want from a player, and he is out there on the court for one reason, to help his team win.
There are a few things he really needs to improve if he wants to get a serious NBA look. 1) he has to become more diversified on the offensive end – increase the range of his jumper, and look to use his length to his advantage going to the rim and 2) build himself up physically, especially his upper body. The NBA is a much more physical game than the Pac 10 – his younger brother Jrue can attest to that.
I can see Holiday getting a serious look from some teams in the late second round, anywhere in the 45-60 range. He would be a great fit for a good team looking for some defensive intensity off the bench, and with his ability to hit the open jumper, teams will not be able to play off him.