VCU’s Eric Maynor would be perfect for the Denver Nuggets. Two years of tutelage from Chauncey and Maynor would be ready to feed Anthony, kick out to JR, and drop floaters in the lane for the next decade.
Above all else, Maynor is clutch (check out his late game heroics against Tennessee and Duke at the end of this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDuf1vuhM5Q). He is also soft spoken, has good length at 6-3, is a great facilitator and an above average three-point shooter (22.5 pts, 6 asts, and 37% 3-pt), and he finishes extremely well in the lane. Maynor’s ability to drive the lane means he will get to the free throw line all the time in the NBA, which is great considering he is an 82% FT shooter. His height, stats, and skill set are nearly identical to Chauncey’s.
This should draw the attention of the Nuggets’ front office for three main reasons. First, Maynor possesses the necessary tools to develop into a smart, oversized PG. The rise in the Nuggets’ play following the Iverson-Billups trade demonstrates that the current Nuggets roster must be led by this “type” of point guard if the franchise wishes to remain dominant. Secondly, his size enables him to defend both PGs and SGs, which is something Ty Lawson and Darren Collison will not be able to do in the NBA. Third, Karl could pair Maynor with a smaller, speedier PG in order to continue running the two-PG backcourt the Nuggets rely on to change the pace of a game. His body and skill set make him such an intriguing prospect for the team the Nuggets became over the course of last season. I personally believe Maynor’s height actually makes him a more attractive commodity for the Nuggets’ system than NCAA champion Ty Lawson, who is listed at an embellished 5’11”.
Additionally, Maynor played four years of college ball. This shows that he is smart and coachable, two attributes that Karl values and believes many rookies lack. I’d be overjoyed if Maynor slips to the Nuggets or they move up ten or so picks to get him. Watch the youtube link I included earlier in this post because it will make you salivate over the prospect of landing Eric Maynor. Pay particular attention to the inbound play from underneath the basket that happens 1 min and 26 seconds into the video. Now, who does that self-pass off of the opposing player’s back for a lay up remind you of? It’s a signature Chauncey move! Chauncey pulled that move in the state finals when he was at George Washington High School, and he did it again this year against the Lakers in the Western Conference finals; watch as Chauncey inbounds the ball off of none other than Kobe’s back and goes in for an easy lay up.
Maynor is a natural point guard with excellent size, a nice mid-range jump shot, and an ability to get into the lane. More importantly, he is stoic and instinctively takes over in the final minutes of big games. He is not quite as athletic and strong as Ty Lawson or as quick off the dribble as Darren Collins and Jeff Teague, but his build and poise more than make up for it. Maynor understands how to play team basketball. Or as Karl would put it, Eric Maynor plays the game of basketball the right way. Bill Simmons said it best two days ago, “Maynor has ownership of the position. He is a real point guard. He is the guy who if we were playing a playground game everyone would all agree that this guy is the point guard of one of the teams and will handle the ball up the court…He is an old school point guard…This guy looks like he’s been playing point guard since he was three.” Like I said before, Maynor is the perfect pick for the future of this franchise.