Jennings’ former teammate would take him over Rubio

TrueHoop tracked down Brandon Jennings’ former teammate, Ibrahim Jaaber, to provide a scouting report on Jennings and Ricky Rubio.

Ibrahim Jaaber is uniquely situated to comment on both. It is much discussed that Jennings did not play much for his Italian team, Lottomatica Roma. That’s in part because Jennings played behind Jaaber, a former two-time Ivy League player of the year who has played in Europe since graduating in 2007.

Jaaber agreed to provide a scouting report on his former teammate, Jennings, as well as Rubio, whom Jaaber faced on the court last December. I don’t know if it’s fair to expect Jaaber to be unbiased — Jennings is a former teammate, and he has no such relationship with Rubio — but he assures he is speaking from the heart when he writes:

I look at both as players who will need to be nurtured and given a lot of attention in order to thrive in the NBA. After one or two seasons in the League, given the same coaching, opportunities and development, in my opinion, I think Brandon Jennings will be the overall better player. Which is not to say that Ricky won’t be successful. I just think Brandon has greater potential — and as they are both in my eyes players who will have to make great developments, I would invest my pick in the better athlete, Brandon Jennings.

The piece is longer, and Jaaber makes a case for both players, but he’d take Jennings over Rubio.

Jennings was a top 5 pick all season, but has seen his stock drop recently as concerns over his lack of playing time in Italy crossed with the emergence of several other point guard prospects, namely Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Stephen Curry and Jonny Flynn. Everything I’m reading points to the fact that Jennings is a great athlete and has outstanding quickness, but doesn’t have the same feel for the game as some of the other prospects do. His jumper seems to be falling and he has had several good workouts in recent days. He could go as early as #7 (to the Warriors) or possibly as late as #14 (to the Suns), and given the fluidity of this draft, even that’s not a solid range.

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