When Chris Paul sprained his ankle earlier this week the initial diagnosis was that he would miss about two games. But the news has just come down that he'll miss at least a month. The Hornets were already playing without David West, Bobby Jackson, and Peja Stojakovic -- hence the 11-17 record. Desmond Mason is now their leading scorer at 12 points per game.
Of course, for a team that was already going to miss the playoffs having your star go down with a sprained ankle isn't so bad. The Hornets currently have the 7th worst record in the NBA and that figures to get worse in the coming month. And that means a very high draft pick in what is going to be an amazing draft. Can you imagine the future this team might have if they had Kevin Durant along side Paul?
Same goes for Memphis, the current leaders in the Greg Oden chase.
The Southwest division has a pretty bright future.
Update [2006-12-29 19:28:54 by Wes Cox]: Chad Ford has an article today looking at all the great freshman in college basketball this season.
To put this into historical perspective, the most freshmen ever drafted in the first round was four in 2001. However, that was back when high school players could come directly to the NBA without meeting a minimum age requirement.