Roberto Castro | Contributing Writer
With the conclusion of the NBA regular season and finals before a much anticipated offseason in free agency another impactful event will occur; the NBA Draft. The reasons for the magnitude of this event can be attributed to the quality of players being selected, the boom or bust potential with each player drafted, as well as the ability of one player to change the life of an organization that is arguably more apparent in basketball than in any other team sport.
Last year we were treated to a talented group of rookies in which some exceeded expectations to have sensational rookie seasons, along with others who didn’t necessarily produce eye popping numbers, but nonetheless the potential is apparent. This year seems to provide another talented class along with the possibility to be as deep as any previous draft class in recent memory.
With that being said much like my previous NFL Prospect Draft Board article I will be including the top three players at each position along with most intriguing prospects, as well as potential sleepers. However, the construct will be different as I will divide each player and categorize them into groups based on my personal view and opinion on the player.
The categories will consist of: My Top Five which will include my first five players I would choose in no order as an acting GM. My Power Five will be the next group of players I would select, along with the Defenders consisting of my primary defensive players. I will also include as the sleepers a Spark Plug unit and Solid Five unit along with the Wildcard unit as my most intriguing group.
I will also include combine measurements for each player that includes: height with shoes and height without in parenthesis, weight and wingspan, along with a brief description of each player’s traits and skill set.
My Top Five:
PG: Collin Sexton (Alabama) HT: 6’1.5 (6’0.5) WT: 183 WS: 6’7.25
Sexton is a combo guard without elite passing skills, and isn’t a knock down shooter but his leadership, toughness, scoring and playmaking ability and defensive potential along has the makings to become a really solid starter at the next level.
SG: Luka Doncic (Real Madrid) HT: 6’8 WT: 225 WS: N/A
Doncic played point guard due to his elite passing and playmaking skills, however his lack of quickness will see him most likely change positions. His playmaking skills along with his IQ are a rare commodity for his age that should equate to a solid career.
SF: Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri) HT: 6’10.75 (6’9.5) WT: 211 WS: 7’0.25
Porter isn’t the quickest guy on either end of the floor, but the main concern with him is health. He provides a rare skill set, footwork, athleticism and maturity for someone of his size and age entails a long career with star potential.
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michigan St.) HT: 6’11.25 (6’9.75) WT: 236 WS: 7’5.25
Jackson is still raw and his offensive game is still developing, however the potential is apparent as his versatility on both ends of the floor as a stretch big and fluid athlete for his size provides star potential.
C:Mo Bamba (Texas) HT: 7’0.25 ( 6’11.25) WT: 225.6 WS: 7’10
Bamba’s offensive game and body are still a work in progress, however his defensive versatility and offensive potential make him a one of a kind player with the highest ceiling in this draft.
PG: Aaron Holliday (UCLA) HT: 6’0.75 (5’11.75) WT: 187 WS: 6’7.5
Holliday isn’t the biggest nor best passing point guard, however his explosiveness as a combo guard scorer and defensive potential should equate a solid career as a backup or starter.
SG: Lonnie Walker (Miami) HT: 6’4.5 (6’3.75) WT: 196.2 WS: 6’10.25
Walker is a great scorer with elite athleticism who will need to prove he can defend and create for teammates more consistently, however displays potential in those aspects with his ball skills provide a high ceiling.
SF: Kevin Knox (Kentucky) HT: 6’9 (6’7.75) WT: 212.6 WS: 6’11.75
Knox has a high ceiling as a versatile scorer, but also defensive potential due to his length. He will need to improve his quickness and consistency as a defender and become more assertive on offense to reach his ceiling.
PF: Miles Bridges (Michigan St.) HT: 6’6.75 (6’5.25) WT: 220.4 WS: 6’9.5
There is uncertainty if Bridges is a three or a four, however his versatility as a scorer on offense along with his defensive potential could see him play both at the next level and become a solid starter.
C: DeAndre Ayton (Arizona) HT: 7’0 WT: 260 WS: N/A
Ayton isn’t the best defender or shot blocker, and his motor can fluctuate at times, however his offensive skill set, footwork and lateral quickness on both ends of the floor is rare for someone his size and age that should equate to a solid career with star potential.
PG: Shai Gilgeous Alexander (Kentucky) HT: 6’6 (6’4.5) WT: 180 WS: 6’11.5
Shai isn’t the most explosive athlete at the position and would like to see him look to make more plays for his teammates at the next level. However, he plays with great pace and composure along with scoring, passing and defensive ability to become a solid pro.
SG: Khyri Thomas (Creighton) HT: 6’3.75 (6’2.5) WT: 198.8 WS: 6’10.5
Thomas needs to expand his offensive game and improve his ball skills, however his elite defensive ability as well as his ability on and off the ball on both ends of the floor will provide necessary production for any team.
SF: Mikal Bridges (Villanova) HT: 6’7 WT: 210 WS: N/A
Bridges will need to improve his ball skills offensively, however his versatility on both ends of the floor and upside should equate to becoming an elite “3 and D” player as a solid pro.
PF: Kostas Antetokounmpo (Dayton) HT: 6’10.5 (6’9) WT: 194.8 WS: 7’2.25
Kostas is still raw and learning the game and will need to expand his offense. Although he doesn’t possess the ball skills of his brother Giannis, however his versatility as an elite defender and scoring and playmaking potential should produce at the next level.
C: Robert Williams (Texas A&M) HT: 6’9 WT: 240 WS: N/A
William’s offensive game will take time to develop but has some upside offensively, however his athleticism and defensive ability as an interior defender should allow him to contribute to any team.
PG: Landry Shamet (Wichita St.) HT: 6’5.25 (6’4) WT: 188.6 WS: 6’6.75
Shamet isn’t the best defender nor will he ever be an explosive athlete, however his ball skills, playmaking and IQ should make him a productive player at the next level.
SG: Donte DiVincenzo (Villanova) HT: 6’4.5 (6’3.5) WT: 200 WS: 6’6.5
Donte isn’t the quickest player on either end of the floor, however his scoring and playmaking potential on both ends should translate into a productive player at the next level.
SF: Troy Brown (Oregon) HT: 6’6.75 (6’5.75) WT: 208 WS: 6’10.25
Brown might need to expand his offensive game outside of the arc, however his ability to score from within, playmaking and defensive capabilities should translate as a solid pro.
PF: Wendell Carter (Duke) HT: 6’10 (6’8.75) WT: 251.4 WS: 7’4.5
Carter will need to continue to develop as a stretch big, however his versatility and potential on both ends of the floor along with his IQ should make him an eventual starter and long career.
C: Chimezie Metu (USC) HT: 6’9.5 (6’8.5) WT: 219.5 WS: 7’0.5
Metu is also still raw and learning the game and also needs to continue to expand his game. While he will need to display more consistency his development and versatility on defense should allow for a key contributor and producer.
PG: Jalen Brunson (Villanova) HT: 6’2.25 (6’1) WT: 198.4 WS: 6’4
Brunson isn’t an explosive athlete with great quickness or suddenness, but his ability as a floor general and capable two way abilities should allow him to become a key contributor for any team.
SG: Rawle Alkins (Arizona) HT: 6’4.25 (6’2.75) WT: 217.4 WS: 6’8.75
Alkins will need to improve his decision making, as well as look for more opportunities to set up his teammates, but his defensive abilities combined with ball skills, finishing and capable outside shooting should see him become a key contributor.
SF: Sviatoslav Mykahiliuk (Kansas) HT: 6’7.75 (6’6.5) WT: 211.6 WS: 6’4.75
Mykahiliuk is a bit too passive at times, but his shooting and team first mentality along with his underrated facilitating and capable ball skills should allow him to develop into a solid player at the next level.
PF: Omari Spellman (Villanova) HT: 6’9.25 (6’8) WT: 253.8 WS: 7’2
Spellman isn’t a back to the basket, old school bully you inside big man but his face up game and skill set as a stretch big, as well as his ability to move in space and court vision should provide a solid career.
C: Moritz Wagner (Michigan) HT: 6’11.5 (6’10.5) WT: 241.4 WS: 7’0
Wagner isn’t a tenacious rebounder or elite defender; however his offensive skills, IQ and footwork on both ends of the floor aren’t common for someone his size that should translate into solid player at the next level.
PG: Anfernee Simons (IMG Academy) HT: 6’3.25 (6’2.25) WT: 183.2 WS: 6’9.25
Besides transforming his body Simons will need to become a better defender and facilitator as a combo guard, but his scoring ability off the dribble or catch and shoot and playmaking capabilities are what make him intriguing.
SG: Bruce Brown (Miami) HT: 6’5 (6’3.5) WT: 194.6 WS: 6’9
Brown is an athletic two way playmaking combo guard who will need to improve his spot up shooting as a scorer, but can become a key contributor.
SF: Chandler Hutchison (Boise St.) HT: 6-7 WT: 195 WS: N/A
Hutchison will need to become a better playmaker and facilitator, but possesses scoring and defensive potential to become a solid contributor for any team.
PF: Keita Bates Diop HT: 6’8.5 (6’7.25) WT: 223.8 WS: 7’3.25
Bates will need to improve his ball skills and continue to expand his offense, but his defensive ability and two way potential make him an intriguing option.
C: Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky) HT: 7’1 WT: 225 WS: N/A
Robinson is still raw and developing his offense, but his athleticism on both ends, defensive ability as a shot blocker and offensive upside makes him arguably the most intriguing prospect.
*All measurements were obtained by the NBADraft.Net website and NBA Combine. The draft will be held on June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.