Written By: Austin Philippi
A few years from now you will all look back and realize just how right all of the rankings are. This is the order I’d take the players in the upcoming draft and the reason each team with that pick would and should take that individual.
- Mo Bamba – This young man has an 8’0 wingspan and while he didn’t shoot as well from deep as some other 3-Pt shooting big men during the season last year, I’ve seen plenty of evidence in this off-season that he is a player that is the right kind of crazy you want in your franchise. He is working with trainers perfecting his shot down to the last tenth of a second, seems to have a knack for the game and is very athletically gifted. Standing at 7’1 I believe he is the most can’t miss player in the draft do to his size and what I believe will be long healthy career.
Suns: Devin Booker has some defense issues that would be covered by drafting Mo as well their offensive games meshing perfectly together for pick and roll or pick and pop game between the duo.
- Michael Porter Jr. – He is the best player in this draft If he can stay healthy and live up to what I believe his potential is. MPJ was an awesome prospect coming out of high school and was projected to possibly be a top pick in the draft before getting injured. At 6’11 with a 7’0 wingspan this forward is an insane prospect due to his ability to handle and shoot the ball. You of course have questions about his health, but you just can’t pass on a player of this talent.
Kings: The Kings are in desperate need of a star and a wing who can provide them consistent scoring and even draw a double team. The kings a re desperate to be like the warriors and have a ton of 3-Pt shooters but it’ll be easier for Hield and others to get open with this man on the team.
- Trae Young – He is the best shooter in the draft, and one of the best we’ve seen since Steph Curry. He didn’t end the season great, but you must see the potential he possess in vision, passing, scoring, and 3-Pt shooting. He had a 22 Assist game, a Triple-Double through 3 quarters, a 48 Point game, and a game where he made 10 3-Pointers. Doing all of that with averages of 27-4-8 for a first-year guard is good no matter how his season ended, and he is a legitimate case if not for his size that he’s the #1 pick in this draft
Hawks: Can we name a team more desperately in need of a big-name player that will sell tickets, jerseys and bring attention to your franchise than the Hawks? Multiple times last year he was trending on social media and never for reasons not related to basketball, the Hawks could use a young man like this in trying to rebuild their franchise and sell tickets.
- Deandre Ayton – Many have him as the top pick in this draft and do to his size he’s the best rebounder in the draft and has potential to be on of the top defenders. However, he doesn’t have the length in his arms or athletic ability of Mo Bamba and while he put up better stats for his time in college I just don’t like his chances of being the best player in draft and staying healthy either.
Grizzlies: After falling 3 spots in the draft there is no way the grizzlies pass on him to pair with Conley while they find a trade partner for Gasol. Gasol wasn’t a top 5 center in the game last season and the Grizzlies should look to move on to this much younger player if he’s still on the board.
- Luka Doncic – The European standout is a very promising young prospect with a lengthy pro career of asserting his dominance in the ACB and Euro league divisions. At 6’6 220 with real ability to shoot, pass, and play the game like a true point guard in a wings body and he is coming off a Euro league MVP. He isn’t the most athletic and sure-fire prospect in this draft however to say the least.
Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki is in his twilight years and what better way to replace the European monster with another strong prospect who would fit alongside DSJ nicely and would mesh well into the Dallas organization.
- Jaren Jackson – The youngest prospect in the draft has a ton of upside and potential in his monster frame, he has the best defensive upside in the whole draft as he blocked the most shots per game in all of college basketball last season. He won’t be much of a player on the offensive end for a few years outside of catching lobs and running the pick and roll, he is a project but a project worth taking in the lottery for sure.
Orlando: Fournier and Gordon are improving every season and Orlando looks primed to have guys ready to take the next step in their game. Pair them with Jackson who could be a great center and backbone in their lineup it would give the chance for Gordon and Fournier to blossom. It’d also be Lob City 2.0 with Gordon being a young Griffin and Jackson reminding me of Deandre Jordan.
- Marvin Bagley III – At 6’11 with a 7’0 wingspan he is another physically gifted prospect in this year’s draft that makes it one of the deepest and most diverse in recent history. This man shot almost 40% from deep while shoot over 60% from 2-Pt range, with this kind of wingspan and athletic ability and overall feel for the game. No wonder Puma decided to have him headline their new basketball division.
Chicago: He’d be a perfect fit in Chicago and just the star they need to build their franchise around. Lavine, Dunn, Lukkarinen would be great complements around the young forward that could really help take his game to the next level as the true #1 option on that team.
- Miles Bridges – A good 3 and D player with huge upside and potential, he needs to improve various aspects of his game as well as get more consistent on his 3-pt stroke. But he is a clear NBA Lottery pick and would be higher on an NBA Draft board in any other previous NBA season. He is NBA ready from his body (6’7 200) to his overall game and would be a good rebuilding piece for any franchise.
Cavs: With Trae Young off the board assuming you want to try and keep LeBron, or you haven’t traded this pick away to SA to keep LeBron this is the cavaliers best pick. His game translates most into winning in the NBA right now and may need the least amount of time to grow into his game.
- Collin Sexton – A nice 3-pt shooting guard who will bring attitude and hustle to not only the defensive side of the ball but maybe back to the NBA. He has a whole lot of dawg in him and I’m excited to see what he could potentially do on the New York Knicks with Porzingis.
Knicks: With LeBron lurking in this upcoming Free Agency and the Knicks already having Porzingis as your Power Forward, drafting a wing may not be the way to get LeBron’s attention or make your team all that much better if you don’t get a Lebron James type player.
- Kevin Knox – He is a scorer first who doesn’t need the ball in his hands a ton to do the scoring, he can slash, drive, spot up, and take the ball deep into the shot clock and get off his own shot. He does lack some ability to create for others and has major questions on the defensive side of the ball.
76ers: He already said he thinks he’d fit well with the 76ers and I concur, everything he does well the 76ers need more of to play their style of basketball and everything he doesn’t do well Simmons and Embiid would more than make up for on the defensive and playmaking side of the ball. He would be a perfect fit to plug in and get solid shooting from all around the court.
- Mikal Brdiges – He is a great space and pace player that would move the ball around well and defend well. For me he doesn’t get picked till 11th however because he just doesn’t have the upside or star potential I see in these other 10 players. Not to mention he doesn’t have one place he fits best his play style would just kind of fit in anywhere.
Hornets: For some reason I think anywhere USA might just be in charlotte. Jordan has never been great at getting these decision right but with Howard and Walker on your team and playoff aspirations you must assume a nice 3 and D role player who doesn’t need the ball in his hands at all with a big body and frame would be exactly what the Hornets need to get over the hump in the East.
- Wendell Carter – He is a good rim protector who was overshadowed by Bagley III attending Duke. He also can slide out to the 3-Pt line and finish at a decent clip for a college big man. He almost chose Harvard as one of his choices coming out of high school meaning he is highly intellectual which I believe transfers to his basketball IQ and feel for the defensive side of the ball.
Clippers: As often as Jordan has said he wants traded or wants out I don’t believe he will find himself in a clippers uniform next season. Making the need for a center more glaring at one of these two back to back picks they have. They already have Beal and Harris on the wings, they need to piece together a good point guard and center with these two draft picks preferably.
- Liangelo Ball – I honestly believe if he had played a full season of college ball we may be talking about him as a first round pick or even a lottery pick. He has one of the best 3-pt shots in the draft, especially the best catch and shoot 3 in the draft. If he gets drafted let alone this high his bread and butter in the NBA will be catch and shoot 3’s. He’s also 6’5 220 and I believe has the commitment and tools to be a legitimate 3 and D prospect.
Clippers: They don’t have a second-round draft pick, so I’m putting Gelo way to high in this draft. But unless they trade to get a second-round pick and grab Gelo, I just having a feeling the Clippers being the little brother franchise in LA is about to select Lonzo’s not so little, little brother. This pick is purely biased he may or may not be selected in the NBA Draft, but I firmly believe he will prove that to be wrong, he’s a legitimate pro prospect if his last name wasn’t Ball.
- Zhaire Smith – This is another pick based off being biased but going to Texas Tech I saw more games of Smith then I saw of the other players on this list and he just has that something in him. I believe he will have a lengthy pro career and will be contribute meaningful minutes to a franchise looking to make the playoffs next season. Decent defender, passer, and shooter when left open. He has all around good basketball skills and will be a young man to know and fit into his role.
Nuggets: They barely missed the playoffs last season and they have their franchise star and multiple other pieces on the come up. The best thing they could find on their team is someone who would come in and fit in and could contribute in several different ways.