PG: Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr., Derrick White, Derrick Walton Jr.
Lonzo Ball is my favorite point guard in this draft. If you can get past his insane father LaVar, Lonzo is a fantastic prospect. I have Markelle Fultz rated higher on my big board, but I like pass-first point guards that can score more than score-first point guards that can pass. I think Ball will change the culture of the team that drafts him. I also like Dennis Smith Jr. He’s an incredible talent that underachieved at North Carolina State. If he reaches his potential, he could be the best point guard from this draft class. He’s an incredible athlete and has a scorer’s mentality. I think he’s a better passer and playmaker than he’s getting credit for, but wasn’t able to show off that part of his game due to the poor talent around him in college. I’m also a big Derrick White fan. I think he can play either guard position, and will be a solid defender of both positions as a pro. He’s a do-it-all guard that can pass, shoot, and handle the basketball. The draft community is just starting to recognize to his talent. I’m also a fan of Derrick Walton Jr. I don’t think he’ll be drafted, but I expect to see him make a team as a rookie. He didn’t start to realize his potential until his senior year, which will scare off some scouts. But I like his shooting and playmaking abilities, and think he could be an adequate defender as a pro. He won’t be a starting point guard, but I could see him becoming an above average backup.
SG: Josh Hart, Sterling Brown
I’m a huge Josh Hart fan, and don’t understand why he isn’t getting love from everyone. He isn’t an elite prospect, but he’ll be a great contributor as a pro. I think he’ll make a great sixth or seventh man off the bench. Hart isn’t elite in any category, but he’s the classic jack of all trades, master of none prospect. He can shoot, pass, handle the basketball, and defend. He’s not a great athlete, but he’s extremely skilled and smart. I’m also a big Sterling Brown fan. I don’t think he’ll get drafted, but I have him ranked 30th on my big board. He isn’t a great athlete like his brother Shannon, but he’s quick enough to last in the league. Brown makes up for his lack of athleticism with great size and skills. He can score the basketball and get the ball to his open teammates. He’s also an above average defender. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brown outplay many first round picks in the NBA.
SF: Josh Jackson, Jonathan Isaac, Semi Ojeleye, Dillon Brooks, Kris Jenkins
I’m a big Josh Jackson fan. Although his poor shooting gives me pause, I think he’ll be able to improve in that area as a pro. His calling card is his athleticism and defensive potential. I think he’ll be a lockdown defender in the NBA. He’s also a great playmaker for a small forward. If he improves his shooting, he’ll have a chance of becoming an elite 2-way wing. I’m also a fan of Jonathan Isaac. He’ll be able to play either forward position as a pro. He’s one of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in the draft. If he hits, he’ll be a star. Isaac has elite potential on both ends of the floor. He’s a great athlete and is extremely long. Semi Ojeleye is another one of my favorite draft prospects. I think he’ll outperform his draft stock. He doesn’t have great length, but he’s extremely fast and strong. There aren’t many better athletes in this draft than Ojeleye. He’s going to score the basketball in the NBA. Ojeleye can shoot and beat defenders off of the dribble. I’m a bigger Dillon Brooks fan than everyone not named Dillon Brooks. He will never be a great defender, but I think he’ll compete hard on that end of the floor. What will make him money in the NBA are his abilities on offense. I think Brooks could be a starting small forward. He is a great shooter, and has some skills that lend me to believe he can become a point forward. I’m also a Kris Jenkins fan. I don’t think he’ll be drafted, but he has one skill that the NBA covets. Jenkins is a fantastic shooter. He lost weight before last season in an effort to improve his conditioning, defense, and NBA potential. Although he struggled towards the end of the season, I think he’ll be able to shoot himself onto a roster. He’s more than just a shooter too. He’s extremely smart and is a better playmaker than he’s given credit for.
PF: Johnathan Motley, D.J. Wilson, Devin Robinson
I’m higher on Johnathan Motley than most people in the draft community. He’s a great athlete, but wasn’t always consistent in college. I like his skill set, and think he’ll be a better pro than college player. Motley shows stretch four potential. I’m betting on his ability to improve as a shooter as a pro. He’s already lethal around the hoop, both as a scorer and shot blocker on defense. I’m also a D.J. Wilson fan. He’s a fringe first round prospect, and would be a first round pick on my draft board if I was in charge of a team. He’s a solid athlete and good shooter, but needs to add strength to his frame. That shouldn’t be an issue once he gets into an NBA weight room. If he reaches his potential, he’ll be able to play in the post and on the perimeter. I’m also a big Devin Robinson fan. I think he should be a first round pick, but I think he’ll be selected in the second round of the draft. He’s a combo forward that most draft experts consider a small forward, but I like his skills as a small ball four. Robinson is a great athlete, which should translate to the defensive end of the floor. He has the potential to become an elite offensive player, but isn’t quite there yet. He a solid shooter, playmaker, and rebounder, but will need to improve in all of these areas. He’ll also need to add strength as a pro, but that’s not an issue I’m concerned about long-term.
C: Zach Collins, Harry Giles
I’m a big Zach Collins fan. I’ll admit that he’s a boom-or-bust prospect that could flop out of the league. But if he hits, he’ll be an elite center. Collins has potential as a stretch five that can block shots on defense. There aren’t many players that can shoot threes and block shots, and they’re considered the unicorns of the NBA. Collins had limited playing time in his one year of college, so he’ll need time to gain experience. He’s extremely thin, so he’ll also need to add on weight. But he has the skills that could translate into a top tier staring center in the league. I’m also a Harry Giles fan. I tend to bet on top ranked high school prospects that struggle in college. There’s a reason that they are ranked high in high school. Giles is extremely skilled, but has had three major knee injures including one that kept him out during the beginning of his freshman year at Duke. He’s torn both of his ACLs, and hasn’t seemed to regain his explosiveness and athleticism. When he returned from injuries at Duke, he looked like a shell of himself. Not only was the athleticism not there, but his confidence was shot. If he’s never able to regain his confidence and athleticism, he’ll still make a solid rotational big off the bench that brings a lot of energy. If he is able to regain form, he’ll be the steal of the draft. I’d be willing to bet on his skills in the middle of the first round.