NBA Draft is one of the most important nights in basketball, as players get the chance to kick off their professional careers by joining an NBA franchise, even though most fans don’t have the slightest clue of who the hell they are.
Drafting is not an easy task, as projections, agents and video footage of empty gym workouts can be quite tricky, so more often than not, some teams strike out on the players that had the potential to turn their franchise around.
On the other hand, risk-taking GMs can land diamonds in the rough and snag studs right before our eyes, but sometimes, they also end up empty-handed. Today, we’re going to praise those risk-takers, letting you know about the top 5 steals of this year’s Draft.
Hamidou Diallo was looking great for the Oklahoma City Thunder in preseason and Summer League, but the gruesome injury he suffered has kept him in the shelf following a strong start of the season.
Even so, for a baller of his talents, slipping all the way to the 45th spot in the Draft seems kinda odd, and the Thunder taking him right out of the hands of the Nets was a master move. Before falling down with an injury, he was averaging 5.4 points and 2.3 rebounds a game.
5. Landry Shamet
Landry Shamet has been a very solid pick for the Philadelphia 76ers at the 26th spot in the 1st round, as he’s been able to contribute right away and even back up Ben Simmons depending on matchups.
He’s an above the average playmaker, a solid scorer and a guy that won’t impress with athleticism or explosiveness, but that could be a great backup point guard in the league for years to come. So far, he’s averaging 7.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.
4. Robert Williams
Robert Williams wasn’t able to contribute right away but he’s earning more and more playing time for the Boston Celtics with his top-tier grit and grind in the defensive end of the hardwood for sure.
Williams has a DeAndre Jordan kind of skill set that could help him establish as a defensive standout a couple years from now, so taking him at 27th is a huge steal. So far, he averages 2.3 points and 2.8 boards per game, but those numbers are trending up.
3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was my favorite pure point guard entering the Draft night and so far he has even exceeded my expectations, already showing his two-way talents for the surprising Clippers.
Alexander has a huge wingspan and defensive awareness, takes great care of the ball and doesn’t force things on offense, and he’s going to be one of the best backcourt stoppers in a couple of years. So far, he’s averaging 10.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists, very good for a guy the Clippers stole from Charlotte at 11th.
2. Mitchell Robinson
While Kevin Knox got most of the attention, Mitchell Robinson has been by far the best rookie for the New York Knicks, and the fact that he slipped all the way to the 36th spot in the Draft is just crazy.
He’s been a stud in the defensive side of the hardwood, showing great strides as a rebounder and a shot-blocker with Clint Capela kind of upside. So far, he’s averaging 4.7 points and 3.9 boards per game.
1. Luka Doncic
The Atlanta Hawks are comfortable with Trae Young, but knowing that they could’ve gotten Luka Doncic instead, they should be lowkey regretting to have traded their 3rd overall pick watching how great he’s been.
Doncic has made an immediate impact on his team and barring injury (God forbid), he’s a lock to take home the Rookie of the Year award, averaging 17.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.