The NBA Draft is just around the corner, which means that the best prospects in the world are just a week away from knowing what team they'll play for in the pros. That also means that NBA fans are digging deep into all the information they can get about those prospects.
This unorthodox class has drawn mixed reviews thus far. Some believe that it's short of talent and that there isn't something like a 'can't-miss' kind of guy, while others believe that it features countless diamonds in the rough that will outplay their Draft stock.
As for us, we're just excited to see how this Draft pans out and how these youngsters fare among the grown-ups, and if we judge them from some of the comparisons NBADraft.net has done about them, we can be sure that they'll do just fine. Here, we'll let you know the NBA comparisons for the top 10 prospects of this year's NBA Draft:
10. Devin Vassell - Kelly Oubre Jr / Kent Bazemore
Devin Vassell has drawn some mixed reviews thus far. He's one of the most athletic players you'll see on a basketball court and he has a strong feel for making big, flashy plays, but he also tends to disappear from time to time in the defensive end.
"One of the most athletic wings in this year’s NBA draft … Shows a lot of promise as a wing that can contribute on both ends of the floor … High flyer. Explosive leaper. When he has an opening to the basket, regularly finishes with highlight dunks … Smooth offensive game, makes it look easy," his scouting report says.
Vassell has the upside to become an outstanding two-way player at the next level and it's unusual to watch gifted athletes struggled in the NBA. However, unless he finds more consistency he's going to be little more than a role player at the next level.
9. Killian Hayes - Kirk Hinrich / Spencer Dinwiddie
Some experts believe that Killian Hayes has the potential to be the best player in this class and I won't be the one who disagrees. Talent-wise, skillset-wise, he may be one of the most complete point guard prospects we've seen in years:
"Tall, left handed point guard (6-5), with very good size for his position … Very good length (wingspan measured at 6-foot-8) … Great feel for the game … Nice build, with long arms and wide shoulders that look they can fill up well … Has good level of athleticism … Fluid athlete … Versatile, can play in either guard position thanks to his size and length … Has a high basketball I.Q," NBADraft.net says about him.
However, even though he's one of the most experienced players in this year's class, it still feels like Hayes is a work in progress who may struggle to create separation from his defender due to his underwhelming athleticism and lack of speed.
8. Tyrese Haliburton - Lonzo Ball / Dante Exum
The New York Knicks have been looking for their point guard of the future for years and Tyrese Haliburton could be exactly what they've been praying for, especially because that would allow them to trade Frank Ntilikina, one of their few valuable assets.
"A tall and rangy PG, is a legitimate 6’5 and has long arms … Uses his height to his advantage, showing outstanding court vision and flashes of the ability to make difficult passes and shots over smaller guards … Great passer and facilitator, creates multiple easy shots every game (7.1 apg currently) … Has good timing with his assists, often making pocket passes or zipping dimes across the court to cutters and shooters before the defense has time to react," says his scouting report.
Haliburton would bring something pretty similar to Ntilikina to the table. A long, defensive-minded point guard who can match up well vs. bigger players but that may struggle to knock down shots, at least early in his career. He's a gifted, strong athlete, though.
7. Patrick Williams - OG Anunoby
Few prospects are as intriguing as Patrick Williams. He's a physical specimen and an athletic freak with the length, strength, speed, and hops to play and match up vs. grown-men right away, and has arguably the most NBA-ready body of this class:
According to NBADraft.net, Williams is "An explosive, “freakish” combo forward with intriguing upside, especially as a defender … One of the most explosive athletes in college basketball, Williams is difficult to keep off of the offensive glass … Oozes potential with his eye popping physical profile and standout versatility … Scores a fair amount of baskets just through sheer athleticism as he’s able to physically outclass most players at the college level."
Then again, there are some concerns about Williams' ability to develop a consistent shot, as he's made a living out of outpowering his rivals. He's got the upside to become one of the most versatile and productive players of this class but he needs to put a lot of work into his offensive skills.
6. Deni Avdija - Hedo Turkoglu
There's no true consensus when it comes to Deni Avdija. Some people believe he's going to be the next Luka Doncic, but his skill set would resemble more to Hedo Turkoglu or even a Toni Kukoc minus the three-point shot. At the end of the day, he may not be like any other player we've seen.
"All around talented wing with great size … Versatile, he can play from shooting guard to power forward … Great feel for the game … He possesses a high basketball I.Q … Very competitive, not afraid of the big stage … Jack of all trades, he can do just about everything on the floor … Has all the necessary tools to become a point forward in the future and work as a secondary play maker," reads his scouting report.
Avdija is one of the most experienced prospects of this year's class. Moreover, he's also one of the smartest. He's got a well-developed basketball IQ and doesn't seem to make a lot of mistakes. However, it seems like his ceiling in the league will be determined by his ability to develop a three-point shot.
5. Obi Toppin - Kenyon Martin / Shawn Marion
Obi Toppin's draft stock rose drastically during the NCAA season, as he went from an unknown prospect to one of the most highly-coveted specimens in the nation. His athleticism, explosiveness, and feel for making huge plays above the rim made him a walking highlight reel.
"Toppin is a late blooming frontcourt prospect who seemingly come out of nowhere after a redshirt season in 2017-2018 to emerge as the best player and prospect in the A-10 conference in 2019-2020 and one of the top players and prospects in the nation … Has decent size for a PF prospect at 6’9, a 7-2 wingspan and around 230 lbs …Shows very good run-jump athleticism … An above the rim highlight machine, Toppin is a consistent finisher at the rim and looks to finish with authority much more often than not, even through contact," experts say about him.
Even though he flashes with great strength and athleticism, Toppin is kind of slow and subpar rebounder for a guy his size. He's a somewhat capable three-point shooter but needs to add more weapon to his offensive repertoire if he wants to make it with the pros.
4. Onyeka Okongwu - John Collins / Montrezl Harrell
Once Onyeka Okongwu cracked the top-5 of the 2020 NBA Draft class, there was no looking back. In fact, some even had him going as high as 2nd overall thanks to his combination of size, strength, and a never-ending grit and grind on both ends of the floor.
"Exceptional rim protector who can block shots in one-on-one match ups or erase looks in well-timed help defense … Relatively undersized NBA big man with great length to make up for his lack of height …Physical player in the post who uses his strength to get and keep good positioning down in the paint," NBADraft.net says about him.
Okongwu still needs to put a lot of work into his offensive game as he often settles for making the most of his damage in the paint, which doesn't seem ideal in the modern stretch-big era. Then again, he's got the upside of a Defensive Player of the Year.
3. James Wiseman - Hassan Whiteside / DeAndre Jordan
James Wiseman was the consensus best player of his class before the start of the NCAA season. Now, he's drawing mixed reviews due to the lack of exposure he got after dropping out of Memphis and the fact that he's an old-school big man.
"Wiseman has physical tools that really stand out on the court, standing 7 feet with a long (7-foot-6 wingspan) and rangy frame … Considering his elite size, it is very intriguing that he brings nimble feet, agility, solid leaping ability and long strides making him an extremely promising big man on both ends of the floor … Has potential as a paint “patroller” on defense, and you have to be mindful of his location when heading to the basket or risk a weakside rejection … Has the size, range, and length to be mentioned along the lines of the top young shot-blockers in the NBA," Draft analysts wrote about him.
Wiseman is a physical specimen who can dominate both sides of the glass with ease. He's already an elite rim-runner and roll-man but there are concerns about his lack of range. Also, his drive and focus on the defensive end tend to go on and off, although he's shown flashes of elite rim protection.
2. LaMelo Ball - Jalen Rose / Shaun Livingston
There isn't a more controversial prospect in this year's class than LaMelo Ball. He's been used to the spotlight so we know he's mentally prepared to make it to the NBA, but his overconfidence, poor shot selection, and lack of interest in playing defense raise some question marks over his head.
According to NBADraft.net, LaMelo is a "physically gifted lead guard prospect with plenty to like in terms of his potential fit into the NBA, as he’s a rangy 6’8 perimeter player with the frame to become even more imposing as he packs on muscle … A wizard with the ball in his hands with elite ball handling and passing ability … He projects as more of a combo or point guard, but due to his frame he should easily be able to defend some SFs as he gains strength and experience, adding to his intrigue as a prospect … On top of his size, he is also a very coordinated athlete with great body control and agility.
But even despite all those things, LaMelo Ball is still projected to be a top-3 pick. That's just how good and talented he is. He's got the potential to become one of the league's finest entertainers in no time, and should he develop a consistent shot from beyond the arc, it'll be over for the rest of the league.
1. Anthony Edwards - Dwyane Wade / Donovan Mitchell
While there's never such thing as a sure thing in the NBA Draft, it seems like Anthony Edwards comes close to that definition. That's why he's almost a lock to be the first guy off the board once the Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock with the first-overall pick.
"A rangy, 6’5 225 guard prospect with a truly formidable combination of size, strength and quick twitch athleticism on the perimeter … Somewhat of a physical freak, possessing an imposing frame that is mature well beyond its years and that he knows how to use to his advantage … A powerful and explosive leaper, particularly off of 2 feet, and is pretty light on his feet for his size, making him an absolute terror for defenses when he’s slashing to the rim in the half court or running the floor in transition," says his scouting report.
Edwards can improve his shot selection, especially considering his athletic gifts and offensive versatility. More than that, there aren't many negative things you could say about his game, as he's even flashed some great potential in the defensive end of the floor.
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