We go back to last year’s draft, and select who should go where after a year in the NBA. We give our insight on those who raised their stock, still need time, and dissapointed.
1.) Timberwolves- Anthony Edwards
The debate between Edwards and Ball could go either way for #1 here. Both had excellent rookie seasons, but it’s hard to trust Ball’s durability when that was an issue heading into the draft, not to mention he did miss time during his 1st year. Edwards has great potential as he has a strong frame, emerging as a 3 level scorer, and he has potential on the defensive end if he buys in.
2.) Warriors- LaMelo Ball
LaMelo showcased his talent as he almost led an unlikely playoff berth for the Hornets which may have happened if it wasn’t for the injury. Ball has an excellent feel and a star quality about him. The fit here isn’t perfect, but he is by far the next best player that the Warriors should take a chance on. Also, Ball’s height allows him to defend multiple positions so he would be able to play next to Curry.
3.) Hornets- James Wiseman
This could be confusing to some, but don’t forget how rare the blend of size, speed, and skill Wiseman presents. Yes, it will take time, but if the Hornets didn’t have Ball, they’re not competing for anything meaningful any time soon. Getting Halliburton is fine, but don’t expect him to keep making huge strides as he is pretty close to his peak already. Wiseman has the potential to become one of the better bigs in the NBA as long as he’s willing to work for it.
4.) Bulls- Tyrese Haliburton
This whole offseason feels like it’s about finding a PG to compliment Zach LaVine, and that is why Haliburton makes perfect sense. He’s a great passer, spot-up threat, and is long so Chicago can play 3 guard lineups at times between Zach, Coby, and Tyrese. Yes, the Bulls are high on Patrick Williams, and he does many things well. Despite this, it is hard to win in this league without a PG, and after the Vucevic deal, their timeline has accelerated to where they need to start winning.
5.) Cavs- Isaac Okoro
The Cavs could go several directions here as Obi Toppin has the highest ceiling. Then some prefer Patrick Williams above Okoro, but the Cavs seem to like Okoro. He is a great defender, can succeed without the ball, and is a team-first guy. It’s the ultimate “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” pick.
6.) Hawks- Onyeka Okongwu
It seemed strange to use the 6th pick on a backup center, but the Hawks have very little needs. They are the deepest team in the NBA, and Okongwu looked solid his first year. He looks the part to become the successor to Clint Capela eventually. Until that day, he will be a reliable rotation player.
7.) Pistons- Patrick Williams
Patrick Williams is a hard worker who has impressed many. He hasn’t shown on the court that he will be a go-to guy yet, so that’s why he slides a little bit. He still brings two-way potential, a team-first mindset, and a great work ethic.
8.) Knicks- Cole Anthony
The Knicks take a chance and get their PG of the future. Right now, they don’t have a point guard that matches their timeline with their core. Then I don’t consider Cole the best available PG, but he fits Thibs system the best with his tough-minded, drive-first mindset that would be great for them. If the rumors are true and they are pursuing Collin Sexton, then go with a guy like Saddiq Bey. Until that happens, Anthony would be the pick.
9.) Wizards- Obi Toppin
The Wizards go with the highest upside pick here. It’s not clear if Obi’s best at PF or C yet, the talents there. He offers an intriguing package offensively. We only saw him on a team that lacked spacing and play slow, which didn’t feature his skill sets. Putting him in pick and roll/pop with a guy like Russell Westbrook and letting him play on the break would be great for him, and they would be an exciting duo to watch.
10.) Suns- Killian Hayes
Suns could go with a wing here, but with Cam Payne entering free agency along with Chris Paul’s age, it makes sense to think ahead. Hayes is the best player available, and would benefit learning from Chris Paul. He could play that 3rd guard in the rotation, play either PG or SG, and gives versatility with his 6’5” frame. He’s a good passer for his age and could be a long-term plan at PG.
11.) Spurs- Saddiq Bey
Even with Bey’s excellent rookie campaign, he still has limitations as a 3 and D guy. He shot the ball well his first season at 38.0% from 3 and would be a great floor spacer. Bey can be a rotation player even though ideally, if there was a high upside player that the Spurs could build around, then that’s who they would need to. Spurs don’t have a player to build their franchise around yet. However, considering who’s on the board, this is the pick that makes the most sense.
12.) Kings- Devin Vassell
Vassell goes one pick later in this redraft is a high-character player who would help the Kings on both ends and is a reliable decision-maker. This isn’t the same as getting a guy like Haliburton, but Vassell can be a great glue guy on a team that needs them.
13.) Pelicans- Jaden McDaniels
The Pelicans pick here essentially means they resign Lonzo Ball, which should be the approach as he fits well next to Brandon Ingram and Zion. Unless Lonzo has made it clear he won’t play for the Pelicans, They shouldn’t pick a point guard. They need another forward that’s versatile and plays defense. McDaniels is that guy as he is a 6’9”, long athlete who is a great weak-side rim protector. While the 3 point shot is hard to fully buy into as his mechanics can improve, he has many tools that would give the Pels options to play big or small with a frontcourt of BI, McDaniels, and Zion.
14.) Celtics- Kira Lewis Jr.
Last year they picked Aaron Nesmith who struggled to get playing time. Kira Lewis is an ideal fit with his speed and scoring potential as the Celtics got rid of Kemba Walker, they need to find a PG that can give them a scoring punch and another guy that can create. It’s hard to say who’s the best guy to get because Ime Udoka is a first-time head coach so it’s unknown the type of system he runs. Despite this, it’s a high upside pick for a Celtics team that needs to add some talent around Tatum and Brown.
Article Written by Bradley Patten
Image found on Clutch Points (https://clutchpoints.com/anthony-edwards-is-starting-give-lamelo-ball-some-competition-rookie-of-the-year/)
Stats found on Basketball Reference (https://www.basketball-reference.com)