A Wise Man once said he was going to be a Top 3 pick in the NBA Draft.
Every chance it was James Wiseman who said that as the big man along with LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards headline the top of the class in this year’s NBA Draft.
LaMelo Ball has soared up the draft boards and is now an odds on favourite to take out the number 1 overall selection in the draft. We’ve come a long way since seeing LaMelo in high school cherry-picking for layups and pulling up from half court.
LaMelo sent Twitter into a frenzy with his play in the NBL last season with the Illawarra Hawks, posting back to back triple-doubles and some ridiculous highlights to go with it.
The fit itself feels a little strange though, with the ball in Minnesota’s court on this one, as having LaMelo and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt would have opposition guards licking their lips at the lack of defensive presence.
Both Ball and Russell are ball-dominant guards, so to have the two in the same backcourt is an odd one, as it would suit neither to play off the ball. Ball’s 3 point shot in the NBL was concerning, to say the least, so you’d have to think they’re eyeing him off playing the point, having the better shooter in D’Angelo off the ball.
James Wiseman at 2 to the Warriors seems the perfect fit, and the missing piece in an already loaded roster. The question remains though, do the Warriors keep the pick? This team is all in on the next few seasons, with Steph and Klay coming back from season-ending injuries last season, it’ll be interesting to see if they want to try and move this pick for a veteran big to help them get back to the promised land. There’s no doubting Wiseman’s skill set though, and we didn’t get to see enough of it in college, with Wiseman getting suspended after the 2nd game of the season and sitting the remainder of the year out.
If I’m playing GM here, the Warriors should keep this pick and lock up their big man of the future, and a perfect fit as a big man in this NBA era.
Anthony Edwards was someone who seemingly had this number 1 overall pick wrapped up for what felt like the entire season. There’s still a big chance he goes 1 to Minnesota (given the better fit), but there’s been a lot of chat about his poor shot selection and decision making, something that’s scaring off the Minnesota Timberwolves from drafting him with the first pick.
Edwards athleticism is off the charts, and there’s no doubt that if he’s not taken with the first pick, Charlotte will be chomping at the bit to pair him up with Graham and Rozier!
The most NBA ready player in this draft won’t go in the top 3 and may even slip out of the top 5 is none other than Obi Toppin from the Dayton Flyers.
Obi was phenomenal this past season for the Flyers, and he had a National Championship in his sights before COVID came through and crashed the party. He won national player of the year honours, and looked like he was a man amongst boys.
Toppin can play bully ball down low, as well as having a good long-range game (39% from the 3 last season), but it’s hard to see him fitting in Chicago at 4 and Cleveland at 5, with both teams well-stocked in the big man department. Cleveland may look to make a move on draft night and try and move on Kevin Love, making way to draft Toppin at 5, and potentially another 1st round pick and more for Love.
The best of the Euros is Deni Avdija, who like Toppin, will be ready to go straight away. Standing at 6”9, Avdija’s playmaking skills make him a very high upside pick and someone who’s been playing against grown men in the EuroLeague already with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Avdija should slot straight in with the 4th pick to Chicago, a team in desperate need of a wing to pair up with LaVine and Markannen.
Josh Green headlines the Aussie brigade into the NBA and should be selected just outside of the lottery. Green had an inconsistent season at Arizona, but at the very raw age of 19, will be a very nice pick up for a contending team to bring him along slowly, as you know the potential is there.
Josh has the ability to be a great 3 and D player in the NBA, and new Boomers coach Brian Goorjian will be keeping a keen eye on how the young rookie progresses this season, as there’s no doubt he will be in the running for a potential Boomers spot in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
It’s going to be a cracking NBA Draft Night!