The NBA Draft is here and BSO has you covered with wall to wall coverage. My colleague Erika Fernandez will be live at Barclays this evening, so make sure you follow @CurlsAndSports on Twitter and Instagram for all the live action! Of course stay close to BSO for all of our additional coverage.
This is a top heavy draft and it’s chock full of big men. You might be thinking that’s terrible since the league is all about pace and space and positionless basketball. This is true, but size still matters in the NBA. It’s just not the traditional big man size and skill combination we’ve grown accustomed to.
If you’ve seen any of the workouts for the top guys, you are seeing lots of shooting on display, especially from range. Big men that can spread the floor with their shooting as well as rim run, plus anchor a good defense is the holy grail for all teams. Of all the top big men, Jaren Jackson Jr out of Michigan State looks like he is the readiest to make an impact on the defensive end immediately. Mohamed Bamba and Deandre Ayton have the tools to be good defenders, but it will depend on how they develop, particularly Bamba. The top 5 picks in the draft look like they will be Ayton, Jackson Jr., Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III and Bamba in some order. The smallest player in that group is Doncic at 6’8”.
The gift and the curse of the draft is as fans we tend to have recency bias. Given the success of Donovan Mitchell, a late lottery pick, everyone is now convinced there is a “next” Donovan Mitchell in this draft. Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. All the GM’s in the lottery this year know the teams that missed out on Mitchell, some of them are back in this lottery. That’s a mistake nobody wants to make, let alone repeat. That fear may cause certain teams to overvalue players and undervalue others.
Let’s take a look at 5 players that may be undervalued based on their projected draft position and 5 players that may be overvalued with bust potential. Keep in mind this is not an exact science, so much of how a player develops is dependent on what franchise drafts him and that player’s individual work ethic and desire to be the best player they can be.
Marvin Bagley III
Michael Porter Jr.