As the NBA Draft has concluded, many NBA teams have made franchise decision picks while others have made key additional picks in their rotation. These five players that make the list, are likely to make an immediate impact with their new teams.
Karl-Anthony Towns: This is the most obvious choice to make an immediate impact. The number one overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft stat’s don’t really jump out at you, with averaging 10.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 1.1 APG. Towns does however have, incredible size, athleticism, shooting and rim protection. The Minnesota Timberwolves do need rim protection and more defense which is great for Towns to make an immediate impact. Towns plays along side rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins, future hall of famer Kevin Garnett, Ricky Rubio, and Zach Lavine, giving Towns chances to shine and shatter expectations.
D’Angelo Russell: The number two overall pick in the draft, selected by the Los Angeles Lakers has a lot of potential to be a superstar, by playing alongside legend Kobe Bryant. As active as the Laker’s hope to be in free agency, Russell will get to play with other key players, if the Lakers can sign big free agents. Russell averaged 19.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.0 APG. Russell has great height advantage as a point guard standing at 6’5, has lot’s of offense advantage, between scoring and assists, and has good 3-point advantage averaging 44%. Coach Bryon Scott says he has superstar potential, and could one day be a superstar. He will be the starter at shooting guard and playing alongside Kobe Bryant will give him advantage to shine. Russell is expected to play a style similar to James Harden, as a shooting guard, with ball handling skills, and instincts to handle the point guard responsibilities if necessary, as Clarkson looks to be the point guard of the future for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Emmanuel Mudiay: The seventh overall pick in the draft raised questions for the Nuggets, of whether they were going to trade Ty Lawson. If Ty Lawson is traded, Mudiay would be the starter at point guard and could make immediate impact for the Nuggets. Mudiay played overseas last season, and not many people had the chance to observe Mudiay. Mudiay has great size for a guard. Mudiay is an electrifying player to watch, has great agility to make great playmaking plays, and gets to rim though physical defenders. If Mudiay starts, he will make immediate impact, but if Lawson is not traded by the season opener, Mudiay would likely start off the bench, gaining valuable experience.
Justise Winslow: The tenth overall pick in the draft was the steal of the night, being selected by the Miami Heat. Winslow was projected to go between picks 4-8, but fell to number ten. I believe the Pistons will regret not drafting Winslow, as the Pistons drafted Stanley Johnson instead. Winslow won a national championship at Duke this season, averaging 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 2.1 APG. Winslow has physical play that he can use to guard and taunt smaller players, plays good defense and good athleticism. However he is a little shorter playing at small forward standing at only 6’5 and having a poor free throw shooting percentage of 64.1%. Winslow has the chance to play with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, if he remains with the Heat. Winslow has the chance to be the opening night starter, depending on his summer league play, training camp, and if Wade stays or goes. Loul Deng might offer some competition, but with the Heat desperate for explosive perimeter players, Winslow has the advantage there. Bosh and Wade can mentor Winslow, which should allow for him to make an immediate impact this next season.
Jerian Grant:The first lottery pick, not on this list. Grant is a great player, and Knick’s fans should be ecstatic they got him for only Tim Hardaway Jr. Lacking great talent at the position, Grant can step in from day one, lead this triangle offense, and provide great potential from the position. Although Grant will likely struggle with the system at first, his basketball IQ, and normal IQ is so high, he will have it down by the end of the season. With their point guard position filled, the New York Knicks can target other free agents in free agency, hoping to build a roster to compete in the Eastern Conference next season.
By: Corey Bourassa and Mac Crowe, @Mac Truck17
Edited by: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17