Everyone is hoping their team can secure a steal in the draft, as they hope to build through the draft and become a contender. This draft class may not have the star power many other drafts have, but it does possess a lot of key role player type players, which have proven to be vital to recent championships.
Murray has a very high floor coming into the league. At the worst, Murray looks to be a sixth man in the NBA, with the ability to give 15-20 points per game. With his ability to hit any shot on the court, an improving court vision, and defensive potential, Murray could turn into a star in the league. I see him as a floor of C.J. McCollum, and at his best, he will be a James Harden type player. With a team like Minnesota desperate to improve their backcourt, it looks like he will fall no further than the fifth pick. With Tom Thibodeau as their head coach, he will demand defense out of Murray, which will help form him into a devastating two-way player, and reach his full potential, as well as helping the Timberwolves snap their decade long playoff drought.
Much like Jamal Murray, Malik Beasley possess a great ability to score from anywhere on the court. Beasley also has much better defensive abilities than players surrounding him in the 12-22 range where Beasley is expected to be selected. I do not believe Beasley will transform into a star at the next level, but will be a good third to fourth option for a team. I compared him to Wesley Matthews, who has proven to be a good third to fourth option, as well as an effective defensive piece. A team like Memphis, who need to add some options on the perimeter could maximize the usage of Beasley, and make him an early candidate for dark horse rookie of the year candidate.
So many teams are looking to add a piece to their frontcourt who can score, rebound, and play tough defense. Sabonis is getting overlooked for his inability to stretch the floor more often than he did. He loves to play in the paint, where he uses good footwork and moves to get high percentage shots. Sabonis is not the best overall defender, but he gives 100% effort on this end of the court, something you do not see very often at the NBA level. Sabonis is a monster on the boards, and will be a game changer at the next level. His offensive boards turn into garbage baskets, while he shows great ability to throw outlet passes to start the attack in transition. With his selection likely in the mid-teens, Sabonis will have the chance to prove many teams wrong about not selecting him.
Wade Baldwin IV:
When we look at steals, we usually look for players who will be a surprise contributor during their first season, but Baldwin is looking to be a long-term steal. Baldwin is still developing his point guard skills, so a year to develop behind an established guard would be in a team’s best interest. In his first season, I expect Baldwin to primarily be used as a spot-up shooter. He is deadly from the three point line, and is a tremendous defender. Some people have taken to comparing him to Russell Westbrook, but I think that is a little overblown, but he does have the ability to be a star in the league given the right situation. His draft range is in the 8-16 range, with Milwaukee showing the most interest, and they are one of the teams who can throw him on the bench, until he is ready to man the point.
I wanted to do an international player many people did not know much about, and was not going to spend the majority of his career over in Europe. Yabusele is capable of attacking the rim, hitting mid-range shots, and stretching it t the three point line. Although the French compare him to their version of Draymond Green, he looks a lot like Boris Diaw. Green is a much better defender, and does not struggle with weight issues, which links him to Diaw. His draft range looks to be 25-35, with many of these teams looking to hold off on a player for a year or two to save their salary cap. Given another year in Europe, Yabusele can further develop his game into a potent two-way role player, capable of hanging with anyone in the NBA.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17