Stars in the Making: Ranking the NBA’s Best Draft Prospects This Year | brand voice
When we talk about the “future” of college basketball, it most likely means reaching the biggest league of them all: the NBA. The NBA is where champions are created and legacies are planted. It’s almost every player’s dream to make it to the NBA.
Each year, the NBA selects a few players who deserve to live their dreams big. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top prospects likely to make it to the NBA this year.
Chet Holmgren – Gonzaga Bulldogs
- 14.4 points per game
- 9.7 rebounds per game
- 3.6 blocks per game
- 61.6 FG%
Although Chet Holmgren plays center, he moves faster and better than most guys at his position. The only problem is that Holmgren might not be able to handle the NBA basketball physique. In a game against Duke, players like Paolo Banchero easily went toe to toe with him. Obviously, Holmgren didn’t like the physical game.
Scouts see the upside and potential in Chet Holmgren, and he’s currently considered the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. Before he decides to turn pro, Chet Holmgren and the Bulldogs will have a tough fight in this year’s tournament. March Madness odds have Gonzaga at +400 at the time of this writing.
Jabari Smith – Auburn Tigers
- 16.9 points per game
- 6.9 rebounds per game
- 42.5 3P%
A crucial skill that every NBA team wants in a player’s repertoire is the three-point shot. Jabari Smith of the Auburn Tigers is a 6’8 foot forward who can make it rain from the arc. Shooting an incredible 42.5 from the three-point line, Smith’s three-point prowess is a welcome addition to any NBA team.
When Jabari Smith isn’t shooting from the arc, he enjoys getting baskets on open runs and layups. He can also defend, averaging 1.1 steals per game and knocking out opposing players. Currently, Smith should move up to 2nd, but that could improve with a solid outing this March Madness. Look for Jabari Smith to help lift the Tigers this season.
Paolo Banchero – Duke Blue Devils
- 16.9 points per game
- 7.8 rebounds per game
- 3.0 assists per game
In their match against Chet Holmgren and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, scouts got a first look at what Paolo Banchero could do in the big leagues. Banchero scored 21 points to help the Duke Blue Devils to an 84-81 win over the Bulldogs. Teams looking for a player to integrate into their attacking system should have no problem inserting Paolo Banchero into their roster.
As a talented scorer, Banchero can get points from jumpers and drive to the basket. He also shows an ability to hit those three points. He should be third overall in the repechage. However, if he continues to show off his polished game, a push to the 1st choice isn’t at all impossible.
Jaden Ivey – Purdue Boilermakers
- 17.4 points per game
- 4.8 rebounds per game
- 3.1 assists per game
If you’re looking for the most physically gifted player in this year’s draft pool, look no further than Jaden Ivy. Standing at 6’4 feet with a wingspan reaching almost 6-10, he has that explosiveness you rarely see in college levels. As a player for the FIBA U19 USA men’s basketball team, he continues his outstanding game.
Consistency is where Ivey fails to have. He needs to improve consistency, shooting off the dribble and decision-making to increase his draft stock. Apart from these issues, Ivey is a very capable player to succeed in the NBA.
AJ Griffin – Duke Blue Devils
- 10.4 points per game
- 3.8 rebounds per game
- 48.7 3P%
NBA teams looking for a heavy wing should consider getting AJ Griffin from Duke. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing over 222 pounds, he is one of the best three-point shooters in college basketball. Looking at Griffin’s physique, he has the same build as Jaylen Brown. Speaking of three-pointers, Griffin shoots a sizzling 48.7% from the arc.
AJ Griffin’s main issues are his decision-making and speed. When he’s not shooting, he’s just a big body on the floor. However, Griffin’s potential is high. Although he lacks speed, his slow shot is smooth as silk.
Averaging just 10.4 points per game, the game against North Carolina showed Griffin could quickly explode up the scoring column. In that game, he helped Duke win over North Carolina 87-67, with 27 points and a 50 3%P under his belt.
March Madness is ready to go into full swing, and we’re all excited to see who emerges victorious this year. Will Gonzaga get revenge on Baylor? Will Baylor stay on top? Or will there be a dominant team this year? The scouts will be spoiled because they will be able to see the best players at the collegiate level. Although there are other players eligible for the NBA Draft, the players mentioned above are among the top prospects who can make it to the NBA.
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