NBA Rookie Preview

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This image is protected under the Creative Commons licence

Glenn Young, Staff Writer

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With the NBA season getting into swing, you will surely need to know the new faces in the league. This year’s class is littered with talent, from sharpshooters Trae Young and Kevin Knox, to aggressive 7-footers Mo Bamba and DeAndre Ayton. It is safe to say there is plenty of star potential in this year’s class. So, without further ado, let’s see which rookies will boom, and which will bust.  

Pick #10 

Mikal Bridges, SF, Phoenix Suns 

BOOM 

Bridges, a good all-around player, should be very productive for the Suns this year. In addition to being one of the best shooters in the draft, he is tremendous defender, and a team player. Bridges is coming off a National Championship with Villanova, and the Suns hope he can carry on that legacy, especially when surrounded by all the high-level talent they acquired from this year’s draft. 

Pick #9 

Kevin Knox, SF, New York Knicks 

BOOM 

One of the purest scorers in the draft, Knox has already flashed his impressive scoring ability in the summer league. While playing at Kentucky, Knox played under John Calipari, who is considered one of the smartest minds in the game. Scouts expect Knox to have a cerebral advantage, thanks to Calipari, and the tough competition he faced in college. Additionally, his game will elevate further when playing alongside superstar Kristaps Porzingis. He could be the spark the Knicks need to get out of their recent rut. 

 

Pick #8 

Colin Sexton, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers 

BUST 

Sexton, out of Alabama, has his work cut out for him. He does have rare athleticism, but his jump shot and decision making is questionable. While Sexton will likely be at least a decent player, he will always be in the shadow of former Cav LeBron James. This is a lot of weight on the shoulders of a 19-year-old, especially when not being backed by a strong supporting cast. 

Pick #7  

Wendell Carter Jr., C, Chicago Bulls 

BUST 

In a league that values analytical statistics, players like Wendell Carter Jr. are becoming less valued. Carter is an undersized center who does not have tremendous athleticism or scoring ability. While it is possible that Carter could contribute to the Bulls, don’t expect him to be putting up big numbers anytime soon. 

Pick #6 

Mo Bamba, C, Orlando Magic 

BUST 

Ah, the classic overhyped big man who’s only ability is that of his abnormal wingspan. Bamba lacks the intensity and toughness needed to play at the NBA level. He will constantly be out-maneuvered by quicker players with more experience. Don’t get your hopes up for Mo Bamba, he is simply a below average player on a below average team. 

Pick #5 

Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks 

BOOM 

Young, a prolific outside shooter, fits the mold of this new generation of NBA players. He is often compared to Steph Curry due to their similar frame and playing style. While it might be unfair to compare Young to arguably the best shooter of all time, Young has unique passing skills that few players (including Curry) obtain. You can expect Young to play well with the Hawks youthful core. 

Pick #4 

Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Memphis Grizzlies 

BOOM 

The Grizzlies were clearly thinking ahead when they drafted the 19-year-old out of Michigan State. Jackson will take time to develop both mentally and physically, but the wait should be worth it. He fits the mold of the modern day “3 and D” player (a player who makes 3 point shots and plays good defense), which is what Memphis was looking for. 

Pick #3  

Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks 

BOOM 

Doncic is a 19-year-old prodigy from Europe, where he has dominated since he was a little kid. His size and skill combination is simply unheard of for a point guard. Doncic is an incredible passer, in addition to his solid jump shot. The only concern league insiders seemed to have for Doncic is his ability to adapt to the NBA, but Doncic has always played against tough competition for his age, so it won’t be a surprise to see him flourish in the NBA. 

Pick #2 

Marvin Bagley III, C, Sacramento Kings  

BUST 

Bagley truly embodies the saying “boom or bust”, as he has very raw talent and athleticism. Despite his tremendous upside, and his solid jump shot, Bagley will likely be a bust due to the very situation he was drafted into. Sacramento has been notorious for wasting talent, and there is no reason to think Bagley’s development will go any differently. 

Pick #1 

DeAndre Ayton, C, Phoenix Suns 

BOOM 

Ayton is arguably the best big man prospect to come out of the draft in the last decade. His physical tools and abilities are second to none. Unlike typical big men, Ayton is great at driving and playing on the perimeter. He is surprisingly agile and smooth for someone of his size. Unlike previous years, the Suns actually made a solid pick. 

 

BONUS: SLEEPER PICK 

Aaron Holiday, PG, Indiana Pacers 

At pick 23, Holiday, out of UCLA, has been overlooked time and time again. Holiday is a good 3 point shooter, and he plays in an aggressive style. He now joins forces with Victor Oladipo to form one of the most exciting young backcourts in the league. Keep your eye out for the Pacers this season. 

 

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