As the summer league playoffs approach, I have decided to give my opinion on the floor and ceiling of each of the lottery picks in this year’s draft. This year’s draft has many potential star talents like Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, and Luka Doncic, but could have some huge busts as well.
*Note: These are solely my opinions
With the first number one pick in Phoenix Suns history, the team selected Deandre Ayton, center from University of Arizona. Many people speculated that Ayton was the lock for the number one pick. A 7’1″ monster down low with offensive skills and strength compared to shaq, many believe he is the next greatest center. Ayton is an offensive monster and can easily get you 10 rebounds a night, but his liability is his defense in what’s becoming a guard dominant league. Ayton will struggle on defense against most players in the pick and roll and will have tough time even guarding some of the league’s best bigmen like Cousins. Ayton, however, is agile and can move with grace, but his defense could prevent him from being a superstar player like shaq.
Ceiling: Karl-Anthony Towns(all-star-superstar player)
Floor: Brook Lopez(starting center who can score the ball at a consistent rate)
prediction: all-star player
The Sacramento Kings took Marvin Bagley with the second pick in this year’s draft. Bagley attended Duke university for his freshman year averaging 21 ppg and 11.1 rbg. Bagley could struggle in the NBA because of his unknown position. He could play power forward, center, and even small forward. He will fit in immediately, however, because f his shooting capabilities which stack up much better than others at his position. He is also very athletic and was the best player on a stacked Duke team even though he skipped his senior year of high school. He could have defensive problems against stronger centers but is very agile and could beat them on the offensive end.
Ceiling: Chris Bosh
Floor: Patrick Patterson
The Atlanta Hawks selected Luka Doncic with the 3rd pick but then traded his draft rights to the Dallas Mavericks. Luka Doncic played in the Euro league this past year and averaged 14.5 ppg, 4.6 apg, 5.2 rbg. He has proved himself to be a quality player in the Euro league which is the second hardest league in the world. He won mvp and a championship there as well. He has great vision and can shoot the ball although his defensive skills lack a bit. He is only 19 years old and can develop to be one of the best players the game has seen.
Ceiling: LeBron James
Floor: Jalen Rose
4)Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Memphis Grizzlies drafted Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson is a defensive beast. He is a complete defensive player and even as a power forward, he can guard any position on the floor with ease. He can knockdown a 3 as well in transition. He is the best 3 and D player out of all the prospects in this draft. He wasn’t that successful in college however and can struggle to create his own shot. He averaged 10.9 ppg 5.8 rbg in his freshman year at Michigan St. His offensive game could hurt him in the NBA. He could disappear on offensive plays, but can hit a knockdown 3 if left open.
Ceiling: Serge Ibaka(prime)
Floor: Andre Roberson
prediction: starter/borderline all-star
Trae Young was the 5th pick in the NBA draft originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks
but his draft rights were sent to the Atlanta Hawks in the Luka Doncic trade. Trae Young led the country in points and assists this year in college. Trae Young can shoot from anywhere on the court. He can also miss from anywhere on the court. This showed in summer league in his first two games. He shot terrible from 3 point land, but then showed up the next game. These inconsistencies can hurt him in the NBA. He isn’t as strong as other guards and will have to get crafty in traffic and use his body to shield off defenders. He has great vision similar to that of Jason Kidd.
Ceiling: Stephen Curry
Floor: Jimmer Fredette
The Magic selected Mo Bamba with the 6th pick in the NBA draft. Mo Bamba is a 7 foot center who set the record with the longest wingspan in combine history at 7’10”. His length was used on the defensive end in college as he led the country in blocks. His length can be used against guards as well and shouldn’t have a tough time on the defensive end on pick and rolls. His offensive game is a question mark, however. He isn’t as strong as some of the other centers in the draft like Ayton. His game is similar to that of Clint Capela except he has a ceiling of an all star. He doesn’t have a post up game because of his strength, but could develop that as time goes on.
Ceiling: Clint Capela/Dikembe Mutombo (all-star)
Floor: Thon Maker
prediction: starter like Capela but never all-star
7)Wendell Carter Jr.
The Chicago Bulls took Wendell Carter Jr. with the 7th pick in the draft. Immediately after the selection, many bulls fan were disappointed with the pick as Michael Porter Jr. was still on the board. This wasn’t as bad a pick as it may seem. Carter would fit perfectly with the Bulls playing along side Lauri in the front court. Both of these bigs can stretch the floor making it easier to drive to the basket for the guards like Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine. Carter isn’t a ball dominant player as well which makes him fit right in and could be a great piece in the future of this young Bulls team. He played along side Bagley but was still solid averaging 13.5 ppg and 9.1 rbg.
Floor: Nerlens Noel
Collin Sexton was the 8th pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sexton led an Alabama team to the March Madness tournament until they ran into Villanova. Sexton is an explosive player, but his shooting struggles could hold him back in the NBA. The NBA is becoming more of a shooting league and Sexton could fall behind if he doesn’t develop a shot. He isn’t as dynamic of a playmaker but his explosiveness can get him to the basket and cause chaos for opposing defenses. His defense is good enough to be efficient in the NBA however. His speed will help him a lot against fast point guards.
Ceiling: Russell Westbrook
Floor: Patrick Beverley
The New York Knicks took Kevin Knox at number 9 to pair along side Kristaps Porzingis. Similar to Porzingis, Knox got booed by fans on draft night. Once again, fans were wrong about him. During summer league, Knox has proved that he is a legitimate scorer in the league as he is dominating summer league. A do-it all scorer, Knox could develop to be one of the best scorers the NBA has ever seen. He lacks in every other area of the game, however. He isn’t a good rebounder although playing with Porzingis could hide his lack of abilities. He isn’t a playmaker and isn’t good with setting up his teammates for good shots. He is similar to a young Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant has developed into a player that can rebound, defend, and play make and the same can happen with Knox.
Ceiling: Kevin Durant
Floor: Rudy Gay
Another player in a trade on draft night, Mikal Bridges was drafted with the 10th pick by the 76ers and then sent over to the Phoenix Suns to play with Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker. Mikal Bridges is a defensive monster and will haunt most of the players he guards. Bridges is ready to guard any of the top small forwards in the league right now. He can also knockdown the 3 ball at an extraordinary percentage at 42%. His play style is a lot like Klay Thompson. He will fit in perfectly with the Suns as well because he doesn’t have to be an elite scorer because of Booker and Ayton, but he can spread the floor and make up for the defensive weakness that Booker displays.
Ceiling: Scottie Pippen
Floor: Lance Stephenson
The Charlotte Hornets selected him with the 11th pick, but then immediately traded him to the Clippers for the draft rights of Miles Bridges. His height greatly benefitted him on the defensive end when matching up against opposing point guards. He is 6’6″ and his length along with speed is a defensive nightmare against small guards and shooting guards. His offensive game is decent, but can easily develop a shot. He will play behind Patrick Beverley this season and will learn a lot more on the defensive side of the ball and will become more aggressive.
Ceiling: Ben Simmons(all-star)
Floor: Michael Carter-Williams
prediction: 6th man
Miles Bridges is going to be playing for the Hornets this season. Bridges has a complete offensive skill set which is going to help him succeed in the NBA. He averaged just over 17 ppg in college as a freshman. He is also a good rebounder for his height getting 7 rbg. He can easily switch onto any position as a wing and will succeed both offensively and defensively. He is the perfect 3 and D player like Miles Bridges, but he has a much better offensive skill set which will help on the Charlotte Hornets, a team that needs players to score the ball apart from Kemba Walker.
Ceiling: Paul George
Floor: Tyreke Evans
An unexpected pick at 13, the Los Angeles Clippers selected Jerome Robinson. Jerome Robinson. He wasn’t rated very highly on the pre-draft rankings. He had a good season at Boston College, however. He averaged 20 ppg and is a developed scorer who can shoot the 3 ball so he should fit in nicely with the Clippers. He can provide scoring off the bench on a Clipper team that is going into rebuild and lost all their scoring options.
Ceiling: Louis Williams
Floor: Ian Clark
14)Michael Porter Jr.
Falling all the way to the last pick of the lottery was Michael Porter Jr. The Denver Nuggets selected him at 14 which was one of the best picks in the draft. The Nuggets have a hole at small forward, but they are a borderline playoff team so he has no rush to get healthy. There is no question about his talent that made him drop to 14. His talent is a top 2 or 3 player in the draft, but his back injury that he suffered this year was severe. The surgery was similar to that of Steve Kerr and Tiger Woods both of whom took long time to return. He has a complete offensive game though and, if healthy, could be the biggest steal of the draft and help push the Nuggets to a playoff team.
Ceiling: Kevin Durant
Floor: Danny Granger
prediction: all-star(until he gets injured and then falls off like Granger)
All of these players could be great if they are in the perfect scenarios. The scenario, coaching, and the amount of work they put in will determine how great their career will be and how long it will last.