Evaluating potential NBA gamers to present or former NBA gamers is a idiot’s errand. It is an imperfect train that enrages the lots, irks these topic to comparability and opens the comparer as much as criticism.
So hey, let’s do it!
It isn’t completely inefficient, in any case. Positive, by nature it’s imperfect. However it might provide help to visualize the prospect and the way his recreation might fare on the NBA stage earlier than he will get there.
Under we have achieved precisely that with each lottery prospect on our Big Board and known as out particularly why we made the comparisons.
1. LaMelo Ball | 6-7, 180 | PG
Comparability: Trae Younger
The fortitude to launch photographs from anyplace on the courtroom strikes me as one of many greatest resemblances between Younger and his soon-to-be colleague, however it’s the passing right here that basically drives this comparability house. Younger’s vary and swagger at Oklahoma was solely second to his imaginative and prescient; he led the nation as a freshman in help fee whereas averaging 27.Four factors per recreation. That side of Ball’s recreation — the power to learn the ground, react shortly and ship daggers on time and on track — is his greatest promoting level.
2. Killian Hayes | 6-5, 192 | PG
Comparability: Goran Dragić
Dragić is not probably the most athletic lead guard to seek out NBA success — a trait (along with each being lefties) Hayes has in widespread with him — however he is been capable of carve out a protracted skilled profession due to his craftiness, IQ, passing and capturing vary. That ought to go ditto for Hayes who, whereas not probably the most explosive prospect, performs with a managed tempo and actually is aware of the best way to work angles to his benefit by creating passing lanes and slicing out house to get his personal shot.
3. Onyeka Okongwu | 6-9, 245 | C
Comparability: Bam Adebayo
The talent and really feel of Adebayo is fairly troublesome to match, however Okongwu’s shut in each classes and makes up a part of the hole with the same body. (Each are 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, and each are roughly 250 kilos). The place this comp drifts, nonetheless, is multi-faceted in a slight tilt of favor in the direction of Adebayo: he is extra athletic and explosive, and at this stage he is a extra expert passer. Okongwu’s timing on blocks and his inventive publish scoring at simply 19 years outdated makes this an fascinating dialogue available, and an enormous purpose why he is lengthy been the top-rated huge man on our board for this class.
4. Deni Avdija | 6-9, 215 | SF
Comparability: Bojan Bogdanović
This can be as a lot a wishful comparability as it’s a bodily comparability. Each Bogdanović and Avdija are listed at virtually precisely the identical peak and weight, and each have spectacular ball abilities for his or her respective positions. However Bogdanović — a profession 39.4% 3-point shooter — holds the sting right here in crucial space. And that is the place Avdija wants to enhance after hitting simply 33.6% of his makes an attempt from 3-point vary final season. It is the one actual query mark preserving him from being a lock for the highest 5 on this draft.
5. Anthony Edwards | 6-5, 225 | SF
Comparability: Zach LaVine
The listing of big-framed guards who can create their very own shot the best way Anthony Edwards can is a brief one. However I am selecting LaVine right here for 2 causes. The primary: they’re each explosive athletes. Leap-out-the-gym sort hops. The second: they’re each prolific scorers — however not essentially environment friendly. The priority with Edwards, like LaVine, is that he might put up huge numbers however they’d be empty energy on a nasty crew. The pushback — which I feel is legitimate — is that Edwards remains to be simply 18 years outdated and his recreation remains to be moldable.
6. Obi Toppin | 6-9, 220 | PF
Comparability: Blake Griffin
The “Lob Metropolis” days with the Clippers had been basically what Dayton ran final season with Toppin. He is a gifted athlete who final season led faculty basketball in dunks and in 2-point proportion, hitting 69.8%. Whereas he is not fairly the playmaker Griffin is, Toppin has proven he is greater than a dunker, too. Hitting 41.7% of his 3s in two seasons with the Flyers ought to bode nicely for his means to be a floor-spacing huge on the subsequent stage.
7. Isaac Okoro | 6-6, 225 | SF
Comparability: Justin Anderson
Okoro has an opportunity to be what folks thought Anderson may very well be: a big-bodied wing who can swap defensively, strikes nicely laterally and operates as a job participant who impacts the sport at each stage. The massive query with Okoro, as with Anderson popping out of faculty, is the surface shot. (Anderson has hit simply 30% of his 3s within the NBA and Okoro hit 28.6% of his 3s at Auburn.) The enchantment with Okoro actually drops in case you’re drafting a 3-and-D sort wing with out the three.
8. James Wiseman | 7-1, 240 | C
Comparability: Chris Bosh
The perfect participant comparisons you may get is once you ask them themselves who they play like. That is what The Undefeated did final spring, and this was Wiseman’s illuminating reply:
Some folks say Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett and even David Robinson. However actually, I am my very own particular person. I need to create my very own path. I need to be the following James Wiseman so folks look as much as me sooner or later. However I’ve patterned my recreation in comparison with these three gamers, so I simply say it. And I actually have been simply getting a number of movie from ‘The Greek Freak,’ Giannis [Antetokounmpo], so I have been finding out his recreation too. I actually have been simply attempting to absorb as a lot data as I can.
Casually dropping three legends as a comp — I see ya! He positively does not in lack in confidence.
Bosh and Wiseman share the truth that they’re each left-handed, and Wiseman and Robinson share the identical broad shoulders. As for Garnett and Wiseman … I simply do not fairly see it. But when Wiseman adopts the identical toughness KG performed with, he might turn into one among this draft’s best gamers.
9. Tyrese Haliburton | 6-5, 175 | PG
Comparability: Lonzo Ball
In Haliburton, one crew goes to get a Ball clone. A rangy guard with a excessive IQ, good passing abilities, and a shot that — whereas correct — will probably have to be tweaked as he makes his identify within the NBA. Haliburton’s launch is in entrance of his face; Lonzo’s earlier launch was from Pluto however has since entered the same atmosphere as different NBA gamers. Nonetheless, he is an analytics darling who has good imaginative and prescient, makes sensible choices and might knock down 3s at an environment friendly clip.
10. Aaron Nesmith | 6-6, 213 | SF
Comparability: Buddy Hield
The identify of Buddy Buckets’ recreation is, nicely, within the identify. He was a prolific scorer and knockdown shooter at Oklahoma and he is been the identical within the NBA, hitting 41.1% of his 3s since he entered the league in 2016. Nesmith’s recreation is reduce from the same material. He is not fairly as dynamic a creator as Hield, however he is an equally deadly shooter, final season making 52.2% (!) of his 3-pointers in 14 video games. Plainly put: he is the most effective shooter on this 12 months’s draft, similar to Hield was the most effective shooter popping out of the 2016 draft.
11. Theo Maledon | 6-4, 174 | PG
Comparability: Delon Wright
Groups will love Maledon’s measurement and flexibility, which can open him as much as probably play both guard spot as he improves as an out of doors shooter. He is not flashy or explosive (and neither is Wright), however he is at worst a dependable rotation guard that may create by taking part in downhill and attacking off the bounce.
12. Devin Vassell | 6-7, 194 | SF
Comparability: Robert Covington
We all know NBA teams worth 3-and-D wings — gamers like Covington who can knock down 3s and defend at a excessive stage — and so that is the considering right here behind the Vassell-RoCo comp. Vassell’s not fairly as beefed up, however he is as NBA-ready as any 3-and-D wing on this class. He is coming off a star flip at Florida State as a sophomore the place he averaged 12.7 factors, 5.1 boards and 1.Four steals per recreation whereas flattening 41.5% of his 3-point makes an attempt.
13. Josh Inexperienced | 6-6, 210 | SG
Comparability: Hamidou Diallo
I turned to a computer-generated comparability web site for this one to information me. Utilizing per-40 stats, this NBA Draft Comparison Tool led me to a match with the previous Kentucky standout Diallo. And I dig: Diallo and Inexperienced are freaky leapers. Inexperienced ought to be capable of set up himself as a positive 3-and-D sort guard after final season hitting 36.1% of his 3s as a 3rd possibility on Arizona’s NBA talent-rich roster.
14. Cole Anthony | 6-3, 190 | PG
Comparability: Austin Rivers
You already know that feeling once you learn forward in a ebook — both deliberately or accidentally — then toggle again however nonetheless cannot shake out of your head what is coming? Like the consequence, so why try to draw conclusions by going backward? That is how I really feel about this Rivers comp, which the nice crew at The Ringer made and which I can not erase from my mind. Anthony and Rivers are each prolific scorers who could make photographs in myriad methods and likewise deal with the ball a bit as nicely. I feel Anthony has a better ceiling due to his shot-making and creation, however his flooring within the NBA could also be as a microwave bench scorer whose worth lies as a shot-maker.