However, this draft has a major difference: teams will make 58 picks, not 60 as usual. The NBA took second-round picks from Miami and Milwaukee following investigations into those teams’ violations of the “tampering” (the beginning of free-agent negotiations) rule.
The main protagonists are:
Jabari Smith Jr (Auburn). A potential first-round pick by most draft experts. He grew up in the city of DFS. The son of an ex-NBA player, Smith is a modern forward with excellent size (208 cm), length, and shooting skills. It’s the combination of shooting and size that gives Smith a solid edge over everyone else. Smith is also a very good defensive player, which is not surprising with his arm size. A quiet worker, Jabari continues to progress and will probably continue to do so.
Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga). One of the unique players in this class. At 213 cm tall, Holmgren barely weighs 90 pounds. That said, you can’t deny him toughness and character. Holmgren is one of the best defensive players in this draft. He has a ton of block shots, and a ton of stunts and is a challenge for the opponent’s offense. Offensively Chet is a capable unit, too: he sees the field, runs the offense from the post, and shoots well from beyond the arc. The lack of a clear prototype in the NBA only adds to Holmgren’s stock – he is a highly nontrivial player whose potential is extremely difficult to calculate.
Aolo Banquero (Duke). Perhaps the most solid offensive player of the draft. An Italian-American, Banquero has a full range of offensive skills for his size (208 cm): he’s great at driving the ball, playing one-on-one, throwing well from mid-range, and creating opportunities for his partners. Paolo’s biggest defensive concerns are that he’s not as light on his feet, which affects his field-goal defense (a key aspect of the modern NBA), he lacks length (fewer blocked shots per game – not enough for his size), and focuses on his defensive work. “For” Banquero also speaks to his excellent college season — he honestly dragged Duke to the March Madness finals, but fell just a little short. It’s hardly his fault, though.
Jaden Ivey (Purdue). Best playmaker in the class. Comparisons to Jah Morant seem too lazy on the one hand, but on the other – who else? Plus, Ivy’s form and throwing mechanics are the same. Jaden is a fine athlete, whose biggest trump cards come out in the open court. He’s got speed, momentum, aggressive passing, and finishing in transition. He showed a flair for the loose ball game at Purdue, though. The issues, give or take, are the same as they were with Morant three years ago – consistent shooting and consistent defense.
It has always been interesting to watch basketball because it is a very interesting sport, especially to watch the professional players in the NBA organization. After all, every year some new young players are interesting to watch.