Top 10 NBA Prospects Heading into the NBA Lottery
10.) Dennis Smith, G, NC State
Smith is slightly undersized but always overperformed on the court. Smith has great skill on offense as he is able to make plays off the dribble as well as create his own shots and shots for others. Smith will struggle defensively in the beggining of his career, but his upside as a plus offensive point guard may lead to him being slightly overdrafted.
Comparison: Isaiah Thomas
9.) Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona
I wanted to give Markkanen the Dragan Bender comparison so badly, but it just did not add up and there is also no point of reference to compare Bender. Markkanen stands over 7 feet tall and has one of the best shots in this draft class out of any player, not just the forwards. Markkanen may struggle with defense at the next level, especially when he is ineveitably moved to the center position. Markkanen is a Kristaps Porzingis clone with less offensive prowess.
Comparison: Ryan Anderson
8.) Justin Jackson, F, UNC
A high character, high floor player. Jackson will give his all on defense and has the tools to be a competent offensive player. Jackson may be best suited for a rotational role.
Comparison: Andre Igoduala
7.) DeAaron Fox, G, Kentucky
The John Wall comparisons for Fox are completely unfounded. Fox roasted Lonzo Ball in the NCAA Tournament, but that was not as much a testament to Foxs skill so much as it was an eye opening to Balls lack of skill. Fox displayed more hustle and effort vs UCLA than Ball did almost all season. Fox moves extremely fast with the ball in his hand, but he is not a great finisher and struggles to create his own shot if he cant win with his speed.
Comparison: Jordan Clarkson
6.) Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State
Isaac seems to be the enigma that each draft class has. Isaac has some talent and shows flashes of his NBA future, yet he is not consistent and does not always play to his competition. Isaac will never be a point forward, but he has a nice enough stroke that he can establish a role for himself early on.
Comparison: Khris Middleton
5.) Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA
I have seen some Ricky Rubio comparisons for this player, but even that may be a little too rich. Ball struggles to shoot the ball consistently but is quite good at creating opprotunities for his defense. I liken him to the player that MCW was during his rookie season when he won ROY.
Comparison: Micheal Carter-Williams
4.) Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
Jackson will never become the defensive player that Kawhii has turned into, but Jackson will be effective as a 3 and D player. Jackson has one of the highest floors of any prospect in this draft not named Markelle Fultz.
Comparison: Kawhii Leonard
3.) Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
Tall, long, athletic, and has a smooth stroke. Jayson Tatum is a prototypical small forward in todays NBA. I think that Tatum is superior to last years Duke prospect Brandon Ingram. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.
Comparison: Harrison Barnes
2.) Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
Monk may be the best pure scorer in this draft. Like many college players, Monk enters the draft process as undersized in both mass and muscle.
Monk will enter the league and rival Eric Gordon as one of the best rotational guards. Monk would be the best guard in this class if Fultz had not declared.
Comparison: C.J. McCollum
1.) Markelle Fultz, G, Washington
Fultz seems destined to be a superstar. Some consider him a superior prospect to Karl Anthony-Towns and Ben Simmons, the last two #1 overall picks. Fultz is an offensive savant where he is able to create his own shot easily, as well as create shots for his teammates with his passing and spacing. Like many incoming NBA rookies, Fultz needs some work on his defensive game. Fultz has prototypical point guard size and devastating handles and should be a building block for whichever team is lucky enough to get the #1 pick.
Comparison: Kyle Lowry