With the NBA Playoffs in full effect, the fans of teams who didn’t quite make the cut are looking forward to the NBA Draft. With the draft coming up soon, I thought I would make a list of my top five players heading into the annual draft. Here they are, complete with reasons why I think they are the best.
1. Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons is truly something special and is being compared by many to Lebron James. While his school attendance and mockery of the mandatory 1 year in college rule may turn some teams off, he is well deserving of the number one overall pick in the draft. He has the size and strength of a power forward with the vision and passing of a point guard and is likely capable of playing anywhere on the floor. He is a great athlete and scorer who (once he can develop a slightly better jumper) will likely be a scary player in the NBA.
2. Brandon Ingram
Ingram is definitely in the conversation as being the number one pick, and he deserves it. The freshman power forward has wingspan and length unlike almost anyone in the draft. While being measured at a height of 6’9, he had a massive wingspan of 7’3, which is making coaches and scouts salivate. On top of this, his shooting skills are pretty crazy for a man his size and for that reason, he has drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant. Ingram weighs in at under 200 pounds, however, so he wil likely need to bulk up to be able to compete in the post.
3. Buddy Hield
Hield was not only the national player of the year this year, but is also likely among the best shooters in the draft as he shoots at an over 50% clip from the three point line. His offensive game can be compared to James Harden, but he plays better defense. He will be a great selection for a team looking for a shooting guard who can do it all. Hield also showed amazing growth from his junior to senior year, so there is no telling how much he will grow from his senior year to his rookie season in the NBA.
4. Ivan Rabb
Even with a slight frame (at 6’10 and 220 lbs), Rabb is extremely capable at gaining position over defenders in the post. He is very explosive on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and can be a big time rim protector in the NBA. While he may be raw and his offensive post moves need a bit of work, his potential as an elite defender and more than capable low post scorer make him an attractive pick for teams.
5. Dragan Bender
It seems every year we have an international player (who played no college ball in the USA) sneak into the top 5 discussion, and this year is no different. Bender is an extremely versatile player who can play both center and power forward. He has amazing size at 7 feet tall and is surprising quick for his height and can actually run the floor on the fast break and handle the ball well. He can do just about everything fairly well on the offensive end and has a lot of potential on the defensive side of the ball.