Basketball

Five Intriguing Prospects for the 2019 NBA Draft not named Zion or Ja

The 2019 NBA isn’t widely recognized being a necessarily deep draft loaded with cant-miss prospects.  Yet, the league is buzzing and movers are gonna move while shakers are going to shake on Thursday night trying to find their next superstar.

After Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, are there any players that can be franchise changers? Quite possibly.  That is what makes the draft so fun.

There are a couple of players that I am intrigued by.  Some are well-known by people who follow mock drafts throughout the year, others are sleepers or destined role players who will, I believe, become the same top notch specialists that teams covet during each free agency period after the draft.

De’Andre Hunter SF

VIRGINIA – SOPH – 6’7″ –  225 LBS

Being the key kog of a national champion at a position of need (ideal 3&D wing), one could envision Hunter as one day becoming somewhat of a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard.  Now, since Leonard is a top-three player and a two-time champion and Finals MVP now, the comparison seems downright silly and hard to envision from anybody. I think beyond the consensus top-three of Williamson, Morant and RJ Barrett, he is the safest pick.

Coby White PG

North Carolina – Freshman – 6’5 – 190

Ehhh…I don’t know why, but I smell a bust here.  The thing is, he is the exact type of young talent the league covets (primary ball handler, dominant scoring point guard) yet, it’s something about his game that rubs me the wrong way.  He will certainly be drafted early lottery to one of the teams that are in need of a point guard such as Phoenix or Chicago. Tread lightly.

BOL BOL C

OREGON – Freshman  – 7’2 – 290

Going into this last college season, I wanted to see this kid play more than any one (yes, more than Zion).  I wanted to see how his impressive offensive package would translate into a more physical game. Sadly he missed most of the season with a foot injury.  Beyond the injury, there are sources that say that this kid doesn’t have the best practice habits and is sort of a diva kid and I hope it’s not the case.  If the work ethic and humility can match the offensive skill set, he has the chance to really be special.

TYLER HERRO SG

Kentucky – Freshman –  6’6, 190

As a Kentucky fan, it was definitely bittersweet to watch another one of Coach John Calipari’s prized recruits that was NOT predetermined to be an one-and-done player outplay expectations and earn his way into the first round ala Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did the year before, ruining my plans for another possible national championship run the next season but here we are.  Herro will play in the league for at least a decade as a designated sniper from distance. When you see players such as JJ Reddick and Trevor Ariza last in the league so long, you can just watch him play and envision the same type of career arch.

Carsen Edwards PG

Purdue – JR – 6’0, 200

This kid can flat out do it.  He can score with the best of em.  He became a national story during the NCAA tourney where averaged 34.8 points a game — including a pair of 42-point performances against Villanova and eventual national champion Virginia –  but those who watch the sport regularly knew exactly what this kid was capable of. A two-time first-team All American who will find a way to see lots of minutes on the floor during his career. Think Dana Barros….

I could go on and on but I wont because it’s going to take up too much of your time (LOL). You will hear these names on Thursday and it will be fun to watch their individual journeys for years to come.

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