This years NBA Draft is one of the most talent enriched drafts we’ve seen in the past decade. Believe it or not there are other talented prospects in this draft that aren’t named Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid. These three players have garnered the majority of the national attention but there is a plethora of other talented NBA draft prospects that have flied under the radar.
3 under the radar potential first round picks
Zach LaVine is arguably the most athletic player in this year’s draft. the 6-foot-5 inch combo guard recorded a 46-inch vertical jump in a workout with the Los Angelas Lakers. LaVine has drawn comparisons to fellow Bruin alum Russel Westbrook. There is a gaping difference between the two Bruins and that is that Westbrook defensively, was light-years ahead of where LaVine is. Along with that, LaVine lacks the mental toughness that I like to see from a young player with his athletic ability. Despite his flaws, and a rather mediocre season, LaVine has a skill set that should translate well to the NBA. His foot speed is second to none and also possess a crisp jump shot. He is the biggest risk pick in this draft. LaVine will either be a stud or a scrub in the NBA.
Another intriguing prospect is also a UCLA Bruin, he goes by the name Kyle Anderson. He played mostly point guard for the Bruins which is surprising because he stands a towering 6-foot-9 inches and has a wingspan over 7-feet tall. He towers over all of his match ups and takes powerful long strides in order to make his way to the hoop. Anderson is a natural born leader that uses his mind and his length to his advantage. Anderson is one of the most cerebral players in this draft and his overall game is similar to Jalen Rose’s. My question is how will Anderson respond being matched up against taller players assuming he wont be playing point guard at the next level. Anderson earned his nickname “slow-mo” for a reason, he lacks the foot speed that damn near everyone at his position possesses. As a ball handler, he doesn’t resemble a point guard more so an awkward big man. Nonetheless his calm, methodical approach was good enough to “slow down” his competition in college and he expects to have similar results in the pros.
If you want to talk about an NBA body, you’re going to be intrigued by Jusuf Nurkic. standing 6-foot-11 weighing a whopping 280-pounds, this young Bosnian can bang in the post. Unlike Anderson, Nurkic has great foot speed for his size. Besides his absolute mammoth-sized frame, Nurkic’s best weapon his his hook shot. He uses exceptional footwork to create position and he loves floating the big hook over the top of his opponents. Nurkic also has a soft touch and is an above average shooter for someone of his size. All these tools are very impressive but Nurkic is still very young and new to the game of basketball. He relies on his natural ability and definetley needs to get coached up. Nurkic would benefit if he was taught to bend his knees more in the post. He sometimes shows a lack of control on the court playing minimal minutes because he finds himself in foul trouble more times than not. But when he is on the court, he puts up staggering all around numbers. He rebounds at a high rate and can be a defensive stopper if coached up well. There’s a long road of hard work ahead for Jusuf Nurkic, but if he sticks with it ha can be a real difference maker for whatever team selects him this June.