Every basketball fan has their Twitter notifications set for Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania with multiple trades set to take place in the hours leading up to the NBA Draft. Unfortunately for the draft prospects, the eyes will be on the trade pieces more than the draftees. Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Ja Morant are the only prospects in this draft that are projected to be franchise-altering talents while the rest are “to be determined”. The New Orleans Pelicans control the draft and will be the most watched team tonight as people are wondering if they will move up in the draft. New Orleans currently holds the first and fourth picks but may want to move up and take the Memphis Grizzlies’ second pick so that they can pair Zion with Barrett. If Memphis will not budge then New Orleans could either keep the fourth pick or flip it for veteran talent and a later draft pick. After the first three picks are made, that is when this draft could pick up in regards to unpredictability.
While we already know who the top three picks will be, everything after that is in question. Darius Garland is expected to be selected fourth by the Pelicans but he did not play a single minute for Vanderbilt last season. If we are basing this draft on potential, I can see Garland taking the biggest drop tonight as no team is really locked in on him. Look for Jarrett Culver to be selected fourth. De’Andre Hunter is another player that I still question. At only 6’7”, Hunter has to develop a steady offensive game as he will not be able to hold up the same way on defense that he did at Virginia. I do not believe neither he nor Garland are top-five talents. The same goes for Cameron Reddish. Reddish did not step up for Duke when his better teammates suffered injuries. Reddish would not be a first-round pick if I were to script this draft. A couple of players that I believed are being overlooked are Coby White, Naz Reid, and Carsen Edwards. White has shades of Damian Lillard in him and could be a great fit for the Phoenix Suns to take the pressure off of Devin Booker. While Naz Reid may not have all-star potential, he can provide solid minutes down low and be a defensive machine like Rudy Gobert. Carsen Edwards has not been highly touted in this draft process which is beyond me. Edwards had a Steph Curry-esque run in the NCAA Tournament and proved to be a reliable spot-up three-point shooter. He will not be Curry, but since the NBA has become a shooting party, Edwards would be a perfect fit. Make sure to tune in tonight because it could get wild and this draft could set the tone for the next five years for the association.
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