Now that the NBA finals are closely approaching, with both conferences playing their respective finals to determine who will make it to the championship series, everyone’s attention is drifting towards another critical topic of conversation, the upcoming NBA draft. NBA draft odds experts are already in full work making prediction lists of who will go first and where each of the prospects will be most likely to land. But with all of this said, where should the draft’s top prospects end up going, and what could they offer said, teams? Let’s break it down.
1. Cade Cunningham, Guard, Oklahoma State
I don’t really think there needs to be much talk about Cade Cunningham being the top prospect in this year’s NBA draft. From its looks, it seems almost a unanimous pick to have the former Oklahoma State star be going out into the NBA as the first pick of the draft. By looking at his numbers or watching him ball with OK State, you can tell that this is a player whose talents are more than ready for the NBA. He can play all three perimeter positions, although he has always been seen as a point guard. His three-point shooting abilities can make any team do backflips to get him, and he knows what it’s like to take a team and take them to the promised land.
Now, a player of such talents and potential could easily fit in anywhere and everywhere in the NBA, but, with that said, if the Pistons can snatch him up, that could easily be a turning point for Detroit. Pairing Cunningham up with Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey would give the Pistons one of the best trios in the NBA, and one that is just starting to bloom and that will bring years of happiness to the Pistons. Detroit could end up having a better version of Ben Simmons if they can get Cunningham, you know, a version that can actually shoot threes.
2. Evan Mobley, Center, USC
In a league where versatile big men are the new “it” thing, look at Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic; for example, Evan Mobley could easily be taken as the most popular prospect to target for teams looking for their next big man superstar. His mobility is exceptional, with some pick-and-roll defensive skills that can easily put him up there with some of the game’s best centers. He averaged 2,9 blocks per game in his only college season, and 58% shooting on two pointers and even hit 30% from the three-point line, so the found steps for a jump shooting career are in there too.
If I were the Houston Rockets, I would definitely be looking at Evan Mobley as my premier pick, as my rock, as my future, as my everything. Forget about getting guys like Cunningham or Suggs; no, get Mobley, pair him up with Christian Wood and Jae’Sean Tate, and watch the three become one of the best, if not the best, frontcourts the NBA for years to come. The Rockets already know how to draft centers and make it work; remember Hakeem’s “The Dream.”
3. Jalen Green, Shooting Guard, G League Ignite
Green’s irruption into the G League was probably one of the best moves done by a future NBA prospect in a long time. With an average of 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game with 46.1% shooting and 36.5% from three-point land, this man is ready for the pros, and there is no stopping him. Green got a taste of legit pro level competition in the G league bubble, which helped him amass more and more A-level dynamism making him as pro ready as ever.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, as of right now, stand tight as the one team that could benefit the most from Green’s explosive scoring skills. Imagine pairing Green up with guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and having them both be mentored by a proven All-Star in newcomer Kemba Walker if he decides to stay in OKC, of course. We are talking about one of the top young backcourts in the league. For a team in the full long-term-rebuild mode, getting a guy like Jalen Green can be the stepping stone to a bright point filled future.