With the draft lottery done and NBA draft night soon approaching, it feels like a good time to take a look at some of the top prospects that will be drafted on June 22nd. The draft is one of the more exciting times in the league, as many teams will be getting great young players that could ultimately end up being the face of the league in a few years. Teams spend a immense amount of time scouting what could be their next rookies, as selecting the right player on draft night is essentially to many NBA teams’ success for what could be years and years. This NBA Draft could go down as one of the most successful draft classes of all-time, as fans are buzzing in hopes their team grabs the leagues next superstar.
In this article, we will be looking at 20 of the top prospects in this year’s draft, and finding the best NBA comparison player that they resemble. Now note, a great young player could be compared to not the best of NBA talents. Obviously these guys are different players than their comparable, these are just the guys that have a similar set of skills.
As always, feel free to leave any comments you have on this matter in the comment section below, for we would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Here is the best NBA comparison for the top 20 NBA draft prospects.
20. Ivan Rabb – Nerlens Noel
Ivan Rabb could end up being one of the better players of this draft class when it’s all said and done, as he has the physical tools to be a great player in this league. He is a great rebounder and gets up and down the court faster than most bigs, as his athletic prowess is what sets him apart from most. He reminds me the most of Nerlens Noel in the NBA today, as the two both go up and alter as many shots as they can and can bring down 10 plus boards on any given night. Rabb will be drafted most likely in the 10-20 range of picks, and whatever team takes him will be getting a nice athletic big who could be a really good player in a few seasons.
19. Justin Jackson – Robert Covington
Fresh off his NCAA championship with North Carolina, Justin Jackson was an established college scorer and will be a nice asset to whatever team takes him on draft night. Jackson played three seasons for North Carolina, where he really developed his game over his time there as he had his best season to date last year as he averaged 18 points per game. Jackson will be taken by a team looking for a player ready to produce and not a long project of development. His play style is similar to Robert Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers, as the two use their length to score from deep and around the rim, and can also pull down a healthy amount of rebounds due to their height.
18. Harry Giles – Bobby Portis
Harry Giles started the NCAA season as one of the top prospects in the country, but lack of consistency on the court. He was easily one of the best players in high-school, and failed to live up to the hype in college. He has a pretty high upside considering his athletic abilities, but not all of the real basketball tools were there yet for Giles which is why he had trouble dominating in college. Giles plays similar to Bobby Portis of the Chicago Bulls, as the two both are standard power forward players who score inside and rebound nicely. Giles will not be taking in the top ten of the draft, and a team ready to invest in a player that could develop will take him off the board.
17. Luke Kennard – Nik Stauskas
Luke Kennard had a great lone season with Duke this year, as he showed the college world he is a great scorer and showed the ability he will be able to score in the NBA. Luke uses his big frame and solid physical frame to slash in the paint and get buckets at the rim, but his real strength comes from his stroke, as he could be very valuable to an NBA team if he is able to score in the league like he did in college. Nik Stauskas comes to mind when looking at an NBA comparable, as the two are both very solid shooters from deep but can also turn heads on a quick dunk or two, as they can get to the rim as well as shoot the ball. Kennard has a higher upside than Stauskas, as he is primed for a nice career.
16. Hamidou Diallo – Dwyane Wade
No Hamidou Diallo is not the next Dwyane Wade, but the likeness between the two is noticeable. Diallo did not play one single game for Kentucky this season due to an injury, but his athletic potential is what has so many NBA teams intrigued by Hamidou. A slasher at heart, Diallo has problems shooting the ball consistently so he attacks the rim with a ferocity to make up for it. A good perimeter defender as well, Diallo reminds me of Dwyane Wade the way the two use their strength and quickness to score and defend very well. Diallo has a lot of upside to be a great guard in the NBA, and I am wishing him the best in his career.
15. T.J. Leaf – Myles Turner
T.J. Leaf was one of the best players in college basketball this season, as the 6’10” big man from UCLA showed his offensive capabilities all throughout the year. Leaf is very polished on the offensive end, as he can score inside but can also stretch defenses due to his nice shooting stroke. A excellent rebounder as well, Leaf looks like a weaker Myles Turner, as the two centers are both offensive threats who can pull down a lot of rebounds over the course of a game. If Leaf can get stronger and get his weight up to compete with guys such as Turner, Leaf could be one of the most successful players in the draft.
14. John Collins – Greg Monroe
John Collins made a huge jump from his first season at Wake Forest to his second, as he became one of the best offensive big men in college. Averaging about 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, Collins raised his draft stock significantly over the course of the season. He won’t be stretching any NBA defenses, as shooting is not apart of Collins game, but he uses his body and skill around the rim to get his buckets, similar to Greg Monroe from the Milwaukee Bucks. Collins is going to be a pretty good center in the NBA, and whatever team that drafts him is going to be getting a polished scorer who can rebound with the best of them as well.
13. Terrance Ferguson – Terrence Ross
Terrance Ferguson opted to play overseas for his one year out of high-school requirement, instead of going to his long choices of schools that would have loved for him to play for them. Terrance was even dubbed Terrance “2k” Ferguson in high-school, as his jumping ability made him look a video game player, as he soared on his way to becoming a online sensation as his mixtape videos showed him pulling off some insane dunks. Ferguson isn’t just a one trick pony however, as he has a nice pull up and set jump shot he can get off quickly and efficiently. Ferguson’s game looks like Terrence Ross, as the two are both very athletic but can also put up points from deep in a hurry.
12. Jarrett Allen – Serge Ibaka
Jarrett Allen could be one of the steals of the draft, as he has a lot of different tools that could ultimately make him a star in the league. He is very lengthy on the court, and will be sure to send a lot of shots the other way over the course of his NBA career as he is was a great defender in college. Allen is also very adept at pulling down rebounds, as he averaged just over 8 per game this NCAA season, as his height and wingspan allow him to get high above the rim with ease. What differs him from other bigs in the draft is his nice touch however, as he can knock down jump shots as well as finishing at the rim. Comparable to Serge Ibaka due to the defensive and offensive skills, Allen is going to be a great player.
11. Lauri Markkanen – Nikola Mirotic
Lauri Markkanen could be a superstar in the NBA in a few years. Standing at 7 foot, Markkanen towers over most of the other players on the court, and big men have trouble guarding him due to his excellent shooting from deep and guard like dribbling skills. He isn’t the strongest of players, but the fact he can stretch the floor and score consistently is what makes him such a prized prospect. Markkanen is good on the defensive end of the court as well as he is adept at getting steals and it almost looks like he can see plays play out before they even happen. That is something special for a 20-year-old. Markkanen has a game like Nikola Mirotic, but Lauri has a much higher ceiling than Nikola ever did.
10. Frank Ntilikina – Dante Exum
Hopefully for Frank’s sake he does not turn out exactly like Dante Exum, as many are starting to consider Exum a bust. The two do share the same qualities that made Exum so intriguing a few seasons ago, such as their height at the guard position and ability to do multiple things on the court very smoothly. A long wingspan, Ntilikina is very quick on the court and is an excellent passer with great court vision. Most likely to be drafted around the 10th pick in this years draft, Frank Ntilikina could be one of the league’s biggest names in just a few years as he has a lot of exciting tools that has scouts buzzing. We’ll see if he can surpass Exum.
9. Zach Collins – Kelly Olynyk
Zach Collins is one of the most offensively polished players in this years draft class. At 6’11”, Zach doesn’t lose any coordination and quickness to his height, as he is very mobile which allows him to do things on the court that other big men can’t do. Collins can shoot the three ball as well, as his stroke does not look broken and has a smooth motion to it. He reminds me of Kelly Olynyk the way the two both can score on the offensive end, but Kelly is a better passer than Collins at this point and the two both could develop their defensive games. Collins is going to most likely be drafted within the top 10 of the draft, and hopefully he can make an impact for the team that chooses him.
8. Malik Monk – Lou Williams
Malik Monk is one of the bigger names coming into the league with the 2017 NBA Draft class, as he is one of the best players in college basketball this season. Monk could be a premier scorer in the NBA in a few years, as he has a very good shot and uses his explosiveness to get to the rim and score. Using his craftiness more than strength to score, Monk has a game like Lou Williams, as the two are both great scorers and can shoot the ball well from deep. Monk could turn out to be far better than Williams in a few years or so due to his athletic tools. Monk could be taken as early as 4th in the draft, but could find himself being taken by a team such as the Knicks with the 8th pick.
7. Dennis Smith Jr. – John Wall
Dennis Smith Jr. will undoubtedly be a Rookie of the Year candidate next season, as he is possibly the most NBA ready prospect of the class due to his league ready body. Smith could be the most explosive player of the draft, and is drawing comparisons to guys like John Wall as they can both get down the court in lightning quick motion and finish at the rim hard due to their strength. Smith has great court vision but is more of a score first point guard who will put a lot of pressure on NBA defenses. A good defender as well due to his strength and quickness, Dennis Smith Jr. is an excellent prospect out of NC State and is going to be a star in the NBA.
6. Jonathan Isaac – Kevin Durant
Jonathan Isaac is one of the most intriguing prospects of the draft class. Standing a tall 6’10”, Isaac moves like a guard as he doesn’t let his large frame hold him back from playing fast and smoothly. As like Kevin Durant, Isaac has a giant wingspan and uses it to shoot over defenders and create off the dribble. He can score from anywhere on the court and really is one of the most versatile players coming into the league next season. He needs to build on some more mass to compete with big guys in the NBA, but Isaac has all the natural ability to be the next superstar of the league. Isaac is going to be a great player as he has tools that you just can’t teach, and could be the association’s next Kevin Durant.
5. De’Aaron Fox – Dennis Schroder
De’Aaron Fox is personally one of my favorite prospects in this class. The point-guard from Kentucky had one of the best seasons in college this year, and is going to be a top player in this league in a few years from now. A lefty shooter, Fox uses his quickness to get to the rim which is good because is shooting is a bit streaky so it’s good to know he can score in the paint when his shot is not falling. When hot, Fox was one of, if not the toughest player to guard in college, as he put up some big games in his rookie season. While I expect him to have a better career than Dennis Schroder from the Hawks, the two have similar play styles when it comes to their craftiness and streaky shooting. A good passer as well, whichever team lands Fox in the draft is getting their point-guard of the future.
4. Jayson Tatum – Harrison Barnes
Jayson Tatum is going to be a great scorer in the NBA. With a league ready body, Tatum is a strong 6’8″ forward who I believe is going to make a big impact right away with whatever team drafts him. Tatum can rise high and knock down jump shots with the best of them and can also operate out of the post similar to Harrison Barnes, who had a great season for the Mavericks this year. Tatum is great at getting to the rim and drawing fouls, and is sure to convert on most of his free throws. A solid defender, Tatum uses his length to stay in front of his defenders so I don’t believe he will be a defensive liability in the league. A all-around great prospect, Tatum is primed for an excellent NBA career.
3. Josh Jackson – Jimmy Butler
Josh Jackson is the best two way player in the draft. Jackson is going to be one of the league’s next superstars as his game is drawing comparisons to guys like Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls. Both excellent scorers and rebounders for wing players, Jackson and Butler also shine on the defensive end of the ball as they are lockdown defenders who are not afraid to stick the best player on the other team. Jackson’s only real weakness as of now is his jump shot, as he had trouble converting consistently when he shot the ball not in the paint. With a little bit of polish on his shot and some time to develop, Josh Jackson is going to be one of the most impactful players in all of the NBA.
2. Lonzo Ball – Jason Kidd
Finding a comparison for Lonzo Ball in the league today was hard. So hard in fact that I had to cheat a little and select a retired player, but I really do believe that Ball’s game resembles that of the great Jason Kidd much more than any other player today. Ball will be a constant triple double threat throughout his career, as he is a tall 6’6″ for a point-guard and uses his height to grab rebounds and see the court well. Lonzo made headlines multiple times in the sports world on account of his father Lavar, and the fact his first signature shoe costs $495. Even with everything Lonzo will be bringing with him off of the court, the talent he has on the hardwood is what he is going to be remembered by when it’s all said and done.
1. Markelle Fultz – James Harden
Markelle Fultz is the prized possession of the 2017 NBA Draft class, as he is regarded by many as the right selection with the 1st pick in the draft. A three level scorer resembling a dominant player such as James Harden, Fultz can score from deep, mid-range, and finish at the rim with precision. Pair his scoring skills up with his nice court vision and passing, Markelle Fultz makes to be an ideal NBA point-guard. With the game coming so easily to him, Fultz seems to lack off sometimes on the defensive end similar too a guy like Harden is so good you can’t even be mad he seems to take some defensive plays off. A hard worker overall however, Fultz is going to be one of the best players in the league and will be taken with the number one pick in this year’s draft.
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