NBA Draft Preview

Ryan Bobb, Staff Writer

With the NBA season over, the new champion Denver Nuggets have been crowned, and the next big event is the NBA draft which takes place Thursday, June 22.

Let’s take a look at some of the best players available and which teams are set up best to make this draft beneficial in the near future.

Top 5 players:

  • Victor Wembanyama is the most hyped prospect since Lebron James. The 7-foot-4 center plays in his hometown of France for Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in the LNB Pro A and can do everything a guard can do and shoot the ball like crazy.
  • Scoot Henderson is another generational talent who stands at 6-foot-2 and is crazy athletic. Every time there’s one of those players, they always get the Russell Westbrook and young Derrick Rose comparisons but Scoot could be more impactful early since he has already had a taste of NBA-caliber players by playing in the G-league and not college.
  • Brandon Miller at 6-foot-9, is a versatile playmaker, who’s shown he can get to the rim on smaller defenders and has a solid mid-range or three-point shot. He was Mr. Everything at Alabama so he will be well-suited for the challenges of the NBA.
  • Cam Whitmore is a freshman from Villanova who already has a pro-ready frame standing at 6-foot-7 and will only be 18 on draft night. He attacks the rim very well and can rebound the ball. His only major concern is passing which will get flattened out in the pros.
  • Anthony Black is another freshman who stands at 6-foot-7. The Arkansas guard can do it all— score, pass, and rebound which is very intriguing for a point guard. 

Teams set up the best to use this draft for the upcoming season:

  • The Orlando Magic have two picks in the first round – picks six and eleven – which they can use to continue to add more young talent to a solid core that includes Franz Wagner, who averaged eighteen points this season, and this year’s Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero, who led the Magic by averaging twenty points and seven rebounds a game. 
  • The Utah Jazz are another team with two first-round picks—nine and 16. They had a disappointing end to the season going 2-8 in their last 10 games finishing as the 12th seed. They have a young team led by Lauri Markkanen who earned his first all-star appearance averaging 26.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game. The Jazz look to be one of the teams with top draft capital for the next couple of years from the massive haul they acquired from the Rudy Gobert trade.
  • The Indiana Pacers who have three first-round picks were led by first-time all-star Tyrese Haliburton and center Myles Turner. The Pacers rebuild started after the departure of Victor Oladipo in 2021 but with lots of young talent and first-round picks, they look to be a contender in the near future.