We’re picking up where we left off a few weeks ago. In this series, we’re taking a look at the NBA’s incoming group of rookies, and studying what kind of impact they might have in their projected landing spots. If you haven’t checked it out yet, take a look at Part 1 where we went through the first seven picks. For purposes of this article, we’re using the CBS Sports Mock Draft. Also, free agency will likely have some impact on these outlooks as well.
Davion Mitchell, PG, Orlando Magic
This kid was my favorite player in college basketball last year. He looks like he will step in and immediately be an impact defensive player. Motor and defensive IQ are his best attributes. The one knock is that he’s an older prospect so he makes less sense for a rebuilding team. He strikes me as a player who will be tough for coaches to take off the court because he is such an asset. Marcus Smart is a good comparison for Mitchell.
Stock Up: Magic Centers (Mo Bamba, Wendell Carter)
Stock Down: Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz
Keon Johnson, SG, Sacramento Kings
This is another very high upside pick. He tested as one of the best athletes in this class and is coming out as a freshmen. The talent is raw, and he needs to develop as a scorer. He’s a great pick for a team like the Kings that need to hit home runs with their picks. Buddy Hield was in a lot of trade rumors this summer and I think this pick would essentially send him packing.
Stock Up: Marvin Bagley, De’Aron Fox
Stock Down: Buddy Hield (unless he gets a boost from being on a new team), Jah’mius Ramsey
Corey Kispert, SF, New Orleans Pelicans
This is a pick for “fit” rather than upside. Kispert has a high floor and is a great shooter. The Pelicans are tailoring their offense to Zion and allowing him to be point guard and go one on one during the game. Surrounding him with shooters will allow this strategy to be more effective. Joe Harris is a great comparison for Corey Kispert.
Stock Up: Zion Williamson
Stock Down: Josh Hart
James Bouknight, SG, Charlotte Hornets
Bouknight is shooting up draft boards because he is an elite scorer. Bookie Buckets (any royalties from this newly created nickname will go directly to Loupe purchases) would be a great transition asset playing alongside LaMelo. Upside comparison is Zach LaVine, which would be a great addition for the Hornets.
Stock Up: LaMelo Ball
Stock Down: Devonte Graham, Terry Rozier
Zaire Williams, SG, San Antonio Spurs
Williams was a top 10 high school recruit that shocked the recruiting world by going to Stanford. He is a skilled wing with a solid midrange game. His one season at Stanford was pretty mediocre, but he has the pedigree to be a great pick. The Spurs have been known to develop some guys, so this would be a great landing spot for Williams to develop.
Stock Up: Dejounte Murray
Stock Down: Keldon Johnson
Franz Wagner, SF, Indiana Pacers
Wagner is the brother of current NBA player Mo Wagner. The similarities between the two basically ends at their last name. While Mo plays defense like he’s lugging around cinder blocks, Franz is considered one of the elite defenders in the class. Because of his defensive skill, he could come in right away and contribute. The Pacers have goals of being a competitive team, so this pick would make sense. Wagner is comparable to Otto Porter, back when Porter tried on defense.
Stock Up: Domantas Sabonis
Stock Down: Doug McDermott, Jeremy Lamb
Chris Duarte, SG, Golden State Warriors
Duarte is a pure shooter. Not sure, but I think they are fans of shooting in Golden State. He is a 24-year old player, but for a team like the Warriors who are looking for immediate help, he fits the mold.
Stock Up: Steph Curry (because his stock is always going up)
Stock Down: Jordan Poole, Kelly Oubre Jr.