While the NBA draft always showcases many up and coming prospects, this year’s 2019 draft class stands out with some very unique players, having physical attributes and skills the league has not often seen. These players could have a huge impact on their teams’ success, fan base, and sales, especially with the power the draft has to decide certain franchises futures.
The New Orleans Pelicans have the first pick in this years draft, crushing New York’s hopes of getting Zion Williamson. Williamson, the projected first pick, is a 6’7 forward. At 285 lbs, he runs as fast as guards and is also well known for his high vertical and electrifying dunks. His defense is not something to sleep on as well, getting insane blocks and being able to box out and rebound over bigger players with his weight. New Orleans may trade Anthony Davis to New York in order to get New York’s 3rd pick, allowing New Orleans to secure Williamson’s teammate, RJ Barrett. Barrett is a shooting guard straight out of Mississauga and was the number one ranked recruit going into the college season. Barrett had also previously led the U-19 Canadian National Team to a gold medal at age 17. He is one of the most NBA ready players and has great passing vision according to Steve Nash, his Godfather. Regardless of whether or not New Orleans gets Barrett, the highly coveted Williamson who is already getting compared to Lebron James, will set up a new rebuild for the Pelicans. He will also bring lots of fans to the team, bringing sales up for jerseys and tickets. If he stays after his rookie contract he may also be able to transform the Pelicans from a small market team to a big market team.
The Memphis Grizzlies as second will most likely use their pick for sophomore Ja Morant. Although playing with Williamson during his AAU days, Morant, a 6’3 point guard with great athleticism and great passing was overlooked in high school and his freshman year in college. He is known to run a fast-paced offense, helping his teammates get open shots by driving and penetrating to the basket, collapsing the defense. As a sophomore, he is arguably more experienced and NBA ready than most college freshmen coming into the draft. Going into the NBA, Morant will most definitely gain knowledge from his team members and especially veteran point guard Mike Conley. With the prospect of Morant joining the team, he will have a big impact on the Grizzlies rebuild as they have already acquired Jaren Jackson Jr. with the 4th pick and adding Morant to the roster will possibly create a dynamic duo for the future.
Another very interesting prospect and probably one of the most unique is Bol Bol, son of former NBA giant Manute Bol. Manute Bol stood at 7’7 and remains the tallest NBA player to have ever played. Bol Bol on the other hand stands at 7’3 and weighs 236 lbs with a very unique ability to shoot consistently at 7’3 and handle the ball. With his 9’8 standing reach, he also has great shot blocking ability. Playing at Oregon this past college season, he dominated the pac-12 competition. However, Bol’s season with the Ducks was cut short from a left foot injury. Leg and foot injuries tend to occur more in taller players which is why NBA scouts have doubts in tall prospects. They are high risk but most often they are high reward. Bol may have dropped his draft stock due to the injury, but Bol’s game is perfect for today’s NBA. NBA teams are now looking for centers and power forwards who can shoot, rebound, and shot block, making Bol a very good candidate. Bol has been projected to be in the mid first round from draft analysts, making him a steal. And if he manages to stay healthy, he can be a potential all-star in the future.
These 3 prospects are only a few out of many different prospects in this year’s draft. Some prospects might not shine in the beginning when they are drafted, but they have a whole career to improve and change the league.