Now that Summer League has passed, rosters are being filled out and roles are being competed for as we get closer to training camp. How will each rookie drafted in June produce and who has the potential to become a star in the NBA?
45. Hamidou Diallo – Oklahoma City Thunder
After only one year at Kentucky, Diallo comes to Oklahoma City with a chance to grab some rookie minutes at the shooting guard position. With the Thunder’s two stars at the point and small forward, this puts 3 or 4 of their young players in position to compete for minutes at the 2. Diallo might have what it takes to become the future shooting guard for Oklahoma City with his athleticism and defensive potential, however his offensive game is very raw and he’ll likely struggle shooting the ball early in his career.
PPG: 4.2 RPG: 2.1 APG: 1.3 SPG: 1.1 BPG: 0.6
NBA Comparison: Frank Ntilikina
44. Issuf Sanon – Washington Wizards
Sanon is another late round draft-and-stash and will spend the 2018-19 season in Slovenia. The 6’4″ combo guard would likely see almost no playing time with Wall and Beal occupying minutes with the Wizards. The Ukranian is still young and may come over to Washington in a year or two, but with the guard depth in Washington his rights may be traded away.
PPG: N/A RPG: N/A APG: N/A SPG: N/A BPG: N/A
NBA Comparison: Jonathon Simmons
43. Justin Jackson – Orlando Magic
After two years at Maryland, Jackson comes to a rebuilding squad in Orlando. The 21-year old forward is coming off of an injury in his last season in college and did not play in Summer League for Orlando. He had a far more promising freshman year for the Terps and it seems Orlando is hoping they have a steal if he returns to that form. His defensive potential is as big as can be with a 7’3″ wingspan, but if he continues his shooting struggles he’ll likely spend this year in the G-League.
PPG: 2.3 RPG: 2.1 APG: 0.9 SPG: 0.8 BPG: 0.7
NBA Comparison: Trevor Ariza
42. Bruce Brown – Detroit Pistons
The Pistons bring in another young shooting guard in this draft after taking Luke Kennard last year. After letting go of both Avery Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit is looking for a guard to compliment its star front court. While Kennard had a promising rookie year, there’s plenty of room for Brown to make his way to some court time this season.
PPG: 5.1 RPG: 1.9 APG: 1.7 SPG: 0.7 BPG: 0.4
NBA Comparison: Shabazz Napier
41. Jarred Vanderbilt – Denver Nuggets
Out of star-studded Kentucky, Vanderbilt will struggle to find playing time on a Nuggets team looking to get back in the playoffs for the first time since their Ty Lawson days. Will Barton, Torrey Craig, and fellow rookie Michael Porter Jr. will occupy almost all the minutes at the small forward position leaving Vanderbilt off the court for most of the season. The 19-year old swingman has promising playmaking ability and the length to guard multiple positions on defense someday, but his shooting struggles and the depth of Denver’s roster will prevent him from showcasing this just yet. His talent gives him starter potential.
PPG: 3.6 RPG: 2.9 APG: 1.8 SPG: 0.7 BPG: 0.4
NBA Comparison: Jae Crowder
40. Rodions Kurucs – Brooklyn Nets
Kurucs was one of the few international players signed to an NBA team in this draft after agreeing to a 4-year deal with the Nets. He’s a winger with a solid jumper and a good feel on the other side of the ball, however his playmaking ability has been disappointing. The 20-year old Latvian has the athleticism and jumpshot to develop into a nice bench option for Brooklyn.
PPG: 4.3 RPG: 1.7 APG: 0.8 SPG: 0.9 BPG: 0.2
NBA Comparison: Joe Harris
39. Isaac Bonga – Los Angeles Lakers
Bonga was traded to LA after being selected 39th by Philadelphia. The 6’9″ German is a forward/center with guard skills who’ll learn perfectly from LeBron James. He’s extremely raw at only 18-years old but his talent is evident early on. His feel and vision are tremendous at his size. While his shooting must be fixed to get him significant minutes on the Lakers his unique skill set could make him a steal.
PPG: 2.3 RPG: 2.2 APG: 1.9 SPG: 0.8 BPG: 0.6
NBA Comparison: Ben Simmons
38. Khyri Thomas – Detroit Pistons
Coming out of Creighton, Thomas had a very solid Summer League for Detroit. The 22-year old shooting guard is one of the best long-range shooters in the draft shooting at a mark of 41% for the Bluejays this past year. With several other young shooting guards on the team we’ll see if Thomas can carve out some minutes in the Detroit lineup.
PPG: 4.9 RPG: 1.8 APG: 1.0 SPG: 0.7 BPG: 0.1
NBA Comparison: Gary Harris
37. Gary Trent Jr. – Portland Trail Blazers
Trent Jr. could end up being one of the steals of the draft. A highly touted prospect out of high school, his shooting ability could be very valuable to the Blazers this year. It’s possible we see them play Trent at the 3 if he shows he’s capable of ample playing time early on. To get a high potential, young shooter in the second round is rare and Portland should give him time to blossom before moving on.
PPG: 7.2 RPG: 2.7 APG: 1.3 SPG: 0.9 BPG: 0.3
NBA Comparison: Jeremy Lamb
36. Mitchell Robinson – New York Knicks
Robinson looks to be another second round steal as he’s part of a terrific summer by New York. The 7-footer has unbelievable potential as an athlete and defender, putting on a blocking spree in Summer League. He’s extremely raw and needs to put on weight and develop an offensive game but he has all the tools to be the Knicks starting center for the next decade. He’ll see some extra playing time early in the year as KP nurses his injury.
PPG: 5.3 RPG: 4.1 APG: 0.7 SPG: 0.3 BPG: 1.8
NBA Comparison: Tyson Chandler
35. Melvin Frazier – Orlando Magic
After 3 years at Tulane, Frazier is another wing added to the handful of youthful swingmen in Orlando. Frazier is the prototypical modern NBA shooting guard as a 6’6″ 3-and-D guy. The 21-year old should get a shot at the court this year, depending on what the Magic intend to do with Evan Fournier. It’s unlikely he’ll ever be a top scorer on a team but a bench player who can fill in in the starting lineup when needed is attainable with his potential.
PPG: 5.2 RPG: 2.3 APG: 1.1 SPG: 1.2 BPG: 0.5
NBA Comparison: Josh Richardson
34. Devonte’ Graham – Charlotte Hornets
After one of the most successful careers ever at Kansas, Graham comes home to North Carolina to back up Kemba Walker. With Michael Carter-Williams leaving for Houston it leaves court time for Graham. The 23-year old is an experienced player with a great shooting stroke. His leadership qualities will transition over to the NBA and benefit the Charlotte second unit.
PPG: 6.1 RPG: 1.9 APG: 3.2 SPG: 0.7 BPG: 0.1
NBA Comparison: Fred VanVleet
33. Jalen Brunson – Dallas Mavericks
Another very successful college guard taken in the second round, Brunson could be a valuable bench player for Dallas this year. With Dennis Smith Jr. likely to retain his starting point guard spot, barring where the team decides to play Luka Doncic, Brunson could see backup PG minutes. His leadership and shooting ability will be reliable for the Mavs as they try to build back into contention.
PPG: 4.7 RPG: 1.8 APG: 2.2 SPG: 1.1 BPG: 0.2
NBA Comparison: D.J. Augustin
32. Jevon Carter – Memphis Grizzlies
The first of 3 straight veteran college guards, Carter looks to fit perfectly with the Griz after a career at scrappy West Virginia. His defensive toughness is exactly what Memphis is known for and his energy off the bench will relieve Mike Conley and give the team a boost when their stars are off the floor. The Grizzlies won’t be contending this year but Carter is another piece that can help them get back to the postseason.
PPG: 4.3 RPG: 2.4 APG: 2.1 SPG: 1.7 BPG: 0.8
NBA Comparison: Patrick Beverley
31. Elie Okobo – Phoenix Suns
The first pick of the second round, Okobo comes from France to the Suns bringing athleticism and a creative offensive repertoire. He’s able to create shots on his own and facilitate the pick-and-roll well. If he picks up his defensive intensity and polishes his all-around game he’s in the running to be the second part of a backcourt pair with star Devin Booker.
PPG: 5.7 RPG: 1.8 APG: 2.6 SPG: 0.8 BPG: 0.3
NBA Comparison: Tyus Jones