When I first saw Pope as a freshman, I thought he had lottery written all over him. He ended up staying at San Diego State for four years and steadily improved each season. Honestly, I think his versatile game is more suited for the fast-paced style of the NBA as opposed to more methodical college ball. His combination of size (6-foot-10), shooting ability (38.2 percent from distance during his tenure in San Diego), elite bounce and length (7-foot-2 wingspan) will certainly catch the eye of GMs.
NBA Comparison: Anthony Randolph
Several basketball pundits compare Trae Young’s game to surefire Hall of Famer, Steph Curry’s. Shamet possesses similar qualities and challenges Young as arguably the best pure shooter in the 2018 NBA Draft. Though, he lacks the elite athleticism most GMs covet in new-age floor generals, his clever handle allows him to get to his spots with ease, and he’s an expert at creating open shots for his teammates. During his final season at Wichita State in 2017-18, the crafty Shamet set a school record by draining 2.63 3-pointers per game and dished out 166 dimes, which ranks ninth on the school’s list for most helpers in a campaign.
NBA Comparison: Seth Curry
Diallo routinely skies for SportsCenter highlights and possesses elite athleticism, length, quickness and a steadily improving jump shot. In an NBA, where 3-and-D players have become integral to the makeup of a roster, the Kentucky product should blow teams away with his insane 6-foot-11 wingspan and massive potential as a spot-up shooter. His measurables will most certainly attract the attention of GMs, but his performance during the pre-draft process will be key as he looks to shoot up draft boards and sneak into the lottery.
PS: He’s a New York City kid and we all know they play basketball as if it’s life or death.
NBA Comparison: A shorter OG Anunoby or a healthy Iman Shumpert
Though his older brother, Michael, garners the majority of headlines, Jontay is no slouch. He’s one of the younger players in the draft after reclassifying in order to play at Missouri in 2017-18 and is a multifaceted big man (6-foot-11) who runs the floor like a deer, blocks shots and drills triples (36.4 percent during his lone collegiate season). These three things alone scream LEAGUE, especially in today’s NBA, where a center’s ability to run to the rim/protect it and knockdown the added bonus of a 3-point shot equals more $$$. Given his wealth of skills and incredible upside, he is primed to quickly carve out a role on somebody’s roster.
NBA Comparison: Trey Lyles
I know it looked like Carter was at West Virginia for nine years, but I promise it wasn’t that long. In fact, it was only four. Now, let's get down to business. In order to stick in the NBA as a role player, you must develop a niche. Carter, a dog on the defensive end, will make his money based off hounding some of the NBA’s premier scoring guards. During his final season at West Virginia, he won the inaugural Defensive Player of the Year Award, became the school’s all-time steals leader and proved to be the driving force on a hungry Mountaineers squad. His steady play, proficiency when running an offense and tough-nosed Chicago-based brand of hoopin’ are ingredients to a lengthy career in the L.
NBA Comparison: Another Windy City native Patrick Beverley