With the NBA Draft a few weeks away. I wanted to take a look at players who are potential sleepers and could be in the running for Rookie of the Year.
1. Lonnie Walker IV
Lonnie Walker comes in overlooked due to his up and down season at Miami in which he started the season slow after a preseason knee procedure. Walker is a very talented player with an NBA body that should continue to get even better at the Pro level. With a nice stroke from outside and solid ball-handling skills, Walker’s game should transition well at the next level. He’s also pretty athletic and shows no ill effects from the aforementioned surgery he had done prior to the start of his Freshman year.
Player comparison: Gary Harris
2. Robert Williams
Robert Williams decided to come back and build on draft stock but did not have the type of showing that would warrant a selection near the very top of the draft. Make no mistake though, his game will flourish at the next level with improved spacing and improved guard play. The unique thing about Williams game is he’s a hard worker and he always displays effort. He’s a very good lob target with great hands. He may not be as polished at Ayton, Bagley or Carter Jr, but much like Bamba, he will be able to contribute right away on the defensive end.
Player Comparison: Clint Capela
3. Landry Shamet
Shamet is an elite Point Guard by anyone standards. You want someone who is a threat from three? Shamet shot 44 % from three in his time at Wichita State. Want someone who can run a team and get people involved? Shamet can do that as well. His numbers won’t blow you away but factor in that he had to play within Gregg Marshall’s system at Wichita State which employs a balanced attack. At the next level, I can see Shamet being way more productive when being used as a primary threat.
Player Comparison: Jamal Murray
4. Donte DiVicenzo
DiVicenzo is the most versatile player on this list and probably in the draft. He can play three positions and guard about four. DiVicenzo can play on the ball and off. He’s good in catch and shoot situations, as well as creating his own shot on offense. After a strong showing in the NBA combine, The “Big Ragu” could find himself slipping into the bottom half of the first round.
Player Comparison: Denzel Valentine
5. Jevon Carter
As the Point Guard position becomes deeper and deeper, more emphasis will be placed on getting players who can slow down the great ones. Jevon Carter is the best at doing that. He picks guys up full court and plays with tremendous effort and intelligence. Carter also has the ability to run a team with his high basketball IQ. Would be a nice addition to any team looking for depth at the Guard position.
Player Comparison: Patrick Beverly
6. Omari Spellman
Another entry for the defending National Champion Villanova Wildcats, Spellman is your prototypical Center for today’s NBA. He’s in that tweener spot where he can play the four and small ball five. He’s excellent screener and is a real threat from three. He defends well and could be a real gem for a team in the second round.
Player Comparison: Draymond Green
I’m Looking forward to seeing where these guys end up! Who else do you think is a sleeper?