All early predictions for the 2019 NBA Draft class have been less than glowing. After a massive talent pool from this years draft, it’s safe to assume next year won’t yield the same results. We are in the age of the one and done. So it is safe to say the top recruits from this years high school recruiting class will be the ones whose names are called in the 2019 Draft. Let’s take a look at some of the talent at the top.
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Barrett is a 6’7 shooting guard who will be a freshman at Duke this year. Barrett is an excellent athlete, with a 6’10 wingspan. His length gives him tremendous defensive upside and coupled with his mental toughness could make him a lockdown defender in the NBA.
Barrett is also a great passer for his age with high basketball IQ and can thread the needle as he sees fit. Barrett has excellent shooting mechanics for a 17 year old and while he doesn’t take a lot of three point attempts. He certainly has the potential to be a knockdown shooter. He averaged 38.5 percent on 39 attempts.
Barrett’s frame is lanky and he could get pushed around if he doesn’t develop more lower body strength. He’s been a somewhat streaky shooter and that’s worrisome because he will only face tougher opponents when he gets to Duke.
Barrett has the upside to be great, but needs to improve on giving a consistent level of effort. He looks disinterested in games at times and that could be a huge red flag for teams looking to take him first in the 2019 NBA draft.
Photo Cred Youtube.comCam Reddish could easily be the best player in this class. His combination of quickness, length and skill are a lethal combination. At 6’7 with a 7’1 wingspan Reddish could be an absolute nightmare on defense. With his lateral quickness, it’s easy to see how he could potentially be a 5 position defender in college and the NBA. Reddish is an excellent isolation player with great handles and court vision. Reddish is also a competent scorer with an assortment of tricks in his bag.
Although Reddish is listed as a small forward. In high school he gravitated towards a point forward roll. Reddish averaged 22.6 points per game, 7.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in the Nike D1 Circuit.
The knocks on Reddish are about his lack of explosiveness. As well as his shooting form and motor. Though he is a very capable shooter off the dribble. His mental toughness has also been brought into question. He has all the pieces but isn’t yet able to put them all together for a complete game.
Photo cred- 247sports.comNassir Little is a small forward who has explosive athleticism and elite scoring ability. Little plays with high intensity and is fearless on both ends of the floor. Little ha the ability to play with physicality, often playing through contact and turning narrow driving lanes into buckets.
Little can be a nightmare on the defensive end. With his enormous wingspan at 7’2 he constantly is disrupting passes and protecting the rim. Even from much taller opponents.https://youtu.be/y5u5xHtuaHg
Little has great shooting mechanics. Although they don’t always fall, this still shows promise. Little has a lightning fast first step that will help him speed by even the toughest defenders. Little’s shot hasn’t been consistent as of yet. That’s the name of the game for Little. Who always gives 100% effort. Though the returns on his efforts are not what they could be.
Photo cred-CBSSports.comBol Bol has the easiest name to remember in this draft. I mean come on Manute,couldn’t you have tried a little harder naming him? May you Rest In Peace. Regardless this kid is a freak for his age. Standing 7’2 with a 7’8 wingspan at 17 is ridiculous. I compare Bol to Mo Bamba in many ways. They both have excellent coordination for their size. Bol is an elite rim protector and a sneaky athlete. His defensive game is already at a very high level. Bol also has great handles for his height which could make him a threat to drive. He has incredible touch and routinely hits open threes. He is also an above average passer for someone his size. https://youtu.be/y5u5xHtuaHgBols Weaknesses are obvious. He is very skinny and is easily pushed around. His preference to take shots outside the paint limit his potential post game. As well as his upside around the rim.
Photo cred- USAtodayhhs.comIf you are a basketball fan with a pulse and an internet connection you have seen a Zion Williamson highlight tape. Videos of Williamson dunking on what appears to be dwarfs or elves is are everywhere. Serious question though, why are his opponents so short?
Williamson is an explosive athlete and a human highlight reel. He has above average handles and has decent playmaking ability. Williamson is an A+ finisher around the rim. He is able to contort his body to make incredible plays. Williamson is able to easily finish plays through contact. He could be an and 1 machine.
Williamson is a potential 4 position defender in college and 3 position defender in the NBA. He plays hard on ever play. Also possessing the size and strength to out muscle his opponents.
The problems with Williamson’s game stem from his lack of shooting ability. How will he translate to the next level without a consistent shot? Williamson is all power and no finesse. Which he will need to work on if he wants to be an NBA standout.
While the draft is a full year away. It will be interesting watching these players develop. How will Williamson, Reddish and Barrett effectively share touches at Duke. What is concerning is they all have similar builds and play similar ball dominant roles. Will this impede on their development? Duke once again has a stacked draft class of 4 top 15 recruits. Which is impressive. But it may take away from how great they are individually.
I’m rooting for Bol Bol, a guy with a name like that is destined for greatness. It also helps that his late father was an absolute freak of an NBA talent.
While Reddish and Barrett both jockey for the number one spot in the rankings. I think Nassir Little shows the most promise and upside. He could very well end up a star in the NBA.