This year’s NBA draft is one of the worst in recent memory. There are very few players that will step on the court next fall who are ready to make a difference. The funny thing is that the guys who are ready to play won’t go at the top of the draft. The number one pick might not even be ready to see the floor until late December. I’m not telling you who teams are going to take or even who they should take based on long term projections. I’m giving you a list of guys that teams should take if they want help right now.
It is important to note that if I was a GM with a top 6 pick, I would do my best to move it, either for a guy who could help me right now or a pick in next year’s draft. Next year’s draft is loaded with talented kids who should be ready to make an impact on day one.
Here are the 10 players who can help right away (if they see the floor)
10. Alex Len. 7-0 Soph. Maryland. Len might be higher on this list if he wasn’t injured. He is nowhere near the kind of player that he could be in a few years but he already has skills that translate to the NBA. He is big and athletic. He is a solid rebounder and good shot blocker.
9. Tony Snell. 6-7 Junior. New Mexico. Snell is a great shooter with a quick release who can help spread the floor for any team. He is also a great on ball defender. With those two skills he should see the floor and contribute right away.
8. Shane Larkin. 5-11 Soph. Miami. Larkin is great in the pick and roll. He can knock down the open shot and is a good perimeter defender because of his quickness. He could step in and start from day one for a team needing a point guard.
7. Mason Plumlee. 6-11 Senior. Duke. Plumlee is a great athlete and a monster on the glass. He is a tireless worker who never quits. He will be a great second line garbage guy.
6. Kelly Olynyk. 7-0 Junior. Gonzaga. Olynyk benefitted greatly from his redshirt year. His post and midrange game is the best of any big in this draft. He’s not the most athletic guy but knows how to score in a number of different ways. Kelly is a great free throw shooter who should contribute double figure scoring if he gets enough minutes.
5. Cody Zeller. 7-0 Soph. Indiana. Zeller is a great athlete with a nice face up game. He lacks strength but isn’t afraid to mix it up. I would have loved to see him stay another year at Indiana to find a good burger joint and the weight room. He will never be a star but he is ready to 25 minutes a night right now.
4. Trey Burke. 6-1 Soph. Michigan. Burke won just about every player of the year award last year for the Wolverines. He can distribute the ball and also finish at the tin. He has a decent outside shot and is a good team leader. Burke will be a solid lead guard right out of the gate.
3. Otto Porter. 6-9 Soph. Georgetown. Potter is a really nice player who should go top 5 in the draft. He is gifted offensively and has a great feel for the game. He reminds me a lot of Jeff Green. Should step in and start from day one.
2. CJ McCollum. 6-3 Senior. Lehigh. Could be this year’s Damian Lillard. Played in a small conference where he dominated offensively just like Lillard. He can score from anywhere. McCollum could Start right away and play 30 minutes a night in the right system.
1. Victor Oladipo. 6-4 Junior. Indiana. Oladipo lands at the number 1 spot because he is a freak athlete and a great defender. He can finish around the rim but doesn’t have a great shot. He will play right away because no matter what happens on the offensive end you can count on him to be a defensive stopper.