Now that we are about a month away from the start of the NBA season, I figured it was about time to get back into the swing of things. There were a ton of offseason moves that are sure to make an impact in this coming NBA season, but this year contains a memorable group of rookies that are looking to make an impact quickly in their first year in the league. I’m going to outline the top three picks in this draft and just give an overview on the rest, considering the top 3 this year stand out above the rest. Since this is more of an opinion piece, I’m not going to dive too much into a ton of statistics on these guys.
Starting off, we have the number one overall pick Markelle Fultz out of Washington. This is a big year for the 76ers, as they technically have two rookies that are looking to make an impact, with the other being Ben Simmons who missed last season due to injury. There is no doubt that Fultz will definitely add talent to an already fairly talented roster, but I don’t see him turning into the number one pick that the 76ers are thinking he will be. Fultz was great in his only season at Washington, averaging over 23 points per game and shooting 47.6% and 41.3% from the field and three-point range respectively. But I don’t believe this is an indication of how he will perform in his first NBA season. With players like Embiid and Simmons, there isn’t much room for him to take over the team like a normal number one overall pick would. His biggest impact will be helping contribute to the success of the other big name players he will start with, and not so much on the success of himself.
Then you have the guy who everyone thought would fight to be in that number one overall spot in the draft, and that’s Lonzo Ball of the Lakers. But fortunately for him, he is in the perfect situation. He is as Hollywood as it gets, and being part of the Lakers gives him the best opportunity to be in the spotlight and succeed. I believe Lonzo ball will have a similar impact of Fultz where he will succeed more at helping the players around him. But that is the game he has played his whole life. He was no doubt the best passer in this draft and with guys like Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brook Lopez and Julius Randle around him, he will quickly turn around the current state of the Lakers and get them back on track to what they used to be. I firmly believe that his high shooting percentage numbers as well as his outstanding ability to pass the ball will quickly translate over to the NBA. The Lakers were just one great floor general away from having a contending team, and now with Ball in place of Russell, things will surely change in Los Angeles.
And last but not least we have Jayson Tatum, who I believe is the best overall player in this draft class. But the one major hurdle he will have to overcome is trying to stay relevant with all the star power that he is surrounded by on a great Boston Celtics roster. With the new acquisition of Kyrie Irving along with Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, it will be very difficult for him to make an immediate impact. And although I believe he is the best player in this draft, I don’t see him having a huge impact on this team to start out his career. He will look to be a role player off the bench, where he will role the floor when he does get an opportunity to sub in for Hayward. On the bright side, being in the position he is in with little amounts of pressure going into his first year will hopefully give him time to slowly develop and then show what he is capable of doing when he finally gets his number called.
Looking at the rest of the draft, there are a few other guys who are sure to make an immediate impact in their rookie seasons. Josh Jackson of the Suns is a guy who will have a lot of control when it comes to that team and he will look to rise to stardom early on in the season. Malik Monk is another player who should have a successful rookie season. Coming off the bench behind Kemba Walker, he will look to use his athleticism and quickness to hopefully get the Hornets back into the playoffs where they were two seasons ago. Two guys who I like and are sleepers this season are Luke Kennard of the Pistons and Josh Hart of the Lakers. These two guys play hard and can do almost everything well. Although they don’t have that wow factor, consistency will play a part in their success in their first NBA seasons.