Every team hopes to pick a future star in the NBA Draft, but very few are able to make an immediate impact in their rookie season. Here are the prospects that will be able to step up right away for their teams:
5) Jerian Grant – 6’5″, 202 lbs, PG/SG – Sr., Notre Dame
Stats: 16.5 ppg, 6.7 apg
A combo guard, Grant has the perfect mix of size, scoring ability, and court vision to be a solid point at the next level. His leadership qualities were on full display this season as he led Notre Dame to an ACC title and the Elite 8 just one season after they finished near the bottom of the conference in 2014. As an older player who has been around the NBA his entire life (his father is Harvey Grant), he should be able to step in and make an immediate impact.
4) Stanley Johnson – 6’7″, 245 lbs, SF – Fr., Arizona
Stats: 14.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Johnson was the defensive force scouts wanted to see, using a combination of size, strength, and quickness that will translate to being an above-average perimeter defender right away. Couple that with his athleticism and improved shooting stroke (42.9% from long-range), and it’s easy to see why many think he’ll be able to become a real player in the league.
3) Justise Winslow – 6’6″, 221 lbs, SF – Fr., Duke
Stats: 12.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg
Winslow is great at attacking the rim, and displayed excellent defense and an improved jump shot that had scouts drooling. His elite strength and athleticism gives him the versatility to play several different positions on the floor. If he didn’t play next to Jahlil Okafor at Duke – who he had to differ to – we could be talking about Winslow as a potential top-three pick because of his elite all-around game.
Stats: 9.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.7 bpg
It takes a lot for someone to stand out on Kentucky’s talented roster, but that’s what Towns did every time he steps on the floor. Towns will ultimately develop into the best player in this class with his wide variety of offensive skills (both in the post and from the perimeter) and shot-blocking ability, but it will take some time for him to adjust to the pro game.
1) Jahlil Okafor - 6’11″, 272 lbs, C – Fr, Duke
Stats: 17.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Okafor has a fully developed post game, quick feet, soft hands, and runs the floor well. Okafor has also developed into a solid defender at Duke, and he seems destined to be the next great NBA big man. There are questions about his defense and conditioning, but his offensive prowess will give defenses problems from day one.Back to the NBA Newsfeed