With the NBA Draft fast approaching on Thursday, let’s take an in-depth look at the top 5 guards that will hear their name called by Commissioner Adam Silver at the Barclays Center.
NBA Draft Top 5 Guards
5. Keon Johnson
Shooting Guard – 6’5 – 186 pounds – Tennessee
In a class that is very guard-heavy, Johnson is heavily overlooked but is one of the better prospects in this year’s STACKED draft class.
He was one of the best athletes in college basketball last season and used that to his advantage. Exceptional speed getting down the court and being able to beat defenders with his insane first step. Creates mismatches for all defenders out of the triple threat and uses his speed and acceleration to blow past them.
Has a very high motor that makes him one of the more aggressive players in the draft. Gets after it on the defensive end by using his quickness to block off points of attack on guards and wings. His quick feet and reaction time allows him to create turnovers.
His three-point shooting is oftentimes inconsistent. Not a great playmaker in the half-court setting, will need to work on that in the NBA. The biggest concern is that his frame is not where it should be to compete at the NBA level.
Best Fit: New Orleans Pelicans
Pelicans need someone that can help Zion get to the playoffs, and with Brandon Ingram already on the team they could really use some help at the guard position. Johnson would give them height and another viable scoring option.
4. Jalen Suggs
Shooting Guard – 6’4 – 205 pounds – Gonzaga
Many people believe that Jalen Suggs is the third best guard in this draft but I am going to respectfully disagree with that. In his one season at Gonzaga, he was exceptional putting up big numbers for them all season and including both the WCC and NCAA tournaments.
He is a great athlete and has one of the better frames at the shooting guard position in this year’s draft. Excellent playmaker in the pick and roll and in the half-court setting. Great power when finishing at the rim being able to withstand most contact when driving.
Above-average defender as well who constantly finds himself guarding the best players on the court. Uses his frame to block off drives and finds himself in the passing lanes quite frequently. Can also rebound as well with his 6’4 frame.
A very streaky shooter that needs to develop a more consistent shot if he wants a chance of being in the NBA for a long time. Not the best finisher in traffic oftentimes relies too much on power rather than finesse at the rim.
Best Fit: Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder need everything to help SGA and make them a decent team again, yes they have a plethora of first-round draft picks over the next couple of years but they should look to at least have some success in the future. It can all start with this draft with taking a point guard in Jalen Suggs who can help facilitate the offense and put points on the board as well. He would most likely either develop under Kemba Walker or start for him if Walker is traded.
3. Davion Mitchell
Point Guard – 6’2 – 205 pounds – Baylor
A surprise to most people, but I truly think that he has really made a name for himself at Baylor and this past year has solidified him as one of the best prospects in this draft class.
He is easily the best on-ball defender in the draft class and arguably the best overall defender. He has exceptionally quick feet that allow him to keep up with anyone on the court. Uses his high anticipation and aggressiveness to fight over screens and keep up with switches on to bigger defenders.
Great playmaker as well, knows how to make the right read, and be able to pick apart defenses. Utilizes his elite ball-handling skills to his ability to set himself up for easy points and his teammates to score as well.
An above-average 3 point shooter, who was really lighting it up late last season, if he can keep up this good shooting in the NBA he will be an electric player for any team he plays for.
The one weakness about him is that he does not have an effective finishing game at the rim, oftentimes finds himself stuck to one move that can be easily picked up in the NBA. Needs to improve free throw shooting as well.
Best Fit: Toronto Raptors
It is most likely that the Raptors will be moving on from their longtime franchise point guard Kyle Lowry this season. Leaving that position open for a young player like Davion Mitchell, he would excel in Nick Nurse’s system and be an essential piece to that young raptors core.
2. Jalen Green
Shooting Guard – 6’6 – 186 pounds – G-League Ignite
No question here, he is the 2nd best guard and 2nd best player overall in this draft because of his success at the G-League and his potential.
Green is one of the shiftiest guards in this draft class, with an exceptional ability to change directions and speeds at a very quick rate. Utilizes this to his advantage to keep defenses confused and create easy opportunities to finish around the rim. He also is an incredible player around the rim that can finish with power or finesse
Overtime in the G-League he has developed a nice deep range shot that will allow him to score with more volume at the next level.
Weaknesses are that he is very streaky when it comes to jump shots and can oftentimes find himself being too self-centered. Tries to force shots when they aren’t there. Defensively not the best in this draft and needs to improve on that if he wants to play down the stretch in the NBA.
Best Fit: Houston RocketsThe Rockets need everything, and they need to take Jalen Green or Cade Cunningham if they can trade up. These are the two best players and most likely have the biggest potential out of this draft class. If the Rockets are lucky, the backcourt with Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green could give them the boost that they need heading into their rebuild.
1. Cade Cunningham
Point Guard – 6’8 – 220 pounds – Oklahoma State
The best player in this draft class by a mile and arguably the best since Luka Doncic. As a freshman, he showed that he has the most complete game that is 100% NBA ready and will succeed at the next level.
There are virtually almost zero holes in his game. At 6’8 he is an absolute unit at point guard that will create mismatches for any guard who is tasked to guard him. He has a great midrange and three-point game and can create his own shot with ease. One of the best playmakers in the draft class, can find the open teammate very easily and be able to make the right reads. Great defender as well.
Lacks a bit of explosiveness when exiting out of the triple threat that could slow him down in the NBA.
Best (and only) Fit: Detroit Pistons
The Pistons would be absolute idiots to throw away talent like this. The Pistons need all the help they can get and adding Cade will take care of so many problems that they have had in the past. They will finally have that guard who can score and facilitate the offense.