The LG Hoops team got together to have some fun and do a 64 pick redraft of the 2018-2022 Drafts! There is SO MUCH young talent in today’s NBA and it’s safe to say the league is in good hands. Check out the complete list below and the thought process of each writer as well!
A few notes:
- Most teams and selections were based on perceived best player available instead of fit
- This was a fun exercise! If there was a player who fell in the draft or someone taken too high, don’t take it too seriously. It’s hard to keep track of all the players!
|3||Jaren Jackson Jr||@drew_cant_hoop|
|25||Michael Porter Jr.||@hoops_lg|
|34||Wendell Carter Jr||@JHaarSD|
|43||Jabari Smith Jr.||@den_shorts|
|44||Kevin Porter Jr.||@finleykuehl|
|61||Gary Trent Jr.||@kevinkardasz|
Team Breakdown – @finleykuehl:
Buckets on buckets. Confidence on confidence. Swag on swag. With the concerns of drafting for fit out the window, I made my picks with the goal of constructing the coolest and most exciting team possible. Everybody on the squad (with the exception of Okongwu, the lone big man) can fill up the scoring column with flash and flair, headlined by human highlight reel and emerging superstar Anthony Edwards. They would score 120+ points per game while dominating the highlight tapes and capturing the hearts of ball lovers (and mid-range appreciators) everywhere. Every game would feature ridiculous yams from both Ants and JDub, a pick-and-roll masterclass from Garland and Okongwu, and flurries of buckets from KPJ, Sexton, and Vassell. As Sacramento’s commentator used to say, if you don’t like that, you don’t like NBA basketball.
Team Breakdown – @Jacoblocks_:
With the first pick in the draft, it was an easy choice to go with Luka Doncic. Luka has been an All-Star four out of his five seasons in the league, and All-NBA three times so far, with a good chance at making it a fourth time this season. As a solidified top 10 player in the league and
a walking triple double, I think it’s a no brainer to take Luka Magic first overall.
Mikal has always been looked at as a high impact player for his ability to contribute to winning. Whether it was his defense or his catch and shoot ability, he was a big part of Phoenix’s championship run. Ever since coming to Brooklyn though, he has shown that he can be a lot
more to a team. Averaging 26 points for the Nets, Bridges has shown that he can create his own offense and be “the guy” for a team.
To start off the third round, we have what could be looked at as a controversial pick. With Chet missing his entire rookie season and yet to play an NBA game, I could see why some people question the pick. Holmgren has the ability to come in next year and propel a Thunder
team that was one game away from making the playoffs. His shot blocking, rebounding, and stretchability allows him to fill big holes that led to OKC coming up just short.
There’s not much more value than drafting a former 6MOY winner at the end of the fourth round. Herro is one of the pristine bucket-getters in the league, being able to score at all three levels. He provides much needed offense for the Miami Heat as one of their only shot creators, and has proven this season that he can do it in the starting lineup as well.
The former 2nd overall pick, Jalen Green, has struggled being efficient with his scoring, but shows plenty of flashes showing he could become one of the elite shot creators and shot makers. With new head coach Ime Udoka coming to Houston, look for Jalen to take the next step into becoming a winning player.
Many people are quick to write RJ off, forgetting that the former 3rd overall pick is still just 22 years old. Barrett is currently having a good stretch of games in the playoffs for the Knicks, showing off his biggest strength of getting to the basket. While his three-point shot still leaves much to desire, RJ is shooting a career high 64% at the rim. He also has the tools to be a consistent defensive stopper, although as of now his defensive prowess comes in spurts.
In the 7th round I was ecstatic that All-Rookie member Benedict Mathurin was still available. Through the majority of the season, Mathurin was top two in the ROY race, as well as the 6MOY race as he had majority of his production off the bench for the Pacers. Next season should allow Mathurin to insert into the starting lineup, letting him play with Tyrese Haliburton in the backcourt, opening up the floor and setting him up for open shots.
With the last pick in the draft, it was an easy choice to go with Mitchell Robinson. Robinson’s elite athleticism for his size helps him block shots at the rim, and grab offensive rebounds for extra possessions. Robinson was arguably the reason the Knicks beat the Cavs in the 1st round of the playoffs. His impact on both sides of the court while being so low maintenance makes him a perfect plug-and-play center for any team looking to contend.
Team Breakdown – @JoshHaarSD:
The 22-23 season saw Gilgeous-Alexander make the leap from borderline All-Star to unquestionable Superstar, as he finished fourth overall in scoring (31.4 ppg), fourth in steals (1.6) and fifth in free throw percentage (90.5%) on the third most attempts (739). However, what truly helped solidify his top-tier status is the fact he led the Oklahoma City Thunder to overachieve, guiding the league’s youngest team to an unexpected play-in appearance. At the age of 24, Gilgeous-Alexander has yet to hit his prime, meaning he has plenty of time to continue establishing himself as one of the best players in basketball.
A versatile forward capable of positively impacting both ends, Wagner showed all-around improvement during his second season in the league. He increased his scoring (18.6 ppg), assists (3.5) and overall efficiency (58.9 TS%), and his usage rose to 23.5% despite Paolo Banchero emerging as the Orlando Magic’s #1 option. Wagner’s ability to grow alongside Banchero proves his development as an efficient, high usage player is sustainable, and at 21 years old he holds potential to become a star in the NBA.
Bane has established himself as a lethal scorer who spreads the floor, moves well off-ball and can create his own offense. While his knack for hitting threes on high-volume is impressive – he shot 40.8% from three on 7 attempts per game this season – the shooting guard has also developed into a reliable passer. He put forth a career-high 20.8% assist rate this year, showing an improved ability to make the right reads and find teammates for open looks. Bane is a perfect fit next to Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., and with only three seasons under his belt, the two-guard has yet to hit his full potential.
The off-court issues with Bridges are obviously a concern; however, considering he’ll be eligible next season to sign with any team and play following a ten-game suspension, he’s included on this list. As far as the on-court product goes, Bridges’ talent is undeniable. Before the unfortunate events in the summer of 2022, the forward was coming off a career year, putting up highs in scoring (20.2), rebounds (7.0) and assists (3.8). If he’s able to build off his 21-22 production and straighten out his act, he may prove capable of saving his career and providing a positive contribution to whatever team he joins.
Wendell Carter Jr.
Trading Nikola Vucevic for Carter Jr. turned out to be an exceptional move on the Orlando Magic’s part, as the young center is a critical piece to Orlando’s core. He’s a strong rebounder for an undersized center – averaging 9.5 per game in a Magic uniform – and a quality defender who positively impacts Orlando on this end. Additionally, he’s an incredibly efficient scorer around the rim (85% between 0-3 feet this year) and is starting to add a reliable three-ball to his repertoire as well. Last season, the Duke product shot a career-high 35.6% from deep on 3.9 attempts per game, including 44.9% on corner threes. Having just turned 24 in April, Carter Jr. still has room to grow and should continue to flourish as part of an up-and-coming Magic roster.
Sengun was provided the opportunity to start his sophomore season, and the Turkish center did not disappoint, averaging 14.8 points, 9 rebounds and 3.9 assists on a 59.9% true shooting percentage. Additionally, he proved himself as one of the best passers on the Houston Rockets’ roster, finishing second among players who played regular minutes with a 21% assist rate. While his defense leaves much to be desired, Sengun boasts real ability as an offensive facilitator; if he’s utilized correctly, the 20-year-old may significantly elevate his own output as well as the play of his teammates.
Following the Dejounte Murray trade, Johnson was thrust into a primary offensive role this season for the San Antonio Spurs. This level of responsibility proved a bit much for the young forward: while he led the team in scoring with 22 points per game, he did so on the worst overall efficiency of his career (55.1% TS). It seems unlikely this high amount of usage and scoring will sustain for him as the Spurs continue their rebuild; however, in the right role with less pressure to create, Johnson has potential to flourish as a third or fourth scoring option.
At the very young age of 19, Duren displayed strong potential as the Detroit Pistons’ center of the future. He dominated on the glass, leading the Pistons in rebounds per game (8.9) and in total rebound rate (19.7%). However, what’s even more impressive is his ability to generate extra possessions, as he not only led Detroit in offensive rebound rate (14.7%) but finished fifth in the entire league in this category. Couple his physicality on the boards with his positive defensive impact (he led all Pistons players with 1.6 defensive win shares), and it’s clear Duren has a bright future as an enforcer on both ends.
Team Breakdown – @Den_Shorts:
To put it simply, Paolo Banchero has superstar potential. He said it himself when he was drafted saying “My ceiling is as high as I want it to be”. He demonstrated his ability to score at an elite level in the mid-range, and by attacking the basket with force. He is the 1st rookie to average 20 ppg since Luka Doncic in 2019, and has drawn comparisons to Carmelo Anthony, Chris Webber, and Blake Griffin. His unique combination of size, athleticism, and strength makes him a perfect fit on both ends of the floor for what every team is looking for in the current NBA landscape. As Banchero continues to improve his 3 point shooting (29.8% on 4 3PA/G), shot selection, and overall basketball IQ, the sky’s the limit.
Most basketball fans are well aware of LaMelo Ball’s basketball talent, and have been watching him cook opponents since his freshman year of high school, but since he arrived in the NBA, he has been a bit of an enigma. He is sometimes criticized for his flashy play style, questionable shot selection, health, and overall level of maturity on and off the basketball court. However, LaMelo’s contribution and importance to the disappointing Hornets franchise speaks for itself. The Hornets this season went 14-32 without LaMelo Ball, and 13-23 with him. Neither are great, but if you take into context the talent level of this hornets team and zoom in a bit further, the Hornets scored 8 more points per game, with higher assist totals, rebound totals, and field goal percentage.
I don’t think we have seen even close to the peak of Tyrese Maxey. He’s bought into his 6th man scoring role off the bench this year scoring 20.3 ppg on 48/43/84 shooting splits… which is absolutely absurd. He is hands down one of the most deadly shooters in the NBA, and his speed both with and without the basketball causes many problems for opposing defenses. He has the ability to score off the dribble in the pick and roll as a ball handler, and just as quickly can turn into a floor spacer in the half court. His combination of speed and shooting translates very well to today’s NBA, and I expect him to be one of the better scorers in the league over the next 5 years.
Only one word needed to highlight the value of Jaden McDaniels. Defense. At 22 years old, the eye test, as well as advanced statistics tell us that McDaniels is already one of the elite defenders in the NBA. His matchup difficulty ranks in the 99th percentile of the league, and his opponents shoot 7% below their expected shot percentage with McDaniels as the primary defender. Additionally, the Wolves defensive rating is significantly better with him on the court (5 points better per 100 possessions). His 6-9 frame, and 7-foot wingspan put together with his quickness and lateral movement make me believe we will see him on many all-defensive teams in his career.
Jabari Smith Jr
Jabari Smith Jr. had an overall disappointing rookie year. He was considered by many to be the best prospect in the 2022 draft, but failed to shoot the ball consistently, struggled on defense at times, and playing with a completely dysfunctional, heliocentric Rockets squad did not help him develop. However, he still is a 6-10, 220 lb hyper athletic wing, who has potential to be an elite 3 point shooter and floor spacer, and I remain very high on his ability to become an elite rim protector and perimeter defender. He is very young, and I would not at all be surprised to see him pass a lot of the guys chosen ahead of him on this list.
Coming off of signing a rookie-scale max extension deal after being a key cog in the 2022 Warriors championship went through the ringer this season. Jordan Poole is an elite scorer, and elite playmaker, but is starting to show signs of having difficulty with decision making, mental toughness, and last but not least, defense. He is super hot or super cold, and although his overall value remains fairly high, it isn’t nearly what it was a year ago. He may turn it around with more maturity, but a guy who was once a top 15 guy in the past 5 years has plummeted pretty far down these rankings.
Deandre Hunter had an underrated season this last year averaging 15 points, and 4 rebounds in 31 mpg. He is a good shooter at around 36% from 3 in his career, but somewhat inconsistent. One of knocks on Hunter is his inability to stay healthy over the course of an 82 game season. Out of 328 potential games, he has only played in 206 of them. If he can stay healthy, he will be an impact starter for a long time in the NBA.
De’Anthony Melton showed his true value as a spark plug off the bench for the Sixers, one of the top teams in the league this year. He was also a huge part of the Grizzlies 57 win team the previous year off of the bench. He is a big contributor to winning with his pesky perimeter defense, and ability to get white hot from 3 and score in bunches. He’s a true 3 and D guy that you could put on any contending team and he would fit in right away.
Team Breakdown – @JoshMedeiros20:
Sitting with the 7th pick I was pleasantly surprised to see Ja still available. Now I know that things didn’t go great for the Grizz this season. Controversy and agitation appeared at around every corner and their season ended in the 1st Round to the Los Angeles Lakers. That being said, passing up on Ja at this point would’ve been heresy and you could even argue he should’ve gone higher. In his short 4 year career he’s already a 2x All-Star, 1x All-NBA (potentially 2x), RoY and MIP. This year he averaged 26/6/8 and is making improvements every year. If he can continue to mature and play less recklessly then he will be a perennial All-NBA caliber guard. Just a few picks later I took another divisive guard that I simply couldn’t pass on. Trae Young’s talent and accomplishments up to this point in his career were too much to pass on. Much is to be debated regarding his future as a Hawk and a franchise cornerstone, but what isn’t to be debated is his status as a generational offensive engine and the leaps and bounds he’s made as a passer averaging 34.7 potential assists per 100 passes this season. Look to see how Trae’s career evolves over the next few seasons.
At 23 I snagged Giddey who I think is a bonafide future star. He’s got “walking triple-double” written all over him. He upped his efficiency and volume across the board from his rookie year to his sophomore year while keeping turnovers low. If he can develop a consistent outside shot then watch out. Next I selected Ivey. Jaden is proving to be an awesome table-setting guard. He leads all rookies with 5.1 assists per game. Per BBall Index he generates 26 potential assists per 100 passes which ranks in the 97th percentile. Once the shooting efficiency catches up, he’ll be a scary offensive threat.
My next pick was 39 and I had to grab my guy Robert Williams III. The Time Lord has quickly become one of the most vital pieces to a title contender out in Boston. Finishing All-Defense in 2021-22, his athleticism and length already makes him one of the league’s best shot blockers while remaining an imposing rim runner on offense. A few picks later I snagged Cam Johnson. Cam has quickly turned into one of my favorite players. After contributing for a Suns team that made the Finals in 2021 he now enjoys big minutes for a Nets team in the middle of a rebuild. A true sharp shooter that has shot 40+% on more than 6 attempts per game this year and last year.
For my final 2 picks I nabbed PJ Washington and James Wiseman. PJ averaged a career high 15.7 PPG this season for Charlotte and has shown flashes of being a tall spot up player on offense. He’s not all the way there on defense but he’s made strides as a rim protector with a BLK PCT of 2.9%. After a disappointing start to his career in Golden State, Wiseman has a new chance in Detroit and showed flashes the second half of the year when he averaged 13/9 on 53% shooting over the last 24 games. If he can improve as a defender then he’ll have a long career. Hard to pass on a former 2nd overall pick who is only 22.
Team Breakdown – @hoops_lg:
I noticed a theme with my picks that I’m a sucker for lengthy wing players, as Lu Dort was my smallest player selected. I started off the draft taking Tyrese Haliburton as my first selection, as his COMPLETE offensive game is too good to pass up and I even picked him over the likes of Trae Young and others.
After that first selection, my picks went on a run of bigs and wings starting with Evan Mobley, the elite defensive big, and then hitting on Scottie Barnes, Michael Porter Jr, Walker Kessler, and Trey Murphy. I’m a true believer in two-way abilities, and all of these guys have that in some capacity.
My final two picks of the draft were defensive first guys in Lu Dort and Patrick Williams. Dort is obviously a well-known commodity and a steal in my opinion at that point in the draft. Williams has all of the potential in the world as a former #4 pick, and will, in my opinion, surprise people over the next couple of years as his offensive game will continue to evolve.