NBA Draft

2019 NBA Draft: Top 5 Prospect Pro Comparisons


The 2019 NBA draft class has been talked about as one of the most promising classes in recent years. It’s headlined by Duke power forward Zion Williamson and shooting guard R.J. Barrett, who have looked great so far this season. With this hype, let’s take a look at some similarities in these top college player’s games to current NBA stars.

R.J. Barrett

(Image via AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

Duke‘s star shooting guard has been lighting up the scoreboard all throughout the season. He’s averaging 24.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game.

Barrett is a lengthy wing who can win one-on-one matchups with his crafty athleticism. Barrett is a carbon copy of San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan. They score the same way. Driving to the bucket, weaving in-and-out of defenses, and exploding off the court for a nice finish above the rim. Add that ability to an elite mid-range game, and you get a DeRozan-like player. The only real difference, is that Barrett is shooting 36% from beyond the arc this year, while DeRozan isn’t a great three-point shooter. His career high is only 34%. He would have to translate his shot to NBA distance of course, but he has ample time to do so.

Barrett may not have as much defensive capability, but he can continue to learn how to defend at the NBA level.

Zion Williamson

(Image via Getty Images)

Another member of the Brotherhood. Zion is all about dominance, power and athleticism. He’s putting up very good numbers with Duke this year– 20.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.

Williamson often gets compared to LeBron James, but he’s more like Blake Griffin. Back before all of the nagging injuries happened, Blake was dunking on everything, including a car. Blake had a great feel for the game, which Zion possesses. Blake could rebound pretty well too. He was a human highlight reel and he built himself a jump shot, which Zion is currently doing during his freshman season at Duke. Finishing inside is easy for both of them, and they also both have playmaking ability with how much attention they draw.

Cam Reddish

(Image via The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Cam Reddish is the super over-qualified third guy on one of the greatest college basketball teams ever created. He’s number one on any other team in the country. Reddish is posting 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.9 assists over 24.0 minutes per contest.

Reddish is going to be a Tracy McGrady type player. He has a lot of strengths on the court, such as his three point shooting, athleticism, and he brings defense to the table as well. McGrady had the same strengths. TMac was known for his open court athleticism, his sharpshooting ability, and he was a lockdown defender in his prime. Reddish brings those same abilities with a twist of new-age basketball.

Nassir Little

(Image via CBS Sports)

Nassir Little is a freakish athlete with an NBA body at 6’6″, 220 lbs. The freshman wing is posting 12.0 points and 4.8 rebounds over 19.8 minutes per game at North Carolina so far.

Little has great athletic tools, a rare energetic defensive prowess, and an abnormally long wingspan while having some potential as a shooter. Nassir is like Boston’s Jaylen Brown. Both Brown and Little rely on their athletic ability to score for the most part. Both are developing their outside range, and both play outstandingly well on defense. They bring an energy to that end of the floor that you don’t see with most young players. They have the same kind of bull-doggish attitude on defense. If Little could develop that jumper, he could go from good to great, and maybe even elite.

Bol Bol

(Image via Troy Wayrynen/USA Today)

The son of the NBA’s tallest player ever, Manute Bol, is Bol Bol. He’s standing at 7’3″ and is only 18. Bol could end up being around 7’5″ when his growth is all said and done. Bol Bol is the NBA’s next potential “unicorn” player. A big man with guard like skills. So far in his freshman season at Oregon, Bol is averaging 21.0 points (56% FG, 52% 3Pt), 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks across 29.8 minutes per game.

Bol Bol actually plays a lot like Orlando’s new big man Mohamed Bamba. He has a massive wingspan– 7’8″ to be exact. He can convert outside shots more than Bamba could when he was at Texas, but Bol Bol won’t be out on the perimeter launching threes– he’ll be an easy passing target for guards on the outside, and an elite rim protector. If he can fix some maturity and effort issues on the court, he could be a dominant force for a long, long time.

About Cameron Johnson

I’m a small town kid from a very rural are of Minnesota. I’ve been with TLSM since 2018. I manage @TWolvesLead on Twitter and I make up one third of the Stretch Three Podcast. Go Wolves!

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