By: Jared Karten (Sports Correspondent)
With Duke’s Zion Williamson and Murray State’s Ja Morant headlining NBA draft class, teams are feeling pressure to land a star.
The aforementioned Williamson and Morant have already been compared to N.B.A. legends based on their skills.
“The odds are very unlikely to land him[Zion Williamson], but as far as my overall outlook on him, I think he’s the best player in the draft. You don’t see the level of athleticism every year, and I think he’s a once in a generation type of player,” junior Jake Ross said.
“I think Ja [Morant] is the best player in the draft. Despite him being a sophomore, he has shown the potential he has. Just last year, he wasn’t on any team’s radars. Now, just a year later, he’s a projected top three pick. He has shown time and time again during the season that he’s an elite prospect with his passing and shooting ability,” junior Cam Baker said.
With the draft class being so elite, there are many “sleepers” who can potentially still make a big impact on a team they’re drafted to. One of these “sleepers” include the son of the late NBA players Manute Bol, Bol Bol. Standing at 7 feet, two inches, Bol already has the NBA build. Bol’s uniqueness stems from his shooting ability. With his 7’ 8” wingspan, he’s able to easily extend his shot over tough defenders.
“Late in his [Manute Bol] career, he was able to shoot. I remember watching documentaries of him just shooting over defenders. These shots were not just regular threes. They were deep. As far as Bol Bol, he already has the shooting capabilities of his father, so I think he will be a force once in the league,” junior Amit Levin says.
“I think the biggest sleeper in this year’s draft is Carsen Edwards out of Purdue. This may seem like a surprise to a lot of people out there, but you can’t deny his complete dominance and heart he showed in Purdue’s run to the elite 8. He had two 40 point games. One against UVA who won the tournament. If that doesn’t mean something, I don’t know what does,” junior Aaron Karten says.
There have been many accusations of teams secretly “tanking,” simply just losing on purpose in order to get a better chance to get a high draft pick.
“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night. And here we are. We weren’t competing for the playoffs. I was like, look, losing is our best option,” owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban said last season.
Teams are willing to do anything for their next “Lebron James” or “Kobe Bryant,” whether that be tanking to get a better draft pick or sneaking away from a steal and getting a player with extreme potential. All in all, experts say this draft class will be one for the books and end up being looked back at for its diverse, unique talents.