One of the most interesting parts of the past NBA drafts is looking back on players and seeing where they are today. Whether they were wildly hyped and failed to meet expectations, a bust, or maybe they
surprised everyone and are now a star in the league.
Notably, this draft is often talked about as if there are only going to be three or four good players. But there will certainly be some stars that come out of this draft. Unfortunately, there will also definitely be some busts.
There are several players in this draft who have gathered a lot of attention. The biggest question now is whether or not they can ball or if they will be a bust.
Jaxson Hayes: Bust
Hayes was selected no. 8 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. At Texas, Hayes averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds a game. Standing at 7-foot and 219 pounds Hayes will get bullied up and down the floor unless he adds some weight. This is one of his most noticeable issues. If he expects to survive in the NBA today he is going to need to learn to take some hits. Especially if he is unable to put on some pounds of muscle.
Hayes also seems to lack awareness at times. Averaging less than one assist a game in his college career, he stands out in this area and that is not good. Though, he can block shots well and is an efficient scorer.
Another factor that could hold Hayes back is the sheer amount of young players the Pelicans have. This might sound strange but it could present a problem. The Pelicans staff have so many young and developing players a couple of them are sure to get left behind in the process. Unfortunately, it could easily wind up being Hayes that takes the fall.
Playing behind a rejuvenated Jahlil Okafor, Hayes will likely not be seeing the court as much as his other rookie teammates. This is obviously an integral part of the development process and could hold Hayes back significantly.
Bol Bol: Baller
Bol was selected no. 44 by the Denver Nuggets. Bol is the tallest player in the draft at 7-foot-3 and 208 pounds. Again, right off the bat, he is going to have to put on some weight and learn how to deal with his high center of gravity. This may be offset though, his mobility is excellent and could help get around some of the physicality he will face.
Aside from that though a lot of the negative marks against Bol are things that he can control. One is his effort, and the other is his conditioning. With some attention from the Nuggets staff, these things can and will be corrected.
For Bol’s size, he is an incredible ballhandler and moves gracefully for someone who is so large. He has, obviously, some great rim protection capabilities and is also able to shoot.
Bol seems to have so much upside and for whatever reason, it just feels like he’s going to have a solid career in the NBA. He has the potential to be the sleeper pick of this draft. Hopefully, Bol is able to work around some of the things analysts believe will hold him back.
Rui Hachimura: Baller
Hachimura was drafted no. 9 overall by the Washington Wizards. Hachimura is slightly older and therefore more experienced than some of his other rookie peers. He has incredible upside and has the potential to get starting minutes from the time he arrives in D.C.
Hachimura has scoring prowess. His midrange game is solid and he isn’t afraid to attack the basket. He has size and strength. Pairing that with his aggressiveness will make him a go-to option on the Wizards.
Hachimura may never reach the level of being a multiple time All-Star, but he could be a central part of a new Wizards core moving forward for the years to come.
Zion Williamson: Both? Maybe?
Of course, that answer looks like a cop out and of course Zion has to be mentioned. There really isn’t that much left to say about Williamson.
Anyway, determining whether or not Williamson will be a great player is nearly impossible for one reason. The hype. It is not an exaggeration to say that the media and basketball fans have put more attention on Williamson than any other player in history.
Williamson has been compared to all of the greats, all of the all-timers and the way he’s talked about you’d think he’d come in and be the best player on the planet from the start. That’s insane.
Realistically, Williamson will be a great player. But, what many fear is that with all the hype surrounding him, that if he isn’t putting up triple doubles every night he will be considered a bust.
It would be obviously contrarian to say that Williamson is going to be a bust. But, with the unrealistically high expectations that have been put on him, it will be nearly impossible for him to live up to the hype.
So, Williamson lands somewhere in the middle to be realistic about his career. He hasn’t even played in a game yet.
Will he wind up being the greatest player of all time? Probably not. But in no way does that mean he is a bust.