The 2019 NBA Draft is three weeks away, and things are starting to heat up. The top three prospects are generally agreed upon, but after that, it’s more contentious. This draft is top-heavy, with a lot of variation in the middle. Here are the ten prospects who rise above the crowd as we get closer to the night of the NBA Draft.
10. Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
Doumboya is this year’s physical specimen from overseas. Standing at 6’9”, the Frenchman has a sturdy frame and a 6’11” wingspan that would theoretically grant nearly unlimited defensive versatility from the get-go. He’s an outstanding athlete with his fair share of highlight blocks and dunks. He also has little to no offensive game otherwise, and while he has all the traits to be an impact defender, his fundamentals are a mess. His jump shot has good mechanics, yet still has a long way to go, like most aspects of his game.
His physical traits are worth a mid-lottery selection, and if he pans out, there won’t be many multi positional defenders like him. But his limited offensive potential presents a defined ceiling. If he can’t develop a shot, he’ll be limited as a player, and will probably get played off the floor in the playoffs. But a forward-facing team may take note of the trends of today’s game, look at Doumboya, and see a future small-ball center. His impact over the next few years will be defined by his landing spot as much as any other factor.
9. Coby White, PG, UNC
White is a slim point guard with blazing speed and the first step to get by most defenders. He was inconsistent in his one season at UNC, but that’s to be expected for freshman prospects handed the keys to the offense. He shot well from deep, hitting 35% on six attempts per game, and showed a lot of potential shooting coming off pin-down screens and handoffs. He is more of a scorer than a true point guard, though, and his skinny frame led to some difficulties scoring in the paint.
While he’s a smart and willing defender, that same stature and short wingspan will prevent him from becoming a lockdown defender. HIs turnover ratio was very poor, something that probably won’t improve for a few years as a result of the steep learning curve at the point guard position. White will need to improve his consistency in every part of his game, and that may take a while, but if he can put it together, he has the skills to run a lethal NBA offense. In the meantime, whatever team scoops him up knows they’re getting a bucket-getter who can push the pace at all times.