TrueHoop 2022 NBA draft preview: Part II
Five of David Thorpe’s favorite prospects outside the lottery
BY DAVID THORPE
TrueHoop’s 2002 NBA draft coverage:
Superstars almost always come from the draft lottery, which concludes with the 14th pick. That’s no surprise when you consider their obvious talent and the significant investment teams are making in them. Higher picks make more money, which they can spend on personal trainers, chefs, skills coaches, strength coaches, and anything else they think they might need to succeed. (When gyms closed in the pandemic, the NBA’s richest players kept working out on their own private courts at home.) A smart player might use some of his disposable income on new toys; a wise player reinvests in himself. More guaranteed income means even more of both. Where you are selected matters.
And yet there’s a long list of stars (and some superstars) who were drafted outside the lottery. This year’s All-Star game was full of them: Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Jarrett Allen, Dejounte Murray, Rudy Gobert. Some players fall on draft day because of injury concerns; others blossom thanks to the NBA’s style, which surrounds players with talent and space.
I have watched a ton of film of prospects in this draft. Here are three who won’t be taken in the lottery but have what it takes to make some teams look smart later in the first round, and two more players who I would be delighted to draft in the second round:
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