Los Angeles, June 20: Part of the fun of the NBA Draft is trying to figure out who is going to be good and who is not.
It is easy to say guys like LeBron James or Kevin Durant or Zion Williamson will be good, but what about Kawhi Leonard or Marc Gasol?
Who are those guys who you thought could be good, but a team were still taking a chance by taking them?
We are looking at a few of those guys here, those who could be All-Stars in three years or who may never make it out of the G-League.
Three players with boom or bust potential:
At 7-2 and 235 pounds with athleticism to boot, this one should be easy. Bol Bol has the size to dominate inside and be the odd type of player who can run the court despite being absolutely massive. But here are the issues, for one he is fragile, and two he is incredibly raw.
Coming out of Bishop Miege High School just outside of Kansas City, Bol played against competition that simply was not up to snuff for him. Private schools play alongside public schools in the state, and at the 4A level, Bol simply did not see great competition. That is why he transferred to Mater Dei and then to Findlay Prep. He needed to see better competition and he went out and found it.
But he did not play his whole life in tough competition and was not truly tested until he got to college when he went to Oregon. And he showed he could play well there, averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds. However, he played just nine games before getting hurt and he showed what a lot of scouts feared in his time there as well. He does not want to play inside. He likes to shoot the three and does not play with the physicality someone of his size would be expected to.
And then if he is to do that can he stand up to the physical nature inside? There are more questions around Bol Bol than answers, but again, he is 7-2, has the potential to dominate inside and can also shoot the three-pointer. He has a massive skill set, but will it all come together or will he fall apart?
Culver could either be the best player to come out of this draft or one who never gets aggressive enough to succeed. Here is the thing with Culver. Where he comes from is both his best asset and his worst. He was a two-star recruit coming out of Lubbock, Texas, but after two years with Texas Tech he was the Big 12 Player of the Year and a Naismith finalist.
While he has grown a lot he still has the same issues he had coming out of high school – he is not nearly aggressive enough on the offensive end and often can get overpowered by NBA-bodied guys like De'Andre Hunter of Virginia showed in the National Championship game.
He is still very young and very raw so if a coach sees that and believes he can put on 20 to 30 pounds and maintain the athleticism that makes him as good as he is now he could wind up being absolutely fantastic in the NBA. But if he does not get more aggressive and cannot put on weight – or if he does and slows down – he could be in for a lot of trouble at the NBA level as a man who should be a stretch-four playing at the size of a smaller small forward.
There is a ton to like about Hachimura. As a guy who did not start until his last year at Gonzaga, Hachimura took a massive step from Year 2 to Year 3 and showed how he could be a dominant force on the offensive end, both featuring post moves and an ability to knock down a shot if you leave him open. He also can run the floor, giving teams a lot to dream up with what he could do in a small-ball lineup.
🇯🇵🍕 Rui Hachimura (@rui_8mura) visits Times Square to try his first slice of New York City pizza!— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) June 19, 2019
🏀: 2019 #NBADraft presented by State Farm
📆: Thursday, June 20
⏰: 7pm/et 📺: ESPN pic.twitter.com/rNRsQUNae1
But he really is a four who is not all that big nor all that athletic. He can struggle defensively at times and may not be quite a good enough shooter to truly be a stretch-four. He could be the type of guy stuck guarding men three inches taller than him who are better athletes. That could result in being a mismatch on the floor who can only come off the bench in limited minutes.
But if he continues to develop and adjusts to the NBA three-point line well he could very well be an absolute steal if he falls down the draft. It depends on which team he ends up with though and he will need to keep getting better if he wants to be an NBA star.