Smart GMs mine the NBA Draft for potential All-Stars. These five prospects fit the bill in this year’s class of talented prospects.
Free agency is important to NBA front offices but most teams need to grow their own All-Stars via the draft. That’s why the best league decision-makers are often tempted to take big swings on talent over production no matter where they’re picking in the draft.
This year’s crop of NBA hopefuls features a number of players who have a chance to be difference-makers at the next level. Some of those prospects will hear their names called at the very beginning of Draft Night while others will be forced to wait until the bottom of Round 1.
This piece identifies five likely first-rounders who have a strong chance to become All-Stars early in their professional careers. Fans of teams who end up with one of these players on Draft Night should feel good about their team’s respective haul.
5. Jabari Smith could be the first pick in the NBA Draft, with plenty of All-Star appearances in his future
Smith has a strong chance to go to the Magic with the No. 1 overall pick so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that he’s got All-Star potential. The combination of his elite jump shooting ability and his legitimate 6-foot-10 frame will make him a terrific scorer at the next level.
Yes, Smith will need some time to understand how to really execute the intricacies of an NBA offense but he’s the sort of prospect who can make bad shots go in the basket. He also has the upside to be a borderline All-NBA defensive player. His limited handle may prevent him from ever being one of the top 10 players in the league but a path towards being a perennial All-Star is easy to envision for the former Auburn star.