NBA draft podcast: LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, sleepers and trade talks

NBA draft podcast: LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, sleepers and trade talks


NBA draft podcast: LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, sleepers and trade talks

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In this episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Michael Scotto is joined by colleague Bryan Kalbrosky to discuss the latest rumblings surrounding the NBA draft, including where LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Onyeka Okongwu, and other top draft picks could land. The duo also shares their sleepers for the draft class and which teams could make trades. Below are some snippets from the podcast and time codes. You can listen to the full podcast above.

1:50 Why Ball could be the top pick and go to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Kalbrosky: I think Minnesota would be a really interesting fit for him because you pair his 6-foot-8 height with D’Angelo Russell, who’s 6-foot-5 as well, and you’ve got a jumbo-sized backcourt. You see a lot of backcourts in the NBA where there are two ball-dominant players. You see it with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. You see it with CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard.

Scotto: When I look at LaMelo, he’s a polarizing guy when it comes to certain executives in their evaluations.

For LaMelo, I think it’s about harnessing, at least when I talk to executives, harnessing those shot mechanics and his decision making. We saw in Brooklyn when Russell played with Spencer Dinwiddie off the ball as a catch-and-shoot guy beyond the arc coming off screens he was effective.

7:00 Will Ball become an All-Star for years to come?

8:55 Is Wiseman a fit for the Golden State Warriors?

Scotto: Golden State is a team in win-now mode. From my vantage point, you can either take Wiseman and fill a need at center, or you move that pick and get veteran help for next season.

Kalbrosky: Ultimately, I think Wiseman does go at No. 2 overall, but I don’t think he goes to No. 2 overall to the Warriors (trade).

14:10 Evaluating Edwards’ long-term potential and why he could be a fit for the Charlotte Hornets

Kalbrosky: It depends on how you evaluate his mentality. I think the reason why Dion Waiters didn’t become the All-Star that Dwyane Wade was is that I think a lot of it was shoulders up for Waiters. There are some of those questions about Edwards that I’ve heard from scouts that I’ve chatted with.

17:58 Is Okongwu the next Bam Adebayo?

Kalbrosky: I think Onyeka is going to be a consummate professional for 10-15 years in this league. I think that’s exactly what you want in this draft… I think he will remind more people of Nene, Kenneth Faried, or Montrezl Harrell than they will Adebayo because I think Adebayo’s playmaking brings him to the next level.

MORE: Okongwu: ‘I hope to do the same thing as Bam Adebayo’

22:55 Why Isaiah Stewart, Nico Mannion, Yoeli Childs and Cassius Stanley are sleepers in the draft to keep an eye on

Kalbrosky on Stewart: He’s so angry to see guys that he’s beaten his whole life ranked ahead of him that he wants to prove people wrong. I think you’re going to see a fire in Stewart that you’re not going to see in any other prospect in this class.

MORE: Isaiah Stewart: ‘I’m the biggest sleeper in the draft’

Scotto: Childs is a guy who I’ve heard has interviewed well.

Kalbrosky on Mannion: Nico had the second-best assist percentage among all high-major freshmen last year.

MORE: Danilo Gallinari on Nico Mannion

MORE: Stanley: ‘I’m a winner. That’s all I know.’

36:10 Teams that could make draft trades

Scotto on the Warriors: Everybody that I’ve talked to executive-wise around the league thinks they’re going to look for veteran help for next season to try to reload with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green coming back to try to make a run in the West.

Scotto on the Timberwolves: They have the No. 1, 17 and 33 picks in the draft. They’ve got some nice chips to play there where they can make some moves and get maybe another guy who can be a win-now player that can help Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns get back to the playoffs. They’re going to have some other big decisions to make this summer with other young core guys in Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley, who’s going to be one of the top free agents on the market as a restricted free agent.

Scotto on the Hawks: At a certain point, they’ve got a lot of young talent as it is. They’ve got Cam Reddish, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, and Trae Young. You’ve got to get some veteran guys in there to help them, and that team gets to the next level. My sense is the Hawks want to try to get somewhere in the 30s in terms of wins next year and improve in free agency. I look for them to be a team in the mix for shooting and guys like Davis Bertans and Joe Harris.

Kalbrosky on the Celtics: No scout that I’ve talked to expects Boston to roster more than one rookie next season.

MORE: Executives share worst interview answers from NBA draft prospects

MORE: Rookiewire Mock Draft 6.0

You can follow Michael Scotto on Twitter: @MikeAScotto

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