Head to Head: Who Will Be the NBA’s Top Five Draft Selections? Bagley’s Top 5

By Cole Bagley, Sports Editor


5. Cleveland Cavaliers | Onyeka Okongwu | USC | PF/C

Onyeka Okongwu is an absolute beast in the paint which is exactly what the Cleveland Cavaliers need moving forward. Okongwu averaged 16.2 points per game, 8.6 assists, and shot 61.6% from the field last season. He was absolutely ferocious with highlight-reel slams and relentless blocks helping lead USC to a 22-9 record. The Cavaliers should be looking to move on from both Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, so Okongwu can take their position and hopefully learn from the highly talented Andre Drummond.

4. Chicago Bulls | Deni Avdija | Maccabi Tel Aviv | G/F

The next Luka Doncic? Maybe. Maybe not. But Deni Avdija may be a risk worth taking for a franchise that used to be at the top of the world but in recent years has found themselves consistently at the bottom of the league. Avdija is very athletic for standing at 6 feet and 9 inches tall, and he possesses the handles and shooting abilities of a guard. In 2018, he led Israel to gold in the under 20 European championships as a 17-year-old, which is what originally got NBA scouts attention. He may be just what the Bulls need to pair with their young stars Zach Lavine, Coby White and Lauri Markkanen in order to turn the franchise around.

3. Charlotte Hornets | LaMelo Ball | Illawarra Hawks | G

This may be the best Ball brother we have seen yet but this time we don’t have to deal with the antics of his father. LaMelo Ball has been playing in the Australian National Basketball League for the last year and has averaged 17 points per game, 6.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds. Charlotte was left hanging after the departure of their star guard, Kemba Walker, and LaMelo might be the best possible player to replace him and alter the crash course that the Hornets are on.

2. Golden State Warriors | James Wiseman | Memphis | C

The Golden State Warriors absolutely played everyone as this year they have the No. 2 pick in the draft and very likely could be playing in the 2021 NBA finals. James Wiseman should be the clear choice for the Warriors as they’re well equipped at the guard spots with the Splash Brothers but could use some big man help. Wiseman only played three games for Memphis, he did produce 19.7 points per game, 10.7 rebounds and shot nearly 77% from the field. With Draymond Green beginning to lose his touch and the Warriors lacking a legitimate center, Wiseman is the clear choice.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves | Anthony Edwards | Georgia | G

The Timberwolves have the No. 1 pick in the draft and it could be the final piece of the puzzle to finally make them a contender and compete in the Western Conference. After trading for D’Angelo Russell in order to please their franchise star Karl Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves should look to select Edwards No. 1 overall. The guard out of Georgia not only has extremely good handles and a consistent jump shot, but he is incredibly athletic and explosive. While at Georgia he averaged 19.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Combining him with Towns and Russell could produce great results for the franchise on the fence of being a competitor. 

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