James Wiseman would be a top-5 pick in this year's NBA Draft if there were no age limit | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 27.
  • James Wiseman would be a top-5 pick in this year’s NBA Draft if there were no age limit

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The NBA one-and-done rule won’t come to an end until 2022, but if it didn’t exist this year James Wiseman would be a top-5 pick, according to several NBA executives and ESPN experts.

    “Yes,” one NBA executive said.

    The 7-foot-1 Wiseman, a Class of 2019 prospect committed to Memphis, would be the No. 3 pick this year behind Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, according to ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla. Wiseman ranks fourth behind Williamson, Morant and R.J. Barrett, per Paul Biancardi. Both are broadcasting the Nike Hoop Summit where Wiseman played for Team USA.

    The Gatorade National Player of the Year, Wiseman has all the talent to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, as I wrote here on Forbes SportsMoney.

    He also speaks Mandarin and wants to own a chain of fast food restaurants.

    Fraschilla and Biancardi each had multiple high school players in their mock Top 10 for 2019. Fraschilla has Georgia-bound wing Anthony Edwards at No. 4, Duke-bound big man Vernon Carey Jr. at 6 and uncommitted wing Jaden McDaniels at 9.

    Fraschilla did not have Duke’s Cam Reddish in his Top 10 and has R.J. Barrett at 5 behind Wiseman and Edwards.

    “R.J. Barrett’s a professional scorer but I have a feeling that you don’t pass up on an aircraft carrier,” he said on ESPN2 of Wiseman. “I’ll still stick with the David Robinson example at 7-1 with his mobility and he’s a lefty.”

    Biancardi had Edwards at 5, Carey at 8 and Washington-bound big man Isaiah Stewart at 10.

    “The scouts I spoke to this week absolutely love Isaiah Stewart,” Biancardi said. “They heard his name, but they fell in love with him at McDonald’s and here at the Hoop Summit.”

    Fraschilla compared Stewart to Elton Brand.

    “You were getting the post game  jump shot and the rebound,” Biancardi said. “That’s what Isaiah can do, all three.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.