Russ Isabella USA TODAY Sports
Fans always want players who can score points, but it’s usually the ones who play defense who make the biggest impact on a roster. When the NBA draft comes around, you want your team to take someone who can do both.
If you look at some of the emerging superstars over the past few years, you see two way players who can get it done in all aspects of the game. Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler both earned their playing time on the defensive end before breaking out offensively.
While Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram could be elite offensive players at the next level, neither is proven on the defensive end. However, a handful of prospects have the tools necessary to be game changers on both ends of the court.
Here is a look at the best two way players in the class, along with a list of the first round draft order.
The two time Big East Player of the Year has all the skills you want in a point guard.
At 6’4″, Kris Dunn has the size and strength to attack the basket and the athleticism to finish at the rim. He can create a shot for himself and has improved from beyond the arc, hitting 37.2 percent of his three pointers last year. His averages of 16.4 points and 6.2 assists per game show he can both score himself as well as create opportunities for others.
However, when cheap wholesale jerseys
asked about what he does best on the floor, Dunn immediately wanted to discuss his defense. I like to get after people. I like to get under people’s skin.”
He hassled opponents enough to total 2.5 steals per game this past season and makes things difficult for players all game long. If you have someone who can take an opposing point guard out of the game or at least limit him, your team has a good chance of winning.
While need will dictate where he lands, there is a high chance Dunn is the first point guard off the board on June 23.
Ron Chenoy USA TODAY Sports
As a freshman, Jakob Poeltl was an elite defender for Utah. He averaged 1.9 blocks per game but altered plenty more while always seeming to be in the right place at the right time in the middle of the defense.
Although he averaged only 9.1 points per game, mostly just finishing dunks inside, he did more than enough on the defensive end to be worthy of a possible first round draft pick.
However, Poeltl returned to school to improve his all around game and did just that. The center was the Pac 12 Player of the Year after averaging 17.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, becoming a force on the offensive end who can score with his back to the basket or pass out of the double team.
All of a sudden, the sophomore is one of the most NBA ready players in the class and arguably the best true center. He will help a team right away next season while making an impact on both ends of the court.
Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State
Brian Spurlock USA TODAY Sports
Unlike Poeltl, Deyonta Davis is not quite ready to contribute, but he does have the upside to be a star in the NBA.
The Michigan State freshman only averaged 7.5 points in 18.6 minutes per game behind a senior laden roster this past season. However, he made the most of his time on the court, especially on the defensive end with 1.8 blocks per game. This matched that of National Player of the Year and teammate Denzel Valentine.
If he can develop his outside shot while also remaining an elite rim protector defensively, Davis will be valuable in the NBA.