5. Jalen Brunson
There’s no question that Brunson was a great college guard for Villanova. Without him, Jay Wright wouldn’t have as many national championship rings. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be an impact player at the next level.
Brunson simply isn’t a good enough athlete to really thrive in today’s NBA. He does an excellent job of changing speeds on the offensive end to hide the fact that he isn’t an explosive player.
On defense, his limitations become even more obvious. Brunson gets in a good stance and tries hard to stay in front of his man, but his lateral quickness is a major question mark. Even if he proves he can stay in front of starting NBA point guards, he’s got no chance to guard bigger players on switches.
At best, Brunson profiles as a reasonable backup point guard who probably gets eliminated from a team’s rotation once the playoffs begin. That just isn’t enough value to justify a selection in the first round. Teams picking in the bottom third of round one should be taking bigger swings. Brunson enjoyed a terrific college career but he only deserves to be a second round selection in June.