Best NBA Landing Spots for March Madness Stars
March Madness has come and gone, but for some of the players involved in this year’s tournament, this is only the beginning of their journeys.
As the NBA Draft looms closer, debate will intensify around where the incoming rookies should be picked in the draft, as well as what team they should wind up on.
With that in mind, here is the best possible destination for some of the tournament’s biggest stars once they hit the pros.
Chet Holmgren: Oklahoma City Thunder
Gonzaga’s freshman sensation certainly looked the part during the Bulldogs’ stellar regular season.
Holmgren showed potential for greatness on both sides of the ball, shooting 60% from the field and 39% from three while also proving to be a devastating shot-blocker.
The lone concern continues to be the big man’s skinny frame and whether it will hold him back in the NBA. That’s why the Thunder could be the perfect landing spot.
The spotlight wouldn’t be too bright in OKC, allowing Holmgren to slowly but surely find his footing amid the Thunder’s long rebuild ahead.
Paolo Banchero: Detroit Pistons
Duke’s run to the Final Four was certainly aided by their impressive depth, but it is still clear that Banchero was the key keg in the team’s offense.
A traditional power forward in the best sense, Banchero showed off an extremely polished all-around game in 2022.
While he could stand to improve as a three-point shooter, the presumptive top three pick nonetheless would look great opposite Cade Cunningham in Detroit.
With two dependable scorers, and a tough-as-nails big in Isaiah Stewart, to build around, things could soon be looking up in the Motor City.
Jabari Smith: Houston Rockets
Besides Jalen Green, Houston doesn’t have any players who are locks to be part of its long-term core.
Smith, who is coming off a terrific season at Auburn, could be a great addition to the roster.
Already an extremely effective shooter, Smith could continue to develop opposite Green and form quite the athletic tandem.
The Rockets are years away from returning to relevance, but with a duo like this, they’d be back on the right path.
Jaden Ivey: Orlando Magic
The Magic may seem a bit irrelevant, but their roster is starting to round out nicely.
Franz Wagner is a fantastic 3&D wing, Cole Anthony has the makings of a superb sixth man scoring threat and, when healthy, Jonathan Isaac is as scary of a defender as they come.
But the team is lacking a player with star potential, something that Purdue’s Ivey certainly possesses.
An athletic freak at the guard position, while also a good shooter who can score from anywhere on the court, Ivey could be the difference maker that helps Orlando start to make some noise in the East.
Ochai Agbaji: Dallas Mavericks
Everyone knows Dallas is the Luka show, but the team also has a plethora of effective 3&D wings who make a difference.
After helping Kansas win the NCAA Tournament, Agbaji would provide the perfect compliment to the all star guard.
Bennedict Mathurin: Washington Wizards
Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox has started hitting his stride in the second half of the 2022 NBA season, but he currently lacks a lot of shooting around him.
The departures of Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield left quite the void on the perimeter in Sacramento.
Arizona’s Mathurin, who shot quite efficiently for the Wildcats, would fit opposite Fox and Davion Mitchell very well.
Armando Bacot: Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are a horrific rebounding team, and could stand to add Bacot to their bench.
Bacot averaged 16 points and 13 boards while helping the Tar Heels reach the National Title game.
Joe Tuman is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com
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