The Top NBA Draft Prospects As Historic SF Giants Players

Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman, who is serving an NCAA suspension, smiles as his teammates are introduced before their game against Ole Miss at the FedExForum on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.
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Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman, who is serving an NCAA suspension, smiles as his teammates are introduced before their game against Ole Miss at the FedExForum on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. W 21828 /
SF Giants, James Wiseman, NBA Draft
Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman dunks the ball over Oregon Ducks forward Shakur Juiston during their game at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. /

With the NBA Draft airing on Wednesday night, we thought it would be fun to compare some of the top prospects’ to former SF Giants.

Our sibling site over at Blue Man Hoop has all the latest NBA Draft rumblings and rumors on the Bay’s own Golden State Warriors. Of course, if you’re more of a Sacramento fan, make sure to check out A Royal Pain for plenty of analysis and speculation on the Sacramento Kings. But we’re still your home for exciting SF Giants content, so why not take a look at the top NBA prospects as former Giants?

NBA Draft Prospects As Former SF Giants:
James Wiseman Comp: Randy Johnson

I mean, how could the lefthanded 7’1” Wiseman not be compared to The Big Unit? While Wiseman’s jump shot has not quite reached the level that basketball scouts want, he consistently receives rave reviews for his impressive athleticism and body control for someone of his size. His lanky build isn’t too far from Randy Johnson‘s either.

While Giants fans did not get to root for Johnson in the Orange-And-Black until well past his prime, they still got to see flashes of the greatness that once was. For one NBA fanbase on Wednesday, they’ll be hoping that Wiseman follows in his fellow southpaw’s footsteps to a Hall-of-Fame career.

And here’s video of all 27 outs from Randy Johnson’s perfect game because why wouldn’t I show this?

NBA Draft Prospects As Former SF Giants:
Anthony Edwards Comp: Bobby Bonds

Edwards is an explosive athlete that has a lot of upside but plenty of bust potential. I don’t know if there’s a better comparison to that for Giants fans than Bobby Bonds. Now more known for being Barry’s father, Bobby may be one of the most underrated players of all-time. During his 14-year career, Bonds had four separate 30 home run-40 stolen base seasons coming just one homer shy of 40-40 in 1973. A catastrophic knee injury ended up cutting what could have been an obvious Hall-of-Fame career short.

Edwards is a volume scorer who will rack up a lot of points, but those buckets will come with a lot more misses as he develops in the NBA. Bonds came with his share of misses, too: leading the league in strikeouts three times. When no one used the term three-true outcomes, Bonds seemed to fit that modern vision for players.

NBA Draft Prospects As Former SF Giants:
LaMelo Ball Comp: Johnnie LeMaster

I really hope no one takes this as an indictment on Ball’s NBA potential. Several draft pundits rank him the best prospect in the draft and easily could become a star, but his lanky 6’8” frame just feels more like that of a slick-fielding shortstop than a starting pitcher. There’s just a certain bounce in his step and obvious ability to pass that feels like a gold glover.

Johnnie LeMaster had the type of offensive output that most young baseball fans could never fathom. He was the Giants starting shortstop from 1978-1984 and hit just .231/.287/.291 with an OPS+ of 66 (44% less productive than league average when adjusted for hitting environment). LeMaster’s line isn’t too far off Madison Bumgarner‘s career .532 OPS. Needless to say, it was a different era in baseball.

Ball’s NBA prospects defensively aren’t very high at the moment, but in baseball, defense is more similar to court-vision and passing ability (his two greatest skills). Just check out these highlights, and I dare you to tell me you don’t see him making fancy tosses to start 6-4-3 double plays or ranging deep into the hole at short and firing a rocket across his body to first base.

NBA Draft Prospects As Former SF Giants:
Obi Toppin Comp: Dave Kingman

Obi Toppin is an older draft prospect who was easily the best college player in the country this season. The biggest impediment to his draft prospects is a lack of fluid athleticism on the defensive side of the ball. There’s perhaps no one that better defines an all-offense, shaky defense profile than Dave Kingman.

Kingman quickly blasted his way through the minor leagues and would end up hitting 442 home runs before his career was over. However, an inability to make contact and mediocre defensive play ultimately limited his ability to contribute. Toppin probably deserves a comparison to a higher on-base player than Kingman, who didn’t walk at a particularly high rate. Still, Kingman is one of those guys that got buried by the steroid-era home run totals. He was never a Hall of Famer but still had a heck of a big-league career.

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We at Around the Foghorn no what it’s like come draft time. Fanbases love to dream on prospects, and hopes for many franchises may be at their highest point of the year. Needless to say, we hope we gave you a fun break from NBA Draft mock drafts and rumors and took you down SF Giants memory lane.