Smoke screens aside, guest Javier Pesquera retains “99.9 percent” confidence that the Lakers will select Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick (TonyTheTiger/Creative Commons).

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With the draft fast approaching – it’s scheduled for Thursday, June 22, – we’re joined by a pair of men who closely and passionately follow the NBA draft and its potential prospects year-round. Ode to Oden’s Sean Derenthal and Javier Pesquera of What’s on Draft lend their time and expertise to the show, discussing a wide range of issues, including but not limited to Markelle Fultz’s top billing, the Lonzo Ball phenomenon, the strengths and weaknesses of Josh Jackson’s and Dennis Smith Jr.’s games and the nature of this year’s international class. You won’t want to miss this one, especially if, like your hosts, you’ve been fixated on the NBA all season.

Sean Derenthal: 9:28-9:43:

“Lonzo Ball is super-, super-interesting. If you told me like five years from now that he was the best player out of this draft, I wouldn’t be surprised. If you told me that he was basically unplayable, I also wouldn’t be too surprised honestly.”

SD: 16:48-18:16:

“The problem with Josh Jackson, while he does bring all of that [defensive versatility], the reason that you wouldn’t take him is, well, one, there’s some off-court issues…Offensively, his shot is the big issue. So in the Finals, I think we saw that one-way players, it’s difficult to play these guys, and that if you are passable in team defense…but you’re good on offense, you can provide some spacing for your stars, well then that guy might be more valuable than a really, really good defender who can’t shoot at all…There’s a good chance that he won’t ever be much better than a slightly below-average starter just because his shot is a huge question…he brings it down really far, he’s got a really wonky kind of hitch in his shot.”

SD: 22:07-23:14: 

By realistic expectations, I think this draft is good. It’s definitely above average. It came in, and people were talking about ‘potentially seven All-Stars, blah-blah-blah, one of the best drafts in recent memory,’ all that stuff…It’s not going to be what everybody says that it is, but that’s probably just because we all have overblown expectations anyway.”

Javier Pesquera: 31:48-32:06:

“We see it as him [Markelle Fultz] being at the same level as Ben Simmons more or less…You can always be a bit let down by a guy, but I think he’s both the guy with the highest floor and the highest ceiling, and that’s normally a good combination, especially when we are talking about a guy that is also that young.”

JP: 39:22-39:43:

“I would say that Fultz is clearly No. 1 for me, and after that, I probably have Ball and Dennis Smith Jr. in a tier by themselves after Fultz, but then it gets murkier. After those guys, between fourth and 11th or between fourth and 10th most likely, I think those six, seven guys are all more or less in the same level.”

JP: 50:32-50:56:

“[In terms of International players], I probably will say Frank [Ntilikina], [Anzejs] Pasecniks as a big that can have some ability and maybe you are able to stash a couple years and get him down the road. And other than that, it gets pretty dicey. I’m not really a fan of any of the other guys that are still in this class. The ones I like the most withdrew, so it’s just a bit difficult to find European prospects in this class honestly.”

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Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod