By Max Feldman
Who would you want to start a franchise with? Per usual, FOG is taking a deep dive into the decision making process of a front office figure in the NBA. The stratification is players the age of 24 or younger and who FOG would start their franchise with, not the most productive of the bunch thus far in their careers. To be clear, there might be better players that are ranked below other players who have been far more productive and are simply better at this stage of their career. The idea of starting a franchise and players with upside go hand in hand, therefore this should give a glimpse on who FOG would give the reigns to if they were behind the wheel of an NBA franchise heading into the 2020-2021 NBA season.
1. Luka doncic
The 21 year old is the future face of the NBA. A natural distributor, three level scorer with an already elite feel for the game. Luka should be the undeniable top candidate to fuel and anchor a franchise for the long run.
2. Jayson Tatum
The 22 year old is a future NBA scoring champion who has come a long way defensively while improving his consistency on the offensive end. Hand Jayson Tatum the keys and we have ourselves the best pure scoring wing in the league a few years down the line.
3. Ja morant
The 20 year old and future Rookie of the Year is a transcendent athlete and playmaker at the lead guard position. Anchoring a franchise with an elite athlete who excels at elevating the game of his teammates seems like a strong bet.
4. shai gilgeous-alexander
The 21 year old might surprise some by being pegged this high, but has quickly become the best young P&R ball handler in the NBA using his veteran-like instincts with the ball in his hands and elite touch in the mid-range to manipulate NBA defenses night after night. SGA’s skillset is ever-so rare for a 21 year old, making it nearly impossible to pass up on the directional merit he provides.
5. Zion williamson
The 19 year old has become the head of the snake in moving the NBA in the direction of diminishing the value of true big men. Already a historically athletic presence, Zion provides a franchise an interior presence that can not be mimicked to any degree in the current NBA.
6. trae young
The 21 year old is a dynamic ball handler and lights out shooter once he crosses the half court line. While the defensive end will never be considered a strength, Young’s value as an all-around offensive dynamo solidifies his position as an organizational cornerstone.
7. BRANDON INGRAM
The 22 year old has come into his own in NOLA, evolving into an All-Star scorer with defensive versatility. Heady and extremely skilled with the ball in his hands, Ingram should compete for scoring titles over the next decade with multiple more All-Star appearances.
8. Ben Simmons
The 23 year old quickly became one of the best playmakers and multi-positional defenders in the NBA just a few seasons into his career. The point forward role should provide higher offensive outputs than the lead guard role did, and assuming so, Simmons certainly gets the keys to a franchise because of his athletic ability and variety of areas of impact within a game.
9. Donovan Mitchell
The 23 year old is an elite scorer and a premier athlete in the league from a guard spot. Another multi-time All-Star who should compete for many scoring titles certainly gets the keys to a franchise.
10. karl anthony-towns
The 24 year old is already one of the best scorers and rebounders in the NBA, but the first big man listed. KAT’s defensive shortcomings do hold him back to some extent, but his consistent development on the offensive end make his stock as a cornerstone very steady.
11. BAM ADEBAYO
The 22 year old broke through this season and cracked the All-Star barrier. An incredible athlete with unique point center capabilities and a relentless motor? Bam’s got the keys.
12. de’aaron fox
The 22 year old has been dominant when healthy and continues to progress as a shooter and consistent playmaker. End to end speed, toughness and two way lead guard make Fox a future face of the league.
13. DEVIN BOOKER
The 23 year old quickly became one of the best bucket getters in the league, but his defensive shortcomings and lack of overall impact on a game push him down a bit. Booker should be a premier off ball scorer for close to the next decade.
14. Lonzo Ball
The 22 year old has long been a FOG favorite and while his early career struggles might make some believe the 14th spot is far too high, FOG’s believe his shooting struggles pushed him to contribute in other manners now making him one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. The shot is falling now and there is no lead guard in the league who effects a game in as many ways as Lonzo Ball.
15. DEANDRE AYTON
The 21 year old is FOG favorite pure big man listed due to his incomparable athletic ability at 7 feet. As Ayton evolves defensively, he says, “Just let me switch.” Ayton is anomaly athletically when looking at this measurements and while his offensive skillset is already flourishing, he gets the keys because of how he is progressing on the other end.
16. D’Angelo Russell
The 24 year old has bounced around a fair amount in 5 NBA seasons, but has been a 20+ point scorer since he was 22. Having already broken the All-Star barrier once, Russell has too shore up some offensive inefficiency and prove he can lead a winning team to rise up the rankings.
17. Jaylen Brown
The 23 year old might never be an elite scorer but is sure to be an All-NBA defender down the line. Brown’s physical maturity and toughness is unmatched by most at 22 years old.
18. Jonathan Isaac
The 22 year old is a dynamic and versatile defender who took a big jump on the offensive end this season. If Isaac can approach 16-18 points per game, he gets the keys because of his exceptional ability to guard 4-5 positions night in and night out.
19. Jamal Murray
The 23 year old has not quite been the shooter many hoped coming out of Kentucky, but the Canadian lead guard surely can be counted on as a lead guard and go-to scoring option.
20. Jaren Jackson Jr
The 20 year old is a two way athlete with sought after combination of 1 block and 1 three pointer per game. An extremely rare skillset in addition to impressive measurements and athletic ability make JJJr an elite front court option for the long run.
21. Collin Sexton
The 21 year old should be putting his head down and scoring the ball for many years to come. An undersized guard with no natural playmaking ability might not be a top option, but his improvement and three level scoring ability can not be passed up for too long.
22. KRISTAPS PORZINGIS
The 24 year old has had trouble staying on the floor, but when healthy has proved to be an All-Star caliber unicorn big man. The league is moving the opposite direction of a 7-3 center, making it tough to anchor down a franchise with uncertainty in multiple areas.
23. dejounte murray
The 23 year old is one of the best back court defenders in the league. His stock as a cornerstone hinges on his P&R scoring ability and consistency as a shooter, but all the tools are present.
24. Coby White
The 20 year old is one of the young scoring faces of the NBA and is a future 20+ point per game guy. His ability to be a lead distributor, played solid defense and establish a winning attitude will determine if he can elevate a franchise.
25. Markelle Fultz
The 22 year old has shed the bust label and while the shooting still is not what we thought it might be, Fultz is an elite athlete from the lead guard spot with natural playmaking ability and strong defensive instincts.
26. domantas sabonis
The 24 year old is an old fashioned big man but has a unique passing ability along with floor stretching tendencies. Sabonis will bully smaller lineups in the paint for years to come.
27. michael porter jr
The 21 year old still has more to prove and the future largely hinges on health, but MPJ has shown the flashes of being a go-to scorer who fits the direction of where the league is heading. If he can stay on the floor, FOG will continue to double down on Porter Jr as a future star.
28. John collins
The 22 year old is an elite athlete and versatile offensive tool, but remains a lackluster interior defender. Collins should flirt with All-Star numbers for years to come as he continues to improve as a perimeter threat.
29. myles turner
The 24 year old is a premier interior defender, but has not shown consistent development on the offensive end. A change of scenery might allow the former Longhorn to prove his worth as an all-around big man of the future.
30. Marvin Bagley III
The 21 year old is an all-around offensive tool when healthy and must develop as a defender to cement his stock for the future. His athletic ability and rebounding volume provide optimism.
31. mitchell robinson
The 20 year old continues to out-perform his second round draft spot and has become a premier rim protector in the league right out of the gate. Regardless of if Robinson can improve as a more collective threat offensively, if he continues to grow his body and athletically, he should be near the top of blocked shots and rebounds per game ranks for the next decade.
32. Cam Reddish
The 20 year old might seem far too high for many, but Reddish has been a FOG favorite since he entered his lone season at Duke. An all around athlete with a tight handle, extremely mature scoring skillset and untapped defensive potential, Reddish gets the keys because of his tools and two-way trajectory.
33. RJ Barrett
The 20 year old needs to improve athletically and his ability to create on his own, but has the touch and instincts to be a cornerstone player on both ends. The Canadian standout gets the keys when he improves his playmaking and shot creation.
34. tyler herro
The 20 year old is more than a knockdown shooter, but his shot making ability will make him a stud scorer for the long run. Herro can reach 20+ points per game and be a go-to weapon if he improves his body and become a respectable playmaker for others.
35. Lauri Markannen
The 23 year old has seen his inconsistencies and is likely better suit as a 5 man in the modern NBA where two 7 footers in the same lineup tend to struggle. If Lauri can stay on the floor, he does serve a unique role as a stretch five man who can produce monster scoring numbers.
36. Darius garland
The 20 year old is a dynamic ball handler with extreme optimism as a creator and efficient shooter. Garland will get the keys when his feel in the P&R develop and his playmaking output increase.
37. Lonnie Walker
The 21 year old needs more opportunity, but his extremely high athletic ability in combination with his natural flair in his scoring package make Lonnie a name to look out for. If Walker can continue to blossom and take notes under DeRozan, he will take off sooner rather than later.
38. brandon clarke
The 23 year old has quieted the critics regarding his short wingspan and quickly become an ideal fit as an NBA forward. Clarke’s athletic ability and efficiency scoring the ball in the paint make him an elite role player moving forward.
39. Kevin Huerter
The 21 year old‘s development as a playmaker for others and strong secondary scorer have surprised many. Huerter’s ability to knock down open shots continues to open up his sneaky slashing and distributing tendencies.
40. Wendell Carter Jr
The 21 year old is as solid as they come down low. Physically mature beyond his years, Wendell should be a staple down low for years to come because of the amount of areas he brings production in, but is unlikely to approach stardom because he does not absolutely thrive in any area.
41. kelly oubre
The 24 year old is starting to come into his own serving a distinct, necessary role on both ends. Oubre is straight line driver and shot maker, brining defensive intensity and strong instincts, but has not showed signs of growing into far more.
42. Troy Brown Jr
The 20 year old shows more and more as opportunity comes but overall stunts unique playmaking ability for a wing with improved shot making consistency. Troy Brown Jr will ride under the radar as a strong two-way off ball option as he approaches his peak.
43. Kevin Porter jr
The 20 year old boasts an elite isolation scoring attack. Not a cliche usage of elite here, Kevin Porter Jr has a strong perimeter stroke on top of high level athleticism and a mature scoring package reminiscent of past Seattle legends.
44. Aaron Gordon
The 24 year old looks to be approaching his ceiling as an athletic scoring forward who can have tunnel vision at times and remains inconsistent on the defensive end. We know what we’re getting with the 6th year man out of Arizona.
45. Jarrett Culver
The 21 year old has plenty of room to grow as a secondary ball handler, but should continue to blossom as a scoring threat with the ball in his hands and as a versatile defensive tool.
46. Christian Wood
Th 24 year old has broken through and become a consistent offensive threat with strong rebounding tools. Wood is not a piece to count on, but should be a staple as a mismatch scoring piece at all three levels.
47. Malik Beasley
The 23 year old has come into his own as a reliable shooting and defender. Beasley’s role is as prevalent as ever and should grow into a top tier option to surround a star on the wing.
48. De’andre hunter
The 22 year old stunts elite 3 and D potential with an underrated ball handling ability and physical strength to compete with bigger players down low. Hunter should bring consistency on both ends, but drops a bit lower because he can not handle the keys to a franchise.
49. Jarrett Allen
The 22 year old is an eye catching athlete with already elite shot blocking instincts. He’s somewhat limited in terms of skill and floor spacing ability, but when his role is necessary, Allen makes his presence felt.
50. mo bamba
The 22 year old has been a project and still has some time left prior to his due date, but when playing, Bamba has stunted elite rim running potential with sneaky touch extending outward.
51. sekou doumbouya
The 19 year old has been and will be even more of a FOG favorite moving forward. Doumbouya has the tools to be a version of Brandon Clarke on steroids with high level athleticism and strong shooting mechanics.
52. josh okogie
The 21 year old is an elite perimeter defender with monstrous length and strong athleticism. Okogie is a needed grinder, high motor type of wing defender necessary for any team in compete mode with offensive minded scorers around him.
53. PJ washington
The 21 year old is a sturdy stretch scorer with strong intangibles. Washington should prove to be a strong fit who can space the floor as he develops a better feel for the game.
54. Mikal Bridges
The 23 year old is a lockdown wing defender who will be tasked with the oppositions best player night and night out for the next decade of his career. Bridges’ ability to consistently knock down the three ball will determine his paycheck.
55. jaxson hayes
The 20 year old is a powerful athlete with elite measurements but does show his lack of experience on a basketball court at times. Without counting on extraordinary development as a versatile scorer, Hayes remains a very exciting rim running presence who will vertically space the floor on each and every possession.
56. kendrick nunn
The 24 year old took a massive leap, but his future hinges on whether there is more or not. Nunn is a steady scoring threat from the lead guard spot who brings defensive intensity.
57. dillon brooks
The 24 year old brings an elite motor with no glaring weaknesses, but equally has no standout strengths. A steady shot maker with toughness on the defensive end.
58. landry shamet
The 23 year old is a deadeye perimeter threat who is a premier, young floor spacing option. Shamet stands out as a candidate to have an extremely long career doing what he does best, stroking the deep ball.
59. Kyle Kuzma
The 24 year old has faced his fair share of critics, but continues to outperform his previous draft stock by serving as a consistent scoring threat at each level. Perimeter shooting and some defensive presence will determine what he will become moving forward.
60. matisse thybulle
The 23 year old is a major “non-statistical” producer but overall does what many wings do not want to do. Thybulle knocks down open shots, rebounds effectively and guards the opponents top wing scoring option.
61. Eric Paschall
62. terence davis
63. RUI HACHIMURA
64. Donte DiVincenzo
65. Aaron Holiday
66. Miles Bridges
67. OG Anunoby
68. Furkan Korkmaz
69. Josh Hart
70. Ivica Zubac
71. Anfernee Simons
72. Bol Bol
73. Zach Collins
74. Monte Morris
75. Malik Monk
76. Luke Kennard
77. Derrick jones jr
78. Gary Trent Jr
79. De’Anthony Melton
80. Marquese Chriss
81. Bruce Brown
82. Jalen Brunson
83. Nickeil Alexander-Walker
84. Thomas Bryant
85. LUGUENTZ DORT
86. Darius Bazley
87. Frank Ntilikina
88. alen smailagic
89. SHAKE MILTON
90. Chuma Okeke
91. kevin knox ii
92. Romeo Langford
93. Jarred Vanderbilt
94. jakob poeltl
95. TALEN HORTON-TUCKER
96. Cameron Johnson
97. Mo Wagner
98. KELDON JOHNSON
99. Svi Mykhailiuk
100. Dylan Windler