As in the draft pick primer, this isn't meant to be a scouting report on each player. Check out Draft Express for that. We work our rear ends off to try to provide detailed, frequently updated scouting reports on all the players throughout their careers.
This is merely meant to be a quick list of some of the things I like/am worried about on prospects, and why I might have one rated above another. I'm going to skip Anthony Davis entirely, as the Sixers have no chance of getting him.
Breaking this apart into big men, scoring guards, wings, and tweeners. Not every prospect will be listed here, and my apologies if your favorite wasn't listed or talked about in-depth.
I said Thomas Robinson was the #2 big man on my big board months before it was fashionable to do so. I love his game, and think he's going to translate into a great face-up power forward, he's a terrific rebounder, and a great kid. Read the story about how he lost his grandmother, grandfather, and mother in a month span and how he reacted towards his then-9 year old sister, and you can't help but have confidence in the kid working hard down the line. Is he undersized? Sure. But he's an athletic freak and a physical specimen. I think he's going to be a stud.
I would still gamble on Andre Drummond in the top 5, but I have major reservations. It would just be hard to pass on such an athletic specimen at 6/7 in the draft. This is no longer the #2 pick, and the risk declines for each team that passes on him. Perhaps even more frustrating to me than his offensive game/polish/jump shot is his fairly pedestrian defensive rebounding. Shoring that up would make me more willing to gamble.
Henson would be next on my board. I'm not in love with Henson, but his improved jump shooting, along with his shot blocking, defensive rebounding, and good work ethic and basketball IQ makes me less worried about his frame than other flame-outs like Anthony Randolph. Skinny guys (albeit not as skinny as Henson) have succeeded in the NBA, and I think he should be a solid role player, and a huge help to our defense going forward.
After that, I see a definite drop off in terms of talent in big men. Zeller will be a contributor, but that's not what we want at this time in our development (although it may be what Collins wants). I don't like Leonard a whole lot. Extremely unpolished on both ends of the court, his feel for the game still needs a lot of work. Poor jump shooter, methodical post game, questionable defensive technique. Athlete or basketball player? Can he be both? I have my reservations.
I'd take a chance on Sullinger. He won't defend a lick, he won't be someone you can run your half-court offense through in the post, and the back is a huge question mark. But his jump shot has improved, he's a very good defensive rebounder on a great defensive rebounding team, his post game will translate in some degree, and he has a great feel for the game and a consistent motor. Top 10 the risk is huge, 15? I'll roll the dice.
I'm not a huge Moultrie fan. His athleticism is tantalizing, but he's raw, especially for someone who will be 22 next year. Think he's going to struggle defending the post, isn't all that comfortable offensively in the post and he didn't do much from the perimeter. I wouldn't scream if he's the pick, but I'm not advocating it, either.
Bernard James would be completely unsexy as a 27 year old draft pick, but he has a very good head on his shoulders and is at worst the 2nd best defender in this draft. It would drive people nuts, but I'd like the pick with one of our second round picks. With his unique route to the NBA, it's hard not to root for him.
There seems to be a plethora of them this year, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, few with any discernible point guard skills.
The one I like the least out of Lillard/Waiters/Rivers is Rivers. His defensive effort is incredibly inconsistent, and I struggle finding a position he'll defend. He provides virtually nothing when he's not dominating the ball, his mid-range and pull-up game is limited, and his shooting is streaky. He has enough latent talent to prove me wrong down the line, but I wouldn't gamble, particularly in the lottery.
I like Lillard's game, but his defensive profile makes it hard for him to play anything other than the point, and he won't fit in well with Jrue Holiday because of this.
Which makes Waiters my current favorite of the group. He has his worries, as he had an often-times rocky relationship with Jim Boeheim. He has a little more length, and certainly enough strength, to play the 2 at times, but I think he's going to be best used as a very good 6th man. His overall offensive versatility (good shooting form stand still, off dribble, attacking the basket) and defensive intensity should make him a solid contributor for a team, though.
I like Bradley Beal. A lot. I am one of the believes that over enough repetition, he will prove to be a much better shooter than he showed at Florida. What's perhaps most understated though his his defense. Among lottery guards, I think he's far and away the best overall defender of the group.
I think Barnes is a better fit in the pro game than college, even with the wizardry of Kendall Marshall. Put him next to a great drive and kick point guard or a great post scorer, along with the increased spacing in the NBA, and I think he's going to be a good player. #1 option? Not likely, but I think right now he may be underrated.
Jeremy Lamb is one big enigma. I love off-guards who can score coming off screens, and he has such a unique physical profile that he's tantalizing. I just worry that he's going to try to do too much down the line. He's a complementary option, not a primary.
Terrence Ross could be a big upgrade over Jodie Meeks, something we clearly need. If we stay at 15, I wouldn't be upset at the pick. Am I hoping they trade up? Sure. Am I hoping that somebody falls? Of course. But he seems like someone to me where 15 is right around where he deserves to go. I don't necessarily want to force myself into taking a big man that I don't have confidence in them developing.
Terrence Jones is simply a bad fit, both with our plethora of ball handlers and Thaddeus Young. Royce White as well, plus I have serious reservations about his ability to defend anybody.
Perry Jones I couldn't tell you what he is going to be. I think physically he's best as a 4, as I think his perimeter skill have been somewhat overstated. But his toughness is a legitimate question mark. As is his passive mentality. At 15? I wouldn't hate the pick, and it probably makes sense, but I don't have my expectations too high.
I like Moe Harkless. He's a project, don't be fooled by the per-game averages. Don't expect him to be a complete player for a few years. But he might pan out in a few years.