Welcome to my first Big Board for the 2020 NBA Draft Class!
Even if the draft is likely to be pushed back to August as recent reports have suggested, that doesn’t mean we can’t start speculating about how the next crop of basketball talent are going to fare in the big leagues.
Just a few clarifications for anyone who might be confused. 1) A Big Board (which is what this is) is how I have individually ranked each of the players in the class. This is NOT a mock draft, which predicts where players will be picked. 2) PTS = Points, REB = Rebounds, AST = Assists, BLK = Blocks, STL = Steals, TO = Turnovers. 3) We’re starting with 30 right now but I hope to expand to at least 60 over the upcoming months, and the players here are not locked into their spots, as my evaluations are always open to change.
1. LaMelo Ball, Guard, Illawarra (Australia) — 6’8”, 181 lbs, 18.5 years old
(Note: Ball played in Australia but is American)
Per 36 Numbers: 19.6 PTS, 7.9 AST, 8.7 REB, 1.8 STL, 0.1 BLK, 2.9 TO
Percentages: 46.4 TS%, 25.0 3PT%, 72.3 FT%, 37.5 FG%
- Best passer in the draft and it’s not even close, can make all the pick-and-roll reads, create opportunities in transition, and manipulates defenders with head fakes.
- Great handle combined with north-south speed let’s him get by almost any defender
- His height alone makes him a tough matchup for opposing defenses, similar to Michael Porter Jr.
- Gets great arc on his shot and can make difficult threes with great form — both promising signs.
- His poor defense can be fixed somewhat, as he shows good off-ball instincts and isn’t a total zero in terms of effort.
- Shooting percentages are terrible due to his poor shot selection and his tendency to not even come close to setting his feet on shots.
- Good lateral athlete but a bad vertical one. Only shot 52.7% at rim and has such little burst that it looks like he’s in slow motion jumping through the air.
- Bad defender due to weak frame and inconsistent effort, but not as bad as you’d think.
- Good touch on his floaters, but takes them in weird Denzel Valentine-like standstills and from almost 20 feet away — big factor behind his low percentages.
Pro Comp’s: Taller Rajon Rondo, Taller Trae Young, Lance Stephenson
2. Killian Hayes, Guard, ULM (Germany) — 6’5”, 187 lbs, 18.5 years old
(Note: Hayes played in Germany this last year but is French)
Per 36 Numbers: 16.8 PTS, 7.8 AST, 4.1 REB, 2.1 STL, 0.4 BLK, 4.7 TO
Percentages: 58.5 TS%, 29.4 3PT%, 87.6 FT%, 48.2 FG%
- Runs the pick-and-roll almost perfectly, always ending it with a lob to the big, a skip to the corner, or a step-back three for himself. Passing is outstanding.
- Has full mastery of the James Harden step-back footwork, and if his shot improves, will be a devastating iso scorer.
- Creative finisher around the rim, helped raise his overall shooting percentages in spite of his struggles on threes.
- Will probably be an above-average on-ball defender due to his size, quickness and willingness to remain in a good defensive stance.
- Off-ball defense is really good at times, as his ability to read the floor allows him to anticipate what the offense will do next.
- Relies too heavily on his left hand and is very reluctant to use his right.
- Doesn’t provide any value off-ball, needs to have the ball in his hands. If it takes him a long time to develop his teams will be terrible for their first few years.
- Starts his shot at his chest, almost like a heave, which makes it hard for him to get it off without creating a good amount of space.
- Prone to some lapses in effort and attention in off-ball defense where he doesn’t fight for position or rebounds and seems distracted by non-essential actions.
Pro Comp’s: Poor man’s James Harden, R.J. Barrett, D’Angelo Russell
3. Onyeka Okongwu, Center, USC — 6’9”, 245 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 19.0 PTS, 10.2 REB, 1.3 AST, 3.2 BLK, 1.4 STL, 2.3 TO
Percentages: 64.5 TS%, N/A 3PT%, 72.0 FT%, 61.6 FG%
- The quintessential small-ball center that has enough quickness and flexibility to switch on defense, and a long wingspan to contest shots at the rim, posted a near 10% block rate.
- Explosive and powerful athlete with soft hands, making him a devastating lob threat, and an awesome put-back dunker, finishing in the 90th percentile for put-backs.
- Good decision maker that could grow into being a solid creator out of short rolls.
- Good at scoring in the post with a variety of jump hooks and drop-steps that roll in softly due to his natural touch.
- Cannot shoot threes yet which does limit spacing for a team, and his form just isn’t good right now, as he has noticeable elbow flare on his free throws.
- Doesn’t get overpowered in the post, but lacks proper technique at times.
- Can have poor timing on his shot-block attempts, leaving the glass exposed.
- Doesn’t have as high of an upside as LaMelo and maybe a few other prospects.
Pro Comp’s: Bam Adebayo, Montrezl Harrell, Brandon Clarke
4. James Wiseman, Center, Memphis — 7’1”, 231 lbs, 19 years old
Per 36 Numbers: (Only played in 3 college games)
Percentages: (Only played in 3 college games)
- Almost every draft expert has used the phrase, “Runs the floor like a deer,” when describing him, and for good reason.
- Towers over everyone on the court without being flat-footed or having slower reaction times.
- Can occasionally pick-and-pop for threes, and even has some mid-post face-up ability, the tactic most commonly employed by Joel Embiid.
- Highest defensive upside of any big in the draft, as his vertical and raw size could turn him into an elite-level rim protector.
- Basically took a year off from basketball, so it’s hard to tell how he plays against good competition.
- He can probably only be the 3rd or 4th best player on a good team, but needs to be drafted to a good situation like Atlanta or Golden State, or it could go poorly.
- Motor and aggressiveness are often lower than what you’d like them to be.
- Doesn’t really think the game yet, on-court intelligence is a minus to this point.
Pro Comp’s: DeAndre Jordan, Deandre Ayton, Myles Turner
5. Obi Toppin, Forward/Center, Dayton — 6’9”, 220 lbs, 22 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 22.8 PTS, 8.6 REB, 2.5 AST, 1.4 BLK, 1.1 STL, 2.5 TO
Percentages: 68.4 TS%, 39.0 3PT%, 70.2 FT%, 63.3 FG%
- Put up one of the most efficient and dominant scoring seasons in college basketball history, finishing in the 99th percentile for points per possession, shooting 78% on shots from off-ball cuts and a ludicrous 82.8% at the rim, just to name a few.
- He’s the best vertical athlete in the draft, and not just with leaping ability, as he has great hands and uses his raw strength to ram lobs on the heads of opposing bigs.
- Reliable three point shooter that can pick-and-pop and even hit them off the dribble if necessary.
- Even if his defense doesn’t project well, he’s fully engaged, works to be a helpful team defender and is sneaky good at deflecting and intercepting passes.
- Supremely confident on the court, and his swagger tends to lift his teammates as well.
- Not flexible in his hips, which makes it hard for him to switch on defense, and a liability in pick-and-rolls.
- Roughly two-thirds of his schedule came against weaker opponents that had no chance against him physically, which could.
- At 22 years old, he’s probably already near the peak of what he’s going to be.
- Benefitted from an incredible offensive system put together by Head Coach Anthony Grant, that used NBA principles to generate quick threes and wide open lobs for Toppin.
Pro Comp’s: Late-career Blake Griffin, Morris Twins, Shorter Amar’e Stoudamire
6. Anthony Edwards, Guard/Wing, Georgia — 6’5”, 225 lbs, 18.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 20.8 PTS, 5.7 REB, 3.1 AST, 1.5 STL, 0.6 BPG, 3.0 TO
Percentages: 52.0 TS%, 29.4 3PT%, 77.2 FT%, 40.2 FG%
- Phenomenal athlete who combines explosive movements with raw power seamlessly.
- Is the best prospect in this class when it comes to creating a shot for yourself and making a jump shot off the dribble, which is the most valuable skill in the NBA.
- Can finish at the rim with both hands fairly well.
- Got to the rim with good regularity despite having terrible spacing from below-average teammates, and shot 69.4% on those at-rim attempts.
- He’s an early-career James Harden on defense, i.e. he does not try at all, constantly makes inexplicable decisions, swipes at the ball for stupid fouls in lieu of effort and really only provides little value as a post defender.
- 25.0% of his total shots were two-point jumpers, and he only converted 30.2% of them. Yuck.
- Doesn’t read the game well and is not a good distributor as a lead ball handler.
- Has the potential to be a great off-ball cutter, but rarely uses it and prefers to stand in the corner if he’s not involved in the possession.
Pro Comp’s: Shorter Cam Reddish, Body of Victor Oladipo w/ Motor of Hassan Whiteside
7. Tyrese Haliburton, Guard, Iowa State — 6’5”, 175 lbs, 20 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 14.9 PTS, 6.3 AST, 5.8 REB, 2.4 STL, 0.7 BLK, 2.7 TO
Percentages: 63.1 TS%, 41.9 3PT%, 82.2 FT%, 50.4 FG%
- Can’t be the lead guard, but is fantastic as a tertiary creator who makes the extra pass to the right man almost every time.
- When left open he’s an absolute knockdown shooter.
- Despite not being vertically explosive, can finish at the rim as he maneuvers around defenders in mid-air and can extend over shot-blockers with his length.
- Can punish teams for playing drop pick-and-roll coverage with his excellent floater game.
- Sees over double teams well and can throw skip passes out of them.
- Terrible tendency to stop backpedaling in transition defense, letting the offensive player go by him and straight to the rim.
- Great spot-up shooter but struggles when launching from three off the dribble, as he keeps his off-hand over top of the ball.
- Projects as a nice switchable defender due to length and size, but has poor positional awareness off-ball and will get absolutely torched by quick jitterbug guards in isolations.
- Efficient shooter because he practically refuses to take difficult shots, which limits the overall volume of production he can provide. Needs to be more aggressive.
Pro Comp’s: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
8. Cole Anthony, Guard, North Carolina — 6’3”, 184 lbs, 20 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 19.1 PTS, 4.1 AST, 5.9 REB, 1.4 STL, 0.3 BLK, 3.6 TO
Percentages: 50.1 TS%, 34.8 3PT%, 75.0 FT%, 38.0 FG%
- Incredibly smooth with the ball in his hands, capable of gliding by defenders and performing step-backs.
- Assist numbers are low due to how bad his teammates were, but he’s actually a great passer. Good at slipping bounce passes to big men and timing up lobs.
- Can finish in a variety of ways at the rim and did a good job getting to the rim despite North Carolina’s lack of spacing (seriously, UNC sucked this year).
- Great shooting form, will translate easily to hitting threes out of the ball screen actions.
- Poor activity level on defense, especially on his closeouts to shooters, as he lets up uncontested drives to the basket.
- Refuses to pass out of a double teams and crowds, choosing to either shoot or dribble out of it himself, which usually ends badly.
- Limited as a finisher due to lack of height and vertical leaping ability at the guard position.
- Needs to be the 3rd or 4th option on a good team. If he’s drafted by someone like the Knicks and expected to contribute early, it won’t go well.
Pro Comp’s: Austin Rivers, Patty Mills, 80% of Trae Young
9. Devin Vassell, Wing, Florida State — 6’7”, 194 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 15.9 PTS, 6.3 REB, 2.0 AST, 1.8 STL, 1.2 BLK, 1.0 TO
Percentages: 58.5 TS%, 41.5 3PT%, 73.8 FT%, 49.0 FG%
- Best off-ball defender in the draft with his combination of length and positioning instincts.
- A true 1-5 defender, capable of guarding every single position in almost any scenario, probably is best as a super small-ball five.
- Smart player that uses hustle and awareness to burn his opponents. Has mastered the Royce O’Neale “Run into the catch” move that can get him to the basket quickly.
- Spreads the floor well as a great spot-up shooter, but is also capable of pulling-up for threes, and can dribble in to the mid-post area and rise up over shorter defenders for jumpers.
- Dangerous put-back and lob threat around the rim due to his freakishly long wingspan and good vertical athleticism,
- Straight line driver that does not get to the free throw line very much, only averaging 2.2 attempts per game.
- Despite his incredible switch-ability on defense, he struggles to stay connected to heavier players, as they easily move him off-balance due to his slender frame.
- Struggles to handle the ball in a crowd, again being easily moved off of his spot due to slender frame.
- Only made a little over one three per game, and looking at his shot form and speed of release, there’s a good chance his percentages go down on higher volume.
Pro Comp’s: Robert Covington, Jonathan Isaac
10. Deni Avdija, Wing, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) — 6’9”, 215 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 14.1 PTS, 7.4 REB, 3.1 AST, 1.1 BLK, 0.9 STL, 2.3 TO
Percentages: 58.2 TS%, 36.6 3PT%, 52.0 FT%, 51.4 FG%
- One of the higher floors in the draft due to his height, above-average athleticism and high level of effort. A very good bet not to bust.
- Very switchable defender that competes hard enough to stay attached to smaller guards and battle bigger players in the post.
- Decent at posting up smaller players after having a cross screen set for him to get good position.
- While not great at it, can run a pick-and-roll and serve as a secondary creator due to his feel as a passer.
- Is not going to be an all-star due to his lack of shooting precedent and meh ball-handling ability. He’s your typical high-floor, low-ceiling prospect.
- Works hard on defense, but simply does not have the strength, quickness or understanding to be good on that end of the floor just yet.
- His three-point shot is inconsistent because he splits his legs super wide when landing, does not have the requisite balance.
- While I like his competitive fire, he’s often overemotional and a huge risk for drawing technical fouls or getting distracted.
Pro Comp’s: Dario Saric, Cedi Osman, Danilo Gallinari
11. Tyrese Maxey, Guard, Kentucky — 6’3”, 198 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 14.6 PTS, 4.5 REB, 3.3 AST, 0.9 STL, 0.4 BLK, 2.3 TO
Percentages: 53.1 TS%, 29.2 3PT%, 83.3 FT%, 42.7 FG%
- Excellent floater game, both in terms of touch and the variety of ways he can make them when presented with difficult situations.
- Bulldog defender with an ideal body, as he’s laterally quick but packed with muscle and girth.
- Poor shooter percentage wise, but the motion with his elbow and hand is ideal, he had games where he did shoot very well and the situation at Kentucky made it harder for him, as he was surrounded by three non-shooter a majority of the time.
- Can finish contested layups with either hand and off either foot. Shows a lot of skill finishing at the rim.
- Inconsistency on his three-point shot likely stems from how he splits his feet upon landing, shows a lack of balance.
- Doesn't have the proper off-ball defensive instincts just yet.
- A bit of a tweener on defense, as he’s often too short to match up with two-guards, but doesn’t have enough ball-handling and passing skill to run an offense as the point guard.
- He can hit jumpers off the dribble with between-the-legs into step-backs, but that’s about it, as his low release point otherwise makes it hard for him to get off a clean pull-up.
Pro Comp’s: Poor Man’s Bradley Beal, Taller Carsen Edwards
12. Kira Lewis Jr., Guard, Alabama — 6’3”, 165 lbs, 19 years old (Full Breakdown Here)
Per 36 Numbers: 17.7 PTS, 4.6 REB, 5.0 AST, 1.7 STL, 0.6 BLK, 3.5 TO
Percentages: 56.0 TS%, 36.6 3PT%, 80.2 FT%, 45.9 FG%
- An incredibly speedy point guard who would have been recorded as the fastest player in the draft if the combine had been held. Constantly beats players down the court even with the ball in his hands.
- Fantastic point of attack defender that keeps other point guards in front of them, and shows expert timing off-ball to steal passes.
- Three-point shooting was only average at Alabama, but his form is great and he’s capable of making difficult shots off the dribble. Should improve with practice.
- Very effective as a passer out of the pick-and-roll, using his speed to apply pressure on the defense and slip the ball to the roller.
- Competes like crazy every second he’s on the court.
- Struggles to finish at the rim, as he shot only 49% on two-pointers despite taking very few mid-range jump shots.
- Bad at passing over and around larger players, evident in his bad turnover numbers.
- Will be hunted on the defensive end of the floor in a switching scheme, as he’s no match for larger NBA players down low given his slender frame.
- Doesn’t miss open passes, but also doesn’t create openings or manipulate defenders, probably can’t serve as the primary engine of a great offense.
Pro Comp’s: A Collin Sexton who plays defense, Poor Man’s John Wall
13. Saddiq Bey, Wing, Villanova — 6’8”, 216 lbs, 21 years old - (Full Breakdown Here)
Per 36 Numbers: 17.1 PTS, 5.0 REB, 2.5 AST, 0.8 STL, 0.4 BLK, 1.6 TO
Percentages: 60.8 TS%, 45.1 3PT%, 76.9 FT%, 47.7 FG%
- An elite shooter with a quick release, confidence to launch threes over the hands of his opponents and capable of running off screens into shots.
- Can rise up for jumpers out of the mid-post with jab steps and turnarounds.
- Smart finisher at the rim, staying under control, using up-fakes and going up strong through contact.
- Has the potential to grow into a good defender due to his height, muscle-bound frame and impressive lateral movement.
- Shot an awesome 62.9% at the rim, partially because he’s a fantastic offensive rebounder from the forward position.
- Not great at creating threes for himself off the dribble, more of just an elite spot-up guy.
- Struggles to guard ball-handlers in the pick-and-roll. Strangely avoids contact on defense by ducking around screens at poor angles.
- Lackadaisical off-ball defense where he gets confused in switching patterns and closes out flat-footed to guys beyond the arc, often resulting in easy forays to the rim for his opponents.
- Only shot 34.5% on his two-point jumpers, which accounted for 23.7% of his total attempts.
Pro Comp’s: Morris Twins, Celtics-era Jae Crowder
14. Isaac Okoro, Wing, Auburn — 6’6”, 225 lbs, 19 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 14.7 PTS, 5.1 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.1 STL, 1.0 BLK, 2.2 TO
Percentages: 58.5 TS%, 28.6 3PT%, 67.4 FT%, 51.2 FG%
- One of the best on-ball defenders in the class, and off-ball isn’t bad either. Strong enough to battle big men in the post and quick enough to swerve around screens and stay in front of guards.
- Not a creator, per say, but good at simple drive and kicks to open shooters.
- His shooting is bad right now, but his form looks pretty good and his touch in other areas shows a bit of promise.
- Incredibly strong shoulders and can sometimes just bully his way to the rim through sheer force of will and downhill speed, shot 67.8% at the rim.
- Absolutely no pull-up jumper game to speak of. Two-point jumpers only accounted for 10.2% of his total shot profile, and he converted 16.0% of those.
- Has poor ball skills both in terms of handling and creative finishing. Generally needs things to be set up for him.
- Even though the form looks good, he doesn’t flick the ball off the ideal three fingers, instead flicking it off all five, which is likely why they hit the rim with very little touch and softness.
- Often telegraphs his decision both in terms of his drives and his passing. Probably nothing more than a very good 3-and-D player at the next level.
Pro Comp’s: Justise Winslow, Jimmy Butler if he couldn’t shoot
15. Aaron Nesmith, Wing, Vanderbilt — 6’6”, 213 lbs, 20.5 years old (Full Breakdown Here)
Per 36 Numbers: 23.2 PTS, 4.9 REB, 0.9 AST, 1.4 STL, 0.9 BLK, 1.7 TO
Percentages: 68.5 TS%, 52.2 3PT%, 82.5 FT%, 51.2 FG%
- Shooting numbers from his sophomore season are truly historic both in terms of efficiency and volume.
- Not just a spot-up shooter, as he can hit them coming off pin-downs, ball-screens, handoffs and even off the dribble.
- Not a stopper on defense, but is always engaged and active, and that combined with his solid frame makes me think he’ll be a good defender at the next level.
- Will easily slide into a 3-and-D role with any NBA team and be okay with it. Doesn’t try to be anything more than he is and that’s okay.
- Might be the biggest one-trick pony in the draft, as he really doesn’t provide anything outside of his shooting. Handles, defense and athleticism are mediocre to subpar.
- Only shot 33.7% on threes his freshman season before his massive leap to 52.2% as a sophomore, could mean that this season was just a fluke.
- Release can be slow at times and a tiny bit rigid, which limits the volume of threes he can get off and therefore his overall spacing versatility.
- Only played 14 games before sitting out the rest of the season due to a right-foot injury, not only is it a concerning injury, but it could mean his numbers are deceiving because they came against weaker, non-conference competition.
Pro Comp’s: Buddy Hield, Danny Green
16. Jaden McDaniels, Wing, Washington — 6’10”, 184 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 15.0 PTS, 6.7 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.6 BLK, 0.9 STL, 3.7 TO
Percentages: 51.5 TS%, 33.9 3PT%, 76.3 FT%, 40.5 FG%
- Handles and moves very well for a guy at 6’10”, can create a shot for himself or for others off the dribble.
- Shot motion is clean, and with better shot selection, his percentages and efficiency can go from average to really good.
- Can legitimately guard position 1-5 on defense due to his nomination of lateral quickness and incredible length.
- Has really good timing going for blocks and uses his length to attack the ball at the point of release.
- Loses the ball very easily in crowds due to his slender frame, the main reason why he has high turnover numbers and finished in 28th percentile in transition scoring.
- A bit foul prone with a terrible tendency to swipe down and push guys in the back — cheap fouls that don’t translate to good defense.
- Advanced stats like Win Shares and Box Plus/Minus paint him as an overall negative that doesn’t make his team better on the court.
- Benched by his head coach for being too one-on-one oriented and forcing difficult shots outside of the team offense.
Pro Comp’s: Kelly Oubre Jr., Kevin Porter Jr., Michael Porter Jr.
17. Precious Achiuwa, Center, Memphis — 6’9”, 223 lbs, 20.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 18.7 PTS, 12.3 REB, 1.1 AST, 2.2 BLK, 1.3 STL, 3.3 TO
Percentages: 53.4 TS%, 32.5 3PT%, 59.9 FT%, 49.3 FG%
- High energy, rim-running big that needs more discipline, but he’s shown flashes of becoming even more than that.
- Doesn’t force shots in the post that aren’t there, works within the team offense.
- For a big man has really impressive ability to drive the lane and maneuver around defenders.
- His length really bothers opponents and gives him good potential as a rim protector.
- He’s engaged and tries really hard on defense, but doesn’t know what he’s doing. Bad habit of turning his back to his man and watching the ball in off-ball defense.
- Too eager with his jumping ability, especially on defense, where he bites on almost every shot fake possible and can get out of position easily.
- Really no post-up moves to speak of or off the dribble shooting. Will need to have others create shots for him.
- Conditioning isn’t great and he looks very raw at times. Might need a couple of years to develop.
Pro Comp’s: Montrezl Harrell
18. Leandro Bolmaro, Guard, Barcelona (Spain) — 6’7”, 180 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 16.4 PTS, 5.2 AST, 3.4 REB, 2.6 STL, 0.3 BLK, 1.8 TO
Percentages: 50.5 TS%, 27.9 3PT%, 67.6 FT%, 42.4 FG%
- Best ball-handler in the draft. He’s a quick twitch athlete and can hit opponents with a flurry of complex moves to get to any spot on the court.
- Uses his lateral quickness to keep ball-handlers in front of him and fight around screens, and off-ball he has intuitive instincts and stays engaged at all times.
- Gifted passer that loves to throw flashy dimes and uses no-looks to toy with defenders.
- Doesn’t like to use pull-up jumpers but has a really nice floater game that he can use as a counter when the driving lanes are filled.
- Really bad leaping ability, leads to a lot of problems with finishing at the rim.
- A little too confident for his own good, so willing to try anything that it can lead him to taking shots that have absolutely no chance of going in.
- Even though his shooting form looks good, he just misses a lot right now and will probably get the Draymond-treatment from teams if he’s standing in the corner.
- Needs to improve his left-hand finishing in order to excel in his primary method of attack.
Pro Comp’s: Poor Man’s Right-Handed Manu Ginobili, Evan Turner
19. Josh Green, Wing, Arizona — 6’6”, 206 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 14.0 PTS, 5.3 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.8 STL, 0.5 BLK, 1.9 TO
Percentages: 52.8 TS%, 36.1 3PT%, 78.0 FT%, 42.4 FG%
- Very good passer both off the dribble and swinging the ball to open men. Master of jumping to catch a ball thrown underneath the basket, and immediately skipping it to a corner shooter. Potential to serve as a secondary creator for a good team.
- Plus defender with good size, speed and instincts. Switchable wing that can probably guard positions 1-4 depending on the matchups.
- Elbow alignment and wrist flick on his shot are ideal.
- Overzealous at times and forces pull-ups and tough layups, major reason why he shot only 46% on two’s this season.
- Handles aren’t good enough for him to be a primary scoring option, as he doesn’t bend his hips well enough for him to get low to the ground and control his dribble in crowds.
- Tries these high-flying, up-and-around layups even though he’s not a great vertical athlete, and these usually result in misses.
- His shot is close to two motions and not particularly quick, and his feet have an awkward inward bend upon release.
Pro Comp’s: Fast forwarded Kyle Anderson, Gary Harris
20. Tyrell Terry, Guard, Stanford — 6’2”, 160 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 16.2 PTS, 5.0 REB, 3.5 AST, 1.5 STL, 0.1 BLK, 2.5 TO
Percentages: 58.9 TS%, 40.8 3PT%, 89.1 FT%, 44.1 FG%
- An elite shooter that’s particularly great at flying off screens for catch-and-shoot threes, which he hit at a 48% clip.
- Not a transcendent passer or creator, but can make all of the basic reads and is good at slipping to big men in pick-and-rolls.
- One of the faster players in the draft and has a tight, low-to-the-ground handle and can punish flat-footed defenders.
- Works hard on defense and plays well within a team structure.
- Gets pushed around like rag doll by hard screens on defense, both on and off-ball. Either needs to bulk up or develop Thybulle-like ability to get around them.
- Great at pulling-up for three, but not at creating space for himself out of isolation. Needs to develop a step-back and side step moves.
- For the amount of two-point jumpers he took (25.5% of his shot profile), he only made 31.2% of them. He either needs to stop taking them so much or start making them more often.
- Kicks his right leg out far in front of his left on three-point shots, which can lead to wild misses especially when faced against good defense.
Pro Comp’s: C.J. McCollum, Shane Larkin, Devonte’ Graham
21. Patrick Williams, Wing, Florida State — 6’8”, 225 lbs, 18.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 14.8 PTS, 6.4 REB, 1.6 AST, 1.7 BLK, 1.6 STL, 2.8 TO
Percentages: 55.3 TS%, 32.0 3PT%, 83.8 FT%, 45.9 FG%
- Is weirdly effective at slowly dribbling from behind the arc to the 15-foot range, then hanging in the air for pull-up jumpers.
- Despite his struggles finishing at the rim, he can finish with both hands, which might be a foreshadowing to improvement in that area.
- Great team defender that loves to come over from the weak side and block shots or roam the passing lanes and rack up steals.
- Didn’t rack up very many assists but flashed some playmaker potential with his vision and even some ability to serve as the ball-handler out of the pick-and-roll.
- Not the most skilled in terms of ball-handling and performing drive-finishing moves. Overall a below-average finisher at the rim.
- Not the worst lateral athlete, but struggles to flip his hips when matched up with quicker players.
- A good shooter, but his release is slow and mechanical, and he almost never shoots threes off of movement. Limits his overall floor spacing capability.
- Very raw and unpolished player, evident in his high turnover numbers, many of which were travels. Might be a “two years away” kind guy.
Pro Comp’s: Eric Paschall, P.J. Tucker
22. R.J. Hampton, Guard/Wing, NZ Breakers (Australia) — 6’5”, 188 lbs, 19 years old
(Note: Hampton played in Australia but is American)
Per 36 Numbers: 15.4 PTS, 6.8 REB, 4.2 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.6 BLK, 2.7 TO
Percentages: 48.4 TS%, 29.5 3PT%, 67.9 FT%, 40.7 FG%
- Has the quickness, size and ball-handling ability to get to the rim early and often.
- Developed the go-to finishing move that Luka Doncic often employs — slow your last two steps on the drive, hang in mid-air and bank it in on the way down.
- Explosive leaper and good at using that burst to propel himself up and above his opponents.
- Even though he’s not a great off-ball scorer, he’s shown the willingness to cut and move without the ball in his hands that helps a team’s offense.
- Shooting is a real problem, as he shot 25% on catch-and-shoot threes, and 5-of-23 on what were classified as open catch-and-shoot threes.
- For a guy who has the ball in his hands a lot, he doesn’t create for others that well outside of simple drive-and-kicks.
- Not a bad finisher, but struggles to finish with his left, especially in traffic and high-difficulty situations.
- Poor defender to this point. Doesn’t have a grasp of the basic fundamentals and gets easily pushed around by stronger players due to his high center of gravity.
Pro Comp’s: Dante Exum
23. Zeke Nnaji, Center, Arizona — 6’11”, 240 lbs, 19.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 18.9 PTS, 10.1 REB, 1.0 AST, 1.0 BLK, 0.8 STL, 2.6 TO
Percentages: 63.0 TS%, 29.4 3PT%, 76.0 FT%, 57.0 FG%
- Very strong and often tosses other bigs out of the way for offensive rebounds.
- Loves to compete and shows his emotions outwardly on the court. Cares enough to give effort all the time and stay engaged.
- Not a great leaper, but has soft hands, a large catch radius and can use either his right or left to finish near the rim with almost no drop-off.
- Shot an impressive 45.4% on two-point jumpers as he has a nice catch-and-turn mid-range game, and on said shots, his form is good and his release point is high.
- Decent post-up scorer, particularly with drop-steps to either side.
- Has dipped his toes into the three-point shooting waters, but isn’t there yet, and considering his lack of dynamic vertical athleticism, probably needs to extend his range to fit in the modern NBA.
- While his instincts and overall ability to defend are fine, he doesn’t have a true role to fulfill. He’s not a great rim protector and he doesn’t have the lateral quickness to be super switchable. Would need to be paired with good perimeter stoppers.
- Not an off the dribble creator or distributor in any sense of the word. That’s a lot to ask from any center, so it’s not too much of a negative, but it likely caps his ceiling at quality starting big in the NBA, and nothing more.
Pro Comp’s: Deandre Ayton, Damian Jones
24. Desmond Bane, Wing, TCU — 6’6”, 216 lbs, 21 years old (Tom West’s Feature Here)
Per 36 Numbers: 16.6 PTS, 6.3 REB, 3.9 AST, 1.4 STL, 0.5 BLK, 2.3 TO
Percentages: 57.3 TS%, 44.2 3PT%, 78.9 FT%, 45.2 FG%
- Shot form and release are really funky but he was a lights-out shooter for TCU his whole career, with a 43% three-point average over four years.
- Not an elite off the dribble three-point shooter, but will pull-up and make defense pay if they give him space.
- Capable creator especially out of the pick-and-roll where he’s mastered those coveted skip-to-the-corner passes.
- Great defensive awareness and fundamentals, as he gets low and into handlers on-ball, and makes the right reads and rotations off-ball.
- Incredibly strong hands that he puts to use on the court.
- Struggles to get the rim at times and generate easy buckets, evidenced in how he only averaged 1.9 free throw attempts per game.
- No matter how well he understands defense, he still struggles due to his minus wingspan of 6’5” and a lack of change-of-direction quickness.
- Needs to improve his ball-handling, as he’s unable to perform complex dribble moves when needing to shake stingy defense.
Pro Comp’s: Malcolm Brogdon, Eric Gordon
25. Aleksej Pokusevski, Center, Olympiacos B (Greece) — 7’0”, 201 lbs, 18.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 16.7 PTS, 12.2 REB, 4.8 AST, 2.8 BLK, 2.0 STL, 3.0 TO
Percentages: 51.3 TS%, 32.1 3PT%, 78.3 FT%, 40.0 FG%
- Handles the ball incredibly well for a 7-footer, able to grab the rebound and go and even run pick-and-rolls in a half-court offense.
- Uses his 7’3” wingspan and adept timing to serve as a very valuable rim protector that even secures the majority of his blocks for his own team rather than swatting them out of play.
- Very good passer at the center position, often using his height to see over defenders and drop in floating passes to teammates cutting through the paint.
- A very willing shooter that has improved over the last few years and will likely improve with more repetition and shooting instruction.
- Struggles to finish at the rim and in the post, as he lacks both physical strength and good vertical leaping ability.
- Way too loose and confident to be a net positive his first few years in the NBA. He attempts needless behind-the-back passes and Kyrie-like layups regularly with hardly any success.
- While he has the mobility to one day be switchable on the perimeter, he struggles to keep guards in front of him, and they easily can get into his body for good leverage.
- Weird, Lance Stephenson-esque shot form on some of his threes that probably needs to be corrected.
- Protected on defense by playing in a zone that made easier for him to just roam the paint and block shots.
Pro Comp’s: Ground-bound Kristaps Porzingis, Chris Boucher, Anzejs Pasecniks
26. Elijah Hughes, Wing, Syracuse — 6’6”, 215 lbs, 22 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 18.7 PTS, 4.8 REB, 3.3 AST, 1.1 STL, 0.8 BLK, 2.2 TO
Percentages: 56.1 TS%, 34.2 3PT%, 81.3 FT%, 42.7 FG%
- Not a great three-point shooter percentage wise, but still managed an acceptable 34% on high volume (2.4 made threes per game). Made a lot deep three-pointers as well.
- Freaky vertical athlete that can protect the rim, block threes, finish over contests at the rim and rebound in traffic.
- Scored a lot on backdoor cuts, leaving opponents in the dust with his quick-twitch athleticism, and subsequently rising up for high-level dunks.
- Works hard on defense and has decent positional versatility.
- Will probably be nothing more than a three-and-D player as he doesn’t have good enough handle to create for himself off the dribble.
- Doesn’t have great control over his athleticism at times, often shows itself in him biting on shot fakes and flying out of the play because he was so eager to block the shot.
- He’s great at threes and backdoor cuts, but that’s really all he does on offense. Can’t even really drive to the rim and finish.
Pro Comp’s: Denzel Valentine with Hops, Donte DiVincenzo
27. Theo Maledon, Guard, ASVEL (France) — 6’4”, 174 lbs, 19 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 15.1 PTS, 5.6 AST, 4.0 REB, 0.9 STL, 0.3 BLK, 3.4 TO
Percentages: 54.5 TS%, 33.3 3PT%, 77.6 FT%, 42.1 FG%
- Great passer that knows where the ball needs to go and collapses the defense in a way that leads to that opening.
- Maledon is one of the fastest players in the class, behind only Kira Lewis Jr., and uses this speed well in transition.
- No huge outlier weakness, is just a solid to good player in every aspect of the game.
- Mentored by Tony Parker and shows that in his creative at-rim finishing. Is comfortable breaking out all manner of reverses and off-hand lay-ins.
- The game film looks great, but the splits and overall statistics are pretty troubling.
- Not a sieve on defense, but doesn’t excel on that end of the floor.
- Hardly ever gets to the free throw line, and while his shot doesn’t suck, it’s not great, especially off the dribble. Might have some scoring struggles.
- Needs to take his passing to elite status, because if he’s just a good passer, he’s nothing more than a good backup point guard, and you can find plenty of those as UDFA’s.
Pro Comp’s: Taller Ricky Rubio
28. Jalen Smith, Center, Maryland — 6’10”, 225 lbs, 20 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 17.8 PTS, 12.1 REB, 0.9 AST, 2.7 BLK, 0.8 STL, 2.0 TO
Percentages: 62.6 TS%, 36.8 3PT%, 75.0 FT%, 53.8 FG%
- Physical attributes are everything you’d want in a modern big, as he’s fit enough to be mobile, bulky enough to not get overpowered constantly and has great length.
- Awesome rim protector as he’s an explosive vertical athlete and knows when to come over and help overmatched teammates in the post.
- Serious threat when put in the dunker’s spot. Uses his soft hands too catch all manner of passes and ram it home.
- Fiery, emotional player that works hard and has very few bad basketball habits built into the way he plays, meaning he’s likely to improve over time.
- Needs to start thinking the game better, has all the physical tools but doesn’t put them to great use.
- Even though he’s a good spot-up three point shooter that can pick and pop, he loves shooting threes so much that he almost never rolls to the basket despite being perfect for it.
- Good north-south speed, but struggles to move laterally and flip his hips when switched onto smaller players.
- Only shot 26.8% from three two years ago in his freshman season, leaves some doubt as to whether that stroke is real.
Pro Comp’s: Mo Bamba, Thomas Bryant, Gorgui Dieng
29. Cassius Winston, Guard, Michigan St — 6’1”, 185 lbs, 22 years old (Full Breakdown Here)
Per 36 Numbers: 20.5 PTS, 6.5 AST, 2.8 REB, 1.3 STL, 0.0 BLK, 3.5 TO
Percentages: 58.5 TS%, 43.2 3PT%, 85.2 FT%, 44.8 FG%
- A great three-point shooter off the dribble, where he’s comfortable stepping into shots off high ball-screens or creating needed space for himself out of step-backs.
- Also good at off-ball three-point shooting, whether it’s simply spotting up or flying off pin-downs for quick catch-and-shoots.
- Can run a pick-and-roll very well, great at slipping the ball to the rolling big man.
- Can bully other players his size on drives to the rim with his bulky, bowling-ball build.
- An absolutely terrible defender, both in terms of physical attributes and levels of attentiveness and effort.
- Not springy or shifty, which often leads to him getting swallowed up at the rim by shot-blockers. Only shot 51.9% on at-rim attempts.
- Relies on his right-hand far too much, as he puts his head down and tries to overpower opponents with his strength rather than throwing them off with change of direction.
- He’s a good passer, but not a great one. Struggles throwing skip passes to the corner out of those same pick-and-rolls.
Pro Comp’s: Very Poor Man’s Kyle Lowry, Raymond Felton
30. Mason Jones, Guard/Wing, Arkansas — 6’5”, 200 lbs, 21.5 years old
Per 36 Numbers: 23.4 PTS, 5.8 REB, 3.6 AST, 1.7 STL, 0.2 BLK, 3.4 TO
Percentages: 61.4 TS%, 35.1 3PT%, 82.6 FT%, 45.3 FG%
- His slow, lumbering demeanor tricks defenders into silly reaches, and he counters with silky spin moves and side steps that allow him to maneuver into the paint regularly.
- Off the dribble three-point threat, and is particularly great at creating space with a hard behind the back dribble into a step-back (with the benefit of a small push-off as well).
- Three-point shot is better than the above percentage indicates, he made 2.2 threes per game, meaning he maintained an acceptable percentage on a shot volume higher than most prospects.
- Solid passer off the dribble, go-to is the no-look shovel to a big man or a cutter underneath.
- One of the least athletic players in the draft. Very slow and a very poor functional leaping ability in games, which is the main reason behind his below-average defense.
- Has this weird quirk where he’ll get his momentum stopped by a defender, turn his back to said defender, then lose his footing completely and commit a turnover. Somehow this happens more than you would think.
- Needs to have the ball in his hand, as he’s not a good mover off-ball. Probably limits him to backup creator role rather than being a potential starter.
Pro Comp’s: Andre Miller (better shooting, worse passing)