After watching all of these prospects at various levels, whether it’s the Nike EYBL, FIBA Championships or Big Monday on ESPN, these thoughts have been swirling in my head for a long time. Once the season was over I spent countless hours watching any full game I could find on YouTube (sadly, I don’t have synergy), memorizing stats on Sports Reference and gathering every bit of information I could on every prospect. After months of work, I finally compiled my top 30, filled with scouting reports for each prospect. I’ve always enjoyed the draft, but this is the first year I approached it in a serious manner, and I loved every second of it. I’ll miss the internal debates, but hey, it’s never too early for 2020.
1. Zion Williamson
-Saved Zion for last because I needed a Duke break, but now I have nothing left in the tank. You’ve seen it all.
-There’s nothing left for me to say that you haven’t heard.
-Actually, I want to emphasize how special his passing is, it’s extremely underrated and will help make him a
transcendent player at the next level.
Bottom Line: Don’t overthink it.
2. Ja Morant
-Made a fool of everyone he played in the OVC, and carried the same high level production over to the higher level
-Great passing toolbox, showcased it all in the first tournament game against Marquette.
-Effective running the break in transition, has a lot of open floor speed but is patient with the ball, for the most
-Turned the ball over a lot, but that’s common for lead guards in college who are much better than the rest of their
teammates and have super high usage rate (similar situation to Trae Young last year).
-The shot has gradually improved and while I’m not super high on it, I don’t worry about it too much.
-Worried about his frame however, he is really skinny and got bumped around and had a hard time finishing against
Florida State (3-15 from two point range). He has an identical profile to De’Aaron Fox, but Fox was one of the
nation’s leaders in and-ones, so that speaks to Fox’s ability to take contact and shows how numbers (measurements)
sometimes don’t tell the full story.
-Despite being a righty, he is extremely left hand dominant and way more effective on his off hand.
-Would like to see him improve his in between game, think floaters will help him a lot in the NBA.
-Think he is a bit overrated as an athlete, extremely explosive off of two feet and has put many defenders on posters
when given space to jump off two. But in tight confined spaces off one leg, his pop is extremely less significant.
Bottom Line: Morant was magnificent all year and is my clear cut number two prospect. He certainly has some things he needs to refine, but I think he is a very good lead guard prospect. He has great vision and just sees plays before they develop. I love his high free throw volume and I don’t think the jumper will be elite, but I also don’t think it will restrict other aspects of his game as much as some people are making it out to.
3. RJ Barrett
-Elite physical tools for his position. Didn’t measure at the combine but has been listed at 6’7” and looks all of
-Has produced at every single level, U19 gold medalist as a 17 year old and a high school national champion.
-Strength allows him to outmuscle and power up through his defenders.
-Can operate well out of pick and roll while reading the primary help, showed ability to use his size to see over the
defense and hit the secondary option.
-Really struggles with improvising reads, misses wide open guys on kick outs and in transition.
-Jumpshot has definitely improved over the levels.
-Good balance on set catch and shoot shots, but I’m a little skeptical of his ability to make tough jumpers when
knocked off his straight line.
-High pedigree, has gotten it done at every level leading up to this and there’s something to that.
-Analytics don’t love him but the production was there, averaged 22.6/7.6/4.3 on 45% from the field.
-Lacks secondary creative finishes, nose dive driver and doesn’t usually change his finish around the help.
-Really left hand dominant, makes an effort to always get back to the left.
Bottom Line: High pedigree prospect who lets his alpha mentality known while on the court. He’s gotten it done at every single level, so I believe he’ll figure it out in the NBA. I think it’ll take a while for him to learn where to pick his spots, but the shooting improvement and pick and roll reads are encouraging. Improvising will always be his biggest weakness, he seems to have a predetermined move in mind and isn’t capable or willing to react according to the defense. But, I think he’ll benefit from NBA spacing and rescinded usage.
4. Coby White
-Absolute blur in transition, has elite end to end speed and is at his best in the open court.
-Pull up game was very effective in HS/AAU but shot it poor off the dribble in college. I expect him to shoot the
pull up at the next level.
-Doesn’t have good length, but a legit 6’5” with a solid first step, can really get downhill in the halfcourt.
-Good finisher around the rim, crafty around big men in help.
-Would like to see a more efficient in between game, it would help him slow down.
-Hits a very high percentage of contested jump shots, comfortable shooting with a hand in his face.
-Accelerates very quickly with the ball in his hands.
-Plays too fast, even for himself, at times. Sometimes can be out of control and settles for jumpshots way too early
in the shot clock.
-Elite catch and shoot jump shooter, with NBA range.
-People like to criticize his low release point, but was in the 85th percentile in guarded catch and shoot jumpers.
-I believe in his playmaking potential, and also like his ability to go off ball.
-Worry about his handle, it is abnormally high and loose a little too often.
Bottom Line: Elite bucket-getter that can push the pace and be very effective in transition, the playmaking is still a little questionable, but everything else is extremely appealing and I believe he’ll learn how to slow the game down over time. He has the potential to be a really good shooter at the next level which is very valuable, and I love his offensive versatility. Can play on or off the ball. I’m also buying the pull up, which was missing in college.
5. Jarrett Culver
-Good size and IQ for his position.
-Knows how to utilize his length to create for others and himself, threw some really impressive wrap around passes to
three point shooters out of traffic.
-Projectable role as a secondary creator, was pretty good at picking his spots despite being the only creator on his
-Think he’ll look better in a rescinded role, will be able to utilize his strengths better and won’t be relied on as
much which will be good for him.
-Pretty worried and skeptical about the jumpshot, takes a long time to release and has a weird hitch around his face
prior to the release. High arching moon ball and the percentages don’t back up he’s a shooter. Shot 30% from three
on the year and 25% in conference play.
-Think he can be very impactful on the defensive end, can be a point of attack defender for multiple positions and
has good instincts off the ball. Uses his length to disrupt lanes.
-Really stiff with a bad first step, don’t think it’s realistic at all to believe he’ll be as effective of an Iso
player in the NBA.
Bottom Line: I’m lower on Culver than others, but I definitely see the appeal. I think he can be a safer bet if you’re relying on him as a secondary creator and plus defender, but I don’t see him as a star. I think he can be a good piece, but since shooting is his swing skill and I don’t buy it, this is the highest I can get with him.
6. Cam Reddish
-Very inefficient the entire season.
-Struggled to score from inside the arc, 40% from two.
-His skills were clearly pigeonholed within the system and playing alongside RJ Barrett and Zion, was very effective
in the P&R but had extremely low volume due to his role.
-Physical tools and fluidity at his size are very hard to come by.
-Elite pedigree as a top three high school recruit, tore up the Nike EYBL.
-Potential to be a very good defender, has good hands and instincts. Loses his man off ball too often which will be
unacceptable at the next level, but the potential is definitely there.
-Better shooter than what he got to show at Duke.
-Limited spacing with non shooters around him made it more difficult to finish around the rim. Not an excuse, but
definitely played a part in his percentages.
-Very fluid with dribble pull ups at his age, both from three and the mid range area.
-Didn’t have a season worthy of a top 8 pick, drafting him at this spot is a bet on his pedigree, tools and
-Fits the current prototypical wing that has good size, can shoot and play defense.
-Potential to be a versatile shooter coming off screens.
Bottom line: Reddish has been identified as an elite talent since his sophomore year in High School. His flashes have always been spectacular but he has been known for not bringing the same game every single day. Despite all that, I’m willing to bet on Reddish. He was wildly misused at Duke, due to being pigeonholed into a spot up shooter, I think he has a chip on his shoulder that he never experienced before. He probably won’t be Paul George, but he has a special combination of physical tools and skills that can equate to a very good player.
7. Darius Garland
-Small sample size and injury are obvious reasons to be skeptical.
-Showed some really good things in his four games at Vanderbilt, but it was against low-level non conference
opponents so it’s hard to tell how much of that can translate.
-Three point shooting is his skill that is a pretty safe bet to translate. Has been effective off the catch and
dribble at every level and showcased that in his short college career.
-Has a release and shot pocket that allows him to get it off quickly off the dribble and catch. If you drop in pick
and roll coverage, he’ll make you pay.
-Had to cool myself down on his passing. He throws a lot of no look flashy passes that deceives you into believing
he’s a better passer than he actually is.
-Can make the simple read, but skeptical of his ability to see/read defenses and playmake on the fly.
-Really comfortable operating out of a pick and roll which is helpful to his case based on how the NBA is played
-Defense is very questionable. Guys with high usage on offense tend to slack on the defensive end so that’s not a
shock, but he doesn’t have encouraging physical tools that could lead you to be optimistic.
-People tend to question his ability to be a lead guard. Think he’ll fit best alongside a good defensive point guard
who facilitates, while Garland handles the shotmaking and can balance between the primary and secondary pick and
roll ball handler (Can you hear me paging you, David Griffin!!)
-Forces the lob pass a little too much for it to be a coincidence, too many lob attempts that turn into turnovers.
Bottom Line: Shooting is a premium skill in today’s NBA, and Garland has that without a doubt. Pick and Roll is a huge part of every NBA team’s offense, and Garland is also very good at orchestrating that action. There are valid question marks surrounding his facilitating and defense, but I’m buying stock in his shot making ability which is why he’s maintained this position on my board.
8. Brandon Clarke
-A true anomaly, the NBA has never seen a player like Brandon Clarke
-Even wingspan and short standing reach aren’t ideal.
-An undersized center, but makes up for it with top notch instincts and incredible athleticism.
-True analytics darling. Finished with the second highest BPM (Box plus minus) in the stat’s history, only behind
-Has unreal two foot pop, can shoot up vertically quicker than anyone, which is part of why he averaged 3.2 blocks
per game at 6’8”.
-Knows where to be on defense at all times, has great lateral quickness that allows him to switch on guards out on
the perimeter and cut off driving lanes.
-Runs the floor really well and is always a lob threat.
-Has incredible touch around the rim and on floaters which will allow him to use deception to score over bigger
-Had a couple of really impressive iso possessions off the dribble, has a wicked spin move, and unlike most guys with
wicked spin moves, he doesn’t overuse it.
-Completely overhauled his jump shot mechanics during his one redshirt season at Gonzaga. Went from the ugliest
jumpshot I’ve ever seen (literally zero exaggeration, look it up) to a functional shot that is constantly improving.
-Beast on the boards.
-Has great timing and body control when going up for blocks, knows how to stay straight up. 1.1 more blocks per game
-High IQ player on both ends.
Bottom Line: I’ve written about Clarke before, but he will be a really interesting case on draft night. There is no comp, we have never seen someone like him before. The combination of smarts, freakish athleticism, elite touch and defensive dominance is more than enough to earn a spot in my top eight.
9. De’Andre Hunter
-Strong wing with great lateral quickness, shutdown defender on the ball.
-Very efficient on the offensive end, doesn’t need a ton of shots to make a huge impact.
-Shot 44% from three this year, but the number is misleading. He took less than three attempts per game which hinders
the percentages due to the low volume.
-Really slow wind up release on the three point shot, will be even harder to get off at the next level.
-Doesn’t have a diverse toolbox on the offensive end, someone who thrives off simple movements and knows his spots.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but he often lacks the creativity and wiggle to get to those spots.
-Very good off ball defender, stays alert and in position.
-Has gotten much better every single year since high school, the trajectory is very encouraging even when you factor
in the age.
-Doesn’t have the superstar potential you would hope for when drafting in the top five.
-Switchable defender that I truly believe impacts winning.
-Made big shots, arguably played his best game of the year on the biggest stage while guarding a projected top 10
Bottom Line: Hunter gives you some sort of safety drafting in this range, he doesn’t have the star potential you would build your franchise around, but he is a winner that can be a very solid piece. The defense is very projectable given his size and intangibles, and if he can shoot threes at a similar clip on higher volume, then you’re looking at a very impactful player.
10. PJ Washington
-Didn’t write about him in my “Value Picks That Can Impact a Championship” article because I’m around consensus range
on him, but I do believe Washington is one of the safest bets in this draft.
-Matured a lot from his freshman to sophomore year and looked a lot more comfortable on the court.
-Was a stud in AAU and high school, which is always good to factor in, but especially with Kentucky guys.
-Isolation scoring has definitely improved.
-Would have been viewed as a tweener a few years ago, but now fits the bill of an athletic 4.
-The improvement from three point range was super encouraging, and I’m high on his touch in general. 98th percentile
on half court jump shots and 81st percentile on runners.
-Menace on the boards, just a fierce competitor that you want on your team.
-Effective in post ups, if he ever gets a smaller defender on him down low, he will punish them.
-Pretty good for his size in space, and is very physical down low. Do not expect him to get pushed around down low,
even if he’s giving up an inch or two.
Bottom Line: Made a mature decision to come back to school for another year and it paid off big time. Washington is an absolute dog, he has great touch in the lane and plays above the rim. He might be a little short for his position but he has a ton of functional strength. PJ Washington is someone you want to go to war with on the basketball court.
11. Goga Bitadze
-Really skilled offensively for a true center.
-Has great touch around the rim, a smooth stroke on his jumper that will hopefully extend to three point range and
translate into a legit part of his game in the NBA.
-Comfortable diving and popping off the pick and roll, provides you with offensive versatility.
-Capable passer out of the post, can read the help and deliver the pass into shooting pockets.
-Had a great year producing overseas against grown men. Could’ve entered the draft last year but withdrew and vastly
-Biggest concern is defending in space, most likely will be forced to play drop coverage and could struggle against
-Good shot blocker around the rim.
Bottom Line: Bitadze is the most NBA ready big and has a real roadmap to have one of the best careers out of the entire class. He is a true overseas big, in the sense that he is super skilled and can do it all on the court. The space defense is concerning, but it usually is for 19 year old big men. Bitadze is just really good at basketball, and that should be appealing to teams in this draft.
12. Grant Williams
-Physical and strong on both ends.
-Great verticality on defense around the rim that helps him make up for the possible size disadvantage.
-Lethal shooter from the mid range area and out of the post.
-Very high IQ player, makes it impossible to double in the post because he will always find the right guy.
-Menace on the offensive glass, will always fight on the boards.
-Would have liked to see him shoot more threes, the mechanics look pretty good, but only attempted 1.2 per game.
-Decent defender in space for his size and strong enough to battle on the block. He did have some really ugly blow-
byes but overall the defensive profile is really strong.
-Translatable skills and an NBA body makes it easier to project him as a productive player at the next level.
Bottom Line: Williams is one of the smartest and productive players in the entire draft. In past years he may have been viewed as a tweener, but he fits the current NBA very well as a versatile forward. With all his skills, IQ and passing especially, I think Williams will end up being one of the most productive players in this class.
13. Kevin Porter Jr.
-Second most polarizing player in the draft, due to suspensions and abysmal situation on and off the court at USC.
-Weird shooting profile as he shot 41% from three but 52% from the line, ultimately I buy the shot.
-Elite space creator with a lethal step back, creative with finishes around the rim.
-The left to right cross is absolutely nasty and cannot be taught.
-Has a signature swagger and wiggle to his game that either have or you don’t, it’s not easy or common to come
-Was really bad defensively with some awful lapses off the ball.
-Wasn’t given the keys to be a creator as much as I would’ve liked.
-Blatantly missed elementary school reads to teammates, appeared his teammates didn’t have much trust in him dishing
them the ball.
-Combine testing didn’t back it up, but he’s an explosive athlete.
Bottom Line: If you have a stable culture with vets that will mentor him and keep his mind locked in, then I think he’s worth the risk. I was forced to slide Porter Jr. down a few spots because of the low floor, but I’m still a believer in the talent. His wiggle doesn’t grow on trees and he is probably a top five talent in this draft, but the extra baggage will inherently push teams away, for right or for wrong. His ceiling is extremely high (must be noted his realistic ceiling is much lower) but it will take a lot of resources to make that come to fruition.
14. Jaxson Hayes
-Burst onto the college scene after not being a heralded recruit.
-Has a football background and it’s visible on the court, knows how to attack the ball at its highest point.
-Has great hands and can handle any pass.
-Very functional athlete, is beyond fluid for someone who is 6’11”.
-Great shot blocker, but tries to block everything which sometimes allows easy offensive putbacks.
-Only dove to the rim off pick and rolls in college, didn’t showcase any decision making.
-85.4% of his attempts were at the rim (via The Stepien shot chart) and only took seven attempts from the “long mid
-People pencil him in to shoot due to the high FT% but I’m a lot more skeptical. Didn’t shoot any in college, and his
form during pre draft still needed a ton of work.
-Elite rim runner.
-Had nine assists the entire season. 1:3.2 assist to turnover ratio.
Bottom Line: Hayes has a ton of tools that make him super intriguing and his fluidity is top notch, for sure. I just fear that he doesn’t develop the jumper or look to pass and becomes your typical athletic rim running big man who can only dunk. He has a roadmap to becoming a difference maker, but it will require patience and resources.
15. Tyler Herro
-Beautiful mechanics on his jump shot
-Has top notch touch from anywhere on the court.
-Very effective pull up shooter in the mid range area.
-Lack of length may hinder his ability to hit contested threes (Was in the 25th percentile on contested catch and
shoot threes in college)
-I don’t think his on ball defense was as bad as people say it is, but he definitely has trouble in space. Wingspan
obviously limits him defensively, but I think he can stay afloat on ball, the lack of length in help, passing lanes
and contesting shots is what worries me.
-Has the ability to turn shooting into an elite skill.
-Runs the floor well and gets to his spots in transition, very effective shooting the three off the break.
-Versatile shooter that has good body control and elevation coming off screens.
-Literally doesn’t miss free throws (98% from the line in conference play).
Bottom Line: After a shaky start to his freshman year, Herro gradually got better and eventually kicked it into another gear late in the season. He plays with a ton of passion that visibly rubs off on everyone else. Herro is relentless in running off screens and has incredible touch which leads you to believe he could become an elite versatile shooter at the next level.
16. Chuma Okeke
-Prototypical stretch 4 in today’s NBA
-Pick and pop threat, smart offensive player that knows how to find space, get his feet set and then knock down the
-Career 39% three point shooter over two years at Auburn, stands at 6’8” which makes it even more impressive. Also
39.6% from NBA range on 101 attempts (via The Stepien shot chart).
-Can score out of the post too, comfortable shooting over his shoulder and backing guys down.
-Not the best athlete, but makes up for it with his basketball IQ.
-He’s a basketball genius, especially on the defensive side. Does a great job of staying alert and is always in the
-Not a huge threat attacking closeouts yet.
-Room for improvement as a lateral athlete.
-Has quick hands that disrupt lanes on and off the ball.
Bottom Line: Overall, Okeke is one of my favorite players in this draft. He thinks the game a possession (or two) ahead of everyone else and it’s visible on the court. His game is predicated around his brain, everything just comes easier to him because of it. Okeke is a very good three point shooter for his age and size, and I think it’ll help him have a long consistent career in the NBA.
17. Romeo Langford
-Came into college basketball with unattainably high expectations, but they weren’t even close to being met.
-Had a thumb injury on his shooting hand the entire season, placed some of his shooting woes on that.
-Really hard to evaluate how much the injury affected his percentages, as it’s been noted that he has never been an
elite shooter at any level and has an inconsistent release point and footwork to this day.
-Played through the injury to try to help his team while he could’ve shut it down, can’t read too much into it but
definitely speaks to some character.
-Didn’t facilitate at all in college.
-Has elite touch around the rim, had great percentages around the rim and was pretty good shooting from mid range.
Way more comfortable shooting off the dribble compared to off the catch.
-Wonder how effective he can be without the ball in his hands considering his poor catch and shoot numbers, because
he is going to have the ball in his hands a lot less at the next level.
-Really effective driver when he gets downhill, especially with his dominant right hand.
-Passive mentality for a scorer, can disappear on the court for stretches.
-Great frame for a two guard, which helps project him as a decent NBA defender.
Bottom Line: Langford was viewed as the savior for Indiana basketball, the sad truth is, the program wasn’t ready to be saved. He came on to campus with unrealistic expectations, and that shouldn’t take away from the positive things he did. In order for him to have a decent NBA career, I think he has to iron out consistent shooting mechanics and get better off the catch. But he does have a true NBA two guard frame, and top notch finishing skills around the rim. There are pros and cons, but Langford still has talent that will attract a team before the twenties.
18. Cam Johnson
-Lethal catch and shoot shooter. 7th in the country in PPP on catch and shoot shots among players with at least 100
attempts, 1st in the nation among players with over 130 attempts.
-Ideal size and quick release allow him to get his shot off cleanly against basically any defense.
-Defensive awareness is shaky at times, beat on backdoor cuts and failure to pick up in transition.
-Despite defense’s keying on him as a knockdown shooter, still found ways to get quality looks at his spots.
-High IQ shot taker, rarely forced the issue and was comfortable letting the game come to him.
-Would’ve liked to see more off the bounce, limited attempts at the rim.
-98th percentile on guarded catch and shoot attempts, defense is literally a non-factor due to his release.
-The best shooter in the draft in my opinion, has the skill of being able to run full speed off screens and still get
on balance enough to knock down the shot.
-Doesn’t play with the physicality of a 6’9” player so his height doesn’t equate to defensive impact on the wing,
also due to his lack of lateral quickness.
Bottom Line: When you can shoot it like Johnson can, especially at his size, there will always be a spot for you in the league. I think he can have a long career if he can maximize his shooting versatility and carry over enough instances where his defense doesn’t make him unplayable.
19. Bol Bol
-The most polarizing player in the draft in my opinion. Practically impossible to pinpoint his draft range.
Elite three point shooter for someone his size. When it comes to offensive skill set, Bol was practically made in a
-His frame was already a major question mark, and losing 30 pounds from the start of school to the combine doesn’t
change that narrative.
-Defensively, calling him atrocious doesn’t even do it justice. He is abominable in space and I can’t picture him
guarding an NBA pick and roll.
-Character and drive has always been a concern.
-Serious medical question marks surrounding his foot injury and long term durability.
-Has insane touch for someone his size.
Bottom Line: There are a million factors that can determine if Bol Bol booms or busts, but I think at some point in this draft, his talent is worth a shot. It is possible he goes in the lottery because someone falls in love with his skill set and potential, or he could slip out of the first round because teams don’t want to deal with his question marks, I wouldn’t be surprised with either outcome. He will be a fascinating story to follow on draft night
-Projects as a true combo guard.
-Handled the keys really well when point guard Justin Robinson was injured, facilitated well as the primary guy.
-Good hands on defense, knows how to use his length.
-Spot up shooting is a skill that will most likely translate, not elite but good.
-Worried about his strength, might get pushed around when dealing with bigger 2’s due to frail frame.
-Does a lot of good things, but nothing great.
-Think his left hand whip passes got overblown after Trae Young, especially considering he’s ambidextrous.
Bottom Line: I think he can be a decent piece on a pretty good team. I think his floor is definitely lower than some people pencil it in, but there’s a real chance he becomes a two-way combo guard that can do it all. He should be a target for a solid team looking to add a possible rotation player.
21. Carsen Edwards
-As elite as they come when talking about three point shot making.
-Truly has in the gym range off the pull up, and must be picked up immediately. He will make you pay off if you play
-Good physical profile for his height, pretty jacked overall and has insanely strong legs that allow him to explode
and maintain balance while taking contact.
-Negative assist to turnover ratio which is far from ideal for someone who will be handling the ball.
-Really good screener, which helps him get more open looks for himself and teammates.
-Can already knock down threes running full speed off screens, can get his shoulders square despite being completely
Bottom Line: Despite his size, I can’t project him facilitating at the NBA at all. He’ll need to be paired alongside a bigger pass first guard, but I think he’s going to have a long career in the league as a shot maker. I think he’ll look better with less weight on his shoulders, and he’s capable of exploding for 30 on any given night. Those guys can stick around.
22. Sekou Doumbouya
-Youngest player projected to be drafted.
-Most appealing asset is his physical tools.
-Extremely raw and lacks legit basketball ability, have seen too many head scratching plays.
-People are giving him the benefit of the doubt despite real production in France.
-Showed flashes of NBA athleticism.
-Don’t understand why people are so optimistic about his shooting, it isn’t very fluid and the percentages don’t work
in his favor.
Bottom Line: Doumbouya is appealing because he is an open canvas, teams believe he has the tools and is young enough to be molded. I disagree, I don’t believe he has the requisite skills or thought process to make an impact on an NBA floor anytime soon, and it’s really hard to see a guy like that getting lottery love.
23. Talen Horton-Tucker
-Freakish physical profile (6’4”, 235 lbs and 7’2” WS)
-Has great body control for his frame, especially in transition.
-Shifty with the ball in his hands, doesn’t always rely on straight bully ball.
-Has pretty good touch and creativity around the rim.
-High ceiling because of low age, physical profile and skills.
-Far from a fully polished player.
-Probably would need to slim down a little bit to become quicker laterally.
-Shoots like he is a much better shooter than he actually is.
-Decision making is questionable at times, on both ends.
-Wasn’t very efficient throughout the entire season, pretty low floor as a prospect.
Bottom Line: Everything about Horton-Tucker is unique, from his body, to his mentality and finally, his skillset. He’s far from polished and is a long term project, but definitely has physical tools and flashes that make him an attractive option for teams with multiple picks or lots of time to be patient.
24. Rui Hachimura
-Elite physical frame and won’t get bumped around at the next level.
-Produced at Gonzaga and got much better every single year.
-Improved three point shooter but extremely low sample size so you can’t put much stock into it.
-Doesn’t have much wiggle around defenders, played a lot of bully ball which results in production at his size,
especially in the WCC.
-I worry the most about his feel for the game, there were way too many occasions where he just missed wide open
teammates and forced up a contested two instead. Not a playmaking threat at all.
-Doesn’t have a translatable skill other than physical tools, and doesn’t have any IQ on either end.
Bottom Line: Hachimura seems to be a very hard worker, given his improvement with the language barrier off the court and his skills on the court. I just worry that he doesn’t have enough game for the next level. If he doesn’t learn to shoot, it’s hard for me to forecast him having a solid career.
25. Ty Jerome
-One of my favorite players in all of college basketball this year, just thinks a step ahead of everyone else and has
the skill to pull off every move in the book.
-Lack of athleticism is definitely worrisome, but he has always found new tricks to help him offset that.
Knows how to use his eyes to deceive the defense really well.
-Size allows him to play on and off the ball. Was very effective in the pick and roll, made advanced reads and
reacted to help.
-Off the ball, he is a lethal catch and shoot shooter. 99th percentile in the entire nation on catch and shoot
-Limitless range, shot 40.5% from NBA range on 138 attempts (high volume). Only 66% were assisted so he is capable of
shooting off the dribble and catch from any distance.
-Great touch on pull ups and quick floaters in the mid range area.
-Iso limitations are very concerning, doesn’t project as a guy who will be able to create his own shot often at the
-Defensive limitations are real as well, doesn’t appear as a multi-position defender and his athletic limitations
will hurt the most. He is very smart though, so hopefully he can stay on the floor with team defense.
Bottom Line: Jerome was an incredible college player, and I do think that he has translatable skills that make him appealing to a playoff team late in the first round. His shooting is elite and he is very comfortable and effective orchestrating the pick and roll. If he can be close to neutral on the defensive end, I think he can provide a team with good value off the bench.
26. Nassir Little
-Not buying the fact the he is drastically a better shooter than he showed at UNC.
-Nothing fluid about anything related to his jumper, especially off pull ups.
-Great character guy who carries himself very well.
-Possible future as a pick and roll lob catcher due to high dunk volume.
-Ball handling is very shaky, rarely showed true wing skills, especially as a creator.
-Got better over the course of the year, but looked very lost on both ends of the floor, has said on multiple
occasions he felt “out of position” at the 4, despite that being his probable NBA position
-Projects as an undersized 4 for many reasons: Lack of ability to create, lack of jump shot, questionable lateral
quickness (Shown by combine drills). Proven ability as a dunker.
Bottom Line: After an extremely disappointing freshman year where he never seemed to be “up to speed” I have a hard time imagining Little will rectify that once he gets to the league.
27. Keldon Johnson
-Brings a ton of intensity to the game, high energy on ball defender
-Attacks the basket without a plan too often, ends up settling for contested floaters. While he has good touch on the
floater, it’s often an ill-advised shot.
-Lack of pure basketball IQ, plenty of defensive lapses of the ball and doesn’t always look for the “great shot” for
the team on offense.
-Shooting definitely improved since High School/AAU but I’m still not sold long term.
-Very aggressive and effective while driving straight line downhill.
-Gets lost off the ball too often.
-Didn’t show any playmaking in high school or at Kentucky.
Bottom Line: High motor competitor who leaves it all out on the court, sadly, I’m just not that high on his ability to play basketball well at the next level. He doesn’t have good feel at all, and his off ball lapses diminish his defensive value even though he’s really good on ball. On offense, he can’t get by people, doesn’t playmake and has a questionable shot. As much as I respect him, I just can’t get there with Keldon Johnson.
28. Jontay Porter
-Sadly have to address that he has torn the same ACL twice in the past 8 months.
-High IQ player with a ton of skill.
-Elite shooter for a big man, lethal pick and pop threat.
-Can handle it very well for someone his size, makes great reads when he gets in the paint.
-Really impressive passer, sees the game really well on both ends.
-Great anticipation on the defensive end, posted a 7.1% block rate his freshman year despite not being a good athlete.
-Definitely has athletic limitations, along with the medical ones.
Bottom Line: Another Porter who’s promising college career was derailed and cut short by injuries. Jontay did a lot of impressive things his freshman year that shouldn’t be forgotten about, and while it’s hard to maintain your stock this year recovering from two ACL tears, he did improve his body at the combine which left people impressed. If you trust your doctors, he is worth a shot.
29. Shamorie Ponds
-Put up three years of elite production at St. John’s.
-Was given feedback last year he needed to be more efficient and work on his three ball, upped his three point
percentage by 10% on similar volume. And picked his spots better overall.
-Deep toolbox as an isolation scorer. Someone you can trust to go out and get a bucket no matter the circumstance.
Still has very iffy shot selection sometimes, would like to see more situational awareness.
-Doesn’t have elite athletic tools that would lead you to buy into defensive upside, but had a 4.1 STL% which is
-The chance he reaches his peak isn’t very high, but he has star potential.
-Improved decision maker, 2.5:1 Assist to turnover ratio.
-Wonder how much he affects winning.
Bottom Line: Ponds had an extremely successful college career that was hindered by St. John’s lack of team success. Iso scorers like Ponds are very hard to come across and if he can put everything else together in an impactful way, he has star potential.
30. Dylan Windler
-Great rebounder for a power forward.
-One of the best shooters in the entire draft from deep (43% on high volume) versatile shotmaker who was lethal
coming off screens.
-High release point, doesn’t get bothered by a hand in his face.
-One of the most efficient cutters in the nation, some of that is due to Rick Byrd’s genius offense, but Windler
deserves his credit too.
-Doesn’t have much wiggle to create his own shot, but has great balance and unlimited range off his stepback.
-Defensive concerns regarding athletic limitations.
-Four year college player, likely already reached his peak.
Bottom Line: Windler burst onto the national scene with an epic 35 point performance in the NCAA tournament against Maryland. During that game he showcased his entire arsenal, owning the glass, beating defenders on backdoor cuts and drilling threes from everywhere on the court no matter how contested. He should be someone you could plug in to play a decent role on a winning team.
Just missed the cut: Nic Claxton, Bruno Fernando and Ignas Brazdeikis.