With summer nearly arriving, and with it the draft, here are my top 45 prospects that fans and teams should be familiar with.
1.Luka Dončić, Point Guard, Real Madrid (Slovenia)
Numbers:14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 53.4% EFG
Easily the most complete player in the draft, Dončić absolutely tore up EuroLeague basketball as only a nineteen-year-old, taking home MVP honors in the process. His transcendent playmaking, instinctual ball handling, and silky finishing ability add up to arguably the most NBA ready prospect in the draft. Armed with a brilliant off dribble jumper from everywhere and a multitude of floaters and layups, Doncic has to the tools be All-NBA and then some.
2.DeAndre Ayton, Freshman, Center, Arizona
Numbers:20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 62.5% EFG
While questions plague his defense, his ideal physical frame almost entirely negates them. Incredible wingspans usually come clicked with skinny-ness but Ayton’s thick frame and wide shoulders completely mute these concerns. An offensive marvel around the rim, Ayton has every finish in the book in the paint due to his smooth footwork and comes topped off with a three-point and midrange jumper. Ayton will be a franchise center for years to come.
3.Mohamed Bamba, Freshman, Center, Texas
Numbers:12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, .5 assists, 56.7% EFG
A crazily long and fluid athlete, Bamba’s slinky length gives him worlds of defensive potential. He possesses high defensive IQ and combined with an NBA Combine record of a 7’10” wingspan, can bottle up nearly every position with ease. While his offense is still a project (but he does have a developing three-pointer) and he will require some more beef to avoid being bodied inside the paint, his sheer height and length mean he can grow into a top defensive center in this league.
4.Marvin Bagley III, Freshman, Center, Duke
Numbers:21.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 64% EFG
Bagley is a deceptively athletic center, big bodied but possesses a lightning first step and exceptional body control. Factor in his motor and he has the skills to be a great offensive center a la Phoenix Suns Amare Stoudemire. He will require some tuning to his jumper and his defense somewhat lacks due to poor instincts. However with the lateral quickness to guard as far as the perimeter and a relentlessness in the paint, Bagley will flourish in a league transitioning to more athletic big men over the throwback bullies in the paint.
5.Jaren Jackson, Freshman, Center, Michigan State
Numbers:10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 59.5% EFG
A raw physical freak, Jackson’s rim-protecting can only be classified as elite. Averaging an absurd 3.0 blocks a game in college, His long arms and timing give him arguably the most defensive upside we have seen in years. He will need to put on some more muscle to truly blanket the paint and also enhance the offensive side, however with the length and instincts, will be a surefire defensive anchor early in his career.
6.Mikal Bridges, Junior, Small Forward, Villanova
Numbers:17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 62.3% EFG
In a class with multiple great 3-and-D players, Bridges is the cream of the crop. A very polished offensive player, he has an effective catch-and-shoot shot from NBA range and understands how to play within himself. He drives with purpose and can make smart reads, indicating potential playmaking capabilities. With his competitive defense, Bridges could be an essential high-level role player on a championship-caliber team.
7.Michael Porter Jr., Freshman, Forward, Missouri
Numbers:10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, .3 assists, 38.5% EFG
Though a serious back injury plummeted Porter Jr.’s stock, if he can return to full strength, he still could still end up being the finest scoring product in this draft. A confident offensive player, he has a crisp jumper from just about anywhere. With some touch-ups to his ball handling, he could be a premier scoring threat in this league. He will need to prove he can do more than just score but his scoring potential is worth a top-ten look.
8.Miles Bridges, Sophomore, Forward, Michigan State
Numbers:17.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 53.5% EFG
Bridges is a modern tweener, athletic enough to contend with smaller forwards while strong enough to keep up with most big men. His versatility and quickness make him a perfect fit for the modern NBA, able to defend multiple positions and is a tough rebounder. His scoring is a tad spotty and will need some carving down to make sure he won’t be a liability but versatility comes at a premium in today´s league, ensuring a top ten slot for Bridges.
9.Wendell Carter Jr, Freshman, Center, Duke
Numbers:13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 59.1% EFG
Mostly operating under the shadow of top prospect Marvin Bagley III, Carter Jr. is a thick offensive star who is refined in every respect. He has the quickness to be effective in the paint and the shot to be effective everywhere else. Possessing a multitude of post moves, he is just about the most NBA ready prospect in the draft. He will be an easy top ten pickup.
10.Collin Sexton, Freshman, Point Guard, Alabama
Numbers:19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 49.8% EFG
An astonishingly fearless scorer, Sexton’s intensity is easily his most attractive feature. His ferocity is infectious and it extends to his defense, illustrating potential lockdown defender capabilities. Shifty ball handling and aggressive finishing give him immediate impact on the offensive end. While he will need to learn to reign the intensity in order to play within a system, his sheer competitiveness and scoring prowess will be worth a top ten pick.
11.Trae Young, Freshman, Point Guard, Oklahoma
Numbers:27.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 51.9% EFG
Easily the most intriguing prospect in the draft, Young brings a high level of risk with him. While he undoubtedly has the best three ball in the draft and elite ball handling, questions surround his ability to play within a system. More of a freelancer, it may be hard for him to slide into a concrete offense. On top of his often shoddy shot choices and lack of elite athleticism, he may have more bust than boom potential to him. Either way, his shooting and offensive pop are worth a look by any team in the top ten.
12.Kevin Knox, Freshman, Forward, Kentucky
Numbers:15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 51.1% EFG
A very raw scorer, Knox has the athleticism and skill to be a number one scorer if he can connect the dots. For a big man, his velvety body control and savvy off-ball offense are top-notch and he comes topped off with a possible spot-up jumper. He will need some more mass to keep up with NBA forwards but the offensive dexterity is there.
13.Troy Brown Jr., Freshman, Shooting Guard, Oregon
Numbers:11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 49.4% EFG
Brown Jr. has wonderful size for a shooting guard and is a tremendous playmaker. His high IQ and excellent passing give him all the tools to masterfully run an offense. Factor in his age (only 18 years old) and Brown Jr. could quietly be one of the highest impact players out of this draft. While his slight shooting abilities limit his offensive potential just a tad, his size and playmaking will be worth a lottery pickup.
14.Robert Williams, Sophomore, Big, Texas A&M
Numbers:10.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 63.2% EFG
Williams is an athletic brute in the paint, capable of running the pick-and-roll and always looks for the lob. An energetic cutter, he comes equipped with powerful dunks. He possesses his bouncy leaping ability, and with can block and redirect shots in the paint. He brings great offensive rebounding and while he will need to hone in his discipline on defense, Williams will be an exciting player to watch early on in his career.
15.Lonnie Walker IV, Freshman, Shooting Guard, Miami
Numbers:11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 50.3% EFG
Walker IV has all the skills to be a go-to scoring option in the NBA. He is very adept at creating his own shot, with beautiful form and the footwork to execute off screens. He has shifty athleticism and nice explosiveness, hinting at number one scoring abilities. His playmaking and overall IQ leave a lot to be desired but his shot creation could be enough to propel him into the lottery picks.
16.Zhaire Smith, Freshman, Small Forward, Texas Tech
Numbers:11.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 58.5% EFG
A wildly explosive athlete, he specializes in bringing the pop to defense. His vertical leap has breathtaking hangtime and it looks as if he floats every time he goes up for a block. His lateral quickness and solid length open up opportunities as a switch defender, and though undersized for NBA forward standards, will lock up opposing guards and wings.
17.Džanan Musa, Small Forward, Cedevita, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
Numbers:12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 54.9% EFG
A gorgeous scorer from the forward position, Musa really can do it all on the offensive end. A wonderful ball handler, his pull-up, floaters, and footwork make for a dangerous offensive product. He will need to learn to hone the raw offensive mastery as he is somewhat reckless with the ball and his defense also leave a lot to be desired. But for his unbelievable knack for scoring will warrant a late first round pickup.
18.Keita Bates-Diop, Senior, Small Forward, Ohio State
Numbers:19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 54.4% EFG
Bates-Diop has a stable all-around style. A strong shooter with the instincts in rebounding and the versatility to guard multiple positions. Questions loom about his toughness and motor but his reliable scoring touch and post moves could be worth anywhere from an early second to a mid first, depending on team’s willingness to experiment with his role.
19.Jacob Evans, Junior, Small Forward, Cincinnati
Numbers:13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 50.7% EFG
Evans is one of the most reliable players in this draft. A very low ceiling yet high floor due to his rock-solid shot and satisfying defense. A prototypical three-and-D player, he won’t be a superstar in this league with his limited athleticism but he will a have consistent scoring output night in and night out. Late in the first, he will be a very safe pickup.
20.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Freshman, Guard, Kentucky
Numbers:14.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 51.6% EFG
A lengthy and slippery guard, Gilgeous-Alexander has strong defensive potential. He is hyperactive off-ball and thanks to his length can shut down passing lanes. An icy handle and natural use of hesitation moves show possible offensive poise. However his size, weighing in at only 171 pounds, and slight athleticism will hold him in the NBA against beefier guards and forwards. Tagged with an off-kilter jumper, he may need some work before he can be an effective option.
21.De’Anthony Melton, Sophomore, Guard, USC
Numbers:8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 48.3% EFG
Melton is a scrappy defensive-minded guard with a thick build and a bulldog mindset. For a guard, he is a notably aggressive rebounder and comes with solid passing IQ. His limited athleticism and weak ball handling do put a cap on his offensive potential and he completely sat out his sophomore season due to the FBI’s probe into NCAA corruption, a slight red flag depending on the angle. For teams looking for a Marcus Smart-type player, however, he will be worth anywhere from mid to late first round.
22.Chandler Hutchison, Senior, Shooting Guard, Boise State
Numbers:20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 52.8% EFG
More of a late bloomer in his college career, Hutchison will be more of a prototypical 3-and-D player come professional ball. He adapted to carry the Boise State offense and because of it, flashed tight playmaking abilities and tremendous scoring. While his pull-up and ball-handling are a little rocky, which will limit his number one scoring potential, his offensive adroitness and theoretical defensive versatility could blossom into a reliable 3-and-D player one day.
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23.Shake Milton, Junior, Guard, SMU
Numbers:18.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 55.1% EFG
A handy defender, Milton will make his money in multi-positional defense. His massive wingspan gives him off-ball defense capacity and valuable splash plays on defense. His offense is consistent and reliable, playing a very smooth and deliberate style. He doesn’t come packed with a three-ball and will not able to dominate on offense, but his defensive versatility will get him first round buzz.
24.Elie Okobo, Point Guard, Pau-Orthez, France
Numbers:13.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 56.9% EFG
While he is completely out of the eyes of America as he plays in France, Okobo is the international Trae Young in this draft. A flashy scorer, he has a fluidity to his multitude of bucket getting methods. Whether in the drive, floaters, or jump shot, he has a special scoring touch. His ball handling is a wee lackluster and his little athleticism will take some adjustment in the NBA, he may be the hidden scoring gem of this draft.
25.Aaron Holiday, Junior, Point Guard, UCLA
Numbers:20.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 55.7% EFG
Holiday can transform an offense due to his passing IQ and three ball however his lack of athleticism and poor handling of intense defensive pressure holds him back from being a true number one scorer. His sleek layup package adds another layer to his offensive potential but without the measurables to truly keep pace defensively, he projects as a spark plug backup point guard.
26.Mitchell Robinson, Center, Chalmette High School
The most NBA ready high schooler, Robinson has an ideal frame with mind-blowing athletic abilities. Relying mostly on pure athleticism in high school, his true talent still remains murky as he opted to skip college to train for the draft. Without great instincts nor feel for the game, he will be a massive gamble in the draft. However, his mobility, rebounding, and raw athleticism at center could be groomed into a dominant big man one day given the chance.
27.Khyri Thomas, Junior, Shooting Guard, Creighton
Numbers:15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 62.9% EFG
Thomas brings very intensive defense, complemented by his powerful lower body and long frame. His elite perimeter defense is modeled off of Kawhi Leonard, with the same lateral quickness and uncanny ability to turn steals and deflections into quick offense. His top-notch three ball and skilled post moves allow him to contribute in more than just defense but his dynamic defense will be what gets him drafted.
28.Melvin Frazier, Junior, Small Forward, Tulane
Numbers:15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 61.0% EFG
Frazier has explosive athleticism, displaying powerful dunks and a robust blocking ability. His shot will need to be tuned some more before he can contribute as a 3-and-D type player and his weak footwork and ball handling keep him from his full scoring capabilities. Either way, his athleticism and theoretical shot give him a ton of room to grow.
29.Hamidou Diallo, Freshman, Shooting Guard, Kentucky
Numbers:10.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 47.0% EFG
Diallo has an incredibly energetic approach to defense. His high athleticism and length allow him to have a huge impact on the defense. He has great rebounding and shot blocking because of his aggressiveness and his versatility gives him the makings of a great defender. His offense, however, can’t be spoken about so highly. He has a weak jump shot, is an ineffective finisher inside, and is a sloppy ball handler. Teams must focus on developing his offense but for what his defense is worth, he would be an enticing project.
30.Jalen Brunson, Junior, Point Guard, Villanova
Numbers:18.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 60.4% EFG
A very fundamental point guard, Brunson seems to be ripped right out of the 80s with his classic point guard skills. Incredibly consistent and unselfish, he has the staying power to be around for a long time. He’s nearly 22 years of age and has a generally low ceiling but late first or early second, he is an incredibly safe pick-up.
31.Moritz Wagner, Junior, Center, Michigan
Numbers:14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, .8 assists, 60.5% EFG
Wagner is a very consistent offensive big man, rebounding well and shooting efficiently. His defensive energy allows for room to grow but some work will have to be done with his fundamentals. As a center, though, his silky offensive skill is intriguing enough by itself.
32.Jontay Porter, Freshman, Center, Missouri
Numbers:9.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 52.1% EFG
Brother of top prospect Michael Porter Jr., Jontay shares similar size combined with the offensive skill. For a big man, he brings wonderful passing and ball handling, talented in running the pick-and-roll. His overall lack of length and muscle hinders his rebounding and defense but his IQ and effort levels indicate he could develop under the right training. Still yet to reach 19 years of age, he still has a ton of room to grow and could be a nice sleeper pick.
33.Bruce Brown, Sophomore, Shooting Guard, Miami
Numbers:11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 45.7% EFG
Brown is a very rugged and brawny wing, willing to get down and dirty on defense. He’s an above average rebounder and gives A+ effort on the defensive end. Not a flashy player by any means, Brown is a gritty player who will get his hands dirty on defense. His jump shot will need vast improvements if he wants to stay on the court for long but his arduous defense will be enough for teams to take a swing on him.
34.Anfernee Simons, Shooting Guard, IMG Academy
Simons has the largest boom-or-bust capacity in this entire draft. High schoolers will always come with high levels of risk and, despite his astonishing athleticism, Simons is no different. His small frame and tendency to avoid contact immediately raises questions whether he will be able to keep pace with full-on adults. However with his fluid scoring ability and powerful dunking on top of his ball handling means he could be a late first round experiment.
35.Rawle Alkins, Sophomore, Shooting Guard, Arizona
Numbers:13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 50.4% EFG
Alkins has a very bulky and well-built frame, versatile in defense and energetic on offense. Because of his physical gifts, he could guard most positions and his shooting has greatly improved in college. His fire is contagious and will set a tone when on the court. His rebounding will have to catch up to his athleticism and he is a little out of control when driving but his possible additions to the defense and personality of a team could land him early in the second.
36.Josh Okogie, Sophomore, Shooting Guard, Georgia Tech
Numbers:18.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 47.5% EFG
Half of a prototypical 3-and-D player, Okogie has the length and versatility to be a multi-positional defender. His active help defense and hard-nosed hustle are perfect for a league transitioning to switch heavy defenses. For the three part of the 3-and-D, he has a really low release point and is painfully slow. This all can be worked out but until then, Okogie will only be a defensive minded wing with value in certain, more dynamic defensive systems.
37.Donte DiVincenzo, Sophomore, Point Guard, Villanova
Numbers:13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 59.0% EFG
DiVincenzo is a crafty scoring guard, capable of athletic playmaking and intense defense. He can score in a plethora of ways due to his agility and fearlessness. His feel of the game and high IQ give him first-round potential but his subpar length and will hold him back. Either way, his offensive talent could land him higher than projected.
38.Jarred Vanderbilt, Freshman, Small Forward, Kentucky
Numbers:5.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 42.6% EFG
Vanderbilt is a very aggressive defender with the length and versatility to guard multiple positions. His incessant rebounding and nose for the ball could result in a great rebounder with some tuning and his leaping ability will a consistent lob threat. His offense will be a liability in the NBA with a rickety shot and a tendency to miss easy layups. But with the length, instincts, and want to, he could be a strong defensive anchor in the league.
39.Kevin Huerter, Sophomore, Shooting Guard, Maryland
Numbers:14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 61.6% EFG
Huerter is a smooth shooter with touches of playmaking. He can hit from nearly anywhere, off-balance, step-back, one-two dribble pull-ups, you name it, Huerter can hit it. Also a solid defender, he will have an instant role in an offense. In the early second round, he will be a comfortable pick-up for a team needy of quality shooting.
40.Jerome Robinson, Junior, Point Guard, Boston College
Numbers:20.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 56.4% EFG
An incredibly versatile guard, Robinson has a juicy offensive skill set. He is a slippery ball handler with master spot-up shooting, able to contribute on or off the ball. Only an average finisher and shooter in pick-and-roll spots, his offensive role may be just limited to just spot-up shooting. However, his offensive pop is enticing enough to consider early in the second.
41.Landry Shamet, Sophomore, Point Guard, Wichita State
Numbers:14.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 62.2% EFG
One of the finest sharpshooting guards in this draft, Shamet has ready instincts to handle the professional game. In the right system, his passing intelligence and smart cutting could be a weapon. A scrappy defender, he has the hustle and heart to fight for loose balls. His limited athleticism and subpar stature do put a cap on his value but with his shooting touch and instincts could allow for a playground for creative coaches.
42.Gary Trent, Freshman, Shooting Guard, Duke
Numbers:14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 52.7% EFG
A strong spot-up shooter, he can pull up from virtually anywhere. He’s excellent off the dribble, capable of getting his feet set quickly. His defense will need to improve for him to stay on the court but his shooting and IQ is worth maybe even a late first round look.
43.Grayson Allen, Senior, Shooting Guard, Duke
Numbers:15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 53.6% EFG
Allen has lit up media sites and fan circles with his generally dirty style of play and now the longtime Duke star takes his feistiness to the NBA. Talent wise, he is an energetic defender and brings solid shooting. His toughness will be his most tantalizing feature and could be worth a second round look for a team searching to cement an identity.
44.Malik Newman, Sophomore, Guard, Kansas
Numbers:14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 56.8% EFG
An incredible bucket getter, Newman naturally has elite scoring touch. With strong spot-up shooting and energetic pick-and-roll expertise, he is a fine offensive product. His shot selection will be frustrating so he can’t be relied on too heavily so his spark-plug style of offense will slide perfectly into a bench scoring role. Lacking elite explosiveness and length will limit his upside but he will have a clear role almost right out of college.
45.Chemize Metu, Junior, Big, USC
Numbers:15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 53.7% EFG
A very raw big man, Metu’s pure athleticism give two-way upside after some ripening. He flashes number one scoring with his elite ball handling and midrange shooting but every aspect of his offense is very unruly and unpolished. He will be a venture but after some molding, could be an effective role player.
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