It’s NBA Draft week and we got you covered with prospect rankings, mock drafts, and more. But first, here’s our prospect rankings, categorized by position.
- LaMelo Ball, 6’6, Illawarra Hawks
- Kira Lewis Jr., 6’3, Alabama
- Cole Anthony, 6’3, North Carolina
- Killian Hayes, 6’5, France
- Tyrese Haliburton, 6’5, Iowa St
– Hayes and Haliburton are the taller point guards, but they their ball-handling is suspect. Hayes is a lefty that can’t go right and Haliburton is a right-hander that can’t go left. Out of his previous two seasons with Iowa St, Haliburton only made 2 baskets with his left hand, both of them being tip-ins. What you can’t deny is that both Hayes and Haliburton are great passers. Hayes arguably has the 2nd highest ceiling out of all the point guards on this list, and with Haliburton, he’s the best spot-up three-point shooter on this list by far. Lewis is a very underrated prospect, who has elite speed, great ball handling and shot creation skills, and doesn’t shoot too bad himself. Anthony is just a pure scorer who can pass the ball as well, he just needs to improve his three-point shooting. Devon Dotson from Kansas deserves to be on this list as well, as he’s extremely talented, but his perimeter shooting as of right now is a huge liability.
- Anthony Edwards, 6’5, Georgia
- Devin Vassell, 6’6, Florida St
- R.J. Hampton, 6’4, New Zealand Breakers
- Desmond Bane, 6’6, TCU
- Ty-Shon Alexander, 6’4, Creighton
– The term “3-And-D” is being used very sparingly for a lot of these wing prospects. That speaks volume for the amount of wing players in this draft that can play defense, but it also means many of these players are not great shot creators as of now. Hampton is the best athlete on this list and creative with the ball in his hands, but his shooting is poor and he was benched multiple times while playing for the Breakers. Bane isn’t mentioned in the top 20 pick conversation, because of things like his short wingspan and playing all four years of school. However, he’s improved every single season. He shot a career 43% from three and has a massive frame to go with his great defense, that he can use to guard the 1-4 positions. Alexander does not get enough credit for his defensive ability, let alone his shooting. He shot 39.9% from three last season, and had to guard some of the greatest scorers in the NCAA last season including Markus Howard, Myles Powell, Saddiq Bey, and Alexander held his own against most of them. Bane and Alexander will be a steal for teams, as they’ll unfortunately slip in the draft.
- Deni Avdija, 6’9, Israel
- Saddiq Bey, 6’8, Villanova
- Isaac Okoro, 6’6, Auburn
- Jaden McDaniels, 6’9, Washington
- Aaron Nesmith, 6’6, Vanderbilt
– Scouts are clamoring over Avdija, and it seems like a consensus he’ll be the first SF picked in the draft. He moves very well for someone 6’9 and is a crafty scorer, but McDaniels looked just as good sometimes and even better. Most scouts see McDaniels as a PF, but at 185, it’s tough to see that. McDaniels has a 7’0 wingspan compared to Avdija’s 6’9 wingspan and you can tell the difference because McDaniels just looks incredibly lanky on the court. McDaniels is very raw but if he can polish his ball handling and shot creation, he’ll be very difficult to guard. Okoro is not a good shooter but you can’t deny the elite defense and athleticism. Aaron Nesmith would be higher on this list but his season-ending foot injury leaves much question. Nesmith was having an amazing season before his injury, shooting 52% from three and averaged 23 points. That leaves Bey as one of the safest picks in this draft. He can hold his own at the four or three position, as well as shot 45% from three this past season and was Villanova’s leading scorer with 16.1 ppg.
- Obi Toppin, 6’9, Dayton
- Precious Achiuwa, 6’9, Memphis
- Jalen Smith, 6’10, Maryland
- Patrick Williams, 6’9, Florida St
- Xavier Tillman, 6’8, Michigan St
– Toppin was arguably the best player in college last season, which included winning the Naismith Award, but Achiuwa doesn’t get enough credit for carrying Memphis singlehandedly on his back after James Wiseman left the team. Smith was a prospect who could’ve been a high pick in last year’s draft, but staying another year helped tremendously, averaging 15 pts and 10 reb this season. Florida St did a poor job of letting their top players like Vassell and Williams show off their talents. Williams came off the bench, but was clearly a man amongst boys playing against the teams’ 2nd units, and even won ACC 6th Man of The Year. Tillman has consistently been one of the best power forwards in the Big Ten for the last three seasons, and it showed especially this past season, averaging 13 pts and 10 reb.
- James Wiseman, 7’1, Memphis
- Onyeka Okongwu, 6’9, USC
- Daniel Oturu, 6’10, Minnesota
- Zeke Nnaji, 6’10, Arizona
- Vernon Carey, 6’10, Duke
– Okongwu may be the shortest on this list, but he was so dominant in the post this season and was tied for 8th in the nation in blocks per game last season (2.7). Many people are swearing he’s the next Bam Adebayo, and when you watch him play, there are definitely similarities. Oturu was one of four players in the country to average over 20 pts and 10 reb last season, and his mobility combined with his ability to face-up was unstoppable in the Big Ten. Nnaji is very similar to Oturu in that he can face-up and knows how to get open in PnR situations. Carey isn’t as mobile as the other centers on this list but you can’t ignore his size (270 lbs) and multiple post moves. Carey is like a Jahlil Okafor who can face-up, and can be a good piece to a team that still values traditional centers.