2008 Las Vegas AAUs: Top 10 Prospects
1.) John Wall 6'4 182 PG Word of God (Raleigh, NC) HSSr.
2.) Tony Wroten 6'4 185 SG Garfield (Seattle, WA) HSSo.
At just 15, a strong case could be made that Wroten is the best player in all of high school basketball regardless of class. He has a package of skills rarely seen in a sophomore, with the ability to create for himself and others. He's every bit as good as OJ Mayo was at the same age (when Mayo was a freshman). Wroten is extremely explosive around the rim, has great vision showing the ability to log time at point guard and shows a high motor and intensity level that makes him a fierce competitor. While he would certainly benefit by growing a few inches, Wroten looks to be a can't miss prospect capable of playing at the highest level. He's just 15 and would be a star at the college level right now. He's that good.
3.) Brandon Knight 6'3 175 PG Pine Crest (Coral Springs, FL) HSJr.
The best way to describe Knight's game is effortless. Everything he does makes the game appear very easy. His maturity, confidence, feel, and passion for the game are tremendous. Along with teammate Boynton, the pair are assassins, ripping out the heart of the competition regularly. Knight has above average athleticism with the ability to rise up and dunk in a crowd. He's got an excellent mid-range game with great speed and quickness to create shots for himself against quality defenders. Knight has some drawbacks for the NBA level. He's not a specimen athlete lacking a strong body, and doesn't appear as if he'll be able to add a great deal of weight. Also taking away from his NBA potential is the fact that he appears to be more combo than pure point guard. However his positives far outweigh the negatives.
4.) Derrick Favors 6'9 220 PF South Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) HSSr.
5.)Tristan Thompson 6'8 210 SF St Benedict's Prep (Newark, NJ) HSJr.
With a positive outlook and attitude, Thompson is an intriguing forward prospect. The Canada native still has a long ways to go to develop into a small forward, but shows the physical attributes to be a pro at the position With a weak crop of juniors, Thompson is right at the head of the class. While he's nearly a year old for his grade, he appears to have a lot of untapped potential to improve. Right now he prefers to back his man down, but can knock down the 10-12 foot jumper with good regularity. Over time, he should be able to develop the ability to face the basket and get by defenders using the dribble. He shows a soft touch and should be able to extend his range and consistency with hard work.
6.) Kenny Boynton 6'2 190 PG/SG American Heritage (Plantation, FL) HSSr.
Boynton is a stone cold killer. His passion and intensity is rarely matched, and when he gets in the zone shooting from outside, he's deadly. While the form on his shot isn't textbook, you can't knock the results. He's particularly impressive shooting with a hand in his face and regularly fires up shots with defenders out on him behind the stripe with solid results. Defensively he gives opponents fits as he's got great body strength and puts a lot of attention into that end of the floor. While not a true point guard, Boynton is more of a Ben Gordon type of small 2-guard with the explosiveness to finish and make plays in the paint as well as knock down mid-range jumpers. Boynton always brings his "A" game showing a tremendous level of desire and intensity. If he can expand his passing and point guard skills, it will increase his value for the highest level.
7.) John Henson 6'10 190 PF Round Rock (Round Rock, TX) North Carolina HSSr.
Henson has a lot of upside, especially if he can develop his body. His speed and fluidity in the open floor is exceptional for a player with his height and length. But there are questions about his body as he has narrow shoulders and lacks any real strength. But don't tell him that as he's willing to go inside and mix it up with bigger players as he did against Renardo Sidney who might have 100 lbs on Henson. He completely outplayed Sidney beating him to the punch repeatedly and getting inside Sidney's head, pestering him into making some dumb fouls. Henson shows a nice shot with good form and touch and developing range. While he is likely a 2-3 year college guy due to his undeveloped body, he's a very intriguing prospect due to his size and agility.
Gaddy is a true point guard with polished skills, being able to shoot off the dribble as well as create offense for teammates. He's an intriguing prospect and although he lacks the physical attributes of a John Wall, right now he has a much more complete game. Gaddy protects the ball better and has the ability to pull up off the dribble as well as run a pick and roll. Both Gaddy and (teammate) Bradley could learn a thing or two about delivering the knock out punch from Knight and Boynton, as they had the duo on the ropes in their first match up only to be overwhelmed and blow away in the second half. While the Washington duo have more clear cut positions and skills, their intensity and killer instinct are way behind the Breakdown duo.
9.) Avery Bradley 6'3 180 SG Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, WA)
Bradley is an undersized 2-guard at 6'3 but has a big wingspan and very impressive skills. Defensively he uses his tremendous lateral speed and long arms to lock down opposing guards. On the offensive end, his excellent ball handling ability and great range make him difficult to defend. He had one of the most impressive plays of the week crossing over Team Breakdown and driving to the basket for a dunk. Bradley also possesses one of the purest strokes on the high school level. Despite standing just 6'3, there's a lot to like about his game, and he has the goods to overcome his lack of height and make it at the highest level.
10.) Joshua Smith 6'10 300 C Kentwood (Covington, WA)
Eddy Curry was nicknamed"Baby Shaq", so Smith's nickname should be "Baby Curry". Smith has a very similar build only he's smaller than Curry and has less lift and therefore has less potential than Curry showed at the same age. Whether or not he will work hard at his game and become as good or better than Curry is another story. Smith shows solid offensive skills with the ability to make post moves and finish with soft touch. On the negative side, he lacks great lateral speed and takes time to get into transition and could stand to drop 20 pounds or so, but his girth is a commodity as his strength makes him a handful for opponents inside.