1. Houston Rockets Chet Holmgren 7-1 190 SF/PF Gonzaga Fr.
The 7’1 foot Gonzaga recruit is one of the most talented prospects of the past decade. It’s unusual to find a big with such a versatile skill set and tremendous feel for the game at such a young age. The recipient of the Men’s Gatorade Player of the Year Award, Holmgren finished the season averaging 20.8 points, 12.6 boards, 4.7 blocks and 4.4 assists, all while canning almost 70% of his attempts. He also helped the U19 USA Select team bring home gold against a formidable French team in Latvia this summer. A dominant player on both ends of the court, the No. 1 recruit in 2021 was simply unstoppable. His height, mobility, length, quickness and skill level allowed him to take over in virtually every game that he stepped on the court. An elite interior defender, Holmgren projects as an excellent shot blocker and rebounder at the NBA level and is a projected top-three pick because of his advanced play and skill set combined with rare size. He’s an above average athlete with tremendous body control, has an excellent feel for the game and passes the ball exceptionally well. The biggest areas of concern with him are adding good weight, and due to his size staying injury free. He will need to continue adding some muscle, as he is under 200-pounds, but the Minneapolis native has a chance to be special. His ceiling is easily the highest in his class and the class before his as well.
2. Detroit Pistons Jaden Hardy 6-4 185 SG G-League Fr.
The G-League Ignite commit has decided that he is ready for professional hoops after a tremendous high school career. The 6’4 combo guard put up 30.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game while winning the Nevada Men’s Gatorade Player of the Year. A phenomenal scorer, Hardy can get buckets from every level of the court. He is a strong finisher that is unfazed by contact, has great leaping ability, and a pure shooting stroke with deep range. Hardy opted out of his senior season due to COVID-19, but showcased his amazing skills during his first three seasons with Coronado High School. Hardy showed touch, patience, finesse, and a solid handle, all while being showered with defensive attention. The 190-pound guard has passing instincts and a willingness to rebound, in addition to his offensive firepower. He should benefit greatly from a maturity aspect, as he’s likely follow in the footsteps of last year’s number two overall pick Jalen Green and have great success in the G-League followed up by a very high draft selection. Hardy has the shot-making and athleticism to go with an already NBA-ready body, and good defense, rebounding and passing.
3. Orlando Magic Paolo Banchero 6-10 250 PF/C Duke Fr.
The five-star Duke commit has the touch, passing and handle of a guard, with the 6’10 body, power and rebounding of a forward. It is uncommon to see a player with his dimensions pull-up for threes, slashing as well as finding teammates with great vision and passing. Despite tree-trunk-thick-legs, he’s able to display above average athleticism which should translate to both the collegiate and professional levels. A sturdy big, Banchero can knock down shots, plays well without the ball, and has amazing vision for a big man, while also shutting down opponents both near the rim and on the perimeter. Banchero averaged 22.6 points, 11 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game at O’Dea High School. The former high school quarterback showed a natural affinity to dominate whatever sport he touched and was named the MaxPreps Junior of the Year. Similarly to Holmgren, the sky’s the limit, as Banchero is bursting with athleticism, talent, and potential.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder Jalen Duren 6-10 260 PF/C Memphis Fr.
A ferocious post-player, Duren is similar to Bam Adebayo with his versatility, foot speed and rim protection. The 6’10, 230-pound Memphis commit has smooth, quick feet despite his muscular and strong upper body. Excellent around the rim, Duren showcases timing and touch, while utilizing his strong frame to power through opposing defenders. Some elite big-men are black holes at a young age, but the athletic center has shown a willingness and ability to throw a variety of tremendous passes to cutters, including alley-oops making him a joy to play with. Also a great rebounder, Duren has the motor, strength, and size to be a menace on both ends of the floor. The Philadelphia native’s best trait still might be his defense. He has amazing timing, hops and length to reject almost any shot in the general vicinity of the rim, while also being capable of locking down smaller players on the perimeter. While Duren lacks a real outside game, he boasts offensive potential with a strong post game, and fluid turn-around jumpers. His mid-range shot is good, meaning he could eventually stretch out his shot to the three-point line.
5. Cleveland Hunter Sallis 6-5 175 SG Gonzaga Fr.
The top prospect from Nebraska, the 6’5, 175-pound guard is heading to Spokane, Washington to play for Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Sallis will be joining Holmgren, where they should combine to form a potent one-two freshman punch. Sallis was a stand out player for Millard North High School, averaging 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game while hitting 35% from deep. A relentless defender, Sallis smothers opponents with his length and tenacity, limiting opposing player’s effectiveness. He’s a natural fit at the wing position thanks to his shooting, off-ball movement and size. He is a tremendous rebounder for a guard and is a smart player who makes the right play. Sallis must gain strength in order to fully utilize his special athletic gifts, but he is in an excellent program to develop. He is a dynamic scorer, with stand out athleticism who loves to get downhill by using his speed and athleticism in both transition and in the half court.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves Jaden Ivey 6-4 200 SG/PG Purdue Fr.
The first returning college player on the list, Ivey is now a sophomore for Purdue. The 6’4, 200-pound combo guard has requisite size for an NBA wing and should be capable of defending numerous positions. He’s an explosive athlete and showed that he’s one of the top 19-and-under players in the world at the 2021 U19 World Championships in Riga over the summer. Shooting is the one area he must imrprove upon. He struggled to shoot well from deep as a freshman, hitting just 25% of his attempts, but has the form and his success in high school suggests that he can become a better shooter given time to develop. Ivey scored 11.1 points, grabbed 3.3 rebounds, and dished 1.9 dimes per game on just under 40% shooting from the field. The numbers don’t jump off the page, but the numbers don’t paint the full story. The Boilermaker sophomore is primed for a breakout season and he’s one of the most explosive players in the country. He has tools, the size and length to be a standout NBA guard at the next level.
7. Toronto Raptors Peyton Watson 6-8 195 SF UCLA Fr.
The 6’8 forward stayed home to play for his hometown UCLA Bruins. The Beverly Hills native and Long Beach Poly star scored 23.2 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out three assists and forced 1.2 steals per game in his junior season. Watson opted out of his senior year due to COVID-19 reshuffling the high school basketball schedule. The small forward initially came off the bench in high school, before blossoming into stardom and becoming a five-star recruit. Watson is still relatively raw offensively, relying mostly on sheer athleticism and speed to beat outmatched defenders. However, the athleticism he is relying on is real, and he can fly, throwing down plenty of monster dunks, while also possessing great shiftiness and quickness in the open court. Lacking a great three-point shot, Watson has good form and just needs to build on a solid foundation. Watson was another Latvia standout, showcasing his immense potential in helping the U19 USA Select team bring home gold. The key for Watson will be turning his physical gifts into a wider variety of basketball skills, as the athleticism catches up with him as everyone gets stronger and faster as the levels go up.
8. Chicago Bulls JD Davison 6-3 195 PG Alabama Fr.
A truly gifted athlete and leaper, Davison is perhaps the most explosive player in the class. The consensus five-star is staying home after committing to Alabama, where he could play major minutes right away. The Alabama Men’s Gatorade Player of the Year poured on the points, scoring 33.4, grabbing 12 rebounds, six steals, five assists and four blocks per game. It is almost hard to fathom how productive Davison was, as he used his slashing, tenacity, bully ball strength and speed to overwhelm his competitors. The same could be true as a member of the Crimson Tide, where the 6’3 guard could play either guard spot with ease. A player who combines insane dunks with crafty passes, nifty dribble moves and body control, Davison could be a top-ten pick as long as his shot develops. It is not hard to imagine Davison leading an NBA team with his vision, craftiness, and aggressiveness, paired with his natural physical gifts. A bucket-getter in high school, if he continues to score and create at a high level in college, Davison won’t be available for a long time come draft night.
9. Sacramento Kings Caleb Houstan 6-8 205 SF Michigan Fr.
The 6’8 Monteverde star reclassified to 2021 after skipping his senior year of high school. The smooth small forward averaged 13.2 points and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep and winning the second straight Geico Prep Nationals title. A knockdown shooter with a fluid interior game, Houstan can score from all three levels of the court. His shooting was on full display the entire year but he is also an underrated defender. His length, lateral quickness and active hands allow him to guard positions 1-4 and help him be an impactful defender on the perimeter and the interior. He is not the same shot-hunter and scorer that some of the other elite prospects are, but he has a well-developed, all-around game for such a young player.
10. New Orleans Pelicans Jabari Smith 6-10 210 PF Auburn Fr.
The Auburn Tiger commit projects as a prototypical power forward for the modern NBA. Armed with a 6’10, 210-pound frame, Smith can hit off-the-dribble threes, handle the ball, pass, rebound, and defend. He is a complete player, and one that blends fantastic size and athleticism with a well-polished and mature offensive repertoire. He poured in over 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal per game. A true box score stat-stuffer, Smith was able to do it all for Sandy Creek High School. He can shoot contested threes, power through contact, and defend multiple positions. In addition, he has the power and size to be an effective rebounder. Smith also shows some even more potential, with turnaround jumpers and post moves. The Fayetteville, Georgia native also dabbles with some serious vision, shown with his more than three assists per game. Very few big men can do all that he can, as he can impact the game in every aspect. Smith also doesn’t overly rely on his great athleticism, and instead uses his handle, shot and size to impose his will on opposing defenses.
11. Charlotte Jabari Walker 6-8 200 SF/PF Colorado So.
A 6’8, 200-pound freshman for the Colorado Buffaloes, the athletic small forward is also a lethal three-point shooter, knocking down 52% of his looks from behind the arc. As a freshman Walker averaged 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and shot over 50% from the floor. His outside shooting, defense, length and athleticism should all translate well to the NBA level. And look for a big jump in productivity as a sophomore as he should continue to develop his strength, confidence and skill set given more responsibility and playing time. The former five-star recruit brings potential as an excellent offensive force, and lock down defender, mixed with the efficient scoring and three-point shooting. Jabari’s father Samaki Walker was the 9th overall pick in the star studded 1996 draft and played 10 seasons in the NBA.
12. San Antonio Spurs AJ Griffin 6-6 220 SF Duke Fr.
Another five-star phenom heading to the Blue Devils, Griffin is a 6’6 incoming freshman. The 6-6 “work horse” averaged 17.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game as a junior in high school. With his athleticism and length, he can easily play as a guard or forward, and is a very talented all-around player. He defends at an elite level, which he can do across numerous positions. The son of longtime NBA forward overachiever Adrien senior, AJ needs to continue working on the long ball, but he is a very good interior scorer, and gets to the hoop at will. His number of steals showcases just how aggressive and active he can be, while the rebounding and assists show a player with a high offensive floor. His vision is often on display, and he can work as a secondary playmaker thanks to his passing and creativity with the ball. With a reported 45 inch vert, Griffin has a lot of physical tools, combined with rebounding, defense and scoring. With the three-point shot being a major swing skill, Griffin is a very interesting NBA prospect even heading into his first collegiate season at Duke.
13. Indiana Pacers Bryce McGowens 6-6 190 SG Nebraska Fr.
The 6’6 incoming freshman for the Cornhuskers should give an immediate boost to one of the bottom dwellers in the Big 10. Listed by some as a point guard, McGowens is a natural 2 who averaged almost 24 points per game in high school, but it wasn’t just the number that was impressive, it was how confident and comfortable he was with a wide array of offensive looks. He loves the three-point shot off the dribble, has an extremely clean shooting form, and can blow by defenders with his fantastic handle. McGowens has the size, speed, craftiness and aggressiveness to be a phenomenal college and NBA player. He needs to add strength to his frame and continue to develop physically to defend bigger players, but has the frame to be an NBA shooting guard and a very intriguing skill set. Joshua Primo ended up a lottery pick after averaging just 8.1 ppg at Alabama, and McGowens could end up doing similar at Nebraska. Joining his brother Trey in Lincoln should only add to his comfort level during his initial season in the red and white. McGowens might benefit from a second year in school, but he could easily show enough as a freshman, a la Primo, and be taken on upside.
14. Golden State Warriors Daimion Collins 6-9 190 PF Kentucky Fr.
Seemingly every time Collins touched the ball, something good happened for him at Atlanta High School in Texas. The bouncy big man won the Texas Men’s Gatorade Player of the Year Award after lighting up the stat sheet to the tune of 35.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, seven assists and 6.2 blocks per game. The Wildcats could be adding a star, a player capable of doing a little bit of everything on both ends of the court. Collins can drill step-back triples, run the floor extremely well, attack with and without the ball, and can defend the interior. The athletic forward rejected a bunch of shots this season, due to great length, timing, and athleticism. He has such a high ceiling because of his varied skill set, offensive brilliance and defensive versatility and awareness. One of the key pieces to his continued impressive play is the way Collins is always hustling in transition. He was almost always to the basket before the opposition and got his team plenty of easy baskets with his great speed, hustle and motor.
15. Washington Wizards Patrick Baldwin 6-9 220 SF/PF Wisconsin–Milwaukee Fr.
The sweet shooting 6’9, 220-pound forward scored 24.2 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing 4.2 assists while blocking 1.7 shots per game for Sussex High School. One of the country’s best high school players before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, Baldwin Jr. bounced back to play a solid role for the gold medal winning U19 USA team. He stayed home to play for his dad, Patrick Baldwin Sr. at Milwaukee-Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Men’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Baldwin is an elite level shooter, knocking down 43% from deep, with serious range. Most players with his size and strength are not able to do what he can with the basketball, as he can attack the rim, shoot from all areas of the court, finish through contact, and rebound both inside and outside. He has excellent versatility as he can play small forward due to his shooting and speed, and power forward because of his size, strength and rebounding. He could have shined for the Duke Blue Devils, but instead will be tearing up in the Horizon League. Baldwin developed a bit of a soft reputation in high school, so he will need to try to add more of an edge to his game in college in order to live up to his potential. If he can add toughness, he could be one of the top freshmen in the nation, and certainly tops in the Horizon League.
16. Boston Celtics Bennedict Mathurin 6-7 200 SG Arizona Fr.
The Arizona Wildcat made a solid impression during his freshman season in Tucson. The 6’7 Canadian guard averaged 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists while hitting 47.1% of his shots and 41% from deep. Heralded for his three-point shooting, Mathurin is one of the best pure shooters in the draft. He also has a crafty handle, excellent size for a guard, and is a very good athlete. Mathurin has all the tools to be a NBA-level wing shooter and rebounder, but has questions about his defense, passing and scoring. He can guard 1-4, but doesn’t do so at a high level yet, and averaged the same number of assists as turnovers. His shooting is phenomenal, and Mathurin can get to the basket with ease, but needs to up his scoring average in order to make a push to be a early to mid first rounder.
17. Memphis Grizzlies Nikola Jovic 6-10 205 SF/PF Serbia 2003
The 6’10, 18-year-old Serbian was a productive player for KK Mega Bemax. The sharpshooting power forward hit 55% of his attempts and 40% of his threes. He scored 11.8 points, grabbed 5.5 rebounds, and dished out one assist per game. Jovic, much like Mathurin, has intriguing potential thanks to his size, length, and great shooting from behind the arc. Playing in Latvia, he was one of the standouts earning First team All tournament awards. He was extremely efficient, and showed a great motor for running in the open court leading to quick and easy baskets in transition. he had a number of impressive dunks when he got angles to the basket. He needs to continue growing out his frame and become stronger to become a sturdier and better defender. He has fantastic potential as a sharpshooting, rangy combo forward that can get out in transition, handle the ball, and rebound.
18. Houston Rockets (From Miami) Ian Martinez 6-2 190 PG/SG Maryland So.
After scoring almost 24 points and grabbing just under eight rebounds per game as a senior in high school, Martinez went to the Utah Utes oozing with offensive upside. The 6’3 Costa Rican combo guard has a varied and wide-ranging set of skills, including scoring, rebounding, and shooting. However, much like Jackson, Martinez never seemed to find his role for Utah. He tallied only 5.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game while not finding a lot of minutes. However, he flashed the same scoring guile and talent in high school with a great final game, dropping 18 points on 70% shooting against USC. If he can start to play like that, and stockpile more high scoring games on each other, it would be a big step in the right direction for the young guard. Not every player is able to come in and flourish the way they did so easily in high school. Martinez falls in that category but found a groove that he can continue building on near the end of the year. The main question will be which player will be returning to Utah this season? The same player who could barely crack the rotation, or the guy that took over against USC? Only time will tell.
19. New York Knicks Michael Foster 6-9 220 PF G-League Fr.
A truly dominant power forward, Foster lit up scoreboards in the high school ranks. He averaged 32.2 points, 18.4 rebounds, 6.7 blocks, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game for Hillcrest Prep in Arizona. The 6’9, 220-pound freshman was also locked in from behind the arc, canning 42% of his triples. Foster is heading to play alongside Jaden Hardy and Dyson Daniels in the G League, where he can use his size, strength, shooting touch and rebounding prowess to continue scorching defenses. Foster was one of the most productive players in the country his senior season and should continue to be a threat all over the court for the ignite. His maturity has been questioned at times, but playing in a no nonsense structured environment of the g League should benefit him. He put up some remarkable numbers in high school, and proved that he has the skill, hustle, and size to be a very good player in the G League and eventually the NBA.
20. Atlanta Hawks Matthew Cleveland 6-6 200 SG Florida St. Fr.
A 6’6 shooting guard, Cleveland is a consensus five-star recruit, continuing a strong recent history of recruiting for Florida State. He is a tremendous slasher, finisher, and defender, who wrapped up an outstanding senior season by averaging 22.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and two steals per game. A skilled offensive threat, Cleveland can get to his shot inside and outside, and uses his speed to get to the rim well in transition. He can be a secondary playmaker and excel off the ball if he can continue to extend his shooting range. A tremendous defender, Cleveland has ideal size to defend perimeter players, and heads to a program that has built a reputation on successfully developing wings with defensive hustle, energy, in an up tempo system. A strong NBA frame and athleticism paired with defensive instincts and interior scoring makes the Florida native a very intriguing prospect.
21. Dallas Mavericks Andre Jackson 6-6 210 SG UConn So.
The UConn freshman did not have a freshman season to remember for the Huskies. The former four-star recruit never seemed to find his rhythm, scoring just 2.7 points, and grabbing 2.9 rebounds per game. But with a loaded backcourt highlighted by Charlotte Hornets 11th pick in 2021 James Bouknight, Jackson struggled for minutes. Despite his freshman struggles, Jackson has a lot of NBA potential as a prolific and versatile defender and slasher. He struggled with his outside jumper, but like many young prospects, Jackson has time to develop into a better shooter, and had a strong summer, making major strides to his skill set. He has the size and build at 6’6, 210-pounds to lock down guards and forwards, while playing multiple spots on offense. If he can work on his outside shooting, he can have a breakout season for UConn.
22 Memphis Grizzlies (From LA Lakers) [Player: Brandon Huntley Hatfield] 6-10 235 PF/C Tennessee Fr.
The powerful bigman has prototypical strength and size for his position. A force around the basket, Huntley-Hatfield should be excellent around the cup for the Tennesee Volunteers. The re-classified Tennessee native is also capable of stretching the floor and shows good range for such a strong forward. The five-star forward has the physical tools, rebounding, strength and shot to be an effective all-around player for the Volunteers and in the NBA. He needs to continue working on his defense. if he can have consistency offensively and become a better defender, particularly on the perimeter, he can potentially position himself as a first round talent.
23. Chicago Bulls (From Portland) [Player: Mark Williams] 7-0 245 C Duke Fr.
The 7’0, 245-pound Williams is a mountain of a man on the court for the Blue Devils. The former five-star recruit averaged 7.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just over 15 minutes a game, showing great improvement as the season went on. His biggest strength is his shot blocking, where he can be a one-man wrecking ball on the interior, blocking shots and continually affecting incoming slashers and big men. Williams is not much of an offensive threat yet, but shows some potential as a rim runner, and mid range jump shooter, impressive combined with his athleticism and powerful frame. If he can begin to stretch his range and add more diversity to his offensive ability, he could be a dominant center for the Blue Devils. He is reminiscent of a stronger Mitchell Robinson, a big who uses his size and speed to grab easy put back chances, run in transition and throw down lobs. His defense is already at a very impressive level, and some time playing alongside Paolo Banchero, working on his shot and decision making should go a long way in enhancing his draft stock.
24. Milwaukee Bucks Dyson Daniels 6-6 190 SG Australia/G League 2003
After compiling 23 points, six steals, four assists and three rebounds for the senior Australian team, the 6’6 guard has moved into the first round of our mock. With long arms, bounce and feel for the game, An extremely mature teenager, Daniels is one of the most intriguing players in this year’s draft pool. He is excellent around the rim, and can finish over much taller defenders thanks to his leaping ability and touch. Despite his guard size, he even has some ability to defend the interior, flashing shot blocking early in his career. The 18-year-old Australian phenom is heading to the G League Ignite, hoping to follow the path from last year’s class of stars to the NBA. With his finesse, size, shooting and youth, he has the potential to stand out in the G League.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from LA Clippers) TyTy Washington 6-3 185 PG Kentucky Fr.
Washington could be the next great one-and-done point guard to come through John Calipari’s program. The 6’3, 185-pound guard is committed to the Wildcats, and the five-star has all the tools to be a tremendous player at the collegiate and professional level. From his freshman to junior seasons, Washington averaged 20.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.8 steals. He also shot better than 50% from the field and 40% behind the three-point arc. He can get to his spots effortlessly and has the incredible athleticism to evade almost any defender around the rim. He was a stat-sheet stuffer in high school, and his smooth shooting stroke, frame and quickness could help him continue that sizzling scoring at Kentucky. He is also a fiery defender, and his build and attention to detail fortify the idea that he could lockdown both guard positions, creating more flexibility for the coaching staff in Lexington.
26. Denver Nuggets Carlos Alocen 6-4 190 PG Spain 2000
A professional in Spain since he was 14 years old, Alocen has gained some traction as an NBA point guard. Despite some less than stellar production and athleticism, the 6’4 Spaniard has shown a tremendous feel for the game and ability to run a team. He’s got a natural ability to play the lead guard position with playmaking chops, decisiveness and a willingness to move the rock. Valued for his passing and size, Alocen still must improve in a number of areas including outside shooting and defense. But the Real Madrid guard has a lot of interest because his floor is so high. His lack of standout stats should not be confused for a lack of impact as Alocen brings great stability to a team, making those around him better with his toughness, leadership, passing, IQ and feel for the game.
27. Miami Heat (From Brooklyn) Kennedy Chandler 6-1 170 PG Tennessee Fr.
A 6’1, 170-pound guard from Memphis, Tennessee, joins bigman Hatley-Huntfield as a Volunteer commit. The two five-star players should form a formidable combo for Head Coach Rick Barnes. Chandler scored 14.8 points and grabbed 4.2 rebounds per game, while being a menace defensively, with 3.3 steals per game. The diminutive point guard should be able to lock down very good ball handlers with his speed, strength, and activity. Chandler is a player with an extremely high engine and is always locked in on both ends of the court. he’s a sneaky athlete that will surprise with his athleticism and rise up for highlight dunks on occasion, but doesn’t always find ways to utilize it. On the offensive end, Chandler was incredibly accurate, hitting 57% of his field goals and 50% of his threes. He was not an elite scorer, but did pour in buckets with amazing efficiency, and highlighted that with his blistering clip from behind the arc. Perhaps the top pure point guard in the freshman class, with a lot of Team USA Select experience, If he can show a similar level of defense, hustle and shooting for Tennessee, the point guard could solidify a spot in the first round in the months leading up to the draft.
28. Philadelphia Sixers Taevion Kinsey 6-6 190 SG Marshall Sr.
As some players are valued for what they could be in the future, Kinsey is targeted more because of what he is — a walking bucket. He averaged 19.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and three assists for the Marshall Thundering Herd, while converting more than 50% of his field goals and 40% of his triples. There are questions regarding the level of competition he faces as well as his statistical jump from year to year, and those are fair, but the 6’6 junior guard can really score. He can attack with ease, creates for himself and others, and is a good shooter from all levels of the court. His 81.8% free throw rate also showcases his touch. The small school star has blue blood talent and might just need a larger platform to catch fire among NBA circles. There just aren’t many players that are as versatile and efficient scoring as he is, especially when you mix in that he is a solid rebounder, passer, and defender.
29. Oklahoma City (From Phoenix) Marcus Bagley 6-7 215 SF Arizona St. So.
Bagley dipped his toes in the NBA draft waters but will ultimately return to the Sun Devils for his sophomore season. The 6’7, 215-pound Sacramento native scored 10.8 points, and pulled in 6.2 rebounds while shooting a measly 39% from the floor. The physical forward shows promise as a multi-positional defender, shooter, and rebounder. He knocked down 35% of his triples, highlighting that given a little bit more seasoning, he could be a real weapon from behind the arc. He already has NBA size, length, and strength given his impressive physical tools that should help him with interior scoring and defending, as well as rebounding. He is just 19-years-old, so he has time to continue enhancing his game and becoming a more well-rounded offensive threat. The biggest step in that maturation will be shot selection. He needs to play to his strengths, improve his shot selection, and look to become better at creating offense for himself off the dribble.
30. Memphis Grizzlies (From Utah) Agustin Ubal 6-6 180 SG Uruguay 2003
A player that’s sure to draw a lot of looks this year due to his elite level shooting ability, Ubal is one of the most promising next generation international prospects, Playing in Spain, the 2003 born player is a 6’6 shooting guard/small forward from Montevideo, Uruguay. He is a smooth shooter, playmaker and finisher, and gets out well on the break. The young South American averaged almost 11 points and over 40% shooting from deep for FC Barcelona over his best four games. Unfortunately, he also disappeared for three games, scoring 1.3 points per game while hitting just 20% of his looks. The wiry wing prospect needs to work on his consistency, and continue to gain strength. He’s not the most explosive player, but has a solid all-around game and in particular his outside shooting ability gives him a lot of promise.
Others to Watch:
Jaime Jaquez 6-6 220 SF UCLA So.
A crucial member of UCLA’s stunning run to the Final Four, Jaquez averaged 12.3 points and 6.1 boards while hitting almost 40% of his triples. A tough-shot maker, Jaquez always seems to bury shots in big moments, and isn’t bothered by tight defense. The 6’6 guard/forward has good length and range, covering multiple positions on defense, while touting versatility on the offensive end as well. His improvement from his first to second year also shows that Jaquez is not done improving, and could be a 15 point per game scorer next season. His three-point shooting is the key to his NBA hopes, as Jaquez is one of the more prolific shooters in the pool of applicants. If he can become a better secondary playmaker, there would be very few holes in the game of the California kid. Jaquez is a winner and despite some physical limitations, projects as an excellent role player for the next level.
Ochai Agbaji 6-6 215 SG Kansas Jr.
The Kansas Jayhawk junior has steadily become more productive every year in Lawrence. The 6’5 guard can score from multiple areas on the court, and defends at a high level. Agbaji is older than many of his peers on this list, but his maturity and continued development show that he may not have reached his ceiling. A smart and aggressive player, Agbaji has become a more reliable outside shooter, leading to a great leap in his NBA readiness. He still has question marks around his shooting, especially with poor free throw marks, but the intangibles, size and scoring punch are all there for the talented scoring guard. One way to improve his offensive output is to run more pick and rolls for him. He is quick, gets to the basket, and his 1.9 assists per game show a sneaky good passer for a shooting guard. Letting Agbaji run pick and rolls would help open up his strong suit, getting to the rack, while giving Kansas’ big men a chance for easy lob opportunities.
Kendall Brown 6-7 210 SF/PF Baylor Fr.
An athletic and explosive small forward, Brown is a 6’8, 205-pound defensive minded Baylor commit. After dropping over 20 points per game his senior year, the Kansas native proved he can score with ease. The question for Brown, like so many other young players, is his shooting and three-point shot. If he can grow into shooting in the upper 30’s, instead of 33% like he did this year, he can begin to fully utilize his physical gifts. He has the defensive ability already, as he can guard 1-4, and nabbed 1.8 steals per game in his senior season. He is still not much of an interior defender, but can take away guards and forwards on the perimeter thanks to his active hands, quick feet and energy. Brown should be a solid addition for Head Coach Scott Drew, who has had success with players like Brown in the past like Taurean Prince. Brown could be the next first round pick to come out of Baylor, especially if he can develop his outside shooting touch.
N'Faly Dante 6-11 230 C Oregon Jr.
One of the premier interior defenders in the draft, the mountain from Mali blocked 1.2 shots and grabbed 1.5 steals per game. The 6’11, 230-pound center for the Ducks was a force around the basket this season, averaging over eight points and five boards, while hitting more than 65% of his chances. Not much of a threat from outside the paint, Dante does not fit into the modern, space and shooting based NBA. However, his physical defense, size and athleticism can appeal to teams who like an interior bruiser, shot blocker and rebounder near the rim.
Caleb Love 6-3 190 PG North Carolina So.
A 6’3, 195-pound combo guard for the Tar Heels, Love averaged 10.5 points and 3.6 assists per game as a freshman. The sophomore guard will have to drastically improve his efficiency, as he shot under 32% from the floor and 30% from deep. However, his free throw percentage is above 80%, creating optimism that he just needs more time to get his shot figured out. Love is a long and strong defender, able to limit the opposing team’s best guard. He is also excellent at forcing turnovers, with 1.2 steals per game. One other cause for concern with the North Carolina guard are turnovers, as Love averaged more than three per game. He has the physical make up and athleticism, but the consistency and production needs to improve in his second year with the storied program in order to justify a spot in the first.