#TEAMPLAYER SELECTEDPICK GRADEINSTANT ANALYSIS
1Minnesota Timberwolves Logo MinnesotaAnthony Edwards
A-It is extremely rare to see a consensus No. 1 overall pick generate such varying scouting assessments. From the right angle, Anthony Edwards looks like a next-generation Dwyane Wade. From another, he looks more like Dion Waiters. When he's at his best, Edwards is a fearsome slasher with second-to-none body control and dynamite athleticism. He is absolutely enormous for a wing – he looks more like a running back than a shooting guard. He destroyed the P3 measurements in terms of his ability to accelerate and decelerate, but his effort level at Georgia was as inconsistent as his perimeter jumper. He makes a lot of sense as this draft's top pick, because his upside at a valuable position is unrivaled. If he hits his ceiling, Edwards is one of the only players in this draft who could qualify for multiple All-Star teams, and he is an ideal fit alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.
2Golden St. WarriorsGolden StateJames WisemanA-James Wiseman's value can only be determined through the eye of the beholder. There are less than 10 human beings walking the earth with Wiseman's combination of height, length, all-around skill, and athleticism. If he puts it all together, Wiseman could be a healthier Joel Embiid without the addiction to Twitter and Shirley Temples. But if his effort level wanes, we could see another Hassan Whiteside type of center who hoards stats in losing efforts. Wiseman's full potential, however? All-Star berths, All-NBA Teams, and All-NBA Defensive Teams. He will have every opportunity to reach his full potential with the Warriors. If Golden State elects to hang onto Wiseman, it's hard to envision a better situation for him to develop – excellent coaching, Hall-of-Fame teammates, and Draymond Green ensuring that Wiseman won't take plays off.
3Charlotte HornetsCharlotteLaMelo BallB+Just watch him pass. Forget about the terrible Australian league games, where his shot selection was allowed to deteriorate. Forget about his father's traveling circus. Forget about lackluster Zoom meetings or the fact that he hasn't played a meaningful basketball game in years. Just watch him grab a rebound in traffic and survey the floor with his 6-8 frame. Watch him set up the offense as if he is a 10-year NBA veteran. Watch him wiggle and maneuver through creases and spot teammates who don't even know they're open. The best version of LaMelo Ball is everything a team needs to win at a high level – savvy playmaking and an approach that makes everyone around him better. His floor? You saw how his older brother looked during the Pelicans' disappointing run in the bubble. But that passing is the single-best skill any player has in this draft. The Hornets desperately need a star, and Ball brings serious star potential.
4Chicago BullsChicago
Patrick WilliamsBOn paper, Patrick Williams possesses everything every team needs. A powerfully built 6-7 combo forward, Williams can do a little bit of everything offensively, including flashes of an emerging pick-and-roll game and encouraging range on his jump shot. He chose to attend Florida State specifically to become a better defensive player, where his upside on that end is "potential All-Defensive Team selection." However, he doesn't dominate on either end the way one would hope, given his physical tools. He didn't start for the Seminoles (he was the ACC Sixth Man of the Year, but still) and he doesn't command possessions the way the NBA's best wing players do. Does Williams top out as a high-level role player, or is there room for something special? He's more athletic and brings a higher upside than Otto Porter to the Bulls. His skillset provides a nice counterpoint to Lauri Markkanen.
5Cleveland Cavs LogoClevelandIsaac OkoroBImagine if an M-80 could play small forward. That's what it's like watching Isaac Okoro bully unsuspecting SEC wings last year. He plays much bigger than 6-6, due to his 8-5 standing reach and his impressive athleticism. If you consider motor a skill (I do), Okoro has the ability to play at or near his maximum effort level for much longer than most wing players. That motor helps him defensively, as well – he isn't a "gambler" who will rack up huge steal numbers, but he knows where to go and how to hound ball-handlers on the perimeter. He has All-Defensive Team type of potential. His offensive skill level is still a little ways off, and his subpar shooting percentages are cause for concern (28% from 3, 67% from the line), but his combination of youth, athleticism, and effort level make him a worthy selection here. Look for him to have a similar NBA trajectory to that of Miles Bridges in Charlotte.
6Atlanta Hawks LogoAtlantaOnyeka OkongwuAOnyeka Okongwu passes the eye test – and then some. He turns 20 in a month, but he has the physical frame of a full-grown NBA veteran. He might give up a little in height and bulk to the truly large NBA centers, but otherwise, he is the ideal modern big defender. He can blow up any pick and roll and protect the rim with the best of them – a rare combination of skills. Okongwu might have the highest defensive upside of anyone in this draft. He remains raw offensively and doesn't possess the all-around floor game of Bam Adebayo (very few players do), but he is a high-efficiency player who doesn't attempt to do anything he can't do. His defensive ability alone will be enough for him to earn playing time while he develops the rest of his offensive skillset. Okongwu is a fascinating front-court partner for the lean and skilled John Collins in Atlanta, and he will bring some much-needed toughness and defensive intensity to the Hawks.
7Detroit PistonsDetroitKillian HayesBSlick lefties who live in the lane will always have a spot on my team. Killian Hayes might be the shiftiest player in this draft. He can start and stop on a dime and make second- and third-level passes off the bounce with either hand. He can make almost any play a team would need out of the pick and roll, as he has improved significantly as a pull-up shooter. Skeptics would say that much of his best play has come against competition that isn't as stiff as the NBA athletes he'll face, and Hayes might not have the explosion he needs to get his herky-jerky game going. Look for Hayes to develop into a Caris LeVert/Spencer Dinwiddie type of rangy playmaker who thrives with the ball in his hands. The Pistons desperately need anyone who can make something happen off the bounce, so Hayes will get an immediate opportunity to make an impact in Detroit. As much as we like Hayes and his upside, are the Pistons going to regret passing on Tyrese Haliburton here?
8New York KnicksNew YorkObi ToppinA-Obi Toppin submitted the best college basketball season out of anyone in this draft. It isn't particularly close, either. Nobody in this draft has his flair for the dramatic dunk. No big man can stay in front of him on his pump-and-go game, thanks in large part to his surprisingly solid shooting range (39% from 3 last year). If you squint, you can see flashes of prime Amare Stoudemire in his game. However, he is far more stiff in his movements than one would expect from such a high-level athlete. It has nothing to do with lack of awareness or his basketball IQ, either. He just doesn't move the way you would want him to, especially defensively. At age 22 (23 in March), it's unclear whether that will improve much, either. Look for Toppin to have a similar rookie season to that of Brandon Clarke, who finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting and tallied a PER of nearly 21 in 22 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies. The Knicks must be thrilled. Rumor has it they were looking to trade up to secure Toppin. They didn't have to.
9Washington DC WizardsWashingtonDeni AvdijaB+We can all stop with the Luka Doncic comparisons here, but it is fair to project Deni Avdija's upside to that of 2009 Hedo Turkoglu. People seem to forget that Turkoglu was the lead ball handler and decision maker on a team that made the NBA Finals. Avdija is a whiz with the ball in his hands, and at 6-9, he can survey the defense and make plays smaller players simply cannot see. He is much more active on defense than one would expect, given his subpar length and athleticism, so it's unlikely that he will get played off the floor due to defensive deficiencies. The real concern with Avdija is whether he can make enough perimeter jumpers to keep defenses honest. He is a poor foul shooter (56%) for a high-usage ball handler. If the jumper never comes, he will be less like Turkoglu and more like Dario Saric, who is still bouncing around the league trying to find his fit. It seemed unlikely that Avdija would drop this far, so the Wizards have to be thrilled to snag him here. Will he be enough to convince Bradley Beal to play the rest of his prime in DC?
10Phoenix SunsPhoenixJalen SmithB-Jalen Smith – one of college basketball's most versatile and productive big men – put up strong counting stats in a variety of categories as a sophomore. He made an impressive leap across the board after an intriguing freshman campaign, but the most eye-opening improvement came in the 3-point column – 27% to 37% on nearly 3 attempts per game. Smith gets after it on the glass and provides well-above-average rim protection (2.4 blocks per game), but his main challenge at the next level will be whether he can improve upon his stiff, sometimes robotic movements when he's in space. Smith has had trouble adding bulk to his lower body, so he might struggle against stronger post players. But he is a high-character, high-IQ player with a tremendous work ethic and considerable upside. He is a slight reach at No. 10, but he will benefit tremendously from starting his NBA career with a point guard like Chris Paul.
11San Antonio SpursSan AntonioDevin VassellB+Few players have Devin Vassell's combination of bounce and glide. He stood out on that hyper-aggressive Florida State squad due in large part to his casual elegance. Vassell's approach should not be confused with nonchalance – he just plays with a sense of cool. The game looks like it comes easy to him. Much like everyone else on his team, Vassell can do a little bit of everything ¬– handle, spot-up (career 41.7% 3-point shooter in two seasons), penetrate, dish, and fly in transition. The 6-7 Vassell could use a little extra bulk to hang with the NBA's bigger wings, but the main question is whether Vassell is going to bring it every night.
12Sacramento KingsSacramentoTyrese HaliburtonATyrese Haliburton's off-the-charts basketball IQ and his magnetic personality make him a coach's dream, regardless of who else is on the team. He is a floor general in every sense of the term, but he can also play off the ball alongside a high-usage player, thanks in large part to his impressive spot-up shooting numbers and his ability to penetrate against aggressive closeouts. His defensive versatility is also quite appealing, as Haliburton is quick enough to slide his feet against speedier guards and rangy enough to jump passing lanes for steals. The most significant red flag? That jumper is funky. It goes in – and it goes in a lot – but it is reasonable to wonder if that low and slow release will be nearly as successful against NBA-level athletes. It would also do him some good to add a little bulk to that wiry 185-pound frame, especially if a team is going to ask him to hang in with the James Harden types defensively. Haliburton is everything the Kings could hope for – sharing the ball with De'Aaron Fox will be a matchup nightmare for most NBA backcourts. This is the steal of the draft thus far.
13New Orleans PelicansNew OrleansKira LewisA-Kira Lewis is at or near the top of this draft class in terms of raw baseline-to-baseline speed. Lewis can fly with the ball in his hands and, at 6-3, can make big-time plays for himself and for others in transition. We saw his assist numbers take a big jump from 2.9 his freshman year at Alabama up to 5.2. He's an emerging jump shooter, as well, hitting just under 37% of his 3s on a good number of attempts. He isn't the kind of dead-eye marksman who can warp defenses with 30-foot bombs, but he shoots well enough to keep a defense honest. His length and quickness will serve him well on the defensive end, as well. His ceiling will be determined by his ability to add weight without sacrificing speed – he tips the scales at only 165 pounds right now. But he is extremely young for a sophomore (only 19), so he has plenty of upside remaining. Lewis fits in nicely with what the New Orleans Pelicans are building around Zion Williamson and should help fill that Jrue Holiday-sized hole.
14Boston CelticsBostonAaron NesmithAAaron Nesmith hasn't even suited up for an NBA team yet, but he is likely itching to get some shots up. Had his sophomore season at Vanderbilt not been cut short, he probably would have led college basketball in 3s attempted and made. He canned 52% of his 3s on more than eight attempts and filled it up to the tune of 23 points per game. At 6-6 with strong overall physical measurables and defensive upside, the Klay Thompson comparison has gained steam heading into this draft. Concerns still surround his injured right foot and whether his phenomenal 14-game sophomore campaign is the real deal or if it's just a hot streak over a small sample size – Nesmith was only a 33.7% 3-point shooter as a freshman. But at this point in the draft, he is clearly the best scorer available. He should contribute right away for the Boston Celtics, who desperately need some bench-scoring juice to go alongside their potent young wings. Great pick.
15Orlando MagicOrlandoCole AnthonyBCole Anthony has been on the NBA radar for a very long time, considering he just turned 20. His father, Greg, was a longtime NBA veteran and TV announcer. Cole rolled into Chapel Hill as one of the most touted high school guards and led the Tar Heels in scoring at 18.5 points per game. Anthony isn't a classic set-the-table point guard. He treats himself as the first, second, and third scoring option. He isn't the most efficient scorer (38% FG, 34% 3pt), but he is a shifty, aggressive scorer who knows how to get to the rim and get to the line. He is a solid on-ball defender with terrific size for his position, but Anthony might top out as a scoring sparkplug off the bench if his overall playmaking skills plateau. The Orlando Magic roster is still a bit lopsided toward big men, so Anthony brings a much-needed dimension to their backcourt.
16Detroit PistonsDetroitIsaiah StewartC+While Jaden McDaniels received most of the preseason accolades, it was Isaiah Stewart who emerged as the most consistent big man on that Washington squad. Stewart bulldozed his way to 17/9 every night with a couple of blocks. He knows how to use his wide shoulders and 250-pound frame to clear space, and his 7-4 wingspan helps him play taller than 6-9. He wasn't asked to play much perimeter defense in Washington's zone, so it will take him some time to figure out how to cover spread pick-and-roll attacks. He also provides next to no floor spacing; nearly all of his offense comes within five feet of the rim. He is a major reach at No. 16, but as Woj reports, there is a personal connection between Stewart and new Pistons GM Troy Weaver. Stewart brings a bit of that old-school 2004 Detroit vibe back to a squad that needs his toughness.
17Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma CityAleksej PokusevskiC-Aleksej Pokusevski is this year's mysterious "guard skills in a big man's body" prospect. The 7-foot Serbian can shoot, handle, pass, and run the floor like a small forward. His height and his high release point allow him to get his shot off no matter who is defending him. He is a deadly pick-and-pop partner, as he can either be the ball handler or the screener who flares out for jumpers. The obvious hole in his game is his lack of muscle mass. He weighs only 190 pounds and has already suffered a variety of injuries in his young career. It's unclear whether he will ever get strong or athletic enough to play in the NBA. But as one of the draft's youngest prospects (doesn't turn 19 until December), he will have time to develop and mature. The Thunder traded 25 and 28 for the opportunity to roll the dice on him.
18Dallas MavericksDallasJosh GreenA-A classic "glue guy," Josh Green rarely tries to do anything he can't do, but instead focuses on all the overlooked "dirty work" plays that help a team win. Green led the Arizona Wildcats in steals this past season and emerged as the steadiest contributor for an up-and-down (somewhat disappointing) squad. At 6-6 and a solid 215 pounds, the athletic Green can credibly guard anyone 1-4 and he shows the rare ability to gamble intelligently for a prospect who just turned 20. Green is also a decent 3-point shooter (36%) and an above-average secondary playmaker/facilitator. He won't create his own offense yet and his offensive upside is perhaps a bit lower than other first-round wings, but it's nearly impossible to envision a scenario where a player with Green's all-around skills ends up a bust. He is an ideal fit alongside Luka Doncic and should be an immediate contributor for the Mavericks.
19Detroit PistonsDetroitSaddiq BeyAThe Villanova product has everything scouts are looking for from the SF/PF position – size, length, versatility, and (most intriguing) a much-improved shooting stroke (45% from 3 on a hefty 5.6 attempts per game). Saddiq Bey is exactly the type of player we've come to expect from Jay Wright's program – self-assured, high-IQ, extremely high motor. Bey is a classic late bloomer who wasn't highly recruited out of high school, but he has built himself into a legitimate NBA prospect. He's a smart defender who knows how to use his length and height to his advantage. He isn't the most explosive athlete – particularly compared to some of this draft's bouncier wings – and he isn't the kind of player who is going to create his own offense at the NBA level quite yet. But he has a much higher floor than many of his contemporaries and will contribute to a winning effort in Detroit on Day 1.
20Miami HeatMiamiPrecious AchiuwaA-Once the NCAA and James Wiseman decided to part ways, Precious Achiuwa took advantage of the situation in a major way. The athletic marvel showed there is much more to his game than his physics-defying explosiveness en route to the AAC Player of the Year award. He is one of the best rebounders available in this year's draft – particularly on the offensive glass. Achiuwa was a man among boys on the defensive end, as well, anchoring one of college basketball's best defenses with his unique ability to protect the paint and switch along the perimeter. At this stage of his development, his offensive game relies mainly on dunks and short jump hooks, but he showed just enough of an emerging 3-point stroke (13-40 on the season) to get scouts excited. He isn't a ballhandler or a playmaker yet, but Achiuwa can definitely contribute serious athleticism, rebounding, and defense to any big man rotation. Achiuwa's whole approach will fit right in with #HeatCulture. Imagine driving the lane and seeing Bam Adebayo and Achiuwa waiting to greet you. Yikes.
21Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphiaTyrese MaxeyBTyrese Maxey is the classic aggressive, penetrating, speedy combo guard we have come to expect from John Calipari's NBA pipeline. At 6-3, 200 with terrific length and lateral quickness, it's easy to envision Maxey capably playing either guard spot, or even holding his own in various three-guard lineups like the ones he helped anchor at Kentucky. His true upside lies in his abilities as a one-on-one defender, where he can apply serious ball pressure the length of the floor. Even though Maxey possesses a nice-looking shooting stroke, he struggled with consistency throughout the season and made less than 30% of his 3-pointers. If he can't get his jumper to fall, he'll top out as a defensive specialist. The 76ers really need a dynamic point guard. He will have an opportunity to play right away, but he doesn't do much to solve this roster's shooting woes.
22Denver NuggetsDenverZeke NnajiBIt's easy to envision a scenario in which Zeke Nnaji earns millions of dollars by spending this next decade setting screens 22 feet away from the hoop and diving relentlessly to the rim. Nnaji is a springy, lively, wiry big man who plays with an extremely high motor and flashes a bit more interior skill than the typical dive man. He doesn't pick up silly fouls and he knows how to position himself on defense. Nnaji's weaknesses center primarily around what happens when he has the ball and the immediate play is taken away. He commits a ton of turnovers for a big man and he struggles when he has to make even first-read passes out of the post. He also offers next to no floor spacing quite yet, so his offensive role will remain limited. But he brings an entirely new dimension to this Nuggets squad backing up Nikola Jokic. Nnaji will also provide insurance in case Jerami Grant departs in free agency.
23Minnesota Timberwolves Logo MinnesotaLeandro BolmaroB-Leandro Bolmaro is a lanky, high-IQ wing out of Argentina with tremendous confidence and a strong all-around floor game. He plays all-out pretty much all the time, which can be a positive or a negative, depending on the situation. He has much better court vision and passing ability than most players at his size, and he can even make plays out of the pick and roll as a primary ball handler. He hasn't really been tested against NBA-level competition yet, and it's unclear whether he has the athleticism to hang at this level. Bolmaro isn't a knockdown shooter quite yet, either – his fundamentals are all over the place. If he can fine-tune his game a little bit, his energy and court vision could prove to be serious assets.
24Denver NuggetsDenverRJ HamptonA-Much like Haliburton and Hayes, RJ Hampton possesses a unique combination of height, length, and court vision for a combo guard. Hampton came out of high school as one of the highest-ranked players in his class, but an underwhelming, low-efficiency season with the New Zealand Breakers has hurt his draft stock. Concerns surrounding his inconsistent perimeter jump shot has teams wondering whether NBA defenders will simply play under every screen and dare him to shoot. If he can get his jumper under control, Hampton could end up the steal of the draft, as his playmaking skills, raw speed, and defensive upside would otherwise put him in the conversation with his lottery-bound peers. This is exactly the kind of pick we have come to expect from Tim Connelly and the Nuggets.
25Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma CityImmanuel QuickleyB-Immanuel Quickley should be named Immanuel Shootley (sorry). He is a true flame-thrower from behind the arc and automatic from the free-throw line. He can hold his own defensively (6-10 wingspan), which will allow him to leverage his tremendous shooting ability in clutch moments. At 6-3, he will be an undersized shooting guard at the next level, as he has yet to show the kind of passing/playmaking skills to play meaningful minutes at point guard. His ceiling tops out as a Lou Williams type of scoring threat off the bench. He's a bit of a reach at this point in the draft, but he's going to be an exciting player.
26Boston CelticsBostonPayton PritchardBPayton Pritchard is what you would call a "gamer." Pritchard is a tough-as-nails lead guard and he saves his best performances for the biggest moments. He can – and will – shoot it from anywhere, and he maintains above-average efficiency (47/41.5/82 shooting splits) on a high usage rate. He was the unquestioned leader of that Oregon team, and any NBA clubhouse would benefit from Pritchard's intensity and tenacity. He is older (turns 23 in January) and he didn't really play consistently at this level until his senior season. He'll have to overcome some athletic limitations to hang at the NBA level, but there is no questioning his desire to do so.
27Utah JazzUtahUdoka AzubuikeB-Udoka Azubuike rarely takes a shot he can't make. He converted on nearly 75% of his shot attempts as a senior, using his enormous 7-foot, 270-pound frame to crush the teenage boys that attempted to defended him. He grew up playing soccer, and it shows in his excellent footwork near the hoop. He is also a tremendous rebounder and shot-blocker. Fifteen years ago, Azubuike would have been a top-10 pick, but the game has moved away from the traditional deep-pivot centers. He will struggle to defend in space and he will likely never develop any kind of perimeter jumper, but he should find a way to carve out a role with his size and skills – particularly against certain matchups.
28Minnesota Timberwolves Logo MinnesotaJaden McDanielsB-Jaden McDaniels is one of this draft's most versatile and skilled face-up bigs. Few players with his height and athleticism also flash his kind of perimeter touch. McDaniels can handle it a little bit and loves to shoot it over unsuspecting defenders who don't think he is going to pull up from 22 feet. His perimeter skillset combined with his defensive upside have some scouts wondering if he could develop into the rarest of unicorns – the rim-protecting high-volume 3-point shooter. The trouble is, at least right now, McDaniels is extremely raw on both ends and often fails to play up to his prodigious potential. He came to Washington with such high expectations, but the on-court production simply did not match his high school pedigree. He has more upside than anyone at this point in the draft, but his team will need to exhibit a great deal of patience while he irons out the kinks in his game.
29Toronto RaptorsTorontoMalachi FlynnA-Malachi Flynn is the archetypical old-school "floor general" style of point guard. Flynn knows exactly what to do and exactly where his teammates are supposed to be. He won't wow anyone with his athletic measurables or his P3 explosability or whatever, but Flynn just knows how to play basketball. He's a solid perimeter shooter and a magnificent table-setter. He is also a heady, tenacious defender who knows how to pressure the ball and jump passing lanes. At age 22, what you see might be what you get, however. It's unlikely that we'll see him make some major leap in terms of his athleticism or his frame. But at this point in the draft, Flynn makes all the sense in the world for a team that is looking to win as many games as possible and needs another member in its guard rotation who can shoot, pass, handle, and defend his butt off. Flynn and Fred Van Vleet have a lot in common.
30Memphis GrizzliesMemphisDesmond BaneB+Solid. Steady. Dependable. Reliable. What you see is exactly what you get with Desmond Bane. The 6-6 wing is as consistent in any player in this draft, and he has more game film to evaluate than anyone. After four heavy-minutes seasons at TCU, it's clear what Bane does well – he's a high-motor, savvy shooter with range to spare. He canned 43% of his 3s over 141 college games, including a 44.2% mark as a senior. He crashes the glass and flashes more playmaking/passing skills than most long-range bombers, as well. At age 22, Bane's upside might be limited. His negative wingspan (only 6-4) and comparative lack of fluidity and lack of quickness could hinder the defense portion of his 3-and-D career path. It's not hard to imagine Bane carving out a Danny Green type of role in the NBA, but remember, Green has a 6-10 wingspan.
31Dallas MavericksDallasTyrell TerryASome college shooters trick you into thinking they will be legitimate NBA floor spacers because they can knock down a decent percentage of shots from the college 3-point line. Others find ways to extend that range to the NBA line. Even fewer possess that true floor-warping range that forces defenses to pick them up at 30 feet. Terry has that kind of range. He was one of college basketball's most efficient long-range scorers last season, showing effective spot-up and pull-up shooting ability. Terry is a better-than-you-think defender and a real pest on the glass. He isn't a natural playmaker and, at 165 pounds, is going to take a bit of a pounding early on, but Terry is one of this draft class's most thoughtful, intuitive, and self-aware prospects. Bet on Terry to find his niche in this league. Dallas is the ideal spot for him to land. He brings a similar skillset as Seth Curry, and we have ample evidence of how well Seth has played alongside Doncic.
32Charlotte HornetsCharlotteVernon CareyB-Vernon Carey is this draft's lone true BIG man. The other center prospects are either undersized athletic freaks or extremely tall and lean centers with perimeter skills. At 6-10, 270, Carey can simply lower his shoulder and plow through anyone attempting to defend him. He isn't just a bruiser, though. Carey is a highly skilled offensive threat with surprising agility, tremendous hands, and a consistent approach. He is like a running back who averages four yards per carry – feed him the rock and he'll pick up first downs. He knows how to use his wide frame to establish position and box out, as well. His struggles will come defensively. Teams will pick on him mercilessly in the pick and roll and force Carey to defend in space. Carey could carve out a career similar to Enes Kanter – a scoring/offensive rebounding force in some matchups, and a defensive liability in others.
33New York KnicksNew YorkDaniel OturuB+Few players made a bigger leap from the 2018-19 season to the 2019-20 season than Daniel Oturu. As a freshman, the 6-10 big man looked like a promising rebounder with an emerging jumper. As a sophomore, he was a double-double machine and looked like a two-way wrecking ball, putting up 20/11/2.5 blocks per game for Minnesota. He works extremely hard on his game and he takes coaching to heart, but he will never be the jaw-dropping athlete that currently populate many NBA big-man rotations. He is a bit stiff in his movements and it takes him an extra beat to load up his jump shot. If Oturu can get 10% quicker ¬– both in his physical movements and his decision-making processes – his all-around skillset should be able to shine.
34Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma CityTheo MaledonBKillian Hayes generates most of the headlines, but France's Theo Maledon is a comparable prospect in terms of height (6-5), skillset, and craftiness. Even though he's only 19, Maledon has a fine "old-man game" already, thanks to his assortment of change-of-pace dribbles and wonky floater game. He likes to make plays for others, but he isn't timid in creating his own opportunities. At this stage of his development, his offensive efficiency simply isn't there, due in large part to his struggles from behind the arc. His shot mechanics seem solid, but he doesn't have a very quick release at this point. He has plenty of room to grow, and his overall skillset is quite intriguing. This is a high-upside play that could pay dividends in a year or two.
35Sacramento KingsSacramentoXavier TillmanB-Xavier Tillman is a smart, unselfish, well-rounded bruiser who competes hard and fits in well with a variety of teammates. He defends his butt off – Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year – and already exhibits a veteran's level of understanding on how to defend the pick and roll. He is a coach-on-the-floor type who communicates well. He isn't very explosive and is undersized at 6-8. It's unclear what position he'll play at the next level, and his 27% conversion rate from 3 is a major source of concern. But it's possible that Tillman will have a similar career path of Grant Williams in Boston.
36Memphis GrizzliesMemphisTyler BeyA-Tyler Bey is an unorthodox prospect, but a fascinating one. Much like fellow Colorado Buffalo Andre Roberson, Bey doesn't seem to occupy any traditional offensive role that one would find in the NBA, but he is among the most destructive perimeter defensive forces available. It's unusual to see a 6-7 player play primarily in the post offensively, but he carved out an effective niche near the hoop due in large part to his elite athleticism, length (7-1 wingspan), and relentless effort level. He doesn't shoot it from the perimeter very often, but if that skill develops to even a passable level, watch out. Bey was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year because of his ability to shut down slippery guards at the point of attack and switch across multiple positions. His offensive upside is limited, but his defensive potential is tremendous.
37Washington DC WizardsWashingtonVit KrejciCVit Krejci is an athletic, high-energy playmaker with great size (6-7) and court vision. He has played well against tough competition, and will likely continue playing overseas for a year or two before the Wizards bring him over. Krejci knows how to handle himself on the court, but he'll be recovering from a pretty serious ACL injury and has yet to show the kind of perimeter shooting ability most teams want from the wing.
38Utah JazzUtahSaben LeeB-Saben Lee is a speedy playmaker who lives at the line and loves to pressure the hoop. He really gets after it on both ends of the floor. Lee is a bit undersized, but he doesn't let that stop him from throwing his body around the court. He struggles to shoot it from the 3-point line and will need to get that sorted out before a team will trust him with major minutes.
39New Orleans PelicansNew OrleansElijah HughesB+Elijah Hughes is a solid, sturdy wing who can get his points in a variety of ways. He isn't shy letting it fly behind the arc, but his percentages dipped a bit (37% as a sophomore to 34% as a junior) when Syracuse employed Hughes as the lead scoring option. He is a surprisingly adept playmaker at his size (6-6, 220) who can operate as a secondary ball handler. He has the physical tools to be a stout defender as soon as he unlearns all the Syracuse zone business. Hughes is an older prospect (turns 23 in March), so his upside is likely limited. But he is a high-character, coachable player who will make positive contributions right away.
40Memphis GrizzliesMemphisRobert WoodardBRobert Woodard II is an intriguing 3-and-D prospect with serious size, strength, length, and bounce. He can shift between either forward spot and make big plays on both ends. He hit an encouraging 43% of his 3s as a sophomore, but that might be a bit of a fluke, as he hit only 27% as a freshman and has struggled mightily from the line as a collegiate player. He isn't the kind of player who will create his own offense, but he plays a team game and loves to do the dirty work.
41San Antonio SpursSan AntonioTre JonesA-Tre Jones is a hellacious on-ball defender and an emerging offensive threat as a combo guard. He competes hard and prefers to make plays for his teammates. He developed into an excellent leader for the Blue Devils and has the right kind of mentality to carve out a niche for himself in the league. The Spurs have potentially found themselves another diamond in the rough at No. 40.
42New Orleans PelicansNew OrleansNick RichardsB+Nick Richards is a bouncy, dynamic shot blocker who stuck around Kentucky much longer than most scouts expected, but made the most of his time with John Calipari, developing into a much better offensive player over the last three seasons. Richards was almost entirely one-dimensional as a freshman, but has improved in all facets of the game. He is perhaps a bit too aggressive when it comes to blocking shots, because he can get himself into foul trouble. At this point in the draft, Richards is a worthwhile gamble with serious defensive upside.
43Sacramento KingsSacramentoJahmius RamseyAJahmius Ramsey is one of this draft's biggest sleepers. The 6-4 guard can fill it up from all areas on the floor. He is an explosive athlete who can use his handle to get to anywhere he wants on the floor and rise up for thunderous dunks, and he can stretch the floor well beyond the 3-point line (42.6% on more than 5 attempts per game). He is also a bulldog defensively, who utilizes his length and speed to wreak havoc on the perimeter. Ramsey also possesses innate leadership abilities and can't-teach-it charisma. Why isn't he going 20 picks higher? 1) He is a score-first player who isn't wired to run an NBA offense as a traditional point guard, 2) he's a high-turnover player who can play a little bit recklessly at times, and 3) he shot only 64% from the line, which raises concerns on whether his shot will translate to the NBA 3-point line. But as one of the draft's youngest players (turned 19 in June), the upside is undeniable.
44Chicago BullsChicagoMarko SimonovicC+Marko Simonovic is a tall, nimble big man from Montenegro who can really shoot it for his size. He's a better-than-expected athlete and a sneaky screen-setter. At only 215 pounds, Simonovic will struggle to hold his position without some added bulk, and it's unclear whether his solid offensive footwork will ever translate to the defensive end. His NBA future will be determined by his ability to turn into a deadly 3-point shooter like Davis Bertans.
45Orlando MagicOrlandoJordan NworaB+Jordan Nwora is a confident, aggressive scorer with legitimate 3-point range and an NBA-ready body. Nwora can do a little bit of everything on offense, but he seeks to do it for himself first and foremost. He has averaged only a little bit more than one assist per game over three years at Louisville in a situation where he had the ball in his hands quite a bit. Defensively, he has the body and the measurables to excel on that end if he can dial in every possession. But his offensive skillset is undeniable – particularly at this point in the draft.
46Portland Trail BlazersPortlandCJ EllebyBCJ Elleby projects as a prototypical 3-and-D wing, but his percentage took a pretty noticeable dip between his freshman and sophomore seasons on increased attempts. He is better spotting up than he is handling it, and his defensive versatility is intriguing. He is a much better rebounder than most players his size and he has shown flashes of big-game potential at Washington State.
47Boston CelticsBostonYam MadarBMost people's experience with Yam Mader has come from breaking down Deni Avdija tape. You're often left wondering "who is that maniac who is defending everyone full court?" That maniac is Yam Madar. More than a few draft experts have described him as the Israeli Patrick Beverly, due to his relentless defensive intensity and seemingly unlimited stamina. He is a terrific playmaker, as well, but those skills will only go so far until his janky jump shot catches up with the rest of his game – 26.7% from 3 just won't get it done. If he ever gets the 3-ball to fall, watch out.
48Golden St. WarriorsGolden StateNico MannionA-Much like RJ Hampton, Nico Mannion entered the 2019-2020 season as a consensus top-10 player, but he has slipped on nearly every draft board after a frustratingly inconsistent season. On paper, Mannion has everything scouts would want from a lead guard – size, athleticism, footwork, and highly developed playmaking instincts. But all too often, Mannion struggled to put it all together for extended stretches. His deep shooting stroke comes and goes (only 32.7% from 3 on the season) and his favorite shot seems to be the impossible mid-range floater or the contested jumper. He isn't particularly long or active defensively, so he will have a lot of work to do to become above-average on that end. Mannion's success will hinge primarily on whether he can trade low-percentage floaters for more efficient opportunities for himself and others. There is more than enough upside and playmaking intrigue to justify his selection deep in round 2.
49Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphiaIsaiah JoeA-Isaiah Joe is a long-range catch-and-shoot specialist with supreme confidence and a quick release. Joe fired more than 10 3-pointers a game for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The 34% conversion rate is a concern, but there are some nights when it seems as if Joe is going to make every shot he takes. He also made nearly 90% of his foul shots, which speaks well to his overall shooting form. If he isn't the team's primary scoring option, perhaps he won't take so many low-percentage 3s and we'll see his overall efficiency improve as a spot-up player. At 6-5 with nice length, he also projects as a plus defender if his body fills out. His game is a bit one-dimensional at this point – he doesn't make plays for others and his efficiency craters when he has to create his own shot – but there is a scenario where Joe has a career similar to Anthony Morrow's.
50Atlanta Hawks LogoAtlantaSkylar MaysB+Skylar Mays might be the most cerebral player in this draft. He is extremely unselfish and one of those lead-by-example types that all coaches love. He can do a little bit of everything from either guard spot and he defends hard. He isn't a particularly explosive player and his upside is limited, but Mays is the type of player who always seems to find himself making winning plays.
51Golden St. WarriorsGolden StateJustinian JessupB-Justinian Jessup is a southpaw shooting ace who can fill it up from all levels. Standing 6-7, Jessup can get his shot off against almost anyone. He stuffed the stat sheet in all the categories for Boise State over a terrific four-year career, but shooting will be his calling card at the next level. He will need to work to get his defense up to snuff, but there is a Duncan Robinson-esque path for Jessup to follow.
52Sacramento KingsSacramentoKenyon Martin Jr.BKenyon Martin Jr. has lottery-level athleticism packed into an NBA-ready body. It's hard to judge Martin's games at IMG Academy because he was simply on another plane athletically against most of his competition. Much like his pops, Martin went out of his way to dunk on people. His floor game and court awareness still have a long way to go, but he is a worthwhile gamble at this stage of the draft.
53Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma CityCassius WinstonA-What Cassius Winston lacks in traditional athletic measurables, he more than makes up for in craft, savvy, and skill. He steadily improved in each of his seasons under Tom Izzo, and he does all the little things that make a team better. He is a very good 3-point shooter – both spotting up and off the dribble – and he does a great job taking care of the basketball. Winston will be a solid contributor in nearly any guard rotation.
54Indiana PacersIndianaCassius StanleyB+If the draft was based on athleticism alone, Cassius Stanley would be a top-five pick. He lives above the rim. If he sticks in the NBA, it's conceivable that we see Stanley participate in a Dunk Contest or two. He's a thrilling transition player and an emerging 3-point shooter (36% on 3 attempts per game). Stanley is also a good rebounder and a physical presence on defense. His all-around skillset still needs work – he isn’t much of a ball handler or a playmaker at this stage, and he's older than your typical freshman (turned 21 in August). If he can fine-tune his skills and improve his court awareness, Stanley could develop into a JR Smith type of player.
55Brooklyn NetsBrooklynJay ScrubbB+Jay Scrubb is a man of mystery for most, but he was the most impressive junior college prospect last season by a considerable margin. At 6-6 210, Scrubb is an NBA-ready wing with top-level athleticism, quickness and handle. He can convert from 3 and get to the rim at a high level, as well. It's hard to judge his NBA potential given his competition level, but this is a terrific swing-for-the-fences pick deep in round 2.
56Charlotte HornetsCharlotteGrant RillerBGrant Riller is a small-school stud who dominated the Colonial Conference to the tune of 22 points, 5 boards and 4 assists. The most impressive part of Riller's game is that he still found ways to get his points against defenses that geared their entire game plan around stopping him. He won't see defenses like that in the NBA, but he will obviously face much better athletes. Riller knows how to play, so if he can find ways to close that athleticism gap, he could stick in the league for a while.
57Los Angeles ClippersLos Angeles ClippersReggie PerryB-Reggie Perry is yet another one of these collegiate big men who took major strides between their freshman and sophomore campaigns. He upped his numbers in all the major categories and nearly doubled his scoring average. Perry is much more nimble and shifty than one would expect at his size (6-9, 250), and he can even create plays for others thanks to his advanced court vision. He has the sort of game that can resemble the best version of Julius Randle or Anthony Mason – the bruising playmaker. He's a good rebounder, but a subpar defender – he won't protect the rim at the NBA level and he will struggle to defend high pick and rolls. He can also let his emotions get the best of him if he gets into quick foul trouble.
58Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphiaPaul ReedA-It would have been easy to justify taking Paul Reed 20-30 spots earlier than this. The DePaul product is a tremendous rebounder/shot-blocker and seems to have magnets in his hands. The ball just seems to find him. He is a tremendous athlete who finishes hard at the rim and could provide real value as a dive man on the pick and roll. Why did he fall so far? He has a pretty janky jump shot and he doesn't handle the ball very well. But if a team can clearly define his role, Reed could flourish.
59Toronto RaptorsTorontoJalen HarrisBJalen Harris is a professional scorer off the dribble who flashes impressive playmaking skills and rebounding ability at his size. He can navigate either guard spot and create shots for himself and for others. He was a tremendously productive player for Nevada, earning All-Mountain-West First Team honors. Defensively, he isn't quite there yet. He can get caught up on screens and lose track of his man off the ball. He will need to bring much better defensive effort if his shot-making is going to flourish.
60New Orleans PelicansNew OrleansSam MerrillC+Sam Merrill is an excellent deep shooter and a crafty playmaker who plays with terrific feel and intensity. He essentially never misses from the line and he can hit deep 3s in a variety of settings. He gets after it defensively and doesn't back down from a challenge. At age 24, he is the oldest prospect selected in this draft, and it's unclear whether he can do enough things other than shoot to earn minutes on an NBA roster.
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