1Detroit PistonsDetroitCade CunninghamATo the surprise of absolutely nobody, Cade Cunningham is the first player off the board. For the past handful of years, the Pistons have been a collection of NBA players without a real focal point, drifting semi-anonymously through the schedule without anyone noticing much. Cunningham won't bring back the glory days of the "Bad Boys" or the Sheed/Ben/Chauncey/Rip/Tayshaun era right away, but he gives the Pistons a much-needed sense of direction. Cunningham will likely take control of the offense immediately and help give this squad a sound on-court infrastructure alongside young talent such as Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Jerami Grant and Killian Hayes. The best part? Cunningham, by all accounts, wants to be The Man in Detroit. The Pistons need Cade, and Cade needs a team that will empower him to handle the offense. This is an ideal match between player and organization.
2Houston NuggetsHoustonJalen GreenA-Green is an electrifying talent with a sky-high ceiling. He has prototypical shooting guard measurables with off-the-charts athleticism and shooting range. Unlike most gifted offensive prospects, Green likes to get after it on the defensive end, as well. It's easy to see Devin Booker's recent playoff success as a road map for Green's NBA career. Green's most pressing concerns are shot selection – he never met a 25-footer he didn't like, regardless of how many hands are in his face – and physical frame, which should fill out with age/maturity. Green will now serve as the centerpiece of Houston's extended post-Harden rebuild, but will the Rockets regret passing on Evan Mobley here? Skeptics might argue that Green will simply accumulate personal statistics that don't necessarily translate to wins.
3Cleveland Cavs LogoClevelandEvan MobleyASome scouts will argue that Mobley – not Cunningham or either Jalen – is the top prospect in this draft. No player can match Mobley's two-way ceiling. He is already an above-average performer on both ends of the court, and at 7 feet, he is one of the NBA's rarest commodities – a big man who can stay on the court against any lineup. He is quick enough to defend on the perimeter and long/bouncy enough to protect the rim. Mobley also has terrific hands and excellent touch near the hoop. In time, Mobley might even develop into a high-post passing hub that can initiate offense. Imagine Pau Gasol's interior passing skills in Chris Bosh's body – that's Mobley's ceiling. Concerns persist about his thin frame and occasionally deferential playing style, but the positives far outweigh any negatives. Here's a reference for all the Cavs fans of a certain age: Mobley will look a lot like prime Brad Daugherty when the Cavs host a throwback jersey night.
4Toronto RaptorsTorontoScottie BarnesBBarnes has the body of a Greek god and the jump shot of someone who just started playing basketball a few weeks ago. The positives: Barnes is a true 1-through-5 defensive wrecking ball with truly elite playmaking skills from the wing position. He fills the stat sheet in a variety of ways and always puts himself and his team in positive positions. If he develops any kind of jumper, watch out. But that is a big, big "if." Barnes needs more than a tweak here and a nudge there – the jumper needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. In the meantime, Barnes brings such a diverse skillset and positive attitude that it's easy to envision him developing into a high-level role player early in his career. The Raptors have an incredible track record of developing players just like Barnes (Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby), so Barnes will have every opportunity to reach his full potential here. Keep your eyes peeled for a potential Siakam trade soon.
5Orlando MagicOrlandoJalen SuggsAThe Magic front office won't stop high fiving for the next six weeks at least. They have desperately needed a player like Suggs for the last 10 years. Suggs checks all the boxes for an elite point guard – basketball IQ, innate leadership, speed, strength, aggression. If he was a knock-down 3-point shooter, Suggs might've been in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick, but that aspect of his game slightly lags behind his other impressive qualities. Like many young point guards who handle the ball as often as Suggs, his turnovers are a bit on the high side, but added experience and comfort should widen his assists/turnover ratio. Suggs will remind some of a young Jrue Holiday, thanks to his battering-ram style and imposing approach on both ends of the floor (especially defensively).
6Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma CityJosh GiddeyB+The high-IQ Aussie quickly became one of the draft's hottest names over the last handful of days, but few expected him to climb this high. Giddey is a walking triple-double threat and might be this draft's best pure passer/playmaker. He plays with an edgy confidence that allows him to quarterback a team's offense, despite being one of the youngest players on the floor (he doesn't turn 19 until October). He is an average-at-best athlete and he struggles with his outside shot – and, perhaps more troubling, at the free-throw line – but Giddey's wise-beyond-his-years approach help make up for it. He isn't Luka (nobody is), but a workable jump shot is what will separate him from becoming either Luka-light or tall Ricky Rubio. He pairs nicely with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – two odd, unorthodox playmakers who keep the ball moving. He might be a bit of a reach at this point in the draft, but the Thunder clearly love his potential and upside here.
7Golden St. WarriorsGolden StateJonathan KumingaA-It wasn't that long ago when Kuminga's name was mentioned alongside (perhaps even ahead of) Cunningham, Mobley, and the Jalens, but his stock took a bit of a tumble during an inconsistent campaign with the G-League Ignite. He is still the same physical marvel – 6-8, 220 with the ball-handling skills of a guard and the athleticism of an Olympian – but his shooting stroke is simply not up to snuff at this point in his development. There is a hard cap on a wing player's potential if he can't knock down jumpers or free throws. If Kuminga gets serious about his jumper and lock in on both ends of the floor – not just the possessions when he has the ball – he has All-NBA potential at the league's deepest position. He might not fit exactly with the Warriors' win-right-now timeline, but he has so much more potential than anyone else available at No. 7 and is clearly the most valuable asset – either as a future franchise cornerstone or a trade chip.
8Orlando MagicOrlandoFranz WagnerB+Wagner has all the tools to become an extremely valuable NBA forward – intelligence, shooting touch, defensive versatility, and even a splash of playmaking. Wagner plays with a bit of a nasty streak on both ends of the floor and never backs down from a challenge. At 6-9, he can handle himself across a variety of positions defensively, while serving as a solid shooter and secondary facilitator on offense. Wagner's best-case scenario would be to model himself after Bojan or Bogdan Bogdanovic, but with a bit more defensive flexibility. If he can get his 3pt% into the high 30s instead of the low-mid 30s, he could get there. Wagner and Suggs bring so much of what Orlando has been missing these last few years – strong draft thus far for the Magic.
9Sacramento KingsSacramentoDavion MitchellBMitchell is a ferocious coach-on-the-floor type of guard who will bring a level of physical and emotional maturity rarely seen in a rookie. He often resembled a prime (less thick) Kyle Lowry in the way he was able to lead his Baylor squad to a national title. He scored with ruthless efficiency at all three levels, improving to nearly 45% from 3 as a junior. His counting stats saw significant improvements in all categories during his three-year college career and enters the draft as one of the most ready-to-go prospects available. His upside is limited, however, as he will turn 23 on Sept. 5 and he measured just over 6-1 in shoes. How will he fit in the same backcourt with De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton? Is there a trade coming? Stay tuned.
10Memphis GrizzliesMemphisZiaire WilliamsB+Williams is coming off an odd and unsatisfying season at Stanford, where he simply did not play up to his potential in 20 games for the Cardinal. He never found his footing, shooting only 37% from the floor and 29% from the 3-point line, despite coming out of high school with the reputation as a long-range assassin. At 6-9, Williams can shoot over anyone, and he can handle it much better than most players his size. There are times where Williams's offensive repertoire resembles Michael Porter Jr. But Williams has a long way to go and will need a team that is patient with him while he works on his body (only 190 pounds right now) and regains his confidence. He might be a bit of a reach here at No. 10, but the Grizzlies (who traded up to get here) clearly see something special in Williams. He makes a lot of sense on paper alongside Ja Morant, and if he can put his college season firmly in the rear-view mirror, he could be a tremendous front-court partner with Jaren Jackson Jr.
11Charlotte HornetsCharlotteJames BouknightAHe's only been a pro for a few minutes, but Bouknight might already lead the Hornets in shot attempts. At his best, Bouknight is a flame-throwing one-on-one scorer who can put buckets on anybody. He utilizes a unique combination of raw athleticism and herky-jerky change-of-pace dribble-drive moves to get anywhere he wants on the floor. He can finish through contact and knock down foul shots at an 80+% percent clip. On the downside, his 3pt% is much lower than one would expect given his shooting stroke, and he plays with serious tunnel vision. He averaged only 1.5 assists in 43 career collegiate games, compared to 2.1 turnovers. If his playmaking doesn't improve, he might top out as a Jordan Clarkson-style Sixth Man of the Year type scorer. However, he projects as a much better defender than the typical scoring sparkplug (reported 7-foot wingspan and is active in passing lanes), so his ceiling is significantly higher. The Hornets likely did not expect to see Bouknight still on the board at No. 11, and he will step in on day one to contribute to an electrifying backcourt with LaMelo Ball. League Pass alert!
12San Antonio SpursSan AntonioJoshua PrimoB-Primo can fill it up from beyond the arc. He has one of the best off-the-catch jumpers in this draft, and he can even put the ball on the floor a bit and attack closeouts. He plays with a savviness well beyond his 18 years – his offensive upside is truly exciting. So why didn't Primo average more than 8 points per game? His average-at-best athleticism and his lack of an elite handle kept him from consistently delivering. He turns the ball over quite often and he struggles to finish at the rim against above-average rim protectors. He has all the upside in the world, but the Spurs will need to be very patient with him while the youngest player in the draft works through the rough patches. He is a bit of a reach at 12, but Primo is a talented prospect who might have gone even higher had he declared for the 2022 draft.
13Indiana PacersIndianaChris DuarteB-Duarte is a tough-as-nails wing who can score from anywhere on the floor, while also defending the other team's best guard. Duarte is remarkably efficient, both at the rim (71% near the basket) and behind the arc (42% from 3). His effective field goal percentage (63.3%) ranked near the top among guards. Duarte can guard anyone on the perimeter and rarely finds himself out of position. So why isn't he going in the top 5? Duarte is already 24 and he is limited athletically compared to the explosive guards in this draft. But his overall skill level and tenacity should allow Duarte to carve out a niche in the league like fellow Oregon alumnus Dillon Brooks. He is a definite reach at 13, but Duarte is exactly the kind of player the Pacers covet.
14Golden St. WarriorsGolden StateMoses MoodyAMoody is a safe, steady shooting guard who might not have the ceiling of those drafted around him, but he has the highest floor. It's nearly impossible to envision a scenario where Moody isn't at least a solid starter in the NBA for a decade-plus. Every facet of his game is above-average, and his rebounding from the guard spot (5.8 per game) is darn near elite. However, Moody isn't going to break down defenders off the dribble and hit an assortment of pull-up jumpers in people's faces. His one-on-one scoring ability is a bit limited, and he will likely need to feast on open spot-up looks or pump-and-drive opportunities created by an elite backcourt teammate. Guess who has elite backcourt teammates now? Moody could not have fallen into a better situation than this. He will play right away for the title-or-bust Golden State Warriors.
15Washington DC WizardsWashingtonCorey KispertA-Kispert has spent the past four years at Gonzaga getting significantly better at every aspect of the game. He has willed himself into being a dynamic offensive threat – not simply a spot-up shooter – with solid all-around skills. Kispert can put the ball on the floor and create shots for himself and others when defenses are over-aggressive on their close-outs. He needs next to no time to line up spot-up jumpers, and his range extends well beyond the NBA 3-point line. He also shows a feisty streak on defense, even when he is out-matched athletically. Kispert is big, too – 6-7, 220 – so he won't get shoved around. He is a bit more of a finished product at age 22, but Kispert will look to emulate Joe Harris's success at the next level. The Wizards desperately need shooting to help alleviate some of the pressure on Bradley Beal, and Kispert will come in ready to contribute right away.
16Houston NuggetsHoustonAlperen SengunA-Sengun is the best pure post-up scorer in this draft. Had he come along during the post-heavy offenses in the late 1990s/early 2000s, Sengun would be a top-5 pick. He averaged 19 points and nine boards per game for his Turkish league team en route to winning league MVP at the jaw-dropping age of 18. He possesses a full array of moves from either block and with either hand. He's surprisingly nimble and graceful for his size, and his soft hands can haul in any pass. Sengun can also kick it out effectively out of double teams and find cutters with slick interior passes. He is not going to wow you with explosive athleticism or speed, and it is going to take him time to catch up to the speed of NBA play. Commitment to the defensive end will determine whether Sengun is a spot-duty post masher like Enes Kanter or a full-time top-flight center like Jusuf Nurkic. The Rockets traded up to get one of the draft's most analytics-friendly prospects, and he will have every opportunity to play early and often.
17New Orleans PelicansNew OrleansTrey MurphyBMurphy climbed up draft boards this year thanks to an incredible all-around shooting season from the SF/PF position. Check out these shooting splits: 62% on 2s, 43% on 3s (on nearly 5 attempts per game), 93% from the line. Wow. He likely wouldn't maintain that kind of efficiency on added attempts, and he isn't built to be a dynamic one-on-one scorer. However, Murphy could thrive in the prototypical 3-and-D role. Even though he's a very good athlete with excellent size, Murphy often doesn't play like it. One gets the feeling that he could do much more if he were to assert himself. He is a below-average rebounder for his size, and he offers next to no rim protection at this point. If the right kind of coach/organization can light a fire under Murphy, they could unlock an extremely valuable player at a serious position of need. He fits wonderfully alongside Zion Williamson in New Orleans. His fit alongside Brandon Ingram? Less wonderful.
18Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma CityTre MannC+Mann made one of the greatest leaps between seasons out of anyone in this draft. He did not look like an NBA player as a freshman, but Mann posted an excellent sophomore campaign for the Gators, filling up the stat sheet in all columns with high efficiency (40% from 3, 83% from the line). He flashes excellent change-of-pace moves and can score from all angles. He is always in attack mode, either for his own shot or for putting a defense into rotation and finding open shooters. Mann is not a high-level athlete and he struggles mightily on defense, but his growth curve is extremely encouraging. Even so, this is a big reach for the Thunder at 19.
19Charlotte HornetsCharlotteKai JonesB+Jones is this year's annual bouncy, high-ceiling, low-floor big man prospect out of Texas. He played in a crowded front court these past two years and didn't have the same kinds of opportunities to showcase his skills compared to some other first-round picks, but Jones has as much upside as anyone in this draft. He plays with extremely high effort on both ends, and he flashes an intriguing face-up game for someone with his athleticism and length (9-2.5 standing reach). Jones has a way to go, but if he can even scratch his ceiling, his game could eventually resemble John Collins or Jaren Jackson Jr. Charlotte traded into this spot and Jones will have ample opportunities to showcase his skills for the frontcourt-challenged Hornets. EDIT: Bumping up his score just a little bit because of that incredible suit.
20Atlanta Hawks LogoAtlantaJalen JohnsonB+Johnson arrived at Duke as a top-tier draft prospect, but he left leaving scouts with more questions than answers. The talent is there – it's not often to find a 6-9 wing with his natural scoring ability and playmaking flashes. But he left a bad taste with some scouts after a wildly inconsistent/abbreviated freshman campaign that saw him either dominate or rack up careless turnovers. He is a poor foul shooter and a streaky-at-best perimeter shooter. If he locks in, Johnson could be a TJ Warren-style bucket getter as early as his rookie season. Johnson feels like the kind of player built more for the pro game than college, and he finds himself in a terrific situation in Atlanta. He teams up with his NBA doppelganger Cam Reddish and could pay serious dividends – few players with his talent level end up at pick No. 20.
21Los Angeles ClippersLA ClippersKeon JohnsonAJohnson is a lanky, explosive slasher who plays with terrific intensity on both sides of the ball. He has the tools to develop into a plus defender, combining quickness and length with terrific instincts and a relentless motor. Offensively, he applies that same kind of pressure as a penetrator, attacking the rim and finishing through contact. His biggest issue? Much like Barnes and Kuminga, he struggles to hit shots outside of the restricted area. It's tough to make a living as a 6-5 wing who shoots 27% from 3 and 70% from the line. He also sports a negative assist/turnover ratio (2.5/2.6) and often crosses the line that separates "aggressive" and "sloppy." However, the foundation is there for Johnson to develop into an exciting, Will Barton-esque slasher who can dunk over anyone. Johnson will bring a much-needed spark to the Clippers backcourt.
22Indiana PacersIndianaIsaiah JacksonB-The lean, active big man out of Kentucky showed tremendous flashes in limited minutes as a freshman. Jackson tallied an incredible 2.6 blocks per game in only 20.8 minutes per game in Lexington. He runs the floor like a guard and uses that speed to effectively disrupt opposing offenses. Offensively, he shows nice potential as a dive man and a decent stroke at the foul line. He will take time to make his presence felt in the NBA, as he needs to add strength and cut down on his fouls to see increased playing time. Jackson reminds me of former Wildcats Nerlens Noel or Willie Cauley-Stein – tremendous defenders with limited offensive skillsets. Jackson will head to Washington as part of the blockbuster Russell Westbrook deal, and will compete for minutes right away in the Wizards' big-man rotation.
23Houston NuggetsHoustonUsman GarubaA-Garuba is a man's man on the defensive interior. He is impossible to move. His quick feet and long arms (7-2 wingspan) make him an ideal defensive weapon. Even though he measures at only 6-8, Garuba is comfortable defending players much taller. There are glimmers of prime Ben Wallace in the way Garuba defends above his height. He shows much more promise than Wallace on the offensive end, but he is still a work in progress. Garuba doesn't show much shooting range yet, and his offensive game consists primarily of lob dunks and put-backs. At only 19, Garuba has plenty of upside remaining, and his effort level and basketball IQ are top notch. He reminds me a bit of former Rocket Chuck Hayes – another human tank.
24Houston NuggetsHoustonJosh ChristopherBChristopher is a true Jekyll-and-Hyde prospect. At his best, Christopher is an electrifying combo guard who can make impossible shots seem easy, while wreaking havoc on defense with steals and weakside blocks. At his worst, Christopher can toss up multiple airballs, while defending as if he is completely lost. Christopher's destiny seems to be as an energy sparkplug off the bench who can inject a bit of chaos if his team is lethargic. If everything clicks for him, Christopher could be a steal this late in the draft. Anytime Christopher and Jalen Green are in the game at the same time, it will be must-watch TV.
25New York KnicksNew YorkQuentin GrimesB+Grimes is a rock-solid 3-and-D guard with deep range on his jumper and a quick release. He connected on just over 40% of his 3s on more than 8 attempts per game as a junior. He's also physically built like a pro and can hold his own defensively against anyone 1-through-3. He won't wow anyone with his one-on-one shot creation abilities, and he struggles to convert near the rim against length. But if his jumper translates to the next level, Grimes should enjoy a long, lucrative career as a floor-spacing wing. He is a true Tom Thibodeau type of player. Strong pick for the Knicks this late in round one.
26Denver NuggetsDenverNah'Shon HylandA-"Bones" Hyland is the type of guard who is ready to get up shots the second he enters a game. He is a threat to pull up from anywhere. He is one of this draft's best off-the-dribble shooters. He has a terrific handle and can easily weave his way through pressure defenses. He is also a better rebounder/defender than his undersized/skinny frame would lead you to believe, thanks to some long arms and quick hands. He is not a natural point guard – more of a poor man's Damian Lillard-style combo scorer – and will need to improve on his terrible assist/turnover ratio (2/3) before he can be trusted with the car keys of an NBA offense. But the VCU product will be able to get buckets from day one for a Denver squad who will be without Jamal Murray's services for at least the first few months of the season. Hyland should be able to feast on easy opportunities created by the defending MVP, Nikola Jokic.
27Brooklyn NetsBrooklynCameron ThomasA-Thomas is a phenomenal scorer who can catch fire with the best of them. At 23 points per game, Thomas was one of the most purely productive freshmen in college basketball, building on his reputation as a walking bucket in high school. However, Thomas doesn't really create shots for others or fill up the stat sheet in any other category. For a volume scorer, his 3pt% is a serious concern – only 32.5% from the college 3 – but I expect that number to tick upward when he isn't asked to take so many difficult shots. At this point in his development, his defensive approach can best be described as "disinterested." Thomas should find a role in the league as a red-hot bench scorer, but he will need to focus on improving the other aspects of his game if he seeks to become a bit more. He will get a chance to contribute right away for a Brooklyn squad with title aspirations. With Landry Shamet heading to Phoenix, Thomas will step in as the Nets' top bench scoring option. Terrific match between player and situation.
28Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphiaJaden SpringerBSpringer's scouting report is right there in the name – he's very springy. He is a top-shelf athlete who plays with an odd rhythm. Defenders often aren't expecting Springer's moves when he makes them. He prefers to penetrate and attempt high degree-of-difficulty leaners, but on the rare occasion he did attempt a 3, it went in at a high rate (43.5% on 1.8 attempts per game). He is not a pure point guard, and he is small for a wing, but Springer brings a fascinating change-of-pace look to any backcourt. He is definitely a Philadelphia type of player – unorthodox, high energy, and a reluctant perimeter shooter. At only 18, Springer's game has lots of room to grow.
29Brooklyn NetsBrooklynDay'Ron SharpeBSharpe is a load on the block who gobbles up offensive rebounds at a rate unlike anyone else in this draft. He snagged more than 3 per game in less than 20 minutes of action for the Tar Heels. Sharpe flashes tremendous touch on the block and has an array of duck-ins and drop-steps. At this point in his development, he has no outside shot to speak of and he is a terrible foul shooter. He will also seriously struggle to keep his feet in front of quicker guards if he gets caught on a switch in the pick and roll. Sharpe has more than enough raw talent, tenacity, and upside to justify his selection with the Nets, but he will require some work if he is to carve out a niche in today's pace-and-space game. He brings a dimension to this Brooklyn squad that is currently missing, so look for Sharpe to have plenty of chances to earn minutes alongside some teammates you may have heard of.
30Memphis GrizzliesMemphisSanti AldamaDAldama was one of college basketball's most productive 7-footers last season, posting 21.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 1.7 bpg for Loyola. The Spanish product is a sharp perimeter shooter and better-than-you'd-expect passer. He even shows an emerging face-up game. He is a smart, well-rounded player, but lacks the athleticism/explosiveness of most NBA bigs. He will struggle mightily to defend in space against the NBA's quicker guards, due to his terrible lateral footspeed. He racked up a lot of his stats against subpar competition. Utah likely views Aldama as a long-term project who needs to improve his physical strength and especially his quickness if he hopes to hang in the NBA.
31Washington DC WizardsWashingtonIsaiah ToddB+Much like Ziaire Williams, Todd enters this draft with intriguing potential, considerable offensive upside, and several question marks. Todd projects as a strong three-level scorer who can convert off-the-catch opportunities and create his own offense off the bounce. At just under 6-9, Todd has the measurables of a switch-everything, versatile perimeter defender. However, at this point in his development, he hasn't quite put it all together. He prefers low-efficiency midrange looks to 3s and layups, and his effort on defense can charitably be described as "lacking." He steps into a terrific situation in Milwaukee. He will be allowed to develop at his own pace and could end up becoming a legit asset for this franchise.
32New York KnicksNew YorkJeremiah Robinson-EarlB+The Villanova product is a jack-of-all-trades wing who can blow up any pick-and-roll combination. He projects as a high-level role player who will do everything asked of him. Robinson-Earl is a streaky-at-best shooter and he doesn't have any single attribute in his game that would wow anybody. But it's impossible to envision a scenario where Robinson-Earl isn't at least a solid glue guy.
33Los Angeles ClippersLA ClippersJason PrestonA-Preston is one of this draft's most cerebral players. He was a consistent triple-double threat the last two seasons for Ohio, posting phenomenal counting stats across the board with solid shooting percentages from the field. He is a serious work in progress defensively, however. Even though Preston is a better athlete than one would think, nobody would use the word "explosive" to describe his game. One major red flag: 59.6% from the line and only 70% for his career – a terrible number for a guard who seems like a much better shooter than that. But at this point in the draft, he is definitely a worthwhile gamble.
34New York KnicksNew YorkRokas JokubaitisB+Jokubaitis is a tricky player. He bobs, weaves, ducks, and jitters his way through defenses and shows terrific finishing ability with either hand. He's tall for a point guard and can see angles smaller players can't. He's a good perimeter shooter and should develop into an above-average pick-and-roll player. He plays with a nasty streak, too – even on defense. He isn't a stellar athlete and will struggle early on with the speed/strength of NBA competition, but the Goran Dragic comparisons might not be totally off-base in a few years.
35New Orleans PelicansNew OrleansHerbert JonesA-Jones is an athletic, switchable wing with terrific defensive upside and surprising secondary playmaking skills. He slides his feet well along the perimeter and can effectively switch onto slippery guards and physically imposing wings. He is a solid rebounder and can even provide a little bit of rim protection in smaller lineups. He isn't going to create his own offense, and at nearly 23 years of age, he'll come into the league as a nearly finished product. But his defensive potential and basketball IQ will serve him well at the next level.
36New York KnicksNew YorkMiles McBrideAMcBride really loves to get after it. The West Virginia product is an unselfish combo guard and a tenacious on-ball defender. He made significant improvements across the board between his freshman and sophomore seasons, and even worked himself into a high-level 3-point shooter (41.4% on nearly 4 attempts per game). He isn't a "clear out and let him cook" type of player ¬¬– more of a change-of-pace guard a team can trust. He plays his best in big moments and takes excellent care of the ball. McBride is a tremendous value pick at this point in the draft.
37Charlotte HornetsCharlotteJT ThorB+Thor is among this draft's best help-and-recover defenders. At nearly 6-10 with an enormous 7-3 wingspan, Thor can disrupt plays at the point of attack, rotate to protect the rim, and even block/alter 3-pointers like Mitchell Robinson. His defensive upside is truly special. Offensively, his run-and-dunk highlights are terrific – it's just the rest of his game that needs work. He is a poor ball handler who gives the ball away much too easily, and his 3-point stroke is still a ways away from becoming a threat. The fundamentals are solid, though, so if he can drop corner 3s with any kind of consistency, Thor's defensive versatility will shine.
38Chicago BullsChicagoAyo DosunmuA-Dosunmu was the focal point of nearly every offensive position during his junior season at Illinois. The lanky 6-5 combo guard stuffed the stat sheet in every category and maintained decent efficiency given his heavy workload. He doesn't have any singular skill one would call elite – instead, he's very good at everything. His top-end speed is limited, however, and it's unlikely that he will ever command an NBA offense the way he did in college. I like Dosunmu's potential as a fifth starter once he adjusts to the speed of the NBA – he is exactly the kind of low-maintenance, high-IQ, winning-plays type of glue guy who ends up quietly carving out a 12-year career.
39Sacramento KingsSacramentoNeemias QuetaAQueta is an old-school center with incredible physical strength and athleticism for his size. Nobody has Queta's combination of measurables – maybe ever. He tops out every category – height, length, vertical leap, lane agility – you name it, and Queta crushes it. He isn't just a workout warrior, either. Queta posted strong counting stats across the board with Utah State. He's a strong interior scorer and rim protector. However, the modern game has simply shifted away from everything Queta does well. He will have a hard time trying to corral the high pick-and-roll, and he offers no perimeter shooting whatsoever. He still represents tremendous value at this point in the draft and will be a matchup nightmare on second units.
40Utah JazzUtahJared ButlerB+Much like his teammate Davion Mitchell, Butler improved in every facet of his game during his college career en route to a national title. At 6-3 and just under 200 pounds, Butler possesses NBA size and length for the point guard spot. He rarely takes bad shots and he is equally comfortable creating his own looks and setting up his teammates. He is a heady, active defender who averaged 2 steals a game, while playing perfect, fundamentally sound defense – rarely reaching, rarely gambling. He is a tier below the game's best point guards athletically, and he commits way more turnovers than one would expect (nearly 3 per game). But it's easy to envision a scenario where Butler is a strong, steady third guard for a playoff team thanks to his spot-up shooting ability and his playmaking skills.
41San Antonio SpursSan AntonioJoe WieskampA-The lanky wing is one of the draft's best pure shooters. Wieskamp fills it up from all over the floor with a quick release and rock-solid fundamentals. He is a tremendous catch-and-shoot performer, and can even attack over-aggressive closeouts with a slick dribble-drive game. He defended well at the NBA combine and impressed scouts with his willingness to compete. He still gives up a bit in terms of raw strength and speed, but Wieskamp's overall skill level and long-range shooting will allow him to stick in the league.
42Detroit PistonsDetroitIsaiah LiversBLivers is a very good perimeter shooter with a surprisingly thick frame. He rebounds better than most shooting specialists and he has the kind of raw physical strength that keeps him from getting picked on defensively. He suffered a fracture in his foot during his senior season with Michigan, which hurt his draft stock, but he seems to have fully recovered. He doesn't handle the ball at a high level and won't create his own offense, but Livers' spot-up shooting skills and high-IQ mentality should serve him well.
43Portland TrailblazersPortlandGreg BrownB-Brown is yet another eye-popping athlete from Texas. His overall skill level needs to improve, but his highlights will make anyone's jaws drop. He uses his athleticism effectively on both sides of the ball, flying for highlight-reel dunks and soul-shattering rejections. If Brown's basketball IQ or fundamentals ever catch up with his run-and-jump ability, he could be a high-end starter. But the gap between those areas is a bit too wide right now.
44Brooklyn NetsBrooklynKessler EdwardsBEdwards is an intriguing two-way wing with unexpectedly solid perimeter shooting ability and defensive versatility. At only 20, he has plenty of untapped upside remaining. We have yet to see him display any kind of off-the-dribble shot creation – for himself or for anyone else. But as a plug-and-play glue guy, Edwards fits the bill. Will his odd shooting form translate at the next level?
45Boston CelticsBoston
Juhann BegarinB+Begarin is a blur in the open court who loves to mash dunks in a crowd. The lanky French wing has a terrific wingspan (nearly 7 feet) and the kind of mentality and instincts that translate well into a versatile, switchable defender. His brain has yet to catch up with his feet, however, as he reads the game a beat slow and his overall skillset will need some fine tuning. Begarin's athleticism and upside (he's only 19) are at least as good as anyone else's at this point in the draft, though.
46Toronto RaptorsTorontoDalano BantonC-Banton is an interesting point-forward who excels at making plays for others. At 6-7, Banton can make passes over the top of defense with either hand. However, he is a non-shooter at this point, and at age 21, it's unclear whether he can get his shooting stroke in order. He struggled to defend in college, as well.
47Toronto RaptorsTorontoDavid JohnsonBJohnson is a tough-as-nails combo guard whose NBA calling card will be his defensive tenacity and versatility. Offensively, he is an unselfish playmaker who has worked hard to improve his jump shot. It's hard to envision a scenario where he becomes an above-average NBA scoring threat, but if he can develop into a knock-down spot-up shooter, there is intriguing 3-and-D potential here.
48Atlanta Hawks LogoAtlantaSharife CooperA-Cooper plays with a unique flair for the dramatic. This pass-first point guard can drop dimes from any angle with either hand. Cooper is an excellent ball handler who can finish with either hand with an assortment of layups and floaters to keep the defense honest. It's hard to average 20 points and 8 assists per game at the college level, but Cooper is the rare kind of guard whose passes create openings that weren't there originally. On the downside, Cooper is extremely thin and he is a terrible 3-point shooter (under 23% on nearly 5 attempts per game). His value drops dramatically if defenders can simply sag under screens and dare him to shoot. But at this point in the draft, he is more than worth the gamble.
49Brooklyn NetsBrooklynMarcus ZegarowskiB-Zegarowski is a tough, heady point guard who can knock down shots from well beyond the arc and effectively run an NBA offense. He's a strong pick-and-roll player with a nose for the ball on defense. He's extremely limited athletically and will give up serious size/length against the league's top guards, but there is a whiff of TJ McConnell potential here.
50Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphiaFilip PetrusevB+The tall, long Serbian was the Adriatic League MVP and filled up the stat sheet with Mega Soccerbet. Prior to his overseas pro career, stateside hoops fans might remember Petrusev from his time with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He started out as a post-only scorer, but has now developed into a knock-down 3-point shooter. He'll struggle defensively, as he is neither physical or quick, but his all-around offensive skillset is quite intriguing.
51Los Angeles ClippersLA ClippersBJ BostonA-Few prospects have Boston's upside at this point in the draft. He came into Kentucky as a consensus top-10 recruit and a likely lottery pick, but his stock took a serious tumble after a disappointing freshman season in Lexington. But few 6-7 wings have Boston's shot-creation ability – both for himself and others. At his best, Boston is a devastating one-on-one player with an array of stepbacks, leaners, and long-range bombs. He needs to add two helpings of strength and maturity before he can begin to approach his ceiling as a pro. At this point, Boston takes way too many bad shots and it's hard to envision an NBA coach who will tolerate that.
52Detroit PistonsDetroitLuka GarzaBThe consensus college basketball player of the year can do a bit of everything from the center spot. Need him to mash dudes on the block? Need him to knock down 3s (44%!)? Need him to crash the boards? Need him to make plays for others? Garza checks all the boxes. Why did he slide so far in the draft? Simple – he can't defend at an NBA level right now. He will get picked on in high pick-and-rolls incessantly until a coach has no choice but to sub him out. If Garza can develop into a passable defender, he will stick in the league. If not, well, he will always have all his collegiate accolades.
53Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphiaCharles BasseyA-It seems as if we have been tracking Bassey's draft status for the last decade. Few big men are as productive as Bassey – 17.6 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 3.1 bpg – and he still has upside remaining. He is so long and athletic, and he uses every inch of that 7-3 wingspan to grab every rebound in his vicinity. He still finds himself out of position defensively, as he tries to block every shot in sight, but he works his butt off and always seeks to improve his game. He has even started to flash a little bit of a jump shot, which was not something we saw from him as a freshman.
54Milwaukee BucksMilwaukeeSandro MamukelashviliC+It's not every day you see someone with Mamukelashvili's frame who runs the offense like a guard. The burly power forward loves to pass out of the high post and even run point in transition. His shot mechanics are all over the place, but he shoots it without hesitation. He is a terrible defensive player – simultaneously not quick enough to guard on the perimeter or long enough to protect the rim or play drop coverage.
55Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma CityAaron WigginsBFor someone who projects as a 3-and-D prospect, Wiggins flashes a nice all-around floor game with a decent outside stroke and occasional playmaking skills. He plays with great effort and intensity, as well. He doesn't have any single skill that pops out and gives up a bit of size/length compared to other 3-and-Ders, but Wiggins has a high floor compared to other second rounders.
56Charlotte HornetsCharlotteScottie LewisBLewis is one of the draft's best pure athletes and uses that athleticism most effectively on defense. Teams could take Lewis' film from Florida and use it to teach defensive fundamentals. Offensively, he's still a major work in progress. He is an inconsistent shooter, and the fewer dribbles he takes, the better. His defensive upside is well worth it at this late stage of round two.
57Detroit PistonsDetroitBalsa KoprivicaCKoprivica is a high-energy center that has worked hard to develop his all-around skill level. The Serbian was a highly regarded recruit prior to joining Florida State, but he still needs to make serious improvements as a rebounder and positional defender – he often finds himself in foul trouble – if he hopes to make a dent in the NBA.
58New York KnicksNew YorkJericho SimsA-The final high-level athlete out of Texas is off the board. Sims is a – stop me if you've heard this before – jaw-dropping athlete who can hammer home dunks with the best of them. He gets after it on the glass and loves to block every shot within a 10-foot radius. He is a non-shooter who struggles big time at the foul line, and he often finds himself a step behind the game in half-court settings, but if Sims can put it all together, he could be a steal at 58.
59Brooklyn NetsBrooklynRaiquan GrayBI don't think I've ever seen a player quite like Gray. Anthony Mason maybe? No, that's not quite right – Mason was taller. Gray is an impossible-to-define playmaking boulder with much more shimmy and shake than one would expect with his frame. Florida State utilized him as an offensive hub who could do a little bit of everything with the ball in his hands. He struggles mightily with two important things – his shot and his weight. His 3pt% (26.7) is almost identical to his listed weight (269). One needs to go way up, and the other needs to go way down.
60Milwaukee BucksMilwaukeeGeorgios KalaitzakisC-This lanky/scrawny Greek wing has been a big-time winner at every level in his professional career. He is an active slasher who loves to put pressure on opposing defenses, but he's wild (occasionally careless) with the ball and will need to improve his body before he can handle the rigors of the NBA. He is a likely draft-and-stash prospect.