Our yearly look at the top prospects by different categories.


Jaden Ivey, Purdue

If there was ever a player who looked like a blur in the open court, it’s Jaden Ivey. His start/stop burst is Ferrari-like, or for the modern day:Tesla. Like a hockey puck, this guy is hard to keep up with while watching on television, he may need his own blue trail to track him. Ivey can go coast-to-coast with the best of them and unlike a lot of fast players, he can get to top speed in an instant. Ivey isn’t just fast, he’s been called the fastest player over the past 25 years not named Jah Morant by some. Not bad company at all.

2. Blake Wesley, Notre Dame

3. Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee

4. MarJon Beauchamp, G-League Ignite

5. Bryce McGowens, Nebraska


Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

We might just be going off high school Youtube reels and short clips of pregame warmups in Lexington, but Sharpe’s athleticism is undeniable regardless of how you feel about him as a player or person. He is one of a select few people who can go into a leaping contest with Zion Williamson and potentially come out on top. While there may be some shortcomings with his first step, his ability to take off and fly above the rim edges out Jaden Ivey for first on sheer explosiveness. If agility, body control and speed are factored in, Ivey gets the nod.

2. Jaden Ivey, Purdue
3. JD Davison, Alabama
4. Kendall Brown, Baylor
5. Jabari Smith, Auburn


Kofi Cockburn, Illinois

While he might not hear his name called on draft night, it would be a straight up fantasy to say anyone in this draft class is stronger than Kofi Cockburn. The Kingston native has never lacked in two areas – confidence and brute strength. At 7’0, 295 pounds, few can match up with him, even in the NBA, and keep him from going where he wants to go on the interior. Unfortunately for him, this style of play is going by the way of the dinosaurs in today’s NBA making it a challenge for him. If it was the 1992 draft, we’d be having a real conversation about Cockburn as a first-round pick.

2. Jalen Duren, Memphis

3. Paolo Banchero, Duke

4. EJ Liddell, Ohio State

5. Trevor Keels, Duke


Jabari Smith, Auburn

Typically, when looking at the best shooters in a draft class, you skip past the 6’10 guys and move on to the shooting guards. Jabari Smith is no typical prospect. The sensational freshman and projected top overall selection shot an astonishing 42% from the perimeter on over five attempts per game and had no trouble burying post fadeaways and face-up mid-range shots as well. There aren’t many 6’10 players in the history of the game who can shoot smoothly from all over the floor, but that goes to show you how special of a shot maker Smith is. Smith edges out Griffin by a nose.

2. AJ Griffin, Duke

3. Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

4. Max Christie, Michigan State

5. Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona


Ousmane Dieng, France

This is a really tough category to fill out, because the only PG projected in the top-20 is a score-first guard who can’t be considered a top-five passer in the class. I had to dig deep to find five worthy candidates and Ousmane Dieng gets the nod as the top guy because of what he’s able to do at 6’9. He’s a smooth ball-handler with solid athleticism and since he is able to see over opposing defenders so easily, he’s able to read the floor and use his strength to make passes that no one else on this list can. If you want to see some impressive, flashy passes though, look at the highlights from 2 and 3 on this list.

2. [Player:Trevion Williams], Purdue

3. Player: Alondes Williams], Wake Forest

4. Andrew Nembhard, Gonzaga

5. Paolo Banchero Duke


Dalen Terry, Arizona

Herb Jones was the best perimeter defender from last year’s class and there are some eerie similaries between Jones and Terry. They are both long and athletic wings with terrific anticipation to jump passing lanes and have the acceleration to provide help defense and register steals or blocks before the ball-handler even knows they helped. Terry is such an instinctive and smart defender who moves his feet well laterally, and there aren’t too many more things you can ask for from a perimeter defender, other than versatility, which he also boasts.

2. Tari Eason, LSU

3. Jabari Smith, Auburn

4. Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

5. Keon Ellis, Alabama


Walker Kessler, Auburn

When you block more shots than all but 13 Division 1 basketball programs, you’re pretty much a shoe-in to win the best post defender in the draft. With terrific size and strength at 7’1, 255 pounds, Kessler dominates on the interior against anyone who dares come into his paint. He blocked 155 total shots, which came out to 4.6 per game and registered a block percentage of 19% as a sophomore. For those who don’t know, that means he blocked 19% of the two-point shots against him. If it was any other season, Holmgren would probably earn this award, but Kessler is the one player who is more productive on the inside.

2. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

3. Mark Williams, Duke

4. Jalen Duren, Memphis

5. Christian Koloko, Arizona


Paolo Banchero, Duke

The greatest strength of Banchero’s game is how many productive things he can do on the offensive end. Need a ball-handler to win in isolations and find open teammates? Find Banchero. Need a solid screener who can roll to the basket? Use Banchero. Need that screener to create for others or score in the short-roll? Guess who? Banchero. He might not be able to spot-up and make threes efficiently yet, but that could absolutely be a part of his game in no time given his work ethic and decent shooting splits from his freshman season.

2. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

3. Ousmane Dieng, France

4. Keegan Murray, Iowa

5. Jalen Williams, Santa Clara


Tari Eason, LSU

There’s no arguing that the best defender in this draft is Tari Eason and it’s because of how many different things he can do on this end of the floor. He can realistically switch 2-4, but if you put him on a 1 or a 5, it’s not like he’s going to get abused or exploited as a mismatch. He moves extremely well laterally, stays on his feet and rarely gets caught in bad positions because of this. His block and steal percentages were both above four percent, which is a more historic feat than many realize. Any matchup with Eason on the other side is likely one that you want to avoid as an offense.

2. Jabari Smith, Auburn

3. Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

4. Dalen Terry, Arizona

5. EJ Liddell, Ohio State


Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

The concept of high risk means there needs to be a consequence if things go wrong. With the talent and potential showcased in the top-four prospects, missing on one could be catastrophic for the team that messes up. Holmgren has the biggest bust potential out of that group due to his thin frame and seemingly legitimate health concerns if he isn’t sharing his medical with the top teams. While the other players could be complete busts, they will be drafted in a range that won’t hurt as badly if things go wrong. If Holmgren doesn’t work out, the team that drafts him might also miss out on the prospect of a lifetime because of it.

2. Ousmane Dieng, France

3. Sheadon Sharpe[, Kentucky

4. [Player: Jalen Duren, Memphis

5. Marjan Beauchamp, Ignite


Jabari Smith, Auburn

There’s a reason why Jabari Smith has been the top pick in the draft for an extended period of time in this draft cycle. Banchero, Holmgren and Ivey are immensely talented, but if their special skills don’t translate, they won’t have too much to offer to a team. Even if Smith isn’t a Kevin Durant level shot creator that some expect him to be, he will still be able to serve the Chris Bosh role, with better shooting, and less ball handling.

2. Paolo Banchero, Duke

3. Keegan Murray, Iowa

4. Mark Williams, Duke

5. Ochai Agbaji, Kansas


Benedict Mathurin, Arizona

Mathurin is likely to go pretty high, but is it possible that he’s being undervalued? Mathurin is listed as a late lottery pick by some and seemed to be slept on all year by national media. He’s a spectacular athlete with shooting ability and the clutch gene. Watch for him to continue to work at his craft and improve over the next few years and end up one of the top players to emerge from this draft. On top of this, he’s one of the more situational independent players that should be mature and bring a high level of professionalism and attitude no matter where he ends up. Sacramento? Detroit? Indiana?

2. Malaki Branham, Ohio State

3. AJ Griffin, Duke

4. Blake Wesley, Notre Dame

5. Jaden Hardy, G-League Ignite



Player: Max Christie], Michigan State

Christie is out top overall underrated player. he was listed in a recent mock on the PSorts Leader at 47, so clearly some feel that he’s in for a big slide on draft day. He may need some time and struggled some from the perimeter but he’s a high character guy with great length and the potential to be a high level NBA shooter. if Christie falls into the second round, he will have a chance to be the biggest steal of this year’s draft, as well see him as a top 15-20 worthy pick with great long term potential.

2. [John Butler, Florida St.

3. Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers

4. Ryan Rollins, Toledo

5. Josh Minott, Memphis


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