This year’s point guard class is a solid one with one top 3-5 pick (Reed Sheppard) and a few possible lottery picks, including five green room invites. Overall it’s one of the more talented positions for this year’s draft.

1. Reed Sheppard 6-3 180 PG/SG Kentucky Fr.

Sheppard is the highest rated point guard, and also the highest rated college prospect in this year’s draft. He enters the NBA with just one season of college experience under his belt and will need to time to adjust to the speed and athleticism of the NBA. But his efficiency and potential as a two way scoring point guard are extremely enticing. An “analytics darling”, he clearly benefited playing on one of the most talented rosters in the country and coming off the bench, as he was not expected to carry the load. Teams facing Kentucky could game plan against him, but not key on him the way some other prospects drew nearly all of the opposition’s attention. That being said, Sheppard’s efficiency numbers and analytics jump off the chart. He is an elite level shooter, and also had high level efficiency stats from a defensive and rebounding standpoint. At 6’3, with short arms, he’s a smaller point guard, but proved himself as a capable defender in one of the country’s best conferences.

2. Carlton Carrington 6-5 195 PG/SG Pittsburgh Fr.

Carrington is one of the top long term prospects in this year’s draft. He’s still got a ways to go before reaching his potential. He struggled for stretches of the year with his shooting efficiency, but running the PG position in the ACC as a freshman, required a lot of adjustment. He’s a natural playmaker with very good vision and passing skills. He’s also a much better shooter than his statistics would indicate. He proved that by showcasing some ofthe best numbers shooting at the NBA Draft Combine. Strength will be a key factor in his development, but Carrington is shaping up to be one of the best value picks, especially if he falls out of the lottery on draft night.

3. Isaiah Collier  6-4 205 PG USC Fr.

Collier came into the season as many recruiting list’s top high school senior prospect.He’s always in attack mode and has a relentless style of using his phsyicality on drives to the rim.  He struggled with efficiency and will need time to cut down on turnovers and improve his efficiency as a scorer. He’s a fire plug physically with excellent body strength. He’s an underrated passer, and was more looking to get his own shots at USC, but the vision and passing ability is there for him to hone. If he buys in as a defender and team player, there’s a lot to like about his potential to enhance a team’s backcourt at the next level.

4. Rob Dillingham 6-2 165 PG Kentucky Fr.

Dillingham epitomizes the term “all gas, no brakes”. The green room invite could definitely end up going in the lottery, but there’s some indications that he may slide some on draft night, as the combine measurements were not so kind to him, as he has a sub 8 foot (7’11.5) standing reach. He is not bashful, playing with a lot of confidence and swagger. He’s got a lot of speed and shiftiness to shake defenders and free himself for shots. He’ll need to harness the wildness and become a more judicious playmaker and decision maker, but the makings are there for him to break the trend, and be a high level, smaller point guard in today’s NBA.

5. Nikola Topic 6-6 200 PG KK Crvena Zvezda 2005

He’s very precocious as a floor general, having mastered the pick and roll at a young age, and shows a soccer mid-fielder’s vision and playmaking ability. With a even wingspan to his height, (not the 7-foot wingspan that generated a lot of unrealistic hype), Topic has good but not great size as a lead guard. He;’s very similar to Kolek from a skill set perspective, but younger and less proven, plus coming off an injury. Where the concerns lie are related to his health, and the fact that he lost a full season of development. He came back from injury and then re-injured himself. Topic is well liked among European scouts for his potential, but the fact remains that he did not play long enough for Red Star to prove himself at the highest level, making drafting him high a big leap of faith.

6. Tyler Kolek 6-2 195 PG Marquette Sr.

Kolek is an absolute natural as a playmaker. His vision and passing ability is on another level. It’s as if he’s playing chess, while others are playing checkers. He passes teammates open for easy looks and runs the pick and roll like one of the top passing point guards in the NBA. Where there are concerns are with his speed and athleticism to utilize his skill level and stand out against elite level athletes. He’s a throwback, and plays with a high level of intensity. He can knock down open shots and create, but the key will be learning to adjust to playing against superior athletes at the next level.

7. Trey Alexander 6-4 190 PG Creighton Jr.

Alexander is shaping up to be a potential steal in the second round. He’s a long, facilitator with a smooth floor game. He improved a lot on his shooting and shows the ability to create shots for himself in isolation. Where he struggles is creating great separation against top defenders, as his first step is below average. He figures to be a guy that will take some time to adjust to the speed at the next level. He’s pretty ball dominant, and without elite speed, players like him often struggle to create offense with the same effectiveness. On the bright side, his 6-10 wingspan and natural ability to play point guard, help his cause.

8. AJ Johnson 6-5 165 PG/SG Illawarra Hawks, NBL 2004

Johnson is this year’s swing for the fences pick in the second round. He’s a player with incredible length as a combo guard and a very smooth offensive game. But he clearly won’t be contributing a whole lot for a few seasons. Johnson measured out with a 6-9 wingspan and a 8’6 standing reach, great numbers for a 2-guard, and even more impressive for a combo. Johnson needs a good situation, with a team committed to developing him over the long term. With a second round deal, there’s a chance that he will fall through the cracks, so it will be up to him to mature quickly and find a good situation to develop, with future time spent in the G League.

9. Ajay Mitchell 6-3 180 PG/SG Santa Barbara Jr.

Mitchell is a sweet shooting lefty out of mid major Santa Barbara who put up 20 ppg. He’s considered a likely second rounder with an outside chance to sneak into the late first, drawing interest from teams such as Boston. While he lacks ideal speed and athleticism, Mitchell shows a heady feel for the game and a strong ISO game to create and knock down shots on the perimeter. Sort of a poor man’s Andrew Nembhard in terms of style and body type, but a little smaller and less physical.

10. Tristen Newton 6-4 190 PG/SG UConn Sr.

Newton is a winner having played a part in back to back UConn title teams. He took on a bigger role this year and proved that he can not only be an effective scorer but distributor as well. He has excellent size for a combo guard at 6’4 with a 6’7 wingspan and 8’4 standing reach. He’s not the fastest player, but he possesses lateral speed and shiftiness. At 23, there’s an element of what you see is what you get, but some of the appeal is that he has experience playing at a high level. He should provide some steady play as a relatively polished rookie coming off the bench.

Honorable Mention:

Reece Beekman 6-2 195 PG Virginia Sr.

Beekman is an interesting player. He struggles to shoot and score but has very high level defensive abilities. He made some major strides offensively this year, putting up 14 ppg, up five from last year, and a solid figure in the Virginia offense. He still struggles from behind the three point line at 31% and his shot needs improvement, as he tends to look to drive and only shoot threes when necessary. Beekman’s ability to run the PnR has shown steady improvement and there’s optimism that he can develop into a back up point guard at the next level if his shooting improves.


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