The shooting guard group has solid depth with as many as eight first rounders and five potential lottery guys. While none are considered surefire stars, a few of them have a real chance to make noise at the next level.

1. Stephon Castle, UConn 6-7 210 PG/SG UConn Fr.

Castle has terrific physical tools, defensive potential and poised, steady play will be the selling points on Castle’s upside as an NBA player. After playing mostly on the ball in HS & AAU, Castle showed his versatility as a 6’7 combo guard by sliding to more of an off-ball role for the national champs at UConn as a Fr., and still found ways to be productive in the team’s system. Naysayers question his shooting ability from distance and limited scoring upside, but he has the tools to be intriguing as a 2-way player with budding ability to contribute in multiple ways that may or may not show up in box scores. If his shot becomes respectable enough to keep defenses honest, it will only open his game and make him more formidable offensively.

2. Ja'Kobe Walter 6-5 200 SG Baylor Fr.

Another Fr. who impressed as a young prospect in college, particularly early in the season, Walter is competitive and has clear projections as a 3-and-D wing after leading a veteran Baylor team in scoring as a 1st year player after a touted prep career. There are teams that think the 6’5 SG/SF has the consistent shooting mechanics and raw, versatile shot-making from the perimeter that could lead to him being a solid contributor offensively, but also the physical tools and intensity to match up fine as a wing defender. His handle & shot selection need improvement, and he does have some things defensively that need to be cleaned up from a fundamental standpoint, as you’d expect from such a young player. But with 8 games making 4+ 3-pointers this past season highlighting his ability to score in bunches, he is a player worth developing, given that a good amount of his flaws are reasonably correctable.

3. Terrence Shannon  6-7 225 SG Illinois Sr.

After a 1st Team All-American season that was overshadowed by an awful allegation as a 5th-year Sr. (that he was ultimately cleared of nearly 2 weeks ago as of writing), Shannon Jr (pictured) is probably feeling like this draft’s forgotten prospect, hoping teams look to his outstanding production over the past 2 seasons as to why he should be considered in the 1st round, despite being an older prospect. At 6’5 220, he is a powerful and solidly athletic guard who often steamrolled opponents on the way to the basket, particularly in the open court, and should be fine matching up on the perimeter on both ends. He was efficient throughout his career on the wing with steadily improving ability to score at every level, and he lived at the foul line the past 2 seasons at Illinois as the teams go-to scorer. Some may look at his age and think limited upside, but honestly he could be more ready to contribute than many of the players picked ahead of him, and his focus and maturity playing through some really tough distractions & hostile road heckling this past season is a positive sign and should only strengthen his character.

4, Devin Carter 6-3 195 PG/SG Providence Jr.

Carter arguably has seen his draft stock rise higher than anybody in this class over the past 2 months. An experienced 3-year player, the 6’3 Carter responded very well to his usage going up after a season-ending injury to impact big man Bryce Hopkins at Providence this past year with some strong production and emerging on-ball deft. An energizer bunny who is seemingly everywhere on the court all game long, Carter played well in pre-draft scrimmages & workouts and did himself a big favor by testing great physically and especially athletically at the combine (42” running vertical leap; his 2.84 sec is the best 3/4 court sprint time in NBA Combine history). He isn’t likely to have the ball quite as much at the next level due to his average shooting and playmaking profile, but he has some experience effectively playing off the ball too. He will bring value as a defender, particularly pressuring at the point of attack, and clearly has a strong nose for the ball given his outstanding rebounding and steals numbers. He also has blooodlines on his side as his father, Anthony, was an NBA PG for over a decade and is currently an NBA assistant coach with Memphis. Carter has used his strong draft process to likely land in the late lottery.

5. Jared McCain 6-3 205 PG/SG Duke Fr.

With the 6’3 McCain, you know you’re getting a knockdown shooter with supreme confidence. He is a skilled and sound player who flat out lit up teams at times with his dynamic perimeter jumper as a Fr., leading Duke with 87 made 3s and his shot technique is super compact so he doesn’t need much time to let it fly. He’s also a high IQ player who doesn’t really take bad shots and doesn’t need to dominate the ball to score. Some look at his game and think he’s a bit one-dimensional and there are some questions about his defensive potential and ability to attack the paint and finish, where he was often limited at the college due to his relatively modest athleticism and physical tools as an undersized SG with average quickness and ball-handling skills. Still, he knows where to be and has the awareness to overachieve as a positional defender at times and his value as a floor spacer is considerable.

6. Jaylon Tyson 6-7 220 SG/SF California Jr.

A well-traveled wing with good size on the perimeter at 6’7 210, Tyson had breakout season at Cal playing something of a point-forward type role for the team as a Jr. Shows nice creativity as a ball-handler with a good feel for getting leverage on the defense that make him tricky to defend, especially when he has the help of a screen. He has also shown solid shooting ability whether off the bounce or with his feet set for good measure. He isn’t especially quick or athletic, so he will pound the ball looking to create and can be a bit reliant on screens to get space offensively. Also had a high turnover rate and a near even A:TO, which makes it questionable whether his usage will translate as well to the NBA level. Still, he offers value as a secondary creator on the wing similarly to a Terence Mann.

7. Cam Christie 6-6 190 SG Minnesota Fr.

Teams who value the 6’6 Christie will look at his sweet shooting from the perimeter and feel for passing as his best strengths on the wing. He can drain jumpers in a multitude of ways and has enough size to make them even when contested properly. The main steps of development for Christie, similarly to his brother Max of the LA Lakers, will be to add more strength and toughness to his game to be better prepared for the jump from college to the NBA after a decently successful Fr. season of college. He is a bit light in the britches at the moment and it showed offensively, where he statistically ranks among the worst finishers at the basket in this draft, and defensively where he struggled dealing with physical play and getting through screens. He will also need to show that he can be a contributor when his shot isn’t falling at the next level. He’s still developing, as he won’t turn 20 years old until after his rookie season, and any team picking him should understand that he is a project for further down the line.

8. Antonio Reeves 6-6 185 SG Kentucky Sr.

An All-American 5th-year Sr. campaign that saw him put up 20 PPG while flirting with a 50-40-90 statline (was just short by 4% on FTs) has re-established the 6’5 Reeves as a potential selection. A true SG all the way who excels off the ball, Reeves’ jump shot is his bread and butter offensively. Showed flashes of pull-ups and floaters when he was ran off the line this past season too, which is encouraging. He’s got some quickness but isn’t anything special athletically and is more of a volume shooter than a shot creator. Also at 24 he’s older with limited upside, while also having a skinny 190 lb frame that should more developed than it is at this stage in his career. Still, with his Kentucky pedigree, the subtle improvements he made to his game over the last year and his over 2300 points scored overall in his career he will be certain to garner interest as a 2nd round flyer pick.

9. Baylor Scheierman 6-7 200 SG Creighton Sr.

Speaking of Sr. prospects who re-established themselves on the draft radar after an All-American final season, we have Baylor Scheierman. After lukewarm buzz following his 1st year at Creighton after a prolific 3 years at South Dakota State, he returned and highlighted his skills even more while also putting some other tools on the forefront for scouts and teams. Known for his shooting prowess and unorthodox game, is also arguably the best passer amongst this group of wings. Can be effective without dominating the ball, and is a highly cerebral player that plays under control. He lacks athleticism and quickness and it limits his defensive potential, where he will likely struggle to defend his positions at the pro level. It also affects his ability to pressure the rim, particularly against set defenses, as he usually was forced to stick to shooting jumpers even at the college level. Still, Scheierman skill level is so high that he could see himself outplay his draft slot, and his advanced age, while it may limit his upside, also makes him a candidate to be able to factor in on a team sooner rather than later depending on the situation of the team he’s selected to.

10. Dillon Jones 6-6 235 SG/SF Weber St. Jr.

A small-school product with as unique a physical profile and game as you’ll find amongst this group, Dillon Jones was highly productive and all-everything player at Weber State who impressed with his performances during scrimmages during the NBA Combine. At around 6’6 235 with a near 7’ wingspan to boot, Jones mixes perimeter and frontcourt skills that make him an intriguing matchup ploy for the next level. Guys bounce off of him when he’s on the way to the rim and his passing and handles are really nice for his size; was a major headache for defenses in the Big Sky conference. he was a double digit rebound player in college and his physicality and nose for the ball also stand out when watching him play. He will get steals and can make hit-ahead passes or call his own number for transition points. You inevitably love his feel for the game and timing. He wasn’t a terrible shooter in college, especially at the foul line, but can’t be described as a knockdown guy either. Also will need to monitor his weight as he is already not particularly explosive or fleet of foot as is; probably would be better served with a playing weight closer to 225 lb. than 240. Has obvious level of competition concerns, though he held his own against other prospects this draft process. Almost certain to be a fan favorite if he makes a team.


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