By Darnell "Tate" Johnson

Due to the (U17 and U18) USA Basketball tryouts, the NBPA Top 100 Camp had more of a focus on younger kids, this year, that normally may not have attended. The majority of the top NBA prospects in camp were underclassmen. It was certainly surprising to see a number of the younger kids not just compete but stand out. Here are the kids that showed the most promise from the NBPA Top 100 Camp: (Comparisons are not saying they will become that player,  just a point of reference of their style of play)

Romeo Langford  6-5 190 SG New Albany High, New Albany, IN (2018)

For such a young player, Romeo surprisingly plays with the pace of an NBA veteran. He never seems to be in a rush and is very even keeled, I’ve never seen him get overly excited or show bad body language. He plays with a lot of poise, expecting to win and be successful every time he takes the court. He enjoys playing both ends of the floor and will take the challenge of guarding any of the opposing players, even a 7′ center. He understands the value of getting his teammates involved. He has a natural feel for the game, and excels in facilitating for others. He’s got an advanced skillset, and also surprising athleticism. He should look to become more aggressive, but the talent level is very intriguing. With that all being said, he’s a very special talent and player. NBA Comparison: D’Angelo Russell

Silvio De Sousa 6-8 240 PF School (TBD) (2018)

Before he was forced to leave the event, Silvio was a force to be reckoned with. You can’t teach his physicality and his motor. He plays hard from jump ball to the last horn. He’s not very skilled but that doesn’t stop him from being very effective in a camp setting. He knows how to run and get to his soft spot and if you get the ball to him there, more likely than not he’ll score or get to the free throw line. He makes you pay if you come into the lane when he’s manning the paint. When giving the ball in rhythm, he can knock down the 15 footer. His game is more fit for the NBA, than high school and college. He’s the type of player you put on the floor and say ‘just go make plays’. NBA Comparison: Kenneth Faried

Chol Marial 7-1 C Cheshire Academy, Middletown, CT (2019)

Mariel one of those players you watch and because of the hype you can get caught over evaluating. I understood from the door he’s a youngster with a tremendous upside. He runs the floor like gazelle for a 7+ footer. He has excellent touch 15 feet in. He plays with great enthusiasm and was a great teammate NBPA Camp week. He has great timing for a young big man. He has very soft hands and surprisingly good footwork for a kid so young and tall. He still a little light in the seat, so he has a tendency of getting pushed around in the post. His length is truly incredible, with a 7-9 wingpsan. He seems to always play with a smile and you can tell he really enjoys the game. NBA Comparison: Dikemebe Mutombo

Charles Bassey C/PF 6-11 220 St Anthony Catholic, San Antonio, TX (2019)

Bassey came into the camp with a lot of hype and more then lived up to it. He was aggressive throughout the event. He showed he could score at all three levels. He was able to score when a body was leaning on him and he out rebounded stronger and older opponents. He was also active guarding the rim on the defensive end. You can tell with all these skills sets, he still has a lot of growth left in his game. He still has a tendency to play in spurts and must get stronger. With that all being said, sometimes you forget he’s a 2019. If he reclassifies to 2018, I would still have him as a top 5 draft prospect in that class. I also like how unselfish he is. He is good passing out the post and from the wing. For a young, foreign big man, born in Nigeria, he has a very good understanding of the game. NBA Comparison: (young) Roy Tarpley

Justin Smith  6-7 SF Adlai E. Stevenson High, Buffalo Grove, IL (2017)

Smith was a major surprise for me at the camp. I’ve seen him quite a few times, but boy did his game take a major leap. He plays within himself and always seems to make the right decisions. He has a silky smooth game that doesn’t overwhelm you, but was very impressive. He may not be ranked as high as some of the other stand out players from the camp, but regardless, the young man balled. He knocked down the three, hit the midrange and got to the cup and finished with either hand and above the rim. He really impressed me on the defensive end as well. He stayed in front of his man, for the most part, and was very good at help defense. NBA Comparison: Terrance Ross

2018 Zion Williamson 6-8 230 PF Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg, SC

It was my first time getting a long look at Zion and like most people at the camp I was highly impressed. He’s one of the most physical and athletic players I’ve seen his size in a long time. He has great way of making space without drawing an offensive foul. Still wrapped with baby fat, there’s no telling the leaps his game will take when he forms into shape. He has an awkward looking set shot, but it’s very consistent. He gets his jump shot off because most post players have to play off him. He has a very explosive first step and gets off the ground quicker then most bigs I’ve seen in high school right now regardless of class. He was the most dominant player at the camp. He’s a major mismatch problem. I mentioned to some NBA players in attendance that he reminded me of former NBA star Rodney Rogers and they agreed that was on point. NBA Comparison: Rodney Rodgers

Paul Scruggs 6-4 190 SG Southport High, Indianapolis, IN (2017)

Paul may be the most physical lead guard in his class. You can tell he’s still learning the lead guard position. During the camp I could see his improvement. He still more productive when he moves over to the shooting guard, because he’s a very efficient scorer. When he’s knocking down the three ball, he’s almost unstoppable. He was good at getting his teammates involved and was good at making the easy pass. He looked good at times in managing the game, which is a must to play PG at the next two levels. He already has a NBA ready body and knows how to make use of it. He’s a very physical on ball defender and is quick enough to play smaller and quicker guards. He has a tremendous wingspan, which makes him a very good defender at filling the lanes. Paul should be a major impact guy in college, and I feel an even bigger prospect at the NBA level. NBA Comparison: Dion Waiters

Nick Weatherspoon  6-3 173 PG Velma Jackson High, Camden, MS (2017)

Nick was a highlight film all camp long. He’s very electrifying with a lot of bounce. He has jet quick hands and a major league handles. He’s a tenacious defender, that won’t hesitate to pick you up from 94 feet. He made better decisions as the samp progressed. He played with a good pace and understood the value of getting his teammates involved. He still has a ways to go at the point guard position, but with the leap and bounds he’s made, I expect him to get more polished at the position. Each year the kid seems to get better and better and have no reason to think that won’t continue. NBA Comparison: Brandon Jennings

Khavon Moore 6-8 180 SF Westside High, Atlanta, GA (2018)

For Khavon, the skies the limit. He has all the athletic tools you want in an NBA wing. He has major bounce, very quick and can knock down the three. He can guard multiple positions. When he wants to be a lock down defender, he can shut down his man. He plays consistently above the rim. If you’re not careful he can put you on a highlight vid. Now with that all being said, the young man has to get a better understanding of the game. His game management leaves a lot to be desired. He has a bad habit of taking untimely shots and also of trying to make the fancy play, instead of keeping it simple. More than once, he dribbled into traffic and got himself in trouble. So there’s work left on decision making and his feel for the game. NBA Comparison: Trevor Ariza

Rayshaun Hammonds 6-9 215 SF/PF Norcross High, Norcross, GA (2017)

Hammonds is that throwback type player. He plays within himself and made a living around the basket. He’s a crafty lefty that banged all weekend and more than not, outplayed his opponents. He has a very soft touch around the basket and was a terror on the offensive and defensive glass. He knocked down a few mid range jumpers and when he expands his range even further, he will be a real problem. He plays very good position and help defense. I really liked his footwork and when he gets the ball in his mits you aren’t getting it out. NBA Comparison: Danny Fortson

Tadas Sedekerskis 6-9 PF Vitoria Gastriz Laboral Kutxa, Lithuania (2017)

Tadas was a major surprise to everyone at the camp. He came in and competed with big name kids and not only played like he belonged but stood out. He was aggressive going to the basket and scored through contact. He knocked down the long range jump shot was ease. He was a very effective passer and didn’t get embarrassed on the defensive end. He really came to camp and made a statement. He has a knack of getting to the foul line. I will enjoy tracking this young man’s progression. NBA Comparison: Andrei Kirilenko


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