The point guards are perhaps the most deep and well-rounded position in what has often been described as a weak draft class. A legitimate nine or ten point guards could potentially be drafted in the first round, and up to 5 of those prospects could be taken in the lottery.
1. CJ McCollum 6-3 197 Lehigh Sr.
Though many are projecting Burke to be taken ahead of McCollum, this shifty combo guard is ready to take on the pros after four years of dominating the Patriot League. McCollum has an absolute knack for scoring, and he can do it in a variety of ways. His ability to beat defenders off the dribble with an arsenal of moves and tremendous burst is one of the best in this draft, but he is also a stellar outside shooter. The four-year college player has the kind of maturity and well-roundedness that will allow him to make an immediate impact in the league. Some may question his ability to succeed against competition beyond the mid-major Patriot League schools, but his performance in leading the #15 seeded Mountain Hawks past Duke in last year’s NCAA tournament will help put some such doubts to rest. If McCollum is to play the point in the NBA, however, he needs to improve his ability to run the offense. His 2.7-2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio in college is a bit of a red flag. Overall, however, McCollum is a big-time scorer and a big-time player who is at the top of this point guard class.
2. Trey Burke 6-1 190 Michigan So.
Burke, the reigning Naismith Award winner, could quite possibly be a top 5 pick. As he demonstrated throughout the NCAA tournament, he is a proven winner. The best pure point guard in this draft, Burke demonstrates a near-perfect balance of knowing when to distribute to his teammates and when to use his ability to create and shooting ability to score. Burke always seems to be in control of the game. He was the heart and soul of this year’s runner-up Michigan team, which featured several future pros who gelled spectacularly thanks to Burke. He is undersized for a point guard, which has the potential to severely limit him in the pros, but his speed and craftiness will certainly help to cover up those blemishes in his game. Burke plays with heart and excels at the biggest moments in the game, despite only being 20 years old, and its hard to see him not making an impact in the NBA.
3. Dennis Schroeder 6-2 168 New Yorker Phantoms (Germany) 1993
Schroeder only began climbing up draft boards a few months ago after a strong showing at the Nike Hoops Summit. The swift, but slender native of Germany is perhaps the quickest player in this draft. His point guard skills and defense are solid, too, especially when one considers the fact that Schroeder won’t turn 20 until September. His shooting adds another tool to his arsenal, as he shot 40% from 3 in the German Bundesliga last season. Of course, a 168 lb., 19-year-old point guard is a prospect who still has a ways to go to make an impact in the NBA, and there have been reports of Schroeder having bad workouts and focus issues, but Schroeder has already shown he can compete against veteran players significantly older than himself, as he averaged 11.9 PPG in 24 minutes last season while playing in Germany. One of the more intriguing prospects, Schroeder could be a steal in the late lottery.
4. Michael Carter-Williams 6-6 185 Syracuse So.
Carter-Williams is a big, smooth point guard with excellent floor vision who should draw looks in the late lottery. Not only does he have more-than-prototypical height, MCW also is an excellent facilitator with a knack for finding the open man. He’s a solid ball-handler with a high basketball IQ who helped lead his team to the Final Four. His length helps him defend on the perimeter, although there are some question marks about his defense since he played in Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone at Syracuse. Outside shooting is one of the main concerns about Carter-Williams, as evidenced by his low percentages and hesitancy to shoot open looks from deep. Another concern relates to an off-court shoplifting incident in which MCW was involved but not charged. Though there are some minor concerns about his character and scoring ability, as well as some speculation that he could be a boom-or-bust type of pick, Carter-Williams has the point guard skills to potentially be a very solid NBA point guard.
5.Shane Larkin 5-11 171 Miami So.
Larkin is the ultimate "glue guy" point guard who was the focal point of Miami’s senior-dominated team that earned a #2 seed in last year’s tournament and won the ACC title. He showed off his outstanding athleticism at the combine with a 44 inch vertical. His playmaking ability is stellar, and he uses his quickness and ball-handling to penetrate and kick it out to a teammate. Among his many talents in running an offense is his ability to execute the pick-and-roll, a skill of his which is very effective. Even Larkin’s shooting is NBA caliber, and he is consistent out to beyond the three-point line. The main knock on Larkin’s game is his size and the way it will affect his ability to defend and finish at the rim. But Larkin is ultimately an athletic, well-rounded point guard with a lot to offer an NBA team, and his ability to overcome his size advantage will dictate how well his college success translates to the pros.
6. Nate Wolters 6-5 196 South Dakota St. Sr.
Like Green, Wolters is another tall, slender, high-volume scorer who needs to make his scoring ability translate to the next level. He averaged 22.6 PPG last season, and those points came on outside shots, drives to the basket, and step-back jumpers. He has a great feel for the game and good floor vision, making him a good balance of scoring and facilitating as a point guard. He’s a good ballhandler who can get out of tricky situations and find himself a good look. The main concerns about Wolters are his ability to defend NBA point guards with his less-than-stellar quickness and his ability to create shots against NBA defenders after tearing apart Summit League defenders for four years. Ultimately, Wolters’ diverse offensive skillset is formidable and could propel him into the late first round.
7. Isaiah Canaan 6-0 190 Murray St. Sr.
Canaan is a compact, muscular, tank of a point guard with a knack for scoring. Although Murray State didn’t quite meet preseason expectations, Canaan still averaged 22.4 PPG and displayed his tremendous shooting ability. He’s most effective shooting off the dribble; in fact, he is one of the most statistically accurate shooters off the dribble in this draft. Canaan can also get inside and finish at the rim using his thick frame. His eagerness to draw contact lets him get to the line at an impressive rate (6.2 attempts per game), where he shoots 82%. Though thick and strong, Canaan is still undersized, which could limit him in the NBA, and his point guard skills still need work, but his natural scoring ability make him a fringe 1st round prospect.
8. Lorenzo Brown 6-5 189 NC St. Jr.
Brown is a big, smooth, and naturally gifted prospect with tremendous upside that could move a team to take him surprisingly early on draft day. He’s a flashy point guard thanks to his dynamic ball-handling skills, his floor vision, and his deceptive quickness. His sheer size helps him read the defense, and it makes him a better defender and a great rebounding guard, as well. And though Brown is bigger than most of the defenders he will face, his speed is on par with that of most of his fellow point guard prospects. Unfortunately, Brown’s ability to put the ball in the basket is not on par with his other offensive skills. His shooting percentages are low and his finishing ability is questionable. His decision-making can also be questionable at times. Ultimately, though, Brown has the look of an NBA point guard and he has a lot of the skills to get there. If he can polish some of the rough edges in his game, he has the potential to be one of the top point guards in this draft class.
9. Erick Green 6-3 180 Virginia Tech Sr.
The first thing that jumps out about Erick Green is the fact that he led NCAA Division I in scoring last season. Needless to say, he can score. He’s an excellent 1-on-1 player who has a stocked arsenal of moves and good burst to get past his defender on the perimeter. He’s also a good jump shooter (48%/39%/82% shooter last season) and an efficient scorer overall. He has good height and is fairly good at finding the open man, but he’s a bit of a tweener and needs to develop his point guard skills. His frame is very thin and he needs to gain strength to drive against NBA big men. His defense is mediocre, as well, and he needs to devote more focus to that end of the court. All in all, however, Green could provide a team with spurts of bench scoring and may find himself taken in the first round thanks to his diverse offensive arsenal.
10. Myck Kabongo 6-3 180 Texas So.
Kabongo edges out Pierre Jackson for the final spot on this list. He is one of the flashiest, most entertaining players in this draft class. He’s prone to making jaw-dropping passes, but he also can make the simple, but necessary ones, as well. Kabongo is a good floor general with great instincts and an unselfish approach to the offense. However, he’s been known for being a bit too unselfish on offense, often passing up decent looks. Part of this is due to the fact that his shooting range is limited, which allows defenders to play off of him. Kabongo is a decent defender, using his athleticism and length to be successful, but he has a tendency to gamble on plays. This points to the overall tendency of Kabongo’s to play undisciplined, as he often makes unnecessary passes. However, Kabongo is a humble, high-character kid who can be coached into being a more disciplined player. His flashes of brilliance will draw him looks in the early second round and NBA fans could be in for a treat with this kid.
DJ Cooper 6-0 175 PG Ohio Sr., Will Cherry 6-1 181 PG Montana Sr., Matthew Dellavedova 6-4 190 PG/SG St. Mary’s Sr., Kevin Foster 6-3 220 PG/SG Santa Clara Sr., Abdul Gaddy 6-3 195 PG Washington Sr., Pierre Jackson 5-10 176 PG Baylor Sr., Carl Jones 5-11 160 PG St. Joseph’s Sr., Mark Lyons 6-1 190 PG/SG Arizona Sr., Anthony Marshall 6-3 200 PG UNLV Sr., Ray McCallum 6-1 190 PG Detroit Jr., Raul Neto 6-2 179 PG Lagun Aro GBC 1992, Phil Pressey 5-11 177 PG Missouri Jr., Nemanja Nedovic 6-3 190 PG/SG Lietuvos Rytas 1991, Peyton Siva 6-1 181 PG Louisville Sr., Josiah Turner 6-3 190 PG Halifax Rainmen 1992, Mfon Udofia 6-2 195 PG Georgia Tech Sr.