View the original article to see embedded media.
With the early-entry deadline in the rearview, the draft lottery and combine less than two weeks away, and players starting to criss-cross the country for workouts, the dialogue around the draft is getting serious. And this draft board is approaching its final state. There’s still time for guys to move the needle in regard to their draft stock, and May is always a crucial month. But after scouting 76 draft-relevant games in person over the course of a very long (and exhausting) season, my personal opinions on prospects are for the most part formed at this point. On that note, we’re expanding the board from 80 to 100 names and giving it a full update.
As always, the Big Board is primarily based on my personal evaluations of players, in conjunction with intel and opinions gathered from a wide range of sources around the NBA and the basketball industry. This is not a mock draft and does not account for team fit, but it is intended to create a rough hierarchy of eligible prospects as a reference point. We’ll update it once again before the draft, following the combine and after players make their decisions on entry.
1. Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn | Freshman
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 1
The case for Smith at No. 1 isn’t complicated: he’s arguably the best pure freshman jump shooter to enter the draft in years, he’s an excellent, switchable defender, his intangibles are strong, and he’s the youngest of the draft’s elite prospects by a significant margin. Smith’s jumper is an incredible base on which to stack other offensive skills, and as he expands his array of moves, cleans up his footwork and tightens his handle, his potential is through the roof. He shouldn’t need to waste many dribbles to score efficiently, and can be immediately employed as a pick-and-pop scorer and dangerous floor spacer, at minimum. While Smith didn’t get to the rim a ton in college, part of that had to do with Auburn’s style of play. As he adds strength and physically matures, that should change. He has strong instincts and few bad habits, and as he continues to add to his scoring repertoire, Smith could be a near-impossible cover by the time he hits his prime years. Historically speaking, he’d be a legit No. 1 pick candidate in most drafts. This is not one I’d overthink.
2. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue | Sophomore
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 4
It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the possibilities Ivey’s physical tools and explosive speed might create in the pros, and that tantalizing upside should make him one of the first players drafted. There’s star potential here: he’s extremely fast and strong, he puts a lot of pressure on defenses in transition, and the NBA’s style of play will open things up for him in a big way. He can be an impactful defender when he wants to be, which is something he can control.
Ivey’s three-point shooting returned to earth as the season went on, and he had his share of frustrating games. He still has to polish his passing, handling and decision-making and develop a better left hand. Teams will make their own assessments about his makeup and want to see him mature as a leader. He may not be a true point guard, but he should score enough points and create enough offense that the designation may not matter. Ivey’s best moments made plain his ability to take over games in a manner no other college player could. He’s someone you think long and hard about drafting early.
3. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 2
Banchero struggled a bit in conference play, but his skill, size and versatility are strong calling cards. He feels like a pretty safe bet to be a very good player. He’s had bouts of inefficiency, but as long as his jumper continues to improve over time, Banchero should be a dangerous offensive option and potential go-to guy who can make plays for others off the threat of his scoring. The concerns here stem primarily from the fact he’s an average run-jump athlete by NBA standards: he relies on power and coordination rather than speed and explosive vertical play, which hampers him both scoring around the rim and protecting it on the other end. Banchero isn’t super-versatile on defense either, and there’s some concern that his eventual value will be capped by whatever he gives up on that end. But he’s a highly productive player with a league-ready offensive game. His passing skills and mismatch creation will help him step in right away. Banchero has All-Star potential if things break right.
4. Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga | Freshman
Height: 7' 0" | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 3
Holmgren is a highly unusual talent and one of the more polarizing prospects in the draft. Not many 7-footers can protect the basket, handle the ball, make plays in a pinch and space the floor. The tough part is it’s hard to separate Holmgren’s successes and shortcomings from his slender frame, which enabled him to majorly impact college games on the defensive end, but will create some hurdles as he adjusts to playing against experienced opponents who can negate some of his physical advantage. Holmgren is gifted in many areas, and his statistical case is undeniably strong, but NBA teams are placing more weight on what he did against teams with quality bigs than the way he dominated lesser ones in conference play. There are salient concerns as to exactly what degree everything will translate: other than lobs and simple finishes, his buckets often require a lot of physical effort, which puts a heavy premium on him becoming an elite jump shooter. Still, the crux of Holmgren’s value lies in his defense, and that coupled with his variety of offensive skills makes him a fascinating option early in the draft.
5. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6' 6” | Weight: 200 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 7
After reclassifying to attend Kentucky a year early, then sitting out the season, Sharpe will hear his name called early in the draft despite never playing a college game. That’s a testament to his substantial upside: he’s an extremely explosive and smooth athlete gifted at creating his own shot and making tough ones. His strengths point to star-like outcomes if everything breaks right. Sharpe creates separation easily off the dribble and, if his shooting continues to improve, should be a dangerous offensive option and three-level scoring threat. Sharpe has some lazy habits, and like most players making an accelerated leap from high school, he has maturing to do in terms of motor and tendencies. Given most high-level execs haven’t seen him play in person, there will be a lot of weight placed on his pre-draft workouts and interviews to get a sense of his trajectory. But in terms of sheer basketball ability and room for growth, Sharpe has major upside to offer and should be worth an early investment. It’s not crazy to think he could go higher than this.
6. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa | Sophomore
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 6
Murray may follow his ascent to the shortlist of college basketball’s top players as one of the NBA’s most productive rookies next season, with a mature, polished game befitting his age. He’ll likely be the oldest player drafted in the lottery, but his skills feel pretty translatable to the point where teams aren’t too concerned. Murray plays with energy and smarts and can impact the game without needing his number called by crashing the glass, knocking down shots and staying active. His feel for finding pockets to score on offense and playing off of teammates, coupled with a long frame and some defensive versatility, make him a safe bet to be a starting-caliber forward. Forwards with his type of size, feel and skill are always in demand, and with room to improve as a shot-maker and passer, Murray has more upside to offer than a typical 21-year-old college prospect.
7. Johnny Davis, SG, Wisconsin | Sophomore
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 5
The pitch with Davis is pretty simple: he could become an elite midrange scorer, he’s a stellar defender and rebounder, and he’s one of the most competitive players in the draft, with the type of intangibles that may well raise his individual ceiling. Davis battled minor injuries for most of the second half of the season and struggled with efficiency as a result, but left quite a bit of good stuff on film in the early going. He takes a lot of tough shots, but isn’t selfish and has consistently found ways to drive winning apart from his scoring. NBA teams value his reliability and all he brings to the table, with debates among scouts centering on his upside relative to other quality options early in the draft. He’ll need to become a more consistent three-point shooter and finisher to hit his ceiling, but he’s the type of person you bet on to keep improving and exceed expectations.
8. Dyson Daniels, G/F, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 8
Daniels boasts one of the most versatile skill sets in the draft and should enter the NBA well-prepared to play a role immediately. While not flashy or a big-time scorer, he specializes in a valuable combination of things that impact winning, made more impressive by the fact he recently turned 19. He’s an excellent passer, rebounder and team defender who can play point guard, but will benefit from a more secondary playmaking role in the NBA. He has the size and smarts to defend a range of positions, and his offensive value will stem from his understanding of how to move the ball, pick his spots and make teammates better. Daniels has to keep working on his jumper, but it’s not broken. Simply hitting open threes consistently will open up a lot for him. There are a lot of pathways for him to be successful in the long run: there aren’t many players at any level who can plausibly spend time at four positions on either side of the ball.
9. Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor | Freshman
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 11
Teams spent much of the season quietly hoping Sochan would stay under the radar. That didn’t happen, as his immense basketball IQ and diverse skill set constantly popped in a way that belied somewhat modest production. Sochan feels like one of the safer bets in this freshman class to become a valuable contributor, as the rare energy big who also creates lineup versatility on both ends of the floor, capable of playing on the perimeter and guarding multiple positions while rebounding and finishing plays at a quality rate. I wouldn’t run to classify him as a wing, but it doesn’t really matter, which is kind of the point. He competes with a ton of grit and isn’t afraid to mix things up, which should facilitate a quicker adjustment to the NBA. If Sochan continues to expand his offensive game and improve his shooting, he could be extremely valuable in the long run. If he doesn’t, he should still be a longtime valuable contributor.
10. Bennedict Mathurin, SG, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 11
Mathurin put himself in the lottery conversation with a breakout sophomore season that had some impressive peaks and occasionally frustrating lows. He projects as a quality two-guard, with elite run-jump athleticism and enough shooting ability to plug and play early. He’s hard to stop in transition and proved he could take over games on a number of occasions this season, although he can be pretty streaky. The main question teams have is how much he can improve as a playmaker, as improvising doesn’t come naturally to him. Without that element he profiles better as a supporting scorer than as an offensive anchor. Still, between his rebounding, open-court play and potential to improve guarding the perimeter, there’s enough of a secondary skill set here to buy into. He’s earned a spot in the mid-to-late lottery.
11. A.J. Griffin, F, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 10
Griffin was one of the harder players to assess this season: he entered with a big reputation as a scorer and had some great games, but didn’t always make a major difference. He’s dealt with injuries and it took him time to get comfortable in college, but Griffin wasn’t as explosive athletically as some expected, which often limited his impact to launching threes and floating around the perimeter. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft and was touted in high school, so there’s perceivable upside here. But his strengths as a shooter don’t totally cover for the fact he doesn’t always add much value in other areas. And considering he’s still playing catch-up developmentally between the pandemic and his injury history, it’s going to take him a while to actually help an NBA team. Teams will be eager to get a better feel for him in workouts, which will likely determine whether he lands in the top 10, or winds up in the next group of prospects off the board.
12. Mark Williams, C, Duke | Sophomore
Height: 7' 0" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 20
There’s debate every year about when it’s actually a smart idea to draft a developmental center as opposed to simply signing a veteran. Williams did quite a bit to help himself this season, proving he can consistently impact games as a defensive presence and rim-runner, and his sheer size, tools and ability to run the floor are hard to find. He’s put himself in the late-lottery conversation as a result. While he’s not supremely skilled and doesn’t shoot very well, Williams has improved rapidly overall, has shown some flashes as a passer, and could be a legit high-end rim protector if he stays on this trajectory. He’s a pretty simple player to evaluate, it just depends at which point in the draft you’re willing to take a non-shooting center. He’s leapfrogged Jalen Duren in the minds of some, due to his readiness to contribute and size advantage.
13. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis | Freshman
Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 15
Duren has some of the best physical tools in the draft, with a chiseled frame, long arms and a strong base that should make him a quality rebounder and play-finisher. He’s shown passing potential that has added a degree of perceived upside. Still, Duren is going to have to be dangerous enough on offense to warrant playing through in order to maximize that. Although he’s quite young, many NBA scouts have been a tad skeptical for some time, as his feel isn’t particularly strong, his motor remains inconsistent, and he doesn’t figure to shoot jumpers anytime soon. Duren can be too reliant on bullying defenders in lieu of skill, something he’s been able to do his entire career, and he doesn’t play as big as his listed size. Given how the center position is changing, he’s not modern in the truest sense. He should be able to stick in the league with gradual improvement and is still a first-round talent—it’s possible he lands in the top 10 on draft night—but a lot of patience will be warranted.
14. Malaki Branham, SG, Ohio State | Freshman
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 26
Branham began the season under the radar and now enters the draft as a huge success story after evolving almost on the fly into a go-to scorer for Ohio State. He is still learning the nuances of the game and has average height for a wing, but he is long, defends, has polished shot-making skills and showed more capacity to play on the ball than expected. His lack of great size probably means he’s a true two-guard and limits some of his matchup versatility, which may cap his upside a bit. Still, it was hard not to be impressed with what he accomplished, with several huge games pointing to his potential as a scorer. Branham has another big leap ahead of him in the NBA, but he is young for his class, has been well ahead of schedule and could wind up in the late lottery with a strong predraft process.
15. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor | Freshman
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 12
Although Brown didn’t end the season on a great note—his offensive struggles led to reduced minutes as the games got more important—he remains among of the more intriguing if-he-shoots prospects in this draft. He’s an elite athlete and smart cutter and finisher, and it’s impressive that he managed to be supremely efficient in his role as a true 18-year-old freshman. He’s also a big, rangy team defender who should offer versatility on that end. Brown’s shot isn’t broken by any means, but he does have a ways to go in developing consistency, and he’ll need to show signs of progress in workouts to maximize his draft stock. He’s also not a great ballhandler, which contributes to his shortcomings. But it’s hard to find big wings with Brown’s type of tools. If he can simply become a passable, confident shooter, he can be a pretty valuable role player in the NBA.
16. Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas | Senior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 16
Agbaji has more or less cemented himself as a top 20 pick, finishing his college career as the best player on a national championship team and looking prepared to play a supporting role in the NBA. He’s not flashy, but he has a physical presence that will help him defensively. He’s also become a very good shooter, and he’ll have a much easier time finding open shots while playing off of better shot-creators in the pros. He took a huge leap in terms of confidence as a senior and emerged as a consistent scorer. Agbaji isn’t much of a playmaker for teammates, so he’ll probably need to continue shooting at an elite clip in order to secure a high-value role in the long run. But teams feel comfortable with what he brings to the table now, even if there’s not immense upside here.
17. Jaden Hardy, SG, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 28
Hardy closed the G League season in better form, and while it’s been hard for him to shake the narrative of an underwhelming year, when you place him in the context of the other guards outside the lottery, his upside remains intriguing. His efficiency struggles, poor shot selection and occasionally selfish play were predictable. Hardy looked like such a skilled shot-maker in high school that you have to think there may be more under the hood here, but he was also old for his grade and turns 20 this summer. He’s not extremely toolsy or athletic, so more than anything, his long-term success is going to hinge on his own willingness to adapt and adjust to a role. Optimistically, Hardy still projects as a dangerous shooter who should be able to play in ball screens, space the floor and supply some scoring punch, perhaps off the bench. It could be a good thing that he’s gone through real struggles before reaching the NBA, or it could be a portent of things to come.
18. Wendell Moore, F, Duke | Junior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 19
Moore shook off two difficult seasons and turned himself into a consistent, reliable player as a junior, emerging as Duke’s leader and a player who can do a little bit of everything. He’s taken a leap forward in confidence and assertiveness, he’s a capable passer who can handle the ball and start plays, he should at least be an average jump shooter, and he offers playable length and smarts on the defensive end. While he’s not especially tall for a wing, Moore’s traits in concert offer nice versatility to blend different types of lineups. He’s at his best playing in transition, which his team did less of as the season went on. Moore’s floor as a useful, team-first contributor remains fairly appealing, and his rebirth as an NBA prospect has been a nice story. He remains a tad underappreciated as the engine of what became a very good Duke team, but if his leap is to be believed, he figures to contribute winning minutes in the league for a long time.
19. Walker Kessler, C, Auburn | Sophomore
Height: 7' 1" | Weight: 245 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 17
Statistically speaking, Kessler was the best defensive big in college basketball putting up ridiculous block numbers as the backbone of a very good Auburn team. He is a good athlete for his size, has been extremely efficient around the basket, and has also flashed some potential to eventually shoot the three. It’s a little bit concerning that he sometimes struggles to keep up in uptempo games, but he is not going to be drafted as a franchise center. While Kessler’s block totals will return to earth in the NBA to some extent, he should be well-suited to play in drop coverage and has the requisite mobility to be a defensive asset. The upside here is something like late-career Brook Lopez—and if he doesn’t become a floor spacer, he may just be a backup—but that’s a pretty useful player if all breaks correctly.
20. Ousmane Dieng, G/F, New Zealand Breakers
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 41
Dieng was projected in this range in December, saw his stock fluctuate as he struggled early, and is trending back toward a top 20 selection after making visible strides in the final stretch of the season. He looked much more confident and prepared to make an impact in the NBA, and his skill set at his size has always been broadly appealing. He’s on the younger end of draft-eligible guys, which helps, and as a tall, playmaking wing who can make shots and move the ball capably, Dieng has a lot of what teams look for in a developmental project. He’s not incredibly strong, explosive or physical, but it’s easy to see him turning into a useful player if the late-season returns point to his trajectory moving forward. There’s still some risk here if Dieng doesn’t put it all together, but it’s palatable in this part of the draft.
21. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, UW-Milwaukee | Freshman
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 18
Baldwin has more riding on the predraft process than most, after appearing in just 11 college games and missing time with various injuries. When he was available, he didn’t play particularly well, which was due in part to the lack of quality team infrastructure around him. But he’s also not blameless, and his struggles can’t be ignored just because he was a touted high school prospect. Baldwin has great size, good ball skills and a sweet shooting stroke, and as long as he gets back on track, it’s still pretty simple to envision him finding an NBA role in the long run at worst (think Cam Johnson). He was often nitpicked by scouts for his lack of physicality and outward competitive fire. The unusual circumstances have made this a more difficult eval than it needs to be, but even if he’s just an above average role player in the end, Baldwin is still a worthy first-round talent. His medicals and interviews will have a say in where he’s drafted, but there’s enough reason for teams all over the first round to think hard about taking him.
22. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State | Junior
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 240 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 13
Steady progression into one of the most reliable players in the country solidified Liddell as a first-round caliber prospect. Despite being undersized for a power forward, his diversity of on-court strengths should give him a pretty navigable pathway to success. He’s become a consistent shooter with his feet set, he’s expanded his game as a passer, and he can face up slower bigs and weaker wings off the dribble, in addition to his play on the glass. If Liddell can help defensively on bigger wings and smaller bigs while fitting in on offense, there's a pathway to success in the mold of smaller fours like P.J. Washington or Grant Williams. Liddell is more mobile than both those guys, and while his upside isn’t immense, he should be able to stick as a positive contributor in the NBA.
23. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame | Freshman
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 14
Wesley is one of the more interesting wild-card prospects in the first round, offering appealing physical tools and slashing ability, but also extremely raw playmaking skills and an inconsistent jumper. He arrived at Notre Dame as an unheralded three-star recruit and hasn’t played a ton of high-level basketball, so he may need some G League time to get comfortable. He needs to learn to catch-and-shoot and become a more consistent defender, and the fact he’s not really a neat fit at either guard spot as things stand likely means there will be a long development process ahead. Still, there aren’t many prospects in this class with Wesley’s explosiveness and quick-twitch movement skills, and while he might not be truly ready to make the leap, he offers obvious upside worth considering.
24. TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 22
Steady yet unspectacular, Washington is more or less a consensus first-rounder, but often left scouts wanting more. He struggled mightily at various junctures, playing through a bad ankle injury for the final two months, but the eye test didn’t quite back up the production at times, even early in the season when he was playing well. This has made for a tricky eval, with his critics wondering what he does at an elite level, but also assuming he’ll receive some benefit of the doubt coming out of Kentucky. He’s shown some intriguing craftiness and poise, and has proven to be a capable shooter, if sometimes over-reliant on his jumper and floaters in the mid-range. The Wildcats needed him badly, but there were also games where he barely made an impact. Washington turns 21 this year and was old for a freshman, making him even more polarizing for teams. He’s not a stellar athlete and he doesn’t get to the line or rim often enough to inspire a ton of confidence in his upside. But his knack for making the right play gives him a chance to succeed as a ball screen-heavy combo guard in the right situation.
25. Trevor Keels, G, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 23
Keels declared for the draft and left open the possibility of a return to Duke, making him one of the more prominent players still on the fence at this stage. He was highly inconsistent as a scorer, but showed enough as a freshman to draw first-round interest: he’s a capable shooter with a big frame and the skills to play either guard spot. He may need to slim down a bit more to maximize his ability in the long run. Keels’ ability to make shots and make plays for teammates fits neatly into a role, and he plays with a good degree of poise as one of the youngest players in the draft, pointing to some untapped upside. The question may be whether he can show that over the next few weeks, or if he’s better off returning to college to try and play his way up the board in 2023.
26. Tari Eason, F, LSU | Sophomore
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 24
While Eason is a divisive player among scouts due to his offensive limitations, it’s hard to deny his productivity, going from lesser-known transfer to one of the top players in the SEC. Eason’s value in the NBA will come more on the defensive end: he is athletic and rangy, has a nose for the ball and might be able to defend wings. But there are real questions about his jumper, his offensive game being primarily right-hand drives, and his reliance on converting random offense. The eye test doesn’t always match his impressive stats, but at some point those numbers become hard to ignore. Eason has built a fairly convincing first-round case, but his range is pretty wide, conceivably beginning in the late teens.
27. Terquavion Smith, SG, NC State | Freshman
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 160 | Age: 19 | Last rank: NR
A string of five straight 20-point performances during the final month of the season completed Smith’s surprise ascent as a one-and-done candidate. He was mostly off the radar coming in, but put together a truly impressive scoring campaign as a true freshman launching threes with heavy volume and reasonable efficiency. There’s a high bar to clear for guards who are purely bucket-getters, but Smith may be a good enough shooter and moldable enough prospect to make it work. The downside here is he’s extremely thin and still quite raw in a lot of areas, particularly on the defensive end. His ability to create his own shot is certainly enticing, and while there’s still work to do, Smith has become a fascinating candidate to play his way into the first round and ultimately stay in the draft.
28. Bryce McGowens, SG, Nebraska | Freshman
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 31
McGowens had a very productive year in a horrible team context, and while he wasn’t blameless for Nebraska’s struggles, he’s an interesting first-round candidate with some obvious upside considering his size and scoring instincts. His jumper and shot selection need work, but on-ball creators with his type of size aren’t easy to find. He’s not extremely strong or explosive, but players with his type of frame and ball skills tend to get multiple opportunities to stick. McGowens has to improve defensively and share the ball more, and a team will have to develop his habits in addition to his skills, but in a better situation it’s easy to imagine his talent playing up. It’s just going to take some time, potentially in the G League.
29. Nikola Jovic, F, Mega Basket (Serbia)
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 210 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 32
Jovic had a productive year in Serbia and has developmental appeal as huge forward with guard-like perimeter skills. He’s a terrific passer, can make jumpers off the dribble, and in theory could be an oversized playmaker, considering his feel and handle, but he’s not an efficient scorer and isn’t likely to make much of an impact defensively. Jovic likely has to improve in those two areas to stay on the floor, and considering he’s not very athletic or fast, it’s fair to wonder how often he’ll get to the rim and how much he’ll defend. Considering NBA’s premium on positional size and skill, he’s still an interesting bet, particularly if his shooting continues to improve, but he’ll need a good predraft process to firm up a first-round spot.
30. Keon Ellis, SG, Alabama | Senior
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 175 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 33
Ellis put together an underappreciated year in a supporting role at Alabama, turning himself into a reliable 3-and-D wing who turns in heavy effort on both ends of the floor. He didn’t get to the rim a ton or dominate touches on a team that featured its guards more, but he was highly efficient, shot the ball well, and also led the team in steal rate by a wide margin. Ellis is a smart ball-mover who rarely forces things, and has the right type of skill set to fit on an NBA roster immediately. He’s not especially big for a wing, and he’s also quite slender, which will be a problem for some teams, but he’s physical in spite of that and has the type of wiry strength that should play up. He’s already 22, so the upside isn’t crazy, but Ellis clearly knows how to play and has the right type of skillset to help a team off the bench pretty quickly.
31. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona | Junior
Height: 7' 1" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 34
Koloko remains in the late first-round conversation as a high-quality rim protector who anchored a very good Arizona team. He fell behind Mark Williams and Walker Kessler in the draft’s center hierarchy—he’s older than both and not as advanced offensively—but does offer upside with the way he changes shots and covers ground around the basket with his size and length. Koloko’s defensive impact is palpable and his immense physical progression over the past several years has been impressive, although there are still times he needs to play through contact better. His upside is almost entirely tied to his defense, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing—he’s shown enough to project somewhat comfortably as a viable backup and worthwhile pick in this range of the draft.
32. Marjon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 25
Beauchamp used the Ignite platform to his advantage, entering the season as a relative enigma, then establishing himself as a potential first-round pick. He’s the age of a college upperclassman and can’t be given quite the same developmental leeway as a one-and-done freshman, but he was productive in the G League and looks the part with great physical tools. Beauchamp doesn’t really create much offense for himself, but he’s a capable finisher and above-the-rim athlete who has some feel for playing off of others and finding his spots. He’s a comfortable mid-range shooter, and the hope is that eventually leads to consistency from three. While not much of an on-ball defender and at times a step slow on that end, his long frame plays up well in the passing lanes and should hopefully make him a positive. The shooting and feel concerns at his age are drawbacks, making him more of an acquired taste than some.
33. Justin Lewis, F, Marquette | Sophomore
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 245 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 38
Lewis comes off a breakout sophomore season, in which he emerged as a legitimate perimeter shooter with complementary skills as a rebounder and defender. There’s reason to buy his improved jumper, and he fits a viable mold as an athletic, floor-spacing forward (think Trey Murphy in last year’s draft) if he stays on track. He’s not going to create a ton of shots for himself or teammates, but there’s enough ability here to think it can work. He has a long, projectable frame, but doesn’t always put it to use in the flow of the game—if Lewis embraces doing the small stuff, there’s a pathway to him becoming a valuable contributor. He’ll need to convince teams he can be more versatile—if one were confident he’d be able to switch on the perimeter and make the occasional play, it would help—but he just turned 20 and offers upside, and first-round potential.
34. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest | Junior
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 235 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 72
LaRavia’s body of work in one year at Wake Forest was plenty impressive, and he established himself as a legit prospect after two quietly good years at Indiana State. He’s an excellent ball-mover and connective piece who understands how to facilitate offense and plays with admirable competitive juice. While not a great athlete, LaRavia makes the most of what he has, and has enough size for a combo forward and displayed good defensive instincts to where you think he’ll be able to hold his own. He’s probably not going to score a ton of points in the NBA, but if he continues to improve as a shooter and his athleticism doesn’t become an impediment, he could be a high-level role player in time. His unselfishness, toughness and smarts should accentuate teammates in a positive way.
35. Josh Minott, F, Memphis | Freshman
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 21
Here’s another sneaky first-round candidate: there were some around the NBA who viewed Minott, not Jalen Duren, as Memphis’s best long-term prospect, which at least contextualizes the ostensible upside here. Minott’s versatility and budding perimeter skills popped despite sporadic playing time at Memphis. He has quite a bit to offer defensively, with the length and mobility to switch screens, protect the basket on rotations, and effectively rebound. He’s a sneaky-good passer for his position. Minott isn’t a good jump shooter yet, but he’s a decent free throw shooter who should eventually develop passable range. He needs seasoning, potentially in the G League, and there’s some developmental time investment required, but he could move firmly into the first round with a strong predraft process.
36. David Roddy, F, Colorado State | Junior
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 255 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 36
Roddy emerged as one of college basketball’s most unique stars and legitimized himself as an NBA prospect in the process. Coupling guard skills, shot-making chops and passing vision, Roddy’s hefty frame belies the fact he’s actually quite athletic. He’s emerged as a dangerous three-point shooter and a serious matchup problem. The main question is how he’ll make a living defensively, as he’s not especially tall for a four, and may not be quick enough to guard wings. Still, Roddy is dangerous from all over the floor on offense, and a highly intelligent and crafty player who NBA teams are taking seriously. His skill set and feel may be good enough that it plays up regardless of what position label you want to slap on him.
37. Kris Murray, F, Iowa | Sophomore
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21 | Last rank: NR
Murray spent most of the season operating in support of twin brother Keegan, with the general perception being that Kris will likely return to Iowa as a junior. Whether he can come close to matching his brother’s production next year is a fair question, but Murray is a good prospect in his own right, with a sweet left-handed shooting stroke, quality touch around the basket, and a slightly smaller but similar body type to that of his brother, with length and foot speed that play up well. Kris wasn’t always aggressive or consistent, but had a handful of big games this season that make it easy to envision a breakout in the fall, with more touches likely headed his way. Having noted all that, he’s intriguing enough for the long term that a team might want to consider trying to keep him in the draft a year early.
38. Max Christie, SG, Michigan State | Freshman
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 27
Preseason expectations were a little too high for Christie, but he remains an interesting developmental prospect who has piqued interest due to his size and three-point shooting potential. Christie’s freshman year has been challenging and his play trended down over the course of the season, but to be fair, he went from not playing a ton of high-level basketball pre-college to shouldering a lot of minutes as a true freshman in a difficult conference. He’s clearly a long ways off, and it might behoove him to return to college another year—the numbers don’t help his case—but it’s easy to see why a team might take a chance. He needs to get stronger, tougher and more assertive, but he could still sneak into the first round with a strong predraft process.
39. Peyton Watson, F, UCLA | Freshman
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 42
Watson remains a potential upside pick in wake of a frustrating season in which he was mothballed in UCLA’s rotation despite entering as a five-star recruit. The lack of playing time made it difficult for teams to get a feel for his progress, and there’s factually not much of a production sample for anyone to place stock in. There was little opportunity for him to build confidence, and he had little freedom to make mistakes on a veteran team. Watson is a toolsy two-way forward who did have some flashes of high-level defensive potential, and while he hasn’t done enough to project comfortably as a first-rounder, it wouldn’t be crazy for an interested team to take a chance. This will ultimately come down to how he performs in the predraft process.
40. Julian Champagnie, F, St. John’s | Junior
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 46
Although Champagnie’s efficiency dipped this season, it’s easy to see why he might fit into an NBA role, as a dangerous standstill shooter with size who could be a specialist at either forward spot. He offers some basic utility on the defensive end and is young for his class, which helps. There’s some upside here if Champagnie can start to hit more shots off movement and diversify his offensive diet a bit more, but staying solid on defense, spacing the floor and moving the ball is a pretty simple pathway to being useful Bottom line, he neatly fits a player mold that teams tend to value come draft time, and could come off the board in the first half of the second round.
41. Andrew Nembhard, PG, Gonzaga | Senior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 57
Nembhard put everything together in his final year of college, and looks like one of the better options in a thin point guard class. He has great size for his position, high basketball IQ, has made big strides as a shooter and plays defense, a package of strengths that profile pretty nicely into a backup point guard role. Although he’s not likely to be a big time scorer and sometimes struggles with high ball pressure, he impacts winning and has a chance to help a team right away with his ability to manage the game and distribute the ball where it needs to go. Nembhard doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he could have a solid career if he keeps improving, and arguably makes for a better bet than developing a teenage guard in this part of the draft.
42. Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee | Freshman
Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 170 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 48
To Chandler’s credit, he made a lot of progress as the season went on, looking much more confident and assertive by the end of the year. He still profiles better as a backup in the NBA considering his size limitations and reliance on his speed. But Chandler generally makes the most of what he has, utilizing his quickness and vision to facilitate offense and attack the paint, and putting in consistent effort defensively. He wound up with respectable shooting numbers (38% from three) but made just 60% of his free throws, which will continue to feed concerns about his jumper. The main issue here is that it’s arguably a tough proposition to invest first-round draft capital in undersized, offense-first guards. Chandler falls into that bucket for me, though he may very well stick in the league long-term.
43. Jean Montero, PG, Overtime Elite
Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 35
Following a full season with Overtime Elite and an appearance at the Hoop Summit, teams have a fairly good feel for Montero, a creative playmaker with moxie who continues to battle stigma about his size and decision-making. He’s an excellent passer and good improviser, plays with flair, and can be a pesky defender when he wants to be, but remains somewhere on the cusp of the first round due to concerns over his inconsistent jumper and shot-happy, ball-dominant style. Montero shot just 27% from three this season with OTE, and if that doesn’t improve, it’s hard to see his game translating without some habitual adjustments. He remains an interesting flier, but will be more palatable in the second round.
44. Alondes Williams, G, Wake Forest | Senior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 30
After leading a surprising resurgence at Wake Forest with his playmaking skills, Williams looked like a different player than his time at Oklahoma and turned himself into a draftable prospect in the process. He doesn’t have a great frame or outstanding tools, but his feel for the game is substantial and he’s a sneaky-good athlete. He’s one of the best pure passers in the draft, with his turnover issues more a byproduct of heavy usage than any lack of basketball IQ. Williams is unorthodox and not the easiest sell for every team — he turns 23 this year — but he may have what it takes to contribute off an NBA bench on arrival. Optimistically, he’s a useful rotation player who enhances the talent around him, but he may have to shoot it better from deep first.
45. Tyrese Martin, F, UConn | Senior
Height 6' 6" | Weight: 215 | Age: 23 | Last rank: NR
While he may wind up going undrafted, Martin has become one of my favorite under-the-radar prospects: he’s a versatile forward with a nasty approach to the game that should help him overachieve and potentially carve out a role early in his career. He’s a good run-jump athlete, plays hard defensively, and has displayed enough shot-making prowess that it’s easy to think he’ll be able to hold his own and add value as a glue guy. Martin should be able to guard multiple positions and heighten the collective toughness of bench lineups with his energy. He can play on the ball in a pinch, and as long as he continues knocking down threes at a strong clip and keeps defenses honest, he should be adequate on offense. He’s the type of competitor you want to bet figures things out, and an excellent candidate for a two-way contract.
46. Jalen Williams, SF, Santa Clara | Junior
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 195 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 49
Williams wasn’t really on the NBA’s radar entering the season, but showcased a polished all-around game at Santa Clara and emerged as one of the best players in the West Coast Conference and a draftable prospect. He’s not an overwhelming athlete, but he’s an above-average passer and smooth ball-handler and should make enough jumpers to keep defenses honest. His upside isn’t crazy high, but Williams has the makings of a useful lineup-blending wing and looks like a viable second-round sleeper who could potentially earn a guaranteed deal. Feel and size tend to be nice calling cards, and his offense could take off when tasked with less responsibility.
47. Gabriele Procida, G/F, Fortitudo Bologna (Italy)
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 67
Procida looks like one of the more appealing international stash prospects in the second round: while not elite in any one area, he’s an above-average athlete who plays both ends and checks a lot of the basic boxes for a wing. He’s a smart decision-maker and capable passer who should hopefully make plays off the threat of his catch-and-shoot game in time. He’s not a super versatile defender and isn’t a future star or anything, but Procida began coming into his own this season, and while he’s not close to ready for the NBA, there could be a solid career ahead of him. He’s the type of well-rounded prospect worth taking a chance on in the second round.
48. Jabari Walker, PF, Colorado | Sophomore
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 39
Walker had a productive year at Colorado and offers some appeal as a potential stretch big and productive rebounder with plus physical tools. The son of longtime NBA player Samaki Walker, Jabari was a late-blooming high school player and is still raw in some ways, but bigs who can hold their own defensively and knock down shots are always of interest. He has a large frame that can still add muscle, and he’s mobile enough to potentially offer teams defensive versatility. His motor came and went a bit—he racked up double-doubles but also had games where he hardly impacted the glass—and he needs to become a more consistent shooter to hit his ceiling. Walker is an interesting project, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him wind up on a guaranteed deal.
49. Tyler Burton, F, Richmond | Junior
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 59
Burton fits a useful mold as an active, athletic forward who should be able to fill out lineups and defend multiple positions. He plays hard, finishes well with both hands, rebounds really well at his position, and won’t need designed touches to be effective. Richmond played a heavily structured offense, and teams will be interested to see what he can do outside of that construct in the predraft process. Burton made strides as a shooter this season, but it remains a key swing skill for him moving forward—if he proves he can make enough shots in workouts, he’ll have a chance to really rise. As a productive wing-sized forward, he should get opportunities to prove himself and fill a role.
50. Dalen Terry, G, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last rank: NR
In a surprising turn, Terry showed real signs of putting things together as a sophomore, finishing the season as an indispensable part of Arizona’s rotation, shooting a respectable 36% from three on the season, and looking like a much more focused player than he’d previously shown. While not a true point guard, he’s an excellent passer with good positional size, and the type of ball-moving chops that tend to plug and play well in today’s NBA. Terry has drawn interest from NBA teams this year but may wind up returning to Arizona, and he’ll have a better chance of playing his way into the first round with a second strong college season. There are still questions about his scoring ability and jumper. But he also has an opportunity to raise his stock if teams grow more comfortable with him during the predraft process.
51. Leonard Miller, F, Fort Erie International Academy
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Last rank: NR
Per league sources, Miller was officially ruled eligible by the NBA on Wednesday night. He was not initially on the NBA’s early-entry list due to paperwork issues, but teams mostly expected Miller—an intriguing but raw prospect from Canada—would wind up in the draft. It’s worth noting that he’s still considering G League Ignite, Kentucky and Arizona as options for next season. Considering how young and inexperienced he is, taking an extra year before making an NBA leap makes some sense. If Miller is able to enter the draft this year, he’s someone teams will be fascinated to learn more about—he’s a projectable scorer and passer with size and length, and a capable shooter, albeit with unorthodox mechanics. He’s so far away from contributing that it’s a tricky sell for some, but the upside is such that he’s draftable, should he choose.
52. Ismael Kamagate, C, Paris (France)
Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 44
While Kamagate doesn’t play a particularly inventive brand of basketball, he’s been productive this season in France, playing a simple rim-running and screening role and utilizing his high-end physical tools to positive effect. He’s a powerful finisher around the rim and has shown some flashes of passing and ball skills, as well, and while he’s still raw in terms of feel, there’s a pathway for him to find an NBA role presuming his growth continues. Kamagate projects better as a reserve than as a starter, and he doesn’t shoot threes, which limits some of his utility. In a relatively thin international class, he’s built arguably the best résumé amongst centers.
53. Christian Braun, F, Kansas | Junior
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 50
Credit Braun for taking a substantial all-around leap this season, filling a secondary scoring role Kansas badly needed and putting himself in position to get a real chance at the NBA. He’s more of a play finisher than anything else, but he’s a good athlete who’s effective around the basket and in the open floor, and can elevate to block shots. His passing skills have gotten better, which is notable. There are still some issues here: he’s stiff physically, shoots a flat, inconsistent ball, isn’t a naturally creative ballhandler, and lacks much of an in-between game. If his defense plays up and he diversifies his offense, there’s a chance he finds a niche. He helped himself in the NCAA tournament, but there are a number of players at his position with more intriguing long-term upside.
54. John Butler Jr., F, Florida State | Freshman
Height: 7' 1" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last rank: NR
While Butler is a very long way from impacting an NBA game, there frankly just aren’t that many mobile 7-footers in the world who can comfortably bomb threes, and he might be one of them. That alone is pretty interesting. He needs to add a lot of strength, and his offensive utility is limited to pick-and-pop and stationary spacing right now, but he’s an unusually natural shooter for his size. Butler moves his feet well on the perimeter, as well, leaving some hope he might be a versatile defender eventually. He’d be a serious project, but when you go down the shortlist of interesting second-round players worth developing, he’s in the conversation. Butler may ultimately wind up back in college, which might be a better place to build confidence and expand his impact.
55. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo | Sophomore
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last rank: NR
It’s unclear if Rollins will stay in the draft, but he has some positive traits that point to a potential breakout if he stays in school. He’s not the most polished scorer or consistent three-point shooter, but he plays with pace, can hit shots in the midrange, and has pretty good feel. He played in a more system-driven Toledo offense with multiple ballhandlers that made him look like more of a combo than a point guard, but was productive overall. He’s also a solid defender with some size and length in the backcourt. Rollins has to get stronger and really polish his offensive game—he’ll need to get better separation from defenders for his scoring to really translate—but there’s something here worth keeping an eye on moving forward. The question is mostly whether he’s better off developing in college or the G League.
56. Yannick Nzosa, C, Malaga (D.R. Congo)
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 53
Once billed as a potential lottery pick, Nzosa now projects as a pure second-round flier, with his his role having mostly evaporated this season in Spain. His tools are still impressive, but he seems so far off at a glance, particularly feel-wise, and he’ll have a decision to make as to where he wants to develop next year. Things seem to have stalled a bit at Malaga. He’s young enough to take his time to try and get back on track developmentally: he’s one of the more physically gifted draft-eligible prospects and has long-term potential as a rim protector and rebounder, but it’s been troublesome how much he’s struggled to produce (and expectations were way too high). Considering his role as a rim-running center is somewhat replaceable for NBA teams, it’s hard to justify investing significant capital here, but he’s a stashable option.
57. J.D. Davison, PG, Alabama | Freshman
Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 37
Davison has been one of the most polarizing freshman prospects after entering the year as a projected first-rounder He’s an excellent athlete and quality passer, but his ball skills and decision-making leave something to be desired, and there’s often a lack of quality end product when he plays on the ball. Davison is a below-average jump shooter, especially off the dribble, and doesn’t add a whole lot of value playing off the ball. That places a lot of weight on how quickly he can develop into a legitimate full-time lead guard. NBA teams will simply go underneath ball screens until he proves he can make shots off the dribble, and he has a tendency to float in and out of games. There’s still some upside here, but Davison will almost certainly need G League time out of the gate, and profiles as a long-term project.
58. Trevion Williams, C, Purdue | Senior
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 255 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 43
Williams may be the best passing big man in the draft, which makes him a person of interest in spite of a subpar athletic profile for a modern center. He has high-level vision and timing as a distributor, adds value as a rebounder, and has quick hands and good instincts defensively. But he’s a below-the rim big likely to face a bit of an uphill battle scoring the ball and as protecting the basket as a slightly undersized five. If Williams develops a reliable jumper, there’s a legit chance he sticks. Without one, it may be harder to find minutes for him in the NBA. He won’t be gifted a pathway to minutes, but his toughness and skill level are an interesting combination to bet on.
59. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 71
After breaking onto the scene as a late-blooming high school prospect, Barlow made strides this season with Overtime Elite and looks like a legitimate person of interest in the second round. He doesn’t have much high-level basketball under his belt at all, but he’s athletic and moldable, with an improving skill level that points to potential offensive versatility, and good physical tools. Barlow has also made strides as a jump shooter, which will be a key development area for him to maximize his chances at becoming a rotation player. There’s definitely upside here, and he’s so young that it’s worth a shot, but there’s also a long road ahead before he helps an NBA team.
60. Michael Foster Jr., F/C, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 54
Foster remains a polarizing player to scout: he was productive but inefficient in the G League, deserves credit for holding his own, and yet leaves something to be desired as an energy big. He has a tendency to float to the perimeter, but isn’t very functional there, and is still figuring out what his role has to be to succeed in the long run. If Foster can utilize his strength and length to become a better rebounder and rim protector, it would enhance his chances of sticking in the NBA, but he’s not that tall for a frontcourt player and may be kind of stuck between positions in a bad way. He’s so young that it’s probably best to be patient, and he’s draftable in the second round, but this will likely be an uphill climb for him without a major offensive leap, or a willing re-imagining of his own role.
61. Vince Williams, F, VCU | Senior
62. Moussa Diabate, F/C, Michigan | Freshman
63. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford | Freshman
64. Caleb Houstan, F, Michigan | Freshman
65. Hugo Besson, G, New Zealand Breakers
66. Jaylin Williams, C, Arkansas | Sophomore
67. Pete Nance, F/C, Northwestern | Senior
68. Lucas Williamson, SG, Loyola Chicago | Senior
69. Julian Strawther, G/F, Gonzaga | Sophomore
70. Khalifa Diop, C, Gran Canaria
71. Dereon Seabron, F, NC State | Sophomore
72. Jared Rhoden, SG, Seton Hall | Senior
73. Orlando Robinson, C, Fresno State | Junior
74. Stanley Umude, G/F, Arkansas | Senior
75. Bryson Williams, F, Texas Tech | Senior
76. Jamaree Bouyea, PG, San Francisco | Senior
77. Will Richardson, G, Oregon | Senior
78. Ron Harper Jr., F, Rutgers | Senior
79. Gabe Brown, F, Michigan State | Senior
80. Isaiah Mobley, F/C, USC | Junior
81. Johnny Juzang, SG, UCLA | Junior
82. Adam Flagler, G, Baylor | Junior
83. Colin Gillespie, PG, Villanova | Senior
84. Josiah-Jordan James, F, Tennessee | Junior
85. Trayce Jackson-Davis, C, Indiana | Junior
86. Drew Timme, F/C, Gonzaga | Junior
87. Baylor Scheierman, G, South Dakota State | Junior
88. Iverson Molinar, G, Mississippi State | Junior
89. Darius Days, F, LSU | Senior
90. Aminu Mohammed, F, Georgetown | Freshman
91. Kevin McCullar, G/F, Texas Tech | Senior
92. Jaden Shackelford, SG, Alabama | Junior
93. Quenton Jackson, G/F, Texas A&M | Senior
94. Javon Freeman-Liberty, G, DePaul | Senior
95. Jordan Hall, F, St. Joseph’s | Sophomore
96. Marcus Bingham, C, Michigan State | Senior
97. Brady Manek, F, North Carolina | Senior
98. Ryan Hawkins, F, Creighton | Senior
99. Fardaws Aimaq, C, Utah Valley State | Junior
100. Kofi Cockburn, C, Illinois | Junior