Is this year's draft a crapshoot? We rank the top 60 prospects for the 2016 NBA draft on June 23.
We’ve settled on our top 60 NBA prospects for this year's draft, with some late movement and appearances by international prospects making a few new waves. The draft is Thursday, and there’s still a huge amount of variance, and it still feels like this year might be a little weirder than usual. As one scout said to me of this draft: “Really, it’s a f------ crapshoot, man.”
Well, maybe it’s a crapshoot, but now it’s our crapshoot. Prepare to nitpick the respective career arcs of Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram for a decade. Live and die with Thon Maker, because some general manager is about to take the plunge. Train yourself to say “Guerschon Yabusele” aloud, if you’re lucky.
Get ready to feel exactly like Joakim Noah.
See you on the other side.
31. (24) Diamond Stone | Maryland | C | 6' 11", 255 | Fr.
Stone can really score inside, and he’s still quite young. He has a good amount of upside because of it. But he was inconsistent in his one college season, didn’t rebound extremely well and needs work on his body and conditioning. Scouts are concerned how he’ll handle the adjustment to the NBA’s rigorous demands. The questions about makeup and his ability to stay on the floor defensively may hurt his stock.
32. (31) Pat McCaw | UNLV | SG | 6' 7", 181 | So.
As three-and-D types go in this draft, McCaw checks out well: his shooting stroke and defensive length (6' 10" wingspan) are tangible strengths, and he’s developing as a playmaker. He could provide first-round type value if it all pans out, but he’s extremely skinny and will take some time to mature.
33. (32) Caris LeVert | Michigan | G | 6' 7", 191 | Sr.
LeVert would probably be a lottery pick if not for his extensive history of leg and foot injuries. That said, he was extremely productive in college and has one of the more complete skill-sets among guards in this class. He could be extremely valuable and a steal if he falls into this range, but he could also just get injured again.
34. (41) Malachi Richardson | Syracuse | SG | 6' 6", 200 | Fr.
One of the biggest climbers in recent weeks, Richardson parlayed his moment in the NCAA tournament into serious NBA looks and could go in the first round given his frame and shooting potenial on the wing. He’s a bit one-dimensional at this stage, looking mostly for his offense, and isn’t the most explosive athlete. There are still more questions than answers.
35. (33) Damian Jones | Vanderbilt | C | 7' 0", 244 | Jr.
People are somewhat split on Jones, whose physical tools and defensive ability profile well. He never quite put everything together at Vandy, but in a simplified NBA role, he could thrive. His athleticism has bought him a chance to rectify all of that. He has a case in the late first round.
36. (34) Malcolm Brogdon | Virginia | G | 6' 6", 223 | Sr.
Given he’s one of the most experienced players in the draft, it’s easy to see Brogdon sneaking into a rotation right away, a la Norman Powell or Josh Richardson. He’s not a crazy upside play, but a diversified two-way skill-set certainly holds appeal. His nearly 7' 0" wingspan pops out, although he’s not all that explosive or quick. You kind of know what you’re getting here.
37. (36) Ben Bentil | Providence | PF | 6' 8" 229 | So.
Bentil profiles as a quality rebounder with good touch who can also hit an outside shot, and has long enough arms to compensate for positionally relative lack of height. He’s not especially skilled, but if you carve out the right role for him and he commits to doing the small things, he might be a player.
38. (38) Brice Johnson | North Carolina | PF | 6' 10", 209 | Sr.
Johnson’s outstanding senior season for the Tar Heels didn’t wipe away three years of inconsistency. His lack of bulk could make his NBA transition tougher, even as a college senior. Still, he’s quite the athlete and could become a viable energy big with his ability to finish on the interior. If a team needs immediate help, he could go higher than this.
39. (39) Petr Cornelie | Le Mans (France) | PF | 6' 11", 220 | 20
A stretchy, fluid big man with legit size, Cornelie’s ability to shoot it and run the floor should get him picked. Bigs with his type of profile always have intrigue. He’s a solid second-round investment.
40. (40) Zhou Qi | Xinjiang (China) | C | 7' 2", 218 | 20
He’s enormous, mobile, blocks shots and can shoot jumpers. Zhou also weighs next to nothing and has yet to be tested by elite competition. Could make for a very unique piece ... could also be out of the league very quickly.
41. (43) Chinanu Onuaku | Louisville | C | 6' 10", 245 | So.
He brings a legitimate defensive presence inside and showed well at the combine. He’s got good size, but not much of an offensive skill-set to speak of. Still just 19, Onuaku has a chance to become a rotational big down the line.
42. (42) Gary Payton II | Oregon State | PG | 6' 3", 184 | Sr.
Of course, the bloodlines are working for Payton, who’s a tremendous athlete and solid defender. His game is well-rounded, but the questions lie with his jump shot, which will likely keep him out of the first round.
43. (47) Robert Carter Jr. | Maryland | F/C | 6' 9", 251 | Jr.
Another combine standout, Carter has slimmed down from his days at Georgia Tech and presents a wide bag of tricks on offense, both facing up and with his back to the basket. His defense is a different story.
44. Paul Zipser | Bayern Munich (Germany) | F | 6' 8", 210 | 22
Zipser recently won MVP at the prestigious adidas Eurocamp and has a well-developed set of skills. He’s a pretty good athlete who can play defense and hit a jump shot. If he can does those two things well enough, he has a chance to stick around. He seems to enjoy filling a role.
45. (37) Joel Bolomboy | Weber State | PF | 6' 9", 224 | Sr.
Freakishly athletic with strong mid-major production on his resumé, Bolomboy’s hallmark ability is rebounding with a dash of everything else sprinkled in. He’s got a somewhat unorthodox game and will need to be molded, but could be quite the dice roll. He’s still a bit raw for his advanced age.
46. (45) Pascal Siakam | New Mexico State | PF | 6' 10", 227 | So.
Siakam’s already 22, but his size, ability to get up and down the floor and competitive spirit helped him stand out at the combine. The native of Cameroon averaged 20 points, nearly 12 rebounds and two blocks last season, and that production combined with his tools make him an intriguing sleeper. He could be a great defender given his length.
47. (57) Guerschon Yabusele | Rouen (France) | PF | 6' 8", 270 | 20
Besides having the best name in the draft, Yabusele brings a long, burly frame, good hands and a nice touch at the basket. He can also face up and hit a jump shot. His unique tools should get him picked, but he’s a total work in progress on defense and could stand to slim down.
48. (44) Michael Gbinije | Syracuse | G/F | 6' 7", 205 | Sr.
The more polished of the two available Syracuse guards, Gbinije was a bit of a forgotten man in college after getting buried at Duke, but bloomed late, showed well at the combine, and has already played internationally for Nigeria. He’s about to turn 24, but his size, playmaking and shooting (though streaky) have appeal.
49. (46) Isaiah Whitehead | Seton Hall | G | 6' 5", 210 | So.
Though Whitehead is a talented scorer and competitor, you still wonder whether he can handle lead-guard responsibilities in the NBA. His ability to shoot off the dribble sets him apart. He has the ability to go much higher than this, but overall inconsistency and the fact he’ll have to find an actual role beyond “gunner” leaves room for doubt.
Photos of every No. 1 overall pick in the lottery era
50. (NR) Rade Zagorac | Mega Leks (Serbia) | SF | 6' 9", 205 | 20
An athletic wing with a diverse skill-set, Zagorac is an enticing stash player who could possibly be a valuable role player in time. He can do a little bit of everything on offense, but it’s unclear who he’ll defend in the NBA.
51. (51) Isaia Cordinier | Denain (France) | SG | 6' 5", 177 | 19
A very good athlete with strong intangibles, Cordinier has a long way to go from the French second division to make an impact. If he’s stashable, either overseas or in the D-League, it certainly helps his appeal.
52. (NR) Georgios Papagiannis | Panathinaikos (Greece) | C | 7' 1", 240 | 18
Papagiannis is gigantic, talented and still just 18. He’s also not in great shape and will need a lot of time to pan out. He’s had strong moments for Greece at youth levels internationally after spending some time in the U.S. in high school. A wait-and-see pick.
53. (52) Jake Layman | Maryland | SF | 6' 9", 209 | Sr.
A capable shooter and underrated athlete, Layman floated at times in college but played a role for a loaded Maryland team not dissimilar to what the NBA might ask of him. If he commits defensively and can knock down an open three, he can fill out a rotation.
54. (50) Prince Ibeh | Texas | C | 6' 11", 261 | Sr.
Ibeh‘s not a scorer at all (4.1 PPG in 18 minutes as a senior), but outstanding measurables including a nearly 7' 6" wingspan and 9'4.5" standing reach make him extremely draftable. All he has to do is pick up the right concepts on the defensive end, and he should provide some value.
55. (48) Dorian Finney-Smith | Florida | SF | 6' 8", 215 | Sr.
Finney-Smith has fared well throughout the pre-draft process, and his athleticism, toughness and shooting ability make him a viable role player on the wing. He doesn’t have the most upside, but could become a nice bench piece.
56. (54) Kay Felder | Oakland | PG | 5' 10", 177 | Jr.
Felder popped athletically at the combine, and following a highly-productive college season, has a good case in the second round. As little guys go, he’s not Tyler Ulis as a playmaker, but he might be the better scorer. His stocky frame bodes well for his NBA transition.
57. (49) Cat Barber | NC State | PG | 6' 3", 173 | Jr.
Dangerous off the dribble with elite speed and quickness, it’s easy to see Barber as a bench scorer and shot creator. That said, he’ll have to prove he can blend into a team concept and distribute better in order to stick.
58. (53) Wayne Selden | Kansas | SG | 6' 6", 232 | Jr.
After three years at Kansas, Selden’s still more athlete than player. He’s on the fringe, and also coming off meniscus surgery. He doesn’t do any one thing well and may have to hang his hat on defensive effort to catch on.
59. (56) Jarrod Uthoff | Iowa | F | 6' 10", 214 | Sr.
Oversized shooters always earn themselves looks, and here’s Uthoff, who’s skilled and sneakily athletic. He’s also not exceptionally strong and without a definite position on the defensive side of the ball. Is he a three or a four? If he makes his threes, there could be a place for him regardless.
60. (55) AJ English | Iona | G | 6' 4", 190 | Sr.
English is one of the oldest guys in the draft, but impressed in the run-up, winning MVP at the Portsmouth Invitational and showing well at the combine. He was prolific at Iona and could conceivably give you something late. Mid-major guards are having success in the league right now, after all.