- What have NBA teams learned from the first two months of the college basketball season? The Crossover's Front Office reveals its updated rankings and analysis for the top–60 prospects in the 2018 NBA draft.
If you’ve just shifted your attention back to hoops after four long months of football, it's nice to see you again. If you’ve been honing in on Trae Young’s skills since his days as a high school star, you’re also in the right place. The big draft picture continues to crystallize, conference tournaments are less than two (!) months away, and NBA teams are compiling early-season reports and focusing their attention on players they want to target.
This is our first Big Board of the 2018 calendar year, compiling a new Top 60 prospects after poring over nearly two months of college games. As a result, you’ll find a number of prospects making their debuts and a good deal of change in the rankings. It’s good to remember that much of this is relative: given we’re still six months away from the draft, there’s obviously a lot still to happen. While no one can ever perceive the entire elephant that is the draft, so to speak, it’s certainly not too early to begin formulating stronger opinions.
As a reminder, while our Mock Draft aims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference to project the draft value and ranges within the available player pool. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with NBA scouts, and establishes how we'd rate prospects in a vacuum (a scenario, of course, that will never actually happen).
(Note: Rankings and stats last updated Jan. 10).
1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19 | Last Ranking: 1
Elite physical tools, soft touch around the basket and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. The college game comes easily to him, and Ayton checks essentially every offensive box for his position. He’s long, bouncy and elevates well for rebounds, creating a matchup problem for every big man at his level and potentially at the next. His defense remains a work in progress, but with his nimble feet and sheer size and strength, he has the ability to be an above-average presence defending the basket once he settles in. He’s a manchild with crazy-high upside, and a potential franchise cornerstone.
2. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last: 2
At 18, Doncic has become perhaps the top player in the Euroleague and a potential No. 1 pick. He will be the most proven player in the draft bar none, having already performed internationally against NBA players and established himself as a force to be reckoned with while still a teenager. Doncic is comfortable as a lead ball-handler, is a threat from outside, makes his teammates better and reads the floor beyond his years. He will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, and his lack of elite explosiveness and burst will be nitpicked, but Doncic appears a safe bet to continue on the fast track as a standout playmaker and ready-made contributor.
3. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18 | Last: 3
Known for his aggression on the glass and competitiveness, Bagley manufactures easy baskets and possesses uncommonly fluid athleticism for a guy his size. His quick adjustment from reclassifying out of high school to dominating college competition has been impressive, and with his ball-handling and ability to face up, he has considerable room to grow. His game is far from complete, as his individual defense has lagged behind his outstanding production, his jump shot isn’t there yet, and he’s noticeably left-hand dominant, all items he’ll need to work on. But Bagley’s makeup and base strengths should give him a solid floor as he evolves from here.
4. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 4
With off-the-charts length and impressive mobility, Bamba is a dominant interior defender waiting to blossom. His 7’9” wingspan deserves a sentence of its own. He has a slender frame and continues to develop his offensive skill set, but has shown ability as a jump shooter and is a constant threat to catch lobs. He’s further off from contributing than some of this draft’s other elite prospects, but his best-case scenario is right there alongside them. He’s averaging a double-double with more than four blocks per game, and the production has begun to match the potential.
5. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 5
Porter is a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to handle either forward spot. Shooting is at a premium, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. However, he can be a ball-stopper, and whether he can round out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps. Though we may not receive firm answers to those questions on the court until the fall, he’s a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era. Following back surgery, concerns over his long-term health and mobility are warranted. But barring major red flags, he won’t fall far.
6. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 19
More than any other prospect, Young has forced the issue this season and played his way directly into the one-and-done conversation, not to mention the one about best point guard in the draft class. His deadeye three-point shooting and intelligent use of ball screens open up space for the rest of his game. He’s evolved into a thoughtful passer and drive-and-kick standout, using change of pace to offset a lack of elite physical attributes. Defensively, Young will be put through the paces. But in a league that’s been shaped in part by point guards in his mold, it’s hard not to see the possibilities.
7. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 6
Jackson boasts NBA bloodlines and an intriguing blend of scoring touch, shot-blocking and three-point shooting potential. He’s been an important piece for the Spartans, particularly on the defensive end, and has done so as one of the youngest players in college basketball. He can space the floor, but his jump shot mechanics are unorthodox, which may limit how much of that specific success translates. As his body fills out, Jackson should become a better rebounder and finisher. He has made major all-around strides over the last year or so and is worthy of consideration high in the draft.
8. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama | Freshman
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 8
Sexton is an aggressive, shoot-first guard whose handle and burst allow him to consistently penetrate defenses and draw fouls. He’s shown some improvement as a three-point shooter and has the ability to be a good defender when locked in. Sexton isn’t a pure point and can improve as a decision maker with the ball, but he has a good chance to become an effective change-of-pace scorer at minimum. He can occasionally struggle to finish around bigs in the paint, but his blend of shot-creation and toughness is rare. If he continues to draw fouls at a high rate in the NBA, the outlook should be sunny.
9. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 9
Although Knox’s production has dovetailed a bit toward mid-season, he remains Kentucky’s most intriguing long-term prospect. He’s developed into a capable three-point shooter and has the size and reach to guard either forward spot and rebound effectively. He has yet to put it all together, often floating in and out of games, but when he has everything working, he‘s an impressive guy to watch. Not overly physical or paint-oriented at this stage, Knox stands to become more aggressive attacking the basket and drawing fouls in a manner befitting of his physical gifts. He has a lot to learn, but has the type of malleable strengths that a team will be happy to develop.
10. Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 10
Bridges has emerged as a lottery-caliber prospect, with an improved offensive game accompanying the impressive measurables that make him an impact defender. He moves well on the perimeter, can defend four positions, blocks shots and consistently generates steals using his 7’0” wingspan. His improved aggressiveness on offense has answered some of scouts’ questions about his motor, and he has the kind of versatility that plays particularly well in a fast-paced game. He may not evolve into a go-to option, but continuing to thrive in his increased scoring role will be key. There’s not an NBA team that can’t find a way to use a player with Bridges’ specific strengths.
11. Robert Williams III, F/C, Texas A&M | Sophomore
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 8
A strong, athletic big with some inside-out scoring ability and a nose for the ball, at his best Williams is a talented rim-runner who catches lobs and does a good job on the offensive glass. Williams is a good passer with better feel than he’s been given credit for, works the glass well and can alter shots. However, his performance has dovetailed this season. He dealt with a suspension to start the year and has battled nagging health issues, so finding a rhythm has been tough, but Williams needs a strong run of conference play to remind people what he’s capable of. More importantly, he needs to do it on a consistent basis.
12. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 11
Bridges competes hard on both ends, and his oft-spectacular athletic ability suggests he can be an impactful defender and transition threat. While his body of work is solid, his limitations as a prospect have become apparent. He’s a power forward built like a shooting guard. His streaky jumper and limited ability to create off the dribble may preclude him from becoming an impact NBA scorer. Bridges will likely need to round out the rest of his game to carve out a niche. His energy and ability to run the floor should help him find a role in a NBA that favors smaller, faster forwards.
13. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18 | Last: 17
Carter has a polished offensive game for a freshman, with the ability to score with his back to the basket as well as face up and hit a jump shot. He’s an high-IQ player and passer with the size and strength to battle inside and corral rebounds. Although he’s not a bad athlete, he’s not especially explosive and can struggle when defenses collapse on him around the basket and alter his shot. As such, there are concerns about how he’ll adjust to facing elite length. There’s a chance his effectiveness is limited by the pace of the NBA game.
14. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last: 16
Musa is an aggressive scoring wing who shoots well from the outside and can attack effectively off the dribble. He’s an improving playmaker and has stood out with an advanced feel in international play, but he’s very ball-dominant at this stage and may not be athletic enough for that same role in the NBA. His body leaves something to be desired: he’s thin, lacks ideal length and has a bit of a hunched posture due to the shape of his back. He’s not much of a defender, either. But Musa’s natural ability to put the ball in the basket helps set him apart as one of the top international prospects available.
15. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 12
Walker’s season has been underwhelming, but he remains a quality long-term prospect. He was far from being NBA ready when the season began, anyway. When he’s right he’s a formidable scorer, able to slash to the basket and score from deep with great length and a nice frame for his position. He has long-term 3-and-D potential as his game and confidence come together. Tearing his meniscus over the summer was a setback and may be a factor in his frustrating adjustment to college ball. At this point, Walker could be better off returning to school and taking a shot at next year’s lottery.
16. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 18
Brown’s length, skill and ability to do a little bit of everything make him a potentially valuable wing player. He’s been an important player for an Oregon team still working to blend a lot of new pieces. While he’s still coming around as a scorer, his rebounding, playmaking and defensive potential are all attractive. His three-point shooting has been passable. Brown came up playing point guard and is used to having the ball in his hands, which is a strength but also an adjustment factor in the context of his eventual NBA fit. He’ll be one of the younger players available if he declares, and his game projects nicely into a rotation down the line.
17. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 13
Gifted with size, strength and a hard-nosed approach, Brown is well-suited to play a combo guard role at the next level. However, his play has been less consistent than you’d hope for from a player who will turn 22 before the start of next season, and his outside shooting has been questionable at best. It helps a bit that he probably won’t be drafted as a scorer, but for his well-roundedness. Miami’s guard-heavy team context can also be a little tricky to evaluate. Brown’s a quality athlete, can defend multiple positions and be a tone-setter on the floor. His shooting clips need to correct to help justify a late-lottery selection, but there’s still plenty to like.
18. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last: 20
Although Diallo is a divisive prospect, nobody can argue with the freakish bounce and length. He can run and jump with anyone and has begun to turn his talent into results, often looking like one of the toughest transition covers in college basketball. There’s just not a ton else to Diallo’s game yet. His ball-handling and jump shot still need a lot of work if he’s going to make a consistent impact as a scorer. While he certainly could be a good defender, he needs to commit on that end. His athletic upside remains considerable enough to keep his seat warm at the first-round table.
19. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19 | Last: 14
Duval does a lot of things well, but it’s difficult to discuss his draft prospects without first acknowledging his suspect jumper. He has great size and length, can be an elite on-ball defender and has done a good job distributing the ball on a Duke team replete with future pros. But he’s essentially a non-factor shooting from the outside at this stage, with a lack of consistency and touch. There’s a precedent here, as talented guards like De’Aaron Fox have been prioritized in drafts in spite of inconsistent jump shots. Duval’s still a terrific passer and athlete, and will have that going for him at minimum.
20. Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last: N/A
Gafford debuts on our Big Board after flashing serious potential over the past couple months. He has a ways to go to refine himself into a player, but his size, length and two-way potential are tantalizing enough to put him in the first-round conversation (stop if you’ve heard that one before). Gafford has nimble feet and has shown potential as a post scorer, although he’s been able to rely heavily on his athleticism and instincts at this stage. Capable of jaw-dropping dunks and highlight-caliber blocks, Gafford’s per-minute production and overall finishing has been solid, and his role should continue to increase as Arkansas navigates the SEC schedule.
21. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last: 15
Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience beyond high school, teams still have significant interest in his long frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability. He was already a serious project with questionable feel for the game, and likely won’t benefit from walking away from Western Kentucky and forfeiting actual minutes. Based on the production he could provide if he puts it together, Robinson remains an intriguing name to file away and likely first-round pick on projection alone.
22. Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy | HS Senior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last: 27
Currently in midst of a postgrad season at IMG, Simons will be draft-eligible and is considering entering the draft and skipping college. He’s a springy, quick-twitch athlete who is more of a combo guard at this stage of his development. He’s at his best when he’s aggressive and attacking the basket, but has some promising shooting ability. He projects well on the defensive end, as well. He’ll have a chance to be a first-round pick should he elect to turn pro. Simons obviously needs time and could still take the college route (he previously decomitted from Louisville), but his considerable upside has the NBA intrigued now.
23. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21 | Last: 23
Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him an intriguing prospect. He’s proven he can score from the outside and is the type of player who could pair well with a variety of backcourt partners. Milton may not be a full-time point guard at the next level, but he’s a capable passer who should be able to help a team in a variety of ways. He’s long enough to defend multiple positions. The big question has been his aggressiveness, which can waver from time to time. Milton has the talent to be a nice rotation player and may actually benefit from a more defined supporting role in the NBA.
24. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last: 25
Possesseing NBA-quality size and strength in the paint, McCoy continues to produce among the top freshmen in the country. He can get up and down the floor and goes after the ball well off the glass, making him a potentially useful rim-runner and rebounder. His timing and feel are still coming along, but he naturally alters shots and has been better than expected in a lot of ways. Like many teenage bigs, his motor comes and goes. He’s mobile and talented enough as a legitimate center to warrant first-round consideration. His improvement has been encouraging.
25. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22 | Last: 24
Allen is among the top distance shooters in the draft, able to get his jumper off both in tight spaces off the dribble and on the catch. He has a well-developed sense of how to get open and get to his spots, and makes difficult body-control plays look easy. He’s a strong athlete who can attack a closeout and keep defenders honest. He may not be an impactful NBA defender, but he’s certainly not a stiff. Allen has actually handled a lesser volume of Duke’s shots this season, and done a good job in that role. He’s tough, competes hard, and doesn’t have much left to prove at the college level.
26. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: N/A
Over the last month, Gilgeous-Alexander has emerged as Kentucky’s floor leader and found a level of comfort and confidence that’s led to improved play. A 7'0" wingspan and frame that should add muscle make him a projectable lead ball-handler and useful defender. He’s done a great job of forcing turnovers without fouling and covering ball-handlers. He’s also been a useful catch-and-shoot presence while playing off the ball. His upside may be capped by a lack of great explosiveness, and he occasionally gets lost dribbling into traffic, but there’s enough here to envision Gilgeous-Alexander fitting into a variety of backcourts.
27. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 21
A springy big who blocks shots and has some touch around the basket, Metu has made noticeable strides year-to-year and continues to expand his game. However, consistency remains hard to come by for him. He has some jump shooting potential can make the game look easy when things are going well, but his on-court awareness still wavers. His skill set will likely fare best in a low-usage energy role, but his rebounding has been spotty at times. Metu’s recent incident in which he punched an opponent in the groin calls his maturity into question. He certainly has the talent to play in a rotation.
28. Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last: 28
Alkins has given Arizona a major boost upon returning from a foot fracture, and the team is 6–1 since his return after an uneven start to the season. His consistent energy on both ends of the floor and well-built frame project well at the next level. He’s able to attack the basket, finish around the rim, handle contact and make plays for others. He’s become a solid defender, and should be able to handle larger wings thanks to his natural strength. Alkins has a good set of strengths, strong intangibles and enough physical ability to warrant looks in the late first round.
29. Khyri Thomas, G, Creighton | Junior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 32
By putting his impressive wingspan to good use on the defensive end, Thomas continues to make a case for himself as a potentially valuable role player and first-round candidate. He’s one of the better on-ball defenders in college basketball right now, and has become a key player for Creighton on both sides of the ball. Thomas has been highly efficient and continued to drain threes at a nearly 40% clip. Though he’s limited as a scorer off the bounce, he looks like the type of guard that can blend well with a variety of backcourt partners by providing defensive cover and floor spacing.
30. Jarrey Foster, G/F, SMU | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last: N/A
After playing a relatively small offensive role last season on a senior-led team, Foster has broken out in a major way and caught the attention of scouts. He‘s an eye-popping athlete and intelligent player with a high degree of versatility on both sides of the ball. SMU deploys him all over the floor and sticks him on wings and bigs. He doesn’t need to score to be an effective contributor. Improving his streaky jump shooting will be pivotal. Foster won’t carry an NBA team as a scorer, but he certainly has the ability to star within his role.
31. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Senior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 48
Hutchison has probably lost his sleeper tag by now, remaining one of the Mountain West’s top players while taking on additional playmaking responsibilities this season. His size, athleticism and skill level all pop. Although he’s struggled to score the ball efficiently, he’s drawing fouls at an elite rate. He’s also been shooting more threes, but has yet to see an uptick in his percentage. Improving the jumper will likely be the key to his success. Some of his issues may be circumstantial, and when placed on a team where he’s not carrying the entire offense, Hutchison could be a useful do-it-all wing player.
32. Jalen Hudson, SG, Florida | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: N/A
As shooting specialists go, Hudson should wind up among the best available if he enters the draft. After transferring from Virginia Tech, he’s found new life as a featured scorer for Florida, scoring with impressive efficiency and hitting threes at a plus-40 percent clip. He knows his job, doesn’t make a ton of mistakes and can stroke jumpers well off the catch and the dribble, with or without a screen. He may be limited as a defender and will have to maintain his hot shooting throughout the draft process, but Hudson has been a nice surprise.
33. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 33
Melton remains sidelined as USC investigates his eligibility and has been unable to help his own case as a prospect. But the mix of defensive toughness and athletic playmaking he showed as a freshman keeps him in the late first-round conversation as a high-energy player and two-way presence. Whether or not he makes it back on the court, Melton will have to try and answer questions about his shooting in workouts. But he’s such a disruptive defender with his 6'8" wingspan, and his smarts and physicality continue to stand out.
34. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Last: 43
With Lonzo Ball off to the NBA and freshman Jaylen Hands playing a smaller percentage of backcourt minutes, Holiday has become UCLA’s leader and put together another quality offensive season. The younger brother of NBAers Jrue and Justin, Aaron possesses a similar toughness and poise. While he’s not big or especially explosive, Holiday is a strong shooter and scrappy, quick defender who understands how to run a team. It hurts that he’ll likely only be able to guard his own position due to his size, but he could add some punch to lineups.
35. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22 | Last: 30
Graham is a capable, experienced playmaker who thrives in the pick and roll and knocking down shots from the perimeter. He’s enjoying a career year in nearly every respect, and has been given a hefty task in distributing the ball to a range of shooters while also needing to score a lot in order for a thin Kansas team to win games. He struggles at times getting into the paint and scoring in isolation, but his strengths should give him a chance to hang around. Graham might be able to help a team sooner than later.
36. Goga Bitadze, C, Mega Bemax
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: N/A
With a strong build and some fluidity to his game, Bitadze has been an impact player for Mega Bemax, a club that has helped send a number of prospects into the draft in recent years. He’s been a highly productive rebounder and shot-blocker and has pretty quick feet that help him maneuver around slower bigs. The Georgian international has also demonstrated some ability as a jump shooter. He needs seasoning, but with his physical traits and developing skill level, there’s intriguing long-term potential here.
37. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 22
Jackson is out for the season with a torn labrum in his shooting shoulder, which puts him in an unenviable position and jeopardizes his chances of going in the first round. He has a strong frame, 7'3" wingspan and two-way potential, able to defend, rebound and handle the ball. But the biggest question for Jackson was whether he could maintain last season’s three-point clip, and while his shoulder may be a valid excuse for his inconsistent shooting, it certainly casts doubt on his offensive impact. He could be better off entering the draft now and blaming the injury, as opposed to waiting another year and risking further struggles.
38. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20 | Last: 48
Shamet has taken a nice step forward this season and has been ridiculously efficient for a very legit Shockers team. He’s been one of the best three-point shooters in college basketball, full stop. He’s an average athlete and may not be a guy who creates his own shot inside the arc, but his size helps legitimize his case as a player who can stabilize a backcourt and space the floor. He competes defensively and has the chops to follow in the footsteps of former Wichita State guards Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker. It’s worth nothing he's suffered serious injuries in both of his feet.
39. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last: 37
While Auburn has largely thrived this season, Wiley continues to sit out due to the FBI’s investigation. He has great size, length and strength and is young for his class. Last summer, he left an impression playing for the U.S. at the U19 World Cup and should be on the first-round fringe whether or not he takes the floor this season. Wiley works hard on the glass, but isn’t an elite athlete and is more of a traditional center, for better or worse. He can improve as a finisher, and has a history of knee injuries that limit his mobility and will need to be looked at.
40. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 51
It‘s probably time to stop doubting Brunson, who’s the driving force behind perhaps the best team in the country. He’s ready to help a team in the NBA sooner than later, with an elite feel for the game and how to run an offense and get teammates involved. He relies on his considerable craft to compensate for a lack of top-flight quickness. The son of former NBA guard and current Timberwolves assistant Rick Brunson, Jalen grew up around the league and fills all the right criteria when it comes to his makeup. He’s in position to carve out a long career.
41. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Last: 45
Although Alexander-Walker has been massively streaky, he has the makings of a player who can fit nicely into a positionless scheme and will be able to at least test the waters this season and garner feedback. He’s shot the ball well on whole from outside, with the size to handle either guard spots and a generally good sense of the floor. The biggest area of improvement for Alexander-Walker will be working to develop his body and improve his athletic profile. Another year of college would probably help solidify him as a first-round caliber prospect. For now, expect the ups and downs to continue.
42. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 39
We still haven’t seen Vanderbilt take the court for Kentucky thanks to a prolonged recovery process from a serious left foot injury. He was a McDonald’s All-American and is an intriguing athlete and potentially versatile forward, but he injured the same foot twice in high school and has a history of health issues with his lower body. He has returned to practice and could apparently be back in game action sooner than later. If he does, he will have a chance to play his way into the first round — and the implications for the rest of Kentucky’s young rotation could also be relevant.
43. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20 | Last: 29
Battle has nice size and skill and has taken a step forward as a versatile scorer, but there’s not a ton else to his game at this stage. He’s agile and tough, but leans on his jumper and has to prove he can create off the dribble and improve as a finisher and playmaker. It’s unclear yet whether his defensive contributions will catch up to his physical prowess. He’s not as well-rounded as you’d like, particularly given he doesn’t shoot the three with consistency. Battle has been carrying a massive load for the Orange and will be in position to test the draft.
44. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 38
At long last, Kurucs recently made his debut in the ACB after toiling away for Barcelona’s B team all last season. He was on the first-round cusp last season before pulling out of the draft, and his mix of size, athleticism and smarts offer appeal on the wing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes, and whether he can earn substantial playing time will be telling. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.
45. P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last: 50
Washington’s strengths and limitations have been on display this season while he’s been at times miscast due to the Wildcats’ personnel. He has good touch scoring around the basket, a 7'3" wingspan and powerful leaping ability. His best NBA role might be as a small-ball five, where he can switch defensively, set screens and be utilized in short roll situations. He doesn’t create much off the dribble, but if he can develop three-point range it might open things up for him. Washington is a unique prospect and will be an interesting draft case study if he comes out this season.
46. Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 18 | Last: N/A
Cast into a supporting role on a Duke team devoid of wings, Trent has quietly done a solid job fitting in. Known as a scorer coming out of high school, Trent has done most of his work spotting up and running in transition. He stands to improve, but has the makings of a solid jump shooter and a strong frame that should be a fit at the NBA level. He has his bloodlines working in his favor. Trent could probably use another season in college to show his stuff, but with Duke set to bring in touted perimeter players R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, this might be a case where he tests and eventually goes.
47. Alize Johnson, F, Missouri State | Senior
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 42
Averaging a double-double for the second straight season, Johnson is a versatile offensive player with some guard skills and strong rebounding ability. He can handle the ball and push in transition and has some promise as a shooter, profiling as the sort of positionless big that’s in high demand right now. Defensively Johnson has some ability switch onto ball-handlers, but he’s made a stunningly minimal impact in terms of blocks and steals, something that will be scrutinized during the pre-draft process when he’s removed from his team context. Teams will be tempted by his uncommon skill set.
48. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 35
On a team with a lot of mouths to feed, Hachimura has made pretty good use of his playing time, averaging more than 20 points and nearly 10 rebounds per-40 minutes and doing an efficient job slashing to the basket and scoring inside 15 feet. Last summer’s strong performances for Japan suggest he has some ability to shoot from outside. Hachimura is an eye-test guy, with a long, well-built body that pops off the page and should allow him to play either forward position. Another year at Gonzaga in more of a go-to role would probably help matters when it comes to draft position, but if he tests and crushes workouts, it could help him now.
49. Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Orlandina Basket
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20 | Last: 40
A productive, athletic wing who excels from beyond the arc, Kulboka has nice size for a small forward and continues to put up solid numbers on loan from Brose Bamberg in Serie A. The Lithuanian forward needs to add weight and round out his game defensively. He can really put the ball in the basket when he’s on, and has some ability to handle and move fluidly. With his size and stroke, he could become a scoring specialist at the next level.
50. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 31
Although extremely raw and prone to foul trouble, Richards’s mix of rebounding, mobility and shot-blocking ability hold some NBA intrigue. He’s well-built, highly agile and can play above the rim, rebounding the ball at a good clip while on the floor. But his feel on the court is really lacking, and he’s very old for his class as a 20-year-old freshman. If he finds the right team and becomes a reliable rim-runner in a narrow role, Richards could have a chance to make an impact. He’s a good enough athlete that someone will roll the dice.
51. Jevon Carter, G, West Virginia | Senior
Height: 6'2 | Weight: 205 | Age: 22 | Last: N/A
Perhaps the top on-ball defender in college hoops, Carter is one of the most league-ready seniors in the class and should be able to play a role early in his career. He fits the mold of a Patrick Beverley-style grinder, able to slow opposing point guards and provide complementary scoring. He’s expanded his production somewhat as a senior, quietly putting himself among the country’s top assist men while continuing to create turnovers and shoot threes. Over the course of his college career, Carter has risen from unheralded recruit to a standout with a clear NBA fit.
52. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18 | Last: 44
An oversized ball-handler and talented, instinctive passer, Bonga would be one of the youngest players in this class and has nice upside given his unusual skill set. If he had a consistent jumper we’d likely be talking about him more in the context of the first round. He’s unselfish and has a promising skill set otherwise, with a smooth handle and the ability to cover lots of ground with long strides. Bonga is still learning the game, but is the type of high-risk, high-reward dice roll that makes a lot of sense as a developmental piece.
53. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last: 49
Colson may miss the rest of the season thanks to a broken foot, but teams are familiar with his unique strengths. A truly unorthodox prospect, Colson has great length and a deep bag of offensive moves in the post despite standing just 6’5”. He’s been remarkably effective for Notre Dame, and will tempt teams with his history of production and the hope that he can make it all work as a factor in smaller lineups. He can get to the foul line and has been extremely efficient as a scorer.
54. Kevin Hervey, F, UT-Arlington | Senior
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last: N/A
The reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year, Hervey has put together another outstanding season and looks fully healthy after ACL recovery took some toll on his game last season. He has great potential to space the floor and impacts the game in a variety of ways, grabbing rebounds with his 7'3" wingspan. He’s not a prolific shot blocker and may have some issues matching up defensively. But the diversity of his offense has been impressive, and he could become a very useful player in the right situation.
55. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 26
Tillie has had a bit of an uneven season on a Gonzaga team that shares the ball and features multiple scorers, but his touch around the basket and stretch-four potential remain intriguing. The French international has a polished set of offensive skills, is quick off the floor and competes hard, but needs to pack on muscle in order to deal with the physicality of the NBA game. He moves well laterally and can guard a bit on the perimeter, and has flashed shot-blocking ability in a larger role this season. He probably needs another year of college to work on his body.
56. Allonzo Trier, SG, Arizona | Junior
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21 | Last: 53
Trier is a dynamic college scorer who continues to score at an impressive clip. He’s a ball-handler but not a playmaker, and questions linger over his shot selection, decision making and NBA fit given his ball-stopping tendencies. NBA players who have succeeded in his mold tend to be more athletic and bouncy. Trier also isn’t especially committed on defense. Guys who can shoot like him will always have an opportunity, but Trier will need to reform some of these perceptions to maximize his value and eventually stick.
57. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21 | Last: 56
Edwards has the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and has a nice level of versatility to his game. He’s a known commodity at this point, able to make open threes, rebound and offer matchup versatility. He doesn’t have one specialty, but could be an nice small-ball forward with that skill set. He’s prone to lapses defensively, but might be able to make himself into a plus on that side of the ball. Edwards’ all-around skills may warrant a second-round selection.
58. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 21 | Last: N/A
Finally healthy, Bates-Diop has been terrific for the Buckeyes this season with his inside-out scoring ability. He has deft touch and has been a tough matchup for college defenders. However, his lack of explosiveness may limit him at the next level, and he’s not quite big or strong enough to play the four (despite a 7'2" wingspan) nor is he an ideal ball-handler to play the three. If Bates-Diop continues to shoot at a great clip from outside, he’ll have a chance at an NBA role. If not, he may just be stuck between positions.
59. Raymond Spalding, F/C, Louisville | Junior
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: N/A
Although it’s been a weird season for the Cardinals, Spalding has looked like the team’s most intriguing prospect at this stage. The lanky big man has flashed NBA potential and surprisingly been Louisville’s highest-usage option and top rebounder, competing hard on the glass much of the time. He has some potential as a face-up shooter as his skill set evolves. Defensively, his length helps him block shots and generate steals at a high clip, and Spalding should be able to switch some screens and be a two-way positive. He’s not likely to be a high-scoring option.
60. Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20 | Last: 55
Evans is a tough, defensive-minded wing with shot-making ability and three-and-D potential. He has a good frame for his role, but stands to be more aggressive at times. Evans has made threes at a strong rate, but has sort of a hard, flat shot that may not be quite as effective at the next level. Creating off the dribble isn’t his game, and so he’ll need to be a threat from outside and make his living defensively. He’s probably more of a small forward than a shooting guard at the NBA level.