The Super Bowl has come and gone, the trade deadline is nearing and the NBA standings are beginning to sort themselves out. March Madness is closer than you think, and yes, it’s okay to start talking about the draft. We’ve had three months of college games to parse through and form opinions, and our draft board continues to evolve.
Labeling a draft as "good" or "bad" before any of its players set foot on an NBA court is always tricky business. As always, a lot can change for prospects over the course of February and March. Good players develop over the course of the season and can change some preconceptions with strong play under the spotlight. With all that said, at this stage it feels fair to say that the top of the draft is shaping up nicely.
From an evaluation standpoint, there’s a lot to like with the elite players in this class, so much that a firm consensus may be hard to come by. So perhaps more than usual, the eventual sequence of picks will be heavily determined by the lottery order. There’s a lot of talent to sink your teeth into, and enough of it to reward bad teams of all shapes and sizes in June.
There’s DeAndre Ayton, who blends freak athleticism with a desirable modern-day skill set and sits No. 1 on our board. There’s Luka Doncic, the most accomplished international prospect ever. Marvin Bagley should be a high school senior right now, but has posted otherworldly numbers regardless. Mo Bamba is in the 99th percentile when it comes to defensive upside. The wild card is Michael Porter Jr., whose back injury is the only thing keeping him out of the top-three conversation at the moment. Keep going and there’s Trae Young, who’s having perhaps the most potent offensive season of any freshman point guard ever. Last year’s first round has proven wildly deep, but this one might have it beat on potential star power. The lack of movement atop this month’s draft board is a testament to that level of quality.
Further down, Jaren Jackson has exhibited fast-track maturity and an enticing inside-out, two-way game. Kevin Knox could be scary as he figures out exactly who he is, while Mikal Bridges has made everything click in scary fashion. Wendell Carter is the freshman big who nobody’s giving enough credit. And Collin Sexton’s nose for the basket can’t be left out of the lottery conversation. All look like potentially strong NBA contributors, and depending on who you talk to, Miles Bridges, Robert Williams, Lonnie Walker and Troy Brown might fall into this group. Without firing off any wild takes, there’s plenty to be excited about as tournament season approaches.
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 draft value and ranges within the available prospect pool. These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with NBA scouts, and establishes how we'd rate players in a vacuum without team context. (Note: Rankings and stats last updated Feb. 5).
1. DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman
Height: 7'1" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19 | Last Ranking: 1
Elite physical tools, soft touch at the rim and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. 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. He checks essentially every offensive box for his position, and has shown progress over the last few months, particularly as a post scorer. Ayton’s defense is a work in progress, but he’s shown added commitment on that end in conference play and has begun to make some headway. With his nimble feet and sheer size and strength, he has the ability to be an above-average presence guarding the basket. It’s extremely rare to find a 7-footer with his array of gifts, and Ayton is just scratching the surface.
2. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last: 2
Doncic’s continued mastery of the Euroleague and Spanish ACB leave little question as to his readiness for the next level, and it’s possible we never see another teenage prospect quite like him. He will be the most proven player in the draft bar none, having performed in FIBA play against NBA talent and established himself as a game-changing ball-handler. Doncic is comfortable as a lead guard, is a threat from outside (although his shooting from outside has been just OK this season), 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 as the draft gets closer. He should be considered one of the safest picks in the class and an ideal fit for the perimeter-oriented league.
3. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18 | Last: 3
Bagley has been one of college basketball’s most productive players, utilizing his athletic mismatch to score in the paint and manufacturing easy baskets on the offensive glass at an elite clip. His success is all the more impressive when you consider he reclassified out of high school—he should really be a high school senior, and instead he’s averaging a double-double at Duke. That relative newness to high-level competition has to be a factor when considering his weaknesses—he’s extremely left-hand dominant, his jump shot is a little bit flat, and his defensive instincts are still developing. Bagley is far from a finished product and requires more long-term projection than his peers atop the draft, but has so much room to grow. He can be a force if he puts it all together.
4. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 4
All-league defensive potential will always be the backbone of Bamba’s appeal, but his offense has started to come along in recent weeks, as well. While he’s not the most NBA-ready of the draft’s top prospects, his upside is massive. With off-the-charts length and mobility, Bamba should make a huge impact around the rim and provide nice baseline value. He’s an able lob-catcher and still seems to be getting used to his body on some level, leaving untapped potential as a finisher. As long as the defense gets there, he shouldn’t have to become a juggernaut on the other end to be great. Bamba has also flashed three-point range, which would be gravy. Scouts have questioned his motor a bit, but there’s a lot to like when it comes to his ceiling.
5. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 5
Until we know the state of Porter’s recovery from back surgery, his place on the board is holding steady. He’s a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to handle either forward spot. Shooting comes at a premium, particularly on the wing, and Porter’s ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. However, he has a tendency to 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. Concerns over his long-term health and mobility are warranted — nobody benefits from serious back issues as a teenager. But barring major red flags, he won’t fall far.
6. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 6
The frontrunner for National Player of the Year, Young’s entertaining blend of shooting, playmaking and gusto has elevated him into the draft’s top group of players, and certainly established him as the top point guard available. His deep range and intelligent use of ball screens open up space for his creative dribble penetration, and he’s turned Oklahoma into an elite offensive team. His change of pace and variety of moves help offset a lack of elite physical attributes. Defensively, Young will be put through the paces and will never have it easy. He’s unlikely to shoulder this much offensive volume in the NBA. But his considerable strengths are ideal for an uptempo, spacing-focused NBA offense, and in the best-case scenario, Young can be the engine behind one.
7. Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 7
Jackson has anchored Michigan State’s defense and exceeded expectations as a freshman, starring in a role similar to what he’ll be asked to do at the NBA level. He’s shown nice scoring touch and floor-spacing ability in a complementary offensive role, and has done it as one of the youngest players in college basketball. Jackson is also among the nation’s top shot-blockers, and his timing and positioning helps compensate for a lack of elite explosion—he’s more lanky and agile than he is bouncy. His unorthodox shot mechanics may present issues at the next level when it comes to contested makes. Jackson made major all-around strides over the past year and has solidified himself as a Top-10 caliber player.
8. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 9
A 34-point performance against West Virginia was a nice reminder of Knox’s potential, and he seems to have broken out of a mid-season slump at the right team for a Kentucky team that’s starting to figure things out a bit. He fits the bill athletically on the wing and as a rebounder, and looks well-suited for a combo forward role provided he continues to shoot the ball well from outside. Knox’s jumper can be streaky, but his struggles appear confidence-based at times. He needs to improve his handle and continue attacking the basket consistently, but has made huge strides since November and has the type of malleable talent most teams will be happy to develop. Quality scoring wings aren’t easy to find.
9. Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 10
Bridges continues to shine as a two-way wing for Villanova and looks ready to provide immediate rotation help at the next level. He continues to shoot the ball well from outside and display a solid feel for picking his spots, and has been placed in an ideal situation playing off of Jalen Brunson. His NBA fit as a supporting piece should be similar, and his impactful perimeter defense is a safe bet to translate. Bridges has ably defended four positions, blocks shots and consistently generates steals using his 7’0” wingspan. It’s a bonus that Bridges has plenty of room to improve as a scorer, showing some ability to hit difficult shots and handle in the pick-and-roll that can be refined. There’s not a team in the league that can’t use a player with his strengths.
10. Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18 | Last: 13
Carter has really helped himself as a lottery candidate with his outstanding play of late, and has been an intelligent, stabilizing force for Duke. He’s made a massive impact on the glass even with Bagley alongside him and is a better athlete than he gets credit for. Though he can be overshadowed by his teammate, by many statistical measures Carter been just as good or better. He’s polished and heady as a scorer and can space the floor some as a shooter, a skill that should develop nicely as he grows. What may hold Carter back long-term is a lack of elite explosiveness, as he occasionally struggles to gather off two feet and score against longer defenders around the basket. But his impressive skill level, passing and on-court feel should help him find an NBA fit.
11. Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama | Freshman
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 8
Alabama has been up-and-down this season, but Sexton has mostly acquitted himself well, showcasing his ability to get into the paint, attack the basket and make things happen offensively. He was banged-up in January and quality of his play varied accordingly, but Sexton has reinforced his strengths as an athletic scoring guard and has developed somewhat as a decision-maker. His assist numbers may be somewhat diminished by Bama’s lack of consistent shooting aside from John Petty. Sexton plays hard more often than not and has the ability to be a good defender when locked in. Whether he can keep drawing fouls at a high rate and score efficiently will be pivotal to determining his ceiling as a lead guard at the next level.
12. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 15
Bruce Brown’s unfortunate foot injury clears the decks for Walker to take over the reins for Miami on offense. Walker had already begun to come around—his six straight double-digit scoring games against ACC to close January were more than he’d managed all season. His confidence levels are riding higher and he’s been able to better showcase his ability, with a smooth stroke from outside, strong build and a high degree of body control as a slasher and finisher. He has some defensive potential given his physical gifts. There’s a case for Walker to return to school, play a full, healthy year (an off-season meniscus injury hampered his start), and fight for a top 10 spot in a weaker 2019 draft. If he continues to shine down the stretch, that may not matter.
13. Robert Williams III, C, Texas A&M | Sophomore
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 11
Consistency, not talent, continues to be Williams’s chief problem. The production has been there in conference play, particularly on the glass, but he’ll often float in and out of games and can cut an enigmatic figure. It doesn’t help him that A&M hands a much larger chunk of playing time to Tyler Davis (Williams has played just under half his team’s minutes, though part of that has to do with foul trouble). The context just isn’t favorable. Williams still checks all the athletic boxes, plays above the rim with impressive ease and can be a terrific piece when engaged. With his two-way potential, he makes sense to envision in a Clint Capela-type role. Williams remains in the mix for a top 10 selection, but hasn’t done a ton to help his own case relative to preseason expectations.
14. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 16
Brown’s scoring numbers have wavered a bit in conference play, but in his best moments it’s easy to see his potential value at the next level. His ability to handle the ball, make plays and drive, coupled with his size and build make him a quality two-way prospect on the wing. Brown is a willing rebounder who can push the ball upcourt and initiate some offense (he came up playing as a point guard). He can make shots from outside, but the numbers are questionable and he doesn’t take them at high volume, so the workout environment may end up pivotal for him. But his versatility, athleticism and strong feel check key boxes. Brown will be one of the younger players available if he declares, and projects nicely into a rotation down the line.
15. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 12
Suspicion continues to build that Bridges falls more into the category of great college player than great NBA prospect. He’ll be one of the best athletes available and brings strong intangibles, but the ways in which he scores the ball may have trouble translating. Rudimentary ball-handling limits him as a creator and has forced him to become mostly a spot-up shooter and straight-line driver on the wing, where he will have to play in the NBA given his lack of desirable length. Scouts have questions about the actual quality of his jumper: despite a solid percentage from three, he’s struggled pulling up off the dribble this season. If Bridges can’t become a quality NBA scorer, he’ll have to hang his hat on playing strong defense and doing the dirty work. If that’s the case, he may not warrant a lottery selection.
16. Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last: 20
Gafford continues to flash serious physical potential, and while he has a long way to go, his elite physical traits place him pretty squarely into this draft range. He’s still refining his offensive game and learning his responsibilities, but he’s uncommonly mobile and capable of some incredible dunks and blocks with the way he covers ground. Gafford has nimble feet and has shown potential as a post scorer, although his moves are fairly rudimentary at this stage. He can get by on being athletic right now, but he’s shown serious ability in a short period of time. He needs to pack on some more muscle to excel as an NBA rim-runner, but he’s a risk-reward prospect worthy of attention.
17. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last: 14
Musa is a score-first wing player who hangs his hat on pull-up jumpers and a crafty game. He’s a highly experienced prospect and has earned a large chunk of playing time for Cedevita, shooting the ball at a strong clip this season. He’s an improving playmaker with a solid feel, but can be ball-dominant and isn’t an elite creator off the dribble. But he’s advanced in a lot of ways for his age and has been on NBA radars for some time as a result. His thin frame will pose a challenge, particularly when attacking the basket. He lacks ideal length, has a bit of a hunched posture and isn’t much of a man-to-man defender, either. But Musa’s natural ability to put the ball in the basket helps set him apart as the top international prospect behind Luka Doncic.
18. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last: 21
There will be little reason to move Robinson one way or the other on this board until he gets in front of NBA teams in the spring. Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience beyond high school, his lanky frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability are definite NBA tools. The big question is what else he’ll bring. Robinson was already considered a project with questionable feel, but showed plenty of intrigue in the high school environment and has the physical talent to engineer success in the right role. Keep waiting.
19. Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State | Senior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 31
It appears Hutchison has taken the leap forward many had hoped for, improving his stats across the board and lifting Boise State into at-large tournament contention as one of the highest-usage players in the NCAA. He passes the eye test physically and has done a good job handling that workload. Hutchison won’t be asked to do it all at the next level, but that well-rounded profile bodes well for his ability to capably play a support role on the wing. He’s a strong passer, continues to improve working off the dribble and puts his athleticism to use, drawing fouls at a high clip. He’s not much of a shooter off the dribble, but has hit the three-ball respectably on a career-high number of attempts. The perimeter shooting will determine a lot, but Hutchison has earned a spot in the first-round conversation.
20. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 26
Gilgeous-Alexander has been one of the quickest studies in college basketball this season, becoming one of Kentucky’s leaders and continuing to play with a new level of confidence. He’s not quite elite in terms of feel at the point, but has spent a lot of time using ball-screens and has been capable. Lead ball-handlers who can defend both guard spots have plenty of value, and his 7'0" wingspan gives him some matchup flexibility. While not a physical specimen, Gilgeous-Alexander has a good understanding of angles when attacking the basket and uses his size well when probing defenses. He hasn’t shot enough threes to really assess that aspect of his game, which will ultimately play a big role in his NBA viability. There’s some risk involved, but there’s enough going on here to envision Gilgeous-Alexander fitting in.
21. Shake Milton, G, SMU | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21 | Last: 23
Milton is currently sidelined with a hand injury, but has put together a strong season all-around as SMU’s offensive focal point. He’s much more comfortable on the ball than off, but has the size to theoretically play either guard position and provides spacing with a reliable jumper. Milton isn’t really a dribble-breakdown guy, but has some change of pace ability. The majority of his shots have been spot-up threes, yet to be seen if he can become someone who runs off screens to catch and shoot, which would add an intriguing dimension to his game. One question has been his aggressiveness, which wavers. Provided he continues to hit threes and make plays, Milton should benefit from a more defined supporting role in the NBA.
22. Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy | HS Senior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last: 22
NBA scouts continue to do their homework on Simons, who turns 19 in June, is completing a postgrad season and is likely to at least test the draft. 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, and has some promising shooting ability. Limiting turnovers and learning to dictate play will be key if he wants to play the point. He projects well athletically on the defensive end if he can add muscle, which will also aid him attacking the rim. Simons has a solid chance to be a first-round pick should he elect to turn pro based on his long-term upside, but will need time to figure things out no matter what route he takes to the NBA.
23. Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last: 28
Though recurring foot issues have held him out of a few recent games after missing the first nine games of the season, Alkins has visibly been a plus for Arizona when available, providing consistent energy on both ends of the floor. His strong build, NBA-caliber explosiveness and well-rounded offensive game make him a useful fit on the wing, able to attack the basket and space the floor adequately. Alkins has developed into a solid defender and should be able to handle taller wings given his length and strength. He’s often been cast into a supporting role for the Wildcats, but shone in the combine environment last year and should be ticketed for first-round interest again.
24. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 17
Foot surgery means Brown might be out for a while, with a potential NCAA tourney return in play as his best-case scenario. By all accounts his regular season was a disappointment, failing to take a step forward offensively as a 21-year-old sophomore. There were hopes he could become a floor-spacing combo guard, but it’s become increasingly clear he’s not a natural point and he made just 26.7% of his threes, casting doubt over his offensive fit. Brown will have a chance to redeem himself in the predraft process, and at the very least, his defensive skills and hard-nosed approach are NBA-caliber. Miami’s guard-heavy team context was a little tricky to evaluate, but the lottery feels like a stretch now.
25. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last: 18
As athletic as he is, Diallo has really only been a plus in transition for the Wildcats this season. He has freakish speed and leaping ability, but his skill set has yet to catch up. There are moments where he’ll gather steam, attack the basket and look like a future All-Star, but he has little to no playmaking feel, struggles to hit jump shots and has not progressed in the right direction in conference play. His handle can be loose, and his ability to create in the halfcourt is limited. Stepping up as a defender will help his case. Buying into Diallo’s potential is risky, but his upside remains intriguing. He still has a lot he can improve on and may need immediate G-League time, assuming he comes out.
26. Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last: 24
Continued production from McCoy has been a positive, and while he lacks one clear calling card, he does enough things well to make sense as a rotational center long-term. He has the requisite size, strength and mobility to handle the position, and while his offensive profile is very basic, he should be able to clean up mistakes, work the glass and cover ground around the rim. He’s not super-skilled or explosive and doesn’t have much of a left hand, all of which may cap his upside. McCoy has to continue to develop his offense and play hard, but has shown enough to be considered in the late first round.
27. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Junior
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 27
Metu had a productive January as USC got off to a strong start in Pac-12 play. He’s talented and has made some strides, but still has trouble scoring on a consistent basis. An athletic rebounder and shot-blocker, he screams energy big, but his motor isn’t quite there. He’s still not a great post-up player and has tried to expand his jump shooting with mixed results. His on-court awareness still wavers. Metu’s athleticism will give him a chance to work into a rotation, but he has more to prove when it comes to draft stock.
28. Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton | Junior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 29
One of the top defensive guards in the draft, Thomas has leverages his length as a legitimate perimeter stopper and has made a strong case for himself as a potential NBA role player. Thomas has been an efficient scorer all season and continues to make jumpers at a convincing clip. Though he’s limited as a scorer off the bounce, his 3-and-D ability is coveted right now. He’s unlikely to become a star, but should be able to blend well with a range of backcourt partners, and that puts him in the mix in the late first.
29. Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19 | Last: 19
Duval continues to struggle scoring the ball, though to be fair he’s been a tertiary option tasked with supplying Duke’s other scorers in a small rotation. And while the fit isn’t perfect in terms of evaluating his ability, his continued struggles shooting the ball make it hard to get excited about his offense. He’s an excellent pressure defender who uses his length to help generate turnovers, and that certainly helps. He’s still a pretty good distributor, but you wonder if he’s so unselfish in part because of his issues finding his own shot. Duval displayed considerable potential in high school and in different situation may have a chance to up his impact, even without a jumper. But there are more questions than answers surrounding his draft stock at this point.
30. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22 | Last: 25
Although he endured a January slump, Allen remains among the top shooters available, having proven over time he can make difficult shots off the dribble and catch. His offensive role has been somewhat reduced this season, but it’s more akin to his NBA role as a floor-spacer who adds some toughness and secondary ball-handling and playmaking. Allen is extremely athletic and can attack closeouts to keep defenders honest, though it doesn’t always translate on the defensive end. There’s not much left to figure out about his game, and his experience and toughness will have appeal to teams in this range.
31. Jontay Porter, C, Missouri | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: N/A
In midst of a surprisingly intriguing freshman season, Michael Porter’s younger brother Jontay cracks the Big Board for the first time this month. While he’s not a clear-cut candidate to come out right away, Porter has a unique skill set among bigs in this draft and has put himself in a good spot to test the waters. He has legitimate stretch big potential and is surprisingly shifty when putting the ball on the floor, belying his thicker build and marginal athleticism. As a ball-screener and short-roll playmaker, Porter has definite appeal. He’ll have some limitations in terms of defensive mobility, but as one of the youngest players in the draft, Porter has made a case for himself as a first-round caliber prospect.
32. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 33
Melton is suspended for the rest of the season due to USC’s investigation into his eligibility and won’t be able to strengthen his draft case until workouts begin. The mix of defensive toughness and athletic playmaking he showed as a freshman will keep him in first-round conversations. Melton finished in the Top 25 in steal rate last season and also blocked a ton of shots for a guard. The state of Melton’s jumper remains questionable, but his energy, smarts and physicality (a 6'8" wingspan helps him harry ball-handlers) are bankable strengths.
33. Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 20 | Last: 38
Shamet’s blend of size, handle and three-point shooting help set him apart from other available point guards. While he can be streaky, his ability to catch and shoot as well as pull up makes him a constant perimeter threat, and he might be able to run off screens and do damage at the next level. This helps offset his average athleticism, as well as the fact he rarely attacks all the way to the basket. He competes defensively and has the chops to follow in the footsteps of former Shockers Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker, both of whom have carved out NBA niches in surprising fashion. It’s worth nothing Shamet has suffered serious injuries in both of his feet.
34. Jalen Hudson, SG, Florida | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 32
There aren’t a ton of shooting specialists in this class, and Hudson should wind up among the best available. 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% clip. He’s excelled in his role as a floor-spacer, running off of screens, pulling up off the dribble comfortably and finding ways to get to the line. He’ll be limited as a playmaker and defender, but his smooth stroke gives him a chance to make an impact.
35. Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 37
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 an NBA body, 7'3" wingspan and real two-way potential. 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.
36. Goga Bitadze, C, Mega Bemax
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 36
With a strong build and some fluidity to his game, Bitadze has been an impact player for Mega Bemax (formerly Mega Leks), 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 if he chooses to enter the draft.
37. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 40
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 running the offense and get teammates involved. He relies on his considerable craft to compensate for a lack of top-flight quickness and understands how to pick his spots, change speed and direction and score the ball. Brunson is also a good three-point shooter, and his steely on-court demeanor will appeal to teams. The son of former NBA guard and current Timberwolves assistant Rick Brunson, Jalen grew up around the league and fits all the right criteria when it comes to makeup. He’s in position to carve out a long career.
38. Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 245 | Age 19 | Last: N/A
One of the most athletic bigs in college basketball, Fernando makes his debut on our board thanks to his immense physical potential. He’s still extremely raw, but his reported 7'4" wingspan, impressive mobility switching onto ball-handlers and ability to elevate around the basket are all eye-catching. A native of Angola, Fernando has often been in foul trouble this season and had issues making substantial offensive impact on a consistent basis. In actuality, he’s more skilled than he’s shown this season, with some range on his jumper and some ability to face up. He may need a second year of college to put it all together, but plenty of players have been drafted having demonstrated less.
39. Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Senior
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 22 | Last: 35
Graham has struggled to score efficiently in recent weeks, but he’s still enjoying the best year of his career. His experience level, outside shooting and playmaking ability have immediate NBA appeal. He’s playing all 40 minutes most nights to lead a thin Kansas rotation and has risen to the task, while also doing a solid job defensively. He struggles at times getting into the paint and scoring in isolation, which could pose problems as his shooting percentages are much better on threes than twos (although his heavy workload may be a consideration there). But Graham has done enough to get drafted, and could provide help as a reserve early on.
40. Rodions Kurucs, G/F, FC Barcelona
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 44
Kurucs has struggled to get a foothold when it comes to playing time at Barcelona, but has the type of versatility NBA teams are looking for on the wing. He was on the first-round cusp last season before pulling out of the draft, and his mix of size, athleticism and smarts are appealing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes, and whether he can earn substantial playing time the rest of the way will be telling. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.
41. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Last: 41
Alexander-Walker continues to flash upside despite inconsistent play. While he may need a second year of college to round out his game, he’s shot well from three, has played on and off the ball and been a nice piece for the Hokies. He needs to develop his body and learn to play more physically, but his size and versatility are a nice place to start. If he realizes his defensive potential and expands his playmaking skills (playing on the ball more will eventually accelerate that), Alexander-Walker will be able to contribute. He’s a good candidate to test the waters and garner feedback.
42. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | Sophomore
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 48
Gonzaga distributes shots and touches pretty evenly in a deep rotation, and Hachimura has made pretty good use of his playing time coming off the bench. He’s averaging more than 20 points and nearly nine 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, but he‘s struggled to make jumpers this season and will eventually have to answer that question. Physically he pops off the page, but the shot will determine which forward position he winds up playing down the line. Another year at Gonzaga in more of a go-to role would probably help matters when it comes to draft position.
43. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Last: 34
Although he has battled turnover problems lately, Holiday continues to pace the Bruins as a scorer and initiator. He’s been handed a ton of responsibility on an inexperienced team and fared pretty well. His toughness and NBA bloodlines work in his favor despite being somewhat undersized. He’s more of an energy scorer than a true setup man with the ball in his hands. Holiday can make tough shots, continues to have success from outside and puts in effort defensively. It hurts that he’ll likely only be able to guard his own position due to his lack of size, but he could add some scoring punch to lineups.
44. Jarrey Foster, G/F, SMU | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last: 30
Foster was tracking as a fringe first-round candidate before a partially torn ACL ended his season. He was in midst of a breakout, stepping into a bigger offensive role for the Mustangs and showcasing his versatility as a defender and scorer. He was SMU’s top rebounder this season, spending time at both forward spots due to personnel. Foster has a history of knee issues and it’s unclear at this stage what the timetable for his return might be—it’s likely he’ll need to return to school. But he’s a terrific athlete with a good feel who doesn’t need the ball to make an impact. His three-point shooting had begun to tail off in January, the development of which will ultimately be a major determinant in his NBA success.
45. Austin Wiley, C, Auburn | Sophomore
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last: 39
Auburn has been one of college basketball’s surprise teams this season in spite of Wiley’s absence. He’s suspended for the rest of the season due to fallout from the FBI’s college basketball investigation, but was tracking as a potential late first-rounder after leaving a strong impression at the U19 World Cup. His draft position will depend largely on his NBA workouts. He has great size, length and strength and is young for his class, but struggled shooting free throws and finishing at the rim at times as a freshman. Although Wiley works hard on the glass, he isn’t an elite athlete and is more of a traditional center, for better or worse. He has a history of knee injuries that may come into play given his heavy build.
46. Kevin Hervey, F, UT-Arlington | Senior
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 21 | Last: 54
The reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year, Hervey has put together another outstanding season and looks fully healthy after ACL recovery took a toll on his game last season. He has great potential to space the floor and impacts the game in a variety of ways, able to haul in 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, able to score inside and out. Hervey could become a very useful player in the right situation.
47. Kenrich Williams, F, TCU | Senior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 23 | Last: N/A
Despite Williams’s advanced age and history of knee issues, his array of skills and physical profile make him an intriguing prospect. Though largely unheralded to this point, Williams has been among the most efficient scorers and top rebounders in the Big 12 and shot the ball at a 40% clip from outside. He’s a terrific passer with some secondary playmaking ability using ball screens and an ideal fit for positionless basketball, ideally able to defend either forward spot. His well-rounded contributions and ability to blend with other players makes him a potential quality role player at the next level.
48. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Junior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 22 | Last: 58
It’s tough to ignore Bates-Diop’s production, which has elevated the Buckeyes to the top of the Big Ten. He has a deft scoring 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. It’s good to consider what elements of his scoring will translate—Ohio State runs a lot of isolation plays for him in the mid-range, touches he likely won’t warrant at the next level. 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 end up stuck between forward positions.
49. Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | Sophomore
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20 | Last: 43
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 convincingly. Battle has been carrying a massive offensive load and percentage of minutes for the Orange and will be in position to test the draft.
50. P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last: 45
Washington’s strengths and limitations have been on display this season while he’s been largely miscast as a combo forward due to the Wildcats’ personnel. He has good touch 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 the short roll. 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, but it’s possible he winds up as a tweener if his skill set never expands.
51. Jevon Carter, G, West Virginia | Senior
Height: 6'2 | Weight: 205 | Age: 22 | Last: 51
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. Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 42
Vanderbilt has returned to the court for Kentucky to mixed results and has looked a bit lost trying to play catch-up mid-season. He may need a second year of school to figure it out, but given his history of lower-body injuries it could make sense to make the jump now. He’s an intriguing athlete and potentially versatile forward, but has historically been reliant on his size and explosiveness and is dealing with an adjustment at the college level. His handle isn’t far enough along for his shtick to completely work in the pros. Taking another season to get himself in order would seem sensible, but there’s upside in his skill set and frame.
53. Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Last: 46
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’s shot the ball well from three-point range lately and has a projectable NBA body. Defensively, he’s a major questionmark at this stage. Trent could probably use another season in college to show his stuff, but with Duke set to bring in R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson, this might be a case where he tests and eventually goes.
54. Raymond Spalding, F/C, Louisville | Junior
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 59
With great mobility and length, Spalding continues to look like Louisville’s top long-term prospect. The lanky big man has surprisingly been Louisville’s highest-usage option and also its top rebounder, and could be a guy who fits into a rotation role in time. He has nice touch with his right hand and 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 helpful on that end of the ball. He’s not likely to become a high-scoring option, but could be an interesting developmental piece for the long term.
55. Nick Richards, C, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 50
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 if he comes out.
56. Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 20 | Last: 60
Evans is a tough, defensive-minded wing with shot-making ability and 3-and-D potential. He’s been a major part of Cincinnati’s success and has taken a nice step forward as a playmaker. 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.
57. Vince Edwards, F, Purdue | Senior
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21 | Last: 57
Purdue has been an elite team this season, but lacks any one great prospect. Edwards is their most projectable player at the next level, with the athleticism and length to guard several positions passably, and a nice level of versatility to his game. He’s a known commodity at this point, able to make open threes, rebound and handle different matchups. 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 with his tools.
58. Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame | Senior
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 22 | Last: 53
Colson may miss the rest of the season due 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. His size leaves room for skepticism
59. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18 | Last: 52
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.
60. Allonzo Trier, SG, Arizona | Junior
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21 | Last: 56
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.