College basketball season is over, the NBA playoffs are just days away and the pre-draft process kicks off in earnest this week as top seniors head to Virginia for the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. With another season in the bag, it’s time for another Big Board update.
Beyond underclassmen announcing their decisions, the last few weeks have been relatively quiet—safe to say that’s about to change. As players sign with agents and the political cycle begins behind the scenes and in NBA front offices, expect speculation and scuttle to ramp up with the draft coming up on two months out. Key dates to remember: college underclassmen have until April 22 to declare for the draft, with or without an agent. The draft lottery is May 15 in Chicago, followed immediately by the draft combine. Players have 10 days after the conclusion of the combine to withdraw.
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. This board is based on our own evaluations and factor in intel from around the league, and established how we'd rate players in a vacuum without team context. Note: Rankings and stats last updated April 10.
1. Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19 | Last Big Board: 1
Stats: 20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 1.9 BPG
Elite physical tools, soft touch at the rim and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect and the likely top pick. He’s solidified his spot over the course of the season (where he’s been on this board since the beginning). Ayton’s sheer size is a matchup problem for most any defender, and he’s still learning exactly what he’s capable of. He checks essentially every offensive box for his position: he has soft touch, can face up or play with his back to the basket, his midrange shot projects nicely to the perimeter, and he’s also a sound passer out of double-teams. While defensively Ayton struggled this season, remember he was often asked to defend much smaller forwards in Arizona’s scheme, losing much of his size advantage and hampering his opportunity to consistently improve as a team defender. He did make progress, and with his nimble feet and long frame, he has the ability to be an above-average presence protecting 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: 19 | Last: 2
Stats (All competitions): 15.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.6 APG
Doncic is back from injury and capably leading Madrid down the final stretch of the season, including this impressive recent buzzer beater. He will be the most accomplished player in the draft bar none, with an outstanding résumé in the Euroleague and ACB at a prodigious age and having led Slovenia to last summer’s Eurobasket title. Doncic is comfortable with the ball in his hands, should become a consistent threat from outside, makes his teammates better as a passer and reads the floor beyond his years. He will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, and it’s yet to be seen if his lack of elite explosiveness and burst will make things more difficult at the NBA level. Doncic is an ideal fit for the perimeter-oriented league and should have a long, productive career, whether or not he becomes a star.
3. Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 4
Stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 BPG
Although Jackson ended the season on a low note, he exceeded expectations this season and showed more than enough upside for top-five consideration. His shot blocking numbers (5.5 per-40) were off the charts, and teams are intrigued by his ability to protect the rim and defend in space while also being able to space the floor as a shooter (39.6% from three). He has nice touch with both hands and continues to develop perimeter skills, though his jumper mechanics are a bit odd. He’s more lanky and agile than he is bouncy, but some of his issues playing in traffic should be mitigated as he gets stronger. At this point, he appears far from NBA-ready, both from a maturity and an experience standpoint, but the upside is certainly high.
4. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last: 3
Stats: 21.2 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 61.4% FG
Bagley was one of college basketball’s most productive players from start to finish this season, utilizing his athletic mismatch to score in the paint and manufacture easy baskets on the offensive glass at an elite clip. It’s hard to argue with the numbers, and with more shooters and playmakers around him it’s easy to see his offensive game opening up further, even though he’s extremely left-hand dominant. His jump shot is still developing and will determine his offensive role. Defensively there’s some fear he may end up stuck between positions, as he makes little impact as as shot-blocker and didn’t display strong instincts on that end. Bagley is a strong prospect but will likely require more projection and development than his peers atop the draft.
5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 5
Stats: 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.7 BPG
All-league defensive potential is the center of Bamba’s appeal, and while Texas’s season wound up a disappointment, he flashed plenty of ability. It’s rare to find players with his raw ability to contest and block most any shot, given his exceptional length and above-average mobility. That type of verticality is rare. Scouts have questioned Bamba’s competitiveness and toughness on the inside, and his offensive game is highly unfinished. That said, he might become so impactful on the other end that he may not need to evolve much as a scorer to be valuable. How much weight he can add to his slender frame could determine a lot. But Bamba’s long-term upside as a team’s defensive backbone is substantial.
6. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 6
Stats (2016 U18 FIBA Americas): 15.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.4 APG
While he’s still ticketed as an early selection, Porter’s draft situation remains in a bit of flux. His brief late-season comeback from back surgery ultimately raised more questions than answers. Predictably, Porter looked stiff and out of shape in his two games back, and he now enters workout season with a bit more to prove from a health and conditioning standpoint. His offensive skill set is well-rounded, but any lingering mobility issues may dim his upside on both ends of the floor. Still, three-point shooting and ball skills are at a premium, and Porter has both—NBA teams are well aware of what he‘s capable of when he’s right. How he chooses to handle the predraft process—and who he works out for—is worth monitoring closely.
7. Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 18 | Last: 7
Stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.1 BPG
Carter was a productive, stabilizing force for Duke this season and is viewed as a safe bet to play in the NBA for a long time. He made a massive impact on the glass even with Marvin Bagley rebounding alongside him and is a better athlete than he gets credit for. His offensive role was less prominent than he was accustomed to at Duke, but he’s polished and heady and should become a respectable jump shooter. 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, and a different system might unlock more of his skills.
8. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 9
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 8.8 APG, 36.1% 3FG
The real Trae Young is somewhere between the high-scoring perimeter playmaker we saw in the first half of his season and the less efficient manner in which he ended things. The truth is that lofty public perception overwhelmed the realty of how his skill should be commensurate with his draft range. He’s still a lottery level talent: Young’s deep shooting range and intelligent use of ball screens open up space for his creative dribble penetration, and turning Oklahoma into an elite offensive team for a large stretch of the season was no small feat. His change of pace and variety of moves help offset a lack of elite physical attributes, but he’s not going be able to adequately defend most opponents and it’s unclear if his late-season slump had to do with physical issues handling the workload. As he matures, there’s room for improvement, but there’s also some risk involved if you’re betting on his star ceiling.
9. Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 8
Stats: 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 43.5% 3FG
Viewed as one of the safer prospects in the draft, Bridges couples great defensive instincts and ability with quality three-point shooting, and his visibility during Villanova’s title run helps cushion him as a mid-to-late lottery talent. While he sometimes struggles to create his own shot off the dribble, he’s not a completely manufactured shooter either, and should be able to thrive in a supporting role alongside a strong playmaker or two. His impactful perimeter defense is a safe bet to translate, given his 7’0” wingspan and foot speed that allows him to defend nearly any perimeter matchup. He doesn’t have superstar upside, but could fill a need effectively early in his career. Given the NBA’s style of play, there’s not a team in the league that can’t use a player with Bridges’ strengths.
10. Robert Williams III, C, Texas A&M | Sophomore
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 13
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG
Though Williams was a difference-maker in helping A&M reach the Sweet 16, his talent level has never been in question: during the predraft process he’ll need to convince teams he can become a consistent force. As a pure rebounder there’s little concern, as Williams plays above the rim as easily as anyone and can go win basically any 50-50 ball he wants, which should give him a floor. But for a guy with his gifts, Williams should have been tallying up more easy baskets—he wasn’t ever the focal point of the offense, but on some level shouldn’t need to be to offer better production. He’s limited outside eight feet, but when penciled into a Clint Capela-type NBA role, he makes a lot of sense. The right team environment is especially key to helping him tap into his potential.
11. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 10
Stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 34.1% 3FG
While Knox was never able to consistently take over games for Kentucky, he remains a projectable long-term piece with a lot of ability. He fits the bill athletically on the wing and as a rebounder, and looks well-suited for a combo forward role as he improves his perimeter skills. Knox’s jumper can be streaky, but his struggles appear confidence-based at times. He needs to improve his handle and embrace defense a bit more, but made all-around strides this season and has the type of malleable talent that should play at the NBA level after a couple years’ growth.
12. Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama | Freshman
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 12
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 APG, 33.6% 3FG
There’s no doubting Sexton’s talent as a scorer. At Alabama, he showcased his ability to attack the basket, play through contact and fill up a box score. He’s athletically impressive, can get downhill off the bounce and is unafraid of the moment (though his end-of-season three-point clip was unimpressive). Where he struggles is making others better, and while some of that is a byproduct of the Tide’s lack of offensive structure, there’s some concern among NBA teams about the selfish nature of his play. Sexton came in with a reputation as an elite defender, but averaged less than a steal per game, and his overall focus level wavered more than the narrative surrounding him would have you believe. The question here is less about talent and more about makeup, and whether he’s better suited to run a team full-time or provide scoring punch off the bench. Regardless, he’ll have a chance to be the first guard drafted in June.
13. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 11
Stats: 17.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 36.4% 3FG
Bridges is a well-built, powerful scorer who might be a little bit stuck between positions. Due to his average ball-handling his best NBA position is probably power forward, despite the fact he’s built more like a two-guard.On the wing, he’s mostly a spot-up threat and straight-line driver, but sliding down in smaller lineups he’d be better-positioned to utilize his athleticism. He made strides as a jump shooter this season, but there are still questions about how much his perimeter game will translate from NBA range. Defensively, he could be much better given his quickness and has never been a true standout. Will Bridges remake himself from a finesse scorer into a high-energy glue guy? That’s probably the NBA role that will be waiting for him, and if he’s willing to do it, he could certainly help a team.
14. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 14
Stats: 14.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG
Gilgeous-Alexander was one of the quickest studies in college basketball this year and ended his season looking like a confident, more-realized version of the tentative-but-gifted player we saw in the fall. He has an unorthodox but effective off-the-dribble game, blending hesitations and dribble fakes to create space for himself to attack. His jumper is passable but not quite consistent yet. He’s unselfish and has made his teammates better, and while not a physical specimen, Gilgeous-Alexander has a good understanding of on-court angles as he probes defenses. Long enough to stick either backcourt spot, he has terrific hands, length and timing as a defender. He’s the sort of versatile player who would pair well with a more scoring-minded guard.
15. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 15
Stats: 11.5 PPG, 41.5% FG, 34.6% 3FG
It was an uneven freshman season from Walker, who dealt with a meniscus tear over the summer, eventually overcame the setback and had a good stretch in conference play, but still cut an underwhelming figure at times. On pure talent and potential, he’s worthy of a lottery pick. His confidence has been all over the place, but he’s a terrific athlete with a good build and nice-looking jumper, and has the potential to become a useful defender. His natural ability to slash to the basket and finish has great appeal from an NBA standpoint, and if his distance shooting improves, you’ve got a nice player. Walker chose to sign with an agent and stay in the draft.
16. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School (Louisiana)
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last: 18
Stats (2016–17 HS): 25.7 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 6.0 BPG
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 to the table. Once Robinson gets into team workouts we’ll have a much better read on his draft range: he physically jumps off the page with a 7’3” wingspan, but there have been questions about his feel for the game in the past, and teams have concerns about his off-court situation. He’s a first-round talent, but there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding him at this stage.
17. Zhaire Smith, G/F, Texas Tech | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Last: 37
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 50 RPG, 55.6% FG
For a completely unheralded high school recruit who won’t turn 19 until June, Smith has exceeded expectations that didn’t even exist for him when he arrived at Texas Tech. He’s among the top acrobatic leapers in college basketball and applies that to play above the rim on both ends. His explosiveness and high-end tools have piqued serious interest, and drafting him is essentially a bet on his intangibles and willingness to improve. Smith has the agility and frame to be a solid backcourt defender, averaging more than a steal and a block per game. He fared well from three this season, but scouts have doubts about his actual feel as a jump shooter. The big issue is that he’s displayed very limited ability to create his own shot, and that area of his game is all projection. There is significant risk and reward built in here, and teams will have to weigh for themselves at what point it outweighs their draft slot. Smith has declared for the draft without an agent and can return next season.
18. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 16
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.2 APG
Brown’s tools are readily apparent: he’s got size, ball-handling ability and can grab-and-go off the glass. His three-point shooting was mediocre this season (29.1%), but the rest of his skill set translates to a utility role on the perimeter in a fairly clear-cut manner. His production this season didn’t line up with that, but he’s young for his class and offers a lot to work with. His overall aggressiveness leaves something to be desired, and he disappeared from games a bit too often. Brown played point guard in high school and will never be a lead scorer at his core, but does have work to do as far as making himself a real offensive threat. His talent level and versatility make him a worthwhile piece to develop.
19. Dzanan Musa, G/F, KK Cedevita
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last: 19
Stats (All competitions): 11.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 47.5% FG
Musa is a score-first wing 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. Word is that he’s extremely motivated to make it in the NBA. He’s an improving playmaker with a solid feel, but can be ball-dominant and isn’t an elite creator off the dribble. Still, he’s advanced in a lot of ways for his age and has been on NBA radars for some time. 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 perhaps the top international prospect behind Doncic.
20. De'Andre Hunter, F, Virginia | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 30
Stats: 9.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 38.2% 3FG
Hunter was Virginia‘s most versatile player this season, and his absence after breaking his hand in practice certainly didn’t help as the Cavs’ tourney run came to a close in embarrassing fashion. It appears it will lead him to miss a large chunk of workout opportunities, but wouldn’t preclude him from a favorable draft position if he chooses to come out. Hunter is a terrific multi-positional defender and has upside as a shooter and slasher that was hidden somewhat in his confined role. If he returns to college, it’ll be curious to see how Virginia chooses to optimize him. He’s shown enough ability to warrant a first-round pick this season.
21. Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy | HS Senior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last: 20
Stats (2017 UnderArmour Association): 15.3 PPG, 41.4% 3FG
After finishing his prep year at IMG and opting to forgo college for the draft, Simons appears set to ride a wave of mystery into a guaranteed contract thanks to his long-term potential. He’s a springy, quick-twitch athlete who is more of a combo guard at this stage of his development, but undersized to play shooting guard, which is probably his more natural role. He’s at his best when he’s aggressive and attacking the basket and is a promising shooter, but is extremely early in his development. He needs to get stronger and establish himself as a defender, but has a solid chance to be a first-round pick off upside.
22. Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 245 | Age 19 | Last: 25
Stats: 10.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG
One of the most athletic bigs in college basketball, Fernando impressed scouts with his immense physical potential and has played his way into first-round consideration. 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 was often in foul trouble this season and didn’t see the lion’s share of playing time until the last month or so. He’s more skilled than was able to show, with some range on his jumper and ability to handle the ball. There’s not a huge sample size to work with here, and he’s left open the option to return to school. At this point, his overall upside looks like a worthy flier as high as the 20–30 range.
23. Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State | Senior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 21
Stats: 20.0 PG, 7.7 RPG, 3.5 APG
Hutchison took a nice step forward statistically this season while operating as a heavy offensive focal point for the Broncos (he used a whopping one-third of their possessions). He won’t be asked to do all that in the NBA, but he has a number of strengths that make him an appealing prospect who could potentially spend time at three positions. Hutchison has a well-rounded game, able to attack the rim on straight-line drives, impact the glass and find gaps in the defense as an off-ball threat. He’s big enough to play the wing or potentially slide down to play the four. He doesn’t create especially well off the dribble and has to keep improving as a shooter, but he belongs in the late first-round picture.
24. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Last: 24
Stats: 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 42.9% 3FG
Holiday impressed this season with steady performances as an outside shooter and primary facilitator and looks suited for a backup point guard role in the NBA. With his scoring instincts and ability to use ball screens, he’s proven he can provide a spark and energize a team. He’s a bit small and can only defend one position, but competes defensively and should be able to at least hold his own. Holiday is more of a shoot-first guy than a setup man, and he struggles getting downhill into the paint around defenders at times, which limits his upside on some level. That said, he’s a fairly safe choice to provide some value, and the fact he has two older brothers in the NBA doesn’t hurt when it comes to intangibles.
25. Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last: 27
Stats: 13.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 35.9% 3FG
Alkins was on the first-round cusp a year ago, and should receive looks in this range again despite a tough year for Arizona. Statistically, he didn’t take the step forward many hoped, but there’s a case to be made for context limiting his contributions. Breaking his foot early in the season made it more difficult to work into prime playing shape (and likely hampered him some defensively), and the Wildcats’ constant use of two-big lineups limited space for him to slash to the basket. Alkins’ energy and versatility on the wing remained useful in spite of everything, and his willingness to play hard and contribute to winning even in an imperfect role should be seen as positives. He needs to become more consistent as a three-point shooter. Getting into peak condition should really help him in the predraft process.
26. Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton | Junior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 26
Stats: 15.1 PPG, 1.7 SPG, 41.1% 3FG
Although he doesn’t possess starry upside, Thomas has leveraged his length as a legitimate perimeter stopper and has made a strong case for himself as a useful role player in the pros. While limited as a creator off the dribble, Thomas was an efficient scorer all season and made jumpers at a convincing clip. He’s a smart passer and understands how to play off others, rarely forcing shots. Defensively he has the build and long arms to really slow opponents at either guard spot. There’s safety in Thomas’s 3-and-D skill set, which should translate nicely to the perimeter-oriented NBA game.
27. Jerome Robinson, G, Boston College | Junior
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 23
Stats: 20.7 PPG, 3.3 APG, 40.9% 3FG
An All-ACC campaign helped place Robinson in the conversation as a potential first-rounder. He can play either on or off the ball and score at all three levels. He excels at creating his own shot off the dribble, with a great change-of-speed element and shake to his game, and should be able to provide useful supporting offense to an NBA backcourt. He’s not an upper-tier athlete, but has a lot going for him skill-wise. Defensively his slight build may cause some limitations. Robinson’s overall productivity (he had an eye-popping 46-point game against Notre Dame) sets him apart from many other guards in this range.
28. Bruce Brown Jr., G, Miami | Sophomore
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 28
Stats: 11.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 4.0 APG
After entering the season as a fringe lottery pick, Brown ended up in about the worst-case scenario: he was underwhelming through the end of January, then missed the rest of the season with a foot injury. Given he was already old for his class, the lack of progression was frustrating. His athleticism, size and defensive-minded game remain good selling points for a combo guard, but he needs to convince people his three-point shooting can swing closer to last season (34.7%) than this year’s poor 26.7% mark. He’s still an interesting complementary player, and will have a chance to redeem himself in the predraft process, after signing with an agent.
29. Jontay Porter, C, Missouri | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 29
Stats: 9.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.2 APG
While Michael Porter’s season ended up a wash, his younger brother burst onto the scene in his stead and is tracking as a late first or early second-round selection right now. He has range out to the three and is a quality passer and rebounder. As a screener and short-roll playmaker, Porter has definite appeal. He will end up as the youngest player in this draft class, which works in his favor after displaying an impressive amount of offensive skill and feel. The key for him is developing his body, which leaves something to be desired but has plenty of time to physically mature given his youth. It’s unclear how high his athletic ceiling really is, but there’s not much knocking his talent level. He could still return to school.
30. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 34
Stats: 18.9 PPG, 4.6 APG, 40.8% 3FG
Although the critiques of Brunson’s average size and athleticism as they pertain to his upside are valid, he checks basically every other box for a lead guard and is a good bet to add depth to someone’s backcourt. The son of former NBA guard and current Timberwolves assistant Rick Brunson, Jalen has the benefit of having grown up around the league and has an elite feel for running an offense. 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. Defensively he’ll have to work hard to cut it, but he’s too intelligent not to figure things out. Winning the Wooden Award as the constant engine of Villanova’s title team was no small feat.
31. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 31
Stats (2016–17): 8.3 PPG, 3.5 APG, 1.9 SPG
Melton missed the season due to USC’s prolonged investigation into his eligibility, but can finally begin re-establishing his value in predraft workouts. The mix of defensive toughness and athletic playmaking he showed as a freshman should keep him in first-round conversations. Melton’s steal and block rate last year were impressive, and the key is rounding out his offensive skill set to a palatable level. The state of Melton’s jumper remains questionable, but his energy, smarts and physicality (a 6'8" wingspan helps him harry opposing ball-handlers) are bankable strengths.
32. Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 21 | Last: 78
Stats: 13.4 PPG, 3.5 APG, 40.1% 3FG
After breaking out on college basketball’s most prominent stage, DiVincenzo has forced the issue somewhat as a prospect for this year’s draft. As an athletic, tough combo guard willing to make small, winning plays, he profiles nicely into an eventual NBA role.DiVincenzo isn’t quite as big as he’s listed, but he’s quick and wiry enough to defend either backcourt spot. His three-point shooting and overall instincts are a plus. He’s old for his class after taking a medical redshirt as a freshman, and taking a long, hard look at entering the draft makes sense. If he goes back to Villanova, he’ll be the leading man next season.
33. Melvin Frazier, G/F, Tulane | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 40
Stats: 15.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.1 SPG
A physical specimen who put together a solid individual season on an underwhelming team, Frazier has piqued NBA interest with his tools and defensive instincts. He pops from an eye-test perspective, and his potential as a versatile stopper endears him from an NBA standpoint. He’s a powerful leaper and difficult to stop once he has a head of steam toward the basket. Frazier shot 38% from outside this season, but teams aren’t sold on his jumper yet and he doesn’t have an outstanding feel as a scorer. It does appear he’s begun to put things together as a player, and he’s an interesting dart throw in the middle of the draft if he stays in.
34. Grayson Allen, SG, Duke | Senior
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 | Age: 22 | Last: 33
Stats: 15.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 37.0% 3FG
Allen’s senior year essentially affirmed his ability to provide toughness, long-distance shooting and secondary ball-handling to an NBA backcourt. He’s a good athlete and has proven over time he can make difficult shots off the dribble and catch. His offensive role was somewhat reduced this season at times given the talent around him, but that’s probably what he’ll end up doing long-term anyway as a supporting player off someone’s bench. Allen is strong and has enough ability to attack the basket off closeouts to keep defenders honest. His athletic ability doesn’t totally translate defensively, but it’s a fair bet that his experience and competitiveness can help split the difference.