- The 2018 NBA draft is heavy on wings who will be lottery picks, but which one is the best? We rank Michael Porter Jr., Kevin Knox, Mikal Bridges and more.
Over the past decade of NBA basketball, no positional archetype has evolved more than what constitutes a wing player. As play styles have become more wide open and players more athletic and skilled, versatile perimeter talent has become a premium in the draft. The spectrum between shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards are blurrier than ever. And as the 2018 draft approaches, there are few teams that can’t find a way to use another talented wing.
Although the wing isn’t the deepest part of this year’s draft, where big men line the top of the draft and guards are likely to dot the end of the first round, expect teams to prioritize that need appropriately, with Michael Porter, Kevin Knox, Mikal Bridges and Miles Bridges all likely to land among the first 15 picks, followed by a variety of prospects with very different skill sets who will scatter throughout. Someone will try to hit a home run with Zhaire Smith, and Kevin Huerter and Josh Okogie have been among the draft’s biggest risers.
Given the increasingly position-less nature of the league, these position rankings are split into three groups—guards, wings and bigs—rather than five, to offer a sense of which players teams might be choosing between at a given spot. Our complete list of the top 100 prospects in the draft can be found here, and our latest mock draft projections here.
Scouting reports compiled by Jeremy Woo, Chris Johnson and Jake Fischer.
1. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | DOB: 6/29/98 (19)
Stats: 10.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 33% FG
Bio: Considered one of the most talented scorers in the college ranks, Porter was a candidate to go first overall coming into the season but suffered a back fracture that required surgery and ended his season before it could ever really get underway. He returned for Missouri’s final two games, looking understandably rusty, but certainly not mitigating concerns about his future. It has been hard to get a good look at Porter since his decorated high school career, and while NBA teams are familiar with his game, they now must assess his situation carefully before deciding whether to draft him.
• Ideal body for his skill set, with the size, length and high release to shoot over the top of defenders. Could spend time at either forward spot offensively.
• Polished, highly skilled offensive game. Fluid athlete when at 100% health. Lives off of straight drives and pull-ups. Soft shooting touch. Plays in transition.
• Will add value as a rebounder and make the occasional defensive play. First and foremost a scorer but not a one-note talent. Stands to grow into added responsibilities.
• Serious back injury at a young age creates added uncertainty surrounding his athletic profile and long-term health. Has to prove he’s right physically.
• Has never been much of a playmaker. Tends to be a ball-stopper and look for his shot. How will he adjust to playing with more talent around him?
• Not an especially committed defender. Multiply that with his back issues and it’s fair to doubt what type of consistent impact he might be able to make on that side of the ball.
• Some teams have concerns about his attitude, maturity and work ethic.
Comparison: Harrison Barnes
Porter’s well-rounded offensive game makes him the kind of player most any team could find a way to use. If he can get back to full strength and tap into his full potential, this comparison will look underwhelming. — Jeremy Woo
2. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | DOB: 8/11/99 (18)
Stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.4 APG
Bio: Knox comes from an athletic background—his father, Kevin, starred at wideout for Florida State’s 1993 national championship team. Still a relatively raw prospect, Knox played a major role on Kentucky’s Sweet 16 team. Despite an inconsistent season, he led the Wildcats in scoring and will benefit from not turning 19 until August.
• At 6’9” with a 7’0” wingspan, Knox has a perfect frame for the modern game as his body matures. He should be able to match up with either forward spot effectively.
• He’s not an overwhelming athlete, but has enough explosion and quickness to score at all three levels and make an impact.
• Knox showed development on the defensive end and should be able to grow into a useful two-way player.
• Knox made only 34.1% of his three-pointers, but has solid shooting mechanics and should become more consistent with more repetitions.
• Consistency and scoring efficiency were a big factor in his freshman season, a lot of which came due to poor shot selection and a smaller role. He stands to figure out where his best spots are and refine his approach.
• Knox’s motor also came into question throughout the season. Some of it may have been confidence based. He’s still learning to play the game, which leaves a variety of outcomes
Comparison: Otto Porter
If Knox can develop a consistent outside stroke and his scoring chops continue on their current projection, he has All-Star potential. In a league desperate for two-way wings, Knox’s peak will be a very valuable player for years to come. — Jake Fischer
3. Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | DOB: 8/30/96 (21)
Stats: 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG
Bio: Bridges is the latest starry product of Villanova’s player development program. He came of age in the Wildcats’ system as an interminably long defender, seeing 15 minutes in the 2016 championship game against UNC. After expanding his skill set, Bridges erupted as a two-way stud last season, and now looks the part as the most NBA-ready wing in this draft.
• Projectable length. Standing 6’7" with a 7’0" wingspan, Bridges could theoretically defend four positions at the next level and switch defensively.
• Strong defensive instincts, both in perimeter matchups and shot-blocking around the rim. He averaged more than a block and a steal per game. Makes plays on the ball.
• Bridges has grown as an overall scorer. He shot 43.5% from three as a senior and has proved he can shoot consistently from outside. Fits a useful player archetype.
• Bridges will be 22 by the beginning of his rookie season, which raises concerns about growth potential.
• While his shooting is an obvious strength, Bridges is very limited as a creator off the dribble. He may never evolve into a go-to scorer.
• Bridges does not boast elite athleticism despite his natural gifts. He’s more smooth and fluid than he is explosive.
Comparison: Khris Middleton
Bridges’s length and defensive prowess will be a problem for opponents from the outset. His ultimate ceiling will be determined by his ability to grow as an overall scorer at all three levels of the halfcourt. — JF
4. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 220 | DOB: 3/21/98 (20)
Stats: 17.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.7 APG
Bio: Bridges shocked many by returning to school for his sophomore season after playing like a lottery pick as a freshman. Although scouts, media and fans began to nitpick his game, Bridges posted another successful campaign as a powerful tweener forward with a reliable three-point stroke.
• A natural-born scorer, Bridges had success spotting up from deep, off screens and in isolation at the college level. He can be an athletic mismatch when correctly utilized.
• Solid rebounder for his height thanks to explosive leaping ability. Has a thick build that allows him to play bigger.
• Bridges athleticism really stands out given his stocky frame. He can play above the rim and power around defenders when he gets downhill. There’s little question he’s physically competent.
• Bridges made 37.5% of his threes in college but connected on just 33.7% of his pull-up jumpers last season. He’s not a great creator off the dribble, and there’s real concern his isolation scoring won’t translate.
• While he averaged 2.4 assists per game in two college seasons, Bridges created just 0.67 points per possession passing out of pick-and-rolls last season, according to Synergy Sports.
• Where exactly Bridges, an average defender as is, matches up at the next level is a question that will likely need an answer very quickly. He’s built more like a shooting guard but may be best suited as an undersized four-man.
Comparison: Jae Crowder
Bridges is a tweener who can benefit from the modern game’s positionless offense but needs to embrace more of a role-player mentality. He could find a niche as a secondary scorer but will need to commit on the defensive end. — JF
5. Zhaire Smith, SF, Texas Tech | Freshman
Height: 6’4’’ | Weight: 195 | DOB: 6/4/99 (19)
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 45.0% 3FG
Bio: One-and-done prospects typically arrive in college with lofty recruiting pedigrees, but Smith was assessed only a three-star grade coming out of Lakeview Centennial High in Garland, Texas. That evaluation undersold his ability to contribute early in his college career and his potential to develop into a valuable pro. In his lone season at Texas Tech, Smith evolved into a capable perimeter scorer and became one of the key cogs in a Red Raiders defense that finished second nationally in adjusted efficiency. Smith helped push Texas Tech to 27 wins, its highest NCAA tournament seed since 1996 and its first Elite Eight appearance.
• Has the burst to beat defenders off the dribble, get to the rim and finish in traffic.
• Malleable, disruptive defender capable of switching assignments. Nimble enough to contain guards and can hold his own against hefty wings.
• Shows potential to develop into a plus perimeter shooter. Shot at high percentage (45%) from deep on a low number of attempts at Texas Tech.
• Big-time athlete whose explosiveness shows up on both ends of the floor. Doesn’t just rely on athletic tools; plays with a lot of effort.
• Hasn’t turned 19 yet. Plenty of time to build out his offensive game.
• Needs to iron out the form on his jump shot. Good 3P% isn’t necessarily indicative of his long-range shooting ability. Attempted only 40 threes at Texas Tech.
• Rudimentary shot-creator off the dribble. Hardly ever created his own shot last season. Won’t be able to get by on explosiveness alone against more athletic defenders in the NBA.
• Defensive utility will be more limited at the next level than it was at Texas Tech because of his size. Could have a harder time switching assignments. Measured just 6’2.75” without shoes at the combine.
• Will be a limited offensive player who cramps spacing if he can’t develop into a reliable three-point shooter.
Player comparison: Doug Christie
Smith could grow into a more valuable 3-and-D wing over time, but there’s a lot of uncertainty about his shooting right now. He’s a total upside play. — Chris Johnson
6. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | DOB: 7/28/99 (18)
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.2 APG
Bio: A former All-American recruit, Brown had an up-and-down year at Oregon but offers the sort of theoretical versatility NBA teams covet. He played point guard in high school and blends on-ball skills and a solid basketball IQ with a strong body. It helps his case that he’s young for his class.
• Plus frame for the NBA game. Strong, wiry build and 6’11” wingspan. Moves well and covers ground effectively.
• Comfortable on the ball. Unselfish and will make the correct pass. Good decision-maker in pick-and-roll situations (0.91 points per possession) and capable finisher around the basket.
• Competes defensively. Plays the passing lanes. Averaged 1.8 steals per-36.
• Questionable shooter. Shot just 29% from three-point range and 27.4% on all jump shots.
• Agile and strong, but not extremely explosive. Reliant more on his size to create space for himself.
• Lacks a degree of aggressiveness. Floats into the background when he isn’t looking to score. Can be overly passive on offense.
• Without shooting component, unclear if he’ll provide enough elsewhere to stay on the court. Will require time to develop and expand his skill set. Somewhat of a project.
Comparison: Caris LeVert
Brown has a nice range of skills and provides a bit of everything on the wing, but it’s imperative that he improves as a shooter to make an impact in the NBA. — JW
7. Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 195 | DOB: 8/27/98 (19)
Stats: 14.8 PPG, 3.4 APG, 41.7% 3FG
Bio: Huerter’s blend of size, skills and shooting ability have earned him fans around the NBA and make him easy to project into a future supporting role. He has a case as the top three-point shooter in this draft class, and has the added benefit of being younger than some eligible freshmen.
• Talented scorer with a nice variety to his game. Dangerous catching away from the ball but can also run the pick-and-roll. Extremely efficient player.
• Smooth, consistent jump shooter. Can pull up off the dribble. Shot 40.9% on all jumpers and 42.6% off the bounce. Career 56.1% shooter on twos and 39.6% from three. Skilled enough to get to spots and score at all three levels.
• High IQ passer. Not a ball-stopper. Career 3.4 assists per-36. Can play on the ball and make the right play.
• Not a bad athlete and competes defensively but may struggle to defend bigger, more athletic wings. Needs to get stronger.
• Ball handling has improved but not going to blow by people with regularity. Likely limits him to a complementary scoring role.
• Lacks great length on the wing and won’t offer much matchup versatility on the defensive end, a critical component in the modern league.
Comparison: Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Whether Huerter evolves into a bankable perimeter scorer or is strictly a specialist, he has an appealing offensive skill set that should lead to positive opportunities at the pro level. — JW
8. Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | DOB: 4/26/96 (22)
Stats: 20.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.5 APG
Bio: Having physically dominated against high school competition, Hutchison never refined his perimeter skill set until arriving in college. After working diligently with assistant coach Phil Beckner, who helped develop Damian Lillard at Weber State, Hutchison has emerged as a well-rounded wing and an ideal fit for the positionless era.
• Hutchison is a plus playmaker for his size and position, often taking over lead ballhandling duties for the Broncos and setting up teammates.
• Strong player on or off the ball in transition with the ability to lead the break and get to the rim or find shooters and cutters filling lanes.
• Intelligent off-ball cutter who should fit seamlessly into a supporting role on the wing.
• Hutchison’s defense is only so projectable at this point, having spent time in Boise State’s zone scheme.
• Jump shooting is a key question mark. Followed a breakout 37.7% junior year by making 35.9% of threes as a senior. Made just 32.3% of total jump shots and is a so-so shooter off the dribble and on the move.
• At 22 Hutchison will be one of the oldest players selected in the first round should he go off the board early. He may lack star upside.
Comparison: Trevor Ariza
Hutchison’s athletic profile and well-rounded skill set is tailor made for the modern NBA game. If his shooting translates and continues to develop, he could be one of the steals of the 2018 draft. — JF
9. Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 210 | DOB: 9/1/98 (19)
Stats: 18.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 38% 3FG
Bio: Born in Nigeria and raised in Georgia, Okogie has yet to turn 20 and already has two strong college seasons under his belt. He’s not the most polished prospect but has 3-and-D potential and the physical gifts to eventually make an impact in the NBA.
• Great body for the NBA. Thick, muscular frame with a 7-foot wingspan. Should be able to defend bigger wings. Not an elite athlete but a plus one.
• Seems to enjoy playing defense. Averaged 1.7 steals and nearly a block per game. Can be disruptive.
• Pretty good shooter. Career 37.6% from long range and 77.7% from the foul line. Extremely streaky but has some ability.
• Lacks one great calling card skill. Can shoot and defend but hasn’t demonstrated high-level consistency in any one area to date.
• Finishing ability should be better. Does a nice job of drawing fouls and playing through contact, but shot just 44.6% on shots around the rim.
• Tendency to play out of control. Shot selection isn’t consistent and can be loose with the ball. Emotions can get the best of him and affect his game.
Comparison: Arron Afflalo
Okogie has the body and talent to be a stopper and floor spacer but has work to do in order to become that. — JW
10. Dzanan Musa, F, KK Cedevita
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | DOB: 5/8/99 (19)
Stats (All competitions): 12.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 47.2% FG
Bio: Born in Bosnia, Musa possesses great size on the wing and a natural knack for scoring the ball. He’s earned a large stake in his club’s success over the past couple years, competing at a young age and evolving into Cedevita’s second-leading scorer. He was named the EuroCup’s Rising Star and won the Adriatic League’s Top Prospect award last season, and won Most Improved at last year’s Eurocamp. He’s also had success playing for his country in FIBA youth competition, leading the 2016 U–17 World Cup in scoring with 34 points per game, including a 50-point performance.
• Decisive, efficient scorer with the ball in his hands. Shot 44% out of pick-and-rolls, 43.5% in spot-ups, 40% in isolation and 61.9% in transition. Totaled 47% from the field overall. Advanced for his age.
• Can shoot on the move. Comfortable pulling up off the dribble. Solid level of craftiness to his handle. Confident player.
• Known as an extremely competitive player who is highly motivated to make the NBA. Has become more unselfish as a passer.
• Shot just 33.6% from three-point range. Overall shot selection needs to improve. Can shoot it, but will have to accept a smaller role where he can’t just kill possessions with long jumpers.
• Athletically average. Very thin and has a sort of hump in his back that affects posture. Has measured with a below-average 6’8” wingspan for his height. Unlikely to become a plus defender and may have trouble separating.
• Plays overly emotional at times and is still maturing into a pro. Somewhat of a divisive player in terms of attitude.
Comparison: Wilson Chandler
Musa needs to refine his game and will have to figure out where he fits in but has the size and talent to become a supporting scorer on the wing. — JW
11. Melvin Frazier, G/F, Tulane | Junior
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 200 | DOB: 8/30/96 (21)
Stats: 15.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.1 SPG
Bio: Regarded as more of a curiosity coming into the season, Frazier took his play up a notch and fulfills all the athletic prerequisites to play in the NBA. While his offensive game is a work in progress, he could potentially defend four positions to an impactful degree.
• Long, athletic defender with a nose for the basketball. Measured with a 7’2” wingspan at the combine. Can bother ballhandlers at the point of attack or slide down onto bigger forwards. Covers a lot of ground up with steals in the passing lanes.
• Excellent in transition. Long strides and fast with the ball. Explosive elevating above the rim. Difficult to stop once he gets a head of steam. Made 62.3% of two-point attempts, capable of attacking closeouts and finishes well at the basket.
• Some potential to improve as a shooter. Shot 38.5% from three and 71% from the foul line.
• Shooting ability remains questionable. Only attempted 19 proper jump shots inside the arc, according to Synergy Sports. Doesn’t create much for himself or score on the move. Has to sustain the improvement and extend his range.
• Questionable offensive feel. Not a creative ballhandler. Had a career-best 1.1 assist-to-turnover ratio as a junior. Role may have to be limited. Improving the jumper is pivotal. Has an underdeveloped skill set for a player who turns 22 in August.
• Has a number of bad defensive habits. Leaps out at shooters, sometimes struggles getting around screens and can get beaten off the dribble. Has to improve at taking away angles.
Comparison: Alonzo Gee
Frazier has great athletic ability, but must become less reliant on his physical advantage and improve his skill set to make a consistent impact in the NBA. — JW
12. Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton | Junior
Height: 6’3’’ | Weight: 200 | DOB: 5/8/96 (22)
Stats: 15.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 41.1 3FG%
Bio: Thomas wasn’t on the NBA radar when he arrived at Creighton as a three-star recruit in the class of 2015, and he didn’t get the exposure enjoyed by other draft hopefuls who played for blue bloods. Yet over the course of three seasons with the Bluejays, Thomas developed into a well-rounded wing prospect with the potential to slot into an NBA team’s rotation as a functional, two-way role player. As a junior in 2017–18, Thomas anchored one of the best backcourts in the country alongside high-scoring teammate Marcus Foster. He also earned second-team All-Big East honors as well as his second consecutive conference defensive player of the year award.
• Possesses excellent length for a shooting guard. Wingspan has measured at 6’10’’. Complements physical tools with intensity, high-effort level.
• Has the strength and agility to defend multiple positions. Physical in one-on-one coverage. Has good awareness on that end of the floor.
• Plus jump shooter with clean mechanics. Connected at high clips from the free throw line and beyond the arc during his last two seasons at Creighton.
• Might be able to function as an ancillary playmaker. Comfortable making simple reads and moving the ball.
• Not an advanced ball handler or shot creator off the bounce. Doesn’t create much of his own offense. Has a high, loose dribble.
• Lack of top-shelf athleticism could hamper his ability to attack closeouts off the dribble and finishing in traffic
• More comfortable shooting off the catch than off the dribble. Not great making shots on the move.
• Overall lack of depth to his offensive game could require him developing into a lockdown guy to stay on the floor.
• Height may limit multi-positional defensive versatility at the next level despite a long wingspan.
• Upside capped by his age and limited skills off the dribble.
Player comparison: Norman Powell
Thomas’s 3-and-D potential is intriguing, and it’d be no surprise if we look up in a couple of years and see him serving as a useful two-way cog in the playoffs. — CJ
13. Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 220 | DOB: 10/29/97 (20)
Stats: 13.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 35.9% 3FG
Bio: A strong, well-rounded wing player, Alkins was on the first-round cusp last season before returning to Arizona. After breaking his foot in September, he battled through the season at less than 100% as a key part of the Wildcats’ rotation. His toughness and scoring ability make him an interesting prospect toward the middle of the draft.
• Explosive athlete. Can play above the rim and finish despite heavier frame. Difficult to knock off his line going to the basket.
• Big enough to defend larger players. Has a strong body and a 6’9” measured wingspan. Should become a useful player on that end.
• Motor is always running. Unselfish and makes small, winning plays. Embraced secondary scoring role even with difficult on-court factors at Arizona.
• Streaky jump shooter. Has some touch but shot 36.5% from three over two seasons. Made just 34.3% of all jumpers as a sophomore. Consistency has to improve.
• Ballhandling and self-creation skills will need to improve against NBA wings who can match him athletically. Has a tendency to play bully-ball and will have to diversify his approach.
• Had some defensive struggles on the perimeter this season, which is attributable on some level to his foot injury.
Alkins latest NYC prep star to pursue hoops outside the city (September 2015)
Comparison: Sean Kilpatrick
Alkins’s athleticism, thick build and nose for scoring should give him an opportunity to be successful. — JW
14. Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati | Junior
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 200 | DOB: 6/18/97 (21)
Stats: 13.0 PPG, 1.3 SPG, 37% 3FG
Bio: Evans’s no-frills approach and low-maintenance game was a huge part of Cincinnati’s success over the past couple seasons. A first team all-AAC selection, he profiles as a useful 3-and-D wing player—a role that has plenty of value in the modern NBA.
• Good physical profile. Strong build allows him to match up with bigger wings or smaller guards. Athleticism should play on both ends of the floor.
• Committed defender. Understands team concepts. Career 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks per-36. Should be able to make an impact on that end.
• Shot 39.4% from three over the last two seasons. Career 75% from the foul line. Has some promise as a floor-spacer.
• Offensive impact comes and goes. Had a handful of dud games in conference play. When his jumper isn’t falling, hard for him to consistently score. Not a plus ballhandler.
• Sometimes looks like he’s muscling the ball up on his release. Shot can come out flat and hard. Needs to prove it translates to NBA range.
• Stands to be more aggressive at times. Can fade into the background of games for long stretches. Not going to be someone you throw the ball to looking for a basket.
Comparison: Thabo Sefolosha
Evans lacks a true calling card skill, but should be able to defend and shoot it well enough to find a place in someone’s rotation. — JW
15. Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 205 | DOB: 1/18/99 (19)
Stats: 14.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 40.2% 3FG
Bio: The son of the longtime Timberwolves forward, Trent came out of high school pegged as a gifted scorer but was forced into a smaller role at Duke, where he spaced the floor capably for a team that needed him badly on the wing. He may have left school a year earlier than expected but wound up in a tricky spot with the talent the Blue Devils have coming in. His smooth jumper puts him on the radar.
• Natural shooter from outside. Can be streaky, but making 40% of threes on 6.5 attempts per game as a true freshman is impressive. Shot selection improved in his role. Made 87% of free throws.
• Good body for a wing. Broad shoulders, should be able to add even more muscle—father was an NBA bruiser in the paint. Passable 6’8” wingspan. Doesn’t shy away from contact.
• Strong scoring résumé dating back to high school and FIBA competition. Doesn’t need the ball to be effective. Knows how to create space for himself. Confined role at Duke may have masked some of his ability.
• Not very explosive or quick changing directions or speeds. May limit his ability to create his own shot as well as scoring upside.
• Has trouble getting to and finishing around the rim. Made just 43% of two-point shots and 42.5% of shots around the basket. Relies on getting back to his jumper.
• Skill set needs rounding out. Has some level of feel as a passer and defender, but has never done either of those things at a consistently high level. Will need to grow into more than just a scorer to stay on the floor.
Comparison: Allen Crabbe
Trent’s shooting ability and feel for the game give him some baseline value. If he expands his skill set, he could be a useful perimeter threat. — JW
16. Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6’5’’ | Weight: 200 | 7/31/98 (19)
Stats: 10 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 33.8 3FG%
Bio: Diallo had an opportunity to take a unique path to the NBA. After enrolling at Kentucky in January 2017, he didn’t suit up for the Wildcats the final three months of the 2016–17 season. He declared for the draft last spring without signing with an agent and tested well at the combine, recording a 44.5-inch vertical leap, but ultimately opted to return to Lexington for the 2017–18 season instead of becoming a “none-and-done” prospect. That decision may have cost him a place in the first round. Had Diallo stayed in last year’s draft, executives might have been willing to take a chance on a prospect with elite athleticism but no track record of college performance. His 37 games at Kentucky did little to ease concerns about his unrefined skill set.
• Top-shelf athlete. Explosive leaper who thrives finishing above the rim.
• Dangerous driving at the basket in transition. Excels attacking scrambled defenses.
• Fair to argue that he was hurt by Kentucky’s lack of shooting last season. Should be more comfortable operating in offenses with better floor spacing at the next level.
• Terrific physical tools for his position. Wingspan measured at 7-foot.
• High defensive ceiling thanks to his length/quickness combination.
• Rudimentary offensive skill set. Not a capable scorer from either side of the three-point arc.
• Poor free throw percentage at Kentucky (61.1%) doesn’t inspire optimism about his long-range shooting. Also lacks consistency on his jumper mechanics.
• Not clear how he can help offenses in the half court. Can’t do all that much off the dribble beyond straight-line drives.
• Defensive impact lags behind his physical tools. Doesn’t have great instincts on that end of the floor.
Player comparison: Gerald Green
Diallo’s potential as a transition threat on offense and switchable cog on defense is undeniable, but he won’t be able to get by on athleticism alone in the NBA. — CJ
17. Kenrich Williams, F, TCU | Senior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | DOB: 12/2/94 (23)
Stats: 13.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.9 APG
Bio: An unheralded but steady all-around player, Williams was a reliable floor presence over the course of his TCU career. He joined the Horned Frogs after a year of JUCO ball and took a medical redshirt for the 2015–16 season after having microfracture surgery on his knee. Williams bounced back athletically and production-wise and emerged as a potential draft sleeper given his advanced feel for the game.
• Unselfish player who embraces doing the dirty work. Above-average rebounder and willing defender. Knows exactly what his role is. Averaged 1.7 steals per-36 as a senior.
• Able to play either forward spot. Career 37.5% shooter from three. Handles it comfortably and is a willing ball-mover (career 3.0 assists per-36).
• Pass-dribble-shoot skill set is in demand. Had success running the pick-and-roll as a senior (1.048 points per possession, 89th percentile) Won’t be a big scorer but can help blend lineups.
• Not an instinctive or aggressive scorer. Career 62.5% from the foul line casts some doubt on his jumper. Reliant on converting easy baskets and teammates creating open jumpers for him.
• Good but not great athlete. Average wingspan for his height may present a bigger obstacle as a rebounder. Has had multiple medical procedures done on his knees.
• Overall lack of scoring impact could make it harder to warrant handing him minutes. May require the right type of pass-heavy system to maximize his talent.
Comparison: Solomon Hill
Although he’s already 23, Williams’s array of skills and willingness to play a role give him a chance to stick in the league, provided his jump shot stays consistent. — JW
18. Devon Hall, G/F, Virginia | Senior
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 205 | DOB: 7/7/95 (22)
Stats: 11.7 PPG, 3.1 APG, 43.2% 3FG
Bio: Hall enjoyed a breakout senior year to cap his time at Virginia, emerging as a pivotal perimeter player for one of the top teams in the country. A good showing at Portsmouth earned him an invitation to the combine, and teams view him as a potential role player due to his diverse skill set.
• Comfortable playing on and off the ball. Showed he can facilitate offense. Good passer and consistent shooter who understands how to play with teammates.
• Competent defender who won’t back down.
• Intangibles are viewed as a positive. Competitive player who works hard away from the court.
• Not extremely long and is an average athlete. Has some defensive versatility but not the quickest.
• Has trouble getting into the paint and finishing. Scoring contributions mostly limited to jump shots.
• Advanced age suggests limited upside, and limited track record of statistical success prior to his senior year.
Comparison: Justin Holiday
Hall’s best-case scenario would be evolving into a standout within his role and a well-rounded perimeter rotation player. — JW
19. Rodions Kurucs, SF, FC Barcelona
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 190 | DOB: 2/5/98 (20)
Stats (LEB Gold): 10.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 44.5% FG
Bio: Kurucs has spent the past year in a bit of limbo after withdrawing from the 2017 draft. He was rumored to have a promise in the late first round, but he reportedly had a substantial contract buyout with Barcelona that made it difficult for him to jump to the NBA (he has one year left on his deal). He has continually struggled to find playing time with Barca’s senior team and become a tricky player for scouts, subsequently deflating his draft stock. His size and skill on the wing have kept him in the draft conversation.
• Long, fluid athlete. Skinny upper body but wide shoulders. Big enough to defend both forward spots. Coordinated and runs the floor well.
• Has a nice-looking jumper with NBA range. Shot 33% from three last season. Can hit jumpers off the dribble. Ideal role is probably working out of spot-up situations.
• Has some defensive instincts. Managed 2.9 steals per-36 last season, albeit in a very small sample size. Athletic enough to think he won’t be totally overmatched. Has 3-and-D type potential.
• Not a very creative ballhandler or playmaker. Straight-line driver who can attack a closeout, but he isn’t going to generate much isolation offense.
• Tendency to be a gunner. Falls back on hoisting his own shot and can be streaky. Decision-making and overall pass-shoot balance can improve with time.
• Tricky player to scout. Injuries and team situation have sidetracked pro career to a degree. Hard to get a feel for what his tendencies are in terms of shot selection versus what’s been affected by situational challenges. Practices with Barcelona’s A team but lacks game experience against top-level competition.
Comparison: Austin Daye
The tools and talent are there for Kurucs to find a role in the NBA, but he needs to refine his game. Finding a consistent situation would go a long way. — JW
20. Isaac Bonga, G/F, Fraport Skyliners
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 205 | DOB: 11/8/99 (18)
Stats (German Pro B): 14.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 APG
Bio: Labeled as a point forward, Bonga has been on the NBA’s radar for a couple years already and would presumably be the second-youngest player in this draft if he stays in. Born in Germany to Congolese parents, he’s already debuted with the German senior team and has been on the professional fast track. His ability to facilitate at his size has intrigued scouts.
• Impressive size and length for a legitimate ballhandler, with a nearly 7-foot wingspan. Can see over the defense and throw passes and use angles others can’t. Overall feel is pretty good for his age.
• Some potential to become a usable shooter but currently at a very early stage of development. Shot nearly 90% from the foul line across all competitions.
• Has good enough lateral quickness to be a useful defender, particularly given his length. Until he fills out physically hard to totally project who he can guard.
• Gets by more on his size and agility than creativity as a ballhandler. Doesn’t create much of his own offense and can be tentative as a scorer. Needs improvement to play as a lead guard in the NBA.
• Extremely thin, particularly in the lower body. Easy to knock off his line. Needs time to mature physically. Not very explosive.
• Three-point shot has improved but has a slow release and isn’t quite natural yet. Set shooter. Relies on floaters and using his length over pulling up. Doesn’t make much of an impact without the ball in his hands.
• Decision-making continues to be a swing skill given he has next-to-no long-term value if he’s not playing on the ball.
Comparison: Tayshaun Prince
Bonga requires a lot of time and development, but has an intriguing package of strengths that make him an attractive player to stash overseas. — JW