With another predraft process drawing to a close, and the 2022 draft itself days away, we’re closing the book on this draft class and finalizing the Big Board. The NBA’s withdrawal deadline elapsed Monday, and with the complete player pool now in hand, these rankings are done (thankfully, for this writer’s sanity).
There are some major changes in this final edition of the board, particularly in the middle part of the draft, which reflects mostly how my own opinions have shifted based on additional information that’s come to light over the course of the last month or so. But it’s also been a unique draft class to cover from start to finish, with opinions varying widely around the league, and in my opinion, not all that much separation in talent once you get into the teens and work down. I generally don’t rely heavily on the concept of tiers when I go through this process—it’s a handy thought exercise, but at the end of the day, teams have to pick somebody—but ranking pretty much everything after roughly 20 players really felt like splitting hairs. So just keep in mind that the actual difference between a late first-rounder and a second-rounder in this class is generally not as drastic as a 20-spot difference would suggest.
As always, the Big Board is primarily based on my personal evaluations of players, in conjunction with intel and opinions gathered from a wide range of sources around the NBA and the basketball industry at large. This is not a mock draft and does not account for team fit, but it is intended to create a rough hierarchy from among the prospects available as a reference point.
1. Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn | Freshman
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 1
Smith’s combination of elite, translatable strengths makes him a special prospect, and the simplicity of his game is still a bit underappreciated: His advanced mechanics and touch give him a chance to be one of the best jump shooters in the NBA; he’s an agile defender who will be able to switch across the position spectrum; and he’s an extremely focused competitor. There aren’t many jumbo-sized scorers who create space with the threat of their shot and also shrink it for opponents as a defender the way Smith can. He has to improve his ball-handling and work on creating separation from defenders to maximize his considerable potential, but his jumper is balanced and consistent, and he won’t need to waste dribbles to score efficiently. While he didn’t get to the rim a ton in college, that issue feels more situation-dependent than a fatal flaw. Smith has strong instincts and few bad habits, and could be one of the league’s most dangerous shooters and versatile defenders by the time he hits his prime.
2. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 3
Banchero is arguably the most polished offensive player in the draft, capable of scoring from all over the floor, making plays for teammates and creating mismatches with his size. He has as good a chance as anyone in this draft of becoming a true No. 1 option on offense, but that hinges on him making significant progress as a jump shooter, which isn’t necessarily likely. If Banchero doesn’t reach that level, his advanced passing feel and instincts playing on the interior should make him valuable. Banchero relies on his strength and coordination in lieu of speed and explosive vertical play, but he’s so skilled that you have to think he finds a way. While he’s not a rim protector in the truest sense, he’s mobile enough to defend fours and slower wings, and the concerns about him on defense are slightly oversold. Banchero’s productivity and well-rounded game should take him a long way, and he has All-Star potential if things break right.
3. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue | Sophomore
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 2
It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the possibilities Ivey’s physical tools and explosive speed might create in the pros, and that tantalizing upside will make him one of the first players drafted. There’s star potential here: he’s extremely fast and strong, he puts a lot of pressure on defenses in transition, and the NBA’s style of play will open things up for him in a big way. He can also be an impactful defender when he wants to be. Ivey’s three-point shooting returned to earth as the season went on, and he also had his share of frustrating games. He has to polish his passing, handling and decision-making and develop a better left hand to play to his potential as a lead guard. Teams want to see him mature into more of a leader and become more consistent. But Ivey’s best moments made plain his ability to take over games in a manner no other college player could, and you can argue his sheer upside against anyone in the draft.
4. Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga | Freshman
Height: 7' 0" | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 4
Holmgren was a dominant defender and play-finisher at Gonzaga and has been an outlier to this point in his career, making an impact on both ends of the court despite his extremely slender build. He has what teams want from a skill and intangibles standpoint, but there are also fair questions as to whether all his strengths will translate the same way at the highest level. It’s hard to separate Holmgren’s successes and shortcomings from his frame, which has driven his success until now but will pose some hurdles as he faces experienced opponents who can negate some of his size advantage. On offense, he is excellent around the basket, shoots the ball well at his size, and can handle and make plays for teammates in a pinch. On the other end, it will help to pair Holmgren with a frontcourt partner who can handle physical assignments, allowing him to rove in space and maximize his shot-blocking impact. Holmgren may be a tad more situation-dependent than the three prospects listed ahead of him, but he’s still one of the draft’s best defenders and a skilled big well-suited for the modern game. Provided he acclimates physically, he should be uniquely valuable.
5. Dyson Daniels, G/F, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 7” | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 8
It’s tough to find perimeter players genuinely as versatile as Daniels, who can legitimately run the point or play off-ball and also has the tools and smarts to feasibly defend four positions. Having that type of player on the floor opens up myriad lineup combinations, particularly in the playoffs, and that’s where Daniels’s upside lies. He is not likely to be a high-volume scorer and projects as an average shooter without some major progress, but his playmaking skills, rebounding and defensive chops will help drive winning right away. There’s room for him to grow as an offensive creator, but he made real progress in the G League, and his maturity and intelligence are major intangible separators. Daniels isn’t flashy, but so few players possess his wide array of connective strengths. He’s one of my personal favorite players in this draft.
6. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa | Sophomore
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 6
There’s a good chance Murray becomes one of the most productive rookies next season, as a high-energy, versatile forward who can score from all over the floor. He’ll likely be the oldest player drafted in the lottery, but his skills feel translatable to the point where teams aren’t overly concerned. Murray won’t be quite as prolific a scorer as he was at Iowa, but he’ll impact the game offensively as a rebounder and cutter without needing plays run for him. His feel for finding pockets to score on offense and playing off of teammates, coupled with a long frame and some defensive versatility, make him a safe bet to be a starting-caliber forward. Players with his type of size, feel and skill are always in demand, and with room to improve as a shot-maker and passer, Murray has more untapped potential than your typical 21-year-old prospect. His consistency and serious approach should take him a long way.
7. Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor | Freshman
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 9
This is probably higher than you’ll find Sochan ranked in most other places, which reflects my belief in his unique intangibles, high-energy style and ability to impact games with physical play and veteran-like savvy. Not many 19-year-olds arrive in the NBA with such a fully formed identity, and Sochan also has the type of skill upside to be much more than a quality glue guy in the long run. He’s the rare athletic, high-energy big who creates lineup versatility on both ends, capable of playing on the perimeter and guarding multiple positions while rebounding and finishing at a high rate. Most importantly, he finds ways to involve himself in every play. Sochan has to become a better jump shooter, but that should become passable in time and will always be secondary to all the other things he does well. It’s easy to see him fitting in pretty much anywhere, and while he likely won’t be a volume scorer, he has the ability to become a foundational piece for a winning team for a long time.
8. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6' 5” | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 5
There’s no argument that Sharpe is a uniquely gifted scorer: he’s an elite athlete, he has a smooth shooting stroke, and it’s hard to stop him from getting the looks he wants on the perimeter. That much is clear, despite the fact he didn’t appear in a college game. He’s still quite early in his development, and his strengths point to star-like outcomes if everything breaks right. But there are still lingering questions around the NBA about what else Sharpe brings to the table, as he isn’t much of a playmaker in the halfcourt, settles for a lot of jumpers and tends to float a bit on the defensive end. He’s more of a rangy team defender who gambles for blocks and steals than someone who embraces tough matchups. Because it’s hard to bank on the habits, and because there’s a wide range of outcomes, Sharpe feels a little bit riskier than some of the other top prospects. But if he reaches his considerable potential as a go-to scorer, this ranking will look way too low.
9. Johnny Davis, SG, Wisconsin | Sophomore
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 7
Davis is one of the more well-rounded guards and most competitive players in the draft, and he offers more upside than he gets credit for. He battled through injuries for much of the season, but his film from December and early January paints a better picture of what type of player he’ll eventually be. Davis is an excellent mid-range scorer and should wind up being more efficient outside of Wisconsin’s system, which limited the types of shots he was able to take and create. He’ll need to keep improving as a spot-up player, but will also have much easier opportunities when playing a freer style alongside NBA teammates. Davis is also a tough, physical defender and rebounder who should make an impact in those areas. He does take a lot of tough shots, but isn’t selfish, and has consistently found ways to drive winning apart from his scoring. Davis is the type of person you bet on to keep improving and exceeding expectations, and he has the talent to match.
10. Bennedict Mathurin, SG, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 10
Mathurin brings more to the table than your typical 3-and-D wing, combining explosive athleticism with high-level flashes of shooting on the move; he has nice upside as a scorer. He is hard to stop in transition and showed a lot of mettle taking over games on a number of occasions this season, although he can be streaky and isn’t quite as polished in the halfcourt. He showed improvement as a playmaker this season, and there’s some untapped ability on that front. Mathurin also has the tools to be a plus defender on the perimeter, although it’s not a true strength of his game yet. It’s hard to find elite athletes with his type of base skill set, and while he projects to play primarily off the ball, he has the ability to put up plenty of points in time. Bottom line, Mathurin’s athletic tools are so high-end that he’ll have a long runway to develop and figure things out.
11. A.J. Griffin, F, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 11
Griffin is one of the draft’s youngest prospects and most promising three-point shooters, which alone makes for a compelling case. He has good physical tools, and it’s easy to see him becoming a useful player even if he doesn’t turn into a star. Teams have some concerns about his athleticism and injury history, and he wasn’t especially versatile at Duke, where he struggled at times defensively. The hope here is that Griffin stays healthy and gets closer to the level of athlete he was early in high school, which would make life easier for him on both ends of the floor. His strengths as a shooter don’t totally cover for the fact that he doesn’t consistently add value in other areas, but picking Griffin is all about what he might become down the line. It’s hard to expect much from him as a rookie, but the shooting should play up.
12. Ousmane Dieng, G/F, New Zealand Breakers
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 20
A lot of teams have come around on Dieng’s upside after he built momentum with a strong close to his season in the NBL. His skill set at his size has always been broadly appealing, and there’s so much demand for big wings that it’s easy to see why he’s going to come off the board in the lottery. He’s on the younger end of draft-eligible guys, which helps, and as a smooth playmaker who can shoot and move the ball capably, Dieng has a lot of what teams look for in a developmental project. He’s not incredibly strong, explosive or physical, which may limit his upside as a shot-creator, but it’s easy to see him becoming a solid supporting player if his trajectory continues trending up. If a team can be patient with him, the upside is pretty substantial.
13. Mark Williams, C, Duke | Sophomore
Height: 7' 2" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 12
Williams has a lot of terrific qualities for a rim-running center, having proven he can consistently impact the game on both ends at Duke and measuring in at 7' 2" in shoes at the combine as proof of his general enormity. He enters the NBA with a good sense of his role and a willingness to do the dirty work as a screener, rebounder and rim protector, and has separated himself with his reliability and rapid improvement over the past few years. While he’s not supremely skilled and likely won’t space the floor, Williams has shown some flashes as a passer and should be able to produce as a lob target and finisher. Whether or not it’s a good idea to take a true center in the lottery is a fair question, but Williams offers nice upside and floor for that type of player, and athletes his size aren’t easy to find.
14. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis | Freshman
Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 250 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 13
Duren has some of the best physical tools in the draft, with a chiseled frame, long arms and a strong base that should make him a quality rebounder and play-finisher. He can be a little bit slow getting off the floor, and scouts have always held concerns about his motor, but he is also extremely young and has a bit of untapped skill upside as a passer (and hopefully as a shooter). Duren can otherwise be too reliant on bullying defenders in lieu of skill. He’s an excellent rebounder who also offers a defensive presence in changing shots, and there’s a pretty good chance he winds up as a starting-caliber player. Some patience will be necessary here, and as a traditional center, he fits a devalued archetype. Many teams suspect he’s not quite as tall as his listed 6' 11" (he didn’t measure at the combine). But if Duren’s effort level continues to tick upward as he matures, he has a solid enough set of strengths to return nice value.
15. Malaki Branham, SG, Ohio State | Freshman
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 14
Branham began the season under the radar and now enters the draft as a huge success story, after evolving almost on the fly into a go-to scorer for Ohio State. He is still learning the nuances of the game and has average height for a wing, but he is long, defends, has polished shot-making skills and showed more capacity to play on the ball than expected. Branham’s mid-range game in particular holds promise, and he should be able to space the floor and operate a bit as a playmaker in ball screens, where he’s proven capable of punishing defenses. He needs to get a lot stronger and isn’t an explosive athlete, but the fact he’s young for his class adds some appeal here. The hope is that he becomes a serviceable two-way contributor and supporting scorer who can provide a boost in someone’s rotation.
16. Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas | Senior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 215 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 16
Agbaji’s value lies in his reliability: he took a big leap this season in leading Kansas to a national title and projects as a useful role player with the chops to help propel winning teams. While not overly tall for a wing, he has plus physical tools, should become a solid team defender and has proven he can make shots when called upon. He probably won’t turn into an on-ball playmaker, but as long as he knocks down threes at a high clip, it’s easy to see him plugging in and adding value somewhere. It’s not hard to find minutes for athletic shooters who play team basketball, and Agbaji’s consistency gives him a good case in the top 20. Even without obvious star upside, there’s enough room for improvement that could eventually land him a starting role in the right situation.
17. Wendell Moore, F, Duke | Junior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 18
Moore shook off two difficult seasons and turned himself into a consistent, reliable player as a junior, emerging as Duke’s leader and as a player who can do a little bit of everything: He’s taken a leap forward in confidence and assertiveness; he’s a capable passer who can handle the ball and start plays; he’s an improving jump shooter (41% from three was an impressive leap); and he offers plus length and smarts on the defensive end. While he’s not especially tall for a wing, Moore’s traits in concert offer nice versatility to blend different types of lineups and augment teammates. He excels in transition and plays an appealing brand of team basketball, and his consistency was a key part of Duke’s success. Moore’s not going to be a big-time scorer, but I think he has more upside than he gets credit for.
18. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, UW-Milwaukee | Freshman
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 230 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 21
Opinions are understandably split around the NBA on Baldwin after a difficult year in college where essentially nothing went right for him. But I think there’s still reason for optimism, particularly if he can string together some good health, considering how few elite shooters exist at his size. Baldwin is going to be a threat from distance and will benefit from finding the right role in the pros, where his skills as a passer and spot-up shooter can play up, and his lack of elite athleticism will matter less. There’s a bit of concern with him defensively given he’s slow-footed, but he has the size to compensate if he embraces playing more physically. With the caveat of health, which would help Baldwin regain some confidence in his movements, I still think there’s a long-term NBA player here. The perceived risk is understandable, but a better situation could really help him.
19. Jalen Williams, SF, Santa Clara | Junior
Height: 6' 5” | Weight: 195 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 46
One of the big winners of the predraft process, Williams proved himself at the combine and backed up a strong statistical season at Santa Clara. While he doesn’t have one elite strength, he can do a little bit of everything, capable of playing on the ball in a pinch, making plays for teammates, knocking down open shots and using his substantial length on defense. Williams is also a good athlete, which in combination with his wingspan allows him to play bigger than his height. He needs to shore up his handle a bit and probably isn’t going to create a ton of offense for himself, but his versatility, smarts and low-maintenance approach are nice calling cards. He has done enough to legitimize himself as a first-rounder and should have some plug-and-play appeal beginning in the teens.
20. Jaden Hardy, SG, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 17
Although Hardy was a bit up-and-down in the G League, when you place him in the context of the other guards outside the lottery, his upside remains intriguing. His efficiency struggles, poor shot selection and occasionally selfish play in adjusting to playing professionally were predictable. Hardy looked like such a skilled shot-maker in high school that you have to think there may be more under the hood here, but he was also old for his grade and turns 20 this summer. He’s not extremely toolsy or athletic, so more than anything, his long-term success hinges on his willingness to adapt and adjust to a role. Hardy’s shooting should translate, and he should be able to make some plays in ball screens and expand his offensive game off the bounce. But some teams rightfully wonder what else he’ll do beyond scoring, and he’ll need to make strides in other areas to maximize his chance at sticking.
21. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State | Junior
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 240 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 22
Teams have grown to appreciate Liddell’s reliability, and he’s made a convincing case that he can play either forward spot, giving him more pathways to success as a useful role player who adds toughness and rebounding and can effectively play off of teammates. He’s become a consistent shooter with his feet set, he’s expanded his game as a passer, and he can face up slower bigs and weaker wings off the dribble, in addition to his play on the glass. The hope is Liddell will also be a plus defensively and capably switch onto a range of opponents, creating versatility in small-ball lineups. While his upside may not be immense, he should be able to stick as a positive contributor and help a team early in his career.
22. Tari Eason, F, LSU | Sophomore
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 215 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 26
There are vastly divergent opinions around the NBA on Eason, who boasts an excellent athletic profile and had a productive year at LSU, but at the same time, wasn’t always the picture of reliability. As a long, explosive forward who can defend bigs and wings and was physically dominant at the college level, Eason has some undeniable strengths that should translate. On the flipside, he was quite foul-prone at times, and some scouts felt he was overly selfish on offense over the course of the season, with a game predicated mostly on strong-hand drives. There are also questions about his jump shot, which is a bit mechanical and isn’t very effective off the dribble. As long as Eason plays hard and buys into his role, he should be valuable. The questions here are less about his talent, and whether he’ll build better habits and be more consistent. The upside is worth a swing.
23. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame | Freshman
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 185 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 23
Wesley is one of the more interesting wild-card prospects in the draft, after a surprising freshman year catapulted him into the first-round conversation despite minimal high-level experience entering college. He’s a terrific athlete and projects as more of a scoring combo guard than a point, with his jumper and playmaking skills in need of polish. Wesley has a lot of room to grow into his frame, and as he gains strength and becomes more explosive, his scoring and individual defense could take off. Given he’ll probably spend a lot of time off the ball, he needs to learn to catch and shoot and flesh out a better complementary skill set. Wesley isn’t ready to contribute in the NBA yet, but there’s enough ability here that a team should afford him some patience and see what he becomes.
24. TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 24
The well-documented history of Kentucky guards showing more upon arrival in the NBA should work in Washington’s favor on draft night: he had a solid season that was partially marred by a nagging ankle injury, can effectively play either guard spot, and has a crafty approach as a playmaker and scorer. He’s not extremely quick or explosive, so his skill level will have to compensate, and even in his best games this season, the eye test didn’t always back up the numbers. This has made for a tricky eval, with his critics wondering what he does at an elite level. Washington also turns 21 this year and was exceptionally old for a freshman. Still, his knack for making the right play and generally well-rounded game should give him a chance to find a niche, even if he projects better as a third guard than a starter.
25. Nikola Jovic, F, Mega Basket (Serbia)
Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 29
From a size and skill perspective, Jovic is one of the more interesting projects in the draft, with legitimate perimeter functionality and a nice shooting stroke. The big concern here is he’s not particularly athletic, with slow feet and a lack of explosiveness that will make for a challenging adjustment to the NBA. There’s still developmental appeal here, as he is a terrific passer, can shoot off the dribble and has the feel and handle to compensate for some of what he lacks physically. But he doesn't have much history of efficiency and isn’t likely to make much of an impact on defense. Jovic likely has to improve in those two areas to stay on the floor, but skilled players his size aren’t always easy to find. He’s an interesting investment wherever he comes off the board.
26. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest | Junior
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 235 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 34
It feels like there’s a fairly good chance LaRavia becomes a nice complementary player, as a smart passer, capable shooter and willing defender with positional size. His competitive mettle helps pull the whole package of skills together nicely, and he’s a good enough athlete to hold his own. He is unlikely to initiate any offense and won’t be a focal point, but understands how to play off teammates and impact the game while operating within his own limitations. LaRavia played only one year in the ACC after transferring from Indiana State, but his statistical profile is quite well-rounded and backs up the eye test. Unselfish, tough players who supply multiple important skills in a broadly useful role tend to be good bets in this part of the draft.
27. Dalen Terry, G/F, Arizona | Sophomore
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 50
Terry came on strong in March and built enough momentum to comfortably enter the draft a year ahead of schedule. While far from a finished product, he’s a good athlete with appealing positional size, passing skills and defensive upside, with a skill-set well-suited for uptempo play. He’s not a great shooter or a natural scorer, but he made a respectable 36% of his 77 three-point attempts, with his offensive value lying more in his ability to move the ball, find teammates and grease the wheels of an offense. Terry has some maturing to do and will need to land in a situation that plays to his strengths, but he could be a useful part of someone’s supporting cast as he matures, with the potential to be a bit more than that if he can refine his guard skills and jump shot.
28. Justin Lewis, F, Marquette | Sophomore
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 235 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 33
Lewis’s outstanding physical tools make him an intriguing developmental pick: he’s a good rebounder with a huge wingspan who is working to make his game more perimeter-oriented. He’s a good set shooter already, and if he can get more comfortable playing off one or two dribbles, he should have functionality as a combo forward. Lewis has already slimmed down a bit and needs to continue working on his mobility, but if he’s able to guard either forward spot in addition to spacing the floor competently, there’s a pathway to value. He’s not going to create a ton of shots for himself or teammates, but guys with his type of body and skill set tend to play up and find minutes, particularly if he buys into doing the small stuff more consistently on the defensive end. There’s some untapped upside here if a team develops him creatively.
29. Walker Kessler, C, Auburn | Sophomore
Height: 7' 1" | Weight: 245 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 19
Statistically speaking, Kessler was the best defensive big in college basketball, putting up ridiculous block numbers as the backbone of a very good Auburn team. He is a good athlete for his size, has been extremely efficient around the basket and has flashed potential to eventually shoot the three. While not superbly gifted as a scorer and slow-footed defending in space, Kessler has the instincts, timing and sheer size to impact games around the basket in the NBA, though he may be relegated to playing drop coverage on screens. Considering the way the league has shifted stylistically, Kessler projects as more of a situational option at center, with limitations that might get him played off the floor in certain matchups. But his statistical case is so strong that you have to take him seriously as a possible outlier, and as a potentially useful rotation center.
30. David Roddy, F, Colorado State | Junior
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 260 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 36
Roddy’s toughness, skill and shooting ability—wrapped up in a football body—give him a pathway to becoming a unique role player in the NBA. His length allows him to play bigger than his height, and his strength allows him to create mismatches. There’s a place in the league for guys in his mold who play physically and bring diverse skill sets to the table, and Roddy’s hefty build belies the fact he’s actually a good athlete. He’ll need to land in the right situation, but his ability to hit shots, pass creatively and make winning plays is pretty appealing. He’s not going to be for everyone, but I’d be willing to take a chance on his skill set, feel and mentality helping him find a niche as a small-ball forward. Jae’Sean Tate’s success in Houston might leave a blueprint for Roddy to follow.
31. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor | Freshman
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 15
Although he received early lottery hype, Brown’s stock has dipped a bit as the draft has gotten closer, with teams holding some concerns over his skill level and lack of consistent scoring. But he remains among of the more intriguing if-he-shoots prospects in this draft, as an elite athlete, plus defender, and smart cutter and finisher. It’s impressive that he managed to be supremely efficient in his role as a freshman, despite not being a very good ball-handler, and while Brown’s shot isn’t broken by any means, he does have a ways to go in developing consistency. It’s hard to find big wings with Brown’s type of tools, and he’s a a big, rangy defender who should be switchable onto guards and offer nice versatility on that end. He’s just further away than I originally thought, and he’s a more palatable pick starting in the late first round and on.
32. Michael Foster Jr., F, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 60
I’ve had a bigger personal turnaround on Foster than any prospect in the draft following the combine, where he showcased a significant physical transformation that greatly enhances his chances at long-term success. If he can stay slimmed-down and keep the extra weight off, Foster’s length and motor give him a strong chance of sticking in the NBA as an energy big with some basic perimeter utility. He was already productive in the G League while playing at his previously listed 250 pounds, but dropping weight has enhanced his versatility on the defensive end and helped unlock more of his offensive skill. While Foster will need to continue buying into his role and cut down on his wayward jumpers, it’s easier to live with the mistakes when he’s producing. The G League experience helped him, and it feels like his trajectory has taken a positive turn.
33. Andrew Nembhard, PG, Gonzaga | Senior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 41
Nembhard put everything together in his final year of college, and looks like one of the better options in a thin point guard class. He has great size for his position, high basketball IQ, has made strides as a shooter and competes on defense, a package of strengths that project pretty nicely into a game manager type of role off the bench. Although he’s not likely to be a big time scorer, isn’t extremely fast or strong and sometimes struggles with high ball pressure, he impacts winning and has a chance to help a team right away with his ability to manage the game and distribute the ball. As long as Nembhard makes enough jumpers to punish defenders who sag off of him, it’s easy to see him having a solid career. His height and intangibles help separate him from the other guards in this class.
34. Marjon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 32
Beauchamp has the tools to fit the mold as a 3-and-D wing, provided he becomes a better shooter and sharpens up his defense. He’s a terrific athlete who passes the test physically and didn’t look overmatched in the G League. He’s still playing a bit of developmental catch-up in terms of feel, and turns 22 later this year, which places him in the age range of college juniors. Beauchamp won’t create his own offense much, but if he can extend his shooting range more consistently and space the floor he should be useful on that end. His defensive technique and awareness also has to improve. But it’s easy to see his size and length playing up on both ends, and creating opportunities for long-term success.
35. Max Christie, SG, Michigan State | Freshman
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 38
Christie didn’t have a great freshman year at Michigan State, but he has the basic framework for an NBA wing, with a good frame and room to add significant muscle and improve as a shooter. He went from not playing a ton of high-level basketball pre-college to shouldering a lot of minutes as a true freshman in a difficult conference, and deserves some benefit of the doubt when considering his trajectory. He needs to get stronger, tougher and more assertive, and some time in the G League would likely help him next season. But from a macro standpoint, it’s easy to see that Christie has a well-rounded base of skills, and may just need some time and attention in order to blossom. He should be worth a flier in this part of the draft for a team that can be patient.
36. Bryce McGowens, SG, Nebraska | Freshman
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 28
McGowens is a gifted scorer who was buried in a terrible team context at Nebraska, where he had offensive freedom but there wasn’t a whole lot of structure in place. His size, craftiness and long stride makes him a pretty interesting prospect, but his shot selection, jumper and decision-making need some improvement. McGowens will also need to buy in a lot more on the defensive end and put his tools to better use. Still, on-ball creators with his type of size aren’t easy to find, and while he’s a ways away from helping an NBA team, there are certainly some things to like here, with the hope being that a better situation makes a difference in his development. McGowens should benefit from getting reps in the G League next season, and could be a nice value pick if he slips into this range.
37. Peyton Watson, F, UCLA | Freshman
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 39
Another freshman coming off a weird season in college, Watson remains an intriguing upside play. He’s going to need a lot of minutes next season, presumably in the G League, but has a lot of ability on the defensive end and good length for his position that could make him a disruptive force. His offense remains a work in progress, and his jumper and handle need some work, but Watson shouldn’t need to be a go-to scorer to be a useful player in the long run. There’s some split opinion on him around the NBA, and not a ton of helpful college film or a useful production sample considering how small his role was at UCLA. Still, if Watson lands in a situation where he can build confidence and better establish himself, there’s upside here.
38. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona | Junior
Height: 7' 0" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 31
While Koloko isn’t as strong or as offensively gifted as Mark Williams and Walker Kessler, his rim protection skills aren’t far behind, and he’s lighter on his feet than both, which gives him a degree of switchability on the defensive end. He’s a potential value pick and has a chance to be a useful rotational big, consistently changing shots and erasing space around the basket with his length. Koloko’s defensive impact is palpable and his immense physical progression over the past several years has been impressive, although there are still times he needs to play through contact better, and he doesn’t have a ton of upside as a scorer. Still, teams looking to develop a defensive-oriented big can do much worse.
39. Trevor Keels, G, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 25
Keels is one of the youngest players in the draft and had a solid year in college, but concerns surrounding his heavy frame, average foot speed and lack of an elite skill make it a bit trickier to make a first-round case. The hope is that he’ll get into better shape and become a bit more mobile on the perimeter, as he’s not an outstanding run-jump athlete and has some trouble creating shots without a ball screen. Keels is a focused competitor, plays with poise and has good size for a combo guard, and Duke had enough scorers on the roster that he wasn’t always needed to get a ton of shots up. Some teams felt he should have returned to college and taken on a larger playmaking workload. It may take some time, but if Keels can improve his shooting and play a little bit at either guard spot, he should be able to help a team down the line.
40. Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee | Freshman
Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 170 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 42
Chandler has a nice array of qualities for a small guard, with the discrepancies hinging less on his talent and more on whether one likes players in his mold. He’s extremely fast, plays hard, competes defensively, and was a more confident and assertive player by the end of the year. He still profiles better as a backup in the NBA considering his size limitations and reliance on his speed. But Chandler generally makes the most of what he has, utilizing his quickness and vision to facilitate offense and put pressure on the paint. He wound up with respectable shooting numbers (38% from three) but made just 60% of his free throws, which will continue to feed concerns about his jumper. Chandler may very well stick in the NBA long-term, but unless you’re optimistic he becomes a starter, he’s a better proposition in the second round.
41. Tyrese Martin, F, UConn | Senior
Height 6' 6" | Weight: 215 | Age: 23 | Last rank: 45
Martin is one of my favorite sleepers in this class and built positive momentum at the combine. He’s a tough forward who can play on and off the ball and potentially carve out a role early in his career. He’s a good run-jump athlete, plays hard defensively, and has displayed enough shot-making prowess that it’s easy to think he’ll be able to hold his own and add value as a glue guy. Martin should be able to guard multiple positions and heighten the collective toughness of bench lineups with his energy. As long as he continues knocking down threes at a good clip and keeps defenses honest, he should be passable as a supporting player on offense. He’s the type of competitor you want to bet figures things out, and his versatility should help him find a way.
42. Christian Braun, F, Kansas | Junior
Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 53
Credit Braun for taking a substantial all-around leap this season, filling a secondary scoring role Kansas badly needed and putting himself in position to get a real chance at the NBA. He’s more of a play finisher than anything else, but he’s a good athlete who’s effective around the basket and in the open floor, and can elevate to block shots. His passing skills have gotten better, which is notable. There are still some issues here: he’s stiff physically, shoots a flat, inconsistent ball, isn’t a creative ballhandler, and lacks much of an in-between game. If his defense plays up and he diversifies his offense, there’s a chance he finds a niche, and teams respect his willingness to battle and the edge he plays with. Braun doesn’t have immense upside, but could certainly stick in the right situation.
43. John Butler Jr., F, Florida State | Freshman
Height: 7' 0" | Weight: 175 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 54
Butler is a very long way from impacting an NBA game, but there frankly just aren’t that many mobile 7-footers in the world who can shoot threes at a high level, and he might eventually become one. He needs to add a lot of strength, and his offensive utility is limited to pick-and-pop and stationary spacing right now, but he’s an unusually natural shooter for his size and can handle the ball a bit, too. Butler moves his feet well on the perimeter and can impact the game with his length, leaving some hope he might be a versatile defender eventually. He’d be a serious project, but he’s on my shortlist of intriguing second-rounders worth developing. Butler won’t be able to bang inside anytime soon, but if his body can fill out, there might be an NBA player here.
44. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo | Sophomore
Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 55
Rollins opted to stay in the draft after a good showing at the combine, and while he’s not a true point guard and has a ways to go in his development, he’s crafty, smooth, and comes off a productive year at Toledo. He’s a promising pick-and-roll guard who plays with pace, can hit shots in the midrange, and has pretty good feel. Rollins is also a passable defender with great length relative to his height. He has to get stronger and polish his offensive game: he’ll need to get better separation from defenders around the rim to be a better scoring threat, and also become a more consistent three-point shooter in order to threaten off the ball. Still, there’s ostensible upside here as a combo guard with some creative potential. He’s more likely a second-rounder, but in a thin guard draft, Rollins’s upside is appealing.
45. Keon Ellis, SG, Alabama | Senior
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 175 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 30
Ellis put together an underappreciated year in a supporting role at Alabama, turning himself into a reliable 3-and-D wing who turns in heavy effort on both ends of the floor. He doesn’t have great size for his position, and his frame is quite lithe, but he has a good supporting skillset that should give him a chance to stick on a roster. Last season he was highly efficient, shot the ball well, and also led the team in steal rate by a wide margin. He’s tough and physical in spite of his size and has the type of wiry strength that should play up. It’s encouraging that he seems to understand his role so well, and if he continues to improve as a shooter, there’s a pathway for him to make it.
46. Caleb Houstan, F, Michigan | Freshman
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 64
Houstan’s shooting stroke has kept his stock more stable than expected despite an underwhelming year in college: there’s a lot of optimism that he’s going to make shots, stemming primarily from his pedigree in high school. He’s not a great athlete and is a bit slow-footed, but he does have the ideal size and requisite feel to slot in as a reliable floor-spacer next to star talent. Houstan may be heavily tested on the defensive end in the pros, and he needs to get much stronger physically to hold his own, but there remains reason for some optimism here if he plays tougher and emerges as a high-end shooting specialist. He wasn’t all that good at Michigan, but he probably didn’t benefit from playing in the Big Ten.
47. Ismael Kamagate, C, Paris (France)
Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Last rank: 52
Although he’s not the most exciting player, Kamagate is one of this draft’s better stash candidates, as an athletic big who plays primarily as a screener and who can finish powerfully around the rim and block shots. He has the tools to play in the NBA in a rim-running role, and has shown some flashes of passing and ball skills that add a layer of intrigue. Kamagate doesn’t have a ton of upside beyond that, also factoring in he doesn’t space the floor. But he fits a proven archetype that works for rotational centers in the modern NBA, and figures to be passable in a reserve role whenever he comes over.
48. Josh Minott, F, Memphis | Freshman
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 35
While Minott didn’t play much at Memphis and is pretty far away from contributing in the NBA, he does some positive things as a long, active forward who can cover ground and make plays on both ends. His versatility and budding perimeter skills popped at times, and he has quite a bit to offer defensively, with the mobility to switch screens, protect the basket on rotations, and effectively rebound. He’s also a sneaky-good passer for his position. Minott isn’t a good jump shooter yet, but he’s a decent free throw shooter who should eventually develop passable range. He needs a lot of seasoning, potentially in the G League, and there’s some developmental time investment required to where he may not return much value until his second contract. Minott remains one of the more interesting second-round upside throws.
49. Jaylin Williams, C, Arkansas | Sophomore
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 240 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 66
Williams excels at the grimy parts of the game: his strengths include setting screens, taking charges, making clever passes and being a general nuisance with his size and smarts. As a true center who isn’t particularly fleet of foot, his pathway to making the NBA is pretty narrow, but he already brings an advanced mentality to his role, and it’s easy to see teams that value what he does falling in love with him as a potential specialist. Williams has some potential to space the floor, which is going to be a key area given he’s not an explosive rim-runner and will probably operate more at the top of the arc than within five feet of the basket. He’s a weird prospect, but there’s definitely some stuff to like here.
50. Gabriele Procida, G/F, Fortitudo Bologna (Italy)
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 47
Procida is one of the more promising stashable prospects in a generally thin international draft class. He’s a good athlete with prototypical size on the wing and shoots the ball cleanly off the dribble and catch. He’s also a smart decision-maker and capable passer who should make some plays for teammates off the threat of his catch-and-shoot game. Procida is agile enough to potentially hold his own on defense in the NBA where he’s been a fairly active presence to this point in his career. While not an isolation scorer, there’s enough diversity to his game on offense to see him eventually finding a way into a supporting role. As a big wing with a well-rounded skillset, Procida has real appeal, particularly considering a team won’t have to roster him immediately.
51. Julian Champagnie, F, St. John’s | Junior
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 40
Although Champagnie’s efficiency dipped this season, it’s easy to see why he might fit into an NBA role, as a dangerous standstill shooter with size who could be a specialist at either forward spot. He’s pretty athletic, offers some basic utility on the defensive end and is young for his class, which helps. There’s some upside here if Champagnie can start to hit more shots off movement and diversify his offensive diet a bit more, but staying solid on defense, spacing the floor and moving the ball is a pretty simple pathway to being useful. Bottom line, he neatly fits a player mold that teams value, and makes sense as a second-round option.
52. Khalifa Diop, C, Gran Canaria (Senegal)
Height: 6' 11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last rank: 70
Diop has worked himself into firm draftability as one of the more interesting international stash prospects in the class. That stems from his impressive physical tools, huge frame and great mobility for his size, which have always made him an interesting prospect to monitor. Diop has some basic offensive skill and won’t be overmatched physically, and he’s made encouraging progress over the past couple years in terms of adding nuances to his game. He still leaves some things to be desired, as his defensive awareness isn’t always great, but he’s been trending in the right direction and could be a useful player if and when he arrives stateside.
53. Dominick Barlow, F, Overtime Elite
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 59
A late-blooming prospect, Barlow has improved quite a bit over the past couple years, but remains a long way from contributing in the NBA. His frame, motor, and work ethic make him an appealing, moldable development project, potentially on a two-way contract. Barlow benefited from his year at Overtime, but still doesn’t have much high-level game experience under his belt as he enters the league, so the prerogative here will presumably be getting him as many minutes as he can handle in the G League next season. He has some skill potential and won’t be overmatched physically, but Barlow is still figuring out his own identity on the court, and it will take some time before he’s ready to help a team.
54. Jean Montero, PG, Overtime Elite
Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 43
Montero was receiving first-round hype early in the season, but his stock has leveled out in the second round as this draft class has taken shape. There are some things to like with him: he’s a creative ball-handler and has a tough-minded approach to scoring, but teams have questions about his size and decision-making. Factoring in those concerns, Montero projects better as a reserve who can provide a spark leading bench lineups. He’ll need to continue progressing as a point guard for that to work, and will need to enhance his inconsistent jumper and shot-happy, ball-dominant style for everything to translate. He’s certainly talented, but becomes a more palatable option in the second round.
55. Dereon Seabron, G/F, NC State | Sophomore
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 180 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 71
While Seabron is a bit more of a project than your typical 22-year-old, he’s a good downhill player with great speed for his size, and if he can start to shoot the ball reliably from distance, there’s a chance he could be a unique role player. He played on the ball quite a bit at NC State, where he was productive and able to harness his tools to get into the paint and make plays for teammates. Seabron has a great first step, draws a lot of fouls, and might be able to cover for some of his shooting issues to some extent by using his athleticism. But he’s going to have to become a more disciplined player and a much more attentive defender for this to work. He’s a good second round candidate with a feasible pathway to value if a team can help him smooth out the rough edges, and if he starts to shoot it better.
56. Alondes Williams, G, Wake Forest | Senior
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 210 | Age: 22 | Last rank: 44
Williams is kind of an unorthodox prospect, but the hope is that his impressive passing skills will get him on the floor and buy him time to hone the rest of his skillset. He has good size for a lead guard and is sneakily a good athlete, but his jumper is a bit questionable and it’s not clear how functional he’s going to be creating shots on the ball in the pros. He’s one of the best pure passers in the draft, and while he sometimes can be a bit careless with the ball, it’s a good enough skill that Williams warrants a long look as a potential backup guard. If his shot can become more consistent to where he can spend more time away from the ball, it’ll help. He turns 23 next week, so the runway here isn’t particularly long, but he’s certainly worth a shot.
57. J.D. Davison, G, Alabama | Freshman
Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 57
Davison is one of the better athletes in the draft and entered this season with first-round hype, but didn’t build the most convincing case at Alabama and makes much more sense as a second-round flier. He’s a quality passer and explosive leaper, but lacks the polish to run a team at this point, and doesn’t threaten enough away from the ball to have a pathway to early minutes. Davison probably needs immediate time in the G League, where he can better learn the nuances of guard play and work on his jumper. NBA teams will simply go underneath ball screens until he proves he can make shots off the dribble, and he has a tendency to float in and out of games. He remains a viable second-round option.
58. Jabari Walker, PF, Colorado | Sophomore
Height: 6' 9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last rank: 48
Walker had a productive year at Colorado and offers some appeal as a stretch big who can rebound and potentially switch a bit on defense. The son of longtime NBA player Samaki Walker, Jabari was a late-blooming high school player and is still raw in some ways, but bigs who can hold their own defensively and knock down shots are always of interest. He has a large frame that can still add muscle, and he’s mobile enough to think he’ll be able to guard multiple positions. His motor came and went a bit—he racked up double-doubles but also had games where he hardly impacted the glass—and he needs to become a more consistent shooter to hit his ceiling. Still, he has a skillset that makes sense for the modern NBA and could make it work with continued growth.
59. Yannick Nzosa, C, Malaga (D.R. Congo)
Height: 6' 10" | Weight: 175 | Age: 18 | Last rank: 56
Once billed as a potential lottery pick, Nzosa now projects as a pure second-round flier, with his role having mostly evaporated this season in Spain. His tools are still impressive, but he seems so far off at a glance, particularly feel-wise, and he’ll likely remain overseas until he starts to turn a corner developmentally. Nzosa is young enough to take his time to try and get back on track: he’s one of the more physically gifted draft-eligible prospects and has long-term potential as a rim protector and rebounder. It’s just been troublesome how much he’s struggled to produce (and to be fair, his preseason expectations were way too high). Considering his role as a rim-running center is somewhat replaceable for NBA teams, it’s hard to justify investing significant capital here, but he’s certainly a stashable option.
60. Bryson Williams, F, Texas Tech | Senior
Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 240 | Age: 24 | Last rank: 75
Williams is one of the older prospects in the class, but he has a chance to help a team right away off the bench: he’s a long, physical interior player with ambidextrous touch around the basket, some basic ball skills and improving three-point range. Often noted for his work ethic, Williams has the type of length and NBA-ready body that give him a chance to chip in minutes in a pinch without being a liability on either end. He’s a tad undersized, but he’s willing to do the dirty work, and there’s a chance he plays his way off the fringes and into a roster spot by the end of next season. He’s a good two-way candidate for teams that need an extra big.
61. Trevion Williams, C, Purdue | Senior
62. Jared Rhoden, SG, Seton Hall | Senior
63. Lucas Williamson, G, Loyola Chicago | Senior
64. Jamaree Bouyea, PG, San Francisco | Senior
65. Moussa Diabate, F/C, Michigan | Freshman
66. Darius Days, F, LSU | Senior
67. Kenneth Lofton Jr., F, Louisiana Tech | Sophomore
68. Scotty Pippen Jr., PG, Vanderbilt
69. Vince Williams, F, VCU | Senior
70. Hugo Besson, G, New Zealand Breakers
71. Colin Gillespie, PG, Villanova | Senior
72. Aminu Mohammed, F, Georgetown | Freshman
73. Ron Harper Jr., F, Rutgers | Senior
74. Ziga Samar, PG, Fuenlabrada
75. Karlo Matkovic, F/C, Mega Basket
76. Stanley Umude, G/F, Arkansas | Senior
77. Quenton Jackson, SG, Texas A&M | Senior
78. Gui Santos, F, Minas
79. Orlando Robinson, C, Fresno State | Junior
80. Gabe Brown, F, Michigan State | Senior
81. Johnny Juzang, SG, UCLA | Junior
82. Tevin Brown, SG, Murray State | Senior
83. Izaiah Brockington, SG, Iowa State | Senior
84. Matteo Spagnolo, PG, Vanoli Cremona
85. Jordan Hall, G/F, St. Joseph’s | Sophomore
86. Isaiah Mobley, F/C, USC | Junior
87. Buddy Boeheim, SG, Syracuse | Senior
88. Brady Manek, F, North Carolina | Senior
89. Jules Bernard, G/F, UCLA | Senior
90. Hyunjung Lee, SG, Davidson | Junior
91. Kofi Cockburn, C, Illinois | Junior
92. AJ Green, G, Northern Iowa | Junior
93. Jaden Shackelford, SG, Alabama | Junior
94. Justin Bean, F, Utah State | Senior
95. Javon Freeman-Liberty, G, DePaul | Senior
96. Trevor Hudgins, G, Northwest Missouri State | Senior
97. Marcus Bingham, F/C, Michigan State | Senior
98. Ibou Dianko Badji, C, Barcelona
99. Luke Travers, F, Perth
100. Pavel Savkov, G/F, Iraurgi SB
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