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NBA Draft Big Board: Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson Top 2023 Rankings

While the 2023 NBA draft seems destined to go down as the Wembanyama draft, here’s an early look at the top prospects on our draft expert's radar.

We’re two months removed from the 2022 draft and hurtling straight into 2023, where Victor Wembanyama lies in wait atop an intriguing group of incoming freshmen, college returners and international prospects. Now that I’ve had sufficient time to watch film, do research, canvas some early opinions around the NBA and clear my head (and not necessarily in that order), our first Big Board for the 2023 draft class is ready to go.

While it’s important to keep in mind that this is more of a watch list than anything else, given how far away we are from June and how quickly things will shift as soon as the season starts, I actually feel more optimistic than originally expected about next year’s draft. I’ve had an opportunity to see most of these players live at various junctures during their careers to this point and spent a lot of time digging back into old games to try and make this list as responsibly as possible. Projecting most things with certainty this early in a draft cycle is often folly, but it’s still fun to think about.

While this thing seems destined to go down as the Wembanyama draft, here’s an early look at the top prospects on my radar as we move toward the fall. Keep in mind, again, that this is not a mock draft, but an objective exercise to look at these players relative to one another in a vacuum, which is driven by my personal process and preferences. So, here’s some food for thought.

Victor Wembanyama

Victor Wembanyama is currently the No. 1 prospect on SI's early 2023 NBA draft big board. 

1. Victor Wembanyama, C, Metropolitans 92 (France)

Height: 7'3" | Weight: 230 | Age: 18

Well, here’s the guy everyone wants: Wembanyama has been driving quite a bit of excitement in NBA circles for some time, with teams having already done quite a bit of homework in anticipation of his arrival. This is a potentially transformational player who’s earned his status around the league as a near-unanimous No. 1 prospect, which doesn’t happen as often as you think, nor does it usually happen this early in the process. Wembanyama is foremost an exceptional defensive talent, with the size, reach and instincts to cover quite a bit of area by himself, and a knack for bothering shots. He’s been listed with a 7'9" wingspan, and also has above-average mobility and foot speed for someone his size. On the offensive end, Wembanyama is still kind of scratching the surface, but he’s efficient around the basket, has flashed jump shooting ability and operates with a type of fluidity atypical for a 7-footer, which gives him room to grow creating his own offense. Of course, Wembanyama will need to remain healthy at his size to deliver on his promise. But the bankable value offered by his defense and shot-blocking coupled with considerable room to grow as a scorer could make him one of the better bigs in the NBA pretty early in his career. When we see teams start to quietly tank in January, this will be why.

2. Scoot Henderson, PG, G League Ignite

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18

Henderson needs little introduction following a successful first year in the G League, during which he turned 18 midseason and fully established himself as a highly advanced prospect for his age. He has every physical tool in the box, good leadership traits, and offers a pretty high floor as a starting-caliber point guard, not to mention a star trajectory. Henderson can get into the paint when he wants, knock down shots off the bounce, and already has terrific pick-and-roll acumen. There’s also tons of room left for him to improve: He’s not a good catch-and-shoot player yet, can be a more consistent defender, and is still learning the ins and outs of point guard play. The simple fact he not only held his own, but often excelled as the youngest player facing quality competition last season bodes exceptionally well. At this point, it will likely require a massive shooting leap for Henderson to have a chance at leapfrogging Wembanyama in the top spot, and that may not necessarily be likely. Regardless, he’s an excellent prospect and could be the first guard off the board, and scouts are eager to see what he adds to his game with Ignite before making the jump to the big leagues.

3. Nick Smith, G, Arkansas | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Smith holds the early crown as the top incoming college guard prospect as an unusually gifted improviser and energy-bringer who should be able to play point guard full time in the NBA. He was particularly outstanding at the Jordan Brand Classic in April and established himself as arguably the top incoming freshman in college hoops. It’s worth noting that his listed height is a bit generous, but that’s sort of beside the point: he’s a great athlete who plays with remarkable pace and shiftiness off the dribble, and doesn’t take plays off. Smith will have to continue working on making plays for teammates, but his ability to play fast, put pressure on the rim and draw defensive attention should translate, and he has the right tendencies to be a full-time lead guard in the pros. He’s also a competent shooter and positional defender. The upside here is pretty substantial, and Smith should be appointment viewing in the early going at Arkansas. He’s already built a large contingent of fans around the NBA.

4. Amen Thompson, G/F, Overtime Elite

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

Thompson’s playmaking and live-wire movement skills give him a chance to eventually initiate offense in the NBA, and a slight nod over his twin brother in these early rankings. Overtime has been developing him as a point guard, and while his handle and jumper have to improve quite a bit for him to realize his full potential, Thompson’s athletic profile remains tantalizing. At 6'7”, his speed and passing gives him a bit of a failsafe if his shot doesn’t come all the way around, as he should be a threat to play downhill in the halfcourt and generate offense in transition. He also projects as a plus defender, with great foot speed, a long stride and plus shot-blocking ability for a wing. The fact the Thompsons turn 20 in January and are older than their peer group is a factor, but their sheer athletic gifts and all-around talent should help transcend some of the questions about their competition. The bigger determinant in where Thompson ultimately falls will hinge primarily on his skill and shooting progression come spring.

5. Dillon Mitchell, F, Texas | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

One of the standouts on the All-American game circuit, Mitchell is an elite run-jump athlete who’s learning to take over games with constant energy. His size, versatility and low-maintenance style make him a pretty quintessential modern frontcourt player, able to play above the rim, operate in traffic and transition, and defend multiple positions. The growing frequency and efficiency with which he impacts the game as a rebounder and finisher has been impressive to watch over the past 18 months. Mitchell doesn’t create his own shot all that much and was an infrequent jump shooter in high school, which will be an area of interest for NBA teams in projecting forward. Factoring in his athletic profile, productivity and room for skill development on top of that, Mitchell has quite a bit of untapped upside to offer, and there’s a big opportunity for him to rise over the course of the season. He’s on an excellent trajectory at the moment, and while this may be higher than you’ll see him ranked elsewhere, don’t be surprised to see his draft stock spike early in the season.

6. Ausar Thompson, G/F, Overtime Elite

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 205 | Age: 19

Boasting electric athleticism comparable to that of his twin brother and a more aggressive mentality as both a defender and scorer, Thompson presents plenty of upside in his own right. He also shares similar weaknesses at this stage: His handle can get a bit loose going into traffic, and his jumper remains inconsistent despite a higher release point. Thompson is an elite mover with glide to his step and gets off the floor quickly, allowing him to impact the flow of the game with energy around the rim and making him quite difficult to score on in space. If the shot comes around, he profiles as a viable wing playmaker, with very high-end defensive potential regardless. Like his brother, Thompson’s progression as a ballhandler and jump shooter will ultimately dictate where he hears his name called on draft night. Both are special athletes with strong makeup, but there’s more for them to prove over the next 10 months to establish footing in what’s shaping up as a pretty strong draft class.

7. Dariq Whitehead, G/F, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

Whitehead has been on the NBA’s radar for some time and enters college as one of the youngest prospects in this draft class. While he doesn’t boast any one elite skill at this stage, he’s an advanced, well-balanced player who understands team basketball and has good-but-not-elite size on the wing. He’s also a plus defender, with good anticipation and quick lateral movement skills. Whitehead is more smooth than he is explosive, and he’s a pretty streaky shooter who can be over-reliant on tough jumpers. I think it’s important to temper some expectations at this early stage about his scoring efficiency in the halfcourt—and his star upside may ultimately be tied to that—but factoring in his youth and the NBA’s constant need for well-rounded wing players, Whitehead has a solid foundation to work with moving forward. His offensive progression should ultimately be what dictates his place in the lottery hierarchy, but assuming continued growth, he’s a pretty safe bet to play in the NBA for a long time.

8. Jarace Walker, F, Houston | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19

Walker has taken an estimable step forward over the past year, and now couples his enormous frame and above-average coordination with an improved mentality and ball skills. He still needs to build better habits, but the NBA is always searching for huge players who are good at a lot of things, and Walker fits that bill: he’s an efficient, opportunistic scorer who doesn’t need his number called to be effective, he can function on the perimeter as a terrific passer and improving shooter, and he’s long and strong enough to potentially moonlight at center in smaller lineups. Walker also appears to have matured quite a bit in his approach over the past few seasons, and he’ll have a terrific platform to boost his stock at Houston, a contending program that hangs its hat on its toughness and commitment to doing the small stuff. His sheer size and feel to play should serve him well in college, and he very much fits the positionless frontcourt mold that the league tends to favor.

9. Cam Whitmore, F, Villanova | Freshman

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18

After a good spring on the All-American circuit, Whitmore broke out at the FIBA Under-18 Americas, where he paced Team USA on its way to gold. He’s a powerful athlete with a developing floor game whose name has gathered momentum in scouting circles this summer. However, I do think there are some yellow flags here. Whitmore relies on his strength and first step to get into the paint and attack the rim, but doesn’t excel at getting defenders off-balance with his handle. He’s on the young end for a freshman and has always had a physical advantage against his age group at a well-built 6'6”, but doesn’t have game-changing size or length by NBA standards. This places heavy weight on two growth areas: continuing his positive progress as a shooter, and turning up his defensive motor to help him play bigger than his frame. I think Miles Bridges (on the court only) at the same stage is a reasonable point of comparison for Whitmore, and if he tracks along the same path as an athletic combo forward who can space the floor and guard, he’ll offer some pretty useful baseline value in the pros.

10. Cason Wallace, G, Kentucky | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

Expect Wallace to inevitably garner comparisons to Jrue Holiday and Marcus Smart, two stylistic forebears that offer an optimistic blueprint for how his career might optimally evolve. While he’s a bit smaller than his listed height, he brings quite a bit to the table for a combo guard, playing a tough-minded, utilitarian style that lends itself to team success. While not exceptionally fast or quick, Wallace has a strong frame, good length, and a terrific instinct for blowing up plays on the defensive end. He’s smooth with the ball, rarely gets sped up, and enters college with a developed floater and a pretty reliable jump shot. Wallace is one of the more college-ready prospects in this class, and while his style isn’t overly flashy, his understanding of his own strengths and range of ways to impact the game creates a pretty bankable floor as a valuable NBA role player. His aptitude for the game gives him a chance to be more than that.

11. Tyrese Proctor, PG, Duke | Freshman

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18

From the Australia-to-NBA Global Academy development pipeline that brought you Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels, Proctor is next up. He chose to attend college rather than take the pro route but shares many of their same fundamental strengths as a well-rounded, unselfish playmaker with good positional size. Proctor is more of a traditional point guard than Giddey and Daniels, and he’s at his best pushing tempo and putting pressure on defenses in the open floor, but he’s similarly mature and well-rounded for his age, plays with urgency, and his jumper is a key growth area that will determine his ceiling. He also has the tools to be an excellent perimeter defender, with length and quick feet that let him play close to ballhandlers and be disruptive. I’d expect Proctor to have a significant role at Duke from the get-go, and some around the NBA suspect he might wind up as the team’s top long-term prospect. Admittedly, this ranking is setting the bar high, but I’m pretty excited to see him debut in college.

12. Keyonte George, G, Baylor | Freshman

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18

George is on the short list of top bucket-getters in this year’s freshman class and has real on-ball scoring ability that sets him apart from his peers. He relies more on skill and craft than athleticism and can be a streaky shooter, but he’s highly confident and there’s not much he can’t do offensively. Without elite speed or explosiveness for his position George will have to work himself into peak shape and become a superb offensive technician—as a playmaker for others, in addition to scoring—to succeed a true lead guard. Still, he has the capacity to do those things and adequately defend his position, and Baylor has enough backcourt depth that he can learn to play off-ball and won’t be forced to over-stretch himself early in the season. He played well on whole during Baylor’s recent Canada tour, and while he’ll have to earn minutes on a guard-heavy roster, George could crack the lottery if he hits the ground running.

13. Rayan Rupert, G/F, New Zealand Breakers (France)

Height: 6'6" | Weight: Not listed | Age: 18

Rupert is shaping up as the next-best international-based prospect after his countryman Wembanyama, with lottery-level upside tied to his combination of skill, approach, and a wingspan reportedly stretching to 7'3". He’s only a project in the sense that he’s slender and has a lot of physical development ahead, as he already boasts an advanced feel to play, finesse as a scorer, and slippery movement skills for someone his size. As a disruptive, tenacious perimeter defender with the skill framework to potentially play as an oversized on-ball creator, Rupert will primarily need to add strength and continue developing his handle and jumper between now and June. While it’s unclear how productive and efficient he’ll be right away against older competition in the NBL, Rupert is arguably further along as a player than Ousmane Dieng (who went from France to New Zealand to 11th in the 2022 draft) was at the same stage last year. There’s a lot of reason for optimism.

14. Dereck Lively, C, Duke | Freshman

Height: 7'1" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18

With a reported 7'8" wingspan and great mobility for a 7-footer, Lively should be one of the top rim protectors in college basketball on arrival. There are only so many people in the world with his type of gifts, and while the traditional center archetype has been devalued in recent drafts, he’ll get very long looks from teams hoping to find a defensive anchor. The catch here is that Lively hasn’t always been the most productive or consistent player against good competition, with a high center of gravity that limits him a bit offensively on the interior. He offers some demonstrable shooting touch and passing skills for someone his size and will be a threat to finish lobs, but there are valid questions as to what his impact as a scorer and rebounder will be going up a level. A strong season could vault Lively toward the top of the draft, but despite being ranked at the top of his high school class, he has work to do to further establish himself.

15. GG Jackson, F/C, South Carolina | Freshman

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 210 | Age: 17

By reclassifying to attend South Carolina (instead of North Carolina), Jackson presumably positioned himself as the youngest player eligible for the 2023 draft, as he doesn’t turn 18 until December. While he has a long way to go, the NBA should look favorably upon his combination of tools, mobility and skill potential at his size. At the moment I think he’ll be better off in the long run if he leans into becoming an elite two-way energy big (befitting of his length and frame) rather than attempting to be perimeter-oriented. If teams can rely on Jackson to protect the rim and do the dirty work, whatever he adds on offense is gravy on top. That said, he’s pretty coordinated and has potential to shoot threes and be somewhat versatile. Jackson likely has to become more consistently impactful to play his way into the high lottery, and he may not be in an optimal situation for immediate stardom in college, where he’ll be extremely young for his level, may not be as physically dominant and will face a major jump in competition. He may require some patience, but there’s nice upside here, too.

16. Anthony Black, G/F, Arkansas | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Black’s vision and natural playmaking aptitude was obvious in the All-American game settings, and he’s the type of connective perimeter player whose impact tends to transcend his counting stats. He’s a good athlete and ball-screen operator who fits positionless basketball and wields a terrific size-feel combination that’s always popular among scouts. While I’m not wholly convinced yet he has the scoring chops to be a full-time point guard in the NBA—and he’s not quite tall enough to easily shift into the Kyle Anderson blueprint as a fallback—he’s arguably the best pure passer among incoming freshmen and has a good deal of untapped upside. He’s not always aggressive looking to score and shoots an inconsistent set shot, two development areas teams will monitor closely. Expect Black’s passing and defensive smarts to be impactful at Arkansas, and while it may be unfair to expect a huge offensive breakout, he’s a very intriguing long-term play nonetheless.

17. Kel'el Ware, C, Oregon | Freshman

Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 18

Ware has done a lot for his profile over the past six months between the All-American circuit and FIBA competition, intriguing scouts with his size and length, rim-protecting capacity and developing jumper. While his motor can still be a bit sporadic, he seems to have turned a bit of a corner in that department as he gets further accustomed to impacting games with his physicality. It’s fair to wonder how strong his production is going to be at Oregon, but Ware offers so much of what teams look for in a shot-blocking big that he’ll warrant some patience as he makes the jump in level. I’ve heard some positive comparisons to Jarrett Allen at the same stage, which would be a high-end outcome for him, but Ware has a pathway into the first round if he continues on his current trajectory.

18. Arthur Kaluma, F, Creighton | Sophomore

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 20

While Kaluma had a somewhat polarizing freshman year—he didn’t shoot well and his advanced stats were particularly poor—some observers around the league felt he’d begun to turn a corner in March, finishing with a season-high 24 points in a NCAA tournament loss to Kansas. Kaluma has terrific physical traits for a forward but will need to be a more consistent presence in all facets of the game to capitalize on a major platform to raise his stock this season. He’s a play-finisher by trade, and a powerful leaper who’s reliable around the rim but needs to develop a more consistent jumper to maximize his chances of adding value on offense in the NBA. If he can put his length to more consistent use as a defender and rebounder, it raises his floor quite a bit. Kaluma has a lot of work to do, but a breakout would certainly be of real interest, and it’s hard to ignore the tools.

Colby Jones

Xavier's Colby Jones is rising up draft boards.

19. Colby Jones, G/F, Xavier | Junior

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 205 | Age: 20

I’ve been keeping an eye on Jones for a while, and after a fantastic final month to close last season, I think a college star turn may be coming here. He’s decisive and a naturally connective player with a solid frame who might be able to moonlight at four positions situationally. He’s not quite a point guard, but he’s an opportunistic playmaker, and the success of guys like Bruce Brown in weirdo gadget roles in the NBA gives me some optimism that Jones finds his way into real utility. He’s a below-average catch-and-shoot player right now, but if he can iron that out a bit, I’d bet his stock skyrockets. Unselfish, well-rounded role players like this always tend to pique my curiosity, and there’s enough of a production track record here that I’m bullish. Keep an eye on how he’s deployed under new head coach Sean Miller.

20. Tyrese Hunter, PG, Texas | Sophomore

Height: 6'0" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19

Hunter was one of the youngest freshmen in college basketball last year at Iowa State and broke out in the NCAA tournament, then opted to transfer to Texas. I’m not usually this excited this early with smaller guards, but even in a crowded Longhorns backcourt, it’s hard to see him coming off the floor often. Hunter is exceptionally smart and poised for a young point guard. He’s an excellent athlete and an outstanding defender for his size. I have a feeling all his strengths will eventually sum up into a good NBA player, but there are also some valid questions about his scoring: He’s a streaky shooter and wasn’t efficient as a freshman (47.5% TS). Some of that is attributable to extreme youth, and I do think he’ll shoot enough, but Hunter likely needs to develop more craft in the paint and become consistent from long range to successfully make the leap to the pros. It’s possible he turns that corner pretty quickly in what should be a better offensive environment, but there’s also a chance he winds up needing more time in college to iron out the kinks.

21. Terrance Arceneaux, G/F, Houston | Freshman

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18

Arceneaux may not even wind up starting on a loaded Houston team, but he’s one of the freshmen I’m most intrigued to see early this season. In hindsight, I think he was a bit underappreciated as a high school prospect but checks a lot of the boxes NBA teams are looking for on the wing: he’s efficient and a capable shooter, he’s smart and active on and off the ball, and he’s highly competent on the defensive end with good length. Arceneaux isn’t super-sized for his position and doesn’t enter college with a ton of high-level game experience, so there’s probably going to be a learning curve for him. But he’s not lacking for ability and plays a high-demand role that often gets fast-tracked to the NBA. I’d be lying if I said I was totally certain he’d be a first-rounder—much less one-and-done—but right now I think he’s among the more interesting bets on the board.

22. Kris Murray, F, Iowa | Junior

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 22

It’s unfair to place lofty expectations on Murray based on what twin brother Keegan accomplished over the past year, but Kris is an intriguing prospect in his own right and will step into a much bigger role at Iowa. He turns 22 next week, making him the oldest player on this list, but has the type of frame and role-player skill set that could fit neatly into an NBA role. Murray didn’t play a ton of minutes last season (and frankly, probably should have), but flashed a reliable three-point stroke, made an impact defensively and was altogether quite efficient. He hasn’t yet demonstrated his brother’s knack for making frequent. positive gameflow plays, but should greatly benefit from an opportunity to step up as a leading man. There were teams that had first-round level interest in Murray last season, and if all goes according to plan, he should wind up in the mix come spring.

23. Marcus Sasser, PG, Houston | Senior

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 195 | Age: 21

Sasser gives Houston a third potential first-round pick and is set to lead the Cougars on a potential Final Four chase. Following a positive showing at the G League Elite camp and NBA combine, Sasser returns for his senior year with some added momentum as a potential first-rounder. He lit it up for 12 games before his junior season was shortened by a toe injury, and as far as smaller guards go, he has quite a bit to offer. Sasser is an excellent shooter, willing defender and capable passer with a broad frame and plus length for his size. He’ll have a major national platform at Houston, and leading that team to a Final Four berth certainly won’t hurt his standing as a prospect. As an older college guard, he’ll inevitably have to battle the upside stigma, but Sasser is a talented enough shot-maker to break that mold.

24. Sidy Cissoko, G/F, G League Ignite (France)

Heigh: 6'6" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Cissoko joins the Ignite after playing last season in Spain and could nicely complement Scoot Henderson as a big perimeter playmaker who impacts the game on both ends. While still a bit raw with the ball in his hands, Cissoko offers positive role-player traits: He’s unselfish with good vision, he should be a passable shooter, he’s a pretty good athlete, and he plays hard on the defensive end. He doesn’t look for his own offense a ton and can be mistake-prone and inconsistent, but his combination of body type and base skill set will make him a person of interest moving forward. Whether Cissoko can use the Ignite platform to vault into the first round remains to be seen, but his flashes of talent are pretty tantalizing at times, and he enters the fall coming off a good showing in FIBA U18 play.

25. Terquavion Smith, G, N.C. State | Sophomore

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 160 | Age: 19

Smith put together a fairly impressive freshman year, proving himself as a bucket-getter and making 36% of a whopping 261 three-point attempts while turning just 19 years old midseason. He’s slippery off the dribble, capable from deep and has good scoring instincts, putting him in position for a big leap this fall. However, Smith’s archetype as a microwave-style scorer isn’t always a winning-adjacent one in the pros, and NBA teams held some concerns about his efficiency, lack of physical strength, and maturity during this year’s predraft process. Barring some massive strides as a playmaker, I’m not sure I see a pathway where he vaults into the lottery, but Smith should be an early-season person of interest and a potential first-rounder if he continues making progress. The relative success of Bones Hyland in Denver should serve as the blueprint.

26. Jaime Jaquez, F, UCLA | Senior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

Jaquez returns to UCLA after an injury-plagued junior year, where he’ll again be a top offensive option and have a good opportunity to boost his stock as a potential NBA role player. He’s earned scouts’ respect with his toughness and reliability, has the size to play either forward spot, and has outstanding aptitude for doing small things that contribute to winning. The major swing area for Jaquez will be the progress of his jumper: His free throws ticked up, but his three-point shooting regressed last season, and he’s historically just an average performer in both those areas. The smart money says that last year’s ankle issues played a part in his struggles, and whatever progress he can show in the efficiency department will bolster his case as a potential late first-rounder.

27. Jalen Bridges, F, Baylor | Junior

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 21

After transferring to Baylor from West Virginia, Bridges will have a great platform to establish himself as a legit first-round prospect, fitting nicely into the 3-and-D role player mold in theory. While he wasn’t stellar in his first two years of college, he has good size for a wing, has flashed some ability to shoot on the move, and his combination of tools and skill set makes him an interesting breakout candidate. He won’t create his own shot much, but there’s plenty here to work with, particularly if his shooting numbers tick upward. He certainly looked the part during Baylor’s Canada tour, and if Bridges continues to supply energy and knock down shots at a good clip, he should entrench himself in this year’s draft conversation. It would be nice if there was more precedent for production here, but the change of scenery might really help him.

28. Brandon Miller, F, Alabama | Freshman

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 200 | Age: 19

It’s worth prefacing this with the fact that Miller turns 20 in November and is unusually old for an incoming freshman, but nonetheless, he’s gathered some early prospect buzz due to his combination of skill and plus length. He’s not exceptionally fast or quick, but he has a projectable frame, can play on the perimeter and knock down shots, and has enough of a handle at his size to project future versatility. Miller isn’t quite as efficient or polished as some of the other freshmen in this class and he could benefit from using his size to his advantage more than playing a strictly finesse game. But he meets the basic size/skill criteria the league wants, and could feasibly play either forward spot. Alabama’s style of play should be conducive to his strengths, and a quick adjustment to the college level could vault him into the first round.

29. Jordan Walsh, F, Arkansas | Freshman

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

Walsh gives Arkansas a third potential first-rounder, one who passes the eye test with a big frame, broad shoulders and absurd length, and plays hard consistently. Due to his below-average handle and iffy creative chops, I think he profiles best at power forward in the NBA. By simply playing with energy and harnessing his physical gifts, there’s a path for Walsh to make it work that way. I don’t think he’s quite the freak athlete he’s sometimes marketed as, and his jumper needs some work, but he rather obviously has a toolbox that should allow him to hold his own. If he rebounds his position, switches defensively, makes a difference in the open floor and starts knocking down more shots, he could be pretty valuable in time, but it remains to be seen how efficient he’ll be and what type of role he can handle next season.

30. Jordan Hawkins, SG, UConn | Sophomore

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 175 | Age: 20

While Hawkins averaged just 5.8 points in less than 15 minutes per game last season, he’s a sneaky candidate to emerge as a legit prospect with more playing time and shots presumably coming his way. The flashes he showed were pretty interesting: He’s a capable shooter, explosive leaper and can put up points quickly when given the opportunity. He’ll have to be more efficient and a better finisher, but he has an appealing skill set for a scoring wing and a spike in volume could put him on the radar pretty quickly. There are still a lot of questions here, and he’s on the older side for a sophomore, but Hawkins is one of the more intriguing returners to keep an eye on in the early going. With UConn turning over a lot of backcourt minutes, I’m intrigued here.

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