My new Big board update.
Tier 3.5: Decent Role player potential with All-Star possibilities down the road. I do see these guys as Day 1 contributors to a degree.
1t. LaMelo Ball - Low floor, very high ceiling. The system needs to be built around him based on the player.
1t. Anthony Edwards - Low floor, very high ceiling. Patience is needed. Flexible fit but coaching and organization matters.
1t. Obi Toppin - Very high floor, high ceiling. The best prospect in this class. Offensively, he's a monster. I compare him to Amare or Chris Webber on that end. Special prospect. Below average defender with maybe average defensive potential but his floor is so high, he's the only sure thing in this class.
Tier 4: Decent Role player potential or raw with AS possibilities.
4t. Killian Hayes - Very high floor with a mid-high ceiling, fits any system, has some real untapped potential long term. Hayes could be a steal.
4t. Onyeka Okongwu - A high floor with a mid-high ceiling who would be at his best in a PF based role in year one and becoming a center down the line.
4t. Tyrese Haliburton - High floor with a mid-ceiling, He fits the mold you see from Zo Ball where they get high touches but do a lot well with them and limit mistakes. The fear I have with Haliburton is what I call the Jalen Brunson effect. When you have so much ability and skill but lack the prerequisites for the position as a starter, can you live up to your potential? I do think Hali has the prereqs to be a backup, I wasn’t sure Brunson even had that. Hali is my boom or role player in this draft with Toppin, Anthony, Hayes, Jones, and Maxey.
4t. Deni Avdija. - Low-mid floor with a semi-high ceiling, PDS player, questionable FTs, talented defender. Compares to Toni Kukoc.
4t. James Wiseman - Very low floor with very high ceiling, James has one of the lowest floors attached to a very high ceiling since Mitchell Robinson. I do believe Wiseman is more talented than Robinson, not quite as ready for the NBA.
4t. Issac Okoro - Low floor with high ceiling, Like Jaxson Hayes last year, his prime could be extremely helpful but he should add value day 1 to a small degree.
4t. Cole Anthony - Low-mid floor with a semi-high ceiling, Cole has everything he needs to become a good PG in the NBA one time but what he needs most are time and the right situation.
4t. Tre Jones - Low-mid floor with a semi-high ceiling, Tre is a very good college Basketball player, but he will have to adjust to the NBA. That said, if he does which I believe he can, I think he can be the next Mookie Blaylock depending on his shooting development over the years and role.
4t. Kira Lewis Jr. - Low-mid floor with a semi-high ceiling, he is more polished than Dennis Schröder as a prospect and I like him a lot. He will be a big mover.
4t. Precious Achiuwa - Very low floor with a high ceiling, I am a buyer of Achiuwa’s potential. I think he needs time to develop.
4t. Aaron Nesmith - Low-mid floor with a semi-high ceiling, Nesmith is a far less athletic, bigger, and smarter Terrance Ross. That could appeal to a lot of teams.
4t. Saddiq Bey - Low-mid floor with a semi-high ceiling, Bey has all the makings of being a very good 3/D prospect. He could go much higher than expected like Cameron Johnson did last year.
4t. Theo Maledon – Low-mid floor with a mid-ceiling, struggled this year but the talent level is good
4t. Tyrese Maxey – Low-mid floor with a mid-ceiling, Low-a mid-floor with a mid-ceiling, struggled this year but the talent level is good, could be the Jrue Holiday of this class.
4t. Aleksej Pokusevski, Olympiacos B – Aleksej has a very low floor with a very high ceiling, the closest international prospect to The Unicorn. The style of play will remind you of Keith Van Horn. His athleticism for his size is special. He needs tremendous growth and coaching.
18t. R.J. Hampton – Low-mid floor with a mid-ceiling, struggled this year but the talent level is good.
18t. Vernon Carey Jr. – A mid floor with a mid-ceiling, good player, needs to get in shape and work extremely hard. System player.
18t. Tyler Bey – A mid floor with a mid-ceiling, good player, I see a better defensive player more than anything, but he has some Andre Roberson in him. A lot. He will be better than people think due to his defense and bulk to defend 1-3.
18t. Jaden McDaniels - Very low floor with high ceiling – There is a lot to like about Jaden but so much more to dislike. He is a prospect that might need a year of the G-League, but it wouldn’t be a shock if he became a top 5 player in this class down the road.
18t. Josh Green - low floor with the semi-high ceiling – Great size, athletic ability, and defensive value with BBIQ. But shooting and scoring are flaws. Developmental prospect but a very interesting one.
18t. Jahimus Ramsey – very low floor, semi-high ceiling, He like the other TTU guys, must adjust to the NBA.
18t. Devin Vassell – a mid-floor, a mid ceiling, His size and lack of bulk is why I am more down on him.
18t. Xavier Tillman – a mid-floor, a mid ceiling, Love his defensive potential as well as shooting. It could be a sleeper.
18t. Daniel Oturu – a mid-floor, a mid ceiling, Daniel is the modern Dwayne Dedmon, just younger as a prospect already has his pro skillset, and already into his role. I think you will get a role-playing gem with Oturu once he’s physically ready for NBA centers.
18t. Devon Dotson – a mid-floor, a mid ceiling. It’s not fair to Dotson but he will be compared to DeVonte’ Graham when he’s literally the perfect modern backup PG. Can score, can defend, high BBIQ, can draw fouls, no obvious weakness, plays stronger than he looks. His NBA projected 3p% is 35.7% as well. Modern Devin Harris.
18t. Tyrell Terry – low floor with the semi-high ceiling, I was planning on moving him up to the upper half of tier 4 but he has some flaws that will prevent him from being an impact day 1 even as a backup.
18t. Grant Riller – low floor with the semi-high ceiling. A lot of hype around Grant and for obvious reasons. He’s the most skilled offensive player in this draft and the best offensive perimeter player in this draft but his defense is bad. I compare him to Isaiah Thomas out of Washington. They have completely different skillsets and talents but at the end of the day. Similar impact types. Riller is a 6th man type who can become a lethal 1st option in his prime. Riller has both on the ball and off the ball skills. He has an elite feel for the game on offense. His athleticism is solid. His size is good. He’s just a pure bucket.
18t. Zeke Nnaji – Zeke has a low floor with a semi-high ceiling. Good talent but will need time and the right situation or he could be getting moved left and right in this league.
18t. Killian Tillie – A mid-floor, a mid ceiling. It's pretty simple for Tillie, you stay healthy, you can be the next Davis Bertrans but his injury history is MASSIVE. Can he?
18t. Nico Mannion – A mid floor with a mid-ceiling, Nico is ready to play in the NBA right now, but will he be good enough to start in the NBA one day?
18t. Leandro Bolmaro – A very low floor with a high ceiling. Can pass, dribble, defend, and is a good athlete. Clearly not an NBA player currently but the potential, length, height, and instincts are there. If the rest of his game comes along especially his shot, I can see Manu like potential. Likely bust but could be a star. He needs to play at least one more season in Spain unless he wants to play for someone's G-League team.
18t. Freddie Gillespie – A low floor with the semi-high ceiling. What I like about Gillespie is the Dennis Rodman effect. Late bloomer. He didn't start playing until the 10th-grade period and was strictly a nerd. He had so many injuries he lost his mobility. He went to a top tier D3 school for books and didn't stand out as a freshman. As a sophomore, he did standout but nothing special at all.
He walked on to Baylor, sucked, redshirted, and worked on his skills. Next year was a standout defender with a crazy ORTG. I am not saying he is the next Dennis Rodman, but his profile is off the charts. Guards five positions, high motor, good lateral quickness for 6'9 245, 7'4 WS but the instincts are special. Tremendous rebounder but his rebounds are based on timing and instincts, not athleticism.
You might have an off the charts defensive prospect in Gillespie and his growth chart is like Obi Toppin. He's still massively improving with 15-point NCAA jumps yearly. He is probably not on many draft boards as high as mine, but I think the potential is here with Gillespie. I look for personal things with defensive prospects who overachieve and the constant with guys like him, Rodman, Draymond is high BBIQ, high personal IQ, great at prep work, and great at working hard which is a skill. These guys understand and get what impact is.
18t. Saben Lee – A mid floor with the mid ceiling. I get why he entered. He's a legit NBA talent who plays bigger than what he is. He looks 195-200 to me and he plays an NBA style of game so he clearly translates. His game is a blend of Jeff Teague without the explosiveness and the skill and on-ball talent of Tyreke Evans without the size.
He's team-minded and he's a legit NBA guy. Probably best as a 3rd PG but his talent will give him backup PG opportunities and considering how weak that position is across the league at the backup spot, expect Lee to get a lot of interest in the 2nd round.
18t. Lamine Diane – A low floor with a high ceiling. One of my favorite prospects in this draft. Diane is just playing from pure talent and ability. He's not polished or all that skilled but his ability and pop are wowing. He's clearly a year away but I wouldn't be scared to take him in the 1st round just due to his ceiling. He has all-star potential.
Tier 5: Low floors with Decent Role player potential or career backups with limited potential - (2nd round grade)
37t. Jalen Smith – a mid-floor, a mid-low ceiling, nice floor but doesn’t stand out.
37t. Paul Reed – a mid-floor, a mid-low ceiling, nice floor but doesn’t stand out.
37t. Jordan Nwora – a mid-floor, a mid-low ceiling, nice floor but doesn’t stand out.
37t. Isaiah Joe – very low floor, semi-high ceiling – Super shooter. I think he’s the Joe Harris of this class with more potential. Needs time to adjust.
37t. Reggie Perry – very low floor, semi-high ceiling, I think he translates, he just needs a lot of time first.
37t. Isaiah Stewart – very low floor, semi-high ceiling, I am not sure of his modern NBA fit but he’s a hooper. Still, in today’s NBA, I could see him being tossed around in deals like a salad. The game has moved from players like him.
37t. Cassius Winston – a mid-high floor, low ceiling, the depth of his PG class is insane. I would consider him over Ty Jerome last year.
37t. Markus Howard – a mid-high floor, low ceiling, the depth of his PG class is insane. I would consider him over Ty Jerome last year.
37t. Patrick Williams - very low floor, semi-high ceiling. The Florida State 6-8 long term wing with a 6-11 wingspan is higher on many boards than I am. I get it, high steals rate, 35% projected 3pt percentage and a good FT shooter with that size at 18. But he doesn’t really have movement skills, raw, must adjust to SF position.
He has the tools, size, instincts, and mobility to be the next Robert Covington but he’s like two years away from that mark plus he needs the right coaches to believe in him. You can’t take that in the 1st round.
37t. Ashton Hagans - Low floor with a mid-high ceiling, Excellent defender and has the potential to be more.
37t. Payton Pritchard – Payton has a mid-high floor, low ceiling. Payton fits the modern NBA game and if you run a system based on high PG gravity like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, where it's a lot of advanced PnRs (dominate ballhandlers), Pritchard makes a ton a sense due to his playmaking, decision making, BBIQ, and shooting.
His defense is pretty much team defense. His M2M isn't much to boast about. I am not sure he will ever be more than a spot starter, but his bust potential is very low due to his offensive versatility for a PG.
37t. Malachi Flynn – Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Malachi is an all-around PG who has flashes of a potential Mike Bibby like PG. I think his floor might be lower than Bibby just due to his body and athleticism but his talent and ability, as well as shooting, is legit. He could be a long-term steal.
37t. Immanuel Quickley – Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Quickley is an NBA prospect. The question is, he's a pure 2 with limited PG skills. Would an Eddie House type work in today's NBA? We see guys like Tyler Dorsey and Salim Stoudamire come and go.
Will Quickley have enough to stick. I think if I was Quickley, I would want to go undrafted and see if I could go to teams who utilize many player types like the Lakers, Raptors, or Celtics. Teams with a specific style of play might not be ideal.
37t. Chris Smith – A very low floor, semi-high ceiling. Smith is a talented and fluid wing who's game feels like an SG in an SF body like Cam Reddish. Although Cam's speed, agility, skills, and lateral quickness is superior to Smith's. The player I compare Smith to is DeMarr Johnson.
Not the same natural talent Johnson was, Smith turned himself into a nice talent. Like Reddish, Smith will take some time to adjust to the NBA on offense and unlike Reddish, also on defense. Smith is your typical low floor, high upside 2nd rounder.
37t. Ayo Dosunmu – A low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Ayo is a tape kid more than an analytics kid. The tape is like, he's a legit NBA player. His defense is insane. His defensive metrics are not nor are his offensive metrics. Ayo is like Patrick Beverley. He needs more offensive polish, but his defense is legit, and his potential is there because the game can really hoop, is athletic with size, and can defend his ass off.
37t. Naji Marshall – A low floor with a mid-high ceiling. What I like about Marshall is he's a potential two-way wing with inconsistent shooting and offensive impact, but his defense is NBA ready. I don't see an NBA just yet and maybe the shooting never comes at all and he never becomes a legit NBA player but only time will tell. I see guys like Justin Holiday go against all odds to become a legit rotational player.
37t. Yam Madar – A mid-high floor, low ceiling. Yam plays like Dennis Schröder but maybe not the same athlete but is stronger and a lot more intangibles. Due to the athleticism being backup level good and not excellent for any PG prospect, I think it knocks him from being a legit 1st rounder. His defense is legit at any level.
37t. Mamadi Diakite – A mid-high floor, low ceiling. I've been a Diakite guy for a while. He's a legit rotation big in the NBA. His peak might be 10th man but so is his floor. Some people are what they are. Late 2nd rounder should be his range and if you let him go into the two-way zone, he's a no brainer to pick-up. I have a hard time seeing him not get picked. 3rd string PF who are 5th bigs isn't the easiest players to find.
37t. Jared Butler – A low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Butler in my scout is like Jamaal Tinsley with a more developed three-point shot but that's due to his era more than anything.
37t. Borisa Simanic – A low floor with a mid-ceiling. As a prospect, he is a more athletic Davis Bertrans... did I mention he has the mentality of Darko after Detroit? Have fun with this one. Chances of this one panning out are sim. Bertrans is SO much better right now than he was as a prospect.
37t. Ty-Shon Alexander – A low floor with the semi-high ceiling. He is kind of similar on offense like E'twaun Moore of the Pelicans as a prospect. Not as good a scorer as Moore was. A natural scorer and shooter but he's inefficient. Tweener. His defense is WAY better than being said on the tape. He is an elite point of contact defender and a damn good one right now. Don't kill me but he's a lot of Joe Dumars as a prospect.
58t. Robert Woodard – very low floor, mid ceiling, Woodard is a project 3 and D wing. It's so hard to find these types so teams are swinging on them in the 2nd round because you can't find them in the G-League anymore on the scrap heap. I really don't think he's draftable and I don't see him coming together for two years and even at that, he's more of a 4th wing potential type. Some do see him as a potential 3rd wing.
58t. Elijah Hughes – very low floor, mid ceiling. Elijah is what a lot of teams are looking for. That plugin SG who can defend SGs, shoot threes exceptionally well, has a mature body with bulk where you can spot him at the 3 on both ends, with high character and is a great athlete. Elijah's issue is consistency and he's your usual candidate for 2nd rounders and two-way guys.
58t. Cassius Stanley – very low floor, mid ceiling. Cash is one of those kids who is a good player, but he might not be as good as he seems for the next level. He's clearly a freak athlete he kind of looks like a poor's man Gerald Henderson at this stage.
58t. Desmond Bane – A mid-high floor, low ceiling. Like Devin Vassell, Bane is a good player who is a 3&D SG. While bulk is not a question for Bane, athleticism is. Is he athletic enough to be a SG in the NBA today? For this reason, is why Vassell is a late tier 4 rated prospect and why Bane is 5th tier.
58t. Abdolaye Ndoye, Cholet
I am keeping eye on N’doye
58t. Skylar Mays – A mid-high floor, low ceiling. Mays is a hooper who is a two-way college guard who maybe a stuck as an AAAA type in the pros. Doesn't really have a define skillset that NBA teams need but he's a baller. I think Mays would be better suited for the G-League for two to three years or Europe. He is a hooper but in the NBA, it's about roles if you aren't exceptional.
58t. Udoka Azubuike – A mid-high floor, semi-low ceiling. Azubuike turned himself into a solid drop center prospect who has two-way value. He's clearly an NBA player but he's very limited in fit. I can see teams like LAL and Utah who like drop center prospects.
58t. Trendon Watford – A very low floor, semi-high ceiling. Trendon has NBA talent but he doesn't have a position or role for the NBA. Just due to the lack of potential two-way wings, Watford has a shot to be drafted but he's truly a two-way guy. We see Semi Shittu, a similar prospect faith when he entered the NBA draft, but Watford is a potential a wing.
58t. Corey Kispert – A mid-high floor, low ceiling. Corey has a projectable game that will likely take some time to adjust. A two-way player who could find himself in the NBA by the end of the season.
58t. Myles Powell – A mid-high floor, low ceiling. Myles is a nice GLeague and Euroleague prospect with an outside shot at the NBA down the road.
58t. Kamar Baldwin – A Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Baldwin could become a good NBA player in the right system especially after a year in the GLeague.
58t. Yves Pons – A Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Best athlete in the draft. Pons has really improved from a skill-stance of late. He will likely return but it's a great thing that he has entered to at least get the feedback needed.
58t. Nick Richards, Kentucky
Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. One of my favorite prospects during the year, Richards fits the mold of a modern backup NBA 5 that so many teams want when they are physically mature. Probably undrafted but he's going to be a player that teams will fight over.
58t. Jayden Scrubb, John Logan
Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Scrubb is all potential in my eyes. I think he would be a late 1st if he went to the SEC but I am not sure. Someone to keep an eye on in this class.
58t. Aaron Henry, Michigan State
a mid-high floor, low ceiling. Your typical fringe guy who has the potential to be a late 1st rounder when his college career ends. I don't see him leaving for the draft, but this is a good showcase for him.
58t. Sam Merrill, Utah State
a mid-high floor, low ceiling. Sam is a very good basketball player. Without a doubt, he's one of the best players in this draft. Top 10-15 players. He can really play Basketball at a high level. The issue I have is he doesn't pass any of the PG or SG prerequisites for an NBA player. Not for a 3rd stringer, backup, and clearly not for a starter in today's NBA.
Sam would have been an NBA 1-2 time all-star in 1985 in the era where athleticism from SG just wasn't that high of a caliber. If he was 6'7 215, we could be looking at a nice rotation wing who plays a key role but at 6'5, man, it's tough. This is truly a game of inches. We will know soon if he's an NBA player during Summer/Fall League. We see so many guys fail at this level who were good hoopers.
58t. Lamar Stevens, Penn State
a mid-high floor, low ceiling. What I like about Stevens is he's a good Basketball player. That matters to me most. He has a clearly defined skill set, with toughness, a tremendous mid-range game, consistent but he's not really modeled for NBA success. I think he has a shot long term, but he needs to really find himself and what will work for the NBA.
58t. Trevelin Queen, New Mexico State
a mid-high floor, low ceiling. A productive player with an extremely tough background and is a proven worker. More of a 3&D SG type with limited potential but his off the ball skills to go with his shooting and mentality makes him a potential two-way contract steal.
58t. Mason Jones, Arkansas
a mid-high floor, low ceiling. Natural talent. Got into Basketball late. Comes from a Basketball family. Mason was 270 and is now 205. More of a pure scorer with poor shot selection, BBIQ, and defensive instincts.
Reminds me of those types that have been hit or miss like Zo Trier and Jordan Crawford. It's been proven guys like him aren't worth drafting but they do have a role off of a bench for poor scoring squads.
58t. Tres Tinkle, Oregon State
Very low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Even though he hasn't been lights out the shooter in college, his lighting quick shooting release, tough shot-making ability, size, toughness, draws fouls, good passer for the position, great screener, and has very good movement skills, high BBIQ plus being a college coach son. I think he's worth investing in considering Duncan Robinson, Joe Harris, the kid from Lipscomb success.
Guys like him with that 6'7 225-230 size wing is highly coveted in the modern NBA especially by teams who have good defensive fundamentals and need shooters. He's not worth drafting at all by my scout but his potential gives him a chance to be a lot more than most guys in this range. The hope is that he’s the next Joe Harris or Joe Ingles who also wasn’t a sharpshooter out of college/Australia.
58t. Nathan Knight, William and Mary
a mid-high floor, low ceiling. Highly productive big is a legit NBA prospect but does he have the prerequisites. What he does have is the BBIQ, offensive talent and drive to improve. He's a boom or bust guy. If he booms, he could be an NBA rotational (7th-9th man) stud one day, if he bust, he could be a career journeyman in Europe.
58t. Anthony Lamb, Vermont
a mid-high floor, low ceiling. Like Knight, highly productive big is a legit NBA prospect but does he have the prerequisites. Boom or bust potential.
58t. Jordan Ford, Saint Mary's
Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Low ceiling player who could play in the NBA and have success for many years as a backup PG like his former Gael Patty Mills. Due to an extremely deep class at the PG position, he could end up undrafted.
58t. Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga
Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. Ayayi is a decent player with a lot of talent. I don't think he will enter just due to the quality depth of this class, but I must add him to this list till he drops.
58t. Kenyon Martin Jr., IMG Academy
Low floor with a mid-high ceiling. I haven't seen much of Martin, but I am curious about him. No grade just interested enough to list him.
58t. John Petty, Alabama
a mid-high floor, semi-low ceiling. I've been a Petty guy for years. His energy, motor, movement skills, shooting skills, defensive talent, and size always reminded me of Nick Anderson. Not sure how much he translates to the modern NBA due to his lack of consistency outside of shooting, but I think he's worth a grab as a two-way guy. He still isn't polished is my issue.
58t. Luka Garza – A mid-high floor, low ceiling. Like Lamb and Knight, highly productive big is a legit NBA prospect but does he have the prerequisites. But I am less convinced Garza will ever come close to qualifying, but he is more polished and NBA Ready than those two players are. Every three to five years, a prospect like Garza comes out who is perfectly suited for EuroLeague stardom, but they waste years hoping to go to the NBA. I hope Garza doesn't do that. That said, he's a junior, I will likely be writing about him more next year.
58t. Karim Mane, Vanier College
Keeping an eye on him.
58t. Kevon Harris – A mid-high floor, semi-low ceiling. He reminds me a lot of Josh Howard as a prospect. Bigger wing. Can score at will on or off the ball. Gets to the FT line. Tough-minded and a good athlete. His issue is reputation is extremely low and I think that might hurt him especially without the combine environment.
58t. Rokas Jokubaitis, Zalgiris
Keeping an eye on him.
58t. Kristian Doolittle, OU
Keeping an eye on him.
58t. Rayshaun Hammonds – A mid-high floor, semi-low ceiling. I am a big fan of Hammonds offensive game for the NBA but defensively, he's not close to an NBA prospect. He needed to return but I get why he left. Players just don't have that modern skillset at the 4 coming out with the size and prerequisites.
58t. Kaleb Wesson – A mid-high floor, semi-low ceiling. He has the modern skillset for an NBA 5 as well as the talent but the body and endurance are issues.