The Ringer's 2018 NBA DRAFT GUIDE

with Scouting Reports by Kevin O’Connor

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Animation and Illustrations by Pablo Delcan/Getty Images

Welcome to The Ringer’s 2018 NBA Draft Guide. In the lead-up to June 21, this will be your hub for comprehensive looks at the year’s best prospects, with detailed scouting reports by Ringer staff writer Kevin O’Connor. The guide will be updated regularly, and this month we have our big board for the first round, individual rankings from our draftniks O’Connor, Jonathan Tjarks, and Danny Chau, and commentary from Rodger Sherman. 

We’ll continuously update the expert rankings and the big board as players’ draft stock rises and falls and as players declare or decide to return to college. This list of 30 will change (and expand to 60 in May) as June 21 approaches, and we’ll have a proper mock draft later in the spring. It’s officially draft season. Get excited. 

Updated 4.11.18
Big Board Updated 4.11
Team Needs Coming 5.15
All Draft Coverage Go to theringer.com
What's New
4.11

The first official big board and rankings from the draft analysts are here.

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1
LUKA DONCIC LUKA DONCIC

LUKA DONCIC

Point Guard

Real Madrid / Slovenia

  • PTS 15.1 24.2 per 40
  • REB 5.2 8.3 per 40
  • AST 4.6 7.4 per 40
  • EFG% 53.8 514 FGA
  • STL 1.0 1.6 per 40
  • BLK 0.4 0.6 per 40
  • 3PT% 30.4 240 3PA
  • FT% 80.6 248 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Playmaking
Age19.1
Height/Weight6'8''/228
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A basketball prodigy dominating the ACB and EuroLeague as a teenager who could become a game-changing NBA playmaker.
Shades Of: James Harden, Jumbo Manu Ginobili, Tyreke Evans
PLUSES
  • Transcendent passer: Throws Manu-style overhead whips, accurate cross-court dimes, and no-looks that’ll make highlight reels.
  • Puts perfect velocity and touch on passes, plus has the height to pass over the defense.
  • Surgically navigates pick-and-rolls, snaking to the middle, keeping defenders on his back, and picking defenses apart as a passer.
  • Advanced ball handler for his age with an excellent feel for using crossovers, hesitations, and different speeds.
  • Draws a ton of fouls; knows how to use his thick, strong frame to create and absorb contact.
  • Feathery touch on floaters and layups. His outstanding free throw percentage suggests he can develop into a knockdown shooter.
  • Flashes Harden-like upside on jumpers off the dribble; he can stop abruptly, smoothly step back, and launch.
  • Advanced at using fakes to shake defenses loose when running through screens or cutting.
  • Skilled post player; he uses his excellent footwork to work into turnaround jumpers, up-and-unders, drop steps, and hook shots.
  • Excellent rebounder for his position, and he quickly turns boards into transition offense.
  • Competitive, physical defender who hustles, closes out hard, and battles on switches.
  • Displays a special level of maturity: He’s excelled in the world’s second-best league and come up clutch in tense moments.
MINUSES
  • Struggles to contain quicker, more explosive players due to average agility and lateral quickness.
  • Pick-and-roll defense must improve in terms of positioning and fighting over screens.
  • Doesn’t create a ton of separation when turning the corner on drives due to lack of elite burst. Ends up settling for contested midrange pull-ups.
  • Jumper needs some slight adjustments: He occasionally misses left or right. Could stand to speed up his release.
  • Rarely uses his left hand to finish around the rim, which is important to develop for a player who lacks explosiveness inside.
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2
DEANDRE AYTON DEANDRE AYTON

DEANDRE AYTON

Center

Arizona, Freshman

  • PTS 20.1 24.0 per 40
  • REB 11.6 13.8 per 40
  • AST 1.6 1.9 per 40
  • EFG% 62.5 451 FGA
  • STL 0.6 0.7 per 40
  • BLK 1.9 2.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 34.3 35 3PA
  • FT% 73.3 191 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: All-NBA upside
Age19.7
Height/Weight7'0''/243
Wingspan7'5''
Standing Reach8'11"
A star center prospect whose body was built by the basketball gods, with a potentially elite two-way game.
Shades Of: Patrick Ewing, Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins
PLUSES
  • Has wide shoulders and a thick frame with room to add even more muscle.
  • Bouncy athlete vertically, but also very fluid and agile. He has light feet like a dancer, and runs the floor like a T-800 android.
  • Excellent finisher around the rim using either hand. Knows how to use angles and footwork to create space on the post.
  • Effective shooter due to soft touch and good mechanics; his range projects to the NBA 3-point line.
  • Better ball handler attacking from the perimeter than he was able to show at Arizona.
  • Underrated passer who makes accurate outlets and kickouts to shooters and cutters. Stays under control when facing pressure or doubles.
  • Good rebounder due to his sheer athletic advantage.
  • Potentially a super-switchable defender with the length and power to defend true bigs and the lateral quickness to contain wings and guards.
  • Does a good job of altering shots without fouling by keeping his hands straight up and not reaching.
MINUSES
  • Gets caught in no-man’s-land too often on defense; are his instincts poor, or does he just need more coaching?
  • Sometimes just flat-out misses on help defense against dribble penetration.
  • Intensity wanes, which has been a knock since he was young; is that because of fatigue, focus, or his mind-set?
  • Low block and steal rates are notable considering his elite measurables and theoretical defensive potential.
  • Occasionally drifts on the perimeter.
  • His hands have improved since high school, but he still occasionally fumbles passes.
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3
JAREN JACKSON JR. JAREN JACKSON JR.

JAREN JACKSON JR.

Big

Michigan State, Freshman

  • PTS 10.9 20.0 per 40
  • REB 5.8 10.6 per 40
  • AST 1.1 2.0 per 40
  • EFG% 59.5 232 FGA
  • STL 0.6 1.1 per 40
  • BLK 3.0 5.5 per 40
  • 3PT% 39.6 96 3PA
  • FT% 79.7 133 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Versatile defense
Age18.5
Height/Weight6'11"/240
Wingspan7'4"
Standing Reach9'1"
One of the youngest players in the draft is also one of the safest bets. Jackson projects as a reliable two-way big man.
Shades Of: Myles Turner, millionaire’s Taj Gibson, billionaire’s Amile Jefferson
PLUSES
  • Ambidextrous shot blocker with superb timing and closing speed.
  • Effective when switching ball screens onto guards and wings.
  • Glue-guy skills; cuts well, runs the floor hard, finishes with either hand.
  • Shows flashes finishing with power when he has space, though he must get stronger to finish through contact.
  • Spaces the floor well and shows ability to attack with straight-line drives.
  • Odd shooting mechanics with fling motion on a low release. It works, but he’ll need to show it can translate in the NBA.
MINUSES
  • Inconsistent rebounder who lacks physicality boxing out; he isn’t the quickest leaper from a standstill position.
  • His lack of mass and strength means that he doesn’t deter opponents from driving the lane. Bites on too many shot fakes.
  • Predictable when asked to create; handle gets too loose in traffic, and he tends to drive left.
  • Average touch on post-ups and tough-angle layups.
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4
MIKAL BRIDGES MIKAL BRIDGES

MIKAL BRIDGES

Small Forward

Villanova, Junior

  • PTS 17.7 22.0 per 40
  • REB 5.3 6.6 per 40
  • AST 1.9 2.4 per 40
  • EFG% 62.3 475 FGA
  • STL 1.5 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 1.1 1.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 43.5 239 3PA
  • FT% 85.1 134 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: All-around impact
Age21.6
Height/Weight6'7"/200
Wingspan7'2"
Standing Reach8'8"
A prototypical 3-and-D prospect who has made steady progress over his three college seasons and may have untapped upside.
Shades Of: Tayshaun Prince, Eddie Jones, Tony Snell
PLUSES
  • Unselfish team player who keeps the ball moving and plays within himself.
  • Competitive, experienced defender who has the speed to contain guards and length to handle wings.
  • Effective catch-and-shooter with NBA range; flashes the body control necessary to develop into a shooter off screens.
  • Attacks with purpose as a straight-line driver; he reads the floor well and can finish at the rim with either hand or with power.
  • Capable of beating mismatches on the low post.
  • Flashes playmaking potential as a passer off the dribble. If his handle improves, he could be a pick-and-roll threat.
MINUSES
  • Lanky upper and lower body may put a cap on his defensive versatility -- can he defend larger forwards?
  • Lacks crafty ball-handling moves and is a subpar shooter off the bounce.
  • Has improved every year in college as a shooter, but may struggle in the NBA due to the hitch in his shot.
  • Doesn’t consistently show a star mentality; vanishes occasionally, despite playing a central role for Villanova.
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5
MARVIN BAGLEY III MARVIN BAGLEY III

MARVIN BAGLEY III

Big

Duke, Freshman

  • PTS 21.0 24.9 per 40
  • REB 11.1 13.1 per 40
  • AST 1.5 1.8 per 40
  • EFG% 64.0 440 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.0 per 40
  • BLK 0.9 1.0 per 40
  • 3PT% 39.7 58 3PA
  • FT% 62.7 209 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: High-upside athleticism
Age19.0
Height/Weight6'11"/234
Wingspan7'0.5"
Standing ReachN/A
A complicated prospect: He’s a modern tweener who has athletic center skills but an unreliable jump shot and the body of a forward.
Shades Of: Amar’e Stoudemire, slim Zach Randolph, Michael Beasley
PLUSES
  • Plays his ass off.
  • Has the potential to be an extremely versatile perimeter defender due to lateral quickness.
  • Good weakside shot blocker who can fly out of nowhere to alter shots.
  • Relentless rebounder with the court awareness to match his quick leaping ability.
  • Coast-to-coast threat due to speed and open-floor ball-handling skills.
  • Could be a multidimensional pick-and-roll threat; has the fluidity to attack the lane, the athleticism to catch lobs, and the shooting form to one day space the floor.
  • Fast-twitch athlete with a lightning-quick first step and fluid body control. If his jumper develops, it will be hard to stop him from getting to the rim.
  • Excellent interior finisher despite left-hand dependence due to his ability to handle contact and score from awkward angles.
MINUSES
  • Not long or thick enough to defend the interior at an elite level, especially against larger centers like Joel Embiid or Karl-Anthony Towns.
  • Questionable defensive instincts; tends to be a beat late on rotations, which raises concerns about his ability to anchor a defense.
  • Subpar shooter with shaky mechanics. Sprays short, long, left, and right on misses. Also struggles from the line.
  • Currently a nonfactor shooting off the dribble. He looks uncomfortable transitioning into the shot on the move.
  • Predictable at-rim finisher since he almost never uses his right hand.
  • Sloppy ball handler and decision-maker in the half court. He’s at his best in the open floor.
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The Five Best Dunkers in the 2018 Draft Class

As determined by Ringer staff writer and aspiring NBA Slam Dunk Contest judge Rodger Sherman.

5. Mohamed Bamba, Texas. The 7-footer will primarily be coveted for his shot-blocking, yet Bamba also gets high enough to dunk on migrating birds. Bamba leaped over a friend to complete a reverse slam during the 2017 McDonald’s All American dunk contest.

4. Rawle Alkins, Arizona. Alkins had a brief in-game dunk contest audition against Oregon State. More memorably, he toppled a USC defender in this year’s Pac-12 championship, then flexed on him.

3. Trevon Duval, Duke. Duval did gruesome things to supposed rim protectors when he was in high school. He also turned in one of the nastiest dunks in the history of the Duke–North Carolina rivalry.

2. Robert Williams, Texas A&M. Williams threw down not one, but two in-game windmill dunks during the 2018 NCAA tournament.

1. Collin Sexton, Alabama. Sexton took home the 2017 McDonald’s All American dunk contest title with a pair of slams that could win the NBA version: a reverse jam from an alley-oop that ricocheted off the side of the backboard, and this 360 cuff dunk. His in-game résumé isn’t as elite, but he once finished an off-the-bounce 360 in high school.

6
MOHAMED BAMBA MOHAMED BAMBA

MOHAMED BAMBA

Center

Texas, Freshman

  • PTS 12.9 17.1 per 40
  • REB 10.5 14.0 per 40
  • AST 0.5 0.7 per 40
  • EFG% 56.7 270 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.0 per 40
  • BLK 3.6 4.8 per 40
  • 3PT% 27.5 51 3PA
  • FT% 68.1 119 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Length and lobs
Age19.9
Height/Weight7'0"/207
Wingspan7'9"
Standing Reach9'6"
Bamba’s immense defensive upside is tied to his otherworldly wingspan. His potential as a perimeter threat could make him a 3-point-shooting Rudy Gobert.
Shades Of: Rudy Gobert, Jermaine O’Neal, Tyson Chandler
PLUSES
  • Combines length with excellent coordination, allowing him to block or alter shots with either hand all over the court.
  • Mobile; a potential five-position defender if he masters fundamentals.
  • Long strides enable him to cover a lot of ground when closing out on shooters or sprinting in transition.
  • An ambidextrous finisher who can catch tough passes, though he occasionally fumbles or double clutches.
  • Solid passer who can make basic reads.
  • A curious learner and thinker off the court.
MINUSES
  • Lacks the intensity you’d hope for in a defensive anchor.
  • Gets pushed around by stronger players inside the paint.
  • Not the quickest leaper when battling for contested rebounds; usually needs time to gather and launch to elevate.
  • Weak screener with poor technique, which will hinder his pick-and-roll ability until he improves.
  • Lacks the strength to dunk over and through defenders the way explosive NBA rim runners like DeAndre Jordan can.
  • Post-up skills need work; he gets moved off his spots when sealing down low.
  • Only a theoretical shooter. He needs to simplify his mechanics before he can be considered a threat from 3.
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7
TRAE YOUNG TRAE YOUNG

TRAE YOUNG

Point Guard

Oklahoma, Freshman

  • PTS 27.4 30.9 per 40
  • REB 3.9 4.4 per 40
  • AST 8.7 9.8 per 40
  • EFG% 51.9 617 FGA
  • STL 1.7 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.3 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 36.1 327 3PA
  • FT% 86.1 274 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Perimeter scoring
Age19.5
Height/Weight6'2"/176
Wingspan6'4"
Standing Reach7'11.5"
A polarizing point guard prospect who, depending on the perspective, can look like either Steph Curry or Seth Curry.
Shades Of: Mike Bibby, Trey Burke, Aaron Brooks
PLUSES
  • At one point this season, he looked like the greatest freshman guard ever, with dynamic, can’t-miss shooting ability from all over the floor.
  • Young’s shooting percentages off the dribble fizzled, but he’s still a player who can get a team a bucket at the end of the clock.
  • Smooth ball handler who uses silky crossovers, hesitations, and different speeds to keep defenders off balance and create space for his shot.
  • Great shooter off the catch with deep range.
  • Good touch on his floater.
  • Potentially an off-ball weapon on handoffs and screens due to his ability to hit tough jumpers by balancing himself midair.
  • Displays good passing vision. Can accurately deliver the ball using either hand off the dribble.
  • Advanced running the pick-and-roll; he understands timing and angles, and how to take advantage of his great handle.
MINUSES
  • Low release point on his jumper, which might explain his struggles against stiffer competition and night-and-day inconsistency this season.
  • Questionable shot selection has been an issue since high school. Does he have the willingness to play within a system?
  • Average finisher around the rim due to lack of explosiveness and length; he’ll need to become far craftier to score among the trees.
  • Takes too many careless risks by driving or passing the ball into traffic.
  • Lacks the strength, length, and speed found in most of the NBA’s top point guards.
  • Low-effort defender; combined with his physical shortcomings, he’ll get feasted on if he switches onto larger players.
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8
MICHAEL PORTER JR. MICHAEL PORTER JR.

MICHAEL PORTER JR.

Forward

Missouri, Freshman

  • PTS 10.0 22.6 per 40
  • REB 6.7 15.1 per 40
  • AST 0.3 0.8 per 40
  • EFG% 38.3 30 FGA
  • STL 1.0 2.3 per 40
  • BLK 0.3 0.8 per 40
  • 3PT% 30.0 10 3PA
  • FT% 77.8 9 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring prowess
Age19.7
Height/Weight6'10''/214
Wingspan7'0"
Standing Reach8'11.5''
A tall, athletic forward who can drain shots from anywhere, but must hone his ball handling to reach his scoring potential.
Shades Of: Athletic Keith Van Horn, Otto Porter Jr., Harrison Barnes
PLUSES
  • Sweet shooting stroke with a high release and soft touch, both off the catch and off the dribble.
  • Good ball handler in the open floor; can take the ball coast to coast.
  • Effective off-ball player who moves well on cuts and knows how to get himself open for catch-and-shoot 3s.
  • Plays with confidence offensively; never lets mistakes get in the way of making the next play.
  • With solid length and quickness, he’s potentially a versatile defender if his fundamentals improve.
MINUSES
  • Underwent back surgery for a spinal disc injury that kept him out for the majority of his freshman season.
  • Suffers from Andrew Wiggins syndrome: He needs to prove he can be more than an inefficient scorer.
  • His lack of advanced ball-handling moves prevents him from getting all the way to the rim or creating space against great defenders.
  • Frustrating shot selection due to his habit of settling for jumpers.
  • Has a good, but not great, first step off the dribble.
  • Lacks passing vision.
  • Questionable physicality. He avoids contact, gets pushed around, and doesn’t grind on defense.
  • Not much of a rebounder, which will make it harder to play small with him.
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9
MILES BRIDGES

MILES BRIDGES

Forward

Michigan State, Sophomore

  • PTS 17.1 21.8 per 40
  • REB 7.0 8.9 per 40
  • AST 2.7 3.4 per 40
  • EFG% 53.5 457 FGA
  • STL 0.6 0.8 per 40
  • BLK 0.8 1.0 per 40
  • 3PT% 36.4 195 3PA
  • FT% 85.3 109 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Glue-guy potential
Age20.0
Height/Weight6'6''/226
Wingspan6'8.75"
Standing Reach8'7"
A thick-framed forward who projects as a do-it-all role player but can reach another level if he develops his ball handling.
Shades Of: Derrick Coleman, Tobias Harris, Deshaun Thomas
PLUSES
  • Explosive and ambidextrous finishing around the basket; can hit tough, contested shots against rim protection.
  • Shifty attacking the lane against closeouts; likes to go right, or spin back right when going left.
  • Could have shot-creation potential if he tightens his handle.
  • Good spot-up shooter with compact mechanics. May need to extend his range to the NBA line.
  • Does everything smart role players do: cuts, screens, and completes simple passes.
  • High-energy rebounder who can be inserted at the 4 in smaller lineups.
  • Isn’t overly long, but has the strength, motor, and fundamentals to effectively defend multiple positions.
MINUSES
  • Length could be problematic in terms of position; his ball handling is best suited for power forward, but he has the reach of a wing.
  • Rarely draws fouls due to his sloppy handle, especially when driving against a set defense or at high speed in transition.
  • Subpar passer who lacks vision when attacking the basket.
  • Can beat mismatches on the post, but lacks any advanced moves against defenders that can match his size and strength.
  • Defensive effort comes and goes; is it because of his offensive workload, his mind-set, or his conditioning?
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10
WENDELL CARTER JR. WENDELL CARTER JR.

WENDELL CARTER JR.

Center

Duke, Freshman

  • PTS 13.5 20.2 per 40
  • REB 9.1 13.5 per 40
  • AST 2.0 3.0 per 40
  • EFG% 59.1 319 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.2 per 40
  • BLK 2.1 3.1 per 40
  • 3PT% 41.3 46 3PA
  • FT% 73.8 168 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Versatility at the 5
Age18.9
Height/Weight6'10''/263
Wingspan7'3"
Standing Reach9'0"
A thick-framed big man with ballerina quickness, Carter is a do-it-all big man with few notable weaknesses.
Shades Of: Al Horford, Antonio McDyess, Mo Speights
PLUSES
  • Has the soft hands to catch tough passes and the court awareness to quickly finish on dump-offs or in the pick-and-roll.
  • Not an elite athlete, but can finish lobs when he has space. Elevates quickly on layups and putbacks.
  • Good shooter from 3 off the catch, with smooth mechanics that should translate to the NBA line.
  • Versatile interior player who can post or face up from either block. Can finish with either hand, and has a plethora of moves.
  • Great passer for his position who makes quick reads and throws accurate dimes from all areas of the floor.
  • Knows exactly how to position himself on the court on cuts, screens, and rim runs.
  • Excellent rebounder who boxes out and tracks balls out of his area.
  • Effective interior defender who has the strength to neutralize post players and the length to protect the rim.
  • Fluid laterally, with light feet, which gives him the ability to play spot duty with quicker players on switches. He’s not a liability.
MINUSES
  • Suffered an undisclosed foot injury in January at Duke that caused him to miss practice time.
  • Not an above-the-rim player, so his lack of elite athleticism puts a cap on his upside.
  • Has a hitch in his jumper that makes him ineffective off the dribble.
  • Needs to slow down mentally; most of his turnovers come from trying to do too much on the drive or as a passer.
  • Bites for too many pump fakes, which could get him in trouble against savvy veterans.
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Five Prospects Who (Probably) Lost Money by Opting Out of Last Year’s Draft

According to Ringer staff writer Jonathan Tjarks.

Bruce Brown, Miami. After a breakout freshman season at Miami, Brown came back to school to play his way into the lottery. Instead, he struggled to share the ball with highly touted freshman Lonnie Walker IV, while his 3-point shooting fell off a cliff. After a foot injury prematurely ended his season in January, he became out of sight, out of mind for many NBA talent evaluators.

Justin Jackson, Maryland. It's hard to know what to make of the versatile forward’s brief sophomore campaign at Maryland, when he played in only 11 nonconference games before a shoulder injury ended his season. The only thing we know for sure is that he threw away any draft momentum he had — especially after struggling in a bigger offensive role with Melo Trimble gone.

Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky. Diallo is the poster child for how too much exposure can be a bad thing. He's such a good athlete that he would have been a potential lottery pick last season, even though he was with the team for only three months without ever playing in a game. Once he stepped on the court this season, his poor jumper and limited feel for the game became obvious.

Kostja Mushidi, Mega Bemax. Like a lot of international players, Mushidi flirted with the draft last season as an 18-year-old before withdrawing when he couldn't get a first-round promise. He plays for Mega Bemax, one of the few European clubs that gives big roles to younger players, but he wasn't able to do much with the opportunity. Mushidi is billed as a shooter, yet shot only 28.6 percent from 3 and 62.9 percent from the free throw line this season.

Rodions Kurucs, FC Barcelona II. Kurucs has been caught in limbo all season. He was unwilling to extend his contract with FC Barcelona, so the team kept him on its B team rather than promoted him to its senior team or loaning him out somewhere else. It's hard to evaluate him considering his substandard competition, and he may need to leave Barcelona before he can build enough buzz to stay in the draft.

11
SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER

SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER

Guard

Kentucky, Freshman

  • PTS 14.4 17.1 per 40
  • REB 4.1 4.9 per 40
  • AST 5.1 6.1 per 40
  • EFG% 51.6 377 FGA
  • STL 1.6 2.0 per 40
  • BLK 0.5 0.6 per 40
  • 3PT% 40.4 57 3PA
  • FT% 82.2 174 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Length and defense
Age19.7
Height/Weight6'6''/171
Wingspan7'0"
Standing Reach8'9"
A long, athletic combo guard who grinds defensively and flashes playmaking skills, but needs to improve his jumper.
Shades Of: Shaun Livingston, Patrick McCaw, Michael Carter-Williams
PLUSES
  • Plays with fire and energy.
  • Super-active off-ball defender who uses his long arms to get steals, cause deflections, and take away passing angles.
  • Excellent lateral quickness with good fundamentals, which makes him an immediately impactful on-ball defender.
  • Has good touch on his floater and on layups. He shoots well from the line, which suggests he can continue honing his jumper.
  • Slippery ball handler who gets where he wants on the floor and draws a ton of fouls.
  • Displays natural pick-and-roll instincts using hesitations and pace to keep defenders off balance.
MINUSES
  • Average athlete for a guard; doesn’t get much elevation on layup attempts.
  • Solid playmaker, but takes too many careless risks; he must learn how to value possessions.
  • Awkward push shot with a low release when shooting off the catch, so he may need to tweak his mechanics.
  • His pull-up jumper works, but it’s as aesthetically pleasing as Markelle Fultz’s post-shoulder-injury. Can that translate in the NBA?
  • Skinny without a frame ideal for adding muscle; will he be as effective on defense against bulky guards and wings?
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12
ROBERT WILLIAMS ROBERT WILLIAMS

ROBERT WILLIAMS

Big

Texas A&M, Sophomore

  • PTS 10.4 16.2 per 40
  • REB 9.2 14.4 per 40
  • AST 1.4 2.2 per 40
  • EFG% 63.2 220 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.2 per 40
  • BLK 2.5 3.9 per 40
  • 3PT% 0.0 12 3PA
  • FT% 47.1 70 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Lobs on lobs
Age20.4
Height/Weight6'9''/237
Wingspan7'5''
Standing Reach9'4''
A supreme dunker who fits the mold of a rim-running center, though he must improve his discipline.
Shades Of: DeAndre Jordan, Clint Capela, Amir Johnson
PLUSES
  • Elite athlete who is always a threat for lobs via pick-and-roll dives, cuts, or transition rim runs.
  • Bouncy leaper who keeps balls alive on the offensive boards and can throw down explosive dunks even from a standstill.
  • Can put the ball on the floor for one or two dribbles, though he must improve his footwork.
  • Solid passer who recognizes cutters and puts velocity on the ball.
  • Athletic shot blocker who closes gaps in a flash as a help defender.
  • Capable of switching onto guards due to his quickness.
  • Played out of position at Texas A&M in a two-big offense, so will likely produce more effectively in an NBA situation.
MINUSES
  • Limbs flail when he shoots jumpers. Form and release look different each time.
  • Needs to overhaul his shot form; he brings the ball up the left side of his body, but shoots with his right hand.
  • Doesn’t always do the little things; doesn’t show proper screening technique and rarely seals a defender on the post.
  • Undisciplined defender who reaches too often and falls out of his stance.
  • Only an average rebounder statistically considering his athleticism, though that may be because he played out of position at A&M.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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ZHAIRE SMITH ZHAIRE SMITH

ZHAIRE SMITH

Small Forward

Texas Tech, Freshman

  • PTS 11.2 15.8 per 40
  • REB 4.9 6.9 per 40
  • AST 1.7 2.4 per 40
  • EFG% 58.5 277 FGA
  • STL 1.2 1.6 per 40
  • BLK 1.0 1.4 per 40
  • 3PT% 45.0 40 3PA
  • FT% 71.7 127 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Athleticism and defense
Age18.8
Height/Weight6'5''/195
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A defensive wing whose explosiveness could hang with the Monstars in 'Space Jam.'
Shades Of: Danny Green, Wesley Matthews, Norman Powell
PLUSES
  • It looks like he’s flying when he jumps.
  • Versatile defender with the speed to contain guards and the strength and length to handle bigger players.
  • Excellent reaction time moving laterally, swiping the ball away in man-to-man situations, or when helping off the weak side.
  • Active, effective rebounder.
  • Tends to make the right play as a passer, though he’s no point guard.
  • Good finisher in the paint off straight-line drives, cuts, lobs, and putbacks.
  • Willing screener; Texas Tech even used him as an on-ball dive man.
MINUSES
  • Too undersized to be a four-position defender; he’ll need to pack on a lot of muscle.
  • Reluctant shooter with funky mechanics. He’ll need to prove he can hit NBA 3s.
  • Odd tendency to stop the ball and sit in a three-point stance when he should just keep it moving or attack.
  • Lacks ball-handling and shot-creation skills.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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14
COLLIN SEXTON COLLIN SEXTON

COLLIN SEXTON

Point Guard

Alabama, Freshman

  • PTS 19.2 25.6 per 40
  • REB 3.8 5.0 per 40
  • AST 3.6 4.8 per 40
  • EFG% 49.8 438 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.1 per 40
  • BLK 0.1 0.1 per 40
  • 3PT% 33.6 131 3PA
  • FT% 77.8 252 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Relentlessness
Age19.2
Height/Weight6'2''/183
Wingspan6'7"
Standing Reach8'2"
A fearless score-first point guard who needs to learn how to control his intensity.
Shades Of: Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Banks
PLUSES
  • He’s here to kick ass and chew bubblegum—and that attitude is contagious.
  • He’s a potential lockdown defender against guards due to his lateral quickness, length, and effort.
  • Stays engaged off-ball fighting through screens; he’s always a threat to intercept passes.
  • Shifty ball handler with a quick first step; he gets where he wants on the floor using a litany of advanced moves.
  • Ambidextrous and aggressive finisher at the rim. He would have better percentages in that zone if his shot selection improved.
  • Draws a ton of fouls and shoots well from the line.
  • Possesses a relaxed jumper off both the catch and dribble, with NBA range.
  • Showcases toughness in adverse situations. He once scored 40 points to keep Alabama in a game while playing 3-on-5.
MINUSES
  • Forces low-quality shots against rim protection and hoists jumpers early in the clock, rather than making plays for teammates.
  • Lacks pure passing skills; he forces high-risk passes or low-quality shots at a frustrating rate.
  • He can hone his passing ability by improving his accuracy and the velocity he puts on passes.
  • He’ll need to prove he can play a more controlled brand of play within a system.
  • He’s lanky, and will need to get stronger without losing quickness to maximize his defensive potential.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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15
JONTAY PORTER JONTAY PORTER

JONTAY PORTER

Center

Missouri, Freshman

  • PTS 9.9 16.1 per 40
  • REB 6.8 11.1 per 40
  • AST 2.2 3.7 per 40
  • EFG% 52.1 238 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.4 per 40
  • BLK 1.7 2.7 per 40
  • 3PT% 36.4 110 3PA
  • FT% 75.0 104 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Size and skill
Age18.4
Height/Weight6'10''/230
Wingspan7'0''
Standing Reach9'1''
A young, skilled big man who spaces the floor and does all the little things on offense but must improve his defense.
Shades Of: Detlef Schrempf, Drew Gooden, Trey Lyles
PLUSES
  • Excellent passer from all areas of the floor; he's accurate and he makes quick reads.
  • Fluid ball handler who uses crossovers, hesitations, and spin moves to attack the basket from the perimeter or high post.
  • Elite screener for his age; he could develop into a multidimensional screening threat on the pop, short roll, and dives.
  • Solid positional defender who tends to make good rotations; he’s not a rim protector, but there’s value in not screwing up.
  • If he adds muscle, projects as a sturdy low-post defender due to his effort level and positioning.
MINUSES
  • Subpar athlete who lacks quickness; an NBA conditioning coach will help turn his youthful blubber into professional brawn.
  • Poor rebounder for his position, though with his basketball IQ, he can make up for it by boxing out.
  • Lacks the length to protect the rim and the agility to roam the perimeter, meaning he may be exploitable on defense.
  • Struggles scoring around the rim due to lack of pop; he misses an unusual amount of “easy ones.”
  • Can clearly shoot the rock, but his set form and low release could use some refinement to ensure it translates to the NBA.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Will Anybody Draft LiAngelo Ball?

As determined by Ringer staff writer and esteemed Lithuanian basketball analyst Rodger Sherman.

LiAngelo Ball, the middle child of planet Earth’s most famous hoops family, has declared for the 2018 NBA draft. On March 27, the same day that he declared, he dropped 72 points in a game against a Chinese youth team. It’s been a wild year for Gelo: First he got arrested for shoplifting in China, allowing his father to feud with the president of the United States. Then he withdrew from UCLA to play overseas with his younger brother, LaMelo. With such prolific output and with his older brother, Lonzo, succeeding with the Lakers, will a team roll the dice and pick LiAngelo on draft night?

No.

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LONNIE WALKER IV LONNIE WALKER IV

LONNIE WALKER IV

Shooting Guard

Miami, Freshman

  • PTS 11.5 16.6 per 40
  • REB 2.6 3.7 per 40
  • AST 1.9 2.7 per 40
  • EFG% 50.3 318 FGA
  • STL 0.9 1.4 per 40
  • BLK 0.5 0.7 per 40
  • 3PT% 34.6 162 3PA
  • FT% 73.8 65 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring upside
Age19.3
Height/Weight6'4"/206
Wingspan6'10.5"
Standing ReachN/A
An explosive, shifty guard who showed flashes of go-to scoring skills once his role was increased midseason.
Shades Of: Ben Gordon, Pat McCaw, Corey Brewer
PLUSES
  • Shows knack for shot creation with hesitations and a smooth shooting release off the dribble, but lacks advanced ball-handling moves.
  • Good shooting form and touch, though he needs to quicken his release to avoid getting contested.
  • Miami used him off screens and he displayed advanced footwork, though his shooting percentages on the catch were low.
  • His length, agility, and lateral quickness allow him to effectively defend both guard spots.
  • Skilled chasing shooters through screens and tends to rotate well, though he must work at staying more focused.
MINUSES
  • Underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee in July 2017.
  • Bad habit of taking off from too far away on layup attempts instead of taking an extra dribble.
  • Settles for too many contested pull-up jumpers and floaters.
  • Lacks feel and passing vision when making plays for others.
  • Doesn’t anticipate cutting lanes or move at an advanced level off-ball.
  • Too lean to be more than a two-position defender despite his length.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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17
KEVIN KNOX KEVIN KNOX

KEVIN KNOX

Forward

Kentucky, Freshman

  • PTS 15.6 19.3 per 40
  • REB 5.4 6.7 per 40
  • AST 1.4 1.8 per 40
  • EFG% 51.1 441 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.0 per 40
  • BLK 0.3 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 34.1 167 3PA
  • FT% 77.4 164 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Offensive upside
Age18.6
Height/Weight6'9"/205
Wingspan7'0.25"
Standing Reach9'0"
A raw forward with the requisite athletic traits to be a go-to scorer if he puts it all together.
Shades Of: Tobias Harris, Al Harrington, Jeff Green
PLUSES
  • Skilled finisher around the rim; uses either hand, can yam on defenders, and has fluid body control driving around opponents.
  • Displays pick-and-roll scoring upside; can pull up, get to the rim, or take advantage of smaller players on a switch.
  • Flashes shooting skills spotting up and running off screens, though his percentages are mediocre.
  • Savvy scorer without the ball; shows a knack for spacing on the perimeter and when to cut. Runs the floor hard in transition.
  • Potentially versatile defender if he locks in — he has the athleticism, length, and lateral quickness.
MINUSES
  • Settles for too many midrange jumpers and floaters early in the shot clock.
  • Lacks passing instincts.
  • Average rebounder; teams will be hurting on the boards if they choose to play Knox as a 4 in smaller lineups.
  • Takes too many naps on defense, fails to contest shots, keeps his hands by his side, and rarely makes high-impact or timely plays.
  • Versatility is theoretical; he’s not quick enough to contain elite guards and needs to get a lot stronger to defend interior bigs.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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KHYRI THOMAS KHYRI THOMAS

KHYRI THOMAS

Shooting Guard

Creighton, Junior

  • PTS 15.1 19.0 per 40
  • REB 4.4 5.5 per 40
  • AST 2.8 3.5 per 40
  • EFG% 62.9 342 FGA
  • STL 1.7 2.1 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 41.1 151 3PA
  • FT% 78.8 85 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Intense defense
Age21.9
Height/Weight6'3''/210
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A defensive menace who offers complementary offense with his shooting, though his ball handling must improve.
Shades Of: Victor Oladipo, Patrick Beverley, small Gerald Wallace
PLUSES
  • Elite perimeter defender who moves quick laterally, can switch onto wings, and combines good technique with intensity to neutralize opponents.
  • Strong frame with thick legs and a long wingspan enables him to battle on post switches and rebound at a high level for his position.
  • Plays and looks like a strong safety off-ball; quickly closes out to intercept passes and pickpocket ball handlers.
  • Turns defense into offense with steals, deflections, and rebounds.
  • Knockdown spot-up 3-point shooter who shows flashes of dynamic play off screens and handoffs.
  • Ambidextrous at-rim finisher who’s at his best when feeding off teammates on straight-line drives, slashes, and cuts.
  • His quick first step, long strides, and steadily improving handle suggests there’s untapped shot-creation potential.
  • Skilled post player who can facilitate from the block or beat up on smaller guards.
  • Puts velocity on passes, tends to make smart plays, and loves to throw long outlet passes.
  • Models his game after Kawhi Leonard.
MINUSES
  • High, loose dribble makes it hard for him to create shots against a set defense.
  • Uncomfortable shooting off the dribble; he needs to work on his footwork and quicken his release.
  • Already a good shooter, but must extend his range to assure it translates to the NBA level.
  • Pick-and-roll feel can improve by mixing in different speeds and more hesitations.
  • Occasionally telegraphs or forces passes that he shouldn’t make.
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19
MELVIN FRAZIER MELVIN FRAZIER

MELVIN FRAZIER

Small Forward

Tulane, Junior

  • PTS 15.9 18.5 per 40
  • REB 5.6 6.5 per 40
  • AST 2.9 3.3 per 40
  • EFG% 61.0 322 FGA
  • STL 2.1 2.4 per 40
  • BLK 0.7 0.9 per 40
  • 3PT% 38.5 91 3PA
  • FT% 71.2 118 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Defensive versatility
Age21.6
Height/Weight6'5''/200
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
An energetic player with 3-and-D potential who may have untapped scoring upside if he develops his handle.
Shades Of: Bruce Bowen, Kent Bazemore, Patrick McCaw
PLUSES
  • Hyperactive defender with lightning-quick hands and elite instincts; regularly rips balls from ball handlers and jumps passing lanes.
  • Engaged, focused defender who knows when to help and displays an advanced understanding of positioning.
  • Explosive athlete who can leap over and dunk through length, a lob threat on cuts, and an ambidextrous finisher.
  • Improved spot-up shooter with good potential if he makes a few mechanical tweaks.
  • Untapped scoring potential if he refines his skills and fundamentals, especially his footwork.
  • Flashes great passing upside, though he must improve his vision and feel.
MINUSES
  • Inconsistent shooter who brings the ball to his set point too early and releases it on the way down, both of which ruin momentum.
  • Limited ball handler; has a high dribble and doesn’t change directions smoothly.
  • Currently a nonfactor shooting off the dribble due to handle and shot form.
  • Attempts too many wild layups and passes; needs to learn how to value every possession.
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RAWLE ALKINS RAWLE ALKINS

RAWLE ALKINS

Shooting Guard

Arizona, Sophomore

  • PTS 13.1 16.7 per 40
  • REB 4.8 6.1 per 40
  • AST 2.5 3.2 per 40
  • EFG% 50.4 229 FGA
  • STL 1.2 1.5 per 40
  • BLK 0.7 0.9 per 40
  • 3PT% 35.9 92 3PA
  • FT% 72.4 98 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Strong wing defense
Age20.4
Height/Weight6'5"/220
Wingspan6'8.75"
Standing Reach8'3"
An energetic, athletic, and burly wing who projects as a versatile defender and spot-up shooter.
Shades Of: Eric Bledsoe, Lance Stephenson, Aaron McKie
PLUSES
  • Sets a tone; he played with consistent defensive effort as a sophomore, and got better at avoiding fouls.
  • Thick frame, long arms, and athleticism give him potential versatility to defend guards, wings, and some forwards.
  • Improved shooter in spot-up situations, though his release can get quicker.
  • Flashes shooting potential off the dribble, though he must expand his repertoire of dribbling moves.
  • Good first step attacking closeouts, and a solid finisher with his right hand.
  • Decent passer who keeps the ball moving and makes accurate passes off the dribble.
MINUSES
  • Underwent surgery after fracturing a bone in his right foot in 2017.
  • Should be a better rebounder considering his size and athleticism.
  • Gets a bit wild driving to the basket; leaves his feet on too many passes and gets too loose with the ball.
  • Athleticism doesn’t always show when attempting layups, and he too often ends up settling for floaters.
  • Can get better at recognizing cutting opportunities.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Five Under-the-Radar 3-and-D Wings That You Should Know About

According to Ringer staff writer Jonathan Tjarks.

Devon Hall, Virginia. The senior wing was a two-way rock for the Cavaliers all season, and he has the size, shooting ability, and basketball IQ to be worth a shot at the next level. The Malcolm Brogdon comparison is lazy, but it's not completely absurd.

Jarrey Foster, SMU. Foster was a raw athlete coming out of high school who slowly turned himself into a well-rounded player in a three-year stint at SMU, a program that has sent several players to the NBA recently. He surprised many people when he declared for the draft despite tearing his ACL in January, but he could be an interesting long-term gamble for a team willing to bet on his tools and pedigree.

Kerwin Roach, Texas. Roach, an elite defensive player at Texas, is one of the best athletes in this year's draft. He turned the corner as a junior and became a more consistent offensive player, both as a shooter and decision-maker, but he's still not very polished. Regardless of whether he's drafted, Roach will spend a lot of time in the G League next season, where he could easily win the dunk contest.

Donte Ingram, Loyola-Chicago. Ingram has the best chance of any of Loyola's players to capitalize off their Cinderella run. At 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, he's got an NBA-caliber frame with a consistent 3-point stroke, and he guarded players at all five positions during March Madness.

Malik Pope, San Diego State. NBA draft nerds will remember Pope's name from his freshman season at San Diego State, when he was briefly touted as a potential lottery pick thanks to a projectable 3-point stroke and absurd dimensions for a wing (6-foot-10 and 220 pounds with a 7-foot-2 wingspan). He never added much else to his game in four years in college, but those two things will at least get him a training camp invite.

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JACOB EVANS JACOB EVANS

JACOB EVANS

Small Forward

Cincinnati, Junior

  • PTS 13.0 16.9 per 40
  • REB 4.7 6.1 per 40
  • AST 3.1 4.1 per 40
  • EFG% 50.7 377 FGA
  • STL 1.3 1.7 per 40
  • BLK 1.0 1.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 37.0 162 3PA
  • FT% 75.4 114 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Defense
Age20.8
Height/Weight6'6''/210
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A classic 3-and-D prospect who shoots and defends well, though he’s not a jump-out-of-the-gym athlete.
Shades Of: Wesley Matthews, Jae Crowder, Bogdan Bogdanovic
PLUSES
  • Spirited defender with the size and length to defend multiple positions.
  • Advanced off-ball defender; rotates well, communicates, and has good footwork on closeouts.
  • Makes winning plays with weakside blocks, deflections, and timely rebounds.
  • High-IQ passer who understands his limitations, moves the ball, and executes well.
  • Capable of using either hand to score at the rim with touch, though he’s a below-the-rim finisher.
  • Good spot-up shooter with NBA range.
  • Has made steady progress over his three collegiate seasons.
MINUSES
  • Average athlete who will need to prove he can defend the NBA’s elite, which he will be tasked with in his projected role.
  • Sluggish first step and high dribble limits his shot creation.
  • Low shooting release affects his ability to shoot off the dribble and when he’s tightly contested.
  • Lacks dynamic playmaking skill; he tends to pass the ball after he’s stopped his dribble rather than pass in rhythm on the move.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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DE'ANTHONY MELTON DE'ANTHONY MELTON

DE'ANTHONY MELTON

Guard

USC, Sophomore

  • PTS 8.3 12.3 per 40
  • REB 4.7 7.0 per 40
  • AST 3.5 5.1 per 40
  • EFG% 48.3 231 FGA
  • STL 1.9 2.8 per 40
  • BLK 1.0 1.5 per 40
  • 3PT% 28.4 74 3PA
  • FT% 70.6 109 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Defense
Age19.8
Height/Weight6'3''/195
Wingspan6'8"
Standing Reach8'2"
An elite defensive prospect who plays with intensity but is limited offensively.
Shades Of: Marcus Smart, Shaun Livingston, Lester Hudson
PLUSES
  • Excellent defensive versatility, fundamentals, and effort; he moves well laterally and never takes plays off.
  • Keen off-ball defender who stays engaged, jumps passing lanes, causes deflections, flies in for weakside blocks.
  • Elite rebounder for his position with a nose for the ball, and he creates transition opportunities by grabbing and going.
  • Displays good passing vision in the pick-and-roll and in transition, though he’s not a primary ball handler due to his average handle.
  • Ambidextrous at-rim finisher who can finish against length off cuts and closeouts.
MINUSES
  • Not an elite NBA athlete; he needs to get a lot stronger to maximize his potential defensive versatility.
  • Struggles shooting due to inconsistent footwork. He brings the ball to his set point too early while elevating.
  • Elevates too far away from the rim when attempting layups, which can lead to a lot of his shots being altered.
  • A high dribble and a lack of intuition when changing speeds on drives limit his shot-creation ability.
  • Didn’t play his sophomore season; USC deemed him ineligible during the FBI’s ongoing probe into NCAA corruption.
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JOSH OKOGIE JOSH OKOGIE

JOSH OKOGIE

Shooting Guard

Georgia Tech, Sophomore

  • PTS 18.2 20.0 per 40
  • REB 6.3 6.9 per 40
  • AST 2.5 2.7 per 40
  • EFG% 47.5 320 FGA
  • STL 1.8 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 1.0 1.1 per 40
  • 3PT% 38.0 100 3PA
  • FT% 82.1 162 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Defensive versatility
Age19.6
Height/Weight6'4''/195
Wingspan7'0''
Standing Reach8'5''
A versatile, high-energy wing who needs to refine his jump shot to fill the 3-and-D mold.
Shades Of: Robert Covington, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jamaal Franklin
PLUSES
  • Has the versatility to switch onto multiple positions given his excellent length, muscular frame, and great agility.
  • Strong help defender who hustles, stays engaged, invades passing lanes, and blocks shots from the weak side.
  • Plus rebounder for his position.
  • Good shooting potential if he raises his release point and speeds up his gather; as is, his shot is susceptible to closeouts by NBA athletes.
  • Has shown the ability to score off the bounce with one-dribble pull-ups or step-backs; if those fall in the NBA, driving lanes will open.
  • Intelligent off-ball cutter; he’ll be at his best in a non-feature role.
MINUSES
  • Low shooting release.
  • Needs to get better at finishing tough below-the-rim layups; he drew a lot of fouls in college, but may not get the benefit of the whistle in the NBA.
  • Average passer.
  • Lacks an advanced handle and doesn’t change directions with the agility necessary to run pick-and-roll at a high level.
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MITCHELL ROBINSON MITCHELL ROBINSON

MITCHELL ROBINSON

Center

Chalmette High School

Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Length and lobs
Age20.0
Height/Weight6'11''/215
Wingspan7'4"
Standing Reach9'3"
A wild-card big-man prospect who will wow with his athleticism, but questions loom about his true skill.
Shades Of: Hassan Whiteside, Willie Cauley-Stein, Anthony Randolph
PLUSES
  • Elite athlete physically with long arms, a wide frame, and rocket-booster leaping ability.
  • Dunks through contact, à la DeAndre Jordan.
  • Skilled interior finisher who can flush lobs and, maybe more importantly, has the soft hands to catch them.
  • Flashes fluidity as a ball handler in the open floor and as a shooter, though he’s yet to translate those traits into live competition.
  • Good rebounder who can high-point the ball, though he must put more effort into boxing out.
  • Elite rim protection upside due to mobility; he covers a lot of ground and explodes to block shots.
  • Smooth athlete; he may be able to reliably switch onto smaller players as his fundamentals improve.
MINUSES
  • Screening technique is lacking; needs to hold screen and set at proper angles, which can come in time with NBA coaching.
  • Subpar feel for the game: turnover prone and lacks passing vision.
  • Raw post scorer who needs to get better at sealing off his man.
  • Questionable defensive instincts and fundamentals.
  • Robinson was a five-star high school recruit who enrolled at Western Kentucky, but in September opted to skip college and train for the draft.
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25
KEITA BATES-DIOP KEITA BATES-DIOP

KEITA BATES-DIOP

Small Forward

Ohio State, Senior

  • PTS 19.8 24.0 per 40
  • REB 8.7 10.6 per 40
  • AST 1.6 2.0 per 40
  • EFG% 54.4 515 FGA
  • STL 0.9 1.1 per 40
  • BLK 1.6 2.0 per 40
  • 3PT% 35.9 184 3PA
  • FT% 79.4 141 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Glue-guy skills
Age22.2
Height/Weight6'7''/235
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A combo forward who can space the floor and defend multiple positions.
Shades Of: Jonas Jerebko, Brian Scalabrine, Bobby Simmons
PLUSES
  • Won Big Ten Player of the Year.
  • Solid shooter with a high release point and NBA range, though he lacks dynamism taking jumpers off the dribble.
  • Good touch around the rim on floaters, runners, and layups with either hand.
  • Skilled post-up player who can score from either block using a multitude of moves.
  • Knows how to cut, screen, and complete simple passes.
  • Good instincts chasing rebounds out of his area and using his length to snatch the ball above opponents.
  • Defends guards on the perimeter as competently as he does big men in the pick-and-roll.
  • Has the length to protect the rim, block shots from the weak side, and jump passing lanes.
MINUSES
  • Underwent surgery in 2017 for a stress fracture in his left leg.
  • Lacks the toughness to regularly play the 4 or 5, and the speed to play the 2 or 3. Does he have an ideal position?
  • Displays questionable toughness when battling in the post or boxing out for rebounds.
  • Lacks the quick first step, agility, or ball-handling skills necessary to be a shot creator.
  • His motor stalls too often; can a team get consistent production out of him?
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Five Prospects College Fans Will Want to Go Higher

As compiled by Ringer staff writer and bracket aficionado Rodger Sherman.

5. Moritz Wagner, Michigan. Wagner’s Wolverines won the Big Ten tournament in his sophomore and junior seasons, and he became the star of both subsequent NCAA tournaments. His 26 points powered Michigan past Louisville to reach the 2017 Sweet 16, and his 24 points and 15 rebounds in this year’s national semifinal ended Loyola-Chicago’s Cinderella run.

4. Jevon Carter, West Virginia. It felt like Carter had been at West Virginia since the Jerry West days, and that was before considering his prematurely receding hairline. He played tirelessly during his four-year career, though, spearheading Press Virginia’s tenacious defense.

3. Grayson Allen, Duke. Allen was built to play villain from the time he won a high school slam dunk contest in a Jay Williams jersey. And for four years, he followed through. Though he struggled as a junior and senior, his NCAA career won’t soon be forgotten: It was a long, strange series of trips.

2. Trae Young, Oklahoma. Young spent only one season in college, but that was enough time for him to become the first player to lead the NCAA in both points and assists per game. He propelled Oklahoma to a 12-1 start; once opponents figured out that guarding his teammates was pointless, the Sooners lost nine of their last 11 games.

1. Jalen Brunson, Villanova. Brunson enjoyed one of the best college careers imaginable. He won a national championship as a freshman, won 32 games as a sophomore, and won every national player of the year award en route to a second national title as a junior. He was the engine behind a Nova offense that will go down as one of the best in the sport’s history.

26
JALEN BRUNSON JALEN BRUNSON

JALEN BRUNSON

Point Guard

Villanova, Junior

  • PTS 18.9 23.8 per 40
  • REB 3.1 3.8 per 40
  • AST 4.6 5.8 per 40
  • EFG% 60.4 518 FGA
  • STL 0.9 1.2 per 40
  • BLK 0.0 0.0 per 40
  • 3PT% 40.8 211 3PA
  • FT% 80.2 162 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Playmaking and leadership
Age21.6
Height/Weight6'2''/200
Wingspan6'3''
Standing Reach8'0''
A classic point guard prospect that’ll fall in the draft because of his age, then play 10-plus years in the NBA.
Shades Of: Mark Jackson, Derek Fisher, Luke Ridnour
PLUSES
  • Coaches can rely on him to steady the ship and avoid careless mistakes with his pristine feel for the game.
  • Unselfish passer who moves the ball.
  • Uses deception, change of pace, and advanced footwork, to create space to shoot or pass off the dribble, despite lacking elite agility.
  • Great shotmaker off the catch and screens, and can make defenders pay by sinking jumpers off the bounce.
  • Advanced post game could be useful for teams that invert their offense with guards playmaking inside and bigs spacing the floor.
  • Creative finisher around the rim.
  • Plays hard on defense and rebounds well for his position.
MINUSES
  • Limited athletically; he lacks burst and quickness, which hinders him on both ends of the floor against high-level athletes.
  • Lacks the elusiveness necessary to create at an elite level.
  • Struggles chasing shooters though off-ball screens, something he’ll have to do more of in the NBA.
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JUSTIN JACKSON JUSTIN JACKSON

JUSTIN JACKSON

Forward

Maryland, Sophomore

  • PTS 9.8 13.4 per 40
  • REB 8.1 11.0 per 40
  • AST 1.9 2.6 per 40
  • EFG% 41.6 101 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.1 per 40
  • BLK 0.8 1.1 per 40
  • 3PT% 25.0 40 3PA
  • FT% 82.8 29 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Multipositional defender
Age21.1
Height/Weight6'7''/219
Wingspan7'3.25''
Standing Reach8'11''
A hard-nosed, versatile defender who can battle inside or switch onto the perimeter — important tools in the modern league.
Shades Of: Josh Howard, Kelly Oubre Jr., Nigel Hayes
PLUSES
  • Good physical tools with a muscular body, thick legs, and long arms.
  • Plays very hard defensively with good on-ball fundamentals. Slides his feet well and plays aggressively in the post.
  • Could potentially play a small-ball center role. His length allows him to alter shots, and rebound over bigger opponents.
  • Solid spot-up shooter when he has space, though he’ll need to speed up his release and extend his range.
  • Displays ability to time his cuts to the rim, where he does a nice job finishing with either hand.
MINUSES
  • He has the potential to defend all positions, but needs to improve his lateral agility, and he’s not an above-the-rim shot blocker.
  • Watches the ball too much when defending off-ball, which leaves him prone to getting back-cut by his man.
  • Needs to improve his shooting-form consistency to produce more effectively in transition and on one-dribble jumpers.
  • Sloppy ball handler with a high dribble and a slow first step. Not a factor driving to the rim.
  • Suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder, ending his sophomore season early.
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ANFERNEE SIMONS ANFERNEE SIMONS

ANFERNEE SIMONS

Shooting Guard

IMG Academy, HS Senior

Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring upside
Age18.8
Height/Weight6'4''/183
Wingspan6'7"
Standing Reach8'2"
An athlete who excites with his dunks and fluidity, but he must work out kinks in his shot to maximize his potential.
Shades Of: Large Lou Williams, D’Angelo Russell, Darren Collison
PLUSES
  • Bouncy athlete capable of finishing ferocious dunks; possesses the fluidity and agility to change directions on a dime.
  • Advanced handle enables him to create space off the dribble.
  • Good spot-up shooter with a quick release and soft touch.
  • Intriguing defensive potential with his combination of length and athleticism.
MINUSES
  • Must raise his shot release to improve shooting off the dribble against NBA-level athletes.
  • Lacks touch on crafty layups, and his skinny frame hurts him when finishing against contact and drawing fouls.
  • Avoids contact on drives by taking off too far or tossing up wild floaters.
  • Needs to prove he can orchestrate an offense; settles too much and forces shots rather than distributing.
  • Inconsistent effort and focus on defense, plus he needs to get a lot stronger.
  • Simons was a top high school recruit who reclassified to become eligible for the 2018 NBA draft.
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GRAYSON ALLEN GRAYSON ALLEN

GRAYSON ALLEN

Shooting Guard

Duke, Senior

  • PTS 15.5 17.4 per 40
  • REB 3.3 3.7 per 40
  • AST 4.6 5.2 per 40
  • EFG% 53.6 433 FGA
  • STL 1.7 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.1 0.1 per 40
  • 3PT% 37.0 276 3PA
  • FT% 85.0 127 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shooting
Age22.5
Height/Weight6'4''/185
Wingspan6'6.5''
Standing ReachN/A
A feisty guard with a special knack for shooting, but his defensive limitations could keep him off the floor.
Shades Of: Eric Gordon, Danny Ainge, expired O.J. Mayo
PLUSES
  • Dead-eye spot-up shooter with NBA range and the ability to hit tough, contested shots.
  • Possesses excellent footwork, a quick release, and the ability to manipulate defenders using screens to get open.
  • Aggressive attacking closeouts; mixes in hesitations and uses both hands to finish at the rim.
  • Solid passing vision and accuracy; improved as a distributor and ball handler over his four years at Duke, especially in the pick-and-roll.
  • Good rebounder for his position who battles bigs and uses his instincts to chase loose balls.
  • Tough player with a relentless attitude; plays hard on defense.
MINUSES
  • Flat-footed perimeter defender who lacks lateral quickness and gets smoked by lesser players.
  • At-rim finishing numbers dropped as a senior, possibly due to diminished burst after packing on more muscle.
  • First step needs to improve significantly to become more than just a straight-line driver.
  • Drew a lot of fouls in college, but tends to play “bully ball,” which doesn’t always translate against NBA athleticism.
  • Settled for a lot of runners as a senior rather than getting all the way to the rim.
  • Peaked as a sophomore and made only marginal progress over the past two seasons.
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AARON HOLIDAY AARON HOLIDAY

AARON HOLIDAY

Point Guard

UCLA, Junior

  • PTS 20.3 21.6 per 40
  • REB 3.7 3.9 per 40
  • AST 5.8 6.2 per 40
  • EFG% 55.7 460 FGA
  • STL 1.3 1.4 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 42.9 205 3PA
  • FT% 82.8 192 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shooting
Age21.5
Height/Weight6'1''/187
Wingspan6'6''
Standing ReachN/A
A spark-plug scoring guard who projects as a backup due to his lack of speed and explosiveness.
Shades Of: Brandon Knight, Trey Burke, T.J. Ford
PLUSES
  • Dynamic shooter who can splash 3s from NBA range off the catch, the dribble, and screens.
  • Slippery interior finisher who has a soft touch on layups with either hand and floaters to score against length.
  • Intelligently navigates pick-and-rolls to create playmaking angles; can make defenders going under screens pay with his pull-up 3.
  • Unselfish passer with good vision off the dribble; he would’ve posted better assist numbers had he been surrounded by better shooters.
  • Plays hard defensively; he creates deflections, hustles through screens, and knows when to help.
  • Younger brother of Jrue and Justin Holiday.
MINUSES
  • Lacks burst and has an average first step with the ball in his hands, which hinders his scoring upside.
  • Struggles against defensive pressure in college are concerning when projecting him against NBA athleticism.
  • Must put more velocity on his passes to avoid deflections and interceptions.
  • His unremarkable measurables will limit him defending elite point guards.
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Measurement data and player statistics via DraftExpress and Sports-Reference.