The Ringer's 2018 NBA DRAFT GUIDE

with Scouting Reports by Kevin O’Connor

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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. Shortly after the lottery, the guide will expand to include 60 prospects and cover what each team needs from the draft. Also, we’ll have individual rankings from our draftniks O’Connor, Jonathan Tjarks, and Danny Chau, and commentary from Rodger Sherman and Mark Titus.

We’ll update the mock draft and expert rankings as prospects’ draft stock rises and falls. Check back often to see who’s trending, and who your team will add in June. It’s officially draft season. Get excited.

 

Updated 5.21.18
   
Mock Draft Updated 5.21
Team Needs Added 5.15
All Draft Coverage Go to theringer.com
What's New
5.21

Marvin Bagley III, Mo Bamba, and Wendell Carter Jr. are on the move in our mock following the NBA draft combine. See where they land below!

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Phoenix Suns
1
Phoenix Suns
LUKA DONCIC LUKA DONCIC

LUKA DONCIC

Point Guard

Real Madrid / Slovenia

  • PTS 14.5 23.3 per 40
  • REB 5.2 8.4 per 40
  • AST 4.7 7.5 per 40
  • EFG% 53.4 585 FGA
  • STL 1.1 1.8 per 40
  • BLK 0.4 0.6 per 40
  • 3PT% 31.0 281 3PA
  • FT% 80.2 288 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Playmaking
Age19.2
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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Sacramento Kings
2
Sacramento Kings
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
Age19.8
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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Atlanta Hawks
3
Atlanta Hawks
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
Age18.7
Height/Weight6'11.25''/236
Wingspan7'5.25"
Standing Reach9'2"
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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Memphis Grizzlies
4
Memphis Grizzlies
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
Age19.1
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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Dallas Mavericks
5
Dallas Mavericks
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
Age19.9
Height/Weight6'10.75''/211
Wingspan7'0.25"
Standing Reach9'0.5''
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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Orlando Magic
6
Orlando Magic
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
Age20.0
Height/Weight7'0.75"/226
Wingspan7'10"
Standing Reach9'7.5"
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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Chicago Bulls
7
Chicago Bulls
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
Age19.1
Height/Weight6'10''/251
Wingspan7'4.5"
Standing Reach9'1"
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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Cleveland Cavaliers
8
Cleveland Cavaliers
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
Age21.7
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: Robert Covington, 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.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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NBA Draft Lottery Best Fits
Chris Ryan and Kevin O’Connor break down the best fits for Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton, and Trae Young.
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NBA Draft Lottery Best Fits
New York Knicks
9
New York Knicks
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
Age19.6
Height/Weight6'1.75"/178
Wingspan6'3"
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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Philadelphia 76ers
10
Philadelphia 76ers
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
Age20.2
Height/Weight6'6.75''/220
Wingspan6'9.5"
Standing Reach8'7.5"
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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Charlotte Hornets
11
Charlotte Hornets
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
Age19.4
Height/Weight6'1.5''/183
Wingspan6'7.25"
Standing Reach8'2.5"
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.
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Los Angeles Clippers
12
Los Angeles Clippers
TROY BROWN JR. TROY BROWN JR.

TROY BROWN JR.

Shooting Guard

Oregon, Freshman

  • PTS 11.3 14.5 per 40
  • REB 6.2 7.9 per 40
  • AST 3.2 4.1 per 40
  • EFG% 49.4 322 FGA
  • STL 1.6 2.0 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 29.1 110 3PA
  • FT% 74.3 105 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Playmaking and size
Age18.7
Height/Weight6'6.75''/208
Wingspan6'10.25''
Standing Reach8'9''
A defensive wing whose skills as a creator add spice to his profile.
Shades Of: Khris Middleton, Evan Turner, DeAndre Bembry
PLUSES
  • Excellent passer who mixes flash with substance. He puts ideal velocity on his passes, with great accuracy, off the dribble.
  • Size and ball handling make him an intriguing talent for a positionless league. Could be a matchup issue as a secondary playmaker.
  • Strong frame and good balance allow him to finish well through contact, though his lack of explosiveness will hurt him when finishing against length.
  • High-IQ player who cuts, moves the ball, rebounds, communicates on defense, and plays with discipline.
  • Not the son of ex-NFL player Troy Brown, though he does share his ability to excel on offense and defense.
  • Good team defender who plays hard, rotates, and has the frame to comfortably switch screens.
MINUSES
  • Unorthodox jump shot with a catapult release and inconsistent footwork leads to poor results off the catch-and-dribble.
  • Average touch on floaters and layups plus average free throw percentage don’t inspire optimism for his jump shot.
  • Needs to expand his repertoire of dribble moves to get to the rim in the NBA. Also needs to get more comfortable driving to his left.
  • Only an average defender against speedy college guards. He’ll need to get much quicker laterally to defend the NBA’s elite.
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Los Angeles Clippers
13
Los Angeles Clippers
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
Age18.8
Height/Weight6'9"/213
Wingspan6'11.75''
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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Trae Young Is the Most Intriguing Prospect of 2018

According to Ringer staff writer and One Shining Podcast cohost Mark Titus

With all due respect to Villanova, Sister Jean, UMBC, Rick Pitino’s press tour, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I will forever remember the 2017-18 college basketball season as the Year of Trae Young. Everyone remembers despising the coverage surrounding Young by the end of the season, but hopefully they also remember why he garnered so much coverage in the first place: He was doing things that nobody has ever done in the history of college basketball. Even though Young’s stats dipped toward the end of the season, I can still comfortably say that there has never been a player quite like him. He’s not Steph Curry, he’s not Steve Nash, he’s not Chris Jackson, and he’s not Jimmer Fredette. He’s his own breed of guard, with unlimited range, a tight handle, and incredible passing ability … who also takes a ton of dumb shots, throws the ball all over the gym, and plays defense like he’s got cinder blocks on his feet.

And that’s what makes him the most intriguing prospect of the NBA draft. If you were to watch just his highlights, you’d be convinced that he’ll win an MVP within his first five years in the NBA. But if you were to watch just his worst plays, you’d be convinced that in five years he’ll be back in Norman, Oklahoma, selling used cars and signing autographs at the local mall. I believe in Young more than most, but I also think it’s important for him to end up on the right team. He needs to go somewhere he’ll have the freedom to iron out the kinks in his game, which is another way of saying he needs to be able to go 3-for-12 from the field with nine turnovers and not get picked apart by the national media for a week. Basically, in an ideal world, the guy who is projected to be picked anywhere from fifth through 10th in this draft would not go to the Cavs, Knicks, or Sixers, who will probably have the eighth, ninth, and 10th picks respectively. What could possibly go wrong?

Denver Nuggets
14
Denver Nuggets
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
Age19.8
Height/Weight6'6''/180
Wingspan6'11.5''
Standing Reach8'8"
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?
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Washington Wizards
15
Washington Wizards
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
Age20.6
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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Phoenix Suns
16
Phoenix Suns
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
Age19.4
Height/Weight6'4.5"/196
Wingspan6'10.25"
Standing Reach8'3.5''
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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Milwaukee Bucks
17
Milwaukee Bucks
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
Age22.3
Height/Weight6'8.5''/224
Wingspan7'3.25''
Standing Reach8'10.5''
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?
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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San Antonio Spurs
18
San Antonio Spurs
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
Age18.9
Height/Weight6'4''/199
Wingspan6'9.75''
Standing Reach8'4''
A defensive wing whose explosiveness could hang with the Monstars in 'Space Jam.'
Shades Of: Shorter Andre Roberson, Danny Green, 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.
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Video
NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers
Chris Ryan, Kevin O’Connor, and Jonathan Tjarks react to the NBA draft lottery by discussing winners and losers, players who can make an immediate impact, and possible trades for the draft.
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NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers
Atlanta Hawks
19
Atlanta Hawks
DZANAN MUSA DZANAN MUSA

DZANAN MUSA

Small Forward

Cedevita / Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • PTS 12.4 21.7 per 40
  • REB 3.4 6.0 per 40
  • AST 1.8 3.2 per 40
  • EFG% 54.9 551 FGA
  • STL 1.1 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 32.5 249 3PA
  • FT% 80.5 246 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring
Age19.0
Height/Weight6'9''/195
Wingspan6'8.5"
Standing Reach8'9"
A fearless scorer with a slippery style, though he’ll need to learn to play within the confines of an offensive system.
Shades Of: Rodney Hood, jumbo Jordan Crawford, mondo Marco Belinelli
PLUSES
  • Quick-trigger shooter capable of unloading from tough angles either off screens or off the dribble.
  • Good pick-and-roll threat because of his ability to pull up from deep, wiggle his way to the paint, or make basic passes off the dribble.
  • Combination of smooth footwork and use of pace makes him effective attacking the rim, though he needs to get better at finishing against length.
  • Creative interior finisher who uses either hand at the rim and has a nice, soft floater that’d make Mike Conley Jr. proud.
  • Advanced ball handler for his age with hesitations, crossovers, and feel for changing speeds.
MINUSES
  • Stagnates the offense too frequently by falling into isolations, a habit he’ll have to break.
  • Plays recklessly; often jacks up contested shots and makes risky passes, leading to careless turnovers.
  • Low release on his jumper and inconsistent roles are worrisome for his chances of developing into a sharpshooter.
  • Rarely drives to his right, which makes him predictable.
  • Potential defensive liability; he’s too lean to defend larger players, too slow to defend quicker ones.
  • Loses focus defending off-ball and doesn’t crash the boards enough.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Minnesota Timberwolves
20
Minnesota Timberwolves
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
Age20.9
Height/Weight6'5.5''/200
Wingspan6'9.25''
Standing Reach8'6.5''
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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Utah Jazz
21
Utah Jazz
SHAKE MILTON SHAKE MILTON

SHAKE MILTON

Guard

SMU, Junior

  • PTS 18.0 19.8 per 40
  • REB 4.7 5.2 per 40
  • AST 4.4 4.8 per 40
  • EFG% 55.1 274 FGA
  • STL 1.4 1.6 per 40
  • BLK 0.6 0.7 per 40
  • 3PT% 43.4 129 3PA
  • FT% 84.7 111 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Versatility
Age21.6
Height/Weight6'5.5''/207
Wingspan7'0.75''
Standing Reach8'3.5''
A multipositional defender best suited as a complementary scorer in a democratic offense.
Shades Of: George Hill, Caris LeVert, Delon Wright
PLUSES
  • Super-versatile player whom creative coaches can plug in as a wing, a 2-guard, or a backup point guard.
  • Plays a casual, smooth game and makes simple passes, though he lacks dynamic playmaking vision and skill.
  • Reliable spot-up shooter after improving each season from both 3-point land and the free throw line.
  • Plays with poise and pace in the pick-and-roll; has improved his decision-making as a passer each season.
  • Developed a soft floater that he utilizes often when he can’t get to the rim.
  • Excellent lateral quickness and length make him a terror for opposing point guards.
  • Flashes excellent off-ball defensive potential; he intercepts passes using his long 7-foot wingspan and steps in the lane to take charges.
MINUSES
  • Lacks necessary burst and agility to develop into a lead ball handler who can break down defenses as a go-to shot maker.
  • Drew a lot of fouls in college, but it’s unlikely to translate in the NBA unless he diversifies his ballhandling repertoire.
  • Average shooter off the dribble who needs time to get into his shot; he still needs to extend his range to 3.
  • Thin lower body may limit his effectiveness on defensive switches against larger wings and forwards.
  • Inconsistent defensive effort, especially playing off-ball; he loses focus, falls out of his stance, and gets caught out of position.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Chicago Bulls
22
Chicago Bulls
CHANDLER HUTCHISON CHANDLER HUTCHISON

CHANDLER HUTCHISON

Shooting Guard

Boise State, Senior

  • PTS 20.0 25.8 per 40
  • REB 7.7 9.9 per 40
  • AST 3.5 4.5 per 40
  • EFG% 52.8 205 FGA
  • STL 1.5 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.3 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 35.9 128 per 40
  • FT% 72.8 224 per 40
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Decisive scoring
Age22.1
Height/Weight6'7''/193
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A late-blooming forward who carried a heavy load in college but projects as more of a 3-and-D role player in the NBA.
Shades Of: Jared Dudley, Ryan Gomes, Justin Anderson
PLUSES
  • Overhauled his shooting form to become a good spot-up shooter, which shows a willingness to learn and commit to fundamental changes.
  • Explosive straight-line driver who uses smooth footwork, side steps, and spins to get to the rim and finish ambidextrously with power or touch.
  • Springy leaper who makes himself available for lobs with cuts and by hustling in transition.
  • Was asked to carry his offense in college and demonstrated playmaking off the dribble, throwing darts with accuracy to shooters and cutters.
  • Good team defender who rebounds, communicates, and stays alert. He has good length and quickness, so he’s a threat to intercept passes.
MINUSES
  • Struggles shooting off the dribble. His form looks more rigid when he’s moving.
  • Tries to do too much sometimes by driving into traffic, though that could easily be a symptom of his feature role.
  • Average first step with only basic ball handling moves at his age may suggest limited go-to scoring upside.
  • Theoretically has defensive versatility, but there are limited examples of him locking down quicker guards, and his lateral quickness is only average.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Indiana Pacers
23
Indiana Pacers
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
Age21.6
Height/Weight6'0.75''/187
Wingspan6'7.5''
Standing Reach8'1''
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.
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.

Portland Trail Blazers
24
Portland Trail Blazers
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
Age21.7
Height/Weight6'6''/198
Wingspan7'1.75''
Standing Reach8'9''
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.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Los Angeles Lakers
25
Los Angeles Lakers
MITCHELL ROBINSON MITCHELL ROBINSON

MITCHELL ROBINSON

Center

Chalmette High School

Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Length and lobs
Age20.1
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.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Philadelphia 76ers
26
Philadelphia 76ers
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
Age22.0
Height/Weight6'3.75''/199
Wingspan6'10.5''
Standing Reach8'5''
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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Boston Celtics
27
Boston Celtics
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
Age20.0
Height/Weight6'3.25''/193
Wingspan6'8.5"
Standing Reach8'3.5"
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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Golden State Warriors
28
Golden State Warriors
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
Age19.7
Height/Weight6'4.5''/211
Wingspan7'0''
Standing Reach8'6''
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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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.

Brooklyn Nets
29
Brooklyn Nets
DONTE DIVINCENZO DONTE DIVINCENZO

DONTE DIVINCENZO

Point Guard

Villanova, Sophomore

  • PTS 13.4 18.4 per 40
  • REB 4.8 6.5 per 40
  • AST 3.5 4.8 per 40
  • EFG% 59.0 391 FGA
  • STL 1.1 1.4 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 40.1 85 3PA
  • FT% 71.0 107 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring
Age21.3
Height/Weight6'4.5''/200
Wingspan6'6''
Standing Reach8'1.5''
A fearless offensive wing who can score in a variety of ways and displays playmaking upside.
Shades Of: Jodie Meeks, Courtney Lee, Nik Stauskas
PLUSES
  • Dynamic shooter off the catch with NBA range, though he’s streaky due to his inconsistent mechanics.
  • He’s agile changing directions and uses different tempos to compensate for his lack of an elite first step or top gear.
  • Effective shooter off the dribble. He often side-steps while gliding to his left to create space.
  • Does a great job of absorbing contact and finishing with touch using either hand to score around the rim.
  • Good feel for the game. He shows flashes as a pick-and-roll ball handler and puts great velocity on his passes.
  • Plays intense defense and crashes the boards. He’s not a lockdown guy, but he plays team basketball.
  • He already has two incredible nicknames: “The Michael Jordan of Delaware” and “The Big Ragu”
MINUSES
  • Subpar length limits him as a versatile defender, as he gets overpowered by larger players and beaten by quicker ones.
  • Hasn’t displayed the ability to drain shots off screens.
  • Subpar free throw shooter.
  • Occasionally telegraphs passes into traffic.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Atlanta Hawks
30
Atlanta Hawks
ANFERNEE SIMONS ANFERNEE SIMONS

ANFERNEE SIMONS

Shooting Guard

IMG Academy, HS Senior

Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring upside
Age18.9
Height/Weight6'3.25''/183
Wingspan6'9.25"
Standing Reach8'3.5"
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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Phoenix Suns
31
Phoenix Suns
BRUCE BROWN BRUCE BROWN

BRUCE BROWN

Shooting Guard

Miami, Sophomore

  • PTS 11.4 13.5 per 40
  • REB 7.1 8.4 per 40
  • AST 4.0 4.8 per 40
  • EFG% 45.7 188 FGA
  • STL 1.3 1.6 per 40
  • BLK 0.8 0.9 per 40
  • 3PT% 26.7 60 3PA
  • FT% 62.9 70 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Defense
Age21.7
Height/Weight6'5''/195
Wingspan6'9''
Standing Reach8'2.5''
A hard-nosed wing who grits and grinds on defense, but must improve his jumper to stick around.
Shades Of: Spencer Dinwiddie, Doug Christie, Wade Baldwin
PLUSES
  • Versatile defender with strength and length to battle larger players, plus the speed to contain smaller ones.
  • Plays hard as a help defender, and generally makes proper rotations; defense is his ticket to a long career.
  • Good rebounder for his position.
  • Capable pick-and-roll orchestrator. He uses hesitations well, makes the proper read, and delivers fairly accurate passes.
  • Creates space off the dribble when attacking closeouts or running the pick-and-roll, which suggests long-term shot-creation upside.
  • Understands how to play off-ball as evidenced by his timely cuts and transition sprints.
MINUSES
  • Underwent surgery on his left foot in 2018, which prematurely ended his sophomore season.
  • Inconsistent shooter with irregular, inconsistent form. Sometimes the elbow flares out, and his feet land differently each time.
  • Lacks natural touch on his floater, and is a subpar free throw shooter; both raise concerns about his ability to develop into a reliable shooter.
  • Average ball handler who lacks burst after his initial first step, which leads to wild at-rim finishes; sometimes it looks like he’s flinging the ball at the rim.
  • Lacks shot-creation ability against a set defense.
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Memphis Grizzlies
32
Memphis Grizzlies
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
Age21.7
Height/Weight6'2.25''/199
Wingspan6'4''
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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Atlanta Hawks
33
Atlanta Hawks
MORITZ WAGNER MORITZ WAGNER

MORITZ WAGNER

Center

Michigan, Junior

  • PTS 14.6 21.2 per 40
  • REB 7.1 10.3 per 40
  • AST 0.8 1.2 per 40
  • EFG% 60.5 409 FGA
  • STL 1.0 1.4 per 40
  • BLK 0.5 0.7 per 40
  • 3PT% 39.4 160 3PA
  • FT% 69.4 108 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Stretch shooting
Age21.1
Height/Weight6'11.5''/241
Wingspan7'0''
Standing Reach9'0''
A skilled offensive big man who needs to improve defensively to stay on the floor.
Shades Of: Kelly Olynyk, Channing Frye, Henry Ellenson
PLUSES
  • Good 3-point shooter who can hit tough, contested jumpers off the catch.
  • Strong screener who can pick-and-pop, attack closeouts, or roll.
  • Solid ball handler who looks fluid on drives, though his first step must get quicker.
  • Makes intelligent passes within the flow of his team’s offense.
  • Plays with great energy on defense, so if his fundamentals improve he could become a solid positional defender.
MINUSES
  • Struggles guarding on the perimeter; may not be a player who can comfortably switch screens.
  • Not an ideal defensive anchor, as he doesn't alter many shots at the rim.
  • Hasn’t shown the ability to shoot jumpers off the dribble.
  • Could improve at carving out space under the rim and finishing from awkward angles.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Why Wasn’t Luka Doncic on American Broadcasts?!

An honest question asked by Ringer staff writer and One Shining Podcast cohost Mark Titus

From what I’ve been told, Luka Doncic is the best European professional basketball prospect who has ever lived. Trae Young turned college basketball on its head in 2017-18, Marvin Bagley III was unstoppable all season, and Deandre Ayton is such a physical specimen that it’s almost incomprehensible how a human being can be built like he is. And yet plenty of experts believe that Doncic is the best prospect in the world, which brings me to the biggest question surrounding the 2018 NBA draft: WHY IN GOD’S NAME WERE DONCIC’S GAMES NOT SHOWN ON AMERICAN TELEVISION?

It’s incomprehensible that an American network couldn’t figure out a way to show even a handful of Doncic’s games. It’s not like he’s playing in Kazakhstan’s third division or something. The man is playing for the most storied team in Europe (Real Madrid) and in the second-best professional basketball league in the world. Isn’t it ESPN’s entire business model to latch onto one player and overexpose the shit out of them until the general public loses its mind? So why not do it with the guy who has pro scouts foaming at the mouth and who most stateside fans know nothing about? Shoot, it doesn’t even have to be that. Why not buy the rights to ONE Doncic game? What am I missing here?

The only upside to not having convenient access to Doncic’s games is that it’s never been easier to tell who is full of shit with their draft analysis. Anyone with a strong opinion on Doncic who isn’t in the NBA draft business is lying through their teeth. That’s because here’s the other maddening thing about Doncic: He doesn’t have that many highlight reels on the internet either, as a search of “Luka Doncic” on YouTube spits out only 47,400 results. Meanwhile, a search of “Ted Valentine” produces 137,000 results, a search of “Grayson Allen” gives 137,000 results as well, and a search of “dog farts” gives us 801,000 results. Also, you could search “naked Japanese guy trick” and get 221,000 videos of some really weird shit or search “rainbow milk challenge” to discover 585,000 videos of people trying to drink gallons of milk without puking. That’s right: There are 12 times as many videos of teenagers vomiting all over one another after chugging multicolored gallons of milk than there are of the best European basketball prospect of all time. That somehow makes absolutely no sense and still makes complete sense at the same time.

Orlando Magic
34
Orlando Magic
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
Age20.5
Height/Weight6'4.25"/217
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.
  • Adept 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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Dallas Mavericks
35
Dallas Mavericks
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
Age18.5
Height/Weight6'11.5''/236
Wingspan7'0.25''
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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Sacramento Kings
36
Sacramento Kings
HAMIDOU DIALLO HAMIDOU DIALLO

HAMIDOU DIALLO

Shooting Guard

Kentucky, Freshman

  • PTS 10.0 16.2 per 40
  • REB 3.6 5.8 per 40
  • AST 1.2 2.0 per 40
  • EFG% 47.0 313 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.2 per 40
  • BLK 0.4 0.6 per 40
  • 3PT% 33.8 77 3PA
  • FT% 61.1 126 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Athletic defense
Age19.8
Height/Weight6'6''/197
Wingspan6'11.5''
Standing Reach8'7''
An energetic and explosive guard whose success hinges on the development of his offense.
Shades Of: Tony Allen, Fred Jones, P.J. Hairston
PLUSES
  • Potentially a high-impact, versatile defender due to his combination of length, strength, and aggression.
  • Long enough to block shots from the weak side.
  • Can fall asleep defending off-ball, but makes up for it with hustle.
  • Good rebounder.
  • Very fluid, quick first step, and good body control, which is on full display in the open floor.
  • Mixes change-of-pace moves with turbo drives into the lane, though his finishing ability could stand to improve.
MINUSES
  • Rough jumper mechanics; shoots on the way down, doesn’t hold his follow-through, and has inconsistent form.
  • Struggles from the free throw line and lacks touch on floaters, so his shooting issues could be a biomechanical issue.
  • Ineffective finisher with either hand, though he’ll throw down big dunks.
  • Sloppy ball handler; he’ll need to get better fundamentally to maximize his athleticism.
  • Unnatural lead guard; his decision-making is poor, he forces plays, and he’s an inaccurate passer.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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New York Knicks
37
New York Knicks
ELIE OKOBO ELIE OKOBO

ELIE OKOBO

Point Guard

Pau-Orthez / France

  • PTS 13.0 19.6 per 40
  • REB 2.7 4.1 per 40
  • AST 4.8 7.3 per 40
  • EFG% 56.9 306 FGA
  • STL 1.0 1.5 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 38.1 147 3PA
  • FT% 81.9 83 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring
Age20.6
Height/Weight6'3''/180
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A confident scoring guard who has the potential to be the best point guard in the draft.
Shades Of: Deron Williams, Jeremy Lin, Delonte West
PLUSES
  • Impressive shooter off the dribble. He uses step-backs, pull-ups, and sidesteps to get his shot off. It’s like he’s mimicking James Harden.
  • Good spot-up shooter who has potential to hit shots off screens if he focuses on mastering his footwork.
  • Active off-ball cutter. He grew up playing two-guard, and it shows with his movement relocating, running through screens, and cutting.
  • Skilled at-rim finisher who has touch, uses either hand, and can make difficult wrong-footed layups against length and athleticism.
  • He’s a fairly explosive leaper in the open floor. He’ll sometimes surprise you with big dunks driving in traffic.
  • Improved ball handler who changes speeds, uses spin moves and Eurosteps, and shows good feel and pace in the pick-and-roll.
  • Solid passer who makes basic reads and has progressed at advanced ones like cross-court kickouts.
  • Flashes good defensive potential when he’s engaged. He has long arms and the quickness to contain dribble penetration.
MINUSES
  • Ball handling must get tighter. He’s too loose crossing over and often lets the ball get too high, which leaves him prone to getting stripped.
  • He’s still learning point guard and it shows with his casual turnovers that reek of inexperience.
  • Slightly low shooting release could leave him prone to his shot getting blocked. It hasn’t negatively impacted him overseas though.
  • Streaky shooter with subpar shot selection. He’ll need to prove he can play within the offense.
  • Lacks elite first step, burst, and athleticism. So instead of attacking the lane, he end up settling for too many jumpers and floaters.
  • Inconsistent on-ball defender who fades too often. He needs to stay in his stance and get better at fighting over screens.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Philadelphia 76ers
38
Philadelphia 76ers
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
Age22.6
Height/Weight6'4.5''/198
Wingspan6'7.25''
Standing Reach8'1''
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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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.

Philadelphia 76ers
39
Philadelphia 76ers
RODIONS KURUCS RODIONS KURUCS

RODIONS KURUCS

Small Forward

Barcelona 2 / Latvia

  • PTS 10.7 20.6 per 40
  • REB 2.6 4.9 per 40
  • AST 1.5 2.9 per 40
  • EFG% 51.5 137 FGA
  • STL 1.5 2.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.8 1.4 per 40
  • 3PT% 33.3 57 3PA
  • FT% 76.9 39 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring versatility
Age20.3
Height/Weight6'10''/190
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
A draft-and-stash candidate who could exceed expectations down the line as a playmaking forward.
Shades Of: Nicolas Batum, Jonas Jerebko, Chandler Parsons
PLUSES
  • Explosive at-rim finisher with soft touch.
  • Good spot-up shooting potential, but needs to develop a higher release point.
  • Smart player who makes accurate passes and understands his strengths.
  • Fluid ball handler who changes directions quickly and knows how to create space, which suggests he has untapped pick-and-roll potential.
MINUSES
  • Rigid shooter off the dribble who needs to smooth out his transition into his shot.
  • Developed ball-stopping habits this past season; played only limited minutes and forced things when he got in the game.
  • Ineffective rebounder and defender at this stage due to lack of strength and lateral quickness.
  • Needs to improve defensive fundamentals to become adequate on that end of the floor.
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Brooklyn Nets
40
Brooklyn Nets
JARRED VANDERBILT JARRED VANDERBILT

JARRED VANDERBILT

Small Forward

Kentucky, Freshman

  • PTS 5.9 13.8 per 40
  • REB 7.9 18.5 per 40
  • AST 1.0 2.4 per 40
  • EFG% 42.6 68 FGA
  • STL 0.4 1.0 per 40
  • BLK 0.8 1.8 per 40
  • 3PT% 0.0 1 3PA
  • FT% 63.2 38 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Multipositional defense
Age19.1
Height/Weight6'8"/214
Wingspan7'1"
Standing Reach9'0"
An aggressive, versatile defender and rebounder; with an extreme makeover, he might resemble Dennis Rodman on the court.
Shades Of: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Luc Mbah a Moute
PLUSES
  • Plays with unbelievable energy and charisma; he’s a tone-setter on defense.
  • Arguably the most versatile defender in the draft; has the frame, length, speed, and mind-set to become a four- or five-position defender.
  • Not an elite shot blocker, but uses long wingspan to alter shots inside.
  • Elite, competitive rebounder with a nose for the ball.
  • Explosive leaper; could be a lob threat with NBA spacing.
  • Shifty ball handler with the passing vision to make plays off the dribble.
MINUSES
  • Suffered multiple foot injuries in high school and missed three months at Kentucky after surgery on his left foot.
  • A disastrous shooter with poor touch on shots from any distance outside of the restricted area.
  • The lack of offensive spacing he provides will be an issue unless he’s surrounded by shooters.
  • Blows too many layups that should be easy, and rarely uses his right hand.
  • Frenetic energy can get him into trouble, whether it’s fouls or risky passes.
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Orlando Magic
41
Orlando Magic
LANDRY SHAMET LANDRY SHAMET

LANDRY SHAMET

Point Guard

Wichita State, Sophomore

  • PTS 14.9 18.8 per 40
  • REB 3.2 4.1 per 40
  • AST 5.2 6.5 per 40
  • EFG% 62.2 315 FGA
  • STL 0.7 0.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.2 per 40
  • 3PT% 44.2 190 3PA
  • FT% 82.5 103 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shooting
Age21.1
Height/Weight6'5.25''/189
Wingspan6'6.75''
Standing Reach8'4''
A knockdown shooter with NBA-level instincts, but his athletic limitations likely put a cap on his upside.
Shades Of: Kevin Martin, Denzel Valentine, Seth Curry
PLUSES
  • Excellent spot-up shooter with good form, NBA range, and a quick release.
  • Skilled shooter off screens due to his feel for moving without the ball and his great footwork shooting off-balance.
  • Could develop into a weapon in creative offenses. He makes timely cuts to the rim, gets himself open on the perimeter, and screens for teammates.
  • Smart passer who plays with pace, has good feel for making accurate and opportune passes, and rarely makes mistakes.
  • Solid pick-and-roll creator; he needs to add more advanced dribble moves, but already knows how to use what he has to make plays.
  • Plays hard on defense by staying focused off ball, hustling for loose balls, being in the right position, and fighting through screens.
MINUSES
  • Underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his left foot in November 2015, and then again on his right foot in July 2017.
  • Lacks the first step and burst necessary to consistently generate offense against a set defense.
  • Struggled dribbling against ball pressure; his lead guard skills are lacking and he projects as more of a secondary playmaker.
  • Average athleticism and lean frame make it difficult to draw fouls and finish against length.
  • Subpar quickness hurts him defending quicker guards, and he needs to get much stronger to defend larger ones.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Detroit Pistons
42
Detroit Pistons
KEVIN HUERTER KEVIN HUERTER

KEVIN HUERTER

Shooting Guard

Maryland, Sophomore

  • PTS 14.8 17.1 per 40
  • REB 5.0 5.8 per 40
  • AST 3.4 3.9 per 40
  • EFG% 61.6 322 FGA
  • STL 0.6 0.7 per 40
  • BLK 0.7 0.8 per 40
  • 3PT% 41.7 175 3PA
  • FT% 75.8 99 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shooting
Age19.7
Height/Weight6'7.25''/194
Wingspan6'7.5''
Standing Reach8'5.5''
A sharpshooting wing with range from deep and a feel for playmaking.
Shades Of: Discount Klay Thompson, Allen Crabbe, Nik Stauskas
PLUSES
  • Excellent spot-up shooter with deep range. No one in the draft is better at hitting off-balance jumpers off screens.
  • Comfortable hitting one-two dribble pull-ups or step-backs from deep.
  • He quickly attacks closeouts rather than holding the ball, is aggressive on straight-line drives, and finishes with either hand inside.
  • Solid passer either off the dribble or when facilitating on the perimeter. He displays a high basketball IQ.
  • Plays hard on defense with good length, instincts, and focus. He’s not afraid to contest a shot even if it means being posterized.
MINUSES
  • Needs to quicken his shooting form. He brings the ball far out away from his body, which gives defenders an extra beat to contest his release.
  • Lean frame and lack of quickness could make him a defensive liability unless he gets a lot stronger and develops better fundamentals.
  • Takes too many risks as a passer by throwing the ball into traffic.
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Denver Nuggets
43
Denver Nuggets
CHIMEZIE METU CHIMEZIE METU

CHIMEZIE METU

Big

USC, Junior

  • PTS 15.7 20.2 per 40
  • REB 7.4 9.6 per 40
  • AST 1.6 2.0 per 40
  • EFG% 53.7 393 FGA
  • STL 0.7 1.0 per 40
  • BLK 1.6 2.2 per 40
  • 3PT% 30.0 40 3PA
  • FT% 73.0 152 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Athleticism
Age21.1
Height/Weight6'9.5''/220
Wingspan7'0.5''
Standing Reach9'0''
A raw, moldable big man who flashes two-way upside but lacks any one refined skill aside from explosive lob dunks.
Shades Of: Raw Paul Millsap, Maxi Kleber, Georges Niang
PLUSES
  • Explosive pick-and-roll lob threat who can catch tough passes, finish with touch using either hand, and handle contact.
  • Flashes face-up scoring potential; he has a quick first step and handles the ball well for a big, which shows most in transition.
  • Has post scoring upside once his footwork improves; he has good touch, especially on his jump hook.
  • Shoots well from midrange and the free throw line, so he could add a 3 — though his unorthodox mechanics may need refining.
  • Displays passing upside off the dribble, though he takes too make careless risks throwing the ball into traffic.
  • Blocks shots with either hand, and he’s a quick leaper who alters shots even when he doesn’t make contact with the ball.
  • Could become a good perimeter defender; he has quickness and closes out well, but his footwork needs a lot of work.
MINUSES
  • His entire offensive skill set is unpolished, but his rate of improvement flatlined from his sophomore to junior season.
  • He’s a good athlete but has a short wingspan relative to his height.
  • Inconsistent rebounder who needs to box out more frequently.
  • Off-ball defense can use work in regard to focus and positioning; he’s too often a beat late on rotations.
  • Sloppy screener, though he got moderately better while in college.
  • In January, he was stripped of his captaincy and suspended for a half-game for intentionally punching an opponent in the groin.
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Mikal Bridges Is the Last Upperclassman on Earth

According to Ringer staff writer and One Shining Podcast cohost Mark Titus

Unless something unexpected happens or the Charlotte Hornets win the lottery and take Grayson Allen first overall to satisfy their annual “white guy and/or player from a North Carolina school” pick, Villanova’s Mikal Bridges will be the only upperclassman taken within the first 10 picks of the draft. And even that isn’t a guarantee, as most mock drafts seem to have Bridges projected to go in the no. 8 through no. 10 range. It’s definitely possible that Bridges will slide a bit because at least one GM rolls the dice on a freshman who tests well at the combine, sees highlights of a tall European who hits five 3s in a row and convinces himself the player is the next Dirk, or maybe even gets his Bridgeses mixed up and accidentally picks Miles when he really wanted Mikal. Whatever the case, Bridges represents a dying breed of NBA draft prospect that my heart is not ready to say goodbye to yet.

In the 11 drafts before the start of the one-and-done era in 2006, there were 50 seniors or juniors from American colleges taken in the top 10. In the 12 drafts since the eligibility rules were changed, only 26 upperclassmen were taken in that range, including the whopping zero taken in the top 10 in 2017. Of those 26 players, seven have been All-Stars, nine are already out of the league, and one is Evan Turner. I don’t need the why explained to me. I understand how we got to this point. I’m just nostalgic for a bygone era of NBA drafts, when we didn’t have to guess how good prospects might end up because we had already seen them play in college for a few years. I mean, just imagine if this draft were like the good ole days. Instead of a lottery full of freshmen, the top picks would include Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Devonte’ Graham, Keita Bates-Diop, Trevon Bluiett, Jevon Carter, Keenan Evans, Jock Lan—you know what? Never mind. Forget I said anything.

Washington Wizards
44
Washington Wizards
MALIK NEWMAN MALIK NEWMAN

MALIK NEWMAN

Guard

Kansas, Sophomore

  • PTS 14.2 17.9 per 40
  • REB 5.0 6.4 per 40
  • AST 2.1 2.7 per 40
  • EFG% 56.8 402 FGA
  • STL 1.1 1.4 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.2 per 40
  • 3PT% 41.5 205 3PA
  • FT% 83.5 115 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Spark-plug scoring
Age21.2
Height/Weight6'3.25''/189
Wingspan6'5.5''
Standing Reach8'2.5''
A pure bucket-getter who can generate offense off the bench, though his defense limits his upside.
Shades Of: Monta Ellis, Dion Waiters, Seth Curry
PLUSES
  • Energetic perimeter scorer who has no issues creating space to pull up from anywhere; he can get a bucket out of an isolation.
  • Great spot-up shooter with NBA range and clean footwork, and he’s shown flashes of hitting shots off screens or dribble handoffs.
  • Versatile pick-and-roll scorer with his ability to shoot from anywhere, plus he developed improved passing skills off the dribble.
  • Shifty ball handler who uses hesitations and tight crossovers to penetrate.
  • Motors the ball up the floor in transition; the ball doesn’t slow him down.
  • Good rebounder for his position; he uses his athleticism to fly in from the perimeter.
MINUSES
  • Shot selection can be frustrating, though the team that drafts him is getting him for his ability to spark offense.
  • Struggles finishing inside due to lack of length and explosiveness; he doesn’t draw many fouls.
  • Small for a 2-guard and lacks natural point-guard passing vision, though he can make simple plays.
  • His size also limits his defensive potential; if he’s not hustling, he could be a liability.
  • Lacks awareness defending off-ball when rotating or jumping passing lanes.
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Brooklyn Nets
45
Brooklyn Nets
JEROME ROBINSON JEROME ROBINSON

JEROME ROBINSON

Point Guard

Boston College, Junior

  • PTS 20.8 23.1 per 40
  • REB 3.6 4.0 per 40
  • AST 3.3 3.7 per 40
  • EFG% 56.4 515 FGA
  • STL 0.9 1.0 per 40
  • BLK 0.1 0.2 per 40
  • 3PT% 40.9 198 3PA
  • FT% 83.0 176 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring
Age21.2
Height/Weight6'5''/188
Wingspan6'7.25''
Standing Reach8'2''
A versatile scoring wing who can play both on- and off-ball, an important quality for today’s positionless league.
Shades Of: Jamal Crawford, Tyler Johnson, Marcus Thornton
PLUSES
  • Fluid athlete who changes directions quickly while staying under control.
  • Tight ball handler with a wide array of moves; he especially likes using hesitations, fakes, and in-out dribbles when he’s going left.
  • Uses either hand to finish at the rim with touch, and he occasionally slams down monster dunks when he has space.
  • Great spot-up shooter with a quick release, and he’s just as potent on pull-ups. Has potential shooting off screens and handoffs.
  • Serviceable passer for a wing.
  • Solid defender who can defend both guard spots, though he must get stronger.
MINUSES
  • Inconsistent shooter in pick-and-roll and isolation situations. He’s able to create space for himself, but he’s not a game-changing bucket-getter.
  • Average finisher against length and athleticism due to lack of lift jumping off one foot, but occasionally shows off acrobatic layups.
  • Forces the issue at times instead of making the simple pass, which could be a byproduct of his role as the go-to scorer.
  • Inconsistent effort on defense, especially when playing off-ball.
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Houston Rockets
46
Houston Rockets
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
Age21.2
Height/Weight6'6.75''/229
Wingspan7'3''
Standing Reach8'9''
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.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Los Angeles Lakers
47
Los Angeles Lakers
TYUS BATTLE TYUS BATTLE

TYUS BATTLE

Wing

Syracuse, Sophomore

  • PTS 19.2 19.7 per 40
  • REB 2.9 3.0 per 40
  • AST 2.1 2.1 per 40
  • EFG% 46.5 586 FGA
  • STL 1.5 1.5 per 40
  • BLK 0.2 0.2 per 40
  • 3PT% 32.2 239 3PA
  • FT% 83.9 199 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring upside
Age20.6
Height/Weight6'6.75''/200
Wingspan6'9''
Standing Reach8'6''
A versatile wing who can serve as a spot-up shooter or secondary playmaker, though he must fix some of his bad habits.
Shades Of: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dion Waiters, Sheldon Mac
PLUSES
  • Great spot-up 3-point shooter with NBA range and a quick trigger.
  • His touch on floaters, craftiness around the rim, and good free throw percentages bode well for the development of his jumper in motion.
  • Nifty dribbler who likes to lull defenders to sleep using hesitations and crossovers, and slice to the rim with smooth footwork.
  • Good playmaker whose assist-turnover ratio would be better if he had teammates that could hit shots.
  • Projects as a solid multi-positional defender due to size, length, and athleticism. But he played in a zone at Syracuse, so who knows?
MINUSES
  • Subpar shooter off the dribble and lacks a dynamic shooting ability off screens and handoffs.
  • Settles for too many contested mid-range shots and lacks 3-point range off the dribble.
  • Stops the ball too much off the catch rather than just attacking. He also picks up his dribble too much before delivering passes.
  • Lacks an explosive first step and he predictably drives left in isolation and spot-up situations and tries to back to his right.
  • Average rebounder for his position.
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Minnesota Timberwolves
48
Minnesota Timberwolves
GARY TRENT JR. GARY TRENT JR.

GARY TRENT JR.

Shooting Guard

Duke, Freshman

  • PTS 14.5 17.2 per 40
  • REB 4.2 5.0 per 40
  • AST 1.4 1.7 per 40
  • EFG% 52.8 427 FGA
  • STL 1.2 1.4 per 40
  • BLK 0.1 0.2 per 40
  • 3PT% 40.2 241 3PA
  • FT% 87.6 97 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shooting
Age19.3
Height/Weight6'5.75''/204
Wingspan6'8.75''
Standing Reach8'2''
A knockdown shooting wing who needs to become a committed defender in order to stay on the floor.
Shades Of: Doug McDermott, Jeremy Lamb, Hollis Thompson
PLUSES
  • Great spot-up shooter who can hit from deep even with a defender draped all over him.
  • Does an excellent job of getting his feet set and balancing mid-air when attempting off-balance shots off screens.
  • Capable of hitting basic one-two dribble pull ups.
  • Races up the floor in transition and intelligently fills passing lanes on the wing.
MINUSES
  • Subpar athlete who doesn’t explode at the rim and easily has his shots altered by the defense.
  • Doesn’t get to the rim often due to his average handle. Lacks advanced moves, burst, or the first step to create against a set defense.
  • He displays some chucker habits: he stops the ball instead of just attacking or shooting.
  • Poor defender who ball-watches, struggles moving laterally to contain quicker players, and lacks the strength to contain bigger ones.
  • Opponents relentlessly attacked him in college. NBA teams will do the same unless he learns how to defend off-ball as well as he scores.
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San Antonio Spurs
49
San Antonio Spurs
ISAAC BONGA ISAAC BONGA

ISAAC BONGA

Small Forward

Frankfurt Skyliners / Germany

  • PTS 6.0 11.0 per 40
  • REB 3.2 5.9 per 40
  • AST 2.4 4.4 per 40
  • EFG% 46.1 128 FGA
  • STL 1.0 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.4 0.8 per 40
  • 3PT% 34.3 35 3PA
  • FT% 91.8 73 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Playmaking
Age18.5
Height/Weight6'9''/203
Wingspan6'11.75''
Standing Reach8'10.5
A versatile playmaking forward who is one of the youngest players in the draft and is a prime draft-and-stash candidate.
Shades Of: Nicolas Batum, Kyle Anderson, Wesley Iwundu
PLUSES
  • Superb playmaker off the dribble who throws difficult kick-outs for 3s, and threads the needle into the paint.
  • Advanced navigating the pick-and-roll for his age. He changes gears, can dribble, finish, or pass with either hand, and makes smart decisions.
  • Very fluid ball handler with good body control who looks like he’s gliding to the rim on drives, and he has soft touch finishing with either hand.
  • He became an elite free throw shooter, and though he still struggles from 3, his progress suggests an ability to turn weaknesses into strengths.
  • Potential versatile defender with his blend of length, size, and lateral quickness. He’s also a competitive rebounder.
MINUSES
  • Potential versatile defender with his blend of length, size, and lateral quickness. He’s also a competitive rebounder.
  • He’s a turnover machine at this stage. He telegraphs too many passes, or when he’s pressured he’ll panic when getting rid of the ball.
  • Not a strong leaper off one foot inside the paint, doesn’t draw many fouls, and ends up settling for floaters. He’ll need to become a crafty finisher.
  • Shooting mechanics need work. His toes are pointed toward the rim, which can cause tension in the shoulders, and his release is too slow.
  • Currently a nonfactor shooting jumpers off the dribble. He pauses as he transitions into his shot, as if he needs to get a grip on the ball.
  • Needs to add a lot of muscle to his skinny frame, which should help him on defense, where he currently gets overpowered.
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Indiana Pacers
50
Indiana Pacers
DEVON HALL DEVON HALL

DEVON HALL

Shooting Guard

Virginia, Senior

  • PTS 11.7 14.6 per 40
  • REB 4.2 5.2 per 40
  • AST 3.1 3.9 per 40
  • EFG% 59.9 291 FGA
  • STL 0.9 1.1 per 40
  • BLK 0.1 0.2 per 40
  • 3PT% 43.2 132 3PA
  • FT% 89.4 85 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: 3-and-D upside
Age23.2
Height/Weight6'6''/206
Wingspan6'7.75''
Standing Reach8'6''
A competitive two-way player who can hit spot-up 3s and defend multiple positions, which makes him a valued commodity.
Shades Of: Danny Green, Royce O'Neale, Keith Bogans
PLUSES
  • Excellent lefty spot-up shooter who relocates at a high level and can hit shots off screens.
  • Good secondary ball handler who runs a smooth pick-and-roll. He can get to the rim with straight-line drives or pull up from 3.
  • Makes smart, accurate passes off the dribble. He knows how to read the defense and rarely makes bonehead mistakes.
  • Good defender with excellent fundamentals, quick lateral movement, length, and size to defend multiple positions.
  • Team defender who communicates, hustles on closeouts, and stays focused.
MINUSES
  • He’s a below-average ball handler with a lack of diverse moves. His turnovers are largely a result of his loose handle.
  • Lacks the burst to get to the lane and the leaping ability to finish inside, so he ends up settling for too many floaters.
  • He can get better at avoiding screens as an off-ball defender.
  • He’s a very good defender, but probably not a lockdown guy due to his lack of elite athleticism.
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New Orleans Pelicans
51
New Orleans Pelicans
VINCE EDWARDS VINCE EDWARDS

VINCE EDWARDS

Forward

Purdue, Senior

  • PTS 14.6 18.5 per 40
  • REB 7.4 9.4 per 40
  • AST 2.9 3.7 per 40
  • EFG% 54.4 378 FGA
  • STL 0.5 0.7 per 40
  • BLK 0.6 0.8 per 40
  • 3PT% 39.8 128 3PA
  • FT% 83.3 120 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Role-playing reliability
Age22.1
Height/Weight6'8"/225
Wingspan7'0"
Standing Reach8'9.5"
An all-around scoring forward who will need to be more disciplined defensively to carve out a 3-and-D role.
Shades Of: Ryan Gomes, Ben Bentil
PLUSES
  • Size, length, and thick frame give him potential to be versatile defender.
  • Terrific shooter off the catch, though he has clunky wind-up mechanics.
  • Good interior finisher and capable of beating mismatches on the low post using his smooth footwork.
  • Plays within himself by making quality passes and avoiding silly mistakes.
  • Smart mover and cutter without the ball.
MINUSES
  • Too passive to be an elite defender; he disappears far too often and doesn’t show activity with blocks or steals.
  • Lazily fights over screens and closes out on shooters.
  • Ineffective shooter off the dribble.
  • Passiveness applies to offense, too; fades in and out of games. Needs to be steady as a role player.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Utah Jazz
52
Utah Jazz
KEVIN HERVEY KEVIN HERVEY

KEVIN HERVEY

Small Forward

UT Arlington, Senior

  • PTS 20.5 25.4 per 40
  • REB 8.5 10.6 per 40
  • AST 2.2 2.7 per 40
  • EFG% 51.7 545 FGA
  • STL 1.2 1.5 per 40
  • BLK 0.6 0.8 per 40
  • 3PT% 33.9 227 3PA
  • FT% 80.7 140 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Size and shooting
Age21.8
Height/Weight6'7.75''/212
Wingspan7'3.5''
Standing Reach8'11''
An energetic scoring forward who needs to rein in his wild go-to habits in order to fill a more complementary role.
Shades Of: Ersan Ilyasova, Jumbo J.R. Smith, Brandon Rush
PLUSES
  • Good spot-up shooter with a quick, high release and NBA range.
  • Active off-ball player who screens, sprints in transition, cuts to the rim and migrates on the perimeter to get himself open.
  • Changes directions quickly with the ball. He’s a good ball handler for his size, though it currently might be too loose for NBA standards.
  • Solid at-rim finisher who can use either hand, though he lacks elite burst or leaping ability on drives.
  • Shows a willingness to distribute the ball from the post.
  • Generally plays hard on defense and crashes the boards.
MINUSES
  • Tore his left ACL as sophomore in college and his right ACL as a senior in high school.
  • Willing to shoot from anywhere on the floor, but that works against him since he’s not potent off the dribble and takes a ton of wild shots.
  • Commits too many careless turnovers with sloppy footwork and by telegraphing passes. The game seems like it’s moving too fast for him.
  • Teams may look at him as a small-ball big man, so he needs to develop more big skills such as post moves and footwork on the roll.
  • His defensive fundamentals need a lot of work. He’s too flat-footed defending the perimeter and falls out of position in pick-and-roll.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Oklahoma City Thunder
53
Oklahoma City Thunder
DEVONTE' GRAHAM DEVONTE' GRAHAM

DEVONTE' GRAHAM

Point Guard

Kansas, Senior

  • PTS 17.3 18.3 per 40
  • REB 4.0 4.3 per 40
  • AST 7.2 7.7 per 40
  • EFG% 51.0 498 FGA
  • STL 1.6 1.7 per 40
  • BLK 0.1 0.1 per 40
  • 3PT% 40.6 271 3PA
  • FT% 82.7 202 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Gritty defense
Age23.2
Height/Weight6'1.5''/186
Wingspan6'6.25''
Standing Reach8'0''
A high-energy, hard-nosed defender who improved his point guard skills as a senior.
Shades Of: Lean Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Scottie Wilbekin
PLUSES
  • Excellent spot-up shooter with quick mechanics who flashes upside shooting off screens and handoffs. He does a good job of balancing in midair.
  • Comfortable shooter off the dribble due to speedy release and tight handle, though he needs to get better going right.
  • Good ball handler who changes gears and shakes defenders to create space to score or pass.
  • Efficient passer who completes entry, kickout, and pocket passes. He’s not a super-creative playmaker, but he gets the job done.
  • Gritty defender who fights through screens, pesters ball handlers, and focuses off-ball.
MINUSES
  • Undersized and lean, so his defensive upside is capped; might only be effective against smaller point guards.
  • Below-average interior finisher due to lack of length and lift. He’ll need to become more crafty to compensate.
  • Already 23 years old, so there’s less room for improvement. But is that much of a weakness when he’s a ready-made point guard?
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Dallas Mavericks
54
Dallas Mavericks
KENRICH WILLIAMS KENRICH WILLIAMS

KENRICH WILLIAMS

Small Forward

TCU, Senior

  • PTS 13.2 14.6 per 40
  • REB 9.3 10.3 per 40
  • AST 3.9 4.3 per 40
  • EFG% 54.6 325 FGA
  • STL 1.8 1.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.5 0.5 per 40
  • 3PT% 39.5 114 3PA
  • FT% 68.8 96 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Glue-guy skills
Age23.5
Height/Weight6'7.5''/200
Wingspan6'7.25''
Standing Reach8'7.5''
A crafty wing who can score and pass, though his average athleticism and age limit his upside.
Shades Of: Boris Diaw, Kyle Anderson, John Holland
PLUSES
  • Knockdown spot-up 3-point shooter with a high release, though he hasn’t shown the ability to hit tougher off-balanced shots after the catch.
  • Savvy pick-and-roll playmaker. He uses hesitations and deception to create space, and he can make advanced passes through traffic.
  • Smart glue guy on offense who cuts, crashes the boards, sets screens, and facilitates.
  • Great rebounder who snatches boards with a combination of instinct, fundamentals, and hustle.
  • Plays his ass off on defense by fighting through screens, staying focused, and making rotations.
MINUSES
  • Solid ball handler at the 4, but lacks skills to run the offense, especially when pressured. He turns the ball over frequently in transition.
  • Subpar shooter off the dribble; he doesn’t create enough separation, and his consistent spot-up mechanics become shaky on the move.
  • Poor free throw shooter, which is worrisome considering free throw percentage is historically a strong indicator of 3-point shooting ability.
  • Raw post scorer; he would be well served to develop his skills because of his playmaking. His size could enable him to beat up on smaller guards.
  • He’ll need to put on more weight to maximize versatility defending larger players, but he can’t afford to lose any of his already average quickness.
  • Struggles to stay in front of quicker guards on switches due to subpar lateral movement.
  • Age. He’ll turn 24 as a rookie.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Charlotte Hornets
55
Charlotte Hornets
TONY CARR TONY CARR

TONY CARR

Point Guard

Penn State, Sophomore

  • PTS 19.6 22.2 per 40
  • REB 4.9 5.6 per 40
  • AST 5.0 5.7 per 40
  • EFG% 48.2 600 FGA
  • STL 0.8 0.9 per 40
  • BLK 0.3 0.3 per 40
  • 3PT% 43.3 203 3PA
  • FT% 79.9 184 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Scoring upside
Age20.6
Height/Weight6'4.5''/199
Wingspan6'8.25''
Standing Reach8'4''
A relentless shot-making guard who can serve as a microwave scorer off a team’s bench, though his decision-making must improve.
Shades Of: Jarrett Jack, Rodney Stuckey, Jordan Crawford
PLUSES
  • Good size for a guard with his strong, muscular frame and long arms. He’s shown flashes of being an effective defender.
  • Capable spot-up shooter with NBA range. He’s also a savvy ball handler capable of creating space off the dribble.
  • Takes and makes a lot of tough shots. He can spark offense for a team in dire straits.
  • Skilled post scorer with clean footwork and use of spins. He can hit turnarounds, hook shots, and facilitate from the block, too.
  • Solid pick-and-roll playmaker. He makes simple passes, entries, and lobs, though he isn’t a dynamic decision-maker.
MINUSES
  • How will his 3-pointer translate? It looks like he’s aiming for the moon when the ball leaves his hand. His footwork is inconsistent.
  • Loves mid-range jumpers a little too much and ends up settling for a lot of wild floaters.
  • Subpar at-rim finisher. He doesn’t get much elevation and is only average finishing against contact. He needs to develop more craft.
  • Lacks an elite first step and burst to create space at the highest levels, which was a key part of his offense in college.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Philadelphia 76ers
56
Philadelphia 76ers
JEVON CARTER JEVON CARTER

JEVON CARTER

Point Guard

West Virginia, Senior

  • PTS 17.3 20.0 per 40
  • REB 4.6 5.4 per 40
  • AST 6.6 7.7 per 40
  • EFG% 49.8 215 FGA
  • STL 3.0 3.5 per 40
  • BLK 0.4 0.4 per 40
  • 3PT% 39.3 196 3PA
  • FT% 85.8 155 FGA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Defense
Age22.7
Height/Weight6'1.5''/196
Wingspan6'4.25''
Standing Reach7'11''
An experienced point guard who can defend at a high level as soon as he enters the league.
Shades Of: Derek Fisher, Fred VanVleet, Jerryd Bayless
PLUSES
  • Defends like he’s possessed. He’s relentless, aggressive, and never stops grinding.
  • He’ll battle larger players, lock down guards, and fight for rebounds. Coaches can rely on him to defend from day one.
  • Selfless passer who minimizes mistakes. He’s an accurate passer, experienced in pick-and-roll, and plays within himself.
  • Good spot-up shooter with NBA range who’s capable of pulling up or stepping back from distance.
  • He's a leader and a winner. He was an unranked high school recruit who become an All-American.
MINUSES
  • Lacks length and size to defend multiple positions at an elite level.
  • Average ball handler without an explosive first step, so he’s best suited as a reserve playmaker.
  • Struggles finishing around the rim due to lack of leaping ability and he ends up settling for too many low-percentage floaters.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Oklahoma City Thunder
57
Oklahoma City Thunder
JALEN HUDSON JALEN HUDSON

JALEN HUDSON

Shooting Guard

Florida, Junior

  • PTS 15.5 23.4 per 40
  • REB 3.9 5.9 per 40
  • AST 1.1 1.6 per 40
  • EFG% 55.3 394 FGA
  • STL 0.8 1.2 per 40
  • BLK 0.6 0.9 per 40
  • 3PT% 40.2 194 3PA
  • FT% 66.2 139 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shooting
Age22.0
Height/Weight6'5''/195
WingspanN/A
Standing ReachN/A
An athletic shooter who will need to prove he cares about playing defense.
Shades Of: Allen Crabbe, Anthony Morrow, Shorter Omri Casspi
PLUSES
  • Excellent spot-up shooter from NBA range. He has a quick, high release. Also has good footwork and balances himself mid-air shooting off screens.
  • Quick first step when attacking closeouts allows him to get all the way to the rim, where he can finish with either hand.
  • A secondary pick-and-roll option who can pull up over the top for 3.
  • Vertical athlete who can fly in for dunks and occasionally put a player on a poster.
MINUSES
  • Is his shot for real? He only became a potent shooter as a junior and it’s noteworthy that he shoots below 70 percent from the line.
  • Subpar passer who can only make basic reads but fails to put zip on the ball, or goes through the motions.
  • Loose handle on drives. He gets stripped too often or just loses control without much defensive resistance.
  • Lackadaisical defender. He’s lean, doesn’t play tough or stay engaged. He will be targeted by offenses.
  • His defensive effort is so poor that sometimes he doesn’t even attempt to closeout on shooters.
  • Low-impact rebounder even for his position.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Denver Nuggets
58
Denver Nuggets
SAGABA KONATE SAGABA KONATE

SAGABA KONATE

Center

West Virginia, Sophomore

  • PTS 10.8 16.9 per 40
  • REB 7.6 12.0 per 40
  • AST 0.7 1.0 per 40
  • EFG% 51.0 304 FGA
  • STL 0.4 0.7 per 40
  • BLK 3.2 5.0 per 40
  • 3PT% 0.0 0 3PA
  • FT% 79.0 100 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shot blocking
Age21.1
Height/Weight6'7.5''/246
Wingspan7'0''
Standing Reach8'10.5''
A big man with the body of the Hulk and the shot blocking instincts that’ll give you Ben Wallace deja vu.
Shades Of: Tristan Thompson, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle O'Quinn
PLUSES
  • Amazing shot blocker with excellent instincts and fundamentals. He uses the rule of verticality by keeping his hands straight up without fouling.
  • Strong post defender. Once his technique improves enough to maximize his lower center of gravity, he’ll be like a brick wall inside.
  • Plays his ass off on the perimeter. He closes out, contests shots, and stays in his stance. He’s not very quick laterally, but the effort is there.
  • Great rebounder who is a threat for putback dunks. He has strong hands and rarely gets stripped after offensive boards.
  • Solid free throw shooter and midrange shooter with good touch inside.
  • Lob threat, though he needs far more experience and coaching in the pick-and-roll. Also didn’t run the floor much in college.
MINUSES
  • Average perimeter defender, which is unsurprising considering the bulk he carries. He may not be a player that can switch onto faster players.
  • Very raw at reading the floor and will need to learn how to defend pick-and-roll, something he has very little experience doing.
  • Limited passer, screener, and ball handler. Teams won’t want the ball in his hands much on offense.
  • Slow decision-maker who can mostly only be relied on to make very basic passes at this stage of his career.
  • Has a habit of bringing the ball down to load up for dunks. He needs to learn how to go straight up and take advantage of his quick leaping ability.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Phoenix Suns
59
Phoenix Suns
ALIZE JOHNSON ALIZE JOHNSON

ALIZE JOHNSON

Power Forward

Missouri State, Senior

  • PTS 15.0 19.3 per 40
  • REB 11.6 14.9 per 40
  • AST 2.8 3.7 per 40
  • EFG% 48.1 400 FGA
  • STL 0.5 0.6 per 40
  • BLK 0.4 0.5 per 40
  • 3PT% 28.1 146 3PA
  • FT% 75.9 145 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Two-way versatility
Age22.1
Height/Weight6'8''/217
Wingspan6'8.75''
Standing Reach8'7''
A versatile power forward with ball handling skills and defensive versatility but needs to prove he has a standout quality.
Shades Of: James Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jonas Jerebko
PLUSES
  • Plays hard on defense, stays mentally engaged and crashes the glass. He moves well laterally and can switch screens onto guards and wings.
  • Excellent rebounder with a nose for the ball and the handle to go coast to coast, a valuable skill for teams that run multiple ball handler offenses.
  • Good passing vision for his size. He grew up playing point guard and retained the skills as a facilitator in transition.
  • Average shooter for his position, but he’s shown flashes. With a few tweaks to his elbow and footwork he can be more consistent.
  • Comfortable posting up with good footwork, though he predictably always tries to get back to his right hand.
MINUSES
  • Rarely picks up blocks or steals, a historically negative statistical indicator for NBA prospects.
  • He was used as a center in college and struggled to defend larger players on the post. He’s really lean, especially in the lower body.
  • Struggles with contact on drives, largely because he’s so right-hand dominant on layups and with his dribble.
  • His feel for the game is only average; he wears blinders too often on drives and ends up forcing the issue with wild shots.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Philadelphia 76ers
60
Philadelphia 76ers
BRANDON MCCOY BRANDON MCCOY

BRANDON MCCOY

Center

UNLV, Freshman

  • PTS 16.9 23.6 per 40
  • REB 10.3 14.4 per 40
  • AST 0.5 0.7 per 40
  • EFG% 54.8 382 FGA
  • STL 0.5 0.6 per 40
  • BLK 1.8 2.5 per 40
  • 3PT% 33.3 9 3PA
  • FT% 72.5 193 FTA
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Size
Age19.9
Height/Weight7'0.5''/250
Wingspan7'2''
Standing Reach9'2.5''
A throwback center who can score inside and throw his body around on defense, but lacks ideal athleticism to thrive.
Shades Of: Willy Hernangomez, Justin Hamilton, Dakari Johnson
PLUSES
  • Good touch around the rim using either hand; he has a knack for finding openings to get his shot up.
  • Fights to establish positioning right underneath the rim to receive entry passes or clean up the offensive boards.
  • Solid free throw and midrange shooter; he has odd mechanics, but could theoretically space the floor from the corner.
  • Strong frame to defend the low post, box out, and rebound.
MINUSES
  • Lacks length and athleticism necessary to be an elite interior presence or shot blocker.
  • Struggles defending pick-and-roll due to lack of mobility; he’s a flat-footed plodder on the perimeter.
  • Subpar defensive instincts when rotating off-ball; he’s often out of position or a step late and ends up committing careless fouls.
  • Awful assist-turnover ratio is indicative of his poor feel; he lacks passing vision, doesn’t read the floor, travels too often, and sets moving screens.
SEE MORE RINGER COVERAGE
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Atlanta Hawks
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 3

    Atlanta’s own first-round pick

  • 19

    From Timberwolves in 2015 trade that sent Adreian Payne to Minnesota

  • 30

    From Rockets in 2017 three-team trade that sent an Atlanta second-round pick to Denver and Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers

  • 33

    Atlanta’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Dynamic point guard
  • Rim-protecting big man
  • No D-II players
Friendly
Suggestions
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Big 
Michigan State, Freshman
Mohamed Bamba
Center 
Texas, Freshman
Elie Okobo
Point Guard 
Pau-Orthez / France
Brief History
Atlanta’s own pick hasn’t landed in the lottery since 2007, but the team has nonetheless drafted well. In 2016 the Hawks traded Jeff Teague to the Pacers in a three-team deal that landed them the 12th-overall pick from the Jazz and acquired Taurean Prince, a move that looks great after Prince made a sophomore leap (14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds per game). Aside from that deal, Atlanta’s recent draft history includes taking Dennis Schröder (no. 17 overall, 2013), the leading scorer from this year’s tankfest; trading the 15th pick in 2015 in a three-way deal with the Knicks and Wizards that netted Tim Hardaway Jr., whom the Knicks later egregiously overpaid; and nabbing John Collins (no. 19 overall, 2017), a promising and high-flying big. In between, the Hawks made one blunder: selecting Payne one slot ahead of Jusuf Nurkic and four ahead of Gary Harris in 2014\. That pick does not look fantastic in hindsight, but it somehow worked out in their favor: The Hawks have a whopping three first-round picks in this year’s draft, one of which came from the Timberwolves in a 2015 trade for Payne.
Boston Celtics
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 27

    Boston’s own first-round pick

Team Needs
  • Possible replacement playmakers at the 1 or 2
  • Post-Horford versatile big?
Friendly
Suggestions
Jarred Vanderbilt
Small Forward 
Kentucky, Freshman
Donte DiVincenzo
Point Guard 
Villanova, Sophomore
Malik Newman
Guard 
Kansas, Sophomore
Brief History
Danny Ainge’s 2013 trade with the Nets, in which the Boston GM acquired four first-round picks from Brooklyn for two 36-year-old veterans, is the stuff of NBA team-building legend. Netting those Nets picks was only one step of Boston’s on-the-fly rebuild; Ainge had to make those picks count, and that’s exactly what he’s done in the past two summers. Jaylen Brown (no. 3 overall, 2016), Jayson Tatum (no. 3 overall, 2017), and Kyrie Irving (acquired in 2017 using the Nets’ 2018 pick) are all Celtics thanks to the Brooklyn gold mine. Boston also grabbed the crucial backcourt pieces of its 2018 squad through the draft: Marcus Smart (no. 6 overall, 2014) and Terry Rozier (no. 16 overall, 2015) may not have been the most popular choices at the time, but both have developed into fan favorites. Ainge’s best moves might be the ones he didn’t make, including passing on Markelle Fultz in 2017 and (mercifully) getting rejected on his trade package for Justise Winslow in 2015—which reportedly would have cost Boston four first-rounders. The one draft-night decision the Celtics would like a mulligan on? Taking Kelly Olynyk two slots ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2013\. The Canadian Man Bun doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like the Greek Freak.
Brooklyn Nets
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 29

    From Raptors in 2017 trade that sent Justin Hamilton to Toronto and DeMarre Carroll, and a 2018 second-round Lakers pick to Brooklyn

  • 40

    From the trade above

  • 45

    From Bucks in 2018 trade that sent Tyler Zeller to Milwaukee and Rashad Vaughn

Team Needs
  • Athletic 3-and-D wing
  • Forwards/bigs with 3-point range
Friendly
Suggestions
Chandler Hutchison
Shooting Guard 
Boise State, Senior
Keita Bates-Diop
Small Forward 
Ohio State, Senior
Josh Okogie
Shooting Guard 
Georgia Tech, Sophomore
Brief History
There are plenty of reasons to consider the Nets one of the most wretched franchises of the 2010s (see: Celtics trade), but their rebuilding moves since the Boston debacle have been uniformly solid. During the 2015 draft, Brooklyn traded Mason Plumlee for the 23rd pick and snagged Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who just turned in the best season of his young career (13.9 points, 6.8 rebounds per game). The next year, Brooklyn flipped Thaddeus Young for the 20th pick in the 2016 draft, using that pick to add a young guard with potential in Caris LeVert. In 2017, Bojan Bogdanovic and Brook Lopez brought back the 22nd pick (Jarrett Allen) and a former no. 2 overall pick (D’Angelo Russell), respectively. In 2019, the Nets will own their own first-round pick for the first time since they were the New Jersey Nets in 2010 (another great moment in Nets drafting history: dealing the pick that became Damian Lillard for a past-his-prime Gerald Wallace in 2012). For one more year, though, Brooklyn is relegated to the low-end picks acquired from trades.
Charlotte Hornets
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 11

    Charlotte’s own 2017 first-round pick

  • 55

    From Cleveland via Brooklyn in the 2015 trade that sent the rights to Juan Pablo Vaulet to the Nets

Team Needs
  • Contingency point guard (should Kemba Walker get traded)
  • Versatile 3-and-D wing
  • Athletic playmaker at the forward positions
Friendly
Suggestions
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Guard 
Kentucky, Freshman
Collin Sexton
Point Guard 
Alabama, Freshman
Mikal Bridges
Small Forward 
Villanova, Junior
Brief History
Charlotte will select 11th for the second straight year, and is hoping to find a more impactful rookie than Malik Monk to add to next year’s squad. Monk was considered a steal at no. 11 this time last year, but after a season of 36 percent shooting from the field, his buzz has quieted down. The Hornets can’t be blamed for taking Monk, but they can (and should) be blamed (and mocked) for trading their 2016 first-rounder for Marco Belinelli, who lasted just one year in Charlotte on a 36-win team. In 2015, Michael Jordan and his front office famously turned down a monster offer from the Celtics in order to draft Frank Kaminsky, who certainly has not lived up to that investment. Noah Vonleh (no. 9 overall, 2014) and Cody Zeller (no. 4 overall, 2013) weren’t game-changers; the Hornets didn’t pass on any particularly noteworthy player to draft them, but they were uninspiring picks nonetheless. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (no. 2 overall, 2012) went one slot ahead of Bradley Beal, but would a Kemba Walker–Beal backcourt have had any more success than the John Wall–Beal duo in Washington? Unfortunately for Charlotte, there’s not much they could have done to improve their draft performance—other than, you know, snatching up that reported offer of four first-round picks from Boston in 2015.
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NBA Draft Lottery Best Fits
Chris Ryan and Kevin O’Connor break down the best fits for Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton, and Trae Young.
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NBA Draft Lottery Best Fits
Chicago Bulls
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 7

    Chicago’s own first-round pick

  • 22

    From New Orleans in the 2018 trade that sent Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans

Team Needs
  • The yin to Lauri Markkanen’s yang (rim protection)
  • Athletic wings with defensive potential
Friendly
Suggestions
Mohamed Bamba
Center 
Texas, Freshman
Mikal Bridges
Small Forward 
Villanova, Junior
Zhaire Smith
Small Forward 
Texas Tech, Freshman
Brief History
The Bulls staved off a full-on tank for longer than many expected, but will pick in the top 10 for the second straight year after dealing Jimmy Butler during last year’s draft. Chicago’s recent picks have ranged from shrewd (acquiring Lauri Markkanen at no. 7 in 2017), to lukewarm (Denzel Valentine in 2016), to solid (Bobby Portis in 2015), to facepalm-worthy (trading two first-rounders to move up for Doug McDermott in 2014). Of course, the most inspired pick in recent Bulls history was Butler himself, whom GM Gar Forman selected with the last pick of the 2011 first round after Butler’s college coach called Forman and implored him to take his guy. Chicago had another chance to nab a difference-maker deep in the draft in 2017, but drew the ire of the rest of the league when it helped fuel the Warriors’ juggernaut by dealing them the 38th pick (Jordan Bell, who became a contributor right away for Golden State) for $3.5 million.
Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 8

    From the Nets via Celtics in the 2017 trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics and Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Ante Zizic to Cleveland

Team Needs
  • Whomever LeBron likes
  • A fortune-teller
  • Not Shabazz Napier
Friendly
Suggestions
Trae Young
Point Guard 
Oklahoma, Freshman
Mikal Bridges
Small Forward 
Villanova, Junior
Miles Bridges
Forward 
Michigan State, Sophomore
Brief History
The Cavaliers have shunned the draft since LeBron James rejoined the franchise in 2014\. It’s a night-and-day difference: Before the second coming of the King, Cleveland selected no. 1 overall three times and no. 4 overall twice in a four-year span. In the three drafts since his return, they’ve added only one notable player: Cedi Osman, the 31st-overall pick in 2015 acquired from the Timberwolves. Absurd lottery luck has played an unavoidable part in Cleveland’s draft narrative this decade, but the franchise has actually made successful picks nearly every step of the way. Kyrie Irving (no. 1 overall, 2011) is a superstar and played an enormous role in bringing the city its first championship; Tristan Thompson (no. 4 overall, 2011) was a key player on that team and remains in Cleveland’s playoff rotation; Dion Waiters (no. 4 overall, 2012) was eventually traded for a valuable role player in J.R. Smith; Andrew Wiggins (no. 1 overall, 2014) brought back Kevin Love. There was also that time the Cavs made Anthony Bennett the no. 1 pick in 2013, but we don’t need to get into that.
Dallas Mavericks
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 5

    Dallas’s own first-round pick

  • 35

    Dallas’s own second-round pick

  • 54

    From Trail Blazers in 2018 three-team trade that sent Doug McDermott to Dallas, Devin Harris and a second-round pick to Denver, and Emmanuel Mudiay to New York

Team Needs
  • The big Nerlens Noel was supposed to be
  • Versatile athlete at wing
Friendly
Suggestions
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Big 
Michigan State, Freshman
Mohamed Bamba
Center 
Texas, Freshman
Rawle Alkins
Shooting Guard 
Arizona, Sophomore
Brief History
In the first eight seasons of the Rick Carlisle era, the Mavs made the playoffs seven times and won a title in 2011; in the past two, they’ve picked in the lottery. A handful of misses in free agency, coupled with the closing arc of Dirk Nowitzki’s storied career, means Dallas has to build a team from the ground up. Last year’s ninth pick, Dennis Smith Jr., showed flashes of brilliance, but was overshadowed in one of the best rookie classes in recent memory. Apart from Smith, the Mavs haven’t had much recent draft success. Justin Anderson, their first-rounder in 2015, played just 106 games in Dallas before being sent to Philly. In 2013, the Mavs acquired no. 18 pick Shane Larkin by way of two convoluted draft-day trades; three of the players involved in the two trades (Kelly Olynyk, Lucas Nogueira, Mike Muscala) are current NBA players. None of them are on the Mavs. Plus, Larkin has emerged as a steady backup on a Finals-contending Celtics team. Yikes.
Denver Nuggets
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 14

    Denver’s own first-round pick

  • 43

    From Clippers in 2018 three-team trade that sent Devin Harris to Denver, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to Dallas, and Emmanuel Mudiay to New York

  • 58

    From the Warriors in 2013 three-team trade that sent Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush, two first-round picks, and three second-round picks to Utah; Andre Iguodala and Kevin Murphy to Golden State; and Randy Foye to Denver

Team Needs
  • Point guard with off-ball ability
  • Defensive-minded wing who can switch
  • Defensive backup at center
Friendly
Suggestions
Zhaire Smith
Small Forward 
Texas Tech, Freshman
Troy Brown Jr.
Shooting Guard 
Oregon, Freshman
Kevin Knox
Forward 
Kentucky, Freshman
Brief History
Denver is back in the lottery for the fourth straight summer, having just missed out on a playoff berth this past season. The good news is the dynamic front-office duo of Tim Connelly and Arturas Karnisovas is still running the show. Since that pair joined the franchise in 2013, the Nuggets have done considerably well in the draft, acquiring Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris, Emmanuel Mudiay, Juancho Hernangomez, and Jamal Murray. Last year’s draft-day trade that sent Donovan Mitchell away for Trey Lyles and Tyler Lydon might not have been the best move, but thanks to smart drafting and shrewd offseason decisions, Denver still has the talent to challenge in the West.
Detroit Pistons
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 42

    Detroit’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Sharpshooting wing/forward
  • Complementary point guard
Friendly
Suggestions
Landry Shamet
Point Guard 
Wichita State, Sophomore
Jerome Robinson
Point Guard 
Boston College, Junior
Grayson Allen
Shooting Guard 
Duke, Senior
Brief History
Oh, Stan Van Gundy. The former coach and team president is no longer with the Pistons, but the legacy of his Luke Kennard–over–Donovan Mitchell decision during last year’s draft may outlive us all. Mitchell’s rookie season was excellent, and his postseason performance was historic. Kennard, meanwhile, put up 7.6 points per game during the regular season and has no playoff stats to compare to Mitchell’s because the Pistons failed to make the cut for the eighth time in the past nine seasons. Kennard could still develop into a productive NBA player, but the same seems unlikely to be said about Detroit’s 2016 first-rounder, Henry Ellenson, who’s sitting at 3.7 points per game for his career so far. The good news for SVG’s legacy and the Pistons’ future is that they won’t repeat their late-lottery mishap this year: They gave up their 2018 pick in the trade for Blake Griffin and his mammoth contract. After all, you can’t draft the wrong guy in the first round if you don’t have a pick.
Trae Young Is the Most Intriguing Prospect of 2018

According to Ringer staff writer and One Shining Podcast cohost Mark Titus

With all due respect to Villanova, Sister Jean, UMBC, Rick Pitino’s press tour, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I will forever remember the 2017-18 college basketball season as the Year of Trae Young. Everyone remembers despising the coverage surrounding Young by the end of the season, but hopefully they also remember why he garnered so much coverage in the first place: He was doing things that nobody has ever done in the history of college basketball. Even though Young’s stats dipped toward the end of the season, I can still comfortably say that there has never been a player quite like him. He’s not Steph Curry, he’s not Steve Nash, he’s not Chris Jackson, and he’s not Jimmer Fredette. He’s his own breed of guard, with unlimited range, a tight handle, and incredible passing ability … who also takes a ton of dumb shots, throws the ball all over the gym, and plays defense like he’s got cinder blocks on his feet.

And that’s what makes him the most intriguing prospect of the NBA draft. If you were to watch just his highlights, you’d be convinced that he’ll win an MVP within his first five years in the NBA. But if you were to watch just his worst plays, you’d be convinced that in five years he’ll be back in Norman, Oklahoma, selling used cars and signing autographs at the local mall. I believe in Young more than most, but I also think it’s important for him to end up on the right team. He needs to go somewhere he’ll have the freedom to iron out the kinks in his game, which is another way of saying he needs to be able to go 3-for-12 from the field with nine turnovers and not get picked apart by the national media for a week. Basically, in an ideal world, the guy who is projected to be picked anywhere from fifth through 10th in this draft would not go to the Cavs, Knicks, or Sixers, who will probably have the eighth, ninth, and 10th picks respectively. What could possibly go wrong?

Golden State Warriors
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 28

    Golden State’s own first-round pick

Team Needs
  • Shooters who can actually shoot
  • High-upside, low-cost player
Friendly
Suggestions
Bruce Brown
Shooting Guard 
Miami, Sophomore
Hamidou Diallo
Shooting Guard 
Kentucky, Freshman
Tyus Battle
Wing 
Syracuse, Sophomore
Brief History
What is there to say about the Warriors that hasn’t already been written? They’re a dynasty, and much of their success is thanks to the draft. The team’s centerpiece, Steph Curry, was taken seventh overall in 2009\. Klay Thompson went 11th in 2011, and Draymond Green followed him at 35th in 2012\. Even beyond their current core, GM Bob Myers’s picks have proved inspired. 2012 first-round picks Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli were key contributors on the 2015 title team, Kevon Looney has stepped in nicely when called upon this year, and Jordan Bell, who was acquired from the Bulls on draft day for $3.5 million in cash, might follow the Draymond mold of breakout second-rounders.
Houston Rockets
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 46

    From Grizzlies via Heat in 2017 trade that sent Dillon Brooks to Memphis

Team Needs
  • Defensive-minded forward who can switch
  • Sharpshooting wing
Friendly
Suggestions
Jarred Vanderbilt
Small Forward 
Kentucky, Freshman
Kevin Hervey
Small Forward 
UT Arlington, Senior
Chimezie Metu
Big 
USC, Junior
Brief History
Houston’s only pick this year comes in the second round—a consequence of netting Chris Paul in last summer’s blockbuster deal. Still, it’s not likely that Daryl Morey will miss the draft all that much. Most of Morey’s biggest roster-building moves have come through trades, save for one notable exception. Clint Capela, Houston’s 2014 first-round pick, is the only starter on the roster whom the Rockets drafted. Nearly every other recent first-round selection was traded away (in some cases, for Paul or James Harden), and none outside of Capela remain on the roster. That isn’t to say Houston can’t find value late in the draft; Morey took Chandler Parsons 38th overall in 2011.
Indiana Pacers
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 23

    Indiana’s own first-round pick

  • 50

    Indiana’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Long-term complementary ball handler
  • Win-now players ready to contribute
Friendly
Suggestions
Kevin Knox
Forward 
Kentucky, Freshman
Jalen Brunson
Point Guard 
Villanova, Junior
Aaron Holiday
Point Guard 
UCLA, Junior
Brief History
Indiana is the rare NBA team that doesn’t have a host of picks coming in and out every year at draft time. The Pacers shipped out their first-rounder in 2016 in exchange for Thaddeus Young, who started at power forward for this year’s surprise squad, but otherwise they’ve been content recently to roll the dice on prospects in the late lottery and mid-first round. Their crown jewel draft choice was Paul George (no. 10 overall, 2010), who led the Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference finals during his tenure. Other recent picks include Myles Turner (no. 11 overall in 2015 and a key contributor to this year’s team), T.J. Leaf (no. 18 overall in 2017; time will tell whether he’ll make an impact), and Solomon Hill (no. 23 overall, 2013; currently living lavishly in New Orleans thanks to the Pelicans’ gift of a four-year, $48 million contract). The biggest “what if” for a franchise that has many throughout its history comes from the 2011 draft: Had the Pacers not dealt the rights to Kawhi Leonard to San Antonio for George Hill, would the ensuing Leonard-George duo have run rampant over the East for the next decade?
Los Angeles Clippers
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 12

    From Pistons in 2018 trade that sent Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, and Brice Johnson to Detroit, and Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and a 2019 second-round pick to L.A. Clippers

  • 13

    Los Angeles's own first-round pick

Team Needs
  • Shot creator at the wing
  • Versatile wing defender
  • Long-term answer at center
Friendly
Suggestions
Robert Williams
Big 
Texas A&M, Sophomore
Troy Brown Jr.
Shooting Guard 
Oregon, Freshman
Lonnie Walker IV
Shooting Guard 
Miami, Freshman
Brief History
After years as both the Clippers’ president of basketball operations and head coach, this draft will be Doc Rivers’s first in L.A. with only the latter title, having shed his basketball ops position before this season. And while the past few draft hauls for L.A.’s other team have been modest (Brice Johnson, C.J. Wilcox, Reggie Bullock), the Clippers have two lottery picks this summer, both thanks in part to a trade that shipped former no. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin to Motown. Vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank may not have much experience running a team, but thankfully he has Jerry West at his side. West helped the Grizzlies out of irrelevance as a GM, helped build the Warriors’ dynasty as a special adviser, and drafted Kobe Bryant. With two top picks and West’s guidance, the Clippers’ rebuild post–Lob City could be accelerated.
Los Angeles Lakers
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 25

    From Cavaliers in 2018 trade that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland and Channing Frye and Isaiah Thomas to L.A. Lakers

  • 47

    From Nuggets in 2016 trade that sent Jose Calderon and one other second-round pick to L.A. Lakers and Ater Majok to Chicago

Team Needs
  • Versatile 3-and-D wing
  • Athletic rim-running center
  • No-nonsense backup point guard
Friendly
Suggestions
Mitchell Robinson
Center 
Chalmette High School
Jalen Brunson
Point Guard 
Villanova, Junior
Jarred Vanderbilt
Small Forward 
Kentucky, Freshman
Brief History
The Lakers own neither of their own picks this season, and it’s 2012’s fault. Their first-rounder was given away in the trade to acquire Steve Nash from Phoenix, and their second-rounder in a deal with Orlando for Dwight Howard. After four consecutive lottery selections, the Lakers showed improvement this year, riding their young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Julius Randle to a 35-47 record. Though not all of their selections have panned out for them (cough-cough, D’Angelo Russell, cough-cough), the purple and gold have a bright future. General manager Rob Pelinka and legend/president of basketball operations Magic Johnson had an easy decision taking hometown hero Ball with the second pick last summer. This time it won’t be as simple. But the team’s recent run of success acquiring talent at the bottom of the first round (Nance, Kuzma, Josh Hart) bodes well for what may come on draft night. It won’t be LeBron, but to get back to championship contention, they’ll need every piece they can get.
Video
NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers
Chris Ryan, Kevin O’Connor, and Jonathan Tjarks react to the NBA draft lottery by discussing winners and losers, players who can make an immediate impact, and possible trades for the draft.
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NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers
Memphis Grizzlies
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 4

    Memphis’s own first-round pick

  • 32

    Memphis’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Future face of the franchise?
  • Reliable backup point guard
  • Go-to scoring wing
Friendly
Suggestions
Michael Porter Jr.
Forward 
Missouri, Freshman
Marvin Bagley III
Big 
Duke, Freshman
Shake Milton
Guard 
SMU, Junior
Brief History
The Grizzlies find themselves in unfamiliar territory. After years in the Western Conference’s upper-middle class, injury, personnel changes, and the ravages of time left Memphis with the second-worst record in the league. The Griz didn’t have a pick last year, but they did swing a draft-day trade for promising second-rounder Dillon Brooks, who became an unlikely contributor amid the Grizzlies’ nonexistent wing rotation. Jarell Martin, Memphis’s 2015 first-rounder, has carved out a roster spot as a role player, playing more games last season than his first two combined. As for the rest of their recent picks, it’s hard to find a winner: 2012 first-rounder Tony Wroten bounced between the G League and the NBA before getting Processed in Philadelphia; 2014 first-rounder Jordan Adams is out of the league; and 2016 first-rounder Wade Baldwin IV barely survived his first season before getting waived (where he was subsequently picked up by the Blazers). The Grizzlies will have to hope that a healthy Conley and their upcoming lottery pick is enough to revive a team that was left for dead in 2017-18.
Miami Heat
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • X

    The Heat have no picks. 

Team Needs
  • Low-cost players, ironically
  • Backup point guard
Friendly
Suggestions
Brandon McCoy
Center 
UNLV, Freshman
Gary Trent Jr.
Shooting Guard 
Duke, Freshman
Tony Carr
Point Guard 
Penn State, Sophomore
Brief History
The Heat historically haven’t put much stock in the draft, a theme that continued in their 2015 trade that sent out two first-rounders in exchange for Goran Dragic. Miami has a pair of playoff appearances to show for the move, but that trade and others leave the franchise faced with owning just two total picks over the next four drafts. The Heat have been deservedly chided for trading up to take Shabazz Napier in the 2014 draft to appease LeBron James, who bolted for Cleveland two weeks later. But the mockery of that move might’ve been misplaced. What should live in infamy about that move isn’t that the Heat traded up for a player because LeBron tweeted that he liked watching him, it’s who came off the board just one pick later: a Swiss center named Clint Capela.
Milwaukee Bucks
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 17

    Milwaukee’s own first-round pick

Team Needs
  • Secondary shot creator
  • Shooters around Giannis Antetokounmpo
Friendly
Suggestions
Lonnie Walker IV
Shooting Guard 
Miami, Freshman
Shake Milton
Guard 
SMU, Junior
Kevin Knox
Forward 
Kentucky, Freshman
Brief History
In 2013, the Bucks took a chance on a raw, skinny kid named Giannis Antetokounmpo with the 15th pick in the draft, finding a diamond in the rough in the process. The Greek Freak is a transcendent, franchise-changing talent to be sure, but the draft hasn’t been kind to Milwaukee in the years since. It used the second-overall pick in 2014 on Jabari Parker, and while his extensive injury history couldn’t have been predicted, the other oft-injured big man they passed on in that draft would have been an exponentially better choice. Joel Embiid went just one slot after Parker, and it’s hard not to salivate when thinking about a Giannis-Embiid partnership guiding the Bucks into the future. Instead, Parker’s time in Milwaukee could be over—if he leaves in free agency, he’d join Rashad Vaughn (no. 17 overall, 2015) as top Bucks picks from the last four drafts no longer on the roster. The 2016 draft is Milwaukee’s saving grace: 10th-overall pick Thon Maker is teeming with potential, as he showed in this year’s playoffs; 36th pick Malcolm Brogdon is rock-solid and a former Rookie of the Year.
Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 20

    From Jazz via Thunder in 2017 trade that sent Ricky Rubio to Utah

  • 48

    Minnesota’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • As many shooters at the wings as possible
  • Athletic defenders at any position
Friendly
Suggestions
Melvin Frazier
Small Forward 
Tulane, Junior
Bruce Brown
Shooting Guard 
Miami, Sophomore
Jalen Hudson
Shooting Guard 
Florida, Junior
Brief History
Minnesota triumphantly returned to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2004, thanks in large part to 2015 no. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, 2014 no. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, and All-NBA shooting guard Jimmy Butler. Since joining the Timberwolves, head coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has done a number on the roster, flipping three of Minnesota’s four most recent lottery picks (Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen) for Butler, and signing a handful of his former Bulls players to beef up the squad. Minnesota went 37-22 this season when Butler, Towns, and Wiggins shared the floor. Projected over a full season, that effort would have placed it at 51 wins—good enough for third in the West. If the Timberwolves can find another player to accent their core, it’s a safe bet they’ll add to their success.
New Orleans Pelicans
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 51

    New Orleans’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Athletic 3-and-D win
  • Perimeter-oriented forward
Friendly
Suggestions
Alize Johnson
Power Forward 
Missouri State, Senior
Kenrich Williams
Small Forward 
TCU, Senior
Vince Edwards
Forward 
Purdue, Senior
Brief History
New Orleans capped one of its best seasons in recent history, reaching the conference semifinals for just the second time since 2002 despite losing DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending Achilles injury. To get there, they forfeited their first-round pick in June’s draft and received Nikola Mirotic in return. And while the cash-strapped Pelicans would surely love to add another asset for cheap, their draft history suggests they aren’t likely to find an answer to any of their problems with a first-round pick. Since drafting Anthony Davis first overall in 2012, the most significant contribution any of general manager Dell Demps selections has made has been as draft bait. 2013 and 2016 sixth-overall picks Nerlens Noel and Buddy Hield were both swapped for All-Stars, with Noel going to Philly in a deal for Jrue Holiday, and Hield to Sacramento for Cousins. Even Dwayne Bacon—their highest pick last summer—was sent away, moving to Charlotte in return for Frank Jackson.
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.

New York Knicks
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 9

    New York’s own first-round pick

  • 37

    From Bulls via Thunder in 2017 trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City

Team Needs
  • Playmaking point guard
  • Versatile athlete at forward
Friendly
Suggestions
Trae Young
Point Guard 
Oklahoma, Freshman
Collin Sexton
Point Guard 
Alabama, Freshman
Miles Bridges
Forward 
Michigan State, Sophomore
Brief History
There was a stretch, from 2010 to 2014, when the Knicks made only one first-round selection in four drafts. They dove back into the draft waters to snag Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall in 2015, and then went right back to their old ways by making zero selections in the 2016 draft (courtesy of an ill-advised deal for Andrea Bargnani). The days of shelling out prized assets for washed-up veterans seems to be over, as the Knicks plan to build around Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina (no. 8 overall, 2017). Porzingis was a savvy, forward-thinking, even visionary pick; he’s a true unicorn who seems built precisely for the pace-and-space game. As it happens, New York may have fallen backward into a franchise player: It’s been reported that then-president Phil Jackson wanted Jahlil Okafor badly in 2015, and was forced to settle for Porzingis when Okafor came off the board. It remains to be seen whether Ntilikina will blossom into a star, but the Knicks didn’t help his development last season by trading for 2015’s seventh-overall pick, Emmanuel Mudiay, and giving him free rein over the final stretch of their tank.
Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 53

    Oklahoma City’s own second-round pick

  • 57

    From Celtics in 2015 trade that sent Perry Jones III and a 2019 second-round pick to Boston

Team Needs
  • Sharpshooting forward
  • Secondary playmaker at the guard
Friendly
Suggestions
Devonte' Graham
Point Guard 
Kansas, Senior
Jevon Carter
Point Guard 
West Virginia, Senior
Rodions Kurucs
Small Forward 
Barcelona 2 / Latvia
Brief History
From 2007 to 2009, the SuperSonics-Thunder franchise logged what might have been the best three-year run in NBA draft history. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and James Harden all joined the franchise during that stretch, and were followed by Eric Bledsoe, Reggie Jackson, and Steven Adams in the following years. That’s a pretty impressive stretch. But more recently, Sam Presti selections haven’t been so successful. Since 2014, only Domantas Sabonis—a 2016 draft-day trade acquisition—played a season for the Thunder during which he logged more than 16 minutes a game, and he’s now in Indiana. The others (Cameron Payne, Dakari Johnson, Mitch McGary, Josh Huestis, and Terrance Ferguson) either project as role players for the team or are no longer on the roster.
Orlando Magic
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 5

    Orlando’s own first-round pick

  • 34

    Orlando’s own second-round pick

  • 41

    From the Hornets via Suns in a 2018 trade that sent Elfrid Payton to the Suns

Team Needs
  • Dynamic, playmaking point guard
  • Shooters at any position
  • Talent, period
Friendly
Suggestions
Michael Porter Jr.
Forward 
Missouri, Freshman
Trae Young
Point Guard 
Oklahoma, Freshman
Kevin Huerter
Shooting Guard 
Maryland, Sophomore
Brief History
The Magic may be the franchise most envious of the 76ers’ all-out embrace of tanking. Orlando has picked second, fourth, fifth, 11th, and sixth over the past five drafts—and the only All-Star to emerge from that bunch is Victor Oladipo, who had to be dealt twice before finding his calling in Indiana. Had the Magic been just slightly worse, they would have had a chance to add Joel Embiid (missed out by one slot in 2014) or Kristaps Porzingis (missed out by one slot in 2015), not to mention top prizes like Karl-Anthony Towns or Ben Simmons. Orlando doesn’t have much to show for years of losing beyond Aaron Gordon, who has never seemed to find the right role for himself, and Jonathan Isaac, who spent most of his rookie year injured. It’s as bleak a past, present, and future as exists in the NBA—that is, unless 2018 is finally the year they land the franchise savior the team has been searching for since Dwight Howard’s departure.
Philadelphia 76ers
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 10

    From Lakers via Suns in 2015 trade that sent Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee and Brandon Knight to Phoenix

  • 26

    Philadelphia’s own first-round pick

  • 38

    From Nets in the 2014 trade that sent Andrei Kirilenko to Philadelphia and a future second-round pick to Brooklyn

  • 39

    From Knicks in the 2014 trade that sent Arnett Moultrie to New York and Travis Outlaw to Philadelphia

  • 56

    Philadelphia’s own second-round pick

  • 60

    From Rockets in the 2017 trade that sent Shawn Long and cash to Houston

Team Needs
  • Size at the wing
  • Shooters around Ben Simmons
  • Embiid insurance?
Friendly
Suggestions
Mikal Bridges
Small Forward 
Villanova, Junior
Isaac Bonga
Small Forward 
Frankfurt Skyliners / Germany
Sagaba Konate
Center 
West Virginia, Sophomore
Brief History
The Sixers and the NBA draft have become synonymous over the past five years. Sam Hinkie’s plan to orient the entire franchise around the draft lottery was fodder for a half-decade of takes from every corner of the basketball universe, but it’s hard to argue with the results. By putting themselves in the best possible position for the lottery year in and year out, the 76ers ended up with no. 1 picks in 2016 and 2017 (Ben Simmons, who played like a young LeBron in his rookie season, and Markelle Fultz, who barely played) and no. 3 picks in 2014 and 2015 (Joel Embiid, who has best-big-man-in-the-league potential, and Jahlil Okafor, who … does not). There have certainly been missed opportunities: Okafor’s old-school game was added to appease fans fed up with risky picks, but the selection came at the expense of possibly adding another generational talent in Kristaps Porzingis. The bizarre Fultz saga came out of nowhere this season, but the Philly front office could regret trading up to no. 1 to land Fultz instead of drafting Jayson Tatum in the 2017 draft just as strongly.
Phoenix Suns
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 1

    Phoenix’s own first-round pick

  • 16

    From Heat in 2015 three-team trade that sent Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic to Miami; Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton, and Shawne Williams to New Orleans; and Danny Granger, John Salmons, and a 2021 first-round pick to Phoenix

  • 31

    Phoenix’s own second-round pick

  • 59

    From Raptors in 2017 trade that sent P.J. Tucker to Toronto and Jared Sullinger and one other second-round pick to Phoenix

Team Needs
  • An answer at point guard
  • High-potential big man
Friendly
Suggestions
Luka Doncic
Point Guard 
Real Madrid / Slovenia
Deandre Ayton
Center 
Arizona, Freshman
Khyri Thomas
Shooting Guard 
Creighton, Junior
Brief History
The first five drafts of the Ryan McDonough era in Phoenix have delivered mixed results. Devin Booker, the no. 13 pick in 2015, has already emerged as one of the best scorers in the league, and last season’s no. 4 pick, Josh Jackson, finished his season on a high note, scoring nearly 19 points a game after the All-Star break. T.J. Warren, the 14th selection in 2014, scored a career-high 19.6 points per game last season. But that’s where the good news ends. 2013 no. 5 pick Alex Len has underwhelmed with the Suns and will most likely be playing for another team next season; 2016 no. 4 pick Dragan Bender looks like a bust; 2014 no. 18 pick Tyler Ennis played just 58 minutes for the franchise; and Marquese Chriss, the über-athletic big whom the Suns traded up for in 2016, managed to get worse in the sequel to his already uneven rookie season.
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.

Portland Trail Blazers
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 24

    Portland’s own first-round pick

Team Needs
  • Secondary playmakers
  • Size on the perimeter
  • Salary relief—can they use this pick to unload a big contract?
Friendly
Suggestions
Troy Brown Jr.
Shooting Guard 
Oregon, Freshman
Jacob Evans
Small Forward 
Cincinnati, Junior
Chandler Hutchison
Shooting Guard 
Boise State, Senior
Brief History
On the whole, Portland has fared well in the draft since general manager Neil Olshey took over in the summer of 2012\. That June, the Blazers took Damian Lillard sixth overall (and grabbed his buddy Will Barton in the second round). The next year, they landed his backcourt partner, C.J. McCollum, at 10, giving the team its most dynamic guards since Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter brought the ball up the floor. The franchise’s more recent drafts were nearly as promising. In 2015, Olshey flipped Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in a deal for Mason Plumlee (whom they flipped for Jusuf Nurkic in the 2016-17 season), and last year packaged the draft rights to Harry Giles and Justin Jackson for the rights to promising center Zach Collins, and snagged high-upside big man Caleb Swanigan toward the end of the first round.
Sacramento Kings
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 2

    Sacramento’s own first-round pick

  • 36

    Sacramento’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Athletic shooters around De’Aaron Fox
  • Go-to scorer
  • No more busts!
Friendly
Suggestions
Luka Doncic
Point Guard 
Real Madrid / Slovenia
Deandre Ayton
Center 
Arizona, Freshman
Miles Bridges
Forward 
Michigan State, Sophomore
Brief History
This offseason marks the 12th-consecutive draft in which the Sacramento Kings find themselves in the lottery. Not once in that time have they picked above fourth (Tyreke Evans, 2009). Nor does the team have much to show for their time there. There were the selections who were traded off (DeMarcus Cousins, Evans), the ones who didn’t pan out (Ben McLemore, Jimmer Fredette, Jason Thompson, Georgios Papagiannis), and the ones for whom both is true (Nik Stauskas, Thomas Robinson). The good news is that last year’s top pick, De’Aaron Fox, has the makings of a star. The Kings’ other rookie, Bogdan Bogdanovic, also looked the part. It may take some time to wipe Papagiannis from the fan base’s memory, but with Fox and Bogdanovic looking like hits, perhaps there’s reason for optimism.
San Antonio Spurs
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 18

    San Antonio’s own first-round pick

  • 49

    San Antonio’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Kawhi replacement?
  • Young, skilled athletes at the wing
  • Shot creator at any position
Friendly
Suggestions
Keita Bates-Diop
Small Forward 
Ohio State, Senior
Dzanan Musa
Small Forward 
Cedevita / Bosnia and Herzegovina
De’Anthony Melton
Guard 
USC, Sophomore
Brief History
San Antonio’s pick falls inside the top 20 for the first time since 1997, when they took Tim Duncan first overall. In that time, the Spurs made six NBA Finals, winning five, and never spent a summer watching the playoffs from home. Still, the franchise is at a crossroads. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are nearing their ends, Kawhi Leonard’s future with the team is uncertain, and two decades of late picks have left the cupboard bare. Thankfully, general manager R.C. Buford and head coach Gregg Popovich have a proven track record when it comes to drafting. 2016 29th pick Dejounte Murray and 2014 30th pick Kyle Anderson both played key roles for the Spurs this season, and last year’s first-round selection, Derrick White, plays with a veteran savvy that would be at home in a larger role. The 18th pick isn’t high enough to expect a star, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone if San Antonio manages to land a diamond in the rough.
Toronto Raptors
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • X

    The Raptors have no picks. 

Team Needs
  • Defensive-minded wing
Friendly
Suggestions
Kevin Hervey
Small Forward 
UT Arlington, Senior
Vince Edwards
Forward 
Purdue, Senior
Devon Hall
Shooting Guard 
Virginia, Senior
Brief History
The much-maligned Raptors are hearing louder calls than ever to blow it up, and it doesn’t help their outlook that they don’t own a pick in this year’s draft. While their 29th slot may not seem lucrative, Toronto has shown an ability to hit on picks late in the draft in recent years: OG Anunoby (no. 23, 2017), Pascal Siakam (no. 27, 2016), and Delon Wright (no. 20, 2015), have all shown flashes of brilliance, and that list fails to mention the undrafted Fred VanVleet. The Raptors’ ability to keep one eye trained on the future while fielding a contender (don’t laugh) has been worthy of praise, and the young crop of talent (the aforementioned group plus 2016’s no. 9 overall pick, Jakob Poeltl) coalescing into an electric second unit is perhaps the only thing keeping Masai Ujiri from panicking about his team’s direction.
Utah Jazz
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 21

    Utah’s own first-round pick

  • 52

    Utah’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Derrick Favors replacement, with more shooting
  • Versatile defender at the forward spots
  • High-upside gamble in the backcourt
Friendly
Suggestions
Anfernee Simons
Shooting Guard 
IMG Academy
Jontay Porter
Center 
Missouri, Freshman
Justin Jackson
Forward 
Maryland, Sophomore
Brief History
Dennis Lindsey is having himself a good ol’ time. The Jazz GM rebuilt the team in a single move during last year’s draft, flipping first-rounders Trey Lyles and Tyler Lydon for Donovan Mitchell. The result was a 48-34 record—just three wins from matching last season’s Gordon Hayward–led Jazz’s 51—and a trip to the conference semifinals. The trade was a bit of redemption for Lindsey. In his first few drafts with the franchise, he packaged Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng for Trey Burke, selected Dante Exum fifth overall, and grabbed Taurean Prince (who was almost immediately shipped to Atlanta in a multiple-team trade that landed George Hill in Utah). Still, the Mitchell trade was a coup. And while he probably wishes he could have his other draft-day trade back (Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant to the Lakers for Tony Bradley), the Jazz were clearly one of the big winners of last summer’s event.
Why Wasn’t Luka Doncic on American Broadcasts?!

An honest question asked by Ringer staff writer and One Shining Podcast cohost Mark Titus

From what I’ve been told, Luka Doncic is the best European professional basketball prospect who has ever lived. Trae Young turned college basketball on its head in 2017-18, Marvin Bagley III was unstoppable all season, and Deandre Ayton is such a physical specimen that it’s almost incomprehensible how a human being can be built like he is. And yet plenty of experts believe that Doncic is the best prospect in the world, which brings me to the biggest question surrounding the 2018 NBA draft: WHY IN GOD’S NAME WERE DONCIC’S GAMES NOT SHOWN ON AMERICAN TELEVISION?

It’s incomprehensible that an American network couldn’t figure out a way to show even a handful of Doncic’s games. It’s not like he’s playing in Kazakhstan’s third division or something. The man is playing for the most storied team in Europe (Real Madrid) and in the second-best professional basketball league in the world. Isn’t it ESPN’s entire business model to latch onto one player and overexpose the shit out of them until the general public loses its mind? So why not do it with the guy who has pro scouts foaming at the mouth and who most stateside fans know nothing about? Shoot, it doesn’t even have to be that. Why not buy the rights to ONE Doncic game? What am I missing here?

The only upside to not having convenient access to Doncic’s games is that it’s never been easier to tell who is full of shit with their draft analysis. Anyone with a strong opinion on Doncic who isn’t in the NBA draft business is lying through their teeth. That’s because here’s the other maddening thing about Doncic: He doesn’t have that many highlight reels on the internet either, as a search of “Luka Doncic” on YouTube spits out only 47,400 results. Meanwhile, a search of “Ted Valentine” produces 137,000 results, a search of “Grayson Allen” gives 137,000 results as well, and a search of “dog farts” gives us 801,000 results. Also, you could search “naked Japanese guy trick” and get 221,000 videos of some really weird shit or search “rainbow milk challenge” to discover 585,000 videos of people trying to drink gallons of milk without puking. That’s right: There are 12 times as many videos of teenagers vomiting all over one another after chugging multicolored gallons of milk than there are of the best European basketball prospect of all time. That somehow makes absolutely no sense and still makes complete sense at the same time.

Washington Wizards
  • Picks How They Acquired It
  • 15

    Washington’s own first-round pick

  • 44

    Washington’s own second-round pick

Team Needs
  • Skilled athletes in the frontcourt position
  • Long-term answer at backup point guard
Friendly
Suggestions
Robert Williams
Big 
Texas A&M, Sophomore
Moritz Wagner
Center 
Michigan, Junior
Tony Carr
Point Guard 
Penn State, Sophomore
Brief History
The Wizards selected in the top three in 2010, 2012, and 2013, and made the right pick each time: John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter Jr. are all terrific players and the best of their immediate draft peers. In between, there was the whiff on Jan Vesely (no. 6 overall, 2011), but building a playoff core through the draft is an impressive feat, even with the blemishes. Somehow, the Wizards have made only one total pick in the three drafts since—finding another worthwhile addition in Kelly Oubre Jr. (the no. 15 pick in 2015, who was acquired in a three-way draft-day trade with the Knicks and Hawks)—which in hindsight may indicate that the team jumped the gun on its run at contention. Washington hasn’t missed out on any superstars, but trading three years’ worth of first-rounders for Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, and Bojan Bogdanovic doesn’t feel like a successful use of those assets after multiple disappointing playoff defeats.
Measurement data and player statistics via DraftExpress and Sports-Reference.