UA-59049186-1 2017 NBA Draft Big Board (Top 30 Prospects) - Good if it Goes

2017 NBA Draft Big Board (Top 30 Prospects)

Chat_Fultz_Jackson_Ball

 

1. PG. Markelle Fultz – Washington

Physical Profile – Thick well built PG at 6’4, 195 who has tremendous length with a 6’10 wingspan and huge hands. He doesn’t have elite speed or leaping ability but it’s good and he does have terrific quickness and suddenness about his game.

Strengths – Fultz biggest strength coming into the NBA is his versatile scoring ability. Scouts are fawning over his size and ability to finish. Given his huge hands, long arms and thick frame Fultz can get to the rim, absorb contact and finish among the trees. He also is a tremendous jump shooter as well from both mid-range and 3 point range. He shot 47% from the field and 41% from 3 while averaging 23 ppg. But it’s not just that he can shoot, it’s the shots he’s capable of making. Fultz despite lacking elite burst and speed has the ability to get to his spots on the floor and make tough contested shots or create space utilizing step backs and pull ups off the dribble. He has a beautiful jumper and can get to it whenever he wants. Fultz is more than just a scorer he’s a good passer and already looks very good playing in the pick n roll. He creates for others and once he gets to the NBA with significantly more talented players around him I think he will look even better as a playmaker.

Defensively he has potential to be a good player but it will all come down to his effort. Given his physical traits he should definitely have an impact as a playmaker on defense on the next level. In college he averaged 1.6 spg and 1.2 bpg. Even if he gets beat he has so much size he will be able to recover and contest or block opposing pgs shot.

Weaknesses – His biggest flaws appear to be on the defensive end right now. It tends to be more of concentration and effort lapses than actual lack of ability to defend. Also Washington as a team just appeared to be poorly coached on defense. Fultz lack of interest in fighting through screens was concerning considering that’s all PGs do defensively in the NBA these days. He’s going to have to get more urgency on that end to become an elite PG in the NBA. He must improve at the line. He only made 65% of his free throws in college and that just simply isn’t acceptable for a PG. Offensively he’s incredibly talented but there are some concerns. He does lack elite athletic ability and seems to take tough shots at times because he can’t always turn the corner. His inability to consistently dominate inferior defenders in college is somewhat concerning when projecting him to the next level. As great as a scorer as he was in college a lot of his points came off jump shots and at the NBA level against longer more athletic defenders the jump shots will be tougher to make. 

2. SF. Josh Jackson – Kansas

Physical Profile – Huge wing that can play the 2 or 3. Terrific size for a wing at 6’8, 205 with a 6’11 wingspan. He’s an elite leaper that gets off the ground in a hurry and does it in space or traffic. Also possesses good lateral quickness and a good 1st step.

Strengths – He’s not just athletic, he has skills to go along with it. Offensively Jackson has the tools to be even more than he was at Kansas who really used him more as a combo forward than a true wing and not a primary scorer/ball handler. He has all the tools to eventually become a lead scoring and ball handling option on the wing in the NBA in the mold of guys like Jimmy Butler and Paul George. He can score in a variety of ways from all 3 levels on the floor and has shown the ability to shoot the ball off the dribble which is one of the key traits for an effective NBA perimeter scorer. He handles the ball well for a player his size and has the first step burst to turn the corner and get all the way to the rim. His leaping ability and size allow him to finish at the rim. As a long range shooter he must get more consistent but the man shot nearly 38% from deep and clearly has the ability to do it. Jackson is more than just a scorer he’s also a really good passer. He can pass as a ball handler isolating, driving or in the pick n roll. He showed really good vision for a SF in college and I believe given more responsibility could be even better as a playmaker.

Defensively he projects to be great as well. He moves laterally very well and can contain penetration and keep things in front of him. His motor for a player of his caliber and offensive prowess on the defensive end is really special and his desire to play defense will go along way when combined with all of his physical tools. He’s also a playmaker on that end as he blocked 1.1 shots per game and had 1.7 steals. He uses his high motor to be a terror on the glass on both ends. He crashes the offensive boards hard and finishes with thunderous tipdunks.

Weaknesses – Jackson has the fewest on the court flaws of any player in this draft. One of his flaws according to most player evaluators at the moment is his 3 point shooting and he shot nearly 38% from 3. His consistency is definitely something he has to solidify and he will need to add range back to the NBA line but just watching him shoot his form looks good enough for him to add range and continue to get better. His free throw shooting however, is a big deal. He hit 56% of his free throws and must improve that or he will not be trusted to be a primary scoring option. He also has a turnover issue. His 3.1 assist to 2.8 turnovers per game simply will not cut it if he wants to be a primary offensive option in the NBA. He has good vision he just needs to make better decisions at times with the ball.The biggest question mark on his resume right now are the character red flags. He had multiple off the court incidents at Kansas that resulted in police charges and he was suspended by the program for a game. Evaluators will have to determine whether or not those incidents are a blip or a trend and if Jackson’s character can be trusted.

3. PG. Lonzo Ball – UCLA

Physical Profile – Huge PG at 6’6, 190 that will tower over the opposition with a 6’10 wingspan. He has top end straight line speed and can get end to end in a flash. He puts constant pressure on opposing defenses. Although he can move in a straight line his lateral quickness is lacking.

Strengths – His best attribute is his passing and ability to create for others. Has elite vision and will probably enter the NBA and be 1 of the top passers as a rookie. He steps on the floor and instantly makes everyone better. He displays unbelievable vision which combined with his size and ability to see over the top of defense is almost unfair. He’s most lethal in transition where he can use his blazing speed and long strides to fly up the court. He makes terrific passes on the move and advances the ball with no hesitation on the break. Despite his shooting form he’s an excellent 3 point shooter with range well beyond the NBA line and not only can he knock down tough 3s spotting up he can also splash them off the dribble with defenders in his face. Looking at the advanced stats Ball was probably the most efficient player in college and will most likely be a analytics darling in the pros. He had 67% true shooting and effective shooting percentage, 131 offensive rating, and made unbelievable 73% of his 2s. Despite more than half of his overall shot attempts per game coming from beyond the 3 point line he still shot over 55% from the field which is just insane. He had 4.8 offensive win shares despite only an 18% usage rate compared to the other top PG prospect in the class Markelle Fultz who had a 31% usage rate and averaged nearly 10 more points per 40 minutes and still only had 3.8 offensive win shares and a 116 offensive rating. 

Ball has a long way to go before reaching his potential on the defensive end but the one thing he should be able to come in and do immediately in the NBA is be a playmaker on defense. His size advantage will allow him to block smaller guards and his long arms and activity should be a factor in the passing lanes. Reports of his inability to play defense are definitely exaggerated. He isn’t a elite defender on the ball but neither is Ricky Rubio and he has become one of the best defensive PGs in the NBA due to his size and instincts and Ball has the potential to be in that same mold on defense if he continues to work at it and make it a priority. He’s also a terrific rebounding PG. He averaged nearly 7 rebounds per 40 minutes and is sure to rack up his share of triple doubles in the NBA. 

Weaknesses –  Offensively Ball struggles to consistently create space for his own scoring. He lacks a great first step and struggles to turn the corner against college athletes which begs the question how effective will he be at creating his own offense at the next level. He has no in between game to speak of at the moment. He took hardly no shots from mid-range and when he did he struggled. He needs to work on his free throw shooting. He didn’t have much experience operating in the pick n roll at UCLA and what is most concerning is his ability or lack there off to get to his pull up when driving right. His awkward delivery on his shot makes shooting off the dribble an awkward endeavor for him. He made 67% of his free throws which further plays into the narrative that he can only shoot from deep. Defensively if he’s not getting his hand on the ball his impact is inconsistent. He’s not a great on ball defender yet and struggled at times when defend in the pick n roll. However, I do believe he has the work ethic and tools to play better and improve on the defensive end.

 

4. PF. Lauri Markkanen – Arizona

Physical Profile – Good sized PF at 7’0, 230 but only has average length and reach for a big. Nimble 7 footer that moves well for his size. Not an elite leaper but he can get up when he has time to gather.

Strengths – Unbelievable shooter for a 7 footer with legitimate NBA 3 point range. Will come into the NBA and help space the floor from day one. Has the ability to catch and shoot spotting up or on the move as if he were a SG. He will be a pick and pop nightmare for opposing defenses. Can put the ball on the floor and attack closeouts which will be a necessity for him at the next level because defenders will be flying at him trying to run him off the 3 point line. He’s an excellent finisher driving to the basket and can finish with either hand. He has potential to be more than just a spot up shooter as he flashed the ability to create shots for himself. He can put the ball on the floor and make pull ups off the dribble. He has the potential to also develop into a big time post scorer. He needs to get stronger but the tools are there. He can hit hook shots with either hand with range out beyond 10 feet. Not a great rebounder but not a bad one either. He really competes for rebounds on both ends. He works hard to box out on defense and is constantly looking to attack the offensive glass. He’s mobile enough to not be a liability defending pick n rolls and does give effort all around on the defensive end.

Weaknesses – He tries on defense but the tools just aren’t there to ever be great. He doesn’t have the length or hops to be a rim protector (averaged 0.5 bpg in college). He also lacks the strength and frame to be a great interior defender. Often bullied on the block by bigger stronger post players and on top of it he doesn’t really bother those players on post scoring attempts given his lack of length.Offensively he doesn’t have a go to post game yet and though he showed flashed at Arizona he isn’t ready to be counted on offensively on the block in the NBA yet. He struggles to consistently establish position to even operate in the post at this point and must get stronger if he wants to be more than a perimeter big.

5. F.  Jonathan Issac – Florida State

Physical Profile – Elite physical traits that are sure to have scouts drooling. He’s 6’11, 210 with a 7’1 wingspan and 9’0 standing reach. Has the body and skillset to play all 3 front court positions. Runs the floor as well as any near 7 footer in this draft and has some ups as well.

Strengths – Projects as an elite defender who in this new age of position-less basketball will fit right in. As he fills out his frame he should be able to literally defend all 5 positions in certain situations. He’s incredibly active on defense and works hard to fight through/around screens, rotate, and closeout to shooters. On the ball he can be a flat out thief as he showed in college the ability to just rob ball handlers of the basketball at any given moment. He’s also shown the ability to be a rim protector as a big. He could end up being even more versatile than Draymond Green on defense. Offensively he’s more of a jack of all trades master of none kind of guy right now. The 1 thing he should definitely be able to excel at immediately in the NBA is slashing. He was fantastic cutting to the basket and attacking close outs after the catch at FSU. What makes him the most intriguing is the flashes of scoring ability he showed. No way is he ready to be trusted early in his career as a top scoring option but given his size and athleticism and raw talent he could develop in a guy that can consistently be counted on to create his own offense down the road. He also has shown the ability to handle the ball and he has nice footwork from triple threat or the post. The jump shot is very streaky at this point and the limits of his range seem to be right at the college three point line for now but he did become a 35% shooter from deep in college which shows with more work he could continue to develop his shot and range. Rebounding is another skills he stands ready to come into the NBA and contribute to a team immediately. With his long arms and leaping ability he can really get after it, especially on the offensive glass.

Weaknesses – His lack of mastering any primary scoring skill or playmaking ability leave many to believe his ceiling is more high end role player than star. He just was not very consistent throughout his time at FSU shooting or scoring the basketball. He also doesn’t seem to be a natural playmaker and should only be counted on to make the basic passes playing within the offense. He must get bigger and stronger to handle NBA bigs. His value is his versatility but at the moment doesn’t have the offensive game to be left at SF for high minutes through an entire game. Yet if he can’t handle bigs that will limit the teams that he can be allowed to play minutes at the 4 or 5 against.

6. PG. Dennis Smith Jr: 6’2, 195 – NC State

Physical Profile – He’s the most athletic player in the draft. Just an elite athlete at the pg position reminiscent of Russell Westbrork and prime Derrick Rose. He flies up and down the court in a hurry. On top of his top end speed in a straight line Smith also has the quickness and burst to go along with it. He can start and stop on a dime and explode past defenders with his 1st step. He can move laterally and change speeds with or without the basketball. He has a well built 195 pound frame that he carries well but only has average to above average height/length for a pg at 6’2 with a 6’3 wingspan. However, given his athletic ability and strength that shouldn’t be an issue.

Strengths – Offensively Smith’s best skill will be attacking the basket. Not only does he have tremendous quickness and burst to explode past defenders but he has the strength to take on and absorb contact and still finish at the rim. And if bigs are late rotating he has the hops to get off the floor quickly and posterize them. But Smith is more than just a driver. He proved he can shoot it from both mid range and 3 point range and do so off the dribble. He has very good ball handling skills and combined with his quickness and agility that allows him to basically get whereever he wants to go, especially when working off ball screens where he can be even more dangerous. Underrated as a shooter, Smith can get hot and absolutely start lighting it up from the perimiter. He’s got legitimate NBA 3 point range and can make shots off the dribble with a hand in his face. Shooting percentages more of a product of the difficult shots he constantly took and aren’t reflective of his actual shooting ability. At the moment he has a reputation for being a shoot first PG that isn’t looking to pass. That could be the case but he flashed the ability to create for others despite being on a bad team and I think once in the NBA with more help around him will be a more willing passer. His style of play will simply lead him into assist whether he’s looking to pass or not sort of like Westbrook.

The biggest question about Smith will be what kind of player can he be defensively. All the tools are there for him to be good on that end if he wants to be but does he want to be? He averaged nearly 2 steals per game in college so making plays and getting his hands on balls shouldn’t be an issue but what about the rest? He appears to be a high end competitor who plays with passion and attitude. 

Weaknesses – Smith has a long way to go when it comes to his pure point guard skills. He turned the ball over at a high rate in college averaging 3.4 per game and often times just seemed to be a ball hog who was out of sync with the team. At the moment he doesn’t project to be able to come in and have an immediate impact in terms of making the entire team better and just taking control and running an NBA offense. He appears to have tunnel vision at times and his shot selection can be horrific. But these are all issues another ultra athletic PG in Oklahoma City had and has somewhat either overcome or simply has found a way to be incredibly effective in spite of. In college Smith was more of a streaky shooter than knockdown shooter. He needs to improve his shot selection and not always look to force his scoring.

7. SF. Jayson Tatum – Duke

Physical Profile – Prototype size at the SF position at 6’8, 205 with a 6’11 wingspan. Should be able to play either forward spot in today’s NBA. Decent athlete who is more smooth and fluid than explosive. Covers a lot of ground with long strides.

Strengths – The most overall skilled 1 on1 offensive player in his class, he projects as a lead scoring wing. He has a beautiful inside out game and can score in a variety  of ways. At his best in the high post facing the basket in triple threat position where he can utilize his superb footwork. He can drive by bigger slower defenders or shoot over the top of smaller ones. He’s a tough shot maker who looks very comfortable shooting off the dribble.He’s a better defender than given credit for. Not a stopper by any means but has the size and length to hold his own. Proved he could be active defensively when he wanted. Can block shots and get steals.

Weaknesses – Very effective scorer but is he a ball stopper? Isolation is a big part of his game and he tends to force shots at times. He’s a capable passer but will never be mistaken for a point forward. For a guy that commands the ball so much he will need to improve at making plays for his teammates. He also needs to work on his ability to operate as a pick n roll ball handler as there were very mixed results when asked to do so at Duke. He’s a very capable 3 point shooter but also streaky. His shooting form suggest with work he can extend his range but at the moment his range seemed to max out right at the college 3 which could cause some spacing issues at the next level. Wasn’t a slouch defensively but there are some concerns. He played a lot of small ball 4 at Duke so there are questions about how he will adopt to defending far more athletic players on the NBA perimeter. His lateral quickness isn’t great and he needs to work on closing out to shooters.

8. PG. De’Aaron Fox – Kentucky

Physical Profile – Electric lefty PG with blazing speed and quickness. He’s a quick twitch athlete that simply has burst. Starts and stops with ease and can rocket past defenders both in transition or via first step. Also has prototypical height at 6’3 and great length with a 6’6 wingspan. However, he does  have a thin wiry frame at only 175 pounds.

Strengths – He has the skills to be a high scoring PG with elite ball handling skills, explosive first step and finishing ability. He can flat out put defenders on skates, then zoom right past them. Despite his lack of girth, he’s not at all afraid to drive to the basket and seek out contact. He got to the line at a high rate which is very impressive given his thin frame. As a scorer he’s limited because of his lack of a 3 point shot yet he was still able to be effective scoring. Finishes well at the basket and and has a good floater game as well. Inconsistent but capable mid-range shooter. He’s at his best as a shooter off the dribble rather than spotting up or shooting off the catch. Projects to be a decent playmaker due to his ability to break down defenses. He’s shown ability to hit teammates on the drive but is best making plays in transition where his speeds is most effective and defenses are off balance.

Defensively he projects to be a potential terror. Long arms, quick feet, and a high motor all make for a high level defensive pg. He can really pressure the ball and defend the length of the court if necessary. Competes when dealing with screens and even if he gets screened works hard to recover and get back in the picture. Also works hard off the ball and will have the ability to get in passing lanes and make plays given his quickness and long arms.

Weaknesses – Horrific 3 point shooter who will make fans nervous every time he launches one. Had many attempts from deep that weren’t even close to connecting. He will require immediate round the clock attention from a shooting coach. Lack of shot makes him a one dimensional player that cannot play off the ball. He’s a capable playmaker but his game still needs to be refined. He turns the ball over too much and at times is moving too fast for his own good. Proved he could finish in college but he definitely needs to add weight and get stronger to be a consistent finisher at the NBA level. Left hand dominant and noticeably less effective going to his right which is something NBA defenses will make him do more. Often tries to cross his body and finish with his left when driving right when a right handed finish would clearly be the easier finish. This shows a lack of confidence in his right hand. Also lack of meat on his bones could hurt him when trying to drive against bigger stronger guards. Lots too like about him on defense but bigger guards in the NBA will be able to take advantage of him in the post and body him up when driving even if he is there step for step.

9. C. Zach Collins: 6’11, 230 – Gonzaga

Physical Profile – Good sized big that looks like he can get stronger and carry more weight nicely. He has a 7’1 wingspan and 9’3 standing reach which he really took advantage of in college. He runs very fluid for a big and can move laterally.

Strengths – Potential two way big that projects well to the modern NBA. He has a nice mid-range set shot that he can hit spotting up or via pick n pop. Also was a good 3 point shooter from the college 3 but that seems to be the limit of his range at this point. He’s still raw but flashed potential of developing a reliable offensive low post game. Looks good on jump hooks and understands positioning. Decent footwork at times but it’s inconsistent.  At the moment he’s much more effective in the high post facing the basket where he can utilize his shooting ability if defenders sag of or his quickness against bigger defenders. His agility, leaping ability and touch around the basket should make him a good dive man as well.

Defensively was where I thought Collins really shined in college. It wasn’t all perfect but he had a real impact on that end. He averaged 4 blocks per 40 minutes and really showed the ability to protect the rim. On top of his ability to block shots he looked good defending on the perimeter in both PnR or switch situations. He was also a force on the boards on both the offensive and defensive glass and really works hard to box out on every possession.

Weaknesses – Right now he’s just really raw. He only played 17 minutes per game at Gonzaga. Can he handle major NBA minutes and a starting role? Fouling was also a major issue. He averaged 6.2 fouls per 40 minutes and if he cannot defend without fouling he won’t be eligible to play heavy minutes. Discipline was his biggest flaw on the defensive end. Yes he blocked a lot of shots but he also was baited off his feet even more as he often went flying with every would be pump fake which caused him to give up easy buckets around the basket or foul. His lack of girth and core strength were evident when battling bigger stronger bigs down low.

On offense he struggled in the post to consistently establish position or move his defender when attempting to back down which affected the overall effectiveness of his actual post moves. He was effective shooting the ball but might benefit from speeding up his shot or getting more lift as it could be more difficult for him to consistently shoot against longer more athletic players in the NBA.

10.  SG. Donovan Mitchell – Louisville

Physical Profile –  Short for an off guard  at only 6’3 but has a huge 6’10 wingspan, strong well built 210 pound frame, and lots of athleticism to over compensate. He’s both very fast and quick with tremendous leaping ability.

Strengths – Offensively Mitchell may never carry an offense on a night in night out basis but he has the tools to be a reliable double digit per game scorer getting buckets on and off the ball. He’s dangerous in the open court with or without the ball. With the ball handling ability of a point guard he looks right at home leading the break maneuvering around defenders and finishing at the basket. In the half court he can operate with ball screens making defenses pay in a variety of ways. He’s capable of pulling up from 3 if given space, splitting doubles or hedge attempts and getting into the teeth of the defense. Off the ball he has the potential to be a knock down spot up shooter and a guy who can catch and shoot on the move. Right now he’s only an average at best playmaker which hurts his stock as many NBA coaches will not use him as a PG so he’s not really a combo guard. But with his handle, athleticism, and ability to create his own offense there’s a chance if he gets with the right team he could learn to play some point in spots. As intriguing as he is offensively it’s the defensive end where Mitchell figures to be a homerun for whatever team drafts him. Could develop into a 3 position defender despite his height given his wingspan, strength, and mentality. Gives great effort on defense and appears to take it very seriously. He can really put pressure on the ball with his on ball defense and superior lateral quickness. Off the ball he’s also very active and smart. Will be a very disruptive defender in the NBA and has All-NBA defensive team potential.

Weaknesses – His biggest weakness given his height is his lack of PG skills. Lacks the polish, decision making or passing ability to be trusted as a lead guard running an NBA offense. Even as a scorer he projects to be better off the ball than on due to his shot selection and rushed playing style. Forces the action and gets tunnel vision too often. He shot 35% from 3 in college but he can be really streaky from the outside and he figures to have nights where he’s really on and nights where he’s really off. Needs to be more consistent from the outside. He’s a decent finisher in space but not so much in traffic yet another reason he would be better suited off the ball where he could be a cutter instead of attacking off the dribble all the time.

11. SG. Malik Monk: 6’3, 200 – Kentucky

Phsycial Profile – He’s a combo guard caught between positions. Best suited defensively at PG at 6’3, 200 pounds but his offensive game is more suited for being a SG. Very athletic guard that can really jump and throw down dunks. He has a pretty good first step and shows explosiveness.

Strengths – Potential elite off ball scorer that can fill it up without holding the ball. Comes rolling off screens in a hurry ready to fire as soon as he touches it. He’s a knock down shooter spotting up or on the move. More than just a shooter he handles the ball pretty well for an off guard and should be able to play some point in spurts. Can get to his pull up whenever he needs to given his handle and burst and has the hops to get his shot off and make contested jumpers over bigger defenders. He’s a capable secondary playmaker who could be fine playing some point in spurts. Defensively his best trait right now is on-ball defense. Not that he’s particularly great at that, but he does posses the lateral quickness needed  to defend on the ball.

Weaknesses – Monk’s tweener profile is one of his biggest flaws. Offensively he just doesn’t have the game to be a true full-time starting PG. He’s not a very effective driver because he often doesn’t finish well and tends to stop short and opt for tough floaters or off balance jumpers. I do not believe he can put a ton of pressure on a defense as a lead guard. He’s an ok passer but nothing special and just doesn’t project to be an impact playmaker. All of his best offensive attributes are best taken advantage of when he’s off the ball not on it. However, on the defensive end of the floor he needs to be defending pgs at the NBA level and therein lies the problem. At times he was a nightmare on the defensive end, most notably off the ball. He loses his man, he doesn’t compete against screens on or off the ball, and seemed lost at times with the concept of team defense. When defending bigger guards in college he was often over powered on drives or simply shot over which is only gonna get worse at the NBA level.

12. PF. John Collins – Wake Forest

Physical Profile – Below average size for a PF at 6’9, 225 with only a 6’11 wingspan. Athletic, physical high energy player and is 1 of the faster bigs in the draft. He has quickness with the ability to move laterally and is a very good leaper.

Strengths –  Blossomed into an elite scorer at the college level in his sophomore season averaging nearly 28 points per 40 minutes. He can score in a variety of ways and even being undersized should be able to get buckets at the next level. Should be at his best at the NBA level rim running and diving to the basket. Top speed and leaping ability combined with nice touch around the basket will make him a reliable PnR target and overall finisher. Has the best and most developed post game of any top big man prospect in this draft. Stronger than he looks Collins often got on the block and did a good job of establishing position for himself. He’s not afraid to bang and play a little bully ball.  Looks excellent shooting jump hooks, can not only make them stationary but on the move and doesn’t need a lot of time to get them off. Capable of catching and going right into his hook shot which will be valuable given his lack of size. Also has the ability to hit post fadeaways and utilizes shimmy fakes and good footwork to get his shot. Developing face up game that will be vital to his success as an NBA player. Flashes potential to be a good midrange shooter. Already possess the quickness and footwork to attack from triple threat. He was an elite rebounder in college and though he may not be quite as effective in the pros on the glass still has the athleticism, motor and will be a good rebounder in the NBA, especially on the offensive glass. Defensively he didn’t do a lot well but he showed some flashes when engaged of potential as a shot blocker and playmaker averaging 2.4 blocks and a steal per 40 minutes.

Weaknesses – Just wasn’t as much of a factor on the defensive end of the floor as he could be given his physical ability. Given his motor on the glass and on offense he showed a disappointing effort when playing defense. Often not dialed in making costly mistakes. Lacks the size to be a great interior defender. Despite having the quickness to defend on the perimeter other than a few flashes it didn’t translate. He often looked even more lost defending on the perimeter than he did in the paint. Just doesn’t seem to have very much feel or a high IQ on the defensive end. Could it be a product of just playing for a bad program with the potential to be improved at the NBA level if picked by the right team?

13.  F. TJ Leaf – UCLA

Physical Profile – Average sized PF with some tweener traits. Maybe more of a combo forward in the NBA. He has average size with great athleticism for the PF spot but great size and above average athleticism for the small forward spot. Body type and ability more in line for a stretch PF at 6’10, 225 with a 6’11 wingpsan and 8’11 standing reach. Lacks the lateral quickness to really thrive defensively as a wing but also lacks the strength to be an interior defender. He can leap when in space and time to gather or with a running start.

Strengths – Potential to be an elite player in the ball screen game with the tools to be effective as a roll guy or pop man. As a diver he’s a threat to catch lobs and finish over the top. Also has the athletic ability to get downhill in a hurry and finish around the rim. As a popper he’s a good shooter from everywhere and has NBA 3 point range. He has a complete offensive game that may allow him to see time at SF. Handles the ball well for a 6’10 guy and has the ability to make shots off the dribble. He’s comfortable handling the ball in transition and looks good putting the ball on the floor attacking closeouts. He’s also a very good passer. Not a lead playmaker but has the ability to be a high level secondary passer. Leaf can play in the post as well. Looks very good shooting jump hooks. He can operate in the high post facing the basket and has good footwork.

Weaknesses – Defense, defense, defense, that’s his biggest weakness. Literally doesn’t project to do anything well on the defensive end at the pro level. Caught between positions on defense. Not big or physical enough to defend in the interior and won’t be able to handle scorers on the perimeter. Was also no good off the ball in college. If he can at least improve his focus and effort on defense and play within a game plan with great defenders around him he could maybe, just maybe be a neutral defender one day. Offensively he really looked like he could do it all in college but he has some physical flaws that will limit his ceiling at the next level. As far as his perimeter game goes he lacks elite athleticism and bust to consistently create offense for himself against quality on ball defenders that the NBA has to offer. As a big he will do well in space but it’s hard to imagine him commanding the ball on the block and consistently scoring given his average size and lack of strength.

14. PF. Jordan Bell: 6’8, 225 – Oregon

Physical Profile – Severely undersized big man that makes up for it with elite athletic ability and a tremendous motor. He also plays well above his height thanks to his near 7 foot wingspan which is pretty good for a 6’8 guy. Runs and jumps like a wing and has lateral quickness to accompany it.

Strengths – He’s a high energy big with potential to come in and have immediate impact off the bench because of his effort and mentality. At his best offensively as a rim runner and roll man. He seems to finish everything around the rim despite his size as he shot over 60% from the field in college. He’s also very good on the glass. Though it isn’t his calling card he has improved in 3 years at Oregon at trying to round out his offensive game. He’s shown flashes as a post player with a nice quick left shoulder jump hook and has worked to extend his range beyond 5 feet. Averaged over 12 rebounds per 40 minutes due to his athleticism and motor. He’s a quick twitch athlete that can get off the floor quickly and has the length to reach and grab rebounds in a crowd. Rebounds outside of his area because of his leaping ability and quickness. He was an elite defender in college and though he may not be that in the NBA definitely will still have positive impact on that end. Once he gets more experienced he should have no problems defending on the perimeter as he’s plenty quick enough to hedge and recover or switch. He averaged over 3 blocks per 40 minutes in college and though he doesn’t project to be a true rim protector in the NBA given his lack of size he will be able to be an effective weakside shot blocker.

Weaknesses – Offensively his game is mostly limited to scoring in the paint. Given his size and athletic ability he really needs at the very least a reliable mid-range jumper to maximize his full potential. Yes he has improved in that area but not enough to be relied on at the NBA level but if he ever does he could be a very intriguing face up threat with a jumper. He also doesn’t have a goto post up game. He’s gotten better to the point where he should be able to catch the ball off roll action or dump offs and go into a quick post up but he definitely isn’t ready to have the offense clear out and dump it down to him on the block. Defensively he does a lot well but he has obvious limitations. His lack of height and size will be an issue when matched up against bigger stronger post players who have the skills to score down low. He also tries to overcompensate for this by trying to block everything and tends to bite a little too often at pump fakes. He must improve his discipline on defense.

15. C. Harry Giles – Duke

Physical Profile – Good size for an NBA big at 6’11, 230 with a 7’3 wingspan and 9’1 standing reach. Not an elite athlete but moves well for his size especially considering he’s had surgery on both knees. He’s already a physical player with room to get a little bigger and stronger. The fact that he had 2 ACL tears and a MCL tear before he even stepped on a college floor is incredibly alarming and most likely will push him out of the lottery.

Strengths – Untapped potential is Giles biggest strength headed into the draft. He was 2 different players in high school and college but if some GM can be convinced he’s more in line with becoming the guy that was ranked number 1 in this class coming out of high school and just needs time to recover and regain form after the injury, he might sneak into the back end of the lottery. He definitely has some good physical tools and untapped potential. Right now his best trait is his rebounding ability. He’s a quick leaper off two feet with a lot of reach and can pluck rebounds out the air in traffic. He averaged over 13 rebounds per 40 minutes at Duke including over 5 of those coming on the offensive glass. He also projects to be a good interior defender. Not an elite shot blocker but a good one who has size to protect the rim with positional defense. Has the length and strength to battle on the block and stop post scorers. His defense on the perimeter is where he will have to work to get better. He showed promise in spots and has enough lateral quickness and the motor to be decent but must improve his feel on the defensive end but that should come in time as he gets more experience. Offensively he doesn’t have a post game yet but has the tools to develop one. Has had to spend majority of his time rehabbing instead of improving his skillset. If he can stay healthy should be able to develop in the post. Overall I think he has way more offensive game than was displayed at Duke. He simply didn’t play enough due to injury. By the time he was ready to play it was the middle of the season and Duke already had they’re offense built around 3 other guys so he was kind of just thrown out there to be a role player who rebounded and played defense. But if you go back and read scouting reports on him coming out of high school, or listen to reports coming out of pre-draft workouts it’s obvious he has more to offer offensively than what he showed in college. He can definitely shoot the ball beyond the paint he just simply wasn’t asked to do so at Duke. He also has the ability to handle the basketball and can even shoot off the dribble. There is a lot of untapped potential there the only question is can he stay healthy.

Weaknesses – He’s still a very raw basketball player with significantly less experience than his peers even the other 1 and dones due to time missed due to injury in high school and college. He only averaged 11 minutes per game and wasn’t in the greatest of shape. Offensively he’s just raw and figures to be just a dive and dump off guy to start his NBA career.  Struggled to make anything outside of 10 feet but that was probably more a product of being hurt and out of rhythm from lack of consistently working on his shot while hurt. However he must get his shooting back because he doesn’t have the athleticism or strength of other bigs who are effective without being able to shoot such as DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond. Is he durable and can he get in shape to play high minutes, these are the biggest concerns about him right now far more than any weaknesses in his actual game?

16.  C. Ike Anigbogu – UCLA

Physical Profile: Huge center with an imposing NBA ready body at 6’10, 250. 7’6 wingspan with a 9’2 standing reach, huge hands and solid base. Looks like he could play some football. Can really move in a straight line for a man his size and is ok laterally at his size as well.

Strengths – Potential to be an elite defensive player as he matures and becomes more disciplined. He’s an absolutely intimidating defensive anchor who denies all comers at the rim. Physical interior defender that likes to bang and move bigs off their spots. Opposing bigs try to back him down and are often unsuccessful. He has potential to defend on the perimeter. Can be a little stiff and heavy footed when defending pick n rolls but he’s mobile enough to become decent with time and more practice. Offensively at this point he’s really just a dump off/lob threat. Even as a roll man he’s flawed at the moment but if he can clean those flaws up he has potential to be dominant in this aspect. It’s true that he has a long way to go to on offense just to be average on that end but he has the potential to have DeAndre Jordan caliber defensive impact and that alone should get him looks near the end of the lottery. 

Weaknesses – Incredibly raw, especially on offense to the point where it’s hard to watch at times. He has horrible hands and turns the ball over way too much for someone who doesn’t have the ball much to begin with. He is very indecisive when he catches the ball and has to actually make a decision with it. Potential as a roll man hurt by his fumbling of passes, inability to execute basic dribbles and lack of passing ability. He has no outside game to speak of. Mid-range shooting form looks awkward and he only made 1 shot outside of the paint all year. Defensively he has a lot of potential but has flaws on that end as well. He fouls entirely too much and if he can’t get better will not even be able to stay on the floor to put all of his wonderful physical gifts to use. When he’s not fouling he’s flying off the floor biting for pump fakes. He has to improve his discipline. He’s already big enough to contest post players without ever leaving the ground, must improve his IQ on both ends. Defensively he’s flashed potential to be able to defend on the perimeter but it isn’t consistent. Can he be more than just an interior defender and be a true all-around impact defender in this new perimeter oriented NBA?

17. SF. Justin Jackson – North Carolina

Physical Profile – Good wing measurements at 6’8 with a 6’11 wingspan. He’s only an average athlete. Doesn’t have much leaping ability and not very fast. Thin frame at only 200 pounds, will need to add weight to consistently play in the front court.

Strengths – Not the most talented or gifted but projects to be a high level role player that makes winning plays and helps the team. He has a high basketball IQ, good motor, and plays the right way on both ends. He’s an ideal role player on offense due to his ability to play within himself and know his limitations. Knows he’s not an iso player and keeps the ball moving, doesn’t try to do too much.  He’s a confident shooter with range who’s capable of making shots from deep without much space and a hand in the face. Can make shots on the move or spotting up. Doesn’t have the handle to really play in the backcourt but he does have the vision and passing ability to make plays for teammates. Moves the ball and is capable of throwing his teammates open or hitting them perfectly for opportunities to go right up and shoot or score. Defensively he’s not elite but he is good. Absolutely competes and plays hard. Works to contest all shots, really makes an effort to get around screens and understands defensive concepts. Should pick up defensive philosophy in the NBA quickly.

Weaknesses – Lack of elite physical tools limit his potential on defense. Struggles to contain penetration against superior athletes and can be bodied and moved on the way to the rim by drivers. Also capable of being taken out by screens. Figures to play exclusively off the ball at the NBA level. Lacks the handle or athletic ability to be a lead guy and consistently create offense for himself.

18. PF. DJ Wilson: 6’10, 235 – Michigan

Physical Profile – He has elite physical tools to play the 4 spot with a 7’3 wingspan and 9’1 standing reach. Very athletic for a man with those measurements. He can really get up in space but not so much in traffic. His elite speed and lateral quickness for a big man will make him very attractive in a more perimeter oriented NBA.

Strengths – Terrific rim runner that gets easy baskets every game by outrunning his counterpart down the floor. He just explodes past slower defenders in a race to the rim. He has tremendous potential as a stretch 4. Shot 37% from 3 with a very quick trigger and NBA range. Also has major slashing ability. Dangerous as a backdoor cutter. Once his shot gets going and bigs cling tighter to him on the perimeter he’s a threat to just cut right past them to the basket for an easy finish. Very comfortable attacking closeouts. He’s not an elite finisher in traffic but has terrific touch near the rim. Wasn’t a good rebounder in college but has potential to better especially on the offensive glass given his speed, athleticism and reach. Defensively he projects perfectly to today’s NBA. His weaknesses not nearly as big a deal as they were 20 years ago and his strengths are far more valuable. One of the best bigs in the class defending on the perimeter. Has shot blocking ability both as a help defender or when guarding his man.

Weaknesses – He has shown flashes of post scoring but it certainly won’t be his calling card in the NBA. Plays to finesse at times and struggles against length or more physical players. Despite his tools he just wasn’t very effective at all on the defensive glass in college. Needs to do a much better job of boxing out and just being focused when it’s time to crash the boards. Defensively he can defend on the perimeter but his interior defense leaves a lot to be desired. He needs to improve as a post defender.

19.  C. Anzejs Pasecniks- International

Physical Profile – Elite height and length for the center position at 7’2 with a wingspan that looks over 7’5 (unconfirmed). However his frame is severely lacking even by today’s softer NBA standards. He’s only 220 pounds which at that height makes him one of the thinnest players in the draft of any position. Will need to add a lot of weight and muscle to maximize his potential. Good athlete with terrific feet for a +7 footer. Very fluid athlete that shows no signs of clumsiness or stone feet that you typically expect to see with really tall players.

Strengths – His biggest strength on both ends of the floor is his mobility. He can rim run and dives out of pick and rolls very nicely. He presents a huge target as a roller or dump off man and has terrific finishing ability to take advantage. His post game is a work in progress primarily due to his lack of strength to consistently establish post position but his touch around basket, length, and footwork suggest he has upside as a post scorer. He has some ball handling skills and though inconsistent has shown the ability to hit mid-range and 3 point shots which makes him an intriguing face up threat.  Defensively he has huge upside as a rim protector given his size and mobility. He also has the ability to defend on the perimeter.

Weaknesses – His biggest weakness is definitely his lack of strength and physicality. He plays a finesse game and can often he over powered on both ends. Even with his length stronger and more physical bigs should be able to score on him by putting their bodies into him. It’s also a problem for him on offense as it prevents him from being a post up threat and limits him to being a pick n roll and pick n pop player.

20. SG. Luke Kennard – Duke

Physical Tools – Terrific size for a combo guard at 6’6, 195 but only average for a wing. Only a 6’5 wingspan despite being 6’6. Also not an explosive athlete. More crafty than athletic.

Strengths – Highly skilled offensive guard who most likely will see minutes at both guard spots. At his best off the ball and figures to be utilized most as an off guard with secondary playmaker duties with 2nd units early in his NBA career. Off the ball he can do it all. Spot up shooter with NBA range he has good mechanics and touch from the outside. More than just a spot up player he will be able to score off screens. Shoots off the move very well and can catch and attack. Comfortable coming off screens and then putting the ball on the floor and making plays either for himself or others. He also has the ability to shoot off the dribble in space via ball screens or dribble hand offs.  

Weaknesses – Projects to struggle defensively at the NBA level. Lacks the length or physicality to be effective against NBA wings and doesn’t have the foot speed to hang with pgs. Will have to rely on basketball iq and defensive scheme and be really productive on offense to justify big minutes. Offensively he can do a lot of things well but just doesn’t have the tools to really create his own offense vs high caliber NBA perimeter defenders. Will struggle to finish at the rim or in traffic due to his lack of length. Seems to already be pretty close to maxing out his potential, not much upside.

21. PF. OG Anunoby: 6’8, 235 – Indiana

Physical Profile: Thick well built PF at 6’8, 235 who may even be able to play some small ball 5. He has a 7’2 wingspan and 8’11 standing reach with huge hands and massive legs. He’s a good athlete at that size who can move in a straight line or laterally. He’s also a good leaper in space. Was seen by some as a likely lottery pick before tearing his ACL during the season.

Strengths: His power and athleticism are his biggest assets at the moment. He will be most effective in transition early in his career on offense until he further develops his game. He will simply be faster than most bigs who have the size and strength to match his and a lot stronger than the bigs who are as quick as he is. Given his strength and long arms he has potential to develop a post game but is raw at the moment. He should be an effective roll man given his physical tools. He can get up and throw down lobs and gets downhill quickly and is capable of absorbing contact and finishing.  He has potential to be a decent spot up shooter but his outside shot is very streaky. Went from shooting over 40% from 3 as a freshman to 31% as a sophomore.

Defensively is where he projects to have the biggest impact at the next level. He has all the tools to be both an elite interior and perimeter defender capable of guarding all 3 frontcourt spots. He has the length and strength to hold his own on the block with bigger taller players and make them work. He has the feet and lateral quickness to defend quicker PFs or wing players. He averaged over 2 steals and blocks per 40 minutes and has big time playmaking potential on defense. Still a work in progress as a pure PnR defender as a big but looked good when asked to switch in screen situations and is capable of improving all-around. As a rebounder he projects to have a bigger impact on the offensive glass than the defensive which most bigs his height tend to do but he won’t be a slouch on either end. Has the physical tools to rebound in traffic and out of his area.

Weaknesses – Offensively he’s very raw right now in terms of skills and is overly reliant on his strength and athleticism. Some are suggesting he’s a combo forward but he really doesn’t have the offensive skill set to play SF unless he improves as a shooter then he could get by as a 3 and D wing. He doesn’t handle the ball very well and is limited as a driver. Has some success as a straight line guy but struggles to move laterally with the ball and maneuver around defenses. He’s also not a very good passer and has below average vision. He just doesn’t look comfortable with the ball in his hands as a creator. Defensively he’s better defending actual players than he is in space at the moment. Looked better switching when defending in the pick n roll vs having to hedge or lay back. Lacks awareness at times on defense as if the game is happening to fast for him. Not a huge deal in 2017 but he is coming off a torn ACL he suffered in January. How soon can he be ready to play?

22. PG. Jawun Evans- Oklahoma State

Physical Profile – Slightly undersized point guard at 6’0, 185 but makes up for it with a nice 6’4 wingspan. Decent athlete who has great quickness and good speed.

Strengths – Offensively his game fits perfectly in today’s pick n roll heavy NBA. He operates very well with ball screens showing the ability to both score and distribute at a high level. He’s incredibly crafty scoring out of pick n roll situations. He has the ability to turn the corner, split hedges and double teams or rise up and pull it from 3 if defenders go under. He’s not a great finisher in traffic but he can get into the teeth of defense and has the ability to hit floaters and tough layups if he can avoid the trees. More than just a scorer he averaged nearly 9 assist per 40 minutes. Constantly seeking to find teammates rather in transition or in the half court. Given his 6’0 height and inability to see over the defense he has excellent vision for his size. Shows anticipation when throwing to his teammates. Defensively there’s no doubt his size could cause some issues but he really competes and his quickness will be a plus defending on the ball. He should at the very least be able to hold his own containing penetration against fast guards.

Weaknesses – Offensively he can do a lot of things but his lack of size causes limitations. He struggles to finish in traffic and will likely have to settle for mid-range pull ups and floaters instead of getting all the way to the basket on drives. He’s a good shooter but not a great one and figures to be streaky early in his career, especially from 3. Defensively there will be times where no matter how good of defense he plays he’s simply going to be shot over. Won’t be great contesting shots on close-outs either. He will be overpowered on drives and will be taken advantage of in post up situations.

23. SG. Wesley Iwundu: 6’7, 195 – Kansas State

Physical Profile – Terrific size for a SG at 6’7, 195 with a 7’1 wingpan and near 9’ standing reach. He’s a pretty good athlete that has terrific quickness and agility. He has decent not great straight line speed, more stride than burst. His leaping ability is above average at best and not as good in traffic.

Strengths – All-around wing that has elite role-player potential as a 2 way player. He can do a little of everything offensively. Handles the ball well for an off-guard and looked comfortable as even a primary playmaker in college playing PG at times. He probably won’t be utilized in such a role in the NBA but he can definitely thrive as a secondary playmaker. He has terrific vision and can make tough passes with either hand. He is not an iso scorer but he can create scoring opportunities for himself utilizing ball screens. He will have to continue to improve as a spot up shooter and off the ball player, which will be more of his role in the NBA. He was much improved his senior year as a shooter and if he can keep getting better he can be a starter in the NBA.  Defensively he has the tools to be a terrific defender. He has good lateral quickness and elite length for his position. He should definitely be able to defend either guard spot and could even be a three position defender if he can add a little weight to his frame.

Weaknesses – He can play anywhere in the backcourt on defense but offensively he is a bit of a tweener in terms of his NBA fit. He does not have the skills to be counted on as scorer on or off the ball and is not a good shooter at this point. His jumper is very inconsistent from both mid-range and 3 point range and he may never be a true knock down shooter which limits his potential as a 3 and D player. True he handles the ball well for an off guard but his handle is not nearly advanced enough to play NBA PG. When on the ball he’s a terrific passer but he lacks the scoring  instincts and creativity with the basketball in his hands. He is still only a straight line driver with very little craft driving to the basket and he struggles to finish in traffic. There is a lot to like about his game defensively but one of his biggest flaws is lack of strength which is evident when he’s trying to fight through screens. At times he’s swallowed up and stopped in his tracks. Defending bigger wings who can post could also be an issue, especially if he has to play some at SF.

24. PF. Isaiah Hartenstein: 7’1, 250 – International

Physical Profile: Prototype measurements for a big man both in terms of length and frame at 7’1, 250 with a 7’2 winspan and 9’1 standing reach. He is not a great athlete but a decent one considering his size. He moves very fluently and has some wiggle to him. He has some jumping ability but he’s not a quick twitch athlete and needs time to gather and jump off two feet.

Strengths – He’s a lefty big man prospect that has the raw skills to be a 4 or 5 in today’s NBA. Offensively he is still developing but he has a lot of tools to play with. He has potential to be a threat from 3 point range given his touch. Potential as a stretch 4 elevates further with his ball handling ability. He will have no problems attacking closeouts and putting the ball on the floor when necessary. He also has good vision and passing ability which will allow him to be a playmaker from the 4 spot and make him even more valuable in both pick n roll/pick n pop situations. He has a developing post game where he shows good touch and fluid footwork which will make him a nice inside/out threat. He was a great rebounder oversees and his production may dip slightly playing against better competition in the NBA but the tools are there for him to still be pretty good.

Defensively he will never be an elite player but he has the size to still have positive impact on that end. He has the body to defend on the block straight up. Not great defending on the perimeter but not horrible either. Could be just agile enough to be ok at it with more practice and coaching. Given the potential of his offensive game if he can just be decent on defense he could develop into a very productive starter in the pros.

Weaknesses – Finishing around the rim is one of his biggest weaknesses. For a player with his skill set and size he has to improve in this area. He really struggles to finish in traffic or when contested which is a primary job of a scoring big man. His outside shooting is very inconsistent. The potential to be a legit shooter is there but potential is all it is at this point as he’s very inconsistent at the moment. He has the length and size to bother shots and get blocks but he wasn’t an elite rim protector going against far less talent than he’ll see in the NBA. He only averaged 1.8 bpg per 40 minutes which probably projects him to be closer to 1-1.5 bpg in the pros. If he can’t be an elite interior defender at that size he must improve his perimeter defense.

25. SG. Terrance Ferguson: 6’7, 185 – International

Physical Profile – Elite athletic that can absolutely jump out of the gym with good size for a sg at 6’7, 185 with a 6’9 wingspan. More of a straight line athlete looks better moving straight ahead than laterally on both ends of the court.

Strengths – High flying dunker that can cause problems for defenses in transition. Can get down the court in a hurry a make spectacular dunks. Also a 3 point threat in transition, can catch and go right up and knock down shots from NBA range. Projects to be primarily a floor spacer and spot up shooter within the halfcourt on offense. He’s active on defense with quick feet. Should be just fine against NBA athletes on the ball. Projects to be a 3 and D wing. 

Weaknesses – Not a complete player on offense. No in between game, if he’s not dunking or shooting 3’s he’s not effective scoring. Weak ball handler that won’t be asked to operate with the ball much at the NBA level. On defense he really competes but his thin frame and lack of strength will be an issue especially if asked to defend small forwards. Despite his athleticism his ceiling is still a role player due to his lack of offensive skills.

26. C. Jarrett Allen – 6’11, 235 – Texas

Physical Profile – Elite physical tools, even though he’s only 6’11 he has huge hands and a 7’6 wingspan and 9’2 standing reach which makes him appear so much bigger. Not overly fast and a bit awkward running but has long strides and can cover a lot of ground when he hustles. Lanky body that lacks much build at the moment. Must improve his frame and get stronger.

Strengths – Offensively he projects mostly as a dive man, lob target or clean up guy around the rim. His long arms and reach make for an easy lob target and he has all the tools to be more effective on the offensive glass than he was in college if he can get stronger which would also lead to scoring opportunities for him. He showed the ability to hit shots from midrange when open and given time and could develop into a pick n pop threat if he can speed up his shot and make contested shots. He also showed good touch around the basket now if he can develop the strength to establish post position and post moves he could actually be a decent threat in the post.

Allen most likely will have a far greater impact defensively at the next level than on offense. Not an elite athlete but good enough to play PF in college and hold his own against some smaller, quicker players. He has all the tools to be an elite rim protector and rebounder.

Weaknesses – Allen is very raw and nowhere near ready to be a significant factor in an NBA rotation. His entire offensive game is just too slow at this point. In the post he lacks sharp footwork or the strength to establish consistent position in the post. When rebounding despite his length he doesn’t keep the ball up instead bringing it down and opening himself up to being swarmed and turning the ball over. At this point despite his size he just plays very soft. Figures to be pushed around and bullied at the NBA level.

27. PF. Bam Adebayo: 6’10, 245 – Kentucky

Physical Profile – Big physical big man with the potential to be a high energy physical force in the interior. Has the foot speed to be a rim runner gunning past slower bigs end to end. Has a 7’2 wingspan and can really leap.

Strengths – Offensively he has all the tools to be an fantastic dive man. Gets up high and fast off 2 feet with a nice catch radius optimal for lob attempts. He also gets downhill quickly after the roll and can catch clean and finish. He has the physique to absorb contact and often seeks it out. Likes to play bully ball. Low post game is unpolished and more effort and power than skill but at times it works especially against significantly  weaker bigs. Decent defensive rebounder but is big time on the offensive glass. He will help create second opportunities and convert some himself on put backs or tip slams.

Defensively Adebayo projects to be quality modern defensive big who can defend both in the interior and on the perimeter. He has the strength to deny post position and not be moved on back downs. Long enough to contest and offer some rim protection. Moves well laterally and can hedge and recover also capable in switch situations.

Weaknesses – Very raw offensively. Post game is a work in progress, he won’t be able to overpower his way to buckets down low as often as he did in college in the pros. Could develop a more consistent jumper but right now he’s not a threat outside the paint and won’t help floor spacing when used as a PF which could limit his minutes or even what teams want to draft him. Only average on the defensive glass, could and should be a lot better given his tools.

28. PF. Kyle Kuzma: 6’9, 225 – Utah

Physical Profile – Combo forward with tweener traits. Undersized at the 4 but has good athletic ability for that position projects as a stretch 4. Only average athletic ability at the SF position but would have good size there. More agile than explosive, more smooth long strider than pure speed but at the 4 is a lot more athletic than at the 3.

Strengths – He has an intriguing and still developing all-around offensive skill set. Impressive that he still has upside after 3 years in college. As a stretch 4 he has the potential to develop as a shooter even though he’s very inconsistent and streaky at the moment, especially from 3. But he takes plenty of outside shots and shoots them with confidence and the form looks good which suggest he has potential to develop. He has also shown the ability to put the ball on the floor and attempt to create his own offense from the perimeter. Mixed results when trying to do so but he is working on developing that aspect to his game. As far as what he can bring to a NBA team right now his most NBA ready offensive skill is slashing and rim running. At PF he’ll add some nice fire power to any fast break attack with the ability to glide down the floor and outrun other bigs. He looks a lot better attacking with the ball in his hands on the catch than when trying to attack in isolation and is capable of making defenders, especially bigs pay when attacking closeouts. He also excellent vision and passing ability for a forward. That is why if he can develop an outside shot he could warrant minutes at both forward spots. Defensively he’s got tweener issues but he does have potential as a big defending on the perimeter. Should be athletic enough to hedge and switch and not be a liability given time. Was a good offensive rebounder in college. Uses hustle and instincts to attack from afar on the offensive glass.

Weaknesses –  He’s got classic tweener deficiencies on defense lacking the lateral quickness to contain penetration and defend wings on the ball. He’s more of a straight line athlete. As a PF he’s going to struggle trying to defend traditional PFs in the paint. Doesn’t project to be an impact defender in the interior. Won’t offer much rim protection given his average length and size. Offensively he’s more flashes and potential than consistency and substance. He doesn’t have a lot of skills on offense that you can point to right now and say he can definitely do that at the next level. He’s a project and though he still has potential and is clearly still developing with room to grow his game he’s already 21 and that’s old for a project in today’s NBA. Projects to be an below average rebounder if asked to play PF full time at the NBA. Doesn’t have the size, bounce or length to consistently board in traffic.

29. Tyler Lydon: 6’10, 220 – Syracuse

Physical Profile – Average sized PF with only 6’11 wingspan and average athletic ability. He’s not very fast and doesn’t move well laterally. He’s only an average leaper and has a small frame with below average strength and toughness for a bigman.

Strengths – Luckily for Lydon he plays in 2017 and not 1997. He projects to be a highly productive role player either starting or off the bench once he reaches his full potential in today’s NBA. Traditional stretch 4 that can’t really create for himself but he’s a lights out spot up shooter. Can also knock down 3s off the catch and on the move via popping or body movement. He’s a high IQ basketball player that plays within himself and knows him limitations which is very important for role players. He’s a terrific passer for a big that has decent vision and moves the ball. Only an average rebounder but he really tries and makes an effort to box out. Defensively he plays hard and given his mentality and basketball IQ I believe he could learn to fit into an NBA defense and play within a scheme. He played exclusively in a zone defense in college so he’ll definitely have to adjust to man to man heavy defenses of the NBA.

Weaknesses – His ceiling is only that of a role player which limits how high he’ll be on draft boards. He can’t create offense for himself. He looks out of place trying to score off the dribble. Can’t really attack closeouts and struggles to make contested shots. His value as a screener will be limited to popping. He’s not a great roller because he’s not very strong and doesn’t finish well around the basket, especially in traffic. Defensively he doesn’t have the strength or length to be an impact defender at his position. Also how long will it take him to learn to play man to man defense?

30. SF. Semi Ojeleye: 6’6, 240 – SMU

Physical Profile – Combo forward with tweener traits. He has a 6’10 wingspan, massive frame, and good athleticism. He doesn’t play above the rim in traffic but he can really get up in space. His physical tools suggest SF but his game might be better suited for small ball PF at the NBA level.

Strengths – His best strength is his versatility. He’s got a ton of potential to be a quality combo forward. Offensively he’s a bit of swiss army knife who hasn’t mastered a skill yet but it’s an impressive combo of traits. He was big time spot up shooter at SMU. He shot over 40% from 3. He can handle the ball a little and is a very good straight line driver. Uses his big body and strength to overpower defenders. He’s flashed the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack closeouts. Can knock down shots off the dribble from mid-range. Not a great defensive rebounder but was very good on the offensive glass. Defensively his mobility and frame are assets. He should be fine at the 4 defending on the perimeter in pick n roll or switch situations.

Weaknesses – Defensively he is a tweener until proven otherwise. He doesn’t have much experience defending perimeter players as he played PF in college. Bulky body type and lack of great lateral quickness could be an issue depending on the wing. The issue with playing him at PF is his lack of height. Can be posted up and easily shot over down low. He also isn’t a great rebounder on the defensive glass which will definitely hurt him at the NBA level. He just doesn’t have the tools to ever be a legitimate go to option in the post at PF. Lacks the length or the standstill leaping ability to finish over the top of bigs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.