NBA Player Comparisons for Top Prospects in 2018 McDonald's All-American Game
The 2018 McDonald's All-American Game will feature many high-level prospects who'll remind fans of current, former and future NBA players.
Being that most of the participants are 18 years old, a lot can change over the next few seasons. These comparisons account more for style of play than projecting the next Tracy McGrady or Gary Harris.
Comparisons are ultimately used to paint a picture of what type of player each prospect can become if they maximize their potential.
Scouts have been in Atlanta since Sunday watching practices and scrimmages in anticipation for Wednesday night's main event at Philips Arena.
Rosters and measurements can be found here.
RJ Barrett (Duke, SG/SF)
NBA comparison: DeMar DeRozan
A 6'7" wing, RJ Barrett resembles DeMar DeRozan with his ability to score from three levels.
He's a good bet to be Duke's top option next year alongside two other potential No. 1 overall picks.
Scouts got to see Barrett last summer put up a memorable 38 points against USA in the U19 World Cup. He's flashed a full repertoire of pull-ups, floaters and hard drives, and he's improved since July with his three-point shooting.
Barrett ultimately falls under the same player umbrella as DeRozan, a similarly built 2-guard or small forward valued for his ability to get a basket in the half court.
Zion Williamson (Duke, PF/C)
NBA comparison: Larry Johnson
Few compare to Zion Williamson, one of basketball's most unique prospects for his 6'7", 250-pound size, explosive leaping and ball-handling skills.
Larry Johnson (6'6", 250lbs) brought a similar mix of athleticism and power, plus some post and face-up offense. Williamson will need to improve his conditioning and physique, but his body and mobility create rare physical abilities.
Aside from playing high above the rim, he can also play low with his dribble and ability to fit through tight spaces. Williamson has both a quick first step and second jump. And he's a willing passer.
During his prime, Johnson was making a three-pointer per game with the Charlotte Hornets. Williamson's shooting development will be key—he has some touch, but not to the point where he's a regular three-point threat.
Cameron Reddish (Duke, SF/PF)
NBA comparison: Tracy McGrady
In terms of physical tools, athleticism, strengths and style, Cameron Reddish resembles Tracy McGrady, though the Westtown forward will still have to earn the All-Star appearances.
Talent-wise, Reddish is a No. 1 overall candidate; he possesses 6'8" size, hops, face-up shot-creating and defensive versatility.
Like McGrady, Reddish can be a scoring mismatch on the wing, as well as a point-forward playmaker. In today's league, he could work as a quicker small-ball 4.
He has a tendency to get lazy with shot selection, and playing hard from start to finish will be a much-discussed challenge. But Reddish has full-package potential and should start as a projected top-three pick for 2019.
Bol Bol (Oregon, C)
(Future) NBA Comparison: Mohamed Bamba
Mohamed Bamba isn't an NBA player yet, but he will be by Bol Bol's first game at Oregon.
There aren't a ton of 7'2" players like Bol, whose size, 7'8" wingspan, defensive potential and flashes of perimeter offense could remind viewers of Bamba.
At times, Bol thinks he's Kristaps Porzingis, showing some ability to shoot off the dribble or make open threes. He's closer to Bamba offensively—capable of converting outside shots, but not to the point where Oregon coach Dana Altman will let him float around the perimeter and launch jumpers.
Like Bamba at Texas, Bol will be valued for his rim protection and ability to give his guards an easy-basket target inside. He'll want to erase concerns over his effort, concentration, maturity and toughness during his likely one-and-done year at Oregon.
Louis D. King (Oregon, SF/PF)
NBA comparison: Jeff Green
An athletic, 6'9" combo forward, Louis D. King has the physical tools and scoring versatility of Jeff Green.
When facing the basket, King operates with the ball like a guard—capable of blowing by his man and attacking with power, speed and body control.
Like Green, he's capable from three, but not proficient, and can struggle with efficiency and decision-making.
But King's natural talent, perimeter scoring and potential to guard multiple positions could register on NBA radars this upcoming season.
Nassir Little (North Carolina, SF/PF)
NBA comparison: Jae Crowder
A 6'7", 215-pound combo forward, Nassir Little compares to Jae Crowder physically and stylistically with his tough frame, defense and blossoming perimeter skills.
Coaches will value his ability to guard bigs and wings, inside and out. He's flashed the quickness away from the basket and strength to bang down low.
Offensively, he isn't a go-to-caliber scorer—and neither is Crowder. But they've both become threatening three-point shooters, and Little shows enough ability as a driver and finisher around the basket.
He should be in line for a big freshman role at North Carolina with Cameron Johnson and Theo Pinson both graduating.
Quentin Grimes (Kansas, SG)
NBA comparison: Gary Harris
A 6'5" shooting guard, Quentin Grimes brings a Gary Harris-like package of complementary scoring and defensive toughness.
Neither is a No. 1 option; Grimes takes more of a secondary approach by attacking when given a lane and shooting when open. Otherwise, he moves the ball and plays efficiently within the offense.
Next year head coach Bill Self will value Grimes' knack for competing at both ends. Creating offense isn't a strength of Grimes, and it's not what Harris is known for. But Grimes' game screams high-end, two-way role player—like Harris, who is worth over $16 million a year to the Denver Nuggets.
Reaching Harris' level would still require Grimes to keep improving as a shooter.
Romeo Langford (Undecided, SG)
NBA comparison: Bradley Beal
A smooth, 6'6" scoring 2-guard, Romeo Langford has some Bradley Beal in his game.
He operates with a quiet confidence. Langford uses his handle and elusiveness to create shots for himself as a jump-shooter and driver.
And though it wouldn't be surprising if he was inconsistent from outside to start his career, Langford's tough shot-making ability from all over suggests he'll eventually become a dangerous three-point threat.
The ultimate hope for Langford is that he emerges as a No. 1 option like Beal, who can also convert his off-the-dribble skills into more than four assists per game.
Nazreon Reid (LSU, C)
NBA comparison: Julius Randle/Andre Drummond
Nazreon Reid plays with Andre Drummond's power and explosiveness around the basket, but his skill set more closely resembles Julius Randle's.
He's still most effective finishing through and over helpless defenders at the rim. The upside kicks in with Reid if he proves the flashes of ball-handling are for real. He's shown the ability to push the break off a defensive rebound or cross his man up when given space to put the ball on the floor in the half court.
Impressive passes, physical post moves and occasional shooting touch only raise the height of Reid's ceiling.
He's a potential lottery pick if he can answer questions at LSU about his motor and tendency to drift.