2019 NBA Draft Big Board: RJ Barrett Is Still Zion Williamson's Biggest Threat

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJanuary 15, 2019

2019 NBA Draft Big Board: RJ Barrett Is Still Zion Williamson's Biggest Threat

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    Our NBA draft big board continues to change by the month, with certain prospects evolving and others becoming exposed.

    No. 1 and No. 2 remain the same, but the next tier of prospects is fluid, and a new name has suddenly popped up at No. 3.

    Injuries have also thrown a wrench into the scouting equation, with Bol Bol now joining Darius Garland and Jontay Porter as potential lottery picks lost for the season.

    We separated our top 50 prospects into tiers. The difference between prospects within the same tier is minimal. 

Tier 6

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    50. Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky, C, Freshman)

    Bassey has been efficient, shooting 64.4 percent, but there isn't any strength or skill that makes him an enticing first-round play. He still has NBA big-man tools, touch inside and a possible jump shot up his sleeve, having hit seven threes and 75.0 percent of his free throws.

           

    49. Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest, SF/PF, Freshman)

    Scoring versatility should keep interest in Hoard alive, being a 6'8" forward who can face up or work from the post. But at this stage, only the idea of NBA Hoard is attractive. He's shot just 5-of-26 from three, ranking in the 13th percentile out of spot-ups and 48th percentile in half-court offense.

          

    48. Cameron Johnson (North Carolina, SF, Senior)

    Though Johnson turns 23 years old in March, his shot-making gives him a chance. He ranks in the 98th percentile out of spot-ups and the 95th percentile on half-court jumpers.

          

    47. Devon Dotson (Kansas, PG, Freshman)

    Dotson may be viewed as a possible change-of-pace playmaker at the next level. To max out his draft stock, though, he'll presumably need another season at Kansas to strengthen his body, scoring ability (11.1 points) and shooting (0.8 3PTM).

          

    46. Louis King (Oregon, SF, Freshman)

    King is back on the radar with three consecutive games of at least 17 points. He's taken over for Bol Bol as the team's top weapon, showing off his three-level scoring. After missing the first seven games, King has resurfaced on scouting watch lists as a prospect to watch and a potential riser during conference play.

          

    45. Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, PG, Freshman)

    Haliburton will need another year at Iowa State, but he's making more watch lists with his 46.8 percent three-point shooting, assist-to-turnover ratio (66 to 14) and defensive playmaking (2.1 steals per game). His scoring and athletic limitations inside the arc hold him back.

          

    44. Carsen Edwards (Purdue, SG, Junior)

    Edwards just went for his fourth 30-plus-point effort of the season on Friday against Wisconsin. NBA teams won't want him running their offenses, but in the second round, he's become worth thinking about as a possible bench scorer and shot-making specialist off the catch and dribble.

          

    43. Aric Holman (Mississippi State, C, Senior)

    The only NCAA player averaging at least 1.5 threes and 2.5 blocks, Holman will draw interest for his potential to stretch the floor and protect the rim. Teams could possibly put more stock into his NBA fit than his talent or production.

          

    42. Simisola Shittu (Vanderbilt, PF, Freshman)

    Shittu stands out with NBA physical tools for a power forward, plus the ball skills to handle and pass. His shooting (0-of-11 3PT, 66.7 percent FT) and defense are the concerns to worry about when projecting his NBA fit.

Tier 5

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    41. Eric Paschall (Villanova, SF/PF, Senior)

    Averaging 20.8 points over Villanova's last five games, Paschall could be turning a corner. He's intriguing for his strength and explosion, improved shooting range (33-of-85 3PT) and potential defensive versatility. But he's also 22 years old without a true speciality skill to bank on as an NBA role player.

          

    40. Isaiah Roby (Nebraska, PF/C, Junior)

    Playing the energizer role at Nebraska, Roby has made a name for himself with his athleticism around the basket, motor and flashes of shooting. He's hit a three-pointer in four consecutive games, though Roby is just 8-of-26 on the season, and he's not difficult to move physically in the low post or under the boards.

           

    39. Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State, PF, Sophomore)

    McDaniels is still relevant for his frontcourt athleticism and defensive versatility, but his stock has trended downward since December. He has first-round potential if he can develop into a more threatening shooter (10-of-35 3PT).

    38. Admiral Schofield (Tennessee, SG/SF, Junior)

    Schofield has moved into the top 50, mostly by making 2.3 threes per game at a 44.6 percent clip. He's turned into a consistent shot-maker off spot-ups and movement, which is an intriguing development for a 6'6", 241-pounder. 

          

    37. Charles Matthews (Michigan, SG/SF, Senior)

    Teams could see second-round value in Matthews for his defensive pressure/playmaking. The question is whether he offers enough offensively. He's excels as a slasher, capable of rising into jumpers around the key. But he's still a limited creator and shooter from distance (17-of-52 3PT).

          

    36. Naz Reid (LSU, PF/C, Freshman)

    Teams could have a tough time assessing the tradeoff between Reid's scoring potential and his weaknesses, which include questionable defense, motor and decision-making. He just scored 27 points in an overtime win against Arkansas, making all four of his threes. On the season, however, he ranks in the 23rd percentile out of post-ups with an uninspiring 17.9 turnover percentage, 14.4 rebound percentage, 4.6 block percentage. 

    35. PJ Washington (Kentucky, PF/C, Sophomore)

    Games like Washington's against Vanderbilt (three points in 32 minutes) will keep him from rising on draft boards. He still has a place on them for his 228-pound size, length, mobility, skill level around the basket and flashes of shooting. But it's becoming tougher to guarantee that Washington will have a first-round grade from many teams by draft night. 

          

    34. Bruno Fernando (Maryland, C, Sophomore)

    Coming off a 25-point (11-of-12) effort against Indiana, Fernando continues to trend upward. He's looked better defensively this season, particularly with his reads in pick-and-roll coverage. We've been slow to move Fernando up due to his lack of scoring range and 2.6 turnovers per game. But his potential to be an interior enforcer, switch defender and high-percentage finisher (76.9 percent at basket) has started to appear more realistic. 

           

    33. Luguentz Dort (Arizona State, SG, Freshman)

    At 6'4", 215 pounds, Dort's physicality, scoring mentality (17.1 points) and shot-making (1.6 3PTM) have earned him a spot in the first-round discussion. His 38.9 percent finishing mark around the basket, 65.1 free-throw percentage and 47 turnovers to 38 assists say to hold off before declaring him anywhere close to NBA-ready.

          

    32. Killian Tillie (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

    Gonzaga is easing Tillie back into the rotation after he missed the first 15 games with an ankle injury. There should be enough time for him to regain his spot on draft boards, assuming his three-point shooting returns and he flashes defensive switchability.

          

    31. Jalen Smith (Maryland, PF/C, Freshman)

    Smith has looked like a veteran and a freshman at different points throughout the season. He recently carried Maryland to a win at Minnesota before finishing 0-of-9 on Friday against Indiana. Smith comes off as more of a two-and-done prospect, but his 6'10" size, motor around the basket and inside-out skill package still hint at a future NBA big.

          

    30. Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State, SG, Freshman)

    It's been a tough stretch for the slumping Horton-Tucker, who's finished under 10 points in five consecutive games. He'd likely become the youngest NCAA player in the draft (turns 19 in November) if he chose to declare, though. And through the inefficiency, he's still turned heads at Iowa State with his ball-handling, shot-making (1.4 3PTM) and active defense (1.4 steals).

          

    29. Shamorie Ponds (St. John's, PG, Junior)

    Ponds has answered the call from scouts by improving his three-point shooting (40.0 percent) and floor game (6.0 assists to 2.1 turnovers). He's still a scorer first, and at 6'1", 175 pounds, it's worth questioning his fit and upside. But Ponds returned to St. John's as a more complete, efficient guard. And it's now easier to buy into his chances of carving out a spark role off an NBA bench.

    28. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan, SF, Freshman)

    Brazdeikis has drawn attention with scoring versatility and competitiveness. At 6'7", 215 pounds, he's earned the freedom to handle the ball on the break and put it on the floor from the wing, and he's hit 20-of-52 three-pointers. Brazdeikis just offers minimal playmaking at either end of the floor (1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks), and he checks in as a below-average athlete for a perimeter-oriented forward.

                          

    27. Deividas Sirvydis (Lithuania, SG/SF, 2000)

    Sirvydis is creating buzz overseas, primarily with his shooting (41.2 percent 3PT) and passing for a 6'7", 18-year-old wing. He's only playing 16.8 minutes per game, but his positional size, three-ball and efficiency have become worth monitoring for the 2019 first round, if he chooses to enter.

           

    26. Coby White (North Carolina, PG, Freshman)

    White had been hot before running into a wall against Louisville, when he missed all four his field-goal attempts. His lack of explosion around the basket is concerning and adds more pressure to his jumper and playmaking. But for a 6'5" ball-handler, White remains attractive for his ability to shoot off the dribble and pass.

    25. Ty Jerome (Virginia, SG, Senior)

    Jerome's shooting (39.7 percent 3PT), passing (66 assists, 24 turnovers) and defense (1.8 steals) could be enough if he's given the right role. His draft range is likely to be wide, given his glaring lack of upside, plus the strong likelihood that he could succeed for a veteran team just by making open shots, moving the ball and defending.

      

    24. Jordan Poole (Michigan, SG, Sophomore)

    Poole may need one more year at Michigan to maximize his draft stock, but his long-term potential has becoming more convincing over the past month. He's sporting a 65.5 true shooting percentage, looking improved as a shot-creator and shot-maker. Teams could see Poole developing into an option for instant offense.

    23. Goga Bitadze (Georgia, C, 1999)

    A breakout 19-year-old old overseas, Bitadze has emerged as the Adriatic League's second-leading scorer and top rebounder and shot-blocker. He stands out for his massive frame and mobility, which he mostly uses around the basket. But this season, he's extended his shooting (14 of 30 3PT), a key development and reason to buy into his NBA chances.

Tier 4

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    22. Nassir Little (North Carolina, SF/PF, Freshman)

    Now 16 games in, we're still waiting on Little. He's recorded five field goals over North Carolina's last three games, and at this stage, he's shown little as a creator, shooter or defender.

    Little is still worth monitoring as a first-round prospect due to his 6'6", 220-pound frame, plus flashes of rip-throughs into drives and dribble jumpers. Per 40 minutes, he's averaging 20.1 points on 48.8 percent shooting. 

    But he's also just 6-of-29 from three (20.7 percent) with 13 assists, nine steals and eight blocks all season. 

          

    21. Daniel Gafford (Arkansas, C, Sophomore)

    With 14 made field goals and 32 points against LSU over the weekend, Gafford showcased his NBA tools and athleticism around the basket. He's a tremendous finisher with shot-blocking tools. but limited scoring ability and defensive switchability hurt his value. 

    Gafford's floor appears high, but his ceiling isn't exciting enough for teams to reach on his potential. 

          

    20. Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

    We're still relatively hesitant on Hachimura, due to concerns over his shooting (0.7 threes per 40), passing (36 turnovers, 30 assists) and defense (1.0 block per 40). But he's obviously taken a notable step forward in averaging 20.8 points.

    Hachimura is shooting above 60.0 percent inside the arc for the third consecutive season, ranking in the 83rd percentile in transition, 84th percentile on post-ups and 85th percentile on cuts. And though the three-ball isn't a big part of his game, he's shooting 46.7 percent on spot-up, non-dribble jumpers and 61.5 percent on pull-ups after the catch.

    He has the chance to create mismatches against NBA 4s with his face-up quickness. Hachimura just has to show more defensive effort and improved range on his jumper to maximize his fit and potential.

            

    19. KZ Okpala (Stanford, SF/PF, Sophomore)

    Suddenly a hot topic within the scouting conversation, Okpala has scored at least 20 points in four of Stanford's last five games. At 6'9", he's intriguing for his positional size, athleticism and face-up game, which now includes a three-ball.

    He hit four of them against Arizona State on Saturday, marking the fifth time in seven games he's made at least two. 

    Still, Okpala is raw for a perimeter forward. When forced to put the ball down out of spot-ups, he's a combined 18-of-50 from the floor. Overall, he's 3-of-14 on pull-ups. 

          

    18. Grant Williams (Tennessee, PF, Junior)

    Williams ranks in the 99th percentile in half-court offense and the 17th percentile in transition. The numbers accurately sum him up. Williams won't win any max-vertical competitions or lane-agility drills, but his skill level and basketball IQ are A-plus.

    Though the post is still his office (97th percentile), Williams has expanded his game this year, now capable of shooting threes (9-of-21) and attacking closeouts. And he's averaging 3.9 assists, up from 1.9 a season ago. 

    A smart defender, efficient scorer and good passer, Williams is the type of outlier worth betting on to defy the scouting laws that say he's not NBA material due to a lack of athleticism and positional size.

          

    17. Tre Jones (Duke, PG, Freshman)

    Jones' intangibles and impact help offset his limitations. He's changing games with his decision-making and defensive pressure, averaging 5.9 assists, 1.0 turnovers and 1.9 steals per game.

    His scoring upside remains limited, but the right team should see value in Jones for his role-player potential that's fueled by toughness and efficiency. 

          

    16. Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga, PF/C, Junior)

    Clarke's defensive potential and high floor earn him a top-15 ranking. He's been persuasive with his athletic ability and activity, as he's shooting 68.5 percent and averaging 4.7 blocks and 2.3 steals per 40 minutes. 

    Despite averaging 17.0 points (24.6 per 40 minutes), Clarke is missing a bankable scoring skill. But teams drafting in the mid-first round should still be drawn to his energizer potential, being the type of role player who can impact games with his relentless motor and bounce around the basket.

          

    15. Jontay Porter (Missouri, C, Sophomore)

    Medicals, plus the perceived strength of the other eligible NBA draft prospects, will determine where Porter goes in the first round. Given his age (he turns 20 in November) and lack of explosion to begin with, scouts shouldn't put too much stock in his torn ACL.

    He generated enough interest last season with shooting touch, passing and shot-blocking. He'll likely be highlighted on draft boards as an attractive buy-low candidate, though we still feel he's worthy of lottery consideration, particularly in what's looking like a weaker 2019 field.

          

    14. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech, SG, Sophomore)

    Alexander-Walker had been cruising before Wednesday's 1-of-13 effort. He'd made 41 of his previous 61 field-goal attempts, and he looked more comfortable and threatening inside the arc compared to last season. 

    He's quickly evolved into one of nation's top ball-screen scorers (91st percentile) while also shooting 47.4 percent on no-dribble jumpers out of spot-ups.

    Already with 50 assists (49 last year), Alexander-Walker has added playmaking ability to his resume as well.

    His lack of explosiveness is worth questioning, and he's only recorded one field goal out of isolation all season. But Alexander-Walker's new offensive versatility, consistent shooting and overall improvement have helped create a compelling case.  

          

    13. Sekou Doumbouya (France, PF, 2000)

    Out recovering from torn thumb ligaments, Doumbouya had started to build rhythm before going down, totaling 14 made field goals over his previous three games. 

    At 6'9", 230 pounds, he's still mostly tools and quickness over skill, but he's hit 10 threes and flashed glimpses of face-up moves, encouraging signs since he just turned 18 years old in December. 

    Defensive versatility, shooting potential and a large window to improve offensively are the selling points to Doumbouya, though limited shot-creation and scoring ability hint at more of a role-player ceiling. 

Tier 3: No. 12. Bol Bol (Oregon, C, Freshman)

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    Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

    Trending: Down, but not out 

    The caution flags are flying now that Bol Bol's injury has been declared season-ending. There are always concerns tied to bigs with foot problems, and at 7'2" with rail-thin legs, Bol's durability will trigger debates across the NBA. But scouts were intrigued by his skill set that translated to 21.0 points and 13-of-25 three-point shooting. And though Bol will enter the draft recognized as a risky pick, it sounds as if interest will remain high, as long as doctors reveal a clean bill of health and that Bol is able to work out.

          

    New developments

    Expected to miss eight to 10 weeks, Bol should be back to work out for teams before the draft, an opportunity to resell scouts on his ball-handling and shooting. 

          

    Key Synergy stats

    Post-ups: 84th percentile

    Spot-ups: 97th percentile

    Roll man: 25th percentile

    Before going down, the 7'2" center was captivating for his unique shot-making out of the post and behind the arc. His fluidity and consistent execution made his early success convincing. 

    His lack of strength is worrisome. Can he finish through contact from NBA 5s? Defensively, tougher opponents were able to move him around the basket, and his effort and impact both fluctuated. 

    Still, Bol's abilities to stretch the floor, use the dribble, create from the post and block shots point to upside that will be tough for teams to resist once the other high-profile options are off the board.

Tier 3: No. 11. Keldon Johnson (Kentucky, SG/SF, Freshman)

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    James Crisp/Associated Press

    Trending: Stock steady

    As a rock for Kentucky, Keldon Johnson hasn't moved much on our draft board since October. He's been anchored in the lottery discussion, scoring efficiently while shooting consistently and regularly playing with effort and intensity.

          

    New developments

    Johnson had a rare off game against Texas A&M last Tuesday, but he rebounded over the weekend, finishing with 15 points on eight shots in Kentucky's win over Vanderbilt.

          

    Notable advanced stats

    Spot-up: 84th percentile

    Runner: 9-of-16

    Assist percentage:  10.8

    Johnson generates 32.7 percent of his offense out of spot-ups. On those possessions, he's shot 41.4 percent on no-dribble jumpers while converting a combined 14-of-22 runners and drives to the basket.

    He shows little creativity in between. His low assist rate points to limited playmaking ability. He's also totaled four made field goals as an isolation and pick-and-roll scorer, raising questions about his offensive upside.

    Still, his three-ball (39.6 percent) and defensive tools, plus his athleticism, strong frame and finishing touch in the key help paint Johnson as a safe first-round pick.

Tier 3: No. 10. Jaxson Hayes (Texas, C, Freshman)

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    Chris Covatta/Getty Images

    Trending: Upward into the lottery

    Shooting 74.7 percent and blocking 13.0 percent of opponents two-point attempts, Jaxson Hayes is rising fast by playing to strengths that revolve exclusively around his tools, athleticism and hand-eye coordination. It's becoming easier to picture his effectiveness around the rim carrying over in the same role he has at Texas.

          

    New developments

    Hayes hasn't flashed any new skill; rather, he continues to be effective just by running the floor and diving to the basket. He combined for 28 points over Texas' last two games.

          

    Notable advanced stats

    Roll man: 92nd percentile

    Cuts: 95th percentile

    Jump shots: zero

    With a monster catch radius, Hayes is a huge target off rolls, dives and cuts around the basket, where he's shooting 80.0 percent. His quickness, hands and bounce for a 6'11", 220-pounder ace the eye test.

    He also covers ground defensively, thanks to his mobility, length and timing designed for rim protection. 

    Hayes isn't an option to feed when the defense is in front of him in the half court. He hasn't made a jump shot, and he's converted six post-ups in 16 games. But there will be lottery teams who still view Hayes as a target and fit for his potential to impact (at both ends) without needing plays run for him. 

Tier 3: No. 9. De'Andre Hunter (Virginia, SF/PF, Sophomore)

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    Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

    De'Andre Hunter doesn't look significantly different from last season, but his strengths still hold up under the NBA scouting lens. 

    His physical tools remain a draw when projecting his defensive versatility. And though he's not shooting threes with volume, he's 15-of-34, looking plenty competent when given enough space and rhythm.

    Hunter would have moved into tier two if he improved more off the dribble. He's 5-of-18 on pull-ups and 9-of-22 out of isolation.

    Certain teams may also find it odd that's he's only totaled four blocks and nine steals all season. 

Tier 3: No. 8. Romeo Langford (Indiana, SG, Freshman)

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Trending: Toward lottery lock

    Romeo Langford continues to strengthen his case as a lottery pick with 73 points over Indiana's last three games. He's now averaging 18.8 points on 51.3 percent shooting.

         

    New developments

    Langford is becoming more comfortable shooting from distance, a key development, given his identity as a scoring guard. After making three triples against Maryland on Friday, he's now hit a three in four straight games while also converting 32 of his last 37 free throws.

    An average athlete in terms of explosiveness, Langford should be easing some concerns that may have popped up early about his touch and range.

          

    Notable advanced stats

    Pick-and-roll ball-handler: 95th percentile

    Finishing around basket: 79.4 percent, 99th percentile

    Transition: 16th percentile

    Langford has been one of the nation's top pick-and-roll ball-handlers, posing as a dual threat with his ball-screen scoring (1.14 PPP) and passing (1.40 PPP).

    His finishing in traffic has still stood out most. Without explosive bounce, Langford uses angles, strength and touch to convert through and around rim protection. 

    Outside the paint, he's demonstrated shot-creation off step-backs, as well as enough shot-making skill, particularly in the mid-range, where he's 10-of-13.

    His poor transition numbers stem from that lack of burst. And scouts may question how much separation he'll create in the half court as well.

Tier 3: No. 7. Darius Garland (Vanderbilt, PG, Freshman)

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Trending: Steady

    Darius Garland's torn meniscus won't have a major impact on his draft stock or evaluation. Viewed as a potential lottery pick entering the season, he averaged 19.8 points through four full games, giving off NBA vibes with pull-up scoring and shooting.

          

    New developments

    Vandysports.com reported that Garland is enrolled at Vanderbilt for the Spring. That would mean he's perhaps not leaving to train for the draft.

           

    Key stats

    Pull-up jump shots: 13-of-25

    Three-pointers: 11-of-23

    Pick-and-roll passes: 11th percentile

    Before going down, Garland had 15 turnovers to 13 assists, looking more comfortable scoring than playmaking. His shot-making stood out most on catch-and-shoot threes and dribble jumpers. 

    He'll enter the league with adequate point guard tools and a built-in jumper, leading to the perception his floor is high. How high he climbs in the NBA will come down to his development as a facilitator and defender. 

Tier 2: No. 6. Kevin Porter Jr. (USC, SG, Freshman)

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Trending: Toward further uncertainty 

    After playing just four minutes between Nov. 25 and Jan. 6, Kevin Porter Jr. returned from a quad injury on Thursday with scouts eager to finally get another look. Now it's unclear when he'll play again. USC suspended Porter indefinitely for conduct issues before its game against Oregon on Sunday.

          

    New developments 

    It's too soon for any judgement given the lack of details, but more missed games, this time due to behavioral issues, won't help Porter improve his stock.

    He did play 25 minutes against Oregon State and came out quickly with a step-back three-pointer and finish around the basket. However, he failed to record a field goal the rest of the game.

    Even when his shot isn't falling (it didn't in the second half), Porter still pops in terms of talent and skill. Scouts will continue to monitor one of the draft's biggest swing prospects.

           

    Notable advanced stats

    Transition: 30 points, 18 possessions 

    Jump shots off dribble: 9-of-19

    Catch and shoot: 3-of-11

    A smooth, bouncy athlete, Porter's efficiency in transition (99th percentile) isn't surprising. It's his shot-creating skill that's generated the most attention.

    Porter uses advanced crossover and pull-up moves to separate into jumpers. He's more comfortable hitting them off his own rhythm dribbles, as opposed to passes while standing still around the arc.

    Scoring upside remains his No. 1 selling point, but the small sample size of success, plus new questions regarding his suspension, suggest the level of interest in Porter could be all over the place. 

Tier 2: No. 5. Ja Morant (Murray State, PG, Sophomore)

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    Trending: Toward top-five pick and No. 1 point guard lock

    Ja Morant continues to pile up eye-opening stat lines, and he isn't going to slow down against Ohio Valley Conference opponents.

    We slotted him into the top 10 a month ago, and between his obvious upside and production (23.1 points, 10.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds) that's expected to continue flowing, Morant looks locked into Tier 2 and capable of rising to No. 2 overall.

          

    New developments

    Morant set a Murray State record with 18 assists against UT Martin on Thursday. The Saturday before, he scored 34 against Eastern Kentucky. Heading into the weekend, he made at least two three-pointers in three consecutive games, potentially creating hope among scouts hesitant about his jump shot.

           

    Notable advanced stats

    Transition: 122 points, 93 possessions (85th percentile)

    Assist percentage: 55.7 percent

    Three-pointers: 20-of-65

    Morant's explosiveness shines in transition, where he's totaled 91 points on 71 possessions as the ball-handler. His burst, low dribble and leaping are tailor-made for fast-breaking.

    His passing remains ahead of his scoring skill. Morant shows strong vision and a willingness to look for teammates off screens and drives, while his ability to pass with both hands leads to quicker deliveries and open shots.

    NBA teams must weigh his shaky jumper versus his elite athleticism and playmaking, plus their guess on the degree to which Morant will improve as a shooter. He's currently making 27.9 percent of his pull-ups and 30.8 percent of his threes.

    His 5.3 turnovers per game are also worth factoring in, though a monster workload contributes to forced decisions.

Tier 2: No. 4. Cam Reddish (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    Trending: Steady, but on thin ice

    Cam Reddish's 23-point effort and game-winner against Florida State helped serve as a reminder to fans and scouts who may have started questioning his offense. He was averaging 7.7 points on 25.4 percent shooting over the previous six games. Reddish will receive a pass for the inconsistency, given his lower-usage role and obvious long-term talent.

            

    New developments

    He'd lost confidence and touch heading into Saturday. The bigger concern has been his struggles inside the arc, where he hasn't been able to create quality scoring chances or finish. Reddish had converted just three two-pointers over his last four games before Florida State. In that span, he also committed 19 turnovers and dished out three total assists. Not seeing his shot fall may have contributed to his poor decision-making. 

    On Saturday, Reddish hit an early three-pointer and recorded a highlight block in transition. And suddenly, it appeared that his confidence had returned. He went on to hit four more triples, including one to take the lead with 0.8 seconds.

               

    Notable advanced stats

    Pick-and-roll ball-handler: 76th percentile

    Unguarded catch and shoot: 44.8 percent

    Guarded catch and shoot: 18.8 percent

    Reddish's potential to work as a secondary playmaker is appealing. He has a tight command of his handle when working off ball screens, and at his size, he can see and pass over the defense. His recent shooting slump has lowered his three-point mark to 35.8 percent, but his 2.5 triples per game and 72.1 percent free-throw clip remain encouraging indicators. 

    It's the weak shot-creativity and finishing that are discouraging. Reddish hasn't looked comfortable moving to a supporting role at Duke from a featured one in high school. His explosiveness has also underwhelmed, with Reddish making 52.0 percent of his shots around the rim and only converting 13 all season.

    Still, don't expect teams to completely flee the wagon, given his tools, shooting potential and flashes of defense.

Tier 2: No. 3. Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech, SG, Sophomore)

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    John Weast/Getty Images

    Trending: Toward Tier-3 lock in 3-8 range

    Jarrett Culver's 25-point game against Duke helped validate the breakout play earlier in the season. And he continues to build on it, recently going for 23 points and 13 rebounds on 13 shots against Oklahoma. Culver is solidifying himself as a Tier-2 prospect, even making a case for consideration as the No. 3 player in this draft.

           

    New developments

    His three-ball hasn't fallen the the past four games. Instead of trying to shoot out of the slump, Culver has gone to the free-throw line 27 times in that span, showing off an improved off-the-dribble game that scouts were asking to see before the season. 

    He's taken a step forward as a creator, using his long strides, change of speed and length to separate. 

    Culver isn't an explosive athlete, which raises questions about the height of his ceiling. But his floor comes off as one of the highest in the class, given his NBA tools, shooting stroke, passing and defense.

          

    Notable advanced stats

    Pick-and-roll ball-handler and isolation: 115 points, 105 possessions 

    Spot-up: 82nd percentile

    Transition: 37th percentile

    Ranking in the 92nd percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler and 89th percentile out of isolation, Culver is clearly a tougher scorer and more threatening playmaker. He's doubled last year's assist rate to 30.4 percent.

    His pull-up game is stronger as well, with Culver shooting 42.3 percent on pull-up jumpers off a high release point. 

    His weaker transition numbers point to that limited explosion that could make teams question how well he'll separate and finish against NBA defenders. 

Tier 2: No. 2. RJ Barrett (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

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    Lance King/Getty Images

    Trending: Steady at No. 2

    With Reddish struggling and Bol out for the season, RJ Barrett's grip on the No. 2 spot feels secure, especially after his 32-point game against Florida State on Saturday.

          

    New Developments 

    Barrett appears to be making more of an effort to find his teammates, and against Wake Forest, he showed off his passing skills with seven assists. There are still instances when he gives into the urges and forces tough finishes in traffic. But in terms of actual ability, Barrett is starting to show his potential to suck in defenses and set up teammates. 

    On the downside, he's still at 33.3 percent from three and 64.9 percent from the free-throw line. He'll make shots with enough attempts, but his shooting touch isn't right yet. 

          

    Notable advanced stats

    High pick-and-roll pass-outs: 23 points, 22 possessions (82nd percentile)

    Jump shots off dribble: 47.5 percent 

    Half-court offense: 47th percentile

    Averaging 23.4 points, Barrett continues to score in a variety of ways each game. He's still best in transition, but his pull-up game has also been encouraging. 

    Barrett has struggled to execute off his own creativity, however, totaling just 42 points on 60 possessions combined of pick-and-roll ball-handling and isolation scoring. He's also shooting 49.4 percent at the rim, often showing little finesse.

Tier 1: No. 1. Zion Williamson (Duke, PF/C, Freshman)

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    Trending: Toward No. 1 overall lock 

    A gap exists between No. 2 and Zion Williamson, particularly after he totaled 55 points in 54 minutes last week against Wake Forest and Clemson. His 38.4 player efficiency rating now leads the nation by a wide margin, per RealGM.com.

          

    New developments

    The explosive finishes and quick moves have been routine and thrilling, and Williamson continues to stretch imaginations. He made three three-pointers and totaled five assists (plus 30 points and four steals) in Duke's win over Wake Forest on Tuesday. 

    Attempting to strengthen his case as more than a dunker, Williamson flashed playmaking ability fueled by nifty ball-handling and vision on the move. And he's showing more confidence in his jump shot, having now made a three-pointer in four of Duke's last five games.

          

    Notable advanced stats

    Post-ups: 95th percentile

    Isolation/pick-and-roll ball-handling: 48 points, 36 possessions

    Spot-up: 34th percentile

    An elite finisher, Williamson is also one of the most effective post scorers in the country, able to drop-step and explode upward with speed and force defenders can't contain. He's also been highly efficient facing up from distance, blowing by defenders off crossovers and in-and-out dribbles and reaching his launching pad in the lane.

    Scoring out of spot-ups has been Williamson's challenge. He's 5-of-21 on spot-up jumpers with one made all season.

          

    Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports, Basketball-Reference.com