2020 NBA Draft Big Board: Scouting Pros and Cons for Top 50 Players
NBA teams have had extra time this year to review film and put together their 2020 draft boards.
At this stage of the scouting process, rankings differ dramatically from scout to scout because of the lack of obvious stars in this class, a shortened season and an abbreviated draft process.
Our top 50 is set for B/R's NBA Fantasy League, and this edition lays out the pros and cons of drafting each prospect.
Reminder: These are personal rankings and not a projected order for how we expect the draft to play out.
50. Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky, SG, Sophomore)
Pros: Quickley shot 42.8 percent from three, 56.3 percent on dribble jumpers and 44.8 percent on runners. He developed into a dangerous shooter who can also put the ball down and make shots on the move.
Cons: At 6'3", Quickley isn't a playmaker or exciting athlete. He won't have any margin for error as a shooting specialist.
49. Aaron Henry (Michigan State, SG/SF, Sophomore)
Pros: The idea of Henry remains appealing despite the fact that he didn't make the sophomore jump we were hoping for. At 6'6", 210 pounds, he has an NBA physical profile with a versatile skill set for slashing, passing and shot-making. Henry also possesses encouraging defensive potential tied to his tools, quickness and anticipation.
Cons: Henry doesn't have any bankable offensive strength after two seasons at Michigan State. He still struggles to create and shoot with enough confidence and consistency (31-of-90 3PT). He would be better off returning for one more year in a lead role since Cassius Winston is graduating.
48. Elijah Hughes (Syracuse, SF, Junior)
Pros: A 6'6", 215-pound wing, Hughes broke out to average 19.0 points, scoring on and off the ball. His 4.0 points per game out of isolation ranked No. 4 in the country, but he also graded in the 85th percentile out of spot-ups, mostly by making catch-and-shoot threes.
Cons: Hughes struggled with decision-making and execution as a pick-and-roll ball-handler (21st percentile). He often settled for jumpers and showed limited feel in the paint with his runner (5-of-21) and finishing (53.6 percent).
47. Markus Howard (Marquette, PG, Senior)
Pros: The nation's leading scorer, Howard is a special shot-maker with deep range and the ability to connect in different ways. He hit a ridiculous 121 threes in 29 games (434 in his career) and ranked third in the country in points off pull-ups. Though listed as a senior, he just turned 21 in March.
Cons: Howard was the beneficiary of a 39.3 percent usage rate, which he won't receive in the NBA. Without size (5'11") or plus athleticism, he'll have a lot more difficulty separating against NBA defenders. Howard doesn't offer much in the playmaking department, and he'll be an easy target on defense.
46. Udoka Azubuike (Kansas, C, Senior)
Pros: Azubuike matched his record from his sophomore season. Again, he became the only NCAA player to shoot over 73.0 percent on at least seven field-goal attempts per game. He's a huge finishing target above the rim, as well as a threatening scorer out of the post, where he converted 79 made baskets.
Cons: The inability to step outside the paint at either of the end of the floor will limit his use at the NBA level. This year's 44.1 percent free-throw mark was sadly a career best. He can block shots, but he offers zero switchability.
45. Mason Jones (Arkansas, SG, Junior)
Pros: The SEC's leading scorer at 22.0 points per game, Jones deserves second-round looks for his versatile shot-making and open-floor finishing. Along with solid pull-up, driving and transition games, he averaged 3.4 assists.
Cons: Jones lacks athleticism for a scoring wing. Considering he'll spend more time working off the ball in the NBA, his 33.3 percent catch-and-shoot mark was disappointing.
44. Killian Tillie (Gonzaga, PF, Senior)
Pros: A remarkably consistent shooter, Tillie shot at least 40.0 percent from three in all four seasons at Gonzaga. Along with his ability to stretch the floor, he has a high skill level in the post and a strong defensive IQ.
Cons: Lower-leg injuries have been a problem for Tillie over the years. He lacks athleticism for scoring and rebounding inside the arc, and he could struggle defensively against quicker forwards and bouncy centers.
43. Vernon Carey Jr. (Duke, C, Freshman)
Pros: An inside-scoring force at Duke, Carey used his power and finishing coordination as a low-post option and offensive rebounder.
Cons: A limited athlete at 270 pounds, Carey doesn't project as a shooter or rim protector (5.8 block percentage), and he struggles to move his feet defensively away from the basket.
42. Saben Lee (Vanderbilt, PG/SG, Junior)
Pros: At 6'2", Lee racked up 24 dunks, which highlights his standout quickness off the dribble and explosiveness around the basket. Skill-wise, he took small steps forward with his shooting (1.2 3PTM) and playmaking, but it's his athletic driving ability that separates him.
Cons: Lee wasn't able to fully answer questions about his jumper, shooting just 32.2 percent from three. He'll be more valued for scoring than playmaking, so it's tough to picture he'll hit his stride in the NBA if he struggles to threaten defenses around the perimeter.
41. Isaiah Stewart (Washington, C, Freshman)
Pros: At 6'9", 250 pounds, Stewart can continue to be a force around the block at the NBA level. Down low, he possesses a mix of power moves and footwork to separate into easier finishes. Though he didn't take many jump shots, there seems to be shooting potential tied to his form and touch (77.4 percent FT).
Cons: He's an old-school, back-to-the-basket big who lacks quickness and explosiveness. He doesn't possess versatility at either end. At this stage, he's only good for deep post-ups after totaling five threes and 27 assists in 32 games.
40. Jaden McDaniels (Washington, SF/PF, Freshman)
Pros: At 6'9", McDaniels operates with a guard's mentality and skill set that includes ball-handling for shot-creation, pull-ups and three-point range (1.4 3PTM).
Cons: With power forward size, McDaniels shot just 40.5 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 3.2 times per game. He's a capable three-level scorer, but he isn't proficient in any one area, and lapses in awareness make it tough to buy into his defensive potential.
39. Xavier Tillman (Michigan State, PF/C, Junior)
Pros: Tillman joined Tim Duncan and Bo Outlaw as the only college players since 1992-93 to average at least 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. With his hustle, defensive IQ and passing, he checks a combination of boxes that point to role-player potential.
Cons: Tillman, who's only listed at 6'8", doesn't possess many translatable scoring skills. He'll need his jump shot to reach an adequate level for him to hold enough value offensively. He shot just 13-of-50 from deep and 66.7 percent on free throws.
38. Zeke Nnaji (Arizona, PF/C, Freshman)
Pros: Nnaji's 6'11" size, mobility, motor and nose for the ball were most of the reason for his production (16.1 points, 8.6 rebounds) and efficiency (57.0 percent FG). But he also shows promising skill from the post and mid-range with soft touch on his jump shots.
Cons: Averaging 30.7 minutes in 32 games, Nnaji totaled just 27 assists, 23 steals and 28 blocks. His limited passing and defensive potential are problematic for a big who doesn't shoot threes or create.
37. Daniel Oturu (Minnesota, C, Sophomore)
Pros: One of the draft's most productive players, Oturu averaged 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting 56.3 percent. Strong around the block, he also hit 19 threes and showed impressive body control attacking closeouts from spot-up position and finishing drives from the arc (16-of-22).
Cons: A post-up-heavy attack, questionable decision-making and stiff athletic ability are the concerns when projecting Oturu to the pros. He leaned on his tools and strength inside and totaled 88 turnovers to 34 assists. Shooting will be a key swing skill that could help turn him into more than just another reserve big.
36. Precious Achiuwa (Memphis, PF/C, Freshman)
Pros: At 6'9", 225 pounds, Achiuwa averaged a double-double without tapping into much skill. His size, strength, mobility and motor should continue to translate into easy baskets on rim runs, finishes and crashes. He also projects as a versatile defender who can block shots and switch out around the perimeter.
Cons: Achiuwa ranked in the 29th percentile on post-ups, 23rd out of spot-ups, 39th out of isolation and 47th on cuts while shooting 13-of-40 from three and 59.9 percent on free throws. He totaled just 30 assists to 87 turnovers.
35. Robert Woodard (Mississippi State, SF/PF, Sophomore)
Pros: At 6'7", 230 pounds, Woodard possesses an impressive mix of size, strength and athleticism for finishing and defending multiple positions. He also shot 42.9 percent from three, strengthening his NBA profile as a three-and-D forward.
Cons: Woodard showed little ability to create or score off the dribble. For a projected role player, his 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game were underwhelming.
34. Cassius Winston (Michigan State, PG, Senior)
Pros: Winston's shooting profile is tough to beat after he shot 43.2 percent from threes, 50.0 percent on catch-and-shoot chances, 42.1 percent on pull-ups and 58.1 percent off screens. Along with the shot-making accuracy and versatility, he averaged 5.9 assists, highlighting his passing skills and IQ, particularly as a pick-and-roll ball-handler.
Cons: At 22 years old without any plus physical or athletic trait, Winston is all skill and intangibles. They should be enough to carve out an NBA career, but he's perceived to have limited room to improve and a harder time executing against NBA defenders.
33. Devon Dotson (Kansas, PG, Sophomore)
Pros: Teams that want a change-of-pace guard for their backcourt should covet Dotson, who can push the tempo and put pressure on defenses with his speed and quickness. He's appealing for his ball-screen offense and ability to get to the basket.
Cons: Lacking size (6'2") and explosiveness, Dotson also registered underwhelming shooting and playmaking numbers as a sophomore. He only shot 30.9 percent from three and 31.0 percent off the dribble while averaging 4.0 assists in 34.9 minutes per game.
32. Desmond Bane (TCU, SG, Senior)
Pros: Bane shot over 42.0 percent from three for the third consecutive season. But he also averaged a career-best 3.9 assists by taking on playmaking duties and expanding his overall versatility. His shooting consistency and passing IQ suggest he's an easy fit in all NBA lineups.
Cons: In 36.0 minutes, Bane averaged just 1.8 free-throw attempts. He's very limited athletically for a wing, so it's reasonable to question how much of his scoring and creating can translate.
31. Tyler Bey (Colorado, PF, Junior)
Pros: Teams should be drawn to Bey's defensive potential/versatility and ability to contest shots inside and out. At 6'7", he averaged 9.0 rebounds and shot 63.4 percent around the basket. His scoring skills are lagging, but he did shoot 49.4 percent on post-ups and make 44.0 percent of his 50 half-court jump shots.
Cons: Bey isn't an advanced shot-creator, and he only hit 18 threes in 99 career games at Colorado. He'll need to hold plus value defensively to compensate for his offensive limitations.
30. Tre Jones (Duke, PG, Sophomore)
Pros: Jones' passing (6.4 assists per game) and defensive pressure (1.8 steals) are plus strengths that appear translatable. He also made a noteworthy jump as a pull-up shooter with 43 makes off the dribble.
Cons: Jones is a limited athlete who struggled to get to the rim and finish at the basket (29-of-68). Despite improving, there are still concerns over his shooting range (1.3 3PTM in 35.4 minutes) and line-drive shot.
29. Theo Maledon (France, PG/SG, 2001)
Pros: Maledon received solid experience in Euroleague and France's Jeep Elite league. He has fine 6'3" size and a well-rounded skill set in terms of passing and shot-making with spot-ups, pull-ups and runners.
Cons: A lack of burst raises questions about his potential to beat defenders, make plays and finish at the basket. He isn't a major threat to create his own shot.
28. Nico Mannion (Arizona, PG, Freshman)
Pros: A well-rounded point guard, Mannion brings a balanced mix of playmaking skills and shot-making versatility. He averaged 5.3 assists while scoring off pull-ups, spot-ups, screens and runners.
Cons: Mannion lacks standout quickness and length, limiting him to 15 field goals at the basket in 32 games. There are concerns about his ability to separate, blow by and defend at a starter level.
27. Jahmi'us Ramsey (Texas Tech, SG, Freshman)
Pros: At 6'4", 195 pounds, Ramsey shot 42.6 percent from deep with convincing mechanics. He flashed natural scoring instincts and glimpses of athletic plays at both ends.
Cons: Despite picturesque form on his jumper, he shot a concerning 64.1 percent on free throws. Outside of stepping into pull-ups, he's not the most advanced shot-creator, and he didn't pop as a playmaker. Defensive lapses occurred too frequently as well.
26. Jared Butler (Baylor, PG/SG, Sophomore)
Pros: A versatile combo guard, Butler graded in the 75th percentile or better in pick-and-roll ball-handling, spot-ups and shooting off screens. He's an advanced ball-handler capable of shaking defenders, shooting and passing off the dribble, and finishing through contact around the basket.
Cons: At 6'3", Butler lacks size and athleticism for a guard who isn't reliable enough as a lead decision-maker. His shot selection can also get too loose.
25. Malachi Flynn (San Diego State, PG, Junior)
Pros: Flynn ranked in the 96th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, demonstrating a balanced skill set in terms of passing savvy, dribble creativity and shot-making with pull-ups and runners. He hit 2.4 threes per game, many from well beyond the arc. Although his physical tools don't scream defensive upside, he averaged 1.8 steals, showing good instincts and peskiness. Flynn led the nation in win shares and finished No. 8 in box plus-minus.
Cons: Lacking size (6'1") and athleticism, Flynn also turned 22 years old last week. San Diego State's underwhelming strength of schedule cast a cloud over his numbers and effectiveness as well.
24. Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos, PF/C, 2001)
Pros: A skilled 7-footer, Pokusevski immediately pops for his shooting fluidity, passing instincts and shot-blocking. He put up unique stat lines in Greece's second division: 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.6 threes and 1.8 blocks in 23.1 minutes. If there is a unicorn sleeper in this draft, he's the one who'll come to mind first for NBA teams.
Cons: Pokusevski's body isn't ready for NBA minutes. He only played two Euroleague minutes this year, and he won't hold his ground inside against NBA bigs. Though the flashes of perimeter play are promising and exciting, it's difficult to have full confidence that his scoring skills will fully develop and translate.
23. Josh Green (Arizona, SG/SF, Freshman)
Pros: At baseline, Green's explosiveness should translate to transition offense and defensive playmaking. He's also exceptionally quick laterally when it comes to sliding his feet and closing out. His offensive skills are behind his athleticism, but he still shot 43.9 percent on spot-up, non-dribble jumpers and 39.1 percent on runners. And he delivered enough high-IQ passes for a guard/wing despite his lack of playmaking ability.
Cons: A limited threat to create off the dribble, Green generated 23 points combined out of pick-and-rolls and isolation. He'll need a reliable three-ball, though he didn't shoot them in volume at Arizona, averaging 1.0 make per game on 36.1 percent. Green was also a poor finisher in the half court, where he converted just 37.5 percent of his attempts around the basket.
22. Saddiq Bey (Villanova, SF/PF, Sophomore)
Pros: Bey emerged as one of the draft's top shooters, hitting 45.1 percent of his 5.6 three-point attempts per game. He also ranked in the 88th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, finishing through contact on drives and showing the ability to set up teammates off the dribble.
Cons: He has a limited in-between game, having shot 29.6 percent on pull-ups and made one runner all season. Lacking standout lateral quickness defensively, he'll be better off guarding bigs.
21. Tyrell Terry (Stanford, PG/SG, Freshman)
Pros: Skilled with a notable smoothness to his delivery, Terry averaged 14.6 points on 40.8 percent shooting from three, 89.1 percent at the free-throw line and 61.5 percent at the rim. He's a versatile shot-maker and tough finisher with enough passing savvy to facilitate from the point.
Cons: At 6'1", 160 pounds, Terry lacks size, strength, quickness and explosion. He converted three isolation baskets all season, and there are questions about how well he'll be able to separate against and defend NBA guards.
20. Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt, SF, Sophomore)
Pros: A 6'6" forward, Nesmith shot 52.2 percent on 8.2 three-point attempts per game to emerge as the class' perceived top shooter. He's a tremendous shot-maker off spot-ups and screens.
Cons: The scouting report clearly states to close out hard and run Nesmith off the line. He only hit 13 pull-ups in 14 games and totaled 13 assists through 500 minutes.
19. Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama, PG, Sophomore)
Pros: The same age as most freshmen, having just turned 19 last month, Lewis averaged 18.5 points, 5.2 assists and 1.8 threes. Of all the class' point guards, he's the fastest with the ball, possessing ultra quickness off the dribble that teams can bank on for breaking down defenses. He's flashed encouraging skill when it comes to shot-making, passing and finishing moves.
Cons: Lacking strength and explosiveness, Lewis may struggle to create separation around the perimeter and rim. Despite the solid production, his passing/decision-making and shooting haven't always been reliable.
18. Skylar Mays (LSU, SG, Senior)
Pros: Efficient on and off the ball, Mays ranked in the 98th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler and 89th percentile as a spot-up player with a 62.2 true shooting percentage. Capable of pulling off acrobatic finishes, shooting off the dribble (41.5 percent), hitting threes (39.4 percent) and making plays for teammates (3.2 assists), Mays has developed into a versatile, high-IQ guard with an array of role-playing skills.
Cons: He's 22 years old, so the late improvement as a shooter on limited attempts (127 attempts) is worth questioning. He doesn't get much elevation on his jump shot, and while his herky-jerky movement worked in college, he could have a tougher time separating in the pros.
17. Jalen Smith (Maryland, C, Sophomore)
Pros: Smith improved his body and shooting range to average 10.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and a three-point make per game. He's developed into a tough inside player who can also step out and drill jumpers off spot-ups and even some movement.
Cons: Smith lacks the ability to face up and use the dribble, and he totaled just 25 assists in 970 minutes. A lot is riding on his jump shot, and despite the improvement, he didn't shoot it with volume, making 32 threes in 31 games.
16. RJ Hampton (New Zealand Breakers, SG, 2001)
Pros: Hampton excels at attacking downhill, and with 6'5" size, a quick first step and athleticism, his transition and driving games should translate. Flashes of shot-making and secondary playmaking point to more upside as a scorer and creator in the half court.
Cons: Though versatile, Hampton isn't special in any one skill. He shot 13-of-44 from three and averaged 2.4 assists to 1.5 turnovers in the NBL.
15. Grant Riller (Charleston, PG, Senior)
Pros: Through 132 career NCAA games, Riller averaged 18.7 points with a remarkable 61.6 true shooting percentage. He's special for his ability to create with quickness/changing speeds, make tough shots and finish through rim protection at the basket.
Cons: Riller is already 23 years old, and with only 6'3" size, his scoring is far ahead of his playmaking. He finished his senior year averaging 3.9 assists to 3.1 turnovers.
14. Leandro Bolmaro (Barcelona, SG/SF, 2000)
Pros: Bolmaro could have unsuspecting upside tied to his 6'6" size and unique ability to create and make plays. He's a crafty ball-handler and flashy passer who also made 1.8 threes per game and competed defensively in Spain's LEB Silver league.
Cons: He only played 13.0 minutes per game in Liga ACB and 9.2 minutes in Euroleague. His shot is a work in progress (combined 27.9 percent 3PT, 67.6 percent FT). Although an effective setup man for teammates, there are more questions about how his self-creation for scoring will translate.
13. Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, PG/SG, Sophomore)
Pros: High-IQ passing is Haliburton's bankable skill, but he also shot over 41.0 percent from three in consecutive seasons. He ranked in the 99th percentile out of spot-ups, and with 6'5" size, he should be capable of playing both guard positions.
Cons: Lacking blow-by burst, he converted just 23 baskets at the rim (22 games) and averaged 2.2 free-throw attempts per 40 minutes. With awkward form on his jumper, he shot 28.1 percent on pull-ups, another concern when projecting his scoring potential.
12. James Wiseman (Memphis, C, Freshman)
Pros: Wiseman has a spectacular physical profile (7'1", 240 pounds, 7'6" wingspan) for finishing, shot-blocking and rebounding. He's shown occasional mid-range touch on post-up moves and short jumpers.
Cons: He only played three NCAA games before leaving Memphis. His skill level and awareness are well behind his tools and athletic traits. In today's NBA, Wiseman doesn't project as a player to run offense through, and he doesn't come off as a switchable or interchangeable big.
11. Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)
Pros: Maxey averaged 14.0 points while only shooting 29.2 percent from three, a number the eye test and his 83.3 percent free-throw mark suggest will rise. A versatile shot-maker off one or two feet, Maxey can also finish with strength or acrobatics around the basket.
Cons: He lacks explosiveness for a scorer and playmaking instincts to run the point. While he has plenty of room to improve as a shooter, Maxey only shot 25.0 percent off the catch (4-of-31 when guarded).
10. Patrick Williams (Florida State, SF/PF, Freshman)
At 6'8", 225 pounds, Patrick Williams possesses a powerful frame for finishing. But it's rare to see a player with his physical profile who can also work in ball-screen situations, pass with his off-hand off the dribble and pull up in the mid-range.
He generated 25 points on 20 pick-and-roll ball-handling possessions, showing the ability to stop and pop (41.9 percent on dribble jumpers) or facilitate.
His three-point shooting wasn't a strength, but he did hit 16 threes and make 83.8 percent of his free throws. For an 18-year-old, he showed enough touch to feel good about his shooting potential.
Otherwise, he proved to be effective off the ball at both ends. He scored 56 points as a cutter and averaged a steal and block per game by jumping passing lanes or rotating down to make a play on the ball around the rim.
Williams is still raw offensively when it comes to creating and shot-making. He's not elusive one-on-one in space. It was rare to see him attack his man from the arc and get all the way to the basket.
Some of his missed jumpers were way off the mark.
Defensively, he'll be better off defending power forwards at first. His tools, motor and athleticism point to defensive potential, but he did miss reads or get beat too easily around the perimeter as a freshman.
9. Cole Anthony (North Carolina, PG, Freshman)
A scoring point guard, Cole Anthony averaged 18.5 points, often tapping into his ability to make contested shots around the perimeter.
Despite poor spacing at North Carolina, he ranked in the 92nd percentile out of isolation. He doesn't need room to shoot over his man off the dribble. And he shot 41.2 percent off the catch with promising range on his spot-up three-ball.
He generated 1.3 points per possession as a pick-and-roll passer, and though known more for scoring than facilitating, he's clearly capable of finding teammates in the right situations.
Defensively, Anthony competed and used his athleticism from off the ball to make highlight steals and the occasional block.
Anthony deserves somewhat of a pass for his poor finishing since North Carolina often clogged the lane with two bigs. But his 39.2 percent mark around the basket was still brutal. He'd develop tunnel vision in the lane or rush a tough floater. Plus, he graded in the 24th percentile in transition, where there are no excuses for no spacing.
His decision-making is a big question mark after he averaged 4.0 assists to 3.5 turnovers.
Although he's a dangerous shot-maker, he only finished at 34.8 percent from three.
8. Isaac Okoro (Auburn, SF/PF, Freshman)
Isaac Okoro popped from Day 1 with his powerful 6'6", 225-pound frame, muscular legs and athleticism. His defensive potential has always stood out with strength to guard bigs, foot speed around the perimeter and level of focus throughout shot clocks. He'll eventually be the player NBA coaches use to guard opponents' top scoring wings.
Offensively, Okoro shot 60.3 percent inside the arc. He only took good shots within the flow. From spot-up position, he converted 18 of 23 takes to the basket. He shot 64.2 percent around the rim, showing he can finish through contact off drives and offensive rebounds.
Okoro also looked like a more effective passer than his 2.0 assists per game suggest. He moved the ball quickly and flashed some secondary playmaking ability attacking closeouts.
Okoro isn't an advanced creator, and he shot just 20-of-70 from three and 67.4 percent from the free-throw line.
If he's playing small forward in the NBA, his struggles as a shooter, both off the catch (1-of-14 when contested) and dribble (3-of-11), are concerning when projecting his scoring.
7. Obi Toppin (Dayton, PF, Sophomore)
College basketball's Player of the Year, Obi Toppin has drawn praise from NBA teams who buy his athleticism around the basket, scoring skills in the post and expanding shooting range.
He led the nation in dunks and shot 76.7 percent around the rim. Overpowering with his back to the basket, Toppin also became a threat from behind the arc, hitting 32 threes at a 39.0 percent clip.
Along with his inside-out scoring, he routinely delivered slick passes that should continue to be a part of his game.
Already 22 years old, Toppin is the age of most seniors.
He left a lot to be desired on defense, where his effort, reaction time and perimeter foot speed were often exposed. His 14.5 rebounding percentage and 4.1 block percentage were low for a player with his size and athletic gifts playing in the Atlantic 10.
Offensively, Toppin relied a lot on his physical tools inside the arc. His delivery trying to create facing up was choppy and unlikely to work early on in the NBA.
6. Deni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv, SF/PF, 2001)
Deni Avdija comes with an unusual amount of experience for an international teenager.
He was useful this year for Maccabi Tel Aviv, playing a limited role in Euroleague, where he spotted up and competed on defense. His upside shined more in the Israeli BSL. He averaged 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds with 55.5 percent shooting and 37.5 percent from three.
Overall, Avdija has a well-rounded skill set for transition offense and off-ball scoring, though he has flashed glimpses of driving, post-ups and playmaking.
He was an efficient finisher this past season, showing plus athletic ability on drives and fast breaks. Shooting has been the hottest topic when scouting Avdija, as he's demonstrated plenty of shot-making ability but not enough consistency.
Defensively, he makes good reads and rotations, and he maintains an admirable level of concentration and competitiveness.
Avdija shot 27.7 percent from three in Euroleague, and he's shot below 55.0 percent from the free-throw line every year since 2017.
Since he isn't the highest-level creator or pull-up scorer, he will struggle to match top-five-pick value if he doesn't turn into a plus shooter.
While his defensive IQ is strong, his lateral foot speed for defending wings isn't as convincing.
5. Devin Vassell (Florida, SF, Sophomore)
Devin Vassell has built a convincing three-and-D draft profile, but it's the flashes of scoring improvement that hint at another level of offensive upside for an NBA team to unlock.
A high floor is propped up by his 6'6" size, athleticism, 41.5 percent three-point shooting and tremendous defensive instincts. He's a fit for practically every team with his ability to catch and shoot, defend multiple positions and be a strong team-defense link.
He also hit 31 pull-ups this year, and our eye test buys his effectiveness at separating and releasing high over his man.
Vassell isn't the most creative ball-handler, so offense won't be run through him. He only recorded three isolation baskets all season and averaged just 1.6 assists.
Though an accurate shooter off the catch, he converted two successful drives to the basket out of spot-up position.
Vassell only hit the 20-point mark twice as a sophomore, so it's reasonable to question how much scoring upside is really there.
4. Onyeka Okongwu (USC, C, Freshman)
Strong, 245 pounds and coordinated, Onyeka Okongwu was a dominant force around and above the rim at both ends. Aggressive inside, he shot 66.4 percent at the basket and blocked 2.7 shots per game.
His skill level and development helped carry him into our top three, however. Okongwu ranked in the 94th percentile on post-ups, and not just by overpowering with his back to the basket. He shook defenders with quick rip-through moves or Eurosteps facing up. And he delivered plenty of tough over-the-shoulder shots using both hands.
While the NBA has moved away from post-up-heavy players, Okongwu looked like a center who teams can feed for easy baskets around the key. He also shot 72.0 percent from the free-throw line and 15-of-35 on half-court jumpers, promising signs for his mid-range shooting potential.
Along with the rim protection defensively, he showed enough foot speed to switch and slide his feet with drives from the arc. His 1.2 steals per game were impressive for a player his size.
Okongwu also put up historic advanced-stat numbers to join Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns as the only freshmen in the last decade (minimum 20 games) to register a player efficiency rating above 30 and box plus-minus over 13.
Post-up players are somewhat devalued in today's NBA, especially ones who aren't knockdown shooters from the elbows.
While his 6'9" size isn't overly concerning, he won't have any height advantages playing the 5.
There were also games where more physical bigs, like Washington's Isaiah Stewart or TCU's Kevin Samuel, were able to move him or win battles inside.
3. Anthony Edwards (Georgia, SG, Freshman)
Even by NBA shooting guard standards, it's tough to match Anthony Edwards' 6'5", 225-pound frame and athleticism. And he's still 18, coming off a freshman year when he averaged 19.1 points and 2.3 three-pointers.
Explosive attacking the basket, Edwards is in the No. 1 pick discussion for his shot-creation and shot-making. He went into takeover mode a number of times throughout the season, burying defenses with tough pull-ups and step-backs, some from well beyond the arc.
Known more for isolation scoring (72nd percentile), he also showed the ability to work as a ball-screen playmaker, having generated 1.2 points per possession in pick-and-roll passing (91st percentile).
Edwards also has terrific defensive tools, and when engaged, he's able to make highlight plays on the ball as a thief and shot-blocker.
Despite the impressive production, Edwards shot 40.2 percent and 29.4 percent from three with 87 turnovers to 91 assists.
He shows a poor feel for when to activate hero mode, often settling for low-percentage jumpers instead of moving the ball or attacking the rim. In the half court, he attempted 97 shots at the basket compared to 270 jump shots, of which he only hit 28.1 percent.
There are questions about whether he can make teammates better or if he knows how to efficiently score off the ball.
While he possesses textbook strength, length and quickness for defense, too many lapses in effort and awareness popped on film.
2. Killian Hayes (Ratiopharm Ulm, PG, 2001)
Killian Hayes has built a strong case in a draft loaded with uncertainty, averaging 11.6 points and 5.4 assists on 59.1 percent true shooting between the Eurocup, the German BBL and the German Cup. Only six NCAA freshmen since 1992-93 have matched those numbers, among them Chris Paul, Lonzo Ball, Jameer Nelson and Jason Williams.
At 18 years old, he finished fourth in the Eurocup in assists, demonstrating impressive passing and feel for using pace and hesitation. He should continue to experience success as a playmaker with more ball screens in the NBA.
But it's the improved scoring skills that have propelled him into the top three. He's added new footwork moves for shot creation. He shot 58.0 percent around the basket and 41.1 percent on dribble jumpers, showing excellent body control and touch on his finishes and runners, and nice form squaring up and rising with balance on pull-ups.
His three-ball still needs plenty of work, but it's headed in the right direction. Hayes made 30 threes in 33 games after making just 14 through 34 games in 2018-19. He's also shot at least 82.0 percent from the free-throw line in three consecutive years, a promising indication for his shooting potential/development.
Hayes lacks explosiveness. He doesn't create much separation for himself. He can be overly casual and loose bringing the ball up and vulnerable handling it against pressure. And he can make poor decisions as a passer, which contributes to his sky-high 24.7 turnover percentage.
His 29.4 percent three-ball becomes more problematic if he struggles to score one-on-one inside the arc. Hayes' shooting will be an obvious swing skill that could determine how high he climbs on the NBA's point guard ladder.
1. LaMelo Ball
With 6'7" size, special passing skills and obvious basketball IQ, it's easy to picture that LaMelo Ball's high-level playmaking will translate. At 18, he ranked second in the NBL in assists per game while limiting his turnover rate to 12.0 percent. Teams should be able to bank on Ball to create easy shots for teammates in transition and off ball screens.
The star upside kicks in for Ball if he continues to build on his flashes of finishing, floaters and shot-making. While his efficiency wasn't great playing against pros, he still delivered an array of coordinated layups with each hand, runners around the key and streak-shooting outbursts with at least four three-pointers in three of his 13 games (including the NBL Blitz exhibition on Sept. 20).
Even without a reliable jumper, he averaged 17.0 points in a league that featured many former standout NCAA upperclassmen, including Bryce Cotton, Melo Trimble, Jerome Randle, Lamar Patterson, Glen Rice Jr., Scotty Hopson and more.
Most questions about Ball focus on his jump shot and form. He made just 25.0 percent of his threes during the regular season, using a pushing motion with his elbows flaring out. He hit 11 of 43 pull-ups and 11 of 29 catch-and-shoot attempts in the half court.
While his facilitating props up his floor, he'll have a tough time justifying top-two value in the draft if he continues to struggle with scoring efficiency (37.7 percent FG).
Defense is another question mark with Ball, who showed the ability to make plays but was easy to beat off the dribble or eliminate with a screen.