By Hocine LOUKKAF on 1/6/2021
With five players seen as potential first pick, I decided to push Kuminga one more time as he doesn’t have any major weakness at his NBA position and showcased it in the Ignite’s scrimmages. Cunningham is just behind as the most intriguing prospect coming from college.
#1 Jonathan Kuminga 6-8 SF G-League Ignite
Stats : —
Two scrimmages were enough to see why Kuminga could develop into an elite forward. With 47pts in two games, Kuminga displayed flashes of elite scoring and athleticism. Of course, he still has to improve his overall IQ and shooting but his size and skills could make him the number one pick. His performances in the G-League bubble will tell if he can remain at least in the top three of this deep draft.
#2 Cade Cunningham 6-8 PG Fr Oklahoma State
Stats : 19.1pts 6.1rbds 3.7as 36% 3pt
Of course, Cunningham’s combination of size and talent make him an elite prospect and he could end up the number one pick. Yet, he may lack a notch of athleticism and while a clear-cut top 3 prospect, hasn’t displayed elite creativity a la Doncic (yes, it’s a lot to ask) with only one game with more than 4as while averaging 3.6tos per game.
#3 Evan Mobley 7-0 PF/C Fr USC
Stats : 15pts 8rbds 2.9bl 41% 3pt
The top big man of this draft, Mobley has been consistent despite his weird last game against Utah where he didn’t take any shots. With less than one 3pt made per game, he may need to score more threes to prove he can really be a stretch big in the NBA.
#4 Jalen Green 6-5 SG G-League Ignite
Stats : —
Green has been the other bright spot of the G-League Ignite scrimmages with 42pts and 13rbds in two games. Yet, he hasn’t displayed yet the ability to shoot from outside, his main weakness, with 1/8 and had only one assist in these games. He will need to showcase his shooting and more passing in the bubble to hope to be the first name called.
#5 Jalen Suggs 6-4 PG/SG Fr Gonzaga
Stats 13.9pts 5.5rbds 5.4as 2.4st
Quickly raised at the potential first pick after his two perfs against Kansas (24pts 8as 2/3 3pt) and Iowa (27pts 7/10 3pt), Suggs has been more human over the last two games with 8pts (albeit with 7rbds 6as 4st) against Virginia and 5pts against San Francisco, combining 0/3 from three. He needs to bounce back and at least be consistent from outside while leading his team.
#6 Jalen Johnson 6-9 SF Fr Duke
Stats : 11.5pts 8.3rbds 2bl .8as
Hard to judge a freshman who has not played for almost a month. After a tremendous start against Coppin State with 19pts 19rbds 5as and 4bl, Johnson struggled more against top 10 ranked MSU and Illinois with a combined 18pts 11rbds and 4blks. He has all the tools to be an elite forward but must be more focused and develop a more consistent shot.
#7 Usman Garuba 6-8 PF 2002 born Real Madrid SPA
3.5pts 3.7rbds 0.8bl (Euroleague)
Garuba had his first 10pts+ games during the last month including a 15pts 6rbds 3as 2bl perf against Berlin in Euroleague in which he hit 3/3 from three after another 3/3 against Malaga in domestic competition. Yet, in the same time, he had five games with 2pts or less. If he can score consistently from outside, he could even land in the top 5.
#8 Greg Brown 6-8 SF Texas
12pts 7.3rbds 1.3bl
A black hole on offense (1as in ten games), Brown is yet interesting due to his combination of physical tools (7.3rbds 1.3bl) and improved shooting (13/30 over the last six games). An almost surefire top ten pick if he keeps up this pace.
#9 Scottie Barnes 6-8 PF/SF Fr Florida State
11.1pts 4.3as 3.9rbds
With four games with 5as over the last month, Barnes has displayed the kind of point forward he can be at the next level. Improving his shot (28% 3pt 42% FT) and using more his physical tools on defense (3.9rbds 0.3bl) will be the key to rise higher in the mocks.
#10 Daishen Nix 6-4 PG G-League Ignite
Stats : —-
The physical PG has showcased some scoring and his passing during Ignite’s two scrimmages (19pts 11as combined). If he can confirm it in the bubble as Ignite’s only PG prospect, he could interest many teams.
#11 Moses Moody, 6-5 SG, Arkansas
Stats : 16.9pts 6.1rbds 42% 3pt
Moody may not be the most athletic SG prospect but his length (6rbds 0.7bl) and above all shooting (42% 3pt on five attempts) make him one of the most efficient. He needs to bounce back from his last two games against Auburn and Mizzou (4/11 and 4/15 shooting) and involve more his teammates 1.7as in 31min).
#12 Ibou Badji 7-1 C 2002 born Barcelona (SPA) SEN
Stats : 5.3pts 4.9rbds 2.2bl
After a good albeit a bit disappointing Africa U18 (11pts 13rbds 2.6bl), Badji had his first limited minutes with Barcelona first team. What is intriguing is the fact that he is getting only 16min with the second team in the poor LEB Silver (Spanish third level) and is not dominating at all as he only had two games with 10pts or more. If he can,’t be more impact ful, he may slide lower in the mocks despite his tantalizing physical tools.
#13 Roko Prkacin 6-9 PF 2002 born Cibona Zagreb CRO
11pts 5.8rbds 36% 3pt
Compared to last year, Prkacin has become a solid contributor in Adriatic league with. His outside shooting is still fragile (one game over 33% over the last five and 6/14 FT during the same stretch). A solid floor but ceiling might be limited compared to some other prospects.
#14 Ziaire Williams 6-7 SF/SG Fr Stanford
Stats : 11.1pts 5.6rbds 2.2as
After two solid games against Alabama and UNC to start the season, Williams has struggled heavily shooting only twice over 40% from the field while combining 6/28 from three, his alleged strength, during those seven games. His picture perfect shot and physical tools make him an intruging prospect but he needs to bounce back real quick to prove the doubters wrong.
#15 Corey Kispert 6-7 Sr Gonzaga
Stats : 21.6pts 4.5rbds 50% 3pt
Kispert has been crazy efficient with only one game under 50% FG while shooting a stunning 50.8% from three on more than six attempts. He will bring instant shooting a la Duncan Robinson without needing the ball much in his hands.
#16 Jared Butler 6-2 PG Jr Baylor
Stats : 16pts 5.8as 45.7% 3pt
Butler proves that he made a good decision by staying at Baylor as he improved both his assist (three games with at least 7as including 14as vs KSU) and 3pt % numbers (five games above 57%) as the Bears remain unbeaten. Could land in the lottery with more consistency from three (four games below 34% including 0/4 vs Illinois).
#17 Scottie Lewis 6-5 SG So Florida
Stats : 12.3pts 4.6rbds 2.1as 1.6bl 1.6st 43% 3pt
Too bad Lewis had an awful last game against Alabama (2pts on 1/6, 4fls 3tos) but at least, it’s the only bad game from him since the start of the season. The Gator is still the same active defender while he has improved his passing and shooting. He needs to be more co,sistent from three to solidify a first round spot.
#18 Isaiah Todd 6-9 PF G-League Ignite
Stats : —
With 21pts and two games during the scrimmages, Todd has proved he was a legit first rounder and could already be efficient as a stretch four. Like his teammates, we’ll have a better opportunity to evaluate him in bubble play.
#19 James Bouknight, 6-5 SG So Connecticut
Stats : 20.3pts 5.3rbds 1.7as
After his outstanding 40perf against top 10 ranked Creighton, Bouknight got colder and colder with a good 20pts against DePaul followed by a poor 6pts against Marquette, combining 0/5 from three over these two games. In a draft stacked with freshman guards, Bouknight needs at least to be consistent and improve his 3pt percentages to find a spot in the top 20.
#20 Juhann Begarin 6-5 SG 2002 born Paris Basket FRA
Stats : 13.3pts 3.3rbds 2.3as 1.3bl
Due to Covid 19, Paris has only played two games in French 2nd division. With almost the same strengths as Lewis, athleticism and wingspan, Begarin needs to display better outside shooting as he hit only 4/15 from three this season in championship play. An improved passer, he also will have to cut down his turnovers to be more efficient as a playmaker.
#21 Ron Harper Jr, 6-6 SF Jr Rutgers
Stats : 21.1pts 6.4rbds 2as 47% 3pt
With shooting being one of the most sought-after strength, Harper’s 47% from three on almost seven attempts is a pretty nice feat. The burly forward can play both forward spots and despite more struggles in the last two games against top 25 ranked Iowa and MSU (26pts and 4/12 3pt combined), his profile fits the NBA shooting trend.
#22 Ayo Dosunmu, 6-5 PG/SG Jr Illinois
Stats : 23pts 7rbds 5as 42% 3pt
Dosunmu’s combination of shooting and passing at his size makes him an interesting combo to bring from the bench. He has been one of the most consistent prospects with only three games under 47% FG acting as the leader of a solid team of Illinois.
#23 Alperen Sengun, 6-9 PF/C born in 2002 Besiktas TRK
Stats : 21pts 10.8rbds 1.7bl
Yes, he lacks length, I also know he has baby fat to lose, but I have rarely watched such a young kid dominate the paint of such a tough championship as the Turkish League. Despite his unathletic look, Sengun is a deceptive athlete (1.7bl) with very high bball IQ. He shot only 1/11 from three but a very good 82% FT. He could be efficient if paired with a longer/more athletic PF.
#24 Aaron Henry, 6-6 SG/SF Jr MSU
Stats : 14pts 5.5rbds 3.8as 1.5bl 1.6st
As he scored at least 20pts in each oh his last two games (5/9 combined from three), Henry may have understand what he needs to do to get love from the NBA scouts. His profile as a glue guy swingman who can defend multiple positions remains intriguing.
#25 Isaiah Jackson, 6-9 PF/SF Fr Kentucky
Stats : 5.3pts 7.3rbds 2.7bl
Playing for a dysfunctional Kentucky team, Jackson has found a way to make his presence felt. Maybe the rawest first round prospect, his length and athleticism make him an above average rebounder and shot blocker (12rbds 8bl vs Kansas). Displaying the ability to shoot some like he did in HS (only two attempts from three this year) could help him get more guarantees.
#26 Joel Ayayi, 6-5 PG/SG Jr Gonzaga FR
Stats : 12.2pts 8rbds 3.1as
The best rebounding guard among NBA prospects, the French combo has become even more impactful despite getting the same playing time. He had at least 17pts and 10rbds in each of his last three games while shooting 8/11 from three (sic).
#27 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl 6-8 PF So Villanova
Stats : 16.2pts 7.6rbds 2as
The versatile PF already haf ive games with 18pts or more. Improving his 32% from three could be the key to convinve the scouts he could be an interesting stretch four at the pro level.
#28 Rokas Jokubaitis, 6-4 PG/SG born in 2000 Zalgiris LTH
Stats : 8pts 2.9rbds 38% 3pt
If you need a solid back up who know from the get-go what he needs to do, here is Jokubaitis. Limited athletically, the Lithuanian is as good passing the ball as he is shooting from three. He’s already playing more than 20min in the 2nd best league in the world, enough to give him a chance.
#29 Cam Thomas, 6-4 SG Fr LSU
Stats : 24.6pts 36% 3pt
A pure scorer with limited size, athleticism and passing ability, Thomas has been very efficient despite his status with 36% from three on almost eight attempts and an even more interesting 90% FT on an even better 6.5 attempts. He could be Eddie House 3.0, a microwave to bring from the bench when a team needs points.
#30 Khalifa Diop, 6-11 PF/C born in 2002 Gran Canaria (SPA )SEN
Stats : 4.8pts 3rbds 0.7bl (Eurocup)
After a nice African U18 where he proved he could be a very good passing big and defend PFs, Diop could be a nice draft and stash pick to develop. More playing time in ACB or Eurocup could help him rise higher in the mocks.