By Hocine LOUKKAF on 2/18/2021
With G-League Ignite having started their play in the bubble, we have more indication to evaluate its players comparing to the college prospects. Kuminga remains at #1 even if he needs to display more consistency, above all from outside, in the coming weeks.
#1 Jonathan Kuminga 6-8 SF G-League Ignite
Stats : 18pts 7rbds 3.25as 1.75st 1bl
Impressive after his first three games in the bubble (22pts 7rbds 3as per game), the athletic Kuminga struggled more in his third game with 7pts on 3/13 FG including 0/5 from three. He’s displayed the ability to be a star forward and was active (7rbds 4as 4st) despite his bad offensive game. He had a better game last night with 21pts 10rbds 3as but a poor 1/8 from three. Consistency from three and cutting down his turnovers will be the key to develop into a can’t-miss first pick.
#2 Cade Cunningham 6-8 PG Fr Oklahoma State
Stats : 18.6pts 6.1rbds 3.7as 44% 3pt
The unanimous potential first pick for most draftniks, Cunningham has been as impressive as he’s been intriguing on some aspects of his game. He’s scored less than 15pts only once since our last mock on Jan 5 while shooting a combined 22/42 since then from three in eight games. Yet, in the same time, he had five games under 40% FG including 5/22 against Texas while combining 30as for 37tos. An undeniable talent but also a lot of room to improve.
#3 Evan Mobley 7-0 PF/C Fr USC
Stats : 16.6pts 9rbds 3.2bl
Maybe the safest prospect, Mobley has been consistent with 13 out of 14 games with at least 50% FG since the last mock, only one game with less than 2blks and multiple 10+rbd games. Last night’s game was a clinic with 22pts 9rbds 7as 3bl and 2st. The only setback is that he shot only 3/12 from three during that period, a stat he needs to improve as he may lack the strength to be as efficient in the paint in the NBA as he is in the PAC 12.
#4 Jalen Green 6-5 SG G-League Ignite
Stats : 18.8pts 4.8rbds 2as
After a slow start with 11pts in his first game in the bubble, Green reacted well with 21.3pts over the next three games and 6/17 from three. Like his teammates, he struggled more last night with only 13pts and 1/6 from three. Like Kuminga, consistency from three will be the key for Green.
#5 Jalen Suggs 6-4 PG/SG Fr Gonzaga
Stats : 14.2pts 5.4rbds 4.4as 2.2st
Playing in a pretty weak conference, Suggs doesn’t need to force the issue as he’s scored 15pts or more only five times since Jan 8. He seems a notch below the top four and while he’s above average athletically, he’s not in the same category physical-wise than his top 5 counterparts.
#6 Jalen Johnson 6-9 SF Fr Duke
Stats : 11.2pts 6.1rbds 2.2as 1.2bl 44% 3pt
Johnson shocked everybody as he decided to leave Duke early to focus on the draft, but his combination of talent and physical tools may make him one of the prospects with the biggest upside. During his last month of competition, he had one of the most impressive statline in college basketball with 24pts 16rbds 7as 4bl 2sts and 0to against Pittsburgh before ending his college career scoring 8 and 3 during his last two games. If the motor is there, he could be an All-Star in the NBA within 5 years.
#7 Greg Brown 6-8 SF Fr Texas
Stats : 11.5pts 7.5rbds 1.1bl 37% 3pt
After a streak of four losses during which he averaged only 8.3pts and shot 30% FG, Brown has bounced back pretty well with a combined 30pts 13rbds on 7/8 3pt over the last two games. Brown may lack bball IQ but if he can rebound, defend, drive to the rim and shoot consistently from three, he could be a great combo forward at the pro level.
#8 Scottie Barnes 6-8 PF/SF Fr Florida State
Stats : 10.2pts 4.3as 3.7rbds 1.7to
A high-IQ combo forward, Barnes has had at least 4as in each of his last five games while combining only 8tos. The problem is that he’s still struggling both from the 3pt and the FT line with 1/7 3pt and 13/21 FT during that stretch, something that hinders his offensive potential.
#9 Roko Prkacin 6-9 PF 2002 born Cibona Zagreb CRO
Stats : 12.6pts 6.1rbds 37% 3pt
A more fluid Saric, Prkacin may raise more interest than Garuba as the best international prospect due to his better offensive game. With at least 13pts in each of his last four games and a combined 5/12 from three, Prkacin has proved he could stretch the floor, his main weakness in the youth competitions.
#10 Sharife Cooper, 5-11 PG Fr Auburn
Stats : 19.6pts 8.6as
The best newcomer since the last mock, Cooper has been a killer dishing the ball with multiple 10+as games and incredible talent in both his hands which allows him to attempt more than 8FTs per game (82% made). Yet, his lack of efficiency from three and his diminutive size are still limitations to his potential as a future starter in the NBA. Being at least able to drastically improve his 24% 3pt could cement his spot in the top 10
#11 Moses Moody, 6-5 SG Fr Arkansas
Stats : 16.3pts 5.6rbds 37% 3pt
A solid prospect, Moody is a at the same time a sure thing but with a not-so-high ceiling. Over the last four wins, he hit 9/21 from three and 18/19 FT while averaging 6rbds per game but had only 4as for 10tos during that stretch. If you need a scorer who can rebound at the SG spot, Moody could be your guy.
#12 Usman Garuba 6-8 PF 2002 born Real Madrid SPA
2.7pts 3.3rbds (Euroleague) 4.7pts 4.8rbds (Spain)
As much as he’s struggling in Euroleague competition (6pts on 2/8 FG 13rbds 2bl in 67min over the last five games), Garuba has been more efficient in Liga ACB (5.8pts 5.4rbds and a combined 4/6 3pt) in 15min in the last four games. Garuba may never be an offensive force, but can he become a two-way starter in the NBA, that’s what he will have to prove to NBA scouts.
#13 Ibou Badji 7-1 C 2002 born Barcelona (SPA) SEN
Stats : 5.3pts 4.9rbds 2.2bl
With only one game played since Jan 15 (7pts 6rbds 4bl in a loss with the second team in LEB Silver), it’s hard to evaluate Badji. He’s still the same tantalizing prospect due to his size and athleticism but I have not been able to find whether he was injured over the last month.
#14 Ziaire Williams 6-7 SF/SG Fr Stanford
Stats : 11.1pts 5.6rbds 2.2as
A bit like Reddish recently, Williams is a polarizing prospect as he’s mixing the best of and the worse during the same game. Triple double against Washington (12pts 12rbds 10as) but 7tos, 17pts against Utah with 4/8 3pt and 5/6 FT but 0/5 inside the 3pt line and 4tos, 17pts on 7/15 FG against Colorado but 6tos. It was even worse during the last two games with averages of 6.5pts 3.5rbds and 2.5tos. If he can’t be more consistent, Willliams may slip a bit more as the draft is coming.
#15 Corey Kispert 6-7 SF Sr Gonzaga
Stats : 19.2pts 4.7rbds 48% 3pt
Like Suggs, it’s difficult to evaluate Kispert against subpar opponents. Contrary to the younger prospects, we know what Kipsert can and can’t do, which could could help him keeping his spot in the top 20.
#16 Davion Mitchell, 6-3 PG Jr Baylor
Stats : 13.6pts 5.8as 2.1st 49% 3pt
After starting January with 0/12 from three, Mitchell may have been the best guard from Baylor despite two difficult games against Kansas (10pts 3as 7tos) and OK State (8pts on 3/9 but 9as for only 1to). 21/35 from three in six games and two impressive wins recently with 13pts 7as 1to against Auburn and 27pts 4as 1to against top 10 ranked Texas may have made Mitchell a better prospect than his backcourt mate Jared Butler thanks to his incredible defense and maybe better offensive consistency. He projects as a good combo coming from the bench a la Beverley.
#17 Isaiah Jackson, 6-9 PF/SF Fr Kentucky
Stats : 7.2pts 6.7rbds 2.7bl
Kentucky is still losing but Jackson has improved. With six games with 8pts or more since the last mock and his first 10+pt games including 18pts 11rbds 2bl against Auburn in the last game, the freshman has also improved from the FT line with 30/41. The Detroit boy is still raw but has the upside to end up in the late lottery.
#18 Alperen Sengun, 6-9 PF/C born in 2002 Besiktas TRK
Stats : 19pts 9.7rbds 1.8bl
Like Kispert, Sengun may not have the biggest upside but his efficiency at such a young age is impressive. His 10pts 8rbds 3as 2bl against Fenerbahce and 15pts 7rbds 1bl against Anadolu are good signs that he can be productive against talented big men.
#19 James Bouknight, 6-5 SG So Connecticut
Stats : 20.3pts 5.3rbds 1.7as
After missing more than a month due to an elbow injury, Bouknight came back pretty well with 18pts against Providence. Showing improvement from three will be necessary in this draft loaded with SG.
#20 Juhann Begarin 6-5 SG 2002 born Paris Basket FRA
Stats : 11.9pts 4.5rbds 2.5as 1.1bl
After a poor 2pts on 1/7 FG in his first January game, Begarin has been pretty good with 14.2pts 5.8rbds over the last five games including a combined 11/27 from three. More consistency (two of these four games below 37% FG) could help him dream of a lottery pick.
#21 Daishen Nix 6-4 PG G-League Ignite
Stats : 11.6pts 6rbds 4.6as 45% 3pt
The stats are nice as Nix has proved to be a good rebounder and only had one game with more than 2tos even if it seems like he could gain more athleticism by shedding some weight. Until last night, where he shot 0/5 from three, his outside shooting was ok with 5/11 3pt. Shooting consistency is definitely the thing to improve for Ignite players.
#22 Jared Butler 6-2 PG Jr Baylor
Stats : 16pts 5.8as 45.7% 3pt
Like his backcourt mate Mitchell, Butler had some impressive perfs like his 22pts 6as on 6/7 3pt or his 30pts 8as on 7/9 3pt. Yet, since the last mock, he also was inconsistent as he shot 2/10 against Oklahoma, 2/11 against Oklahoma or more recently 6/18 on 1/8 3pt against Auburn.
#23 Yoan Makoundou 6-9 PF 2000 born Cholet FRA
Stats : 7.3pts 3.4rbds 0.75bl 70% FG in 15min (French Jeep Elite)
The new product from French powerhouse Cholet (Gobert, Hayes…) has been terrific during the last games both in domestic and European competition as he’s averaged almost 18pts on a combined 22/27 FG. An impressive leaper and runner, Makoundou could even slip into the top 20 if he can display a reliable shot but his motor and physical tools will intrigue NBA teams.
#24 Jaden Springer, 6-4 S Fr Tennessee
Stats : 12.4pts 2.9as 54% 3pt
I have to confess I’m not a fan of Springer as he looks more like a pure SG than even a combo and has shot well from three but with a small sample. Moreover, his lack of elite length or athleticism limits him as a prospect. With that said, he’s been good for one of the toughest teams in the country and has been hot recently with 22.5pts per game over the last four contests and 6/12 from three.
#25 Isaiah Todd 6-9 PF G-League Ignite
Stats : 8.6pts 4.4rbds 46% 3pt
Rawer than his Ignite teammates, Todd has been less impressive and is struggling physically. Yet, he has been able to display his outside touch with 6/13 from three in five games including 4/5 against Toronto 905. More rebounding, blocks and intensity in the paint will be needed to make him a surefire first round pick.
#26 Keon Johnson, 6-5 SG Fr Tennessee
Stats : 10pts 2.4as
A bigger and more athletic SG than Springer, Johnson is less advanced as a player. Over the last six games, he shot three times under 40% FG while combining 14tos over the last three games. Like Springer the sample from three is light with 4/11 during that stretch but his motor and athleticism could make him an attractive pick in the late first round.
#27 Kai Jones, 6-10 PF So Texas
Stats : 8.4pts 4.8rbds 42% 3pt
An intriguing prospect with very good physical tools and nice shooting touch. Needs to be more agressive and to display consistent motor as he had for example an awful 3rbds in 47min over the last two games. A team may be convinced to take him in the late first if he can at least rebound and block shot.
#28 Jaylin Williams 6-8 PF/SF So Auburn
Stats : 10.7pts 5rbds 2.3as 1.5bl 38% 3pt
An athletic combo forward, Williams can shoot from outside as he can finish at the rim or block shots. He’s only a sophomore ans has improved a lot since his freshman season (2.4pts 1.8rb). A good late first pick who could turn into a solid NBA player.
#29 BJ Boston 6-7 SG Fr Kentucky
Stats : 12.2pts 5rbds
Forget about the lottery. If Boston can hear his name in the first, it would be enough to satisfy him. He has been a bit better recently with two 17pts-game, 11/20 from three and only 1to for 8as over the last three games.
#30 Filip Petrusev, 6-11 C 2000 born Mega Bemax SRB
Stats : 23.5pts 7.6rbds 43% 3pt 1.2bl (Adriatic League)
Petrusev has been very good lately with multiple 20+pt games. He also shot 7/13 from three since the last mock. Petrusev will never be the best defender but he can be a solid back up C in the NBA.