3 Things I Love and Hate About the Top 30 Players In the Draft

These are essentially mini-scouting reports for the top 30 NBA Draft prospects. Here are some of the good and bad traits that some will take into the draft. My final list of the top 100 prospects in the draft can be found here.

1. Markelle Fultz (Washington PG)

  • Scoring ability. He has a great pull-up game, can finish through contact, and is adept at creating significant separation off the bounce
  • Has composure and a quiet confidence about him. Doesn’t get rattled
  • IQ in the pick-and-roll is off the charts
  • Inconsistent defender
  • Was on a terrible college team, though most of that was due to underwhelming help. Leads by example but isn’t the most vocal leader right now
  • Struggled as a FT shooter

2. Lonzo Ball (UCLA PG)

  • Vision and passing ability are once in a generation skills
  • Brings the best out of his teammates
  • Has some of the deepest shooting range in the draft
  • His dad is going to talk his son into being punked
  • Average athleticism limits his ability as an on-ball defender
  • He has a $500 pair of signature shoes that he doesn’t even wear

3. Josh Jackson (Kansas SF)

  • Versatility is off the charts. Can be elite in multiple areas
  • Defensive expert that will be able to guard 4 spots in the NBA
  • A savage competitiveness that resembles Kevin Garnett
  • Is a bit of a headcase, with some legal issues and emotional outbursts
  • Jump shot needs serious adjustments
  • Handle is still raw

4. Jayson Tatum (Duke SF)

  • Scoring machine. Can be a 20-point scorer within three years
  • Excellent mid-range shooter
  • Has the length to be a small-ball four
  • Can turn into a ball-stopper that settles for tough pull-ups
  • Too lax of a defender with the length he possesses
  • Good passer that doesn’t pass. Very Melo-like in that regard

5. De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky PG)

  • A flash with the ball in his hands
  • Has a killer mentality on defense. Takes pride in shutting down opposing point guards
  • Really good touch on his floater
  • Decent looking shot, but has no consistency on his jumper
  • Very slight for a 6’4 guard
  • Sometimes forces it in transition against numbers

6. Malik Monk (Kentucky SG)

  • Can put up points all day
  • He’s got guts to perform in big moments
  • Explosive athlete
  • Doesn’t crash the glass as much as he should
  • Defensively disengaged when not going for steals
  • Creates well off the bounce, but can spend too much time dancing with the ball

7. Jonathan Isaac (Florida State SF)

  • Lanky 6’11 wing with serious athleticism
  • Defensive potential is endless. Could guard like Kevin Durant did in the Finals.
  • Has a repeatable, smooth shooting form
  • Invisible in some games
  • Incredibly thin
  • Has star potential but also could turn into a middle of the road role player

8. Dennis Smith (NC State PG)

  • In the same athletic area code as Russell Westbrook
  • Comfortable scoring off the dribble in isolation situations
  • Is constantly looking for steal opportunities
  • Often gets tunnel vision and misses open teammates
  • Should be a better defender but doesn’t focus on that end
  • Needs some veteran leadership to teach him how to run a team

9. Lauri Markannen (Arizona PF)

  • Lethal, compact shooting stroke
  • Can create off the dribble
  • Light on his feet
  • Disappointing rebounder
  • Offers zero rim protection
  • Plays softer than his physique suggests

10. Frank Ntilikina (France PG)

  • Length, quickness, and smarts make him a defensive stud
  • Doesn’t waste movement on either end
  • Is still only 18 but has maturity from playing pro since 15
  • Not too physical
  • His potential isn’t more than a third or fourth scoring option
  • Three-point stroke is a work in progress

11. Zach Collins (Gonzaga C)

  • Has a mean streak
  • Great rim protector
  • If effective scoring as a rim runner, pick-and-pop shooter, or back-to-basket scorer
  • Lacks a strong lower body
  • Isn’t an elite leaper
  • Tends to get into foul trouble

12. Justin Patton (Creighton C)

  • Runs the floor like a gazelle
  • Good touch
  • Has the most potential of any big in the draft and the work ethic to fulfill it
  • Still very raw physically and mentally
  • Doesn’t have good counters in the post
  • His effort wavers too much

13. Donovan Mitchell (Louisville SG)

  • Tremendous athlete
  • A pit bull on defense
  • Will put in the time to become a viable scoring option
  • Shooting is very streaky at this point
  • Handle isn’t very tight
  • Very undersized for a two guard

14. OG Anunoby (Indiana SF)

  • Can put the clamps on grown men in the NBA
  • Rebounds on both ends
  • Plays with a lot of heart
  • May never develop a jumper and be a reborn Andre Roberson
  • The injuries may linger forever
  • Handle is loose

15. Isaiah Hartenstein (Germany PF/C)

  • Will be the second biggest (7-foot-1) four man in the NBA behind Porzingis
  • He is physical, agile, and versatile
  • One of the best passing bigs in the draft
  • He still acts like a kid
  • Skills are there, but he needs a good amount of fine-tuning
  • Very left-hand dependent

16. Jarrett Allen (Texas C)

  • Massive wingspan
  • Shows flashes of power around the rim
  • Rebounds out of his area
  • Doesn’t always play with the passion you want out of a young big
  • Doesn’t stand out in big moments
  • The 1970’s afro isn’t really a look anymore

17. Luke Kennard (Duke SG)

  • Is the purest shooter in the draft
  • Great coming off screens
  • Doesn’t stop firing during shooting slumps
  • Will be a solid team defender at best
  • Almost every dribbling move comes back to his left hand
  • Really lacking in size and overall athleticism

18. T.J. Leaf (UCLA PF)

  • Can score from all three levels
  • Good playmaker that can handle the ball
  • Plays with the toughness and motor required to compete as an NBA post
  • Doesn’t have strong legs
  • Athletic but not quick laterally
  • May struggle finding a position to guard

19. Terrance Ferguson (Australia SG)

  • He is a human pogo stick
  • Is comfortable being a 3-and-D player
  • Has a 6’7 frame that will only add pounds
  • Needs some meat on his bones
  • Can’t do much off the bounce
  • Skipped college for an Australian league with less talent

20. Justin Jackson (North Carolina SF)

  • Great floater game
  • Comes off screens with ease
  • Solid, engaged defender
  • Has been mentally fragile in the past
  • May never be a starter-level player
  • Can be very timid at times

21. Anzejs Pasecniks (Latvia C)

  • Great size at 7’2
  • Nice touch from all three levels
  • Moves up and down the floor effortlessly
  • Needs to continue to gain strength
  • Isn’t much of a passer
  • Hasn’t seen NBA level talent yet

22. John Collins (Wake Forest PF)

  • Will fill up the scoring column wherever he goes
  • Good shooting form
  • Strong frame
  • Doesn’t play a lick of defense
  • Rebounding could be more consistent
  • Passing leaves a lot to be desired

23. Harry Giles (Duke PF)

  • Tremendous rebounder
  • Plays with a lot of energy and activity
  • Good finisher at the rim
  • Knees are a huge question
  • If healthy he could become a starter. But his downside is out of the league in a few years
  • Doesn’t have the agility or confidence that he had two years ago (understandably so)

24. Ike Anigbogu (UCLA C)

  • Strong, impressive athlete
  • Finishes lobs better than anyone in the draft
  • Potential to be an elite rim protector and rebounder
  • Incredibly raw
  • Had little game experience at UCLA
  • Doesn’t have any game outside of 5 feet right now

25. Tony Bradley (UNC Center)

  • Top of the line offensive rebounder
  • Good scoring ability in the paint
  • 7’5 wingspan
  • Not athletic
  • Not much of a shooter
  • Is vying for time in an era of declining true centers

26. Ivan Rabb (California PF)

  • His activity on the glass is impressive
  • Mobility may allow him to be useful guarding pick-and-rolls
  • Good IQ
  • Still too skinny to play center
  • Not great at anything
  • Doesn’t finish through contact

27. Tyler Lydon (Syracuse PF)

  • Really good three-point shooter
  • Can guard multiple positions with his length
  • Doesn’t look totally out of place handling the ball on the perimeter
  • Must put on more muscle to get more minutes as a four
  • Must improve his handle and conditioning to get more minutes as a three
  • Doesn’t show consistent competitiveness

28. Josh Hart (Villanova SG)

  • The quintessential team player
  • Good shooter and defender
  • High IQ player
  • Limited in terms of upside
  • Average athlete
  • Can’t really create his own shot against good pressure

29. Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State PG)

  • Great change of pace and top end speed
  • Excels in the pick-and-roll
  • Is a pest on defense
  • Undersized
  • Good shooter, but not great
  • Can be sped up in transition

30. Jonah Bolden (Australia PF)

  • Above-average athlete
  • Can stretch the floor with his jumper
  • Versatile defender
  • Didn’t show much at UCLA before going abroad
  • Doesn’t have a ton of growth as an athlete
  • Has a lot of tools but hasn’t put it all together

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