His deep shooting range and intelligent use of ball screens open up room for his creative dribble penetration, and turning the Sooners into an elite offensive team for a large stretch of the season was no small feat.
His team fit will be pivotal. One of the youngest players in the draft, Knox brings a bundle of intriguing tools and is beginning to get used to his body. With a 7-foot wingspan working in his favor, Bridges couples solid defensive instincts with quality three-point shooting, making him a fairly safe bet to provide value in the modern NBA. His length and anticipation enable him to naturally force turnovers and make plays on the ball, and Villanova had him defend four positions in various situations over the course of the year.
While he sometimes struggles to create his own shot off the dribble he should be able to thrive in a supporting role alongside a quality playmaker or two. Bridges is a strong, active scorer who might be a little bit stuck between positions. Athletically he fits the bill, and he showed some encouraging improvement as a spot-up shooter on the wing as a sophomore. Almost spite of his body and explosiveness, an average handle can make it difficult for Bridges to get past defenders and into the paint, and forces him to settle for jumpers.
There are also still questions about how his three-point shooting will translate to NBA range. Bridges could become an above-average defender thanks to his agility and strength, but has never been a true standout on that side of the ball. The talent is there, but he may need to remake himself from a finesse-based scorer into a high-energy glue guy to become more useful within a role.
Gilgeous-Alexander was one of the quickest studies in college basketball this year. He bordered on timid in November, but finished the season looking like one of the most productive point guards in the country, his confidence skyrocketing after being tasked with a larger playmaking load.
His size, length and quick hands help him see over the defense as a passer and make plays on the ball defensively and force turnovers. Gilgeous-Alexander has an unorthodox but effective off-the-dribble game, using hesitations and fakes to create space for himself.
His jumper is passable, but not quite consistent yet. There are some concerns about his average athleticism and small sample of success. Sexton is known as a hard worker and came in with a reputation as a good defender, but averaged less than a steal per game, and his overall focus level wavered more than the narrative surrounding him would have you believe.
An athletic, slashing two-guard, Walker had an uneven freshman season after recovering from a summer meniscus tear. He has a nice-looking jumper and should improve shooting it from outside as he matures. Teams have to figure out which of his weaknesses are inherent, and what can improve as he matures into a more confident, consistent scorer.
His actual feel for scoring and finding spots in the defense has to improve. Walker offers more upside than many others in the late lottery range. Smith is one of the surprise stories of this draft, beginning his college career as an unheralded curiosity and finishing it as a key player for an Elite 8 team. Smith fared well from three this season, but his attempts were limited and he will need to keep working on that facet of his game. Smith is a risk-reward pick, and drafting him is a big bet on his intangibles and willingness to work hard and improve.
Robinson flew under the radar over the course of the season, but has worked his way into good position and will hear his name called in the first round. A high-scoring combo guard with a nice degree of shake to his game, Robinson could become a useful rotation player given his shooting and ability to play on or off the ball.
He excels at creating his own shot at all three levels, with a great ability to change speeds and some sneaky athleticism. His slight build may cause some limitations, particularly as a defender, but he should be able to fit in nicely in the NBA as a secondary playmaker and scorer.
After putting on a strong display at the draft combine, Huerter solidified his stock and is widely believed to have a promise in the 20s. According to sources, the Lakers are the team that promised.
With good size for a two-guard and a nice array of scoring skills, his fundamentally sound perimeter game, consistent three-point stroke and slick passing have endeared him to scouts. Huerter excels as a spot-up scorer, with smooth shooting mechanics and some ability to attack closeouts and use his height mismatch against smaller guards. After breaking out at the Final Four, DiVincenzo turned in two strong days at the draft combine and likely turned himself into a first-round pick in the process.
A high-flying leaper and tough combo guard who makes winning plays, he has the size and athletic ability to defend both backcourt spots. He excels playing the passing lanes and in transition. Though a streaky scorer, DiVincenzo shoots it well enough to provide spacing and can provide a legitimate boost when his jumper is falling. To play on the ball more often and better facilitate offense, his handle must improve.
He fits many key criteria that point to a rock-solid role player, and appears set to fall into the higher end of the 20—30 range. With his scoring instincts and ability to use ball screens, he can provide an offensive spark. Holiday is more of a shoot-first player than a setup man, and he struggles getting downhill into the paint around defenders at times, which limits his upside on some level.
Blending size, ball-handling ability and an unselfish approach, Brown is an intriguing prospect given the increasingly positionless nature of the NBA game. He grew up playing point guard and is most comfortable with the ball in his hands and moving it.
Brown is a good athlete with a body that should help him become a versatile defender. However, he lacks one true calling-card skill at this stage, can disappear at times and shot the ball poorly from distance this season. He stands to be more aggressive as a scorer. Though not a sure thing, Brown is certainly talented, and is one of the younger players in this class. Hutchison is widely believed to have a first-round promise after the combine, with rival teams having come to believe it came from the Bulls.
Hutchison took a nice step forward statistically this season as a heavy offensive focal point for the Broncos he used a whopping one-third of their possessions , but in previous years proved his chops playing off the ball. Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enters the draft with no experience beyond high school, his long build, impressive athletic ability and shot-blocking prowess come with built-in NBA intrigue.
Robinson is capable of highlight-caliber plays around the rim, and the hope is he becomes a shot-blocking, lob-catching center. Over four years at Duke, he affirmed his ability to supply long-distance shooting, secondary ball-handling and consistent effort. Allen is a very good athlete and has proven over time he can make difficult, deep threes off the dribble and catch.
He has enough ability to attack the basket off of closeouts to keep defenders honest and buy himself a little extra time for his jumper. There are a lot of factors working in favor of Okogie landing in the late first round, talent notwithstanding. Okogie does a good job of his tools to generate turnovers and make plays on the ball, and can defend multiple positions comfortably. His jumper took a step forward this season, and he gets good rotation on his ball.
However, his feel for the game and shot selection are just average, and he can play out of control at times, make mental mistakes and demonstrate so-so body language. He can be a disruptive force in the backcourt and get to the rim effectively, but needs to convince people his three-point shooting will swing closer to his freshman year Hopes that Brown could transition to playing the point full-time have largely been dashed at this point, and given he turns 22 later this year, the lack of progression as a sophomore was frustrating.
Though he may not a surefire first-rounder, but Brown is a good bet to produce value and could end up being a steal. He relies on his considerable craft to compensate for a lack of top-flight quickness and understands how to pick his spots, change speeds and score. Musa is a score-first wing who hangs his hat on pull-up jumpers and a crafty game. The talent is there, but Musa tends to be ball-dominant and jumper-heavy while not an elite creator off the dribble, and his thin frame and lack of ideal length may also pose a challenge.
The talent level relative to his age makes Musa a fine first-round gamble, but there are a few added levels of risk built in. Carter may not end up in the first round, but it would be unwise to bet against him finding success as a stopper in a Patrick Beverley-type role. A physical specimen who put together a solid individual season on an underwhelming team, Frazier has piqued NBA interest with his athletic tools and defensive ranginess.
He pops from an eye-test perspective and played well at the combine which was unsurprising given the wide-open nature of the scrimmages. A quick, toolsy ball-handler who excels at scoring off the dribble, Okobo is an intriguing guard with offensive skills and has given himself a good chance to get drafted after a strong season in his native France. He has solid shooting mechanics, range from three and the ability to get into the paint and kick the ball to open teammates.
Like many young guards, Okobo will need to rein in his shot selection and turnovers to succeed. He has great feet and hands, a muscular build and the length to make life difficult for a variety of opponents as a man-to-man defender. Thomas was an efficient scorer all season and made his jumpers at a convincing clip, but needs to be paired with a better ball-handler and play off of others to maximize his worth.
He offers a solid floor for a team in need of a defensive-minded guard, but on some level he is what he is. Physical defenders might be able to bother him and take away some of the threat of his jumper.
Alkins is a competitive, physical player who can do a little bit of everything on the wing, and has the type of strong body and explosive athleticism teams covet. He can get to the rim when he has a step and play through contact, and if he continues to expand his skill set could be a difficult matchup for smaller guards. Alkins is known for playing hard, but has to become a more consistent defender and shooter from distance.
Playing alongside a quality playmaker will help unlock more of his offense, and his athletic profile and motor offer a nice baseline for improvement.
A tough-minded wing who showed ability to make threes at the college level, Evans is a role-player prospect almost by default, and his name is in the late first-round mix given the league-wide need for rotation players in his mold.
Evans should be able to match up with wings and understand team concepts, but his offense has to catch up, as he lacks a natural feel for creating offense and struggles penetrating off the dribble. If he keeps improving as a three-point shooter and defender he has a chance to stick around. After dropping weight during his redshirt year, Spellman was able to better showcase his athleticism and length as a shot-blocker and rebounder en route to a national title.
He could be a sneaky value pick in the right situation. It now appears Simons is more likely to hear his name called in the second round of the draft, but he does have legitimate talent and upside. A team that has a strong G League development staff in place should be empowered to take the plunge. Simons is a springy, quick-twitch athlete who profiles as more of a two-guard than a combo. Simons needs to get stronger and establish himself as a defender, but has the ability to be solid on that end in time.
Scouts are split on him, but the talent is there. Cast into a supporting role on a Duke team otherwise devoid of wings, Trent did a nice job fitting in and finished as one of the top three-point shooters in the country. Working mostly in spot-ups, spacing the floor and running in transition, Trent has projectable jumper mechanics and showed solid feel for what was asked of him.
Trent does have more skills than he was able to show at Duke, and may still be able to progress into a capable supporting scorer in a league where you can never have too many shooters. Had he stayed in the draft a year ago, Diallo would likely have been a first-round pick. This time around the picture is much more cloudy, as his immense physical talents are unchanged, but his lack of ball skills was exposed at Kentucky.
Diallo began to turn it on as a defender late in the season and remains a dynamic player in transition, where few can keep up with him. But his skill set is still unrefined, his handle loose and his offensive feel in the halfcourt limited. Diallo is still very much worth a dice roll in a low-risk situation, but his actual offensive ceiling will be a bit capped without significant improvement. Born in Ukraine, Sanon is the youngest draft-eligible player and looks likely to be picked in the early second round, then remain overseas for at least another season.
He plays solid on-ball defense but can overall be wild and out of control, as a function of his youthfulness. Teams have been enticed by his motor and long-term potential, enough for him to feel solid about his range, and Sanon is one of the more promising stash options in the draft. Viewed as a potential first-rounder entering the season, Milton is now more likely to end up in the second after missing time with a hand injury and showing poorly at the combine.
This was still his best year at SMU, and to his credit, he took a step forward as a scorer without sacrificing efficiency. His size and shooting give him a chance. A skilled but heavy-footed stretch big, Wagner made definite strides this season but remains a liability on the defensive end. He has some legitimate inside-out game, and Wagner excels working as a screener, facing up and finishing with either hand. His shooting struggles and decision-making issues feel stuck out like a sore thumb on a team that played multiple bigs at all times and offered little room for him to get downhill and create.
His poor three-point shooting There is a case for him to be a potential late first-rounder based on his talent, but the second round is more likely.
A long, skilled forward, Hervey had a highly productive career at UT-Arlington and could be a useful floor-spacer and bench scorer at the next level. He has a history of knee issues, having torn his ACL twice, that could hurt him when it comes to draft position.
Vanderbilt was viewed as a first-round talent coming into his freshman year at Kentucky, but recurring injuries—a theme throughout his young career—sapped him of a real opportunity to contribute. Kentucky mostly tasked him with a high-energy rebounding role when he did play, and though he can handle the ball a bit, his best NBA role will be as a small-ball big given his shooting woes. He can shoot from mid-range and has tried to play as more of a stretch big, but those results have been mixed.
The perception is that he underachieved on a year-to-year basis at USC relative to his talent. Metu will likely need to embrace a lower-usage, pick-and-pop role at the next level to thrive. Williams is a strong fit in positionless schemes provided his three-point shooting translates to the next level.
Graham is an experienced, capable setup man and shooter who prefers to operate and score on the perimeter. He was productive while leading a Kansas team that skewed thin to the Final Four, and does a solid job on the defensive end as well.
As a perimeter scorer and facilitator, Shamet does a lot of important things well. His ability to catch and shoot makes him a threat, and he might be able to run off screens and do damage in due time.
Shamet competes defensively and has the chops to follow in the footsteps of former Shockers Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker, both of whom have carved out NBA niches and beaten expectations. An offensively talented ball-handler with nice size for his position and a dangerous three-point shot, Carr was the reason Penn State overachieved this season, and he rode the momentum from his breakout year into the draft.
Defensively, his average lateral quickness can be exposed. Carr has talent, but seems ticketed for the second round. A standout at the Portsmouth Invitational, Hall is an interesting role-player candidate given his size, three-point shooting and intangibles. He has a nice lefthanded stroke and took a big step forward at UVA this season, helping facilitate, space the floor and defend a variety of opponents.
Hall brings a good level of competitive intensity and is willing to do the small things to help his team win.
He should fit the mold many teams are looking for as a low-risk backcourt investment, and deserves to be drafted in the second round. He was a likely late first-round selection last season before pulling out of the draft he had a substantial contract buyout with his club and his mix of athleticism and scoring is sitll appealing, but his stock has slipped a bit.
He has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player, but it has been difficult for teams to get eyes on him given his current team situation.
Expect him to be drafted and remain overseas at least another season. An oversized ball-handler and talented, instinctive passer, Bonga would be one of the youngest players in this class and has some upside given his unusual skill set.
But Bonga has the outline of a useful player, and his youth makes him a viable stash pick if he chooses to stay in this draft. While his shoulder may be a valid excuse for his inconsistent early-season play, the numbers cast some doubt on his eventual impact as a scorer.
He does have a strong, NBA-ready body, a 7'3" wingspan and potential to help a team as a rebounder, ball-mover and versatile defender down the line, but his offense needs to click on some level for him to earn that role.
He needs to be a stretch four with defensive versatility to stick. Clark is a great rebounder and dirty-work specialist who plays bigger than his size, embracing his role as a defensive cog while also finding ways to expand his offense over four years at Cincinnati. He averaged at least one block and one steal per game in each of those seasons, a remarkable feat, and turned himself into a legitimate threat from three-point range.
Clark is an interesting second-round candidate. He has nice touch with his right hand and has shown some potential as a face-up shooter, though he has yet to show consistent range from three. After reviving his stock as a prospect with a quality late-season run for the Jayhawks, Newman opted to turn pro and is a second-round candidate.
Newman can shoot from deep and score in transition, and he displayed better effort on defense at times as well. He offers neither, but could be worth a low-risk investment as a project.
Mykhailiuk took a nice step forward as a senior and became a pivotal player for Kansas, finally delivering on his promise, but seems like a better bet to end up overseas. Physically, the deck is stacked against him as he lacks ideal length for his position and struggles to keep up with quicker and stronger wings.
There may not be not a ton of upside with him unless his jump shooting translates in an elite capacity. Rockets associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik, who has overseen the development of the team's defense, is retiring, sources tell ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Rockets assistant Roy Rogers is expected to assume a bulk of the defensive responsibilities. Dwyane Wade explains how tough a decision it was to return to the Heat for one more season before retiring. Dwyane Wade, after spending more than two months weighing his decision, says he will return to the Miami Heat for one more season.
Minnesota center Justin Patton, a former first-round pick, is out indefinitely with a right foot injury. Authorities say that two U. A meeting between Jimmy Butler and Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau is expected to set the tone for Butler's final season under contract -- and his impending free agency in July, league sources told ESPN.
Miles Bridges Michigan St. Jerome Robinson Boston College.