The NBA Draft on November 17th is quickly approaching, and today we'll take a look at the top 25 prospects in the upcoming draft. Reminder, these rankings are not based on where they may land, but the best 25 prospects overall.
Anthony Edwards, Georgia (SG, 6'3 225 lbs)
Coming into this draft, Edwards is the most NBA ready player physically. He has a strong frame which will allow him to be able to play through contact at the next level. He has long arms and elite explosiveness which will help him on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he can score at all 3 levels and can play on or off the ball.
He's a solid shooter especially off the dribble. Needs to improve in catch and shoot situations however. His decision making needs to improve as he tends to settle for contested shots a bit too often. Defensively he has the tools to be elite but lacks the motor and discipline to be an elite defender.
Ceiling: All-Star Guard | Floor: Starting 2-way Guard
Player Comparison: Dwyane Wade
2. James Wiseman, Memphis (C, 7'1 240 lbs)
Wiseman has the most upside in this draft by far. At over 7 feet, with a 7'5 wingspan, and elite mobility and athleticism for the center position, he has all the tools to excel as a rim protector. He also runs the floor very well and explodes to the rim quickly making him an elite lob threat. He's agile in the post and in pick and roll as a finisher. He has soft touch around the rim and shooting range that can occasionally extend to the 3 point line.
His instincts defensively are at times questionable, especially in pick and roll situations. He tends to fall for shot fakes which leads to fouls too often as well. Needs to improve consistency on his jump shot and develop more consistency from the three and free throw line. Motor is a bit questionable at times on both ends of the floor.
Ceiling: Franchise Center | Floor: Rim protector/Lob Catching Starting Center
Player Comparison: Hassan Whiteside
3. LaMelo Ball, USA (PG, 6'7 190 lbs)
The main thing that stands out about LaMelo Ball is his elite size for his position. His size allows him to see over defenses and has drastically improved his playmaking abilities. He controls games with his handle, passing, and creativity with the ball in his hands. Excellent in pick and roll situations, and is by far the most gifted passer in the draft. Has the length and foot speed to be a good defender at the next level.
He has not been an efficient scorer throughout his career, mostly due to his inconsistency as a perimeter shooter. His shot mechanics are awkward and has a low release point on his jumper. He shows good touch on floaters and shoots well from the free throw line so there's room for optimism that he can improve as a shooter. Lacks high end explosiveness which limits him in creating for himself off the dribble and standstill positions. Lacks the strength to consistently finish at the rim or fight through screens defensively. Also shows a lack of interest defensively quite often.
Ceiling: Franchise Player | Floor: Off the bench/fringe starting playmaking combo guard
Player Comparison: Penny Hardaway/Ricky Rubio
4. Obi Toppin, Dayton (PF, 6'9 220 lbs)
One of the most explosive leapers in this draft, Obi Toppin possess the size and skill set to be a solid starting PF in the NBA. He runs the floor well, is a lob threat in pick and rolls and from the short corner spot, can knock down spot up 3's, and play in the post effectively. Shows a high IQ with his passing out of double teams, taking advantage of switches, and defensive rotations.
While he has a good defensive IQ, he lacks the physical tools to give him the upside to be an elite defender. Struggles to defend bigger post players, and lacks discipline in pick and roll defense. Struggles to move laterally on defense on the perimeter. While he can knock down the 3 he's certainly not elite from that range. At 22 years old and with physical limitations, he lacks the upside of others in this class.
Ceiling: Starting stretch 4 | Floor: Solid Rotational PF
Player Comparison: John Collins/Kenyon Martin
5. Onyeka Okungwu, USC (C, 6'9 245 lbs)
Okungwu has the strength and athleticism to be a quality defensive center in the NBA. He has quick feet, great leaping ability, and strength which make him an excellent offensive rebounder. Great instincts and timing as a shot blocker in his one year at USC. Posses solid footwork and interior skills offensively, and can shoot jump hooks consistently over either shoulder. Has soft touch in the mid range area as well.
Offensively he's limited to just the center position since his range only extends to about the foul line, however he struggles with traditional centers due to his lack of height. Needs to extend his range on perimeter to give him more upside offensively.
Ceiling: Starting Rim Protecting Center | Floor: Back up Center
Player Comparison: Bam Adebayo
6. Deni Avdija, Israel (SF, 6'9 215 lbs)
Even at 6'9 Deni posses the creativity, playmaking, and ball handling of a point guard. He's at his best in pick and roll situations and has the vision and IQ to make every necessary play. His size allows him to interchange between the 3 and 4 position. Aggressive offensively who's constantly in attack mode. Solid Shooter although a bit streaky, and is learning to play off the ball.
While he's a threat to make shots, he is inconsistent and did not shoot a good percentage from the three or free throw. Often doesn't shoot the same way consistently due to constant changes to mechanics. Needs to improve going to his weaker left hand and finishing with his left. Does not project highly as a defender.
Ceiling: Starting Playmaking SF | Floor: Off the bench playmaking Forward
Player Comparision: Hedo Turkoglu
7. Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State (PG, 6'5 175 lbs)
Excellent size and length for his position, and projects well defensively because of it. Changes speeds and uses his body well offensively, while also possessing good footwork. Has arguably the highest IQ of any player in the draft and is an excellent passer who makes the game easy for his teammates. Excels in pick and roll situations and makes good decisions. Shoots the ball well even with questionable mechanics and has great touch on floaters.
Struggles to consistently create space for himself in the half court and his low release point makes it difficult for him to get his shot off at times. Needs to add muscle to consistently score in the paint or draw fouls. Tends to settle for contested shots due to inability to get all the way to the rim. Will also need to get stronger to defend bigger guards.
Ceiling: Starting 2 way combo guard | Floor: Backup 2 way combo guard
Player Comparison: Dante Exum
8. Isaac Okoro, Auburn (SF, 6'6 225 lbs)
Okoro has all the physical tools you want in an NBA wing. Defensively he has excellent lateral quickness, sound technique, and elite intensity. Has the quickness to defend point guards, but the size and strength to defend power forwards. Has flashes as a ball handler and passer to give optimism for his offensive game.
His offensive game however, leaves much to be desired. Not a good shooter and has the lowest points per 40 minutes of anyone projected in the top 20.
Ceiling: All-defense two way wing | Floor: Fringe starting defensive wing
Player Comparison: OG Anunoby/Golden State Andre Igouadala
9. Killian Hayes, France (PG, 6'5 192 lbs)
Great size for the point guard position, and has all the tools to defend both guard positions. Changes speeds and direction well and uses body well to score on smaller guards. Comfortable in pick and roll and has potential as a 3 level scorer.
Average athleticism vertically and struggles with aggressive defenders. Not shifty enough to beat defenders consistently. Will need to become a more consistent shooter at the next level and needs to improve going to his weaker right hand.
Ceiling: Starting playmaking guard | Floor: Backup playmaking combo guard
Player Comparison: Spencer Dinwiddie
10. Devin Vassell, Florida State (SG, 6'5 180 lbs)
Excellent size and length possessing a 7 foot wingspan. He's agile and long which gives him upside defensively. Doesn't have traditional shooting mechanics but shot the ball incredibly well in college. Is improving as a ball handler so may have a bit more upside than other 3 and D caliber prospects in this class.
Will need to get stronger to defend bigger wings in the NBA. Wiry frame and lack of explosiveness limit his ability to get all the way to the rim. May need to adjust mechanics to be a consistent NBA shooter.
Ceiling: Starting 3 and D SG | Floor: Off the bench defensive wing
Player Comparison: Kelly Oubre