Players 21 through 25 include some people’s favorites in Malik Monk, Og Anunoby, and Semi Ojeleye but I also wanted to include some players that are likely lottery picks who I don’t love and some sleepers.
Let’s jump right into it.
Key Strengths: Incredible leaping ability, good length, can create his own shot, quick off the bounce, decent passer
Weaknesses: Thin. Will affect him on both ends.
Malik Monk. He’s pretty much guaranteed to be a lottery pick and I honestly have no problem with that despite his ranking. He’s going to get buckets. He is basically Jamal Crawford if you exchange the handles for hops. I have no doubt he’ll be able to score right away. The question is will he be able to take the beating teams are going to put on him and how much will he be abused by bigger guards. Both will affect how long he can stay on the court in year one.
Strengths: Huge, physical, hustles on the glass, can guard post players, solid on the perimeter, hits the open jumper
Weaknesses: Limited ability to create for himself. Complimentary player mindset. Twener.
Semi is another guy who is going to be able to play right away. He’s huge and will be able to guard some of the bigger 3 guards and some 4’s. His ability to hit the open jumper will determine just how much playing time he gets but his rebounding should help there as well. If his shooting translates to the next level he could be a sleeper long term starter in the league.
Strengths: Athletic, Can put the ball on the floor, Deep 3 point range, Basketball IQ, good instincts defensively and on the glass
Weaknesses: Lack of strength will hurt him on defense, some want him to play the 3 but he doesn’t have the ball-handling ability to do so.
Tyler Lydon’s stats line up almost evenly with Ryan Anderson coming out of college besides the obvious physical similarities. I think Lydon can have a long career in this league because of his shooting and athleticism. He is a finesse big which is the only thing really limiting him. I could definitely see his career mirroring Anderson’s.
Strengths: Strong base, finishes at the rim, Long arms, quick, athletic, guards multiple positions,
Weaknesses: 52% from the line, Shooting not consistent, No ball handling. Not consistent on defense. Raw. Knee injury concerns.
Og is a fringe lottery pick by most estimations but he definitely has some work to do. He will be able to play right away as well, physically. The question is will he be able to carve out real minutes with his up and down play. He’ll be great on a team that doesn’t ask a lot of him and just let’s him exist on the court. Another concern is his knee injury since a lot of who he is is based on his natural athletic ability. It doesn’t seem to be making people wary of taking him but it could be a factor for him long term.
Strengths: Mobility, Dunks Hard, Rebounds, Long, can switch on the perimeter, Some shot blocking.
Weaknesses: Not a threat to put the ball on the floor, Needs to develop a consistent mid-rang jumper
There is no doubt in my mind that Bam will be a really good rebounder and when he’s open he’ll go up and finish at the rim. This makes him a solid role player but he’ll need to be a threat to score on his own to become more than that. That can manifest itself in his ability to put the ball on the floor to attack the rim, or he can develop a reliable mid-range game. There is plenty to work with here and the team he’s draft to will determine how far he gets.
Strengths: Long, catches lobs, smooth athlete, dunks hard, crashes the glass, 3 point shooting ability, can create his own shot, decent passing, can guard on the perimeter, plays passing lanes and provides some shot blocking
Weaknesses: Thin, doesn’t love contact, often bullied in the paint, tries to do too much at times.
Jonah has had an interesting path to the NBA having had a rough time in two years at UCLA, then going overseas last year to play in Europe. You’ll see I have him listed as a 4 but he really doesn’t want to play the position and that is one of the things that is holding him back. He has great potential but would maximize it as a stretch 4 in the right situation. He’s a player who I’ll be watching during the draft to see where he ends up. Regardless, I think he’s 2-3 years away.
Strengths: Scoring, play making ability, crafty ball handling, good team defender
Weaknesses: Not great on ball defender, not super athletic
Derrick White is another one of those shooting guards who is underappreciated because he’s not going to dunk on everything moving but he’s effective. He is in the Evan Turner/Denzel Valentine mold where he knows his limitations and maximizes his ways to be effective. He will be able to run the offense off the bench or compliment a scoring point guard. I have his floor low because I question if he’ll get the opportunity to play his game. He needs to go to the right team.
Strengths: Elite shooter, Can create space to get his shot off, savvy player
Weaknesses: Liability on D, May take a little time to adjust to the NBA
Luke Kennard is a scorer, plain and simple. There is no doubt he can be a starter in this league as a complimentary 2 guard once he’s up to speed on the game. His size will keep him in the league while that happens and where he goes will determine his immediate impact.
Strengths: Quick, aggressive, strong, crafty ball handler, great floater, 47% from 3, Will get his shot off
Weaknesses: Size. Can over-penetrate at times and get lost in the trees.
Another underrated little guy. All Frank Mason did was win at Kansas and yet he is not a buzzed about poing guard coming into the draft. Personally, I think he’ll adjust to the size of NBA players and will be effective in the long run as a scoring backup point guard in the league. He has a lot of the offensive capabilities of Isaiah Thomas and the defensive peskiness of Yogi Ferrell. I look for him to perform in the Summer league and potentially hold down a rotation spot for a team within his first two seasons.
Strengths: Great spot up shooter, Great Pick and pop game, can put it on the floor a little
Weaknesses: Soft on defense, stiff, no shot blocking instincts, no killer mentality, not going to finish around the rim vs defense, doesn’t rebound.
The weaknesses outweigh the strengths for Markannen and perhaps I’m letting the few times I watched him play sully me on him but I’m surprised he’s being tabbed as a lottery pick. I personally feel like his shooting is all he brings to the table and there are plenty of guys that are close enough to him in that department and bring much more to the table. The biggest key for me is his lack of rebounding and that is why I have Lydon ahead of him. If he goes to a young team that isn’t trying to compete perhaps he’ll get on the floor and perhaps he’ll get some buckets but if he goes to a team that is looking to win I look for him to play limited minutes in his first season or two. His jumper will keep him in the league but I wouldn’t be happy to see him end up in Dallas.
Strengths: Long arms, strong, 3 point stroke, activity on D, Motor,
Weaknesses: No ball handling skills, Not a great finisher around the rim.
Sterling is another guy who’s activity on the defensive end should earn him a roster spot. As long as he knocks down the 3 like he should he should stick around for a while. Guys that play hard rarely lose confidence even when their shot isn’t falling and he’ll be the type of guy that will find ways to impact the game. He’s rated as a 2/3 but his inability to really handle the ball makes me want to put him as far away from it as possible.
Strengths: High Energy, solid post moves, Explosive leaper, team player, good passer, shot blocking instincts, active on defense, Length
Weaknesses: Can he play on the wing, can he play in the post without fouling. Passion for the game? Can he develop a consistent jumper?
Jake Wiley popped off the page for me when I saw his stats and his PER in college. When I looked into him and then listened to him speak he intrigued me as a human being. He played D-1 ball at Montana for 1 year before he got bored and went to run track and play football. He eventually decided he liked basketball again eventually he came back to basketball, dominated the NAIA ranks then played one year at Eastern Washington earning conference player of the year honors. The easiest comparison is Larry Nancy. He’s crazy athletic, blocks shots he shouldn’t be able to get to, runs the floor like a guard but he played in the post at EWU and often dealt with foul trouble vs. big teams. All in all he’s a baller. Just put him on the court and he’s going to have an impact. If he goes undrafted I guarantee he’ll be a hot commodity on the free agent market and will be a fan favorite during the summer league. I’m really pulling for him.
More of his story here: Jake Wiley’s path
And that does it people. As I mentioned I scouted 62 players so if there’s a player you want a breakdown for let me know!
Thanks as always for the read!