No prospect is fool-proof, even the best ones in a class. Even the no-brainer number one picks. Even LeBron had his lateral quickness and guard skills questioned.
Don’t come for me over the order; that’s not the point of this exercise. My big board will be up in the next week, and then you can ratio me into oblivion.
1. CHET HOLMGREN
Power Forward/Center from Gonzaga
Biggest buy: He’s a world class three-level defender, 1st Team All-Defense rim protector
Biggest sell: Will his exceedingly narrow frame amplify potential to get hurt or affect his interior finishing against grown bigs?
2. JABARI SMITH
Forward from Auburn
Biggest buy: He’s the best shooting prospect since Michael Porter, Jr. or Buddy Hield
Biggest sell: What’s his ceiling as a scorer inside the mid-range?
3. PAOLO BANCHERO
Power Forward from Duke
Biggest buy: This guy is a beast of a human being (6’10”, 250 lb.) that can three-level score inside out
Biggest sell: How advanced is his handle and quickness for NBA defenses?
4. JADEN IVEY
Shooting Guard from Purdue
Biggest buy: That boy is getting to the rim and finishing his a– off
Biggest sell: Off the dribble scoring and shooting touch
5. SHAEDON SHARPE
Shooting Guard from Kentucky
Biggest buy: Potential to be the best player in the class and average 28-5-5. Posted the highest vertical in NBA Combine history at 49 inches, breaking the record of 48 inches set by Michael Jordan (from the shoe company) in 1984
Biggest sell: How will he beat the “never played higher than the high school level” allegations?
6. KEEGAN MURRAY
Power Forward from Iowa
Biggest buy: Highest floor in the class, based on the fact that he’s a historic producer despite little help in an archaic, insane defense conference
Biggest sell: What are his ceiling and routes to getting substantially better?
7. DYSON DANIELS
Guard from G League Ignite
Biggest buy: Defense and feel and size are his salient traits, and those translate to the Association
Biggest sell: Does he got that scoring dawg or shooting in him, or will defenses be able to figure him out?
8. JALEN DUREN
Center from Memphis
Biggest buy: He’s the age of a high school senior and has freak athleticism, feel, rebounding, and switchability
Biggest sell: Can he score like that? Will he ever have touch outside of 8 feet?
9. BENNEDICT MATHURIN
Wing from Arizona
Biggest buy: Perimeter buckets and athleticism are often a rare combo
Biggest sell: Did coach Tommy Lloyd’s system unlock him, or squeeze the most there is out of him?
10. JOHNNY DAVIS
SG from Wisconsin
Biggest buy: Defense, physicality, motor, and shot creation are not something you can just coach onto anyone
Biggest sell: Is his offense too reliable on a jump shot that ain’t it? Can teams trust a guy wearing a jersey that awful?
11. JEREMY SOCHAN
Power Forward from Baylor
Biggest buy: Guys who are toolsy and ferocious on defense + the glass find ways to contribute right away and for a long time
Biggest sell: What’s the ROI on a guy if he only ever ends up a defensive specialist?
12. MALAKI BRANHAM
Shooting Guard from Ohio State
Biggest buy: Buckets get bucks and he went to Saint Vincent-Saint Mary
Biggest sell: Can he ball handle at the highest level?
13. AJ GRIFFIN
Wing from Duke
Biggest buy: A large man who can shoot the cover off the ball
Biggest sell: How legit are medical concerns regarding his legs? Every player needs both of them at their peak condition to succeed
14. MARK WILLIAMS
Center from Duke
Biggest buy: He’s huge and he rebounds and he defends and he’s cerebral so there aren’t really ways for him to fail
Biggest sell: Is he just a run of the mill “Yeah, he’s always been nice” center?
15. PATRICK BALDWIN, JR
Forward from Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Biggest buy: Pure-blooded five star recruit 13 months ago, once #1 overall ahead of Chet
Biggest sell: How much of his entire college career, which was a massive s- show from day one to its end, is on him? He only played 11 games, and has the worst numbers of any player that will get drafted
16. KENDALL BROWN
Wing from Baylor
Biggest buy: He’s an athletic rocket at the rack and on defense, and those are where games are won
Biggest sell: Is he Derrick Jones, Jr., Hamidou Diallo, or many others?
17. OCHAI AGBAJI
Wing from Kansas
Biggest buy: Best player on the national champ who defends and shoots
Biggest sell: Why is he so old? Can he get better?
18. TARI EASON
Forward from LSU
Biggest buy: Atom bomb athlete with intelligence that produced big time in a miscast role
Biggest sell: He was quite a do-it-all man at LSU and can’t shoot, so what can he offer in an off-ball role?
19. OUSMANE DIENG
Forward from New Zealand Breakers
Biggest buy: He’s a creative, offensive wing with all the physical tools he’ll ever need
Biggest sell: How many raw guys with “all the pieces” that need defensive work do we see fail every year?
20. JADEN HARDY
Guard from G League Ignite
Biggest buy: The man was a very high recruit just a year ago that’s a legit scorer and ball handler
Biggest sell: The G League made him shoot 35% from the field and 27% from deep. Those are Patrick Baldwin numbers.