Chuck Burton/Associated Press

2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Ranking the Top 75 Players in This Year's Class

Jonathan Wasserman

NBA teams have sent out the scouting troops to cover as many regions as necessary in the NCAA tournament. 

Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver and Virginia's De'Andre Hunter remain our top prospects still alive for the Final Four. 

Others still helped themselves over the past two weeks. Despite a Sweet 16 exit, the biggest riser during the tournament has been Florida State's Mfiondu Kabengele after he combined for 43 points through two games. Purdue's Carsen Edwards also made a significant jump after a pair of 42-point efforts.

We could still see another surprise riser off a breakout performance on Saturday and Monday. Last year, it was Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman who did it while running the table at Villanova. Neither were on the pre-tournament top 50. Both made the post-tournament board before eventually going in the first round.

Nos. 75-61

David K Purdy/Getty Images

75. Jon Teske (Michigan, C, Junior) 

Teske won't make every team's draft board, but he could be a sneaky pickup with 7'1", 260-pound size, strong interior defense and an improved shooting touch. He's a backup at best and only if he continues to make strides as a shooter (22-of-72 3PT this season, good for 30.6 percent). 

74. Jared Harper (Auburn, PG, Junior)

Harper's 26 points against Kentucky helped propel Auburn to the Final Four. They may have also earned him looks from NBA teams, though he'd been solid all season as a shot-maker and driver. He lacks size and athleticism, but not skill and toughness. He'll have the chance to improve his stock again on Saturday against Virginia.

73. Kyle Guy (Virginia, SG, Junior)

Though Guy lacks the size and athleticism of a typical NBA off-guard, his shooting could be worth gambling on with a second-round pick. Making 46.3 percent of his threes and 43.8 percent of his pull-ups, his shooting percentages also rank in the 96th percentile on spot-ups and the 84th percentile off screens. Guy could be a shot-making specialist, though it's difficult to picture him defending NBA 2s.

72. Josh Reaves (Penn State, SG/SF, Senior)

Reaves' three-and-D skills could be enough to crack a roster. Despite the senior showing no improvement as a scorer over his years at Penn State, his defensive instincts have always been impressive. This was his third season averaging at least 2.0 steals per game. Reaves' NBA chances will ride on his shooting, which is still a question mark (35.6 3PT%, 65.6 FT%).

71. Miye Oni (Yale, SF, Junior)

An Ivy League standout for his 6'6", 210-pound size and scoring ability, Oni took a step forward for the second consecutive season—averaging 17.6 points and shooting 39 percent from range. His athleticism is in question though, as he gets little elevation and shoots just 50.7 percent at the rim. Oni should have a huge opportunity to boost his stock on Thursday against LSU.

70. Marial Shayok (Iowa State, SF, Senior)

The Big 12's second-leading scorer, Shayok has become worth taking seriously as a prospect. He consistently finds ways to make shots while shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from three and 88.3 percent from the line. Age (23) and heavy feet may make it tough for Shayok to get drafted, but he could be a coveted leftover prospect to pick up for training camp and summer league.

69. Jaylen Nowell (Washington, SG, Sophomore)

Draft buzz hasn't followed the Pac-12's Player of the Year. He takes questionable shots and contested two-point jumpers. But for a 6'4", 200-pound guard averaging 16.2 points on 50.0 percent shooting and 43.8 percent from three, his positional tools and three-level scoring should earn him second-round looks.

68. Terence Davis (Ole Miss, SG/SF, Senior) 

Davis' final two games were ugly, as he combined to shoot 3-of-21 against Missouri and Alabama. He's still made a big-enough jump this year to earn NBA workouts though. An exciting athlete at 6'4", Davis is putting up career-best numbers of 15.1 points, 1.9 threes and 3.4 assists per game.

67. Isaiah Joe (Arkansas, SG, Freshman)

On a list of just 21 freshmen since 1992 to make at least 100 threes, Joe will be worth monitoring for his shooting. The thin, 6'5" guard has shot 42.2 percent from three and 47.5 percent on dribble jumpers. He's practically a non-threat inside the arc, making 1.1 twos at a 43.0 percent clip. And without plus-playmaking ability, he'll likely have little margin for error as a specialist. He'll need to come back and expand his off-the-dribble game.

66. Xavier Johnson (Pittsburgh, PG, Freshman)

Johnson will likely be advised by NBA teams to return for another season, but he's earned a spot on 2020 watch lists, especially after his 23-point game against Boston College and standout guard Ky Bowman to kick off the ACC tournament. Despite Pittsburgh's struggles, he's been an effective driver and passer who just needs to improve his touch around the perimeter and basket.  

 

65. Aric Holman (Mississippi State, C, Junior) 

Scouts watching Mississippi State face Kentucky in the SEC tournament had to have come away impressed with Holman, a 6'10" center who made all five of his three-pointers. He'll finish above 43.0 percent from deep for the second consecutive season. And although his impact fluctuates and remains dependent on his shot-making, Holman's fit as a stretch 5 and rim protector remains appealing for a second-round prospect.

64. Tyler Bey (Colorado, PF, Sophomore)

Bey's skill level is too far behind for the 2019 draft, but his physical tools should earn him a spot on watch lists for 2020. Per 40 minutes, the athletic, 6'7" forward has averaged 20.5 points, 15.0 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.2 steals. He'd improve his stock next year by making more than 5-of-22 threes and converting far more of his attempts off cuts (38th percentile, 25.7 percent of offense). 

63. Yovel Zoosman (Israel, SF, 1998)

Having played in five European Championships, Zoosman has been on scouting radars since 2014. He's not an exciting athlete or scorer, but he's been efficient through 25 Euroleague games at 20 years old, shooting 50.0 percent and 39.1 percent from three. Teams could look at his 6'6" size, shot-making, passing and comfort level at a high level and see a draftable project in the second round.

62. Darius Bazley (USA, PF, 2000)

Taking a year off won't end up helping Bazley's draft stock. After de-committing from Syracuse and passing on the G League, he'll enter the draft with scouts having last seen him play a game in April 2018 at the Nike Hoop Summit, where he scored six points. The 2018 McDonald's All-American could still be worth a second-round look for his 6'9" size, face-up scoring versatility and age (turns 19 in June). 

61. Joshua Obiesie (Germany, PG, 2000) 

Obiesie could be a second-round flier for a team that's intrigued by his 6'6" size and ball-handling. He's only 18 years old with limited meaningful experience, but he's had some strong showings in FIBA Europe Cup this year, averaging 10.7 points in 19.5 minutes with eight threes through six games.

Nos. 60-51

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

60. Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt, SF, Freshman)

Nesmith will be a prospect to watch for 2020 assuming he returns to build on his 11.0 points per game and 33.7 percent three-point shooting. His 6'6" frame, shooting stroke (1.8 threes per game) and defensive potential have stood out, though he'll need to improve his creating ability and shot-making to be taken seriously as a first-rounder next year.

                 

59. Charles Matthews (Michigan, SF, Senior)

Matthews has been quiet since returning from an ankle injury. Michigan will need him in the NCAA tournament though, and he'll need to make shots to show teams he offers enough offensively to warrant being drafted. His ability to defend and apply pressure on offense with driving will earn him looks, despite his creating and shooting are still weaknesses. 

             

58. Jordan Poole (Michigan, SG, Sophomore)

Poole has been too streaky to trust. His shot selection, decision-making and defense can be wild. However, his shot-creating and shot-making for an athletic, 6'5" guard are enticing. When Poole is on, the eye test approves his one-on-one scoring moves and three-point shot-making. His microwave offense is designed for a sixth-man, bench spark role.

          

57. Admiral Schofield (Tennessee, SF, Junior)

Schofield had gone for at least 20 points in back-to-back SEC tournament games before disappearing (1-of-8) in Tennessee's loss to Auburn. The 6'6", 241-pound power wing has developed into a shot-maker (1.9 threes per game, 41.1 percent), though his 0.71 PPP off screens ranks in the 26th percentile. He won't offer much as a passer or defender, so he'll need his shooting to carry him at the next level.

                            

56. Jalen Smith (Maryland, PF/C, Freshman)

Smith's few flashes per game won't be enough for the 2019 first round. He'd likely start next season top-30 on our board, however, under the assumption that he returns a sharper shooter and more consistent overall force. At 6'10", he's effective around the basket with a developing jumper (18 threes) and the ability to put the ball down and employ touch on the move. With Bruno Fernando likely gone, Smith could become an offensive focal point for Maryland next season.

55. Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra, SG, Senior)

Scouts would have loved to see Wright-Foreman in the NCAA tournament after he finished second in the country in scoring and hit the 40-point mark for the third time this season just last Monday in the CAA tournament. He's 6'2", plays below the rim and isn't a high-level playmaker, but he'll have a chance to carve out a scoring-specialist role, mostly due to his shot-making off the dribble on jumpers (97th percentile) and runners (88th percentile). 

54. Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois, SG, Freshman) 

Dosunmu hasn't done enough to warrant a first-round grade for 2019, but it's easy to see him earning one in 2020. The 6'5" size jumps out for a ball-handling guard who's flashed glimpses of three-point shooting, slashing, secondary playmaking and defense. At this stage, he isn't strong enough in any one area, including physically and athletically. It's not unreasonable to think that a team in the 20s could be willing to reach early to control his development, but there is not enough upside or proven play with Dosunmu to make that gamble this June.

53. Jordan Nwora (Louisville, SG, Sophomore)

From averaging 5.7 points as a freshman to 17.2 points as a sophomore, Nwora has emerged on the radar with his 6'8" size and shot-making. He's hitting 2.3 threes per game with a noticeably confident release. Whether that's enough is the question, however, as Nwora ranks in the 50th percentile or worse in transition, isolation, cutting and pick-and-roll ball-handling while offering minimal defensive resistance. 

52. John Konchar (Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne, SG/SF, Senior)

With IPFW going down in the Summit League final and missing out on the NCAA tournament, Konchar loses a key opportunity to boost his draft stock. He did triple-double in the semifinals, however, showcasing his well-rounded skill set and basketball IQ that hint at role player potential. Konchar will join Penny Hardaway as the only college players to average at least 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals in a season. Athletic/physical limitations and a career 69.7 percent free-throw mark are the main holes on his scouting report to worry about.

51. Luka Samanic (Croatia, PF, 2000)

There are 21 FIBA games to scout Samanic since 2016, but he's not playing or producing enough this season to feel confident in him for 2019's first round. His mix of 6'10" size, mobility, shooting and face-up scoring past closeouts is appealing, however. He'll earn a second-round grade with the upside to draw top-30 interest in 2020.

Nos. 50-41

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

50. Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, PG/SG, Freshman)

Though a limited athlete and scorer, Haliburton has turned heads this year with his 6'6" positional size, shooting (44.1 3PT%), passing IQ (124 assists to 27 turnovers) and quick hands on defense (1.5 SPG). He needs another year at Iowa State to improve his body and become a bigger threat to create off the dribble. 

           

49. Jalen Pickett (Siena, PG, Freshman)

Pickett will start next year on breakout watch after he filled up box scores as a freshman with averages of 15.8 points, 6.7 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.0 threes and 2.0 steals. He didn't face quality opponents, and he won't win any athletic competitions, but he's become worth monitoring for 2020 with well-rounded skills and production.

48. Eric Paschall (Villanova, SF/PF, Senior)

Turning 23 in November, Paschall didn't have margin for error this season. He's a tough matchup at power forward with 6'8", 255-pound size, face-up quickness and a capable three-ball. But he's only shot 33.3 percent on catch-and-shoots and 31.7 percent on pull-up jumpers. Paschall could still be an enticing buy-low pick or a late riser with a strong NCAA tournament and month of workouts. His athleticism and combo-forward versatility are appealing, though he'll need to take his shooting to another level.

  

47. Deividas Sirvydis (Lithuania, SF, 2000)

Shooting a combined 38.7 percent from three during Eurocup and Lithuanian League games, Sirvydis has drawn more attention, which he earned at the U18 European Championships over the summer. At 18 years old and 6'7", Sirvydis has flashed enough between his jump shot, passing and handle to warrant second-round draft-and-stash consideration.

                       

46. Nicolas Claxton (Georgia, C, Sophomore)

At 6'11", 220 pounds, Claxton has entered the scouting discussion with his 2.5 blocks, 1.1 steals and 18 made threes. He's interesting for his size, defensive versatility and budding offense. But a 50.9 two-point percentage isn't high enough for a player with his physical advantage. He needs to come back for another year to improve his body and scoring skill package.

                    

45. KZ Okpala (Stanford, SF/PF, Sophomore) 

Okpala finished the Pac-12 tournament with a dud (4-of-13) in a loss to UCLA. He'll still draw first-round looks for his 6'9" positional size and improved scoring and shooting though, as his skill set should create mismatches against both forward spots. But Okpala still isn't polished for a perimeter player, with averages of 2.9 turnovers to 2.5 assists while shooting just 9-of-34 on dribble jumpers and an unimpressive 51.6 percent at the rim.

          

44. Naz Reid (LSU, PF/C, Freshman)

Reid is coming off one of his best offensive games of the season, having gone for 26 points in a loss to Florida in the SEC tournament. Mixed results of scoring versatility, poor shot selection and defensive indifference should ultimately lead to a wide draft range for the freshman. He's taken a big fall down our board since October, when we overranked him to start the season. His rebounding numbers (10.5 per 40) and shot-blocking (1.2 per 40) have been underwhelming, as has his basketball IQ and motor. But at a certain point in the draft, Reid's face-up shot creation and perimeter shot-making will appear worth gambling on. He'll have a chance to improve his stock in the NCAA tournament or become an interesting buy-low option in June.

43. Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky, C, Freshman)

Post bigs who can't shoot or switch on defense are not trending in today's NBA. This works against Bassey despite his solid season at Western Kentucky, where he averaged 14.6 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. He looks the part physically, with strength and length, and he's developed soft touch around the key—but unless Bassey adds a reliable jump shot (by growing on his 9-of-20 from three this season), it's tough to get overly excited about his upside.

42. Neemias Queta (Utah State, C, Freshman)

The question that's popped up with Queta this season: NBA body or legitimate NBA prospect? He has drawn attention with his 6'11", 225-pound frame, strong finishes and 2.4 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game. But he spends most of his time in the post (157 possessions), where he's only been average (45th percentile). Teams will want him to return for another year so they can monitor his potential skill development before making a commitment. 

41. Louis King (Oregon, SF, Freshman)

Despite losing Bol Bol early, Oregon managed to win the Pac-12 tournament on the back of King's scoring. At 6'9", he's shown impressive range with multiple made threes in four consecutive games heading into the NCAA tournament. He lacks burst and wiggle off the dribble, but his positional tools and shot-making ensure a promising foundation to build on.

Nos. 41-31

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

40. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan, SF, Freshman)

Averaging 18.0 points over Michigan's last six games, Brazdeikis is scoring and shooting with obvious confidence entering March Madness. As a ball-handler shot-maker, he's competitive and skilled with NBA size for a wing. But he isn't a great athlete and has totaled just 30 assists all season, despite playing 29.7 minutes per game.

39. Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State, PF, Sophomore)

McDaniels has mixed strong and quiet games throughout the season. The ability to guard bigs and switch around the perimeter is his most appealing selling point. Offensively, he's made progress with his touch (39.8 percent on jump shots). He's a capable shooter, driver and post player, but McDaniels still isn't proficient in any one area, ranking in the 51st percentile or worse off spot-ups, cuts, transition, isolation and post-ups.

38. Jontay Porter (Missouri, C, Sophomore)

Porter's stock and outlook took a major hit when he announced he'd re-torn his ACL this month. He already missed this season after initially tearing his ACL in October. He'll now be forced to sit out a second consecutive year, making him a risky first-round play. Still 19 years old until November, Porter remains worth drafting, however, given his age, skill level, obvious feel and fit in today's NBA.

                                            

37. Shamorie Ponds (St. John's, PG, Junior) 

Ponds' career at St. John's is likely over following Wednesday's loss to Arizona State. The production has always been there for Ponds, but it hasn't translated to team success or love from NBA scouts. On the other hand, he's sharpened almost every aspect of his offense this season, ranking in the 92nd percentile out of isolation, 89th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler and 83rd percentile out of spot-ups.

36. Killian Tillie (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

After playing just nine regular-season games due to separate foot injuries, Tillie made his return for the West Coast Conference tournament. And he looked healthy and effective in 27 total minutes, making four of his five threes while defending inside and out. The draw to Tillie revolves around his NBA fit, being a 6'10" shooter and switchable defender. It just may take a breakout NCAA tournament or a full senior year's worth of consistent play to crack the NBA draft's first round.

35. Ty Jerome (Virginia, SG, Junior)

Team fit could play a major role in Jerome's development. The right one could help jumpstart his career by allowing him to play to his strengths as a spot-up shooter (39.7 3PT%), ball-mover (5.4 APG) and tough defender (1.5 SPG). Jerome isn't a blow-by athlete or strong scorer off the dribble. His ceiling is low, but the ideal fit and team could optimize his role-player skill set and intangibles.

  

34. Dylan Windler (Belmont, SF, Senior)

Firmly in the No. 30-45 range on our board throughout the season, Windler should have strengthened his case further against Maryland in the NCAA tournament after finishing with 35 points on seven threes in the loss. Though not a standout athlete, Windler ranks in the 99th percentile in half-court offense, averaging three three-pointers per game (on 42.9 percent) with 118 total points on cuts (97th percentile). His skill set and basketball IQ point to a role player in the right situation. 

33. Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State, C, Sophomore)

At 6'10", 250 pounds, Kabengele is still mostly tools and athleticism, but his three three-pointers against Duke last Saturday served as a reminder that he's improved his touch. He's made 22 triples and 76.7 percent of his free-throws this season. Only ranking in the 44th percentile on post ups without any face-up scoring or driving ability, Kabengele's jump shot will need to become more believable. He could help himself this NCAA tournament in front of teams who may have overlooked him throughout the season.

                                   

32. Tre Jones (Duke, PG, Freshman)

Impacting winning is the selling point Jones will carry with him through the NCAA tournament and draft process. He won't test well athletically or impress during workouts. And his scoring limitations suggest that Jones projects as more of a backup. He'll enter the NCAA tournament looking to prove his worth after coming off one of his best games against Florida State, when he finished with 18 points and six assists.

31. Carsen Edwards (Purdue, SG, Junior)

Edwards improved his stock during the NCAA tournament by averaging 34.8 points through four games. His shot-making was ridiculous, both off the catch and dribble. Edwards won't have margin for error at the next level being a 6'1", below-the-rim athlete and non-playmaker. But he's become worth looking at in the late-first round for the chance he can carve out a career as a scoring specialist.

Nos. 30-21

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

30. Daniel Gafford (Arkansas, C, Sophomore)

Gafford's production was up this year, and teams could still see a backup center based on his size and athleticism around the rim. But it's become clear he isn't a scoring option in the half court and he won't be considered a switchable defender. His block rate falling to 2.7 from 3.8 per 40 minutes won't help his case. Teams will likely rather gamble on a guard, wing or forward than a center without upside. On the other hand, he could be an attractive buy-low option for a team just looking to add some backup, extra beef up front.

29. Nassir Little (North Carolina, SF/PF, Freshman)

Little has his moments as a finisher and occasional shot-maker, and at 6'6", 220 pounds, his physical tools and athleticism buy him time in terms of development. He'll be a tough matchup from the 4 if his offensive skill continues to develop. But at this stage, he's too far behind to consider with a lottery pick. Little will enter the NCAA tournament shooting 26.5 percent from three with 24 total assists all season. His feel for the game and inability to create are concerning.

             

28. Isaiah Roby (Nebraska, PF/C, Junior)

We're giving Roby a pass for his inconsistency and pedestrian production. The highs and flashes outweigh the lows and no-shows. His jumper looks smoother than the 33.8 percent three-point mark suggests and Roby recently shot four-of-four from deep against Iowa. He outplayed Maryland's Bruno Fernando during Nebraska's upset win to start the Big Ten tournament, flashing more scoring versatility inside the arc. A nimble power forward or small-ball center, Roby is built for today's NBA with his potential to stretch the floor, attack closeouts and block shots (1.8 per game).

27. Luguentz Dort (Arizona State, SG, Freshman)

Dort stole the show Wednesday night with 21 points against St. John's, which couldn't contain the Canadian's athleticism, power and intensity. At 6'4" and 215 pounds, he immediately stood out earlier in the season for his physical profile. He has the NBA body, plus an aggressive, driving style and mentality that put pressure on defenses. His 31.4 percent three-ball and 69.6 percent free-throw marks say his shooting won't be a plus anytime soon, and he shows poor instincts finishing around the rim, where he's only converting 44.4 percent of his attempts. Dort needs a lot of fine-tuning with regard to skill and decision-making, but his tools are rare, and he's flashed enough scoring and defense to remain on first-round watch lists.

           

26. Cameron Johnson (North Carolina, SF, Senior)

Shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, 46.5 percent from three and 80.4 percent at the line, Johnson is gaining steam as a potential first-rounder for his shot-making skill at a lengthy 6'9". He's already 23 years old and lacks strength and athleticism, but he's now an enticing value pick likely to be there in the 20s or 30s. Teams looking for a shooter will be able to use Johnson right away as a spot-up target or weapon running off screens.

         

25. Romeo Langford (Indiana, SG, Freshman)

Langford struggled (4-of-12) during his final Big Ten matchup, and though he's been fairly consistent for a freshman, he'll finish without any "wow" stretch or moment. He has the NBA body and a scoring skill set that mirrors star 2-guards with smooth slashing, tough finishes and dribble jumpers. He's averaged 16.7 points on 45.2 percent shooting, excelling by driving through defenses, getting to the free-throw line and converting hero-type jumpers. But his poor three-point shooting (27.5 percent), limited playmaking (2.7 assists per 40), casual demeanor and empty production raise questions.

24. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech, SG, Sophomore)

Playing point guard full time with Justin Robinson out, Alexander-Walker's versatility has come to life, but so have his weaknesses. Lacking strength and explosion, he struggles to create separation one-on-one (7-of-23 on isolation attempts) or around the basket (51.0 FG%). His shooting has also fallen off during conference play (34.1 3PT%). He's developed into a threatening passer off the dribble, however, and teams will likely see a combo guard capable of playing on or off the ball. Alexander-Walker seems like a safe bet to wind up anywhere in the mid-to-late first round. His scoring and playmaking impact in the NCAA tournament could help tip the scales in his favor when it comes to deciding between him and others in his tier.

23. Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

Shooting 63.5 percent in conference play, it will be beneficial to get a look at Hachimura against quality opponents in the NCAA tournament. He's been dominant inside the arc with strong finishing, cutting and short jumpers around the key. And his size and athleticism check out without problems. Hachimura's defense isn't as convincing, however. And, as a third-year player, his shooting is still worth questioning since he's making 22.2 percent of his mid-range jumpers and just 0.6 threes per 40 minutes. 

22. Chuma Okeke (Auburn, PF, Sophomore)

A torn ACL in the Sweet 16 throws a wrench into Okeke's evaluation. Before the injury, Flashes turned into regular occurrences for the breakout sophomore, who went off against Tennessee in the SEC tournament final, finishing with 18 points and five three-pointers. He's still limited when forced to put the ball down on the floor. But at 6'8", 230 pounds, Okeke stands out as an NBA fit for his potential to stretch the floor and switch defensively.

21. Bruno Fernando (Maryland, C, Sophomore)

Fernando hasn't topped 14 points since January, but overall, he's developed into a more complete player with improved passing and defensive reads. He's not a new-school big man, unable to stretch the floor or use the dribble, so teams won't run their offense through him. But his mix of power and athleticism should be effective for finishing and intimidation around the basket. And he should be able to add value as a post passer and second-unit rim protector.        

Nos. 20-16

James Crisp/Associated Press

20. Keldon Johnson (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

Johnson's impact has flickered over the last six weeks. His strengths and weaknesses are well-defined at this stage, with Johnson excelling as a driver, scorer in the lane and rhythm shot-maker. He remains limited as a creator, however, while a 10.6 assist percentage reflects minimal playmaking skill. Johnson's 1.6 threes per 40 minutes and 70.5 percent free-throw mark also aren't the most convincing numbers.   

19. Matisse Thybulle (Washington, SF, Senior)

The two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year shouldn't need scoring ability or production to generate first-round interest. On pace to become the only player in at least 27 years to average a three-pointer, two steals and three blocks per game, Thybulle has emerged as a defensive specialist whose three-point shooting could be enough offensively.

18. Tyler Herro (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

Though on and off throughout the season, Herro's shooting off spot-ups, screens and leakouts remains convincing. His 1.4 PPP as a pick-and-roll ball-handler also highlight his ball skills and ability to make plays off the dribble. With a 6'4½" wingspan, Herro does lack length for a 2-guard, raising some concern about him getting his shot off cleanly or defending wings.

                

17. Grant Williams (Tennessee, PF, Junior)

Lacking height and athleticism for a traditional NBA big man, Williams was off our draft board to start the year. He's strengthened his case significantly by improving his inside scoring, rebounding and defense. Ranking in the 98th percentile on post-ups and the 92nd percentile on cuts, Williams has excellent footwork and timing offensively, as well as strong passing and defensive IQ. He's not considered an upside pick, but outside the lottery, Williams could look like a bargain as a tough role player and valued locker room presence. 

16. PJ Washington (Kentucky, PF, Sophomore)

Washington finished his breakout season on a personal high note with 28 points and 13 boards against Auburb. Strong, long and mobile, he's physically suited to defend 4s or 5s, and he's improved around the perimeter with his catch-and-shoot jumper (44.9 percent) and ability to attack closeouts. The red flags are his 52.9 percent finishing rate at the basket, plus the fact that he only ranks in the 69th percentile from the post, despite that being his go-to avenue for offense (24.2 percent of offense).

15. Sekou Doumbouya (France, SF/PF, 2000)

After Doumbouya's season-high 14 points against Monaco, he becomes even more of a must-watch until draft night. Given his smaller sample size of minutes (393), it is possible that Saturday's performance could spark a new wave of confidence that ignites a late-season breakout. Every game, there are highlights and lowlights that reflect everything from his foot speed, slashing and shooting potential to his limited skill level and complete lack of polish. 

14. Darius Garland (Vanderbilt, PG, Freshman)

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Despite suffering a season-ending meniscus injury before conference play, Darius Garland had already created enough intrigue between last year's Nike Hoop Summit performance and the four full games he played at Vanderbilt.

His perimeter shot creation and shot-making stand out first, with Garland having hit 11-of-23 threes, appearing comfortable and decisive releasing off the catch or dribble from distance. 

He's shifty and a promising ball-screen playmaker (91st percentile pick-and-roll ball-handling), but he's not an overly explosive athlete or a natural, pass-first facilitator. Teams will be trying to determine whether he can develop into a lead decision-maker, since his NBA value takes a hit if it turns out he's more of a 6'2" scoring spark. Garland had more turnovers (15) than assists (13) with a high usage rate of 27.6 percent during his short stint at Vanderbilt.

He remains a good bet to win over scouts during workouts with his shooting. And with enough size, offensive skill and wiggle, I see a high floor. 

13. Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State, SG/SF, Freshman)

David K Purdy/Getty Images

The positives outweigh the inefficiency and no-shows for the 18-year-old, out-of-the-box freshman guard. With Horton-Tucker, it's about what he's shown he can do, and less about the issues he's had with shooting consistency or decision-making.

An 18-year-old until Thanksgiving, Horton-Tucker opened the Big 12 tournament with 21 points in a win over Baylor, making at least a pair of threes for the third consecutive game.

He's quicker than his 238-pound frame makes him look. And he's skilled off the dribble, able to shake defenders in each direction into drives or step-back jumpers.

A tough competitor, Horton-Tucker can have trouble resisting the urges of making the highlight play or shot. And his lack of explosion is a concern that could affect his scoring upside. But Horton-Tucker's unique tools, skill versatility and production have become too compelling. He could be the youngest prospect in the draft if he declares. 

12. Goga Bitadze (Georgia, C, 1999)

Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images

On the radar since 2015 for his FIBA play, 6'11" size and mobility, Goga Bitadze has made his biggest jump this season, and the timing points to him generating first-round interest for 2019.

He's coming off a 22-point, eight-rebound game against KK Mega Bemax, the team he started the season playing for before he was loaned to Buducnost.

Bitadze remains most appealing for his tools and hands around the rim at both ends of the floor. But he's developed into a sharper, more versatile scoring weapon with counter footwork and improved shooting touch (15-of-42 from three).

Bitadze, at 19 years old, has held his own through nine Euroleague games, averaging 11.9 points and 2.7 blocks on 55.2 percent shooting. The fact that he isn't a switchy defender or major face-up threat are drawbacks, but they aren't alarming enough outside the top five in this draft.

11. Bol Bol (Oregon, C, Freshman)

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Until the medical reports on Bol Bol's fractured foot are released, his draft ranking will remain loose.

Durability concerns would be the only reason to downgrade his ranking following the injury. Bol lasted just nine games, and given the history of bigs with lower-leg issues, plus his particular 7'2" wiry body and limbs, it's only natural to question whether this stress fracture was a sign or warning.

In terms of basketball scouting, however, Bol looked surprisingly sharp offensively, having demonstrated effortless shooting range and rare scoring skill for a player his size. He averaged 21.0 points and knocked down 13-of-25 threes while also flashing the ability to put the ball down and make shots off the dribble. 

Able to separate into hooks or coordinated fallaways over his shoulder, Bol ranked in the 89th percentile on post-ups as well.

Meanwhile, his defensive impact will play a significant role in determining his NBA value, and it drew mixed reviews through December. Despite averaging 2.7 blocks, Bol's strength under the basket, limited switchability and on-and-off effort were exposed during his shortened season.

10. De'Andre Hunter (Virginia, SF/PF, Sophomore)

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Steady play, subtle improvement and NBA tools have De'Andre Hunter anchored in the lottery mix. 

At 6'7", 225 pounds, shooting 42.4 percent from three, he comes off as one of the draft's safer options who'll fit with any team that drafts him. Hunter's defensive outlook remains promising as well for his ability to guard bigs or wings, plus strong IQ and effort levels.

Even a disappointing NCAA tournament wouldn't hurt Hunter's stock, though flashes of more scoring versatility that propel Virginia could push him further up boards.  

9. Kevin Porter Jr. (USC, SG, Freshman)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

It's been a strange year for Kevin Porter Jr., who flew up boards in November, missed a month with a thigh injury, earned a team suspension, remained quiet upon his return and closed with the best game of his season.

His 17 points against Washington on Thursday helped serve as a reminder of Porter's athletic and scoring ability. 

A freshman who's best with the ball  in his hands and still learning to impact games playing off it, he wasn't the greatest fit for a veteran USC team or college basketball's spacing and pace. And there are still questions about how well he's suited to produce within the flow of a half-court offense. 

Porter should ultimately help himself during the predraft process, when the empty gyms and workout settings will illuminate the tools, athleticism, ball skills and shot-making that were hidden from time to time at USC. In this particular draft that seems to lack star power, we'd gamble on his talent unlocking as he gets more confidence, rhythm and spacing in the pros.

8. Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga, PF/C, Junior)

Young Kwak/Associated Press

Even if it's difficult to envision a high ceiling, the draw to Brandon Clarke stems from the strong likelihood of his defense and energy carrying over.

His 36-point, five-block effort against Baylor in the Round of 32 was also a needle-mover.

Athleticism and motor consistently translate to easy baskets and rim protection, with Clarke ranked in the 98th percentile in finishing while blocking 4.5 shots per 40 minutes. 

The analytics love Clarke as well: He's No. 2 in the nation in player efficiency rating, No. 2 in box plus-minus and No. 3 in win shares.

His offensive limitations hint at limited upside, particularly since he's 22 years old. He isn't a complete non-threat, however, averaging an impressive 24.2 points per 40 minutes. Though not a featured scorer, Clarke is 30-of-51 on post-ups (93rd percentile) and he's converted 14-of-20 attempts on spot-ups after being forced to put the ball down and convert off the dribble.

7. Cam Reddish (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Despite shooting 35.6 percent from the floor, Cam Reddish's 2.5 threes per game have kept his draft stock from tanking. 

With 6'8" size, he remains appealing for his shot-making in transition and off spot-ups. And though he hasn't had many opportunities to create, he's been effective with ball screens, ranking in the 92nd percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler. 

On the downside, he looks lost once he gets to the lane, having made only four runners all season and just 48.1 percent of his shots around the basket. His 96 turnovers to 70 assists are disappointing as well.

His projection has seemingly changed from potential lead scorer and point forward to three-and-D wing. 

6. Jaxson Hayes (Texas, C, Freshman)

Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

A knee injury in the Big 12 tournament could end Jaxson Hayes' season and career at Texas, assuming he looks to capitalize this June on the NBA interest that he's developed. 

His tools and athleticism have translated to easy baskets and defensive playmaking all season. He's shooting 72.8 percent overall and ranks in the 94th percentile as a pick-and-roll finisher, the 95th percentile as a cutter and the 87th percentile in transition.  

His poor 12.6 percent rebounding rate is concerning, while his 5.7 fouls per 40 minutes suggest he still needs defensive coaching. That should come in time though, as he's only 18 years old and lacks NBA-caliber bulk.

5. Coby White (North Carolina, PG/SG, Freshman)

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

A more confident offensive player over the last month, Coby White is moving up, even after an off-night shooting against Duke in the ACC tournament. 

He's averaging 20.6 points over his last six games, impressing with his ability to shake defenders, split screens and score off the dribble as a driver and shooter. 

Despite the lack of upper body strength and explosiveness, he's finishing at a solid 58.3 percent at the rim. He also ranks in the 98th percentile as a pick-and-roll passer, demonstrating enough vision and distributing skill for teams to feel confident he can run the point. 

But he ranks in the 96th percentile as a spot-up player as well, a stat that points to his combo versatility. 

White's shooting efficiency hasn't been great—he's at 36.0 percent from three and only 25.2 percent on pull-ups. But his 2.4 three-point makes per game have been persuasive in terms of his shot-making capability. Regardless of his final percentages, teams will look at White's jumper as a plus.

4. RJ Barrett (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

Chris Seward/Associated Press

RJ Barrett's career at Duke comes to a tough end following a loss to Michigan State. From Day 1 through March, however,  he'd been a constant in the scoring department, beating up defenses with his transition play, shot-making and improvisation around the key. 

And in the NCAA tournament, he gave scouts a glimpse of some untapped playmaking skills by averaging 6.0 assists through four games. 

With Morant and Culver charging forward, Barrett is on thinner ice as the questions about his shooting, creation and decision-making remain unsettling. He's struggled off the ball, making just 26.5 percent of his unguarded half court jumpers while ranking in the 25th percentile converting off cuts and the 19th percentile off screens. 

However, there is no teaching scoring instincts, which allow Barrett to make tough shots in unconventional ways and tight windows. And when his feet are set, he's proven to be a capable three-point threat, having sunk 73 triples through 38 games. 

3. Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech, SG, Sophomore)

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The arrow keeps pointing up for Jarrett Culver. The breakout sophomore now has Texas Tech in the Final Four after averaging 21.4 points and 4.5 assists through four NCAA tournament games.

He'd previously gone for 31 points against Iowa State and 26 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and four assists against West Virginia in the Big 12 tournament. Culver has evolved into a lead scorer from a role player, suddenly tough to keep from getting to, and finishing around, the rim despite his lack of explosion and strength.

He's also scoring in volume without finding his rhythm as a shooter, as his three-point mark has dipped to 31.6 percent. Culver does have a slow release, but through two seasons he's made enough jump shots with promising arch to feel confident in his potential to keep improving. 

A more threatening playmaker (3.7 assists) and sound defender, the sophomore 2-guard has become one of the draft's most complete two-way players.

2. Ja Morant (Murray State, PG, Sophomore)

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Ja Morant entered the NCAA tournament with scouts wondering whether he's the No. 2 prospect in the country. His triple-double against Marquette should have helped them come to a conclusion. 

Morant dominated a game that he took nine shots in by dribbling circles around the defense, racking up 16 assists and hitting a pair of threes off the dribble.

His playmaking is still the skill NBA teams should bank on and covet most. Morant's vision, passing and reads stand out every game. Regardless of how much his weaknesses improve, his setup ability is carrying over.

But how will the sloppy decisions, suspect shooting and lackadaisical defense affect his NBA value? He's averaging 5.2 turnovers per game, making 32.5 percent of his jump shots and often caught lazily gambling or quitting through screens.

Concerns about his perimeter scoring (30-of-100 on pull-ups, 33.6 percent 3PT), decision-making and defensive effort have stuck around. But Morant had already solidified a spot in the top five of this particular draft. And after a monster opening game in the tournament, he's moved closer to locking himself in as the next-best option behind Duke's Zion Williamson

1. Zion Williamson (Duke, PF/C, Freshman)

Nell Redmond/Associated Press

The Zion Williamson era in college is complete after Duke's loss to Michigan State.

He averaged 26.0 points through four NCAA tournament games, solidifying himself as the only option worth thinking about at No. 1 overall. 

As dominant as he's been offensively, Williamson has been equally impactful on defense with his playmaking, pressure and intensity. 

With nothing left to prove or gain, don't expect to hear much from Williamson from now until draft night. 

The only question left to answer: What team wins the lottery, and will it offer the No. 1 pick in a deal for Anthony Davis?

             

Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports, Basketball-Reference.com

   
×
Bleacher Report
(120K+)