The Final 60: Mike Guido’s Big Board (60-31)
The Golden State Warriors are officially NBA Champions, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. With the Finals concluded, the focus on the NBA Draft increases dramatically. Everyone’s eyes are focused on this year’s prospects and fans are dialed into figuring out the needs and rumors of their team. In the Final 60 we look at the 60 best players in the draft by position and what we expect them to be at the NBA level.
60. Kobi Simmons (SG, Arizona): 6’4”/170 lbs. Pro Comparison: Patrick McCaw
Kobi Simmons can be viewed as one of the more talented one-dimensional players in the draft. He’s a fantastic scorer of the basketball who can shoot the ball at a high rate and finish at the rim with his overwhelming athleticism. He’s a good scorer off the dribble and can score over bigger defenders while outrunning speedy guards. What plagues Simmons is the fact that he is extremely raw and will take a few years to legitimately make an impact. He isn’t really close to being NBA ready and probably could’ve used another year in college to possibly raise his stock. Defensively, there isn’t much to be said. He has an extremely thin frame and his feel for the defensive side of the ball just isn’t there and may never be there. Teams will be drafting him for his offensive upside and potential to become a solid depth scorer. He will most likely get looks in the late second round, but don’t be surprised if he’s one of the first undrafted free agents signed if he isn’t.
59. L.J. Peak (SG, Georgetown): 6’4”/215 lbs. Pro Comparison: Lamar Patterson
Peak finds himself on the board by the skin of his teeth, but he played well enough at the college level to be considered a late second round option. One thing that stands out about Peak is his athleticism. He plays well above the rim and can finish at the rim at a consistent rate. He should be able to make many highlights plays in his career. He can score in a variety of ways at a decent clip so that should translate into role player potential. His defense will struggle at the NBA level. He is a bit undersized for a two guard and his lateral quickness isn’t where it should be so staying in front of opposing players will be a challenge for him. At the tail end of the second round, teams are looking for players that fill depth needs more than anything else and L.J. Peak can be a solid scorer off the bench at the next level in a system that allows him to grow.
58. Cameron Oliver (PF, Nevada): 6’8”/240 lbs. Pro Comparison: Quincy Acy
Oliver doesn’t have that much raw skill to play in the NBA yet and probably could’ve afforded to stay in school for another year or two, but he’s taking his chances now. He projects more as an energy guy off the bench with his outstanding athleticism and solid rebounding ability. He can score at a decent rate, but he is inconsistent. He scores the majority of his points from underneath the basket so him being an explosive athlete while also being undersized helps him tremendously. Oliver also is an exceptional rim protector having eight games in college with four or more blocks. With his quickness, he should be able to switch onto guards and forwards on the perimeter and hold his own. The downside to Oliver is that his upside is limited with an inconsistent scoring attack and limited experience against high-level competition. His motor also doesn’t seem to be that intense. His willingness to dominate and make a consistent impact is troublesome for a lot of teams so he should go anywhere in the mid to late second round. Many basketball people label him as a possible steal, but he must be in the right system under the right coaching staff.
57. Sterling Brown (SG, SMU): 6’5”/225 lbs. Pro Comparison: Shannon Brown
You can tell that Sterling Brown is the younger brother of Shannon Brown by the way he plays the game. Watching his tape is like watching Shannon’s old Lakers games. His upside isn’t exactly as high as his brother’s, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a good player. Sterling is a phenomenal shooter who shot 45 percent from three-point range and averaged around 14 points per game. He plays well within an offense and doesn’t hunt for shots. He’s a patient player and gets what the defense gives him. Though he’s a great shooter, he doesn’t get to the rim all that well. He isn’t a great athlete and he doesn’t have great speed so he’ll struggle penetrating the lane. He’s a solid, but limited, defender. Given his lack of athleticism, he can guard the guys that are on the same athletic plateau. He struggles with keeping faster players in front of him. Brown projects as a solid three and D role player and that should earn him some mid to late second round consideration. He was a big contributor for a very good SMU team so he’s proven that he can succeed at a high level.
56. Jonah Bolden (PF, Australia): 6’10”/235 lbs. Pro Comparison: Brian Cook
Bolden is a mid to late second round player that can make an impact as a specialist at the next level. His jump shot is relatively polished so he can stretch the floor and finish at the rim well. With that being said, he’s not a good free throw shooter, having shot only 60 percent from the foul line, while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc for FMP Beograd in the Adriatic League. With the small ball changes in the league, he could find himself playing both big positions in offensive sets that are based on floor space and isolation. He’s great in transition and does well being in the right spot at the right time. He isn’t a great athlete and is considered slow for the NBA. That may cause him to struggle at the next level with consistently finishing at the rim and in transition. He isn’t very strong for his size so he will get bullied in the post. Bolden is a decent rim protector, but isn’t much of a perimeter defender so he could end up being a liability on that end of the floor. Teams looking for stretch fours that can come off the bench and give them some extra offensive punch could consider Bolden, but he won’t be in play until around midway through the second round.
55. Devin Robinson (SF, Florida): 6’8”/190 lbs. Pro Comparison: Glenn Robinson III
This kid can flat out fly. A supreme athlete with incredible hops and great floor speed spell out the type of player he’s bound to be at the next level. He’s fantastic in transition and should create an incredible highlight reel. His scoring ability is very solid as well. Though he has a slim frame at only 190 pounds, his elite athleticism makes him a better finisher at the rim than his size suggests. Robinson has a great repertoire of moves to get to the rim for a forward. Not only can he finish, but he can shoot the ball at a high level as well. His shot is a little raw and may take time to develop, but he will get there. His defense is suspect which is surprising because of his athletic tools. He has upside on that end, but he hasn’t put it all together yet. More often than not, he shows a lack of effort on that end, but under the right coaching staff, that problem should be fixable. His upside is that of a solid two-way player that can come off the bench and contribute on both ends of the floor. The question is still if he can remain consistent enough to be effective.
54. Monte Morris (PG, Iowa State): 6’2”/175 lbs. Pro Comparison: Andrew Goudelock
This kid’s frame is what plagues him the most. Coming in at only 175 pounds, his body is very small which will cause him to struggle defensively and in penetrating the lane especially since he isn’t a great athlete. Morris was known at Iowa State as a guy who could facilitate the offense and occasionally shoot the outside shot. His primary skillset is limited compared to the other point guards in the draft, but most teams will look for his intangibles and ability to play in big moments. Morris was always the guy that the Cyclones turned to for the big shot and teams are always looking for clutch shooters. He may go undrafted or go in the bottom of the second round, but teams that are selecting there could be looking for a workhorse and Monte Morris could be just that.
53. Thomas Bryant (C, Indiana): 6’11”/250 lbs. Pro Comparison: Chinanu Onuaku
I’m not as high on Bryant as some people are. I’m not a huge believer in his skillset yet. He’s very raw and I’m not ready to call him a legitimate contributor until I see more tools. What he does have is physicality and heart. Most scouts look at Bryant as a guy that comes in and gives his absolute best effort every time on the floor without taking a play off. His motor is off the charts and that alone makes him a guy you want on your roster. As for his physicality, he does have incredible size and length to go along with toughness which naturally will make him a reliable NBA rebounder on both ends of the floor. He was a solid defender at the collegiate level, but I’m not sold that his athleticism will allow him to keep up with more athletic players. He can step out on pick and roll and guard the perimeter well, but primarily with forwards rather than quicker guards. His jump shot is a tad below average and can develop a little more, but he was never consistent with it so not much improvement is expected. He doesn’t finish at the rim all that well for his size, but easy buckets are easy buckets and he will capitalize on those opportunities. Bryant could find himself going anywhere in the second round. His upside is very good so a team could take a chance on him earlier than expected. His ceiling is that of Clint Capela, but don’t expect him to rush to that potential.
52. Nigel Williams-Goss (PG, Gonzaga): 6’3”/190 lbs. Pro Comparison: Kendall Marshall
Williams-Goss was a big part to the immense success that Gonzaga had this past season. He’s a fantastic two-way player that has legitimate role player potential. His primary value comes in the form of his effort and defense. He never takes a play off and plays aggressively every possession. With that being said, that style of play can lead to foul trouble which will keep him on the bench for extended periods of time. Offensively, he’s relatively polished with a solid three-point shot and a stellar ability to shoot free throws. He can struggle at times to penetrate and he isn’t much of a facilitator, but he can easily develop into a solid three and D role player. His lack of athleticism will trouble some teams which will make his stock fall a bit. You should expect him to go in the mid-to-late second round.
51. Kyle Kuzma (SF, Utah): 6’9”/225 lbs. Pro Comparison: Ersan Ilyasova
This is another player that I’m not as high on as others. He could see himself go anywhere from the later part of the first round to the middle of the second round. I see him as a one-dimensional offensive spark player without too much upside. Kuzma is a very good shooter that is versatile enough to play both forward positions. He may be drafted into a pair of different schemes because some teams may see him more as a stretch four rather than a three with good size and versatility. He can finish at the rim well with his size and solid athleticism. He has decent handles for a plus sized forward which allows him to get to the basket at an effective rate. He will struggle defensively right out of the gate, but he is light on his feet and has solid lateral quickness so that can improve. He’ll never be a liability on defense, but it would be shocking to see him locking guys down. Problems with his motor and laziness could scare teams away as he struggled with that at Utah. The skills are there for Kuzma to be a solid offensive prospect, but expect him to come up as a spark off the bench and not much else.
50. Wesley Iwundu (SF, Kansas State): 6’7”/195 lbs. Pro Comparison: Kent Bazemore
Iwundu put himself on the map during the NCAA Tournament playing extremely well for Kansas State. He’s an interesting prospect because he has loads of versatility especially on the defensive end. He measures as a wing but can guard point guards as well. Defensively, he is very advanced and could develop into a lockdown defender at the next level. He is a bit undersized as a three, but as he grows into his body, he should be able to defend premier small forwards at a high level. He’s a very good athlete with great length which adds to his versatility and gives him a good rebounding advantage. He is very underdeveloped on the offensive end which will lower his stock a bit. Most teams are going to want him to show that he can be more of a two-way player rather than a defensive specialist. He did a lot of ball-handling at Kansas State, but don’t let that fool you. His handles are not fantastic, but he can facilitate an offense well enough. Don’t expect Iwundu to be a great scorer at the next level, but he can provide some defensive toughness and athleticism.
49. Sindarius Thornwell (SG, South Carolina): 6’5”/210 lbs. Pro Comparison: Charlie Bell
Thornwell single-handedly carried the Gamecocks to the Final Four as a seven-seed. That by itself should be enough to get him drafted. However, if it weren’t for that, he may not be getting drafted at all. His skillset is limited compared to other prospects and he doesn’t necessarily do anything great. He’s a bit of an inconsistent shooter even though he has improved in that area, he isn’t a great athlete, and his defense can be inconsistent. The thing that makes Thornwell stand out is his effort and willingness to win. He plays as aggressive as anyone in the draft and never takes a play off. He’s a proven winner that can make an impact as a well-rounded player off the bench with great energy and resilience. His upside is very limited given he’s 22 years old and his skillset isn’t that wide, but for a mid to late second round pick, teams want guys that’ll contribute right away to their franchises and Thornwell could be that guy.
48. Josh Hart (SG, Villanova): 6’5”/210 lbs. Pro Comparison: Courtney Lee
Hart was previously known as a first-round pick earlier in the process, but his performance in the NCAA Tournament hurt his draft stock dramatically. Hart is now seen as a mid-second round pick with less upside. I look at Hart as a player who can succeed depending on the system. Under a good coaching staff, he can still reach the once sought-after potential, but his skillset doesn’t warrant a high ranking right now. He’s a good outside shooter who can hit shots off the dribble, but his consistency lacks right now and may struggle early in his career. He’s an average defender and he isn’t a superb athlete so there are questions about how he’ll fare defensively in man-to-man defense. Teams that will be drafting him will be looking to tap into his potential that we saw before the NCAA Tournament which is a good impact player in a good system that could possibly become a solid NBA starter.
47. Tyler Dorsey (SG, Oregon): 6’4”/185 lbs. Pro Comparison: Allen Crabbe
Dorsey’s stock drove up draft boards after his performance in March. He seemed to have been the big-time performer in the tournament rather than teammate Dillon Brooks. Dorsey proved his offensive ability with his ability to shoot from all over the floor. He shoots off the dribble very well and has a knack for hitting contested shots as well. He isn’t a great athlete so he will never be explosive from inside, but his strengths come from the outside anyway so he won’t be expected to do much in the paint. He’s a bit of a below average defender because he isn’t that fast and his lateral quickness isn’t where it should be so that may scare teams away. One thing that separates him from most in this draft is that he’s clutch and loves to take big shots. Dorsey is a confident player that loves the spotlight so pressure shouldn’t be a big deal for him. He has the potential to be a good sixth man in this league, but expect him to fall in the middle of the second round somewhere.
46. Mathias Lessort (PF, France): 6’9”/235 lbs. Pro Comparison: Tarik Black
Lessort is a very interesting prospect. Some scouts see him as a late first round pick while others see him as a late second round pick. I look at Mathias Lessort as a legitimate early to mid-second round pick given his upside along with his immediate value. He’s a supreme athlete with great finishing ability underneath. He should be able to create quite the highlight reel in the NBA with how well he runs the floor and elevates above the rim. He does have a decent jump shot, but there are questions as to whether it’ll hold up in the NBA. He’s a great rebounder on the offensive glass which gives him some much-added value. His athleticism enhances his defensive ability, but he can sometimes get lost in coverage. His basketball IQ isn’t where it should be yet so he may get stuck if he isn’t under a good coaching staff. He’s also raw which is expected in foreign prospects, but with that being said, some teams don’t like taking projects that they haven’t seen much of. Expect him to go anywhere in the late first to mid-second round.
45. Isaiah Hicks (PF, North Carolina): 6’8”/235 lbs. Pro Comparison: Dante Cunningham
Isaiah Hicks was a player that wasn’t often on the draft radar until the NBA combine. He shined in the five-on-five scrimmages taking control of most of the offensive possessions. He showed more ability than we commonly saw with the Tar Heels, but the questions remain if we’ll see it at the NBA level. He proved himself to be more than just an energy guy off the bench, but to be a legitimate rotation player as a combo forward. He displayed a strong knack for shooting the ball off the dribble and in spot up situations. He ran the floor extremely well and was able to drive the lane and finish plays. His ability to rebound is already present and his defense is aggressive and tenacious. His upside isn’t as high as some, but the value that he can bring to a team is bigger than some may think. He could be one of the diamonds in the rough of this draft and whoever may take him in the second round may be getting a steal.
44. Dillon Brooks (SF, Oregon): 6’6”/220 lbs. Pro Comparison: Tyler Johnson
The thing you immediately notice about Brooks is his size. He is definitely undersized for his position, but his lack of speed and athleticism forces him into the three spot instead of the two. With that being said, he plays bigger than he is. He’s a great shooter from the outside and that should translate to the NBA level. He shot around 40 percent from three this past season as well as being able to score from mid-range and at the rim. Though he isn’t a high flyer, he can still finish at the rim at a high level. Most of his struggles come from the defensive side and with his overall effort. Brooks tends to take plays off even though his skillset can’t afford it. His attitude needs some work so teams will have to have faith in their coaching staff to straighten that out and to get him focusing on basketball. He’ll most likely be drafted in the middle of the second round by a team who’s looking for a proven winner and a guy that can give them solid spark off the bench.
43. Derrick White (Colorado): 6’4”/190 lbs. Pro Comparison: Norris Cole
Derrick White’s draft stock has risen dramatically ever since the NBA Combine where he tested incredibly well, but his actual skillset still troubles me. Without seeing him perform well in game situations, I can’t buy into his upside. He also is a player without a true position. He is labeled as a point guard, but doesn’t necessarily pass that well so he could find himself playing shooting guard at the next level even though he is a bit undersized. One of the big questions about White will be if he is able to defend at the NBA level. He isn’t as laterally quick as you would want him to be at his size. Even though he is an underwhelming athlete, he does score well with a solid jump shot and the ability to get to the basket. It is possible that he could sneak into the first round given his stock has risen to that, but as of right now, he’s a second-round talent with some upside.
42. Jaron Blossomgame (SF, Clemson): 6’7”/220 lbs. Pro Comparison: Gerald Green
Blossomgame is finally coming out of college to join the NBA party. His name has been floating around for the past few years so he’s a well-known name. What people don’t realize is that Blossomgame is one of the most solid defensive players in the draft. He does a great job at keeping athletic wings from driving the lane. His perimeter defense is up there with some of the best in the class. His offensive game is not great as of now, but his athleticism will help him get to the rim and finish. His jump shot is not fantastic, but that is a fixable problem if a team focuses on his three-point shot. For a player who is only 6’7”, he rebounds at an incredibly high level. He’s able to out-rebound players that are much taller than him with his great leaping ability and good hands. Blossomgame is destined to be a second-round pick, but he should be an immediate impact player wherever he gets selected.
41. Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State): 6’0”/185 lbs. Pro Comparison: Aaron Brooks
Jawun Evans has one of the largest draft ranges in the class. He can go from anywhere in the middle of the first round to the middle of the second. Evans has upside to be a good backup point guard in this league, maybe even a borderline starter, with his ability to score the basketball from both the inside and outside. However, questions about his size are troubling however. At only six feet tall, he should be a little bit more athletic given that he plays below the rim often. He does have a good wingspan at his size, but teams will worry about his ability to defend at the next level. Evans isn’t that strong as of yet so he might get bullied as a defender. He has good speed and will keep up with some of the faster point guards in the league, but you can definitely see him slow down with the ball in his hands. His passing skills are average and aren’t really concerning. If he starts, you can expect an assist range of about 4-6 assists per game. Evans is a solid prospect for a team picking in the late first-second round, but questions about his size and toughness will plague him through draft day.
40. Edmond Sumner (Xavier): 6’5”/175 lbs. Pro Comparison: Dante Exum
39. Alec Peters (PF, Valparaiso): 6’8”/235 lbs. Pro Comparison: Jonas Jerebko
Alec Peters is going to be one of the smaller stretch fours in the league when he comes in standing at 6’8”. Without a hint of athleticism, he can be a liability defensively and is viewed as very one dimensional. With that being said, he can score like a mad man. He’s a lights out shooter from the outside and will almost definitely be dangerous from outside. His post-game is solid as well despite his lack of significant strength. He has a great falling away jumper which causes defenders to foul and put him to the line. He isn’t great at putting the ball on the floor and driving the lane due to his lack of speed, but he’ll be playing mostly outside the arc or in the paint. He may sneak into the first round, but he is most likely a second-round pick due to his inability to play sufficient defense. The scoring ability is getting him drafted and people should expect him to score in bunches at the NBA level.
38. Frank Jackson (SG, Duke): 6’3”/200 lbs. Pro Comparison: Malcolm Brogdon
Jackson is one of the hidden gems in this draft potentially. He was overshadowed at Duke where he wasn’t noticed, but people forget that he was a high ranked recruit out of high school and plays the game at a very high level. Offensively, he’s polished enough to make an immediate impact. He has a solid all-around jump shot where he can hit shots from all over the floor. He’s a good athlete which allows him to get to the rim and finish at a high level as well. He fills the lanes correctly almost every time in the full court giving him great positioning in transition and in half-court offense. He needs some work defensively, but he knows how to create turnovers. He has the ability to pick your pocket and has the speed to take it to the house. One of his biggest problems is his size. He doesn’t have a true position at this point, but some view that as versatility rather than him just being a tweener. His upside is very solid and he could develop into a good starter in the league, but he should also be able to make an immediate impact out of the gate. Expect him to be selected in the late first-early second round range.
37. Tony Bradley (C, North Carolina): 6’10”/250 lbs. Pro Comparison: Thon Maker
Bradley has unbelievable size with good height and a strong frame. He doesn’t get pushed around a lot and is dominant on the boards both offensively and defensively. That is where his immediate impact lies. He’ll be able to play good minutes right away just for his rebounding ability. With that being said, that’s all he has going for him in the short term. He isn’t an incredible athlete so he doesn’t run the floor that well. He’s extremely raw on both ends of the floor. His scoring ability will develop but will take some time to get there. On defense, he could be a spectacular rim protector with his size and frame, but his footwork and eye for the basketball has to get better before that happens. At the end of the day, Tony Bradley could find himself going in the first round if a team falls in love with him, but the consensus is that he’s likely to go in the early second round. He has really good upside that could possibly be all-star caliber, but that’s a high risk that teams need to be willing to take.
36. Anzejs Pasecniks (C, Latvia): 7’1”/220 lbs. Pro Comparison: Spencer Hawes
One thing that you’ll notice about Pasecniks is that his body is extremely thin for his height. A seven-footer that weighs 220 pounds is bound to get pushed around for a while. That doesn’t mean his body won’t grow because it’s very possible it will, but early in his career, he can’t be relied upon to be a force in the paint. Pasecniks is a weird prospect in the fact that he’s a stretch four in a center’s body. He can stroke it from the outside and hit shots from the post which make him a great offensive weapon for any system. He doesn’t put the ball on the floor that well, but that’s to be expected with his size and lack of athleticism. He will struggle defensively early in his career until his body fills out, but he’s got great size and length which will help him develop as a rim protector. He could find himself in a rotational role long term though his potential says a solid starter based on his skillset. He could go anywhere from the late first round to the middle of the second round. Expect him to stay overseas for a season or two, but he’s a good bet to be a contributor at the next level.
35. D.J. Wilson (SF, Michigan): 6’10”/235 lbs. Pro Comparison: Hedo Turkoglu
Wilson’s stock rose dramatically after the run that Michigan made in the NCAA Tournament, so much so that he is considered by some to be a first-round pick. His upside to me is limited at best because he doesn’t have a significant strength. His primary strength is his ability to run an offense as a distributor. He passes the ball well and can serve as a point forward at the next level. He’ll be most effective feeding the ball to offensive weapons instead of being the offensive weapon. His jump shot is decent front outside but can get streaky at times so don’t expect him to be a heavy shooter. Defensively, he is a bit slow for the NBA with below average athleticism, so he may struggle keeping forwards in front of him. Teams may often look for him to switch onto power forwards instead of fighting through to guard wings. Despite his great size, he isn’t a strong rebounder, but that may change if he gets a little tougher. D.J. Wilson is a solid prospect in the short term as he can make an immediate impact for teams that need to take pressure off their point guards, but long term, there isn’t much growth to be seen.
34. Jonathan Jeanne (C, France): 7’2”/210 lbs. Pro Comparison: Rudy Gobert
The verdict is still out on Jeanne’s health as we are uncertain if his newly discovered heart condition and how that will affect the outlook of his career long term. With, his talent is too good to overlook on this list. Despite the heart condition, this kid deserves to get drafted. With great size and length, he’s a great shot blocker and post defender. He can step out and guard on the perimeter as well as he is a fantastic athlete that runs the floor with the best big men in the draft. He’s a decent finisher at the rim, but he isn’t consistent. Teams should bank on that improving however simply because players that are seven feet with a long wingspan find it easier to finish as their career goes on. He can’t shoot, but he won’t be asked to do that so that shouldn’t have much effect on his draft stock. Jeanne is a raw prospect, but the upside is through the roof as he could become a legitimate difference maker as a starter down the road. He could sneak into the first round, but expect him to get picked in the second-round due to health concerns.
33. P.J. Dozier (SG, South Carolina): 6’6”/200 lbs. Pro Comparison: Evan Turner
Dozier is listed as a two guard, but he can be better described as a combo guard. He does a nice job handling the basketball for his size as he doesn’t turn the ball over that much. He’s also a good passer even though he isn’t labeled as a ball distributor. With, he struggles big time offensi