• Dylan Jackson

Top 10 NBA Draft Prospects to Watch: Midwest Region


USA Today

1. Coby White, Guard, North Carolina

Coby White is an electrifying guard and could go in the top-10 selections come June's NBA Draft. White has a score-first mentality with a transferable shot as well as the frame to be a plus defender. As just a freshman, he has become one of UNC's best players, which is a feat in itself.

Potential fits: Pelicans, Hornets, Timberwolves, Magic

Range: 8-14

2. Keldon Johnson, Wing, Kentucky

Keldon Johnson is an athletic wing, who, in the words of Dick Vitale, "loves to run". Though he has been relatively demoted to a spot-up shooter as a freshman at Kentucky, Johnson has the potential to be a starting caliber player in the NBA.

Potential fits: Lakers, Hornets, Pistons, Thunder

Range: 11-20

3. Tyler Herro, Wing, Kentucky

Tyler Herro is an all-around wing prospect that can either shoot you in to or out of games. Herro could be a plus defender at the next level. His ability to draw fouls will play into whether he will be a successful NBAer or not. He could go as high as the lottery or fall into the second round.

Potential fits: Pistons, Thunder, Trail Blazers, 76ers, Warriors

Range: 17-35

4. Nassir Little, Forward, North Carolina

Nassir Little is one of the most polarizing prospects in this year's draft class. He has the tools to be an elite defender but his shot limits his offensive potential. Little is viewed as a project pick but still has stock in the lottery based on his top-5 recruiting ranking before the season started. Little is all potential.

Potential fits: Pelicans, Wizards, Lakers, Timberwolves, Heat, Nets

Range: 7-20

5. PJ Washington, Forward, Kentucky

Like Grant Williams, PJ Washington has the skill set of a player that would usually be three inches taller. Washington, however, shot the ball more efficiently on more shots, though. However, he doesn't quite have the potential of Williams. Either way, both Williams and Washington are very similar.

Potential fits: Heat, Nets, Celtics, Jazz, Trail Blazers

Range: 20-30

6. Cameron Johnson, Forward, North Carolina

Cameron Johnson is the ideal role player for, well, any NBA team. He's a large wing defender that has a silky stroke from three. He's exactly what NBA teams will be looking for in this draft, yet, he could fall due to his age. Johnson should be a contributor from day one, though.

Potential fits: Trail Blazers, Pacers, Cavs, 76ers, Warriors

Range: 25-40

7. Matisse Thybulle, Wing, Washington

Matisse Thybulle is an extremely productive wing defender in Washington's zone defense. He has a unique role, as coach Mike Hopkins lets him roam freely. Though a bit older, it seems as if Thybulle could be a player selected earlier than people anticipate based on his unique fit.

Potential fits: 76ers, Mavericks, Bulls

Range: 30-40

8. Chuma Okeke, Forward, Auburn

Chuma Okeke is a two-way forward for the Auburn Tigers. Only a sophomore, Okeke will be about 21 years old when drafted. Okeke projects as a 3-and-D player at the next level assuming he pans out.

Potential fits: Nets, Bulls, Hornets, Pelicans, Kings

Range: 35-40

9. Dedrick Lawson, Forward, Kansas

Dedrick Lawson is another all-around undersized forward. Though he hasn't been great behind the 3-point line this season (in terms of volume), Lawson has the FT% NBA teams will be looking for to project his talent. After the disappointment of Quenton Grimes, Lawson stepped up in a major way for the Jayhawks this season.

Potential fits: Hawks, Timberwolves, Magic, Clippers

10. Vasa Pusica, Wing, Northeastern

Almost no one has mentioned Pusica in terms of potentially being drafted, but he is a 6-foot-5 (fifth-year-senior) wing that averaged 41% from three on nearly six attempts per game. In a conference championship game against Hofstra, Pusica went 7-12 from three, cementing Northeastern's spot in the NCAA tournament game.

Though a bit undersized from the 2-guard slot, Pusica is a pure shooter with a smooth stroke from three. Given his advanced statistical numbers from three, this alone should allow him to be in consideration for a draft pick come June.

Potential fits: Anyone that needs a pure shooter.

Range: Undrafted

Others: Luke Maye, Talen Horton-Tucker, Devon Dotson, Lagerald Vick, Ashton Hagans, Admiral Schofield

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