1. Detroit Pistons – Paolo Banchero, 6-10, 250, PF, Fr., Duke
Due to his versatility, I’ve made his comparison to a bigger Chris Webber since I first saw Banchero a few years ago. He has a blend of strength, athleticism, skill and agility that few possess at his size, and he also plays with a high motor.
2021-22 Stats: 17.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 33% 3-pointers
2. Orlando Magic – Chet Holmgren, 7-0, 190, PF, Fr., Gonzaga
Sure, he needs to get stronger before he gets to the NBA. But he’s a legit 7-footer who can change the game defensively due to his length and shot-blocking ability, and he’s also fully capable of scoring in a variety of ways — including by knocking down shots from beyond the arc. The only thing holding him back right now is strength.
2021-22 Stats: 13.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.8 bpg, 33% 3-pointers
3. New Orleans Pelicans – Jabari Smith, 6-10, 220, PF, Fr., Auburn
He’s a long, multi-dimensional forward — which is what every NBA franchise wants these days. He’s a guy who can score in the post, and can also stretch the defense with his ability to shoot it from 3. He can also put it on the floor, and is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions.
2021-22 Stats: 16.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 44.2% 3-pointers
4. Oklahoma City Thunder – Bennedict Mathurin, 6-6, 210, SG, Soph., Arizona
The Canadian wing can really score, and now he’s not just a one-dimensional shooter. He can do it from long distance or by putting it on the floor. Mathurin has the NBA size of a wing, is athletic and he also possesses versatility. It’s difficult not to forecast Mathurin as a lottery pick, especially if he can keep playing at this high level.
2021-22 Stats: 18.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 38.2% 3-pointers
5. Houston Rockets – Jaden Ivey, 6-4, 195, SG, Soph., Purdue
There just aren’t many guys out there like Ivey. He’s a big, strong, fast, athletic wing who excels in transition — and has also shown he can make open shots and make quality decisions with the ball in the open court.
2021-22 Stats: 16.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.4 apg, 39.1% 3-pointers
6. San Antonio Spurs – Jaden Hardy, 6-4, 200, G, G League Ignite
The Las Vegas native is a big-time scorer and also a high-level athlete. He’s got high upside due to his natural talent, but the key will be his efficiency and ability to make shots from the perimeter.
2021-22 Stats: 17.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.1 apg, 27% 3-pointers
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Patrick Baldwin Jr., 6-9, 220, PF, Fr., Milwaukee
The long and skilled forward opted to play for his father at Milwaukee instead of a blueblood such as Duke. He struggled out of the gates shooting the ball from deep, but that’s his biggest asset and now he’s started to get it going from long distance.
2021-22 Stats: 15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 32.6% 3-pointers
8. Sacramento Kings – Jalen Duren, 6-10, 250, C, Fr., Memphis
He’s a strong and athletic big man who can run the floor and rebound. He’ll need to improve his skill level because right now he’s able to score due to his size and strength, but he’s a physical specimen who plays hard the majority of the time.
2021-22 Stats: 10.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.8 bpg
9. Indiana Pacers – JD Davison, 6-3, 195, G, Fr., Alabama
He’d be as athletic as anyone in the NBA Draft, but the big question is his skill level — and whether Davison can handle running a team (and also make enough shots from long range). Well, he’s improved in both areas, and what Davison can do is explode to the basket and thrive in the open court.
2021-22 Stats: 9.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.9 apg, 36.4% 3-pointers
10. New York Knicks – TyTy Washington Jr., 6-3, 200, G, Fr., Kentucky
He’s not going to blow you away with his athleticism, but Washington is a true combo guard who can score from all three levels, and also possesses a great feel and the ability to make his teammates better.
2021-22 Stats: 13.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 37.9% 3-pointers
11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kendall Brown, 6-8, 205, F, Fr., Baylor
He’s a big-time athlete who is already able to defend at a high level — which is rare for a freshman. Brown plays with a motor and can be a guy who leaves Waco after one season.
2021-22 Stats: 12.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg
12. Toronto Raptors – Caleb Houstan, 6-8, 205, SF, Fr., Michigan
Played extremely well for the Canadian team last summer at the FIBA U19 World Cup, and possesses good size and skill at 6-foot-8 for a small forward. Houstan is smooth and can make shots from deep.
2021-22 Stats: 10.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 37.3% 3-pointers
13. Boston Celtics – Nikola Jovic, 6-10, 210, F, Mega Basket (Serbia)
The skilled Serbian is a terrific passer and handles the ball extremely well for someone his size. He’ll need to get stronger, and he’s not a high-end athlete, but he has a high IQ and also a high ceiling.
2021-22 Stats: N/A
14. Atlanta Hawks – A.J. Griffin, 6-6, 222, SF, Fr., Duke
Don’t judge Griffin on his production thus far. He missed much of the preseason with a knee injury, but Griffin is a strong wing who can really shoot it. Look for the son of former NBA player Adrian Griffin to come on in the second half of the season.
2021-22 Stats: 5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
15. Dallas Mavericks – Peyton Watson, 6-8, 200, SF, Fr., UCLA
Watson has played in a reserve role on a veteran UCLA team, but he’s got tons of potential. He’s an athletic forward who can put it on the floor and also become an elite defender. Watson is tough, plays hard and just needs to work on his perimeter shot.
2021-22 Stats: 3.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 10.0% 3-pointers
16. Denver Nuggets – Ousmane Dieng, 6-9, 185, SF, New Zealand Breakers
The French wing has a versatile offensive game that includes the ability to shoot the 3, shoot it off the bounce and also finish around the rim. He’s smooth, has the size and is intriguing due to his overall skill package.
2021-22 Stats: 4.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg
17. Charlotte Hornets – Jean Montero, 6-3, 180, G, Overtime Elite
He opted to go the Overtime Elite route this season after playing for Gran Canaria in Spain last year. He’s a fast, athletic guard who can really get to the basket and create for himself and his teammates. Good court vision and passing ability, will need to become a more consistent shooter.
2021-22 Stats: 17.4 ppg, 6.2 apg, 37% 3-pointers
18. Memphis Grizzlies (from the Los Angeles Lakers) – Keegan Murray, 6-8, 225, F, Soph., Iowa
A high IQ, skilled forward who is getting a chance to shine this year after the departure of National Player of the Year award winner Luka Garza. Murray won’t blow you away with his athleticism, but he can score at all three levels and is also a quality defender.
2021-22 Stats: 22.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 30.8% 3-pointers
19. Washington Wizards – Johnny Davis, 6-5, 195, SG, Soph., Wisconsin
He averaged seven points a game on a senior-laden team a year ago, but has thrived this season. He’s a smooth, skilled and athletic wing who can score from all three levels.
2021-22 Stats: 20.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 37.8% 3-pointers
20. Philadelphia 76ers – Ochai Agbaji, 6-5, 215, SG, Sr., Kansas
He came into Lawrence as a lightly regarded prospect, but has the size and also has shown the ability to make shots from beyond the arc. He flirted with leaving for the NBA Draft last season, but decided to return for his senior season and has become more well-rounded on the offensive end and has shown he can put it on the floor.
2021-22 Stats: 22.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 49.1% 3-pointers
21. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Los Angeles Clippers) – Kennedy Chandler, 6-0, 170, PG, Fr., Tennessee
The Memphis native is a jet-quick floor leader who is a point guard capable of running a team and making shots from deep. His biggest asset is his speed and his ability to push the ball in transition, but he’s also effective in the half-court because of his ability to make quality decisions.
2021-22 Stats: 14.6 ppg, 5.4 apg, 40.0% 3-pointers
22. Cleveland Cavaliers – Bryce McGowens, 6-7, 180, SG, Fr., Nebraska
The heralded recruit out of South Carolina has terrific size for a wing, and can really put it on the floor and get to the basket. The biggest concerns are his perimeter shot and his decision-making.
2021-22 Stats: 16.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 20.4% 3-pointers
23. Houston Rockets (from Miami Heat) – Max Christie, 6-6, 190, SG, Fr., Michigan State
He looks the part of an NBA wing, especially when he’s making 3s, but Christie still has to become more assertive and find other ways to impact the game. However, NBA execs love his potential.
2021-22 Stats: 8.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 26.1% 3-pointers
24. Memphis Grizzlies – Dyson Daniels, 6-6, 200, G, G League Ignite
He’s a long and versatile combo guard from Australia. Daniels is athletic, can defend and handle the ball, but his perimeter shooting has been the biggest question mark with his game.
2021-22 Stats: 11.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.3 apg, 30% 3-pointers
25. Chicago Bulls – Julian Champagnie, 6-8, 215, F, Jr., St. John’s
He’s a versatile and multi-dimensional forward who has gone from a fairly unknown recruit to one of the best college players in the country. Champagnie has turned into a big-time scorer, and can do it from all three levels. But he’s more than just a scorer — he rebounds from his position and is a more than capable defender.
2021-22 Stats: 20.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 43.3% 3-pointers
26. Milwaukee Bucks – Mark Williams, 7-1, 242, C, Soph., Duke
Williams is a mobile, athletic big man who can score around the bucket, and also finish in transition. But his best attributes come on the defensive end — where he rebounds well, blocks shots and plays with a motor.
2021-22 Stats: 9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.1 bpg
27. Miami Heat (from Brooklyn Nets) – Trevor Keels, 6-5, 221, G, Fr., Duke
The big, strong and athletic guard had a terrific coming-out party with 25 points in a win over Kentucky in the Champions Classic, but he hasn’t shot it well for the most part since that night. Keels will need to show he can do more than just play bully-ball to be a first-rounder.
2021-22 Stats: 12.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 31.3% 3-pointers
28. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah Jazz) – MarJon Beauchamp, 6-6, 220, F, G League Ignite
He’s got long arms, is athletic and has taken an interesting path. He decided to work with a trainer for a year instead of going the college route, then went back home and played at Yakima Valley junior college before joining the G League Ignite.
2021-22 Stats: 13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 27% 3-pointers
29. Golden State Warriors – EJ Liddell, 6-7, 240, PF, Jr., Ohio State
The measurables may scare some away, but Liddell’s become more mobile after losing weight in the offseason, and his defense has also improved. Liddell is a versatile forward who produces at a high level.
2021-22 Stats: 20.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.0 bpg, 35.3% 3-pointers
30. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix Suns) – Blake Wesley, 6-5, 185, SG, Fr., Notre Dame
The South Bend product has exploded onto the scene quickly and is a guy who NBA execs really love because of his size, skill, athleticism and also his ability to shoot it from deep and get to the basket.
2021-22 Stats: 13.0 ppg, 38.2% 3-pointers