Photo AP/Reed Hoffmann
20. Dillon Mitchell (Texas, PF, freshman)
While Mitchell doesn’t offer creation or shooting, he still impacts games just by leveraging his speed, jumping, and coordination for submissions, retreats, and defensive play. How much flair he shows around the painting, and whether a few high school passing flashes remain, should determine whether he’s more of a lottery prospect or a mid-to-late first-round player.
19. Chris Livingston (Kentucky, SF, freshman)
At 6’6″, 220 pounds, Livingston has the frame and firing range of a first-round, three-and-D prospect. and shooting, attacking closeouts and finishing on contact on drives.
18. Jett Howard (Michigan, SG/SF, freshman)
Howard’s overall shooting versatility for a 6’8″ winger should jump quickly. With a solid burst, he should also be able to mix in an adequate amount of cuts and driving to add to his off-ball scoring repertoire.
17. Anthony Black (Arkansas, PG/SG, rookie)
Able to make a better team without scoring, Black will build a case around passing, defensive IQ and the versatility to make plays, finish the ball and guard various positions at 6’6.” He will fill Scottie Barnes, Franz Wagner, the archetype. of Dyson Daniels in which the teams seem to be on top.
16. Kel’el Ware (Oregon, C, Freshman)
Ware’s translatable shooting and shooting blocking tools create a high floor, but it’s his shooting development that could push him into the top 10. At 7’0″, 210 pounds, scouts should have a higher comfort level. high with Ware if they’re optimistic about his potential to use touch outside of paint.
15. Gradey Dick (Kansas, SG/SF, rookie)
Dick looks set to build a case as the top marksman in the freshman class. He’s not the most advanced self-builder, but at 6’8″ with excellent shooting ability and IQ, he’s built to score off the ball at NBA level.
14. Terquavion Smith (North Carolina State, SG, sophomore)
After burying 96 rookie threes and averaging 19.8 points in his last 11 games, Smith feels primed for a high-scoring season. NBA teams will envision an instant attacking shooter, although improving your finishing and playmaking should take scouting confidence to another level.
13. Jarace Walker (Houston, PF, freshman)
Walker looks like a pro physically at 6’8″, 235 lbs. And his strength and athleticism are selling points for his contact finishing and defense. Still, it’s the versatility to handle, pass and land difficult two-point jumps that will attract a lot of NBA interest. We’ll be in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his three-point shot, which wasn’t a strong point at IMG Academy.
12. Dereck Lively (Duke, C, Freshman)
At 7’1″, 230 pounds, Lively should look like a plug-and-play finisher and rim protector for NBA coaches. Still, he should be the first true 5 off the board, especially if he scores Duke while occasionally shows its three-point range.
11. Ausar Thompson (Extraordinary Elite, SF, 2003)
Thompson must have a case as the best athlete in the draft, and right now, speed, jumping and coordination are behind most of his effectiveness and production. He doesn’t project himself as a 2023-24 Rookie of the Year contender, but even at 19, it looks like he could still contribute by winning easy baskets, shadowing the opposing wings and covering ground defensively.
His shooting needs improvement, but he’s a capable shooter when his confidence starts to rise, as self-creation turns into drives and pull-ups point to a two-way wing archetype.