Top 70 Blue Chip NBA Prospects (created 5/11 – UPDATED 5/19)
1. Derrick Williams/ F, Arizona
Far and away the best player in the draft. Has all the tools to be an All-Pro, All-NBA, All-Star talent each and every year. He exploded onto the scene this season, but his stats this season alone are good enough to make him the No. 1 prospect. He can both slam it down with authority, play post defense, block shots like crazy, and shoot the three ball. He can do it all. He’ll need to show consistency as he did at Arizona, but I think he can be an All-Star right now. Great ball skills, great vision, great passing ability, great charisma, dominant presence. He has everything you could ask for. And people will love him. He could be the face of your franchise right away. He has an amazing will to win, and as a power forward he’ll want the ball at the end of the game. Comparable to a more versatile Blake Griffin and a more consistent Amare Stoudemire because he is extremely athletic, a prolific scorer, and a very good defender.
2. Kyrie Irving/ G, Duke (^^up from no.4^^)
Didn’t play most of the season at Duke because of an injury, so hopefully he can stay healthy in the NBA. But he was said to have all the tools of a legendary point guard. People said Duke would go undefeated with Irving at point guard. He must have some good stuff, but you have to now be weary of him not having played against great competition in college.
3. Brandon Knight/ G, Kentucky (^^up from no. 5^^)
Showed his potential in the NCAA tournament as a great leader, scorer, and clutch player. He wants the balls in his hands when the game is on the line. He is a crafty point guard, who likes to score, but he’s not afraid to trust his teammates and pass them the ball. If he has more of the NCAA tournament material in him, he could be one of the very best players to come from this draft. Comparable to Russel Westbrook for his athleticism and scoring ability.
4. Enes Kanter/ C, Turkey (^^up from no. 7^^)
A great physical specimen in the paint. He is not afraid to draw contact, which will be important for him to get to the free throw line. He’ll bang with the best of them. He finishes in multiple ways at the basket, so he’ll find ways to score. Comparable to Chris Bosh for having offensive range, but Kanter is a much stronger version of Bosh.
5. Kemba Walker/ G, Connecticut
I’ll always take the overly impressive point guard over the point guard who didn’t play all season. Walker is a prolific scorer who will have to deal with being extremely undersized. His great ball handling abilities make him an elite point guard prospect. He leads by example. He’ll have to be a little more unselfish at the next level, or risk being a ball hog like Allen Iverson was. He’s a great scorer, but needs to be a better floor general. Comparable to a higher scoring Brandon Jennings for his athleticism and scoring ability.
6. Jan Vesely/ F, Czech Republic
Still needs more seasoning as he did last year, when he decided to withdraw from the draft as an almost guaranteed lottery pick. He’s a fantastic athlete, but needs to develop a much better post game. In order to be a great pick in the draft, he has to become a big-time scorer.
7. Jonas Valanciunas/ F, Lithuania
Solid inside presence at power forward, but needs to have a more versatile offensive game because at only 230 pounds he wont be able to score all of his points in the paint against good competition. He runs the floor exceptionally well for a big man, and can hold his own in transition.
8. Bismack Biyombo/ F, Spain
A work in the making. He’s very raw, but has one of the longest wingspans in this draft and has flown up the big board because of what he has been doing overseas. He’s a good defender and rebounder. Comparable to a smaller Nene for his rebounding ability and his willingness to bang in the paint area to get his way.
9. Kawhi Leonard/ F, San Diego State (^^up from no. 10^^)
He would disappear in certain game of the NCAA tournament and if he’s going to be a lottery pick this year, he can’t do that. But nobody doubts his great talent. He needs to be better along the perimeter, but he has great physical ability to mess around with inside. He is a small forward and should not be used as a power forward. Comparable to Gerald Wallace as an athletic small forward who can create on his own as long as he wants to.
10. Alec Burks/ G, Colorado
Has a lot of raw talent that people believe in, but needs to develop more of an outside game. He established himself as a great get-to-the-rim guy at Colorado, but he needs to be more creative on the offensive end. He’ll do a good job getting to the foul line, but at only 195 pounds he needs to be able to withstand hard fouls.
11. Tristan Thompson/ F, Texas
Good at a lot of different things, but doesn’t dominate at one thing. He’s a great shot blocker and rebounder, and a good scorer. He has a great wing span of 7-foot-2, but he will have to mature in the NBA. He is very athletic as a power forward, who could turn into a triple-double machine. Comparable to Al Horford for his outstanding athletic ability, which allows him to do a lot of different things.
12. Jordan Hamilton/ F, Texas
Very much like his Texas predecessor Kevin Durant for being a prolific scorer and shooter. But he is a selfish player at times, which hurts him especially since he is a hot and cold shooter. He’ll need to figure out how to be an effective small forward by both getting his teammates involved and by being a great scorer in the NBA. He can be a 25-plus point scorer in the NBA if he gets on a team that needs that kind of production. Comparable to a less athletic Andre Iguodala for his scoring ability.
13. Marcus Morris/ F, Kansas
He’s small for a power forward but he has a motor that is not stop. He also proved to be a good scorer at Kansas, which will attract people. He needs to be able to make up for his lack of size on defense, which is a concern.
14. Kenneth Faried/ F, Morehead State (^^up from no.16^^)
He is the greatest rebounder in NCAA history, breaking Tim Duncan’s rebounding record this season. He is a double-double machine and actually showed a lot of all-around talent in the NCAA tournament game against Louisville, which Morehead State won. He needs to polish his offensive game a little bit more, as he is inconsistent at times. Comparable to Kevin Love as an All-Pro rebounder.
15. Donatas Motiejunas/ F, Lithuania
Really needs to bulk up and gain some muscle weight, but he has a lot of positives about him as a power forward. He’s a 7-foot tall power forward who can pass, shoot and rebound. He has all three intangibles. Comparable to Tim Duncan, for being a three pronged attack, as he can also play good defense.
16. Markieff Morris/ F, Kansas
Not as skilled as his brother, Marcus, but is still a good pick up. They are very similar in a lot of ways, but Markieff needs to develop a more polished offensive game to be successful in the league.
17. Darius Morris/ G, Michigan
One of the few players in this draft with great court vision, which will be important as a point guard. He needs to develop more, especially with his ball handling skills. He has good potential and is worth a first round pick.
18. Jimmer Fredette/ G, Brigham Young
He’s going to be a great shooter no matter what in the NBA, but he has to be able to get open. He won’t be the primary ball handler, so he’ll have to come off screens and such to create a shot. As a shooting guard, he’ll also have to create his own shot. Comparable to a much more talented Kyle Korver for his great ability to shoot the three from long, long distance.
19. Chris Singleton/ F, Florida State (^^up from no.22^^)
One of the best defenders that will be available mid- to late in the first round of the draft. He took a while to develop offensively at Florida State, but he is still blossoming and hasn’t hit his ceiling yet. His defensive ability alone makes him worth drafting. Comparable to Tony Allen as a good defender and an offensive player who can put it in the hoop if needed.
20. Reggie Jackson/ G, Boston College
He is an extremely rare breed of point guard. At 6-foot-3, he has a 7-foot wingspan which is longer than some of the small forwards and power forwards in this draft. He comes under the radar being from Boston College, but he played in the Big East and scored 18 points per game. If he can improve his basketball IQ, he can be very good in the NBA. Doesn’t really compare to any current NBA point guard because of his freakish wingspan.
21. Tobias Harris/ F, Tennessee
A good ball handler at power forward, but is awfully young and inexperienced as a power forward. In the NBA he’ll battle with the big boys and he’s got to become one of those before he can be considered a good NBA draft pick.
22. Tyler Honeycutt/ F, UCLA
Will definitely need to bulk up at the small forward position. The beef with him is that he passes on scoring opportunities, which as a small forward will hurt an NBA team.
23. Josh Selby/ G, Kansas
Will come under the microscope for his lack of maturity. Didn’t even finish the spring semester at Kansas because he was so sure he was going to the NBA draft. He will have to improve his consistency, his shooting ability, and well as get much stronger, but his potential hits the roof. Comparable to DeMar DeRozan as a super athletic, talented shooting guard who with time can an All Star.
24. Klay Thompson/ G, Washington State
Was good enough to be a first round draft pick last season, and now will be a sure fire one this season. He’s a prolific scorer, but he carried a lot of the load at Washington State. He’s one of the best free throw shooters in the draft.
25. Nolan Smith/ G, Duke
I’m higher on him than most people are. As much as he is a charismatic leader, he is also a good player. He is smart and can act as a coach on the floor. He might not be a bulky, tall or lengthy shooting guard but he makes up for that with his great basketball IQ. Comparable to Richard Hamilton as a smart, charismatic player in the NBA.
26. Jordan Williams/ F, Maryland (^^up from no.30^^)
He has good size for the center position, but lacks athletic ability and some offensive intangibles. He relies on banging inside to get his points and that wont work all the time.
27. Nikola Mirotic/ F, Serbia
Is an intelligent player and has the potential to be a good small forward in the league. He can create his own shot as well as create some for his teammates. If he can add bulk to his 6-foot-10 frame he can be an All Star small forward. Also, he is a good defender, and will probably be able to guard both the small forward and power forward positions.
28. Charles Jenkins/ F, Hofstra
Don’t be deceived by his scoring totals at Hofstra, he was the only person on that team. However, he has shown that he can do it, but he’ll have to do it against much better competition. At 6-foot-3, he might be a little undersized for the shooting guard position.
29. Justin Harper/ F, Richmond
A talented outside shooter for a power forward, which will help him be versatile at the next level. He also has shown the ability to create his own shot. However, he needs to work on his inside ability.
30. Davis Bertans/ F, Latvia
A young talent who will need to take a few years to fully develop his skills and what he has in his arsenal. He’ll also need to bulk up a bit.
31. Lucas Nogueira/ C, Brazil
A versatile defender already, showing a lot of ability to rebound and block shots in the paint. He can hold his own in the paint, but needs to bulk up so that he isn’t getting pushed around by the bigger centers.
32. Travis Leslie/ G, Georgia
An athletic shooting guard who needs to improve his jumper. He can’t just drive it to the basket all the time. He’s undersized and will need to bulk up a bit.
33. Trey Thompkins/ F, Georgia
Good size and strength for a power forward in the league. He has more range than the average power forward, but will have to prove that he has a good motor because he’ll get beat up on the blocks. But he will also do some of the beating on his own.
34. JaJuan Johnson/ F, Purdue
Will not be able to hold his own on the blocks in the NBA, so he’ll need to improve in that area. But he could do really well on a transition-oriented team in the NBA. He’s athletic and has range beyond the paint for a power forward. Comparable to a less physical Lamar Odom, for confident ability in his jumper.
35. Jon Leuer/ F, Wisconsin
His athleticism will be tested, as he is mainly a spot up shooter in college. He will have to show he can create for himself against better small forwards in the NBA. Comparable to Hedo Turkoglu as a good spot up jump shooter, who can score his points around the arc.
36. Malcolm Thomas/ F, San Diego State (^^up from no.48^^)
Impressed me during the NCAA tournament as a third star player for San Diego State. They went deep into the draft, which allowed him to show his stuff.
37. Jereme Richmond/ F, Illinois
Could’ve been a higher draft pick than he will be this year if he’d stayed in college. Didn’t score double digits in his only year at Illinois this season, but people are impressed by his athleticism and potential he shows.
38. Norris Cole/ G, Cleveland State
Showed his talent like he had it all in college, but will be tested against much better competition in the NBA. He will have to prove he can do it all against the best talent at the next level.
39. Shelvin Mack/ G, Butler
He’s a natural leader, and will prove you wrong if you count him out. He came from a stable system at Butler. He will need to figure out the professional world of the NBA as a part of his maturing at the next level. He is much more athletic than he seems, and he’s a clutch shooter. Comparable to a much craftier Stephen Jackson.
40. Isaiah Thomas/ G, Washington
Impressed me during the NCAA tournament with the fact that he is a small guard who isn’t afraid to drive inside and get banged up. He’ll have to settle into a point guard role, but is more of shooter than passer. Comparable to a better-scoring former Husky Nate Robinson, a small guard who gets banged up because he is fearless.
41. Malcolm Lee/ G, UCLA
Has good size and athleticism for the NBA, but he’ll need to bulk up a little bit more and understand a specific role with his team. Comparable to former Bruin Darren Collison as a drive and dish point guard.
42. Cory Joseph/ G, Texas
Definitely should have stayed in school for another year. He’s got a lot of potential and he’s a scorer more than passer, so he’s sort of in between point guard and shooting guard. Needs to bulk up to be a shooting guard.
43. Chandler Parsons/ F, Florida (^^up from no.45^^)
One of those in between guys, who you just don’t exactly know what to do with. He’s a good shooter from long range at times, but not all the time. He’s a good leader, but that’s not going to be enough to make him a good pick up for a team.
44. Keith Benson/ C, Oakland
Has the athletic intangibles for the center position, but showed he couldn’t even guard his opposition in a weak conference at Oakland. Will take time to develop and learn in the NBA. Comparable to Tyson Chandler as a good athlete who needs to polish his game on both ends.
45. Kyle Singler/ F, Duke
He’s a guy who knows how to win games. He’ll get dirty with the best of them, but may be easily disposable from players who are defending him. Needs to add strength and be able to hold his own against the best of them in the NBA. Comparable to poorer-defending Tayshaun Prince because he has a streaky jumper and might just find a way to get things done.
46. Robin Benzig/ F, Germany (^^up from no.57^^)
Not an NBA ready athlete, look for him to play in Germany for a few more years. Has great size at a small forward.
47. Nikola Vucevic/ F, USC
Ideal size as a power forward. He has shown what he can do in the Pac-10, averaging a double-double this season.
48. Bojan Bogdanovic/ F, Serbia
Can create his own show. Is climbing up the board by having a very good year in Europe. He’s a strong player, but will need to get used to the NBA game, different than where he plays now.
49. Scotty Hopson/ G, Tennessee
Raw, but talented. He needs to round out his game a lot more, which will come with NBA experience. Can be a good, well-sized shooting guard at the next level in time.
50. Demetri McCamey/ G, Illinois
Can be a prestigious scorer and shooter when he is needed, but he sometimes doesn’t realize when he is supposed to take the shot. As a point guard, he will need to straighten out his game.
51. Jeremy Tyler/ F, High School
Was a high school stud with truck loads of athletic ability, but showed a lot of immaturity by messing up his whole skipping college for international basketball to get him ready for the draft thing. Will need to grow up before he can be a good NBA player. Some team will take the risk on him. Comparable to JaVale McGee, a intensely athletic prospect, who needs to mature and round out his game more.
52. E’Twaun Moore/ G, Purdue
Not your ordinary shooting guard, but made it work his own way at Purdue. He’s a valuable leader, especially coming off the bench. He’s a great shooter. Comparable to better-shooting John Salmons, as a player who just finds ways to score.
53. Jimmy Butler/ F, Marquette
A solid all around player, but doesn’t really look flashy at one specific aspect of his game, which will hurt him. He is a good defender, who needs to find his offensive niche.
54. Justin Holiday/ F, Washington
Far to skinny for a small forward in the league, but shows upside with his ability as a scorer. Didn’t show much of it at Washington, but people have high hopes for him.
55. Jamine Peterson/ F, NBDL
Too small to be a power forward, but he is such a good rebounder that he should be one. He’s experienced and built, but needs to get some legitimate experience with tougher competition.
56. Joffrey Louvergne/ F, France
He is very young, as one of the few players in this draft that I am older than. He, like many international players this late in the draft, will need to add strength to his arsenal.
57. Andrew Goudelock/ G, College of Charleston
Can shoot it from anywhere, but hasn’t shown that he can average 20-plus points per game against top-tier talent. Comparable to Mike Bibby, a good shooter at point guard.
58. Iman Shumpert/ G, Georgia Tech
A tall point guard at 6-foot-5, which will be attractive to teams. But he’s a poor outside shooter, which could be his downfall in the NBA.
59. Jamie Skeen/ F, Virginia Commonwealth
Greatly benefited from a great NCAA tournament, where he showed his stuff against the best teams in the nation. His test will come by how he reacts to playing the best of the best every night.
60. Jacob Pullen/ G, Kansas State
A clutch shooter in college, but acts as though every shot is clutch, resulting in poor shot selection at times. He’s a prolific scorer at times, but will face more athletic point guards in the NBA. Comparable to Jameer Nelson as a small, high scoring point guard.
61. Marshon Brooks/ G, Providence (^^up from no.69^^)
Falls under criticism for his selfishness. He lacks appropriate bulk for the shooting guard position in the NBA. Showed he’s a much better shooter than I originally thought at the NBA draft combine.
62. Rick Jackson/ F, Syracuse
Not a very athletic forward. Slow on his feet. Never averaged double digit points until this past season. Comparable to Dejaun Blair because of his lack of height at the power forward position.
63. Tomislav Zubcic/ F, Croatia
Cannot bang with the NBA power forwards. He will need to build bulk, and probably have to do that in Croatia.
64. Jon Diebler/ G, Ohio State
A winner, as many of his Buckeye teammates are. He’s a great shooter, but a stationary one. Comparable to Peja Stojachavich as being a perfect spot up shooter.
65. Kalin Lucas/ G, Michigan State
Is a first-round talent point guard when he’s healthy, but his knack for being injured is way too much of a concern for NBA teams to count on him to step into an important floor general-type role. Comparable to Rajon Rondo, as a point guard who can create for teammates as well as make things happen himself.
66. Chris Wright/ F, Dayton
An explosive player, who can create his own shot and create some highlight plays, but he needs to mature a little bit more. He has an NBA-ready body, not mind.
67. Pablo Aguilar/ F, Spain
An experienced international player, who lacks the ability to make things happen alone. He’ll be a good spot up shooter to come off the bench, but won’t be able to score points he creates.
68. DeAndre Liggins/ F, Kentucky
Should have stayed in school another year. The impressive NCAA tournament will not be enough to make this lengthy defender a first round pick. Comparable to Trevor Ariza as an above average defender.
69. Malcolm Delaney/ G, Virginia Tech
He’s a leader, but needs to be more of a passer than scorer in the NBA because he’ll be a point guard instead of a shooting guard. Comparable to less-talented Baron Davis, as a point guard who can score at times too much than he should.
70. Durrell Summers/ G, Michigan State
Should’ve left college two years ago after a great NCAA tournament. Not strong enough to hang with the average shooting guard. Comparable to Shannon Brown, a former Spartan, as an athletic, undersized guard.
Next Five: David Lighty (G, Ohio State), LaceDarius Dunn (G, Baylor), Gary Flowers (F/ Southern Mississippi), Vernon Macklin (F, Florida), Matt Howard (F/ Butler)