Well Ladies and Gentleman, we are here at the end of Draft Season as the NBA Draft is just over 48 hours away. I can’t wait to see who the Pistons select! Oh and if you did not know, we here at DBB will be doing a LIVE NBA Draft Show hosted by Bryce Simon of Motor City Hoops and featuring myself, Sean Corp, Lazarus Jackson, Jack Kelly, and Wes Davenport. Make sure to follow us and MotorCity Hoops on Twitter to find out the details.
And now, for my Finalized NBA Draft Big Board! I will be featuring a few more prospects along the way, and I encourage you to follow the links for each prospect as they will provide a scouting report or game film from each player. There are a few interviews here and there for the lesser known guys as well. I will explain my tiers first and then we can jump straight into the board. Please let us know what you think in the comments and what you hope the Pistons will do on draft night. Onwards!
My tiers are as follows: Game Changers, Solid Role Players with Plus Potential, Have at Least ONE Skill That Can Make Them an NBA Vet, Major Potential, Major Concerns, Positive Contributor to the Rotation, and for the top 100 now we have the Undrafted Free Agent Tier.
Game Changers are the top prospects who I believe have All-Star or All-NBA potential in their games. This tier is ranked in order I believe these players should be drafted. All other tiers I see as fluid—meaning the order is how I personally would draft them, but also could be talked into a different order as all the guys in that tier I see as being on the same talent level.
Solid Role Players with Plus Potential are guys that I see having starter potential to fill a role to complement star players, but they do have one or two aspects to their game that if everything breaks right, they could end up being a star themselves.
Have at Least ONE Skill That Can Make Them an NBA Vet are guys like Brandon Clarke or Wayne Ellington, who you find hard to pass up because they have at least one legitimate NBA skill that would encourage teams to choose them over other players with a less defined skillset, because, like an Ellington or Clarke, this skill can keep them in any rotation on any team.
Major Potential, Major Concerns are guys I can see have a ton of potential but also something about their game that could keep them from even making it out of their rookie contract.
Positive Contributor to the Rotation are guys I see ending up in a rotation and providing some kind or support for a team (this is different from the role player tier in that rotation guys have less starter potential due to more holes in their game).
The final tier is the Undrafted Free Agent Tier. While that seems pretty self-explanatory, I think of this tier as guys whose names I have heard little to no buzz on when it comes to NBA Draft communities here online, but they are guys I would NOT be surprised at all to hear stick around in the league a while. Think of guys like Ryan Arcidiacono, Yuta Watanabe, or most recently Jose Alvarado.
Before we dive into the list, remember these are MY rankings and mine alone so send all your hate or love my way as I am happy for either and love chopping it up on the NBA Draft!
All I can say is PLEASE let Orlando, Oklahoma City, or Houston outsmart themselves and pass on one of the consensus top 3. And, as our good friend ScottFL says, “KANGZ gon’ KANGZ” for one of these guys to fall to the Pistons (when you pass on Luka for Marvin Bagley you will get dunked on for eternity...or until you’re able to select the next MJ or LeBron). As I said in the last Big Board, if history teaches us anything about consensus top picks in any draft, YOU TAKE THEM WHEN THEY FALL.
I know Omari Sankofa III brought the scenario that maybe one of these guys falls because of medical concerns and so you would steer clear, but that does seem pretty unlikely as we haven’t heard any medical concerns for Paolo, Chet, or Jabari who have been under a microscope for some time now. I would think something would have popped up if there really was a red flag in any of the guys’ medicals.
PLEASE SOMEONE FALL!!!
Solid Role Players with Plus Potential
Jaden Hardy is someone I liked more and more when I returned to the film in May and the early portion of June. His shooting splits of 40.2% from two, 26.9% from three, and 88.2% from the free-throw line are definitely troubling. But Hardy did operate under one of the worst team contexts this year as there was exactly ONE teammate of his on the G League Ignite that played at least 10 games and shot over 34.0% from three. Both Dyson Daniels and Marjon Beauchamp shot under 26% from three so he was not getting help from his fellow draft prospects in that regard.
Hardy also had to adjust to Scoot Henderson’s arrival in the fifth game of the season. Oh and Scoot shot an absolutely terrible 17.4% to boot. And, the final struggle being that Ignite only had 2 big men in Jessie Govan and Michael Foster Jr. who were able to play 10 games or more. In the midst of all this, Hardy was still asked to be the primary shot creator. Anybody would struggle in this kind of environment. And yes, I am aware the defense is bad, but this is the G League where defense is optional and Hardy’s bread and butter is as a bucket getter.
Lost in this is the fact that Hardy had both one of the best handles in this class and has the ability to get his jumpshot off from anywhere on the court. Of course, this also contributed to Hardy’s inefficient percentages, but he still maintained his confidence through all the struggles and understood that he had to get buckets for his team to stay afloat. And he started to turn a corner down the stretch as he scored 20 or more points in eight of the Ignite’s final 11 games of the season and shooting 32/93 on three-pointers which was 34.4%.
I think with actual NBA spacing and big men, Hardy could be an impactful microwave scorer. If you need some proof then take a look at what he did with our old friend Amir Johnson:
Have at Least ONE Skill That Can Make Them an NBA Vet
Ismaël Kamagate remains one of my personal favorites to watch in this class because he plays with such energy and intensity it is hard to see him not working out in the NBA. He definitely gets the award for “Would run buck naked through a brick wall on fire if he knew it would make him a better basketball player” that guys like Giannis and Grant Williams displayed in previous drafts.
Scoring 11.3 points per game, pulling in 6.3 rebounds per game, and blocking 1.6 shots per game this past season for Paris Basket, Kamagate could come in and immediately be rotational center. Things he will need to iron out are being a better passer and developing his overall basketball IQ. Kamagate posted 24 assists to 59 turnovers so he will need to find easier reads and not get caught without a plan on offense when he gets the ball.
Kamagate’s energy can sometimes get him into trouble when he attacks without measuring it first, so he will have to know when to reign it in or redirect that energy. Playing on the same team as former NBA center Kyle O’Quinn has help tremendously, however, and you can tell that as the season wore on Kamagate took more and more of O’Quinn’s knowledge and applied it on the court.
Major Potential, Major Concerns
MarJon Beauchamp took an unorthodox path to the NBA, but along the way he inhabited a few different roles that could impact his final outcome. A good athlete with the physicality and length to handle time at either forward spot, Beauchamp also played a high-usage on-ball role during his year at Yakima Valley Community College that he also possesses shooting guard skills should a team envision him there.
At the NBA Combine, Beauchamp measured in at six-foot six-and-a-half-inches tall, weighed in at 196.6 pounds, with a seven-foot and three-quarters-inch wingspan and eight-foot ten-inches standing reach. You can see even in Beauchamp’s measurements he could fill a variety positions. He shot just 24.2% from three in 12 games with the Ignite, but he shot 39.8% in 12 games at Yakima Valley CC. With the Ignite he scored 15.1 points per game while pulling in 7.3 rebounds per game, dishing out 2.5 assists per game, and grabbing 1.5 steals per game. At Yakima he scored an unbelievable 30.7 points per game, pulled in 10.5 rebounds per game, dished out 4.7 assists per game, and snatched 1.2 steals per game.
It cannot be understated just how versatile Beauchamp truly is and he is someone I am most excited to see how an NBA team develops him. He showed this year in the G League that he can inhabit a role on both sides of the ball and he has a lot of defensive skills that will help him get on the court immediately. Like his teammate Jaden Hardy, Beauchamp is someone I would REALLY would lobby for if the Pistons got an extra pick in this draft.
Positive Contributor to the Rotation
Jabari Walker had a tale of two halves this past season and depending on how you view that, he could end up as a first round pick. At the NBA Combine, Walker measured in at 6-foot-8 and weighed in at 213.8 pounds with a 6-foot-10.75 wingspan and 8-foot-9 standing reach so he has NBA size to play either forward spot. While his 34.6% from three seems underwhelming, he had a dismal shooting performance in his first 15 games draining 21.4% of his threes on 2.8 attempts per game.
In his final 18 games, however, Walker more than doubled that percentage as he rained down 43.5% of the 3.4 attempts per game he took down the stretch. This was a fantastic turnaround by Walker and it is even more encouraging since he took more attempts as the season went on to boot! He is also a defensive specialist so 3-and-D from a combo forward is an easy path to envision for Mr. Walker in the NBA.
Speaking of guys that could be first rounders on draft night, Kennedy Chandler has many fans out in the online NBA Draft community and it is easy to see why. Measuring in at 6.5 feet and weighing in at 172.2 pounds, with 6-foot-5.25 wingspan and 8-foot-1 standing reach, size concerns knock Chandler down boards significantly. There are very few players in NBA history that have been this size and succeeded in the NBA. Couple in the fact he shot 60.6% from the free throw line and those are two alarms some teams will run away from fast.
There is a lot to like, however, when you turn on the film. Lighting fast with tremendous court vision and no fear, Chandler possesses the physical gifts and skills that separate him far away from other smaller guards. Chandler uses his speed particularly well in pick-and-rolls where he will get into the lane in a hurry once his screener frees him. He also shot 38.3% from three and is a good point of attack defender that is difficult to shake. Chandler will have to work on his finishing as he shot 68/115 at the rim this past season, but he is Ish Smith-like with his speed and playmaking and has shooting and defensive skills Ish has never possessed.
Undrafted Free Agent Tier
Leonardo Okeke was someone I was unsure would remain in this draft as he is incredibly raw and played in an even more incredibly obscure league in Serie A2 over in Italy. As the number suggests, this is the second division (something like the G League) the sits under the first division LBA. Okeke stands six-feet nine-inches tall, weighs in at 216 pounds and has great movement skills for his size.
Possessing the ability to put the ball on the deck and drive out out spot-ups and some isolation situations helps to round out Okeke’s game as he can also back guys down in the post. He does not possess a long range shot as he posted 18.8% from three and 58.7% from the line, so do not get your hopes up here. A willing and energetic defender as well, being just 18 years old, though, he has plenty of room to grow. Just take a look at his highlights and you can see he possesses the size/skill combo many teams are willing to take a flyer on.
And rounding out the Final 100 is Wyoming sniper Drake Jeffries. I am not sure if Jeffries can do anything other than shoot, but that actually might not even matter for Jeffries to succeed in the NBA. Posting a mind-boggling 92.5% Three-Point Attempt Rate FOR HIS CAREER and converting those looks for 39.4% in his two years at Wyoming, Jeffries is as LEGIT of a shooter as they come.
Jeffries stands at six-foot five-inches tall and weighs in at 186 pound so size is going to limit his position to guard. His 4.7% CAREER assist rate is going to limit his positioning even further to shooting guard only. Still, one look at his shot chart and teams are going to find a way to use this guy in their rotation: