Doncic is the top European prospect since Kristaps Porzingis and could end up going even higher than the Unicorn (4th) on draft night. While his speed and athleticism is below average for the NBA, his intelligence and maturity is off the charts. What he’s currently doing in Europe, essentially having become the top Euroleague player before turning 19 is unprecedented. How one views the talent level in Europe versus the NBA probably factors into how highly one rates him for this draft. Depending on the scout, he is seen anywhere from 1-7, with an extremely strong group of U.S. freshmen available this year. Doncic’s size (6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and 8-foot-9 standing reach) and playmaking ability give Europe’s “Boy Wonder” a chance to be special.
Bridges is having a breakout junior season, nearly doubling his scoring output from 9.8 ppg to 17.8 ppg. He’s also been highly effective shooting 45 percent from deep and hitting nearly three per game. He has the size and skill set to be a prototype 3-and-D type with his 7-foot wingspan and prolific three-point shooting ability. Bridges also uses his length well to fill up the stat sheet with steals and blocks. He should look to get stronger in order to become better at finishing plays at the rim.
Walker is well-liked by scouts from his prep exploits. He’s struggled with his shooting this season at Miami but has a very athletic, and strong frame and a good feel for the game. He’s hitting just 33 percent from 3 and 70 percent from the line. Coming off a knee injury, Walker hasn’t been as effective as expected this year. He’ll need to finish strong in order to fulfill the lofty expectations.
A tough-nosed NYC kid, Diallo is a freak athlete with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and explosive slashing/driving ability. He used his draft eligibility wisely having graduated high school early last year, spending time at UK and then dipping his toes into the draft pool. He was told by scouts that shooting was his major shortcoming and he put in the work during the summer to improve upon that weakness. He’s become one of UK’s most consistent outside shooters, knocking down nearly one three ball per game and at a decent 36 percent rate. While not ideal for a 2-guard, it’s a big step in the right direction. Diallo could move all the way up to the lottery if he can continue to knock down outside shots at a good rate.
Brown is an intriguing prospect with his ability to play 1 through 3 positions and his tremendous size, with a near 7-foot wingspan. He played point guard in high school and has spent this year transitioning to playing more off the ball. His efficiency and production while soild hasn’t been sensational. He’s still learning the nuances of playing off the ball and becoming a better catch-and-shoot player. But he’s a charismatic kid and should only improve going forward.
Musa has had a solid season showing excellent shooting and all-around skills. He’s very thin, but has improved his body quite a bit from a season ago. Musa has improved his game as well as he’s impacting games and producing solidly against men in Europe at just 19 years of age. He’s a cerebral, competitive player with a smooth offensive game and stands a good chance to grab a first-round spot if he declares and stays in this year’s draft.
Despite being vilified by many college basketball writers and fans, Allen is well liked by NBA scouts for his toughness and competitiveness. He’s a senior, which works against him as he doesn’t have the same upside of other prospects. However, he should be more ready to contribute than many of the underclassmen available. Scouts have him graded as a late first rounder, most likely in the mid-20s. He’s a high-level shooter who has become adept at getting himself open for shots as well as creating offense off the dribble.
Brown has been asked to play the point position this season and it has been a tough transition for him. He’s a dynamic athlete and very good at attacking the rim. He’s also doing a very good job of distributing without committing turnovers as his 2/1 a/to ratio can attest. But he’s really struggled with his shooting (43% fg, 27% 3p) and could slip out of many team’s first round projections if he’s not able to salvage his efficiency numbers in the second half of his sophomore campaign. He’s still well liked by scouts for his play as a freshman, but has some work to do to justify this draft projection.