Duke freshman Zion Williamson is the cream of the crop for the upcoming rookie class, according to the top experts on the subject.
We compiled the projections from NBADraft.net, ESPN, SI.com, The Athletic, Bleacher Report and Sporting News to provide insights on the top players to watch in the upcoming draft class. As always, this list does not factor in team fit or predict future success. But this project can serve as a very helpful resource to monitor as the stocks on certain players rise and fall.
One can expect this list to have significant variance based on the upcoming performances of the prospects included (or not yet mentioned) below. But for now, we already have some notable takeaways.
Williamson passed his Duke teammate RJ Barrett for the pole spot and his fellow Blue Devils star Cameron Reddish join the two of them in the Top 3 expected picks, passing North Carolina’s Nasir Little. Outside of those four players, there is no player all of the experts agree on as a Top 10 consensus.
USC freshman Kevin Porter Jr. has leaped from a late second-rounder when we did our first projection in June to a potential Top 5 selection in our newest update.
Another riser is fellow Pac-12 freshman guard Luguentz Dort, who ranked No. 89 overall in the original aggregation. After jumping up to No. 43 in the preseason rankings, he is now evaluated as a Top 20 talent.
Duke point guard Tre Jones is also considered a first-round pick, which is a huge improvement after being noted as a fringe selection just last month. If he continues improving, the freshman could actually end up as a higher pick than his brother Tyus Jones (No. 24) was in 2016.
Some new names on our list included Gonzaga forward Brandon Clarke as well as Stanford forward KZ Okpala. Clarke was able to help his stock quite a bit in a win against the Blue Devils, who were then rated as the best team in the nation.
The most notable prospect whose stock is down is Kansas guard Quentin Grimes. He has fallen from No. 7 overall to out of the lottery as he has averaged just 7.4 points per game for the Jayhawks. It’s also worth noting that Alabama sophomore Herb Jones and Iowa State sophomore Lindell Wigginton have moved from the first round to out of the Top 60.
Alberto de Roa contributed research to this report
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