32.1 MPG, 13.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 2.5 TOV, 1.5 BPG
- Long and rangy athlete that moves well for his size.
- Offense: HC Shaka Smart used him on the block and at the elbow. Allen has a very long frame, but gets pushed around easily at this point and does not have a go-to move with back to the basket other than getting to his right hand and finishing over smaller defenders. Allen has a developing face-up game and an underrated first step – reminds you some of Myles Turner when he faces up. Showed some flashes of having a mid-range jumper and his form is certainly not broken – rarely ever stretched his game to 3pt line.
- Defense: the lack of strength is again the concern. Gets pushed around too easily and too often must be bailed out by his length. Allen’s length is undoubtedly his greatest asset and he uses that well to block and bother tons of shots – averaged 2 BLKS per 40 min during his freshman season at Texas. Allen has some switchability potential on defense – not quick feet yet, but for his size they aren’t stuck to the floor, and considering that he’s just 19, there is time for the coordination to catch up.
- Intangibles: Very good athlete for his size, runs the floor like a deer when the motor is running high, developing two-way game offensively, and ability to protect the rim with his length.
Room for Improvement: Allen’s effort is inconsistent, his basketball IQ isn’t very high yet – high TOV%, and he needs to get stronger.
Forecast: I expect Allen to rise on draft boards as June 22 approaches. He should do well in team workouts, as most should see his ability to stretch the floor on the offensive end eventually, be a legit rim-protector and carry defensive versatility with his developing ability to switch across numerous positions.
25.1 MPG, 11.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.6 TOV
- Impressive physical profile and an explosive athlete. Defensive potential with all of the physical tools, including an unofficial 7’6” wingspan. Anunoby suffered a right knee injury in January that required surgery and was rumored to be an ACL tear, so will have that red flag to carry into the draft process.
- Offense: There isn’t a ton here outside of a really impressive physical profile. Anunoby doesn’t have a great feel for the game on the offensive end, is not a creator and has proven to be a streaky shooter. Anunoby’s shooting form isn’t broken, but it is very flat and he fails to hold his follow through consistently. During his freshman season, Anunoby shot 45% 3FG in mostly catch-and-shoot situations – also a very small sample size as he only averaged 13 MPG. His sophomore campaign was much different – he only played 13 games due to the knee injury, but Anunoby was 31% from behind the arc during his soph. campaign with the Hoosiers – a severe drop off from his freshman season. If Anunoby can provide some form of consistency as a floor spacing set shooter on the next level then he immediately becomes a prototypical 3-and-D prospect, but there should be plenty of skepticism surrounding that question. Again, the form isn’t broken, but it needs plenty of work. Anunoby’s dribble game is extremely raw – he gets sped up too easily, doesn’t have a go-to move and is a turnover waiting to happen with the ball in traffic. I’m not sure if he’ll ever be a creator off the dribble, but he doesn’t have to be. Anunoby is explosive is straight line drive situations – his athleticism gets him to the rim quickly and he has no problem finishing with authority. He will be a great asset for an NBA offense to have on the weakside, making recovering help defenders pay the price. Anunoby is also a solid rebounder on both ends – averaged 8.7 REB per 40 last season and 2.8 OREB per 40 – both impressive. He should be given the green light to attack the offensive glass at all times.
- Defense: If Anunoby reaches his potential on this end of the floor then he’s going to make money in the NBA for a long time. An explosive athlete with quick feet that measures at 6’8” – plus a 7’6” wingspan – is the perfect wing defender that switch across multiple positions. He probably fits best at the next level as a small-ball power-forward due to the fact that he should be able to matchup well with most opposing PF’s. Anunoby has quick feet and when he’s engaged defensively it’s hard to go by him off the bounce, so this will allow him to not only switch onto guards and stay in front, but also help-and-recover at a high level. As mentioned earlier, Anunoby is an above average rebounder and should be able to make an impact at protecting the rim from the weakside with his 7’6” wingspan (unofficial). The one glaring area of improvement for Anunoby defensively is his engagement guarding off of the ball. He has a tendency to get lost in space – helping at the rim too late and also losing track of his man floating to open space.
- Intangibles: Defensive versatility. The physical toolbox for Anunoby is hard to match. The chiseled 6’8”, 215 lbs. frame – combined with the 7’2.5” wingspan – Anunoby has an NBA ready body from day one. The quick feet and overall athleticism are icing on the cake for the long list of intangibles that Anunoby brings to the table for any team that drafts him. It’s conceivable that this guy could defensively switch across every position on the floor one day, mimicking a Draymond Green-esque type impact player. The list of things that Anunoby can’t do yet offensively is long, but the list of things he can do defensively is just as long (if not longer). Every team in the league wants to build with versatile frontcourt athletes that have multiple skill-sets and can guard numerous positions – Anunoby is in the conversation for most versatile player in this league.
- Room for Improvement: As an offensive player, Anunoby has a long way to go. He needs to work on his shooting motion by creating a higher release point and more arc on the shot. He doesn’t possess much of a dribble game, but when he does put the ball on the floor it’s typically sloppy and without much of a plan. Reading the court offensively is also a struggle for Anunoby and many times when he does try to make a play for a teammate with the pass it’s delayed reaction, too ambitious and leads to a turnover. His offensive development is a vital component in the process of reaching his full potential and because there is so much improvement for Anunoby to make, the franchise that drafts him will need to be patient and one with a good track record at developing its young players.
Forecast: The rumored 7’6” wingspan prior to the combine wasn’t quite accurate, but 7’2.5″ is still impressive. Since 2010, the largest small-forward wingspan that has been measured at the NBA Draft Combine is Al-Farouq Aminu at 7’3.25”. Prospects with measureables like this typically fly up draft boards. How a prospect measures doesn’t tell the entire truth, but there are certain measurements that are hard to ignore, and Anunoby’s frame + wingspan check some very important boxes. Anunoby is in the process of rehabbing hard from the knee injury in January and it’s unsure of if he’ll be able to do much for teams in pre-draft workouts. That said, a team swinging on him in the top-ten isn’t out of play – someone will talk themselves into his offensive potential and undeniable defensive versatility.
17.2 MPG, 10 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 1.8 BPG, 1.5 TOV
3FG%: 47.6% (only 19 total 3FGA)
- Collins is a good athlete for a 7-footer, has a high skill level on both ends for 19 years old, and plays with intensity / high motor.
- Offense: Collins is a skilled offensive player with his back to the basket – has an array of moves + his coveted up-and-under. He waste little time getting into his scoring motion and is very quick off his feet when going to score. Collins is not afraid of contact, does not fade, and is very good at attacking the chest of stronger defenders. Collins is not an incredible athlete, but he has excellent footwork and patience with the ball around the basket. Collins ability to eventually stretch the floor to the three-point line is the most intriguing aspect of his offensive arsenal. He only took 19 total 3FG’s during his freshman season at Gonzaga, so the small sample size leaves mystery to his real efficiency from deep.
- Defense: Collins wingspan isn’t off the charts, but his ball instincts, discipline to not go for ball-fakes and ability to go straight up with his arms when defending shots led to an avg. of 4.1 blocks per 40 min. during his freshman season. Pretty incredible numbers. Predictably, critics will point to the fact that Collins numbers are inflated because of the mid-major conference he played in, and then I would say to them that he blocked 9 shots and snatched 20 rebounds in the Final 4. Gaining more strength will be important for Collins, but what benefits him is that, again, he’s not afraid of contact and willingly bangs with bigger post players. Switching across different positions may or may not be in Collins future, but he does apply a above-par stance and effort to defending PnR’s while covering an impressive amount of space – again, good footwork. Collins will not be a stop sign of a defender in the league, but he’s also not going to be a player you have to hide on that end due to his effort + IQ.
- Intangibles: Effort/motor, polish offensively and footwork. Although Collins won’t overwhelm you with his athleticism, he is a very coordinated athlete that’s in control of his balance. The offensive polish with his back to the basket will be a skill that only becomes more lethal and could one day demand a help defender. The shooting motion is mechanically solid at this stage, but we’ll wait for a larger sample size to determine whether or not he can consistently stretch the floor in the NBA.
- Room for Improvement: Collins needs to develop a more consistent feel for the game. He did not show good patience or IQ when presented with a second defender. Quicker decision making with the ball will be key. He also needs to improve his strength – without a great wingspan, Collins will have less to bail him out against bigger and stronger defenders.
Forecast: The top-10 is attainable for Collins. He didn’t start for Gonzaga, but proved in the NCAA Tournament, and especially in the Final 4, how good he is against the best in more playing time. The motor/intensity parlayed with the skill should have Collins threatening to climb above Jarrett Allen by draft night.
30.8 MPG, 15.6 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.1 TOV
- Markkanen is arguably the best shooter in the draft and that’s exactly what the majority of his value is tied up in as an NBA prospect. Not an elite or explosive athlete, but a fluid one for his size and a keen understanding of the game offensively make him a high-ceiling offensive player that fits the mold of a prototypical stretch-four. The question for Markkanen is how much better he can become in other areas outside of shooting?
- Offense: An elite shooter with a smooth stroke is not easy to find from an athlete with a 7-foot frame – Markkanen is that guy. He’s elite in spot-up situations, efficient with one or two dribble pull-ups, and can also score off of pin-down screens and floppy action. Remember, this is a seven-footer. Markkanen should add potency to any offensive system that he enters and will also make the game easier for his teammates due to his ability to stretch the floor from the power-forward position – led the PAC-12 in offensive efficiency last season (130.2) He projects to become an elite pick-and-pop player that consistently puts defenses in a tough situation, negotiating whether to shut off dribble-penetration or stay attached to Markkanen and prevent the shot. At seven feet tall, Markkanen will also need to add some production at the rim, and therein lies the problem. The production around the basket is much more modest for Markkanen than his jump-shooting and he has few go-to moves with his back to the basket. Markkanen isn’t quick off the floor and gets push around far too often. This weakness won’t be as noticeable offensively due to his ability to open up space on the court, but it might come to define him in other areas. The bottom line is that Markkanen is one of the best shooters in this strong draft class and that in itself makes him one of the most intriguing offensive prospects.
- Defense: It’d be a stretch to state that Markkanen has a “high motor”, but he does play hard and shows a willingness to compete defensively. Markkanen will have to defend quicker offensive players in the NBA and he’s shown flashes of getting in a stance, moving his feet, and being able to keep the ball in front. Effort is cool, but Markkanen has heavy feet and might not be able to keep up on the next level. His limitations on this end of the floor exist in his lack of athleticism, strength and length. His 7-foot frame isn’t accompanied with many more tools. He was pushed around by smaller players in the PAC-12, so although his potential as a center in the NBA is most intriguing, it’s likely he will never be able to defend that position. The power-forward position is his best bet in the NBA – especially defensively. My gut is that Markkanen, like Hornets fans have learned with Frank Kaminsky, will be close to impossible to place on the defensive end of the floor.
- Room for Improvement: Front offices will have to know where Markkanen is going to fit defensively. Expect teams to put him through extensive athletic and agility testing during pre-draft workouts – assuming teams don’t have an issue getting him in. Markkanen has heavy feet, average lateral quickness for his size, and lacks elite length. He is going to struggle to stay in front of agile power-forwards and will struggle to hold his own physically against bigger centers. Offensively, Markkanen needs to develop another skill outside shooting. In today’s NBA you can’t have enough shooting, but at seven-feet tall, he needs to have some feel around the rim.
Forecast: The question I ask when evaluating Markkanen is what else outside elite shooting is this player going to provide? The defensive liabilities are very concerning to me – as of now, it’s fair to state that he cannot matchup with power-forwards or centers. If I’m drafting a seven-footer that can stretch his offensive game all the way to the three-point line, then that player should be slotted into clutch situation lineups. Markkanen, much like Frank Kaminsky, will likely be hard to have on the court in those situations because of the defensive tradeoff. This is a real concern of mine and why I’d stay away from Markkanen if I’m drafting in the lottery. I do believe he will slide down draft boards by June 22 and project him as a mid-first-round prospect.
Wingspan: 7’0” (unofficial)
17.3 MPG, 5.2 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.8 TOV
- Long, rangy guard with solid athleticism. Has a chance to be an elite wing defender with the versatility to easily switch across three positions. High motor and above average feel for the game on both ends as a 18-year old.
- Offense: An improved shooter that has a good feel for the game in the half-court. Frank reads defenses well, especially out of the PnR, and makes the simple play more times than not. He is not an overpowering athlete that will make a habit of finishing above the rim, but his long arms do allow him to finish in traffic from difficult angles. For an 18-year old, Frank has some offensive polish, but there is still plenty of untapped potential for him on this end of the floor. Much improved long-range shooter that shot 45% for his French professional team this past season and fired 58.6% from three-point range at the 2016 FIBA U18 European Championships last December, leading France to a title. Frank was undoubtedly the best player at the tournament and seemed to answer plenty of questions for NBA scouts. He does tend to be a little bit gun-shy, deferring to others too often, but again, this is a player who is just starting to realize his potential on the offensive end. Frank’s offensive ceiling might be as a second option, but that could be debated, and that fact makes him an extremely intriguing prospect.
- Defense: On day-one as a pro, Frank should be able to make a real impact defensively. At 6’6 and with a (unofficial) 7-foot wingspan, the measureables to be a lockdown defender on the wing are present. He is already a committed defender, consistently applies ball pressure and has a knack for making plays on the ball. At the FIBA U18 European Championships Frank averaged 3.2 steals and 1.7 blocks per 40 minutes, giving his opponents nightmares. He also has quick feet and good instincts – combine that with the willingness to defend and you now have the recipe to unlock an elite wing defender. Frank’s versatility on the defensive end of the floor is likely his greatest asset as a prospect as of now.
- Intangibles: The size and length that Frank possesses as a guard is not something you can teach, and these attributes give him a head start. On the defensive end, he already uses his physical tools well – again, the potential to become a very good wing defender that can switch across multiple positions is real, and should probably be expected. Offensively, it’s still a work in progress. His improved shot appears to be something that will stick – Frank gets good lift on his jumper and has drastically improved his release point. Not dangerous to score off the dribble yet, but he’ll be an impact as a spot up shooter from day one. His unselfishness combined with his feel for the game and court vision should be considered his greatest intangible on the offensive end right now.
- Room for Improvement: There is plenty, and that’s okay since Frank is just 18 years old. He shouldn’t be thrust into a big role early on and will need time to develop. Frank has a nice feel for the game, and should adjust to NBA schemes rather quickly, but he’s not ready for the speed of the game in this league, nor does he have the strength he needs yet. At just 170 lbs., he needs to work on his frame. The unselfishness is a good thing, but it could also be considered one of Frank’s weaknesses. He simply to passive and he’ll need to be more of a “Dog” in the league in order to be a starting caliber point-guard. Developing a better dribble-game will be vital for his future as a primary ball-handler and as a scorer. Frank has been bothered by ball pressure in spots professionally in France and has had some issues with turnovers.
Forecast: Unless there is some unexpected news about Frank not coming over from France next season, then I’d fully expect him to be a lottery pick. It seems pretty clear that he is in the second-tier of point-guards after Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox. It will be interesting to see how Frank and Dennis Smith stack up as the draft draws closer. There is zero question that Frank is in play for the Hornets if they do indeed end up picking late in the lottery. He would be a nice fit next to Kemba defensively, providing the size and switchability to Kemba doesn’t have. Having another ball-handler other than Batum to create offense would also be a plus for Charlotte, which Frank could provide.
34.8 MPG, 18.1 PPG, 6.2 APG, 4.6 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 3.3 TOV
- Elite athleticism, quickness and explosiveness. Dennis Smith is in the discussion for the most athletic and explosive player in this draft class.
- Offense: Smith is a scorer first and looks for his shot before setting up his teammates. He has extremely quick feet and is shifty with the ball – a nightmare for anyone who draws the defensive assignment against him. Smith’s quickness also allows him to consistently punish switches against bigger defenders and put tons of pressure on defenses. His quickness and aggressiveness with the ball get him to the rim often, and Smith is not afraid of finishing through contact – he earned 6.3 FTA per game during his freshman season with N.C. State. He doesn’t possess elite length, but Smith’s solid 195 lbs. frame benefit him at the rim against bigger defenders. Quite possibly his greatest strength offensively is his elite speed with the ball in transition. If Smith is able to get a foot in the paint with some momentum going forward then you can expect a highlight dunk – his athleticism allows him to be a monster finisher at the rim. As a shooter, Smith has average mechanics. His stroke isn’t broken, but he has a tendency to shoot on the way down and fights a slight hitch when he’s uncomfortable. His 36% 3FG clip was impressive during one season in Raleigh, especially considering how much that team relied on him offensively, but how it will relate on the next level is definitely a question mark. Can Smith run an offense in the NBA? That’s also not certain due to his score-first mentality, but considering the direction that the NBA is headed – have as many playmakers on the floor as possible at one time – I’m not so sure that really matters.
- Defense: Smith can be an elite on-ball defender if he commits on that end, but it was very inconsistent during his one college season. He’s better guarding the ball than he is off the ball and his steal rate shows that – averaged 2.2 steals per 40 min last season. Smith did not play in a super disciplined defensive system and played for a coach (Mark Gottfried) that never got the most out of his players on that end of the floor. The system was a switchy, lackadaisical system at times and Smith’s inconsistent effort mirrored that. With his quick feet and shifty nature, there is little excuse for Smith to not at least be an above-average defender on the ball in the NBA. He needs a lot of work learning team defense away from the ball, but NBA defensive systems can help teach that. Smith should also be a solid shot-blocker for a guard due to his elite vertical leap.
- Intangibles: Quickness and elite athleticism. You cannot teach what Smith can do as an athlete. He’s shifty, can change directions violently on a dime and is extremely explosive at getting off the floor. No team in the NBA can have enough athletic guards that can get to the rim and create offense off the dribble, so Smith’s profile fits seamlessly with today’s style of game in the league.
- Room for Improvement: He must become more of a student of the game, understanding how to run an offense. Smith did more to hurt himself in one season at N.C. State than he did to help. The situation was far from perfect in Raleigh, and Mark Gottfried, Smith’s former coach, was fired in wake of the very disappointing season for the Wolfpack. Again, his athleticism cannot be questioned and anyone would be hard-pressed to find a better backcourt athlete in this draft. That said, Smith was rumored to not be a locker room favorite among his teammates, which comes at no surprise since he wasn’t consistently interested in getting them involved on the offensive end. He’s a scorer and will naturally look for his shot before setting up a teammate – there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this, but the ultimate question for Smith is whether he will mature into the type of player that an NBA franchise can run their offense through? He certainly didn’t answer this question last season – the Wolfpack offense led by Smith finished the season with an Adjusted Offensive Efficiency of 112.6, good for 45th in the nation. If Smith doesn’t prove good enough to be a starting point-guard in the NBA, the conversation surrounding his value as a player will become difficult. At 6’3”, it’s unlikely that Smith will be able to play much shooting-guard. It’s possible that Smith ends up being an athletic shot-in-the-arm off the bench in the league, and if that’s the case then teams will have a tough time justifying spending a lottery pick on him.
Forecast: This one isn’t easy. It’s impossible to watch Smith and not be in awe of his athleticism, but the looming question of whether or not he will be able to consistently run an NBA offense will determine his value. Smith reminds me of a more athletic Terry Rozier in many ways. This is a draft loaded with guards, so Smith could either turn into a darling for a top-10 team that isn’t able to get Fultz or Ball, or he could slide to the back of the lottery as frontcourt players inevitably gain momentum the closer the draft gets. Truth be told, the Hornets badly need more ball-handlers and guards that can get into the middle of the defense and create offense. If Smith were to fall to Charlotte, they’d be foolish to pass on him.