With the NBA draft less than three weeks away, order at the top is taking shape. The top four players – Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jaden Ivey – have remained consistent all season, but it’s the 4th-8th place options that have heated up a bit, as G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels comes to the top. Five considerations and NBA draft combine standout Jalen Williams, cementing himself as a proposed first-round draft pick.
Yahoo Sports takes a look at the top 5 picks, plus recent first round moves and predicted picks for all 30 slots.
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 220 pounds | Class: newbie | Maroon: 16.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg
Smith is still the safest option at #1 and has interviewed incredibly well for teams at the top. He’s not the consensus top pick in the draft, but his advantage is incredible with his 3-point shooting (42% average from deep) and footwork in the paint.
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 196 pounds | Class: newbie | gonzaga: 14.1ppg, 9.9rpg, 3.7bpg
Oklahoma City and general manager Sam Presti have three first-round draft picks and could still tank next year to potentially go after either Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson. Holmgren is the best 2nd-ranked option and has the potential to change the way the game is played at center at the NBA level.
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 250 pounds | Class: newbie | Duke: 17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.2 apg
Banchero feels like a lock at number 3 with his incredible instincts as a primary ball handler and his size. It wouldn’t be wise for Houston to pass on Banchero with the young talent the Rockets are producing in the organization.
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 195 pounds | Class: Second graders | Purdue: 17.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
The Kings could trade that pick and are a big target for teams that need a versatile ball carrier and goalscorer. Sacramento drafted two senior guards in the last two drafts and the Kings must either draft the best available player in Ivey (a possible Ja Morant 2.0) or switch to a team that needs a guard and then target either Jalen Duren or Mark Williams for some greatness.
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 215 pounds | Class: newbie | Kentucky: Didn’t play this season
The Pistons could be Sharpe’s best-case scenario. The troubled security guard left Kentucky on empty promises and never played a college game. If a team wants to capitalize on Sharpe’s potential, it has to be a team in the process of rebuilding. Cade Cunningham is the perfect point guard for Sharpe and there wouldn’t be immense pressure on Sharpe to produce straight away.
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 215 pounds | Class: Second graders | Iowa: 23.5 ppg, 8.7 rpm
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 200 pounds | Australia | G League Ignite: 11.3 ppg, 4.4 apg
Daniels put in a great performance at the combine on his pro day and did good interviews with the teams. After a slow start in the G League, Daniels stormed towards the end of the season, creating for others and showing his size and length against much stronger opponents. His advantage is off the charts and there have been some rumors that he could sneak into the top 5 after strong team training.
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 210 pounds | Class: Second graders | Arizona: 17.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.5 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 230 pounds | Class: newbie | Baylor: 9.2ppg, 6.4rpg
Sochan had one of the best profit days during the combine, showing off his speed and consistent 3-point jumper – something he struggled with at Baylor. The NBA distance and pick-and-roll option is aimed at Sochan, and he will no doubt be a much better pro than his year-long college suggests.
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 180 pounds | Class: newbie | State of Ohio: 13.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 222 pounds | Class: newbie | Duke: 10.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 194 pounds | Class: Second graders | Wisconsin: 19.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 250 pounds | Class: newbie | Memphis: 12ppg, 8.1rpg, 2.1bpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 216 pounds | Class: Second graders | LSU: 16.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185 pounds | Class: newbie | Notre Dame: 14.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 185 pounds | France | NZ Breakers (NBL): 8.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 197 pounds | Class: newbie | Kentucky: 12.5 ppg, 3.9 apg
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 242 pounds | Class: Second graders | Duke: 10.6ppg, 6.8rpg, 3bpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 205 pounds | Serbia | Mega basket: 10.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg
This is the best Tim Connelly pick ever. Connelly had success designing another Nikola back in 2014, and the secret is out. The new Nikola appeared to his pro day in Chicago with a Luka Doncic-esque grin throughout practice, hitting 10 consecutive corner threes in the 30 minutes that impressed the scouts. Jovic is a project but his personality is contagious.
Ht./Wt.: 6-0, 171 pounds | Class: newbie | Tennessee: 13.3 ppg, 4.9 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 175 pounds | G League Ignite: 15.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.3 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 215 pounds | Class: Senior | Kansas: 18.8ppg, 5.1rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 209 pounds | Class: Jr. | Santa Clara: 18 ppg, 4.2 apg
Williams was the top player on both days of the draft combine scrimmages. He got to the basket with ease, shot the ball well and had some of the best transitions. Defensively, he fought through screens to keep his man up front and was effective in defending the help side, blasting the gap for steals and picks. Last year, Josh Primo (No. 12, Spurs) and Bones Hyland (No. 26, Nuggets) were the biggest surprises of the first round, and Williams could be that guy this year.
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 240 pounds | Class: Jr. | State of Ohio: 19.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.5 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 198 pounds | G League Ignite: 17.7 ppg, 3.2 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 205 pounds | Class: newbie | Baylor: 9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 213 pounds | Class: Jr. | Duke: 13.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.4 apg
Ht./Wt.: 7-1, 245 pounds | Class: Second graders | Maroon: 11.4ppg, 8.1rpg, 4.6bpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 195 pounds | Class: Second graders | Arizona: 8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.9 apg
Terry chose to remain in the draft after not attending the combine outside of his agency’s media day. The Grizzlies have an established backcourt in Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks and can afford to take a player like Terry over the next few years to mold as a secondary option for the young, talented team.
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 218 pounds | Class: Jr. | Kansas: 14.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 apg