by John Hooper
There's been a lot of movement since V1 of the big board, with some players moving because of their performances in the NCAA tournament, and others due to their results in the algorithm now that all stats for the season have been tallied. Here are the updated rankings with explanations for a few chosen prospects:
Hall of Fame Potential
1. Zach Collins - Gonzaga, C
Check out our breakdown of why Collins is the number one prospect here.
2. Markelle Fultz - Washington, SG
3. Lonzo Ball - UCLA, PG
4. Jayson Tatum - Duke, SF
5. Dennis Smith Jr. - North Carolina State, PG
Smith is one of the players who shot up our draft board due to a better than expected performance in our algorithm. His stock had fallen a bit, likely because of NC State's disappointing showing during ACC play this year, but at one time was being ranked in as the number one prospect in some mock drafts.
At this point we all know about Smith's explosive leaping ability, but what stood out most about his statistical profile is his potential to be a plus defender. Smith surprisingly had the sixth highest defensive potential score out of all point guards in our database (all college draftees since 2011) at 72.8 out of 100. The main driver of his high rating was his eighth place ranking amongst point guards in relative defensive rating, having a personal rating that was 0.7 points better than the Wolfpack's as a whole. He also posted above average showings with his steal and block rates, plus has his top level quickness to help him in staying in front of the opposition.
Smith projects as a prospect with high scoring potential without any major weaknesses. He would be a great lead guard for a team like the Magic, Timberwolves or Knicks to grab in early lottery. Look for him to have a Steve Francis type career, complete with a memorable showing in a dunk contest.
6. Jonathan Isaac - Florida State, PF
7. Josh Jackson - Kansas, SF
8. John Collins - Wake Forest, C
9. Sindarius Thornwell - South Carolina, SF
10. Jawun Evans - Oklahoma State, PG
11. Donovan Mitchell - Louisville, SG
12. Malik Monk - Kentucky, SG
Check out our breakdown of Monk's game here.
13. Lauri Markkanen - Arizona, PF
Markkanen's fallen since our previous rankings, largely because of how poorly he projects as a defender. Markkanen was in the bottom fifteen out of the 146 power forwards and centers in our database in steals per 100 possessions, blocks per 100 possessions, defensive rating and in defensive ratings. That's, uh, pretty bad. That coinciding with his mediocre at best rebounding ability basically makes it a requirement that you handcuff him with a strong shot blocker who cleans the glass. Ideally it would be a power forward like Serge Ibaka since putting Markkanen next to a Kristaps Porzingis-type center means that he'd have to defend the Draymond Greens and Blake Griffins of the league, which obviously is a recipe for disaster.
On the bright side, Markkanen can truly rip it from deep. The algorithm agrees, giving him a 89.4 shooting rating, good for tops amongst all bigs in the database. With this in mind plus his deficiencies, think Ryan Anderson as his current player comparison.
14. Caleb Swanigan - Purdue, C
15. Luke Kennard - Duke, SG
16. Monte Morris - Iowa State, PG
17. De'Aaron Fox - Kentucky, PG
18. Josh Hart - Villanova, SG
19. Tony Bradley - North Carolina, PF
20. Isaiah Hartenstein - International, PF
21. Derrick Walton Sr. - Michigan, PG
22. TJ Leaf - UCLA, PF
23. Bam Adebayo - Kentucky, C
24. Rodions Kurucs - International, SF
25. Ivan Rabb - Cal, PF
26. Justin Patton - Creighton, C
27. Jordan Bell - Oregon, C
28. Frank Ntilikina - International, PG
29. Dillon Brooks - Oregon, SG
30. OG Anunoby - Indiana, SF
31. Devin Robinson - Florida, SF
Devin Robinson just looks like he's going to be a heck of a player. Sometimes that or a good name is all you need.
But seriously, Robinson will be a great pickup for someone in the second round looking for a three and d wing. He projects as an above average shooter, defender and rebounder and his main weakness of projecting poorly as a featured scorer would be mitigated in the three and d role. Robinson was also used mostly in a catch and shoot role at Florida so it should be a seamless transition into the NBA for him. I know I've already compared fellow prospect VJ Beachem to Rodney Hood this year, but Robinson can also be that type of player for teams looking for a diamond in the rough.
32. Cam Oliver - Nevada, PF
33. Tyler Lydon - Syracuse, PF
34. Johnathan Motley - Baylor, PF
35. Peter Jok - Iowa, SG
36. Justin Jackson - North Carolina, SF
37. Alec Peters - Valparaiso, PF
38. Terrance Ferguson - International, SF
39. Thomas Bryant - Indiana, C
40. Malcolm Hill - Illinois, SF