Jason Gandhi NBA Big Board 1.0

Check out the podcast on the group’s big board tonight! Follow us @TheSportzSermon on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube for more Sportz Sermon content! Enjoy!

  1. Deandre Ayton C Arizona

 

I really like his game. He has the perfect body for an NBA center. His shot is what is so intriguing to me. He is a consistent mid-range shooter, but he almost opts to shoot the jumper when he could use his 7’0” 260 lb body and get a much easier shot. He is the clear cut #1 choice for me, but I want to see the “dominating” trait that most star centers have. Defensively, he can alter the shot consistently. He is pretty mobile for a 7’0” and can switch onto guards if necessary. If Ayton develops the aggressor mentality, he could be the best center in the league for a long time. Player Comparison: Patrick Ewing

 

2. Marvin Bagley III

 

Bagley’s energy and intensity he brings is one of the best in the draft. He will continuously battle in the paint for offensive boards and out jumps people consistently. My knock on him is the lack of a right hand and a terrible defender. He struggled mightily on the defensive end and looked lost at times. I think Coach K recognized his lack of defense and was the main reason they only played zone instead of going back and forth. He also tries to force his left hand on shots to overcompensate for his lack of polish with his right. He might be the best offensively dominant players in the draft who can run like a gazelle in the open court, but defensively, he is a work in progress. Player Comparison: More explosive Zach Randolph

 

3. Jaren Jackson Jr.

 

Jackson was the 2nd guy I scouted most throughout the year. I watched a lot of game tape and his defense really impressed me. He is so long and has a knack for finding the ball. His defense is what will keep him on the floor in big-game situations. Offensively, his shot is what got all of the attention, shooting 39% from 3, but his post game needs some work. He is very one-dimensional in regards to moves in the paint. He doesn’t have a sweeping hook or really much else besides the drop step or the spin when moving downhill. If he fixes up some of the lack of polish and discipline in his game, he could be the best player out of this draft, because of his incredible defense and ability to stretch the floor. Player Comparison: Myles Turner with better defense

 

4. Mohamed Bamba

 

Mo Bamba has the most intrigue in regards to his body. If he can bulk up, he will be incredible. He is a little soft on both ends of the floor and shies away from contact, but he is 7’0” with a 7’10” wingspan. He can absolutely tantalize defenders and driving guards with his size. He has been working on his jump shot throughout the entire summer, and while that is well-documented, I need to see it in a real game situation. If he adds that to his game, he can be one of the best players in this league. He is just missing the toughness that the NBA demands. He is definitely a top-5 prospect, but where he is on that 1-5 scale really just depends on the team’s opinion on his boom or bust potential. Player Comparison: Rudy Gobert

 

5. Luka Doncic

 

This one is tough just because it is hard to find game tape on Doncic. I watched his FIBA game versus Marc Gasol and Spain, as my only tape on him. After really diving into him and seeing what others said, and watching highlights, the first thing that jumps off the page is his ability to do it all. He is 6’8”, but has handles like a point guard, rebounds like a forward, and can shoot like a pure shooter. I have some concerns in regards to the number of dribbles it takes him to get comfortable, as well as his tendency to settle when a lane is available. He is by far the most balanced prospect, but his offensive game needs some crafting so that he is comfortable driving and breaking down players 1-on-1 to get to the rim. Defensively, he is average. In order to guard top NBA players, he has a lot of work to do, but that is for 95% of all prospects. His wingspan is my only real concern defensively because it doesn’t give him the safety net in case he does get beat. Player Comparison: Lamar Odom

 

6. Wendell Carter Jr.

 

Carter is the first prospect where the draft falls off on. 1-5 is very strong and then 6-9 are the guys who can either settle for being role players or boom into studs. Carter’s biggest strength, in my opinion, is his ability to fit alongside anyone. If he needs to be a bruiser, he will. If he needs to hit the midrange and deep jumpers, he can. Versatility and adaptability are huge. He reminds me of a Jayson Tatum prospect, a guy who comes in and is definitely NBA ready with a high-floor to make an immediate impact. He is not an elite athlete, and won’t outjump guys or put them on posters. He is a very low-key guy who can come in and fill a need. I really like Wendell Carter and he could be the difference-maker on a team trying to make a push for the playoffs. Player Comparison: Al Horford

 

7. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

 

Shai is one of the prospects who had a fantastic second half of the season and is the reason he is even in the lottery discussion. This is one of my favorite prospects that isn’t a Spartan because of his length and craftiness to score. He is a 6’6” point guard with a 7’0” wingspan. The only major concern I have is physicality, but as he develops, I think that will come with it as well. At Kentucky, he seemed to shy away from contact and use flair to get his shot off. Gilgeous-Alexander has the potential to be the best point guard out of this class, and although he isn’t there yet, I see him doing that by the end of year 2 in the league. Player Comparison: More explosive Michael Carter-Williams

 

8. Trae Young

 

Young is the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect. As mentioned earlier, this year’s draft class has a lot of those type prospects, especially in the 6-9 range. Trae lit up the college scene and even had his own stat tracker on ESPN. This is the first “star” we’ve seen model their game off of Steph Curry, instead of the traditional Lebron, Shaq, MJ, Kobe etc. His shooting ability is unbelievable but question marks arise when you look at efficiency. His defense is where the major concerns come. He looks lazy and as if he doesn’t care, but he also is not a big body and isn’t quick enough to stay with the star point guards in the league. Offensively, he can get hot in a minute, but the jury is still out on if he can be efficient in the NBA. Player Comparison: Less skilled Steph Curry

 

9. Kevin Knox

 

Knox is another prime example of Calipari limiting everyone’s ability in order to make the team better. He was limited to being almost a spot-up shooter with limited driving chances. When he did drive, he was pretty effective. He has some awkwardness with him when it comes to his polish on offense, but I think when he can display his entire arsenal, he will be more comfortable. His floor is a 3-and-D prospect, but I see him being able to do more off the dribble. Player Comparison: Brandon Ingram

 

10. Michael Porter Jr.

 

Porter’s college campaign was underwhelming due to injury. He played 2 minutes before getting hurt, and then he returned in March, he was clearly out of shape. That makes it hard to scout him because now I had to revert back to high school. In high school, he was a prolific scorer who could shoot from anywhere. If that remains true, he will be an incredible stretch-4 who can create his own shot from 3. One major concern I have is his toughness and grit. He looks complacent at times and doesn’t show the tenacity of other guys above him. He severely lacks in basketball IQ, but his talent is unquestionable. The injury concerns/durability makes sense but for me, the pause comes at the lack of IQ and complacency. Player Comparison: Harrison Barnes

11. Miles Bridges

 

 

Bridges, along with Jackson, I have watched a lot of. I am higher on him because of the potential I saw at 2 years at MSU. He can shoot the ball efficiently and has no problem firing from anywhere. The concern I see a lot is the “fit” in the NBA. Partly due to the fact that Coach Izzo played him at the 4 at times when Bridges is more natural at the 3. He can play the small 4, but he needs to be the #2 or #3 option. Bridges is not going to be the #1 player on a championship team, but I don’t think you look for that at 8-12. Bridges will come in and if he goes to Philadelphia, which I think is the best fit in the draft, he could be the 3rd option on a team that makes it out of the Eastern Conference. Player Comparison: Tobias Harris

12. Mikal Bridges

 

 

I’m lower on Bridges than most, and that is because of his limited ceiling. While I am low, I could also see him win ROTY depending on where he goes. He is very pro-ready but I don’t think he has much more potential to develop into. I could see his best year in the league being like Kyle Kuzma, and while most teams would love that, I just don’t see the potential. He is the definition of a 3-and-D prospect and he has a winning pedigree to him. I’m worried about his potential and his fire. He looks lazy or complacent at times. Player Comparison: Robert Covington

 

13. Collin Sexton

 

Sexton is one of those guys I just love watching. I am a sucker for passion and energy and Sexton is all about that. His hustle and will to win is so impressive, where it makes up for his lack of pure talent. This is one of my favorite developmental prospects to keep an eye on. His shot still needs work, but he did connect on free throws at a pretty good clip. I’m worried about his decision-making and his tendency to force it, more than I am about the shot. In my opinion, he is one of the guys who it is vital he goes to a good fit for his style of play. Player Comparison: Patrick Beverley

 

14. Robert Williams

 

Robert Williams is another great example of boom or bust. His pure talent gives us a lot to like about him, but his motor and willingness to get better is concerning. He just seems very awkward when doing anything but dunking. I think he could be a very good 4 if he can get smoother offensively, but right now his game is more fit for a 5. At only 6’10” that is a little concerning. Williams’ success will be heavily dependent on the place he goes. ESPN compared him to Clint Capela, but I don’t think he will be as effective defensively. Player Comparison: Deandre Jordan

 

15. Lonnie Walker IV

 

16. Zhaire Smith

 

17. Troy Brown

 

18. Kevin Huerter

19. Donte DiVincenzo

 

20. Grayson Allen

21. Dzanan Musa

 

22. Aaron Holiday

 

23. Mitchell Robinson

24. Jerome Robinson

25. Elie Okobo

26. De’Anthony Melton

27. Keita Bates-Diop

28. Josh Okogie

29. Khyri Thomas

30. Jalen Brunson

 

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