With the new lottery odds and us more than likely finishing in the 8-12 range, we should be real players in the draft this year && I'm doing what I didn't do last season and diving in early.
Here is an awesome rundown by SBNation detailing the top 30 guys to keep an eye on early on:
1. Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State
Cade Cunningham is made for modern basketball
Cunningham feels like the type of player who would be a legitimate No. 1 overall prospect in almost any NBA draft. At 6’6, Cunningham is a big and strong lead guard whose top attribute might be his overall feel for the game. Cunningham doesn’t have outlier, dunk contest-worthy explosiveness, but he can make every read on the floor while scoring efficiently himself. He absolutely dominated the Nike EYBL circuit as a rising senior, posting ridiculous 66 percent true shooting, flashing remarkable passing chops, and forcing his way to the foul line at will. His swing skill will be his three-point shot, but he’s already showing plenty of improvement in that area over the last year.
While the 2020 NBA Draft didn’t have a consensus No. 1 prospect, Cunningham will become that player a year from now even in a class that includes bigger names with more mixtape hype. His game is perfectly suited for the modern NBA, and the team that gets him should have the league’s next foundational young star.
2. Brandon Boston, G, Kentucky
Boston transferred from his high school in suburban Atlanta to play his final year of prep ball with Bronny James on Los Angeles-based powerhouse Sierra Canyon. Now he’s the centerpiece of John Calipari’s top-ranked recruiting class, and looks like he might be even more talented than his RSCI placement at No. 7 overall in the incoming freshman class. A skinny 6’6 guard, Boston is a burgeoning perimeter scorer with tantalizing glimpses of creation potential. He’s already able to pair together multiple dribble crossovers to create space, and seems like a smart, capable defender, too. After grading out well during his final year of EYBL play in advanced metrics like box score plus-minus, Boston deserves to be recognized as a top-five prospect in this class.
3. Evan Mobley, C, USC
Mobley is a consensus top three recruit in the RSCI who joins his older brother Isaiah on the Trojans this season. A skinny 6’11 big man, the younger Mobley has some truly special movement skills for a player his size. Down the line he could project as someone who could defend smaller players on the perimeter while still protecting the rim, but his high center of gravity will lead to questions on if he can hold up down-low long term. What would really make Mobley scary is if his perimeter offensive skills continue to develop. While Mobley doesn’t have the strengths (namely: strength) of the lottery pick he’s replacing in the middle for USC, Onyeka Okongwu, he does have some outlier abilities that make him worthy of top-three consideration going into the year.
4. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite
Green has been at the top of the rankings since his class began to get evaluated. The Fresno, CA native decided to join the G League Ignite team for blue chip recruits who didn’t want to play college basketball or turn pro overseas, setting up a fascinating developmental season in a new environment. Green is a super explosive 6’5 scoring guard with outlier burst and explosion. He can score points in a hurry when he gets hot, but he’ll have to work on becoming a more consistent decision-maker on a possession-by-possession basis. NBA scouts will want to see where his three-point shot is at, how he defends, and if he can consistently put pressure on the rim by driving the ball into the paint.
5. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite
Kuminga will join Green on the NorCal-based Ignite team after reclassifying to graduate early from high school and put himself in position to be a top pick in the 2021 draft. At 6’7, Kuminga is a strong, athletic forward who has been working to develop his on-ball game over the last year. Scouts will want to evaluate his level of feel and decision-making in the G League, while also seeing where his jump shot is at. Ideally, Kuminga develops into a versatile defender (right now, his point of attack defense is better than his help defense) who can score on cuts and put-backs while he grows the rest of his game.