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The Young Stars of the adidas Eurocamp

Basketball Insiders Nate Duncan scouts the best young talent and potential future NBA prospects at adidas Eurocamp 2014.

Nate Duncan

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The 2014 adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy was notable for the massive amount of young talent present.  The shoe company was able to bring over the best talent from the inaugural season of its Gauntlet all-star circuit, including a number of top-20 prospects in the 2015 and 2016 high school classes.   The Eurocamp also featured intriguing young talent born in 1998 and 1999 in the Next Generation group of players who practiced separately. Today we will examine the best of these younger players, saving this year’s potential NBA draftees for a few days hence.


Thon Maker

Class of 2016 seven-footer Thon Maker has been compared to both Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett due to his thin frame and shooting ability, but aside from borrowing KD’s rip through move neither of those comparisons particularly holds water. Maker is much less athletic than either comparison, and as a result is not much of a rebounder or shotblocker at this stage despite standing 7’0 with a 7’2 wingspan.

Maker’s strengths start with his jump shot. He has a pure and easy release, and already possesses the smoothness and footwork to shoot off the pick and pop with range. Maker did not quite appear comfortable shooting from NBA three-point range in Treviso, but was money out to the college line and should have no problems extending his range in time. He was also effective scoring in isolation, although he struggled to create separation. He was not able to get by his man to the rim, and often would pick up his dribble in midrange after an unsuccessful attempt to back down–and then hit a nearly impossible shot anyway. Maker drained a number of attempts where he was chested off balance by the defender, and also unveiled a Dirk Nowitzki one-legged fadeaway. It got to the point where it was surprising if he missed a jumper, no matter how difficult the attempt.

The Sudanese native also showed some nice passing ability out of the post, finding shooters on the weakside a couple of times. That was noteworthy on a U.S. team that had a mere eight assists in a 119-85 loss to the Eurocamp All-Stars. Another strength was his lateral quickness. He had absolutely no problems staying with guards either hedging or straight switching the pick and roll, and his defensive intensity was solid for someone of his experience level. In fact, he appeared to be a leader on the US team, as he was the most active calling out the plays and directing his teammates.

Maker’s biggest problem, and by extension that of this U.S. team, was his inability to block shots or rebound. That was not due to lack of effort, as he made consistent efforts to challenge shots, fight in the post and hit the glass. He just came up short due to his physical limitations, as he would have rebounds ripped out of his hands, barely miss shot blocks and get backed down by players weighing up to 50 pounds more than him. Consequently, the US team gave up 54 percent offensive rebounding and a 138 offensive rating to the Eurocamp All-Stars and got similarly bludgeoned by the French U-20 team and Canadian National Champions Carleton University.* In the game against the Eurocamp All-Stars, Maker had one defensive rebound and zero blocks in 31 minutes.

*Due to the five years of college eligibility in Canada, this team featured many mature 21-24 year olds. Although they didn’t really play anyone over 6’7, their experience, three-point shooting and solid defensive system under coach Dave Smart was extremely effective. They dropped 14-36 threes on the US team that was not remotely used to guarding the NBA three-point line.

Maker also showed little ability to get to the basket, and was not the greatest finisher on the rare occasions US guards were able to get him the ball there. He has average explosiveness and wasn’t really able to turn it over and dunk despite a few attempts.

His ability to put on weight and improve his floor game is the biggest variable in whether he can fulfill the top-ten or even top-five aspirations many have for him. He will never have the heft to be a center, but he needs to be playable at the four to really take advantage of his amazing jump shot for his size. If he can hold up in those areas, he should be a major weapon out of the pick-and-pop, although he may never have the quickness or strength to be a superior isolation or post up scorer even if he can hold up well enough on D. That is why his ceiling seems more top-ten pick than top-five, and why his ranking as the number one recruit in the 2016 class is optimistic. It should also be noted that his February 1997* birthday would normally place him in the class of 2015, and there is talk he may in fact reclassify. But the comparatively early birth date must be included in computing his ceiling.

*Some scouts have expressed skepticism over his birth date due to his Sudanese origin, but the fact he moved to Australia at age five (presumably before anyone would have realized an incentive to lie about his age) somewhat assuages those concerns.  EDIT: One NBA front officer made a good point to me, namely that Maker conveniently started kindergarten at the requisite “age five” in Australia upon emigrating. Coming from war-torn Sudan, it is quite possible that neither he nor his parents know his precise age and he was started in school at the age that made the most sense.

Dragan Bender

We first saw Bender as a 16 year-old on the adidas Next Generation team of younger prospects last year. He recently signed a seven-year contract with Maccabi Tel-Aviv (NBA out unknown). As the youngest participant in the main camp this year, Bender largely played the four and struggled. He was willing to take outside shots but largely did not hit them, with some pretty bad misses. The Croatian appeared to be a bit of a thumber, i.e. he uses his thumb on his left hand while shooting. This leads to inconsistency, and he had a number of misses left or right.

Bender has grown some since last year, standing 6’11 with a 9’3 standing reach and 7’1 wingspan. He remains a rail thin 202 pounds, and struggled to bang inside. He did show small flashes on the offensive glass and some passing ability, but overall did not appear to have much chance of scoring aside from what was created by others. And he of course had trouble finishing inside due to his frame, as he was often bumped off course on the way to the rim.

Bender appeared to be pressing, especially with his jump shot.* At this stage he is more effective using his length to affect shots and filling in the gaps offensively while letting the game come to him. It must be emphasized that he is by no means a stiff at his height, with solid mobility and the ability to get into a stance defensively while seeing if not necessarily successfully executing advanced passes at times. He possesses the ability to grab and go at the lower levels as well, though we saw little of that from him here.

Bender should develop nicely in Maccabi’s system, especially if they can put a little weight on him. Dominant scoring does not appear to be in his future, but if he can become a threat from downtown and his floor game fills out he could be an NBA prospect as a stretch four.

*Granted, he was shooting like he expected to make them, so perhaps he usually does more often.

Dennis Smith

Smith had a lethargic first two days of the camp, leading me to tweet that the 6’2 point guard was less athletic than advertised. The North Carolina 910 area code native (as he trumpets on his Twitter) also struggled to get much going from a playmaking perspective, and unsurprisingly got torched in the pick-and-roll by point guards three and four years his senior. His attitude and body language were not the best either, and as one of the younger players he was unable to provide the typical leadership from the point.

But Smith had a much better showing offensively against Carleton University on Monday, getting to the rim against the packed in defense while showing nice change of direction on his jump stop and solid extension when finishing off two feet. His one foot jump is less impressive though. Overall he has above-average but not blinding quickness and ballhandling moves. He has solid form on his jump shot even out to the NBA three-point line, although he struggled overall on jumpers because he had to take some bad ones with the unfamiliar 24 second shot clock running down.

It should be noted that Smith is only a rising high school junior, with a class-appropriate November 1997 birthday. He may grow another inch or two, which would be a real game-changer for him as a prospect. But even at his current size he certainly has eventual first-round potential.

Brandon Ingram

The excitement about Ingram comes much more from his potential than what he was able to do on the court in Treviso. At a listed 6’8, 180, he simply did not have the strength to get anything done playing against men. His frame makes Dragan Bender look like an Adonis. Skill-wise, Ingram was able to hit some tough jumpers, and showed great extension on a few finishes when he was able to catch the ball inside. But Ingram was a total nonfactor on the glass, in the passing lanes and blocking shots, all of which were disappointing given his length. He can’t really get up off two feet. His lateral quickness and explosiveness off the dribble were below average in this setting as well, but his length and smooth shot provide some projectability. To mature into an NBA prospect he will need to hit the squat rack and consume 1,000 protein shakes over the next year.*

*I am not saying that to be flip; three 50 gram protein shakes per day is about what a kid like Ingram needs.

Kobi Jordan-Simmons

Others were wowed by Jordan-Simmons’ potential, but the July 1997-born point guard was less impressive to me based on his performance here. The case for Jordan-Simmons begins with his listed 6’5 height/wingspan and what appeared to be solid shooting ability on just a few attempts. But he struggled to bring the ball up against pressure by his intense but relatively slow (by NBA standards) opponents. He really was not able to get by anyone into the lane, and did not show particularly impressive hops either. His very thin frame is likely to max out at a Jamal Crawford level at best, but he doesn’t appear to have that kind of handle or athleticism. Maybe I caught him on a bad few days, but it was difficult to see what the fuss was about.


Top ranked High schooler Jaylen Brown talks about playing in front of NBA GMs, traveling to Italy and whats next for his blossoming career.

Jaylen Brown

Atlanta native Jaylen Brown leaped off the court as by far the best prospect at the Eurocamp. Brown has Stanley Johnson’s haircut and a similarly strong body, but he is a much better prospect due to his superior ball skills and explosion. Brown looked like a sure top-ten pick and possible contender for the top-five in 2016, revealing no worrisome weaknesses in his two games in Treviso. The story starts with his excellent physical profile, standing a legitimate 6’7 in shoes and 6’10 wingspan. At 207 pounds, he was stronger than the European competitors a year or two his senior.* More impressive is his fantastic leaping off either one or two feet. The latter was particularly noteworthy as he blocked four shots in his first game against the French Under-20 team.

*One small ding for Brown’s potential is his relatively early October 1996 birthday for his class.

Brown possesses a nice shooting-guard level handle and is a freight train attacking the basket in transition. He also had enough shake to get to the basket off the dribble in the halfcourt in this setting, and his finishing was a revelation. Brown was able to create separation at the rim, bouncing off opposing big men and finishing with either hand and often getting foul calls from even the notoriously stingy Eurocamp referees. He shot 19 free throws in two games (he missed the third game as he had to return to the US for the U-18 FIBA Americas tryouts) and got fouled 13 times.*

*International box scores are far superior to even NBA box scores, including data such as how many times a player was fouled and how many times he had his shot blocked. There is no reason NCAA box scores should be so much worse, as they do not even include simple plus-minus.

The US annually produces a few players of this ilk, but what really set Brown apart was his shooting ability. The Eurocamp uses the NBA 3 point line, and he went 2-3 from that range over the two games while hitting another few FIBA threes both on spot ups or off the dribble. It was a small sample size, but his range appeared very solid for a 17 year-old. His step back game is excellent, facilitated by using his strong body to create separation and his strong legs to power up after stepping back.

Brown’s individual defense waxed and waned as for many kids his age, but he showed the ability to lock down at times. As the U.S. was getting torched by Vasa Micic and the Eurocamp All-Stars and the game started getting out of hand, he took on the challenge of guarding the Serbian point guard and got right into him, forcing a turnover and showing great feet and intensity on a few other possessions.

Lauding Browns’ shooting, defense, and off-the-dribble game leaves few facets of the game to constitute his weaknesses. He did not throw a single memorable pass in the two games, although the spacing and cohesiveness wasn’t up to the level of the rest of the camp to facilitate that. And the U.S. team got massacred on the offensive glass by the Eurocamp All-Stars, for which Brown must share some blame despite being by far the leading rebounder for the US.

This was only two games, but Brown looked like a superior wing prospect to anyone in the high school class of 2014. The main caveat is that extremely athletic American wings can look a lot better in an international setting than against their athletic peers, with a prime example the performances of Aaron Gordon and Justise Winslow at the 2013 U-19 World Championships in Prague.* I will be looking forward to seeing whether Brown can sustain this effort assuming he attends adidas Nations later this summer.

*It should be noted that Saturday’s opponent, the French U-20 team, had plenty of athletes.

Isaiah Hartenstein

The son of former Oregon Duck Flo Hartenstein, the 6’9, 207 pound 1998-born Hartenstein is the rare young European prospect with solid explosion off two feet.  He dominated physically against his age-group peers as part of adidas’ Next Generation group of younger prospects.  The lefty showed range out of the FIBA three-point line and the ability to put the ball on the floor to his left and get to the basket.  He dominated on the offensive glass, even dunking after coming down with rebounds.  Hartenstein makes quick decisions and even threw a few nice passes off his drives.  The only disappointment was his lack of shot-blocking.  He will certainly be a player to watch in the coming years.

Nate Duncan is an NBA analyst and attorney. He writes regular features for Basketball Insiders and chats weekly at 11 Eastern on Tuesdays.

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NBA Daily: Looking At The 2018 Draft Class By Tiers

The NBA Draft is a hard thing to predict, especially when it comes to draft order and individual team needs, Basketball Insiders publisher Steve Kyler takes a look at how this draft looks in tiers.

Steve Kyler

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Looking At The 2018 Draft In Tiers

While Mock Drafts are an easy way to look at how the NBA Draft might play out, what they do no do is give a sense of what a specific player might be as a player at the next level. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how some of the notable NBA draft prospects project.

It’s important to point out that situation and circumstance often impact how a player develops, even more so than almost any other variable.

So while the goal here is to give a sense of how some NBA teams and insiders see a draft prospect’s likely potential, it is by no means meant to suggest that a player can’t break out of his projection and become more or sometimes less than his he was thought to be.

Every draft class has examples of players projected to be one thing that turns out to be something else entirely, so these projections are not meant to be some kind of final empirical judgment or to imply a specific draft position, as each team may value prospects differently.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at the 2018 NBA Draft in Tiers.

The Potential Future All-Stars

DeAndre Ayton – Arizona – C – 7’0″ – 245 lbs – 20 yrs
Luka Doncic – Real Madrid – SG – 6’7″ – 218 lbs – 19 yrs
Michael Porter Jr – Missouri – SF/PF – 6’10” – 216 lbs – 20 yrs

Maybe Stars, But Likely High-Level Starters

Jaren Jackson Jr. – Michigan State – PF – 6’10” – 225 lbs – 19 yrs
Marvin Bagley III – Duke – PF – 6’11” – 220 lbs – 19 yrs
Wendell Carter – Duke – PF – 6’10” – 257 lbs – 19 yrs
Mohamed Bamba – Texas – C – 7’0″ – 216 lbs – 20 yrs
Collin Sexton – Alabama – PG – 6’2″ – 184 lbs – 19 yrs
Mikal Bridges – Villanova – SG/SF – 6’7″ – 210 lbs – 22 yrs
Robert Williams – Texas A&M – C – 6’9″ – 235 lbs – 21 yrs
Miles Bridges – Michigan State – SF/PF – 6’7″ – 230 lbs – 20 yrs
Dzanan Musa – Cedevita – SF – 6′ 9″ – 195 lbs – 19 yrs
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Kentucky – SG – 6′ 6″ – 181 lbs – 20 yrs
Trae Young – Oklahoma – PG – 6’2″ – 180 lbs – 20 yrs

Maybe Starters, But Surely Rotation Players

Kevin Knox – Kentucky – SF – 6’9″ – 206 lbs – 19 yrs
Troy Brown – Oregon – SG – 6’6″ – 210 lbs – 19 yrs
Khyri Thomas – Creighton – SG – 6′ 3″ – 210 lbs – 22 yrs
Zhaire Smith – Texas Tech – SG – 6′ 5″ – 195 lbs – 19 yrs
Rodions Kurucs – FC Barcelona B – SF – 6′ 9″ – 220 lbs – 20 yrs
Aaron Holiday – UCLA – PG – 6′ 1″ – 185 lbs – 22 yrs
Jacob Evans – Cincinnati – SF – 6′ 6″ – 210 lbs – 21 yrs
De’Anthony Melton – USC – PG – 6’4″ – 190 lbs – 20 yrs

The Swing For The Fence Prospects – AKA Boom-Or-Bust

Lonnie Walker – Miami – SG – 6’4″ – 206 lbs – 20 yrs
Mitchell Robinson – Chalmette HS – C – 7′ 0″ – 223 lbs – 20 yrs
Anfernee Simons – IMG Academy – SG – 6′ 5″ – 177 lbs – 19 yrs
Jontay Porter – Missouri – C – 6′ 11″ – 240 lbs – 19 yrs
Lindell Wigginton – Iowa State – PG – 6′ 2″ – 185 lbs – 20 yrs
Bruce Brown – Miami – SG – 6’5″ – 191 lbs – 22 yrs
Isaac Bonga – Skyliners (Germany) – SF/SG – 6’9″ – 203 lbs – 19 yrs
Hamidou Diallo – Kentucky – SG – 6’5″ – 197 lbs – 20 yrs

Players not listed are simply draft prospects that could be drafted, but don’t project clearly into any of these tiers.

If you are looking for a specific player, check out the Basketball Insiders Top 100 Prospects list, this listing is updated weekly.

More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to ensure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @LangGreene, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @TommyBeer, @MokeHamilton , @jblancartenba, @Ben_Dowsett, @SpinDavies, @BuddyGrizzard, @JamesB_NBA, @DennisChambers_, @mike_yaffe, @MattJohnNBA, and @Ben__Nadeau.

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Top Ten NCAA Basketball Juniors: 2017-18

While the NCAA junior class typically provides a limited number of NBA-ready options, this could be the most talented group in quite some time.

Mike Yaffe

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NCAA juniors might appear to yield limited options for NBA draft purposes. But while the “one and done” athletes receive the most hype, there can also be worthy candidates from the third-year ranks due to factors like attrition, injuries, suspensions or transferring to another school.

Although the majority of last season’s top prospects either stayed for their senior year (Grayson Allen, Trevon Bluiett) or went undrafted (Melo Trimble), there was still NBA-ready talent to be had in both Justin Jackson (Sacramento Kings) and Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies).

This year’s crop should be more fruitful, as many of the athletes listed below were able to showcase their talents in the March Madness tournament; in fact, three of them played in the national championship game itself.

With honorable mention due to Shake Milton (SMU), Jalen Hudson (Florida) and Melvin Frazier (Tulane), here are the top ten NCAA basketball juniors from the 2017-18 season:

10. Allonzo Trier, SG, Arizona

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 4 in., 205 lb.

Despite being overshadowed by top overall prospect DeAndre Ayton, Trier had an impressive campaign of his own that featured personal highs in both scoring (18.1 PPG) and free-throw percentage (.865). He was named the MVP of the PAC-12 tournament, but failed to deliver (10 points, zero three-pointers) in the team’s upset loss to Buffalo to derail the Wildcats’ post-season aspirations.

Trier’s college-level career was extended by a pair of PED-related suspensions, but perhaps his season-high 32 points in his first game back served notice that the infractions are firmly in the past. If nothing else, he should at least be able to represent his team in the NBA dunk contest.

Draft-day projection: mid-to-late second round

9. Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 11 in., 235 lb.

Wagner raised eyebrows with his timely three-point shooting in the NCAA tournament, but the reality is that he averaged just over 39 percent from beyond the arc in both his sophomore and junior years. In addition, he set collegiate highs in both rebounds (7.1) and points per game (14.6) in what was a successful, if not breakthrough, campaign.

Although bigs who can shoot from outside are more commonplace than ever, there is surely room in the league for the German who is likely to follow in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Dirk Nowitzki and Maxi Kleber, with the latter being the more apt comparison.

Draft-day projection: mid second round

8. Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 2 in., 190 lb.

Brunson blossomed into the Big East player of the year while staying put at Villanova for three seasons. His 18.9 points and 4.6 assists per game as a junior are nearly double what he averaged as a freshman, and his ascension to running the point for the defending national champs has been impressive.

No one can question Brunson’s passion for the game, but he lacks the scoring ability of comparably-sized point guards Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard, both of whom averaged over 24 PPG at the collegiate level. He will also need to improve on the defensive end, but a sustainable NBA career similar to that of Jeff Teague is within reach.

Draft-day projection: early-to-mid second round

7. Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 10 in., 225 lb.

A Lawndale, CA native who stayed local, Metu has averaged nearly the same points (14.8 then 15.7), rebounds (7.6 then 7.4) and blocks (1.4 then 1.6) per contest between his sophomore and junior years. Yet this apparent level of consistency belies a great deal of variation in his contributions on a game-by-game basis, and don’t think the scouts haven’t noticed.

As a case in point, Metu’s final Pac-12 tournament ended with a thud, as he managed a mere seven points and four boards against Arizona, and the Trojans were subsequently left out of the big dance. Much like Texas’ Mo Bamba, he possesses the size and tools to be effective in the NBA, as long as he is willing to put forth the effort.

Draft-day projection: late first-to-early second round

6. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 7 in., 235 lb.

Bates-Diop responded to his medical redshirt in 2016-17 by becoming the Big Ten’s player of the year, during which he produced 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He averaged 26.0 PPG in the NCAA tourney, although he was nearly kept off the glass (three rebounds) in the Buckeyes’ elimination loss to Gonzaga.

While Bates-Diop has drawn comparisons to the Dallas Mavericks’ Harrison Barnes, his burly stature seems more reminiscent of former Mavericks forward Justin Anderson, who has been a bench fixture since his trade to the Philadelphia Sixers. Despite Bates-Diop’s impressive college resume, it will be incumbent upon him to cause matchup problems as a stretch-four at the next level, a stipulation that most likely will eliminate him from lottery pick consideration for now.

Draft-day projection: late first round

5. Jacob Evans, SF, Cincinnati

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 6 in., 210 lb.

Evans brings Swiss Army knife potential at the small forward position that NBA teams covet. His surface-level stats (13.0 PPG, 3.1 APG) aren’t eye-popping, but when you consider that he led the NCAA’s second-ranked defensive team in both categories, it seems feasible that he was limited more by style of play than by personal ability.

Despite his deflated offensive stats, Evans converted 37 percent of his three-point attempts, so comparing him to the Houston Rockets’ Trevor Ariza seems appropriate for his skill set. In the Bearcats’ loss to Nevada in the NCAA tournament, Evans had 19 points and seven rebounds, which coaches would gladly take from him on a regular basis.

Draft-day projection: late first round

4. Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 3 in., 210 lb.

With a 6 ft. 10 in. wingspan (showcased on this block) and the ability to connect at a 41.1 percent clip from outside, Thomas may best exemplify a prototypical “three and D” player in the league. His 15.1 PPG and 1.7 SPG are both indicative of year-over-year improvement, and he possesses the physical dimensions that can make him effective as a pro.

Playing on a Blue Jays squad that got eliminated in their first game of both the conference and the NCAA tournaments afforded Thomas little opportunity to perform in the spotlight, but the level of consistency with which he produced before those early exits cannot be ignored.

Draft-day projection: mid-to-late first round

3. Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 6 in., 191 lb.

A tall shooter with a slight frame, Robinson brings to mind former NBAer Kerry Kittles, who was a productive member of the New Jersey Nets (before they moved to Brooklyn) for several years. Playing for an average Eagles squad, Robinson provided double-digit scoring in all but three games during his junior season, including a whopping 46 points at Notre Dame.

Although his Boston College team didn’t participate in March Madness, Robinson still averaged 21.7 PPG in three conference tournament games, which included two opponents (Clemson, NC State) that were invited to the big dance. He probably won’t be drafted in the top 15, but he makes for a safe choice among the better NBA teams, which would allow time for him to develop his upper body strength.

Draft-day projection: mid-to-late first round

2. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 1 in., 185 lb.

After starting his freshman year, Holiday was relegated to the bench as a sophomore before reclaiming the starting gig after incumbent Lonzo Ball departed for the NBA. His junior campaign was remarkable, as he averaged 20.3 PPG and connected on 42.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Over the course of the season, he scored in single digits once while cracking the 30-point barrier on three occasions (including the Pac-12 quarterfinals).

As the youngest brother of current NBA players Jrue and Justin, Aaron Holiday brings a pedigree that should enhance his draft-day value. While he is smallish by league standards, both Yogi Ferrell (as a key reserve) and Kemba Walker (as an All-Star) have proven that so-called limitation is far from being a show-stopper.

Draft-day projection: mid-to-late first round

1. Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova

Tale of the tape: 6 ft. 7 in., 210 lb.

A swingman by NBA standards, Bridges nearly doubled his production as a sophomore by averaging 17.7 PPG, which was buoyed by his ability to make three-pointers at a 43.5 percent clip. Although super-sub Donte DiVincenzo dominated the national title game, it was Bridges who led the Wildcat starters with 19 points of his own after being named MVP of the preceding Big East tournament. Much like the aforementioned Jacob Evans, he is capable of stuffing the stat sheet, but Bridges is the better offensive threat of the two.

With his 7 ft. 2 in. wingspan and long-distance accuracy, perhaps Bridges himself said it best when he listed Paul George and Kawhi Leonard as players that “intrigued” him. While mock drafts have varied wildly in terms of projecting the other names on this list, Bridges appears to be a consensus top-ten pick, albeit towards the tail end of that continuum.

Draft-day projection: early-to-mid first round

 

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NBA Daily: 2018 NBA 60-Pick Mock Draft – 4/10/18

With the floodgates open and college players entering the draft class left and right, Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick NBA Mock Draft.

Steve Kyler

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With the NBA regular season coming to a close, there are some draft ramifications to watch.

Should the Milwaukee Bucks stay where they are today, they would not convey their pick to the Phoenix Suns as that pick is protected in such a way that it only conveys if it lands between the 11 and 16th pick.

Equally, the dead heat that exists in the Western Conference playoff race, could shift several teams around the draft board based on how the season actually finishes.

There are also some key dates to keep in mind this draft season:

College players can request information from the NBA Draft Advisory panel on where they might fall in the draft; they must request this information by April 13. The Advisory panel is comprised of well-respected draft talent evaluators that offer would-be draft prospects a draft range valuation based on a survey of NBA executives. Historically their range projections have been pretty accurate, and it’s a way for a college player to understand how the NBA views them as a draft prospect. It’s not a guarantee by any means, simply an informed survey of how NBA teams value them in terms of where they might get drafted, if at all.

The NBA’s Early Entry deadline is April 22. All underclassmen that wish to be included for draft consideration must declare in writing to the NBA, by that date.

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held in Chicago on May 15. The annual NBA Draft Combine will get underway on May 16, also in Chicago. In any given draft year, roughly 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted into the NBA, so a Combine invite is a significant milestone.

The NCAA requires all players wishing to maintain their college eligibility, without penalty, to withdraw from the NBA Draft by 11:59 pm on May 30. That is an NCAA mandated date, not related to anything involving the NBA, and that notice must be delivered in writing.

The NBA’s draft withdrawal date is June 11 by 5:00 pm ET. The NBA’s date allows a prospect to remain NBA draft eligible for future NBA drafts and is not related to any NCAA rule or date. There are ways for college players that did not accept benefits to return to college, however, they may be subject to NCAA penalties.

Here is this week’s 2018 NBA Mock Draft, based on the standings of games played through 4/09/18:

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