Prospect Rankings

2019 Rookie Dynasty Rankings

Tier 1

1. Zion Williamson

Tier 2

2. Ja Morant

Tier 3

3. Brandon Clarke 

4. Jarrett Culver 

5. Nickeil Alexander-Walker

6. Darius Garland 

7. RJ Barrett

8. Goga Bitadze

9. Grant Williams

10. Cam Reddish

11. Matisse Thybulle

Tier 4

12. DeAndre Hunter

13. Coby White

14. Tyler Herro

15. Sekou Doumbouya 

16. Jaxson Hayes 

17. PJ Washington 

18. Rui Hachimura

Tier 5

19. Carsen Edwards

20. Romeo Langford

21. Cameron Johnson

22. Dylan Windler

23. Chuma Okeke 

24. Kevin Porter Jr

25. Daniel Gafford

26. Bol Bol 

27. Jontay Porter

28. Talen Horton-Tucker

Tier 6

29. Luka Samanic

30. Bruno Fernando

31. Ty Jerome

32. Josh Reaves

33. Miye Oni

34. Nassir Little

35. Nicolas Claxton

36. John Konchar

37. Keldon Johnson

38. Ignas Brazdeikis

39. Marcos “Didi” Louzada Silva

40. Darius Bazley 

41. Zach Norvell

42. Mfiondu Kabengele 

43. Justin Robinson

44. Naz Reid

45. Terence Davis

46. Tremont Waters

47. Jordan Bone

48. Isaiah Roby

49. KZ Okpala

50. Deividas Sirvydis

51. Cody Martin

52. Jalen Lecque

53. Terance Mann

54. Admiral Schofield

55. Sagaba Konate

(Updated early-September)

The rankings are predominantly determined by each prospect’s performance this season but with some influence from obvious presumed potential to develop, as well as a player’s previous collegiate/professional years where applicable. Aspects that don’t appear in box scores also help define these rankings: intangibles that Scouts and GM’s look for like court vision, defense, basketball IQ, hustle, and athleticism. While these items don’t show up in fantasy basketball categories, they are very important in helping the player earn playing time in the NBA.

Below is a brief bio of each player listed above.

Zion Williamson

PF – 6’7, 280 lb – age 18

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – Steals – Blocks – FG% – some Assists

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Rookie Draft Consideration: 1st Overall Pick

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Zion is more than just a freak athlete who relies solely on brute strength and explosiveness. Yes, his frame does help him bully his fellow college players around a bit (and honestly, he should be able to do the same to plenty of NBA players as soon as he steps foot on the pro court). Zion possesses a lot more to “ooh and aah” at though. Finesse, high basketball IQ, ball control, body control, handling, and passing/playmaking – these are all aspects of his game that are severely underestimated. There aren’t many things to dislike when it comes to Zion’s all-around fantasy game potential. His deep-ball may not be at a reliable level yet but he’s working on it. He’ll come into the league with a better shot outlook than Giannis did. I compare Zion to Giannis not because of physical similarities. In fact, they’re very different in that regard. Remember, we’re making comparisons here strictly based on perceived Fantasy skill sets. Comparing a prospect to Giannis just seems like it should feel wrong. It doesn’t. Not when it comes to a guy with such a broad skill set like Zion Williamson.

Post-Draft Notes: When the Pelicans shocked the world and drafted Zion first overall, a new era began in the Big Easy. The booze-and-food-filled streets were flooded with Pelicans red – a refreshing, new sight to behold in a city that formerly put football first. Not even Anthony Davis extracted this level of excitement and glee. With an overhauled front office, health trainer, assistant coaching cast, and roster in general, Owner Gayle Benson is displaying the effort needed to flip the image of a lowly organization into a winning one. Alvin Gentry is hands down one of the best coaches Zion could have landed with. He often puts the ball in his big man’s hands and pushes the pace in a unique way. Gentry should help Zion wring out most of his potential fantasy value from day one.

Ja Morant

PG – 6’3, 180 lbs – age 19

Strengths: Points – Rebound – Assists – Steals – FT%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Russell Westbrook

Rookie Draft Consideration: Top 3

24.6 Points, 5.5 Rebounds, 10 Assists, 1.8 Steals, 0.8 Blocks, 1.6 Three’s, .503 FG%, .810 FT%

Look at those numbers. Morant’s on-court play speaks for itself. You can try to argue to pull back the reins a bit because of the program he plays for but there’s only so much we can temper expectations before proceeding to drool at such outrageous stats. Plus, Morant has played against some Power 5 conference teams this year and still didn’t cease to amaze. Here are his average stats from his games against Alabama and Auburn: 31.5 Points, 8.5 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 1 Steal, 0.5 Blocks, .525 FG%, .829 FT%.

With a very similar Fantasy game to Russell Westbrook – plus, a 3-ball and Free Throw shot that appears to have improved dramatically enough throughout the season that they could be considered “strengths” of his soon as well – Morant has become the most sought-after Fantasy prize outside of the 1st-overall pick in Dynasty drafts.

Post-Draft Notes: With the trading away of Mike Conley, so begins the Ja-Jaren movement. And with no real, significant, starter-worthy backcourt competition to take the ball out of Morant’s hands, I’m hoping we see a lot of Morant-to-Jackson pick-and-pops. The Milwaukee Bucks ranked 6th in pace of play last season and, with the Grizzlies hiring new head coach Taylor Jenkins – a Mike Budenholzer product – to lead the fray, the hope has to be that the pace comes with him. If Jenkins does this new young core justice, we could see the NBA’s next big frontman blossom in the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll.

RJ Barrett

Rookie Draft Consideration: Top 5

SG/SF – 6’7, 205 lbs – age 18

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – Assists – some 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Jimmy Butler

One of the more complete players entering this year’s draft, Barrett brings several on-court strengths. He knows how to get the ball in the hoop and use his competitiveness to hustle on defense. One of my biggest questions with Barrett going into the season was if playmaking could be a real aspect of his game and he’s answered that call, posting over 4 Assists per game. Averaging .457 FG%, .662 FT%, .304 3pt%, and 3.2 TO’s per game, concerns still linger regarding his efficiency. However, Barrett’s IQ and superior will to better himself should prove most useful on his journey to become a near-every-cat stud. It shouldn’t take long for Barrett to become one of the physically strongest players at his position. He’ll need that strength if he is to find any success with his ‘barrel-into-guys-while-driving’ play-style. Another strength of Barrett’s which will allow him to put up points and assists is his smooth transition game. While he’s not the most polished half-court asset, Barrett is one of the better transition finishers/decision-makers in this draft. R.J. certainly has his weaknesses but also has the upside and drive to overcome them and become a top 40 player in the future. He’d likely be the third overall player I’d consider drafting in Dynasty this season.

Post-Draft Notes: From losing their minds after falling out of the Zion sweepstakes to accepting RJ Barrett as “the steal of the draft,” it’s been one heck of a ride for Knicks fans and Barrett himself. The second Duke product off the board could have a monster season, or he could have just the opposite. The level of his rookie-season fantasy production relies heavily on what the Knicks are able to accomplish in free agency. If the 2019 New York dream comes to fruition and they score two max-level studs, Barrett could find it difficult to produce much in. On the other hand, if New York strikes out in free agency, it could be the Barrett show in the Big Apple.

Jarrett Culver

SG – 6’6.75, 194 lbs – age 20

Strengths: Points – Steals – 3’s – some Assists

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Eric Bledsoe

Rookie Draft Consideration: Top 6

After skyrocketing up draft boards mid-season, Culver seems to have quieted down just a bit before leading his team to a Final Four appearance – a feat which will not go unnoticed by NBA scouts. Still considered a top 10 prospect, and beyond, by most accounts, Culver should likely end up in a situation where he can see big minutes from the jump. His ability to guard up to three positions while also seeing increased distributing duties as a Sophomore has pushed Culver into early-lottery consideration. Because of his perceived skills to positively contribute in almost every category (although he may not be a true high-level contributor in any single cat at first), I’d look at Culver as early as Top 5 in Dynasty drafts. Culver’s on-court ceiling could even be on-par with that of RJ Barrett.

Post-Draft Notes: The Timberwolves moved up to snag Culver – and with good reason. Culver can become a second – or maybe even a first option for this team. A two-way early-lotto talent with lead-Guard experience, the Texas Tech product should be the primary ball-handler in Minnesota. The presence of Towns can help Culver in more ways than one. In addition to taking some pressure off of the rookie, Towns will be a great tag team partner for Culver in multiple offensive facets while the Texas Tech product will also contribute on the less-glamorous end.

Brandon Clarke

SF/PF – 6’8.25, 207 lbs – age 22

Strengths: Rebounds – Steals – Blocks – FG% – TO’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 3 – 10

Clarke will draw interest from NBA scouts as the best defensive player in the country. He also possesses elite rim-running/finishing ability and is a top-tier shot-blocker. At 6’8, Clarke likely isn’t going to be Center-eligible for Fantasy purposes, but his skill set says otherwise. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for the big Steals/Blocks providers and there’s no better candidate for such feats in the lottery than Clarke. Age and offensive limitations might hinder his early-lottery considerations in the real-life draft, but that won’t stop me from considering him with my top 6 selections in my Rookie drafts – especially if I’m in need of those hustle stats he provides so well.

Post-Draft Notes: A Clarke/JJJ frontcourt will certainly be on my League Pass watch list. Memphis can still throw a wrench into the situation by signing/trading for another worthy PF or C who will demand minutes. But as of now, Clarke looks like a serious hustle stat-stacker in Memphis. Newly hired head coach Taylor Jenkins will likely try to push the pace, bolstering the Grizzlies youngsters’ fantasy value even further. Clarke seems to have grown in hype lately – to the point where he won’t be a steal anymore.

Bol Bol

C – 7’2.5, 208 lbs – age 19

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – Blocks – 3’s – FG% – FT%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Kristaps Porzingis

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 4 – 10

Bol can better his draft stock during workouts by showcasing his skills while not having to do so against a real player. It’ll be a great time to show off his diverse, unique skill set which includes ball-handling and shooting at a rare level for a guy his size. It’s no secret that Bol’s frame and physicality is a concern that’ll likely hold his stock down a bit. The fear with Bol is that he ends up similar to a Thon Maker. But from his shot-blocking and shooting potential to his early-lottery pedigree and other numerous on-court strengths, it’s hard to envision Bol wasting away on a rebuilding team’s bench. Taking a chance on Bol could be a worthy risk outside of the first handful of picks. His crazy impressive 3pt% and reliable FT% might prove too enticing to pass up.

Post-Draft Notes: Many expected Bol to slide a bit in the draft. A guy his size with a foot injury like the one he sustained is an obvious red flag. With that being said… HOLY COW. I don’t think any of us fantasy-heads saw this coming. Considering where Bol fell to and which team he landed on, his immediate outlook can be in question. On a team with playoff hopes again, only time will tell if Bol can get healthy and see minutes any time soon. One thing is for sure – he has massive fantasy potential. But is he one of those guys who will always be a better fantasy play than real-life play?

Cameron Reddish

SG/SF/PF – 6’8, 208 lbs – age 19

Strengths: Points – Steals – 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Paul George-lite

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 5 – 10

With a fantastic frame for a wing prospect, Reddish fits the mold of the modern 3-and-D player perfectly. He may not hustle as much as you’d like as of now, but this guy has what it takes to be an outstanding defender. Although he may be predominantly perceived as a shooter, Reddish also boasts a versatile offensive game. An underrated ball-handler who can often make plays when asked to, the game comes naturally to him. As impressive of a skill set as Reddish may have, he isn’t without his flaws. Scouts have surely noticed his inconsistencies on both ends of the court. He settles for contested jumpers at times and loses focus too often. Reddish might take a little while to adjust to the NBA, but even so, he has the potential to be a great two-way second option at the professional level, and should maintain his early-to-mid-lottery candidacy in Dynasty drafts.

Post-Draft Notes: The Hawks have proven to be a great organization for exciting, young prospects lately, and Reddish should hopefully be no different. Boasting the versatility to play three different positions, Cam could potentially be a huge get for Atlanta. Lloyd Pierce has established a flashy, fast pace – a pace they hope Reddish’s shooting and defense can contribute well to. This Hawks team is one of the better situations for Reddish to end up with. It was almost inevitable that whichever prospect landed with the Hawks would get a boost up the rankings – and that sentiment echoes to an even greater degree with a player like Reddish.

Goga Bitadze

PF/C – 6’11, 245 lbs – age 19

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – Blocks – FG%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Andre Drummond

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 5 – 10

Bitadze is a decently mobile big man with nice hands and footwork. He’s shown some improvement spacing the floor in his time playing overseas but the 3-ball certainly shouldn’t yet be considered a strength of his. Goga has shown no problem dominating some of the grown men he’s played against at times but the NBA is a different animal. Boasting a rather large Block rate and continuing to develop his range, Bitadze could very well be a “Unicorn” in the making. As things stand now, if he falls beyond the middle lottery picks, I wouldn’t hesitate to snag him.

Post-Draft Notes: The Pacers are a peculiar landing spot for Bitadze. With fellow big men Turner and Sabonis already in-tow, Bitadze could struggle to see big minutes at the start of his NBA career. Indiana has publicly stated they’re considering just playing Sabonis a lot more at the 4. I’m not sold. Sabonis would have to show significant improvement on both ends for that to work. Domas is still young enough that that could be an option but he’s likely having chilling flashbacks to his struggle-filled OKC days where they used him predominantly as a floor-spacer. If it works well for Sabonis at PF, Bitadze could find himself with decent rookie playing time. That’s all he needs – a chance to show why he opened eyes against professional competition overseas already.

Jontay Porter

PF/C – 6’11, 210 lbs – age 19

Strengths: Rebounds – Assists – Steals – Blocks – 3’s – some Points

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Paul Millsap

Rookie Draft Consideration: 5 – 10

With a nice, broad skill set consisting of shooting, passing, shot-blocking, and much more, Jontay is a fantasy tank with a very deep war chest. If the cards fall in his favor, he has the potential to put you in the green in virtually every category. As a multi-cat stud prospect, the younger Porter brother has proven his worth in all areas except FG% and TO’s – both of which I think he will improve once adjusted to the league. His brother may have been the more highly-touted prospect, but Jontay will likely bring a more diverse fantasy repertoire. This guy is another risk-reward option – maybe especially risky considering he’s recovering from tearing both ACL and MCL. He also has some rather sizable question marks on the defensive end that could negatively impact his playing time early in his career, making him more of a stash pick meant for rebuilding Dynasty squads. But alas, his fantasy upside might be too appetizing to pass on once the first handful of picks are off the board.

Post-Draft Notes: The undrafting of Jontay Porter may have shocked me even more than the extreme sliding of Bol. With two rough injuries by age 19, I expected Porter to drop on draft boards – but not to this extent. As of this writing, he still hasn’t signed with a team. With monstrous fantasy potential and a diverse skill set, the younger Porter brother could end up being a steal for whichever team takes a chance on him once he’s healthy.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

SG – 6’5.5, 204 lbs – age 20

Strengths: Points – Assists – Steals – 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Marcus Smart

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 7 – 14

Nickeil’s second year at Virginia Tech has proven to be a success for his Draft stock. Projected to be taken somewhere around the lottery on most boards, NAW is looking like a very nice two-way player who shows hustle on defense with his intriguing frame and an expanded arsenal on offense. NAW has displayed enough to be considered a reliable shooter/scorer and secondary playmaker. I’m particularly fond of him as he’s one of my “sleeper” picks if you’re in need of a Guard later in your Dynasty lottery. His instincts to steal the ball and efficiency putting it up from deep will interest any team in need of a 3-and-D-type Guard.

Post-Draft Notes: While I never saw Alexander-Walker as a future star in the NBA, I did believe in his ability to become a reliable starter/roleplayer – and still do. Usually I would shy away from a scenario like Nickeil’s in which the prospect is landing on a team already stacked with young talent. Sure, he likely won’t be starting on this roster but with the pace Alvin Gentry likes to play at, he should still see enough minutes to carve out some production.

DeAndre Hunter

SG/SF/PF – 6’7, 225 lbs – age 21

Strengths: Points – 3’s – FG% – FT% – TO’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Otto Porter Jr

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 7 – 14

I was very high on Hunter going into the season and things started off great for the first few games, then fell off a bit, and are now picking back up. Hunter impacts the game in so many more ways than just what appears in the box score. He’s the epitome of a 3-and-D prospect with nice physical tools, but he’s constantly showing much more growth as a player than what that broad label implies, and even seems to be adding post shot-making to his skill set. With his versatile defensive game and potential to guard virtually every position on the court, Hunter could be in for big minutes as soon as the NBA season begins, making him a respectable mid-to-late lottery pick for competitive teams in Dynasty drafts. He’ll be a jack-of-all-trades guy, and might even master a few.

Post-Draft Update: Basically all the sentiments spoken about Reddish above are echoed here for Hunter. Both will be versatile enough on both ends of the court to deserve sufficient playing time – especially on this fast Hawks roster. The idea of moving up to draft Hunter seems to be that they expect him to be their defensive stopper. While I’m not sold on this idea (particularly off-ball), the defensive upside of he and Reddish could certainly be seen as an upgrade over their current young herd of players.

Darius Garland

PG – 6’3, 175 lbs – age 19

Strengths: Points – Assists – 3’s – FT%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Kyrie Irving-lite

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 7 – 14

With the ability to score at all three levels, and the confidence to boot, Garland looks like a modern offensive-minded Point Guard. His shooting skills should help him maintain productivity off-ball but it’s his on-ball work that is so impressive. Some of Garland’s highlights of his ball-handling, passing vision, and versatile scoring leave you wondering just how high his ceiling really is. His frame and athleticism leave a bit to be desired, and his playmaking didn’t come through in college (before his season-ending injury) nearly as much as it did in High School. The words “season-ending injury” are always off-putting but most experts assure that the type of injury Garland suffered is no cause to hit the panic button. A meniscus injury is not uncommon among players, and has a high likelihood of full recovery, leaving Garland’s stock virtually untouched. There is a tiny bit of a risk factor with Garland considering he played just 5 games his Freshman year, and he’ll likely need some extra time to get acclimated to the big leagues, but it’s nothing worth dropping him out of your Rookie draft lottery for.

Post-Draft Notes: The pairing of John Beilein and Darius Garland (and Dylan Windler to a lesser extent) excites me. Coach Beilein likes his shooting and his dual-Guard lineups, which gives me hope after reports surfaced of the idea of a Garland-Sexton backcourt. Garland will be a great fit for the system Beilein will attempt to implement and should be the star of the show in Cleveland – at least for this season.

Grant Williams

SF/PF – 6’7.5, 240 lbs – age 20

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – Assists – Steals – Blocks – FG% – FT%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Draymond Green-lite + better percentages

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 10 – 20

Returning for his Junior year appears to have been a great decision for Tennessee Forward Grant Williams. A multi-cat stud providing nice numbers seemingly across the board, Williams is not without his faults when it comes to the NBA level. He lacks athleticism and size for his projected position. Those worries are not to be understated considering he does most of his work out of the post. From scoring to passing, when matched up against full-grown NBA post defenders, Williams could struggle immensely to be as productive as he was in college. Regardless, Grant’s IQ and potential to contribute in virtually every stat could prove too valuable to pass on in the first round of Rookie drafts. He could be a late-round steal for contending teams if he falls out of the lottery.

Post-Draft Notes: As stated in Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s post-draft notes, I commonly tend to lean away from rookies on deep rosters. Grant Williams is an exception. I believe Williams will be uber valuable at some point. How soon that may be is the question. It all depends on how stacked and truly competitive Boston’s roster is next season. Williams can do a bit of everything offensively – a set of skills that should hopefully lend to him earning valuable on-court minutes this coming season.

Kevin Porter Jr

SG – 6’5.5, 213 lbs – age 18

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – Steals – 3’s – some out-of-position Blocks

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Josh Richardson

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 10 – 20

As more of a “supporting freshman player” rather than the focal point he maybe should have been, Porter’s role on his USC team was a relatively minimal one. There’s a decent chance his draft stock rises during pre-Draft workouts when he has a chance to really shine and display his athleticism and shot-making abilities. An additional bonus of KPJ’s arsenal is his ability to potentially provide some valuable off-position Blocks. His Free Throw shot isn’t falling this year but, if the 3-ball is to help determine his eventual outlook, he could easily better that aspect of his game. However, KPJ’s FG% and Assist-to-TO ratio might not improve until he becomes more acclimated to the league.

Post-Draft Notes: Admittedly, I was just a bit more excited about the idea of KPJ when it appeared as though he was a future Piston. Now in a suddenly crowded Cleveland backcourt, Porter has two other young Guards to compete with minutes against, as well as Brandon Knight, Jordan Clarkson, and Matthew Dellavedova. I do believe in Porter’s ability to earn playing time over those vets, but the question lingers: just how much playing time will that be? Considering the starting backcourt of Garland & Sexton seems to be a lock, I don’t expect KPJ to get huge minutes. One more aspect I’m intrigued to watch for is how well Porter performs beyond the 3-point line. We know Beilein likes his spacing guys. He shot it at a respectable clip in college but his FT% seems to lend a different cadence (he shot 52.2% at the line in his lone, injury-bugged year at USC).

Rui Hachimura

SF/PF – 6’8, 230 – age 20

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – FG% – potential for much more

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Rudy Gay

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 10 – 20

You’ll notice the broad range of picks I’d consider drafting Hachimura with. As a prospect who will likely be drafted earlier than I’d consider him at in most Rookie Dynasty drafts, Rui is a slightly older prospect at the age of 20. That usually deters teams a bit but Rui might be an exception. He’s still constantly showing improvements on the court. The 6’8 Zag doesn’t look to shoot the ball from deep very often, which probably has something to do with his physical tools helping him get to the rim with ease. However, when he does put it up from range, it’s been at a 46.9% clip during his Junior season. Unfortunately, we don’t see that very often as he’s only attempted 0.9 triples per game. His defense isn’t what you’d hope from a guy with his body but he is certainly showing signs of improvement in that area as well, even if he’s not a lockdown defender. His fit could be in question for several NBA teams, considering he’s not a great passer, shooter, decision-maker, or defender. Whichever team drafts him will hopefully play him to his strengths, utilizing him as a slasher/scorer inside the arc while continuing to develop him into something much more. Regardless of age, Hachimura still has tons of potential for growth as a player. He likely won’t hurt you in any single category outside of maybe 3’s. However, he also won’t contribute at a high level in any particular stat initially either. Depending on which team drafts him, he could be in for big minutes right from the start, making him a decent pick for Dynasty squads intending to battle for a championship come next season.

Post-Draft Notes: Hachimura is a head case for consensus. Half the population seems to be all in on his upside, while the other half is very… not. He certainly seems to come with more weaknesses than strengths at the moment but we shouldn’t ignore just how quickly he’s improved over the last couple years. While we have no idea what Washington plans on doing with guys like Portis and Parker (hell, they don’t even have a GM yet at the time of my writing this AFTER the draft so I don’t think they even know themselves just yet), Rui should be their primary developmental focus in a season where making a playoff push is essentially out of the question. I feel comfortable saying Hachimura will get as many minutes as he needs. But then again, it is the Wizards we’re talking about (insert shoulder shrug emoji).

P.J. Washington

*Fantasy Sleeper Pick*

PF – 6’8, 230 – age 20

Strengths: Rebounds – Blocks – FG% – TO’s – and even some Points, Steals, 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Jerami Grant

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 10 – 20

PJ Washington has really flipped the script this season, possibly passing Keldon Johnson as Kentucky’s most promising prospect. He wasn’t much of a go-to option early in the season but has really turned that around as of late. His diverse palette as a more refined post presence and deep-range shooter will entice some teams in need of frontcourt depth and upside. I see a great deal of raw potential in Washington as a Forward who can offer some nice big man-type stats while also stretching the floor and threatening for a nightly Triple-1 in the future. His Free Throw still seems to need a bit of work to keep him out of “Punt” territory but I do believe he’ll correct that eventually. Washington’s landing spot in the NBA draft will heavily influence where I’ll consider taking him in my Dynasty drafts if I’m trying to win now.

Post-Draft Notes: While I don’t love the landing spot for Washington, there does exist hope on the horizon. Much to the chagrin of Michael Jordan, if Kemba opts to leave in free agency, Charlotte will finally be forced into a long-overdue rebuild, lending legit playing time to Hornets youngsters Bridges, Monk, and, of course, Washington. PJ’s offensive versatility and shooting will be quite valuable at Charlotte’s PF spot. To top things off, the 2020 draft lottery appears as though it will be filled to the brim with PG talent, providing these (hopefully) tanking Hornets with an immediate escape plan for the scenario in which Kemba walks.

Jaxson Hayes

C – 6’11.5, 219 – age 18

Strengths: Rebounds – Blocks – FG%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Mitchell Robinson + better FT%

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 10 – 20

If you look at Hayes’ per-game stats, you might come out unimpressed (besides his FG%). His raw, undeveloped talent holds his playing time back at Texas. That untapped potential might keep him out of the very early lottery but I’d venture to assume that some coaches would jump at the chance to take this explosive clean slate, and turn it into whatever Frankenstein creation they can think of. The athleticism is there – even though Hayes seemed to completely flop at the combine (which I believe was somewhat of a fluky choke), finishing close to the bottom in the vertical exercises – and Hayes is already one of the nation’s top rim-protectors with a gargantuan amount of Blocks per 40 minutes. Ranking in top percentiles as a roll man and a finisher around the basket with nice agility and the ability to move around the court like a Guard at times, Hayes can impress in several ways. Like a few other lottery prospects, there really isn’t a clear fantasy player comp for Hayes. Possessing the best FG% of any prospect and averaging a crazy number of Blocks, he could compare favorably to some of the best rim-running shot-blockers in the NBA. However, his FT% makes things a little more difficult (in a good way) because he’s not as much of a detriment in that area as the average prospect like him usually would be, making him a very intriguing Dynasty draft option. Don’t be surprised if Hayes struggles to see significant minutes early on due to his bare skill set and affinity for racking up fouls. If you’re planning to compete next season, I’d consider looking elsewhere the way things stand now. The upside is huge but the floor is nerve-racking.

Post-Draft Notes: No, the Pelicans didn’t get the nimble stretch-5 they needed in the draft (which wasn’t an option anyway). Although, they did get a 5 who fits the Alvin Gentry bill – an active young gun with fresh, bouncy legs who should be able to do as much running as Gentry asks him to (probably a lot). And judging by his 74% free throw display at Texas, there is also a smidgen of hope that Hayes can become a somewhat reliable shooter. I don’t expect New Orleans to score any big-name Centers in free agency so Hayes will likely be splitting minutes with an adequate but undemanding big man (fingers crossed for Maxi Kleber or Dewayne Dedmon).

Coby White

PG/SG – 6’4.75, 191 – age 19

Strengths: Points – Assists – FT% – 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Jamal Murray lite

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 10 – 20

Coby White has been a heavily-discussed player in prospect-watching circles. While not the most explosive prospect, White’s solid passing out of pick-&-rolls and smooth shooting help make up for it. Don’t mistake his lack of bounciness for a lack of agility and speed. White is quick and knows how to split defenders to get to the rim. As more of a Combo Guard, the North Carolina product might not be relied upon to do a ton of playmaking, but dropping a few occasional dimes off the bench will be a welcomed site for his Dynasty owners. White has shown some struggles against tougher competition, and looks to be a better catch-and-shoot scorer than shot-creator at times. Nonetheless, most of his stats have been nice to look at lately. Should he earn early Rookie-year minutes, White will be an immediate provider of 3’s & FT% with some nice Points and Assists mixed in as well.

Post-Draft Notes: On a Bulls roster that was in need of just one starting spot, the Bulls struck gold when White made it to them in the draft. But was it fool’s gold? The hype for White has escalated exponentially over the past few months. Coby White is fast, and seems to lose no speed when the ball is in his hands. Coach Boylen has stated they intend to play faster in 2019-20. That remains to be seen but if it’s true, White could be nice fantasy value almost from the start. How many minutes will Coby get over Kris Dunn this season? Maybe they split them in a relatively even manner.

Matisse Thybulle

*Fantasy Sleeper Pick*

SG/SF – 6’6, 200 – age 22

Strengths: Steals – Blocks – FT% – some 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Robert Covington-lite

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 12 – 20

Can you say Stocks machine? Possessing the highest steal rate in the country by far, Thybulle is the first player in 27 years to average at least 1 three, 2 blocks, and 3 steals. The triple-1 capabilities are real with this guy. The most mind-boggling part of Thybulle’s remarkable 8.6 Block rate is that those Blocks don’t always come in the paint like we’ve come to expect from providers of large Blocks. Instead, the athletic Wing’s Blocks often come off of jump shots – mid-rangers and three’s. The question with Thybulle’s massive Steal and Block rate is if he can continue to provide similar solid numbers within a Man Defense. Currently playing in a Zone Defense at Washington, Matisse can afford to gamble on Steals and Blocks more often. Not considered a lottery-level player due to age and offensive limitations, Thybulle will need to land in the right situation to see significant playing time. Although he’s not particularly seen as a first option who can take over games using a scoring ability, Thybulle can still improve his stock a bit at the Combine by displaying the court IQ and defensive agility that helped get his name out there in the first place. If your competitive Dynasty team is desperate for Steals, there’s really no better option.

Post-Draft Notes: Thybulle is big time when it comes to steals and blocks. That alone probably won’t earn him significant playing time on a championship-hopeful team like Philly. However, if Thybulle can show some positive regression (if we can even call it that for such a young guy) in his 3-point shooting, he could find himself with a nice bench role on this young and exciting 76ers team.

Romeo Langford

SG – 6’6, 215 – age 19

Strengths: Points – some Assists & out-of-position Blocks

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Kent Bazemore + maybe more Points

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 15 – 25

As a young player who, in my opinion, should eventually evolve into something much more than what he appears to be now, my Dynasty draft consideration for Langford will heavily depend on which team selects him this June. While not a very efficient guy who won’t offer more than some Points right off the bat, Langford has shown some promise as a future three-level scorer. His current 3-point percentage on the season is… just dreadful to be quite frank. That’s not to say it won’t get better quick because he sure doesn’t hesitate to put them up. Plus, he’s shooting over 50% on mid-range jumpers. He also seems to be a high-level pick-and-roll ball handler and iso scorer. The player comp I have for Langford might be the one I care for the least. That’s because, like I previously mentioned, I do believe in Langford’s ability to evolve as a shooter. As of now, his deep-range stroke shouldn’t be considered anything more than unreliable. I would not be shocked if, by this time next year, the 6’6 SG has blown his Fantasy comp out of the water, though I’m also not putting money on that happening either. While not an early Fantasy lottery-level prospect, he has enough upside to take him as early as the late lottery.

Post-Draft Notes: I don’t expect Langford to see a large role for Boston in his rookie season. However, if he displays the type of skill that made him such a watched prospect early on, Brad Stevens will certainly find a spot for him. I’m not ruling that out as a possibility if it really was true that Langford’s college struggles were predominantly sprouting from a thumb injury, limiting the effectiveness of his shooting. Romeo’s catch-and-shoot numbers were not great, but he displayed an innate knack for getting the ball in the hoop off of pull-up jumpers at times.

Luka Samanic

PF/C – 6’11, 227 – age 19

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – Blocks – and maybe FG% and eventually 3’s & FT%

Current Player Fantasy Comp

Rookie Draft Consideration: 15 – 25

Before this past season, Croatian big man Luka Samanic was projected as a lottery-to-mid-1st-round prospect. But after a somewhat underwhelming overseas campaign – albeit one where he played limited minutes, which is a common occurrence for youngsters playing in international waters – his stock seemed to dip in a relatively big way. Cue the 2019 Combine, where, in the first scrimmage, Samanic reminded everyone why he was considered a lottery-level talent in the first place. From his movement and handles to his ranged display and effort, the versatile big really brought his A-game to the combine and upped the ante on the potential to grow as a solid future fantasy talent. 

Post-Draft Notes: Is there a more stereotypical team to draft Samanic than San Antonio? The fact that Pop and this organization will be developing Luka #2 in these crucial young years excites me. However, in traditional Spurs fashion, Samanic might not see much playing time his rookie season. I hope I’m wrong because I would love to see this rookie on an NBA court in the hands of Pop. Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Samanic break out as early as years 2-3.

Talen Horton-Tucker

*Fantasy Sleeper Pick*

SG/SF – 6’4, 235 – age 18

Strengths: Rebounds – Assists – Steals – and maybe some Points, Blocks, 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: smaller Larry Nance Jr

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 15 – 20

Although he’s only listed at 6’4, versatility is the name of the game with Horton-Tucker. What makes THT unique is that it’s not just defensive versatility that the 240-pound G/F promises. With the potential to play 3 – or maybe even 4 – different positions given his size, offensive versatility is key here. Talen’s shooting has been somewhat inconsistent at times, but he has shown numerous other on-court strengths. From his playmaking and shot-creating to his defensive potential and ability to score from different areas, THT could become an x-factor on both ends of the court in the right coach’s hands. The same can be said for his future fantasy game as well. While he may not be a top performer in many stats, he can provide a trickle of most cats as a do-it-all Wing. He’ll just need to prove his worth enough to earn minutes as Rookie.

Post-Draft Notes: Just before writing this blurb, Rob Pelinka dealt away three young players on their roster to make max cap room to presumably chase a big-time free agent. That makes me happy for THT’s immediate outlook. Why? Because the only players under contract remaining in purple and gold at the moment are Lebron, AD, Kuzma, and… Horton-Tucker (and Zach Norvell who might actually score a small role off the bench here for his shooting). IF LA manages to snag a max-level star in free agency, all that will be left for them to fill out the remaining nine spots of their roster are minimum contract-level players (and maybe an MLE). This is good news for the versatile THT. He could potentially step right into a wing role.

Sekou Doumbouya

SF/PF – 6’9, 210 – age 18

Strengths: (potentially) Points – Rebounds – Steals – Blocks – FG%

Current Player Fantasy Comp

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 15 – 25

First thing’s first: Doumbouya still seems to be as raw as they come. That being said, he also has one of the highest ceilings here, making him the high-risk, high reward prototype, a la Giannis Antetokounmpo. Yes, Sekou will be a project, but a project that can pay off handsomely down the road. His nice physical tools and current skill set outlook could eventually lead to top-level defense and overpowering offensive scoring abilities. If you run a Dynasty powerhouse that doesn’t necessarily lack in any particular stat, it could be worth taking a shot on Doumbouya if he falls to you in your Rookie draft.

Post-Draft Notes: Detroit did a good job with their 15th overall selection. They had obvious wing/forward spots to fill, and, while Doumbouya is far from a finished product, he should presumably have a role on this team. Who he is as a player is still wholly up in the air. One thing is for certain – he was worth the risk at #15 for the Pistons.

Dylan Windler

SF – 6’7.5, 196 – age 23

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – 3’s – FT% – and maybe Steals & FG%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Tobias Harris-lite

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 20+

If you just take a glance at Windler’s stats, you’ll notice his numbers appear much more impressive than the rest of the prospects in Tier 6. Averaging 21.3 Points, 10.8 Rebounds, 1.4 Steals, 3 Three’s, a .540 FG%, and a .847 FT%, Windler’s box scores look the part of a lottery-level talent. What gives? While the cons might not outweigh the pros with Windler, there certainly are questions here. He hasn’t played a lot of elite competition, although when he has, he’s succeeded better than expected. His athleticism might be a bit understated, but may struggle to stay in front of quicker NBA athletes nonetheless. Windler is also a solid defender, but not necessarily a great one. Reasons like these might limit his playing time early in his career. Maybe the biggest reason the Belmont product might fall in June’s draft is his age. Already 23 years old, Windler’s intriguing upside is largely diminished. Don’t let that deter your consideration of him though. His age could even be perceived as a plus for Fantasy purposes as his experience could help him earn playing time earlier than the younger, ‘project’ prospects. Dynasty championship hopefuls would appreciate adding a piece like Windler to their squad. Even if he never becomes anything more than a reliable roleplayer in the NBA, Windler could still be a steal for competitive Dynasty teams if he falls to the latter parts of the 1st round.

Post-Draft Notes: As mentioned previously, Beilein likes his shooting, meaning there’s a reason Cleveland selected Windler with the 26th overall pick. I don’t expect Windler to have a huge role but I do see valuable roleplayer potential in the 22-year old – maybe even as early as his rookie year.

Kezie “KZ” Okpala

SF/PF – 6’9.5, 210 – age 19

Strengths: Jack of all trades, master of none

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Jae Crowder

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 20+

Still a bit unpolished without any particular strengths to call his “specialty,” Okpala will be another project player. Although, there is a case to be made that he won’t need quite as much work as some of the other “boom-or-busts” in this class because of his proven capabilities as an all-around player throughout his Sophomore season at Stanford. Similar to a few other previously-mentioned names, Okpala might not be a master of any one particular stat yet, but he also won’t hurt you anywhere either. He has displayed improvements in his deep-range stroke but it might be his defensive versatility that earns him 1st-round consideration and minutes in the NBA.

Post-Draft Notes: I don’t see Okpala earning a significant role in Miami during his rookie season. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Spoelstra showed the necessary touch to develop Okpala into a valuable roleplayer in the future.

Keldon Johnson

SG – 6’6, 216 – age 19

Strengths: Points – Rebounds – 3’s

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Jaylen Brown

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 20 – 30

As a scorer who isn’t yet quite reliable from distance, Johnson will be considered as early as the lottery in the NBA draft because of his aggressiveness, competitiveness, and tools. His ceiling as a buckets-getter is still seen as very promising as he has improved his shooting percentages to a respectable degree after a rough start to his Freshman year. The Kentucky Guard has displayed enticing aggression on the glass for a prospect his size but most of the other supporting stats leave a bit to be desired. Johnson has the alpha mentality and first option demeanor, but can he live up to expectations on the court? Time will tell, but a franchise that invests heavily into his development could be looking at one of the next star Shooting Guards if the cards fall in his favor. Streakiness and a lack of multi-stat contributions will deter me from drafting Johnson early in my Rookie draft, but he’s a very promising flier to consider toward the late lottery and beyond.

Post-Draft Notes: Already holding similar player Lonnie Walker, as well as multiple other worthwhile Guards on the roster, Keldon Johnson will (barring any injury) likely settle into G League life for a while before seeing an NBA court. That’s a good thing for a rookie who under-performed in college compared to expectations and displayed some questionable decision-making and effort. If you’re drafting Johnson in your Dynasty league, expect him to resemble a ‘stash’ rather than an immediate producer.

Nassir Little

SF/PF – 6’6, 224 – age 19

Strengths: (potentially) Points – Rebounds – and maybe some Steals & Blocks

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Miles Bridges

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 20 – 30

To be blatant, Little has flopped his Freshman year compared to the expectations that were put on him. With an NBA-ready body that screams defensive potential, he has struggled to put it all together. Averaging only about 18 minutes per game for a competitive North Carolina team, Little’s 1st-round consideration revolves entirely around his elite physical tools. While he certainly has the potential to develop into a two-way stud who can provide nice hustle stats to go with some Points, I’ll likely be leaving Little alone in my Rookie drafts. He’ll just be drafted much too early for my liking as most Dynasty GM’s will look passed his raw game and on-court shortcomings in hopes that he’s the next Jimmy Butler.

Post-Draft Notes: It’s no secret that I don’t love Nassir Little because of his struggle-some college performance. But I also think the system/coaching failed him to an extent. I certainly didn’t expect to see him fall as far as he did, and would not be surprised to see Stotts’s staff develop Little into something close to what he was supposed to be – a good defender who can also overpower players offensively. I just hope the Blazers don’t force Nassir into a role he’s not ready for if they miss in free agency. Ideally, Little would only have a very limited spot in the rotation while he develops as a rookie – similar to last year’s Anfernee Simons (who has apparently been turning heads in Portland lately).

Tyler Herro

SG – 6’6, 192 – age 19

Strengths: FT% – 3’s – and some Points & Assists

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Bryn Forbes

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 25+

A player who seemed to come out of nowhere this season, Herro struggled with his shot early on but has really shown an ability to put the ball in the hoop from range as of late. NBA teams will like the potential spacing and somewhat capable handling Herro should be able to provide. Some sources even have Herro pegged ahead of teammate Keldon Johnson in their Mocks and Big Boards. While I don’t exactly agree with that assessment in terms of ceiling and upside, I could understand the idea of Herro being a safer pick than Johnson. Not necessarily developed enough to be a first, or even second playmaker on an NBA team, the Kentucky Guard will at least contribute some safe 3’s, FT%, Points, and even a few Assists when called upon. Barring an extraordinary Tournament showing and/or unexpectedly impressive Combine performance, I wouldn’t start looking at Herro in my Rookie drafts until closer to the end of Round 1.

Post-Draft Notes: After seeing just how early projected late-1st-rounders Tyler Herro and Cam Johnson went in the 2019 draft, it’s obvious teams are putting one hell of a premium on shooting now – almost to a fault. Herro has a chance to show his worth in Miami by spacing the floor, but also has upside to be a kind of secondary handler/distributor.

Cameron Johnson

SG/SF – 6’8.5, 205 – age 23

Strengths: Points – 3’s – FT% – and maybe Rebounds & FG%

Current Player Fantasy Comp: Marcus Morris

Rookie Draft Consideration: Picks 25+

At 23 years of age, Cameron Johnson is one of the oldest prospects we’re discussing in this series. A 5th year collegiate athlete, Johnson will come into the league older than some third, and maybe even fourth-year NBA players. Cameron will be considered as early as the 1st round in June’s draft because of his fantastic shooting efficiency. On the season, he’s averaging 2.6 three’s on 46.5%(!) to go with a .508 FG% and .804 FT%. Those are very reliable numbers, which is what you’d want to see out of a prospect in Johnson’s position. While his age will be a detriment to his lottery consideration, there are several playoff teams that would appreciate Cam’s experience and floor spacing – maybe to the point of earning big minutes right off the bat depending on which team takes him.

Post-Draft Notes: Maybe the biggest shock of the first round was Phoenix trading back to #11 to select Cameron Johnson much earlier than almost anyone expected him to go. Even his college teammate Coby White was stunned. At 23 years old, Johnson is already older than 4-year pro Devin Booker. After trading away TJ Warren for nothing but cap space, Johnson could step right into some of those available minutes as a floor-spacer – maybe even in the starting unit. While Johnson doesn’t project to be anything more than a complimentary roleplayer, he could still be valuable as an end-of-roster guy in deeper formats if the cards fall in his favor.