With the 2019 NBA Draft looming, it’s time to unveil our final Big Board. For relevant context, the board is split into tiers, delineating stark differences between prospects. For example, prospect number six is closer to prospect number two than prospect number two is to prospect number one. Especially as we go down the board, the separation between prospects in my eyes decreases.
Tier V is filled with fringe NBA guys and potential late second round, two-way and Summer League guys.
Tier IV spans all the way from fringe draftable guys to mid first rounders. As I stated in the intro, there’s not much separation in this tier. I would obviously prefer my 25th ranked prospect to my 59th, but the difference between them is not too significant. This tier is full of potential low-end starters and rotation players, mixed in with some upside flyers and stash candidates. Most of the players in this tier are wings or more exciting guard types, mostly due to positional scarcity. Wings who can play good minutes on rookie scale deals are incredibly valuable while non-special bigs are less so because of the replaceability of the position.
Tier III is a mix of high-ish confidence rotation players and upside swings The nature of tier II speaks to the flatness in this year’s NBA Draft, with such little separation between the top non-Zion prospects. There’s a slight gap between the first three and the rest of the tier, though not a big enough gap to warrant it’s own tier.
I have seen all of the prospects on this board at least once, with more detailed analysis and scouting as we go up the board. Sit back, relax and stay for a while (I tried to keep these blurbs brief, but as you’ll quickly realize I mostly failed at my attempt at brevity here).
100. Jaylen Hoard
Hoard completely flopped during his freshman season at Wake Forest, showing a poor feel for the game, an inability to shoot and inconsistent at best defense. He had a nice showing at the combine, has good tools and should shoot better than his college percentages indicate, making him worth Summer League spot at the very least.
99. Marial Shayok
Shayok’s shotmaking was wildly impressive this season, posting ridiculous efficiency and scoring numbers across the board. A 24-year-old rookie with poor shot selection and offensive decision making without elite athleticism is not a player worth drafting unless his shotmaking greatness translates to the NBA level, which almost certainly is not going to happen.
98. Tookie Brown
Brown’s diminutive height makes his path to the NBA steeper than most. 5’11 players don’t work in the NBA unless they’re truly special. Tookie Brown is great at basketball, with strength, explosive athleticism, great feel, pull-up shooting, outlier high rim volume for a player his size and defensive ability (in college, which will not translate to the NBA due to his height). Brown undoubtedly meets the talent threshold for the NBA, even if his size likely holds him back from ever being more than a backup.
97. Corey Davis
Being 6’1 and 22 years old without any special skills makes it hard to be too excited about Davis. He does have a shot to be a solid 3-D (one position) point guard with his high-level shooting and shot creation ability. Davis has strength, smarts and a great feel for the game, though it is difficult to see any 6’1 player being a good NBA defender. Corey Davis could near-elite shooter status and be a guy who never makes mistakes and plays solid defense, but is height and age are major limiting factors.
96. Jon Elmore
Jon Elmore may never meet the athletic or decision-making threshold to be an NBA point guard, but his talent is undeniable. Elmore has incredible craft and touch scoring inside the arc, can create his own shot on the perimeter, is a solid pick and roll passer and has underrated awareness on defense. He’s a longshot to make it, though his pull-up shooting and shot-creation could take him far if things click into place.
95. Horace Spencer
Horace Spencer has a monstrous. He has no offensive game at all due to his lack of handling, shooting and passing skill, but he is an incredible functional athlete and a strong point of attack defender. At 6’8 with a 7’2 wingspan, quick feet and instincts, Spencer has the ideal build to guard the big wing initiators taking over the NBA. He likely will be a considerable minus on offense, but the utility of a player who can defend Giannis, Kawhi, Ben Simmons, Zion and future big initiators at a competent level is valuable.
94. Adam Mokoka
Mokoka is a strong man to man defender with size and real athletic tools. He’s a question mark to shoot and he may not be able to do much on offense without any plus skills or passing ability. If Mokoka’s shot continues to develop, he could find a home as a 3-D point guard.
93. Brian Bowen
A highly touted recruit coming out of high school, an FBI scandal sent Bowen down under to play in Sydney. He’s a solid shot creator in the mid-range, has good size and has extended his shot out to three at a fair clip. He lacks any plus athletic tools and his feel for the game is lacking. There’s some intrigue with a 6’8 shot creator, though Bowen’s IQ and athletic deficiencies cloud his NBA future.
92. Admiral Schofield
Schofield has a decent amount of buzz as a 3-D prospect, though he doesn’t do enough outside of shooting to provide value on offense and, despite his jacked frame, his defense is poor. Schofield is a dreadful decision maker with poor feel and a limited skill game. Despite his frame, Schofield is short, not quick laterally and has poor awareness. In order to be a positive rotation player, Schofield would need to be an elite shooter, which seems unlikely.
91. Jalen Hudson
After an excellent junior season in which Hudson’s draft stock saw a significant rise, he inexplicably regressed this season to oddly terrible levels. His sample from his junior season is impossible to ignore and if he can get out of his head and clear up whatever happened this season, Hudson has a legitimate shot at being a shooting wing with some shot creation.
90. D’Marcus Simonds
D’Marcus Simonds is an electric athlete who is elite at getting to the rim and should be solid on defense because of his size and athleticism as well as good anticipation and event creation defending in the zone. He may never shoot and has poor feel for the game, but he has real athletic tools, giving him some semblance of upside.