High School Hoops: Top 23 in the Class of 2023

Max Feldman

FOG’s High School rankings are a reflection of scaling down NBA evaluation tools and projection concepts to prep prospects. Prep rankings are structured with eventual NBA trajectories in mind. Sliding down a class to current Junior’s, projection-based traits become more difficult to isolate and measure, but can be even more pivotal when evaluating upside.

1. Omaha Biliew

A springy wing athlete that big man move out of the way for when he is headed for the rim. Powerful athlete who’s high end potential might reside on the defensive end, where he uses length, quickness and strength to defend the 1-5. Kansas, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Iowa State are entrenched in the recruitment. Recently visited Kansas, Iowa, Iowa State and Nebraska.

2. DJ Wagner

A multi-faceted scorer with athleticism, fluidity and polish. Best suited in a role off the ball, wired to put the ball in the bucket and has a rare ability to glide with high level body control. Wagner has visited Temple and Villanova, while Kentucky has long carried the most steam.

3. Mackenzie Mgbako

A smooth scoring wing that’s fundamentally sound using advanced hesitations and footwork to beat defenders off the dribble. A strong spot up scorer who has an advanced instinct to find his shot beyond the arc and in the mid-range. Duke, Ohio State and UCONN have garnered the most steam, but Mgbako has fielded heightened attention in the last week.

4. Tyler Smith

A high wired southpaw with length at 6-9 and has the ability to score at all three levels. Highly skilled with a strong feel for the game, specifically as a pop or roll man. UCLA, Kansas, Baylor, Auburn and Arkansas are in pursuit, but theres not too much steam yet.

5. JJ Taylor

Rangy wing creator with a smooth spot up game and prominent slashing game using his length. Activity in the passing lanes and transition production are mainstays. Illinois is involved, but a relationship with newly minted Kentucky assistant coach Chin Coleman will be a catalyst in his recruitment.

6. Mikey Williams

Explosive, hard-nosed driver with palpable development as a three level scorer displayed by a go-to perimeter pull up game. Dynamic in the pick and roll and can shoulder a scoring load day in and day out. Williams recently opened up his recruitment a bit wider, but there’s a ton of smoke regarding the professional route.

7. Baye Fall

Elite rim running prospects who’s physically imposing and explosive vertically. Extremely long and has an advanced balance of touch around the rim and power to finish above the rim. Quiet on recruiting front thus far, but Arizona, Baylor and Kansas among those making early pushes.

8. Simeon Wilcher

The epitome of fluid as a three level scorer. Strong size and natural toughness. The ability to find his spots on the perimeter and collapse defenses on drives jumps off the screen. Auburn, UConn, Oregon, Ohio State and many more among those involved.

9. Jalen Lewis

A physical forward who’s game has opened up massively over the last year. Can score inside and on the perimeter with legitimate tools as a playmaker with point forward traits. Dominant presence on the glass. Kentucky, UCLA, Arkansas and Stanford are among those involved, but its been relatively quiet.

10. Ron Holland

A lively wing who impacts winning a variety of facets. Runs the floor, rebounds with prominence and can speed up a game single handedly with his burst and intensity. Untapped two-way potential. Texas and Memphis are the lone schools notably standing out.

11. Kwame Evans Jr

A bouncy, long wing who excels getting to the rim and producing in transition. Untapped defensive potential with flashes forcing turnovers and causing leak outs. Developing handle for his size. Evans is supposed to be waiting for a Kentucky offer, and has taken off over the last week in terms of offers and recruiting traffic.

12. Mookie Cook

13. Elijah Fisher

14. Taylor Bol Bowen

15. Marvel Allen

16. Ja’Kobe Walter

17. Robert Dillingham

18. Kylan Boswell

19. Matas Buzelis

20. Stephon Castle

21. Akil Watson

22. KJ Lewis

23. Kanaan Carlyle

High Schools Hoops: Updated Top 22 in the Class of 2022

Max Feldman

Per usual, FOG’s High School rankings are a reflection of scaling down NBA evaluation tools and projection concepts to prep prospects. Prep rankings are structured with eventual NBA trajectories in mind.

  1. Emoni Bates

A generational scoring ability from the wing with his size at 6-8. Fits the bill to a tee of the highly sought-after modern skillset of a wing creator with an elite shot creating skillset. Since decommitting from Michigan State, all signs point towards Bates opting for the professional path with the G-League rumored to have a massive deal on the table.

2. Jalen Duren

An NBA ready powerhouse big with growth as a low-post creator. A chiseled 6-10 and 230 pound frame combined with a developed handle and go-to mid-post jump shot provide uber appeal. Since being heavily linked to the G-League route, there is strong steam that Duren will wind up in college. A former coach is now on staff at Miami, where Duren just took an official visit.

3. Dariq Whitehead

A physical specimen on the wing with above the rim athleticism and a blossoming offensive skillset. Defensive toughness, instincts and high level lateral quickness make Whitehead the cream of the crop in terms of perimeter defenders in the class. Duke and Florida State have been garnering the most steam.

4. Amari Bailey

An explosive, hard-nosed offensive catalyst who can play both and off the ball. A smooth southpaw spot up game combined with subtle playmaking instincts and explosive athleticism make Bailey one of the most polished prospects in the nation. Bailey is committed to UCLA.

5. Keyonte George

A prominent scorer with powerful athleticism and the ability to finish through the chest of rim protectors on drives. End to end, one of the fastest players in the nation with a developed pull-up scoring game and grit defensively. Texas has some steam to gain George’s eventual commitment, but Baylor, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma State are all heavily in the mix.

6. Shaedon Sharpe

An elite scoring off-guard with a combination of burst, fluidity and touch as a three level scorer. Sharpe continues to rise because of his two-way trajectory and advanced offensive skillset paired with a high ceiling defensively.

7. Derrick Lively

With NBA size and length, Lively fits the bill as a high level rim protector with perimeter production offensively. A bouncy athlete who can stretch the floor vertically or horizontally and can dominate the glass. Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina will battle this one out.

8. Dior Johnson

A smooth, crafty creator who plays off defensive slides by making plays for others or slithering to the rim. Few defenders if any can stay in front of Johnson with his array of attacking movements and threat as a shooter. A dynamic lead guard who can be a catalyst in every facet offensively, specifically in the pick and roll. Johnson is committed to Oregon.

9. Jazian Gortman

A quick twitch, jitterbug creator who can collapse defenses with ease. Utilizes a crafty floater game in addition to three level touch and a strong feel for getting to his spots and creating for his teammates. A pesky defender with a quick hands and routinely beats guards to spots with his lateral quickness. Florida State has had the most steam here, but Illinois among others have quickly turned up the heat.

10. Chris Livingston

A physical two way wing who thrives getting downhill and attacking the rim. A high motor and mature 6-6 and 200 pound frame make Livingston a versatile defender, transition dynamo and mid-post scoring hub. His recruitment has been very quiet in terms of any steam in a certain direction, but Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina and Memphis are in the mix.

11. Brandon Miller

Extremely enticing wing creator who stunts a versatile scoring package at all three levels, but thrives getting to the rim and using his length to finish through and over defenders. Multi-positional defender with a sought after modern wing creation skillset. Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee are heavily in pursuit, with Alabama garnering some extra buzz.

12. Jarace Walker

13. Anthony Black

14. Mark Mitchell

15. Skyy Clark

16. Kel’el Ware

17. Sadraque Nganga

18. Zion Cruz

19. Kyle Filipkowski

20. Jalen Washington

21. Nick Smith

22. AJ Casey

On the fringe: Arterio Morris, Adem Bona, Kamari Lands, Chance Westry, Cam Whitmore

2021 NBA Draft: July Edition Big Board Primer

Max Feldman

Usually, I feel no need to release a primer-related story on an updated Big Board. The newly minted July Edition requires additional background and explanation. Here is a broader look at the Board including measurements and classification.

Weighing Recent Breakouts

Slotting Josh Primo, Josh Christopher, JT Thor & Joe Wieskamp where they are certainly opens up the potential for push-back following the development over the last week, but their current ranking still aligns with the story I released June 15th, prior to the 2021 NBA combine. Refer to the previously mentioned, “Planting My Flag”, story to gather a broader view on my current stock of the aforementioned prospects. In the listing of ranges for all four prospects, just one prospect is outside that range in the updated Big Board, and that is a one spot bump of Joshua Primo to 10th overall, rather than the 11-14 range. Otherwise, each prospect lands in the previously deemed range from prior to the combine. In simple, these breakout prospects were those I was already exceedingly high on compared to the consensus. Tre Mann and Terrence Shannon Jr garnered some additional attention over the last week and remain in the ranges I listed weeks ago, but the recognition on the level of the others listed.

The Legitimate Breakouts

While I had already been extraordinarily high on the previous group for weeks, the combine did turn my head on multiple second round prospects. Jason Preston, David Johnson and AJ Lawson made their reappearances on the Big Board after stints on the fringe earlier in the season, while Jericho Sims made his debut. Preston’s ability to control tempo, change speeds and manipulate defenses as a pick and roll handler scream rotational guard, with hints of Delon Wright making him worthy of a top 50 slot. David Johnson’s processing, frame and overall balance as a prospect again do not illustrate extreme upside, but with the importance of filling out rosters with high-feel players with the ability to contribute on both ends, it is hard to keep Johnson off the board. I have been watching AJ Lawson since his Prep days in Canada, and while the upside has always been there, he’s showing flashes of putting it together now. His measurements were off the charts and there was proof in the pudding after massive performances in live scrimmages. Jericho Sims cracks the top after being neglected through the evaluation process due to the attention on Kai Jones and Greg Brown. A rim running big with legitimate size and consistent production on both ends. He’s not an upside shot, but has the tools to be a rotational contributor with energy.


Davion Mitchell, Keon Johnson and Cam Thomas are the standout prospects I am 10 or more slots lower on than the current consensus. A hinge point that I beat over and over last cycle was Obi Toppin’s age and his potential trajectory, and while Mitchell is a completely different prospect, it simply is very ominous to project prospects older than 23 years old to see massive development. At 6-1 with quickness, a sturdy frame and premier toughness, Mitchell is a strong bet to stick in the league for a decade, but a top 14 slot requires a bigger upside swing in my eyes. Keon Johnson measured in smaller than most expected but simultaneously obliterated a 20 year maximum vertical leap record. The lack of offensive polish provides some fear but his defensive upside guarding the 1-3 is simply too strong to push him outside the top 20. Polishing his handle would be a vital bridging piece of development towards making him a top 10 or 14 prospect in this class. Outside of transition, where he landed in just the 17th percentile overall according to Synergy, I am unsure where Johnson will contribute offensively for the time being. Cam Thomas will likely land in the first round potentially with a contender desperate for wing shooting, an area I can see him making a living. The lively scorer is one more desperate for a smooth fit than others in his range because of how vital I believe his environment will be. Crafting a Big Board with no team concept at all is incredibly difficult, but the simplest way I can put my take on Thomas is that if I am in the Lakers front office, he is a top 20 prospect. If I am in the Rockets front office, he’s merely a top 40 prospect. Creating a board with no team context forces me to slot closer to the middle because I see his environment heavily weighing on his early development compared to others.

2021 NBA Draft: Swing, Stability & Hybrid Rankings in July

Max Feldman

Utilizing the novel approach to evaluation, I broke down the top 10 rankings for each classification – Swing, Stability and Hybrid. The July Edition Big Board is just days away, but breaking down the 50-man field by isolating the dimensions of the board provides a glimpse into how each classification is valued from top to bottom.

SWING Prospects

1. Cade Cunningham

2. Evan Mobley

3. Jalen Green

4. Jonathan Kuminga

5. Tre Mann

6. Sharife Cooper

7. Ziaire Williams

8. Joshua Primo

9. Josh Giddey

10. Josh Christopher


1. Franz Wagner

2. Corey Kispert

3. Chris Duarte

4. Davion Mitchell

5. Ayo Dosunmu

6. Duece McBride

7. Joe Wieskamp

8. Joel Ayayi

9. Herb Jones

10. Quentin Grimes


1. Jalen Suggs

2. Scottie Barnes

3. Moses Moody

4. James Bouknight

5. Trey Murphy

6. Alperen Sengun

7. Isaiah Jackson

8. Jaden Springer

9. Usman Garuba

10. Cam Thomas

NBA Draft 2021: OPR Standouts

Aditya Fuldeore

When evaluating NBA Draft prospects, teams consider everything from athleticism and measurements to off the court activities. However, one of the primary things that evaluators can look at is on-court pure production and efficiency. Seeing how college players produced in-game, and how those skills translate to the NBA can be crucial in determine which prospects to pick. Here, I use amateur metric Opportunity Production Rating (OPR), which attempts to calculate a player’s pure production and efficiency on the court, to get the most productive college players on FOG’s big board. I have taken the top 6 players in OPR from FOG’s June big board, and will break down their skills and how they translate to the NBA. The following is the latest update of the implementation of OPR.

Honorable Mentions:

These players had high OPRs, but did not play in enough games to qualify for the list.

Sharife Cooper – Guard, Auburn

  • FOG Big Board #12 (SWING prospect)
  • 23.93 OPR
  • 12 Games, 33.1 MPG, 20.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 8.1 APG, 39.1 FG% / 22.8 3P% / 82.5 FT%

A shifty passer, Cooper is a little undersized, but projects as a high-level playmaker at the NBA stage.

Jalen Johnson – Wing, Duke

  • FOG Big Board #16 (SWING)
  • 21.09 OPR
  • 13 Games, 21.4 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 52.3 FG% / 44.4 3P% / 63.2 FT%

Johnson flashed potential as a three-level scorer at Duke. He can be a forward that can score from all over the court for an NBA team.

Most Productive Prospects

Charles Bassey – Big, Western Kentucky

  • FOG Big Board #43 (STABILITY)
  • 26.35 OPR
  • 28 Games, 30.4 MPG, 17.6 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 59 FG% / 31 3P% / 76 FT%

At Western Kentucky, Bassey did not face high – level competition as often as prospects on highly ranked teams, but he was productive in several aspects of the game. Bassey was not only effective around the rim, but he could also make outside shots free throws, something bigs at the college level sometimes lack. He also made an impact around the rim defensively, with an 11.5 Block %. An advantage of not being on a top tier Division 1 team for Bassey was that he was more of a focal point for the team sometimes, and therefore got more room to spread out his game. Bassey now has experience being a top option for a team and was a highly productive rim runner that can take outside shots and sink free throws, contributing to his high Opportunity Production Rating. At the NBA level, Bassey will translate as a rim runner, likely receiving low playing time at first, similar to a Bruno Fernando. He will be a rebounder, but is less likely to receive opportunity shooting the ball from outside unless playing time opens up for him. While he can make outside shots, that skill is less likely to translate to the NBA level due to higher level competition, and the less role flexibility he will have as an outside-the-lottery center with a rim-running specialty. His free throw-making ability will be more useful however, as he can get physical around the rim, get fouled, and sink free throws at a more accurate clip than other bigs. With Bassey, an NBA team will receive a productive big around the rim with a high floor, but a less likely chance of meeting a ceiling due to his still raw talent as a college junior and injury history.

Cam Thomas – Guard, LSU

  • FOG Big Board #35 (HYBRID)
  • 20.77 OPR
  • 29 Games, 34 MPG, 23 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41 FG% / 33 3P% / 88 FT%

Cam Thomas is an outside scorer, taking about 7 of his 17 field goal attempts from 3-point range. At LSU, Thomas’ production came primarily from this outside shooting, as well as mid-range shots. He was also an excellent free throw shooter, drawing contact and becoming one of LSU’s most dependable players from the line. He put up over 20 points per game, all with a high usage rate of 31.6%. Thomas’ dependability from the free throw line and his large volume of 3-point shots led to his high OPR. A freshman with high potential, Thomas can make an impact as a scorer for an NBA team. While he is unlikely to get the same usage in the NBA that he got at LSU immediately, he has the tools to become an outside scoring option at the next level, and his size most likely puts him at the 2-guard as an off the ball scorer. It may take some time for Thomas’s shooting to translate as he was not as efficient a 3-point shooter as teams may have liked, he may start off as a streaky, Landry Shamet type of player. However, Thomas has shown he can outright get buckets, and his skills as a shooter will most certainly be developed further by his NBA team. With the increasing need for shooting from outside and consistency from the free throw line, Cam Thomas has the appeal to be relevant at the next level.

Ayo Dosunmu – Guard, Illinois

  • FOG Big Board #29 (STABILITY)
  • 21.26 OPR
  • 28 Games, 35.1 MPG, 20.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.3 APG, 49 FG% / 39 3P% / 78 FT%

Bob Cousy Award winner Ayo Dosunmu was Illinois’ best player his 3 years of college. He was a high volume scorer while improving his decision making skills throughout his college career. As Illinois’ alpha, Dosunmu produced as a ball distributer, rebounder, and three-level scorer. Posting a 29% Assist %, Dosunmu drew defenses to him and hit open teammates for shots. His physicality allowed him to score in the paint and grab rebounds. From outside, Dosunmu had periods of struggle through college, but solidified his shot selection and became more accurate as a 3-point shooter this past year. While most of his pure on-court production came from his scoring, his length also allowed him to defend guards and wings, posting 1.1 steals per game this past season. Dosunmu had an excellent and highly productive college game, but teams may question how his game can translate to the NBA level. He was a little inconsistent as a playmaker to be a starting Point Guard, and does not yet have a consistent outside shot. However, his size, scoring ability, and “clutch gene” will land him on a roster where he can contribute immediately as a role player anywhere from the 1 to 3 spots on the court. Dosunmu’s shooting and ball-handling may not translate immediately due to inconsistencies in college, but his ability to get to the rim, athleticism, and versatility will provide immediate help to whichever NBA team selects him.

Chris Duarte – Guard, Oregon

  • FOG Big Board #25 (STABILITY)
  • 20.9 OPR
  • 26 Games, 34.1 MPG, 17.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 53 FG% / 42 3P% / 81 FT%

Chris Duarte was a key piece on Oregon’s sweet 16 team in 2021. An older college player, Duarte showed maturity his second year at Oregon. He shot over 50% last season, including 42% from three, and was a hounding defender, averaging 1.9 steals per game. The majority of Duarte’s productivity came from his knock-down shooting, with a consistent jump shot and diverse shot-making ability. He also rebounds well and can be a good decision maker in the backcourt passing the ball. Defensively, he is a solid on-ball defender, with the ability to produce 2 steals nearly every game. At 24, Duarte has plenty of basketball experience he can bring to the next level. His jump shot and defense look to be the most transferable skills to the NBA. Shooting is always a valuable commodity in the NBA, and Duarte can hit from outside the arc and mid-range. Defense is also a valuable skill that could push Duarte from a role-player off the bench into starter territory. He isn’t as quick as other guards in the draft class (like Dosunmu), and his age will likely cause some teams to pass on him. However, he is an experienced effective guard who can be an immediate producer either for a team looking to contend or a team looking to build.

Corey Kispert – Wing, Gonzaga

  • FOG Big Board #21 (STABILITY)
  • 20.64 OPR
  • 32 Games, 31.8 MPG, 18.6 PPG, 5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 53 FG% / 44 3P% / 88 FT%

Corey Kispert starred on a Gonzaga team filled with NBA – level prospects. Helping Gonzaga to the NCAA finals, Kispert tore through defenses on the perimeter. His production stemmed from outside shooting and ability to make free throws, coming close to a 50-40-90 season. He was also a solid rebounder and was able to help set up shots for teammates on a deeply talented team. As a college senior, Kispert has plenty of experience and is debatably considered the best shooter of the draft class. His size allows him to cut to the basket inside, as well as get off mid-range shots over smaller wings. While he isn’t a lockdown defender, he can take on wings on the perimeter with his physicality. Kispert’s archetype is becoming more and more sought after in the NBA as a wing 3-point sniper with size. Joe Harris, Duncan Robinson, and Danny Green show the type of player Kispert can become. His outside shooting will translate to the NBA level, while his basketball IQ will be valuable to the NBA team that drafts him. His lack of burst may impact his ability to create his own shot, and it remains to be seen if his defensive toughness will translate to guarding bigger competition in the NBA. Kispert has the tools to excel as a sharpshooting wing, he could start out as a high-volume shooting role player in the NBA.

Evan Mobley – Big, USC

  • FOG Big Board #2 (SWING)
  • 23.98 OPR
  • 33 Games, 33.9 MPG, 16.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 56 FG% / 30 3P% / 69 FT%

Mobley helped lead USC to an Elite Eight berth in the NCAA tournament, while playing like one of the best bigs in the country. Mobley’s production came from his scoring from both around the rim and outside the arc, his volume of free throw attempts and makes, his rebounding, defense, and even his passing as a big. He is an athletic big good for rim protection (nearly 3 blocks per game) and quality shots around the basket. He was also a solid rebounder and had good passing vision, with a 14.1% Assist %, ranking above most college bigs. His ability to take shots outside the paint also helped space the floor. At the NBA level, Mobley will translate as a two-way big with volume scoring opportunity as an offensive centerpiece. His ability to take outside shots will help an NBA team with spacing, and his length will allow him to grab rebounds at a high rate and defend the paint well. His 30% 3-point shooting isn’t as high as teams may have liked, but he has shown the ability to knock down shots from both outside and mid-range, while his free throw shooting is also a trait that can swing positive for him. Mobley will need to sharpen his shooting to translate it better to the NBA game, but he is already a good shooter as a big. He can translate as a 4 or 5 (more likely a 5) in the NBA with athleticism and movement that will give him the flexibility to move to spots all over the court as an offensive focal point. Mobley is young big that showcased a lot of production at USC, and is likely to be a top 4 pick with his upside in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Ultimately, it is not a coincidence 4 out of 6 of these players are “Stability” prospects – guys like Bassey, Dosunmu, Duarte, and Kispert played multiple years in college and have the production and experience to be role players at the very least at the next level. All 6 were productive scorers, with usage rates all above 22%, scoring is the quickest way to get a high OPR. College productivity does not always translate to the NBA level, but it is a good gage for seeing how skills may translate to the NBA. All of these guys have the ability to make an impact at the next level.

NBA Draft 2021: Ideal Fits for FOG’s Top 10 Prospects

Max Feldman

With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, there is finally more to play with as we inch towards the final chapter of the evaluation period. The potential to apply team fit to draft strategy opens up a multitude of varying dialogue. I assembled two ideal, realistic destinations for my top 10 prospects heading into July, in order. My four prospects just outside the top 10 follow after for an overlook. Utilizing the consensus Big Board via Jon Chepkevich and Rookie Scale, I relatively matched the lottery results with the prospects that project to fall in similar territory. Cade Cunningham is omitted, as the Pistons have had a generational talent fall into their lap through the Lottery.

Evan Mobley 

Consensus Slot: 2

Houston Rockets

Putting Evan Mobley in a situation where offensively, there is not an increasingly massive load with Kevin Porter Jr’s evolution alongside Christian Wood’s 3-level scoring ability, but on the other he has the opportunity to stretch himself into a multi-faceted defender may serve substantial longterm benefit. Mobley would slot in and do what he does best offensively, finishing around the rim, making plays for others and being a gravitational force as a roll or pop man, alongside cemented scorers while being challenged night in and night out on the defense end, where his high end potential resides.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Mobley’s compatibility with Darius Bazley is extremely enticing, and while OKC is currently out of range, if Presti falls in love with a prospect he has more than enough ammo to move up. With Shai’s pick and roll prominence and Daigneault spaced offense, the Thunder would have a certifiable duo as cornerstones. 

Jonathan Kuminga

Consensus Slot: 5

Sacramento Kings

Monte McNair walked out of the 2020 Draft with a strong package of youth, and Kuminga would slot in alongside a hyper-processor in Haliburton and a creation dynamo in De’Aaron Fox. Replacing or learning behind Harrison Barnes would be an extremely beneficial opportunity for Kuminga and the Kings in the longterm.

Orlando Magic

Many have already discounted Kuminga in this slot, and while I am vastly higher on the 18 year old wing than most, I actually love the idea of Orlando as a landing spot. Jonathan Isaac and Kuminga carry almost opposite skillsets at this point of development, but have similar two-way longterm upside in my eyes. Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Jonathan Kuminga as well Chuma Okeke, Wendell Carter and others would solidify an extremely enticing core. With two picks between 5 and 8, I’d project the Magic to opt for a processor and stability prospect at one of the slots, logically the 8th spot. The 5th slot appears to be an ideal spot to take a swing.

Jalen Green

Consensus Slot: 4

Toronto Raptors

Landing in Toronto is an ideal scenario in terms of development for every swing prospect, but Jalen Green would be my ideal candidate of any prospect in the field. And yet, the Raps might be lined up to land the electric scorer. Adapting a defensive mentality while playing alongside two strong perimeter defenders in Anunoby and Van Vleet would provide extreme longterm reward for Green. I question his understanding and effort defensively at times, and the Raptors would give me the most confidence to iron that out in the long run. 

Cleveland Cavaliers 

Cleveland has shown hesitance to stick with Sexton as he approaches a contract renewal, so whether Green is available at 3 or the Cavaliers have to move up, playing between a budding star in Darius Garland and a defensive powerhouse in Isaac Okoro, Green could very well end up as Koby Altman’s guy. Sexton is relatively undervalued at the moment considering how he’s panned out, but Cleveland might be at a crossroad with this selection and the current situation hasn’t provided much optimism.

Jalen Suggs

Consensus Slot: 3

Toronto Raptors

Relatively straight forward, as Jalen Suggs’ fit would be with nearly every organization, it would be seamless in Toronto. With Kyle Lowry nearing his way out, Jalen Suggs would provide juice in the Toronto backcourt and an aligned franchise identity to build around. 

Houston Rockets

In opposition from the Toronto condition, where Suggs aligns with how they construct, Suggs would provide a stronger, new sense of identity in Houston. Kevin Porter Jr could slide more into his natural gunslinger role where Suggs would have ample opportunity to open up his playmaking on a high volume. 

Tre Mann

Consensus Slot: 24

Memphis Grizzlies

Alongside a natural playmaker and all around catalyst in Ja Morant, Tre Mann would create a dynamic backcourt combination of scoring and playmaking in the half court. Tough defensive wings and rapid processors surround the Grizzly roster, and while Mann has room to mature, I love how his identity slots in.

San Antonio Spurs

Once again in terms of backcourt fit, Tre Mann thrives where Dejounte Murray has his shortcomings. A lengthy playmaker and defensive catalyst, Murray is desperate for another creator by his side. With athletes and upside on the wing, this would be the best case scenarios for the Spurs front office.

Franz Wagner

Consensus Slot: 7

Sacramento Kings

Wagner falls into the category of a universal fit in my eyes, but tagging him alongside Haliburton, both elite level processors, and surrounding them with athletes would put the Kings into a strong position to push forward with. Wagner can contribute early and fits in seamlessly with a Kings roster that is slowly materializing. 

New Orleans Pelicans

This combination was used as the example during the application of my novel approach to evaluation, as Wagner’s fit with the current Pelicans roster holds vastly more value than a swing selection in the same draft slot. Wagner is a flawless fit with his defensive versatility, secondary playmaking and spot up shooting upside alongside Ingram, Williamson and Ball as the Pelicans move into a new era under a new coaching regime. 

Josh Giddey

Consensus Slot: 11

Indiana Pacers

Giddey and Sabonis create an extremely combination with two high speed processors that has the upside to change the organizations direction. With scorers and defenders on the wings and in the paint, Giddey provides the creativity and up-tempo skillset the Pacers lack. 

Golden State Warriors

Shaun Livingston’s value with the prime Golden State rosters is the catalyst for this potential fit. A rotational wing creator who can get to his spots and consistently put his teammates in spots to thrive. Giddey plays the game the right way and fits the Warriors culture. 

Scottie Barnes

Consensus Slot: 6

Sacramento Kings

Once again speaking to the same void in the Kings roster, Barnes provides a sturdy anchor defensively and another playmaker to lean on. It would be unique, but intriguing to say the least. 

New Orleans Pelicans

A small-ball Pelicans line up consisting of Ball, Alexander-Walker, Ingram, Barnes and Williamson is electric on paper. The lack of spacing from Barnes would hurt early on, but the combination of Barnes and Williamson would completely change the way the Pelicans function defensively while the 6-9 Florida State wing essentially functions as a mega-sized Lonzo Ball. 

Moses Moody

Consensus Slot: 13

Orlando Magic

Moody and the Magic projects as an extremely clean fit. Defensive upside and even more length alongside Isaac, Okeke and Bamba provides even more optimism, but his ability to space the floor and score in a team setting could certainly speed up Orlando’s rebuild.

Golden State Warriors

While Andrew Wiggins fit and development in Golden State has been argued, the clear shortcoming is his tendency to be a ball stopper and slow processor. Moody is essentially a more Warriors-esque version of Wiggins on the wing – a shot maker, wing defender and spot up shooter with a strong feel for the game.

Sharife Cooper

Consensus Slot: 19

Oklahoma City Thunder

New York Knicks

Josh Primo

Consensus Slot: 51

Los Angeles Lakers

Washington Wizards

Jalen Johnson

Consensus Slot: 12

San Antonio Spurs

Memphis Grizzlies

Josh Christopher 

Consensus Slot: 31

Atlanta Hawks

Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Draft 2021: Deciphering and Projecting Every Franchises Strategy

By Max Feldman

Prior to getting into the breakdown of how I project every franchise will approach the 2021 NBA Draft in the first round, or if they move into the first round, grasping a feel for my novel approach to evaluation is appropriate. 

Utilizing the implementation of the SWING, STABILITY and HYBRID breakdown, there is now opportunity to essentially test the strength my read of NBA Front Offices. Each NBA franchise is in a different position on the NBA spectrum in terms of contention, realigning and rebuilding. Teams in contention might be seeking to add mature prospects to fill a void on a cheap contract, or their more willing to swing for the fences because they are not seeking immediate production. Rebuilding franchises, or front offices seeking legitimate cornerstones, are primarily seeking swing prospects to provide long-term options to build around. Realigning franchises, or those looking to move around pieces and mold in new pieces to make the next jump into contention, can be seeking any of the three classified prospect pools, but on paper, hybrid prospects fit the bill. Only 10 are on the Big Board, so a maximum of 10 franchises can be denoted as those subject to target hybrids.

Post-NBA Draft, looking back on this piece will provide an opportunity to calculate how strong my current read is. Each franchise and each prospect has received a denotation, if they matchup correctly, the read on the front office shows to be relatively accurate. Teams with two projected first rounders receive two denotations, as it is unlikely both picks would be used on swing or stability picks.

Atlanta Hawks


This post-season has proved the Hawks are in a dramatically different position that it seemed just a year ago. Travis Schlenk had pressure to compete now and adding another piece ready to contribute should be the priority while they carry plenty of youth already. 

Boston Celtics


Boston has some glaring weaknesses and will likely seek some immediate production. A strong group of multi-year collegiate guards with hints of upside should be targets. 

Brooklyn Nets


Sean Marks can afford to swing here if he’d like to, but with nagging injuries to all three of their stars and defensive concerns at points through this season, I would expect them to add an early contributor. 

Charlotte Hornets


Charlotte has plenty of youth and cashed in on their cornerstone last year, thus why I believe they opt for a middle ground this year. An early contributor could provide the bump to becoming a solid playoff roster, but hunting LaMelo’s longterm running partner should be in play. 

Chicago Bulls


The Bulls have to get lucky early, and if they do, expect Karnisovas to take the necessary swing. The Bulls lack two-way contributors, and I’d expect a swing on one wherever they eventually select.

Cleveland Cavaliers


I wouldn’t count out some shuffling in Cleveland, as it appears they could be at a crossroads in terms of choosing their long-term direction. Regardless, a swing is necessary with one of the more odd young cores in terms of fit. 

Dallas Mavericks


Dallas isn’t scheduled to make any selections, but if they move into the draft, taking a shot on a prospect to provide structure alongside Luka is worthwhile. They have enough role-fillers. 

Denver Nuggets


The Nuggets love to swing and I think another wing could be helpful down the line. When fully healthy, there is plenty of depth in Denver.

Detroit Pistons


Detroit is the epitome of swing heading into this draft and served as a baseline in the creation of this evaluation approach. They need juice and Troy Weaver will take a shot. 

Golden State Warriors



Relatively straight-forward, the Warriors have to add instant contributors on low contracts to capitalize on their star power quickly. Aligned to be positioned well in this draft if the lottery falls the right direction, they have a chance to add two strong pieces in an area of the draft where teams can hit it big. Another rapid processor would fit in well.

Houston Rockets



Similar to Detroit, Houston has been in swing mode since James Harden became distressed. Providing Stephen Silas young talent and upside to build around is the priority. 

Indiana Pacers


Another oddly arranged roster and fit, the Pacers are subjected to realign portions of the roster this Summer. An early contributor with long-term upside around Sabonis fits the bill.

Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers are already relatively flexible infusing new pieces in different matchups, so they can take a swing in an area of the draft that should have some high upside prospects. Adding some creativity would be beneficial. 

Los Angeles Lakers


The Lakers have a few crystal clear voids and while they usually manage to do a good job filling voids through free agency and buyouts, their odd season has positioned them in a strong spot to take an instant contributor. 

Memphis Grizzlies


The Grizzlies broke through and have created a sturdy identity to move forward with. They have done a phenomenal job filling the roster stability prospects over the last few years and should be subject for a swing.

Miami Heat


Miami is not scheduled to pick in this draft, but if they move into the field, look for them to add a mature prospect to contribute to winning and the Heat culture.

Milwaukee Bucks


Another roster in contention with clear-cut voids. Jon Horst will look for another chess piece to add some flexibility with their lineups. The Bucks have played just 6-7 players at times in these playoffs and are in need of instant impact players.

Minnesota Timberwolves


Minnesota is in a gloomy area with tons of upside but no winning production as of yet. They are in need of rotational prospects now.

New Orleans Pelicans


New Orleans has flexibility with their roster, but infusing ready shooters must be at the top of the checklist. 

New York Knicks



The Knicks move into the draft with a differing mentality than previous years, they are not desperate. A combination of upside and early impact in the rotation is enticing. 

Oklahoma City Thunder



The Thunder have a historical amount of draft capital. They’re looking to swing and can afford to do so in a small market. With bounds of youth, they may look to add an early impact player later in the draft. 

Orlando Magic


Orlando was an example of why not all rebuilding franchises have to or should swing, as they have plenty of youth in the fold. I see two stars in the making already on roster in Cole Anthony and Jonathan Isaac, so adding a piece that can fill a void and become part of the core would make them one of the more enticing franchises for me. 

Philadelphia 76ers


Different than many other previously mentioned rosters, flexibility is exactly what Philadelphia lacks in. Swinging on a versatile, offensive minded off-guard or wing makes plenty of sense. 

Phoenix Suns


The Suns are contending far earlier than expected, and they’ll look to capitalize while Ayton and Bridges remain relatively cheap. A strong two-way guard group should be on the table.

Portland Trail Blazers


At the current standing with how Portland is aligned, adding athleticism on the wing and the front court has to be prioritized. A lot could change here, but what would make Damian Lillard satisfied is adding a prospect who can impact winning now. 

Sacramento Kings


The Kings are not as far off as many others believe in my eyes. Adding two-way production on the wing and at the stretch spot would fit ideally. Sacramento and McNair are well aligned to take a big jump if they add another strong piece. 

San Antonio Spurs


The Spurs have drafted well over the past few seasons and should look hit on a swing. There are plenty of pieces to play around with and realign, providing some flexibility heading into this draft in San Antonio. 

Toronto Raptors


For the first time in a few years, Toronto is subject to swing big in this draft in an effort to find a long-term cornerstone. Heading into a new chapter organizationally, Ujiri and Webster will seek a piece to provide juice long-term. 

Utah Jazz


Utah has a few voids but are coming off a season with the best record in the NBA. Adding a steady piece behind the aging Mike Conley would make plenty of sense.

Washington Wizards


It seems as though Tommy Sheppard and the Wizards will ride with Westbrook moving forward. The combination of Hachimura and Avdija is extraordinarily enticing in my eyes, so adding another instant impact contributor would elevate the Wiz. 

2021 NBA Draft: Planting My Flag

By Max Feldman

As the evaluation period rolls on, the following is the group of prospects I have consistently gravitated towards and am drastically higher on than the consensus. The July Edition Big Board remains weeks away from being cemented, but I’ve listed the range they will land in come July 1st. While risk comes along with “planting your flag” on any prospect outside the top 5 this year and most others, these 7 prospects are those I am exceedingly confident in. 

Tre Mann

Board range = 6-8

The half-court creation, pull-up game, floater prominence and development from year one to year two highlight why I am incredibly high on the Florida Sophomore. His elite level feel offensively makes up for average athleticism with a deadly change of pace & a versatile scoring ability from all three levels. He landed in the 88th percentile as a Pick and Roll ball handler, coming out to 0.97 PPP. At 6-5 and 190 pounds, Mann had the 6th most points off the dribble in the NCAA, shot 40% from 3 point land, 83% from the line and 46.5% on his floaters. Defensively, an area Mann has been punished by many analysts, he landed in 90th percentile and showed strong development on that end following his physical growth from the Freshman campaign. Creation, IQ and feel is a rare combination in prospects with Mann’s level of production, but is a mainstay in many of the repertoire in many of the NBA’s top lead guards. Mann is just a few months older than many of the one-and-done prospects. He has firmly put himself in a tier alongside Jalen Suggs for me. Continuing to fill out his frame will go a long way for Mann, but his 21% assist rate while playing with on a roster omitting consistent perimeter threats outside of Noah Locke lends plenty of optimism as a playmaker long-term. As I mentioned time and time again and highlighted with Cole Anthony last cycle, I pour plenty of additional stock into prospects who can create for themselves when evaluating long-term playmaking upside, even if the production is not outstanding thus far, fitting my projection for Tre Mann this year. 

Joshua Primo

Board Range = 11-14

The Alabama Freshman is the youngest prospect in the field and widely regarded as a potential major stock riser if he were to return to the Crimson Tide. Often hidden by the variety of shot makers on Nate Oats’ roster, Primo has elite size on the wing and a smooth, fluid perimeter stroke. Defensively, Primo landed in the 82nd percentile overall and 93rd percentile in spot up offense. A premier two-way wing prospect with length and flashes of creation. The Canadian-born wing reclassified up a year in order to join the Tide and filled a support role immediately while being the youngest active player in the entire NCAA. On just a 17% usage rate playing 22 minutes per game, Primo put up 8 points per game shooting 38% from 3 and 75% from the free throw stripe. The spot up shooting prominence was clearly illustrated, but what stands out is a very natural feel to slide to space, cut to the basket and make himself a threat without the ball in his hands. While playing alongside volume perimeter shooters in Petty, Shackelford, Quinerly and others, Primo had the odds against him in terms of making his presence felt with high volume output, but he made his proficient shooting teammates even better due to his feel to space the floor. 

Josh Christopher

Board Range = 12-16

Context matters. Among the many poor fits for top prospects in the 2019 recruiting class, Josh Christopher was the worst. Arizona State was the 232nd most efficient offense inside the arc and the 189th from three in the nation last season. Remy Martin had a usage rate of 29.1% while Alonzo Verge had a usage rate of 27.8%. Both Martin and Verge landed in the top 200 in the nation in percentage of shots taken and the Sun Devils were the only program in the PAC-12 with two players among the top 8 in usage rate. Point being, when Christopher got the ball offensively, he essentially had to force the issue if he wanted to bring production. Contextually, the numbers align, as Christopher relied on transition (91st percentile, 26.1% of his total possessions) to get his attempts up versus playing off playmakers in a spot up role, as the Sun Devils only produced 13 assists per game, just 178th in the nation. In addition, he only played in 15 games due to a leg injury. In terms of Christopher moving forward, playing in space and pace might provide him more benefit than any other prospect in the class. An explosive, violent athlete with extreme lower body strength. A mature, chiseled 6-5 and 215 pound frame allows him to attack the rim through the chest of bigger defenders. For such an Uber-impressive vertical athlete, Christopher plays low to the ground as a handler with a strong feel to get to his spots in the lane or his pull-up. Christopher drew 4.3 fouls per 40 minutes and was second on the roster in terms win shares per 40 minutes. Playing alongside two low assist percentage to usage rate ball handlers at Guard U was a struggle for Christopher, as he displays high level flashes as a spot up scorer attacking closeouts and knocking down open shots (30% from 3 and 80% from the FT line). Defensively, Christopher was strong and in my eyes has the tools to be the best perimeter defender in this class long-term. Speed, lateral quickness, high level instincts, toughness and a strong motor resulted in allowing just 0.75 PPP, best on the ASU roster with that volume. In addition, he was relatively elite defending spot ups, landing in the 86th percentile. Christopher is not a strong playmaker for others and has to smoothen out his shot IQ, but the context has fogged his outlook far too much in my eyes. A premium off-ball option in the top 15 of the field, higher for me than prospects like Keon Johnson, Jaden Springer and James Bouknight, who most prefer. 

Joe Wieskamp

board range 30-38

I’ve become rather dumbfounded with the lack of acknowledgement of Joe Wieskamp as one of the top floor spacers in the 2021 Draft class. With a strong feel for the game, efficient, smooth footwork coming off of screens and setting up on spot ups, Wieskamp has a concrete role at the next level as a secondary, wing rebounder and wing shooter. Iowa owned the third best offense in the nation using adjusted offensive efficiency via KenPom, and Wieskamp’s ability to knock down open looks as well as when being closed out on (1.403 PPP when guarded) was a major catalyst. Defensively, Wieskamp displayed flashes of strong wing defense with high-level anticipation and measured out to be a proficient PnR defender (66th percentile.) The term sleeper is often overused, but in a draft that has garnered extreme attention from top to bottom and has been widely regarded as extraordinarily deep, Joe Wieskamp stands out as one of the most undervalued prospects as the pre-draft process heats up. Spacing the floor is at an all-time premium after the most efficient NBA season offensively in NBA history. Infusing contributors to an efficient offense is at the top of every organization’s checklist heading into the Draft, and Wieskamp is a premier option with sustained proof of success. Joe Wieskamp serves a clear-cut role at the next level and has required my attention as a top 35 prospect in the 2021 field. Being able to get a first-hand look at Joe Wieskamp day after day has heightened my optimism that he belongs in a much higher tier than the consensus values him at. Here is more on Wieskamp.

JT Thor

board range 12-18

My longest tenured “plant your flag prospect”, JT Thor has been the prospect I’ve pushed all season long. The excitement about Thor’s game was far from just the statistical output. At 6-10 and 212 pounds, the ability to defend multiple positions, switch in the pick and roll and defend the rim has an increasingly large importance with the growing prevalence of switch schemes and pick and roll sets around the league. Thor’s combination of rim protection and long term shooting promise is incredibly rare for any prospect, let alone an 18-year-old, one and done. There are raw aspects of Thor’s skillset, more than some others at his age, but he truly oozes upside with his quickness, better than advertised handle and projected fit in the modern NBA. A fluid athlete with a smooth southpaw stroke, a relentless motor, an improving handle, shot making upside and a sky high defensive ceiling. Thor has a clear cut case as a top 15 guy for me. While many bring up how prospects such as Thor or Bennedict Mathurin may have stock to gain by coming back another year, forward-thinking executives and scouts should continue to push the idea that if one sees him at that caliber a year from now, take him when his value is lower and provide the prospect a year with NBA staffs with world class developers. His skillset is extraordinarily rare and is worth the risk of investment due to the long-term upside.

Terrence Shannon JR

Board Range 18-24

Among all the two way wings in the 2021 Draft field, analyzing the perception of Terrence Shannon Jr over the course of the last 10 months or so has peaked my curiosity. I dont necessarily understand why the Chicago native is not peaking more interest as a premier prospect in the class, due to the numbers and the eye test. Shannon is second to just Jalen Green in terms of pure athleticism in this class in my eyes and carries a physically mature 6-6 and 210 pound frame. I have had my eyes on Shannon since his days at IMG when his upside became obvious and the development has come quicker than I expect. In more than three times the volume, Shannon Jr converted 36% of his three point attempts as a sophomore versus just 26% as a freshman. Evaluating his progression as a ball handler was a focus of mine over the years and while there is plenty of work remaining, drawing 5.2 fouls per 40 minutes (top 5 in the Big 12) and .86 PPP as a pick and roll ball handler (75th percentile). In terms of two way production, Shannon landed in the 74th percentile offensively and 76th percentile defensively. The 20 year has clear areas to smoothen out moving forward, becoming a consistent perimeter threat and sharpening his feel for the game. An immediate contributor to winning basketball as a rotational, two way wing combined with timeline of development lend plenty of positivity for Terrence Shannon Jr as a top 25 prospect.

Franz Wagner

Board Range 6-8

I’ve given Franz Wagner plenty of props for his elite defensive skillset, but his offensive versatility is truly the most unique aspect of his game. At 6-9, he’s a legitimate creator on the wing and as a ball handler. The German-born wing landed 99th PCTL post derived offense, 97th PCTL hitting the roll man and had 3.8 assists per 40 minutes. Defensively, Wagner is extremely strong both on ball and as a team defender. Keeps his feet moving, beats drivers to their spots, cuts passing lanes and has active hands in gaps. Wagner’s overall versatility on both ends, efficiency & fit in the PnR heavy NBA carries top 8 weight. Wagner had a team-low 92.3 defensive rating and a team-high 121.5 offensive rating for the Wolverines. I have repeatedly voiced how I am not projecting Wagner as a cornerstone star, but firmly believe he returns strong value as a top 8 prospect due to his Swiss Army Knife impact on either end. He is a puzzle piece that can be shaped and shifted in a variety of roles that contribute to winning basketball on either end, specifically the ultra-important facet of aligning an efficient offense.  

2021 NBA Draft: Checking in with Joe Wieskamp

By Max Feldman

Joe Wieskamp, Iowa wing, made his presence felt from the jump with Hawkeyes and has put on display exactly how he can impact winning at the next level. In three years in Iowa City, Wieskamp tacked on plenty of accolades – Big-Ten All-Freshman, All-Big Ten 3rd team, Wooden Watch List and All-Big Ten 2nd team. The 21 year old has floated from the 50-60 range on the 2021 Big Board since the Hawkeyes season came to a close, but a deep dive into the analytics and film provide plenty of juice for his rise towards the top 30 heading into July.

At 6-6 and 212 pounds, Wieskamp solidified himself as one of the top perimeter threats in the nation last season. Here is a look at a group of my key numbers that have become selling points for the Muscatine, Iowa native.

95th Percentile in overall offense
91st Percentile in spot up shooting (1.18 PPP)
97th Percentile Catch and Shoot (1.466 PPP)
95th Percentile Catch and Shoot when guarded (1.403 PPP)
88th Percentile coming off of screens (1.29 PPP)
90th Percentile in transition offense (1.33 PPP)
46.3% from 3-point range on 5.1 attempts per game
62% true shooting
60% EFG
6.6 rebounds per game
19.8% defensive rebound rate
22.4% usage rate
118.1 offensive rating

I’ve become rather dumbfounded with the lack of acknowledgement of Joe Wieskamp as one of the top floor spacers in the 2021 Draft class. With a strong feel for the game, efficient, smooth footwork coming off of screens and setting up on spot ups, Wieskamp has a concrete role at the next level as a secondary, wing rebounder and wing shooter. Iowa owned the third best offense in the nation using adjusted offensive efficiency via KenPom, and Wieskamp’s ability to knock down open looks as well as when being closed out on (1.403 PPP when guarded) was a major catalyst. Defensively, Wieskamp displayed flashes of strong wing defense with high-level anticipation and measured out to be a proficient PnR defender (66th percentile.) The term sleeper is often overused, but in a draft that has garnered extreme attention from top to bottom and has been widely regarded as extraordinarily deep, Joe Wieskamp stands out as one of the most undervalued prospects as the pre-draft process heats up. Spacing the floor is at an all-time premium after the most efficient NBA season offensively in NBA history. Infusing contributors to an efficient offense is at the top of every organization’s checklist heading into the Draft, and Wieskamp is a premier option with sustained proof of success. Joe Wieskamp serves a clear-cut role at the next level and has required my attention as a top 35 prospect in the 2021 field.

I had the chance to talk with Joe Wieskamp as he maneuvers through the 2021 NBA Draft process.

What has been the deciding factor or something that hinges whether you decide to stay in the draft or not?

I’m looking for a team to give me an opportunity to prove myself. I know that I can play at the NBA level.

What are a few facets of your game or overall developments you feel you’ve improved the most since the beginning of the pre-draft process?

Throughout the pre-draft process I have really been working on shooting on the move, sprinting into the catch and being able to make quick decisions when reading the close out and making plays off the bounce. I’ve also been working on lateral quickness defensively. 

What have you put a hype-focus on through this process as traits you want to prove to executives and scouts?

I want to prove to executives and scouts that I can shoot it at a high level, on the catch and on the move, and also that I can rebound at a high level. I’m not afraid to get physical on the glass and can be a wing that helps board.

Which NBA players do you do your majority of film study on?

I’ve been watching a lot of film on guys like Duncan Robinson, Joe Harris, and Klay Thompson.

Is there a facet of your game you believe people undervalue? Anything you take pride in that might not jump out on the screen?

I believe that I’m a lot more athletic than a lot of people think so I want to continue to prove that to people.

What’s a goal or two moving forward towards draft night and early in your rookie year?

A goal of mine during this process is to learn and develop in all aspects of my game. I want to enjoy this process and strive to get better each day. I believe that I am one of the best, if not the best shooter in this years draft and will be a guy that works extremely hard in every facet.

A Reinvigorated MarJon Beauchamp Has His Sights Set On The Top

By Max Feldman

YVCC Basketball May 21, 2021. Justin Tucker / Nine84

MarJon Beauchamp, highly touted 2020 recruit, has had his fair share of barriers but is displaying all the talent and more that made him so esteemed coming out of Dream City Christian in Glendale, Arizona. The Seattle native was 6-6 and 175 pounds after summing up his prep career with a wealth of next-level options.

The original plan for Beauchamp was to attend Chameleon BX, a personalized training program located in San Francisco specifically designed to help elite high school prospects prepare for the NBA Draft. As fellow premier prospects battled through COVID regulations and maneuver through a collegiate basketball season or G-League bubble that winded up operating relatively smoothly, Beauchamp struggled to get into gyms, let alone train in front of NBA scouts in preparation of the combine and private workouts. The Bay Area was home to perhaps the most strict COVID regulations in the country, making it difficult for Beauchamp to legitimately pursue the unique path he aimed to carve out with Chameleon. Opportunity may have been hard to come by, but his talent is ever-present.

Over a year later since having to pivot from the original blueprint, Beachaump has battled through adversity and has made his presence felt with Yakima Valley College, a Junior College in Washington. Only 20 years old, Beauchamp is oozing with untapped potential.

This season, the now 6-7 and 203 pound wing put up 31 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 52% from the field, 40% from deep and 77% from the free throw stripe.

The numbers speak volumes, but here’s a quick breakdown of what has enticed me about MarJon Beauchamp’s skillset for years.

A crafty wing who has continued to fill out his frame, Beauchamp has a phenomenal feel to create shots at all three levels. High powered athlete who’s shown the ability to attack the rack after putting on over 20 pounds while sacrificing no vertical ability. Strong elevation on his perimeter shot that has progressed leaps and bounds over the past few years. Already groomed as a scorer, Beauchamp is primarily instinctual as both a playmaker and defender, but has flashed the tools to be extremely versatile in both facets.

I had the chance to talk to MarJon Beauchamp about his growth, what’s next and much more about his journey.

Describe yourself as a player for those who have never seen MarJon Beauchamp play?

“My game is just smooth. I don’t need to do too much. I make the game easy by getting my teammates involved. I feel like I can score whenever I want to. I’m only getting better and I feel like my ceiling is very high.”

Who do you like to model your game after and watch film on as you continue to craft your game?

“I don’t think I model my game after anyone but I think I have that Jamal Crawford finesse, and that pace that people don’t understand. It might look like I’m not trying sometimes. I watch a lot of Bradley Beal, cause I believe I can be a strong wing scorer at the next level.”

What is the next step for you? Have schools been actively recruiting you or have other options come into the picture?

“Really nobody is recruiting me right now. They will tell me they are going to recruit me hard, then that will last like a week, then I won’t hear from them again. But it’s alright, I know GOD has the right plan for me. I’m not rushing anything I am just letting it come to me. All I need is a chance.”

Although you have plenty of time, what are you looking for in an eventual next destination?

“Somewhere I can grow mentally and physically. I need the minutes to showcase my development, but I will absolutely work for that.”

What are some options at the moment as far as your next step?

“College basketball, National JUCO’s or the NBA G-League. I have been in contact with the G-League, but have not been offered yet. I am planning to go train with some people in the near future to get more feedback.”

What have you learned and how has it shaped who you are on and off the court in your journey over the last year?

“COVID is a beast. It’s taught me about trust. It taught me about focus. Most importantly, it has taught me about myself. I still have a long way to go , but my circle is as strong as can be right now. I’m ready to get work! The journey continues. There have been a lot of negative stories about me but they don’t know the real story. It is going to be a great story one day.”