There is one thing we know and one thing that we do not when it comes to this year's NBA Draft. What we know is that a draft will happen this year. What we do not know is when it will happen. There is a lot of uncertainty around how the draft will work, how scouts will be able to evaluate/work out players, and who will pick where for that matter. But when it comes to pure talent, who are the top ten prospects heading into the NBA Draft? This is not to say these players will all be drafted in the top ten, as teams' needs are all different, but these are my top ten prospects.
10. Cole Anthony - (PG, North Carolina)
It may have been a tough year in Chapel Hill for Cole Anthony, but there is no denying this guy's talent. Cole is definitely a scoring point guard, as he was second in the ACC in scoring. That is not to say he is not a great passer, as he also had four per game in college. Size is not a concern for Cole, but health is. If Cole can stay healthy I see him hanging around the league for many years.
9. Onyeka Okungwu - (PF, USC)
This man lives up to the title of a "power" forward as he is an absolute beast. His physical traits remind me a lot of Bam Adebayo, as he rebounds and blocks shots well. Okungwu's biggest strength is that he can defend multiple positions, which in today's "positionless basketball" is huge. If a team is looking for a solid frontcourt player that can grow and be coached up this guy could be a steal.
8. Tyrese Haliburton - (PG, Iowa St)
Tyrese is a bit of an unknown since he broke his wrist, but athletically he is a freak. The guy is a six five-point guard with a seven-foot wingspan. He is a bit undersized at just 170 pounds, but he can build an NBA body in a couple of years. This guy would be in my top five had it not been for an injury, but he has tremendous upside. He could end up being the steal of the draft.
7. Deni Avdija - (SF, Israel)
The only European player on this list is a bit of an unknown for most. Small Forward is sometimes the toughest position to fill, but I think Avdija has the tools to be solid in the NBA. The only concern I have is an inconsistent three-point shot, but that is something that can be taught (just look at Lonzo Ball). He could be the next Doncic, but he could also be the next Exum. Only time will tell.
6. Killian Hayes - (PG, Gonzaga)
Killian Hayes had a phenomenal year on a stacked Gonzaga team and is a credible point guard prospect. He is very creative with his passes and in transition can be dangerous. Hayes, much like Avdija, struggles from beyond the arc. If he can sort that out Hayes could be a dangerous NBA talent for years to come.
5. Isaac Okoro - (SF, Auburn)
Isacc Okoro had a great year for the Tigers. Okoro's biggest strength is on the defensive end, despite being a tad undersized at the small forward position. He is a guy that could play multiple positions at the next level and can shoot the deep ball as well. I see him as a better Justise Winslow, which is why I have him in my top five.
4. Obi Toppin - (PF, Dayton)
The big sophomore from Dayton led the Flyers to an outstanding record. He was so good that he won the Naismith award, and thus why he is fourth on my list. He is incredibly gifted physically and can shoot the jumper well. If he can improve defensively he will make the team that drafts him very happy. He is a bigger Amare Stoudemire and look at how his career turned out.
3. James Wiseman - (C, Memphis)
We only saw three college games out of James Wiseman, but they were spectacular. He is the only center on my list, but his seven foot four and a half wingspan will be a tough cover for any opposing center. I find it tough to draft a center in today's NBA at number one, which is why he slipped to three on my list.
2. Lamelo Ball - (PG, USA)
Lamelo Ball has been an internet celebrity since his early days at Chino Hills. But make no mistake about it this guy has improved, especially physically, over the last few years. Lamelo is now six foot seven and has developed into a passer nearly equal to his brother Lonzo. Keep Lavar off the sports talk shows and let the kid develop a more consistent deep ball. I truly believe Lamelo will pan out at the next level, he just needs to focus on basketball more than being a celebrity off the court.
1. Anthony Edwards - (SG, Georgia)
The best pure prospect in this draft class is Anthony Edwards. People see the up and down freshman year that he had and write him off right away. But young kids will have that happen and this guy has the tools to be successful at the next level. He will need to up his compete on the defensive end and work on his jumper, but all the tools are there. He reminds me a lot of Victor Oladipo, but much like Victor, he will need a couple of seasons to improve. But once he does, expect an all-star level explosion out of Anthony Edwards.