Your complete guide to the suddenly very different NBA Draft
The makeup of the 2017 NBA Draft has changed.
The Celtics no longer will pick first overall after shipping the selection to Philadelphia for the third overall pick and a future first-rounder.
So for the second consecutive year, the 76ers will pick first. All signs point to them drafting Washington guard Markelle Fultz, but everything is in play until draft night.
As for the Celtics, they will pick third for the second straight year. Boston has long said there are four elite prospects in this draft. Sources have told the Globe that the Celtics believe the gap between Fultz and his contemporaries was not big, as they will likely try for a big man rather than add to their well-stocked backcourt.
So with that, here is a look at what you need to know leading up to the draft:
When: Thursday, June 22
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Time: 7 p.m.
Format: There are two rounds, each with 30 picks. There are 5 minutes per pick in the first round and 2 minutes per pick in the second round. Here is the draft order:
1. Philadelphia (from Boston via Brooklyn)
2. LA Lakers
3. Boston (from Philadelphia via Sacramento)
5. Sacramento (from Philadelphia)
8. New York
10. Sacramento (from New Orleans)
20. Portland (from Memphis via Denver and Cleveland)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Brooklyn (from Washington)
23. Toronto (from LA Clippers via Milwaukee)
25. Orlando (from Toronto)
26. Portland (from Cleveland)
27. Brooklyn (from Boston)
28. LA Lakers (from Houston)
29. San Antonio
30. Utah (from Golden State)
31. Atlanta (from Brooklyn)
33. Orlando (from LA Lakers)
34. Sacramento (from Philadelphia via New Orleans)
36. Philadelphia (from New York via Utah and Toronto)
37. Boston (from Minnesota via Phoenix)
38. Chicago (from Sacramento via Cleveland)
39. Philadelphia (from Dallas)
40. New Orleans
42. Utah (from Detroit)
43. Houston (from Denver)
44. New York (from Chicago)
45. Houston (from Portland)
46. Philadelphia (from Miami via Atlanta)
49. Denver (from Memphis, via Oklahoma City)
50. Philadelphia (from Atlanta)
51. Denver (from Oklahoma City)
53. Boston (from Cleveland)
54. Phoenix (from Toronto)
56. Boston (from LA Clippers)
57. Brooklyn (from Boston)
58. New York (from Houston)
59. San Antonio
60. Atlanta (from Golden State via Philadelphia and Utah)
■ Here is a closer look at players who could be attractive for the Celtics to select third overall.
■ Longform: The transformation of Markelle Fultz. He was once cut from his high school varsity team, lives with his mom, feeds the homeless, trains in public gyms, and sprints lost ATM cards to strangers. Now he’s the top prospect in the NBA Draft.
■ The Celtics have traded the first pick for the third before, and it turned out great.
■ The draft used to be as long as needed. A year after the 1973 draft lasted 20 rounds, the league implemented a 10-round draft. It was condensed to seven rounds in 1985, three rounds in 1988, and two rounds, the current format, in 1989.
■ Forty-five international players and 137 collegiate players applied for early entry for the draft. Of those, 73 collegiate players withdrew their name from the list by the May 24 deadline.
■ Last year, a record 14 college freshmen were picked in the draft, a mark that is expected to be surpassed this year.
■ Before trading the first overall pick, the Celtics would have become the first team to pick at No. 1 after achieving the best record in a conference since the 1982 Los Angeles Lakers. That year, the Lakers selected James Worthy with the top pick. This also would have been the first time Boston picked first in the common draft era, which began in 1966.
■ This is the second straight year the Celtics will pick third overall and the fourth time in the common draft era they pick in the top three. In the top three, Boston has taken Jaylen Brown (2016, third), Chauncey Billups (1997, third), Len Bias (1986, second), and Kevin McHale (1980, third).
■ The Lakers will pick second overall for the third straight year. They made D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram their No. 2 picks in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Before that, their highest pick was James Worthy at No. 1 in 1982.
■ This is the fourth straight year the 76ers will draft in the top three and the second straight year they have the top pick. Over that stretch, the club picked Joel Embiid (third, 2014), Jahlil Okafor (third, 2015), and Ben Simmons (first, 2016).
■ The Suns own the fourth pick for the second consecutive year. They spent last year’s pick on 7-foot-1-inch forward Dragan Bender.
■ The Mavericks, who pick ninth, haven’t drafted a player inside the top 10 since taking Robert Traylor sixth overall in 1998. They dealt his rights to the Bucks for Dirk Nowitzki’s rights.
■ The Kings have a lottery pick — two this year — for the 10th straight year.
■ The Spurs have not had a lottery pick since 1997, when they drafted Tim Duncan first overall. It’s the longest lottery pick drought in the league.
■ Thirty-nine of the 2016 draftees spent time in the NBA D-League last season.
■ Twice Kentucky has had six players taken in a single draft, most recently in 2015 and 2012 before that. In 2010, the Wildcats had five players taken in the draft, a mark matched by Arizona (2001), Connecticut (2006), Florida (2007), and Kansas (2008).
■ Kentucky has had the most players drafted and the most first-round picks since 1989.
|Program||Round 1||Round 2||Total|
■ Last year, 27 international players were drafted, a record. Fifteen were taken in the first round and 12 in the second.
|Year||Round 1||Round 2||Total|
■ The first overall pick has gone on to be named Rookie of the Year six times since 2000 and three of the last four years.
|2000-01||Mike Miller||Orlando Magic||No. 5|
|2001-02||Pau Gasol||Memphis Grizzlies||No. 3|
|2002-03||Amar’e Stoudemire||Phoenix Suns||No. 9|
|2003-04||LeBron James||Cleveland Cavaliers||No. 1|
|2004-05||Emeka Okafor||Charlotte Bobcats||No. 2|
|2005-06||Chris Paul||N.O./OKC Hornets||No. 4|
|2006-07||Brandon Roy||Portland Trail Blazers||No. 6|
|2007-08||Kevin Durant||Seattle SuperSonics||No. 2|
|2008-09||Derrick Rose||Chicago Bulls||No. 1|
|2009-10||Tyreke Evans||Sacramento Kings||No. 4|
|2010-11||Blake Griffin||LA Clippers||No. 1|
|2011-12||Kyrie Irving||Cleveland Cavaliers||No. 1|
|2012-13||Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers||No. 6|
|2013-14||Michael Carter-Williams||Philadelphia 76ers||No. 11|
|2014-15||Andrew Wiggins||Minnesota Timberwolves||No. 1|
|2015-16||Karl-Anthony Towns||Minnesota Timberwolves||No. 1|
The top prospects
(Scouting reports by Stats Inc.)
Markelle Fultz, point guard, Washington
Age: 19. Height: 6 feet, 4 inches. Weight: 195 pounds.
Stat line: 23.2 PTS, 5.7 REB, 5.9 AST, .476 FG% (25 games)
Scouting report: For a player who recently turned 19, Fultz has a game wise beyond his years. He’s a do-everything point guard who is a terrific decision-maker with an uncommonly vast repertoire of moves and passing skills for such a young player, able to create his own shot just as easily as set up a teammate for a good one. Moving to the pros will be a gigantic step up in the talent surrounding him, so the assist numbers could easily increase as he’s flagged by better shooters and given more open space. Yet, Fultz doesn’t need much room to work with because he can drive by nearly anyone with a wide array of moves but also threads the needle with adept passing skills. He can stop on a dime to hit pull-up jumpers, use a deadly cross-over to penetrate or fire a bounce pass to the wing if a teammate is open. Fultz is no slouch from the 3-point line himself, burying a team-best 41.3 percent of his attempts, but he does need to work on his free-throw shooting after hitting just 64.9 percent. He’ll sometimes get too cute with his passes and end up with unnecessary turnovers. With a 6-10 wingspan, quick feet, and great leaping ability, Fultz has the potential to be a terrific defensive player. He’s already good at getting his hand into passing lanes, having averaged 1.6 steals, and he’s quick off his feet so opposing guards have to be wary of his long arms getting in the way of their shot attempts. The third-team AP All-American sat out six of Washington’s final eight games because of knee soreness, though some wondered whether that was more a way to just protect a superstar from having to play for a team going nowhere.
Lonzo Ball, point guard, UCLA
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-6/190.
Stat line: 14.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 7.6 APG, .551 FG% (36 games)
Scouting report: A potentially transcendent point guard prospect to many, Ball was a big-time recruit for Steve Alford at UCLA and delivered in his only season in Westwood, regularly turning in highlight-reel assists while carrying the Bruins to the Sweet 16. With the size Ball brings to what’s become the NBA’s most important position, it’s easy to see why he’s projected to go No. 2 overall. The question mark comes in his shooting mechanics. For a righthander, he brings his right hand to the left side of his forehead to shoot his jumper and he struggles to pull up and shoot while going to his right. It’s hard to argue with the results to this point, though. Ball shot 55.1 percent — including 41.2 percent from 3 — and was able to take over games offensively without trying more than 15 field-goal attempts. His shooting form is something an NBA team will likely work to correct sooner rather than later, but as long as Ball is a serviceable NBA shooter, he’ll have upper-echelon point guard potential. His size and length enable him to see over defenders and he’ll be able to be a post presence, backing down smaller guards once he gets in the weight room. Ball’s biggest gifts, however, are his court vision and preternatural passing ability.
Josh Jackson, small forward, Kansas
Age: 20. Height/weight: 6-8/203.
Stat line: 16.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, .513 FG% (35 games)
Scouting report: There’s no denying Jackson’s talent on the court as he’s expected to be a top-five selection, but his only season at Kansas included some issues off the hardwood. Jackson helped the Jayhawks reach the Elite Eight, leading the team in double-doubles (13), steals per game (1.7) and blocks (37) while finishing second in scoring (16.3) and rebounding (7.4) and third in assists (3.0). The swingman shot 51.3 percent overall and 37.8 from 3-point range while starting 35 of Kansas’ 36 games to earn Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the all-conference first team. The only contest he missed was the Jayhawks’ opening game of the Big 12 tournament, as Jackson was suspended by coach Bill Self after an incident in February in which he backed into a parked car on campus and fled the scene of the accident. That came after Jackson was handed a misdemeanor charge of criminal property damage for vandalizing the car of Kansas women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert outside a bar in Lawrence in December. An affidavit was released regarding that incident the day before Kansas’s opener in the NCAA Tournament, and Calvert told police Jackson followed her to her car and “was yelling for her to get out of the car and that he would beat her [expletive].” On April 26, Jackson signed a diversion agreement and must attend anger management classes, write a letter of apology, and refrain from using alcohol or recreational drugs for a year. The case will be dismissed if he successfully completes the program. In the traffic case, Jackson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation on May 23 and will be on probation for six months and must pay a $250 fine. If he violates his probation, Jackson would have to serve 30 days in jail. Due to his explosive athleticism, a team will almost certainly look past those troubles and select Jackson early with the hopes he can become a franchise cornerstone. That could very well be the case with some experts comparing Jackson to All-Stars Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, two of the best two-way players in the NBA. As is the case with most young players, Jackson still needs to improve his outside shooting. He also struggled from the foul line at Kansas, going 98 of 173 (56.6 percent), and committed a team-high 97 turnovers to 104 assists.
Jayson Tatum, small forward, Duke
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-8/204.
Stat line: 16.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, .452 FG% (29 games)
Scouting report: One of the premier scorers in the draft class, Tatum is considered NBA-ready and poised to make an immediate impact. In one season at Duke, Tatum found success by scoring in a number of ways. He could use a quick first step to drive the lane and score off the dribble or step back and knock down a mid-range jumper when given too much space. He was named to the All-ACC Tournament first team after averaging 22 points and 7.5 rebounds in leading the Blue Devils to the title. Tatum moves quickly for his size and can create mismatches for opposing defenses while playing the wing. Despite being hailed as a proven scorer, his long-range game needs improvement. Tatum was inconsistent from beyond the arc, draining 6 of 7 3-pointers at Virginia on Feb. 15 but missing all seven 3-point tries at Miami 10 days later. He connected on 27.3 percent of his 22 3-point shots in Duke’s six ACC and NCAA Tournament games. It is believed, however, that his shooting from deep will come around over time. His defense and passing have also come into question. His 0.82 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked 148th out of 155 players from major conferences who played at least 900 minutes and totaled 60 or more assists. While his overall game has flaws, teams are captivated by his offensive aptitude and potential to develop into a prolific scorer.
De’Aaron Fox, point guard, Kentucky
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-4/171.
Stat line: 16.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.6 APG, .479 FG% (36 games)
Scouting report: A pure scorer and playmaker, Fox is a top-five talent who has the game to make an immediate impact for a team looking for an offensive boost. In his one season at Kentucky, Fox shot 47.9 percent overall despite making just 24.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. Fox is a solid athlete who seems to have little trouble finding his way to the basket. He appears best off the dribble, and has a knack for shaking down defenders with little effort. A smart player who sees the floor well, Fox is a natural scoring presence on the break but possesses a selfless trait that knows when it’s time to dish and make his teammates look good. Fox’s ability to take over games is what sets him apart from some of the other lottery hopefuls. However, Fox can get frustrated when his shot won’t fall and can get a little reckless with his shot selection, especially if he’s struggling. At times, he’ll try to do too much and sacrifice a better scoring option elsewhere on the court. Judging from his consistent struggles from beyond the arc, Fox’s improvement from distance might be the focal point of his NBA education. He’s considered an overall solid defender, but like any young scorer will endure his share of defensive lapses.
Jonathan Isaac, small forward, Florida State
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-11/205.
Stat line: 12.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.2 APG, .508 FG% (32 games)
Scouting report: The crown jewel of a loaded Florida State 2016 recruiting class, Isaac’s time in Tallahassee was fully expected to be a short stay from the moment the five-star recruit arrived on campus. His unique skill set and tantalizing upside make the versatile forward a near certainty to be taken among the top 10 picks with a chance to sneak into the first five. Isaac began his high school career as a guard before growing seven inches into his slender 6-11 frame. Therefore, his court sense and jump shot are rather advanced for a 19-year-old prospect who figures to see significant minutes as a power forward in the pros. With the height to shoot over wing defenders and the quickness to blow by most fours, he’s a potential mismatch nightmare at the next level. Still, Isaac has a ways to go before his game rivals his physical comparisons to Kevin Durant. His perimeter shooting remains a bit inconsistent, though he shows good form and should improve in time, and his obvious lack of upper-body strength will give him trouble finishing near the rim and guarding more mature post players as he enters the NBA. Isaac is still capable of making an immediate impact even if he isn’t scoring, however, as he’s already a good rebounder and excellent shot blocker who gives consistent energy and effort on the defensive end. His above-average length and movement skills offer great promise that he can emerge as a valued stopper capable of effectively guarding multiple positions.
Lauri Markkanen, power forward, Arizona
Age: 20. Height/weight: 7-0/225.
Stat line: 15.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, .495 FG% (29 games)
Scouting report: Markkanen seems like the fairly typical big-man prospect from Europe, a heady player who is a terrific shooter and weak on the defensive end. The Finland native has drawn comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki and Kristaps Porzingis, but what could separate Markkanen is his athleticism. He’s not clunky. Instead, Markkanen is quite agile and possesses a muscular frame. It’s that combination that makes some scouts think he could be a star, with the opportunity to become even more diverse offensively and improve defensively. If nothing else, Markkanen should be a regular in some team’s rotation because he’s a 7-footer who can flat out shoot. The third-team Associated Press All-American hit 42.3 percent from 3-point range in his only season at Arizona, making a team-high 69, and he led the Pac-12 in free-throw shooting at 83.5 percent. He is adept at creating his own shot, capably hitting pull-up jumpers rather than just waiting for the ball to rotate to him on the perimeter. The problem with Markkanen is that his effort, footwork, and awareness on defense are sorely lacking. His 0.7 blocks and 0.5 steals per 40 minutes both ranked sixth among the team’s nine rotation regulars. He’s not considered to be a particularly good rebounder, but he did average a team-leading 7.2 boards as a freshman to go with his 15.6 points per game. Markkanen will be more important for his ability to stretch the floor on offense because one of the opponent’s best big men will need to leave the lane to defend him.
Dennis Smith Jr., point guard, NC State
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-3/195.
Stat line: 18.1 PTS, 4.6 REB, 6.2 AST, .455 FG% (32 games)
Scouting report: Smith filled his one season at North Carolina State with some impressive accomplishments. He was named ACC rookie of the year and a second team all-conference selection. The explosive guard was one of two players in Division I to record two triple-doubles, and joined Ralph Sampson as the only ACC freshmen with that achievement. All of that came in Smith’s first full season back from a major knee injury suffered shortly before his senior year of high school, an injury that led him to enroll a semester early in January 2016 to focus on his rehab before making his playing debut that November. While Smith may have lost some national recognition because of his team’s struggles, he was on the radar of NBA scouts even before college because his explosiveness and superior athletic gifts seem perfectly suited for the NBA. A fearless slasher, Smith is also a skilled passer with an improving shot and his ability to finish above the rim is a trait that all elite point guards possess. Smith projects as a player that can start and contribute immediately, and he brings as much long-term potential as any player in this class.
Malik Monk, point/shooting guard, Kentucky
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-4/185.
Stat line: 19.8 PTS, 2.5 REB, 2.3 AST, .450 FG% (38 games)
Scouting report: An explosive scorer with impressive range as a jump shooter, Monk burst onto the national scene in his first season at Kentucky. The pinnacle of his immediate impact came in a UK freshman-record 47-point performance in which he knocked down eight 3-pointers in a victory over eventual national champion North Carolina. Monk remains an intriguing prospect because of his ability to hit spot-up jumpers as well as use the dribble to create space and get out on the fast break. He shoots the ball with nice touch and was never shy about putting up deep, contested 3-pointers from NBA range. Some scouts, however, question Monk’s shot selection and whether he’ll be able to create his own opportunities at the next level. It’s widely believed that he’ll need to improve his ball-handling and passing ability to develop into a scoring point guard as opposed to being labeled an undersized shooting guard. On the defensive end, Monk will have to become more consistent and disciplined when it comes to applying ball pressure and not allowing opposing guards to get past him off the dribble. He could struggle when trying to defend bigger guards, though Monk does have the potential to get stronger and grow into his frame.
Luke Kennard, guard, Duke
Age: 21. Height/weight: 6-6/202.
Stat line: 19.5 PTS, 5.1 REB, 2.5 AST, .489 FG% (37 games)
Scouting report: Folks tend to notice you when you pass LeBron James on a list of achievements. That’s just what Kennard did as he eclipsed the Cavs superstar and ultimately wound up as the second-most prolific scorer in Ohio high school history. Two seasons at Duke later, Kennard probably isn’t quite a lottery pick, but in a deep draft he should go in the first round. Kennard has an excellent feel for the game, but the biggest reason for his upside is shooting ability. Kennard isn’t just someone who’s going to catch and shoot at the next level, though. His footwork allows him to pull up on the move, and he’s adept at coming off screens and getting his shot off quickly. Besides his improved shooting, he developed a much better handle from his freshman season to sophomore season. Kennard is not a great finisher at the rim, something he’ll need to improve. A bigger concern is his defensive ability; he simply lacks the lateral movement to keep better athletes in front of him.
Bam Adebayo, center/forward, Kentucky
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-10/260.
Stat line: 13.0 PTS, 8.0, REB, 0.8 AST, .599 FG% (38 games)
Scouting report: Views differ on whether Adebayo will be a successful pro. After spending only one season at Kentucky, he remains unpolished with great physical tools. His offensive game in college was limited greatly to dunks off the pick-and-roll, lobs on the break, and putbacks. When he would try to do more, Adebayo could run into trouble because his moves in the post or driving the lane are limited to powering his way to the basket. His outside shot is nearly non-existent and he was a 65.3 percent free-throw shooter. Scouts find him more enticing on defense because of his strength, chiseled frame, 7-3 wingspan and terrific quickness. Yet, it’s on the defensive end where he didn’t always seem to be engaged while at Kentucky. Per 40 minutes, Adebayo didn’t rank among the top 15 in the SEC in blocks or defensive rebounds. While not regularly keen to block out, he is more aggressive on the glass when on offense. His 3.1 offensive boards per game ranked second in the SEC. If the effort is there regularly, the former McDonald’s All-American could step in right away as a defensive force because of his ability to guard multiple positions.
Zach Collins, power forward/center, Gonzaga
Age: 19. Height/weight: 7-0/230.
Stat line: 10.0 PTS, 5.9 REB, 0.4 AST, .652 FG% (39 games)
Scouting report: Collins can stake claim to being the first one-and-done player in Gonzaga history. As often is the case with young players boasting the same type of lanky frame as Collins, it’s all about potential and adding some bulk. Scouts like Collins’s explosiveness and quickness when propelling to the basket or defending the rim as a shot blocker. He has the ability to score, but his mid-range game needs work. Collins also fouled out seven times during his one college season, which means he’ll need to be more disciplined defensively, especially with his footwork when guarding a fellow big outside the lane. With only 16 assists for the Zags, Collins will need to work on his passing to become a complete player. He tends to lose the ball in the traffic.
Donovan Mitchell, guard, Louisville
Age: 20. Height/weight: 6-3/210.
Stat line: 15.6 PTS, 4.9 REB, 2.7 AST, .408 FG% (34 games)
Scouting report: Mitchell’s offensive production increased exponentially from his freshman to sophomore seasons, a big reason he decided leave to Louisville. The potential associated with that improvement is what could make this already stellar defender a late lottery pick with the chance to be a consistent contributor at the next level. Over 31 games with five starts in 2015-16, Mitchell averaged 7.4 points, 3.4 boards and 1.7 assists. As a sophomore, Mitchell averaged a team-high 15.6 points to go with 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists while starting 33 of 34 games for the 25-9 Cardinals. Though Mitchell’s shooting percentage fell from 44.2 percent as a freshman to 40.8, he took 254 more shots but also made 35.4 percent of his 3-point attempts this season. The most advanced area of his game is on defense. Considered a defensive specialist who might be able to find an immediate spot in an NBA rotation, Mitchell possesses solid lateral footwork, is quick when guarding in the open court or on the ball and is a great leaper who will out-jump opponents for rebounds. Scouts like his tenacity and work ethic. He hustles at both ends and is willing to learn, which will come in handy while trying to fine-tune his offensive game.
Jarrett Allen, foward/center, Texas
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-10/224.
Stat line: 13.4 PTS, 8.4 REB, 1.5 BLK, .566 FG% (33 games)
Scouting report: Allen worked his way into possibly becoming a lottery pick late in his freshman season at Texas. Allen got better as the season wore on and the competition in the Big 12 got tougher. In his last 18 games — including seven against opponents that were ranked No. 12 or better — Allen averaged 15.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks while shooting 57.1 percent. Two of those contests were against powerhouse Kansas, and Allen totaled 42 points and 30 rebounds while going 17 of 27 from the field. He measured well among centers at the NBA Draft combine, especially in wingspan (7 feet, 5 1/4 inches), hand length (9.5 inches), hand width (10.5), shuttle run (2.99 seconds), three quarter sprint (3.21) and vertical leap (35.5 inches). The potential is there for Allen to have success in the NBA due to his length and size, but he needs to add bulk if he plans on establishing a presence in the paint. (His weight of 233.6 pounds at the combine was among the lowest at his position.) Allen also struggled at Texas when faced with double-teams, and that paved the way for him to commit a team-leading 84 turnovers.
John Collins, center/forward, Wake Forest
Age: 19. Height/weight: 6-10/225.
Stat line: 19.2 PTS, 9.8 REB, 1.6 BLK, .622 FG% (33 games)
Scouting report: After a strong freshman season, Collins blossomed into one of the best big men in the ACC as a sophomore and was voted the league’s most improved player. He put together a string of 12 consecutive 20-point games late in the season, including a career-high 31 and 15 boards in a loss at Duke for the first 30-and-15 game by a Demon Deacon since Rodney Rogers in 1993. Collins’s progression was a big reason why Wake Forest earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2010. Collins benefited from Danny Manning’s coaching, as his post-up game, conditioning, and footwork in the paint all improved. Although far from a finished product, Collins possesses many of the traits NBA teams covet, including efficiency, rebounding ability, and athleticism. While he’s been slapped with the tweener label because he lacks a defined position, Collins’s ability to play both center and power forward could be seen as a positive in today’s NBA. He runs the floor well and plays with strength and high energy while maintaining his efficiency on the glass. He’s not the best defender right now, but is versatile enough to guard on the perimeter and battle with forwards in the paint.
Justin Jackson, foward, North Carolina
Age: 22. Height/weight: 6-8/193.
Stat line: 18.3 PTS, 4.7 REB, 2.8 AST, .433 FG% (40 games)
Scouting report: After putting together solid freshman and sophomore seasons at North Carolina, Jackson had a breakthrough junior campaign and is bolting for the NBA as a projected mid-first round pick. Named an AP All-American and the ACC Player of the Year, Jackson helped lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA title. He reached the 20-point mark three times in the NCAA Tournament and scored 731 points overall, tied for the fifth-most by a Tar Heel in a single season. The biggest improvement in his game was his 3-point shooting, which has helped his draft stock skyrocket. He shot 29.7 percent from beyond the arc as an underclassman, averaging 0.81 makes per game. As a junior, Jackson set the UNC single-season record with 105 3-pointers while shooting 37 percent. Among players at least 6-8, his 2.6 made 3-pointers per game ranked third in the nation and first among those from major conferences. Although an effective shooter spotting up and off the pass, Jackson struggled to create off the dribble. He has a wiry frame and lacks the quickness to blow past defenders, though most teams believe he’ll be able to add weight to play more physical. Despite being on the thin side, Jackson is a sound defender and displays good footwork.