THE 2019 NBA DRAFT IS WIDELY CONSIDERED A WEAK CLASS, but the draft is deep with a slew of talented and intriguing wing prospects. The NBA is moving to more and more wings on the court, so that makes this an interesting draft, even if it’s a bit top-light. Two presumed top-5 picks will likely play shooting guard: R.J. Barrett of Duke and Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech. They could be joined in the lottery by as many as four or five other twos. There’s the untapped upside of Kevin Porter Jr. and Romeo Langford, the Kentucky duo of Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson, and the steady, all-around game of Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
Below we’ll run through all seven of those players, plus nine more who could be worth a look in the second round or free agency. Some players listed here might not traditionally be considered an NBA two. I’m classifying guys as a two if I think they A) can’t play point guard and B) don’t have the size to consistently play the three and guard bigger players. By definition, that makes shooting guards less valuable than bigger wings, and many of the players below are strong in one area with an important weakness in another.
Shooting guards can often be flashy and high-scoring, but advanced metrics often show this to be the least impactful position on the court. That makes draft evaluation all the more important, and my analysis of how these players will fit into a valuable NBA role means I have a pretty different view and ordering of these shooting guard prospects than most.
Let’s run through a full scouting report for all 16 SG prospects from the 2019 class, with a breakdown of NBA expectations and best team fits for each player. When you’re done here, be sure to check out the in-depth rankings for all the other 2019 NBA Draft prospects by position using the links below…
2019 NBA Draft — Ranking the Point Guards
Ja Morant is #1, but is Darius Garland or Coby White second best? And what if the answer is neither of them?
2019 NBA Draft — Ranking the Small Forwards
Every NBA team needs wing help, and it just happens to be the deepest position in the 2019 draft. Who should teams…
2019 NBA Draft — Ranking the Power Forwards
It’s Zion Williamson and Brandon Clarke at the top. Does anyone else even come close to measuring up?
TIER I — THE HOMETOWN HERO
1. Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
Jarrett Culver lived the ultimate dream this year, the hometown kid from Lubbock, Texas, who stayed home at Texas Tech and led his Red Raiders all the way to overtime in the national championship before finally falling short. Culver is a humble and high character kid with terrific individual and team defense and a growing ability to score and distribute. He is a knockdown shot away from being the complete package.
I wrote an in-depth piece analyzing Culver from every angle, one of my favorite players to scout and follow this season. Take a look.
Again, check my profile piece. Culver’s shooting is a huge swing skill, the difference between him being a useful complimentary player and a star.
Best team fits
Jarrett Culver would help every NBA team. He’s not going to go top-2 but will go quickly after that. The Knicks, Pelicans, Cavs, Suns, Bulls, and Hawks round out the top-8, and Culver would be a great addition for each. I think Culver is worth Atlanta trading up from #8 for with their glut of picks. For many teams, Culver should be the top non-Zion player on their draft boards.
TIER II — THE FLOOR VS THE CEILING
2. R.J. Barrett, Duke
R.J. Barrett was the second star on Duke, though you’d never get him to admit that. Barrett plays like he’s the best player on the court at all times, and his talent and ability is undeniable. Barrett is great attacking the rim, a tall, playmaking wing that oozes star potential with the ability to take over games.
Barrett’s talent is undeniable. His shot and decision making? Not so much. There was no player I struggled more evaluating this season, but in the end, I decided I’m out on R.J. Barrett as an elite NBA prospect.
I already wrote everything you need to know about Barrett with a full scouting breakdown of every aspect of his game and NBA outlook here.
Best team fits
It looks very likely that R.J. Barrett will go #3 to the Knicks. He’s not third on my board, but the Knicks and Cavs are the only teams in the top-8 I like Barrett ending up on, largely because they’re blank slates without any real talent to build around, so they might as well take a shot on Barrett’s upside.
Why I’m out on R.J. Barrett as an elite NBA prospect
R.J. Barrett is one of the most naturally gifted players in the 2019 NBA Draft, so why is it so hard to see him…
3. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech
Nickeil Alexander-Walker is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s cousin, and he looks the part. Like Shai, Nickeil has a long frame and a skinny body at 6'6" with a 6'10" wingspan, weighing in a touch over 200 pounds. NAW has a similar long stride and ability to attack on the drive, and he’s a very good shooter. He played some point guard while Justin Robinson was injured and could end up being able to split time at three positions, from one to three.
My first instinct of Alexander-Walker was complete disinterest. He looked like a classic scoring two in the line of Lonnie Walker or Bryn Forbes, a guy that got up shots in a hurry. NAW can score, but he does much more than that. His size and shooting touch really give him a unique set of skills and a high floor.
Defensively, NAW has a lot of potential. He has quick hands and gets a lot of steals, and he uses his length to really bother smaller players. He tends to reach and pick up a lot of cheap fouls and he can gamble a bit at times, but his length really pesters guys on D. His light frame will prevent him from being a lockdown defender, but he will bring positive defense and can definitely switch and guard one to three. He’s better on the ball than in team defense.
Alexander-Walker brings a versatile offensive skill set. The shot comes first. It’s a sweet shot with pretty form and looks good every time. Per The Stepien shot charts, NAW made 40% of his long twos, 43% wing threes, and 40% NBA threes, all impressive numbers. He’s not quite a knockdown shooter but improved a lot from freshman to sophomore year. He also improved a ton at finishing, from 47 to 61% at the rim. NAW’s long stride helps him slither to the rim and he’s learning to contort his body and finish well. He has a nice enough dribble and does the Steve Nash thing where he probes the lane and keeps his dribble alive looking for a play.
This season NAW showed a ton of improvement as a playmaker. He’s definitely not a point guard, but there’s some real passing ability and secondary creation upside. Again, the strength is a real advantage because it allows Alexander-Walker to see over teammates. He just sees passes angles most other players don’t, and he can pass with both hands and make some pretty unique reads that many point guards aren’t even capable of. NAW has a good feel for the game and makes quick decisions. He’s also a terror off the ball with his movement, with quick cuts and good burst that allow him to get to his spot where he’s great on the catch-and-shoot. He got way too many turnovers running point with Robinson out, but it will be good for his game long-term to have had the ball in his hands so much.
Buzz Williams has a great history developing NBA wings (Jimmy Butler, Wes Matthews, Jae Crowder) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker could be his next success story. NAW is an ideal team building block. His shooting and passing are a real value, and he brings great feel for the game and sharp instincts with plenty of defensive potential. He also adds a real versatility with his ability and size to play one to three on both ends. I loved Kevin Huerter and Josh Okogie late in last year’s lottery as building block twos. I like NAW even more. He’s not going to be a star but looks like he’ll be in the league for a decade.
Best team fits
Almost any team can use Alexander-Walker’s talents and versatility. He’d fit well in Miami or Orlando, both in need of wing help, and he’d be a very interesting third guard with Huerter and Trae Young in Atlanta. If he slides a bit, NAW would be an absolute godsend to OKC later in the first.
TIER III — WHICH KENTUCKY GUY DO YOU WANT?
4. Keldon Johnson, Kentucky
Keldon Johnson is a fiery competitor that always seems to show up in the biggest moments. He has an NBA body and is a well-rounded wing prospect, though he had a tendency to disappear for large stretches of the game. Johnson exploded onto the scene with a big game in the opener against Duke but had an up-and-down year and is one of the more confusing prospects.
Johnson has a good frame at 6'6" with a 6'9" wingspan. That makes him big for a two but on the smaller side for a true wing, and that’s unfortunate because his game seems particularly suited for the four and he’s a few inches short for that. He’s pretty athletic but doesn’t always use his athleticism functionally. Johnson is aggressive and plays with a high motor. He moves his feet well on defense and is a good team defender. He doesn’t create many defensive events but fills a role, making good rotations and helping his team.
That’s really a good description of Keldon as a whole. Early in the season, Johnson looked like the closer for Kentucky with big performances against Duke and North Carolina, but as the season moved along, he was often lost in the shuffle. I watched a ton of UK games and often barely even noticed KJ out there or added many notes. That’s both good and bad. It’s good because he’s not hurting the team or making many mistakes, but there aren’t many plays that pop either. Johnson’s shot is solid. He hit a surprising 38% of his threes, though his 70% free throws tempers shooting expectations some. I’m not sold on his athleticism. Johnson is a bit slow and deliberate and doesn’t have great hips or change of direction. It feels like he’s still learning how to use his body athletically and might have gotten pigeon-holed into a role he didn’t fit, a Calipari specialty. The optimist in me sees a blank canvas with no significant weaknesses, a great NBA floor. The pessimist wonders what his NBA skill is and whether I’d have even noticed him if his jersey didn’t read “Kentucky.”
Johnson has a long stride and loves to attack the rim, but he’s a slow starter with no real burst and doesn’t change directions well, and that often leads to charges or turnovers on drives where he’s already made up his mind in advance. He’s far better in transition and ranks in the 85th percentile or better on spot-ups, schooting off screens, or the catch-and-shoot, per Synergy. He made 41% of his NBA threes and finished 62% of his shots at the rim. He’s an excellent rebounder for his position and a solid dribbler. Johnson feels like he could have high-end potential as a role player that elevates his teammates.
It feels like Keldon Johnson could be an ideal 4th or 5th starter on an NBA team. That’s not particularly exciting, but it’s useful. Johnson is a good defender and fits well within the offense with a bit of pop on his own, and if his shot holds up, he provides value there. I can see Keldon being a more talented Kent Bazemore. He’s probably not going to excite the fan base, but his lack of weaknesses make him a potential 16-game player since he should be able to stay on the court in the playoffs. Combine that with his potential blank-canvas upside and the possibility that his talents were being pigeonholed by Calipari, and there’s some reason for hope.
Best team fits
Johnson feels like a readymade wing that could plug into a starting NBA role from day one. He has a higher floor but lacks star upside, so his best value may be to a team on the fringe of the playoffs that needs a 30-minute wing. Miami and Orlando both make a lot of sense from that perspective, and Keldon could finally be the answer at the two for OKC. He would also add a really quality wing piece Philly is missing off the bench.
5. Tyler Herro, Kentucky
Have you ever seen J.J. Redick play? Welcome to Tyler Herro. Herro is a confident, small, white shooting guard on a hated college blue blood, a movement shooter that plays with moxie in the face of his opponent.
Herro is 6'5" with very short arms and a negative wingspan at 6'3". Again, not to be reductive, but picture J.J. Redick. The lack of size and athleticism means Herro has little hope as a defender. He impressed chasing shooters like Fletcher Magee and Nickeil Alexander-Walker around, but he often gets lost on defense and loses his man, and his only real defensive upside is effort.
Of course, he’s not out there for defense. Herro is a shooter. His shot form is crisp and the ball almost always looks good coming out of his hand. Herro does a lot of running around screens for his quick release pull-up , but he can also do some stuff with the ball in his hands. He has a nice first step and a bit of creation ability with surprising awareness and vision, and he’s got a little shake in his dribble. Herro shot 64% at the rim, impressive for his size, and made 45% from short range and 46% of his long twos, per The Stepien. The problem is he made only 38% of his college range threes and just 32% from NBA range. The shot looks promising but the results are inconsistent, and he’s going to have to add strength and expand his range. The free throw doesn’t need any work. Herro shot a sparkling 94% from the line, which is very promising for his shooting future in the NBA.
Unlike many players, Herro’s numbers actually went up in conference play, across the boards really. He played far more confident and looked like UK’s best player at times with his dribble pull-up and self creation. Kentucky’s offense was best down the stretch with the ball in Herro’s hands running a pick-and-roll with P.J. Washington. Early in the season, I felt like Herro might be a year or two away, but he showed a lot of progression. Still, Herro is all about the shot. His percentages on contested shots are especially troubling, so Herro needs to prove he can find the space to get his shot off and hit consistently from range.
The J.J. Redick comp is as on-the-nose as you get, but it makes sense. Redick was a far better three-point shooter, around 40% at Duke, but Herro’s game is a bit more rounded. He can do a little more with the ball in his hands and is a much better finisher, and he’s a far better rebounder. Redick is one of the game’s all-time great movement shooters. Herro may never get to that level as a shooter but will fill a similar role and can score at all three levels.
Herro probably won’t be as good as Redick, but I like him a lot more than Luke Kennard. The problem with those guys is that their defense is so poor and the offense relatively limited that the advanced metrics end up rating them as net neutrals or slight positives at best. They probably underestimate the value of shooting gravity, but the fact is that this archetype just isn’t super valuable, and you can see it in the way Redick typically has such a huge drop-off in the playoffs where his defense is exploited and his offense can be game planned for. That’s the ultimate problem with Herro’s type, and it’s why I ultimately ranked Keldon Johnson higher despite Herro looking better most of the time.
Best team fits
A lot of teams need guards that can really shoot, though Herro’s game requires a particular style of offense to maximize him. A team like OKC doesn’t fit as well despite an obvious need at the two. Philadelphia is the slam dunk as a Redick replacement, and they have three picks in the 24 to 34 range. I could see Herro fitting well in Orlando, Boston, or Brooklyn too.
TIER IV — THE HOME RUN SWINGS
Kevin Porter Jr. and Romeo Langford were maybe my two most frustrating players to scout all year. With KPJ, I see the home run upside but have a hard time envisioning him getting there. With Romeo, I just don’t see it at all. In a star-driven league, you eventually have to give guys like this a chance, but they rank low enough for me that both are effectively off my draft board.
6. Kevin Porter Jr., USC
From a talent standpoint alone, Kevin Porter Jr. looks like a potential top-5 guy in a weak draft lacking star power. A young 19, Porter has all the tools. He stands 6'6" with a long, wide frame and the potential to guard one to three, and he has a handle to die for and a hang dribble and lefty step-back three that can only make you think of one Houston Rocket with a Beard. But his profile is littered with red flags, and he’s one of the ultimate boom-or-bust picks in the 2019 draft.
Porter is ridiculously athletic and fast, and he’s super shifty and quick. He has an effortless wiggle to his game and the ball feels like an extension of his body. He looks like an And-1 player with his elite dribble, with the whole array of moves, a smooth and advanced handle. It feels like he can get to any spot anytime with the ball. Porter is extremely lefty dominant but so good with his left that it usually works. He loves to attack from the wing and has a confident pull-up jumper and an advanced step-back he can always get off. Porter passes when he has to. His passes are lazy and out of necessity and never particularly meaningful. Porter is playing for his stats. His teammates are just in the way.
Porter’s a baffling shooter. He made 41% of his threes, and his catch-and-shoot and pull-up form are good. And then you see the free throw. It is close-your-eyes awful, and the results show it: just 52% on the season. It’s hard to mak too much of the numbers since Porter attempted only 68 threes and 46 free throws all season. But he has an ugly, weird, across-his-body shot that sometimes misses by a mile, and considering that’s his bread-and-butter, it’s troubling. Off the ball, Porter just sorta stands there. He can make ridiculous athletic plays in the open court, but he rarely uses his athleticism to get to the rim with or without the ball. Over three-fourths of his field goal attempts this year were jump shots, and over a quarter of his buckets were in transition.
The mental part of Porter’s game is a mess. He has horrendous body language and often looks lazy or disengaged, and this side of his game continually kept him on the bench. His work ethic is frequently questioned, and his decision making is iffy at best. That’s more than you can say for his defense, which is downright horrendous. Porter daydreams on defense, just floating in his spot in the zone with zero effort or an occasional swipe. He’s slow to react and awful in team defense and he’s always in the wrong spot, with an amazing ability to never be near the ball or close enough to rebound. He’s always the last one back in transition and never seems focused on D. In his first start in three months, Porter managed to give up a free alley oop and-one his first seven seconds on the court. Let’s just say he didn’t start another game.
If you just watch the highlights, KPJ is definitely an NBA player. He makes athletic plays, and his dribble and shot form can’t help but remind you of Harden. He’s like Harden if you added Westbrook’s decision making, Swaggy P’s confidence, and Andrew Wiggins’s mental focus. In an interview I watched, Porter said his best NBA quality is that he’s fast. He said he wants to be Jamal Crawford, and that one I can buy. Think Dion Waiters II. Porter’s top-5 percentile outcome is an NBA superstar and the second best player in the draft. But the bottom 80 or 90% is out of the league in five years.
Best team fits
I’m guessing there are a number of NBA teams that don’t even have Porter on their draft board at all with all of his red flags, and he didn’t get invited to the Green Room, so he’s not a likely lottery pick. The right team for Porter is a team with a great infrastructure and history of developing players and one in need of a star guard. Miami is the dream fit. Brooklyn or Philly would be good if KPJ slides. I could see the Spurs taking a shot. Detroit, Orlando, or Cleveland need the talent influx, but I don’t see Porter working out there.
7. Romeo Langford, Indiana
Romeo Langford was a top-5 recruit that stayed in-state, expected to return the Hoosiers to glory. Instead, Indiana ended up in the NIT as Langford was fine but disappointing. Romeo has a long frame and a ton of strength and is at his best driving to the rim and finishing through contact. Langford youth, athleticism, body, and pedigree will have him in the lottery conversation.
Langford’s standout ability is using his size and strength to bully his way to the rim. He absorbs contact well and has a nice change of pace with a faint whiff of James Harden, less an explosive athlete and more a crafty driver with good finishing ability. Langford made an impressive 65% of his shots at the rim and was in the 88th percentile as a pick-and-roll handler. Romeo draws a ton of fouls and lives at the line. But his driving ability was muted against better teams, where his physicality wasn’t such an advantage, and his two-point percentage dropped from 62% non-conference to 47% in the physical Big Ten. His hesitation drive and physicality are his go-to skills, and they won’t be as advantageous in the NBA. There’s one other glaring problem: Langford can’t go left. He’s so righty-dominant that even the broadcast talked about how certain they were that he’d go right. Good teams took Romeo’s drives away.
Langford can’t shoot the jumper, and he knows it. He made only 27% of his 125 threes, and he has a wonky, behind-his-head shot form that looks a little different every time. He did make 72% of 194 free throws through, and he has a great touch around the basket, so a lot of evaluators have hope that his shot will develop in time. I’m less optimistic, but at age 19, Romeo has time. Without a usable shot, I can’t really figure out the point of Romeo Langford. He’s not a creator and doesn’t have the instincts to play point guard, so he won’t have the ball in his hands as much, where he’s more dangerous. NBA defenses will sag back, daring him to shoot, and that will hurt the team spacing and take away Langford’s drive at the same time, so what’s left?
I don’t love Langford’s feel for the game. He gets a bit hero-ball at times and feels like he’s constantly playing in third gear. I wish I saw more passion. Romeo settles for jumpers he can’t make and doesn’t demand the ball as the star in a tight game. Langford is a slow decision maker and just doesn’t play with a real sense of urgency. On defense, Langford shows a lot of potential as an on-ball attack defender with this size advantage, but he gets lost off the ball and loses his guy or misses the rotation, looking disengaged.
I can’t get there on Romeo Langford. With Kevin Porter Jr., I at least see the upside of what he might become. But I just can’t get on board with Langford’s feel for the game to get excited here. The interesting comparison is Marcus Smart, with a similar body and similar deficiencies. Smart finally broke out this year with a real shot at last and is now a key player for the Celtics, and he and Langford have similar driving abilities (though Romeo is a far better finisher). The difference is that Langford is a far worse defender and that he doesn’t have Smart’s incredible IQ and feel for defense. And… until this year, those were literally Smart’s only strengths. So if you take those two things away, what’s left? Langford feels more like a big point guard than a small wing to me. He needs the ball in his hands to have any real impact.
Best team fits
Like with KPJ, we want a patient team that can take their time developing Langford and teach him how to shoot and play team defense. San Antonio is the dream fit. Indiana could also be interested in keeping their guy at home and developing him, and Miami makes a lot of sense. Detroit, Orlando, or Cleveland make sense as teams that badly need to take a shot at guard upside.
TIER V — THE SECOND ROUND TARGETS
8. John Konchar, Indiana Purdue Fort Worth
John Konchar is one of my favorite players in the draft, and you’ve probably never even heard of him. Konchar played for the IPFW Mastodons in the Summit League where my North Dakota State Bison dominated, so I’ve seen plenty of Konchar during his four seasons. He’s the definition of scrappy, a veteran leader with huge production that gave his team anything they needed. He’s an all time effort guy and he deserves a shot with the big boys.
Konchar is 23 and not much of an athlete. He doesn’t really have a position because he’s morphed into whatever IFPW needed, playing the four early, then point guard as a senior. Take a look at these four-year averages: 16 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals a game on 56% shooting with a 42% three. That is production in spades. Konchar made 63% of his twos and has a career 64% true shooting percentage as a scrappy 6'5" white dude.
Konchar’s elite skill is IQ and feel for the game. He’s so smart. He’s an elite cutter and a smart passer, moving the ball quickly and making quick decisions. He plays smart defense that makes up for his lack of athleticism, and he is useful with the ball initiating or as a floor spacer. Konchar is an elite rebounder for his size and the dude just fills up a box score.
The list of Summit League players in the NBA is not long — basically George Hill. Konchar doesn’t have the size or athleticism to make the league, but I’m betting on him as the ultimate role player, an intelligent all-effort player that could be a less athletic but more efficient Danny Green on the right team.
Best team fits
Konchar could go undrafted, but I’d take him as high as the top of the second round. Slot him into a team that already has a lead handler and a few high usage players and just let him do everything else as the ultimate complement. He feels very Spursy, or I like him with Utah, Philly, or Minnesota. If he goes undrafted, this is the exact sort of dude I’d fill the back end of my roster with if I were the Lakers or Warriors. Konchar can play next May.
9. Cam Johnson, North Carolina
Cam Johnson is getting a ton of buzz as the best shooter in the draft, and he can certainly shoot. He’s the latest upperclassman UNC wing shooter after transferring from Pittsburgh. He’s tall and skinny and one of the oldest players that will be drafted at age 23. Every team in the NBA wants more shooting, and Johnson is at the top of many fans’ wish lists.
Johnson exploded this year, with out of this world shooting numbers. He hit 46% of his 210 threes and finished in the 98th percentile on jumpers, threes, and catch & shoot and at least 90th on screens, hand-offs, and cuts. He has a confident dribble pull-up and looks like a great complimentary scorer. Johnson is 6'9 too, so what’s not to like about a tall knockdown shooter?
Johnson might be tall, but he plays small. He’s super skinny and struggles physically when defenders get into him, and he’s a poor rebounder. Jackson Hoy’s size formula shows that Johnson plays more like he’s 6'5" than 6'9", and that’s all why I have him listed among the twos. Johnson doesn’t guard much and can’t create his own shot or get around you, so is he really more than a tall shooting guard? Add in the fact that Johnson shot under 35% on threes in two of his seasons, plus his age, and there’s just too much to doubt here.
Remember Justin Jackson? Think him, only a better shooter. Two problems: Jackson is actually three weeks younger than Cam, and Jackson looks like a failed first round pick. Johnson’s appeal is clear as a long knockdown shooter, but with his shortcomings, inconsistent shooting over the years, and age, there’s just no way I’d touch him in the first. I see something like Allen Crabbe.
Best team fits
I see a lot of Johnson in the first round, so maybe he works for a team like Philly, Utah, or OKC that just badly needs scoring and shooting. Heck, maybe he can step in for a year and play the Klay Thompson role for Golden State. If Johnson is really a tall knockdown shooter, any team can use him.
10. Jordan Poole, Michigan
Jordan Poole hit the Michigan buzzer beater to beat Houston in last year’s Final Four run. He’s a classic two-guard gunner, a scorer all the way. He was getting first-round buzz early this season while he was shooting 50% from deep through December, but he hit only 30% in 2019.
Poole was the only Michigan player that could create his own shot. That’s impressive but it also hurt his shooting numbers taking many forced pull-ups late in the shot clock. Poole finished 37% on threes for his career and made 40% of his NBA threes, most of them above the break. He’s a young sophomore with a long frame and a lot of confidence. Poole can dribble a bit and flashes occasional passing ability, and he’s at least a competent defender, though he got a lot of help in Michigan’s system.
I thought Poole reminded me some of another Michigan alum, Tim Hardaway Jr., though Wolverines fans think I’m overselling Poole. He looks worth a look as a microwave shooter and scorer with the cojones to take the big shot.
Best team fits
Who doesn’t need a bench shooter? The Sixers sure do, and they have four seconds. The Pistons could keep a local hero around. I could see him lighting up MSG for the Knicks at 55. Pick your poison.
TIER VI — POST-DRAFT DART THROWS
Jaylen Nowell, Washington
Jaylen Nowell reminds me a bit of Malik Monk, a small microwave scorer. Nowell made 44% of his threes this year, most of them from NBA range, but weirdly took only three per game. He looks like a three-level scorer, making 70% of his shots at the rim and showing a useful pull-up jumper. Nowell needs to add some strength to stay on the court and he’s not going to give much on defense, but for teams looking for shooting and spacing, I’d much rather give Nowell an undrafted shot than spend a first rounder on Cam Johnson.
Terence Davis, Mississippi
Davis has a pretty big frame that gives him a lot of defensive potential, and that’s what he projects as: an athletic 3-and-D wing that can potentially guard one to three. Nothing about his statistical profile really stands out for good or for bad, so that could make him a guy that doesn’t have weaknesses to get played off the court. The shot is a bit of a question since Davis shot poorly three seasons before improving to above average this year.
Charles Matthews, Michigan
Matthews just tore his ACL in workouts, and that sucks for a 22-year-old that was on the fringe of the second round anyway and now has to sit out a year. Matthews is an elite wing defender, one of the best on-ball defenders in the draft, but he contributes precious little on offense. He can’t shoot and has too many record-scratch possessions with the ball.
Zach Norvell, Gonzaga
There weren’t many guys in college basketball whose shot looked more pure than Zach Norvell, a lefty sharpshooter. Norvell’s shot looks good out of his hand pretty much every time. The numbers don’t quite live up, though: 37% on threes, 34% on NBA threes, and 25% on long twos, per The Stepien. Norvell is pretty much just a shooter — not much defense or athleticism, and no real ability to get his own shot. I’d still bring him in if I need a shooter.
Deividas Sirvydis, Lithuania
I haven’t seen a ton of Sirvydis but I’m not particularly intrigued. He’s super thin with a negative wingspan and no athleticism and doesn’t have a ton of feel for the game. He’s a nice shooter and just turned 19, so that’s the upside and makes him worth a developmental shot if he goes undrafted.
Luguentz Dort, Arizona State
Lu Dort was one of the season’s early breakout stars before falling completely off the map. He’s a thick, long dude with a ton of strength whose entire game is pinballing his way to the rim and playing bully ball against smaller defenders. Dort can’t shoot to save his life and he’s old for a freshman. He also shot only 53% at the rim, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to dominate physically like he did in college. He probably should’ve gone back to school. ■
Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow for plenty more NBA Draft content to come. If you’ve missed anything, here are my profiles of the three best players in the 2019 draft…