With the 2021 NBA Draft just three days away, BasketballNews.com’s top NBA draft analyst Matt Babcock has compiled a list of the top prospects by position. In case you missed it, here’s a list of the best point guards in the class.
And here are the best shooting guards this year:
Jalen Green, G League Ignite
While Jalen Green is known primarily as a high-flying player, he showed a more versatile offensive repertoire last season with G League Ignite. His explosive nature and ability to create space through dribbling, as well as his improved shooting from outside the court, made him one of the most desirable candidates this year. Green may be the most athletic and dynamic of all the prospects in the draft, and he has subsequently become an almost unqualified contender for a spot in the top five.
James Bowkite, UConn
An explosive vertical athlete, skilled finisher at the hoop and assertive scorer, James Bownight is capable of filling the scoring bill in no time. Although he still needs to improve on his shooting from outside the court, he has the potential to be a major offensive option in the NBA and should have a solid career.
Moses Moody, Arkansas
At 6 feet 6 inches tall and a 7-foot wingspan, Moses Moody is one of the best shotmakers in this year’s draft. Although he lacks quickness and overall leaping ability, he is a disciplined and reliable team defender with good length. He has the ability to make an impact on both ends of the floor, making him a good first-round option for teams that need a 3and-D type player.
Chris Duarte, Oregon
Chris Duarte is 24 years old, making him one of the oldest players in the 2021 NBA Draft. However, he is mature, disciplined and one of the best shooters in this class. His offensive impact, adequate defense on the court and toughness will likely allow him to be an immediate plug-and-play wing at the NBA level. Don’t be surprised if Duarte lights a spark on one of the NBA teams as early as next season.
Keon Johnson, Tennessee
With incredible athleticism and a flair for the ball, Keon Johnson has all the qualities needed to be an elite guard and high-flying player at the next level. While there are some concerns about his limited ability on offense, his aggressiveness, instincts and versatility on defense suggest that he can become a high-level role player with prospects given his elite athleticism.
Jaden Springer, Tennessee
A disciplined and physical defender capable of scoring at all three levels, Jaden Springer uses his physicality to attack the rim and create scoring space in the midrange as well as shoot reliably from outside the court. He is an excellent defender both on and off the ball, and his physicality and toughness allow him to defend multiple positions. His ability to play point guard on a regular basis is questionable, but he is an effective passer. Springer’s ceiling may not be as high as some other prospects this year, but his potential is high, making him a solid bet.
Cam Thomas, LSU
Cam Thomas is a microwave scorer and a tough thrower, capable of catching fire at any moment. He has great shot-making skills and demonstrates a combination of easy NBA shooting range, as well as mastery of shooting from the rim and finishing inside shots. He is also capable of hitting free throws with high frequency, making him one of the best scorers in the class.
Josh Christopher, Arizona State
An athletic, playmaking guard, Josh Christopher was ineffective at Arizona State last season. However, he demonstrated the ability to score off the dribble and hit difficult shots. He is an excellent attacker in transition, and when he gets down, he is a powerful athlete capable of finishing the game with skill and touch. He needs to become more focused on defense and improve his decision-making, especially with regard to shot selection. But he’s one of those guys who, if things work out, will be alert.
Josh Primo, Alabama
Even though Josh Primo is a long way from truly proving himself on the NBA floor, he has tremendous long-term potential. He progressed well during his first season at Alabama, averaging 9.0 points per game and hitting 41.4% from three and 89.3% from the free throw line in conference games. With his good size, Primo will need to continue to develop his basketball IQ and versatility as he moves to the next level, but he shouldn’t stay on the roster too long as his potential is undeniable.
Brandon Boston Jr. of Kentucky
After being a very high-profile recruit to start his first year at Kentucky, Brandon Boston Jr. has had a disappointing season. His current draft stock is somewhat unstable because of his lean physique and erratic play. But at 6 feet 7 inches tall, his combination of length, marksmanship and ball-handling skills gives Boston the potential to be an effective scorer in the NBA. Despite some public apprehension, don’t expect Boston to fall too far in the draft.
Ayo Dosunmu, Ill.
Scoring an average of 20.1 points per game this season, Ayo Dosunmu cemented his title as one of the best guards in college basketball last season. He is a terrific athlete who is great in open space and attacks the rim. He is a combo guard who is effective in the pick-and-roll. He is also constantly improving as an outside shooter. Dosunmu’s competitive nature makes him a viable option for teams looking for depth in their guard lineup.
Quentin Grimes, Houston
The former McDonald’s All-American stepped in for the Cougars last season, scoring more than 17 points per game and establishing himself as one of the best shooters in the country. With good athleticism and playmaking ability, Grimes has a real shot at finding a role for himself in the NBA. He has struggled with inconsistency at times, but his marksmanship makes him a viable option in this month’s draft.
Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga
A key figure in Gonzaga’s incredible season, Ayayi has played well both on and off the court for the Bulldogs. He’s not the brightest player on the floor, but the Frenchman is consistent, reliable and can make decisions. Ayayi has hit 38.9 percent from long range this season, scoring 12.0 points per game, and has regularly added excellent reading off the dribble as an assist, playmaking and disciplined defense on the other end. With his positional size and intelligence, he has a great chance to find his role in the NBA.