Tag Archives: Cameron Johnson

DraftNasty’s 2019 NBA Draft recap: Pick-by-pick

Selection Player/ Position School Draftnasty Take
Round 1 Pick 1: New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson/ Forward Duke Williamson was the consensus best player in the Draft and DraftNasty agreed. The former Duke standout should be an instant performer on the boards and on defense.
Round 1 Pick 2: Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant/ Point GuardMurray StateWith longtime point guard, Mike Conley being traded, Memphis now has its point guard of the future.
Round 1 Pick 3: New York Knicks R.J. Barrett/ Small Forward Duke The Knicks have plenty of holes and work left to do but R.J. Barrett is an immediate contributor offensively.
Round 1 Pick 4: Atlanta Hawks De'Andre Hunter/ Small Forward Virginia Hunter can score without the ball in his hands and should be a great complement to offensive standouts like Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish.
Round 1 Pick 5: Cleveland Cavaliers Darius Garland/ Point Guard Vanderbilt Cleveland now has two small point guards. John Beilein might've wanted to draft his own guy at point guard instead of work with Collin Sexton.
Round 1 Pick 6: Minnesota Timberwolves Jarrett Culver/ Shooting Guard Texas Tech Culver provides Minnesota with a defensive specialist on the wing and can take offensive pressure off Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns.
Round 1 Pick 7: Chicago Bulls Coby White/ Point Guard North Carolina White should bring stability to the Bulls point guard position and allow them to move on from Kris Dunn.
Round 1 Pick 8: New Orleans Pelicans Jaxson Hayes/ CenterTexas Hayes and Williamson will combine to form a stout defensive duo on the low block.
Round 1 Pick 9: Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura/ Power Forward Gonzaga DraftNasty predicted the Wizards to take an international player but not Rui Hachimura. Hachimura is small for the power forward position but has a polished offensive game.
Round 1 Pick 10: Atlanta Hawks Cam Reddish/ Small Forward Duke Reddish was up and down at Duke last season but he is used to playing with top offensive talent. The Hawks should be a place where he can grow into his potential.
Round 1 Pick 11: Phoenix Suns Cameron Johnson/ Small ForwardUNC Phoenix is getting a sharpshooter, who will space the floor for Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.
Round 1 Pick 12: Charlotte Hornets P.J. Washington/ Small Forward Kentucky Washington will play alongside last year's first round pick, Miles Bridges. The duo provides toughness and versatility on the wing.
Round 1 Pick 13: Miami Heat Tyler Herro/ Shooting GuardKentucky DraftNasty predicted the Heat would take Washington but they ended up with another Wildcat. Herro is an excellent shooter, who can also put the ball on the floor occasionally.
Round 1 Pick 14: Boston Celtics Romeo Langford/ Small Forward Indiana The Boston Celtics have a lot of wing players already but Brad Stevens is very familiar with basketball in the Hoosier state and must have a role for Langford.
Round 1 Pick 15: Detroit Pistons Sekou Doumbouya/ Small Forward French Doumbouya, Drummond and Blake Griffin will be hard to defend in transition. This pick gives Detroit athleticism on the wing, which they lacked.
Round 1 Pick 16: Orlando Magic Chuma Okeke/ Small Forward Auburn Okeke is coming off an ACL injury but DraftNasty had him as a first rounder because of his ability to score in bunches.
Round 1 Pick 17: New Orleans Pelicans Nickeil Alexander-Walker/ Shooting Guard Virginia Tech Alexander-Walker is best when playing with a traditional point guard and should fit nicely alongside Lonzo Ball.
Round 1 Pick 18: Indiana Pacers Goga Bitadze/ Center Georginan Bitadze joins a crowded room of skilled big men in Indiana which features guys like Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. However, this marriage gives him time to develop.
Round 1 Pick 19: San Antonio Spurs Luka Samanic/ Power Forward Croatian DraftNasty mocked the Spurs grabbing a skilled big man such as Nic Claxton but Samanic fits the mold as well.
Round 1 Pick 20: Philadelphia 76ers Matisse Thybulle/ Small Forward WashingtonThybulle is a classic "3 and D" prospect. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris are free agents and the 76ers needed another wing just in case.
Round 1 Pick 21: Memphis Grizzlies Brandon Clarke/ Power Forward Gonzaga Clarke is an athletic prospect, who gives the Grizzlies another scoring punch in the front court with Jaren Jackson Jr.
Round 1 Pick 22: Boston Celtics Grant Williams/ Power Forward Tennessee If the Celtics lose Marcus Morris in free agency, Williams can fill in with his experience, toughness and shooting ability.
Round 1 Pick 23: Oklahoma City Thunder Darius Bazley/ Small Forward N/A Bazley decided to not attend Syracuse but has the physical tools (6'9, 200) to play in the NBA. The former McDonald's All-American is a mystery because scouts haven't seen him play in a competitive game in a year.
Round 1 Pick 24: Phoenix Suns Ty Jerome/ Point Guard Virginia The Suns needed a point guard and DraftNasty had them drafting one in the Top 10. Jerome is used to playing with top level talent and putting them in positions to succeed.
Round 1 Pick 25: Portland Trail BlazersNassir Little/ Small Forward North Carolina Al-Farouq Aminu is a free agent and Moe Harkless is in his last year of his contract. Little fits the mold of a NBA small forward and could provide depth if one of the two leaves.
Round 1 Pick 26: Cleveland Cavaliers Dylan Windler/ Small ForwardBelmont Windler is an efficient scorer who could take pressure off whoever is running the point guard position in Cleveland.
Round 1 Pick 27: Los Angeles Clippers Mfiondu Kabengele/ Center Florida State Kabengele is a stretch big man and should help the floor spacing playing next to Montrezl Harrell.
Round 1 Pick 28: Golden State Warriors Jordan Poole/ Shooting Guard and Small Forward Michigan Poole had an inconsistent season at Michigan but he is talented and should get a chance to develop since the Warriors' depth is unclear at the present moment.
Round 1 Pick 29: San Antonio Spurs Keldon Johnson/ Small Forward Kentucky Johnson slipped in the draft but the Spurs may have gotten a steal because of the former Wildcat's defensive- minded, physical game.
Round 1 Pick 30: Cleveland Cavaliers Kevin Porter Jr. / Shooting Guard USC The Porter, Jr. and Windler selections are evidence that Cleveland valued shot makers and shot creators to fill out their roster.
Round 2 Pick 1: Brooklyn Nets Nic Claxton/ Center Georgia Claxton is a rim protector but also has good mechanics on his jump shot. This is a good spot for him to develop.
Round 2 Pick 2: Miami Heat KZ Okpala/ Small Forward Stanford Okpala gives the Heat some size on the wing, where behind Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow, the Heat need someone to produce.
Round 2 Pick 3: Boston Celtics Carsen Edwards/ Point Guard Purdue The Celtics point guard position is murky with Kyrie Irving being rumored to test free agency. If Irving leaves, Rozier will be the starter, but Edwards has the potential to compete for bench minutes.
Round 2 Pick 4: Atlanta Hawks Bruno Fernando/ Center Maryland The Hawks drafted a bruiser who is a throwback low post scorer. Fernando's game should complement fellow Hawks big man John Collins.
Round 2 Pick 5: New Orleans Pelicans Marcos Louzada Silva/ Small Forward Brazilian Silva might be able to crack the young Pelicans roster because of his sharp three- point shooting (47 percent).
Round 2 Pick 6: Charlotte Hornets Cody Martin/ Small Forward Nevada Martin can play forward but also showed his ability to play point guard. He is another tough-minded wing, which general manager Mitch Kupchak has shown to covet, by drafting the likes of P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges.
Round 2 Pick 7: Detroit Pistons Deividas Sirvydis/ Small Forward Lithuanian The Pistons went overseas to draft another wing player in the second round. Sirvydis, 19, could spend a few more years overseas before joining the Pistons.
Round 2 Pick 8: Chicago BullsDaniel Gafford/ Center Arkansas Gafford is a rim protector who is best when out in transition. Look for Gafford to get significant playing time in the Summer League.
Round 2 Pick 9: Golden State Warriors Alen Smailagic/ Center Serbian Smailagic, 18, caught scouts eyes in the G-League. The Warriors showed a need for young athletic big men after center Kevon Looney injured his shoulder in the Finals.
Round 2 Pick 10: Sacramento Kings Justin James/ Small Forward Wyoming James has an offensive repertoire that made him worth a selection. How he plays within a team setting at summer league could determine his roster fate.
Round 2 Pick 11: Golden State Warriors Eric Paschall/ Small Forward Villanova His toughness and ability to defend, despite being just 6'7", could remind folks of Draymond Green. DraftNasty had him going in the first round.
Round 2 Pick 12: Washington Wizards Admiral Schofield/ Forward Tennessee Schofield is a physical player but, at 6'5", he doesn't have a true NBA position. Size limitations aside, Schofield can contribute as a spot-up shooter with a high motor.
Round 2 Pick 13: Minnesota Timberwolves Jaylen Nowell/ Shooting Guard Washington The Pac-12's Player of the Year was an efficient scorer, posting 16 points per game on 50-percent shooting and 44-percent from beyond the three- point line.
Round 2 Pick 14: Denver Nuggets Bol Bol/ Center OregonThe Nuggets don't mind taking players with injury risks (see the Michael Porter Jr. selection last year). If Bol Bol is healthy, he could be an impact floor spacer with his shooting.
Round 2 Pick 15: Detroit Pistons Isaiah Roby/ Small Forward Nebraska Roby showed a little bit of everything offensively at Nebraska, with his ball handling, shooting and rebounding skill. However, too many times he was inconsistent. The Pistons put a premium on drafting wing players in this draft and Roby will get a chance to prove his worth.
Round 2 Pick 16: Los Angeles Lakers Talen Horton-Tucker/ Small Forward Iowa StateThe Lakers could trade Horton-Tucker to save money in order to fill out the rest of their roster, but if he is retained, he brings position versatility.
Round 2 Pick 17: New York Knicks Ignas Brazdeikis/ Small Forward Michigan Brazdeikis plays with a confidence and swagger that Knicks fans will appreciate. However, his defense is the reason he slid this far.
Round 2 Pick 18: Los Angeles Clippers Terance Mann/ Small Forward Florida State DraftNasty had Mann going in the first round. His height (6'7") and position versatility could give him a chance to make the Clippers roster.
Round 2 Pick 19: San Antonio Spurs Quinndary Weatherspoon/ Shooting Guard Mississippi State Weatherspoon enjoyed a productive senior season. We've seen the Spurs draft four-year college players and turn them into starters, and former Michigan State shooting guard Bryn Forbes comes to mind.
Round 2 Pick 20: Utah Jazz Jarrell Brantley/ Power Forward Charleston Brantley is one of two CAA players drafted in the second round by the Jazz, Hofstra's Justin Wright-Foreman is the other. Brantley was one of the most productive mid-major players in the draft and was named All-CAA for four years.
Round 2 Pick 21: Boston Celtics Tremont Waters/ Point Guard LSUWaters pushes the pace offensively and will join Purdue's Edwards in competing for a roster spot and potential minutes.
Round 2 Pick 22: Charlotte Hornets Jalen McDaniels/ Power Forward San Diego State McDaniels averaged 15 points and almost nine rebounds per game at San Diego State. He has a thin build but being drafted at this stage gives him a chance to develop his body and overall game.
Round 2 Pick 23: Utah Jazz Justin Wright-Foreman/ Point Guard Hofstra Wright-Foreman was the definition of a "bucket getter" at Hofstra, averaging 27 points per game. I'm interested to see how he performs in the summer league, where he won't be asked to take 20 shots a game to keep his team competitive.
Round 2 Pick 24: Philadelphia 76ers Marial Shayok/ Small Forward Iowa State Shayok is another athletic wing that the 76ers could use depending on how free agency shakes out for them.
Round 2 Pick 25: Sacramento Kings Kyle Guy/ Point Guard Virginia Guy, like former Kings second round pick, Frank Mason, is undersized but confident and has excelled in big moments. Guy will have to play well to distinguish himself on a point guard-heavy roster.
Round 2 Pick 26: Brooklyn NetsJaylen Hands/ Point Guard UCLA Hands is a former McDonald's All American, who got better in his second season after an inconsistent freshman campaign.
Round 2 Pick 27: Detroit Pistons Jordan Bone/ Point Guard Tennessee Bone impressed on a talent- rich roster at Tennessee with his leadership abilities and intelligence in clutch situations.
Round 2 Pick 28: Utah Jazz Miye Oni/ Point Guard Yale The Jazz didn't target players from major colleges in the second round. Oni averaged 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. He got better every year in college and the Jazz hope to see that trend continue in the pros.
Round 2 Pick 29: Toronto Raptors Dewan Hernandez/ Center Miami Hernandez, at 6'10", has terrific length and plays with a lot of energy. The Raptors have been one of the best organizations in player development recently and Hernandez has a chance to crack the roster in the future because of it.
Round 2 Pick 30: Sacramento Kings Vanja Marinkovic/ Shooting Guard and Small Forward Serbian Marinkovic, 22, is a little older than most "draft-and- stash" European prospects. However, he is experienced and can shoot, which gives him a chance to be successful at the next level.

DraftNasty breaks down the ACC’s Top 10 2019 NBA Draft prospects

 DraftNasty's Troy Jefferson takes a look at the ACC's top prospects.  The conference projects to feature anywhere from three-to-six Top 10 selections. Here's how we rank and analyze them from top-to-bottom:

1. Zion Williamson  (6’7, 285 lbs) F-Duke

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Has the ability to affect every possession with his athleticism. Williamson is an efficient (68 percent from the field) scorer, who can dish the ball well for his size and position. “The freshman’s motor coupled with his athleticism stands out.  So far this season, Williamson has been able to separate himself with his work on the glass and his finishing ability in transition,” said Draftnasty’s Troy Jefferson during his Duke vs. Gonzaga in-game report in November 2018. On the defensive side, Williamson plays with a bulldog aggressiveness and has the necessary athleticism to defend next level wings.  

Weaknesses: Injury concerns. Williamson missed five games with a mild knee sprain. He played last year at 285 pounds, can he excel at that weight for an 82-game season?  As the projected first pick overall, Williamson will be asked to shoulder a heavier offensive load. Williamson’s ability to create his own shot one-on-one and score with more finesse will be key factors in his long term success. Zion was able to bulldoze smaller opponents in both high school and college, but his counter moves will be tested against stronger NBA competition.

Other Notes: Attended Spartanburg Day School (S.C.) and was ranked as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com • Earned South Carolina's Mr. Basketball and was the runner-up for USA's Mr. Basketball behind future Duke teammate R.J. Barrett • Mother ran track at Livingston College and father played basketball at Clemson • 2018: 22.6 ppg, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 68 percent shooting en route to first team All-ACC honors • Scored in double figures in every college contest • Scored at least 25 points in 15 games

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Williamson's size and athleticism resembles former Hornets and Knicks standout Larry Johnson, but even still Williamson is about 30 pounds heavier and more nimble on his feet.  It’s hard to nail down a consensus comparison for the Naismith College Player of the Year.  The former Blue Devil should contribute immediately as a double-double machine due to his motor and freakish athleticism.  His long-term success will be predicated on his ability to add more to his offensive repertoire while controlling his weight.

2. R.J. Barrett  (6’7, 203 lbs) SF-Duke

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Barrett impresses with his smooth offensive game that resembles a much older player. Barrett has the size scouts covet out of the wing and can do everything offensively.  Barrett showed the ability to handle the responsibilities of a top scorer after Zion Williamson went down with a midseason foot injury.  In the seven contests, Williamson missed Barrett averaged 25 points, three more than his season average. Barrett has the most polished NBA-ready offensive game of anyone in the draft and DraftNasty expects him to be an immediate contributor. 

Weaknesses: Takes plays off.  Can be inactive and view the action too often on the offensive end. Settles for a number of outside jumpers.  Becomes a score-first threat and fails to find open men (Gonzaga '18).  Tendency to try and do too much on the offensive end leads to unnecessary turnovers (3.2 per game). 10 games with five or more turnovers. Shot 30 percent from the three-point line. 

Other Notes: Attended Montverde Academy (Fl.) •Was named first team All-ACC •Earned the Gatorade National Player of the Year and was the winner of Mr. Basketball USA  • Father, Rowan, attended St. John's and played overseas for 10 years • 2018: 22.6 ppg, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists on 45 percent shooting • Scored in double figures in every college contest • Godfather is former NBA all-star Steve Nash and has been known to work with Barrett on his game. 

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary):  Barrett will have to build his lower body as he gets older and scouts would like to see his free throw percentage increase (66%), but beyond that the former Blue Devil wing has the traits to excel in the NBA.  Barrett's one-on-one smooth step-back game and ability to lull defenders to sleep is reminiscent of James Harden's.  The offensive repertoire and bloodlines are there for Barrett to enjoy similar scoring success in the NBA.

3. Coby White  (6’5, 185 lbs) PG-North Carolina

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths):  Explosive. Can get to the basket with either hand. White has the ideal height for the modern NBA point guard, standing at 6'5 despite having a shorter wingspan.  Willing passer.  Creates and scores for himself in one-on-one situations.  Changes speeds and gets to the bucket with regularity.   Doesn't need much space to get his shot off and can play the off-guard position and score off screens.

Weaknesses: Can White command the offense as the primary ball handler? That will be the question (his assist to turnover ratio was 3:2).  White could also stand to add to his thin frame. The former Tar Heel  has excellent lateral quickness, which is evident from his offensive prowess but, more often than not,  those traits didn't translate on defense.

Other Notes: Attended Greenfield School (NC)  • Was named second team All-ACC •Participated in the Jordan Brand Classic, McDonald's All American game  • Named North Carolina Mr. Basketball • 2018: 16.1 ppg, 3.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists on 42 percent shooting • Shot 80 percent from the free throw line and finished second on the team in points per game • Earned all- tournament honors in the 2018 FIBA Under 18 America Championship  

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): White will be a problem at the next level when he can initiate the offense from the high pick and roll to get downhill.  His seasoning as a traditional point guard will take time and his defensive capabilities are yet to be seen. The former North Carolina Mr. Basketball possesses the finishing moves at the rim, long range shooting ability and height to excel.

4. De'Andre Hunter  (6’7, 225 lbs) SF-Virginia

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Hunter is a Swiss army knife of sorts, who can do a little bit of everything. The former Cavalier will project best at the next level as a glue man off the bench.  Hunter averaged 11 points, four rebounds and 1.5 assists on 50 percent shooting during his two seasons in Charlottesville. As his playing time increased this season so did Hunter's production. Hunter was also the best player on a championship team, which says a lot about his ability to contribute to winning. 

Weaknesses: Hunter could be considered a man of many trades but a master of none. He doesn't project to be a prolific scorer at the next level or a top-level offensive creator.  Doesn't project as an NBA-level primary ball handler.  Hunter will have to make his name as a defensive stopper early on. 

Other Notes: Attended Friends' Central School (PA)  • Was named first team All-ACC, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and ACC six man of the year (2017)  • 2018: 15.2 ppg, 5.1 rebounds and two assists on 52 percent shooting • Scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the National Championship victory vs. Texas Tech •Named to ACC All Freshman team in 2017-2018

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Look for Hunter to enjoy a long NBA career as a do a little bit of everything type of wing.  Hunter's frame and glue guy skill-set is reminiscent of Andre Iguodala.  Like Iguodala, expect Hunter to contribute in a number of ways for any team that drafts him.

5. Cam Reddish (6’8, 218 lbs) SF-Duke

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Smooth offensive game. Can handle the ball well for his size. When Reddish is engaged offensively, he has the ability to take over games for long stretches with his ability to score in bunches. He played two of his best games this season against the Tar Heels during the regular season, posting 27 and 23 points respectively. However, when Zion Williamson returned against the Tar Heels in the ACC quarterfinals, Reddish posted six points. The season series against North Carolina was a microcosm of Reddish's Duke career. 

Weaknesses: Can be passive at times, as he deferred to both Willamson and Barrett.  Reddish has some of his best moments when Willamson was out with his injury but too many times when Willamson was in the lineup, Reddish would camp out at the three- point line and make himself easy to defend.  Reddish stands at 6'8" with a 7'1" wingspan and could conceivably contribute at three-to-four different positions but he must stay aggressive and engaged. His fans will point to his outstanding high school career as a barometer of how good he can be, but his detractors will point to his inconsistent play in college. 

Other Notes: Attended Westtown School (PA)  • On Jan. 19 against Florida State, he scored 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including a game-winning three pointer.  • 2018: 13.5 ppg, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists on 35 percent shooting • Played in the Jordan Brand Classic and the  McDonald's All American Game •Rated as the number three overall prospect on ESPN and Rivals.com 

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Reddish is a versatile offensive weapon that can play multiple positions. However, the former Blue Devil will have to stay aggressive at the next level and compete more on the defensive end.  Reddish has NBA length but has a thin frame and in college didn't offer much resistance to wings that wanted to get to the rim.  Out of the draft's top prospects, Reddish has the most boom or bust potential. 

6. Nassir Little (6’7, 220 lbs) SF-North Carolina

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Little gets to the rim with aggression and is a strong finisher, who projects well at the next level as a slashing wing. On the defensive end, Little plays with a high motor and is active on and off the ball.  What's impressive about Little is his ability to power off either leg and get around defenders. 

Weaknesses: Little isn't a natural shooter and won't wow scouts with his ball handling. The former Tar Heel will have to make his mark offensively through hustling and bulldozing his way to the rim. His offensive splits left a lot to be desired in his lone season in Chapel Hill, averaging nine points, four rebounds and 0.7 assists on 48 percent shooting and 26 percent from the three point line. Scouts will question Little's inconsistency in a two-week time frame to end the season, the former Tar Heel scored 20 points on 72- percent shooting vs. Washington in a NCAA tournament win but a week before he shot 33-percent and scored nine points in a loss to Duke in the ACC tournament. 

Other Notes: Attended Orlando Christian Prep. (Fl.)  • Member of the National Honor Society in high school  • Both parents served in the military • Most Valuable Player in the McDonald’s All-American Game after scoring 28 points and was co-MVP in the Jordan Brand Classic •Plays the piano 

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary):  High intensity players can have a lengthy NBA career and Little fits the mold. Little will need more offensive seasoning but should be a Top 15 pick based on his athletic gifts.  Defensively, Little will have to carve out playing time by using his athleticism to stick to NBA wings.  Offensively, rebounding and getting opposing wings in foul trouble will be how he makes his most immediate impact. 

7. Cameron Johnson (6’9, 210 lbs) F-UNC

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Efficient shooter. Johnson brings five years worth of college experience to the table and has a silky smooth jumpshot (shot at least 34-percent from the three-point line in each season).  His tall and lean frame will remind scouts of former Tar Heel Justin Jackson. Johnson's best hope is to make it at the next level as a "3 and D" prospect, who could hold his own vs. wings and stretch fours.  He has improved statistically each season. 

Weaknesses: Johnson's draft stock could be hurt by his age (23). Historically, the first round has been reserved for younger prospects with more time to mold.  It will also be interesting to see how the University of Pittsburgh transfer will hold up physically vs. more mature NBA players.  Scouts will also question if Johnson has any other skills besides shooting that will translate to the next level.  Is Johnson a one-trick pony?

Other Notes: Attended Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Pa.)  •   Graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with honors• Father, Gilbert played basketball at Pittsburgh while his mom, Amy played at Kent State. His brother played at Clarion University  • 2018: 16.9 points per game, 5.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds on 50-percent shooting •Two time All-Academic ACC

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Johnson has gotten better in every collegiate season and has a defined skill that translates to the NBA, his sharpshooting. The modern NBA game is played in space with shooters that can spread the floor and defend on the perimeter.  Johnson is good enough at both to warrant a late first round look. 

8. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (6’5, 205) G-Virginia Tech

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Alexander-Walker is a slashing guard who is best when out in transition. The former Hokie will be an asset at the next level with his drive and kick ability. Alexander-Walker doesn't wow with his athleticism but his smooth in control game reminds me of Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.  Like Beal, Alexander-Walker will be better served primarily working as an off the ball guard. His left-to-right crossover is his main go to scoring move.  It lulls defenders to sleep and gives him the ability to get around defenders. 

Weaknesses: Alexander-Walker doesn't have blow by speed and will have to score in the lane with body positioning rather than jumping over NBA big men. The former Virginia Tech guard will have to be paired with a more traditional point guard and improve his ability to score without plays being run for him.  At the next level, Alexander-Walker will also have to add strength to his build in order to absorb contact. 

Other notes:   Attended three high schools: Vaughan Secondary School (Ontario), St. Louis Christian Academy (Mo.) and Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tenn.)  • Cousin is former Kentucky guard and current Los Angeles Clipper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander  • 2018: 16.2 points per game, four assists, 4.1 rebounds on 47 percent shooting •Competed with Canada at the 2016 FIBA Under 18 Championship and help lead the team to a silver medal. He led the team averaging 17 points per game.

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Alexander-Walker will be best served as  mid-first round pick that can provide scoring punch for a second unit.  His quick release and under control offensive game should make him an immediate contributor on the offensive end. Alexander-Walker's ability to combat his lack of explosiveness when driving to the rim (or on defense) will determine his success in the NBA.

9. Jaylen Hoard (6’8, 216lbs) F-Wake Forest

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Hoard is a heady defensive prospect who can come over from the weak side and challenge baskets at the rim.  Offensively, Hoard can play on the perimeter and drive to the basket, but most of his money is made hustling around the rim as well as getting out in transition. The Wake Forest forward would be best served in a Golden State-type offense that is free-flowing and rewards the extra pass as well as interchangeable contributors. 

Weaknesses: Hoard doesn't have a specific skill that he does well offensively. The France native makes up for his lack of size with great awareness and length (7'1" wingspan).  Scouts will doubt if an undersized forward that can't shoot is worth a high pick, but early in the second round could be ideal for Hoard. The former Demon Deacon also could stand to improve his field goal percentage (45 percent). 

Other notes: Attended Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)  • Born in France and played for France at the 2016 FIBA Under 18 Championship (averaged 22.4 points per game)  • 2018: 13.1 points per game, 1.5 assists, 7.6 rebounds on 45 percent shooting •Father, Antwon played at Murray State before playing professionally overseas and mother, Katia played for the University of Washington • Participated in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit 

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): We've seen players like Hoard make a niche for themselves in the NBA.  In recent years, players like former Louisville Cardinal and Los Angeles Clipper forward Montrezl Harrell come to mind.  Hoard isn't as strong as Harrell, but has a frame that could add more mass.  He plays with the same type of effort, energy and defensive intelligence. 

10. Ty Jerome  (6’5, 195lbs) PG-Virginia

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Jerome has excellent height for his position and guided the Cavaliers to a championship from his point guard position. Most impressively, Jerome was able to initiate the different sets that Virginia used in its half court offense. Basketball is predicated on maximizing possessions and Jerome is one of the more efficient players in the class, boasting a 5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.  Jerome also has the ability to push the ball in transition and often gets it deep into the lane to create for others. 

Weaknesses: Jerome has excellent height but doesn't jump high off the floor.  His ability to finish at the rim against more athletic talent is a question mark.  Foot speed is also a question mark for Jerome.  At the point guard position he will be matched up on a nightly basis against far superior athletic and more agile opposition. The three- year point guard will have to compensate with basketball IQ.  Players may beat him to the spot to deny his penetration. 

Other notes:   Attended Iona Preparatory School (NY)  • Scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and had eight assists in the National Championship win vs. Texas Tech  • 2018: 13.6 points per game, 5.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds on 43 percent shooting •Missed only one game over his three seasons in Charlottesville and played in 105 games total• Named All-ACC second team in 2019 and All-ACC third team in 2018

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Jerome projects best as a backup point guard that can spell starters. He does offer a bit of position versatility, but much of that depends on his ability to adapt defensively to the NBA game.  Look for whoever drafts him to get creative with how they use him off ball screens as a shooter (38% percent career three point shooter in college).  Someone with his efficiency, shooting and strong ball handling skill will find a home somewhere on an NBA roster. 

Related Images: