Scouting reports on NBA draft prospects cover a lot of ground.
We graded each top prospect in key areas relative to their roles and positions. Scoring, shooting, defense and impact are important for everyone. For perimeter players, we looked at playmaking, and for bigs, we assessed rebounding.
Except for the G League Ignite prospects, only players who played at least 20 games were considered. International prospects were left out since their seasons are ongoing. These players represent the top three tiers on the latest draft board, which encompass the top 19 prospects.
Scottie Barnes (Florida State, SF/PF, Freshman)
Scoring isn't Scottie Barnes' strength. He's a limited self-creator who relied mostly on transition with his ball-handling fluidity.
Off ball screens, he was successful getting downhill and finishing. Off the ball, Barnes flashed some ability to attack closeouts and score on the move. But as a one-on-one player, he shot just 3-of-10 out of isolation and only recorded three made buckets out of the post despite his 6'9", 227-pound size.
Barnes didn't arrive at Florida State with a track record of making threes, so the 11 he hit may be considered promising (or bonus buckets). Still, he shot 27.5 percent from deep on limited attempts, and his 62.1 free-throw percentage was discouraging.
Just 4-of-19 on pull-ups, Barnes won't be taken seriously around the perimeter by NBA defenses anytime soon.
Barnes was known for passing coming in, and he delivered on that reputation. He finished with an outstanding 31.6 assist percentage, grading in the 98th percentile as a pick-and-roll distributor. Even from a standstill position, he was able to deliver high-level assists using deception, timing and vision.
Defense remains Barnes' biggest selling point. At Florida State, he guarded all five positions, pressuring guards full-court and bodying up with bigs inside. He's the most versatile defender in the draft with a consistent desire to make things difficult for opponents.
Even though Barnes didn't score in volume, his impact was regularly felt in other ways. He didn't seem to have a personal agenda. He picked his spots to attack, unselfishly looked for teammates and consistently defended. His enthusiasm for his teammates' success was also noticeable, and scouts sound very high on his intangibles.
Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State, PG/SG, Freshman)
Cade Cunningham arrived at Oklahoma State known more for passing. He'll enter the draft viewed as a scorer after he averaged 20.1 points with an impressive one-on-one skill set. He ranked in the 87th percentile out of isolation, creating space into drives and jumpers off sharp footwork. Cunningham also shot 16-of-31 out of the post, an area from which he can cause problems for defenders with his 6'8" size and ability to use both hands.
The one negative with Cunningham here was his 46.1 two-point percentage, traditionally a low mark for a projected No. 1 overall pick. He struggled on contested shots in traffic, missing 24 of his 33 floater attempts.
An 84.6 free-throw percentage suggests Cunningham's 40.0 percent three-point shooting (on 5.7 attempts per game) wasn't fluky. His shot looked smooth all year both off the catch (43.9 percent) and the dribble (49 makes).
Cunningham delivered passes that highlighted tremendous ball skill and vision. He would have averaged more than 3.5 assists if spot-up shooters shot better than 35.7 percent off his pick-and-roll passes. The offense ran through Cunningham often, and a heavy workload contributed to his 4.0 turnovers per game. But he still appeared too casual at times with his decision-making, and he'll have to value the ball and possession more at the next level.
Cunningham's defensive IQ stood out more than anything else. Off the ball, he often put himself in the right position to help or make a play on the ball. It's worth questioning what NBA position he'll guard and whether he's quick enough to stick with lead ball-handlers. But he showed an excellent feel for anticipating and reading different situations, both around the perimeter and near the basket.
Cunningham led the country in clutch points (per Synergy) and managed to elevate Oklahoma State to a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. He took over numerous games late in second halves to help secure wins. There shouldn't be any empty-stat arguments regarding his production.
Jalen Green (G League Ignite, SG, 2002)
Jalen Green left the G League bubble with a 30-point playoff game after averaging 17.9 points during the Ignite's regular schedule.
Playing against pros and recent draft picks, he was productive and relatively efficient (46.1 percent from the field) given his age (19) and shot selection.
Together, his quick first step and explosive leaping were incredibly advantageous, allowing him to earn easy-basket opportunities without needing to pull off any fancy dribble moves. But Green was still highly impressive with his creation, demonstrating advanced footwork to separate into jumpers.
The eye test detected an NBA scorer who looked ready to carry a sizable workload as a rookie.
Green improved his shooting as a high school senior, and it showed in the bubble, where he averaged 2.1 threes per game on a respectable 36.5 percent. He was a little streaky and had a green light to shoot himself out of cold streaks, but he has clearly evolved into a three-level shot-maker capable of catching fire once his confidence starts to pump.
Ignite had plenty of point guards, so Green wasn't out there to set up teammates. He finished with 42 assists to 40 turnovers and showed some ability to pass in ball-screen situations. He didn't facilitate enough for teams to think he can be used as a primary ball-handler, but his creativity and ball skills suggest he'll offer secondary playmaking at the next level.
Green looked engaged defensively, and though he didn't always anticipate screens and a lack of strength occasionally showed, no red flags emerged. He averaged 1.5 steals with his quick hands and feet.
The Ignite's leading scorer, Green looked comfortable as a go-to option after a shaky debut. Just making the playoffs was considered an accomplishment (8-7 record), and the 19-year-old clearly played a significant role in the team's record. Green's success figures to inspire future high school prospects to follow suit and try the G League route.
Keon Johnson (Tennessee, SG, Freshman)
Flashes predict long-term potential for Keon Johnson. At 19 years old, he's not as sharp a scorer as the other projected lottery wings. He looked more confident during the second half of the season, averaging 14.7 points over Tennessee's final 11 games.
Explosiveness leaping toward the rim off drives and cuts was Johnson's biggest weapon. In terms of on-ball skill, he scored most efficiently from the post (0.88 PPP). He struggled in ball-screen situations (6-of-23), and he had some success making shots off screens and isolations.
Johnson's shooting development could swing his NBA trajectory. His jumper isn't reliable at this stage. He hit just 13 threes in 27 games, finishing at 38.5 percent off the catch and 31.7 percent off the dribble. Johnson looked capable in rhythm, and he made some tough fallaways and shots off the bounce in the mid-range, but he doesn't project as a volume shooter anytime soon.
Though not a primary playmaker, he's a good passer. Teammates shot 48.6 percent off his pick-and-roll ball-handling passes. His 2.5 assists per game don't sound exciting, but he showed vision and setup ability after putting the ball on the floor.
Though he's limited offensively, teams will reach on Johnson for his defensive projection. His aggression and toughness showed at Tennessee as he pressured the ball with his strong physical tools and quickness. He guarded with intensity, often giving opposing ball-handlers little room to operate comfortably.
The inability to take over offensively limits Johnson's impact. But he did have signature stretches and games, particularly a 27-point effort in February's win over Kentucky. Even when he wasn't productive, his energy rarely wavered. He was a two-way lightning rod for Tennessee's rotation.