Dillon Mitchell, Texas and Kel’el Ware, Oregon
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15. Los Angeles Lakers: Dereck Lively (Duke, C, Freshman)
Translatable finishing plus rim protection should lead to top-20 interest in Lively, though more flashes of post scoring and shooting touch could push him closer into the top-10 range.
16. Atlanta Hawks: Dillon Mitchell (Texas, PF, Freshman)
Mitchell taps into special quickness plus bounce for finishing, putbacks, transition and defensive playmaking. Improving his handle plus shot will be long-term priorities, but over the next few years, he’ll be valued for their off-ball production and low-usage impact.
17. Toronto Raptors: Kel’el Ware (Oregon, C, Freshman)
Ware’s activity, finishing and shot-blocking will make the most noise, while sensations of ball skill plus shooting will hint at more scoring versatility to unlock long term.
18. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers): Anthony Black (Arkansas, SG, Freshman)
NBA teams will look at Dark as an interchangeable 6’7″ point guard or wing, given his unique playmaking IQ and defensive quickness and anticipation. Looking competent enough as a shooter should earn him an invitation to the 2023 green room.
19. Utah Jazz (via Timberwolves): Baba Miller (Florida State, SF, Freshman)
Scouts will show patience with Callier, a 6’11” 18-year-old side who’ll deliver self-creation plus shooting whizzes. Inconsistent manufacturing should be expected, given Florida State’s history of ball-sharing, its deep rotation and the freshman’s raw offensive game. But positional size, perimeter skills and age create enticing potential.
20. New York Knicks (via Mavericks): Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine, SG, Sophomore)
A breakout season from Lewis should grab NBA scouts’ attention with his 6’7″ wing size, self-creation flashes, clear shot-making skill and athleticism for play-finishing and defensive playmaking. Aside from two matchups against Gonzaga, November 23 versus UCLA represents a key opportunity for Lewis to validate last year’s flashes.
21. Memphis Grizzlies: Nikola Djurisic (Mega, SG/SF, 2004)
Scouts got an interesting look in September in Djurisic going for 24 points and six assists against Overtime Elite’s Thompson twins. Playing like a featured weapon for Mega, the 6’8″ Serban side should remain in the first-round discussion all season while he showcases a valued mix of shooting and passing IQ.
22. Miami Heat: Julian Phillips (Tennessee, SF, Freshman)
Phillips ought to capture scouts’ attention with shooting versatility and a believable stroke for a 6’8″ wing. He’ll look more like a fit with regard to his off-ball scoring than a player NBA teams see creating or playmaking.
23. Charlotte Hornets (via Nuggets): Leonard Miller (G League Ignite, SF/PF, 2003)
With a full 50-game schedule in the G League, Miller should have enough opportunities plus freedom to continue building on the guard skills that make the 6’11” combo forward the first-round candidate.
24. Brooklyn Nets (via 76ers): Gradey Dick (Kansas, SG/SF, Freshman)
Positional 6’8″ size, convincing capturing and two-way IQ need to lead to draft buzz regarding Dick. He won’t flash much creation at Kansas, but for the particular NBA, he checks a fitting combination of boxes along with translatable strengths like shot-making and decision-making.
25. Utah Punk (via Nets): JJ Starling (Notre Dame, SG, Freshman)
Starling will have a featured role in order to showcase their scoring possible, which is powered by a combination of athleticism intended for attacking and shot-making off self-creation.
26. Los Angeles Clippers: Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana, PG/SG, Freshman)
The NIBC’s assist leader, Hood-Schifino could build an NBA case around playmaking IQ and a 6’6″, 215-pound frame built to drive through contact. His three-point shooting may take longer, though he could flash more scoring potential by separating into mid-range jumpers and using floaters.
27. Golden State Warriors: Julian Strawther (Gonzaga, SF, Junior)
At 6’7″, Strawther flashed the right tools, skill set and efficiency for an NBA off-ball side, especially together with his off-screen taking pictures and cutting. But he will also see a big jump in usage and development reps, which should allow him to expand his game plus raise their on-ball value and write stock.
28. Phoenix Suns: Arthur Kaluma (Creighton, SF/PF, Sophomore)
Shooting improvement and more factors off self-creation should result in NBA buzz for Kaluma. A believable three-point stroke and confidence (4. 9 attempts per 40) suggest he’s poised to take a step forward toward building his three-and-D image for the pros.
29. Houston Rockets (via Bucks): Kyle Filipowski (Duke, PF, Freshman)
Filipowski’s ball-handling and shot-making skill level at 6’11” could help scouts look past his athletic and defensive limitations. He’ll play the stretch-big role next to Dereck Lively from Duke, which will give scouts a good chance to evaluate their offense plus foot speed against forwards.
30. Indiana Pacers (via Celtics): Yohan Traore (Auburn, PF/C, Freshman)
Traore’s physical tools for translatable finishing and rebounding, plus real firing touch, should lead to both freshman creation and NBA interest.