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Top NBA Prospects - Nike EYBL

1.) Dariq Whitehead || Team Durant || Montverde || SG 6'6 190 || C/O 22 || Draft 23

Offensively he played at his own pace, never allowing the defense to speed him up. He seemed very aware of his sweet spots on the court, primarily corner 3s, which he knocked down at a high clip. He was effective as well, getting his shot off from the wings and the top of the key off the catch and the dribble. He created for himself off the dribble, using his strong frame to shed defender on drives to the basket. Defensively he can move his feet well laterally, coupled with his physical strength, which allowed him to absorb contact and not allow the offensive player to create separation. He has good length and quick hands, which allowed him to play the passing lanes well and collect on-ball steals. Areas of improvement would be, improving his explosiveness along with his ballhandling.

2.) Dereck Lively II ||Team Final. || Westtown || C 7'1 220 || C/O 22 || Draft 23

Offensively, he rim-runs very well, consistently beating the defense down the court for easy dunks. He hits the offensive boards and has a quick 2nd jump, not allowing the defense time to react. He has vertical spacer potential if he plays with guys that look for him in PnR action. He also can step out and shoot the 3ball in PnP or trail action. Defensively, he is a very good shot-blocker both on the ball and as a help-side defender. He can also switch out on the perimeter and defend for a few dribbles. If he gets beat off the dribble, his length and athleticism allow him to recover at the rim. Areas of improvement would be, developing a go-to post move and becoming a more consistent shooter from the 3pt line.

3.) Brandon Miller || Brad Beal || Cane Ridge || SF 6'8 200 || C/O 22 || Draft 23

Offensively, he likes to operate in the mid-range/mid-post area, where he can utilize his size and skill to shoot over the top of defenders. He has good footwork, which allows him to get the defense off balance and create shooting opportunities. He also likes to seek contact initiating a shoulder to chest bump to get his shot off. Defensively, he has good length and instincts to play the passing lanes and is a decent help side shot blocker. Areas of improvement would be, improving his handle to create shots for himself and improving his shot from behind the 3pt line.

4.) Dillon Mitchell || E1T1 || Montverde || SF 6'7 180 || C/O 22 || Draft 23

Offensively, he is great in transition filling the lanes and using his athleticism to finish above the rim. He is really good moving without the ball in the half-court, making timely cuts that lead to easy dunks. He is also a willing passer that looks to create shots for his team. Defensively is where he stands alone; he locks up on the perimeter using his lateral quickness and length to bother the ball handler. He also does a good job jumping the passing lanes, and he has an unconscious desire to block shots; if he's in the area, he'll try to block it. Areas of improvement would be improving his balling handling (L hand dominant) and become a more consistent perimeter shooter.

5.) Emoni Bates || Bates Fundamental || Yipsi Prep || SF 6'8 180 | C/O 21 || Draft 22

Offensively, he's best when he makes decisive decisions and gets into his shot quickly in the mid-range and from the college 3pt line area. He can handle it, get into the paint, and draw an extra defender to create a dropoff assist opportunity. Defensively he leaves a lot to desire but has good length and size; he showed a few glimpses jumping the passing lanes and closing out on the shooter using his length to bother the shot. Areas of improvement would be that he needs to become more intentional with the ball in his hands; he likes to dance but doesn't go anywhere. He needs to work on playing off the ball more, which is where I see him getting most of his opportunities at the next level. Also, I would want to see him take advantage of mismatches more often, takes a lot of tough shots against smaller/slower players.

6.) Jalen Duren || Team Final || Monteverde || PF 6'10 230 || C/O 21 || Draft 22

Offensively, he finishes well around the rim and tries to dunk everything in space. He has touch on his jump shot from about 15ft and in but shoots it too much for my liking. He also does a good job securing extra possession on the offensive boards. Defensively he does a job rebounding his area, using his long arms to secure boards, and limiting the offense to 1 shot. He is also a pretty good shot-blocker on the ball; he tries to stay vertical and jump straight in the air. Areas of improvement would be, he needs to improve his intensity. He always seems to be coasting up and down the court. He also needs to do a better job of imposing his will on the interior, no point in being physically strong if he doesn't use it for his benefit.

7.) Jaden Bradley || Team CP3 || IMG Academy || PG 6'3 185 || C/O 22 || Draft 23

Offensively he has a knack for setting up teammates for open shots both in transition and in the half-court. He has a deceptive quickness which allows him to collapse the defense and find shooters on the perimeter. He can also create for himself off the dribble in the mid-range and get to the rim, where he uses his strength to finish with contact. Defensively he has good lateral quickness and strength, which allows him to stay in front of the ball-handler on the perimeter. He is also a good defensive rebounder for his size, which helps him get out in transition. Areas of improvement would be, becoming a more consistent 3pt shooter and improving his athleticism because he's currently more of a below the rim guy.

8.) Mackenzie Mgbako || NJ Scholars || Gill St Bernard || SF 6'8 190 || C/O 23 || Draft 24

Offensively, he's a pretty good shooter off the catch coming off screens and in transition from behind the 3pt line. He also does a good job using his size in the mid-post, where he can shoot over the top of defenders. Defensively, he can guard the 2, 3 & 4; he's strong and long enough to mix it up on the interior and quick enough to defend on the perimeter. He also has quick hands, which leads to him getting his hands on the ball. Areas of improvement would be, improving his handle so that he can create his own shot off the dribble; that way, he won't have to rely on his teammates to create shots for him.

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