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GBB Consensus Big Board: 21-30

Can any of these prospects step in and immediately contribute? Some of our writers think so.

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NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Tournament-TCU vs Kansas State Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The later end of the first round is a prime spot for contenders to add cheap young depth. It could be a simple plug-and-play, a swing for the fences to increase the team’s ceiling, or a prospect to invest in with their G-League team before receiving big minutes.

Luckily for this crop of contenders, this class is considered a nice role player draft. Any of these players could bolster a team’s depth. And it’s not silly to think that, since playoff teams are relying on rookie-scale players more and more each year.

Our staff sees these prospects as those potential role players on really good teams. Can it become a reality? What would stop them from doing so?

Big board participants — myself (@PAKA_FLOCKA), Joe Mullinax (@JoeMullinax), Brandon Abraham (@bcabraham), Nathan Chester (@NathanChester24), Shawn Coleman (@StatsSAC), Ben Hogan (@NotTheGolfer), Justin Lewis (@J_Timberfake_), Lauren Harvey (@DragicKingdom), EdMemphis (@SquareBidness), Greg Ratliff (@GregRatliff), Jesse Cinquini (@CinquiniJesse).

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Jacksonville Photo by Matt Marriott/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

21) Jalen Smith, 6’10” big, University of Maryland

For a full breakdown, click here.

GBB Staff Writer Jesse Cinquini (18) : Admittedly, I’m a sucker for giants who torch the opposition behind the arc, and Smith proved he can do just that. As a bruising screen-setter, he’s capable of functioning as a lethal pick and pop shot-maker in the NBA. Smith can get buckets inside as well, where his ambidexterity allowed him to succeed as a roll man and rim runner with the Terrapins. Take into account that he’s an upper echelon rebounder (13.4 per 40 minutes) and shot blocker (3.0 per 40 minutes), and Smith is in store for a prolonged, successful NBA career.

GBB Senior Staff Writer Nathan Chester (28): Jalen Smith is someone that I think will be a good NBA role player, and if he turned into what Brook Lopez is now, any team should be thrilled. But his struggles to switch onto the perimeter lower his defensive upside.

NCAA Basketball: Southern California at Arizona Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

22) Josh Green, 6’6” wing, University of Arizona

GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax (21): Again, I thought we loved 3-and-D wings in the year of our Lord 2020. This young man combines frame with feel for the game. He can hit spot-up threes starting on day one, and he can defend at least two - and perhaps all three - backcourt positions as well. So much of what he does well connects to that end of the floor, and while his offensive game needs refinement (he can’t make his own shot off the dribble) he has tools that make it likely that he will be a good NBA end of bench player at worst, with a high likelihood of being a solid end of rotation player.

Once you’re at this point of the draft, if you hit on that kind of player who can help with spacing and be versatile defensively, you’ve hit on the pick.

GBB Staff Writer Jesse Cinquini (32): Green was a one-dimensional offensive talent in college. As a lackluster ball handler and finisher, he is unable to create his own shot with much consistency, a reality which could come back to bite him at the NBA level. If Green isn’t shooting a three off the catch, attacking a closeout, or running the floor in transition, he isn’t much of a threat to score. And considering he was below-average as both a scorer and passer in the pick and roll, the youngster’s half-court repertoire is quite limited at this point in time.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

23) Jaden McDaniels, 6’10” wing, University of Washington

For a full breakdown, click here.

GBB Staff Writer EdMemphis (11): Jaden McDaniels was once mocked the number one draft prospect in this class, and it wasn’t very long ago. He has some maturity issues but so do most kids his age. His ball-handling and his pull-up and rim attack potential anywhere on the court are at a special level for a player his size. Don’t be surprised if he’s a certified All-Star eventually, if in the right situation.

GBB Senior Staff Writer Ben Hogan (30): The team that drafts Jaden McDaniels will need to have some patience to get the most out of him. He is very raw, but you can see the potential. If McDaniels doesn’t hit the gym and put on weight, he is going to get destroyed on the defensive end. He will also have to cut down on the turnovers (3.2 per game) and fouls (3.9 per 36) to succeed at the next level.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Tournament-TCU vs Kansas State Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

24) Desmond Bane, 6’6” wing, Texas Christian University

For a full breakdown, click here.

GBB Staff Writer Lauren Harvey (17): Bane fits the Brandon Clarke mold of a proven older player that slips in the draft. He can score in a variety of ways and is an underrated shot creator. He is projected to go in the second round, and I think any franchise should take a shot on him in the mid to late 1st round.

GBB Senior Staff Writer Justin Lewis (35): It’s not that I hate Desmond Bane as a draft piece, it’s that he fits the mold of a late first round guy that can step into a contender and contribute early. He is what he’s going to be, which is the case for most seniors coming into the draft. He hit as many threes in 4 seasons as some NBA guys do in one. He’s not a volume shooter, which for an off-guard today you look for. Liken him to Luguentz Dort, the bubble version: a hard-nosed defender who won’t get pushed off his spot. My big board was from the eyes of the Grizz, and he doesn’t quite fit what Memphis needs this season.

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Tournament-Washington State vs Colorado Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

25) Tyler Bey, 6’7” wing, Colorado University

For a full breakdown, click here.

GBB Site Manager Joe Mullinax (16): This guy is a freak athlete, putting on a show at the NBA combine in terms of leaping ability and all-around physical dominance. That checks out with the tape - he has real bounce to his game, and his length (7’1” wingspan) alongside his ability to move and read offensive movements makes him a hell of a defender. He’s like De’Anthony Melton in that way - he’s undersized for what he was asked to be at Colorado (a center!!!) but he wasn’t intimidated and was willing to work on the glass and around the paint. There will be some growing pains as he adapts to being an NBA combo forward, and that may be why he falls around where Memphis will be picking (that and his age/awkward shot mechanics). But despite his offensive limitations (his handle and decision making are also suspect, given the turnovers that were forced against him watching tape) he has a nice touch on his spot up shot and his defensive potential makes him worthy of a mid-1st round grade on my big board. He really has the ability to defend all 5 positions for stretches, which opens up all sorts of scheme variations.

GBB Senior Staff Writer Nathan Chester (42): Tyler Bey is a confounding prospect to me. On one hand, he appears to be a position less player that could even play the 5 in a small-ball lineup. On the other, there’s nothing that he’s particularly great at other than rebounding, and his deficiencies as a playmaker and shooter make me skeptical.

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26) Leandro Bolmaro, 6’7” wing, Spain

For a full breakdown, click here.

GBB Senior Staff Writer Shawn Coleman (22): There are many guards who offer good shooting upside in the later part of the first round. However, with Bolmaro, you have encouraging upside as a playmaker and defender on the perimeter, someone who can truly add value across the board outside of scoring. With that skill set, if he can add at least a bit of value as shooter and scorer, it seems he could have a more consistent ability to add value on both ends of the floor than other, more high profile options that could be on the board in the latter half of the first round.

GBB Staff Writer EdMemphis (46): I’m not really low on Leonardo Bolmaro, as he possesses solid skill and will for a player his size. I’m more so worried how much of his overseas performance translates on the NBA level. Crazy thing is, he’s already a better ball handler than his white rabbit which is Manu Ginobli.

Khimki Moscow Region v LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Photo by Ivan Korzhenevskiy/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

27) Theo Maledon, 6’5” guard, France

GBB Senior Staff Writer Justin Lewis (17): Call me a sucker for point guards with length. There’s just so much you can do with that as far as defensive versatility. The 19 year-old playing professionally overseas is raw but has plenty of time and room to grow. GMs love the young guys with potential all the time, and I’ll take the bait here. He already shoots the three at 33%, which means the stroke is there, but just needs more work. You would like to see his assist % rise, but that happens naturally when you play with better athletes. He might have a slower arc, but he will end up a sleeper in this draft.

GBB Staff Writer Greg Ratliff (36): Theo just doesn’t jump off the page athletically. He’s an okay athlete, but I don’t think he’s explosive enough to really create enough consistently off the dribble. Another guy that could be decent long term but needs a bit of work, to learn how to use his size as an advantage to make up for his overall lack of speed.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

28) Robert Woodard III, 6’9” wing, Mississippi State University

For a full breakdown, click here.

GBB Staff Writer Lauren Harvey (20): Woodard has a great first step and he’s switchable enough to not be a liability on the defensive end. He also has an excellent work ethic. In a draft where a lot of guys will be out of the league, I don’t see how Woodard doesn’t stick around in an NBA rotation.

GBB Senior Staff Writer Ben Hogan (37): Nothing really excites me about Robert Woodard II. He feels like a jack-of-all trades, master of none. Decent shooter, decent passer, decent rebounder, but I want more if I’m taking a guy in the first round. His 43% from 3 can be deceiving because he only made 30 3’s last season. I need to see more to buy him as an outside threat.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

29) Isaiah Stewart, 6’10” Big, University of Washington

GBB Staff Writer Lauren Harvey (25): Stewart is an above average finisher, an excellent rebounder and has impressive strength Even if he can’t develop a consistent jump shot, at a minimum, he’s able to set solid screens and play hard on defense, skills that every team is looking for.

GBB Associate Editor Parker Fleming (39): Evaluating traditional big men is always tricky in the modern NBA, and Isaiah Stewart is another case. Of all of my high and low picks, he can cold-take me the most, as he’s a workhorse and has been impressive in interviews — at least from quotes I’ve seen on my social media. Until then, he needs to improve as a playmaker and/or a shooter to reach his ceiling.

NCAA Basketball: Utah State at San Diego State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

30) Malachi Flynn, 6’2” Guard, San Diego State University

For a full breakdown, click here.

GBB Associate Editor Parker Fleming (19): Malachi Flynn will not fail. He’s an extraordinary pick-and-roll player [finished in the 96th percentile in points per pick and roll possession], a great spot-up shooter, and a feisty defender. He’ll go to a contender and thrive as a high-end backup point guard who can play alongside the starter — think like a Fred VanVleet.

GBB Associate Editor Brandon Abraham (40): I actually really like Flynn as a prospect, just think there are better options at the point guard position in this draft. Flynn is going to be limited in the NBA due to his size and athleticism. He’s going to be a solid scorer in the NBA, but he’ll be hunted defensively and his size will also force him to alter the way he attacks the rim on the offensive end.

What do you think of these prospects? Should they be ranked higher or lower? Comment your thoughts below.

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