By: Mike Bonomo and Chinmay Vaidya
With less than a week until the NBA draft, Mike Bonomo and Chinmay Vaidya’s prospect rankings continue with the small forward position.
Bonomo: Justise Winslow, Duke
Vaidya: Stanley Johnson, Arizona
MB: Possibly the breakout star of the NCAA Tournament, Winslow should keep things rolling at the next level. He struggled a little bit in the middle of the season, but was a huge part of Duke’s championship run. He hit a number of big threes, and should be a good three-point shooter in the league. He gets to the rim well enough, and can post up smaller wings. He is a terror defensively, guarding multiple positions well both on and off of the ball.
CV: Johnson was more consistent throughout the entire season and although Winslow had a spectacular March, the Arizona product is a personal favorite. He can shoot the three well (37.1 percent) and his overall field goal percentage is decent. His defense is excellent and will translate to the NBA well. At worst, he’s a 3-and-D starter and at best, he’s an all-around star. When I think of Stanley Johnson, Kawhi Leonard comes to mind.
Bonomo: Stanley Johnson, Arizona
Vaidya: Justise Winslow, Duke
MB: A highly touted recruit coming into college, Johnson’s biggest question mark was his jump shot. He improved that enough throughout his stint in Tucson to make him a safe pick in the late lottery. He’s 6’ 6” with a nice 6’ 11.5” wingspan and uses his strength to get to the basket. He has some defensive lapses but overall should be a good wing defender in the league.
CV: Winslow had one of the best NCAA tournaments outside of Kemba Walker. I thought Winslow was the key for Duke to win the championship at the beginning of the season and eventually, the small forward got it done. He actually started trending upward in late February during the ACC tournament. Good shooter from the field and from three, but his free throws are a concern from someone who will go to the line a lot.
Bonomo: Sam Dekker, Wisconsin
Vaidya: Sam Dekker
MB: A lot of scouts seem to be questioning whom the real Sam Dekker is. Is he the guy who took over for big stretches and led Wisconsin to the National Championship Game? Or is he the guy who spent most of his time in Madison relying on others? While he likely won’t be a star in the NBA, he has the tools to be successful. He’s a big small forward at 6’ 9” and can score from anywhere. He’s a useful defender and should fit in to whatever role a team puts him in.
CV: Dekker is a gritty player who will not be afraid to get physical in the NBA. He’s 6’ 9” and has a lethal shot (52.5 percent from the field). His defense is good enough to where he can fit into that 3-and-D role. I don’t know if Dekker will be a top or secondary option on an NBA team, but he can be a solid starter if everything works out.
Bonomo: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona
Vaidya: Justin Anderson, Virginia
MB: It was tough for me to decide between Dekker and Hollis-Jefferson, and I think on draft night it will really come down to which player’s style suits teams more over any big gaps in overall ability. Hollis-Jefferson is not a scorer. He reminds me of another former Wildcat, and current Finals MVP Andre Iguodala coming out of school. He is very athletic and will likely be able to guard four positions. He can use his athleticism to get to the rim at times but isn’t a very good shooter. His defense should keep him in the league for a long time regardless, and if he improves his shot at all he could be a very good pro.
CV: Anderson is a solid overall player who can fit in at either shooting guard or small forward. He exploded in his senior season at Virginia and the team wasn’t the same when he got hurt. He shot 45 percent from three and his defense is as good as there was in college basketball. He won’t be a star, but he can definitely be a starter in the league. Another personal favorite for me.
Bonomo: Kelly Oubre, Kansas
Vaidya: Kelly Oubre
MB: He was a big name coming into Kansas, leading some to wonder how much the Jayhawks would miss Andrew Wiggins. He disappointed on that level, but not enough to knock him out of the first round. His athleticism is tantalizing, and is what will get him drafted. His jump shot needs work, and he needs to show more commitment to the defensive end, where his athleticism should allow him to make a big impact. With the right coach, his huge potential could be unlocked, but he could also disappoint.
CV: Safe to say that most of the Mizzou campus was happy to see highly touted recruits struggle at Kansas. Oubre was one of those guys. His stats are underwhelming and he never really took a leap during the season. Late-first round guy in my opinion because he can shoot the three and has the tools to be a decent defender. The work ethic may not be there and Oubre’s journey could get really bad, really fast.