Names to Know for the 2022 NBA Draft (and Beyond)

Updated: Nov 16, 2021


UW-Milwaukee forward Patrick Baldwin, Jr. Credit: UW-Milwaukee Athletics

After conducting over 100 interviews with a growing list of elite high school-aged basketball prospects in addition to accumulating evaluation touch points at events all over the country, Pro Insight’s senior basketball analyst Tyler Glazier spent some time compiling some musings on a group of the top prospects he’s come across, with a focus on those eligible for the 2022 NBA draft (and beyond).

With the 2021 NBA draft in the rearview mirror and the 2021-22 college/G League/OTE seasons upon us, it’s time to analyze a group of prospects that project to hear their name called on draft night, whether next June or in future years.

Let’s get right to it. Here’s a look at 18 names to know (in alphabetical order):


Patrick Baldwin, Jr.

6’9” Forward | UW-Milwaukee | 18.9 years old

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A consensus top-five overall prospect in the 2021 class, Baldwin held offers from a number of high major programs such as Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan, etc. After slowly trimming his list, “PBJ” opted to put family first and stay home to play for his father at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With his commitment, Baldwin instantly put the mid-major program on the map and became the highest-rated recruit to ever pick a Horizon League program. While the decision was a surprise to many, it’s no secret why Baldwin had his pick of the litter when looking to make the jump to the next level. Standing at 6’9” and 220 pounds, the silky smooth forward immediately captures your attention due to his blend of BBIQ, shooting touch, graceful body control, and versatility. While many of today’s top prospects generate buzz by means of power jams, brute force, and flashy handles, Baldwin is more of a silent assassin and plays with a sense of refinement that is soothing to watch on the basketball court. With versatility and shooting at a premium in the NBA, Baldwin possesses at least two projected bankable skills to be used at the next level. Pair that with his innate feel for the game, positional size, and elite agility and you have a player who will not only make a team happy on draft day, but possesses the ingredients that will likely lead to a long and successful NBA career.


By the numbers: As a rising junior, Baldwin averaged 16.2 points on 59.9% true shooting (48/35/85 splits) as part of Phenom U’s 17U EYBL team per Cerebro Sports, playing alongside Reece Beekman, Jaemyn Brakefield, and Jalen Johnson.


Paolo Banchero

6’10” Forward | Duke | 18.9

Q&A / Video


Checking in at 6’10”+ and 250 pounds with a plus-wingspan, Banchero is a bonafide beast. He’s a rare breed who is fully capable of punishing defenders in the post with his strong base, broad shoulders, explosive leaping ability, and soft touch while also comfortably operating on the perimeter with the ball in his hands. While his outside shooting is still a work in progress, this past season Banchero made massive strides with his footwork, shot preparation, and efficiency in both the mid-range and beyond the three-point line. An underrated passer and legit creator, look for the Seattle native to operate on the perimeter, push the ball in transition and play the Clippers-era Blake Griffin high-post role next to sophomore big Mark Williams. However, for all of his natural talent and physical gifts, the key ingredient in Banchero’s recipe for success is his relentlessness. After evaluating him live on many occasions since he was 15 years old, one thing has remained consistent: he never takes a night off. It always takes some time to adjust to new teammates and competition, but look for Banchero to be impactful early in his Duke career and a near lock as a top-three pick in the 2022 NBA draft.


By the numbers: During 2020-21, over the course of 10 games in The Grind Session, Banchero averaged 28.1 points for BFL Prep (WA), including 41 points in a March 4 win over PHH Prep Fire (AZ).

Duke big man Paolo Banchero. Credit: Duke Athletics

Nathan Bittle

7’0 Big | Oregon | 18.4

Q&A / Video


A lively stretch big who moves with relative ease on the court for someone his size, Bittle is the highest-rated signee in Oregon Men’s Basketball history and is another interesting freshman to monitor within the 2022 draft landscape. Gifted with legitimate positional height and length at 7’0” tall with arms for days, he possesses the necessary tools to be an immediate impact player for the Ducks. While it can be easy to pigeonhole a guy like Bittle into a stationary stretch-only role, don’t sleep on his ability to act as a lob target and efficient finisher around the basket. This combination of stretch and finishing ability allow him to be a dangerous ‘pick your poison’ pick-and-roll option at the next level. His soft touch as an interior scorer, face-up ability, and budding handle further adds to his ability to generate mismatches. Defensively, Bittle is able to hold his own on the perimeter, but it will be an area of his game that will be further tested this season against Pac-12 guards and wings. Bittle is at his best when using his long levers to patrol the paint and deter shots as an effective rim protector. With a recent renaissance of the big man, Bittle fits the mold of a modern big who can operate on the perimeter while doing damage inside on both ends of the court. Look for him to incrementally boost his stock as he calibrates to the competition and becomes more comfortable within the Ducks’ schemes throughout the season.


By the numbers: In 16 games in The Grind Session during his senior campaign, Bittle averaged 14.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks for Prolific Prep (CA), following three ultra-productive seasons at Crater (OR).


Kennedy Chandler

6’0” Guard | Tennessee | 19.1

Q&A / Video


Teaming up with fellow talented freshmen Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Jahmai Mashack at Tennessee, Chandler will look to be the tip of the spear for a potent offense while filling the void left behind by current 76er and draft twitter darling Jaden Springer. An electric guard, Chandler is a whirlwind of explosive scoring offensively and a pesky opponent defensively. While he doesn’t necessarily jump off the page from a physical tools standpoint, don’t let that fool you as he’s someone who can easily punch above his listed size. Wired to score, Chandler uses his tight handle and elite athleticism to constantly put pressure on the rim while also being able to space the floor with his much improved shooting touch. While he’s not a “game manager” in the traditional sense, Chandler is capable of dictating flow by means of his off-ball activity, primary initiating and exceptional court vision while on the move. Defensively, Chandler doesn’t shy from competition and plays with a sense of fearlessness that allows him to more than hold his own against more physically imposing opponents. While he may not be everyone’s flavor of PG, expect teams looking for a microwave scorer and crafty playmaker who can function alongside other guards to hold him at a premium come draft day.


By the numbers: Chandler averaged 15.0 points and 5.7 assists (with a Floor General Score of 79.7, per Cerebro Sports) for Sunrise Christian (KS) at the 2021 GEICO Nationals, where he led his team to the championship game.

Moussa Diabate

6’11” Forward | Michigan | 19.8

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Perhaps one of the more underrated freshman additions in the class, Diabate has the potential to make an immediate impact for one of the strongest programs in the country. A native of Paris, France, Diabate made the move to Florida early in his basketball career to continue pursuing his hoop dreams. Touted as one of the hardest workers on the team, Diabate made incremental strides each year which resulted in numerous power 5 offers heading into his senior season. Listed at 6’11” with a plus-wingspan and a shredded 210-pound frame, Diabate is an exceptionally gifted defender both on the perimeter and the interior. His body control, lateral quickness, toughness, and high motor immediately stand out as he covers a significant amount of ground throughout the course of a game. Offensively, Diabate excels at making an impact without needing the ball by cleaning the offensive glass, putting himself in position around the basket, running the floor, and tapping into some budding ability to stretch the floor. While his overall game is still crystalizing, his motor, work ethic and ability to play next to star players project to make him a valued commodity over time at the next level.


By the numbers: As a junior in 2019-20, Diabate earned a C-RAM score of 10.9 (Gold Badge) in 4 games at the City of Palms for IMG Academy, where he averaged 10.3 points and 6.8 boards/game, per Cerebro Sports.


Jalen Duren

6’11” Big | Memphis | 17.9

Q&A / Video


Standing at 6’11” with a chiseled 250-pound frame and elite length, Duren immediately pops as a future pro and is perhaps the most physically gifted prospect on this list. Originally slated to be a senior in high school at Montverde Academy (FL), Duren opted to re-classify to the 2021 class and jump start his college career with Memphis a year early. A unique blend of elite physical and athletic tools, Duren is also gifted with coordinated footwork, touch as an interior scorer, face-up potential, and a budding perimeter skill-set as a creator and facilitator. Defensively, Duren has the rare ability to both protect the paint using his quick leaping ability and length, while just as easily cover ground on the perimeter as a switchable big due to his footspeed. Duren has all of the tools to be a force of nature and double-double machine when engaged. Look for him to be challenged early by Penny Hardaway throughout the season as the Memphis staff helps guide him toward reaching his full potential. With a recent resurgence of versatile bigs in the NBA, Duren has all of the prerequisites to be the next low-post anchor to a franchise in search of a dominant interior presence.


By the numbers: Before re-classifying to the 2021 class and committing to Memphis, Duren averaged 13.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in the 2021 17U EYBL session for Team Final, ranking fourth among all players with an 81.9 BMS (Big Man Score), per Cerebro Sports.

Memphis big man Jalen Duren. Credit: Memphis Athletics

Michael Foster

6’9” Forward | G League Ignite | 18.4

Q&A / Video


Foster is one of the more interesting prospects in the class of 2021 due to his unique blend of size, strength, versatility, motor, fearlessness, and instincts. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Foster originally started out as a football player before being noticed on the court by former Hillcrest Prep (AZ) Head Coach Chianti Clay. After a few reps on the court, it quickly became apparent Foster had the natural tools to develop into a high-level prospect. Since then, Foster has grown to 6’9”+ and 235 pounds with a near-seven foot wingspan. That size paired with his ability to create his own shot, finish at the rim, break down defenses as a facilitator, operate as an inside/outside scorer, and defend multiple positions is what makes him such an enticing player. Foster had numerous college programs to choose from, but ultimately decided to go pro and sign with the G League Ignite. A tailored developmental program, top-notch coaching, and high-level competition should bode well for his mental focus, all-around polish, and night-to-night consistency as he aims to hear his name called in June.


By the numbers: As a senior for Hillcrest Prep, Foster dominated his competition, averaging 32.2 points, 18.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 6.7 blocks per game in 18 games.


A.J. Griffin

6’6” Forward | Duke | 18.2

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An early candidate for the most “mysterious” prospect heading into the college season, Griffin has been relatively elusive to the spotlight over the past few years compared to his other highly-rated peers. After playing sparingly his junior and senior seasons due to an ankle injury and COVID-19, the ultra-talented Griffin will be on full display next to fellow five-star newcomers Paolo Banchero and Trevor Keels, as they look to make their mark in the storied tradition of Duke basketball. Son of former NBA player and current NBA assistant coach Adrian Griffin, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in terms of pro-level tools. Standing at 6’6” with a 7’1” wingspan and a functional 222-pound frame, Griffin evokes the same initial excitement in scouts that a hunk of jagged marble did to Michelangelo. Couple that with his powerful athleticism, functional perimeter skill-set, shooting upside, and two-way ability and you have a truly special prospect. While much remains to be seen and initial expectations should be tempered, the overall sentiment regarding Griffin's long term NBA potential and upside is very much warranted as prospects with his natural gifts at the wing position don’t come along every year. However, due in large part to his mystique, it’s possible Griffin's name may hold the widest variance between big boards leading up to the draft even with all of the star upside. Either way, expect a hopeful franchise to feel like they’ve struck paydirt when they call his name on draft day.


By the numbers: In four recorded events in Cerebro Sports’ database, Griffin achieved a gold badge in each one (2019 EYBL, 2019 City of Palms, 2019 PSA Prep Showcase, 2019 Slam Dunk to the Beach), sporting an average C-RAM of 10.9.


Jaden Hardy

6’4” Guard | G League Ignite | 19.3

Q&A / Video


Perhaps the most entertaining prospect in the class, Jaden Hardy is an absolute bucket. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Hardy moved out west to attend Coronado High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, while his brother Amauri was hooping for UNLV. After a productive junior season where Hardy would routinely drop 40-point games and flash his offensive potential, it wasn’t until his senior season where he fully tapped into his upside and learned how to convert numbers into winning. Ask Prolific Prep about the night Hardy dropped 46 of his team's 64 points including nine 3s in route to a semi-final victory over one of the deeper teams in the country at the Border League Tournament. The dynamic handle, insane shot-making ability, efficient finishing, crafty footwork, untouchable confidence, and underrated playmaking not only made Coronado one of the tougher teams in the country, but also vaulted Hardy to “6-star” status. A big get for the G League Ignite squad, Hardy projects to fill the scoring and creating role left behind by current Houston Rocket Jalen Green. The upgrade in competition will be steep, but if anyone has the talent to adjust and produce, it’s Jaden Hardy.


By the numbers: Hardy averaged 19.4 points in his 2019 EYBL session with Vegas Elite. Despite just being an incoming junior, Hardy ranked in the top-25 (#24) with an 81.9 PSP (Pure Scoring Prowess), per Cerebro Sports.

G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy. Credit: G League Ignite

Nolan Hickman

6’2” Guard | Gonzaga | 18.5

Q&A / Video


One of the premier floor generals and all-around more polished offensive guards in the country, Nolan Hickman took his talents from Eastside Catholic (WA) to Wasatch Academy (UT) for his senior season. The added spotlight gained from a national schedule as well as a focused basketball environment allowed him to take his game to the next level and prepare for the rigors of college life on and off the court. A smooth operator with the ball, Hickman flashes SGA vibes due to his rare ability to dictate pace and effectively get to his spots without breaking a sweat. Rarely settling for inefficient looks, Hickman has an understanding of taking what the defense gives him, whether that’s a mid-range pull-up, slicing to the basket, or knocking down shots from distance. The former Kentucky commit has now settled in Spokane, where he will look to play composer next to other talented Zags such as Hunter Sallis, Chet Holmgren, Julian Strawther, and Drew Timme, as Gonzaga makes another strong push for the National Championship. Expect Hickman to gracefully slide into a prominent role next season while simultaneously boosting his stock, because that’s what he’s always done.


By the numbers: Hickman averaged 16.9 points and 5.7 assists at the 2021 St. James NIBC Invitational, and was one of 15 players at the event to earn a gold badge with a C-RAM of 10.2, per Cerebro Sports.


Chet Holmgren

7’1” Big | Gonzaga | 19.5

Q&A / Video


Chet Holmgren is Gonzaga’s highest-ranked recruit in school history and leads the charge for a re-tooled Zags team that looks poised to pick up where they left off last season. Standing at 7’1” with an eye-popping 7’6” wingspan, Holmgren is incredibly agile, coordinated, tough, and skilled for his size. Offensively, Holmgren is an incredibly rare prospect who routinely handles the ball like a guard in transition or half-court situations, runs off screens or pulls up as a shooter, or slithers his way to the basket as a finisher. For as special as Holmgren is offensively it’s all the more impressive to watch how he impacts games from a defensive standpoint. He does an admirable job sliding his feet on the perimeter while also putting an absolute lid on the rim as a shot blocker. We routinely discuss prospects as “versatile” players when referring to their ability to slide between 1-2 positions, however, Holmgren epitomizes versatility in the truer sense of the word when it comes to playing nearly every role possible on the basketball court at an effective level. It’s tough to put Holmgren in a box due to that versatility, which is why it’s going to be exciting to see him paired with guys like Drew Timme, Hunter Sallis, Kaden Perry, Nolan Hickman, etc. with Coach Few calling the shots. Expect Holmgren to be a star in his role[s] while continuing to boost his top-5 projected draft stock.


By the numbers: Holmgren was one of the standout performers of the 2021 FIBA World Cup, ranking third with a 10.5 C-RAM score. Holmgren’s rim protection was particularly dominant, grading out with a 90.0 DSI (Defensive Statistical Impact), averaging 2.7 blocks per game and 5.1 blocks per 40 minutes, per Cerebro Sports.


Caleb Houstan

6’8” Wing | Michigan | 18.8

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In today’s star-studded NBA, it’s imperative to have players who can thrive next to the James Hardens and Damian Lillards of the world while also being able to shoulder the load for stretches on their own. Enter Caleb Houstan, a 6’8” 205-pound problem solver for a number of franchises in desperate need of size and shooting. A total sniper, Houstan is fully capable of knocking down shots from all over the floor with an easy and consistent stroke. Case-and-point during his senior year in high school, where Houstan shot nearly 40-percent from deep on his way to 13.6 points per game. While he’s already shown he’s fully capable of thriving next to high level talent such as Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes, and Dariq Whitehead at the renowned Montverde Academy (FL), Houstan also flashed his ability to carry an offense for stretches as a member of the Canadian National Team where he averaged 22.8 points for the U16 team in 2019 and 17.0 points for the U18 team this past summer. While the tendency is to pick a player with the “highest ceiling” or the most “potential,” it can be easy to overlook the high floor or consistent prospects because let’s face it, it’s more fun chasing after rainbows than it is to routinely invest in a Roth IRA account. However, results always win out and in Houstan’s case, a few short years from now he may very well be the missing piece for an NBA team close to reaching the summit.


By the numbers: In 23 games with Montverde Academy (FL) during his senior season, Houstan was second on the Eagles with 13.6 points per game with 47/39/83 shooting splits.


Arthur Kaluma

6’7” Forward | Creighton | 19.7

Q&A


The highest-rated recruit in Coach McDermott era, Kaluma is the definition of a Swiss Army knife. While he’s not necessarily the flashiest prospect on the floor, he’s a gamer who consistently steps up to the plate, understands how to contribute in multiple areas, and is an easy player to go to battle with. After spearheading a potent Dream City Christian (AZ) offense alongside Kentucky commit and number-one player in the 2022 class Shaedon Sharpe throughout his senior season in high school, Kaluma made the most of his summer by participating with the Ugandan National Team in FIBA Afrobasket, where he posted multiple 20-point games on his way to averaging a productive 13.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game in his first international action. At 6’7” with a strong 220 pound frame an approximate 7-foot wingspan, Kaluma can be a load to handle due to his consistent motor, competitiveness, proclivity to put pressure on the rim, shot making ability, advanced playmaking, inside/outside capabilities, and switchability on defense. While he could still use additional polishing around the edges, Kaluma possesses the next-level skills and tools to be an immediate impact player for the Bluejays this season and beyond and is a definite “diamond in the rough” prospect to watch in the Big East.


By the numbers: ​​In 20 games played on The Grind Session as a senior, Kaluma filled the stat sheet with averages of 21.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game, earning a Cerebro Sports Gold Badge with a C-RAM of 10.5.


Jean Montero

6’2” Guard | Overtime Elite | 18.3

Q&A / Video


A native of the Dominican Republic, Montero was recently playing for the European club Gran Canaria in Liga ACB before becoming the first international player to sign with Overtime Elite (OTE), this summer. With OTE looking to establish themselves as a legitimate college alternative for high schoolers and current international prospects alike, landing a player of Montero’s caliber is definitely a step in the right direction. The shifty guard put up some major stat lines during international play and many of the traits to be a special prospect at the next level. A rare blend of quickness, BBIQ, and scoring diversity, Montero plays with a sense of maturity beyond his years and shows a knack for understanding how to properly utilize his speed, when to get a bucket, and when to quarterback the offense as a game manager. A tough cover for opponents, Montero’s ability to finish with craft at the basket, knock down stop-and-pop pull-ups, as well as stretch the floor, constantly keeps defenders on their toes when trying to slow him down. Having already turned some heads in his OTE debut, look for Montero to continue establishing himself as not only the top prospect in the program, but as perhaps the top PG taken in next year's NBA draft.


By the numbers: On July 1, 2021, Montero dropped 41 points (including eight 3PM) in his OTE debut against Team Loaded (NC) in the program’s exhibition game in Florida.

Overtime Elite guard Jean Montero. Credit: OTE

Hunter Sallis

6’5” Guard | Gonzaga | 18.6

Q&A / Video


In an era where versatile two-way guards are at a premium, Hunter Sallis is uniquely gifted to bring value in a variety of areas to an NBA franchise. Sallis had always been in the mix as an “interesting” prospect throughout his high school career, but really exploded his senior season after putting up 22.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists for Millard North (NE). A graceful and bouncy athlete, Sallis thrives in the open court and has the skill-set to both act as a finisher or lead facilitator on the break. In half court settings Sallis remains a tough cover for defenses and is able to make them pay by constantly putting pressure on the rim as a tough finisher, keeping opponents honest as a pull-up threat, staying active off the ball as a cutter, and by drawing and kicking as a creative facilitator. For all of his ability offensively, Sallis is equally dangerous on defense as he possesses all of the tools to dramatically impact the flow and outcome of games. Standing at 6’5” with a long wingspan, Sallis uses his size, length, footspeed, and instincts to slide between positions as a versatile defender and slow down other team's best players. Linking up with another talented and cerebral guard in Nolan Hickman at Gonzaga, Sallis can act as the ying to Hickman’s yang and will be able to play more freely and fill in the gaps offensively. Already loaded with talent, look for Sallis to continue improving his draft stock by being a key contributor throughout the season as the Zags look to make another strong push into April.


By the numbers: To conclude Sallis’ high school career, he averaged 22.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists while leading Millard North (NE) to its first Class A state title in school history.

Jabari Smith

6’10” Forward | Auburn | 18.4

Q&A / Video

After highly productive junior and senior seasons at Sandy Creek High School (GA), Smith opted to stay close to home and play for Coach Bruce Pearl at Auburn. At 6’10” with a 7’1” wingspan, Smith looks and plays like the definition of a modern forward and is fully capable of efficiently stuffing a stat sheet. One of the younger prospects on this list, Smith is an enticing blend of current production and foreseeable potential that could vault him into stardom at the pro level. While Smith not only checks the boxes offensively as a hybrid forward who can stretch the floor, face-up, attack off the bounce, and finish around the basket, he also has the ability to be extremely productive defensively due to his ability to cover ground laterally, protect the rim, rebound, and willingness to play physical. With all of that being said, perhaps one of Smith’s most admirable qualities heading into this season with Auburn and beyond is the seamlessness in which he can play alongside others while being a star in his role. He’s not someone who constantly has to go ball-hunting in order to make his presence felt — it’s quite the opposite with Smith as the ball seems to find him while he efficiently makes the most of his opportunities and properly positions himself to make plays within the flow of the game. With all of the rightfully earned buzz surrounding guys like Banchero, Holmgren, Hardy, etc. Smith can get a bit lost in the shuffle, yet has all of the potential to be the star “hiding in plain sight” leading up to the draft.


By the numbers: Over his junior and senior seasons with Sandy Creek (GA), Smith averaged 23.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 2.6 blocks over 60 games.


TyTy Washington

6’3” Guard | Kentucky | 19.8

Q&A / Video


Few players boosted their stock more than TyTy Washington did last season. Self-described as a “chubby kid” in his youth, Washington put the work in at the gym to try and make the most of his talent and opportunities leading into his high school senior season. Entering the summer of 2020, Washington only had a few offers to his name, but after a season for the ages at AZ Compass Prep, he ultimately committed to one of the best NBA factories in the University of Kentucky. Washington looks to bring a level of leadership, scoring, toughness, creating, crafty finishing, and quarterbacking that was lacking at the guard position last season for the Wildcats. While more of a score-first option, Washington has an innate ability to know when to shoot vs. when to set up teammates within the flow of the offense. His unique ability to slide back and forth between structure and free-flowing styles of play is one of the many attributes that set him apart in high school and projects to bode well for his future outlook as a pro. Kentucky is not for everyone and can be a tough place to produce early, but don’t doubt Washington’s resilience in accepting the challenge to become sharper and show why he could be one of the earlier guards selected in next year's draft.


By the numbers: Washington was one of the top statistical performers at the 2021 GEICO Nationals, not only ranking 5th in the event with a 10.9 C-RAM, but also putting up 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists, per Cerebro Sports.

Kentucky guard TyTy Washington. Credit: Kentucky Athletics

Peyton Watson

6’8” Wing | UCLA | 19.4

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Last on this list, but surely not least is SoCal’s finest and UCLA freshman, Peyton Watson. After contemplating taking his talents elsewhere, the draw to represent his hometown proved to be too enticing to deny. Fresh off a gold medal with Team USA in the 2021 FIBA U19s where he played an important role as an energetic and versatile defender, Watson now looks to establish himself as one of the best NBA prospects in the Pac-12, this season. Gifted with an ideal frame at the wing/forward position, Watson immediately garners attention from scouts looking for the next impactful two-way puzzle piece. While Watson wasn’t able to showcase his full offensive arsenal with team USA over the summer, one doesn’t have to dig too far into the past to unearth stat-stuffing performances from the Long Beach Poly archives. In a shortened senior season, Watson flashed what makes him special on his way to averaging a jaw-dropping 30 points per game. While he tends to operate as more of a functional creator and finisher around the basket, Watson is able to inflict pain on defenses in a number of ways as an efficient slasher, tertiary facilitator, and pull-up or catch-and-shoot option. Combine those skills with his toughness and versatility on defense and you get a coveted 3-and-D prospect who could contribute early while gradually implementing his full game at the next level. Expect to hear Watson’s name called early come June.


By the numbers: Despite a lackluster shooting performance at the 2021 FIBA World Cup, Watson stood out with his playmaking and defense, finishing with a 65.8 FGS (Floor General Score) and 86.3 DSI (Defensive Statistical Impact), per Cerebro Sports.


For further reading on future NBA draft prospects, Pro Insight has featured the following 2022 draft-eligible players as part of our in-depth Q&A series:


Robbie Armbrester - Houston, Kendall Brown - Baylor, Max Christie - Michigan State, Alex Fudge - LSU, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield - Tennessee, Miles Kelly - Georgia Tech, Arthur Kaluma - Creighton, Franck Kepnang - Oregon, Marlon Lestin - East Carolina, Quaran McPherson - Nebraska, Kaden Perry - Gonzaga, Daeshun Ruffin - Ole Miss, Isa Silva - Stanford, Malachi Smith - Dayton, Jeremy Sochan - Baylor, Glenn Taylor - Oregon State



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