It was an action-packed week at the Wintrust Center in Chicago as the NBA Draft Combine concluded Thursday evening. The Spurs have the opportunity to select highly-touted prospect Victor Wembanyama as the first pick of the NBA Draft come June 22 — and guys like Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller, and Amen and Ausar Thompson are shoo-in lottery picks. That being said, over 70 prospects tested, interviewed and competed to either improve or solidify their Draft stock. Below are the prospects that stood out over the course of the week with their overall performances.
Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Marquette)
One of the more interesting prospects in this year’s Draft, the 20-year-old has all of the physical tools to crack an NBA rotation immediately. Scouts and league execs were able to get a sense of Prosper’s athleticism during the standing vertical test, ranking third out of all combine prospects (40.5 inch). The 6-foot-7 (without shoes) G/F also had an impressive showing in the scrimmage portion of the combine, notching 21 points and seven rebounds, while displaying his prowess as a pest defensively. Continued progression on his jump shot should bode well for Prosper’s Draft stock come June.
Jordan Walsh (Arkansas)
The former McDonald’s All-American impressed during the player drill circuit Monday. Wiry, dexterous and athletic — the versatile 6-foot-7 G/F is capable of guarding four positions on the floor and uses his explosiveness and athleticism to blow by defenders on offense. He’s also a terrific finisher around the rim as the 19-year-old’s upside was on full display Thursday – stuffing the stat sheet with 15 points, seven boards and five assists. The projected late first-round pick helped his case with his performance this week in Chicago.
Tristan Vukčević (Serbia)
Versatility personified is Vukčević, as the 20-year-old 7-footer has the perimeter skills of a guard. The Serbian standout had 21 points in 16 minutes of action Wednesday, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Vukčević has been playing professional basketball overseas for years now – a trend we’re starting to see more with international players. He is evidence that the game of basketball is global and the game overseas is preparing foreign prospects to step in and shine in the league.
Seth Lundy (Penn State)
Lundy was on his square from the 3-point stripe all week, shooting a combined 8-for-11 through two games Wednesday and Thursday. His 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame pairs well with his quick release, as the former Nittany Lion is able to rise over smaller defenders to get his jumper off. Also, an active defender and rebounder, Lundy proved himself to be one of the best two guards at the combine.
Ben Sheppard (Belmont)
Sheppard will move up Draft boards due to his terrific effort all week. His 25 points in Thursday’s scrimmage on 8-of-10 shooting was a microcosm of his brilliance as a Bruin – averaging 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists during his senior season. The 6-foot-5 two guard is a capable driver, taking advantage of uncontrolled close-outs with his burst of athleticism. Between his sheer shooting ability and basketball IQ, the expectation would be that Sheppard will be on an NBA roster come October.
Terquavion Smith (N.C. State)
Smith is a natural-born hooper that can create any shot he seeks out. Slick and shifty, the 6-foot-4, 165-pound speed merchant is a three-level scorer with elite athleticism (40-inch standing vertical). He tested the Draft waters last year and impressed, but he decided to return to NC State for his sophomore season – averaging 18 points and 4 assists per contest. A capable shooter, Smith will have to continue to show he’s a reliable threat from outside while showing he can handle the physicality of the NBA game defensively.
Mojave King (G League Ignite)
The 20-year-old prospect from New Zealand has a reputation for being a quick-triggered marksman on the basketball court, which was confirmed this week. At 6-foot-5, King was also able to prove his prowess as a quality ball-handler. His efficiency offensively was showcased Wednesday night with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor. King’s 42-inch standing vertical jump ranked second at the Combine.