Five-minute draft guide: Second half of lottery NBA player comparisons
For avid fans of the NBA draft, one of the most entertaining aspects of prospect analysis each year comes from perusing and debating the pro comparisons made for each player. For example, the No. 1 pick in NBA.com’s 2021 consensus mock draft, Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, has been likened to current pros such as Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum. Possible second overall choice Evan Mobley has drawn analogies to Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol.
To try to gain a better understanding of the style of play of prospects who could be potential options for New Orleans with the No. 10 pick, we asked an anonymous NBA scout to give his opinion on the accuracy of pro comparisons for players in the 7-15 range. For each player, we provided comparisons that were made by prominent draft websites, then asked which one is the most accurate comp, based specifically on traits and style of play. The order here is based on NBA.com’s most recent consensus mock draft.
7 Davion Mitchell, Baylor guard
Donovan Mitchell or Jrue Holiday?
Scout: “I don’t see either as a good comparison. Probably closer to Holiday, given that defense will be his calling card. Davion is way smaller than Jrue, which is a big issue. Size is such a big deal on the defensive end (Holiday always had issues guarding bigger wings). Davion measured at 6-0. Jevon Carter is my comp for him.”
8 James Bouknight, Connecticut guard
C.J. McCollum or Jordan Clarkson?
Scout: “Jordan Clarkson. Excellent athlete, bucket-getter similar to Clarkson, but more reliant on his physical tools. McCollum is a much better shot-maker than James at this point in their careers.”
9 Keon Johnson, Tennessee guard
Jaylen Brown or Latrell Sprewell?
Scout: “Latrell Sprewell. Super athlete, can get into the paint at will. The hope is that he can become an average shooter. Should be able to generate offense in the paint and at the free throw line due to his athleticism.”
10 Franz Wagner, Michigan forward
Mike Dunleavy Jr. or Nemanja Bjelica?
Scout: “Both are good comparisons. Smart, skilled player for his size. Franz is not the shooter either of them were coming into the league. Bjelica and Dunleavy were similar players actually (to each other)."
11 Josh Giddey, Australia guard/forward
Joe Ingles or Shake Milton?
Scout: “Ingles. Giddey is two inches taller than Shake, and not as good of a shooter (remember that Joe Ingles wasn’t a good shooter when he was younger, either). Giddey is an excellent passer at 6-8, like Joe. His smarts make up for average athleticism.”
12 Moses Moody, Arkansas guard
Mikal Bridges, OG Anunoby or Morris Peterson?
Scout: “Bridges, given their similar length. Mikal was a much better defender in college. Morris Peterson was a little more creative off the bounce and only a league-average defender. OG is in a different league in terms of physical tools.”
13 Jalen Johnson, Duke forward
Aaron Gordon, Rudy Gay or T.J. Warren?
Scout: “Aaron Gordon. Like Aaron, Jalen is very intriguing as a defender and passer. Not a polished scorer like Rudy or T.J. More of a glue guy.”
14 Alperen Sengun, Turkey center
Domantas Sabonis or Nikola Vucevic?
Scout: “Sabonis. Extremely skilled on the offensive end. Defensively, I think Vucevic is better than either of them. Both Sabonis and Sengun are excellent defensive rebounders.”
15 Corey Kispert, Gonzaga forward
Joe Harris, Gary Trent Jr. or Bogdan Bogdanovic?
Scout: “Joe Harris. Both are excellent shooters, both off the catch and off movement. Harris is a much better movement shooter than Trent. Bogdanovic’s ball skills are much much better than Kispert’s.”