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Evan Sidery’s Big Board, Part Two: Versatility Reigns Supreme

Prospects 15-35 unveiled in the final installment of Evan Sidery’s big board

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Oregon vs Michigan Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Like I mentioned in part one, this is the deepest draft and most talented at the top I’ve ever looked at. So, yes, I hold this class in high regard. For prospects 15-35, I’ll show you some strengths that stand out for each of them.

Even after the No. 4 pick, there should be some top-tier talent there for the Phoenix Suns at No. 32 that will make an immediate impact in the rotation next season.

Here we go, the final part of my big board. I’ll be giving a quick synopsis of each prospect’s game that I like, so let's dive straight into it.

15. Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina

At 22 years old, Jackson is ready-made now to make an impact in an NBA rotation. Whether it be as a sharpshooter who sits out on the perimeter who can bury shots in crunch time or someone who you feel could match up comfortably against scoring guards (I ultimately see him as someone you could take advantage of his size and length on 1’s and 2’s), he’ll be ready for whatever’s thrown at him. He fits best where defensive culture is a key component and a point guard on the roster who can set him up on the outside with drive-and-kick opportunities.

16. Luke Kennard, SG/PG, Duke

Kennard is a prospect who’s flying way too under the radar due to this classes' strength at the top. The sophomore showed ample ability to create for not only himself but others. Many games I watched of Kennard, I came away more impressed with his handle and BBIQ. Put Kennard in a situation where he’s able to run around screens all game, then you have someone who I believe has a much greater upside than Kyle Korver all-around.

17. Jordan Bell, PF, Oregon

If OG Anunoby was my darling of part one, then Jordan Bell is most definitely in this one. Bell will offer whatever team selects him ample versatility on defense where you could really have him guard 3-5. He won’t offer you the same offensive playmaking ability Draymond Green has in his arsenal, but Bell is a fluid runner who should thrive in transition. Oregon used Bell as their 5 after Chris Boucher injured his knee prior to the NCAA Tournament, and he ended up doing well. And after going back and looking at more of Bell, how could a franchise pass on a rotation player like this, with much more upside in someone his age. That’s rare, folks, much like Draymond was undervalued coming out of Michigan State. Don’t be surprised seeing Bell immediately getting at least 20 minutes per game next season.

18. John Collins, PF, Wake Forest

Somebody who would be a super dark horse as a possible Sun come June 22 is this guy, John Collins. He knows how to finish down low and has some of the more advanced post-up skills in this class, alongside another player I’ll discuss later down the list. He’s smooth in PnR and has the bounce, like Marquese Chriss, to finish above the rim. Collins has much more potential on defense than many realize, including staying in front in PnR situations. Collins will be able to find an immediate impact role, and on the right team maybe even start year one (cough, cough, Indiana, cough, Miami).

19. Justin Patton, C, Creighton

Patton is a raw project, but his overall feel and measurables making him a tantalizing prospect to mold in a pro-style offense. Last season, Patton redshirted at Creighton, but he added 15 pounds of muscle during that off year. With the added weight on his frame, the former Blue Jay thrived in transition as a lead big, someone who has elite foot speed for a prospect his size. If he reaches his high threshold in terms of his ceiling, then he will be an energy big who a coach can use on the floor to switch on defense and a multi-faceted offensive attack including a more well-defined jumper and hook shot he could take advantage of with his 9-4 standing reach. In terms of a fit in Phoenix, Patton could be a PnR big that can roll to the rim and beat his man to the rim with lobs time after time. Wait for Patton to add more weight and also improve his all-around game, then he could be one of the better fits in today’s NBA offense. Patton’s overall higher potential lands him a spot in my top 20 over other bigs ranked below.

20. Terrence Ferguson, SG/SF, Adelaide

Are you the type who loves freakish athleticism and someone who might be more jaw-dropping than Derrick Jones Jr. on both ends, look no further than Ferguson. His defensive upside is where I can see him adjusting well due to his above-average quickness compared to most tweeners in this class but he’s still such a raw player to project. If Ferguson puts together a more well-rounded offensive game — at times there were many clunkers of performances — he could be a serviceable 3-and-D caliber prospect. If Ferguson takes a tumble draft night, it’s not a bad idea to take him at 32 and mold him.

21. Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State

Sleeper alert, sleeper alert. Evans is absolute dynamite in PnR, along with being able to handle the load of an offense night in and night out. Much like De’Aaron Fox, Evans has the ability to change speeds on the run that makes defenders hesitate just long enough for where it’s too late. He’s undersized at 6-foot, but he has the measurables to hold his own on the defensive end against 1’s with a 6-6 wingspan and 7-11 reach

22. Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA

Anigbogu’s length is insanity. He’s only 6’10”, but has a 7’6” wingspan. That’s the biggest differential in awhile, along with the likes of Kawhi Leonard freakiness. However, Anigbogu’s role is someone who will be able to deter shots at the rim and be a high energy big who can run the floor in transition for lob opportunities. His energy will get him a spot in the mid-first, maybe even the back-end of the lottery if a team falls in love with his upside.

23. PJ Dozier, PG/SG, South Carolina

I’ve seen many mock drafts have Dozier in the late second round, almost undrafted, and to me, I ask why? Dozier flashes incredible upside on the defensive end of the court, but, man, his offense is a torpedo. I have Dozier ranked in my top 25 due to his versatility, a theme in my rankings as you can see. With a 6’7” wiry frame, Dozier could bulk up and could be a nightmare to score on for 1’s and 2’s throughout his career. His shooting is very poor, but he has playmaking capabilities that could be taken advantage of in the right system. The former Gamecock could spell whoever is the point guard at times, able to handle PnR and make the correct reads. He made major strides from year one to year two in college, so why can’t he make an even more significant jump in year three on the pro level? Stay tuned for this guy as someone Ryan McDonough should have his eyes on with either second round selection.

24. TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA

Leaf was one who surprised me throughout the season and having the extra eyes on him and Anigbogu certainly helped their stocks, but he’s definitely a rotation player on the next level. He has great face-up scoring potential and someone who can get out and run in transition. Alongside Ball in that type of offense, he thrived. Leaf has a high BBIQ and rarely made a bad decision with the ball in his hands as a playmaker setting people up off hockey assists. His rebounding scares me, but a jump shooting big who can stretch the floor and cover ground is a valuable commodity nowadays.

25. Anzejs Pasecniks, C, Latvia

One of my biggest risers on the board, even in the last couple of weeks of putting this together. Pasecniks really caught my eye with his excellent mobility for someone who’s 7-foot-3. He’s raw on offense, only attempted 28 shots outside of the restricted area, but showed promise when he did so. That’s where many GM’s I think are going to fall head over heels for this prospect from Latvia. His mobility will allow him to cover ground and alter shots from across the restricted area, so that’s a major plus. Sure, four Suns executives and scouts sat front row for the Fox workout, but that also featured Pasecniks later on. He’ll be someone who’s taken higher than expected on draft night due to his value on the offensive end, with a defensive repertoire that can add more tools to it as he builds out.

26. D.J. Wilson, SF/PF, Michigan

Wilson is not over or under-ranked here in my eyes, but he sure does stand out to me as someone who could be a lottery pick if this is re-done a couple of seasons down the road. Wilson, even at 6’11” can stay with 2 guards with no problem. (GM’s, how do you not just ooze at that potential on both ends?) Wilson’s game is built more toward the modern NBA, with his shooting capable of stretching to the NBA 3-point line. Not only can Wilson spot-up and take slower-footed bigs off the dribble, but I could see him adding a PnR game to his resume with his handling. If you’re looking for a versatile scoring forward with immense upside on both ends, Wilson is definitely your sleeper.

27. Derrick White, PG/SG, Colorado

White’s the prototypical combo guard with size for his position at the 1 spot. His pick-and-roll savvy is there, with many ways he likes to break down defenders. White not only can be a playmaker but a top option scorer as he was for the Buffaloes. The 23-year-old has 3-and-D ability, with high-end competitiveness that shows each game I watched of him. For someone with the intangibles GM’s are looking for in the modern point guard, I wonder why White’s name is generating more buzz in the top 20.

28. Harry Giles, PF, Duke

Last year’s top overall recruit in high school finally lands near the end of round one on my board. I couldn’t imagine a more worst-case scenario year for Giles that occurred while he was a Blue Devil. Even in interviews, he looks uncomfortable reminiscing on his experience. Anyways, Giles would be ranked much higher — likely inside my top 20 — if he hadn’t injured his knees twice. That right there scares me so much, because he’s susceptible to another one. If Giles’ medicals pass, then he’s capable of being one of the more explosive 4’s or be a small ball 5 and force mismatches. Giles has scoring potential to hit from the mid-range and shine in pick-and-pop scenarios if he regains his athleticism from high school. A versatile defender and explosive scorer is in Giles bag of tricks, but the big question is if he can fully regain that. For me, I’m in the crowd he won’t but I’d love to see him prove wrong on that.

29. Caleb Swanigan, PF, Purdue

The best rebounder in the class with a high motor and someone who’s drastically changed his body. Swanigan is hardly recognizable from last year, even after this one as he seems to be developing his game into a stretch-four mindset. Not only can Swanigan bully defenders down low on the block, but he has a developing face-up game that could really be taken advantage of. Nowadays, roles are taking over what we used to call positions on the basketball court, and it’s gotten kickstarted by Golden State’s effect (more on that down the line when we talk Suns franchise directions). Swanigan’s role is a much-needed commodity, with more scoring upside.

30. Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky

High energy big who fits perfectly into a fast-paced offense, Adebayo’s game is still rather raw. He is also an effective rebounder who has a tendency to have putback dunks. His frame leads you to believe there’s more that can be discovered or well-refined if put into a long-term project view. He could end up being a high-end rim protector if he puts it all together.

31. Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF, SMU

Ojeleye screams future 3-and-D guy. If he finds a good coach, watch out, because I could see him having a much higher ceiling on offense than most. He excels against bigger bigs due to his athletic profile he possesses. Ojeleye was also able to finish at the rim with contact, something I love to see.

32. Josh Hart, SG, Villanova

This is someone who I believe has to be pretty high on the Suns’ big board. Hart not only fills a huge shooting need -- and it even looks improved in draft workouts -- but fits in this locker room. He’s deadly in the spot-up, and off of screens in the mid-range. Hart also gives you a potential ball-handler to spell Bledsoe and a rookie point guard. I’d imagine this senior really is going to not improve much, but he’s versatile enough to be a commodity to teams.

33. Devin Robinson, SF/PF, Florida

Versatility scores another one on my big board with Devin Robinson. He loves to get out and run in transition, along with a developing perimeter game that has potential. His frame also would allow him to add another 15 pounds. Robinson, at 6-8, has a 7-1 wingspan and 8-10 standing reach. Those along with a still raw palate on both ends makes him enticing.

34. Wesley Iwundu, SG/SF, Kansas State

Rinse and repeat with Robinson in terms of Iwundu, but the K-State product offers more versatility on the perimeter. Iwundu will be able to suffocate guards with his length and can lead in transition. He’s already worked out for the Suns alongside Robinson and Ojeleye, but he offers I think more playmaking ability than the other two.

35. Jonathan Jeanne, PF/C, France

Jeanne is a mystery to most, but his massive length and thin frame offer a project that could be a huge payoff. His shooting release will be nearly impossible to guard, but he needs to really refine that end to be in a rotation anytime soon. Like Frank Ntilinkina, Jeanne will need patience from whatever franchise drafts him.

There you have it, everybody. More draft coverage coming throughout the week, as Bright Side will be at draft workouts all month. Stay tuned!

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