Who's got the best skills?
1. Which player owns the best overall offensive repertoire?
Chad Ford (ESPN draft expert): C.J. McCollum. He's an elite shooter and he gets to the line as well as any guard in the draft. While he isn't a great passer yet, he shows a lot of potential in this area, as well.
Paul Biancardi (recruiting expert/scout): Otto Porter. He was a late bloomer out of high school. But he's multifaceted in his approach with a productive scoring touch; he will face up or go inside to get a bucket. He can score with his skill and athletic ability or get a basket by beating you with his high IQ for the game.
Brad Doolittle (projections/NBA expert): Ben McLemore. His translations are probably the most impressive mix of usage and efficiency, but his well-known passivity is reflected in iffy foul-drawing and athletic indicators. McCollum is right there as well, though his traits are more combo guard than lead guard. No perfect players in this draft. A sleeper: Alex Abrines.
Amin Elhassan (former NBA scout): Kelly Olynyk. This name might come as a surprise to East Coasters who didn't get a chance to watch Gonzaga often, but Olynyk has the most refined (and well-rounded) offensive game of any of this year's class, possessing the ability to score efficiently with his back to the basket as well as pop for the midrange jumper.
Tom Haberstroh (Heat Index/Per Diem): Trey Burke. He led the top offense in the league, posted a 57 percent true shooting percentage in the Big Ten and dished out 6.6 assists per game. In a draft without offensive juggernauts, I'll take Burke -- he can shoot it from almost anywhere and can also get anywhere he wants. Defense and size will be an issue, though.
2. Which player owns the best overall defensive repertoire?
Ford: Victor Oladipo. He can guard multiple positions, rebounds extremely well for a guard and plays with a toughness and athleticism that few players can match.
Biancardi: Oladipo. Watching him in high school, over several summers and at Indiana, he always used his ultra-athletic ability to be the best defender on the floor. That's been his mindset his entire career, and he will make that his calling card in the NBA.
Doolittle: Andre Roberson. He grades out with the top rookie-year defensive rating in my system. I love his defensive rebounding and his overall athletic markers suggest a guy who can guard at least three positions.
Elhassan: Porter. If it feels like I bring Porter's name up weekly, it's because he's someone worth talking about! He's not an explosive athlete, but he brings great size and length with a high basketball IQ, reminding me of Luol Deng on the defensive end.
Haberstroh: Nerlens Noel. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here given his torn ACL, but Noel is a tremendous paint protector, rebounder and disruptor in the lane. He's thin, but ask Kevin Garnett if he can't still dominate defensively with length and quickness.
3. Which player is the best pure shooter?
Ford: McLemore. His stroke is picture perfect and it goes in -- he shot 42 percent from 3 despite taking just five 3s a game. I just wish he shot it more.
Biancardi: McCollum. I love his range and accuracy at this stage of his career. He can knock it down equally well off the catch or off a rhythm dribble. He played in just 12 games last season and took 64 3s and connected at a 51.6 percent clip.
Doolittle: I'll go with McLemore because of his higher overall prospect rating, but Ricky Ledo isn't far behind. McLemore projects to rank in the top 10 in this rookie class in both 3-point and free throw percentages. Another standout is Tony Snell.
Elhassan: Seth Curry. He's not the shooter his brother is (or father was, for that matter), but that still places him in the top percentile of shooters in this draft. Curry might not get drafted because he lacks the size to play SG and the handle to run point, but he'll make an excellent free-agent pickup as a specialist.
Haberstroh: McCollum. Holy cow, can this guy shoot. He's not the distributor that Stephen Curry is, but his ability to pull up and drill a shot from range is stunning. He shot 52 percent from deep on 5.3 attempts per game, which boggles the mind. The inflationary effect of playing in the Patriot League is a concern, but man, can he shoot the rock.
4. Which player is the best shot-blocker?
Ford: Noel. He might be raw in just about every other way, but Noel is a gifted shot-blocker who combines length and athleticism with impeccable timing.
Biancardi: Noel. I have studied his game for a long time. His innate shot-blocking and shot-changing talent comes from always staying and playing in the paint. It was the first skill he possessed, and now he has mastered it.
Doolittle: I'll go with Steven Adams, who does have the top translated block rate in my system. That's one category that generally translates well from college, even if overall defensive impact does not necessarily do so.
Elhassan: Noel. When John Calipari proclaimed Noel to be a better shot-blocker than Anthony Davis, many chalked it up to college coach hyperbole, pumping up the new recruit. He didn't match Davis' otherworldly numbers (13.7 block percentage, 4.7 blocks per game), but he came darn close (12.9 block percentage, 4.4 blocks per game).
Haberstroh: Going to go with Noel again here. Boring, I know. But it's hard to argue with 4.4 blocks per game along with 2.6 fouls. We'll see how those springs hold up after surgery, but he's as dominant around the paint as anybody in this draft -- when healthy.
5. Which player is the best rebounder?
Ford: Trevor Mbakwe. He's got huge hands and wingspan. He's an elite athlete. And his 40-minute adjusted rebounding rates suggest he's as good as anyone in the draft.
Biancardi: Mason Plumlee. An athletic big with a strong, mobile body to go after the missed shot. A constant part of his game is cleaning up the glass, especially on the defensive end to finish the possession. It's one of a few stats to translate to the next level in basketball.
Doolittle: He might not get drafted because of limitations in other areas, but Mouhammadou Jaiteh's translated overall rebound rate is the best among the prospects I've rated. I'll throw out two other names for either end of the floor: Cody Zeller on the defensive glass; Mbakwe on the offensive end. Mbakwe could turn out to be a poor man's Reggie Evans, for what that's worth.
Elhassan: Arsalan Kazemi. He's undersized and he's not a leaper, but somehow just has a knack for being at the right place at the right time. That knack, combined with a motor that just doesn't quit, ensure that Kazemi's rebounding will travel, as it did when he transferred from mid-major Rice to Oregon.
Haberstroh: Mike Muscala. Obscure, maybe. But the Bucknell Bison posted the third-best rebound rate in the NCAA last season (21.0) and he has performed extremely well in workouts. He's no Kenneth Faried as a rebounding prospect but then again, no one is. Don't be surprised if Muscala sneaks into the late lottery, but he's a solid late first-round pick.