I will be releasing my NBA Big Board 10 picks at a time. With the Indiana Pacers slotted to have a top 10-pick, potentially a pick in the middle of the draft (if Cleveland makes the playoffs), as well as a pick at the beginning and the end of the 2nd round, there are a lot of prospects to monitor and keep an eye on for this Indiana Pacers team.
In today’s article, we will look at prospects 11-20 on my NBA draft big board and discuss each player’s strengths and weaknesses. The Indiana Pacers have the 5th best odds to land a Top 4 pick.
11. Johnny Davis (Wisconsin) — 6’5” | 194 LBS | SG | 20 years old
The Big 10 Player of the Year had an excellent season for the Wisconsin Badgers. This year, Davis put the Badgers on his shoulders and willed them to multiple wins. His mid-range jumper is his bread and butter, and he consistently hit tough shot after tough shot. His handle and overall playmaking aren’t great, but he has a good feel for the game and knows where the open man is at. We saw Davis operate out of the post this season and he did a solid job in that area. Defensively, he isn’t afraid of the challenge, but I can see opposing teams in the NBA attacking him since he is undersized and not the most athletic. He did not shoot the ball from three well this season (just 33.3% on 99 attempts). Overall, I think Davis is a guy who will bring positive energy to his team. He took a team in Wisconsin that was projected to finish 10th in the Big 10 for ESPN’s season predictions to the top team in the conference. He has the will to win and carry a team, but I do worry about his inconsistent three-point shooting and the way opposing defense will attack him.
NBA Comparisons: Shades of James Bouknight, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Shaun Livingston
12. Ochai Agbaji (Kansas) – 6’6” | 215 LBS | SG | 21 years old
Agbaji was the best player on the Kansas Jayhawks, who just won the 2022 NCAA Championship. Agbaji is an older player in this draft class, but he is a talented player that will fit into any team that selects him. Therefore, I like him to go in the late lottery. Teams that are at the end of the lottery usually have a solid team, but were just missing a piece or two, to get them into the playoffs. The Kansas senior shot a ridiculous 41.1% from three this season on 209-attempts. He averaged 19.8 points per game and was a terrific on-ball defender. Agabji isn’t a guy who has to have the ball in his hands either. He is efficient in moving without the basketball, can slip behind defenses, and has the athleticism to catch lobs. If there were to be a few things that he can improve on, it would be that he is more of a catch-and-shoot type of player than one who can create for himself. So, if you’re expecting him to create for others, that is not his forte. He is a talented player that will thrive if he continues to make threes at a consistent level.
NBA Comparisons: Shades of Wesley Matthews and Mickael Pietrus
13. Jeremy Sochan (Baylor) – 6’9” | 230 LBS | PF | 18 years old
Sochan is one of the best defenders in this draft and can easily get in the head of his opponent. Watching North Carolina and Baylor play in round two of the NCAA Tournament was a fascinating game. North Carolina gets a huge lead, but Brady Manek had had enough of Sochan’s pest-like play and threw an elbow, which got Manek ejected from the game. Sochan is an energy guy and a guy that was the heartbeat of this Baylor team. While he isn’t a skilled offensive player, he’s got a nose for the basketball and is a terrific rebounder. He’s not a shooter at all, can’t create for himself, and doesn’t have a post-game. He’s got a great feel for the game, is a good athlete and is a really good defender. If he can develop a consistent jump shot, he will have a lengthy NBA career.
NBA Comparisons: shades of Shawn Marion and Kenneth Faried
14. Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite) – 6’6” | 180 LBS | SG | 19 years old
Daniels has played well for the G-League Ignite despite his lack of a perimeter shot and struggles at the free-throw line. He has great instincts, is a terrific playmaker that has a great feel for the game, and has a soft touch on his floater. He is constantly keeping defenses on their toes with his elite playmaking and footwork. Defensively he uses his high basketball IQ to mask the weaknesses in his game on that end. He is long enough to guard both wings and guards and is one of the hardest playing prospects in this draft.
NBA Comparisons: Tyrese Haliburton without the shot and E’Twaun Moore
15. Kendall Brown (Baylor) – 6’8” | 205 LBS | G/F | 18 years old
Brown is a highflyer who loves playing above the rim. Did not shoot nearly enough threes to prove that he is a great three-point shooter, but he did shoot 38.9% from distance on 36-attempts. Defensively, he has the intangibles to be a solid defender and showcased the ability to thrive in that area, but he wasn’t disciplined enough on this side of the ball and got himself out of position and into foul trouble. He has a soft touch around the rim but only feels comfortable shooting inside the arc. It’s easy to criticize an unpolished 18-year-old prospect, but there is so much to like about the potential of his game. With his size and upside, Brown has the potential to be a steal in this draft.
NBA Comparisons: Corey Maggette and Kelly Oubre
16. E.J. Liddell (Ohio State) – 6’7” | 240 LBS | PF | 21 years old
My favorite part of Liddell’s game is his ability to defend all five positions. He went back to Ohio State instead of going to the NBA and improved in all areas of his game. Offensively, he has improved on his outside shooting and can attack closeouts by getting to the rim. Liddell will have to continue working on that handle against opposing NBA defenses, as they will attack how loose he can be with the ball. Overall, Liddell is solid in all areas of the game. He can pass, he can score in multiple ways, he can defend, and he can protect the rim.
NBA Comparisons: shades of Malik Rose, Paul Millsap, and Carl Landry
17. Mark Williams (Duke) – 7’1” | 242 LBS | C | 20 years old
Mark Williams’ stock skyrocketed with the way he played at Duke this season and his name became more popular the further Duke went in the tournament. Williams is your typical rim-protecting center that is not an outside threat offensively, but he rebounds the ball and has a good feel around the rim. At 7’1” he has great size and is explosive. The major downfall to Williams is the inability to switch on defense. You will have to play drop coverage with him, or NBA wings/guards will eat him up. One other positive about Williams that isn’t talked about enough is his passing ability and how quick he reads the defense. Williams is someone that could jump into the draft lottery if a team is looking to draft a starting center.
NBA Comparisons: shades of Marcus Camby and Clint Capela
18. Ousmane Dieng (France) – 6’9” | 185 LBS | SF/PF | 18 years old
Dieng is a fascinating draft prospect out of France. He is an elite defender that thrives in both on-ball and off-ball situations. As he continues to develop his overall game, on offense he can rely on his quick first step and his tight handle on the ball to help generate open looks for him. He has no outside shot which is a big concern and tries his best to avoid contact at the rim. He is a smooth player despite some glaring holes in his game but being one of the youngest players in this class makes his upside intriguing. Overall, if he doesn’t develop an outside shot, he can still be useful as an off-ball cutter. Dieng has the court vision to see the play develop but doesn’t always have the best consistency when delivering the pass.
NBA Comparisons: shades of Paul George outside of his shot and Tayshaun Prince
19. TyTy Washington (Kentucky) – 6’3” | 185 LBS | PG/SG | 20 years old
TyTy thrived in the midrange this season. He shot an okay percentage from three but did not take many shots from behind the arc. He is a skilled playmaker who put up large assist numbers from time to time this season. He has shown great ability to stop and start, putting defenders in a tough position. Playing in Calipari’s system at Kentucky helped prepare him for the pick-and-roll game in the NBA, but he was not utilized as a catch and shoot guy. If he had more opportunities to catch and shoot, instead of shooting off the dribble, that could have increased or helped him develop a more consistent three-point shot. Washington is an average athlete whose size limits his ability to finish at the rim. At times, Washington was not quick enough in the pick and roll. Washington is fundamentally sound, has a good feel for the game, and will work hard to improve as a player. Keep your eye on him in this year’s draft.
NBA Comparisons: Mario Chalmers and Keyon Dooling
20. Nikola Jovic (Serbia) – 6’10” | 209 LBS | SF/PF | 18 years old
The near seven-footer grew up playing guard and has the skillsets of a guard in a big man’s body. Jovic is still getting used to his size, but he has shown elite playmaking abilities at the age of 18. One aspect of Jovic’s game that I like is his off-ball movement. Jovic has grown as a shooter and is better on catch and shoot threes than creating his own shot. With his high release, Jovic has the ability to shoot over his defender, especially if they are late on a closeout. Jovic has struggled to develop a post-game, but that’s not his style of play. Defensively he is a work in progress. He isn’t strong enough to guard NBA centers and will struggle against faster guards. Overall, he needs to improve in every area, but the framework is there for him to improve, and he’s shown flashes as a prospect who could be a good core piece for a team.