Big Board 4.0 - Part 2

Breaking down prospects 31-60 in the 2021 NBA Draft

Last week we debuted our Big Board 4.0 Top 30.

This week we dive even deeper, laying out picks 31-60 in the 2021 NBA Draft. As I did for last week’s Big Board, I spoke with a number of NBA execs and scouts to get a feel for who they liked as potential late first-to-second-round picks.

Obviously at this point, the second round is still very unsettled. As many as 10 of these players could end up being first-rounders and many might end up being undrafted.

Nevertheless, this is our best intel on the information that the players who are declaring for the draft are getting from the NBA draft advisory committee.

NOTE: This story was edited on 4/22 to reflect the tragic passing of Kentucky’s Terrence Clarke (#43) and Bennedict Mathurin’s (#40) decision to return to Arizona for his sophomore season.


31 JOEL AYAYI

G, GONZAGA, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Versatility, shooting, rebounding
Age 21.1 | 6'5" | 180

Overshadowed by Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert, Ayayi had a strong season of his own as a versatile guard who can play both the 1 and the 2. His hot shooting in the first half of the UCLA game kept the Zags hanging around. He shot the ball well from 3, was a great rebounder for a guard, and was an engaged defender. He’s more of a complementary player, but NBA teams are looking for players like Ayayi at this point in the draft.

Draft range: 25-40


32 AYO DOSUNMU

G, ILLINOIS, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Speed, Scorer
Age 21.2 | 6'5" | 185

Dosunmu can be a polarizing prospect, and his subpar performance in a second-round loss in the NCAA Tournament didn’t help his stock. He is an electric player who excels in the open floor. He had a strong junior year as a dominant offensive player and an excellent rebounder for a guard. His defensive impact, inconsistent jumpshot and high turnover rate raise questions about whether he can be a full-time point guard in the NBA.

Draft range: 25-40


33 JOSH CHRISTOPHER

SG, ARIZONA STATE, FRESHMAN
Primary Attributes: Scoring
Age 19.3 | 6'4" | 204

Christopher is another polarizing prospect who is all over draft boards. He is one of the best pure scorers in the draft, can score from anywhere on the floor and is aggressive looking for his shot. The question is whether he can do anything when the ball isn’t in his hands to help teams win.

Draft range: 25-40


34 CHRIS SMITH

W, UCLA, SENIOR
Primary Attributes: Playmaking, Defense
Age 21.3 | 6'9" | 220

If there was one consistent refrain from NBA scouts and execs when I did my Big Board 3.0 podcast on potential second-round picks, it was this: Where is Chris Smith? Smith was considered a potential first-round prospect by many teams before tearing an ACL eight games into the season. The injury probably keeps him out of the first round, but he has a lot going for him as a versatile wing with excellent size and length who can score from anywhere (he was shooting 51% from 3 before his injury) and defend multiple positions. And he’s just 21 years old -- very young for a senior.

Draft range: 25-40


35 BJ BOSTON

SG, KENTUCKY, FRESHMAN
Primary Attributes: Scoring
Age 19.4 | 6'7" | 175

After huge preseason hype, Boston's very shaky freshman season at Kentucky has pushed him from the lottery to the first-round bubble. His poor shooting, decision-making on both ends of the court and lack of strength concern teams. But his high school reputation as a talented, driven scorer still carries some weight, and if he slides into the second round, I don’t think it will take long for a team to take a chance on him.

Draft range: 25-40


36 TERRENCE SHANNON JR.

SG, SOPHOMORE, TEXAS TECH
Primary Attributes: Athletic slasher
Age 20.6 | 6'6" | 210

Scouts have had an affinity for Shannon since his freshman year. He improved as a sophomore, but not quite as much as scouts had hoped. He’s more a glue guy than a dominant-in-any-one-thing type of player, but his ability to get to the basket and defend multiple positions is intriguing. Adding a consistent 3-point shot to his game would boost his stock.

Draft range: 25-40


37 NEEMIAS QUETA

C, UTAH STATE, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Rebounder, Shot Blocker, Passer
Age: 21.7 | 7’0” | 226

Queta was an NBA prospect as a freshman, fell off the radar screen as sophomore and moved back onto the first-round bubble as a junior. He got a chance to shine in the NCAA Tournament and did his part, scoring 11 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, dishing six assists and blocking seven shots against Texas Tech. He can fill out a box score that way. His rebounding, shot-blocking and assist numbers are all really intriguing. He doesn’t have the quickest feet, which may limit his defensive versatility, but there are so many positives that he deserves a look in the late first round.

Draft range: 25-45


38 MAX ABMAS

PG, ORAL ROBERTS, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: shooting
Age 20 | 6'1" | 165

Abmas was dominant all season for the Golden Eagles, averaging 24 ppg and 4 apg and shooting 43% from 3 with more than eight attempts per game. His dominant play in the NCAA Tournament -- 29 points against Ohio State and 26 points and seven assists against Florida -- made him a potential first-round or early second-round prospect. He has unlimited range on his jump shot and can get anywhere he wants to on the floor. His lack of elite size for his position and his score-first mentality limit his upside somewhat, but he’s a very intriguing prospect.

Draft range: 25-45


39 RAIQUAN GRAY

PF, FLORIDA STATE, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Motor, toughness
Age 21.7 | 6'8" | 260

Gray is a difficult prospect to gauge. He has toughness and a great feel for the game, can defend multiple positions and has a uniquely unselfish passing game for a player of his profile. He’s the type of player that helps you win basketball games, even if his box score stats don’t blow you away. The biggest question marks about his game are his ability to score at a high level, some questionable shot selection, and his lack of elite size for his position.

Draft range: 30-50


40 BENNEDICT MATHURIN

SG, ARIZONA, FRESHMAN
Primary Attributes: shooting
Age 18.8 | 6'7" | 195

Note: Bennedict Mathurin announced he will return to Arizona for his sophomore season.

Mathurin has been under the radar for a big, athletic freshman that shot the ball well from deep (42%) and can finish at the rim. His lack of assists and midrange game (he shot 22% on 2-point jumpers) on the offensive end and steals and blocks on the defensive end is concerning. His game is pretty one-dimensional right now. But shooting comes at a premium in the NBA and Mathurin does that well.

Draft range: 30-50


41 JEREMIAH ROBINSON-EARL

F, VILLANOVA, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: Versatility, Feel for the game
Age 20.4 | 6'9" | 230

Robinson-Earl is a do-it-all forward who has the versatility and feel for the game that NBA teams crave, but his lack of elite athleticism and so-so jumper limit his ceiling. His strong play in the NCAA Tournament may be giving scouts second thoughts about ranking him so low.

Draft range: 30-50


42 DAVID JOHNSON

PG, LOUISVILLE, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: Passing, Versatility
Age 20.1 | 6'5" | 210

Johnson’s slide from potential lottery pick to bubble first-rounder is concerning. He was solid as a sophomore, improving his shooting and showing scouts that he can play more under control than he did as a freshman. Nevertheless, scouts worry that he’s more a low-usage 2 than a big point guard. He has talent, but does Johnson have the drive to capitalize on it?

Draft range: 35-50


43 TERRENCE CLARKE

W, KENTUCKY, FRESHMAN
Primary Attributes: Scorer
Age 19.6 | 6'6" | 180

Note: Terrence Clarke tragically passed away from a car accident on 4/22.

An ankle injury limited Clarke to just eight games. When he was good, as in a 22-point outing against Georgia Tech in December, Clarke looked the part of a lottery pick -- an explosive, elite player who can score in a variety of ways when the ball is in his hands. His inability to fit into Kentucky’s system raises questions, as does his 21% shooting from 3. But there’s too much raw talent here for him to slip much further.

Draft range: 35-50


44 CHARLES BASSEY

C, WESTERN KENTUCKY, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Rebounder, Shot Blocker
Age: 20.5 | 6’10” | 240

Bassey’s stock is hurt more by the demise of the traditional big man in the NBA than by his performance on the court. The athletic big man excelled on the defensive end, and his offense really came around as well. 

Draft range: 35-50


45 HERBERT JONES

W, ALABAMA, SENIOR
Primary Attributes: Defensive versatility
Age 22.5 | 6'8" | 210

Jones’ offensive numbers won’t wow you, but his impact on both ends of the floor has made him a favorite of scouts as a second-round sleeper. He is a good passer for a player his size and can defend three, maybe four positions defensively. He had a fairly high turnover rate and is a questionable scoring threat, but his versatility makes him an intriguing pick in this range.

Draft range: 35-50


46 MILES MCBRIDE

PG, WEST VIRGINIA, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: Ballhandling, defense
Age 20.6 | 6'2" | 200

McBride is an interesting prospect who showed advanced passing skills and defensive toughness as a sophomore. He shot the ball well from 3, but his penchant for taking midrange jumpers instead of getting to the rim frustrated scouts.

Draft range: 35-50


47 DAISHEN NIX

PG, G LEAGUE
Primary Attributes: Playmaking, Defense
Age 19.2 | 6'5" | 225

Nix had lottery buzz before his G League season began but saw his stock drop precipitously as scouts questioned both his conditioning and his shot. He has elite floor vision and feel for the game. The question is whether he can take advantage of his floor-general skills at the next level.

Draft range: 40-60


48 ROKO PRKAČIN

F, CROATIA
Primary Attributes: High Basketball IQ, Versatility
Age 18.4 | 6'9" | 210 | Wing span 7'0"

Prkačin continues to put up impressive numbers in Europe for a player his age. He is very skilled, has a good feel for the game and can score in multiple ways. He’s a good rebounder and a willing screener who should excel in the pick-and-roll. His so-so athleticism, an inconsistent 3-point shot, lots of turnovers and his lack of a defensive position are the red flags at the moment.

Draft range: 40-60


49 ISAIAH TODD

F/C, G LEAGUE
Primary Attributes: Shooting, Defense
Age 19.5 | 6'10" | 210

Todd was an afterthought as a potential first- or second-round prospect, but as the G League Ignite season progressed, he got better. His shooting and hustle caught the attention of scouts despite his lack of strength and defensive toughness. He’s a project, but an intriguing one for a league that loves big guys who can shoot.

Draft range: 40-60


50 QUENTIN GRIMES

SG, HOUSTON, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Shooting, defense
Age 20.9 | 6'5" | 210

Grimes shined for Houston after transferring from Kansas. He excelled  both as a 3-point shooter (with 3.3 made 3s per game) and as a versatile defender. He would be a bit undersized for a 3-and-D NBA wing, and his subpar finishing numbers at the rim and on 2-point jumpers are concerning. But a strong NCAA tournament really helped his stock.

Draft range: 40-60


51 ROKAS JOKUBAITIS

PG, LITHUANIA
Primary Attributes: Feel for the game, Shooting
Age 20 | 6'3" | 200

Jokubaitis’ super-high feel as a point guard and his ability to run a team, combined with his ability to score off the bounce and as a shooter, are appealing. His lack of ideal size and athleticism is keeping him from being a sure-fire first-rounder.

Draft range: 40-60


52 FILIP PETRUŠEV

F/C, SERBIA
Primary Attributes: Scoring, shooting
Age 20.9 | 6'11" | 225

The former Gonzaga big man (yes, the Zags could’ve been more loaded) has put up huge numbers for Mega Bemax in Serbia. He has great touch around the basket and has proven a dangerous 3-point shooter as well. He declared for the draft last year and didn’t get much traction, so how much his strong season in Serbia will boost his stock is a legit question.

Draft range: 40-60


53 LUKA GARZA

C, IOWA, SENIOR
Primary Attributes: Size, scorer
Age 22.3 | 6'11" | 265

Garza may have been the most productive college player in the country and showed incredible skill for a big man. He was a dominant scorer in the paint and added a solid perimeter shot to his game in the past couple of years. But NBA teams have concerns about how he’ll defend anyone at the next level with his below-average quickness and pop. He projects more solidly as a terrific Euroleague prospect.

Draft range: 40-60


54 DAVID DUKE

G, PROVIDENCE, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Shooting, Defense
Age 21.4 | 6'5" | 205

Duke rocketed up draft boards early in the season only to come back to earth in the second half of the season. For the first half of the season he put up big numbers offensively as both a shooter and a playmaker, but as his shot quit falling and his turnovers increased when defenses keyed on him, scouts became more pessimistic about his long-term draft stock.

Draft range: 40-60


55 MATTHEW HURT

SF, DUKE, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: Shooting
Age 20.9 | 6'9" | 235

Hurt had first-round buzz last year and was Duke’s leading scorer as a sophomore. His 3-point shot at his size is the biggest selling point. His defensive struggles and Duke’s struggles in general generated some pessimism about both his floor and his ceiling. 

Draft range: 40-60


56 JABARI WALKER

F, COLORADO, FRESHMAN
Primary Attributes: shooting, size
Age 18.7 | 6'8" | 200

Walker, the son of former NBA player Samaki Walker, had his coming-out party in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, destroying Georgetown by going 5-for-5 from 3 and leading the Buffaloes with 24 points and 2 blocks. In his next game, however, he scored zero points in 24 minutes against Florida State. That about encapsulates his draft proposition. He is a 6-foot-8, sweet-shooting forward who moves his feet well and can defend multiple positions. NBA teams love that. But he’s also painfully thin and still very much a work in progress. For a team willing to take a risk, he offers significant upside in the second round. But ideally he will return to Colorado for another year and play himself into the 2022 NBA Draft lottery.

Draft range: 45-undrafted


57 JAIME JAQUEZ JR.

W, UCLA, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: Versatility, Defense
Age 20.2 | 6'6" | 220

UCLA’s Cinderella run in the NCAA Tournament doesn’t happen without the strong play of Jaquez, who brings toughness, offensive and defensive versatility and a motor that won’t stop. He’s probably a year away from being a more serious draft candidate, but there is enough buzz for him to crack the Top 60.

Draft range: 45-undrafted


58 JUHANN BÉGARIN

SG, PARIS
Primary Attributes: Athleticism
Age 18.7 | 6'5" | 185

Bégarin’s athleticism and length are intriguing. He’s a fast-twitch athlete with both speed and leaping ability, and he has a terrific motor. His skill set, specifically his jump shot and handle, needs work, but he’s worth a second-round draft-and-stash given the upside.

Draft range: 45-undrafted


59 ARIEL HUKPORTI

C, GERMANY
Primary Attributes: Size, rebounding
Age 19 | 7'0" | 251

Hukporti is still very much a blank canvas as a big, fairly mobile big man that is still figuring out his game in Europe. But his defensive abilities intrigue scouts who see a big man who might be able to guard both the paint and the perimeter at the next level.

Draft range: 45-undrafted


60 KEYONTAE JOHNSON

F, FLORIDA, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Athleticism
Age 21.8 | 6'5" | 231

Consider this a placeholder for Johnson at the moment. He looked like a sure-fire first-rounder until he collapsed on the floor during Florida’s fourth game of the season. Whether he will be cleared medically or whether he’ll even declare for the draft remains to be seen, but on talent, he’s an easy choice in this range.

Draft range: 45-undrafted


NEXT FIVE IN ...


61 ISAIAH LIVERS

SF, MICHIGAN, SENIOR
Primary Attributes: Shooting
Age 22.7 | 6'7" | 230

Draft range: 45-undrafted


62 AARON HENRY

SG, MICHIGAN STATE, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Defense, ball handling
Age 21.6 | 6'6" | 210

Draft range: 45-undrafted


63 JOE WIESKAMP

W, IOWA, JUNIOR
Primary Attributes: Shooting
Age 21.6 | 6'6" | 212

Draft range: 45-undrafted


64 SANTI ALDAMA

C, LOYOLA, MARYLAND, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: Scoring, shot blocking
Age 20.2 | 6'11" | 215

Draft range: 45-undrafted


65 JUSTIN CHAMPAGNIE

F, PITTSBURG, SOPHOMORE
Primary Attributes: Versatility, rebounding
Age 19.7 | 6'7" | 180

Draft range: 45-undrafted