Big Board V.1 Round Table Reactions
The No Ceilings crew discusses the results of the first 2022 NBA Draft Big Board. First up, a look at the players ranked 15th-30th.
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the NBA Draft jury.
In case you missed out on the fun yesterday, the No Ceilings crew officially released the first 2022 NBA Draft Big Board. Each of the members of our team was given a homework assignment to put together their “Top 30.” From there, we averaged out all of the rankings and put together one composite list for all of you.
But that wasn’t enough. Each of us wanted an opportunity to share some thoughts about the results. Today is where each of us get the chance to express how we really felt about the final count. Listed below is five questions that gave our family of NBA Draft evaluators the freedom to vent their honest opinion about how everything played out. Today’s installment will focus on players that were ranked 15th to 30th on the Big Board. Tomorrow is going to be focusing on the juicy part of the NBA Draft…the lottery.
Let’s take a look at what our team has to say.
1. Who Are You Higher On Compared to the 2022 Composite Big Board? (15-30)
Alex (Draft Film School): I had Nikola Jović 3 spots higher on my personal board (13). I’m not necessarily surprised he is lower on the composite board given his struggles so far this year. I still buy him as a versatile forward who can do a lot of intriguing things at his size.
Nathan Grubel: I’m the only person on our staff who had Harrison Ingram in their top 30, slotting him in at 22. The 6’9” Stanford freshman has flashed versatility as a playmaker, shooter and sound defender on the wing and against bigger forwards. I don’t LOVE him as a prospect, but he has the foundation of a first-round pick.
Albert Ghim: I had Ty Ty Washington 6 spots higher on my board. I think by the end of the college basketball season he will be higher than 17th on the Big Board. There’s too much to like with him as a scorer/play maker and I truly believe he’s only going to get better.
Tyler Rucker: I actually called out everyone over a zoom call about the fact that no one had Arizona big man Christian Koloko in their Top 30. This means I’m going to war. Although it’s so difficult to make a Big Board early in the year (I hate it with a passion), I definitely think that Koloko should find himself in the conversation as a first-round selection. Personally, I had him at 29 and I think NBA teams are going to be excited about the 7’1” big man. He’s averaging 15, 7, and 3.5 blocks folks. Come on, join me.
Corey Tulaba: Jaime Jaquez Jr landed at 25 on the composite big board, but I have him at 14 on my personal board. The UCLA junior wing may not have the flashy tools some of his younger counterparts bring to the table, but the dude plays a winning brand of basketball with a versatile floor game that I think is bound to thrive in the league.
Evan Wheeler: I was a bit surprised to see JD Davison come in at 21 on our big board, especially given his recent performance against Gonzaga. I view him as a borderline top ten talent at this point and think the flashes he’s shown this season at Alabama so far have been some of the most exhilarating of any prospect in the class. In a draft that looks full of quality point guards, Davison might end up having the biggest upside of the bunch.
Tyler Metcalf: It wasn’t by a ton, but Johnny Davis looks like the guy I was highest on compared to consensus. I loved the flashes that Davis showed last season as a freshman, but given the reserved nature of Wisconsin Badger basketball (it really is one of the worst things), Davis was rarely allowed to play through his mistakes. This season, though, Davis is coming out throwing haymakers. Even if Davis tails off a little bit in his production I would expect him to remain a first rounder. If he continues at this level, though, my ranking could very quickly get irresponsible.
Nick Agar-Johnson: Ochai Agbaji ended up at #23 on our Composite Big Board, and having him that low is totally reasonable given how inconsistent he’s been over the course of his college career. That being said, I think that he has taken really positive strides this year in terms of his consistency; when you throw in his elite defensive capabilities on top of that, I think that he might manage to sneak his way into the lottery by the end of the season.
2. Who Are You LOWER On Compared to the 2022 Composite Big Board?
Alex (Draft Film School): Jaime Jaquez is the guy I am lowest on in the 15-30 range of the Composite Big Board. I didn't have him in my top 30 mainly because I am concerned with him being an undersized forward who I don’t think can play on the wing at the next level.
Nathan Grubel: Jabari Walker snuck into our first composite top 30, whereas I didn’t have him that high on the first edition of my board. He certainly opened my eyes a little when he put up 22 points and 11 rebounds last week against UCLA, but his inconsistencies as a shooter have kept him outside the conversation for me at the moment. Although, his defensive versatility has kept his stock steady and could vault him onto my board next time around.
Albert Ghim: Bryce McGowens is a guy that I need to watch more of. I definitely like his game but I’d like to see more before I move him into the top 20. I want to see him grow as a shooter before I can move him up my board.
Tyler Rucker: You know I get the idea and excitement when it comes to St.John’s Julian Champagnie, but I don’t know if I see him sneaking into the first round when Draft day comes around. Champagnie can shoot it, there’s no doubt about that, but I think it’s going to be a bar fight with some of the depth in this class to get into the end of the first.
Corey Tulaba: I’m a little bit lower of Nikola Jovic than most appear to be. He’s struggled this season, but I think he was a little overrated coming into the year. He’s had impressive flashes, but I’m not sure if those flashes burn bright enough consistently to have him as a borderline lotto guy at this point.
Evan Wheeler: I haven’t really bought into the Peyton Watson preseason hype yet and am still struggling to see how the current version of what he is as a player warrants any sort of real discussion about him being a top ten talent in this draft. His shooting still needs a massive amount of work and unlike some of the other vaunted freshman in this class, Watson really has looked to me like he’s been playing catch up for most of the season early on.
Tyler Metcalf: Jaime Jaquez. He’s a nice player, but I can’t envision spending a first round pick on him. I’ve grown to appreciate what he does on the floor more than I used to, but I’m still not 100% sure who he is in the NBA.
Nick Agar-Johnson: Who is Bryce McGowens again? (That joke was for exactly seven people). In all seriousness, I’m not as big of a McGowens believer as the rest of the No Ceilings crew. He’s currently #19 on the Big Board and has certainly put together a more impressive season than some other first-year college players, but I’m worried about how inefficient he’s been this year (especially from three-point range); at this point, I’m not fully convinced that he’s a guaranteed first-round pick.
3. What is the biggest surprise in your opinion with the Composite Board ?
Alex (Draft Film School): I was surprised TyTy Washington didn’t make the lottery. I had him right around where the collective did but I felt like I was lower on him. He has been solid after a rough first game this year.
Nathan Grubel: I’m shocked that I’m one of two on the staff who had Julian Strawther as a top 30 guy this go-round, leaving him off the composite board. The 6’7” sophomore wing for Gonzaga has been one of the most efficient shooters in the country by multiple Synergy metrics, and looks like a pro in the way he moves without the basketball and sets up his shots. I’m pretty confident he’ll be on the consensus board soon.
Albert Ghim: I was surprised that we collectively still had A J Griffin in the top 10. I’m really proud of our team. Griffin just needs time, he’s going to be awesome. I was afraid he would drop into this bracket. I was also pleasantly surprised and happy to see Jonny Davis in the top 30 as well, I think there’s a real chance that he could move up a ton before the draft.
Tyler Rucker: You know I thought I was going to be a bit crazy when I moved UCLA freshman Peyton Watson to 16th on my personal board, but it appears that I wasn’t alone with my thinking. If I wasn’t still such a believer of Watson’s talent, I could easily see someone moving him further down the line. The shooting really is going to be the thing that I need to see come around. I’m still a believer, but I’m watching nervously in the background while shoveling popcorn into my face.
Corey Tulaba: The biggest surprise was Peyton Watson falling to 18. The gang held the line on pre-season blue chip guys like AJ Griffin and Caleb Houstan that have had early season struggles. I personally still have Watson top 10 but I get the fear in taking a raw erratic shooter. Watson stock is a hold for me. I still think he’s bound to have some HOLY FUCK moments for a really good UCLA team.
Evan Wheeler: As I said above, I definitely was surprised to see Davison come in outside of the top 20, but I’m also with Albert here. I really didn’t expect to see AJ Griffin in the top ten and am happy our team as a collective hasn’t sold our stock on him. I’m also delighted to see Trevor Keels come in at 15, a clear testament to the sort of blazing start he’s off to this season for the Blue Devils.
Tyler Metcalf: Ochai Agbaji being so high surprised me. Not because I don’t like him, but because I’m so used to the internet hating on him for the past few seasons. Agbaji landed about where I had him ranked, but expected him to be lower based on the general skepticism thrown at him despite him showing legitimate and meaningful improvements every season.
Nick Agar-Johnson: I’ll give a two-part answer here: I was surprised that TyTy Washington ended up at #17, and maybe even more surprised that JD Davison ended up at #21 (even though I’m admittedly lower on him than many others). Given the importance of lead guards in the modern NBA–not to mention that some of us believe that Davison might end up being the best point guard in this class–I would have expected at least one of the two of them to crack the lottery.
4. Who missed out and has the chance to play their way into the Top 30?
Alex (Draft Film School): Hyunjung Lee should make the Top 30 next time around. He is already one of the best shooters in the class with legit size so as he continues to show a more well rounded game I think he will make it on the next Composite Big Board. He was 30 on my personal board. Honorable mention to Terrence Shannon Jr who I had a first round grade on last year if he stayed in.
Nathan Grubel: Terrence Shannon Jr. has a real chance to play his way onto the composite board. He’s not a primary offensive option by any means, but he can make reads in the halfcourt, get to the rim and knock down open jumpers. Shannon is also one of the best defensive wings in the country and rebounds incredibly well for his 6’6” size.
Albert Ghim: I should be saying Hyunjung Lee since I did submit papers to adopt him, but I’m going to go with Julian Strawther. I think by the end of the season people are going to see him as an NBA wing who can shoot the hell out of the ball and defend multiple positions. Teams like guys who can do that. I also think Hyunjung Lee is going to be taken in the 20’s when it’s all said and done. I’m speaking it into existence.
Tyler Rucker: I mean, I’ll be the guy that says it...Wendell Moore Jr. I am in complete awe about how drastically different the Duke wing has looked this year. After coming into the college basketball world two years ago with some serious hype, this has finally been the year that Moore has looked like the player we all wanted. He’s been sensational so far and I think it’s only a matter of time before NBA teams start to buy their stock back. He’s absolutely got the chance to be a player who sneaks up into the end of the first round.
Corey Tulaba: Marcus Sasser is a guy who needs to be on the list if he keeps up his early season play. He’s been shooting the leather off the ball, both off the bounce and off the catch. He’s been a terror on the defensive end, currently sporting a steal percentage of 5.0%. He’s kind of flying under the radar a bit, but if he keeps having these big scoring outputs he’ll generate some buzz sooner rather than later.
Evan Wheeler: Michael Devoe is a first round talent to me and if he keeps filling it up like he did against Georgia and Wisconsin, I think he easily could find his way into a top 30 ranking on our composite big board at some point this season. As long as he continues to show consistency as a playmaker and improvement on the defensive end of the floor, I feel it’s going to be hard to deny him a spot in the first round.
Tyler Metcalf: Lee is the fan favorite it looks like, closely followed by Strawther. I’m going to go a different direction with Brandon Slater. I adored Slater’s energetic defense last season, but his offense was rough on the eyes. This year, though, Slater has been incredible on offense with better efficiency on significantly higher volume. It seems too good to be true, but if it continues it wouldn’t surprise me if he starts getting some first round love. I won’t ruin the surprise of his offensive improvement, but do yourself a favor and check out the leap his offensive production has taken.
Nick Agar-Johnson: Hyunjung Lee will have every chance to play his way into the Top 30 next time around. He’s got legitimate forward size at 6’7” and he has a good argument for being the best shooter in this class. That might be enough right there, but he’s also been an elite finisher so far this year as Albert and Tyler recently discussed. I’m admittedly a big believer in Lee, but I would be stunned if he doesn’t crack the Top 30 sooner rather than later.
5. Who could potentially fall out of the Top 30?
Alex (Draft Film School): Ousmane Dieng isn’t a guy that I necessarily think will drop out of the Top 30, but his first NBL game was not ideal. He had a few nice passes but outside of that he was not very impactful. The NBL is a very physical league which can be tough for teenagers to play in so if he continues to struggle I can see people drop him in their rankings.
Nathan Grubel: I’m not sold on Julian Champagnie as a first-round pick. I’m going after the low hanging fruit here given he came in at 30, but his defensive concerns coupled with poor dribbling give him limitations on both ends. He’s a 6’8” shooter who can rebound, but is that enough to keep him inside the top 30?
Albert Ghim: Dyson Daniels might lose some shine to Scoot Henderson and Jaden Hardy. Will be an interesting situation to monitor. Think he should be in the top 30, but the lack of shine/opportunity could hurt him.
Tyler Rucker: I already hinted about Champagnie so let’s try to go another route here...I’ll probably draw some beef with the No Ceilings crew but Jaime Jaquez could be that guy. I love the way he plays and if he does fall out of the Top 30 he’d immediately become a “sleeper watch” candidate. There’s always some upperclassmen that seem to slip in the draft, Jaquez could be the victim of that annoying tradition.
Corey Tulaba: As a lifelong St.John’s fan, it pains me that I have to go with Champagnie. He’s borderline as is and it feels like guys like Hyunjung Lee, Taran Armstrong, Roko Prkacin, and Christian Koloko could all replace him and nobody would bat an eye.
Evan Wheeler: I don’t mean to pick on him, but I’m going to answer Peyton Watson again for this question as well. I just haven’t seen the special flashes myself yet, but I’m eagerly hoping and looking forward to being proven wrong but I currently have Watson outside of my own top 30. If he continues to play the way he has early on for the Bruins throughout the rest of the season, I don’t know much longer we can keep ranking him as an elite talent.
Tyler Metcalf: Jaime Jaquez. He’s a nice player and I enjoy all the gritty little things he does on the court, but I’m not going to spend a first round pick on that type of player. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jaquez has a role in the NBA, but to give a first round grade to a guy I don’t see having a ton of upside feels like a stretch.
Nick Agar-Johnson: Julian Champagnie. I’ve never been much of a Champagnie believer, and he’s already at #30 on the Big Board so it feels a bit cheap to list him here, but I haven’t ever seen him as a first-round guy so I would be a bit surprised if he remains in the Top 30 for the rest of the season.