The top 30 NBA draft prospects based on stats and scouting — and why No. 1 might surprise you

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

Does Thursday’s NBA draft (8 p.m. ET on ESPN and ABC) grade out as well statistically as in the evaluation of league scouts?

Not by my projections, which combine statistical projections based on player performance in college or other professional leagues with how players rank in our top 100 prospects. By those measures, there’s no prospect in this year’s draft who rates as strong combined as LaMelo Ball did last season and Rookie of the Year runners-up Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton also rated ahead of this year’s highly touted top four prospects.

Still, this looks like a solid lottery with four players who rank in the top 10 of my stats-only projections and in our top 10 — typically a recipe for a strong career — plus a handful of others who narrowly miss out in one category or the other. For more on how my projections work and past examples, see here.

Otherwise, let’s break down this year’s top 30 and a couple of notable omissions.

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