“I Choose You (Part II)”: Underrated NBA Draft Prospects

demetrius j
The 2016 Draft Class is deeper than you think. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA Draft is less than 24 hours away. But outside of the Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram‘s of the world, who are the notable players poised to make noise later on in the draft?

We’ve got you covered. Sticking on a roster (& earning a valuable role) is an extremely difficult task, especially as a late first-second rounder. So we will be completely honest about our projections here.

That said, there are plenty of sleepers who can come in and make an impact right away. But to avoid confusion, we’ve developed a key “stamps” for you to follow:


Star UnderDOG aka “Draymond Green stamp” = unheralded star who was heavily slept on during the draft process

UnderDOG aka “DeMarre Carroll stamp” = future NBA role player

FRINGE aka James Jones stamp” = should stick around the NBA for many years

SLG aka “Brian Roberts stamp” = Summer League Guy who has the chance to make a roster in training camp

DL aka “Renaldo Major stamp” = long-term D-Leaguer

FF aka “Keith Langford stamp” = Frequent Flyer; career overseas

D&S (draft and stash) aka “Nikola Mirotic award” = International player who likely won’t come over immediately

Each player below will have a few short notes summarizing their game along with a short-term career projection. These are some of our favorite late first-second round prospects in the field. Enjoy!

“Future UnderDOGs?”



Andrew Andrews (G, Senior, Washington)- Scored almost at will in college but isn’t an elite shooter or defender at the next level (FF)

Zach Auguste (PF-C, Senior, Notre Dame)- Bruising big but has a decent touch on the interior; needs to standout in SL games (SLG, FF)

Ron Baker (G, Senior, Wichita State)- Experienced guard with good playmaking instincts; can he defend well enough to earn minutes?; second round prospect  (FRINGE)

Anthony “Cat” Barber (PG, Junior, NC State)- Lightning-quick guard who can get into the lane and cause trouble; a bit unseasoned but could surprise whoever gives him a shot (SLG, FRINGE)

Joel Bolomboy (PF, Senior, Weber State)- Crazy athlete and insatiable rebounder; flying way under the radar but is one of the bigger steals later on (UnderDOG)

Malcolm Brogdon (SG, Senior, Virginia)- Coach’s dream who can create a”3&D” role for himself; can he overcome a lack of explosiveness? (FRINGE, UnderDOG)

Robert Carter (PF, Junior, Maryland)- Solid NBA body but hasn’t shown enough of an outside touch to thrive in the league; a bit of a tweener (FRINGE, FF)

Isaia Cordinier (SG, France)- Raw, athletic shooting guard who can hit shots; might not come over right away but has upside as a second-round prospect (D&S)

Petr Cornelie (PF, France)- Decent athlete who’s active around the rim; not much of an outside game, skinny frame…the next Brandan Wright?  (FRINGE, SLG)

Isaiah Cousins (G, Senior, Oklahoma)- Turned into a better shooter and scorer after staying at Oklahoma; smart, can find the open man; should find a place in the Association (UnderDOG)

“Rise & Grind”



Perry Ellis (PF, Senior, Kansas)- 10-year senior w/ tremendous experience; high basketball IQ w/ good work ethic aka the perfect “slipped through the cracks” bench guy (FRINGE)

AJ English (G, Senior, Iona)- Pure scorer who’s undersized at 6’3; can he a become a Gary Neal-esque talent? (SLG, DL)

Kay Felder (PG, Senior, Oakland)- Looks to follow in the footsteps of Isaiah Thomas as a playmaking PG; size is a concern (5’9) but Felder can fill it up (UnderDOG)

Yogi Ferrell (PG, Senior, Indiana)- Shooting up some draft boards after great workouts; cerebral but will need to prove himself in Summer League play (SLG, FRINGE)

Michael Gbinije (SG-SF, Senior, Syracuse)- Jack of all trades but is a solid shooter & defender; a bit underrated (FRINGE)

Brannen Greene (SG, Junior, Kansas)- Struggled to find a role in Bill Self’s offense but teams can always use a shooter; likely undrafted – HAS to have big games in Summer League (SLG, FF, FRINGE)

Daniel Hamilton (SG-SF, Sophomore, UConn)- Good-sized wing with skill; needs to get stronger to play on the perimeter; younger brother of Jordan Hamilton (FRINGE, DL)

AJ Hammons (C, Senior, Purdue)- Massive center but is he too slow to play in the league?; should stick around as a stopgap paint presence (FRINGE)

Tyler Harris (F, Senior, Auburn)- Can space the floor but does not have a true position in the NBA; could become a role player down the line; younger brother of Tobias Harris (DL)

Prince Ibeh (C, Senior, Texas)- Great size (6’11, 265) & athleticism for a center; underrated – could stick if someone’s willing to be patient (FRINGE, DL)

“Not Just Happy To Be Here”



Demetrius Jackson (PG, Junior, Notre Dame)- Dynamic guard with a real chance to become a special player int he league; only 6’1 but Jackson is a great leaper & competes hard; if he develops better PG skills, you’re looking at a mid-late (1st) round steal (Star UnderDOG)

Julian Jacobs (G, Junior, USC)- Jacobs has NBA-level athleticism and works very hard on defense; scoring and shooting are concerns but a Ronnie Price-like career makes a ton of sense (FRINGE)

Brice Johnson (PF, Senior, UNC)- Double-double MACHINE at UNC – put up monster numbers v. impressive competition; can step in and play right away, especially if his midrange game is on point  (Star UnderDOG)

Derrick Jones Jr. (SG-SF, Freshman, UNLV)- Stupid athlete but did not hone his skills during a shortened season at UNLV; has a long way to go before making an impact in the pros (DL, FF)

Jake Layman (F, Senior, Maryland)- Could settle into a role as a shooter off the bench; needs to become a tougher defender and play with a bit more fire  (FRINGE)

Damion Lee (SG, Senior, Louisville)- Can really put the ball in the basket but has proven to be more streaky than consistent; will have to work extremely hard as a second round prospect (FRINGE, FF)

Caris LeVert (SG-SF, Senior, Michigan)- When he’s healthy, Caris is an exciting shooting guard with shake; can create for himself and others; needs to adds strength but projects as a solid wing threat (FRINGE, UnderDOG)

Georges Niang (F, Senior, Iowa State)-  No one thinks Niang is a true NBA prospect but he has a way of putting doubters to rest; could make his niche as a Boris Diaw-like playmaker if everything goes right (FRINGE)

Chinanu Onuaku (PF, Sophomore, Louisville)- Young (19), great size (6’10) and athletic – fights hard on the glass; very undervalued in this process for some reason; NBA UnderDOG status is on the horizon (UnderDOG)

Chris Obekpa (F, Junior, UNLV)- Shot-blocking prospect but is questionable given his advanced age (22) and lack of polish; Summer League is gonna make or break Obekpa’s upcoming season (FRINGE, DL)

Marcus Paige (PG, Senior, UNC)- Paige knows how win but doesn’t have the “pyshical tools” to succeed in the league…*blah blah blah*; is an NBA player due to his shot-making ability, poise and toughness (FRINGE, UnderDOG)

“Let My Game Do The Talking”



Georgios Papagiannis (C, Greece)- Gargantuan 7’2 center with some intrigue; can he adjust to NBA-level speed?  (FF)

Gary Payton II (PG, Senior, Oregon State)- The son of Hall of Famer Gary Payton, GP2 is a defensive bulldog and change of pace guard; will be a solid backup for years to come  (UnderDOG)

Marshall Plumlee (C, Senior, Duke)- Very tough with NBA bloodlines; can make a niche for himself as a rebounder and hustle man (FRINGE)

Tim Quarterman (G, Junior, LSU)- Left school early; decent shooter but needs to bulk up and develop better shot selection; unfinished product w/ good size (FRINGE)

Wayne Selden (SG, Junior, Kansas)- Hard-nosed scrapper who competes defensively; NBA-body without many NBA skills; a huge sleeper if the 3 ball is faling (FRINGE)

Pascal Siakim (F, Sophomore, New Mexico State)- Athletic forward with upside as a defender and shot-blocker; raw tools to become a key contributor down the line (FRINGE)

Rasheed Sulaimon (SG, Senior, Maryland)- Underachieved in school but is looking for more responsibility at the next level; can score but tough hill to climb as an undersized guard (FF)

Isaiah Taylor (PG, Junior, Texas)- Crafty ball-handler but is too slight (around 175 right now) to become an NBA regular (FF)

Devin Thomas (F, Senior, Wake Forest)- Doesn’t really fit with the modern game but is tough-minded and could sneak into a role following a strong Summer League performance (SLG)

“Don’t Forget About Us”



Tyler Ulis (PG, Sophomore, Kentucky)- Speedy, yet undersized floor general; incredible passer & playmaker who’ll carve out a nice backup role; fierce competitor  (Star UnderDOG) 

Jarrod Uthoff (F, Senior, Iowa)- The rare shot-blocking stretch four, Uthoff can become a huge steal in the second round; needs to put on weight (UnderDOG)

Tyrone Wallace (G, Senior, Cal)- Solid shooter and scorer at Cal; injury prone; needs a better jumper to stick in the league  (FF)

James Webb (F, Junior, Boise State)- Bouncy forward with solid defensive instincts; room to grow but has to bring energy to earn a spot (FF)

Isaiah Whitehead (G, Sophomore, Seton Hall)- Starred as a playmaker & scorer at Seton Hall – good leader, fearless; undersized two who must knock down shots off the bench  (UnderDOG)

Kyle Wiltjer (PF, Senior, Gonzaga)- Stretch four who has a chance to become a specialist in the league (FRINGE)

Guerschon Yabusele (PF, France)- Big-bodied, athletic forward with potential; undersized but plays hard  (D&S)

Rade Zagorac (SG-SF, Serbia)- Raw scoring ability to become an everday, NBA wing; needs more seasoning but has promise (D&S)

Paul Zipser (SF, Germany)- Hard-working forward with a strong outside game; loves competing on defense and mixing it up with bigger players; underrated  (UnderDOG)


Anyone not mentioned? Let us know in the comments or hit us on Twitter (@dofgamesports)!


-Jabari J.

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