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The NBA Draft Room Elite 25 rankings are a list of the top 25 NBA prospects in high school basketball, including Canada. This list excludes players who have signed with the G League, Overtime Elite or other pro leagues (an upcoming Patreon post will be looking at the pro league prospects). There’s also a quick update on Bronny James and Mikey Williams.
With about two months to go until the start of the high school basketball season, it’s time to get to know the elite high school talents:
- Shaedon Sharpe – SG – Kentucky (Canada) – HSsr. – Sharpe has vaulted up the rankings over the past year, going from barely a top 50 player in his class to potentially the top player in all of high school basketball. The Kentucky commit is a big time power-guard who is a high-flying athlete with great body control and dunking ability. He’s an explosive driver who has the strength to finish through contact and is creative in the air, showing off that great body control and hang time. Entering his senior season at Dream City Christian in Arizona the 6-5 Canadian is set to become a national name and is ready to show why he’s ranked no.1 in his class by multiple recruiting sites. Sharpe is a complete player with elite athletic tools and all the talent to be a NBA star. He’s currently mocked no. 3 overall in 2023 behind Victor Wembanyama and Emoni Bates. He could challenge for the no.2 spot and possibly no.1, if Wembanyama has any set-backs. He’s not the most hyped recruit we’ve seen over the years but he’s an elite talent. Honestly, there’s not a clear cut no.1 player for this list (Jalen Duran would have been no.1, had he not reclassified) but Sharpe is a big time talent who edges out the no.2 prospect Wagner.
- D.J. Wagner – PG/SG – Camden, NJ – HSjr. – Wagner takes the no.2 spot on the Elite 25 list heading into his junior high school season at Camden High. The son of former NBA player Dajuan Wagner, DJ is an elite scorer with an effortless ability to put the ball in the basket. He’s got a great feel for the game and an advanced skill-set on the offensive end. At 6-3 he’s undersized by NBA 2-guard standards but has enough play-making ability to run some point and such a good feel for the game and for scoring the ball that he’ll fit into any offense. If he was 6-5 he’d be no.1 on this list but the lack of size is enough to knock him down one spot. Shooters and scorers of his caliber come along only so often and he seems destined to be a big time bucket-getter at the NBA level.
- Koa Peat – SF/PF – Gilbert, AZ – HSfr. – Koa Peat is a name you need to know. The younger brother of NFL offensive lineman Andrus Peat, Koa is a 6-8 powerhouse of a forward with a silky smooth game. He’s got an offensive package that is beyond his years and he looks almost pro ready, even as a high school freshman. He’s a big-bodied forward with wing skills, good length and obvious natural talent. Under current rules Koa won’t be eligible until the 2026 NBA Draft so we’ve got plenty of time to see him develop and for the country to take notice and get to know his name. My expectations are sky high for Koa. He looks like a natural on the court. He might not ever be a big time run/jump athlete but with his size and talent it won’t matter. He’s an elite level prospect with a game that in some ways reminds of a young Carmelo.
- Dereck Lively II – C – Duke (Bellefonte, PA) – HSsr. – The newest member of the 2022 Duke recruiting class, Lively is a bouncy 7-0 center who is a freak athlete and great above the rim player and dunker. He’s got good coordination for his size and gets off the ground in a hurry. His offensive package consists of dunks and a nice looking perimeter shot, which he’s starting to take and make with more consistency. He’s not an elite back to the basket post scorer but that’s not really a skill that’s valued in the modern NBA. Lively sees the floor well for a big and has a good feel for the game, showing a good ability to pass out of double teams and find teammates with some surprisingly slick passes. He might not be a superstar prospect or first option on offense but he’s got elite tools to be an impact defender, great rim runner and potential floor spacer. Big men prospects are tough to judge and there could be some boom or bust potential with him. Still the tools and the talent are enough to land him in the top 5 on this list.
- Keyonte George – SG – Baylor (Lewisville, TX) – HSsr. – George is a big-bodied guard who loves to get downhill and attack the basket and is a load to handle once he gets up a head of steam. He’s got creative handles, is always in attack mode and is wired to score the ball. At a burly 6-5 and almost certainly over 200lbs he’s got the size and strength to hold is own at the highest levels of play. While he might not have elite quickness he moves really well for his size and definitely looks the part of a NBA player on the court. George is heading to Baylor (guard university) next season and will likely be a one and done lottery pick for the Bears. He’s got a game that is well-tailored to the modern NBA.
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