The Elite 25 - The Top 25 Prospects in High School Basketball - NBA Draft Room

The Elite 25 – The Top 25 Prospects in High School Basketball

This Elite 25 list was first published on Patreon. Updated 11/8/20

Chet Holmgren. Credit 247 Sports
  1. Emoni Bates – 6-8 – SF – Ypsilanti, MI – HSjr. — Emoni has been seen as the top guy for at least a year now. He’s a scoring fiend with a lethal offensive game and the type of competitive fire that makes the great ones great. Emoni is a shot-maker who has a deadly accurate outside shot, which in turn sets up his dribble drive game. His 3pt shooting ability alone makes him a future NBA player but when combined with his wide arsenal of offensive moves and his drive to be great we’re looking at a future NBA superstar.
  2. Chet Holmgren 7-0 – C – Minneapolis, MN – HSsr. — Chet is a unique player, tall, skinny, quick and highly talented with the ball. He’s an absolute force as a shot blocker at the high school level thanks to his length, quick leaping ability and great timing. He does a great job of staying on his feet and not falling for pump fakes and he surprises with his quickness off the ground. On the offensive end he’s got uncanny handles for a young 7-footer, playing more like a wing than a big. He’s got a sweet 3pt stroke and is a true unicorn. He needs to add a lot of muscle and strength and if he does he’ll be on his way to NBA stardom.
  3. Jaden Hardy – 6-5 – SG – Henderson, NV – HSsr. — Hardy is a scoring machine who can fill it up against anyone at anytime. He’s got too much size and quickness for most guards to handle. He can get to the rim, dominate from mid range and get streaky-hot from downtown. This guy can score in bunches and has unlimited range. Flashes James Harden-like ability.
  4. Elijah Fisher – 6-7 – PG/SG/SF – Toronto, Canada – HSso. — Fisher is a superstar sophomore with an elite physical profile, a dedication to the game and a chance to develop into a generational talent. He’s got absolutely insane upside thanks to his freakishly mature body/size/strength and skill level. He can really do it all, from guarding in the post, playing the passing lanes, running the point or shouldering the scoring load. He’s in a loaded sophomore class with Bronny James, D.J. Wagner, Mikey Williams and many other talents but at this point he stands tall above the rest. He’s got a 6-10 wingspan and at 6-7 he’s spending more time at the point guard position, which just gives him even more value.
  5. Paolo Banchero 6-10 – PF – Seattle, WA (Duke) – HSsr. — Paolo is a burly, powerful and skilled player who is much more than just a post up big. He’s got handles and the ability to create off the dribble and a developing 3pt shot. His unique combination of brute strength and finesse make him nearly unguardable. He reminds me of a combination of a young Bam Adebayo and Nikola Jokic, lofty comparisons to be sure but based off of what he’s shown us so far the high praise is well deserved.
  6. D.J. Wagner – 6-3 – SG – Camden, NJ – HSso. — The son of Dajuan, D.J. is a flat out scorer. He’s got a level of polish that you normally don’t see in such young players, showing great handles, shooting ability and a mid range game. He’s on a trajectory that could make him at least as good, if not a better player than his old man. This could be too low for D.J.
  7. Patrick Baldwin Jr – 6-10 – SF/PF – Sussex, WI – HSsr. — A scoring savant with a feathery jumper, Baldwin has great size and a sweet release. He’s got a great feel for getting his shot and it’s very hard to block thanks to his size and high release. He reminds me a bit of a young Mike Dunleavy Jr. with that lethal outside shot and tall, wiry frame.
  8. Jalen Duran – 6-10 – C – Montverde – HSjr. — Jalen Duran was born with an NBA body. He’s a chiseled 6-10 athlete with broad shoulders, strong arms and good leaping ability. He might be higher on this list but for the fact that the modern game values shooting and ball skills over rebounding, shot blocking and interior play but Duran should be able to develop and expand his game over the coming seasons. At the very least he’ll be a force in the paint, like a modern day Dwight Howard. He recently transferred to Montverde where he’ll get to showcase his talents alongside plenty of elite talent, including a few names on this list.
  9. Daimion Collins – 6-9 – PF – Atlanta, TX (Kentucky) – HSsr. – A breathtaking 6-9 athlete with elite length and truly special above the rim ability and shot blocking prowess. He’s skinny but has a frame that can add weight. He’ll be a household name soon enough and look for the Anthony Davis comparisons to pour in.
  10. Jabari Smith – 6-8 – SF – Tyron, GA (Auburn) – HSsr. — A big combo forward with a great frame who can handle the ball and score from outside or operate in the mid range. Has lots of length and seems to still be growing and adding to his frame. Isn’t the most explosive/quick twitch guy but makes up for it with size, smarts and great skill level. He’s one of the more polished offensive talents on this list.
  11. Caleb Houstan – 6-8 – SF – Montverde (Michigan) –  HSsr. — Houstan is a big wing with a sweet shooting stroke and the confidence to let it fly. He’s got all the physical tools to excel at the highest level of basketball and he’s got the one thing that is most desired in the modern game, a deadly 3pt shot. Houstan emerged as a sophomore on a loaded Montverde team and will look to take the next step this coming season (has reclassed to become a senior) and become more of a focal point of the offense. His areas of improvement will be creating offense off the dribble and tightening up his handles, and I fully expect him to make those improvements and showcase his complete game this coming season.
  12. Adrian Griffin Jr. – 6-6 – SF – Duke commit – HSsr. — Griffin is a powerhouse of an athlete who is already built like Jimmy Butler and might be more explosive. He’s an above the rim, highlight reel player who also has a well rounded game and great basketball I.Q. (thanks in part to his dad, a former NBA player). Griffin is lethal from mid range and a very capable 3pt shooter. His current trajectory is as a one and done top 5 pick and lands him the top 5 on this list.
  13. Brandon Miller – 6-6 – SF – Antioch, TN – HSjr. — Miller is a big guard/wing with a sweet shooting stroke and a scorer’s mentality. He really knows how to get his shot and can score the ball going either way with pull-up jumpers, or taking it all the way to the rim. He’s got a really nice release and great form on his shot. Already 6-6 and growing, Miller fits into the Paul George mold, as a big scoring wing. 
  14. Amari Bailey – 6-5 – SG – Sierra Canyon – HSjr. — Bailey is a complete package, able to play on or off the ball and really brings great energy and intensity on the defensive end. He’s an above the rim player with a quick first step and great finishing ability. He should emerge as a go-to player this year, now that Brandon Boston and Ziaire Williams are off to college.
  15. Sadraque Nganga – 6-10 – SF/PF – Phoenix, AZ (Angola) – HSjr. — Nganga doesn’t get a ton of press but he’s a player I’m super intrigued with. He’s built in the Pascal Siakam mold, a mobile big forward who can handle the ball in the open court, make plays off the bounce and is a great finisher. His first step and overall quickness at 6-10 is impressive and he’s showing the ability to step out and hit the 3. He’s a menace on the defensive end and an elite transition player.
  16. Dior Johnson – 6-2 – PG – Saugerties, NY – HSjr. — Dior has the ball on a string and can get wherever he wants on the court. He’s equally adept at scoring or finding teammates. Dior recently transferred to powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, making a loaded squad even more dangerous. 
  17. Skyy Clark – 6-2 – PG – Los Angeles (Kentucky) – HSjr. – A pure talent with a great feel for the game, elite ball handling ability and a scorers mentality. Has a lot of strength, can play above the rim and is in complete control with the ball in his hands. Could re-class and join Kentucky a year early.
  18. Mikey Williams – 6-2 – PG/SG – San Diego, CA – HSso – — Mikey is a bonafide stud. A scoring machine with ridiculous above the rim ability for a young guard. He plays with a supreme level of confidence and swagger and seems to know he’s the best player whenever he steps on the court. If he can add a few more inches to his frame he’ll rise even higher on this list and on future draft boards.
  19. Adem Bona – 6-9 – PF – Prolific Prep (Turkey/Nigeria) HSjr. – Bona comes to the US, taking his prolific talents to Prolific Prep. He’s a top-end athlete with great speed, agility, strength and I very high motor.
  20. Keyonte George – 6-5 – SG – Lewisville, TX – HSjr. — When it’s all said and done this may be way too low for Keyonte George who is making huge improvements in his game and has grown into a powerful and explosive guard.
  21. Mike Foster – 6-9 – PF – Milwaukee, WI – HSsr. – Big, nimble and talented with the ball, Foster can fill it up with his NBA level scoring ability. He combines power and quickness, making him really tough to defend. Seems to be leaning towards the G League route.
  22. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – 6-9 – PF – IMG – HSjr. — A powerful and skilled forward who is built in the Julius Randle mold and seems to have a similar trajectory. Has a really soft touch from mid range. Rebounds the ball well and changes ends in a hurry. 
  23. Bronny James Jr. – 6-2 – G – Sierra Canyon – HSso. — Only a rising sophomore, Bronny seems destined for greatness. Some of this projection is assuming he’ll grow a few more inches and get closer to his dad’s height but even if he stays in the 6-3, 6-4 range he’s got a very bright future. Bronny shoots the ball very well, sees the floor and understands the game at a high level, has a lot of natural strength with a solid frame and obviously has the best training in the world. What’s just as impressive is how he handles all the hype and celebrity status at such a young age. He’ll be the most watched player in high school ball this coming season and you can expect to see him take some major strides with his game. The world will be watching closely to see how his talents and his frame/height develop.
  24. Chris Livingston – 6-5 – SG – Akron, OH – HSjr. — Livingston is an athletic freak with truly explosive above the rim ability. He’s strong, bouncy and fast and plays with an edge. His temper can run a bit hot but if he gets that under control and learns to channel it, it’ll serve him well. He’s got the tools to be great and flashes NBA level shot making ability.
  25. Jarace Walker – 6-6 – SF – IMG – HSjr. — Walker is a big and powerful wing with broad shoulders and a thick frame. He’s a bouncy athlete and exceptional power dunker (think Miles Bridges) and is also developing his all around offensive game. He’s got nice shooting form and the ability to hit the 3, and should get more consistent with his outside shooting over the next few seasons. He plays on a loaded IMG team so doesn’t have the spotlight to himself but this does allow him to show off his passing and unselfish play. We’ll see over the next few years if he develops into an alpha dog and takes the next step to stardom.
  26. Dariq Whitehead – 6-5 – SF – Montverde – Hsjr. — Dariq really flashes on the court and looks the part of a future NBA player. He’s got great above the rim athleticism and a strong, wiry frame. A capable outside shooter who plays within himself. Does a little bit of everything on the court and has the makings of an elite glue-guy at the next level.

Honorable Mention

  • Jaden Bradley – 6-2 – PG – Concord, NC (IMG) – HSjr.
  • Payton Watson – 6-9 – SF – Long Beach, CA (UCLA) – HSsr.
  • Mark Mitchell – 6-8 – PF – Shawnee Mission, KS – HSjr.
  • Nolan Hickman – 6-2 – PG – Kentucky commit – HSsr.
  • J.D. Davison – 6-2 – PG – Alabama commit – HSsr.
  • Dereck Lively – 7-0 – C – Westtown, PA – HSjr.
  • Hunter Sallis – 6-4 – PG – Omaha, NE
  • Harrison Ingram – 6-6 – SG/SF – Dallas, TX (Stanford) – HSsr.
  • Moussa Diabate – 6-9 – SF/PF – IMG (France) – HSsr.