More than six dozen draft-eligible prospects in the 2023 class flocked to Chicago last week for the annualwhere players could test, measure and compete in front of NBA personnel. The Combine as usual left us with little movement at the top – top prospect Victor Wembanyama did not show as his season plays out in France, and other top talents like Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson did not participate – but there was still plenty to be gleaned from a week of action.
And so today we'll do our best to break it all down. Who is rising? Who is falling? How does the draft landscape look now that the draft order is set and the draft field is starting to take shape? The early entry withdrawal deadline looms large on the last day of this month, but things are starting to crystalize as we close in on the draft in just under one month.
Below is the latest top 10 prospect rankings followed by notable risers and fallers after last week's combine.
|2||Scoot Henderson||G League Ignite||-||PG||6-2|
|3||Amen Thompson||Overtime Elite||-||SF||6-6|
|6||Ausar Thompson||Overtime Elite||-||SF||6-6|
O-Max Prosper, Marquette
- Big Board rank: 27
- Previous rank: 56
There's an argument to be made that Prosper was the biggest beneficiary from combine week. He tested well and played well – so well, in fact, that he shut it down after the first day of scrimmages, presumably because he helped himself so much. Prosper had 21 points and seven rebounds in his lone scrimmage appearance and affected the game with energy and effort while showcasing an improved handle and versatility on both ends of the floor. His athleticism and length has long been alluring, but his polish really opened eyes in Chicago.
Amari Bailey, UCLA
- Big Board rank: 13
- Previous rank: 25
The first few minutes of scrimmage action for Bailey was borderline disastrous at the combine – he looked out of his depth finishing at the rim and as a decision-maker – before flipping a switch and making the most of his time in competitive action. Bailey in particular looked an asset as a playmaker and passer, something we rarely saw from him at UCLA as he primarily played off the ball. He piqued team's interest with his ability to create on offense, delivering dimes via no-looks, one-handed darts and everything in between.
Brandin Podziemski, Santa Clara
- Big Board rank: 20
- Previous rank: 41
A former four-star recruit who floated somewhat off the radar after a one-and-done season at Illinois before a transfer to Santa Clara, Podziemski was a buzzy name at the combine. Coming off a season in which he shared Co-WCC Player of the Year honors with Gonzaga's Drew Timme, "Podz" looked comfortable as a Manu Ginobili-clone in scrimmages with his smooth left-handed stroke and two-way ability. There were questions about his projection to the NBA coming into the week,particularly with his athleticism, but he tested well with a 39.0 inch max vertical jump and seemed to answer questions on that front in a big way.
Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite
- Big Board rank: 3
- Previous rank: 6
This is a bit of a reset here at the top of the board. I've been high on Cam Whitmore throughout the process in anticipation he may rise as the draft approaches, consistently ranking him inside the top five ahead of Amen Thompson,but input from talent evaluators has poured some cold water on that belief. The feeling I got in talking with NBA people is that in a head-to-head, Thompson's prospects are seen more highly than Whitmore's overall and that he could reasonably be in the same discussion along with Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson as the most exciting non-Wemby prospect in the class.
Dariq Whitehead, Duke
- Big Board rank: 30
- Previous rank: 18
As a product of numerous players on the rise and concerns about Whitehead's medicals after requiring a follow-up surgery for a foot injury suffered last year, he's on the slide here in the latest rankings. In some ways, there's actually some comfort in knowing that Whitehead – who was inconsistent at Duke – may not have been 100% during his one-and-done season in Durham. But there's still generally some unease about a flashy athlete with crazy bounce having to undergo two foot surgeries in the span of less than a year.
Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois
- Big Board rank: 45
- Previous rank: 42
Shannon is at his best when the offense is flowing through him and he is in attack mode. That was not the situation he put himself in at the combine. Instead, he floated in and out of being involved, and frequently disappeared in stretches, failing to make an impact when he wasn't on the ball and facilitating. There's a growing belief that Shannon returns to school, and it's easy to see why another season in college might do him well as he prepares for the NBA.