Draft Prospects on the Rise

Kobe Bufkin – Michigan

I think Bufkin has the ability to turn into a 1st round pick by the time the draft rolls around. He’s got all the tools you want in a young guard – shooting, athleticism, ball handling, hustle and energy, etc. If you watch Bufkin play you see flashes of a former Michigan guard in Jordan Poole, as Bufkin plays with a smoothness and swagger that radiates to his teammates. The 19 year old sophomore is putting up 12 PPG/4 RPG/3 APG and the stroke is coming along where you can envision a strong shooter. If I were an NBA team I would strongly consider Bufkin in the latter half of the 1st round.

Jordan Miller – Miami (FL)

Ideal 3&D wing that impacts the game in every way. Miller is playing on an exciting Miami team that runs with pace and energy. At 15 PPG/6 RPG/3 APG/1.5 SPG, Jordan Miller is everywhere on the court – whether it be active hands on defense, bringing the ball up the court, or spotting up with his smooth stroke. Miller’s 54/36/81 shooting splits are intriguing for a do-it-all wing that knows how to play within the flow of an offense. Even though Miller is 23 years old, I see an NBA player that gets picked up in the 2nd round or turns into an undrafted steal.

Rayan Rupert – New Zealand Breakers

All the pieces are there for Rupert to become a stud wing player in the NBA. 6’7″ and 7’3″ wingspan has scouts drooling over what the 18 year old French native can become. Rupert is currently playing in the NBL in Australia which has some top-notch competition that has helped in the development of the youngster. Even though Rupert isn’t putting up the sexiest numbers (6.6 PPG/2.5 RPG/1 APG), you can see flashes of big time production with his length, athleticism, and developing shooting stroke that can turn Rupert into an ELITE 3&D wing. I hope that Rupert is drafted by a team that is willing to take a slow development with him as he’ll have an adjustment period in the transition to NBA hoops.

Colby Jones – Xavier

When I watch Colby Jones play I just think about how solid he is and how you know what you’re gonna get each and every night. Jones is a Josh Hart clone as he is a 6’6″ 210 and built like a truck, can shoot the 3 at a high clip (42%), and rebound and facilitate (5 RPG and 5 APG) at an elite level for a wing. He has his fingerprints all over the game at Xavier and the Musketeers can count on him to score at least 15 points a night and provide support at every level of the game. Jones is a solid 1st round pick, and his efficiency and translatable skillset might have teams valuing him as a must-have selection.

Brandin Podziemski – Santa Clara

A huge riser on most boards right now, Podziemski has been killing it at Santa Clara this year. He’s playing like a superstar in the West Coast Conference averaging 18 PPG/8 RPG/3 APG on elite efficiency of 46/42/80 shooting splits. No matter the level of competition, those numbers will have the attention of NBA front offices. There will definitely be a growing period once he arrives at the next level, but the shooting will translate and Podziemski has the athleticism to hold his own. Podziemski would be great value in the front half of the 2nd round, and I would expect teams to be thrilled with the opportunity of developing a young sniper.


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