NBA Scouts Break Down Williamson, Barrett & Others At Champions Classic

INDIANAPOLIS — More than 70 NBA personnel were on hand at the Champions Classic on Tuesday to take in the next generation of lottery picks and future NBA players.

After No. 1 Kansas held off No. 10 Michigan State and No. 4 Duke manhandled No. 2 Kentucky, I spoke with two veteran NBA scouts to break down the top prospects.

Below is what they said. For some perspective, I spoke to an NBA Scouting Director after Duke and Kentucky played their exhibition games in August.

R.J. Barrett, Freshman G/F, Duke

Scout No. 1: "He'll end up being the best player in this draft. Versatile. Can score in three different ways. He can make the three-pointer. He can get to the basket. He can shoot the mid-range. He's got great positional size. Most dangerous in the open floor. If he were to come out, I think he's the best all-around talent this year."

Scout No. 2: "Born to score the ball. Great driver. Tremendous getting to the line. Always finishes. He's definitely one of the top picks without a doubt."



Zion Williamson, Freshman F, Duke

Scout No. 1: "Powerful, athletic. I would just say based on [Tuesday] night, that's the hardest I've seen him play on both ends of the floor. He's got a quick first step and he's just powerful. He's too powerful for these college guys. I don't know how any college team is going to guard him one-on-one."

Scout No. 2: "Spectacular talent. No. 1 fan favorite. Great dunker, great explosion. Quick off his feet. Great strength. Surprisingly good passer. He's a great basketball player. He showed that [Tuesday] night against some outstanding athletes."



Check out FloHoops' archived interview with Williamson here.

Cam Reddish, Freshman G/F, Duke

Scout No. 1: "Really, really talented. Skilled. Can handle the ball, he can be a secondary ball-handler. Shoots the three easy. Can put the ball on the floor. Willing passer. I think the biggest concern with him is does his motor run on every possession for every game? He seems to take plays off."

Scout No. 2: "Very good player overshadowed by the other two guys who are off the charts. Good athlete. Without a doubt one of the top freshmen in the country."

Tre Jones, Freshman PG, Duke

Scout No. 1: "Solid college guard. He keeps them organized. A vocal leader. He needs to become a more consistent jump shooter."

Scout No. 2: "Coach on the floor. Makes no mistakes. Gets the ball rights where it belongs every time. He plays like a 32-year-old veteran."

Quentin Grimes, Freshman G, Kansas

Scout No. 1: "He shot it well [Tuesday] night. Prototypical two guard. Has a good body. Shoots the three easy. Has to work on his mid-range game. I thought defensively he competed. He's certainly one of the top two guards in the country for sure."

Scout No. 2: "Great debut. Texas Player of the Year. Shot lights out. Handled it, passed the ball very well. He's an NBA combo guard."



Dedric Lawson, R-Jr. F, Kansas

Scout No. 1: "No lift, non-athlete. Didn't like the fact that he doesn't want to defend. He's got a good college game, I just don't know if that translates to the NBA. He's not an NBA athlete. He's got to become more of a threat facing the basket. His lack of explosiveness and lack of intensity at the defensive end was disappointing."

Keldon Johnson, Freshman F, Kentucky

Scout No. 1: "Good athlete. A little bit of a disappointment in the sense that his lack of maturity showed up [Tuesday] night. Seemed to kind of quit at the end of the game, wasn't going his way. He's a driver, he's got to become a more consistent perimeter jump-shooter. I know he made the first three, but his other misses weren't good at all."

Scout No. 2: "Quick release. Gets into the lane at will. Really finishes in the lane. Great energy. Might be the Wildcats' best player."

P.J. Washington, Sophomore F, Kentucky

Scout No. 1: "He's got a chance. I thought he disappeared. He should've impacted the game when he was out there and he really didn't. I thought he was reluctant to go in there and attack the basket because he's a good athlete."

Scout No. 2: "We gotta wait and see. Kentucky had a bad night, obviously. Part of the bad night was they played Duke who was absolutely spectacular."

Reid Travis, Grad F, Kentucky

Scout No. 1: "He's a nice player. His lack of athleticism really showed up [Tuesday] night. Too many finishes below the rim."

Don't forget you can catch a ton of Division I action right here on FloHoops, including Big Ten, the Paradise Jam, and much more.


Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who runs ZAGSBLOG.com and contributes to The New York Times. Follow Adam on Twitter.

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