It’s been a busy past week or so at my day job, covering the Chicago Bulls, so please excuse the tardiness, but after watching the first two days of the adidas Unrivaled camp in Chicago before flying out to Vegas for a couple days at Summer League, I evaluated some of the players at the event. By no means should this be considered a complete list of who excelled—especially since I didn’t see the final two days and the likes of Ray Smith, one of the nation’s top prospects, was injured early on—but here are 20 players who stood out to me:
Deng Adel, 6-7 rising senior wing, Victory Rock (FL)
A smooth swingman from Australia via South Sudan, Adel’s combination of length, size for his position, ballhandling ability, perimeter shooting, quick feet and solid athleticism makes him not only a high-upside talent for the future, but one who can produce in a variety of ways right now.
Tony Bradley, 6-9 rising junior post, Bartow (FL)
Bradley is a young big man with a nice frame for his age, the ability to run the floor, a rugged demeanor on the interior, a soft shooting touch, rebounding prowess and developing post moves.
Jaylen Brown, 6-7 rising senior wing, Wheeler (GA)
Regarded as one of the consensus top wing prospects in the nation, Brown’s explosiveness, particularly as a freight train in the open court, is what sets him apart, but when the solidly built Atlanta-area native’s outside shot is falling and he’s playing with a sense of urgency, he can dominate games as both a scorer and all-around force.
Malik Crowfield, 6-4 rising junior combo guard, Riverside (LA)
A lead guard with a sweet shooting stroke, Crowfield is a smooth operator in pick-and-roll scenarios and a willing distributor with good size for a floor general, though he’s also capable of playing off the ball and knocking down jumpers.
De’Ron Davis, 6-9 rising junior post, Overland (CO)
Davis is a strong big man with ball skills that belie his size, big-time rebounding ability, decisive post moves, deceptive athleticism, excellent hands, solid footwork and a dominant presence on the interior.
Jerome Derosiers, 6-6 rising sophomore wing, Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
A young Canadian, Derosiers, a swingman with good size, played with a maturity beyond his class, slashing to the basket with fearlessness, competing on the defensive end, maximizing his touches to make plays and finishing with explosiveness in transition.
Eron Gordon, 6-3 rising junior combo guard, North Central (IN)
Similar to his older brother, Pelicans scorer Eric—somehow, he already looks older facially—the latest Gordon brother has an aggressive, shoot-first mentality, but Eron is more if the on-the-ball type, a relentless driver with an overpowering frame for a guard, a tough finisher and decent playmaker, as well as a hard-nosed defender.
Jaire Grayer, 6-5 rising senior wing, Flint Southwestern (MI)
The son of former NBA player Jeff Grayer is a versatile, jack-of-all-trades perimeter operator, who thrives on getting to the basket, whether in half-court situations or in transitions, has the ability to function as a playmaker and secondary ballhandler, is a capable finisher at the rim and can guard multiple positions on the defensive end.
Brandon Ingram, 6-8 rising senior wing, Kinston (NC)
While the Jerry Stackhouse protégé has drawn Kevin Durant comparisons because of his frame, talent and scoring ability from all three levels on the court, Ingram’s versatility evokes memories of a young Tayshaun Prince, as his smooth, patient style of play, ability to score with his back to the basket despite being rail thin, natural unselfishness, the length to be a presence on defense and the glass, understated approach and high ceiling are better suited to be more of an all-around threat than a designated scorer.
Loren Jackson, 5-7 rising junior point guard, Victory Rock (FL)
Tiny, but never shying away from the moment like the coach’s son that he is—his father, who has the same name, was a renowned coach in Chicago and now coaches his son and a handful of other players listed here—Jackson runs the show with polish, plays within his limitations, possesses a pass-first nature and can score when called upon.
Damontrae Jefferson, 5-8 rising senior point guard, Believe Prep (SC)
The Milwaukee native is one of the most exciting talents in the prep ranks, lighting up the scoreboard at every opportunity from both long range and on improbable drives to the basket, but the diminutive Jefferson can also be a game-changer on defense, has a high basketball IQ and more competitiveness and heart than his opponents every time he steps on the court.
Mayan Kiir, 6-8 rising sophomore, combo forward Victory Rock (FL)
While Kiir isn’t yet a consistent scoring presence, he has plenty of time to develop that mentality and certainly has the tools to do, given his size, athleticism and ball skills, but his bread and butter is as a versatile defender, active rebounder, transition finisher, surprisingly polished passer and broken-play scorer, with the quickness, length, feel for the game and motor to impact contests without plays being run for him.
TJ Leaf, 6-9 rising sophomore combo forward, El Cajon (CA)
Leaf, a San Diego native, backed up his reputation as one of the nation’s top players in his class, playing as a face-up big man on offense and torching defenders from long range and with his ball skills, but also taking advantage of favorable matchups in the post and when forced to guard traditional post players, competing on the block.
Jalon Miller, 6-7 rising senior combo forward, Seagoville (TX)
A product of LaMarcus Aldridge’s alma mater, Miller is a clever, skilled inside-out threat, who can knock down mid-range jumpers and long-range shots, has the physical nature and length to put in work on the boards, the ball skills and playmaking instincts to play out of the high post or wing and an overall solid understanding of the game.
Rashard Odomes, 6-5 rising senior wing, Copperas Cove (TX)
A bouncy, high-energy athlete with a versatile game, Odomes is a slasher and transition threat with playmaking skills, the ability to defend multiple positions and simply a knack for making plays, particularly in the open court.
Payton Pritchard, 6-1 rising junior point guard, West Linn (OR)
A tough, dynamic floor general, Pritchard has the ability to function as a scorer, utilizing his quickness off the dribble and perimeter shooting, or as a distributor, pushing the ball in transition or getting into the lane to find teammates in half-court situations.
Maverick Rowan, 6-6 rising junior wing, Lincoln Park (PA)
An early Pitt commit, Rowan is a shooter with size, but more than a one-dimensional player, as he can also make plays for others, drive and finish, use his height to score over smaller defenders in the paint and contribute on the glass.
Kobi Simmons, 6-4 rising junior wing, St. Francis (GA)
A live-wire athlete, Simmons makes plays above the rim on both ends of the floor, but truly shines as a finisher on the break and when attacking the rim in half-court situations, though he also has the ability to function as a secondary ballhandler, crash the boards from the perimeter and knock down outside jumpers.
Joshua Stamps, 6-4 rising senior wing, Curie (IL)
Stamps, a classic under-the-radar Chicago scorer, made his presence felt in his hometown, finding a comfort level and after getting into rhythm, getting buckets in transition, off the dribble and from deep, showing that he’s more than just a local star.
Solomon Young, 6-6 rising senior post, Sacramento (CA)
An undersized big man, Young’s wingspan, chiseled frame and physical approach make up for his lack of height, as he finishes strong at the rim, tries to dominate the boards, protects the rim, bodies up bigger players on defense and runs the floor for easy offense.