Top 10 prospects to watch under 22
- By Jron Macgale & The Commissioner, Day 1, 2020
#1 Darius Barry, Huskies F
WT: 220 lbs
2019 Stats: 15.4 PPG/6.5 RPG/3.7 APG/2.29 SPG/1.59 BPG
The top pick of the 2019 JBL Draft has shown promise and establishing his status as Toronto Huskies alpha dog. Known to be a do-it-all wing that is capable to play all 5 positions if needed be, DB7 has been living up to his lofty expectations. Coming into the league as one of the most hyped #1s in recent memory, not only did he win Rookie of the Year, he did it mostly playing out of position as a small ball power forward. He did struggle with his shot on occasion like most rookies do (15.4 PPG on 40% FG, 33% 3 FG and 74% FT), but this was more due to shouldering a lot of the offensive load rather than simply poor shot selection. The 6'9" wing has shown potential on the defensive end as well with (2.29 SPG/1.59 BPG). The former Tar Heel can be so much more, and now entering his sophomore year, he is ready to take the leap. Watch him lead the pack to JBL relevancy this upcoming season.
#2 Taquan Slattery, Devils PF
WT: 238 lbs
2019 Stats: 18.1 PPG/9.4 RPG/2.1 APG/1.21 SPG/2.25 BPG
The Devils have been reaping what they sow when they drafted Slattery straight from HS to the pros back in 2017. He is a bruising forward that has all the makings of a scoring inside presence. The Atlanta native has been picture perfect for the re-modeling Devils as he has been showing consistency in scoring (18.1 PPG on 46% FG), and although there was a slight drop on his scoring and rebounding from 2018 to last season (from 19 PPG to 18.1 PPG and 11.8 RPG to 9.4 RPG) there are no signs of him slowing down. Overshadowed somewhat by scoring phenom Orpheus Swayda, it is only a matter of time until he proves he is a franchise player. The most scary thing about 'Quan? He is just 20 years old and he already been in the league for 3 years.
#3 Reggie Goodwin, Rockets G/F
WT: 200 lbs
2019 Stats: 17.7 PPG/5.7 RPG/5.1 APG/1.78 SPG/1.52 BPG
Reggie Goodwin is a special player, if only by physical tools: Goodwin is the lengthiest player in the league when taking height into consideration, with a wingspan of 8 inches (7'4) above his height (6'8). The kid has unique size for his position and has all the tools to be a star in this league. He went on and tested the free agency market but eventually re-signed with the Rockets for another shot at the title. Goodwin's wingspan enables him to be a defensive asset (1.78 SPG/1.52 BPG) as well as an effective scorer (17.7 PPG on 42% FG and 39% 3PT FG), although right now he is still a off screen catch and shoot guy, and needs a better handle to really be able to dominate on the offensive end. Last year was a testament on how good this kid can be. Goodwin will definitely be a key cog in the Rockets championship hopes.
#4 Ainsley Tucker, Thunder PF
WT: 235 lbs
2019 Stats: 14.8 PPG/8.2 RPG/2.5 APG/1.13 SPG/2.96 BPG
Tucker is a commanding defensive presence (2.96 BPG) at only 22 years old. Drafted by the Kansas City Knights back in 2018 (#4 overall), Tucker was traded to the Thunder the same year in the trade that sent Curtis Price to the Knights. The Kentucky alum has not only shown defensive skills, but his offense is coming along nicely (14.8 PPG last season). He struggles with consistency, especially his shooting percentage, but on any given night he is a potential double-double producer. He will be a vital part of Seattle Thunder's future. There's no question as to Tucker's ceiling.
#5 Mark Hunter, Skyhawks C/PF
WT: 220 lbs
2019 Stats: 8.5 PPG/5.1 RPG/1.6 APG/0.39 SPG/1.27 BPG
The time is now Skyhawks: the trial period is over, get this kid some more playing time and see what he can do! Son of the best center in JBL history, Dale Hunter, Mark has displayed flashes of brilliance already in his short career. He has an array of post moves that dazzle, and can shoot the jumper almost better than his dad. Defensively he can still get pushed around at only 220lbs, but at 6'11" and 7'4" wingspan the defensive set up is there (1.27 BPG on just 16.5 MPG). As soon as he packs more muscle on, he will be able to start and play a full game and will become a stronger asset inside. This season will be a good test for him, but it is expected the Skyhawks can bank on this kid's improvement. A rare combination of length, skill and basketball IQ, Mark Hunter will be a name dominating the JBL for years to come.
#6 Quinton Rice, Jaguars SG
WT: 188 lbs
2019 Stats: 12.5 PPG/1.9 RPG/1.7 APG/1.77 SPG/0.29 BPG
At just 18 years of age, Quinton Rice has already begun to wow the JBL crowd. A flashy athlete who uses incredible quickness, a devastating first-step and an even filthier driving ability, he has all the makings of a serial slasher in the league. He is, however, skinny as a kid coming out of high school kid can be. If he bulks at least 15-20 lbs - look out. His scoring numbers is impressive but inconsistent (12.5 PPG on 38% FG), but he has no fear when it comes to shooting -- he knocked down 110 treys at a 39% clip. Of course, being so young he still needs to know where and when to shoot. He is already a solid contributor and looks to continue that in 2020 on the new look MXC Jags.
#7 Rasheem Fisher, Vultures PG
WT: 180 lbs
2019 Stats: 11.7 PPG/2.4 RPG/9.1 APG/1.96 SPG/0.27 BPG
Fish has shown flashes of brilliance in his young career. He is already is one of the best ball handlers and facilitators in the league at just 21 years old (9.1 APG vs 1.48 TOV), which is scarily efficient for a player of his age. He is already coming along the path of the likes of Christian Vickery or Mark Robertson in terms of game comparison and seems destined to average a double-double in the near future. He is even efficient shooting the basketball (44% FG and knocking down 128 treys), Fish makes smart decisions about when and where to shoot. Defensively he is already solid, swiping 1.96 steals last year. The Vults are in good hands with Fish running the point, and he promises to be the franchise leader from this moment forward.
#8 Jermaine Wade, Hurricanes G
WT: 180 lbs
2019 Stats: 16.2 PPG/2.2 RPG/2.6 APG/2.71 SPG/0.39 BPG
The very definition of undersized, at 5'11" Jermaine Wade is possibly the smallest scoring guard in the JBL. Don't let the diminutive stature fool you, though, he is one of the deadliest scorers in the league with his almost superhuman speed and quickness. He drives to the basket without fear, and if you give him space he will pull up from anywhere (39% 3PT FG on 152 makes). His scoring ability was on show in 2019 (16.2 PPG, 43% FG, 89% FT). Not the greatest defender but because of his quickness he can get in position for steals (2.71 SPG), but he also commits more turnovers than assists (3.13 TOV vs 2.6 APG). Despite these failings, the Hurricanes have something in Wade and the more opportunities he gets, the more he will continue to impress.
#9 Roy Ellington, Devils PF
WT: 240 lbs
2019 Stats: 5.7 PPG/4.0 RPG/1.3 APG/0.61 SPG/0.88 BPG
The Devils has no shortage of young PF with high ceiling, while he looks (size-wise) and plays the same as Taquan Slattery, Roy Ellington's game is a bit different as he is known to be a combo forward because this kid has a reliable perimeter range. At 6'10", Ellington's potential to be an all-around scorer is there. He wasn't able to showcase it during his rookie year as the Devils are committed in 'Quan at the 4 (and Swayda takes up most of the game at 3), but he showed flashes when given the opportunity (scored career-high 25 pts vs Hurricanes). This is a good problem to have for the Devils, but the challenge for Atlanta is to be able to fully utilise these weapons. Ellington may find himself dangled as trade bait - alternatively, there could be a small ball Slattery-Ellington-Swayda lineup coming your way soon.
#10 Antonio Vega, Jaguars F/G
WT: 228 lbs
2019 Stats: 6.7 PPG/4.1 RPG/2.6 APG/1.07 SPG/0.93 BPG
The Spaniard has been drafted and traded in his rookie year (that comes in the territory when you were drafted by the Las Vegas Scorpions GM). Although Vega wasn't part of the final Scorpions team that won the title, he is however a part of the youth renaissance in Mexico City joining his teammate SG Quinton Rice in the rising stars list. Vega's numbers seem unimpressive at first glance, but he did show enough potential to be a great all-around player. Gifted with a unique size for a wing (6'9", 7'2" wingspan and 228 lbs) he is almost the same size-wise as the #1 in this list, Darius Barry of Toronto. Offensively, he showed enough to be a reliable finisher with his athleticism and explosiveness, and his size gives his defensive potential a boost. Once he can consistently knocks them jumpers, he'll be a headache to the opposition. Right now, he relies on his raw tools, but given the time and chance he will feature a wing tandem with Rice that will be hard to stop due to their physical abilities. The Spaniard will demand attention when he is on the court because when he gets hot, it's "El Fuego" in Mexico City.