Which NBA players did 27 of the top 2022 NBA Draft prospects compare to?



CHICAGO — Player rosters are a worn-out way to make sense of the draft. They create easy-to-digest heuristics for teams and fans to understand what and who they’re watching.

This type of framework goes well beyond online speculation. During last week’s NBA Draft Combine, one of the most common questions asked of these players, they said, was about their comparisons to the NBA.

This can be an insightful question. It reveals how players feel about themselves and their game, how realistic they may or may not be, and also who they think NBA teams are liking right now.

Last week, Athleticism asked quite a few prospects about the NBA roster they use for themselves when pitching teams on themselves during the interview process. Their responses are below.

Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis

Comp: Devin Booker

Why: “I like the way he scores the ball. He is a three-level scorer.

Kentucky Guard TyTy Washington

Comp: D’Angelo Russell, Tyrese Maxey and Jamal Murray

Why: Russell for his pace and sense of the game; Maxey because he keeps his game simple; Murray because he plays with pick-and-rolls.

Milwaukee forward Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Comp: Michael Porter Jr.

Why: “You never want to limit yourself, above all. But there are guys that you watch the movie and take advantage of. I know a popular name around me is Michael Porter. So it is a popular name in circles. I think it’s a good start. But you still want to build the roof and keep progressing and improving every year.

Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite keeper

Comp: Tyrese Haliburton in attack, Lonzo Ball or Alex Caruso in defense

Why: “It’s hard for me because I have such a unique game.” Daniels said he hopes to move into a Luka Dončić-type role.

Nebraska guard Bryce McGowens

Comp: Zach LaVine and Devin Booker

Why: “Their ability to get in their place and score at all three levels. Use their athleticism. They are just talented players.

Malaki Branham Ohio State Wing

Comp: He watches Caris LeVert and Khris Middleton

Why: Branham cites that they have the same constitution and says he is a three-tier scorer, like them.

LSU forward Tari Eason

Comp: He uses Herb Jones, Saddiq Bey and Jerami Grant as comps now, while Kawhi Leonard is his cap.

Baylor striker Kendall Brown

Comp: Scottie Barnes’ Sharp Mold

Why: “Any point forward in the league. Two players. Players like Scottie Barnes and Kawhi Leonard. I can be one of the best two-way players, so that’s what I see myself as.

Blake Wesley, Guardian of Notre Dame

Comp: Jordan Poole

Why: “The way he comes in and plays his part.”

G League Ignite winger MarJon Beauchamp

Comp: Mikal Bridges and Matisse Thybulle in defense; he told the Pacers he viewed Paul George as his offensive potential.

Ohio State forward EJ Liddell

Comp: Parts of PJ Tucker, Grant Williams, Paul Millsap and Draymond Green.

Why: Guys like PJ Tucker, Grant Williams, Paul Millsap, Draymond. I would take pieces of their game, offensively and defensively. Like Draymond being able to pass and the heart that all these guys bring on the defensive end.

North Carolina State Guard Terquavion Smith

Comp: Tyrese Maxey and Jordan Poole

Why: “They’re fasting and they’re shooting 3 balls well.”

Toledo Goalie Ryan Rollins

Comp: CJ McCollum, Devin Booker, Jordan Poole

Why: “Combined guards who can create for themselves and others.”

Kansas fullback Christian Braun

Comp: Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks.

Why: “The personality that Dillon Brooks brings to the Grizzlies. I would say some of that is a good mockup on my part. He’s a 3-D guy willing to hold multiple positions. He’s just a guy with a lot of energy, a lot of passion and tenacity. He has a chip on his shoulder that I think will bring to a team. So he’s someone I would compare myself to and I think he does a lot of similar things to me.

Auburn Walker Kessler Center

Comp: Rudy Gobert in defense, Brook Lopez in attack

Why: “I cover the pick-and-roll better. I move my feet faster.

Memphis striker Josh Minott

Comp: A mix between Mikal Bridges and Derrick Jones Jr.

Why: “At the same time exceptional defense; one sportier than the other. But like Mikal Bridges style of play in terms of knowing good reads, creating transitions and knocking down the open 3 and so not a liability on many switches. Something like that, and I feel like I’m pretty versatile defensively. And the weak side, just helping defense and transition, like a Derrick Jones Jr. He could definitely have more athleticism than me. But I say somewhere up there, you know.

Center Arkansas Jaylin Williams

Comp: Parts of Al Horford, Draymond Green, Bam Adebayo and Nikola Jokić

Why: “I use a mix of players. Al Horford, I feel like a big guy who I look a lot like. I like to say Draymond for his leadership, his defense. I would like to say Bam, the way he can lead the attack. He can lead the attack from above. I like to say Jokić simply because he can pass the ball; he can do things like that.

Fort Erie Prep forward Leonard Miller

Comp: Kevin Durant

Why: “Especially someone like Kevin Durant. Because he does things on the pitch that I feel like I can do. I strive to be better and better every day and perfect them. You know, I can prove a lot in these areas and sharpen them.

UCLA Peyton Watson Wing

Comp: Mikal Bridges

Why: “A player that I kind of did a lot of film studies on and a player that I think I can look like is a Mikal Bridges-type defender. Most definitely, I feel like I can fill that role for an NBA team, and I’m just focused on maximizing my talent and being the best player I really can be. A lot of people say I’m one of the biggest mysteries in this year’s draft, but I can’t wait to start playing and show what I can do on both sides of the court.

Elite striker Dom Barlow

Composer: Pascal Siakam

Why: “We have similar organizations. I think I have a high engine as well, much like him. I tried to influence the game in different ways. And we sort of moved the same way, like very similar body type and movement type. So excited to choose his brain.

Florida State forward John Butler Jr.

Comp: Cam Johnson, Chris Boucher, Jonathan Isaac

Why: “I really like how these players made an impact early on and just found a role.”

G League Ignite striker Michael Foster Jr.

Comp: Bobby Portis, PJ Tucker

Why: “The niche I like to choose is like a Bobby Portis, PJ Tucker role. Stuff like that – just a 3-D guy. Because I understand rookie rolls. They don’t need me to go out and score. They need me to be aggressive, attack the rebounds offensively and defensively. Just bring the energy and be a presence.

Wake Forest guard Alondes Williams

Comp: Jrue Holiday, but he saw a lot of LeBron James growing up and modeled his game on James.

Why: “I’m a first-pass keeper and I’m a bigger keeper…I like to pass the ball first and score at will when I want to. He’s always done that, so I looked at that.

Rutgers winger Ron Harper Jr.

Comp: PJ Tucker

Why: “I use PJ Tucker. Specifically him because he just impacts winning in such a drastic way. Every time someone talks about PJ Tucker it’s “Oh, this guy is a winner”. It helps to win. And I kind of want people to say the same about me. People will say I’m a winner. I contribute to winning. I fit into any role. Any role you need me to play, I’ll go out there and do it. I just want to win.”

Gonzaga Goalkeeper Andrew Nembhard

Comp: Tyus Jones

Why: “I think he’s someone I can emulate early in my career as a secondary point guard. He just wins games. Has a high assist-to-spin ratio. He is solid.

Seton Hall Jared Rhoden Wing

Comp: Mikal Bridges

Why: “(He) could just use his versatility both defensively and attackingly. Just using its length. I’m someone who uses my length and angles just to affect the game, whether it’s fighting defensively past smaller guards or being able to light up in the modern NBA, guard four men, to keep three bigger ones. Offensively, keeping the game simple. Whether it’s just laying the ball down, quick offensive rebounds, throwbacks, catches, shooting 3s, playing closeouts and just, you know, keeping the game really simple like Mikal does Bridges.

Louisiana Tech forward Kenneth Lofton Jr.

Comp: Nikola Jokic

Why: “Although I say I’m a different person, because some people have one or two things that are limited, and I feel like I have a whole book of things that I can pull out and show the teams. NBA… We have a similar situation Game Can shoot, can dribble, can post, pretty much everything I do I feel like I have a little more rebound than Jokić, but you know, I feel like we play the same way.


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(Photo by MarJon Beauchamp, Jaden Hardy and Dyson Daniels: Emilee Chinn/NBAE via Getty Images)