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Green headlines list of shooting guards in NBA draft


Jalen Green is one of the top shooting guards in next week’s NBA draft

For release Friday 23 July

For release Friday 23 July

For release Friday 23 July

Jalen Greene bypassed college to jump on her professional career. The next step comes in Thursday’s NBA draft.

Green is one of the shooting guards in this year’s draft and is set to be a top four pick. He leads a position that includes a pair of top prospects in Tennessee’s Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson, as well as Connecticut’s James Bookknight.

Here’s a look at the top prospects:

Jalen Green

The 19-year-old Green entered the G League from high school and made strong numbers.

Concerns: Like many youngsters in this draft, he’ll need to add some bulk to his 178-pound frame to be strong enough to handle physical play on the periphery. He will also need to cut down on the mistakes that led him to nearly as many turnovers (40) as assist (42).

Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer

Five-star recruits of volunteers are first round odds, with Johnson likely to land in the lottery.

The Strengths: The 6-4, 205-pound Springer led Tennessee by 12.5 points per game, while the 6-4, 184-pound Johnson was second on 11.3. Springer offers a large frame and can see work on point in the NBA with his ability to let loose in the open field and connect with teammates (2.9 assists per game). Johnson brought enough athleticism, finishing third in a three-quarter sprint (3.0 seconds), setting an NBA combine record with a vertical jump of 48 inches. He elevated his game later in the year, accounting for about 24% of the team’s scoring in the first nine games of the Southeast Conference, from nearly 43% in the last eight. And both offer strong defensive capabilities.

Concerns: Shooting outside is a bit questionable. Springer shot 43.5% from 3-point range but made only 1.8 attempts per game, so it was not his primary weapon. Johnson also did not take many runs and shot only 27% of his 48 attempts, even though he could have helped himself by adding some bulk to handle the physical game.

James Bookknight

Connecticut brings enough scoring sophistication to earn it a place in the top half of the first round.

Strengths: 6-5 Buknight averaged 18.7 points, shooting about 45%, including a 40-point game against Creighton in December. Buchknight can make his own shot by attacking the rim or pulling up the dribble, and has the athleticism to finish on the rim—like his high-flying putback dunk against Providence in February. He is also a keen rebounder (5.7), having featured in a pair of 10-board attempts in Big East play.

Concerns: He shot just 29% from 3-point range this year, including just 11 of 41 (26.8%) in his final nine games after returning from midseason elbow surgery, and compared to assists in two seasons There were 29 more turnovers. He also has a leaner frame (190 pounds) that strong defenders can have trouble handling without some extra bulk.

for others to see

— MOSES MOODY: Another carried guard averaged 16.8 points to help push Arkansas within a Final Four victory. The 6-5, 211-pound guard has about 7-1 pawns and can move to the second half of the lottery.

— Cameron Thomas: LSU’s 6-4, 210-pound freshman is a first-round prospect after scoring 23 points per game to the SEC.

— Chris Duarte: The 6-6 guard has gone from two seasons of junior college to Oregon for two years and now stands as a first-round prospect. Now 24, Duarte won last year’s Jerry West Award as the nation’s top shooting guard after averaging 17 points while shooting 53% for the team leading up to the NCAA Sweet 16.

— QUENTIN GRIMES: 6-5 was the top scorer (17.8 points) for the junior defensive-minded Houston team, reaching the program’s first Final Four since 1984. He is likely the second round that will offer size, scoring and defense. Perfect roster fit.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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