2023 NBA Draft: Top 200 Watchlist
This is the big one... our early-season primer after first looks on countless prospects to officially come up with a 200-person watchlist
Think of scouting like you would with recruiting for a second. You start with a really large list, getting eyeballs on everyone possible and trying to figure out who you like and who you don’t. Then, as commitments take place, the list narrows down. By the end, you come up with a few players to offer, and even fewer who accept that offer.
Right now, our overall draft database has over 640 prospects in it that are eligible in 2023. Not all of them are truly guys we’d be interested in tracking throughout the season, though. With the early returns from the first few weeks of college basketball under our belt, we’ve got eyes on so many players and some of them have become easily more exciting than others.
Following those first few weeks, we try to get our watchlist narrowed down to about 200 players that caught our eyes, either as potential draft prospects or those who will be automatically draft-eligible following the season and are deserving of attention. As we publish our initial 200, it’s worth noting that players omitted from this list are guys we’ll still pay attention to. Last year, Jalen Williams from Santa Clara was nowhere to be found on our early-season lists and finished in the top 15 on our overall board. This is very fluid, both in terms of where they rank and who we discuss.
All that said, we break this down into multiple different tiers or categories. We look at players by position, clumped together by skill and by age/ draft timeline within those positions. Then we ascend towards the top prospects available and those who we have the most confidence in to become first-round or top-45 guys by the end of the season.
For each of the 200 prospects, we have a short blurb or paragraph of words that describe their game, what we’re watching for, and what type of draft outcome is both plausible and likely.