CHICAGO -- Last weekend's Basketball Without Borders Global Camp gave NBA executives an opportunity to evaluate 39 players from 27 countries, continuing the camp's emergence as one of the top scouting events on the calendar thanks to the impressive talent assembled.
We selected the players who had the biggest impact and deserve to be considered the top long-term NBA draft prospects.
Josh Primo | 6-5 PG/SG | Canada | Royal Crown Academic School (Ontario)
One of the youngest players in attendance -- he won't be 18 until the final week of December -- Primo stole the show in Chicago.
With a 6-foot-5 frame and long arms, Primo looked comfortable operating on and off the ball at the camp. Primo is extremely smooth and fluid while changing speeds, splitting ball screens and finishing with touch and creativity around the rim using either hand. He did a great job of getting teammates involved out of pick-and-roll, showing the ability to deliver accurate passes after drives or off a live dribble. He's a good shooter with his feet set, but particularly off the dribble.
Primo needs to improve on the defensive end, as his intensity wavers and he has some trouble getting over screens. His lack of experience was reflected in some risky shot selection and decision-making.
Having sat out part of this season with a fractured finger, then leaving his high school in Arizona to return to Canada, Primo is a bit of a mystery -- many rankings have him far lower than his talent level indicates.
Currently a high school junior, Primo has decided to graduate early, reclassify and enroll in college this summer, making him draft-eligible in 2021.
"After careful consideration, taking into account all options, I have decided to reclassify into the class of 2020 and look forward to continuing my overall development," Primo told ESPN. "I will make my college selection after further discussions with my family. "
He'll be a first-rounder in our next 2021 mock draft. -- Jonathan Givony
Jean Claudio Montero | 6-3 PG | Dominican Republic | Gran Canaria (Spain)
Montero shined as a perimeter prospect among the 40-plus NBA hopefuls, despite playing up a year as one of just four players born in 2003. Montero is a smooth, ultra-confident point guard who blends excellent shotmaking and facilitating.
He doesn't exactly pass the eye test, standing a shade under 6-foot-3 with a sub-6-foot-5 wingspan and a wiry 171-pound frame, but the 16-year-old Montero has the mentality and skill necessary to make it in the NBA. Most of Montero's game is built around his jumper, even if it's easy to contest with a low release.
Montero is one of the most prolific shotmakers in Spain's third division (LEB Plata), where he's averaging 17.1 points in just 23.5 minutes while converting 53% of his 3-pointers on 4.5 attempts per game. A FIBA veteran (27 games played) with the Dominican Republic, Montero emerged as a legitimate NBA prospect in December after winning MVP of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Valencia, Spain.
Not only did he show off his shooting touch in Chicago, but his court vision and handle really stood out. He does an excellent job of playing off his jumper, changing speeds and directions with ease. While he can be a bit feast or famine and wild as a decision-maker -- he has quite a bit of room to improve finishing around the rim both through contact and over length -- more often than not he tries to make the right play. He's comfortable hitting ahead in transition, finding the roller out of ball screens from different angles, and moving weakside defenders in the pocket to set up shooters.
His defensive intensity and physicality come and go. He's quick-footed, with great hands, and can really heat up the ball, but is prone to taking plays off and getting overpowered to the rim by more physical guards. -- Mike Schmitz
Sadraque Nganga | 6-10 SF/PF | Angola | AZ Compass Prep (Arizona)
The youngest player at this camp, having just turned 16 in November, Nganga has been playing basketball for only five years but looked like one of the best long-term prospects in attendance. Standing 6-foot-10 with an impressive frame yet weighing only 204 pounds, Nganga looked comfortable getting all the way to the rim and absorbing contact and bullying players 12-18 months older.
The biggest questions Nganga will face revolve around his outside shooting, as he struggled to punish defenses outside the paint over the course of the weekend, lacking a degree of fluidity getting into his jumper. This isn't particularly surprising considering his age, and he does make enough outside shots to leave room for optimism.
Nganga is already in his fifth school in three years despite being only a sophomore in high school. It will be interesting to see how his body and athleticism continue to evolve over time, as he's more physically developed than your typical 16-year-old and is more smooth than he is freakishly explosive. There is little doubt he's a prospect who will be monitored closely the next few years. -- Givony
Juhann Begarin | 6-5 SG | France | Paris Basket
Begarin gave a small glimpse as to why he's one of Europe's top prospects. At 17, he's a freakish athlete with a 7-foot wingspan and an excellent frame and has all the tools you look for physically, even if he's still figuring out how to apply them on a consistent basis.
When Begarin is operating at max intensity, he's flying up and down the court in transition, dunking on opponents, chasing down blocks and putback attempts, putting a body on bigger opponents in the post, and even throwing in pull-up 3s. He's a magnet for fouls, with a powerful first step, and has enough scoring instincts to leave you intrigued about how he might develop over time.
However, Begarin was inconsistent in his approach over the course of the weekend, as he simply didn't play with enough energy for most of the camp and struggled to insert himself into games when operating off the ball.
His jumper was very streaky, as he looked fairly stiff in the lower body releasing the ball, particularly shooting with his feet set. Combine that with the fact that Begarin is not blessed with great court vision or feel for the game, and you understand why his impact was fairly muted at times relative to his lofty standing.
Too much stock shouldn't be put into one inconsistent camp -- Begarin is having a very impressive season relative to his age with the Paris Basket team he plays for in the French second division -- but executives watching him for the first time didn't come away overly enthralled. -- Givony
Ariel Hukporti | 7-0 C | Germany | Ludwigsburg
Hukporti was the most dominant interior force in Chicago, running away with the MVP award and emerging as a potential draftee in 2021. Standing close to 7 feet with a powerful 248-pound frame, a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 9-foot-1 standing reach, the mobile lefty holds some physical similarities to Greg Monroe at the same stage, and he put those tools to use on both ends of the floor at BWB. After a somewhat lackluster Day 1 performance, Hukporti ratcheted things up over the final two days, running the floor hard, crashing the offensive glass, finishing around the basket with force, protecting the rim on the other end and manning the backboards, while also flashing glimpses of skill.
A prospect we've been evaluating since he was a 15-year-old at the 2017 under-16 European Championships, Hukporti's motor has long been a point of interest for scouts. An early bloomer with a big personality, he didn't always affect the game as a shot-blocker, a key for him given his limitations defending away from the rim. That area of his game is certainly still worth monitoring, but he's making real progress as a defensive anchor.
So long as Hukporti can focus on defending, rebounding and finishing first, he has some offensive skill to eventually tap into, as he's capable of knocking down a catch-and-shoot 3 with sound mechanics, attacking space off the catch and facilitating a little bit, even if his decision-making is still a work in progress. He has touch on jump and running hooks in the post and might be able to develop into a rare big who can both roll and pop.
Hukporti has spent most of the season with Ludwigsburg's first team in the German Basketball Bundesliga. He's logged just under 80 minutes of action this season, however, and might be better off finding a loan situation next season where he can play consistent minutes and develop. The NBA isn't exactly clamoring for interior-oriented centers who don't defend the perimeter, and Hukporti is still in search of an elite NBA skill, but he checks enough boxes to keep scouts interested. -- Schmitz
Pape Sow | 6-8 SG | Senegal | Baskonia (Spain)
One of only a handful of 16-year-olds invited to this camp, Sow did not look out of place and certainly marked himself as a prospect to keep an eye on as he gets closer to becoming NBA draft-eligible in 2022. Incredibly thin at 168 pounds, with a frame that might struggle to carry a great deal of weight due to his narrow shoulders and thin legs, Sow doesn't look like much on first glance but has some highly pronounced virtues that give him a great deal of upside to grow into. His 7-foot-2 wingspan and 8-foot-9 standing reach are closer to measurements of a NBA power forward than the shooting guard position he often plays, and he possesses tremendous run-jump athleticism that allowed him to make some extremely impressive plays around the basket.
More than just a highlight, Sow also has real skill creating offense for himself or teammates with the ball in his hands, as the game obviously comes very naturally to him, and he showed terrific creativity attacking closeouts, in the open court and even operating out of a ball screen. He has touch around the basket and a nice-looking stroke shooting off the dribble or with his feet set, having the exact type of framework you want to see from a player his age and early stage of development. His lack of strength and experience showed up at times on both ends of the floor, and he still has a way to go to iron out the consistency of his jump shot and approach defensively, but there's a lot to like about his long-term potential. -- Givony
Olivier-Maxence Prosper | 6-7 SF | Canada | NBA Academy Latin America (Clemson commit)
Although not quite as productive as other players in attendance, Prosper is one of the more intriguing long-term prospects given his physical tools and two-way play at the combo forward position every NBA team covets. The 17-year-old Canadian has been on our radar since we first evaluated him at the BioSteel Futures Game in April 2018, and he continues to gain traction.
Prosper stands out physically at just under 6-foot-8 with a near 7-foot-1 wingspan and an outstanding 202-pound frame that has considerable room to fill out, comparing somewhat favorably to a taller Nassir Little.
Prosper is an energetic defender who can check multiple positions and make plays off the ball as a rover. He's willing to crash the glass, rotate from the weak side for blocks or jump the passing lanes, even if his discipline on that end has room to improve. Offensively he's more of a blank slate. A streaky shooter with somewhat of a long release, he's at his best filling the lanes in transition, attacking the gaps as a straight-line driver, and bringing energy on the offensive glass. His handle and feel for the game are still evolving, and he'll likely never be relied on to create the majority of a team's offense.
He shouldn't be expected to emerge as a potential one-and-done prospect, as he'll need time to round out his game at Clemson, but the Montreal native and NBA Academy prospect is exactly what NBA teams are looking for in today's game. -- Givony
Josh Giddey | 6-8 playmaker | NBA Global Academy (Australia)
The 6-foot-8 Giddey showed both sides of the coin in Chicago, impressing NBA scouts with his feel and creativity while also confirming lingering questions about his physical profile and upside.
Giddey is a unique prospect who plays an against-the-grain style and gets by on smarts and skill as a jumbo playmaker who excels in pick-and-roll. He plays at his own pace, whips the ball around the floor off the dribble with either hand, is extremely instinctual attacking closeouts to keep the defense moving, and can finish with touch shots in the paint. Giddey's instincts also transfer to the defensive end, where he does a nice job of anticipating his opponent's first move, even if his lack of length, strength and his upright nature limit him against elite prospects.
While he'll likely always face questions about whom he defends given his hunched 190-pound frame and 6-foot-8 wingspan, Giddey also has some trouble beating more athletic defenders off the bounce and finishing against length. He struggles a bit when aggressive wings take away his airspace and force him into traffic.
Giddey's decision to likely stay in the Australian National Basketball League next season makes sense, as not every high-major NCAA program would have seen him as a big playmaker. But he certainly has the ambidexterity, vision and creativity to make it in today's NBA. -- Givony
Azuolas Tubelis | 6-9 PF/C | Lithuania | Rytas
Fresh off an MVP performance at the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania, Tubelis certainly looked like he belonged in a BWB setting full of long athletes. At a shade under 6-foot-9 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and a somewhat undefined 243-pound frame, Tubelis was able to stand out in Chicago, finishing above the rim regularly, showing his left-hand touch, attacking off the bounce some and playing with energy. More interior-based at this stage, Tubelis still faces questions about his perimeter shooting and what position he defends, but he wasn't overwhelmed at that end of the floor.
Tubelis will have to rely more on productivity than sheer upside to pique the interest of NBA scouts, but he has proved to be a player teams should monitor given his touch and instincts. -- Schmitz
Kai Sotto | 7-2 C | Philippines | The Skill Factory (Georgia)
Likely the most-hyped prospect to ever come out of the Philippines, Sotto doesn't turn 18 until May but has been on the radar since the FIBA World Cup at the U17 and U19 levels in each of the past two summers. Sotto has generated some buzz in the U.S. after joining a prep school in Atlanta last year.
His performance at the BWB camp was somewhat inconsistent, as he looked like one of the most talented prospects in attendance in the morning drills each day but struggled to make his presence felt in the games. Sotto has gotten into better shape since arriving to the U.S. and possesses a versatile skill set for a player his size: scoring in the post with either hand, handling the ball impressively, good court vision and range on a jump shot that extends beyond the 3-point line.
Sotto didn't look ready for the level of physicality and intensity he encountered in the camp scrimmages, as he was scored on at will by stronger players, looked lethargic getting back on defense and settled for too many low-percentage shots. Sotto did show nice timing rotating for blocks thanks in part to his massive 9-foot-3 standing reach. -- Givony
Ben Mathurin | 6-5 SG | Haiti/Canada | NBA Academy Latin America (Mexico City)
A player we've been tracking closely for the past 18 months, it's been impressive to see the progress Mathurin has made both physically and skillwise since he first arrived at the NBA Academy, culminating in an explosive performance in the championship game of the camp.
Mathurin proved to be one of the most athletic wings in attendance, regularly attacking the paint in transition with a full head of steam and finishing above the rim emphatically. His jumper is on the streaky side, but he's worked hard on it to the point that he's become fairly reliable with his feet set, and even off the dribble from beyond the arc.
Although he's fairly wild in his approach at times, you have to respect the level of aggressiveness Mathurin displays and his willingness to put his body on the line and embrace contact around the basket. That unlimited self-confidence can lead to some ugly moments at times overdribbling, running into brick walls and settling for difficult jumpers, but he's undoubtedly made major strides as a ball handler, passer and shooter and should continue to do so based on the trajectory he's shown. Mathurin had some nice moments on defense but still has room to grow.
Mathurin is committed to Arizona and projects as a high-level role player with NBA potential. -- Givony
More international scouting notes
Ousmane N'diaye (Bonn): The 15-year-old N'diaye stood out as one of the best long-term prospects we evaluated while playing on loan with Bayern Munich, winning MVP of Szent Istvan, an under-16 tournament in Hungary. A long-armed 6-9 forward with outstanding footwork and fluid athleticism, N'diaye averaged 21.8 points, 16.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals in 30.2 minutes. He's still learning how to play on both ends of the floor and tends to rely too much on off-balance jumpers, but he shows enough promise as a ball-handler and shotmaker to instill confidence that he can be more than just a run-and-jump athlete.
Juan Nunez (Real Madrid): MVP of ANGT Munich despite not turning 16 until early June, Nunez looked like one of the top PG prospects in Europe regardless of age thanks to his vision, creativity and confidence. He's a slick ball-handler who whips the ball all over the floor from different vantage points, and has all types of finishes in his arsenal. He's also an instinctual defender with great hands and feet. While he still needs to prove himself as a perimeter shooter, Nunez has all the makings of a first-round pick in 2023 if he develops as expected.
Tristan Vukcevic (Real Madrid): Vukcevic stands out immediately thanks to his tremendous frame, long arms and agility at 6-10. With wide shoulders and soft touch from the perimeter, the Serbia native has the makings of the next skilled big man to come out of Real Madrid. On the flip side, he's contact averse and displays a lack of toughness, but Vuckevic still has a lot to work with.
Paulius Murauskas (Zalgiris): The 15-year-old, 6-8 Lithuanian forward turned in a productive ANGT Kaunas, averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 24.1 minutes. Murauskas is an ultra-confident, instinctual scorer who can put the ball on the deck, score on the block and get going from the perimeter. With that said, he too often looks off open teammates, doesn't always buy in defensively, and will have to become a more consistent perimeter shooter to make up for some of his shortcomings.