Isaiah Mucius

And-Ones: Dybantsa, Weatherspoon, Breakout Candidates, More

A.J. Dybantsa, a 6’8″ wing from Massachusetts and one of the top high school prospects in the country, intends to reclassify to the 2025 recruiting class, as Jeff Borzello of writes. Dybantsa had previously been the No. 1 player in ESPN’s 2026 recruiting rankings. Now, he becomes the favorite to be selected first overall in the 2026 NBA draft, according to Borzello.

As Borzello explains, Dybantsa, Cooper Flagg, and Cameron Boozer are widely considered the best high school prospects in the country. When ESPN asked 20 college coaches and NBA evaluators to rank the trio this summer, Dybantsa earned seven first-place votes and placed second behind Flagg, who is the frontrunner to be the top pick in the 2025 draft.

“Dybantsa is just the most complete,” one coach told ESPN. “Scores at all three levels. Super athletic. He’s the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft whenever he goes.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the league:

  • Former Pelicans assistant Teresa Weatherspoon will be the next head coach of the WNBA’s Chiacgo Sky, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The former WNBA star was an assistant in New Orleans for four seasons before the team parted ways with her in June.
  • In John Schuhmann’s general manager poll, two players received more votes than Magic forward Franz Wagner for this season’s top breakout candidate. However, Wagner sits atop the list compiled by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who spoke to 25 executives around the NBA and has shared the top nine vote-getters. Pistons guard Cade Cunningham and Rockets guard Jalen Green round out Scotto’s top three.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic lists a dozen under-the-radar NBA players whom he expects to have a real impact this season, including Celtics wing Oshae Brissett, Nuggets forward Peyton Watson, Thunder guard Vasilije Micic, and Pelicans forward Naji Marshall.
  • The Capital City Go-Go have traded the returning rights to Isaiah Mucius to the Delaware Blue Coats along with a 2024 first-round pick and 2023 second-round pick in the G League draft. In exchange, the Sixers‘ G League affiliate has sent Michael Foster Jr.‘s returning rights to the Wizards‘ affiliate, the Go-Go announced today (via Twitter).

Draft Notes: Hamilton, Mucius, Cole, McConnell, Mock

UNLV guard Bryce Hamilton and Wake Forest forward Isaiah Mucius have both declared for the 2022 NBA draft, reports Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter links). Hamilton will forgo his final year of college eligibility, but Mucius will maintain his for next year.

UConn guard R.J. Cole (via Twitter) and Rutgers guard Caleb McConnell (via Instagram) have also declared for the draft, the two players announced. McConnell plans to maintain his eligibility for next season, but Cole’s intentions are unclear, based on the wording of his statement.

All four players are seniors, but in 2021 players were granted an extra year of NCAA eligibility due to the pandemic, so four-year players have the option of staying for what essentially amounts to a second senior season.

Hamilton is a three-time All-Mountain West Conference member who averaged 21.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.2 APG this season. Mucius was mostly used as a spot-up shooter, averaging 36% on 5.8 attempts per game from deep in ’21/22.

Cole was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year in 2018/19 with Howard prior to transferring to UConn. He was an All-Big East member this season with the Huskies. McConnell was the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year in ’21/22 for the Scarlet Knights while averaging 2.2 SPG.

In other draft-related news, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) explore how the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds of the NCAA tournament have impacted their latest mock draft and prospect evaluations.

The first-round of the mock draft is quite similar to the one Givony released last week, but a couple of Duke players have risen: forward Paolo Banchero has jumped up to No. 2 from No. 3, swapping places with Auburn’s Jabari Smith, while center Mark Williams has gone up four spots to No. 17. Duke faces their long-time rival North Carolina in the Final Four.