At the start of the season, the consensus among NBA scouts was that the high school class of 2005 was a dud. After a record eight high school players went in the first 19 picks of the draft last year, the thinking was that just one or two players from the class of '05 would sneak into the draft.
One season and an exhausting five all-star games later, scouts still are convinced that just one or two high school players are truly worthy of first-round picks. But that's not stopping the seniors from declaring anyway.
A few years ago, high school kids thought seriously about declaring only if they had a real shot at the lottery. Times have changed. With an age-limit rule just around the corner and a lot of parity in the draft, now most of the kids are just looking for a spot – any spot – in the first round.
On Saturday, the last high school all-star game of the spring, the Jordan Classic, was staged in New York.
Andray Blatche, who's drawn some comparisons to Lamar Odom, dominated by scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Seattle sharpshooter Martell Webster continued to show why scouts believe he's the most NBA-ready high school senior, scoring 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Georgia guard Louis Williams proved that he's still the best pure scorer in high school basketball, scoring 22 points mostly by slashing to the basket. And big man Andrew Bynum, all seven feet, 300 pounds of him, continued to look like the sleeper in this year's high school class.
After the game, Insider talked to a number of NBA scouts and a few GMs to get the handle on where the top high school players now stand. Here's our newest ranking of the top high school players in the country who are declaring or leaning toward declaring for the draft. Several other top high school players – such as Josh McRoberts, Julian Wright and Tyler Hansbrough – would have made the list, but they've stated that they are going to college.