Monday, July 15, 2024

USA Basketball: NBA scouts take on AJ Dybantsa, Cam Boozer, other top prospects

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This week, USA Basketball invited 34 of the best high school players born in 2007 to Colorado Springs, Colorado for the USA Basketball U17 Training Camp. Camp started on Sunday, June 16 and throughout the week, the player roster shrunk from 34 to 12. On Sunday, June 23 the final 12 players on the roster will fly to Istanbul, Turkey to participate in the FIBA U17 Men’s World Cup.

Selected media, NBA personnel, and family were the only people allowed to watch live throughout the week.

Each of the players in attendance is a part of the 2025 or 2026 classes. At the earliest, that would make them a part of the 2026 and 2027 NBA Draft classes. The NBA scout’s sample sizes for many of these players are still small, but teams are able to start collecting their data.

USA Basketball U17 Junior National Team Final 12-man Roster Breakdown

Five-Star Plus+ SF AJ Dybantsa

AJ Dybantsa has been On3’s No. 1 ranked player in the 2025 class since he reclassified in late 2023. Prior to reclassifying, the Five-Star Plus+ small forward was the No. 1 overall player in the 2026 class. Coming into the week, many of the scouts in attendance wanted to get a look at how Dybantsa and other players at the top of the 2025 and 2026 classes looked competing with and against one another.

From the start of the first session, Dybantsa wasted no time establishing himself amongst his peers.

“He is the only one here with franchise upside,” an NBA scout told me. “Not yet, but the shooting is coming around and he is a true alpha.”

By the end of the sixth session, Dybantsa was the topic of most courtside conversations. His blend of positional size, explosive athleticism, and ability to self-create in the half-court simply provided onlookers with a lot of ‘wow’ moments.

Dybantsa first broke onto the national scene as a freshman, earning Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year. He is a veteran of the USA Basketball process as he earned a gold medal last year with the U16 team in the FIBA Americas.

“He’s fantastic. He’s got a chance to be a superstar, an NBA All-Star, all that is within the possible outcomes,” one NBA scout said. “The size, the first step, the mentality, the athleticism, he just already has a lot of the tools.” 

While this is not the first live viewing NBA scouts have had of Dybantsa, the sample size is still small.

“He is on a tier by himself in this class,” another NBA sc He is one of the better domestic prospects I have seen in high school over the past few cycles, hell, he might be the best.”

With his play throughout the first six sessions, Dybantsa earned overall On3 MVP honors.

“He’s the alpha,” an NBA scout stated. “There is no denying when he is on the floor that all eyes are on him, and he has earned that.”

Five-Star Plus+ PF Cam Boozer

While Dybantsa has been the No. 1 overall player, Cam Boozer has been firmly planted in the No. 2 slot. The son of former USA Basketball gold medalist Carlos Boozer’s consistent and productive play has continued to put him in the conversation at the top of the class.

“His ceiling is capped,” one NBA scout said. “He will be a good NBA player. A starter who plays ten years and make a hundred million. I just hope the expectations for him are appropriate. He’s an NBA starter, but not a star.”

Boozer is one of the winningest players high school basketball has seen in a long while. The Five-Star Plus+ forward has won three consecutive Florida 7A State Championships, two Nike Peach Jam titles, and a FIBA gold medal with USA Basketball. That is three different settings, seven different seasons, and seven different titles since entering high school.

“Boozer is interesting,” an NBA scout told me. “He knows how to play, passes the ball and rebounds. But he’s not like 6-foot-9, 6-foot-10, so I wonder what that looks like. He’s going to play in our league, but he’s got to get the jump shot consistent. If he does that, I think it will open up a lot more doors.”

Five-Star Plus+ PF Koa Peat

Koa Peat is currently the No. 5 overall player in the 2025 On3 Industry Ranking. The 6-foot-8 forward is the son of former NBA offensive lineman Todd Peat. Koa Peat’s brother Andrus Peat is a three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman.

“I have never watched him play when he didn’t stand out,” one NBA scout said. “He’s always gotten stuff done, he’s just got to get his shot down, and he’ll have a chance if that happens.”

Peat, much like Boozer, has won a lot in his high school career. He has three straight Arizona State Championships to his name, and he has won two FIBA gold medals with USA Basketball.

“Koa is good,” an NBA scout told me. “He’s productive. But he will have to be a wing, and right now he is more of a four, or even a five. I don’t trust the jump shot, but there is no denying the winning qualities and production he brings.”

4-star PF Chris Cenac

One of the biggest risers recently is 6-foot-10 forward Chris Cenac. On3’s No. 6 overall player in 2025 is coming off an MVP performance at the NBPA Top 100 Camp and was one player many onlookers were interested in seeing how he performed in the USA Basketball setting.

“I mean, what is his ceiling,” one NBA scout asked. “He has the size and the athleticism. He can shoot it, put it on the floor, he rebounds at a high rate. He’s so new to the scene, but what an impression. Everything he does translates to our league.”

“He’s got a lot of the qualities that we look for,” an NBA scout said. “It’s still early for him, but my initial thought is that he has top five potential.”

Another NBA scout said, “I think Cenac is a stud. He’s got so much to his game, but also so much untapped stuff that he is just starting to show flashes of.”

4-star PG Cayden Boozer

“Cayden is going to play in the league. He’ll be a 10-12 year pro. He’ll be someone’s backup and be able to run things when the starter goes down.”

4-star SF Tajh Ariza

“Ariza surprised me. He asserted himself and was able to make some plays. He shot the corner three well.”

4-star PG Kingston Flemings

“I didn’t know how athletic he is. He’s got real pop. Love how he defends. He competes. He’s got to do something with the shot, but he makes the reads and touches the paint with the best of them that I’ve seen.”

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