2018 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0

2018 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0

NBA

2018 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0

After a few coin flips tomorrow we will all know the draft slots and ping pong balls that every NBA team will have prior to the lottery. That means we are only a couple of months away from the actual draft. Here is a look at a few rising and falling prospects that I deemed noteworthy and my full big board is below. Looking forward to the next few weeks of playoff basketball and prospect scrutiny!

Rising Prospects

1. Mikal Bridges – Donte DiVincenzo stole the show in the championship game and Jalen Brunson was National Player of the Year, yet Mikal is going to be the Villanova Wildcat that gets drafted in the lottery (and for very good reason). Probably the oldest prospect in contention to be selected in the top 10 of this draft class, Mikal now has three full years of sample size playing on Jay Wright’s college superteam and two titles to show for it. Mikal’s steady incremental development in all aspects of the game that will translate at the next level make him a safe 3-and-D wing with upside to be so much more. Imagine Danny Green with a fluid offensive game. His 7-2 wingspan, motor, instincts, and desire to excel on the defensive end of the floor are tantalizing attributes for NBA teams that emphasize these traits on the wing in the pace and space era. I’d love to see Bridges show even more aggression on offense because his beautiful shooting stroke and smoothness handling the ball make him an efficient scorer.

2. Zhaire Smith – If Mikal is an already polished prospect with a safe floor, Zhaire is a perfect counterpoint. Nearly three years younger than Bridges, Smith is a project right now with the upside to blow everyone away. Full disclosure: I knew very little about him and Texas Tech going into the season. Both the team and Smith individually made huge strides from preseason through the NCAA tournament. The tournament only confirmed that this really young kid has the athleticism to complement his elite defensive tools. If his confidence grows on offense, he could blossom into an NBA All-Star. It is unclear if he will get any promises from NBA teams in the lottery, but if I’m the Clippers with the 12th and 13th picks, there is NO way that I’m passing on Smith. Reminds me a lot of Donovan Mitchell in his freshman season at Louisville. Oladipo is an interesting comparison too.

3. Jontay Porter – Really didn’t have any expectations going into his freshman season at Missouri, unlike his older brother. The explosiveness and strength were on another level from most freshman. Definitely a prospect that is rough around the edges and will need to develop requisite skills to ever get significant playing time in an NBA offense, Jontay will thrive on a team where his role is to do all the dirty work. A little pudgy right now, but if he becomes a gym rat and transforms his body that will go a long way for his career. I’m hoping he has a late growth spurt and becomes a true center instead of a tweener. At seven feet why couldn’t he be the next Marc Gasol? Maybe another year in college would have helped him improve his fundamentals, but he is jumping straight to the NBA with big brother.

Falling Prospects

1. Michael Porter Jr. – Porter had so much hype entering his freshman season. Unfortunately, injury misfortune reared its ugly head and it looked like he would sit out the full season. Ironically, his draft stock may have been higher entering the draft had he never came back and struggled shooting the way he did. The shooting ability and natural fluidity to his movement make him a very eye-catching young player. What he will need to prove with his package is how he can contribute to winning in the context of the modern offense and defense. Isolation scoring isn’t nearly as valuable as it used to be 20 years ago. The more I put Porter under a microscope, the more I see Tobias Harris. Which is a valuable and effective player type, but teams drafting him in the top five will expect more. Ideally, he can get his rhythm back and quiet all the doubters the way Tatum did this season in Boston. Tatum faced many of the same questions about his playmaking and integration into an NBA system. It’s all about diversifying his portfolio instead of over-relying on his greatest strengths. That will be the difference between being the next Andrew Wiggins or Jayson Tatum, although I’m sure Michael will say: “I’m the first Michael Porter.”

2. Lonnie Walker IV – Walker is being judged on theoretical ability, though I’m still waiting for him to show these hypothetical abilities. Obviously he has the size and athleticism, but where is the consistency in terms of shooting, finishing at the rim, and defensive effort? He isn’t entering the draft on a high note either with how he contributed to Miami’s early exit (ineptitude at the free-throw line). Walker is still young and some NBA team will take a chance on him in the first round. I’ve just seen too many players in his situation fizzle out after struggling to find consistent playing time. Even players like Ben McLemore who were given plenty of opportunities early on weren’t able to take advantage. I’m worried Lonnie won’t be given as long of a leash and will be entering the league with even less tools than McLemore.

3. Hamidou Diallo – I was so high on Diallo going into his freshman season. Unfortunately, he has been such a tease over the past 24 months. An elite scorer at the high school level due to his speed, strength, athleticism, and motor, Diallo’s ability to blow by or bully opposing defenders hasn’t translated at Kentucky. That is where he should have improved his shooting and handles. However, I haven’t seen any noticeable improvement. John Calipari likes his defense and he definitely contributed to Kentucky’s success. In the NBA, his body will only earn him marginal playing time if he never becomes a playmaker or 3-and-D wing.

Rank PLAYER POS TEAM AGE HEIGHT WINGSPAN
1 Luka Doncic PG Real Madrid 18.8 6-8 N/A
2 Deandre Ayton C Arizona 19.4 7-0 7-5
3 Jaren Jackson PF/C Michigan St 18.3 6-10 7-4
4 Marvin Bagley PF/C Duke 18.8 6-11 7-0½
5 Mohamed Bamba C Texas 19.6 7-0 7-9
6 Trae Young PG Oklahoma 19.3 6-2 6-4
7 Mikal Bridges SF Villanova 21.4 6-7 7-2
8 Michael Porter Jr. SF/PF Missouri 19.5 6-10 7-0
9 Wendell Carter Jr. C Duke 18.8 6-10 7-3
10 Zhaire Smith SF Texas Tech 18.7 6-5 N/A
11 Miles Bridges SF/PF Michigan St 19.8 6-6 6-9
12 Collin Sexton PG Alabama 19 6-2 6-7
13 Kevin Knox SF/PF Kentucky 18.5 6-9 7-0
14 Robert Williams C Texas A&M 20.3 6-9 7-5½
15 Dzanan Musa SF Cedevita 18.8 6-9 6-8½
16 Mitchell Robinson C N/A 19.9 6-11 7-4
17 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander PG/SG Kentucky 19.6 6-6 7-0
18 Jontay Porter C Missouri 18.2 6-10 7-0
19 De’Andre Hunter PF Virginia 20.3 6-8 7-2
20 Troy Brown SG Oregon 18.5 6-7 6-8
21 Khyri Thomas SG Creighton 21.8 6-3 N/A
22 Jacob Evans SF Cincinnati 20.7 6-6 N/A
23 Lonnie Walker IV SG Miami FL 19.2 6-4 6-10½
24 Anfernee Simons SG Team Breakdown 18.7 6-4 6-7
25 Chandler Hutchison SG Boise St 21.8 6-7 N/A
26 Rawle Alkins SG Arizona 20.3 6-5 6-9
27 Donte DiVincenzo PG/SG Villanova 21.1 6-5 6-5
28 Hamidou Diallo SG Kentucky 19.5 6-5 7-0
29 Keita Bates-Diop SF Ohio St 22.1 6-7 N/A
30 Shake Milton PG/SG SMU 21.4 6-6 7-0
31 Jalen Brunson PG Villanova 21.4 6-2 6-3
32 De’Anthony Melton PG/SG USC 19.8 6-3 6-8
33 Moritz Wagner C Michigan 20.9 6-11 7-0
34 Tyus Battle SG/SF Syracuse 20.5 6-7 6-8
35 Bruce Brown SG Miami FL 21.6 6-3 6-8½
36 Malik Newman PG/SG Kansas 21.1 6-4 6-6
37 Melvin Frazier SF Tulane 21.5 6-6 6-8
38 Grayson Allen SG Duke 22.3 6-4 6-6½
39 Chimezie Metu PF/C USC 20.9 6-10 6-10½
40 Aaron Holiday PG UCLA 21.4 6-1 6-6
41 Devonte’ Graham PG Kansas 23 6-2 N/A
42 Goga Bitadze C Mega Bemax 18.6 6-11 7-2
43 Jevon Carter PG West Virginia 22.5 6-2 6-3
44 Jalen Hudson SG Florida 21.8 6-5 N/A
45 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG Kansas 20.7 6-8 6-5
46 Trevon Duval PG Duke 19.6 6-3 6-3½
47 Jarred Vanderbilt SF Kentucky 19 6-8 7-1
48 Nickeil Alexander-Walker PG Virginia Tech 19.4 6-5 6-9
49 Gary Trent SG Duke 19.1 6-5 6-8½
50 Tony Carr PG Penn St 20.4 6-3 6-8
51 Kevin Hervey SF Texas Arlington 21.6 6-7 N/A
52 Rodions Kurucs SF/PF Barcelona 20 6-10 N/A
53 Elie Okobo PG Pau-Orthez 20.4 6-3 N/A
54 Landry Shamet PG Wichita St 20.9 6-4 N/A
55 Isaac Bonga SF Frankfurt 18.3 6-9 7-0
56 Jerome Robinson PG Boston College 21.1 6-5 N/A
57 Arnoldas Kulboka SF Capo D’Orlando 20.1 6-10 6-11
58 Allonzo Trier SG Arizona 22.1 6-5 6-7
59 Justin Jackson SF/PF Maryland 21 6-7 7-3
60 Kostja Mushidi SG/SF Mega Leks 19 6-5
61 Brandon McCoy C UNLV 19.7 6-11 7-1½
62 PJ Washington PF Kentucky 19.6 6-8 7-3
63 Josh Okogie SG Georgia Tech 19.4 6-4 7-0
64 Shamorie Ponds PG St. John’s 19.6 6-1 6-3
65 Ray Spalding PF Louisville 21 6-10 7-1
66 Omer Yurtseven C N.C. State 19.6 7-0 6-5
67 Ethan Happ PF/C Wisconsin 21.8 6-10 6-8
68 Tryggvi Hlinason C Valencia 20.3 7-1 N/A
69 Vincent Edwards SF/PF Purdue 21.9 6-8 7-0
70 Sagaba Konate C West Virginia 20.5 6-8 N/A
71 Jarrey Foster SG SMU 21.3 6-6 N/A
72 Xavier Sneed SG Kansas St 20.2 6-5 6-9
73 Kerwin Roach SG Texas 21.4 6-3 N/A
74 DJ Hogg SF/PF Texas A&M 21.5 6-9 6-10½
75 Kris Wilkes SF/PF UCLA 19.5 6-7 6-11
76 Carsen Edwards PG Purdue 20 6-0 6-5
77 Yusuf Sanon PG/SG Olimpija Ljubljana 18.4 6-4 N/A
78 Lindell Wigginton PG Iowa St 20 6-2 6-3½
79 Karim Jallow SF Bayern Muenchen 20.9 6-7 6-8
80 Bonzie Colson PF Notre Dame 22.1 6-5 6-11½
81 Kenrich Williams SG/SF TCU 23.4 6-7
82 Amine Noua PF Villeurbanne 21 6-8 N/A
83 Austin Wiley C Auburn 19.2 6-11 7-5
84 Milik Yarbrough SG/SF Illinois St 22.3 6-6 N/A
85 Terence Davis SG Mississippi 20.7 6-4 N/A
86 Alize Johnson PF Missouri St 21.8 6-9 N/A
87 MiKyle McIntosh SF/PF Oregon 23.7 6-7 6-10
88 O’Shae Brissett PF Syracuse 19.6 6-9 6-11
89 Marko Simonovic PF/C Siena 18.3 7-0 N/A
90 Quinton Rose SF Temple 20 6-8 6-8
91 Billy Preston PF Igokea 20.3 6-10 7-0½
92 Aleksa Radanov SG FMP 20 6-8 N/A
93 Tadas Sedekerskis SF Nevezis 20.1 6-10 6-9½
94 MiKyle McIntosh SF/PF Oregon 23.6 6-7 6-10
95 Donta Hall PF/C Alabama 20.5 6-9 7-4
96 D.J. Hogg SF/PF Texas A&M 21.4 6-9 6-10½
97 Kostas Antetokounmpo SF Dayton 20.3 6-10 7-2
98 Matur Maker C Team Loaded VA 20.1 6-10 7-2
99 Abdoulaye N’doye PG Cholet 19.9 6-7 7-2
100 Isaac Haas C Purdue 22.4 7-2 7-4
101 Matisse Thybulle SG Washington 20.9 6-5 N/A
102 Karim Jallow SF Bayern Muenchen 20.8 6-7 6-8
103 Markis McDuffie SF Wichita St 20.4 6-8 N/A
104 Brian Bowen SF N/A 19.4 6-7 6-9
105 Malik Pope SF San Diego St 21.5 6-10 7-2
106 Aric Holman PF/C Mississippi St. 20.6 6-10 N/A
107 Maximo Fjellerup SF/PF Bahia Blanca 20.2 6-7 N/A
108 Donte Grantham SF Clemson 22.9 6-8 N/A
109 Vasilis Charalampopoulos PF PAOK 21.1 6-9 N/A
110 Viny Okouo C Malaga 20.8 7-2 N/A
111 Vanja Marinkovic SG Partizan 21.1 6-7 6-7
112 Jeffrey Carroll SF Oklahoma St 23.3 6-6 6-6½

 

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