"I Know the Game Like I'm Reffing It"

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

NBA Draft 2018 - Lottery Big Board

After the historic 2017 NBA Draft, the 2018 Draft is here with another strong, but top-heavy class. If your team has a lottery pick this Thursday, chances are they will come away with a very solid prospect.

Here is a look at my Lottery Big Board heading into the big night:

1. Marvin Bagley (Duke, Fr., 6’11, 235lbs, PF) - Bagley dominated offensively at Duke as a freshman (21ppg, 11.1rpg, 61%fg), enough to earn ACC Player of the Year. He made it look so easy that many experts have started to discount him.

2. DeAndre Ayton (Arizona, Fr., 7’0, 260lbs, C) - His numbers (20.1ppg, 11.6rpg, 61%fg) weren’t far off Bagley’s and he’s bigger and better defensively (1.9bpg). Ayton has all the tools to be a great 5 in the league.

3. Michael Porter (Missouri, Fr., 6’11, 210lbs, SF) - Prior to missing practically all of his freshman season with a back injury, Porter was the top prospect in this class. He returned from injury to play in the NCAA Tournament, but was understandably rusty. He’s a shooter/scorer who some have compared to Kevin Durant.

4. Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michigan State, Fr., 6’11, 235lbs, PF/C) - Very raw physically and emotionally, at this point, but oozes unlimited potential due to his size, length, skill and versatility. Plus, his father played in the league, so the DNA is there.

5. Luka Doncic (Slovenia, 6’8, 225lbs, G/F) - Doncic has great size to go along with versatility and a high basketball IQ. He’s been spectacular overseas for his age, putting up impressive numbers (16ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.3apg) against “grown men,” but less athleticism than seen in big time college basketball.

6. Mohamed Bamba (Texas, Fr., 7’0, 225lbs, PF/C) - Bamba has unlimited potential, due to his freakish measurables, athleticism and intelligence. The question is whether he will develop an offensive game. He will be a defensive force from day one.

7. Trae Young (Oklahoma, Fr., 6’2, 180lbs, PG) - Young led the nation in points and assists last year as a freshman without much help as far as teammates were concerned. That’s impressive.

8. Collin Sexton (Alabama, Fr., 6’2, 185lbs, PG) - Great competitor with point guard skills, to boot. Sexton was a 19, 4 and 4 guy as a freshman last year.

9. Wendell Carter Jr. (Duke, Fr., 6’10, 250lbs, PF/C) - Carter is very big and very skilled. He was overshadowed by Bagley at Duke this past season and played his best when Bagley was out of the lineup.

10. Kevin Knox (Kentucky, Fr., 6’9, 215lbs, F) - Knox became Kentucky’s go-to guy down the stretch last season because of his scoring ability, size and toughness, putting up 16 points and 6 rebounds.

11. Mikal Bridges (Villanova, Jr., 6’7, 210lbs, SG/SF) - Bridges took time to develop at Villanova, but came into his own as a Junior (17.7ppg, 5.3rpg, 51%fg, 44%3p). He improved every year in college and his length, athleticism and shooting ability make him a promising prospect.

12. Lonnie Walker (Miami, Fr., 6’5, 195lbs, SG) - Walker is very raw, but showed eye-popping ability on the offensive end to go along with fearlessness. He will need time to develop but could reap benefits.

13. Miles Bridges (Michigan State, So., 6’6, 220lbs, F) – Bridges stayed in school last year, but his stock stayed the same or fell. He’s a great athlete with a solid body, but he’s a bit of a tweener who still needs to show that he can score consistently.

14. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky, Fr., 6’6, 180lbs, PG) – Gilgeous-Alexander is a tall, heady, versatile point guard that surprised and became a leader for Kentucky last season, posting 14 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists per game.