2018 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 40 Prospects

DeAndre Ayton
The consensus best prospect in the draft and someone who is still beginning to realize his vast potential. Ayton combines impressive physical measurements with athleticism to exert pressure on opposing defense on each trip down the court. Establishes position in the deep post with ease and then able to maneuver to the rim, often finishing with a two-handed dunk. Has three-point range and the ability to pump fake and drive to the hoop. Runs the floor really well. Defensive shortcomings are overblown and will be ironed out in the NBA. Reminds me of a young Shaquille O’Neal with a jump shot. Should be an immediate contributor in the NBA and future team cornerstone/All-Star.
7’1″ 260 C Arizona Freshman
Mohamed Bamba
The increasing reliance on 3 and D players in the NBA meets its final evolution in Mohamed Bamba. Has otherworldly wingspan of 7’10” and great defensive instincts which means that he should be able to anchor any defensive scheme while staying on his feet. Has a developing 3-point shot that will improve with each passing year. Questions remain regarding his motor and attention span. Will also thrive in the pick and roll as a rim runner and will be un-guardable if he develops a refined post-game. Does not need to realize his full potential to be effective in the NBA.
7’0″ 220 C Texas Freshman
Michael Porter
Touted as a potential number 1 pick before a back injury derailed his college season, Michael Porter brings elite shooting and scoring as a 6’11” SF/PF. Could potentially grow into a small ball center. Has a quick and high release that indicates future high-volume efficiency. Effective straight-line driver with good instincts and finishing ability close to the rim. Lack of weight/strength is a concern as well as his tendency to hold on to the ball too long at times. Medical records will need to give him a clean bill of health for him to be drafted high. Much closer to bieng the next Kevin Durant in the NBA than most people realize.
6’11” 215 SF/PF Missouri Freshman
Luka Doncic
The most heralded and accomplished International prospect to declare for the draft since Yao Ming, Doncic has a mature game and will be effective from either the PG/SG/SF position. Thrives as the primary ball handler and has extraordinary court vision akin to LeBron James. Has a refined pull up shot in which he can release from any point in the court. Limitations include average athleticism as well as a very low release which might be easily defended in the NBA. Tends to go for the highlight pass and favors a right-handed slingshot technique which can be high risk/high reward. Can be flustered by athletic defenders and occasionally suffers from tunnel vision. Will be effective in the NBA but will most likely need to be surrounded by veteran players.
6’8″ 225 SG/SF Slovenia International
Jaren Jackson Jr
The best defensive prospect in the draft, Jaren Jackson Jr should develop into an elite 3 and D center. Has good footwork and a high release and also displays good mobility across the court. Has an effective yet rudimentary bask to the basket game. Will need effective coaching to add more facets to his game. If he can develop all of his tools, he could potentially be one of the best players from this class.
6’11” 240 PF/C Michigan St. Freshman
Trae Young
Slightly undersized for a scoring point guard in today’s NBA, Trae Young makes up for his slight frame and 6’2″ wingspan with top level ball handling skills combined with a quick release and unlimited range. Lacks explosiveness off the dribble which hinders his effectiveness the closer he gets to the rim. Possesses superior court vision and will benefit from playing with more talented players in the NBA. Will most likely be targeted on the defensive end. Has the potential to be a top class scorer and passer in the NBA. Closest player comparison is indeed Steph Curry.
6’2″ 180 PG Oklahoma Freshman
Mikal Bridges
Perfect fit in the NBA as a 3 and D player both in the physical and technical sense. Has elite athleticism and defensive nous to become a day one starter regardless of which team drafts him. Has a very polished jump shot and capable high volume shooter. Struggles to create his own offense in the half court. Needs to add strength at the next level and improve his ball handling ability especially in isolation.
6’7″ 210 SG/SF Villanova Junior
Marvin Bagley III
Relentless frontcourt player who makes up for his relative lack of refined skills with energy and efficiency. Will immediately become one of the best rebounders in the league and thrives on running the floor to establish position where he uses good footwork to begin his post moves to score as well as getting put backs from offensive rebounds. Has a dependable 3-point shot particularly from the corners. Has a very poor wingspan and can be pushed around by similar sized players. Does not project to be a rim defender and questions remain about positional fit.
6’11” 235 PF/C Duke Freshman
Miles Bridges
Undersized combo forward who used his physical attributes and explosive ability to compensate for his lack of height. Has the potential to be a good 3-point shooter but form fluctuates wildly. He will need to show more consistency in both his shot and effort. Effective straight-line driver and very good on ball defender regardless of opponent. Possess great basketball instincts which is reflected in his rebounding ability and in finding space in the half court. Does not have the ability to best the best player on a team. Might benefit from playing a reduced role in the NBA.
6’7″ 230 SF/PF Michigan St. Sophomore
Lonnie Walker
Scoring guard who is more effective on than off the ball, Lonnie Walker possesses tremendous scoring tools that may be a better fit for the NBA than college. Uses tremendous body control to change speeds and finish at the rim. Has a good shooting stroke that will need to improve in the NBA. Exerts minimal effort on the defensive end which may limit his minutes as a rookie. If drafted into a high accountability team, he can develop into an elite scoring guard similar to Donovan Mitchell last year.
6’5″ 200 SG Miami Freshman
Wendell Carter Jr
Well-rounded Center who is good but not great in every facet of the game, Wendell Carter possesses a high basketball IQ in which he uses to score in a variety of ways near the basket. Possesses a dependable 3-point shot. Moves his feet very well and is a very disciplined defender. Lacks explosive leaping ability and is shorter than other big men prospects in this year’s draft. Can anchor a defense and be an important cog in the passing game. Will not be a primary scorer for any team but projects to have a similar impact in the NBA as Al Horford.
6’10” 260 PF/C Duke Freshman
Colin Sexton
Dynamic scoring guard who may be ill suited for today’s NBA. Colin Sexton is high intensity scoring point guard. Does not have ideal size nor the shooting ability to compensate for his weaknesses. Assist rate was very low at Alabama which should improve in the NBA as he will be playing with a higher caliber of teammates. Will become more effective as he adds more weight to his frame. Already a very strong finisher who can play through contact. First two seasons in the NBA will be very important for his development.
6’2″ 185 PG Alabama Freshman
Kevin Knox
Combo forward who should thrive in the NBA where there is more spacing. Has a high and quick release on his 3-point shot which he used to open up passing and driving lanes. Very confident player whose potential has not been credibly calculated. Could be one of the steals of the draft if given the opportunity and green light to score. Reminds me of a taller Devin Booker coming out of Kentucky.
6’9″ 215 SF/PF Kentucky Freshman
Mitchell Robinson
Posseses a great combination of height, length and athleticism as a center in which he uses primarily to be a rim runner and shot blocker. Does not posses any back o the basket skills nor a dependable jump shot. Very raw prospect who sat out the college season. Will need time to develop as a pro. Could be effective in limited minutes. WIll need time in the G-league. Should eventually develop into a lob target and defensive menace in the DeAndre Jordan mold. Will need to add considerable weight and strength in the NBA.
7’1″ 225 C USA International
Robert Williams
Slightly undersized, high energy defensive center who makes up for his lack of ideal height with a 7’6″ wingspan. Will mainly be counted on for rebounds and blocks in the NBA and finishing solely at the rim. Will need to be surround by 3-point shooters to be most effective and will carve a niche in the NBA as a near the rim disrupter. Reminds me of a Pre-Kardashian Tristan Thompson with better shot blocking ability.
6’9″ 240 PF/C Texas A&M Sophomore
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Another supersized point guard following the trend in recent years. Shai uses his 6’6″ frame to see over the top of the defense. He will primarily be a pass first floor general at the next level. Has very good skills driving to the hoop and drawing fouls. Has a long release on his jump shot which could prove troublesome in the NBA. Shot a very low volume of threes in college. Profiles as a dependable defender and can switch on any pick and roll.
6’6″ 180 PG Kentucky Freshman
Grayson Allen
Versatile scoring guard with elite athleticism contrasts with legitimate concerns regarding his intangibles. Can score from any part of the floor but tends to get stuck into tunnel vison. Will need to break his bad habits on the offensive ends. Has a good release and ability to finish at the rim. Will be useful for any team that needs scoring from the bench or shooting as a 3rd option when starting.
6’5″ 210 SG Duke Senior
Aaron Holiday
Another steady floor general who brings a calmness combined with elite 3-point shooting from the point guard position. Makes up for his relative lack of size and explosiveness with his long arms. Has a mature feel for the game likely influenced by his older NBA brothers Jrue and Justin. Will immediately be a very good complementary player in the NBA.
6’1″ 185 PG UCLA Junior
Khyri Thomas
Defensive specialist who thrives on containing the offensive threats without gambling. Has an unreal 6’10” wingspan for 6’4″ guard. Very good 3-point shooter when he has his feet set. Not very explosive driving to the rim. Struggles to create his own offense. Best suited as a defensive specialist for an offensive team.
6’4″ 210 PG/SG Creighton Junior
Keita Bates-Diop
Very long tweener guard/forward who will be counted to contribute on the defensive end. Has increased his offensive skills in college to the point where he could be a reliable shooter and relative scorer in the NBA. Will get steals and blocks on a nightly basis. Will need to add weight and strength to compensate for his lack of explosiveness. Projects as a top-level role player.
6’7″ 235 SF Ohio State Senior
21 Jontay Porter 6’11” 240 PF/C Missouri Freshman
22 Chandler Hutchinson 6’7″ 195 PF Boise State Senior
23 Shake Milton 6’6″ 205 PG/SG SMU Junior
24 Zhaire Smith 6’4″ 195 SG Texas Tech Freshman
25 Hamidou Diallo 6’6″ 190 SG Kentucky Freshman
26 Anfernee Simons 6’3″ 180 PG/SG IMG Academy International
27 Rodions Kurucs 6’9″ 220 SF Latvia International
28 Troy Brown 6’7″ 215 SF Oregon Freshman
29 Jalen Brunson 6’2″ 190 PG Villanova Junior
30 Dzanan Musa 6’9″ 195 SF Bosnia & Herzegovina International
31 Gary Trent Jr 6’6″ 205 SG Duke Freshman
32 Donte Di Vincenzo 6’5″ 200 SG Villanova Sophomore
33 Trevon Duval 6’3″ 190 PG Duke Freshman
34 Josh Okogie 6’5″ 210 SG Georgia Tech Sophomore
35 Kevin Huerter 6’7″ 195 SG Maryland Sophomore
36 Landry Shamet 6’5″ 190 PG/SG Wichita State Sophomore
37 Moritz Wagner 6’11” 240 PF/C Michigan Junior
38 Devonte’ Graham 6’1″ 186 PG Kansas Senior
39 Tony Carr 6’4″ 200 PG Penn State Sophomore
40 Alize Johnson 6’8″ 215 PF Missouri State Senior