2018 NBA Draft: Highest upside, biggest risk and eight other superlatives to dissect this year's class

The 2018 NBA Draft class offers a wide array of talent for teams looking to bolster their rosters. Need an offensive-minded big man at the top of the draft? Good. Because Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III present plenty of promise with varying skillsets. How about a play-making guard with good court vision and shooting ability? Luka Doncic and Trae Young have shown flashes of potentially developing into elite producers of both at the next level.

As you slide down the board though, finding the best attributes of each prospect can be difficult to detect. Not every big man is created with equal offensive acumen as Ayton or Bagley, just as not every point guard thrives at scoring in ways like Young or Doncic. Distinguishing the differences between other prospects at similar positions is important, especially when factoring in fit and projecting needs for the teams making selections.

So whether you're just digging into the draft for the first time or a bonafide draftnik looking for more intel on the class of draft-hopefuls, we've created a repository of all the best traits and matched them up with what prospect does it best; a pre-draft superlatives that will serve as a get-to-know-the-prospects exercise. So let's dive right in.

Best shot-blocker: Mohamed Bamba

Sometimes a prospect with a long wingspan doesn't have the skill, feel or strength to translate into a fabulous NBA shot-blocker. That's likely not the case with Mohamed Bamba. Bamba set an NBA Combine record with his 7-foot-10 (!!) wingspan, and proved he knew how to put it to good use at Texas by leading the Big 12 as a freshman with 3.7 stuffs per game. He's a smart player who will provide an immediate boost of rim protection to the team that selects him.

Highest upside: Luka Doncic

When I think about upside as a prospect, I think about someone that can potentially develop into the best player on a playoff team. Doncic is just that -- in fact, he's already been that, having recently won the EuroLeague MVP playing for Real Madrid and guiding his squad to a EuroLeague title.

The NBA is quite different from EuroLeague competition, mind you, but the 19-year-old is a crisp passer with excellent shooting ability. All his skills should translate naturally from international play to the NBA. There's always going to be a place in the league for a player of his IQ and court vision.

Most thunderous dunker: Robert Williams

There are impressive dunkers in this class ... then there's Texas A&M product Robert Williams, whose sole purpose on the hardwood is seemingly to destroy every rim he can get his hands on.

Best perimeter shooter: Trae Young

Young had virtually no restraints on him as a freshman at OU last season and was able to pull the trigger whenever and wherever he wanted. That led to erratic, sometimes poor decision-making as evidenced by his NCAA-leading 5.2 turnovers per game and questionable shot selection. But it also led to the basketball world discovering his abilities as a potential go-to weapon on offense with his ability to hit from virtually anywhere on the perimeter. His outside shooting stands head and shoulders above the rest of this draft class.

Most athletic: Zhaire Smith

Zhaire Smith was a close second-place finisher in the "most thunderous dunker" category to Robert Williams. His consolation prize is acknowledging him here as the most athletic player in the draft. The dunks he throws down, his versatility on defense, and his ability to seemingly defy gravity is a remarkable sight that easily earns him the distinction.

Biggest risk in the lottery: Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter Jr. joined Missouri last season as the No. 2 overall recruit and a projected standout among the highly talented freshmen crop of college players, but his lone season at the NCAA level was muddled with a back injury that never allowed him to realize his potential. Even despite the injury, he may still be a lottery pick. But recent reports that he cancelled a pro day workout due to hip spasms only emphasizes that he comes with a risk of injury that may scare teams off inside the top 14.

Senior most likely to be picked first: Chandler Hutchison

It's entirely possible -- likely, even -- that the lottery portion of the draft will come and go without a senior being selected. But when a team does decide to pick a veteran college player, Boise State's Chandler Hutchison is likely to be the first off the board. The 6-foot-7 wing has the versatility to guard several different positions, including guards, and proved last season that he's able to create for himself on offense as a primary option. For all those reasons I expect he will be selected first among the class of seniors hoping to hear their name called on draft night.

Best passer: Luka Doncic

I tried to avoid doubling up, but I'd be remiss to not mention Doncic as the best passer in this draft class. His vision on the floor is next-level. He sees things two plays before they develop, and the types of passes he makes -- over the head, behind the back, no-look -- are truly breathtaking.

Best defender: Jevon Carter

Carter is somewhat limited in his versatility to guard different positions as compared to other prospects who project to develop into lockdown defenders, but what he does -- defending the point guard position -- he does extremely well. He's an in-your-face pest who applies consistent on-ball pressure and wreaks havoc to force turnovers and generate steals.

Carter finished second in D-I in steals per game as a senior last season with 3.03 and operated as lead hound for a West Virginia team that forced more than 16 turnovers per game last season.

Best rebounder: Deandre Ayton

This was a tightly contested battle, but Ayton gets the nod ever-so-slightly over Duke's Marvin Bagley III and Seton Hall's Angel Delgado. As a freshman at Arizona last season, Ayton wielded his 7-foot-1 frame like a seasoned samurai, knifing his way in and out of traffic to snatch rebounds effortlessly. His size was also an extreme advantage he put to use to simply overpower smaller bigs on the court.

Ayton pulled down 11.6 boards per game with ease with the Wildcats, which ranked second among players inside the traditional six conferences behind only Delgado. And when you consider the fact that he played in most lineups that also featured 7-foot teammate Dusan Ristic, Ayton's the winner in this category by a landslide.

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