2018 NBA Draft prospect rankings: Duke's Marvin Bagley ahead of Michael Porter
There are six players in the top tier of Reid Forgrave's Top 50 NBA Draft prospect rankings
It'll be a conversation had in NBA draft circles continuously until a Thursday night in late June 2018, when Adam Silver strides to a podium and gives us our answer:
Who's No. 1?
The 2018 NBA Draft does not have the depth of the 2017 draft, but it has a much stronger top tier. That top tier, in my view, has six players: Duke's Marvin Bagley III, Texas' Mo Bamba, Missouri's Michael Porter Jr., Arizona's DeAndre Ayton, Alabama's Collin Sexton and the Slovenian wing currently starring in the Spanish professional league, Luka Doncic.
In past drafts, it's been pretty clear leading up to draft night who the No. 1 overall pick was going to be. As deep as last year's draft was, conventional wisdom pretty clearly had separated Markelle Fultz from the pack. (It remains to be seen just how wise that conventional wisdom actually was.) The year before, Ben Simmons was the clear, obvious No. 1 pick. Ditto for Karl-Anthony Towns the year before that. When Andrew Wiggins went first overall in 2014, there was plenty of debate leading up to draft night whether that pick should instead be Joel Embiid -- but Embiid's surgery six days before the pack made certain that the lower-risk Wiggins would get the top spot.
There is more uncertainty as to who the No. one overall pick is going to be in the 2018 draft than there's been for any draft since 2013.
But it's for totally different reasons. The 2013 draft simply didn't have any clear standouts near the top. (Kudos to the Milwaukee Bucks for taking the single best player in that draft at the 15 slot, a fellow by the name of Giannis Antetokounmpo.) Anthony Bennett first overall (yikes), but going into that draft, nobody knew who it would be: Bennett, or Victor Oladipo, or Alex Len, or Nerlens Noel.
This draft? It feels just as uncertain who'll be the No. 1 pick as it did back in 2013, but it's because there's too much possibly franchise-changing talent at the top instead of not enough. My pick for No. 1 is currently Bagley. He's dominating college basketball at age 18, and he's only going to get better, one of the most athletic and mobile near-seven-footers in human history. I had originally thought Porter would be the No. 1 pick; it feels safe to say that his back surgery has introduced an element of risk to his potential that he's likely no longer in contention. Ayton is a physical marvel with a dizzying offensive skill set who plenty consider the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick. And some are in the camp of Doncic, an incredibly intelligent and mature basketball player who at age 18 is dominating a league filled with grown men. And while I think both of them are long shots to be No. 1, Sexton and Bamba are both elite-level prospects.
So be ready for some fun arguments over the next six months. Because the name who Adam Silver will call first is far from a sure thing.
NBA Draft prospect rankings
|1||Marvin Bagley III||Duke||Fr||PF||6-11||234|| |
|2||Luka Doncic||INTL||-||SG||6-6||228|| |
|3||Deandre Ayton||Arizona||Fr||C||7-1||260|| |
|4||Michael Porter Jr.||Missouri||Fr||SF||6-10||215|| |
|5||Mohamed Bamba||Texas||Fr||PF||6-11||225|| |
|6||Collin Sexton||Alabama||Fr||PG||6-3||190|| |
|7||Jaren Jackson Jr.||Michigan St.||Fr||PF||6-11||242|| |
|8||Kevin Knox||Kentucky||Fr||SF||6-9||215|| |
|9||Lonnie Walker IV||Miami (Fla.)||Fr||SG||6-5||204|| |
|10||Miles Bridges||Michigan St.||Soph||SF||6-7||230|| |
|11||Robert Williams||Texas A&M||Soph||PF||6-10||240|| |
|12||Trevon Duval||Duke||Fr||PG||6-3||186|| |
|13||Mikal Bridges||Villanova||Jr||SF||6-7||210|| |
|14||Wendell Carter Jr.||Duke||Fr||PF||6-10||259|| |
|15||Hamidou Diallo||Kentucky||Fr||SF||6-5||198|| |
|16||Gary Trent Jr.||Duke||Fr||SG||6-6||209|| |
|17||Kris Wilkes||UCLA||Fr||SF||6-8||195|| |
|18||PJ Washington||Kentucky||Fr||PF||6-7||236|| |
|19||Brandon McCoy||UNLV||Fr||C||7-0||250|| |
|20||Grayson Allen||Duke||Sr||SG||6-5||205|| |
|21||Jarred Vanderbilt||Kentucky||Fr||SF||6-9||214|| |
|22||Rui Hachimura||Gonzaga||Soph||SF||6-8||225|| |
|23||Chimezie Metu||USC||Jr||PF||6-11||225|| |
|24||Mitchell Robinson||N/A||Fr||C||6-3||-|| |
|25||Austin Wiley||Auburn||Soph||C||6-11||260|| |
|26||Jalen Brunson||Villanova||Jr||PG||6-2||190|| |
|27||Bruce Brown Jr.||Miami (Fla.)||Soph||SG||6-5||190|| |
|28||Anfernee Simons||IMG ACADEMY||-||SG||6-3||165|| |
|29||Allonzo Trier||Arizona||Jr||SG||6-5||205|| |
|30||Shake Milton||SMU||Jr||PG||6-6||205|| |
|31||Troy Brown||Oregon||Fr||SG||6-7||215|| |
|32||Trae Young||Oklahoma||Fr||PG||6-2||180|| |
|33||Billy Preston||Kansas||Fr||PF||6-10||240|| |
|34||Chris Smith||UCLA||Fr||SF||6-9||200|| |
|35||Dzanan Musa||INTL||-||SF||6-9||187|| |
|36||Khyri Thomas||Creighton||Jr||SG||6-3||210|| |
|37||Yante Maten||Georgia||Sr||PG||6-8||243|| |
|38||Jo Lual-Acuil Jr.||Baylor||Sr||C||7-0||225|| |
|39||Rawle Alkins||Arizona||Soph||SG||6-5||220|| |
|40||Omer Yurtseven||NC State||Soph||C||7-0||245|| |
|41||Jacob Evans III||Cincinnati||Jr||SF||6-6||210|| |
|42||Angel Delgado||Seton Hall||Sr||PF||6-10||245|| |
|43||Aaron Holiday||UCLA||Jr||PG||6-1||185|| |
|44||Bonzie Colson||Notre Dame||Sr||SF||6-6||224|| |
|45||Landry Shamet||Wichita St.||Soph||PG||6-4||180|| |
|46||Rodions Kurucs||INTL||-||SF||6-9||205|| |
|47||Nick Richards||Kentucky||Fr||C||6-11||240|| |
|48||Jaylen Adams||St. Bona.||Sr||PG||6-2||190|| |
|49||Shai Gilgeous-Alexander||Kentucky||Fr||PG||6-6||180|| |
|50||Alize Johnson||Missouri St.||Sr||PF||6-9||203|
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