We are just a few hours from the 2018 NBA Draft. Here are a few story lines to keep an eye on:
Year of the Big Man:
The top of this year’s class is ripe with athletic, skilled big men. In all likelihood Phoenix is going to take Arizona center DeAndre Ayton with the Kings snagging Duke PF Marvin Bagley at #2. That still leaves Jaren Jakson Jr. (Mich St.), Wendell Carter (Duke), and Mohamed Bamba (Texas), all 6’10″+ PF/Cs that will not remain on the board for long. Add to that mix 6’10” Michael Porter Jr. who draws comparisons to Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant due to his ball handling and wing-play proficiency and general “position-less” nature of his game. Bamba, who has a 7’9″ wingspan, might be the most intriguing prospect in the draft. He could easily be a Rudy Gobert-level defender (averaged 3.7 BPG at Texas), and while he is raw offensively, he has the physical tools, hand-eye, and shooting stroke to develop into a double-digit scorer.
Memphis at 4?
After Ayton and Bagley, it looks like Slovenian phenom Luka Doncic will go third to the Hawks. Doncic is a huge story of this draft himself, but we won’t learn too much about his skill level tonight (although the suit can be an important indicator). The Grizzlies sit at the number four spot, but have been publicly shopping the pick for some time now. From all reports, they are hoping to include Chandler Parsons in any trade they would make, thereby freeing themselves from the $49.2 million he is due over the next two years. Don’t be surprised if a team is willing to take that on and give up some value to move up for Jaren Jackson, Mo Bamba, or Michael Porter.
The Cavs currently have the 8th pick (from Nets via Boston). Right now, the Cavs only priority is doing whatever they can to keep Lebron at home. This might mean trying to move up to get whoever Lebron’s pick is. The Cavs definitely need a PG which leads us to:
Sexton or Trae Young?
The debate on which PG would go first has been on going since early in the CBB season. We know they can both score, but there are plenty of doubters on how Young’s size (6’2″, 180) and skill set will translate to the NBA. Sexton is also slightly undersized, but both players are must-see TV when they get in an offensive rhythm. Along with these two, 6’6″ PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has shot up draft boards as of late, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see him go before both of these guys.
Check out our Mock Draft for more draft prep.