When scouting for the best shooter in the NBA Draft, there are a lot of things to take into mind. Those things aren’t necessarily illustrated by any statistics either. Although both standard statistics and advanced analytics are helpful, they don’t indicate how fast a player’s release is, how they’ll handle the deeper three point line, if they have some type of fundamental flaw that could be exposed at the next level or how they far against the kind of length and athleticism the average NBA defender possesses. Sometimes you just don’t know until you see them in live game action, but by that time contracts are signed and the pressure is on.
Many scouts and general managers have lost their jobs over shooters who didn’t translate. Ray Allen’s hot shooting for the Finals-bound Miami HEAT have a lot of people saying the old homage “the jump shot is the last thing to go”, but there are far more cases where it’s the first to go, especially when the transition from college basketball to the NBA is made.
In continuation with our NBA Draft coverage, we take a look at some of the best shooters this draft class has to offer, focusing primarily on their ability to hit from beyond the arc.
Doug McDermott – Creighton, Forward
You don’t become one of the greatest scorers in NCAA history without being able to shoot the basketball at a prolific rate. As far as pure shooters go, this draft class probably doesn’t offer a better one than McDermott, who score over 3,000 points in his career at Creighton. Most impressive was the fact that he never shot under 40 percent from beyond the arc, that’s while shooting over 110 each season and making a total of 274.
At 6’8 with more athleticism than most people realize, McDermott is going to be a tough guard at the NBA level as well. He may not be one of the league’s leading scorers like he was at the NBA, but he’s going to be the kind of offensive threat who demands attention at every moment, no matter where he is on the floor. If left open, he’s almost a guarantee to make the defense pay, reflected by the ridiculous 1.9 points per possession he averaged on unguarded jump shots this season.
He boasted a true shooting percentage of 65.1 percent this season, amongst the top in the class, which is especially impressive when you consider the load he carried for his team and that he took 17.9 shots a game. He never shot less than 52 percent from the field overall.
McDermott is quickly becoming one of the draft’s high risers as team’s fall in love with his basketball IQ, maturity and offensive abilities. Given that he settles into a position that he can defend adequately (or at least close to it), look for McDermott to be one of the rookie leaders in scoring next season.
Nik Stauskas, Michigan, Guard
As a freshman Stauskas put himself on the NBA Draft radar because of his ability to hit the three-point shot, connecting on 80 triples at a 44 percent clip. As a sophomore he did much more than just hit the long ball, which is why he’s now a consensus lottery pick. Stauskas proved to be a viable threat to put the ball on the floor on close outs and efficiently operate in the pick-and-roll, which could help him be the second shooting guard selected behind Andrew Wiggins, the potential No. 1 overall selection. Oh yeah, and he hit 92 threes, right at 44 percent efficiency once again.
Stauskas’ bread and butter is always going to be his smooth, picture perfect jump shot, though. He ranks as one of the best spot up shooters in the draft, averaging 1.3 points per possession in those situations. His true shooting percentage of 65.1 percent also puts him near the top of the class, on par with big guys who primarily shoot from within 10 feet.
The further away he is from the basket, the more reliable Stauskas is. The key for him to become a starter in the league and not just a specialist is going to be building on his arsenal inside of the arc. With the ability to create his own shot and finish in the interior, Stauskas could easily end up one of the better players in this class. However, his jumper alone should keep him in the league for several years as he possesses endless range and a quick enough release to get his shot off against NBA-caliber defenders. Ideally he’ll land with a team with creators who will allow him to play to his strengths early on until he becomes more comfortable with the other aspects of his game.
Rodney Hood – Duke, Forward
During his loan season at Duke Hood proved to be one of the best three-point shooters in the country, making 71 treys while shooting 42 percent from distance. The southpaw is silky smooth with a quick release. He averaged 1.04 points per possession in spot up shooting situations. Unfortunately, he played on a Blue Devils team that had a lot of scorers but no true playmaker, so he didn’t get to play to his strengths as much as he likely will in the NBA.
In the Blue Devils’ opening round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Mercer Hood’s difficulties creating off of the dribble were magnified. Set to turn 23 years of old by the time the season starts, he may never be the kind of primary offensive option who you can run things through and expect to create for himself and others. He could just end up being a shooter, but at 6’8 with deep range teams are always going to have room for him on their roster.
More important for his career’s success than expanding his offensive repertoire is being a quality defender.
Jabari Brown – Missouri, Guard
There’s a lot to like about Brown’s game, like the way he’s steadily improved over the last three years and how athletic he is. He’s likely going to carve his niche in the league as a shooter, though. That’s what projects to translate the best, which is surprising to say about someone who shot 14 percent from three during his freshman year at Oregon.
Two years later, he’s one of the best in college basketball, making 80 triples on over 40 percent shooting. Not only did he make 2.3 threes a game, he also made nearly eight trips to the free throw line, where he converted just about 80 percent of the time.
The majority of Brown’s offense came in spot up opportunities and off of screens. He averaged 1.0 points per possession in those situations, while also serving as a lethal threat in transition. For teams that like to play up temp and need some depth in the backcourt, Brown is going to be a very attractive option, either late in the first round or early in the second.
C.J. Wilcox – Washington, Guard
Although he didn’t get a lot of national attention while doing so, over the last four years Wilcox has been one of the best shooters in college basketball. He finished his career with 301 triples made, never shooting less than 36 percent from the field. Wilcox averaged 1.1 points per possession in spot up situations and nearly the same coming off of screens, where he did the majority of his work.
With a wingspan just under seven foot, good athleticism and an adept understanding of how to work without the ball, Wilcox should be able to catch on with a team next season regardless of whether he gets drafted in the second round.
One of his main selling points at the NBA Draft Combine was that he is more than a shooter. However, it is his jump shot that is going to keep him in the league and potentially give him the opportunity to showcase what else he can do.
Joe Harris, Virginia, Guard – Lowest he shot from three in his four-year career was 38 percent, other than that he was at 40 percent or over every season. Has a quick enough release to believe he could get his shot off against NBA defenders, but it’s the other side of the court that could lead to him taking his reliable jump shot abroad. Also is a surprisingly mediocre free throw shooter.
Travis Bader, Oakland, Guard –The NCAA’s all-time leading three point shooter with 504 triples made in his career. Is deserving of the top spot on this list as he could probably win multiple NBA three-point shootouts, but little else about his game is NBA-caliber, so he may never get the opportunity. That jumper is going to be worth some nice money overseas, though.
Alec Brown, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Center – The lone center on this list; Brown doesn’t have a body of work that impresses like most draft prospects, but as a stretch five he can really be a matchup nightmare. Has a better chance to stick than the average specialist because his top skill is somewhat of a rarity at his position. Lack of strength is the big thing that will scare teams away.
DeAndre Daniels, UConn, Forward – An emerging threat with his jump shot, which became one of his more valuable weapons this season after really being a weakness his first two years. He connected on a career-high 50 triples at an impressive 41 percent clip – 17 points higher than his freshman season. While he’s well-rounded, his rapidly-improving three point shooting could be his strength early on.
P.J. Hairston, D-League, Guard– The character red flags stemming from his midseason dismissal at North Carolina look bad, but Hairston has gone a long way to try and make up for them. He immediately entered the D-League after being ruled ineligible and proved to be a lethal scoring threat there as well. He wasn’t overly efficient (who is in the D-League, though?), but he did show that he can score against a competition level that many regard as higher than D-I college basketball. He’s athletic with deep range, look for him to go late in the first round. He makes a lot of sense for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jordan Adams, UCLA, Guard – It’s almost not fair to classify Adams by his position. The most accurate label for him is a bucket maker. Far from an elite athlete, Adams has a knack for scoring and simply knows how to put the ball in the hole. He has deep range on his jump shot and a quick release. Stock may not be where he wants it to be after flip flopping on staying in school another year, but he’s too young and offensively gifted not to get a serious shot at making a roster next year.
James Young, Kentucky, Forward – Shot just 34 percent from three and 40 percent overall, but is similar to Brad Beal in the sense that he should end up being a much better shooter in the pros than he was in college. He has a really nice stroke and deep range, making shots isn’t going to be a problem for him. Taking better shots will be the key. He’s far too athletic to settle.
Jabari Parker, Duke, Forward – If all Parker did was focus on his jump shots and had quality creators around him to set him up, he’d undoubtedly be regarded as one of the best shooters in this draft class. That wasn’t the situation he was in this past year at Duke, though, and it’s unlikely that it will be his role at the next level. He’s just too good overall offensively to focus on utilizing that one aspect of his arsenal. He can score with his back to the basket, finish at the rim, score off put backs and cuts; you name it, he can do it. And if making a jump shot, from anywhere on the court, including beyond the arc, is it, he’ll come through.
Honorable Mentions: Gary Harris (Michigan State, Guard), Dario Saric (International, Forward), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Cleanthony Early (Wichita State, Forward) and Isaiah Austin (Baylor, Forward).
Want to weigh in? Leave a comment!
NBA Announces 2018 NBA Draft Early Entry Candidates
The NBA announced the 2018 NBA Draft Early Entry list, including 181 players from colleges and post-graduate institutions and 55 international players.
NEW YORK, April 24, 2018 – The National Basketball Association announced today that 236 players — 181 players from colleges and post-graduate institutions and 55 international players — have filed as early entry candidates for the 2018 NBA Draft presented by State Farm.
Players wishing to enter the 2018 NBA Draft were required to submit a letter to the NBA to be received no later than Sunday, April 22. Players who have applied for early entry have the right to withdraw their names from consideration for the Draft by notifying the NBA of their decision in writing no later than 5 p.m. ET on Monday, June 11. Under NCAA rules, in order to retain college basketball eligibility, underclassmen who have entered the 2018 Draft must withdraw by Wednesday, May 30.
Following is the list of players from colleges and post-graduate institutions who have applied for early entry into the 2018 NBA Draft, which will be held Thursday, June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
EARLY ENTRY CANDIDATES FOR 2018 NBA DRAFT
|Admon Gilder||Texas A&M||6-4||Junior|
|Anfernee Simons||IMG Academy||6-4||Post-Graduate|
|Barry Brown Jr.||Kansas State||6-3||Junior|
|Brian Bowen II||South Carolina||6-7||Freshman|
|Bruce Brown Jr.||Miami||6-5||Sophomore|
|Bryant Crawford||Wake Forest||6-3||Junior|
|Chris Silva||South Carolina||6-9||Junior|
|Christian Keeling||Charleston Southern||6-4||Sophomore|
|Christian Mekowulu||Tennessee State||6-9||Junior|
|DeAngelo Isby||Utah State||6-5||Junior|
|Demajeo Wiggins||Bowling Green||6-10||Junior|
|Deshon Taylor||Fresno State||6-2||Junior|
|Devonte Klines||Montana State||6-0||Junior|
|Dextor Foster||ASA College (FL)||6-5||Junior|
|DJ Hogg||Texas A&M||6-9||Junior|
|Dominic Magee||Southern Mississippi||6-4||Junior|
|Doral Moore||Wake Forest||7-1||Junior|
|Drew Eubanks||Oregon State||6-10||Junior|
|Eric Davis Jr.||Texas||6-3||Junior|
|Esa Ahmad||West Virginia||6-8||Junior|
|Eugene German||Northern Illinois||6-0||Sophomore|
|Fred Sims Jr.||Chicago State||6-4||Junior|
|Gary Trent Jr.||Duke||6-6||Freshman|
|Isaac Copeland Jr.||Nebraska||6-9||Junior|
|Ismaila Kane||Atlanta Metropolitan||6-9||Freshman|
|Jalen McDaniels||San Diego State||6-10||Freshman|
|Jalon Pipkins||Cal State-Northridge||6-4||Freshman|
|James Palmer Jr.||Nebraska||6-6||Junior|
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||Michigan State||6-11||Freshman|
|Jaylin Walker||Kent State||6-1||Junior|
|Jerome Robinson||Boston College||6-6||Junior|
|Jordan Brangers||South Plains College (TX)||6-2 S||ophomore|
|Jordan Davis||Northern Colorado||6-2||Junior|
|Jordan Murdock||Friends University||6-4||Junior|
|Josh Okogie||Georgia Tech||6-4||Sophomore|
|Kalob Ledoux||McNeese State||6-3||Sophomore|
|Keanu Peters||Salt Lake CC (UT)||6-2||Sophomore|
|Keita Bates-Diop||Ohio State||6-7||Junior|
|Kerwin Roach II||Texas||6-4||Junior|
|Ky Bowman||Boston College||6-1||Sophomore|
|Lamar Peters||Mississippi State||6-0||Sophomore|
|Lamonte Bearden||Western Kentucky||6-3||Junior|
|Landry Shamet||Wichita State||6-4||Sophomore|
|Lindell Wigginton||Iowa State||6-2||Freshman|
|Luke Maye||North Carolina||6-8||Junior|
|Makinde London||Tennessee-Chattanooga||6-10 Juni||or|
|Malik Martin||South Florida||6-11||Junior|
|Markis McDuffie||Wichita State||6-8||Junior|
|Marvin Bagley III||Duke||6-11||Freshman|
|Max Montana||San Diego State||6-9||Junior|
|Melvin Frazier Jr.||Tulane||6-6||Junior|
|Michael Porter Jr.||Missouri||6-10||Freshman|
|Mike Amius||Western Carolina||6-7||Junior|
|Mike Daum||South Dakota State||6-9||Junior|
|Miles Bridges||Michigan State||6-7||Sophomore|
|Mitchell Robinson||Western Kentucky||7-0||Freshman|
|Nick Ward||Michigan State||6-8||Sophomore|
|Quinndary Weatherspoon||Mississippi State||6-4||Junior|
|Ray Ona Embo||Tulane||6-5||Sophomore|
|Robert Franks Jr.||Washington State||6-7||Junior|
|Robert Williams III||Texas A&M||6-10||Sophomore|
|Ronshad Shabazz||Appalachian State||6-5||Junior|
|Sagaba Konate||West Virginia||6-8||Sophomore|
|Shamorie Ponds||St. John痴||6-1||Sophomore|
|Tashawn Berry||Dakota College (ND)||6-3||Sophomore|
|Tavarius Shine||Oklahoma State||6-6||Junior|
|Tony Carr||Penn State||6-5||Sophomore|
|Torin Dorn||North Carolina State||6-5||Junior|
|Tramaine Isabell Jr.||Drexel||6-1||Junior|
|Tremaine Fraiser||Westchester CC (NY)||6-3||Sophomore|
|Troy Brown Jr.||Oregon||6-7||Freshman|
|Tyler Davis||Texas A&M||6-10||Junior|
|Tyler Hall||Montana State||6-4||Junior|
|Victor Lewis II||West Texas A&M||6-3||Junior|
|Wendell Carter Jr.||Duke||6-10||Freshman|
|Yankuba Sima||Oklahoma State||6-11||Junior|
|Zach Hankins||Ferris State||6-10||Junior|
|Zhaire Smith||Texas Tech||6-5||Freshman|
The following is the list of international players who have applied for early entry into the 2018 NBA Draft:
|Player||Team/Country of Team||Height||Status|
|Adam Mokoka||Gravelines (France)||6-4||1998 DOB|
|Aleksander Dziewa||Slask Wroclaw (Poland)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Amine Noua||ASVEL (France)||6-8||1997 DOB|
|Antonios Koniaris||PAOK (Greece)||6-4||1997 DOB|
|Arnoldas Kulboka||Capo d丹rlando (Italy)||6-10||1998 DOB|
|Berkan Durmaz||Tofas (Turkey)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Berke Atar||Bandirma Kirmizi (Turkey)||6-11||1999 DOB|
|Blaz Mesicek||Brindisi (Italy)||6-6||1997 DOB|
|Darel Poirier||Charleville (France)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Dzanan Musa||Cedevita (Croatia)||6-8||1999 DOB|
|Elie Okobo||Pau Orthez (France)||6-2||1997 DOB|
|Emanuel Cate||Prat (Spain)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Erxhan Osmani||Bandirma Kirmizi (Turkey)||6-9||1998 DOB|
|Etienne Ca||Chalon (France)||6-11||1997 DOB|
|Filip Zagrajski||Beli Manastir (Croatia)||6-4||1997 DOB|
|Gabriel Galvanini||Bauru (Brazil)||6-8||1998 DOB|
|Georgios Kalaitzakis||Panathinaikos (Greece)||6-6||1999 DOB|
|Goga Bitadze||Mega Bemax (Serbia)||6-11||1999 DOB|
|Ibrahima Faye||Poitiers (France)||6-10||1997 DOB|
|Isaac Bonga||Fraport Skyliners (Germany)||6-9||1999 DOB|
|Issuf Sanon||Olimpija (Slovenia)||6-3||1999 DOB|
|Jean-Marc Pansa||Nanterre (France)||6-10||1997 DOB|
|Karim Jallow||Bayern Munich (Germany)||6-7||1997 DOB|
|Laurynas Beliauskas||Neptunas (Lithuania)||6-4||1997 DOB|
|Laurynas Birutis||Siauliai (Lithuania)||7-0||1997 DOB|
|Leon Kratzer||Wuerzburg (Germany)||6-11||1997 DOB|
|Leonardo Tote||Verona (Italy)||6-10||1997 DOB|
|LiAngelo Ball||UCLA/Vytautas (Lithuania)||6-5||1998 DOB|
|Louis Olinde||Brose Baskets (Germany)||6-9||1998 DOB|
|Luka Doncic||Real Madrid (Spain)||6-7||1999 DOB|
|Marcel Ponitka||Asseco (Poland)||6-5||1997 DOB|
|Martynas Echodas||Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Martynas Varnas||Pieno Zvaigzdes (Lithuania)||6-5||1997 DOB|
|Matas Jogela||Zalgiris II (Lithuania)||6-6||1998 DOB|
|Matur Maker||CIBA (Canada)||6-11||1998 DOB|
|Melvyn Govindy||Cholet (France)||7-0||1997 DOB|
|Michael Uchendu||Bauru (Brazil)||6-9||1998 DOB|
|Michal Kolenda||Trefl Sopot (Poland)||6-7||1997 DOB|
|Muhaymin Mustafa||Anadolu Efes (Turkey)||6-5||1999 DOB|
|Rihards Berzins||Liepaja (Latvia)||6-11||1997 DOB|
|Rodions Kurucs||Barcelona (Spain)||6-9||1998 DOB|
|Romaric Belemene||Oviedo (Spain)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Shekinah Munanga||Monaco (France)||6-7||1997 DOB|
|Sigfredo Casero-Ortiz||GET Vosges (France)||6-1||1997 DOB|
|Stephane Gombauld||Lille Metropole (France)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Tadas Sedekerskis||Nevezis (Lithuania)||6-8||1998 DOB|
|Tryggvi Hlinason||Valencia (Spain)||7-1||1997 DOB|
|Vanja Marinkovic||Partizan (Serbia)||6-6||1997 DOB|
|Vasileios Charalampopoulos P||AOK (Greece)||6-9||1997 DOB|
|Viny Okouo||Unicaja (Spain)||7-1||1997 DOB|
|William McDowell-White B||aunach (Germany) 6||-5||1998 DOB|
|Williams Narace||Nancy (France)||6-8||1997 DOB|
|Xabier Lopez-Arostegui||Joventut Badalona (Spain)||6-6||1997 DOB|
|Yago Dos Santos||Paulistano (Brazil)||5-10||1999 DOB|
|Yoan Granvorka||Monthey (Switzerland)||6-7||1997 DOB|
Check out the latest Basketball Insiders Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects.
NBA Daily: 2018 60-Pick NBA Mock Draft – 4/24/18
The deadline for early entry into the 2018 NBA Draft has passed, so Basketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler offers up another 60-pick Mock Draft.
The Deadline for early entry into the 2018 NBA Draft was April 22, however, the NBA hasn’t yet released the full list of eligible players. There appear to be more than 153 underclassmen that have declared to “test the waters” according to reports. By way of comparison, last year there were 137 players from college and an additional 45 from international basketball that declared early, with 73 of those players pulling out after going through the process.
The 2018 Draft class could be shaping up to be one of the biggest, especially when you consider the volume of highly draftable seniors.
There are still some dates to keep in mind:
The NBA Draft Lottery will be held in Chicago on May 15. The annual NBA Draft Combine will get underway on May 16, also in Chicago. In any given draft year, roughly 70 percent of players invited to the Combine end up being drafted into the NBA, so a Combine invite is a significant draft milestone.
The NCAA requires all players wishing to maintain their college eligibility, without penalty, to withdraw from the NBA Draft by 11:59 pm on May 30. That is an NCAA mandated date, not related to anything involving the NBA, and that notice must be delivered in writing.
The NBA’s draft withdrawal date is June 11 by 5:00 pm ET. The NBA’s date allows a prospect to remain NBA draft eligible for future NBA drafts and is not related to any NCAA rule or date. There are ways for college players that did not accept benefits to return to college, however, they may be subject to NCAA penalties.
Here is this week’s 2018 NBA Mock Draft, based on the final pre-draft lottery draft order:
Here are some of the pick swaps and how they landed where they are currently projected:
The Cleveland Cavaliers are owed the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick as a result of the Kyrie Irving trade this past summer. The Brooklyn Nets traded several unprotected picks to Boston as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trades in 2015.
The Philadelphia 76ers are owed the LA Lakers’ 2018 Draft pick, unprotected, as a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade with the Suns. The Suns traded that pick to the 76ers as part of the Michael Carter-Williams three-team trade with the Milwaukee in 2015. The 76ers traded that pick to the Boston Celtics as part of the draft pick trade that became Markelle Fultz before the draft; it has 2 through 5 protections. Based on the final regular-season standings should convey to Philadelphia if the draft lottery holds true to the standings.
The LA Clippers are owed the Detroit Pistons first-round pick in 2018 as a result of the Blake Griffin trade. The pick is top four protected and would convey if the draft lottery holds true to the standings.
The Phoenix Suns are owed the Miami HEAT’s first-round pick as part of the Goran Dragic trade in 2015, it is top-seven protected and would convey to Phoenix based on the final NBA standings.
The Phoenix Suns were owed the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick as part of the Eric Bledsoe trade. The pick would only convey if the Bucks pick landed between the 11th and 16th pick, which based on the final NBA standings did not convey. The Suns will now receive the Bucks 2019 first-round pick assuming it falls between the fourth and 16th pick.
The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick as part of the Adreian Payne trade in 2015. The pick was lottery protected and would convey to Atlanta based on the final NBA standings.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are owed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round pick as part of the Jazz/Wolves Ricky Rubio trade this past summer. The Jazz acquired the pick as part of the Thunder’s deal to obtain Enes Kanter in 2015. The pick was lottery protected and would convey based on the final NBA standings.
The Chicago Bulls are owed the New Orleans Pelicans first-round pick as a result of the Nikola Mirotic trade. The pick was top-five protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey
The LA Lakers are owed the Cleveland Cavaliers first-round pick as a result of Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr. trade. The pick was top-three protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey
The Brooklyn Nets are owed the Toronto Raptors’ first-round pick as part of the DeMarre Carroll salary dump trade this past summer. The pick was lottery protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey
The Atlanta Hawks are owed the Houston Rockets’ first-round pick as part of a three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets involving Danilo Gallinari and taking back Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. The pick was top-three protected and based on the final NBA standings would convey
Check out the Basketball Insiders’ Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects – http://www.basketballinsiders.com/top-100-nba-draft-prospects/
NBA Daily: Looking At The 2018 Draft Class By Tiers
The NBA Draft is a hard thing to predict, especially when it comes to draft order and individual team needs, Basketball Insiders publisher Steve Kyler takes a look at how this draft looks in tiers.
Looking At The 2018 Draft In Tiers
While Mock Drafts are an easy way to look at how the NBA Draft might play out, what they do no do is give a sense of what a specific player might be as a player at the next level. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how some of the notable NBA draft prospects project.
It’s important to point out that situation and circumstance often impact how a player develops, even more so than almost any other variable.
So while the goal here is to give a sense of how some NBA teams and insiders see a draft prospect’s likely potential, it is by no means meant to suggest that a player can’t break out of his projection and become more or sometimes less than his he was thought to be.
Every draft class has examples of players projected to be one thing that turns out to be something else entirely, so these projections are not meant to be some kind of final empirical judgment or to imply a specific draft position, as each team may value prospects differently.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at the 2018 NBA Draft in Tiers.
The Potential Future All-Stars
DeAndre Ayton – Arizona – C – 7’0″ – 245 lbs – 20 yrs
Luka Doncic – Real Madrid – SG – 6’7″ – 218 lbs – 19 yrs
Michael Porter Jr – Missouri – SF/PF – 6’10” – 216 lbs – 20 yrs
Maybe Stars, But Likely High-Level Starters
Jaren Jackson Jr. – Michigan State – PF – 6’10” – 225 lbs – 19 yrs
Marvin Bagley III – Duke – PF – 6’11” – 220 lbs – 19 yrs
Wendell Carter – Duke – PF – 6’10” – 257 lbs – 19 yrs
Mohamed Bamba – Texas – C – 7’0″ – 216 lbs – 20 yrs
Collin Sexton – Alabama – PG – 6’2″ – 184 lbs – 19 yrs
Mikal Bridges – Villanova – SG/SF – 6’7″ – 210 lbs – 22 yrs
Robert Williams – Texas A&M – C – 6’9″ – 235 lbs – 21 yrs
Miles Bridges – Michigan State – SF/PF – 6’7″ – 230 lbs – 20 yrs
Dzanan Musa – Cedevita – SF – 6′ 9″ – 195 lbs – 19 yrs
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Kentucky – SG – 6′ 6″ – 181 lbs – 20 yrs
Trae Young – Oklahoma – PG – 6’2″ – 180 lbs – 20 yrs
Maybe Starters, But Surely Rotation Players
Kevin Knox – Kentucky – SF – 6’9″ – 206 lbs – 19 yrs
Troy Brown – Oregon – SG – 6’6″ – 210 lbs – 19 yrs
Khyri Thomas – Creighton – SG – 6′ 3″ – 210 lbs – 22 yrs
Zhaire Smith – Texas Tech – SG – 6′ 5″ – 195 lbs – 19 yrs
Rodions Kurucs – FC Barcelona B – SF – 6′ 9″ – 220 lbs – 20 yrs
Aaron Holiday – UCLA – PG – 6′ 1″ – 185 lbs – 22 yrs
Jacob Evans – Cincinnati – SF – 6′ 6″ – 210 lbs – 21 yrs
De’Anthony Melton – USC – PG – 6’4″ – 190 lbs – 20 yrs
The Swing For The Fence Prospects – AKA Boom-Or-Bust
Lonnie Walker – Miami – SG – 6’4″ – 206 lbs – 20 yrs
Mitchell Robinson – Chalmette HS – C – 7′ 0″ – 223 lbs – 20 yrs
Anfernee Simons – IMG Academy – SG – 6′ 5″ – 177 lbs – 19 yrs
Jontay Porter – Missouri – C – 6′ 11″ – 240 lbs – 19 yrs
Lindell Wigginton – Iowa State – PG – 6′ 2″ – 185 lbs – 20 yrs
Bruce Brown – Miami – SG – 6’5″ – 191 lbs – 22 yrs
Isaac Bonga – Skyliners (Germany) – SF/SG – 6’9″ – 203 lbs – 19 yrs
Hamidou Diallo – Kentucky – SG – 6’5″ – 197 lbs – 20 yrs
Players not listed are simply draft prospects that could be drafted, but don’t project clearly into any of these tiers.
If you are looking for a specific player, check out the Basketball Insiders Top 100 Prospects list, this listing is updated weekly.
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