Every year, the top college prospects gather together for the NBA Draft. Who goes first, however, is both a combination of what the team needs and if the player fits within their system. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 picks of the 2018 NBA Draft at this point.
- Dallas Mavericks–Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Duke University
Marvin Bagley III is a bonafide college star. With averages of 21.2 PPG (while shooting nearly 60% from the field and 35% from 3), 11.7 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1 steal and block per game, he can do everything on both ends of the court. Did I mention he’s 6’11” and 235 lbs? A pairing of him and Dennis Smith Jr. on the Mavericks would be incredibly unstoppable. The Mavericks’ starting Power Forward is the all-time great 39 year old Dirk Nowitzki, who is considering retirement. Who better to replace him than Bagley? One could make an argument for Deandre Ayton out of Arizona because of his very impressive freshman campaign, but Bagley is the clear #1 pick because of both his superior stats and freakish athleticism.
- Atlanta Hawks–Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona University
Deandre Ayton is a goliath of a player. Standing at 7’1” and weighing in at 250 pounds, Ayton’s averages of 19.5 PPG and 10.8 RPG to go along with nearly 2 blocks and assists per game is a noteworthy start to a college career. The Hawks are in desperate need of a franchise cornerstone. Ever since they let Paul Millsap and Al Horford go their separate ways, the Hawks have been a miserable franchise. Deandre Ayton has the potential to turn this team around.
- Sacramento Kings–Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas University
three straight big men to go in the top 3 of the draft? Surprising, yes. But not unlikely. Mohamed Bamba, although only averaging 13.2 PPG and 10.8 RPG, is averaging a monster 4.1 blocks per game. The Kings’ frontcourt has been weak as of late on the defensive end, and Bamba would slide into a starting position well. He’s long and versatile, and he’s a nightmare in the paint for opposing teams.
- Orlando Magic–Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma University
Trae Young is a special, once-in-every-ten-drafts player. Leading the nation in both scoring (with 29.9 PPG) and assists (with 9.3 APG) Young has the potential to be a superstar player. The Magic, after trading away their starting PG, Elfrid Payton, need a new starter. Young would be a jolt of electricity to this team and would set them on the fast track to success.
- Phoenix Suns–Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Slovenia, 1999
Some would say Luka Doncic should–nay– will go first in this year’s draft, and he very well could. Personally, I wouldn’t take a risk on a player that would have to sit out his first year because of his Euroleague contract. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 16.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in just 24.1 minutes. This is quite impressive; not to mention, he would be a perfect complement to Devin Booker in the Suns’ backcourt.
Well, there you have it! My top 5 2018 NBA Draft Picks. A quick note–all of this is subject to change; injuries happen, players hit slumps, and other uncontrollable variables often occur. But, at this point in the season, in my opinion, this is the clear-cut top 5.