For the past three seasons the NBA Draft Lottery and the NBA Draft itself have been irrelevant to Cleveland Cavaliers fans. The Cavs have been one of the best teams in the NBA and had traded away most of their first round picks to add veteran talent to the roster around Lebron James. The Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in the offseason and acquired the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round draft pick which was owned by the Celtics. With the team holding this pick Cavaliers fans may want to pay close attention to NCAA basketball this season. The Nets are expected to be one of the worst teams in the league making it a good possibility that the pick will fall in the top five.
There are five big time prospects that could be available in the 2018 NBA Draft. Four of them are college freshman and the other is a young Euroleague sensation. Let’s take a look at these top prospects.
Michael Porter Jr. – Missouri
Michael Porter Jr. is an elite athlete who has drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant. He is a 6’10” small forward with a 7′ wingspan. Porter is a smooth athletic forward with a great outside jumper. He shot 47% from three his senior season of high school at Nathan Hale. Porter is a pure shooter who can score inside and out. He uses his length and athletecism to his advantage on the offensive end. Those attributes should also help him become a solid wing defender at the NBA level. He will play his freshman season at Missouri and most likely enter the NBA draft afterwards. Porter has a legit chance to be the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Marvin Bagley III – Duke
Marvin Bagley is another legit candidate to go number one overall. He is a 6’11” 225 lb athletic and versatile forward. Bagley is very skilled and strong in the post. He can score both inside and out as he does possess three point range though his outside game is still improving. Bagley’s size and athletic ability give him the potential to be a strong defender capable of guarding multiple positions at the NBA level. Bagley will play out his freshman season at Duke and is expected to enter the 2018 NBA Draft.
Deandre Ayton – Arizona
Deandre Ayton is a skilled 7′ center with a 7’5″ wingspan and 9’3″ standing reach. Ayton is a strong pick and pop shooter with college three point range. He is still a work in progress offensively in the post. Defensively he has the chance to turn into an elite shot blocker in the NBA. Ayton will play his freshman year at Arizona. If he can play hard consistently all season Ayton can thrown his name into contention for the number one pick.
Mohamed Bamba – Texas
Mohamed Bamba is a huge 7′ center who has a 7’9″ wingspan to go along with a 9’6″ standing reach. Bamba is known for his defense as he is a strong post defender and a high level rim protector. He is very mobile for his size which aids him on the defensive end. The biggest question mark with Bamba is his offensive game which is still in the developmental phase. Bamba will play his freshman year at Texas.
Luka Doncic – Real Madrid (Euroleague)
18 year old Euroleague star Luka Doncic is one of the best prospects ever to come out of the Euroleague. He is playing against the top competition overseas and is averaging 16.7 points, 6 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season. Doncic possesses elite court vision and ball handling skills which could turn him into a point guard at the NBA level. The 6’7″ guard also has a legit chance to be taken number one overall in June.