Early because I'm bored, my 2018 mock draft:

Discussion in 'Prospects' started by bajaden, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    Whereas nothing is happening right now, I thought I'd post my thoughtless, based on no games of relevance 2018 mock draft. I feel fairly confident in the who the top five are likely to be, but as always, there will be someone who will move up into that group. This draft is starting to look like another good one and might end up being as good or better than this past draft, as far as the top of the draft goes. I doubt it will be as talent deep as this past one. Anyway, here it is. Feel free to disagree..

    1. Michael Porter: 6'10", 220 lb, SF/PF, Missouri. Very skilled player.
    2. Marvin Bagley: 6'11", 225 lb, PF, Duke. Terrific athlete. You could easily put him at number one.
    3. De'Andre Ayton: 7'0", 220 lb, C/PF, Arizona. Very talented. Some question his motor at times.
    4. Luka Doncic: 6'7", 219 lb, SF/SG/PG. Extremely skilled player. Can he defend?
    5. Mohamed Bamba: 7'0", 216 lb, C, Texas. Might have the biggest wingspan in NBA at 7'9".
    6.Wendell Carter: 6'10", 255 lb, PF/C, Duke. Very skilled player who could break into the top five.
    7. Miles Bridges: 6'7", 230 lb, SF, Mich St. Like Carter, he could break in to top 5 if someone falters.
    8. Robert Williams: 6'9", 210 lb, PF, Texas A&M. If he shows up with a jumpshot, watch out.
    9. Jaren Jackson: 6'11", 225 lb, PF, Mich St. Another talented big who, combined with Bridges should impact.
    10. Trevon Duval: 6'2", 191 lb, PG, Duke. Pass first PG with terrific handles. Jumpshot needs work.
    11. Collin Sexton: 6'2", 175 lb, PG, Alabama. Shoot first PG. Pick your poison.
    12. Mitchell Robinson: 7'1", 225 lb, ?. Walked away from Western Kentucky. School and status unknown.
    13. Troy Brown: 6'7", 215 lb, SF, Oregon. Blessed with a 6'11" wingspan. Could be Oregon's best player.
    14. Dzanan Muza: 6'9", 195 lb, SF. Needs muscle, but good athlete who can really shoot the ball.
    15. Lonnie Walker: 6'4", 206 lb, SG, Miami. Undersized, but has long arms. Good defender.
    16. Justin Jackson: 6'7", 200 lb, SF, Maryland. Really like this kid. Shot 43% from three last yr as a freshman.
    17. Hamidou Diallo: 6'6", 190 lb, SG, Kentucky. Freak athlete who needs a jumpshot and better handles.
    18. Bruce Brown: 6'5", 195 lb, SG, Miami. Keep an eye on him. Talented kid who could move up.
    19. Rodions Kurucs: 6'8", 200 lb, SF. Good athlete with a good shot. Needs to get stronger.
    20. Nick Richards: 6'11", 240 lb, PF/C, Kentucky. Good athlete with defensive potential. Offense needs work.
    21. Chimezie Metu: 6'11", 225 lb, PF/C, USC. Elite athlete who needs to play with more consistent intensity.
    22. Isaac Bonga: 6'8", 200 lb, SF/SG. Elite athlete whose been called a poor man's Giannis. Keep an eye on him.
    23. Shake Milton: 6'6", 205 lb, PG, SMU. Blessed with a huge wingspan. Good play maker and defender.
    24. Tyrus Battle: 6'6", 205 lb, SG, Syracuse. Nice wingspan, but forgets to defend at times.
    25. Mikal Bridges: 6'7", 210 lb, SF, Villanova. Shot well from the three, and he defends.
    26. De'Anthony Melton: 6'4", 190 lb, SG/PG. Tough kid. Needs to improve his handles and shot.
    27. Brandon McCoy: 6'11", 244 lb, C, UNLV. Old school center. Needs to develop game away from basket.
    28. Andrew Jones: 6'4", 190 lb, PG/SG, Texas. Showed good all around skills. Just needs polish.
    29. Austin Wiley: 6'11", 250 lb, PF, Auburn. Good rebounder but no game away from basket.
    30. Grayson Allen: 6'5", 202 lb, SG, Duke. Like him or not, he can play. Average athlete.

    As you can see, a lot of big men in this draft which doesn't bode well for some of them since the league is embracing small ball. The big's at the top are there because they're very skilled and can either step out away from the basket on offense, or defense, or both. Last year Robert Williams started to show off a little mid-range game which along with his other skills, would have landed him in the late lottery. But he chose to go back to school for another year.

    If he can show the ability to shoot the three consistently, he might push someone like Bamba out of the top five. He's already a good defender and rebounder. The two top PG's could be switched in draft position depending on what a team is looking for. I happen to like Duval's game, but I can understand someone taking Sexton over him if that team is looking for scoring.

    I think my top four are fairly solid, but all four could be rearranged by seasons end. Any one of them could go number one as it stands now. I think Bagley has the highest ceiling in the draft, and that Porter has the highest floor. To my mind, that makes them number one and two. If Bagley shows the ability to shoot the mid-range or the three consistently, then I think he'll go number one. I think Bagley, Porter, Ayton, and Doncic all have all star potential, with Porter and Bagley being the most likely to reach that level.

    Trust me, someone will jump up and surprise us all. If I had to pick a player right now to watch, it would Miles Bridges. Another one to watch is Duval. If he can find a jumpshot, then watch out. He has Fox like quickness and speed to go along with some of the best handles I've seen in a long time. He can get anywhere he wants on the floor. With Bagley, Duval, Wendell Carter, and Gary Trent Jr., Duke should be fun to watch this year.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  2. Sactown ExPat

    Sactown ExPat Active Member

    Where's Kevin Knox? #1 is going to be interesting this year with two players who have #1 overall grades for years. Bagley/Porter probably comes down to best fit of team selecting.
  3. Suicide King

    Suicide King Well-Known Member

    It is very interesting trying to envision what our roster will look like going into the 18/19 season. Our 2 spot needs some pruning and the 3 and 4 ( some would say and the 5) really need shoring up. Both from players we have improving and from draft / trade acquisitions.

    Is our starting 3 for a playoff run in the 2018 draft? Will we get them? If we grab Bagley, Ayton etc, what will that mean for Skal or WCS? What about our SF?

    I hope for the fans sake everything comes together over the next two seasons, and we get to taste the postseason again. It will be sweet.

    Thanks for putting this together Baja. Going to be a fun ride wherever we end up.
  4. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I struggled with a lot of players that could have gone somewhere between 20 and 30. Knox was one of those. You start balancing skill set against upside and athleticism. Be easier after the season starts because we'll have some results to go on. I expect there will be quite a bit of movement on my board in the future.
  5. biltalent

    biltalent Well-Known Member

    Very good list overall, Baja. If someone wants to dive into prospect Id recommend that list as a starting point. Only aspect I differ is that IMO it should be Doncic/Bamba that go top 2 instead of Bagley/Porter.
    I also have Mikal Bridges a bit higher but other than that I agree a lot.
  6. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    Yeah, until they start playing, it's hard to put them in the proper order. Right now a player I have at 25 could easily end up being a lottery pick. My problem with Doncic is that I'm not sure what position he plays. In Europe he's mostly regarded as a PG, and on some draft boards he's listed as a SF. I've seen his height listed anywhere from 6'8" to 6'5". So I'd like to be enlightened with his true height. The other problem I have that separates him from some of the others is that he can't keep anyone in front of him on defense.

    In Bamba's case, I want to see if he has much or any game away from the basket. If he does, then he moves into the same group with Ayton, Bagley and Porter. We'll see..
    biltalent likes this.
  7. biltalent

    biltalent Well-Known Member

    Totally fair. However Im not worried about Doncics position because I dont like to think in positions anymore. I like Brad Stevens approach of distinguishing primary ball handlers, wings and bigs. And Doncic is a ball handler. His vision, passing and handle is elite for a 18-years old. His defense remains to be seen. If he however is as good as I think he is or will be (that is, a franchise player) it doesnt really matter. If he is just a good rotation player, his lack of defense is more concerning.
    kingsfan1984 likes this.
  8. 206Fan

    206Fan Well-Known Member

    For all those Frank Ntilikina fans...there's Shake Milton. His versatility to play either guard position should bump him up on some boards. I could see him becoming a big riser if he can develop natural scoring instincts+improve on his handles.

    I'm really excited to see how these guys do in the NCAA.
  9. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree. I think, with me, is can Doncic play the SF position? Is he at least 6'7". Because if he is a liability on defense, then he less likely to get burn't at SF than he is at PG. Nothing wrong with having a SF with his skill set. I can envision Fox at PG, Bog's at SG and Doncic at SF. That's a very potent trio, all of which are great passers. One of the things I like about Bagley is that he brings it every minute of every game. His potential is off the charts. But as Vince Lombardi once said, the word potential means you haven't done anything yet.
    Joshoua and Suicide King like this.
  10. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    One of the things that stands out with Milton is his defensive ability. He tends to lose focus at times, but he has outstanding potential on the defensive side of the ball. He has a 7 foot wingspan along with great height for the position. I think Ntilikina is good comparison.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  11. Joshoua

    Joshoua Well-Known Member

    Yay I honk he can play SF and a Bogdan- Donic-Fox is something I dream of.
  12. Suicide King

    Suicide King Well-Known Member

    Offensively I agree that would be a great trio. I just wonder about how it would fare on the defensive end. Not worried about Fox at all, Bogdan/Buddy a little worried. Would Doncic's high basketball I.Q. and offensive prowess outweigh his defensive limitations as a SF for us? I don't know of course.

    Porter would be an amazing addition, or if we don't get the first or second pick, I wonder if Miles Bridges would be best suited to compliment the pieces we have.

    Still, what Doncic brings would be tantalizing. If the front office drafts a player who absolutely can't slot into the sf slot, I just don't know. Hope it all works out for the best is all I'm rambling about.
  13. 206Fan

    206Fan Well-Known Member

    Offense would struggle imo. Too many ball handlers in that group.
  14. SacTownKid

    SacTownKid Well-Known Member

    I'll tell you what, I will be following Ayton this year, because I've been looking into him a lot and checking video of him and I just don't see it. I think he's more of solid role player type that matured faster than the kids around him and he dominated them physically. He can hit some spot shots, and maybe even end up putting up decent numbers but I don't see anything close to a franchise altering talent. I watched that McDonalds game and to me, Bamba is head and shoulders above Ayton as a prospect. Arizona doesn't usually recruit top flight bigs either.

    Roles and success in college will play a big part but my top 5, just from the talent I've seen so far would be:

    1. Michael Porter Jr. (Can he play defense? Is he a PF? He plays the game at a fairly slow speed too. The size and skill can't be ignored regardless.)
    2. Marvin Bagley III (Is he going to commit to being a PF or try and force his way to SF?)
    3. Collin Sexton (he kind of reminds me of Allen Iverson, will that turn teams off?)
    4. Luka Doncic (Wasn't too impressed with the games I saw him play, but with a bigger role that skill could flourish.)
    5. Mo Bamba (Texas can put him into a great position to show all the skills he may have. They typically put bigs in a position to show what they can do. If he shows all out then I can see him challenging for number 1.)

    The next 5 should include guys like Knox, Bridges (I could see him rise or fall this year depending on role), Vanderbilt, Ayton (possibly), and Jaren Jackson.
  15. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    You can never have too many ballhandlers and passers, and that group is loaded with players that pass the ball as well. Having five highly skilled players on the floor is what every coach dreams of. It's only a problem when one of them is a black hole. The Warriors are loaded with talented players that can handle and pass and shoot. No one on that team cares who scores the ball. Once again, it's not about the skill set, it's about what's between the ears.
  16. Suicide King

    Suicide King Well-Known Member

    Baja beat me to it. I just will add they are all capable ball handlers, but that's not the same as being a ball dominant player. If ball movement is to be important, as I hope it will be, then capable ball handling and passing at multiple positions can only be a good thing.
  17. jcwkings

    jcwkings Well-Known Member

    As the year goes on I feel like there will be this surge of Doncic/Kings meant to be feeling around here. Much like Fox last year.
  18. Suicide King

    Suicide King Well-Known Member

    I find the possibility intriguing, I just hope whoever we draft doesn't create or worsen any log jams. If we draft a PF for example, what happens to Skal and will his or the draftee's development suffer?

    Hoping for the perfect SF to drop into our laps (unless Justin Jackson surprises) isn't likely, but I am still going to hope.
  19. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    Well the best case scenario would be for Jackson to win the starting job, (wishful thinking) which would enable us to pick the best player available in the next draft. As for hoping for the best SF available, I think that would be Porter. I love Doncic's skill set, but I'm not sure he's big enough to play SF. He may be, but I've read so many different measurements on him I don't which one to believe. If he's not a true SF, then he's either a SG or a PG, and we seem to have quite a few players at both those positions.

    Then again, if both Bagley and Porter are gone, it might be difficult to pass on Doncic. The draft is a long way off, and I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut that someone were not even talking about will be in the conversation by then.
  20. Joshoua

    Joshoua Well-Known Member

    Having too many ball handlers is something that would never be a problem and is damn near a must. Having Bogdan and Donic being shooters and high IQ players is just gravy.

    Porter is just as bad defensively I think a top 4 pick gets you a franchise player this year and we're winning max of 28 games. I put Donic at 2 over Porter because of his high IQ and the way he plays is winning basketball
    biltalent likes this.
  21. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    When I look at players like Porter and Doncic defensively, at their young age, the question I ask is not whether either of them is a good defender now, but do either of them have the athletic ability to become a good defender? What has been asked of them defensively at this point? It's rare to find a player coming out of highschool that plays both ends of the court well.

    So in their case, I think both are very smart players and both appear to be coachable. I think Porter is the better athlete of the two, and has better lateral quickness than Doncic. Granted, my sample size is small, but when watching Doncic he really struggles keeping anyone in front of him. Of course saying that one is blessed with more physical gifts doesn't mean he'll turn those gifts into being a good defensive player. It's always difficult comparing a European player with a college player. For one thing, you tend to see the college player more, and that alone can bias you. They play against different competition, so there's that argument.

    Porter decided to go to Missouri, my home state, for personal reasons, which could endanger his chances at getting into the tournament. Missouri has an experienced team coming back, but it's not loaded with talent, and they play in the SEC, which is a tough conference to play in. Not sure how many seeds they'll get this year. Of course, if he's singlehandedly able to carry that team into the tournament, and make a splash, it'll help solidify his draft status. Like I said when I posted my mock, there will be a lot of changes by draft time. Some will rise, and some will fall.
  22. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    Speaking of Porter, I thought I'd do a little write up on him. For those that are completely ignorant (not mean't in a bad way) of next years college players, Porter is definitely in the running for the number one position in the draft. What could make this draft special, is that he is far from having the number one spot locked up. There is at minimum, four other players that could challenge for the spot, and maybe more. Porter is a 6'10" SF, who some scouts project as a combo, SF/PF player down the road. Offensively he has a big bag of tricks. He's very skilled with a solid mid-range game, a decent post game, and a player who can step out and hit the three. He runs the floor very well and is a good finisher

    He's an above average athlete who can play above the rim. He's also a good rebounder. Defensively, at the SF position, I think he can decent to good and I don't think he'll ever be a liabiltiy. His handles are good for a 6'10" player, and if you want to step out and guard him on the perimeter, he's capable of putting it on the floor and taking it to the rim. There aren't a lot of holes in his game, which is why he projected as the number one pick by many scouts. He's a breakdown video.

  23. Joshoua

    Joshoua Well-Known Member

    If Porter was our pick (at 3 with Doncic and Bagley gone) I would draft him to be our PF. If he truly is an average to above average athlete and is truly 6'10-216 he'd have great size and athleticism for a PF. Putting him there would create mismatches where he could get to the rim at will while not losijg much on defense there's a limited amount of post PFs left. Porzingis, Griffin, Milsap, And Davis being the only post players left. This would be banking on Jackson showing that he's a starting SF in the league
  24. bajaden

    bajaden Well-Known Member

    I think with a little added strength, he could play some PF, but I think he has the game of a SF. And let me make one thing clear, he's not a average athlete. He's a very good athlete. All I was trying to do was let people know that he wasn't in the same athletic arena as a player like Bagley, who is an elite athlete. But Porter is more than athletic enough to play the SF position, and he has the skill set to play the SF position. That said, I'd leave it up to the coach to decide where best to use him.

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