NBA Draft Top 15 Player Rankings

I know a lot of this stuff is from my Mock Drafts but I added some things and I really wanted it to be complete player profiles. Say what you want about Michael Porter Vegan or Michael Vegan Porter…MVP as one reddit user pointed out, but he is essentially all projections, will you be on the right side of history? Hope you enjoy it.

1. LUKA DONCIC

Guard, Real Madrid, 19

STATS (2017-2018)

14.5 PPG | 59.2 TS% | 5.2 TRB | 31.1 3PT%

4.6 AST | 27 USG | 45.6 FG% | 9.3 BPM

BEST FITS: Anywhere

ANALYSIS

What more can be said about Doncic that hasn’t been said a million times, he is was the 19 year old MVP of the Euroleague, he won the Euroleague championship and he is the leader of his team.

Doncic has amazing court vision and passing ability, with the intelligence to take great shots. A 6’8 guard, comparable to the likes of James Harden and Manu Ginobili, his handles are amazing for his age and has great touch in the paint on floaters. This guy is the package deal. He has already developed a James Harden type step back three and he will only improve shooting as he gains more experience.

Doncic played 90 games this year, nearly 60 more than most college players. He’s NBA ready, and he’s ready to dominate. Doncic will fall in this draft because scouts really don’t understand what makes him special, that’s good for him, he will go to a better team and be that much closer to stardom.

The negatives with Doncic are apparent, and don’t project to get much better. He is an average athlete with average quickness, this will keep him from being an elite level defender. His three point shot percentage is pedestrian at 31.6 % but he does show good form so the shot has potential to be deadly.

Doncic is a win now prospect, he has the skill level to be a star and has the basketball IQ to eventually make deep playoff runs.

It can’t be overstated that Doncic is a winner, he just oozes confidence and in interviews with Euroleague stars that is apparent, Here (per hoopshype)

2. JAREN JACKSON JR

Big, Michigan State, Freshman

STATS

10.9 PPG | 64.7 TS% | 5.8 TRB | 39.6 3PT%

1.1 AST | 23.5 USG | 51.3 FG% | 15.4 BPM

Best Fits: Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix

ANALYSIS

Jackson probably has the highest floor of anyone in the draft. He is an excellent shot blocker, potential 5 position defender. He jumps straight up when he contests, making it hard for players to draw fouls.

Offensively Jackson has touch and an above average shot for a big, with decent handles. Jackson possesses a high motor and finishing power. He is a player that will come in and instantly make a difference, with his quick cutting, and ability to drive, it makes life easier for his teammates. Jackson is also an above average passer in the paint and usually makes good choices with the ball.

The downside’s to Jackson’s game are kind of head scratching when you think about it, he is not a great rebounder despite his size and tenacity, because he doesn’t box out well. He is lean and not an imposing force that will deter defenders from driving on him. Jackson is not an A+ hopper, and lastly he has funky mechanics with a low release point on his shot.

Jackson is a blank canvas of talent, averaged 4.9 blocks per 36 minutes. His switchability on defense is underrated and he will only continue to improve.

Expect Jackson to fly under the radar his first year, but make the players around him significantly better, spotting up for threes and being a switchable defender capable of guarding anyone on the court.

3. DEANDRE AYTON

Big, Arizona, Freshman

STATS

20.1 PPG | 65 TS% | 11.6 TRB | 34 3PT%

1.6 AST | 26.6 USG% | 61.2 FG% | 10.9 BPM

Best Fits: Phoenix, Sacramento, Dallas

ANALYSIS

Ayton has been comfortably on top of many draft big board’s since the middle of the college basketball season. His potential is clear, a center built for the new NBA with a great shot, post moves and the athleticism to dominate from anywhere on the court.His ball handling is much better than most bigs his age, perhaps that would have been more apparent if he didn’t play in a college system at Arizona that had him playing down low most of the time. He is a great rebounder because of his size and athleticism, and can run the floor like a Clydesdale, fast and nimble for his size. Ayton has potential on defense with his quick feet, athleticism and ability to defend straight up and down, making it hard for defenders to draw fouls. Ayton also has great court vision for passing, finding cutters and shooters alike and doesn’t cough the ball up much on doubles.

What Ayton struggles at the most is defense, this could be a lack of effort or understanding where to be at the right time. This is where the DeMarcus Cousins comparisons ring true. He is not good at guarding switches or playing help defense, and with a guard centric NBA that is a problem. He could become a turnover problem as a result of not taking care of the ball. The worry with Ayton is, at the next level will he sit at the three point line too much, like Karl Anthony Towns, and as a result not make make his presence felt on the low block.

There is very little bust potential with Ayton because of his offensive game and athleticism. The upside is clear, on any team he will be a tough guard and Phoenix is no different. The potential with two studs such as Ayton and Booker on the court is undeniable.

4. MARVIN BAGLEY III

Big, Duke, Freshman

STATS

21 PPG | 64.3 TS% | 11.1 TRB | 39.7 3PT%

1.5 AST | 26.3 USG | 61.4 FG% | 10.7 BPM

Best Fits: Sacramento, Memphis, Chicago

ANALYSIS

Bagley has the most complete game in the draft, he’s 6’11 and athletic as hell. He has great shooting form and a motor that can be compared to NBA greats. With the quickness of a guard and the strength of a center Bagley will dominate defending the perimeter.

This guy killed college basketball last year, sure his shot needs improvement and he doesn’t have the length to match up with typical centers but the NBA is a position-less League now a days. Look how a freak athlete like Giannis dominates now, how would he have been used in years passed? As a center? Getting 20 minutes a game?

Bagley has a feel and comfort for the game that cannot be overstated, he is always crashing the boards and making the right plays, shooting 39.7 from 3 is great, but a lot of experts expect a learning curve from the NBA line, and his passing numbers leave much to be desired. His defensive effort can swing sometimes and he has much to develop and polish to become a star at the next level.

Bagley would be the perfect small ball 5 on any team, his quickness and athleticism running the court on fast breaks will be a huge upside. He has the skill set and drive to be the best player in this draft.

5. WENDELL CARTER JR

Center, Duke, Freshman

STATS

13.5 PPG | 62.8 TS% | 9.1 TRB | 41.3 3PT%

2.0 AST | 22.8 USG | 56.1 FG% | 13.5 BPM

Best Fits: Atlanta, Orlando, New York Knicks, Cleveland , Dallas

ANALYSIS

Wendell Carter Jr is like a Swiss Army Knife, there are so many tools at his disposal, it is hard to see why he is currently situated outside the top 5. As a center he is averaging 41.3 percent from 3. He has elite quickness for a center, and although his hops may be a concern he has the wherewithal to expose weaknesses on defense with soft touch, great passing and spot up shooting.

Carter’s IQ can not be overstated. He was overshadowed at Duke by Bagley’s need to be ball dominant. He positions himself great for rebounds and can screen and cut with some of the best in the league. When teams talk about intangibles, this is what they mean. That’s why many compare him to Al Horford.

The negatives on Carter are sparse for the most part. He does not possess elite athleticism which might put a cap on his potential. He can be a turnover liability at times when he forces it. He also has an awkward jumper that takes away from his ability to drive and pop well.

Draft expert Jonathan Givony projects Orlando taking Wendell Carter, Trae Young has not been good at his workouts and he projected to keep falling.

6. MOHAMED BAMBA

Center, Texas, Freshman

STATS

12.9 PPG | 59.3 TS% | 10.5 TRB | 27.5 3PT%

.5 AST | 21.3 USG | 54.1 FG% | 11.2 BPM

Best Fits: Phoenix, Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago

ANALYSIS

Bamba’s stock has skyrocketed since the video of him draining a bunch of threes in a row. Sure that was impressive but what else can he do?

Well Bamba has a 7’10 wingspan and he is incredibly coordinated for his height. Other than that he can finish with either hand and obviously there is the immense upside of three point shooting.

Bamba is one of the most athletic big men you will see, with big strides he can cover the court in seconds. He can pretty much defend anyone on the court, with his long arms as a security blanket for when faster defenders get around him. Bamba is often compared to a Rudy Gobert who can shoot. If this is the product he will be absolutely terrifying in the NBA.

Bamba’s downside is a result of his upside, his length makes him skinny and look fragile. He is not strong and can get pushed around on the post. It will also effect him offensively, it seems like whenever a defender pushes into him he is unable to adjust and make a good attempt. This is concerning. He also doesn’t have a great basketball IQ. He isn’t going to out work his defender, he will just used his pure ability.

While I understand the Gobert comparisons because of his ability, Gobert is a driven defender with a high motor, Bamba has not displayed that thus far.

If Bamba can put on some muscle and not comprise his quickness he could easily be the best player in this draft, it’s just a matter of if that happens, and if his 3 pointer falls with consistency during games, watch out for this dude.

7. SHAI GILGEOUS ALEXANDER

Guard, Kentucky, Freshman

STATS

14.4 PPG | 57.8 TS% | 4.1 TRB | 40.3 3PT%

5.1 AST | 21.9 USG | 48.5 FG% | 9.1 BPM

Best Fits: Phoenix, LA Clippers, Cleveland, New York

ANALYSIS

Alexander is a playmaker, scorer, and excellent ball handler. He’s a 6’6 guard with a 7 foot wingspan. Alexander the type of player who can get his teammates open looks at a high clip. Anytime a player comes from Kentucky its pretty obvious they have monster potential. Calipari only recruits 4 and 5 star athletes and Alexander is no different. Well actually, he is different, he joined Kentucky their sixth ranked recruit and halfway in the season he just decided to take over, and he hasn’t looked back since. He is a pretty decent 3 point shooter at 40 percent but he has a screwy looking shot, better than Lonzo, worse than Markelle.

The biggest question mark is his defense. He is not strong enough to guard post ups but his lateral quickness could prove to be his saving grace against quick guards in the NBA.

Alexander’s a riser, many experts project him going top 10 now.

8. KEVIN KNOX

Forward, Kentucky, Freshman

STATS

15.6 PPG | 55.6 TS% | 5.4 TRB | 34.1 3PT%

1.4 AST | 24.6 USG | 44.5 FG% | 4.8 BPM

Best Fits: Philadelphia, LA Clippers, Atlanta, Charlotte

ANALYSIS

Knox projects as an upside scorer and versatile defender. He can finish around the rim well and plays smart and controlled on the offensive end. He will be tough to guard if he can develop his shot a bit more and that will open up lanes for him to score. Great off the ball on the offensive end. His length at guard will make him a potential lockdown defender, mixed with his superb quickness and athleticism. The ceiling for Knox seems to get higher by the day, experts are now predicting him to fall within the top 10.

In terms of a prospect with a high ceiling, Knox has one of the highest in the draft, the highly touted Kentucky recruit will impress at the next level, that’s for sure, and if he improves his shot the sky is the limit.

9. COLLIN SEXTON

Point Guard, Alabama, Freshman

STATS

19.2 PPG | 56.7 TS% | 3.8 TRB | 33.6 3PT% 3.6 AST | 32.9 USG | 44.7 FG% | 6.5 BPM

Best Fits: Atlanta, Phoenix, Milwaukee

ANALYSIS

Sexton’s score first mentality, and drive to win, can’t be overstated, this guy came to ball. He averaged 19 points a game and his ability to lockdown guards is suffocating as well. Sexton has the ability to finish with either hand around the rim which is very advanced for a Freshman.

Another great attribute of Sexton is his ability to handle the ball well in traffic. He can get to the hole in a split second with a lightning fast quick step and that will open up the floor for his teammates.

Unfortunately Sexton is not a great pure passer, he air mails a lot of passes and he can be erratic at times, taking bad shots and not involving his teammates enough when he gets penetration.

The fact that Sexton wills his team in the right direction is a huge plus. If a team needs an Alpha that’s Sexton, and in turn his energy will make his team more successful.

10. MIKAL BRIDGES

Small Forward, Villanova, Junior

STATS(2017-2018)

17.7 PPG | 65.5 TS% | 5.3 TRB | 43.5 3PT%

1.9 AST | 23.2 USG | 51.4 FG% | 13.2 BPM

Best Fits: Every Team Except Boston Needs 3 and D Guys

ANALYSIS

Bridges is probably one of the safest picks in this draft. A 6’7 wing, shooting 43.5 % from 3, and a great wing defender, compares to Robert Covington with more upside. His potential is clear, get a better shot off the dribble and more dynamic handles and he could be a star player.

The problems with his game are due to his lack of an ability as a scorer and playmaker, he’s a great shooter, but he can’t create his own shots off the dribble, and he can’t gain separation with his handles. Bridges is also not going to dominate defensively on the low post with a lanky frame.

11. MILES BRIDGES

Forward, Michigan State, Sophmore

STATS

17.1 PPG | 57.2 TS% | 7.0 TRB | 36.4 3PT%

2.7 AST | 27.1 USG | 45.7 FG% | 9.2 BPM

Best Fits: Charlotte, LA Clippers, Atlanta, Memphis, New York, Philadelphia

ANALYSIS

Known as the better Bridges( I don’t agree), he is a stout, strong forward who has a winning mentality and can turn a team with potential from a middling talent to an 8 seed with the right guidance. Bridges is a good shooter from the college 3 point line but his shot needs to be a little more consistent.

Bridges is a tenacious rebounder who makes timely plays to put his team over the limit. His great rebounding is a product of his athleticism mixed with his big frame. This and his ability to penetrate the paint could translate into some fantastic athletic plays.

Bridges will be a good player in the NBA but his ceiling may be capped if he doesn’t develop better dribbling skills. He also does not have an overly impressive wingspan and could potentially get blocked down low on shots he made in college. His effort on defense also comes into question but these problems could point to his offensive workload and conditioning.

The most glaring problem with Bridges has to be his passing, he can make easy passes but does not have the high basketball IQ offensively, to match his motor.

12. TRAE YOUNG

Point Guard, Oklahoma, Freshman

STATS

27.4 PPG | 58.5 TS% | 3.9 TRB | 36.0 3PT%

8.7 AST | 37.7 USG | 42.2 FG% | 11.7 BPM

Best Fits: Orlando, LA Clippers, Phoenix, Atlanta

ANALYSIS

Young’s stock has never been lower. He busted out onto the scene and early in the season was straight bodying teams. He took 327 threes, and shot 36 percent. It may have been his team’s lack of talent that forced him into tough situations later on in the season.

Young has great handles and is a great off the dribble shooter. Though he has a low release point, and that could spell trouble in the NBA. As a passer he is above average with good vision and can make fantastic plays, with that he can also give the ball up by trying to force passes. Definitely a below average, low effort, defender.

Young has all the tools to be great, the question is, is he a killer? Will he strive to get better everyday and lead whatever team he goes to? Or will he flounder under pressure? There have been a lot of knocks on Young’s teammates from Oklahoma which I think is fair to an extent, sure they weren’t the caliber of player he is, but if he’s a lottery pick shouldn’t there only be 15 players with his same skill set? His teammates were division 1 athletes at a big 12 school so I don’t buy this teammate excuse.

13. ELIE OKOBO

Point Guard, Pau-Orthez/ France

STATS

12.9 PPG | 62.3 TS% | 2.7 TRB | 41.8 3PT%

4.7 AST | 25.4 USG | 48.9 FG% | BPM N/A

Best Fits: Atlanta, Milwaukee, Cleveland, New York,

ANALYSIS

Okobo is the Charlie Kelly of this draft, just a complete wildcard. He’s been compared to Deron Williams and Delonte West. Which may seem like a slight but before Delonte was fooling around with Lebron’s Mom he actually was a decent player. I do not know why anyone would want to have sex with Delonte West though dudes picture comes up first when you google syphilis. Seriously, he’s ugly.

Okobo seems pretty decent, he’s 6’3 which is average for a point guard and he’s athletic, with a 41.3 percent 3 point percentage. He’s an OK passer but his recent switch from shooting guard could prove to be a problem, he doesn’t have the best ball handling skills and he’s not the best defender. Those are both big problems for a point guard in this league but he is a pure scorer and definitely has a high ceiling making him worth the risk. That 44 point game, on 17 shots propelled him up the rankings, dude is a legit elite scorer and will wow at the next level if he is put in the right system.

14. MICHAEL PORTER JR

Forward, Missouri, Freshman

STATS

10 PPG | 43.8 TS% | 6.7 TRB | 30 3PT%

.3 AST | 36.5 USG | 33.3 FG% | -5.0 BPM

ANALYSIS

Michael Porter Jr has clear upside. He can hit any shot on the court, he’s a big wing with the potential to be a 4 position defender, he can move well without the ball well for catch and shoots and those are great tools to have and could propel him to stardom with his handles on fast breaks, if he develops half court handles and plays smart his potential is limitless.

Porter’s athleticism can’t be ignored either, with a frame he could certainly build muscle on as well. Teams are high on him, he was projected to be the number 1 pick before the college season and complications after back surgery sidelined him for most of the season, so effectively his combine and high school tapes are the best barometer on his talent.

For all the good there is a lot of bad with Porter, his injury might still be lingering, he didn’t prove in his short time in college that he can be the best player on a winning team, but that could be the sample size. His shot didn’t fall in college, but that was 10 attempts from 3 and 30 field goals attempted total. He’s honestly just a huge wildcard, and the question marks are still there, but it’s a question if he can become the player people think he can be.

At this point Porter is all projections and no real concrete proof that he will live up to them. That scares me, and I’m not trying to bash him I like his upside offensively, but if he’s not an efficient scorer at the next level what are we really talking about here, a guy that can’t dribble in the half court, can’t play lockdown defense and isn’t an above average passer, nuff said.

15. ZHAIRE SMITH

Small Forward, Texas Tech, Freshman

STATS

11.3 PPG | 61.8 TS% | 5.0 TRB | 45.0 3PT%

1.8 AST | 18.3 USG | 55.6 FG% | 12.0 BPM

ANALYSIS

Zhaire Smith is so athletic, like video game hops. He’s a decent passer and shot really well from 3 point range during his freshman season. Those are things that will translate well into the NBA. Scouts have their doubts about him producing at a 45% clip from deep but dudes a freshman, and shooting that well has to be a good sign. Smith can guard smaller guys very well but because he is a little over 6’4 with a solid frame and will not get backed down easily.

Smith seems to be soaring up the rankings, and it’s no surprise, aside from his wonky shot there is a lot to like, if he can fix his mechanics a bit this guy could be special.

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