It’s almost time for the Phoenix Suns to go on the clock.
The 2018 NBA Draft is just around the corner and as teams finalize their draft boards, it’s time to discuss who the best players at each position are in the draft class. Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III highlight what appears to be a deep crop of NBA players, but only time will tell just how good this year’s draft is.
With the 2018 NBA Draft quickly approaching, here are our top five prospects at guard, wing and center:
1. Luka Doncic, Real Madrid — Doncic arguably is the best player in the draft class. At 19 years old, Doncic led Real Madrid to the EuroLeague title and won MVP. The 6-foot-8 guard has all the makings of a future star, one who could turn the NBA on its head. He is electric in transition and is an elite playmaker.
2. Collin Sexton, Alabama — The Alabama freshman is an elite athlete who can score with the best of them. Sexton is a creative ball-handler with a lethal off-the-dribble jumper. He needs to improve his court vision, but Sexton projects as a lead guard in the NBA.
3. Trae Young, Oklahoma — While the Trae Young mania subsided when Oklahoma started to slip in Big 12 play, the young guard is the best shooter in the class. Young is a talented passer and shifty ball-handler, but there are questions regarding his frame and toughness at the NBA level.
4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky — Gilgeous-Alexander immensely boosted his stock during his lone season in Lexington. He has the size and length to be an elite guard. The 19-year-old is a terror to defend in the pick-and-roll and can finish or pass with both hands. However, there are some questions about how effective his offensive game will be in the half-court.
5. Aaron Holiday, UCLA — The 21-year-old is a dogged defender who showed the ability to make shots and penetrate at will. He barely measured over 6-feet, so size could be an issue.
1. Michael Porter Jr., Missouri — Porter is one of the most talented players in the class. The star forward missed most of his lone season at Missouri after undergoing back surgery, but he has all the tools to be a star in the NBA. He should fit well as a small-ball four in today’s league. He can terrorize teams on the pick-and-pop or take bigger defenders off the bounce.
2. Mikal Bridges, Villanova — The junior guard was one of the most efficient shooters in college basketball last season. He has the ability to guard 1-3 and should be able to contribute immediately off the bench. There are concerns about his ball-handling and ability to create his own shot, but he should be a solid 3-and-D wing.
3. Kevin Knox, Kentucky — The workout warrior of the 2018 NBA Draft, Knox struggled while playing out of position at Kentucky but has shot up draft boards since he declared for the draft. He is a versatile scorer who can stroke it from distance and is lethal in transition. He struggled defensively in his lone season at Kentucky.
4. Miles Bridges, Michigan State — Bridges starred in his freshman season at Michigan State but didn’t make much of a jump in Year 2. He showed the ability to shoot from 3-point range, but struggles to create his own shot off the dribble. The forward has the quickness to guard multiple positions.
5. Lonnie Walker IV, Miami —While inconsistent, Walker is one of the most talented scorers in the class. He has loads of potential but will need to show more on the defensive side of the ball and rebounding when he isn’t scoring in order to contribute at a high level.
1. Deandre Ayton, Arizona — The likely No. 1 overall pick is tremendously gifted. Ayton is an inside-out threat who can pass, shoot and dribble. He will need to improve his instincts and activity on the defensive end of the floor.
2. Marvin Bagley III, Duke — Bagley might end up being the best player in the draft class. He has tremendous scoring instincts and is an elite rim-runner. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range in his one season at Duke and should be able to create more when defenses aren’t focusing on him as they were in college.
3. Wendell Carter Jr., Duke — Duke’s other big man probably has the highest floor of any prospect in the class. Carter is a versatile, intelligent player who will do whatever the team asks him to do. He has tremendous hands, can shoot out to the 3-point line, is a polished passer and uses his size to challenge shots at the rim.
4. Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State — Jackson has all the physical tools to be a productive NBA player. The young big man is an elite rim protector who has the ability to switch 1-5 on defense. His offensive game is a bit limited. While he showed the ability to make long-range jumpers (39.6 percent from 3-point range) he lacks the ability to create his own shot in the mid-post.
5. Mohamed Bamba, Texas — Bamba is one of the youngest players in the draft and has a ton of upside. At 7-feet tall, Bamba has loads of potential on the defensive end of the floor. While he showed the ability to stretch the floor, his offensive game leaves a lot to be desired. Bamba is a major boom-bust prospect.
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