After hearing the devastating news about Missouri’s five-star recruit, versatile forward, and potential number-1 pick Michael Porter Jr. missing the entire college basketball season due to injury, many scouts, analysts, and draft experts are shifting gears to other draft prospects that can make an impact to many NBA teams.
Colleges such as Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, and UCLA are loaded with talent across the board this season. While schools such as Texas, Miami, USC, and Alabama who are known for their amazing football programs, are now on the radar due to the play of their own lottery picks. Also, do not forget about some of the overseas prospects, which have been playing professionally since the age of 16.
The 2018 NBA Draft will be just as loaded, hyped, and promising as years past, Let’s take a sneak peek at some of the other top prospects for the this season’s upcoming draft.
*Marvin Bagley III (Duke) is not mentioned due to his already top-2 pick draft stock, Michael Porter Jr. (Mizzou) not mentioned due to his injury
DeAndre Ayton- 7’0/Center/Arizona/Freshman
Ayton has all the tools to not only be the best Center, but also the best player in the league. The 7-footer has the size to back down defenders, score in the post, and rebound extremely well. Combined with top-notch athleticism and a sweet jump shot that can potentially extend to three point range, Ayton can carry a franchise on his broad shoulders. At Arizona he is currently averaging 20.3 ppg and 12.0 rpg, Ayton can make an immediate impact on any team that drafts him.
Luka Doncic- 6’7”/Shooting Guard/Slovenia/International
Doncic possesses footwork and IQ of a veteran guard at such a young age. His smooth play, craftiness, and lights out shooting makes Doncic the best guard in the 2018 draft class. With professional experience, playing at the highest level of Euro Basket, Doncic can handle the pressure of playing in big games. He is one of, if not the most sought after prodigy coming out of Europe.
Miles Bridges- 6’8”/Forward, Guard/ Michigan State/ Sophomore
Bridges is a very interesting prospect, instead of leaving for last season’s draft, potentially getting drafted in the lottery, and of course being financially set, Bridges decided to stay another year at MSU, his love for the game is unmatched according to Tom Izzo. Bridges displays freakish athleticism, a very high motor, and a knack for scoring the ball. Miles will benefit greatly by staying at State, developing his skill set even greater. He is coachable and willing to do the little things to win.
Mohamed Bamba- 7’0”/Center/Texas/Freshman
Bamba is a defensive force, blessed with a near 7’9” wingspan; Bamba not only blocks shots but can finish around the rim with ease. He reminds scouts of Rudy Gobert, whichever team is looking for a future defensive anchor, Bamba is the way to go. Currently for the Texas Longhorns, Bamba is averaging a double-double (10ppg, 10.2 rpg) with 4 blocks per game. He could go as high as the fifth pick in this year’s draft.
Collin Sexton- 6’2”/Point Guard/Alabama/Freshman
Sexton is a tough point guard, he is a bully, and he imposes his will on any opponent. A natural scorer averaging 25.2 ppg for the Crimson Tide, Sexton can get his shot off from anywhere on the court. His quickness and burst of speed make him difficult to contain. Has a Westbrook tendency when it comes to crashing the glass and locking up on defense when needed. Collin Sexton could take the Crimson Tide deep into March if he continues to rip defenses apart, look for him to go in the top-10 in this season draft.
Although it is very early into the College Basketball season, it is never too early to scout and predict some of the NBA’s next wave of talent.
Written By: Daniel Malakismail