As we slowly creep closer to another college basketball season it is time to alert you to the names you need to know. There are some special talents near the top of this draft but it doesn’t have the depth of the 2017 class. This group of prospects hasn’t been as hyped as the 2017 class was coming into college either. That is no slight to this talented crop as the 2018 group has a few potential NBA All-Stars among them. We’ll take a look at our current 2018 NBA Mock Draft Lottery Board chock full of great young talents to give you a preview of a few names to watch entering the upcoming college season.
2018 NBA Mock Draft Lottery
1) PF Marvin Bagley (Duke)
Bagley just recently reclassified into the class of 2017 and immediately became the best prospect in the draft. He has long been considered the best high school basketball player regardless of class for some time now. His ability to ultimately do it all on the court is the reason why scouts love this guy. He can shoot it from deep, rebound, score in the post, and defend. Prospects with all of Bagley’s talents are few and far between and is why he will almost undoubtedly go first overall next summer.
2) SF Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri)
The small forward heading to Mizzou has been on the radar for many years developing the nickname “Baby KD”. Porter Jr. is a smooth athlete at 6’10 with the ability to score from all three levels. He will remind some of Brandon Ingram while at Duke but Porter Jr. isn’t quite as long but is a more polished scorer.
3) C Deandre Ayton (Arizona)
Ayton once put up 17 points and 18 rebounds versus North Carolina as a 15-year-old playing with the Bahamas National Team. He’s a seven footer with a 7’5″ wingspan and the ability to stretch out to 15 feet on offense. Ayton has long been considered a top prospect and in his lone year at Arizona has a good chance to supplant Porter Jr. from that top spot.
4) SF Luka Doncic (Slovenia)
Praised as the best international prospect since Ricky Rubio, Doncic has a really interesting game. His court vision at 6’8″ is something rarely seen in addition to his solid shooting numbers. He’s playing on what many consider the best basketball team in the world outside of the NBA. Doncic is not only a part of the team but a major contributor averaging 8 points a game.
5) C Mohamed Bamba (Texas)
Bamba might be the biggest freak in the draft standing at seven foot with a 7’9″(!!!) wingspan. At Texas, Shaka Smart will rely on Bamba’s shot blocking prowess for the Longhorns to have rim protector to erase their athletic guard’s mistakes. Bamba isn’t exactly an offensive of juggernaut but his rebounding and shot blocking will be welcomed on a team who already boasted a top 25 defense on KenPom.
6) SF Miles Bridges (Michigan State)
Bridgesweres widely considered a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft before deciding to return for his sophomore year. Bridges will now enter a draft that’s weaker but he is also a year older. If Bridges shows a more consistent jumper and begins to clearly define whether he’s a three or four at the next level he should be a no doubt top ten pick. His athleticism still remains but Bridges has made a huge risk in coming back to school.
7) PF Robert Williams (Texas A&M)
Williams was a guy in some of Def Pen’s conference season mock drafts placed at the back end of the lottery. Williams seemingly came out of nowhere even as a top 50 recruit. No one expected him to come in and average 11,8, 2.5 blocks. Williams was raw as a freshman and the extra year could benefit a guy like him.
8) PG Trevon Duval (Duke)
Our first point guard prospect comes in at number seven which is a total contrast from the point guard heavy 2017 draft. Duval is an ultra-athletic point guard with a tight handle and good finishing ability at the rim. Duval will need to show a more consistent jumper as right now that is his main weakness.
9) PF Wendell Carter (Duke)
A solid power forward who is solid all around in all facets of the game. Whether it’s low post scoring, rebounding, or shot blocking Carter isn’t necessarily outstanding at any one thing. He is though talented in a lot of different areas and should have a solid year at Duke.
10) PF/C Jaren Jackson (Michigan State)
Jaren Jackson is long and athletic and has the ability to stretch the floor. He has the chance to develop a nice chemistry with Nick Ward, the Spartans heavy set big man. Jackson is very skilled and it will be interesting to watch how much skill Izzo allows him to show.
11) PG Collin Sexton (Alabama)
Sexton is one of the more exciting prospects in this draft to watch with his dynamic scoring ability. Sexton uses his combination of supreme speed and quickness to blow by defenders and score or set up guys. Like Duval his shot is streaky but Sexton will have plenty of opportunities to show his game at Alabama. Avery Johnson will put the ball in his hands right away and ask Sexton to lead his team to the tournament.
12) C Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky)
Robinson adds another to the long list of big man currently in the top 14 of this draft. He made quite an odd choice going to Western Kentucky then left and has now recently decided to come back to the school. Robinson has know shown to have some baggage but can his elite athleticism outweigh the maturity in the minds of scouts. He is raw offensively like most of the other bigs in this draft but Robinson will get to feast on lower rated players which may hurt his development.
13) C Nick Richards (Kentucky)
Richards should benefit playing to other top players at Kentucky on what may be Coach Cal’s youngest squad ever at UK. Richards is a load at 6’11” 240 pounds built in the mold of past UK bigs like Demarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Kentucky expects Richards to be a guy the Wildcats can throw it down to on the block and score or get fouled like those two past stars.
14) SG Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky)
Diallo joined Kentucky last year and practiced with the team throughout the duration of the second semester. He then declared for the draft and went through the process before ultimately returning to school. Diallo will now have to prove himself in actual games where he can showcase the athleticism that enamored so many scouts. Diallo is another guard here that struggles shooting but has many other skills that make him attractive.