Since the 2017 NBA Draft is now officially over, the focus turns to prospects in next years draft. There are no guarantees because most of these prospects have yet to play a game of college basketball, but there is a pretty good chance these five prospects will be the top five picks in the 2018 Draft.
Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter is a 6’10” prospect with a 7′ wingspan and weighs about 215 pounds. His weight is a good sign, especially for someone who still has a year to fill in his frame. Porter has committed to Missouri. He also has good leaping ability which allows him to play above the rim even while in traffic. He has a great habit of attacking the boards. In his Nike EYBL games, he averaged 14 rebounds per 40 minutes. Porter is widely considered to be the first selection of the 2018 Draft, with two other prospects garnering the same attention, DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic.
Ayton is the ideal center at the age of 18. Ayton possesses a great 7′ frame with a great wingspan of 7’5″. Ayton also has a good outside shooting ability, which sets him apart from other top big men in his class.
Ayton has yet to really showcase his full abilities, but it is very evident that he is naturally gifted, given his natural tools. Ayton also has huge hands, adding to his potential rebounding and shot blocking abilities in the future. Ayton just recently committed to Arizona.
Donic fits the mold of a Small Forward body with his 6’8″ size. He also has the advantage of having played professionally, Donic played the past year for Real Madrid. His per 40 averages add up to 15.6 points, 9 rebounds, and 8.5 assists. These stats show that he is a great all around passer with the tools to succeed in the next level.
He also is a rare case for an 18 year old that is able to shoot 37% from three. Definitely look for a team that needs a future star to select Doncic, as he has the tools to become a top player a few years down the line.
Bamba stands at 7′ with a jaw-dropping wingspan that is measured at 7’9″. From that sentence alone, it is easy to tell why he will be among the top prospects come June 2018. He also has a pair of broad shoulders that will help him to become an even more dominant big man once in the pros.
His great rebounding radius and ability is portrayed with his incredible stat of 16.2 rebounds per 40 minutes in his senior year of high school. He has some potential to become a three point shooter, but for now it looks like he will just amount to a respectable midrange shooter.
Due to already playing one year of college basketball, Bridges has proved his skills as a player. We have the advantage of already knowing Bridges. He was projected to be a late lottery pick in 2017, but chose to return for another year of college to boost his draft stock. Bridges is the third Small Forward in this list.
With his height at about 6’7″ and a wingspan of 6’8″, he has decent size for his position. He shot 39% from three last season and also averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds. Both are great marks for a Freshman Small Forward.
Even though he is a year ahead of these other prospects in terms of time in the University system, he is only 3 or 4 months older than Bamba and Porter. While Bridges looks to boost his draft stock, he is also focused on making a title run with Michigan State this upcoming season.