After announcing he will skip his high school senior year, Marvin Bagley III may also skip over Michael Porter Jr. as the top NBA prospect.
Two months ago, former ESPN analyst Chad Ford said he had heard NBA front offices were split about whether Porter or European star Luka Doncic would go first in the next draft. It’s not a clear race to the first overall spot for Bagley, who committed to Duke.
Here is what one basketball executive said about the upcoming class (via The Ringer):
“This class you should get acquainted with early on in the process. There’s question marks for each player because there’s no LeBron [James], but there’s a few possible franchise players … If Bagley is in, then there are five guys that have a case to go first.”
While Bagley is likely the most complete prospect of the top few players, the 2018 NBA Draft has some legitimately impressive talent.
Marvin Bagley III
During his junior season, the 6-foot-11 rising star averaged 24.6 points with 10.1 rebounds and two blocks per game. And when he played for the Nike EYBL circuit, he averaged 25.5 points with 14.7 rebounds and three blocks per game.
The dominant power forward is often described as a “once in a generation” player and “the best high school talent” some recruiters have seen. The left-handed scorer has outperformed NBA talent in recent performances at the Drew League in Los Angeles.
As a fluid runner, he is able to start a fast-break on his own after pulling in a rebound. On the other side of the ball, he is also a game-changing offensive rebounder.
Though not officially cleared to play next season, he is expected to soon get a green light from the NCAA.
In a game in preparation for the Eurobasket, Doncic recently scored 27 points against top players including Dario Saric, Bojan Bogdanovic and Dragan Bender.
He is a lifetime 34 percent 3-point shooter with an awe-inspiring jump shot that helped him record a 57.9 true shooting percentage last season. Doncic will have a big role for Real Madrid in the Euroleague. Despite his size, he has incredible ball-handling skills for a 6-foot-8 forward.
He has natural dribbling ability and can pass remarkably well, posting a 27.9 assist percentage.
Michael Porter Jr.
The high school stud played just one season in Seattle and averaged 34.8 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. He also put up insane highlights like this one above.
He is a more polished scorer than Bagley and aims to play a fluid style on the court. However, Bagley seems to be a more natural athlete.
Top big men DeAndre Ayton (Arizona) and Mohamed Bomba (Texas) are both considered to have No. 1 overall pick potential as well.
Ayton averaged 19.8 points per game with 12.0 rebounds in high school last season. Bomba has a 7-foot-9 wingspan and a 9-foot-6 standing reach.
Another potential top overall selection is Robert Williams from Texas A&M, who has risen to the top of draft boards recently. Meanwhile, a sleeper pick is Miles Bridges from Michigan State.
Bridges did not declare after his freshman season though the 19-year-old star could make a huge impact at the next level.
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