NBA Mock Draft 2018: Centers

NBA Mock Draft 2018: Centers

Draft

NBA Mock Draft 2018: Centers

POINT GUARDS / SHOOTING GUARDS / SMALL FORWARDS / POWER FORWARDS / CENTERS

 

Center / 7-1 / Arizona / Freshman
20.3 ppg, 11.6 rpg

Ayton has been a double-double machine for the Wildcats and has an extremely intriguing ability to shoot the ball. He’s a generational center talent and should end up a Top 5 center in the league by default. While he’s still a teenager and at times acts like it, he seems to have embraced the coaching he’s received at Arizona and is showing solid development in his game. He has begun to show more rim-protection ability as the season has progressed. Ayton is the most dominant true freshman center since Greg Oden, and should get strong consideration to go first along with guys like Marvin Bagley and Trey Young. At seven feet and with a 7-foot-5.5 wingspan, his ability to dominate on both ends of the floor, plus his shooting edge (over Bagley) makes him the main contender to go first.

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Comparison: David Robinson
Salary: $6,746,400*
Center / 6-11 / Texas / Freshman
11.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg

With an amazing 7-foot-9 wingspan and a 9-foot-6 standing reach, Bamba has length that is nearly unmatched at the next level. He also possesses unreal fluidity and agility for a player his size. He’s extremely quick off his feet and anticipates shots well, making him an elite rim protector. His offensive game remains a work in progress but there is optimism as he shows decent form and touch on his shot. He needs to become more comfortable creating offense and develop a better post game, but those things should improve over time. He’s an extremely cerebral and mature kid who teams are sure to be salivating over once the workout and interview process begins.

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Comparison: Rudy Gobert
Salary: $4,425,600*
Center / 6-10 / Maryland / Freshman
11.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Fernando would benefit greatly from another year (or two) in college. But the temptation to go may be strong if he continues to display the type of potential he has through the first half of the season. Fernando is extremely raw, but he displays very good footwork and touch for a big man. He has some developing jump hooks and seems to play within himself. He would likely need a few seasons before he could be expected to produce, but with a chance to be a high-level center in the league, the interest in him is likely to intensify if he continues to produce.

Comparison: Serge Ibaka
Salary: $2,391,100*
Center / 7-0 / UNLV / Freshman
19.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg

McCoy has played better than expected this season, exhibiting scoring and rebounding ability. His level of competition has been a factor, but he had a huge performance going up against his buddy DeAndre Ayton early in the season, proving that he’s not only beating up on the little guys. There are some maturity question marks surrounding him, so he’ll need to impress on his pro day and in interviews. But his stats speak for itself and his ability to face the basket and knock down mid-range shots gives him solid intrigue.

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Comparison: Omer Asik
Salary: $1,785,300*
Center / 7-1 / USA / Freshman

Whether it’s bad advice or just immaturity and impatience, Robinson’s inability to choose a path and stick to it is a bad look. He first shocked everyone by committing early to Western Kentucky. But then when assistant Shammond Williams left the program, Robinson broke his commitment. Only to recommit, and then de-commit again. His decision to “train for the upcoming draft”, instead of sticking it out and making the best of the situation is a curious one. It will be tough to justify taking him earlier than late first round for teams as he’s extremely limited skill wise and won’t have proven himself above the AAU level. Intriguing? Yes. Due to his tremendous rim protection. But there are more question marks than certainties with him.

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Comparison: Dewayne Dedmon
Salary: $1,516,500*
Center / 6-11 / Auburn / Sophomore

Wiley made a name for himself playing for Team USA in Cairo at the U19 World Championships. He established himself as the team’s most athletic big. His athleticism and size give him solid intrigue alone, and his willingness to battle inside and developing skill set give him a lot of intrigue. Scouts will likely have to decide if he’s worth the gamble without seeing him play as a sophomore, as it appears he will be forced to miss the season after the FBI probe into Auburn.

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Comparison: Isaac Austin
Salary: $1,367,000*

Key: (*) Standard salary for players selected with that pick in 2018-19.

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