In the latest NBA mock draft 2018 edition, it’s clear that three players are considered the best available picks in this year’s draft class. They are DeAndre Ayton of the Arizona Wildcats, Marvin Bagley III of the Duke Blue Devils, and Michael Porter of Missouri. Each of these players offers different skill sets and abilities, but all three look like they could become impact players in the league. Depending on how the draft order shakes out for the lottery system, it could change up who goes where. However, one mock draft believes the current order favors Arizona’s big man at the top.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that Duke’s Marvin Bagley III became the latest underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft. Bagley led Duke this past season with 21 points and 11.1 rebounds, earning him AP All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference player and rookie of the year honors. It was also mentioned that the latest Blue Devils standout broke nine different records for a freshman on the Duke program.
Bagley’s team bowed out of the NCAA Tournament just this past weekend to Kansas in an overtime thriller, but the fact this team made it as deep as they did showed just how much talent Bagley and the rest of the roster had. All of that seems to point towards Bagley being a top-three pick in the upcoming draft, although it’s mentioned the ESPN Insider Top 100 has him ranked at No. 4 overall.
One of the other heralded top three picks is expected to be Missouri Tigers standout Michael Porter Jr. who made his decision to leave for the NBA on Monday, per St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In a collegiate career that shows similarities to that of Kyrie Irving, Porter didn’t play a whole lot this past freshman year due to having an injury. ESPN currently lists Porter Jr. as the best overall available player on the big board. The 6-foot-10, 216-pound forward will be an asset to any team that lands him, as long as he can stay healthy. In his short season which had him participate in just three games, Porter Jr. averaged 10 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 0.3 assists per contest.
The three teams with the best chances of landing the top three picks are the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, and Atlanta Hawks, per the NBA Tank Race percentage report at ESPN. As NBADraft.net shows in their latest mock, Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton should go first if the Phoenix Suns have the top pick. They have Marvin Bagley as the second overall pick heading to the seriously struggling Memphis Grizzlies, and then fellow freshman Michael Porter being selected by the Atlanta Hawks.
As fans have seen being the top pick doesn’t always translate to being the best pick in the NBA Draft, as the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Markelle Fultz there last summer and he’s barely played this season. That said, the Sixers also drafted a guy named Ben Simmons at the top a few years ago and he’s doing just fine. Fultz still has plenty of time to blossom as well. Any of these aforementioned college stars could become an NBA star, or all three of them, only time will tell.