At 7’1” and 250 pounds, the former Arizona center is an explosive player with phenomenal talent and the physicality to become a star in the NBA. His 7’5” wingspan and strength allow him to dominate the glass, but he is light on his feet like a guard.
The Duke forward dominated in his freshman season, becoming just the third player ever to lead the ACC in points, rebounds, and shooting percentage in a single season. Bagley plays aggressively on offense and covers a wide range on defense.
Doncic enters the 2018 NBA Draft as standout competitor for Real Madrid in highest level of basketball competition outside the NBA. A 6’6” and 218-pound forward, he has the innate ability to see the game from two steps ahead and is a developing shooter.
Young could be considered one of the greatest risks of the 2018 NBA Draft. He led the Oklahoma Sooners with an average of 27.4 points per game on 42.2% shooting from the field. His size (at 6’2”, 180 lbs) limits him on defense, but he is one of the best passers and shooters in the draft.
Bamba is a defensively dominant center out of the Unviersity of Texas. With an impressive 7’11” wingspan and 9’6” standing reach, the standout center snatches shots on defense and can roll to the rim for lobs as well as any NBA draftee.
Although he wasn’t even Duke’s most highly-regarded big man last season, Wendell Carter Jr. staked his claim as a sure-fire lottery pick throughout a fine freshman season. The 6’10” power forward has a high motor that should allow him to thrive in an athletic league, and he possesses an attractive mix of shooting acumen and shot-blocking prowess.
Probably Kentucky’s most talented freshman last season, the 6’9” swingman took over games at times with the Wildcats – but not at the regularity fans hoped. He has supreme size for a wing player and will be able to overpower many matchups, but will have to prove he has a reliable motor.
The former Villanova swingman won two national titles in three seasons, but didn’t truly break out until the Wildcats’ 2017-18 run to cut down the nets. Bridges has great length to serve as an apt defender with fine shooting skills and athleticism; at 21, he’s more experienced and NBA-ready than most fellow lottery picks.
As surprising as Kentucky’s 2017-18 struggles were, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rise to becoming the Wildcats’ go-to play-maker was even more of a surprise. He’s still raw and developing, but Gilgeous-Alexander has the look of a versatile, athletic guard with great vision to drive and dish in the right system.
Like his Bridges counterpart, Miles Bridges is 6’7” with a 7-foot wingspan but boasts a very different skill set. The former Michigan State star is one of the most athletic players in the draft class, with insane hops and an ability to do everything from crashing the boards to punishing weaker, smaller defenders.
Jerome Robinson is one of the most polished scorers in the draft, but didn't get as much attention coming out of Boston College. Still, he finished second in ACC Player of the Year voting and will provide an immediate scoring punch.
Porter returned from a back injury ready to command the court with impressive rebounding and an ability to score from the NBA range. The Missouri SF can spread the floor with perimeter shooting and has the mobility of a wing.
With the way the league is going, Troy Brown's skill set is highly coveted. The athletic swingman has the speed and size to be a lockdown defender as he develops the rest of his game to adjust to the next level.
Phoenix didn't play around with the franchise's first-ever #1 overall pick, taking the closest thing the draft has had to a consensus #1 pick in recent years. Arizona center DeAndre Ayton has the transcendant athleticism to hang with the NBA's elite big men, impacts the game regularly on both ends of the floor and fills a big void on a guard-heavy Phoenix Suns roster including star Devin Booker.
The Kings picked in the lottery for the 11th straight year, and they hope Marvin Bagley III is the selection that helps them claw out of the franchise's latest rough patch. The ACC Player of the Year posted a dominating average of 21.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for Duke, and his elite offensive game will translate right away to the next level.
The Mavericks knew international sensation Luka Doncic wouldn't be there when they picked at #5, so they gave up their 2019 first-rounder to swap spots with Atlanta and get their man. The 6'6" Slovenian has more professional experience than all of his fellow lottery picks combined, having won EuroLeague MVP honors and leading his Real Madrid side to the European club championship.
The Memphis Grizzlies' best days have centered around dominant big men, which makes their selection of Jaren Jackson Jr. no surprise. He didn't show his full potential at Michigan State, but the 6'11", 242-pound big man possesses undeniable athleticism and shooting ability that will pair up nicely alongside center Marc Gasol and point guard Mike Conley.
Doncic looked like the move for Atlanta at #3, but the Hawks believe they got their version of Stephen Curry with electrifying Oklahoma point guard Trae Young. The king of NCAA hoops hype as a freshman, Young wiggles his way out of traffic with his slim 6'2" frame and only needs an inch of space to hit shots well beyond the arc. The pick may indicate the Hawks are ready to move on from Dennis Schroder.
Mo Bamba is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft and joins an Orlando Magic roster that needs some intrigue. The former Univeristy of Texas center is an athletic phenomenon with his near 8-foot wing span that begs comparison to Rudy Gobert or Clint Capela, but his emerging shooting streak could allow him to mold into a two-way superstar.
With most of their young talent in the backcourt, the Bulls took advantage of a frontcourt-loaded draft class. In selecting Wendell Carter Jr., the Bulls nabbed the fifth big man in seven picks and the draft's second Duke freshman. Carter has more size than any of them, however, and his high motor should give Chicago an upgrade down low to slot alongside Lauri Markkanen.
The Alabama point guard brings fresh energy, confidence, and the ability to score from any place on the court to the Cavs. In Sexton’s interview after he was picked, he begged LeBron James to stay in Cleveland, because he’s believes that together, they could go back to the NBA Finals and bring home a title. Even without the King in town, Sexton looks to be the future of the Cavs.
At 6’9” and 215 lbs, Kentucky’s Kevin Knox is an athlete that can score in a number of different ways. He averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in his freshman season, and the Knicks will work on consistent shooting and developing is defensive command.
Bridges was originally selected by the 76ers and would remain in his home state, but after a trade to the Suns, he’ll take on a new challenge in the desert. At 21, the Villanova forward will transition well into a group of young Phoenix stars, including the No. 1 overall pick, DeAndre Ayton. Last season, he averaged 17.7 points and 5.3 assists a game and shot 44% from the three point range, so the rookie could have plenty of open shots in his premiere season.
The Clippers acquired Gilgeous-Alexander from the Hornets for their first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 6’6” point guard averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game in his freshman season and will surely add talent to either guard position.
At 6’7” with a 7-foot wingspan, Bridges is considered to be one of the most athletic and explosive players in the 2018 Draft Class. The SF out of Michigan is known for his versatility- an excellent rebounder, an impressive jumper, and a strong shooter.
Robinson is an elite offensive player out of Boston College. As a junior, he averaged 20.7 points and 3.3 assists a game, while shooting nearly 41% beyond the arc. The Clippers will hope to develop him more defensively, so that he can become a standout two-way player.
As the final lottery selection, many people believed Porter Jr. would be picked earlier. A back injury limited him to just three games at Missouri, which could be to blame for his low draft stock. Regardless, the Nuggets snagged a star who has the talent to be a Top 3 pick, who will certainly multiply their stacked offense.
The Wizards definitely had versatility in mind with pick #15 Troy Brown. Though he’s another wing player for a team with an already-stocked roster, Washington will be counting on Brown to defend multiple positions and work well with their veteran roster.
After an initial pick by the Suns, Zhaire Smith was traded to the 76ers in exchange for Villanova’s Mikal Bridges. As key component of the deal, the Suns surrendered a first round pick in 2021. Smith worked out in Philadelphia before and made a great impression on the team, so the 76ers were able to score the former Texas Tech player and earn another pick in 2021 at the same time.
The Bucks filled a critical need with their pick of Donte Divincenzo at #17. Not only did they pick up a perimeter shooter, but they also chose a confident rookie from a pro-style program who’ll be ready to provide some assistance for Antetokounmpo right off the bench.
With Lonnie Walker IV being the highest drafted Spurs pick since Tim Duncan, there’s no question San Antonio is glad to have him. While he could have been considered a bit of a risk, the Spurs are likely expecting a potential bench scoring replacement for Ginobili and an eventual pairing with Dejounte Murray in the starting backcourt. There’s no pressure for Walker to get on court right away, but he has potential to contribute to the Spurs’ success more sooner than later.
Pick #19 Kevin Huerter is likely to start out with the Hawks as a catch-and-shoot player, though this could change considering his past ability in creating shots for himself at Maryland. Since the Hawks also drafted Trae Young in the first round, Huerter and Young are bound to significantly enhance the Hawks’ shooting abilities.
The Timberwolves’ need for wing depth was addressed with their selection of Josh Okogie of Georgia Tech. With the ability to guard multiple positions and a versatility on both sides of the ball, Okogie is a hard-worker that will prove himself to Coach Tom Thibodeau if given the chance.
With multiple accolades from his time at Duke under his belt as well as an almost-tangible passion for competing, Utah’s selection of Grayson Allen wasn’t too difficult. Despite his history of conflict on the court, Allen is looking for a chance to prove he’s matured as a player even though his competitive streak is as evident as ever. With Utah’s selection of Allen, the Jazz gained a versatile guard and another wing shooter.
At pick #22, the Bulls secured a strong scorer with a seven-foot wingspan in Chandler Hutchison. Not only is Hutchison a talented playmaker, but he’s also known for his rebounding and is likely to set up his teammates off the dribble. Hutchison is capable of guarding multiple positions as well as his strength on and off the ball.
With Aaron Holiday still available at the 23rd pick, the Pacers didn’t hesitate to pick up the high-scoring point guard. Holiday has a team-oriented outlook at is determined to do what it takes to gain favor with Indiana’s fans. The Pacers are very fortunate to get a player with such a commitment to defense as well as a professional attitude likely picked up from his brothers already in the NBA.
The Trail Blazers took a bit of a risk selecting a player without experience playing on a college team, but after seeing him in action in Portland twice, they were confident in his capabilities. Known for his on-the-move scoring and his speed, Simons is sure to offer the Trail Blazers plenty of potential versatility as well as dynamic playmaking in transition.
With the selection of Mortiz “Moe” Wagner at the 25th pick, the Lakers earned some depth inside in addition to a player that will revitalize their perimeter shooting. The German-born former Michigan big man has a strong basketball IQ and boasts a tremendous passing ability as well as versatility and toughness on court.
The Sixers culminated a roller-coaster first round of the draft with another surprise, selecting Landry Shamet out of Wichita State to bolster their group at point guard. Shamet wasn't projected as a first-rounder, but averaged 15 points per game with the Shockers and the fact that the three-point shot is his best trait does fill one of Philly's needs.
A stellar 2017-18 season and the Kyrie Irving trade meant the Celtics had to wait a while to select, but they still got a borderline lottery talent with Texas A&M's Robert Williams. Undeniably one of the best shot-blockers and defensive bigs in the class, Williams' role is limited but he'll slide right into a Boston roster that only needs specialists like him.
Draft picks are crucial to Golden State as they look to save every dollar for their expensive superstar core, and the Warriors hope to have landed another contributor in swingman Jacob Evans. The former Cincinnati star will be a typical 3-and-D option for the Warriors' second unit, which struggled to thrive in 2017-18 like it did in previous seasons.
The Nets wave goodbye to the draft purgatory they were in after the fateful Kevin Garnett trade, selecting a high potential international player that they hope they can mold in the long term. Dzanan Musa has thrived playing for Cedevita in the Croatian professional league, and the small forward could translate his scoring touch to the next level.
The third Villanova player goes in the draft with the Hawks' third selection of the first round, and Omari Spellman could be a good one for a depleted Atlanta roster. The Hawks landed two talented guards already, and Spellman will provide some rebounding and defense right off the bat as he gets accustomed to the league.