2018 NBA Draft Big Board Top 60 ProspectsNBA free bet code
Who are the best prospects in the 2018 NBA draft? With the college basketball season in full swing, The Crossovers Front Office ranks the top 60 players potentially available.
Who are the top available players in the 2018 NBA draft? The Crossovers Front Office is here to break them all down for you.
As always, a lot can change for prospects over the course of February and March: players develop over the course of the season and can change some preconceptions with strong play under the spotlight of the stretch run. After the first dozen or so prospects in the draft, things appear pretty wide open and subject to change. The top of the draft has shaped up nicely in the meantime.
As a reminder, while ourMock Draftaims to project what the draft might look like on a given day of the season and factors in team needs, the Big Board serves as our own point of reference to project draft value and ranges within the available prospect pool.These rankings are based on our own evaluations and conversations with NBA scouts, and establishes how wed rate players in a vacuum (a scenario, of course, that will never actually happen).
(Note: Rankings and stats last updated Feb. 5).
Height: 71 Weight: 260 pounds Age: 19 Last Ranking: 1
Elite physical tools, soft touch at the rim and a promising jump shot make Ayton a tantalizing prospect. Hes long, bouncy and elevates well for rebounds, creating a matchup problem for every big man at his level and potentially at the next. He checks essentially every offensive box for his position, and has shown progress over the last few months, particularly as a post scorer. Aytons defense is a work in progress, but hes shown added commitment on that end in conference play and has begun to make some headway. With his nimble feet and sheer size and strength, he has the ability to be an above-average presence guarding the basket. Its extremely rare to find a 7-footer with his array of gifts, and Ayton is just scratching the surface.
Doncics continued mastery of the Euroleague and Spanish ACB leave little question as to his readiness for the next level, and its possible we never see another teenage prospect quite like him.He will be the most proven player in the draft bar none, having performed in FIBA play against NBA talent and established himself as a game-changing ball-handler. Doncic is comfortable as a lead guard, is a threat from outside (although his shooting from outside has been just OK this season), makes his teammates better and reads the floor beyond his years. He will face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, and his lack of elite explosiveness and burst will be nitpicked as the draft gets closer. He should be considered one of the safest picks in the class and an ideal fit for the perimeter-oriented league.
Bagley has been one of college basketballs most productive players, utilizing his athletic mismatch to score in the paint and manufacturing easy baskets on the offensive glass at an elite clip. His success is all the more impressive when you consider he reclassified out of high schoolhe should really be a high school senior, and instead hes averaging a double-double at Duke. That relative newness to high-level competition has to be a factor when considering his weaknesseshes extremely left-hand dominant, his jump shot is a little bit flat, and his defensive instincts are still developing. Bagley is far from a finished product and requires more long-term projection than his peers atop the draft, but has so much room to grow. He can be a force if he puts it all together.
All-league defensive potential will always be the backbone of Bambas appeal, but his offense has started to come along in recent weeks, as well. While hes not the most NBA-ready of the drafts top prospects, his upside is massive.With off-the-charts length and mobility, Bamba should make a huge impact around the rim and provide nice baseline value. Hes an able lob-catcher and still seems to be getting used to his body on some level, leaving untapped potential as a finisher. As long as the defense gets there, he shouldnt have to become a juggernaut on the other end to be great. Bamba has also flashed three-point range, which would be gravy. Scouts have questioned his motor a bit, but theres a lot to like when it comes to his ceiling.
Until we know the state of Porters recovery from back surgery, his place on the board is holding steady. Hes a smooth, polished scorer who thrives on the perimeter and should be able to handle either forward spot. Shooting comes at a premium, particularly on the wing, and Porters ball-handling and perimeter skills give him a chance to contribute immediately. However, he has a tendency to be a ball-stopper, and whether he can round out his game with playmaking and defense are the next steps. Though we may not receive firm answers to those questions on the court until the fall, hes a pretty ideal frontcourt prospect in the pace-and-space era. Concerns over his long-term health and mobility are warranted nobody benefits from serious back issues as a teenager. But barring major red flags, he wont fall far.
The frontrunner for National Player of the Year, Youngs entertaining blend of shooting, playmaking and gusto has elevated him into the drafts top group of players, and certainly established him as the top point guard available.His deep range and intelligent use of ball screens open up space for his creative dribble penetration, and hes turned Oklahoma into an elite offensive team. Hischange of pace and variety of moves help offset a lack of elite physical attributes. Defensively, Young will be put through the paces and will never have it easy. Hes unlikely to shoulder this much offensive volume in the NBA. But his considerable strengths are ideal for an uptempo, spacing-focused NBA offense, and in the best-case scenario, Young can be the engine behind one.
Jackson has anchored Michigan States defense and exceeded expectations as a freshman, starring in a role similar to what hell be asked to do at the NBA level. Hes shown nice scoring touch and floor-spacing ability in a complementary offensive role, and has done itas one of the youngest players in college basketball. Jackson is also among the nations top shot-blockers, and his timing and positioning helps compensate for a lack of elite explosionhes more lanky and agile than he is bouncy. His unorthodox shot mechanics may present issues at the next level when it comes to contested makes. Jacksonmade major all-around strides over the past year and has solidified himself as a Top-10 caliber player.
A 34-point performance against West Virginia was a nice reminder of Knoxs potential, and he seems to have broken out of a mid-season slump at the right team for a Kentucky team thats starting to figure things out a bit. He fits the bill athletically on the wing and as a rebounder, and looks well-suited for a combo forward role provided he continues to shoot the ball well from outside. Knoxs jumper can be streaky, but his struggles appear confidence-based at times. He needs to improve his handle and continue attacking the basket consistently, but has made huge strides since November andhas the type of malleable talent most teams will be happy to develop. Quality scoring wings arent easy to find.
Bridges continues to shine as a two-way wing for Villanova and looks ready to provide immediate rotation help at the next level. He continues to shoot the ball well from outside and display a solid feel for picking his spots, and has been placed in an ideal situation playing off of Jalen Brunson. His NBA fit as a supporting piece should be similar, and his impactful perimeter defense is a safe bet to translate. Bridgeshas ably defended four positions, blocks shots and consistently generates steals using his 70 wingspan. Its a bonus that Bridges has plenty of room to improve as a scorer, showing some ability to hit difficult shots and handle in the pick-and-roll that can be refined. Theres not a team in the league that cant use a player with his strengths.
Carter has really helped himself as a lottery candidate with his outstanding play of late, and has been an intelligent, stabilizing force for Duke. Hes made a massive impact on the glass even with Bagley alongside him and is a better athlete than he gets credit for. Though he can be overshadowed by his teammate, by many statistical measures Carter been just as good or better. Hes polished and heady as a scorer and can space the floor some as a shooter, a skill that should develop nicely as he grows. What may hold Carter back long-term is a lack of elite explosiveness, as he occasionally struggles to gather off two feet and score against longer defenders around the basket. But his impressive skill level, passing and on-court feel should help him find an NBA fit.
Alabama has been up-and-down this season, but Sexton has mostly acquitted himself well, showcasing his ability to get into the paint, attack the basket and make things happen offensively. He was banged-up in January and quality of his play varied accordingly, but Sexton has reinforced his strengths as an athletic scoring guard and has developed somewhat as a decision-maker. His assist numbers may be somewhat diminished by Bamas lack of consistent shooting aside from John Petty. Sexton plays hard more often than not andhas the ability to be a good defender when locked in. Whether he can keep drawing fouls at a high rate and score efficiently will be pivotal to determining his ceiling as a lead guard at the next level.
Bruce Browns unfortunate foot injury clears the decks for Walker to take over the reins for Miami on offense. Walker had already begun to come aroundhis six straight double-digit scoring games against ACC to close January were more than hed managed all season. His confidence levels are riding higher and hes been able to better showcase his ability, with a smooth stroke from outside, strong build and a high degree of body control as a slasher and finisher. He has some defensive potential given his physical gifts. Theres a case forWalker to return to school, play a full, healthy year (an off-season meniscus injury hampered his start), and fight for a top 10 spot in a weaker 2019 draft. If he continues to shine down the stretch, that may not matter.
Consistency, not talent, continues to be Williamss chief problem. The production has been there in conference play, particularly on the glass, but hell often float in and out of games and can cut an enigmatic figure. It doesnt help him that A&M hands a much larger chunk of playing time to Tyler Davis (Williams has played just under half his teams minutes, though part of that has to do with foul trouble). The context just isnt favorable. Williams still checks all the athletic boxes, plays above the rim with impressive ease and can be a terrific piece when engaged. With his two-way potential, he makes sense to envision in a Clint Capela-type role. Williams remains in the mix for a top 10 selection, but hasnt done a ton to help his own case relative to preseason expectations.
Browns scoring numbers have wavered a bit in conference play, but in his best moments its easy to see his potential value at the next level. His ability to handle the ball, make plays and drive, coupled with his size and build make him a quality two-way prospect on the wing. Brown is a willing rebounder who can push the ball upcourt and initiate some offense (he came up playing as a point guard).He can make shots from outside, but the numbers are questionable and he doesnt take them at high volume, so the workout environment may end up pivotal for him. But his versatility, athleticism and strong feel check key boxes.Brown will be one of the younger players available if he declares, and projects nicely into a rotation down the line.
Suspicion continues to build that Bridges falls more into the category of great college player than great NBA prospect. Hell be one of the best athletes available and brings strong intangibles, but the ways in which he scores the ball may have trouble translating. Rudimentary ball-handling limits him as a creator and has forced him to become mostly a spot-up shooter and straight-line driver on the wing, where he will have to play in the NBA given his lack of desirable length. Scouts have questions about the actual quality of his jumper: despite a solid percentage from three, hes struggled pulling up off the dribble this season. If Bridges cant become a quality NBA scorer, hell have to hang his hat on playing strong defense and doing the dirty work. If thats the case, he may not warrant a lottery selection.
Gafford continues to flash serious physical potential, and while he has a long way to go, his elite physical traits place him pretty squarely into this draft range. Hes still refining his offensive game and learning his responsibilities, but hes uncommonly mobile and capable of some incredible dunks and blocks with the way he covers ground.Gafford has nimble feet and has shown potential as a post scorer, although his moves are fairly rudimentary at this stage. He can get by on being athletic right now, but hes shown serious ability in a short period of time. He needs to pack on some more muscle to excel as an NBA rim-runner, but hes a risk-reward prospect worthy of attention.
Musa is a score-first wing player who hangs his hat on pull-up jumpers and a crafty game. Hes a highly experienced prospect and has earned a large chunk of playing time for Cedevita, shooting the ball at a strong clip this season. Hes an improving playmaker with a solid feel, but can be ball-dominant and isnt an elite creator off the dribble. But hes advanced in a lot of ways for his age and has been on NBA radars for some time as a result. His thin frame will pose a challenge, particularly when attacking the basket. Helacks ideal length, has a bit of a hunched posture and isnt much of a man-to-man defender, either. But Musas natural ability to put the ball in the basket helps set him apart as the top international prospect behind Luka Doncic.
There will be little reason to move Robinson one way or the other on this board until he gets in front of NBA teams in the spring. Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enter the draft with no experience beyond high school, his lanky frame, athleticism and shot-blocking ability are definite NBA tools. The big question is what else hell bring. Robinson was already considered a project with questionable feel, but showed plenty of intrigue in the high school environment and has the physical talent to engineer success in the right role. Keep waiting.
It appears Hutchison has taken the leap forward many had hoped for, improving his stats across the board and lifting Boise State into at-large tournament contention as one of the highest-usage players in the NCAA. He passes the eye test physically and has done a good job handling that workload. Hutchison wont be asked to do it all at the next level, but that well-rounded profile bodes well for his ability to capably play a support role on the wing. Hes a strong passer, continues to improve working off the dribble and puts his athleticism to use, drawing fouls at a high clip. Hes not much of a shooter off the dribble, but has hit the three-ball respectably on a career-high number of attempts. The perimeter shooting will determine a lot, but Hutchison has earned a spot in the first-round conversation.
Gilgeous-Alexander has been one of the quickest studies in college basketball this season, becoming one of Kentuckys leaders and continuing to play with a new level of confidence. Hes not quite elite in terms of feel at the point, but has spent a lot of time using ball-screens and has been capable. Lead ball-handlers who can defend both guard spots have plenty of value, and his 70 wingspan gives him some matchup flexibility. While not a physical specimen, Gilgeous-Alexander has a good understanding of angles when attacking the basket and uses his size well when probing defenses. He hasnt shot enough threes to really assess that aspect of his game, which will ultimately play a big role in his NBA viability. Theres some risk involved, but theres enough going on here to envision Gilgeous-Alexander fitting in.
Milton is currently sidelined with a hand injury, but has put together a strong season all-around as SMUs offensive focal point. Hes much more comfortable on the ball than off, but has the size to theoretically play either guard position and provides spacing with a reliable jumper. Milton isnt really a dribble-breakdown guy, but has some change of pace ability. The majority of his shots have been spot-up threes, yet to be seen if he can become someone who runs off screens to catch and shoot, which would add an intriguing dimension to his game.One question has been his aggressiveness, which wavers. Provided he continues to hit threes and make plays, Milton should benefit from a more defined supporting role in the NBA.
NBA scouts continue to do their homework on Simons, who turns 19 in June, is completing a postgrad season and is likely to at least test the draft.Hes a springy, quick-twitch athlete who is more of a combo guard at this stage of his development. Hes at his best when hes aggressive and attacking the basket, and has some promising shooting ability. Limiting turnovers and learning to dictate play will be key if he wants to play the point.He projects well athletically on the defensive end if he can add muscle, which will also aid him attacking the rim. Simons has a solid chance to be a first-round pick should he elect to turn pro based on his long-term upside, but will need time to figure things out no matter what route he takes to the NBA.
Though recurring foot issues have held him out of a few recent games after missing the first nine games of the season, Alkins has visibly been a plus for Arizona when available, providing consistent energy on both ends of the floor. His strong build, NBA-caliber explosiveness and well-rounded offensive game make him a useful fit on the wing, able to attack the basket and space the floor adequately. Alkins has developed into a solid defender and should be able to handle taller wings given his length and strength. Hes often been cast into a supporting role for the Wildcats, but shone in the combine environment last year and should be ticketed for first-round interest again.
Foot surgery means Brown might be out for a while, with a potential NCAA tourney return in play as his best-case scenario. By all accounts his regular season was a disappointment, failing to take a step forward offensively as a 21-year-old sophomore. There were hopes he could become a floor-spacing combo guard, but its become increasingly clear hes not a natural point and he made just 26.7% of his threes, casting doubt over his offensive fit. Brown will have a chance to redeem himself in the predraft process, and at the very least, his defensive skills and hard-nosed approach are NBA-caliber.Miamis guard-heavy team context was a little tricky to evaluate, but the lottery feels like a stretch now.
As athletic as he is, Diallo has really only been a plus in transition for the Wildcats this season. He has freakish speed and leaping ability, but his skill set has yet to catch up. There are moments where hell gather steam, attack the basket and look like a future All-Star, but he has little to no playmaking feel, struggles to hit jump shots and has not progressed in the right direction in conference play. His handle can be loose, and his ability to create in the halfcourt is limited. Stepping up as a defender will help his case. Buying into Diallos potential is risky, but his upside remains intriguing. He still has a lot he can improve on and may need immediate G-League time, assuming he comes out.
Continued production from McCoy has been a positive, and while he lacks one clear calling card, he does enough things well to make sense as a rotational center long-term. He has the requisite size, strength and mobility to handle the position, and while his offensive profile is very basic, he should be able to clean up mistakes, work the glass and cover ground around the rim. Hes not super-skilled or explosive and doesnt have much of a left hand, all of which may cap his upside. McCoy has to continue to develop his offense and play hard, but has shown enough to be considered in the late first round.
Metu had a productive January as USC got off to a strong start in Pac-12 play. Hes talented and has made some strides, but still has trouble scoring on a consistent basis. An athletic rebounder and shot-blocker, he screams energy big, but his motor isnt quite there. Hes still not a great post-up player and has tried to expand his jump shooting with mixed results. His on-court awareness still wavers. Metus athleticism will give him a chance to work into a rotation, but he has more to prove when it comes to draft stock.
One of the top defensive guards in the draft, Thomas has leverages his length as a legitimate perimeter stopper and has made a strong case for himself as a potential NBA role player.Thomas has been an efficient scorer all season and continues to make jumpers at a convincing clip. Though hes limited as a scorer off the bounce, his 3-and-D ability is coveted right now. Hes unlikely to become a star, but should be able to blend well with a range of backcourt partners, and that puts him in the mix in the late first.
Duval continues to struggle scoring the ball, though to be fair hes been a tertiary option tasked with supplying Dukes other scorers in a small rotation. And while the fit isnt perfect in terms of evaluating his ability, his continued struggles shooting the ball make it hard to get excited about his offense. Hes an excellent pressure defender who uses his length to help generate turnovers, and that certainly helps. Hes still a pretty good distributor, but you wonder if hes so unselfish in part because of his issues finding his own shot. Duval displayed considerable potential in high school and in different situation may have a chance to up his impact, even without a jumper. But there are more questions than answers surrounding his draft stock at this point.
Although he endured a January slump, Allen remains among the top shooters available, having proven over time he can make difficult shots off the dribble and catch. His offensive role has been somewhat reduced this season, but its more akin to his NBA role as a floor-spacer who adds some toughness and secondary ball-handling and playmaking. Allen is extremely athletic and can attack closeouts to keep defenders honest, though it doesnt always translate on the defensive end. Theres not much left to figure out about his game, and his experience and toughness will have appeal to teams in this range.
In midst of a surprisingly intriguing freshman season, Michael Porters younger brother Jontay cracks the Big Board for the first time this month. While hes not a clear-cut candidate to come out right away, Porter has a unique skill set among bigs in this draft and has put himself in a good spot to test the waters. He has legitimate stretch big potential and is surprisingly shifty when putting the ball on the floor, belying his thicker build and marginal athleticism. As a ball-screener and short-roll playmaker, Porter has definite appeal. Hell have some limitations in terms of defensive mobility, but as one of the youngest players in the draft, Porter has made a case for himself as a first-round caliber prospect.
Melton is suspended for the rest of the season due to USCs investigation into his eligibility and wont be able to strengthen his draft case until workouts begin. The mix ofdefensive toughness and athletic playmaking he showed as a freshman will keep him in first-round conversations. Melton finished in the Top 25 in steal rate last season and also blocked a ton of shots for a guard. The state of Meltons jumper remains questionable, but his energy, smarts and physicality (a 68 wingspan helps him harry ball-handlers) are bankable strengths.
Shamets blend of size, handle and three-point shooting help set him apart from other available point guards. While he can be streaky, his ability to catch and shoot as well as pull up makes him a constant perimeter threat, and he might be able to run off screens and do damage at the next level. This helps offset his average athleticism, as well as the fact he rarely attacks all the way to the basket.He competes defensively and has the chops to follow in the footsteps of former Shockers Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker, both of whom have carved out NBA niches in surprising fashion. Its worth nothing Shamet has suffered serious injuries in both of his feet.
There arent a ton of shooting specialists in this class, and Hudson should wind up among the best available. After transferring from Virginia Tech, hes found new life as a featured scorer for Florida, scoring with impressive efficiency and hitting threes at a plus-40% clip. Hes excelled in his role as a floor-spacer, running off of screens, pulling up off the dribble comfortably and finding ways to get to the line. Hell be limited as a playmaker and defender, but his smooth stroke gives him a chance to make an impact.
Jackson is out for the season with a torn labrum in his shooting shoulder, which puts him in an unenviable position and jeopardizes his chances of going in the first round. He has an NBA body, 73 wingspan and real two-way potential. But the biggest question for Jackson was whether he could maintain last seasons three-point clip, and while his shoulder may be a valid excuse for his inconsistent shooting, it certainly casts doubt on his offensive impact. He could be better off entering the draft now and blaming the injury, as opposed to waiting another year and risking further struggles.
With a strong build and some fluidity to his game, Bitadze has been an impact player for Mega Bemax (formerly Mega Leks), a club that has helped send a number of prospects into the draft in recent years. Hes been a highly productive rebounder and shot-blocker and has pretty quick feet that help him maneuver around slower bigs. The Georgian international has also demonstrated some ability as a jump shooter. He needs seasoning,but with his physical traits and developing skill level, theres intriguing long-term potential if he chooses to enter the draft.
Its probably time to stop doubting Brunson, whos the driving force behind perhaps the best team in the country. Hes ready to help a team in the NBA sooner than later, with an elite feel for running the offense and get teammates involved. He relies on his considerable craft to compensate for a lack of top-flight quickness and understands how to pick his spots, change speed and direction and score the ball. Brunson is also a good three-point shooter, and his steely on-court demeanor will appeal to teams.The son of former NBA guard and current Timberwolves assistant Rick Brunson, Jalen grew up around the league and fits all the right criteria when it comes to makeup. Hes in position to carve out a long career.
One of the most athletic bigs in college basketball, Fernando makes his debut on our board thanks to his immense physical potential. Hes still extremely raw, but his reported 74 wingspan, impressive mobility switching onto ball-handlers and ability to elevate around the basket are all eye-catching. A native of Angola, Fernando has often been in foul trouble this season and had issues making substantial offensive impact on a consistent basis. In actuality, hes more skilled than hes shown this season, with some range on his jumper and some ability to face up. He may need a second year of college to put it all together, but plenty of players have been drafted having demonstrated less.
Graham has struggled to score efficiently in recent weeks, but hes still enjoying the best year of his career. His experience level, outside shooting and playmaking ability have immediate NBA appeal. Hes playing all 40 minutes most nights to lead a thin Kansas rotation and has risen to the task, while also doing a solid job defensively. He struggles at times getting into the paint and scoring in isolation, which could pose problems as his shooting percentages are much better on threes than twos (although his heavy workload may be a consideration there). But Graham has done enough to get drafted, and could provide help as a reserve early on.
Kurucs has struggled to get a foothold when it comes to playing time at Barcelona, but has the type of versatility NBA teams are looking for on the wing. He was on the first-round cusp last season before pulling out of the draft, andhis mix of size, athleticism and smarts are appealing. He will need to improve his production beyond simply showing flashes, and whether he can earn substantial playing time the rest of the way will be telling. The Latvian still has some nice traits and looks like a potentially useful role player.
Alexander-Walker continues to flash upside despite inconsistent play. While he may need a second year of college to round out his game, hes shot well from three, has played on and off the ball and been a nice piece for the Hokies. He needs to develop his body and learn to play more physically, but his size and versatility are a nice place to start. If he realizes his defensive potential and expands his playmaking skills (playing on the ball more will eventually accelerate that), Alexander-Walker will be able to contribute. Hes a good candidate to test the waters and garner feedback.