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2018 NBA Draft Preview

The Top Ten Players in this Year's Draft

Deandre Ayton is the top prospect in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The 2018 NBA Draft will be held in a little more than a month for now, June 21. It starts at 7:00 p.m. E.T. Unlike football, the basketball draft tends to feature freshman players. The one-and-done phenomenon is a trademark of college basketball. The NHL and MLB draft young, as some players decide to play in college and others forego that experience. In the past, many hockey players spent three to four years in college, many getting their degree before going pro. But that’s changed over the past few years with more and more NHL players staying a year or maybe two playing at the college level.

What Makes the Draft So Important

Duke’s Marvin Bagley III is ranked second.

Like other basketball drafts, the 2018 NBA Draft carries the potential to affect greatly a few teams, as just a select number of players will be considered to possess the potential to make a major impact. It’s a very different draft from any other, as the impact of one player can be huge, and, yet, very few impact players are up for grabs in a given year.

There are a few reasons for this. First is the fact that there are so few NBA plays. Each team carries 12 active players and at least one inactive player. They can have more than one inactive player, and most teams do. The league average is 16 players per team, which means there is on average four inactive players on a team at any given time. With 16 players total, of the four major U.S. sports, basketball has the smallest rosters. That means there are far fewer spots on an NBA roster than on MLB, NHL, or NFL rosters. Plus, there tends to be less specialization in the league. Football and baseball players are both highly specialized, and even hockey has a higher degree of specialization than basketball.

What a College Player Needs and Who Has It

Donic may stay in the EuroLeague.

For a college basketball player to have an impact on a NBA team’s fortunes, they must have a high degree of generalized skills, as well as some sort of defining, high-end quality or ability. That doesn’t mean there aren’t role-players in professional basketball, but it does mean that there are fewer spots for these players on team rosters. Below are the top 10 prospects in the 2018 NBA Draft. All are freshman, except for Luka Doncic. He’s been playing in the EuroLeague for a few years. He’s only 19 years old, and it is reported that he may not leave the EuroLeague for the NBA.


   Rank   Player  College    Year  Position Pos. Rk.   Height  Weight
1 Deandre Ayton Arizona Fr C 1 7-1 260
2 Marvin Bagley III Duke Fr PF 1 6-11 234
3 Luka Doncic Int. N/A SG 1 6-6 228
4 Mohamed Bamba Texas Fr PF 2 6-11 225
5 Jaren Jackson Jr. Michigan State Fr PF 3 6-11 242
6 Michael Porter Jr. Missouri Fr SP 1 6-10 215
7 Trae Young Oklahoma Fr PG 1 6-2 180
8 Collin Sexton Alabama Fr PG 2 6-3 190
9 Wendell Carter Jr. Duke Fr PF 4 6-10 259
10 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Kentucky Fr PG 3 6-6 180

Our 2018 NBA Draft Coverage

As the draft gets closer, we’ll be taking a look at some of these players and what they may bring to the professional basketball court. By the way, a top ten ranking in no way ensures that a player will enjoy a great career. At the same time, those listed on the lower end of the ranking scale can sometimes surprise everyone and blossom into amazing players.




Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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