Dylan Stagge NBA Big Board 1.0

Check out the podcast on the group’s big board tonight! Follow us @TheSportzSermon on Twitter and subscribe on YouTube for more Sportz Sermon content! Enjoy!

  1. Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic has the full package. He has size, can pass the ball, and can shoot; everything you want from a modern NBA guard. He has an array of stepbacks and dribble moves that allow him to get open. His game is insanely smooth and has the potential to be an offensive superstar in a league that continues to move toward positionless basketball. Doncic has proven himself in professional basketball over the past few years, winning Euroleague MVP, Liga ACB MVP, the Euroleague championship, and is working on the Liga ACB championship. Keep in mind both of these leagues have better quality competition than college basketball. He also has the drive, passion, and leadership to become a leader for an NBA team very quickly. The biggest question with Doncic is his explosiveness. Even if he is not able to develop that in the NBA, Doncic still has enough passing and shooting skills to make him a good offensive player. He may not be the most physically gifted player in this class, but Doncic certainly has the highest floor. Player Comparison: James Harden

2. Mo Bamba

Mo Bamba has the highest ceiling in the draft, which is why he is my #2 prospect. With a 7’0” height and a 7’10” wingspan, he already has the tools to be an elite rim protector. But the parts of Bamba’s game that make him so intriguing are his raw ability to put the ball on the floor and to shoot it, along with his quickness. He has shown flashes of all of these modern NBA big traits. With the right franchise to develop those traits and add some pounds to his frame, Bamba should become an absolute beast. Player Comparison: Myles Turner

3. Deandre Ayton

Ayton has all the physical tools to be an NBA center, and if this was 5-6 years ago, Ayton would be #1 on my big board. However, times have changed in the NBA, and traditional centers like Ayton are on the way out. If you are selecting at #1, you want a player who has a chance to be the best player on a championship team. The last time a traditional center won a Finals MVP? 2005 (Tim Duncan). The last time one was even a top 4 player on a championship team? 2014 (Tim Duncan). Ayton can bully guys in the paint like Shaq, but the future of the NBA says big men have to either shoot the 3 or create their own shot. Player Comparison: Shaquille O’Neal

4. Marvin Bagley III

Marvin Bagley is an offensive superstar. He can score inside and outside and looked unstoppable on offense during his short time at Duke. He has the capability to take over games, can put it on the floor, and can develop a 3 point jumper. The biggest question for Bagley is whether his offensive skills will develop enough to make up for his lack of defense. He has the body and quickness to become a decent defender, but he needs to show some effort first. Player Comparison: Zach Randolph

5. Jaren Jackson Jr.

Jackson has been called the first true 3 and D big man prospect. Like Bamba, he also needs to fill out his frame. If he does, he could easily grab 10+ rebounds a game. However, Jackson’s biggest downside is his offensive versatility. Can he score inside? It definitely does not look natural for him. Is he a good enough scorer to take over a game? It doesn’t look like he can right now. Jackson will have a role on any team because of his promising shot, but if he can become a better all-around scorer, Jackson could be the best big man in this class. Player Comparison: Nerlens Noel (but can shoot)

6. Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter would be in the top 3 conversation if not for this season’s injury and the back problems of late. Porter is can do it all on the offensive side, and at 6’11, he can fit at either the 3 or the 4. MPJ is the best pure scorer and shot creator in the class. However, the injuries have come up again lately and Porter struggled in his one game back from injury in the NCAA tournament. Teams will be taking a risk drafting MPJ, but they could find themselves the best scorer in the 2018 draft class. Player Comparison: Jayson Tatum

7. Trae Young

Trae Young can also fill up the basket. Averaging 30 a game, he carried Oklahoma to the tournament. His range is definitely not an issue, and he also showed his passing abilities with about 8 assists per game. His production fell off near the end of the season, but that was because more because of the great guard play in the Big 12 and opponents focusing more on him. The biggest problem for Young in the NBA will be his size, especially as PGs only continue to get bigger. I still believe Young can find a role because of his shooting and playmaking, but he will have to get quicker to overcome his lack of size and take his game to the next level. Player Comparison: Steph Curry

8. Wendell Carter Jr.

Carter gives you everything you want from a modern NBA big. He can dribble, has post moves, and has potential shooting the ball. His physicality and athleticism are lacking compared to the top 4 bigs though. Carter will be able to find himself a role on any team, but it is hard to say he can be even a top 3 option on a good team anytime soon. Player Comparison: Al Horford

9. Mikal Bridges

Bridges is probably the most well-rounded prospect in the draft, and a lot of that credit should go to Villanova coach Jay Wright. Bridges is the perfect 3 and D wing. He can shoot, and with his 7’2” wingspan, his defense is already very good. Bridges can also create his own shot. The biggest downside of Bridges, though, is that it is likely he has already hit his ceiling at 22 years old. He can help right away, but Mikal Bridges does not scream sky-high potential. Player Comparison: Robert Covington

10. Lonnie Walker IV

Lonnie Walker has risen quickly up draft boards this offseason, and for good reason. He is a combo guard with insane explosiveness. As a prospect, Walker is pretty raw. He needs his jumper to become more consistent. Walker also has the potential to be a great defender with a 6’10” wingspan. If a team wants a risk that could pay off with potential Donovan Mitchell type rewards, Lonnie Walker is that guy. Player Comparison: Donovan Mitchell

11. Kevin Knox

Knox has plenty of potential as a scoring forward. He is basically a poor man’s Michael Porter Jr. if he is off the board. This seems like a broken record, but Knox also has the tools to become a high-level defender. He is very smooth and loves to settle for jumpers, but the question is whether he can be effective in the NBA in the mid-range. Player Comparison: Tobias Harris

12. Miles Bridges-

Miles Bridges offers a little bit of everything for an NBA team. He is a solid shooter and has some potential to create his own shot and be a solid defender. He’s not great at any one thing though. He will still be able to find a role on an NBA team though. Player Comparison: Draymond Green

13. Collin Sexton

Sexton is a score first point guard that plays like he is the best player on the floor. Sometimes, that leads him to bad shots, but he was good enough to do it in college and needed to for Alabama. The biggest question for him is whether he is good enough to play the same way in the NBA. He has the speed, quickness, and length to at least become a great defender though. Player Comparison: Eric Bledsoe

14. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

SGA has the potential to become an absolute monster in the NBA. Standing at 6’6 with a 6’11 wingspan as a PG, he is physically ready to take on any PG matchup. He also has some great skills getting to the basket on the offensive side. However, his jumper is very bad and he almost looks lazy and slow when he has the ball in his hands. If he had the intensity of a Collin Sexton or Luka Doncic, he would be much higher on my board. Player Comparison: Shaun Livingston

15. Zhaire Smith

16. Robert Williams

17. Aaron Holiday

18. Chandler Hutchison

19. Mitchell Robinson

20. Elie Okobo

21. Donte Divencenzo

22. Khyri Thomas

23. Kevin Huerter

24. Troy Brown

25. Grayson Allen

26. Jacob Evans

27. Dzanan Musa

28. Moritz Wagner

29. Jalen Brunson

30. Jerome Robinson

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