2018 NBA Draft Big Board v1.0
Having watched no tape and done no analysis, I'm finally ready to unveil my 2018 NBA Draft Big Board v1.0 (v2.0 will be unveiled shortly after the draft). This Big Board is a scientific document; any eventual variance from these results was the fault of the drafting team, not of my expert analysis.
1. Luka Doncic (I don't know how to type accents), The Basketball Real Madrid
Doncic has elite floppy hair and can make shots and pass. I hear he can't defend but neither can I, and that didn't stop me from making ten All Star Games.
I also like that he looks on the cusp of being fat, for a professional basketball player. If he gains weight then my analysis was correct and we couldn't have known how lazy he is; if he loses it he'll become more jumpy athletic and deserve this top ranking.
2. Jaren Jackson Jr, Tom Izzy's Factory of Boringness
If we've learned anything from the 2017-18 Boston Celtics it's that successful teams have an abundance of Jays. In retrospect, this makes sense in the jumper-happy modern NBA. As a triple-J, Triple-J is unlikely to fail.
I have some concerns about how many of his still photo action shots show him leaning way over, but at the second pick you can't expect to get a perfect prospect.
3. Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
If DeAndre Ayton is like Joel Embiid but without the defense, and Al Horford just roasted Joel Embiid in the playoffs, shouldn't we put the Al Horford-ish dude above the Joel Embiid Without the Defense-ish dude?
He also looks like an extra in a playground basketball scene in a movie.
4. Michael Porter Jr., Wherever His Dad Was a Coach
Don't let the back injury, inability to dribble sideways (reportedly), or lack of faithfulness to the University of Washington fool you, people once thought he would be the #1 pick.
As someone who doesn't watch college basketball, his not playing college basketball does not impact me. I rank him highly because he's tall and can shoot and the NBA rewards people who are tall and can shoot.
5. Mohamed Bamba, University of (Don't Mess With) Texas
For the regular season I'd rank Bamba and Ayton higher up, but neither of these guys can hang against the Warriors and the only thing that matters in evaluating 20 year old draft prospects in 2018 is if they could play against the 2016 Warriors.
Bamba has long arms and a large standing reach which is important because of how often centers are forced to stand still and put their arms in the air, except against the Warriors where they must "play in space."
6. DeAndre Ayton, University of Maybe a Scandal
I rank Ayton in this spot because if he busts I can yell "see, I never believed in him" but if he succeeds I can scream "ranking a guy sixth doesn't mean I didn't like him!"
7. Trae Young, Not the Marcus Smart Oklahoma
Marcus Smart and Trae Young are polar opposite guards who went to opposite Oklahomas. The question is, are NBA guards subject to horseshoe theory where being opposite Marcus Smart means you become good again, or is it bad to be far away from Marcus, the winningest player in the NBA?
I'm betting that Trae Young's ability to make shots that show up in my twitter timeline is a portent of future greatness. If not, it's the fault of our current highlights culture.
T-8. Bridgeses, Villanova State
If I'm being honest, I don't know which is which.
10. Kevin Knox, Can-tuck-e
Until a few days ago I thought this guy was an Old School Power Forward but now I see people saying that he's a Modern Combo-Forward, so I moved him up.
11. Marvin Bagley III, Also Duke
I got to number 14 and realized I had forgotten this guy. I have to put him after Kevin Knox because I moved Kevin Knox up after someone said that he's not an Old School Power Forward but I think MB3 (I assume this is what his friends call him) is an Old School Power Forward.
I also have to dock him points for me forgetting him. Forgettable players should not be in the top-10, unless there's a good reason for forgetting them, like there are two guys with the same name and you forget which is which.
I do like his hair, but wish that it moved faster, along with the rest of his body, laterally (according to what other people say).
12. Keita Bates-Diop, The State University of Ohio
The Ringer says he's shades of Jonas Jerebko. The Ohio Swedish Larry Bird.
13. Collin Sexton, Football
Didn't he play 3-on-5 that one time? It would be good if he were taller.
14. Melvin Frazier, Tulane
We're well past the point where I even know what these guys look like. I'm 99% certain that this is a real person and that I've spelled his name right, though the fact that he's listed as playing at Tulane gives me some pause. Does Tulane have a basketball team? It seems likely that they do.
15. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (who is definitely not Keita Bates-Diop)
16. Lonnie Walker IV (Whiskey pun)
17. Zaire Smith (Favorite of Twitter)
18. Josh Okogie (Thick, Jacked Frame?)
19. Hamidou Diallo (I remember his name from a few years ago)
20. Robert Williams (Not the one who didn't play this year)
21. Elie Okobo (Okobo-Okogie-Ojeleye dream lineup)
22. Khyri Thomas (Impressive foresight by his parents)
T-23. De'Anthony Melton / Shake Milton (See: Bridgeses)
25. Chandler Hutchison (Really, really could be a fake name out there to trick me)
26. Dzanan Musa (Imagine Heinsohn with this name)
27. Jarred Vanderbilt (Snubbed Vanderbilt)
It's a bit surprising that the draft ends after only 27 picks this season.