The 2018 NBA draft took place yesterday (June 21st) and it certainly did not disappoint! Although the first two picks were somewhat predictable based on the immense talent level at the top, the rest of the draft was full of surprises. Here is the list of lottery picks 1-14 as well as what team drafted them:
In my opinion, I think Ayton and Jaren Jackson Jr. will make an immediate impact on their respective teams. Ayton will be joining a young and hungry Phoenix Suns team that hopes he can be the final piece of the puzzle as a franchise-changing center to lead them to the playoffs finally. Jackson Jr. is a versatile stretch big man that the Grizzlies have been coveting for years now with the idea of building around him in the near future.
Marvin Bagley III was initially considered the best prospect in the college ranks, but with the rise of Deandre Ayton, he dropped one spot. However, his game is so diverse and his potential seems limitless; he should thrive within any system and under any coach. Even in Sacramento.
One of the biggest question marks on draft night was surrounding Michael Porter Jr. He was injured for most of his freshman year at Missouri and immediately declared for the NBA draft at the end of the season. Not many scouts saw him play as a result, and some teams wondered if he was completely healed from his injury. However, in high school and AAU ranks, Porter Jr. was considered the best player in the country. He is a 6'10" forward with incredible offensive abilities and shooter's touch. In a league that is now built around guards and shooting range, he would be exactly what any team desires in a star player. The Denver Nuggets thought so too, and used the last lottery pick on Porter Jr. Although this effectively gives him a huge chip on his shoulder, he will only benefit from it going to a team that just barely missed the playoffs last year.
By Joshua Hamer