I will be releasing my 2018 NBA Draft Big Board below. This year I have taken it upon myself to thoroughly study players as much as I could. You can disagree with literally every single person I have below, but I have researched this draft like an NBA Nazi. So most likely you’re talking out of your ass and just agreeing with the general media. Not the guy I am, I will not agree with someone just because they made it on TV or have a little blue check mark. Most of you will because you’re incredibly small-minded. That means absolutely nothing to me when it comes to watching the tape. Basketball is basketball no matter what.
Derrik’s Big Board :
1.) Luka Doncic
The kid is just flat out extremely talented. If you listed Deandre Ayton over Luka Doncic on your big board then you need to look into a new profession because clearly you don’t know what a basketball player looks like. Luka is only 19 years old and has already won every single euro league award that is worth anything. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched foreign league players tape but usually you get done watching it and think to yourself, “how the fuck is this guy going to go top 10?” When you watch Luka’s tape you start to think how many years until he is going to be a top 20 player in the league. 2? 3? The KID is 6’6 218 pounds, size will never be an issue. In this NBA and with his passing skills he’s interchangeable through basically 4 positions. Luka is a modern-day NBA player, and people have him as their 3rd or 4th best player because instead of doing workouts with some proclaimed “trainer” (who works for a company with just a ridiculous name because there are literally millions of self-proclaimed trainers) he is literally playing basketball and that pissed people off. How could Luka think playing 5on5 instead of 1on0 help your draft stock? Seriously Luka. Why would anyone need tape for 5on5 when you can get wide open shots on perfect passes up? Dammit Luka. People are seriously fucking stupid. Playing 5on5 against actually basketball players hurt his draft stock, MY GOD.
2.) Jaren Jackson
You can’t teach players to be built like Jaren Jackson. 6’11 243 pounds. Jaren Jackson is number 2 on my big board strictly because if he pulls it all together then you have your next Giannis/Anthony Davis player. I’m not saying he will ever be as good as the two, but if he figures out that being 6’11 and being able to move the way he can, can make you virtually unstoppable, then I don’t think you want to be the guy that choose to pass on him. With a wingspan over 7 foot, if he can fully figure out this thing called basketball then he is going to be a problem for every single team that has to play him. My one big complaint with Jackson is I think it’s going to take him 3-4 years to figure this whole thing out. I’m not saying he will be bad from the start by any means, but after 3-4 years I think you’re going to see a superstar in the early stages.
3.) Marvin Bagley
Weirdly even though he is suppose to be a top 5 pick, I think he is somehow underrated. I had to debate with myself between Jackson and him for 2nd on my board. Bagley is going to be a great basketball player. I just think Jackson and Luka can be something very very special. This is how I know Bagley is going to be a great basketball player. When Bagley was a senior in High School I traveled about 25 minutes across town to watch Bagley, Jaren Jackson, Brian Bowen, Romeo Langford, and a few other players play in something put on by ESPN. After I watched Romeo score 40 something and Brian Bowen just completely light up the game like he wasn’t even trying. ( Pitino was at this game in person, this could of been a very easy moment to hand a kid a $100,000 check without ever having to text him about it, but that’s another story.) After that game, I had to watch Marvin Bagley, who I didn’t even know existed. Do you want my honest takeaway from high school Marvin Bagley? He was 6’11 and completely unskilled. Couldn’t shoot, couldn’t really dribble, couldn’t do anything besides bully people with his size. The obvious question, “Derrik, how does this back up your point?” Shut up, I’m getting there. Early into college basketball season I’m pretty sure Duke played it’s first 17 games on TV and I started watching those games completely confused. Marvin Bagley was now a player that could dribble, shoot fairly, run the floor, catch lobs and it literally blew me away. Just 8 months before I watched a 6’11 kid who couldn’t do a god damn thing on a basketball court besides dunk and hit lay-ups now plays like a wing. At that exact moment, I told my roommate something along the lines of ” That kid is going to be a good NBA player.” If in just 8 short months you can go from not being skilled and being a center in high school, to being a wing at Duke then I’m pretty sure I will take my chances of you being a good NBA player. Clearly the kid has the passion. Bagley reminds me of kinda like a Kawhi player, (minus the defense) he has a ton that he needs to improve on and people have their doubts but once it’s all said and done this kid will have had an excellent NBA career.
4.) Deandre Ayton
Deandre is this years “Everyone get on your knees” guy. He is more of an old-school post guy than a new school post guy. But guess what? Those guys aren’t superstars anymore. Deandre Ayton is a 3rd best player on a championship team in his prime. (that isn’t an insult, Klay Thompson is too.) That being said, I believe the last 3 players I listed can be the best player on a championship team when they hit their primes. I don’t understand why everyone is in such awe of this guy. He will be a good NBA player, that’s fine. There are 3-5 players in this draft that have the potential to be great NBA players if everything pans out for them. The last thing I’m going to say about Ayton is, if the Suns take Ayton number 1 over the 3 other guys above him on my board then Devin Booker may literally never ever play in a playoff game.
5.) Mo Bamba
He’s raw. The upside to Bamba I think gets him into the top 5. He’s extremely defensively talented. Not good at offense. The video of him going around of him shooting with Joel Embiid actually means a lot to me. Everyone either hates that video or likes that video. The fact that he’s showing that he can have the ability to adapt to the modern day game is a huge plus for me. Will he actually do it? No clue. Everything looked fluent in that video. If he can pull together a little stretch big, then he can do big things for a franchise someday, and if he doesn’t, you still have a natural rim protector and a lob guy.
6.) Mikal Bridges
I love this kid. He is an extremely extremely talented player. I debated having him all the way at 4 on my big board before deciding 6. He reminds me of a Klay Thompson style player. I truly hope that Cleveland takes a chance on this kid strictly because I will love to see a team built around Mikal. Excellent shooter, athletic, good defender. What else do you need? Oh, maybe that he’s coming off a national championship. I’m going to stop why I can because if I keep going, I’ll be raving about this kid for 500 more words. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
7.) Miles Bridges
This is a little high compared to where most people have Miles Bridges ranked. I thought 7 was a perfect spot. I think Miles Bridges has shown that he will be a good starting small forward for years to come. Others may disagree, that’s fine. (This is my big board) He has a lot that he’s going to have to improve on. Him coming back to MSU for an extra year really shows me that this kid wants to be great, he doesn’t just want a payday. (Which with all of MSU problems I’m not going to sit here and tell you he wasn’t paid…) Sometimes when you watch the tape on a player you just get a feeling that they will figure it out, I had that feeling with Miles Bridges.
8.) Trae Young
Oh yes, Trae Young. There isn’t a player in this draft being nagged as bad as Trae. Let’s get one thing straight, HE’S GOOD AT BASKETBALL. What the fuck else do you really care about? A shooter had a terrible 10 game stretch? (which wasn’t even terrible) NO SHIT. Young is a shooter and was the primary scorer for a team where only one player on the court could wipe their own ass. (That player was Trae) Everyone is looking way to deep into a player starting hot and then a college team adjusting to why Oklahoma is winning games. Oklahoma wasn’t even good, and they made the tournament because of one player. Explain that? (Pleaaaaase get drafted by the Magic.)
9.) Kevin Knox
Kevin Knox is Tobias Harris. I don’t know what else to say. He may never be an all star but he will always be a crucial player for his team and probably an easy trade throw in. I loved Kevin Knox tape. Then he had one of the worst individual drill tapes that I have ever seen. It was flat out pathetic. He was slow, wasn’t trying, cuts were garbage, didn’t shoot the ball like it was a game situation. It was fucking bad. ( I tell it like it is)
10.) Michael Porter Jr.
I know the kid is an extreme talent. He hasn’t released his medicals and I will NOT watch high school AAU as a reference for a NBA player. When he did play at Missouri this year he played like complete shit.
11.) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
I love the potential in SGA. First thing, SGA as a nickname already kind of makes you a better player. He’s an NBA defender, he’s long, he can do things off the dribble, he knows when to take his 3pters because when he shoots them he hits them. A 6’6 point guard in the NBA is always going to create mismatches for other teams. If he can figure out how to bully smaller guards off the court that will be huge for his career. Also, he doesn’t create a defensive match-up problem for his own team. For even certain teams that play smaller guards, he can guard different players on the perimeter.
12.) Khyri Thomas
This is extremely high for Thomas. I think he is a tremendous player that is truly just being overlooked. Even though the NBA has successful combo guards, that phrase literally sends GMs to run deep into their nearest closet. He can score and he can shoot. Those are 2 things in this NBA that every single team needs. People fall in love with players for no reason and they dislike players for no reason. They know what material brings clicks and what material doesn’t. Khyri Thomas doesn’t pay the bills. Just know after his career pans out well that I’m smarter than all of you.
13.) Lonnie Walker
Scores from anywhere on the floor. Kid has a extremely hard motor. He will never be your superstar or even an all-star but he might be your better version of Lance Stephenson. Plays hard and disrupts everything. I’m not sure on his 3 and D fit with a team because I’m not sold on his 3pt shooting but he will be able to score in other ways and he will figure it out defensively. I could see Lonnie being the guy that sneaks up in the lottery come draft night because you know what you’re getting.
I’m stopping after 13 because after this point this draft, to me, is an extremely hit or miss. I didn’t forget Collin Sexton or Wendell Carter, I just don’t like either as a player. I know that everyone else fell in love with Collin Sexton, I did not. I don’t want a worse version of Eric Bledsoe on my team at any given point in my life, hell I don’t even want the real version. Collin Sexton just plays out of control, and he doesn’t shot the ball real well and doesn’t seem like a natural playmaker. It’s a gut thing here. For Wendell Carter, there are 7-8 “good” bigs in the NBA right now, 4 more aren’t coming in the first 13 players of this draft. That is nothing but common sense. He has the worst upside I feel like of all the bigs ahead of him, and with that reasoning, I’m out on Wendell. (plus he has mom problems, and that is just a diaster.)