2018 draft won’t change NBA landscape

2018 draft won’t change NBA landscape
June 28
03:00 2018

The 2018 NBA draft has come and gone with no franchise shaking moves.  With the number of quality big men in this year’s draft, I eagerly anticipated a move by a team on the verge of contending for a championship such as the Toronto Raptors or even the Washington Wizards, but that did not happen.

Instead, we were left with a couple of deals at the top of the draft involving teams that will most likely not even make the playoffs.  The question that remains is whether or not this draft class will have the instant impact of the 2017 class.

I will be the first to say that it will be hard to match what last year’s rookie class accomplished.  As I stated in last week’s column, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball, De’Aaron Fox, Lauri Markkanen, Ben Simmons, Dennis Smith Jr. and Kyle Kuzma were all standout rookies who seem to have tremendous potential going forward in their careers.

With five of the top seven picks in this year’s draft being big men, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact they will have in their first year.  Deandre Ayton was taken Number One overall by the Phoenix Suns.  The versitile big man out of the University of Arizona will mix well with star guard Devin Booker and second year player Josh Jackson to make a nice young core.

Former Duke star Marvin Bagley III went second overall to the Sacramento Kings, who are in rebuilding mode.  If the Kings’ 2017 pick, Harry Giles, recovers from his knee injury, Sacramento will have a nice front court for years to come.

The Grizzlies decided to take Michigan State power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth pick.  I don’t quite understand this selection as Jackson has potential but there were better players on the board that would have fit better with Memphis.  Yes, Jackson can protect the rim and even step out and hit the occasional jump shot, but Wendell Carter or Mo Bamba would have been better selections, in my opinion.

Bamba and Carter were selected sixth and seventh overall going to the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls, respectively.  Both teams are in rebuilding mode as well so, I don’t down these picks because they are safe picks by adding an inside presence for both squads. 

The most talked about player in the draft would have to be Luka Doncic out of Slovenia.  The teenager has been playing pro basketball since the age of 13.  He will play his NBA ball with the Dallas Mavericks after being selected third overall by the Atlanta Hawks and traded to the Mavs on draft night.

Doncic is a 6-foot-7-inch two guard with limitless potential, they say.  I have not had the opportunity to see him play, but I have seen highlights, and the kid has skills.  I just wonder how that will translate to the NBA, where the competition will be bigger, stronger and faster.  He has a nice pedigree and I’d love to see how he meshes with Dennis Smith Jr.

Former University of Oklahoma guard Trae Young will perhaps be the biggest boom or bust player in the draft.  The Hawks traded Doncic for Young on draft night.  Young led the nation in scoring and assists last year, but many question his ability to get open shots against bigger defenders in the league along with his defensive liabilities.

The Cavaliers selected University of Alabama freshman Collin Sexton.  The gritty point guard could be a key addition as the Cavs attempt to try and keep LeBron James in town. 

The Denver Nuggets may have gotten the steal of the entire draft with the selection of Michael Porter Jr. out of the University of Missouri.  Porter was the Number One player in the country coming out of high school, but a back injury derailed his only season at Missouri, limiting him to only a handful of games.

Porter was projected to be the first overall pick coming into the season, so if he can stay healthy, look out. 

Overall, this class does not overwhelm me initially.  The league has turned into small ball with players like Kevin Love, Draymond Green and Al Horton all playing center while also being under 6 foot 10.  With this influx of quality big men we shall see if the league makes another shift. 


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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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