No. 5: Dallas Mavericks – Mo Bamba, C – Texas
Mo Bamba is a mass of a man. He’s listed at 6’11”, 225 pounds and his wingspan is eight feet long. While at Texas he averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game. His biggest issue in college was foul trouble but in the NBA that shouldn’t be a problem for the Texas big man. With the Mavs, Bamba would thrive with a team that has a lot of quality guards but they are missing that dominant big man that Dirk Nowitzki can’t be anymore due to his age.
No. 4: Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr., PF – Michigan State
Jaren Jackson Jr. seemed raw at Michigan State, but as the season progressed he kept getting better and better and now has evolved into a Top-5 NBA Draft choice. The Grizzlies are led by big man Marc Gasol, but if Gasol and Jackson team up they could cause havoc all over the floor for opposing teams. Jackson’s numbers in East Lansing don’t tell the whole story averaging 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds, he is a very good player who has really impressed teams in the pre-draft workouts. He might not instantly put up big numbers but he will be a great NBA player.
No. 3: Atlanta Hawks – Luka Doncic, SG – Real Madrid
Luka Doncic is clearly the best international prospect in this year’s NBA Draft. There has been speculation that Doncic could go No. 1 Overall, but there always seems to be a little bit of risk associated with international players in the Top-5 of the NBA Draft. Doncic will go in the Top-5, maybe even Top-2, but his size and skill set are just too much for the Hawks to pass up on, especially with the lack of talent on its roster.
No. 2: Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley III, PF – Duke
Marvin Bagley III dominated the ACC, capturing the ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Player of the Year Awards and looks like he is ready to dominate the NBA as well. Averaging 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, Bagley was a walking double-double in Durham, but questions still arise about his defense. Duke played a majority of zone last year and Bagley will definitely have to prove his defensive abilities at the next level. Harry Giles did not suit up for the Kings last year due to injury and if Bagley also lands in Sacramento, two former Blue Devils will team up for their rookie campaigns in a city that really needs a competitive basketball team.
No. 1: Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C – Arizona
If you watched the pre-draft press conference when DeAndre Ayton worked out with the Suns, it’s pretty clear, he’s going to be the No. 1 Overall Pick on Thursday night. Very much like Bagley, Ayton also was a walking double-double, averaging 20.1 and 11.6 rebounds per game for Arizona. The 7’1″, 250-pound monster will stay in the desert to try and revitalize a franchise that needs good basketball players and needs them fast. Lucky for them Ayton is a very good basketball player that will embrace the challenge of bringing the Pheonix Suns back to relevance in the NBA.