Congratulations. You made it. We all made it. Months of games, speculation and projection are in the rearview mirror and the 2018 NBA draft is just days away. And though it does seem like we say this every year, it’s shaping up to be a more fascinating draft than usual. Factor in the waves of trade speculation, possible star movement in July, an impressive top group of talent and a relatively deep pool of prospects, and you’ve got real intrigue.
This will be the final update to the Front Office's Top 100 rankings, culled over the course of the season from countless hours of games and footage, conversations with NBA executives and scouts and in-person evaluations of nearly every player on the list. It’s a fool’s errand to accurately rate prospects in a vacuum without knowing future team situation, but you’ll find this list comprehensive and can trust it’s been steeped in substantial research and assessment. In most cases it’s indicative of players’ general draft range, as well.
For our most up-to-date projections of what all 60 picks will actually look like on Thursday night, head over to our mock draft, which will be updated throughout the week all the way up to the Suns finally being on the clock.
1. Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19 | Last Big Board: 1
Stats: 20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 1.9 BPG
Elite physical tools, soft touch at the rim and a promising jump shot make Ayton the draft’s likely top selection. His sheer size and strength presents a matchup problem for most any defender, and he may be the most athletic 7-foot prospect to come along this decade. Ayton checks essentially every offensive box for his position: he has soft touch, can face up or play with his back to the basket, his midrange shot projects nicely to the perimeter and he’s also a sound passer out of double-teams. While Ayton struggled defensively this season, he was frequently asked to defend forwards in Arizona’s scheme, surrendering some of his physical advantage and hampering his opportunity to consistently improve as a team defender. He did make progress, and with his nimble feet and long frame, he has the ability to be an above-average presence protecting the basket. It’s extremely rare to find a 7-footer with his array of gifts, and he’s the type of talent that’s extremely difficult to pass on.
2. Luka Dončić, G, Real Madrid
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last: 2
Stats (All competitions): 14.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.5 APG
A prodigious playmaker and basketball savant, Dončić will be the most accomplished player in the draft bar none. He enters with an unprecedented résumé for a 19-year-old, having just led Madrid to a Euroleague title and winning Final Four MVP and also winning Eurobasket in 2017 with his native Slovenia. Though not a traditional point guard, Dončić is comfortable with the ball in his hands, makes his teammates better as a passer and he reads the floor beyond his years. His outside shot can be inconsistent but his stroke is projectable enough. He may benefit from playing alongside a quicker, attack-minded guard, but his team will want to empower him as a playmaker to get the most out of him. He’ll face an adjustment to the speed of NBA defenses, and it’s yet to be seen if his lack of elite explosiveness and burst will make things more difficult at the NBA level. It’s possible his average one-on-one creation ability limits his ceiling as a scorer, but his true value lies in other areas. Similar to the way teams viewed Lonzo Ball in last year’s draft, Dončić should eventually become a valuable ball-moving engine who sets the tone for the rest of the team.
3. Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 18 | Last: 3
Stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 BPG
With a projectable frame, above-average mobility and a fast-developing skill set, Jackson put his considerable potential on display over the course of an inconsistent but nonetheless impressive freshman year. His shot blocking numbers (5.5 per-40) were off the charts, and teams are intrigued by his ability to protect the rim and defend in space. He shot 39.6% from three, though his mechanics leave a bit to be desired, and has nice touch around the rim with either hand, continuing to develop perimeter skills at an impressive rate. Jackson is more lanky and agile than he is bouncy, but some of his issues keeping up with physical opponents in traffic and committing too many fouls should be mitigated as he gets stronger. His statistical case isn’t as strong as his peers in this range, but contextualized with his extremely young age and development curve, it’s easy to project him evolving into a plus on both ends of the floor who contributes heavily to a winning team.
4. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last: 4
Stats: 21.2 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 61.4% FG
An athletic leaper and high-energy presence on the inside, Bagley was one of college basketball’s most productive players after reclassifying out of high school to accelerate his pro timeline. He’s an impressive talent at his size, moves fluidly and utilizes his quickness and multiple-jump burst to rebound, score in the paint and manufacture easy baskets at an elite clip. It’s hard to argue with his numbers, and with more shooters and playmakers around him, Bagley’s life should get even easier. There’s a lot of room for improvement: he’s extremely left-hand dominant as a scorer and sorely needs to expand his skill set, including a jump shot that must improve for him to really thrive as a four-man. Defensively there’s some fear he may end up stuck between positions, as he’s not much of a shot-blocker and looked lost at times. But he still has a lot of room to grow, and as a baseline should become a productive offensive player who puts up numbers, potentially early in his career.
5. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Freshman
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 5
Stats: 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.7 BPG
Bamba boasts rare length and verticality that should translate to serious defensive impact, and in terms of upside he belongs in this top group of prospects. A massive 7’10” wingspan allows him to contest, alter or block most any shot within his area, and he has enough mobility as an athlete to add a level of intrigue on top of that if he can learn to cover even more ground. If he can pack more muscle and core strength onto his slender frame, he could be an All-NBA defender. Bamba’s offensive game is unfinished, but he has some shooting touch and developing skills around the basket, and should be able to threaten as a lob-catcher based on his tools. His skills have improved, but he’ll have to make it translate into game situations. Some scouts have questioned Bamba’s competitiveness and toughness playing in the paint, and his interest level appeared to waver at times this season, but he’s a cerebral player with a lot of untapped ability. Bamba’s long-term upside as a team’s defensive backbone is substantial.
6. Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 250 | Age: 19 | Last: 6
Stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.1 BPG
A skilled, well-rounded post player, Carter was a productive, stabilizing force at Duke, and is widely seen by teams as a safe bet to play in the NBA for a long time. He’s a natural rebounder and a better athlete than he gets credit for, able to contest shots effectively and unafraid of playing through contact. Carter’s offensive role at Duke was less prominent than he was accustomed to, but he’s a polished post scorer and has become a respectable jump shooter, too. What may hold Carter back long-term is a lack of elite explosiveness and foot speed as he occasionally struggles to gather off two feet and score in traffic, as well as defending ball screens. There’s nothing overtly sexy about his game, but his diverse game and on-court feel set him apart. The NBA will unlock a wider range of his skills.
7. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Freshman
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 7
Stats: 10.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 33% FG
Porter has made some physical progress and has been transparent with teams about his medical information following the back surgery that derailed his college career before it started. Risk and all, he remains a possible top-five pick. His package of skills at his size makes him a threat to score at any time, a capable perimeter scorer with the size to shoot over most defenders he’ll face. That combination creates an opportunity for Porter to evolve into a team’s top option down the line, provided he can stay healthy. The talent is there, but scouts have long nitpicked his defensive approach and playmaking skills, neither of which has ever been considered a strength. He needs to mature somewhat off the court as well and faces a big adjustment. The NBA is well aware of what Porter is capable of at his best, but his draft slot ultimately hinges on which teams have what medical information, and how comfortable they are with taking the risk.
8. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Freshman
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 8
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 8.8 APG, 36.1% 3FG
A potent perimeter shooter and playmaker, Young displayed, and more importantly sustained, serious ability as the fulcrum of Oklahoma’s offense. His deep shooting range and intelligent use of ball screens open up room for his creative dribble penetration, and turning the Sooners into an elite offensive team for a large stretch of the season was no small feat. Young’s change of pace and variety of moves help offset a lack of elite physical attributes, though he will need to keep working on his body as evidenced by the way he wore down a bit toward the end of the season. It’s unlikely Young will be a helpful defender given his lack of size, but if he’s placed within the right system and has enough help around him, his talent should be able to outweigh his weaknesses. There’s risk involved with him, and teams wonder exactly what parts of his game translate, but Young has the ability to be a uniquely useful guard. His team fit will be pivotal.
9. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 9
Stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 34.1% 3FG
One of the youngest players in the draft, Knox brings a bundle of intriguing tools and is beginning to get used to his body. He put together a solid year at Kentucky while functioning mostly as a spot-up option off the ball, and his impressive frame and improving set of skills suggest he’ll be able to do more than that at the next level. He’s built well enough to play both forward spots, with some natural shooting touch, enough athleticism and some rebounding ability. Knox’s handle has to improve for him to become a quality scoring option, and he can appear somewhat stiff in change-of-direction situations. Still, as he continues to learn and figures out how to impact the game more effectively on a nightly basis, there’s an intriguing ceiling here that’s clearly worth developing.
10. Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova | Junior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 10
Stats: 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 43.5% 3FG
With a 7-foot wingspan working in his favor, Bridges couples solid defensive instincts with quality three-point shooting, making him a fairly safe bet to provide value in the modern NBA. His length and anticipation enable him to naturally force turnovers and make plays on the ball, and Villanova had him defend four positions in various situations over the course of the year. He needs to keep improving his defending on the ball, but the versatility coupled with the strides he’s made as a jump shooter are bankable. While he sometimes struggles to create his own shot off the dribble he should be able to thrive in a supporting role alongside a quality playmaker or two. Bridges is an older prospect and won’t become a top scoring option on a great team, but should be able to slide in and fill a position of need that nearly any team can put to use.
11. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 12
Stats: 17.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 36.4% 3FG
Bridges is a strong, active scorer who might be a little bit stuck between positions. Athletically he fits the bill, and he showed some encouraging improvement as a spot-up shooter on the wing as a sophomore. Almost spite of his body and explosiveness, an average handle can make it difficult for Bridges to get past defenders and into the paint, and forces him to settle for jumpers. His best pro position is probably power forward, where he can better utilize his quickness despite the fact he’s built more like a two-guard. There are also still questions about how his three-point shooting will translate to NBA range. Bridges could become an above-average defender thanks to his agility and strength, but has never been a true standout on that side of the ball. The talent is there, but he may need to remake himself from a finesse-based scorer into a high-energy glue guy to become more useful within a role. There’s some risk involved with that uncertainty, but his scoring, rebounding and athleticism give him a chance to succeed.
12. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 15
Stats: 14.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG
Gilgeous-Alexander was one of the quickest studies in college basketball this year. He bordered on timid in November, but finished the season looking like one of the most productive point guards in the country, his confidence skyrocketing after being tasked with a larger playmaking load. His size, length and quick hands help him see over the defense as a passer and make plays on the ball defensively and force turnovers. Gilgeous-Alexander has an unorthodox but effective off-the-dribble game, using hesitations and fakes to create space for himself. His jumper is passable, but not quite consistent yet. He’s highly unselfish, and while not extremely explosive, he has a good understanding of angles with the ball in his hands. There are some concerns about his average athleticism and small sample of success. Long enough to defend either backcourt spot, Gilgeous-Alexander’s versatility would partner well with a more scoring-minded guard.
13. Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama | Freshman
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 185 | Age: 19 | Last: 11
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 APG, 33.6% 3FG
There’s no doubting Sexton’s ability as a scorer after watching him attack the basket, play through contact and fill up box scores for Alabama. He’s athletically impressive, can get downhill off the bounce and is unafraid of big moments. Sexton’s three-point shooting clip leaves something to be desired, but may be attributable in part to a heavy workload. Where he struggles most is making teammates better, and while some of his poor assist-to-turnover ratio came a byproduct of the Tide’s lack of offensive structure, there’s some concern among NBA teams about the selfish nature of his play. Sexton is known as a hard worker and came in with a reputation as a good defender, but averaged less than a steal per game, and his overall focus level wavered more than the narrative surrounding him would have you believe. The question may be whether he’s better suited to run a team full-time or to supply bursts of scoring and energy coming off the bench.
14. Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last: 14
Stats: 11.5 PPG, 41.5% FG, 34.6% 3FG
An athletic, slashing two-guard, Walker had an uneven freshman season after recovering from a summer meniscus tear. While he didn’t set the world on fire, he’s a fluid, athletic player who can really attack the rim and elevate going to the basket. He has a nice-looking jumper and should improve shooting it from outside as he matures. Walker’s physical tools also project well on the defensive end, although his effort there was inconsistent. Teams have to figure out which of his weaknesses are inherent, and what can improve as he matures into a more confident, consistent scorer. His actual feel for scoring and finding spots in the defense has to improve. Walker offers more upside than many others in the late lottery range.
15. Robert Williams III, C, Texas A&M | Sophomore
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 13
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG
A physical force in the middle when he’s engaged, Williams can be a difference-making rebounder and finisher around the rim but has struggled to produce big numbers on a consistent basis. He’s an instinctive rebounder and shot-blocker and plays above the rim as easily as anyone, able to win most 50-50 balls within his area thanks to his length and quickness off the floor. For a guy with all his gifts, Williams should have been tallying up more easy baskets at A&M, and the sense is that he’s someone who may need the extra internal nudge to maximize himself as a player. He’s limited outside of eight feet and isn’t highly skilled, but when penciled into a Clint Capela-type NBA role, he makes a lot of sense. It’s a gamble, but he could be a starting-caliber center if everything breaks right for him. He’s a lottery-level talent who may slip a little further than he should, but needs a good team situation to succeed.
16. Zhaire Smith, G/F, Texas Tech | Freshman
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 200 | Age: 18 | Last: 21
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 55.6% FG
Smith is one of the surprise stories of this draft, beginning his college career as an unheralded curiosity and finishing it as a key player for an Elite 8 team. A tremendous athlete who makes an impact defensively, Smith has some level of feel for the game but his offensive skill set is unfinished, and there’s not much evidence at this stage that he can create off the dribble. While he’s unlikely to contribute much right away, his explosiveness, instincts and acrobatic ability are all tantalizing (he averaged more than a steal and a block per game, impressive for a true freshman). Smith fared well from three this season, but his attempts were limited and he will need to keep working on that facet of his game. He measured in at 6’2” barefoot at the combine, which doesn’t help his case. Smith is a risk-reward pick, and drafting him is a big bet on his intangibles and willingness to work hard and improve. It’s possible there’s more to his game than he showed playing effectively as an undersized combo forward last season, and he has time to make it happen.
17. Jerome Robinson, G, Boston College | Junior
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 27
Stats: 20.7 PPG, 3.3 APG, 40.9% 3FG
Robinson flew under the radar over the course of the season, but has worked his way into good position and will hear his name called in the first round. A high-scoring combo guard with a nice degree of shake to his game, Robinson could become a useful rotation player given his shooting and ability to play on or off the ball. He excels at creating his own shot at all three levels, with a great ability to change speeds and some sneaky athleticism. Robinson’s production and intangibles should appeal to teams—it can be difficult to find guards who can fill it up without being ball-stoppers offensively, and he can fit with a range of partners in the backcourt. His slight build may cause some limitations, particularly as a defender, but he should be able to fit in nicely in the NBA as a secondary playmaker and scorer.
18. Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland | Sophomore
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 195 | Age: 19 | Last: 19
Stats: 14.8 PPG, 3.4 APG, 41.7% 3FG
After putting on a strong display at the draft combine, Huerter solidified his stock and is widely believed to have a promise in the 20s. According to sources, the Lakers are the team that promised. However, he’s more likely to end up drafted in the 18–21 range. With good size for a two-guard and a nice array of scoring skills, his fundamentally sound perimeter game, consistent three-point stroke and slick passing have endeared him to scouts. Huerter excels as a spot-up scorer, with smooth shooting mechanics and some ability to attack closeouts and use his height mismatch against smaller guards. He’s athletic enough to cut it, and while improving defensively is paramount, simply being a high-quality floor spacer with secondary skills is a good place to start.
19. Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova | Sophomore
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 23
Stats: 13.4 PPG, 3.5 APG, 40.1% 3FG
After breaking out at the Final Four, DiVincenzo turned in two strong days at the draft combine and likely turned himself into a first-round pick in the process. A high-flying leaper and tough combo guard who makes winning plays, he has the size and athletic ability to defend both backcourt spots. He excels playing the passing lanes and in transition. Though a streaky scorer, DiVincenzo shoots it well enough to provide spacing and can provide a legitimate boost when his jumper is falling. To play on the ball more often and better facilitate offense, his handle must improve. He fits many key criteria that point to a rock-solid role player, and appears set to fall into the higher end of the 20–30 range.
20. Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Junior
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Last: 20
Stats: 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 42.9% 3FG
Holiday impressed this season with steady performances as an outside shooter and primary facilitator and looks well-suited to lead someone’s second unit in the NBA at worst. With his scoring instincts and ability to use ball screens, he can provide an offensive spark. He’s a smallish guard and can only defend one position, but competes defensively and should be tough enough to hold his own. Holiday is more of a shoot-first player than a setup man, and he struggles getting downhill into the paint around defenders at times, which limits his upside on some level. That said, he’s a fairly safe choice to provide some value, and the fact he has two older brothers in the NBA doesn’t hurt when it comes to intangibles—Aaron may be less physically gifted than Jrue and Justin, but has the makeup to overachieve and find a place in the league.
21. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Freshman
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 18 | Last: 18
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.2 APG
Blending size, ball-handling ability and an unselfish approach, Brown is an intriguing prospect given the increasingly positionless nature of the NBA game. He’s unlikely to ever lead his team in scoring, but has the ability to do enough other positive things to fit a utility-type perimeter role. He grew up playing point guard and is most comfortable with the ball in his hands and moving it. Brown is a good athlete with a body that should help him become a versatile defender. However, he lacks one true calling-card skill at this stage, can disappear at times and shot the ball poorly from distance this season. He stands to be more aggressive as a scorer. Though not a sure thing, Brown is certainly talented, and is one of the younger players in this class.
22. Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State | Senior
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 22 | Last: 17
Stats: 20.0 PG, 7.7 RPG, 3.5 APG
Hutchison is widely believed to have a first-round promise after the combine, with rival teams having come to believe it came from the Bulls. He’s an older prospect, but a safe bet to become a useful player based on where he’s at right now—an athletic, productive scorer who can impact the game several different ways. Hutchison took a nice step forward statistically this season as a heavy offensive focal point for the Broncos (he used a whopping one-third of their possessions), but in previous years proved his chops playing off the ball. He won’t be asked to carry that big a load in the NBA, but his ability to attack the rim on straight-line drives, make an impact on the glass and make secondary plays for others are all appealing. Hutchison doesn’t create especially well for himself off the dribble and has to keep improving as a shooter. But he has the skills and know-how to bolster a team’s rotation early in his career.
23. Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky | Freshman
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20 | Last: 16
Stats (2016–17 HS): 25.7 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 6.0 BPG
Although Robinson will have had a year off from competitive basketball and enters the draft with no experience beyond high school, his long build, impressive athletic ability and shot-blocking prowess come with built-in NBA intrigue. He‘s not extremely skilled, but teams fully understand how talented he is, but the concerns come away from the court, with his overall makeup and feel for the game given that he’s already 20. Robinson is capable of highlight-caliber plays around the rim, and the hope is he becomes a shot-blocking, lob-catching center. He’s also shown some potential as a jump shooter. Robinson has a wide range of draft outcomes and some teams will be scared off by the risk, but he’s worthy of consideration in the first round.