2018 NBA Draft Busts and Stars

Busts

Jaren Jackson Jr.: Memphis Grizzlies (4th Overall Pick)

The Memphis Grizzlies had a poor season last year, finishing 14th in the Western Conference with a 22-60 record. Due to this lack of success, top prospects refused to meet with the team leading up to the draft, causing the Grizzlies to pick Jaren Jackson Jr., who was not viewed as a top five talent, but as a late lottery pick with limited upside. During his one year at Michigan State he had low averages of 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds, which are poor stats for the 4th overall pick. This draft pick will force the Grizzlies to look deep into the future, as they will stay a rebuilding team for the time being.

Trae Young: Atlanta Hawks (5th Overall Pick)

During the beginning of the 2017 college basketball season, Trae Young looked unstoppable against all competitors. Through the first 21 games of the season he averaged 31.8 points and 9.5 assists while leading Oklahoma to a 16-5 record. However, his production declined as the opponents got tougher, as he averaged only 19.5 points and 7.1 assists. Young worried NBA scouts due to his lack of size and athleticism, but it did not stop the Atlanta Hawks from drafting him with the fifth overall pick. It was a large gamble for the Hawks, who are currently in a rebuilding stage, because he was not viewed as a franchise cornerstone. The expectations may prove to be too high for Young who is expected to be the leader of the Hawks.

Stars

Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks (3rd Overall Pick)

The Mavericks initially drafted Trae Young with the third overall pick, but that was only for the purpose of trading him for Euroleague MVP Luka Doncic. At just 18 years old, Doncic won the Euroleague MVP by averaging 16 points and leading his team to the Championship. He is viewed as a franchise altering talent, and now the Mavericks boast a strong backcourt with Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. The expectations for Doncic are already at an all time high, but he is in a good position to live up to them during the season.

Michael Porter Jr.: Denver Nuggets (14th Overall Pick)

Michael Porter Jr. was ranked as the top high school prospect leading into the 2017 college basketball season. His high expectations were quickly diminished when he incurred a season-ending back injury which also hurt is draft stock, and even though concerns were high after he cancelled all pre-draft workouts, it was still a surprise when Porter Jr. fell to the 14th pick in the draft. The Denver Nuggets have been a borderline playoff team for the past few seasons, but they have had a lack of scoring from the wing position. If Porter Jr. can stay healthy and return to his previous form, he will be viewed as a steal for the Nuggets and it will vault them into playoff position.

Citations

“Trae Young.” CBSSports.com, CBS Sports, www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/players/playerpage/2892909/trae-young.

“, , NCAA Basketball.” CBSSports.com, CBS Sports, www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/players/playerpage/2892693/jaren-jackson-jr.

“Team/Event Finder.” Nathan Hale (@NH_Raiders) – 2016-17 HS Season – Roster – # – Michael Porter Jr. – F, www.prepcircuit.com/roster_players/14942095.

“Luka Doncic Europe Stats.” Basketball-Reference.com, www.basketball-reference.com/euro/players/luka-doncic-1.html.

Greer, Jordan. “NBA Draft Picks 2018: Complete List of Results for Rounds 1 and 2.” Sporting News, Sporting News, 25 June 2018, www.sportingnews.com/us/nba/news/nba-draft-2018-picks-order-results-first-second-round-1-2-full-list-players/597abh4mxruw10wln80n5xa94.

“2017-18 NBA Regular Season Season Conference Standings – National Basketball Association.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, www.espn.com/nba/standings.

“2018 NBA Draft.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Sept. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_NBA_draft.

 

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