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2018 NBA Draft Board: Top 5 Lottery Picks

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Steve Dewald and Brian Freeman rank their top prospects for the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft.

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers will be looking to supplement the talent on their roster with the No. 24 pick in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft. To get our Blazer’s Edge draft coverage rolling, we called upon Brian Freeman and Steve Dewald to share their prospect rankings. Keep in mind that this is a prospect ranking, not a mock draft. These lists are built on the best player available mold, and isn’t based on drafting at positions of need.

Blazer’s Edge Draft Rankings

Dewald Freeman
Dewald Freeman
1.) DeAndre Ayton (C) - Arizona 1.) DeAndre Ayton (C) - Arizona
2.) Luka Doncic (SG) - Slovenia 2.) Jaren Jackson Jr (F/C) - Michigan State
3.) Mohamed Bamba (C) - Texas 3.) Luka Doncic (SG) - Slovenia
4.) Jaren Jackson Jr (F/C) - Michigan State 4.) Mohamed Bamba (C) - Texas
5.) Michael Porter Jr (F) - Missouri 5.) Michael Porter Jr (F) - Missouri
6.) Marvin Bagley III (PF) - Duke 6.) Marvin Bagley III (PF) - Duke
7.) Mikal Bridges (SF) - Villanova 7.) Trae Young (G) - Oklahoma
8.) Wendell Carter Jr (C) - Duke 8.) Wendell Carter Jr (C) - Duke
9.) Miles Bridges (G/F) - Michigan State 9.) Mikal Bridges (SF) - Villanova
10.) Trae Young (G) - Oklahoma 10.) Kevin Knox (SF) - Kentucky
11.) Robert Williams (C) - Texas A&M 11.) Collin Sexton (PG) - Alabama
12.) Collin Sexton (PG) - Alabama 12.) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG) - Kentucky
13.) Zhaire Smith (G/F) - Texas Tech 13.) Zhaire Smith (G/F) - Texas Tech
14.) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG) - Kentucky 14.) Miles Bridges (G/F) - Michigan State
15.) Lonnie Walker IV (SG) - Miami 15.) Robert Williams (C) - Texas A&M
16.) Kevin Knox (SF) - Kentucky 16.) Troy Brown (G/F) - Oregon
17.) Dzanan Musa (F) - Bosnia and Herzegovina 17.) Khyri Thomas (SG) - Creighton
18.) Khyri Thomas (SG) - Creighton 18.) Dzanan Musa (F) - Bosnia and Herzegovina
19.) Troy Brown (G/F) - Oregon 19.) Lonnie Walker IV (SG) - Miami
20.) Mitchell Robinson (C) - Chalmette (HS) 20.) Mitchell Robinson (C) - Chalmette (HS)
21.) Aaron Holiday (PG) - UCLA 21.) Anfernee Simons (SG) - IMG Academy
22.) Keita Bates-Diop (F) - Ohio State 22.) Aaron Holiday (PG) - UCLA
23.) Jacob Evans (G/F) - Cincinnati 23.) Keita Bates-Diop (F) - Ohio State
24.) Jontay Porter (PF) - Missouri 24.) Shake Milton (G) - SMU
25.) Melvin Frazier (G/F) - Tulane 25.) Gary Trent Jr (G) - Duke
26.) Anfernee Simons (SG) - IMG Academy 26.) Jontay Porter (PF) - Missouri
27.) Chandler Hutchison (SF) - Boise State 27.) Grayson Allen (SG) - Duke
28.) Jalen Brunson (PG) - Villanova 28.) Elie Okobo (G) - France
29.) Justin Jackson (F) - Maryland 29.) Chandler Hutchison (SF) - Boise State
30.) Rawle Alkins (G) - Arizona 30.) Jalen Brunson (PG) - Villanova

Who was the toughest to place?

Brian: It was a tie between Mitchell Robinson and Anfernee Simons, because there is just not enough evidence of their abilities at a high level. Both have an extremely high ceiling according to their physical dimensions, but I don’t feel like I have the grasp on them as prospects that I would like. They are both gambles at this point so I slotted both of them in the gap between first rounders I liked and that I didn’t care as much for.

Steve: Mine was Jontay Porter for similar reasons. Porter has all the prospective tools to be a legitimate stretch four in the NBA, but he still has a ton to prove. His rapid ascension in his only year at Missouri made this a tough one. It is hard for me to imagine he would be getting the same buzz if his brother managed to suit up for the regular season.

Biggest Disagreement Between Boards

Brian: Kevin Knox behind Lonnie Walker was a big surprise to me. Most mocks have them within about 5-10 spots of each other so it was not necessarily out of the ordinary. But I couldn't make an argument in taking Walker over Knox.

Steve: I had a tough time putting DeAndre Ayton in front of Luka Doncic, so you can imagine my surprise when Brian had Jaren Jackson Jr. above him. I suddenly didn’t feel as bad for having Mohamed Bamba ranked so high.

The prospect most likely to make me look foolish:

Brian: I’d put both Mitchell and Robinson here again. While both look like first rounders from everything Ive seen, heard, and read, it still has not been enough evidence for me to make a claim about their future with confidence. Both of these guys could be an All-Star or end up with a career in the G-League. Either outcome would make my position of them on the board look preposterous.

Steve: I feel like there is no possible way to properly rank Trae Young. He looked unbeatable and purely mortal all in the same season at Oklahoma, so ranking him appropriately feels impossible. I could see him outplaying my projection on one hand, and massively underachieving on the other.


Do you agree with these rankings? Feel free to share your own rankings in the comments below.