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At the buzzer, my final 2018 NBA Draft Big Board

Once and for all, my rankings of the top 30 prospects as we look ahead to the 2018 NBA Draft

Tier One

1. Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid: Doncic has been firmly in place atop my board since before the season began. His production against elite competition at such a young age puts him in line with LeBron James’ rookie year and Kevin Durant’s freshman season at Texas. If he can stay in elite physical shape and develop his jumper, he will be an All-NBA player for years.

Tier Two

2. Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State: No other qualified player in college basketball this season matched Jackson’s passing, shooting and rim protection efficiency. He is the best two-way prospect in this draft, and if he develops as a jump shooter, offensive decision-maker and individual defender, he has a chance to be one of the best players in the entire league.

3. Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona: You already know. With the best basketball body in the draft and a versatile offensive skill set, Ayton is a lock to produce in a major way as a professional.

4. Trae Young, G, Oklahoma: This tier ends with Young because he is the only other perimeter player in this draft with the potential to be a transcendent creator, due to his spot-up shooting ability and outlier passing vision and skill.

Tier Three

5. Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Duke: Considering what the modern NBA asks big men to do, there may be no big man better suited in this draft to handle the transition to the pros. Carter will be a plus shooter, passer, finisher and defender at the next level.

6. Mo Bamba, C, Texas: You can never bet against size, and Bamba is one of the biggest and longest prospects ever measured at the NBA draft combine. If he continues to improve rapidly and his offensive game comes around, we may look back and say that Bamba was the best player to come out of this draft.

7. Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke: Bagley is another surefire bet to produce in the NBA, though questions about what type of team he would make better coupled with concerns about his defense make me worry about his ultimate impact on winning basketball.

8. Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State: Bridges went back to school and proved that his shooting, athleticism and playmaking were all for real. If he can answer questions about his team defense, he’ll be a solid pro.

Tier Four

9. Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri: If he recovers from back and hip injuries he’s suffered over the past year, Porter will be a dynamic switch-buster at the next level, capable of creating his own shot with ease.

10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky: One of the craftiest players in the draft, a jump shot is the only thing standing in the way of him becoming an above-average two-way playmaker.

11. Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova: It’s pretty easy to imagine Bridges becoming an elite 3-and-D option at the next level, though it’s unclear how much he will improve in the NBA.

12. Zhaire Smith, G/F, Texas Tech: If Smith improves his handle and shooting technique, he could become one of the most valuable players in this class.

13. De’Anthony Melton, G, USC: Melton does a little bit of everything, and though his shot was a problem as a freshman, he has had over a year to improve and will be effective even without a jumper, with potential to be an evolutionary Marcus Smart.

Tier Five

14. Lonnie Walker IV, G, Miami: The last guard on my board with legitimate shot creation upside, Walker will need to prove he can be an efficient scorer and defender to realize his potential.

15. Robert Williams III, C, Texas A&M: If he can play with a high motor at all times and build on some interesting flashes of offensive feel, Williams could become a better Clint Capela.

16. Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon: Taking him is a bet on youth, but someone who feels the game so well and brings ball skills to a growing 6-7 frame is as interesting as it gets.

17. Kevin Huerter, G/F, Maryland: The most fluid, versatile shooter in the draft, Huerter’s rise is the only one this summer that has made any sense.

18. Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati: Buried on a talented mid-major roster, Evans brings playmaking upside to a polished 3-and-D game.

Tier Six

19. Collin Sexton, G, Alabama: I want to like Sexton more than I do, but I just don’t see how he’s better than average on either end.

20. Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky: Mike Schmitz said it best on the Dunc’d On Podcast this week when he illustrated the idea that if you like Knox, you think he’ll be good on defense. I want to see it first, and I want to know what else he does on offense besides score.

21. Elie Okobo, G, Pau-Orthez: Another smooth scorer and shooter, Okobo may be suffering from an overcrowding at the point guard position more than anything.

22. Dzanan Musa, F, Cedevita: I have no idea if Musa will ever defend, but he may score so much that it doesn’t matter.

23. Josh Okogie, G/F, Georgia Tech: You can’t watch him and not be delighted with the edge he brings to the court and the sneaking suspicion that he’s a better creator than Georgia Tech’s miserable system allowed him to be.

24. Shake Milton, G, SMU: I’m not giving up on a long, skilled guy who racked up steal and block rates each near 2.5 percent, combined a 26 percent assist rate with a 25 percent usage rate, and posted a true shooting percentage over .600.

Tier Seven

25. Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School: Who knows. High school tape shows one of the more monstrous defensive prospects I’ve ever seen, but I have no idea what this guy will become.

26. Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona: An NBA body and high motor is enough to convince me Alkins will approach elite-level defense in the league.

27. Kenrich Williams, G/F, TCU: No one projected to go between 20-60 has a better feel for the game on both ends than Williams.

28. Bruce Brown, G/F, Miami: Before an injury stole his sophomore season, Brown showed the impact an athletic, wing-sized creator can have.

29. Melvin Frazier, G/F, Tulane: Graduating from a miserable mid-major to an NBA system will do wonders for Frazier, who is one of the better athletes in the draft.

30. Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State: I’ve soured a little as I’ve started to wonder about his NBA position, but I still feel solid that he’ll contribute as a scorer.

Just missed the cut: Donte DiVincenzo, Landry Shamet, Grayson Allen and Isaac Bonga

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