Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Great Luka Doncic Debate

Actually, there's not much of a debate...the kid's a stud.

But is Luka Doncic a sure-fire top 3 pick in the 2018 draft, as many people think? The answer is clearly no.

There are a lot of unknowns with him, plus there's a boatload of talent in next year's draft, so the competition will be fierce. If some of the college Freshmen hit their potential then we could see Luca slide a bit on draft day.

Past Euro guards have had good but not great success in the NBA, with some busts as well. But before I go all Mario Hezonja comp on you, let me say this. I think Luca is the best Euro prospect since Kristaps and will likely be a dynamic player in the NBA. He's got more vision than a 40 day fast in the desert and he's an absolute natural on the court. He's like a 6-8 version of Rubio, with a better shot. He's good!

So good that he could go #1 overall next year... or #2 behind Michael Porter Jr., the 6-10 small forward from Missouri who has elite offensive skills...

...or he could go #3 behind DeAndre Ayton who, up until recently was considered the #1 guy in this class. If Ayton dominates as a freshman at Arizona he'll be in that top 2 conversation...

...or Luka could go #4 behind Mo Bamba, the lengthy Longhorn. Bamba has the type of coordination
and agility that you just don't see in 7-foot players. He's got much better hands than most shot-blocking bigs (think Nerlens) and he changes ends like a guard...

...or Luka could get drafted #5 behind Jaren Jackson who is emerging as an elite prospect. Still 17 years old, Jackson has shown a rate of improvement and development that already warrants top 5 consideration and after a year with Izzo...

And there are other Freshmen in this class that have top 5 potential like Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Sophomore Robert Williams of Texas A&M.

Alls I'm saying is keep an open mind. Luka Doncic is a great player but he's not alone. There are a handful of big time talents in the 2018 draft class and the competition at the top will be fierce.

Luka is a basketball prodigy and he has every right to be in the conversation for #1 overall. But the top of the 2018 draft class is stacked with talent and all of these guys are vying for the top spots.

I wish every day was draft day but we'll just have to wait until next June to see how this all plays out.

Here's the full 2018 NBA Mock Draft.