The 2017-18 college basketball season officially came to an end on Monday night, as Villanova defeated Michigan, 79-62, in the National Championship Game in San Antonio.
Although the season is over, it’s never too early to predict what’s next in sports. Earlier today, ESPN released its Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings for the 2018-19 college basketball season, and now, Bleacher Report has released its mock draft for the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Bleacher Report article, by Jonathan Wasserman, has Michigan State center Jaren Jackson Jr. going to the Orlando Magic with the No. 4 overall pick.
“The Orlando Magic seem to like interchangeable, versatile players, and Jaren Jackson Jr. fits that mold. He also qualifies as a best-player-available candidate for his enormous defensive ceiling, shooting stroke, low-post game and flashes of face-up offense.
“He finished his freshman year as one of six players since 1992 to average three blocks and a three-point make, and he did so in the fewest minutes (764) at 18 years old, per Sports-Reference.com.”
Jackson is coming off a freshman year with the Spartans where he averaged 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. In addition, Jackson set a Michigan State record with 106 blocks on the season.
Bleacher Report’s mock draft has Arizona’s Deandre Ayton being taken with the No. 1 overall pick by the Phoenix Suns. Slovenia guard Luka Doncic is going to the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 2 pick, and Duke’s Marvin Bagley III is going to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 3, according to the mock draft. Texas center Mohamed Bamba goes to the Dallas Mavericks with the No. 5 pick in the mock draft.
There are three other players from the Big Ten that made Bleacher Report’s top 30 picks: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges (No. 12 pick, Los Angeles Clippers), Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop (No. 18 pick, Chicago Bulls) and Penn State’s Tony Carr (No. 29 pick, Golden State Warriors).
Here’s the full top 30 in Bleacher Report’s mock draft:
|3||Atlanta||Marvin Bagley III||Duke||PF/C||Fr.|
|4||Orlando||Jaren Jackson Jr.||Michigan State||PF/C||Fr.|
|6||Sacramento||Michael Porter Jr.||Missouri||SF/PF||Fr.|
|9||New York||Collin Sexton||Alabama||PG/SG||Fr.|
|10||*Philadelphia||Wendell Carter Jr.||Duke||PF/C||Fr.|
|12||*LA Clippers||Miles Bridges||Michigan State||SF/PF||So.|
|13||LA Clippers||Robert Williams||Texas A&M||C||So.|
|17||Washington||Lonnie Walker IV||Miami||SG||Fr.|
|18||*Chicago||Keita Bates-Diop||Ohio State||SF/PF||Jr..|
|19||*Atlanta||Dzanan Musa||Bosnia and Herzegovina||SG/SF||Int.|
|20||Jazz||Chandler Hutchison||Boise State||SF||Sr.|
|22||San Antonio||Jontay Porter||Missouri||C||Fr.|
|25||*LA Lakers||De’Anthony Melton||USC||PG/SG||So.|
|26||Portland||Zhaire Smith||Texas Tech||SF||Fr.|
|29||Golden State||Tony Carr||Penn State||PG||So.|
To see Land of 10’s NBA mock draft, click here.