10 Top Prospects In This Year's NBA Draft (Part 1)
This year's NBA draft class is one of the most stacked we've seen in a long time, with LeBron James going on to say, "This year's rookie class is the best since 2003". Now that's a pretty bold statement to make, considering that the 2003 class boasts luminaries such as Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and King James himself. 4 of the top 5 picks of the 2003 draft became All-Stars and were part of the USA Men's Basketball "Redeem Team" that dominated the global stage.
For any draft class to be compared to the 2003 class is a big thing, but the current 2018 class merits such comparisons - with high-ceiling potential stars oozing across the board.
Here, we present to you the BEST probable picks in this year's NBA draft! We list the players who will most probably go as picks 5 through 10 come draft day.
Stay tuned for ranks 1-5!
#10 Mikal Bridges (Villanova University Wildcats)
Mikal is fresh off winning the National Collegiate Basketball Championship with Villanova University. Villanova has emerged as one of the most dominant basketball programs of not just the last decade, but of all time. In the last 3 years, they've won the National Championship TWICE and they have held 4 Big East Titles and an ABSURD 165 wins in the last 5 years.
Mikal Bridges has been a crucial cog in the success of the program over the last three years - winning two National Championships in the process. He has developed by leaps and bounds during his time in college and is projected to be a top 10 draft pick this season.
He has plenty of positive attributes in his game already, not least a prolific three-point shooting ability which is so important in the NBA today. He shot 43.5% from beyond the arc this past season and has developed into a promising two-way player in 2017-18.
For instance, he complemented his offensive abilities and three shooting with impressive defensive stats. In a competitive Big East, often considered to be the best basketball conference in all of the United States, Bridges was top 5 in steals in each of the past two seasons and was ranked fourth this season in blocks. He was named the Big East Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. From averaging 6 PPG in his freshman season, Bridges now averages 17.2!
These stats are made all the more extraordinary when you consider that Bridges plays small forward, a position that is not traditionally attributed to defensive contributions. As Bridges is a Junior in college, he is also one of the most experienced and consequently, possibly one of the most NBA ready players in the draft.
While the sky is obviously the limit for Mikal, there are a few areas of his game which are in need of improvement. He is lanky for his size and struggles to play physical basketball. Case in point: He doesn't attack the basket and averaged a mere 2.3 free throw attempts throughout his college career. He is also more of a 3-and-D guy and lacks both playmaking (Averaged just about 2 assists per game) and shot-creation for himself in isolation situations. If he bulks up a bit more, he could drive to the basket more often and contribute offensively in more ways than just three-point shooting.
Expect to hear Bridges' name being called pretty early on, come draft day.