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5 Bold predictions for the 2018 NBA draft class

SENIOR ANALYST
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2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns
2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns were rewarded for their expertly done tanking process during the 2017-18 season with the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Picking DeAndre Ayton with it meant taking the safe step - selecting the rookie with the greatest guarantee of not being a bust more than anything else.

Only time will tell whether or not the NBA's newest draft class will live up to its pre-advertised potential, but there's a reason why it was the most anticipated draft in several years. A draft frontloaded by big men is a refreshing change for the league, which hasn't had drafted a single player capable of challenging for MVP honours since Dwight Howard in the 2004 NBA draft.

And so, here we come with a bunch of predictions that may or may not turn out to be true in the future, but will most certainly raise eyebrows all the way up until the end:

#1 Mo Bamba is the prospect least likely to bust

2018 NBA Draft
2018 NBA Draft

The top big men selected in this year's draft are Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Jaren Jackson, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. Of these 5 players, Bamba is possibly the most impressive physical specimen alongside Ayton because of his Draft Combine record 7'10" wingspan and his incredible motor that allows him to cover 94 feet in timings comparable to the likes of John Wall and Russell Westbrook.

Bamba looks like the least likely of these 5 players to bust because of his sky-high defensive potential, but defense is not the only reason I'm so high on this youngster. From all accounts, he figures as a player who can mould his style of play as per the needs of his team, and he already has a sweet-looking jump shot that could theoretically stretch defenders way outside the paint and allow other players easier plays in the paint.

Rudy Gobert with a jump shot is what Bamba has the potential to become, but Rudy Gobert without a jumper looks like his floor, and that's why I feel he's the least likely rookie to bust.

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SENIOR ANALYST
Started as an Arsenal fan at the age of 6. Became a Ronaldo and a Real Madrid fan after the 2002 World Cup. Bandwagon Celtics fan this season, though I've watched the NBA with increasing frequency over the past 14 years or so. Played both games with my high school team at some of the highest levels there are in India. Played against East Bengal u-17s in college. A member of Mercurial FC, 1st division Amateur League team in Bangalore.
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