March is one of the best times of the year for basketball fans, and it is especially true for fans of NBA teams whose postseason hopes have already been crushed. March Madness is a time when many fans get introduced to the future NBA stars, and the 2018 NCAA tournament will be full of star power with nine of my top 10 picks projected to be playing.The race to the bottom has never been more intense as the bottom seven NBA teams are all separated by less than three games.
If you’re looking for tournament teams full of NBA prospects, Arizona, Duke, Michigan State and Kentucky are just a few of the teams that you will want to watch during the tournament. Arizona big man Deandre Ayton has had a killer few weeks, and will be fighting Luka Doncic for the honor of hearing his name called first by Adam Silver come June. Michigan State’s duo of Jaren Jackson and Miles Bridges is also must-see TV as long as they can avoid an early upset that snared the Spartans last year.
Reach out to me on Twitter @JonDAdams with the players you are looking forward to watching during March Madness. The mock draft below is based on the Tankathon standings as of Saturday, March 10.
Here’s a look at my latest NBA mock draft.
NBA Mock Draft 2018: Lottery Picks 1-14
GettyLuka Doncic is battling to be the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
No. 1 Memphis Grizzlies: PG Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
This is the time of year Doncic can lose momentum for the number one pick as some of the top college players benefit from playing in the NCAA tournament. As you are watching the top players during March Madness, keep in mind Doncic has been playing professionally for three years in one the world’s toughest leagues. Doncic is still 19 years old meaning he still has plenty of upside.
Doncic is averaging 15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists for Real Madrid. He will need to continue to improve his shooting, but he is one of the best playmakers in the draft.
No. 2 Phoenix Suns: C Deandre Ayton, Arizona
Ayton has growing buzz around him for the No. 1 pick heading into March Madness. Bleacher Report’s C.J. Moore wrote an interesting piece breaking down the numbers on Ayton and NBA big men like Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns. The numbers show Ayton is a better shooter at this point in his career than the other big men were in college. Ayton possess the rare combination of athleticism and shooting that NBA teams are looking for from the new modern big man.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported more and more NBA executives have Ayton atop their draft board.
After canvassing most of the league in recent weeks, there seems to be somewhat of a consensus forming around Ayton as the “safe pick” at No. 1. Which …read more