The 2018 NBA Draft is upon us and tempers are flaring over which player is the ultimate prize. Yet even more important is their skill set, so which player archetype is most coveted?
The 2018 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 21. This year’s draft is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, “good” teams have lottery picks thanks to past trades with cellar dwellers. Secondly, this draft contains a number of players who project as being franchise cornerstones if things fall right.
Instead of mocking a draft that is sure to look misguided as soon as the Kings are on the clock second overall, let’s draft prospect archetypes! The 2018 NBA Draft class has players teams covet, and perhaps not surprisingly, those players fall into pretty standard blueprints for young basketball personas.
I’ll run through the archetypes for the top 10 prospects in a randomized order, and you tell me the order in which current NBA teams should covet those specific skill sets. These aren’t perfect matches for the players that will be selected, but finding the type of player a team should want is often overlooked.
A) The Injury Risk – he may have been the top pick if he sat out last year instead of being forced to sit out last year. Injuries have followed him into the NBA combine. How high is too high to take a chance on an injury risk?
B) The Score-First PG – he can get to the basket and create his own shot for days. Does he make teammates better, though? And can a modern, movement-based offense run through this guy?
C) The Tweener Big – a big man from days gone by. He can score and leap around the paint with the best of them but lacks a 21st century jump shot and cannot defend the rim.
D) The Heaver – the first graduate of the Stephen Curry generation who can bomb threes from as deep as deep can get. Undersized on the other end makes him a defensive liability.
E) The Foreigner – a special wing player with handles, a shot, and a league-ready body who has honed his craft against adults overseas. Does he carry the baggage of past foreign imports that have crashed and burned thanks to lacking elite athleticism?
F) The Stone Wall – a center who can defend the rim, run out on switches, and has the potential to alter everything an opposing offense tries to do. However, he is almost a non-threat when his own team has the ball.
G) The 3-and-D – a wing who can shoot threes from deep and can defend multiple positions on the other end. He won’t create his own shot or a shot for others.
H) The ’18 Center – a stretch five who can shoot from the outside and switch onto smaller players on the defensive side. Is being the prototypical center in 2018 good enough if he cannot control the paint on offense like a classic big man?
I) The Big O – an offensively talented big man with post moves and arms for days. He has a man’s body from day one, but major concerns exist about his ability to defend the rim, let alone run out on the perimeter after switches.
J) The Sleeper – everyone loved him after his freshman year, but he decided to return to school to win a title. He failed to win a title, and though he honed many vital skills, he didn’t go to another level after being a stellar freshman. If he didn’t get prohibitively better from 19 to 20, how much better will he be once he turns 24 or 25?
Oooo, this is fun! The 2018 NBA Draft will certainly make or break several teams on the fringe of serious contention, but being an impactful rookie is still a rarity in the NBA. Super teams and those with proven all-stars have the leg up regardless of a rookie’s pedigree, simply because of NBA experience. Yet one of this year’s crop of new players may in fact be that special rookie who can shine from day one. Let’s order our 2018 NBA Draft archetypes, because not all of them can enter the league with an immediate or even long term impact.
1) The Score-First PG – A great coach can easily teach a great player like this to distribute the basketball. Truly great players always make their teammates better, so drafting this guy is the way to go at the top of the 2018 NBA Draft. It’s a point guard’s league right now and having a great one is a necessity to make the playoffs, let alone with the championship. Do not underestimate this player’s ability to create his own shots. That translates all over the court.
2) The Big O – I love a big player with big-time offensive abilities. Having the athleticism and NBA ready body gives this player a leg up, because his defensive skills can be honed. With less action in the paint these days, he can handle the responsibility of defending it in today’s NBA.
3) The Sleeper – Nothing beats a potentially great player with a chip on his shoulder. Going back to school for an extra year is admirable, even if this player’s goal was not realized. His abilities did not improve within the same college system after another season, but that has no bearing on how they grow under NBA tutelage.
4) The Stone Wall – This player is a perfect complement to an already offensively dominant team. Defense wins championships and this player will own the defensive end of the court. He elevates your team immediately when paired with strong offense and a solid coach will be able to find him ways to score.
5) The Foreigner – I love the potential of foreign players, unfortunately their track record is so-so recently. A few have shined, but many have taken much longer than expected to have an NBA impact. Age is also a concern, but this player’s ability to play immediately can not be overlooked. Assuming he is going to be a solid NBA player, we won’t have to wait to see it happen. This puts him in the top five over our remaining players.
6) The 3-and-D – This player needs help from a great point guard to be great himself. He can elevate a team immensely, but not on his own. Being unable to create any kind of shot means he only fits in certain spots, and this limits him impact. But the right team with a hole to fill will want this player, assuming they have someone to get him the ball.
7) The ’18 Center – Teams still need centers, despite the position being less impactful than it once was. Since the NBA is less concerned with scoring in the paint, being able to control it is also less critical. Stuffing and controlling the lane would be helpful, but this player’s other abilities outweigh his lone deficiency.
8) The Heaver – I’ll say it again, defense wins championships. Great coaches can teach defense, but entering the league as a liability on that end is a knock on this player. I love his abilities to shoot the long ball, but without complimentary skills elsewhere, he is only helpful in clutch situations when 3’s are necessary. This also assumes he is a clutch shooter. We do not know.
9) The Tweener Big – Having a jump shot is extremely important today, so the lack of one truly hurts this player. Yet being great at one thing can not be overlooked, so this player does offer major upside. He can develop a shot if given the opportunity and his ability to score should not be overlooked.
10) The Injury Risk – I end with the injury risk, because having a track record of getting hurt is a bad thing. Look what happened when Chris Paul got hurt again, this time with the Rockets. It transformed his team in a bad way. This player’s impact is huge when on the court, but the likelihood of him missing time each season is high. Most teams cannot afford to lose him, so they will avoid him in the 2018 NBA Draft.
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Dan Salem is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Host at BuzzChomp. He’s a Staff Writer for NFL Spinzone, as well as an Actor, Writer, Director and Producer. Get lost in his Youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram.
Todd Salem is a Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also the New York Giants Lead Writer at Pro Football Spot, a Staff Writer for NFL Spinzone, and a Featured Columnist at College Sports Madness, among others. Follow him on Twitter.
2018 NBA Draft Photo Credits: NY Daily News and COED.com
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