Who doesn’t love drafting a rookie and watching him reach his rookie ceiling, a la Donovan Mitchell? While we’re waiting on more deadline deals to go through, and since we’ve got the all-star break coming up, I figured this was a good time to start looking more at the 2018 draft prospects in order to better our chances at landing the right rookies next season. We’re also getting close to conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament, and those are always more fun with some future NBA stars to scout. After so many point guards at the top of last summer’s board, it’s been fun to have some awe-inspiring big men to watch. I was blown away the first time I laid eyes on Ayton and Bamba.

For all the ongoing analysis you need on these guys, check out Razzball’s Craig Bozic’s Dynasty Deep Dive. I love thinking ahead for next year, even more so in dynasty leagues, and especially when you can trade future draft picks. I’ve read a lot of scouting reports and checked player comparisons, watched a few games. So, now I’m going to take a look at the stats of the top projected lottery picks in Craig’s most recent order.

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(basketball-reference.com – through 2/4)

2018 MP FG% FT% PTS 3P 3P% REB AST STL BLK TO
Luka Doncic 24.8 47.1 82.6 15.9 1.6 32.8 5.6 4.5 1.1 0.3 2.1
Trae Young 34.8 44.5 83.6 29.8 4.2 39.3 4.1 9.7 1.9 0.3 5.3
DeAndre Ayton 32.2 62.8 73.4 19.7 0.4 34.6 10.8 1.4 0.5 1.8 1.8
Michael Porter Jr. (H.S JR-Nike) 26.7 59.7 84.4 24.8 1.3 36.1 11.1 2.5 1.6 0.8 2.0
Marvin Bagley Jr. 32.5 59.9 62.1 21.4 0.7 35.4 11.2 1.6 1.0 1.0 2.5
Jaren Jackson Jr. 23.0 52.2 78.8 11.4 1.2 43.3 6.2 1.2 0.8 3.5 2.1
Collin Sexton 29.5 43.6 77.9 18.7 1.4 36.8 3.7 3.4 1.2 0.1 2.6
Mo Bamba 30.5 55.4 67.8 13.0 0.5 28.2 10.8 0.4 0.8 4.3 1.6
Miles Bridges 31.0 47.9 90.1 17.4 2.1 36.8 7.4 2.8 0.6 1.0 2.2
Wendell Carter Jr. 26.6 61.3 69.4 14.4 0.6 46.4 9.6 1.9 0.7 2.1 1.9
Mikal Bridges 31.8 49.8 82.3 16.9 2.4 42.3 5.8 2.2 1.7 1.2 1.4
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 31.4 47.5 82.6 12.7 0.5 38.7 3.6 4.4 1.7 0.5 2.7

What do these stats tell us? Maybe not much. Here’s what Jimmer did, after all:

2011 FG% FT% PTS 3PT REB AST STL BLK
Jimmer Fredette 45.2 89.4 28.9 3.4 3.4 4.3 1.3 0.0

But, when scouts have pushed these guys to the top of the board already, I think we can have some confidence that the stat profile is reliably predictive. And with most of these guys being freshmen (and Doncic also 18), some of the stat lines are incredible. Of course, we know that the competition levels are different for the international and smaller school players. Also, many of these guys have other star prospects along side them and/or have to play limited roles, affecting their numbers. Anyway, I thought a good way to try to put the numbers into context would be to look at the same thing for the last two draft classes. Have fun with this and take from it what you will. Here are the 2017 and 2016 lottery picks. 

2017 MP FG% FT% PTS 3P 3P% REB AST STL BLK TO
Markelle Fultz 35.7 47.6 64.9 23.2 2.1 41.3 5.7 5.9 1.6 1.2 3.2
Lonzo Ball 35.1 55.1 67.3 14.6 2.2 41.2 6.0 7.6 1.8 0.8 2.5
Jayson Tatum 33.3 45.2 84.9 16.8 1.4 34.2 7.3 2.1 1.3 1.1 2.6
Josh Jackson 30.8 51.3 56.6 16.3 1.0 37.8 7.4 3.0 1.7 1.1 2.8
De’Aaron Fox 29.6 47.9 73.6 16.7 0.5 24.6 4.0 4.6 1.5 0.2 2.4
Jonathan Isaac 26.2 50.8 78.0 12.0 1.0 34.8 7.8 1.2 1.2 1.5 1.5
Lauri Markkanen 30.8 49.2 83.5 15.6 1.9 42.3 7.2 0.9 0.4 0.5 1.1
Frank Ntilikina 18.3 48.5 62.1 5.2 0.7 43.1 2.1 1.4 0.8 0.2 0.9
Dennis Smith Jr. 34.8 45.5 71.5 18.1 1.7 35.9 4.6 6.2 1.9 0.4 3.4
Zach Collins 17.3 65.2 74.3 10.0 0.3 47.6 5.9 0.4 0.5 1.8 1.5
Malik Monk 32.1 45.0 82.2 19.8 2.7 39.7 2.5 2.3 0.9 0.5 2.0
Luke Kennard 35.5 48.9 85.6 19.5 2.4 43.8 5.1 2.5 0.8 0.4 1.6
Donovan Mitchell 32.3 40.8 80.6 15.6 2.4 35.4 4.9 2.7 2.1 0.5 1.6
Bam Adebayo 30.1 59.9 65.3 13.0 0.0 0.0 8.0 0.8 0.7 1.5 1.7
2016 MP FG% FT% PTS 3P 3P% REB AST STL BLK TO
Ben Simmons 34.9 56.0 67.0 19.2 0.0 33.3 11.8 4.8 2.0 0.8 3.4
Brandon Ingram 34.6 44.2 68.2 17.3 2.2 41.0 6.8 2.0 1.1 1.4 2.0
Jaylen Brown 27.6 43.1 65.4 14.6 0.9 29.4 5.4 2.0 0.8 0.6 3.1
Dragan Bender 10.6 33.3 50.0 2.1 0.3 25.0 1.4 0.6 0.3 0.4 0.6
Kris Dunn 33.0 44.8 69.5 16.4 1.3 37.2 5.3 6.2 2.5 0.6 3.5
Buddy Hield 35.4 50.1 88.0 25.0 4.0 45.7 5.7 2.0 1.1 0.5 3.1
Jamal Murray 35.2 45.4 78.3 20.0 3.1 40.8 5.2 2.2 1.0 0.3 2.3
Marquese Chriss 24.9 53.0 68.2 13.7 0.6 35.0 5.4 0.8 0.9 1.6 2.0
Jakob Poeltl 30.4 64.6 68.9 17.2 0.0 0.0 9.1 1.9 0.6 1.6 2.1
Thon Maker (H.S. Soph) 21.3 13.3 1.7 1.2 4.2
Domantas Sabonis 31.9 61.1 76.9 17.6 0.1 35.7 11.8 1.8 0.6 0.9 2.6
Taurean Prince 30.6 43.2 77.4 15.9 1.6 36.1 6.1 2.3 1.3 0.7 2.7
Georgios Papagiannis 9.0 63.0 65.4 4.8 0.0 0.0 2.2 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.5
Denzel Valentine 33.0 46.2 85.3 19.2 3.4 44.4 7.5 7.8 1.0 0.2 2.7

 

This week’s classic fantasy line:

Make it two weeks in a row for Steph Curry. Since Trae Young gets the Steph comp a lot, here are Curry’s college stats at Davidson.

FG% FT% PTS 3PT REB AST STL BLK
FRESHMAN 46.3 85.5 21.5 3.6 4.6 2.8 1.8 0.2
SOPHOMORE 48.3 89.4 25.9 4.5 4.6 2.9 2.0 0.4
JUNIOR 45.4 87.6 28.6 3.8 4.4 5.6 2.5 0.2

  1. Craig Bozic

    Craig Bozic says:
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    Great stuff tad. A very useful tool for prospectors.

    Although numbers don’t tell a story of translatable skill, they sure are a useful tool to identify statistical deficiencies

    Thoroughly enjoyable read

    • Tad

      Tad says:
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      @Craig Bozic: Thanks a lot, Craig. Looking forward to more of your breakdowns of the top guys.

  2. Wen says:
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    Hi Tad, I have a really tough decision to make and need your help. I don’t know what to do when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson comes back and I am torn. Would you drop any one of the following or you just cut Rondae? No particular needs or position required. Thanks for your advice!

    Bogdan Bogdanovic
    George Hill
    Reggie Bullock
    Courtney Lee
    Robin Lopez
    Dewayne Dedmon
    DeMarre Carroll
    Bobby Portis

    • Tad

      Tad says:
      (link)

      @Wen: I would probably cut Lopez. He’s not doing much most nights, and I think he’s likely to be rested and and/or in line for minutes restrictions as the tanking ramps up. Same for Lee. Carroll should be hurt by RHJ’s return. I was optimistic on Hill, but he might not do a whole lot, fantasy-wise. Anyway, I don’t think you’ll miss any of those four. Maybe Bullock, too. I’d love to have RHJ over any of them. Good luck, Sir.

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