2018 NBA Prospects Every Team Should Consider

Ryan C Heffernan NBA 2018

It may seem too early to begin predicting who the most highly sought after draft picks will be in 2018, but general managers all over the NBA have been diligently studying next season’s upcoming prospects, and a few names clearly stand out in front of the rest.

Considering how much talent was packed into this past year’s draft class, following up with one of equal or even more talent seems impossible. But, that is not the case in the eyes of GMs and analysts all across the league. The following players are some of the many talented prospects that will all, more than likely, make an NBA roster in 2018.

Marvin Bagley III

Transitioning between a power forward and a center, Bagley is an athletic 6’11” player with a style similar to that of Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Aside from his size allowing him to be dominant in the paint, Bagley’s shooting and handling skills are unlike most other centers his age.

He is set to enter his first season with Duke at just 18 years old, and is expected to have a profound impact almost immediately. This comes just after his announcement that he will forego his senior year at high school to join the Blue Devils for the 2017-18 season. While considering Bagley such an enormous progress seems like jumping the gun, his size and skills are already near NBA-level. If he performs as expected at Duke and declares for the draft following an impressive first season, he very well could be 2018’s first overall pick depending on what team holds that position.

Miles Bridges

With a style of play similar to Russell Westbrook, Bridges possesses the athleticism to play either small forward or power forward at a height of 6’6”. His freshman year at Michigan State showed that his three-point shooting abilities are on par with most NBA players today, but team scouts and his combine performance will judge whether or not it is just a flash.

A problem for Bridges in his college career has been turning the ball over. He averages a decent number of turnovers per game, but that should not be a defining factor in his play. The recently drafted Jayson Tatum struggled with the same issue and was still taken no. 3 overall by the Boston Celtics in last year’s draft. Bridges should prove to be an asset for any team looking to add both speed and size.

DeAndre Ayton

A recent commit to Arizona, 19-year-old DeAndre Ayton has been turning heads throughout the basketball world as a center with the athletic abilities of a strong forward (reminiscent of one Joel Embiid). At 7’0”, he is primed to dominate in the paint, but actually prefers to stay on the perimeter.

His shooting skills are well defined, and he has impressive speed for his size. Team scouts will want to see just how well he plays in his first year at Arizona. Should he have a season as successful as many people expect him to have however, he could easily be the first overall pick in the 2018 draft for a team yearning for a center.

Michael Porter Jr.

Another player entering his first year in the NCAA, Porter has committed to Missouri, and will undoubtedly make an impact almost immediately. Standing at 6’10”, he has the size and skills that may remind one of Kevin Durant. The question is, can he be as dominant in the NBA?

If Porter is able to prove that his passing is on par with his shooting, teams looking for another big man should not hesitate in drafting him, so long as he is still on the board. It will be worth watching how he handles defenders at a college level as well. This may provide insight as to how he deals with much more aggressive NBA defenders. Regardless, Porter is poised to be a standout player in his 1 year at the collegiate level.

March Madness 2017: A Look Back

Following a dramatic ending to the 2016 tournament with Villanova taking down North Carolina on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, expectations for this year’s NCAA March Madness were high. To say the 2017 tournament was exciting would be an understatement.


Villanova was poised to be another strong contender following their remarkable championship win last season, and for those who filled out brackets beforehand, many had the Wildcats doing the same this year. Unsurprisingly, another favorite to win it all was North Carolina, along with Duke following close behind, as well as Gonzaga, Kansas, and UCLA. Respectively, all of these teams did extremely well as expected. However, that is not to say that 2017 was void of upsets.


The first round of the tournament was full of little surprises. Almost every top-seeded team won with ease in the first weekend, and those anticipated to fall did just that. However, the next round was an entirely different story. After Villanova defeated Mount St. Mary’s in their first tournament win, they moved on to no. 8 seed Wisconsin. Seeing as the Wildcats were a no. 1 seed, very few could have correctly picked the outcome of this game. Wisconsin would hold off Villanova’s explosive offense on their way to a 65-62 victory, effectively dismantling most of the country’s March Madness brackets.


The upsets did not end there. No. 2 seed Duke, another favorite to claim the NCAA title, would be stopped in their tracks by an impressively formidable South Carolina team, whose reign would not end there. The Gamecocks moved onto the next round to face Baylor; the Bears were seeded at no. 3, and were considered favorites in the matchup. South Carolina won by 20 points, moving on again to face an intimidating Florida team, who they also defeated until finally falling to no. 1 Gonzaga. Their extraordinary win streak was something that was certainly unexpected by many.


Another underdog to defy the odds was Xavier, who won their first three games of the tournament against Maryland, Florida State, and Arizona who were all considered serious contenders. However, like many, they too were stopped by Gonzaga’s strong offense and defense. With all of their wins, the Bulldogs would unsurprisingly make it to the championship game, where they met North Carolina; two no. 1 seeds who were contenders from the start.


The title game was very evenly matched throughout, with both teams shooting around a 34% field goal average. What seemed to plague Gonzaga however, was turnovers. The Bulldogs would turn the ball over 14 times total in the game, and the Tar Heels would take advantage. Joel Berry II would lead his North Carolina team in points with 22, making all four of the team’s only three-pointers. His efforts and that of his teammates would secure the 71-65 victory, redeeming themselves from the heartbreaking loss against Villanova just a year ago.


The 2017 NCAA Basketball tournament was nothing short of a drama-filled, sensational showcase of talent. Though many fans’ brackets were deemed incorrect very early on, there’s no denying that the excitement that came with every upset, win or loss, this year’s March Madness surely delivered.

USA Basketball Unveils the 2016 Olympic Team

2016 US Olympic Men's Basketball Team Finalists

2016 US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team Finalists

The USA has a lot to be proud of when it comes to our history with Olympic Medals for basketball. In 17 Olympics, the American men have never come home without a medal, including 17 gold medals, one silver medal, and two bronze medals. With a truly impressive 130-5 (.963 winning percentage), the USA men hold an all-time record in Olympic action. Today, June 27, USA Basketball finally released the 12 man roster for the official 2016 US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team.

Top players like Lebron James and Stephen Curry dropped out following injuries and a lot of minutes played in the NBA playoffs, leaving fans worried for our prospects in Rio De Janeiro this summer. The release of the final roster comes as a relief, and fans everywhere will be excited to see that even without James and Curry, this formidable team is jam-packed with talent and well positioned to defend its title following America’s 2012 gold medal victory in London. If they bring home another gold, it will be the USA’s third consecutive Olympic title. This exciting roster is currently pending final approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

At long last, here’s the official team that will be representing us this summer:

Carmelo Anthony, F, New York Knicks
Harrison Barnes, F, Golden Warriors
Jimmy Butler, G, Chicago Bulls
DeMarcus Cousins, F, Sacramento Kings
DeMar DeRozan, G, Toronto Raptors
Kevin Durant, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul George, F, Indiana Pacers
Draymond Green, F, Golden State Warriors
Kyrie Irving, G, Cleveland Cavaliers
DeAndre Jordan, F, Los Angeles Clippers
Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors
Klay Thompson, G, Golden State Warriors

Perhaps the team’s greatest strength is it’s immediately evident balance and depth. USA is in a strong position with an impressive mix of some of the best scorers and shooters, a daunting defence, big men, past gold medal winners, and promising youth.

For those who can’t wait, the U.S. team will be playing five exhibition games, the first two versus China, the 2015 FIBA Asia zone champ in July 2016 in California. Continuing the tour, you can watch the U.S. play 2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist Venezuela in Chicago and 2015 FIBA Africa zone champion Nigeria in Houston. To get your tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition now, visit usab.com/showcase.

You can also read the official NBA press release here.