There’s been little question that Arizona’s Deandre Ayton is the best of a potential-filled group of bigs at the top of Thursday’s NBA draft.
Ayton was a force in his lone college season and looks like the favorite to land with Phoenix as the No. 1 overall pick. Behind him are several talented big men including Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Derrick Henry Jersey Big , Texas’ Mo Bamba and Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr., who like Ayton all played just one year in college and could all hear their name called in the first 10 selections.
Here’s a look at the top prospects:
The 7-foot, 250-pound big man can single-handedly dominate defenses, monopolize the boards and alter or swat shots.
STRENGTHS: Ayton offers an impressive mix of power and touch . He averaged 20.1 points and was a force around the rim with 75 dunks while shooting 61 percent from the field, yet he had enough range to hit 12 3-pointers to pull defenders away from the paint, too. At the other end, 8.2 of his 11.6 rebounds per game came on the defensive glass to secure a stop.
CONCERNS: He wasn’t particularly effective (14 points on 6-for-13 shooting) in the first-round NCAA Tournament loss to underdog and undersized Buffalo. His lofty draft stock assumes he continues to develop physically and build on his game, including on the defensive end (averaged just 1.9 blocks despite his physical tools).
JAREN JACKSON JR.
The Michigan State one-and-done big man is a possible top-five pick with size, length and a reliable jumpshot.
STRENGTHS: The 6-11 Jackson, who averaged 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds, offers two intriguing skillsets. First, he shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range even as he attempted nearly three per game. He also averaged 3.0 blocks per game, aided by a wingspan measured at more than 7-5 at the combine.
CONCERNS: The 18-year-old (he turns 19 in September) had issues with foul trouble during the year, which helped limit him to 21.8 minutes per game on the season.
The 7-foot freshman from Texas has the potential to be an elite defender and rebounder – and that’s just a start.
STRENGTHS: Bamba averaged 12.9 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the floor. But it’s the defensive potential that stands out here; he ranked second nationally with 3.7 blocks per game Womens Mike Evans Jersey , aided by a wingspan measured at an incredible 7-10 at the combine – three inches more than any other player.
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