There's little mystery surrounding the top pick in Thursday night's NBA draft. The Phoenix Suns are almost definitely taking Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton. The mock draft experts at Sports Illustrated, The Ringer, CBS Sports and NBA.com all agree. More importantly, Vegas agrees too.
It's much less certain who the Sacramento Kings will take at second overall. Vegas likes 19-year-old Slovenian Luka Doncic, considered by some to be the best European prospect ever. The Real Madrid star is fresh off winning the MVP of the EuroLeague Final Four, and he has the skills as a ball handler and distributor to start in the NBA today. The problem for the Kings is that he has also hinted that he wants no part of the perpetually poorly run franchise.
Despite the hype around Doncic, Duke's Marvin Bagley III might be the more likely second pick. A classic tweener with the body of a power forward and the size of a center, Bagley projects to be a killer on the offensive end of the floor, but he lacks the rim protecting ability that Ayton has. Still, after a freshman year at Duke where he put up 21 points and 11 rebounds a game, the Kings will be happy with him at the second pick.
After Ayton, Doncic and Bagley, there's much less consensus on who will go next in the draft. Names like Jaren Jackson Jr., Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. are being thrown around. But let's focus a moment on two other guys who are near locks to go in the top 10: Michael Porter Jr. and Trae Young.
Why these two? Because their confidence is astounding.
First Porter, who might be in the conversation for the top overall pick if he hadn't missed so much time at Missouri with a back injury. Most mocks have him falling to the Bulls at the number seven pick. If Porter is right about his own skill set, that will be one hell of a steal. Here he is describing his game and saying that he's a combination of two of the top five players in the NBA.
And he's not the only one who is really feeling himself ahead of tonight's draft. The same can be said of Trae Young, the Oklahoma sharpshooter who took college hoops by storm last season before fading in the second half of the season. That didn't hurt his confidence though.
The NBA draft is on ESPN tonight at 7.