When committing to Duke, Wendell Carter Jr. thought he would be the best one-and-done Blue Devil available for the 2018 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, 2018 #2 overall pick Marvin Bagley graduated high school early and joined him for their one-year college basketball experience. Carter’s stat line of 13.5 ppg and 9.1 rpg fell short of Bagley’s production of 21.0 ppg and 11.1 rpg. The lesser regarded Dukie can’t be too upset going to the Chicago Bulls with the 7th overall pick. Then again, former Duke players haven’t had the best success in the NBA so perhaps he should be concerned.
During his one season at the University of Texas, Mo Bamba proved to be a defensive stalwart who led the Big 12 in rebounds and finished second in the NCAA in blocks. Given that you can’t teach size, Bamba became a very desirable pick due to 6’11” height and 7’10” wingspan. While I agree that he draws a valid comparison to 2017-18 Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, it’s possible that the 2018 #6 overall draft pick could turn into T10B Hasheem Thabeet instead. Using those two comparable players as the upper and lower bounds, I predict Bamba will have an NBA career closer to the top than the bottom.
Like millions of others, I watched the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing during which Christine Blasey Ford detailed her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh. In case you missed the made-for-TV special, the words of Groucho Marx provide the best summary. Specifically, it was “a travesty of a mockery of a sham.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) earns a “T10B Busted” Nomination for promoting the un-American notion of presumed guilt. Fellow Senators Dick Blumenthal (D-CT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) deserve honorable mentions for their hypocritical roles in the spectacle. Overall, Feinstein edges out the other two because she led the effort to use an alleged victim as a political pawn.
Oklahoma point guard Trae Young led the NCAA in both scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.7 apg) for the 2017-18 college basketball season. By doing something that had never been done before, Young became a consensus 1st Team All-American. With those credentials, it should be hard to argue against Young’s selection as the 5th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Still, I’m not convinced that his talents will transcend to the next level. Relative to all top 10 picks this year, Young has the highest probability of becoming a bust.
I watched Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson several times during the 2017-18 college basketball season and remember thinking that he was a “beast” who could excel at the next level. When preparing for this post, I was shocked to learn that he only averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds per game last year. Jackson averaged 3 blocks per game during the season and had seven games with at least 5 blocks so perhaps I based my impression on a limited sample size. As someone who finds truth in numbers, I give Jackson an above-average chance of becoming a bust.
As an international prodigy, Luka Doncic signed his first professional contract at the age of 13. Doncic won numerous “Rising Star” and “Best Young Star” awards before getting recognized as the best player outside of the United States by winning the 2018 Euroleague MVP and leading his team to the 2018 Euroleague title. With these credentials, Doncic became the most anticipated international player to come to the NBA since 2003 #2 overall pick Darko Milicic. Whereas Milicic became a bust, Doncic will avoid the same fate. As the most proven player in the 2018 NBA Draft, I give him the lowest probably of becoming a bust relative to the top 10 overall picks.
Duke power forward Marvin Bagley capped off an impressive freshman year by being named ACC Player of the Year and consensus 1st Team All-American. Based on his performance, he certainly deserved consideration as the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. However, that distinction went to Arizona center Deandre Ayton instead. The Sacramento Kings couldn’t pass on Bagley and took him with the second pick. It probably helped that he seemed to be the only top pick eager to play in Sactown. Bagley should be able to put up numbers to avoid becoming a bust. I just worry his performance might suffer when he doesn’t get the recognition he craves playing near Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Oh yeah, there’s also a guy named LeBron who just took his talents to the same state.
The Phoenix Suns selected Deandre Ayton with the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Based on their proximity, teams scouts had plenty of opportunities to watch Ayton play for the Arizona Wildcats last year. Given everything I’ve seen, I have no basis to second guess the pick. As detailed in the following post, I give the 2018 consensus 1st Team All-American a very low probably of becoming a Top 10 Bust.
Based on the overwhelming fan support Serena Williams received during the 2018 U.S. Open, this post will not be well liked. I certainly cannot deny Serena’s dominance of women’s tennis over the last 20 years. Of note, she impressively has won almost 30% of all Grand Slams contested since her first title at the 1999 U.S. Open. At the same time, an objective observer cannot deny that the younger Williams sister has a bad temper. She has proven to be an accomplished athlete who serves as an inspiration to many. Still, I have nominated her as a T10B Busted nominee because of the excuses she has given to defend her lack of decorum on the court.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterbacks went with four of the top 10 overall picks for the first time in history. As a result, draft pundits will evaluate this year’s draft class based on the success or failure of QBs Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen. Running back Shaquon Barkley certainly will be part of the conversation, but likely in reference to how he performs relative to the three QBs taken after him. Hopefully, linebacker Shaquem Griffin is not just a footnote and gets remembered for having a successful NFL career despite missing his left hand. It’ll be at least five years before I can definitively declare any Top 10 Busts. In the meantime, I’ll offer my assessment of the early favorites.