The 2016 NBA Draft just finished, so projecting the 2018 NBA Draft seems like a fools endeavor. The Internet is a foolish place, however, and it has a blood thirsty desire for #content, no matter how early it may seem.
So NBADraft.net just dropped the hammer, with their newest 2018 Mock Draft having incoming-apparently-phenom Rui Hachimura going No. 8 overall. Way down the list, Zach Collins comes in at No. 30.
Let’s take a second to digest that there.
Hachimura going No. 8 would be the highest Zag in the draft since Adam Morrison at No. 3. He would also be only the
second third Gonzaga player to stay at the school two years or less, joining Austin Daye. 2018 apparently could be the first year the Zags have ever had two players drafted in the first round.
But all of this NBA hype isn’t necessarily too surprising. National analysts from around the globe have been quite high on Hachimura the entire time, and remember, it didn’t have anything to do with skills on whether or not he would show up this season or next: it was always academically related.
Fran Franschilla called Hachimura a more athletic Elias Harris with unlimited potential.
Hachimura was also projected to drag Japan kicking and screaming through the FIBA U-18 Tournament. Instead, he will be working on his skills in Spokane.
@slipperstillfit You're not going to make any friends in Japan. Or w international hoops fans. With him, Japan have legit chance for top 3— David Hein (@heinnews) July 13, 2016
And that is just Hachimura. All the writing that has come in on the Zag’s 2016 recruiting class centers on how Zach Collins is the best NBA-ready big man the Zags have had in a while. That also includes the fact that Domantas Sabonis was just drafted No. 11 and Kelly Olynyk just rolled through the ranks a few years ago.
The 2018 NBA Draft is a long time away, and plenty can go wrong before then. Hopefully, everything goes right and the Zags will head into the 2017-18 school year with one of the strongest teams in school history.