NBA

NBA Rookie Rankings: 5 players with the most long-term potential

Plenty of NBA rookies are making meaningful contributions for their respective teams this season, but these five guys can develop into franchise players.

Drafting a quality role player is nice for a franchise, but the best GMs understand the real goal of the draft is to uncover superstars. The 2018 Draft class is full of guys who have a chance to develop into legitimate stars. In this piece, we’ll walk you through the five guys who have the highest upside.

Our methodology for this list is largely based upon potential. The five players we will discuss are guys who have flashed skill sets that can make them perennial All-Stars. We do pay some attention to the probability of each player reaching their ceiling, but this piece is much more about projection than production.

It’s also important to note that position and style of play both matter. Deandre Ayton is having a good rookie season, but the path to stardom as a traditional five is much more narrow than it used to be. Spoiler alert, the Suns rookie isn’t on this list. We start with a player that many NBA fans have completely forgotten about.

5. Michael Porter Jr.

Porter almost certainly won’t play a minute this season for the Nuggets, but his potential still merits a spot on this list. His back issues are a real concern for Denver, but if he can overcome them he has a pretty clear path to stardom.

It wasn’t that long ago that Porter was in contention to be the No. 1 overall pick. His size and ability to shoot the basketball are huge assets in today’s NBA. There just aren’t many guys with his size (6-foot-11) who can comfortably shoot the ball from well beyond the 3-point line.

There are plenty of questions about his health and playmaking ability, but if he fulfills his scoring potential he’s going to become a star. Porter’s potential to become a small ball four who can stretch the floor is still quite tantalizing for the Nuggets front office.

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