2018 NBA Mock Draft 1.0
The NBA draft is always one of the most anticipated events in the NBA offseason. It's always fun to predict what will happen, but things tend to never go as expected. Here is a rough outline of what the draft might look like come June 22nd.
1. Phoenix Suns: Luka Doncic, Guard, Real Madrid
The first overall pick is always the most anticipated. The Suns, in this situation, simply cannot pass up on Luka Doncic, who many consider being the most pro-ready player in the NBA draft. Doncic can play guard or forward with relative ease, and should be able to step in and make an impact as soon as possible. Doncic can explode at any time and has incredible passing and vision. His jump-shot is transferable, though many will be turned off by his 30% clip in Euroleague. The Suns make a splash with the first overall pick.
2. Memphis Grizzlies: DeAndre Ayton, Center, Arizona
Marc Gasol is aging. Next season he will be 34 years old. The Grizzlies, in this situation, should draft the best player available in DeAndre Ayton. His athleticism is uncanny and has an incredible offensive skill set already. Ayton should split minutes with Gasol right out of the gate, and eventually be his successor.
3. Dallas Mavericks: Jaren Jackson Jr., Center, Michigan State
The Dallas Mavericks need a player to replace future hall-of-famer Dirk Nowitzki, who will turn 40 in June. JJJ is a defensive center/power-forward tweener whose only weakness is foul trouble. Jackson's three-point shooting in college was excellent for a big, and he averaged six, yes six blocks per 40 minutes. Jackson Jr. would be more of a developmental player but would be an excellent fit in Dallas.
4. Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Bagley, Center, Duke
The Hawks, despite having the fourth most-favorable odds in the lottery, still land an elite-level prospect here. Bagley is a defensive genius who can make switches onto any player on the court. His offensive versatility could use some work, but Bagley should be a high-level starter at the very least on the next level.
5. Orlando Magic: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Guard, Kentucky
The Magic surprise everyone with this pick. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a hound on defense. He can guard anyone from point-guard to small-forward with his seven-foot wingspan. SGA has a raw offensive game but showed numerous flashes for the Wildcats this season. SGA did not shoot much from three, but he was efficient with a 40% clip. It is very likely Gilgeous-Alexander does not make an instant impact, but Alexander has the potential to be an all-star caliber player at point-guard.
6. Chicago Bulls: Mo Bamba, Center, Texas
The Chicago Bulls fill a huge need with this pick. Mo Bamba is a defensive monster. At Texas, he averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. Bamba has the potential to be a DeAndre Jordan-like center. Like other players, he will not make much of an instant impact, but Bamba has the size to be a force in the paint.
7. Sacramento Kings: Michael Porter Jr., Wing, Missouri
Michael Porter Jr. is a huge risk for any team that picks him. But, the Kings will not have their first-round pick in 2019 and their fans are becoming impatient. Porter is worth the risk. Along with Fox, Hield, Jackson, and Giles, the Kings have one of the youngest cores put together in the NBA.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Wendell Carter, Center, Duke
The Cleveland Cavaliers don't really have a true center. Carter is a 6'10", 250 lb center who can also stretch the floor. The Cavs might attempt to trade this pick for a player to save their chances with LeBron James, but Wendell Carter would be a perfect fit.
9. New York Knicks: Mikal Bridges, Wing, Villanova
New York strikes gold with this pick. Mikal Bridges has one of the highest floors in this draft. He is all but guaranteed to be a great role player on the wing. Bridges also has a lot of potential when it comes to his ceiling as well. He has a very similar game to Robert Covington, and his skill-set is what the NBA is continually moving towards.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Trae Young, Guard, Oklahoma
With Marco Belinelli and JJ Redick likely leaving this summer, the Philadelphia 76ers will look to add some shooting ability this off-season. In this mock draft, the best shooter in this draft-cycle fell right into their lap. Young would be a spectacular sixth man for this 76ers team. His offensive game closely resembles Steph Curry, and I doubt Philly would pass on a college player as good as young.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Collin Sexton, Guard, Alabama
The Hornets have been trying to fill their backup point-guard hole for years now. They finally are able to when they select Collin Sexton. A bulldog on defense, Sexton has drawn numerous comparisons to Eric Bledsoe. Should Kemba Walker be traded or decide to leave in the summer of 2019, Sexton should have little to no problem stepping into a larger role.
12. Los Angeles Clippers: Robert Williams, Center, Texas A&M
The Clippers will have to fill a DeAndre Jordan-sized hole this off-season with his inevitable departure. Williams fits the defensive-presence mold that will open up for the Clippers once that does happen. Williams is an efficient rim protector and would make a great addition to the Clippers.
13. Los Angeles Clippers: Zhaire Smith, Guard, Texas Tech
Zhaire Smith has been one of the risers in recent NBA mock drafts. To put it simply, he came out of nowhere. Smith is an athletic freak and can get to the rim with ease. His shot isn't the greatest but he is still only 18 years old. The Clippers recently retained Lou Williams but still do not have a great starter at the shooting guard. Smith could be that guy.
14. Denver Nuggets: Miles Bridges, Wing, Michigan State
The Nuggets are so immensely close to the playoffs. They only missed out this year by one game. They should let the board come to them on draft night, and select the best player available. In this case, it is Miles Bridges of Michigan State. Another athletic freak, Bridges has the athleticism to be a spectacular NBA player one day. Most NBA scouts do question his size and ability to play the power forward role, which is where he found success in college.
15. Washington Wizards: Lonnie Walker, Guard, Miami
16. Phoenix Suns: Kevin Knox, Wing, Kentucky
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Mitchell Robinson, Center, USA
18. San Antonio Spurs: Dzanan Musa, Wing, Bosnia and Herzegovina
19. Atlanta Hawks: Trevon Duval, Guard, Duke
20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Khyri Thomas, Guard, Creighton
21. Utah Jazz: Keita Bates-Diop, Wing, Ohio State
22. Chicago Bulls: Jalen Brunson, Guard, Villanova
23. Indiana Pacers: De'Anthony Melton, Guard, Southern California
24. Portland Trailblazers: Jontay Porter, Center, Missouri
25. LA Lakers: Anfernee Simons, Guard, USA
26. Philadelphia 76ers: Chandler Hutchison, Wing, Boise State
27. Boston Celtics: Bruce Brown, Guard, Miami
28. Golden State Warriors: Greyson Allen, Guard, Duke
29. Brooklyn Nets: Omari Spellman, Center, Villanova
30. Atlanta Hawks: Caleb Martin, Wing, Nevada