• Dalton Pence

Full First-Round NBA Mock Draft


PHOTO COURTESY: SI

The 2018 class contains a lot of talent and potential. The controversy over who will be selected with the top pick is only growing with the finale of the NBA playoffs, one step closer to the draft. Where will European superstar Luka Doncic land? Who will pull the trigger on college sensation Trae Young? Does Michael Porter Jr’s stock fall due to his injury-plagued season? Here is the full first round NBA mock draft.

1. Phoenix Suns: C DeAndre Ayton- Arizona (7’1”, 250 lbs)

There is a lot of talk that the Suns may take Luka Dončić with the first pick, but Ayton is a 7-footer who can dominate the paint and play on the perimeter. Phoenix has franchise pieces in Devin Booker and Josh Jackson; adding Ayton helps bolster a weak front court.

2. Sacramento Kings: PF Marvin Bagley III- Duke (6'11, 235 lbs)

The biggest question will be if the Kings decide to go with a big man or Dončić and I would predict the former. Sacramento will look to build around a young core made up of De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Bagley was one of the top freshman bigs in the country last season due to his craftiness and versatility. Like the Suns, the Kings elect to improve their front court.

3. Atlanta Hawks: G/F Luka Dončić- Slovenia (6'6, 218 lbs)

Unlike Phoenix and Sacramento, Atlanta does not have much to build around except maybe John Collins. Dončić may very well be the best player in this class and the Hawks would be more than happy to take him here as they look to rebuild their franchise. Luka's success at Real Madrid in the past couple seasons along with his flashiness have turned him into a viral sensation.

4. Memphis Grizzlies: PF Jaren Jackson Jr- Michigan St (6'11, 236 lbs)

Marc Gasol is not getting any younger and the Grizzlies need to replenish their front court with improved talent. Jackson may have only averaged 10.9 PPG and 5.8 RPG in his lone season as a Spartan, but his sky-high potential, length, and ability to hit the outside shot are more than enough for Memphis to take him here.

5. Dallas Mavericks: C Mohamed Bamba- Texas (6'11, 225 lbs)

Dirk Nowitzki won't be around forever and the Mavs need an heir to the throne. Dallas addressed their point guard situation in last year's draft by taking Dennis Smith Jr. in the first round and look to add more playmakers. Bamba, with his 8'0 wingspan, is one of the best rim protectors in the class and will drastically help the Mavs next season.

6. Orlando Magic: F- Michael Porter Jr- Missouri (6'11, 211 lbs)

Before the college basketball season, many thought that Porter would be the first overall pick in this draft, but he ended up missing almost all of the season due to injury. The uncertainty causes him to slide, but not past Orlando. The Magic are looking to start from scratch and add as many playmakers possible; Porter's ability to shoot the ball with his size is too much for Orlando to pass up on.

7. Chicago Bulls: C Wendell Carter Jr- Duke (6'10, 259 lbs)

The Bulls have found a gem with big man Lauri Markannen, but that won't stop them from adding a true center. Carter Jr had a very impressive outing at the NBA Combine. His fundamentals and post play complement Markannen's style of play as Chicago secures the front court of the future.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn): G/F Mikal Bridges- Villanova (6'7, 209 lbs)

The Cavs have struggled with defense all season long. Kyle Korver is not getting any younger, JR Smith's consistency has been suspect, and Rodney Hood's role is uncertain to say the least. Bridges presents a true NBA 3-and-D prototype. He shot 43.5% from deep this season at Villanova and was regarded as one of the best defensive wings in the nation.

9. New York Knicks: PG Trae Young- Oklahoma (6'2, 180 lbs)

Yes, the Knicks took Frank Ntilikina in last year's draft. However, there has been talk that New York is very fond of Trae Young. His electric play and deep range had college basketball in a frenzy this season. Young averaged 27.4 points per game as a freshman and would be a huge piece in speeding up New York's rebuilding efforts.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Los Angeles Lakers): G/F Miles Bridges- Michigan St

(6'7, 225 lbs)

On the surface, Philadelphia has no clear needs. One thing has been clear and that is Ben Simmons running the show as point guard. With Embiid and Saric in the front court, it would not hurt the Sixers to add a wing and Miles Bridges fits the profile. His do-it-all style of play and scoring craftiness will give Philly yet another young scoring option.

11. Charlotte Hornets SF/PF Kevin Knox- Kentucky (6'9, 215 lbs)

Kemba Walker's future in Charlotte is still unknown as his name continues to pop up in trade rumors. However, the Hornets need to decide their plans with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a former 2nd overall pick, while Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams are aging. Kevin Knox may not be all-star caliber right out of the gate, but his size and scoring abilities create a potential future answer on the wings.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Detroit): PG Collin Sexton- Alabama (6'3, 190 lbs)

Losing Chris Paul was a tough pill for the Clippers to swallow. Patrick Beverley is a one of the toughest guards and Austin Rivers can light up a stat sheet on any given night, but neither are the answer at point. Sexton's electrifying explosiveness and quickness along with his competitive edge offer Los Angeles a start to the beginning of a new era.

13. Los Angeles Clippers: PF Robert Williams- Texas A&M (6'9, 237 lbs)

The Clippers need to also address their frontcourt woes. Blake Griffin been traded away and DeAndre Jordan becoming a free agent this offseason creates many uncertainties. Although undersized, Robert Williams makes up with long arms and an outstanding motor. He is a perfect small-ball center with his size and physicality.

14. Denver Nuggets: PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Kentucky (6'6, 180 lbs)

The Denver Nuggets have been searching for a lead guard to compliment Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and company. Although raw, Gilgeous-Alexander's physical intangibles, high basketball IQ, and proficient feel for the game offer a quality point guard for the future.

15. Washington Wizards: PF Omari Spellman- Villanova (6'9, 260 lbs)

The Wizards already have an outstanding backcourt and quality wings in Otto Porter Jr and Kelly Oubre. The NBA has shifted into the era of small ball and Spellman fits the image of a prototypical small ball center (43.3% from deep). His mobility and spacing cause Washington to take him higher than most experts see him going.

PHOTO COURTESY: BLAZER'S EDGE

16. Phoenix Suns (via Miami): PG/SG Troy Brown- Oregon (6'7, 215 lbs)

After taking DeAndre Ayton, the Suns will look to find a point guard for the future. While his college stats may not be that appealing (11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 29% from deep), Troy Brown is an intriguing prospect. His size, versatility, defense, and all-around play create enormous amounts of potential.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: SG Lonnie Walker- Miami (6'4, 192 lbs)

Milwaukee is looking for pieces to build around Giannis Antetokounmpo and they showed that by acquiring Eric Bledsoe via trade. Lonnie Walker gives the Bucks a big, dynamic guard who can fill the scoring column to pair alongside Bledsoe and Khris Middleton. His shooting ability is much needed for a lacking-Bucks squad.

18. San Antonio Spurs: SF Dzanan Musa- Bosnia-Herzegovina (6'9, 195 lbs)

If it wasn't for Dončić, Musa would more than likely be the draft's top European prospect. Although many aspects of his game as raw, he has a tremendous feel for the game and moves well for his size. His dynamic scoring and shooting persuades San Antonio to take on an intriguing project. Besides, we've all seen how foreign players fare on the Spurs.

19. Atlanta Hawks (via Minnesota): SF Keita Bates-Diop - Ohio State (6'7, 190 lbs)

Perhaps no college player has seen a drastic improvement than Bates-Diop, the 2018 Big 10 player of the year (19.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG). The former Buckeye possesses the versatility and shooting abilities to become a true 3-and-D wing.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Oklahoma City): SG Zaire Smith- Texas Tech

(6'5, 195 lbs)

Minnesota has a solid starting lineup, but their bench production has placed a limitation on the squad's ceiling. Zhaire Smith would give the Timberwolves an athletic creator off the bench all while developing under Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins.

21. Utah Jazz: SG Gary Trent Jr- Duke (6'6, 209 lbs)

Utah can go a number of ways here, but elect to ride with shooting and potential. Although Ricky Rubio had an outstanding series against Oklahoma City in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, it is possible that he has already reached his ceiling while it is only a matter of time before Donovan Mitchell assumes the point guard role. What better way to help Mitchell than by adding a guard/wing who may very well be the best shooter in the class? Trent Jr shot over 40% from behind-the-arc and would be an immediate scoring option for the Jazz.

22. Chicago Bulls (via New Orleans): Chandler Hutchison- Boise State (6'7, 190 lbs)

There have been reports that Chicago is interested in taking Hutchison here and all for good reason. His efficiency and fundamentals give Chicago the much-needed opportunity to improve their uncertain backcourt.

23. Indiana Pacers: SG Khyri Thomas- Creighton (6'3, 200 lbs)

Indiana will look to add to their backcourt and take an athletic, efficient guard with stellar defense in Khyri Thomas whose style of play compliments those of Victor Oladipo and Lance Stephenson.

24. Portland Trailblazers: SF Kevin Huerter- Maryland (6'7, 190 lbs)

Perhaps no other prospect has seen his stock rise more than Kevin Huerter's. His shooting ability and high basketball IQ convince Portland to take him off the board as they attempt to provide some scoring options outside of Lillard and McCollum.

25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cleveland): C Mitchell Robinson-Chalmette HS

(7'1, 225 lbs)

Although he chose to not play for Western Kentucky University this season, that has not stopped the Lakers from expressing interest in the former McDonald's All-American. It does not seem that Brook Lopez's future is in LA and Julius Randle is a restricted free agent this offseason. The Lakers will look to gamble and take their potential big man of the future.

26. Philadelphia 76ers: C Moritz Wagner- Michigan (6'10, 210 lbs)

Although 'the process' seems to be working in Philly, that Who does not take away the fact that Joel Embiid is injury prone. Wagner offers some insurance in the frontcourt while bringing a presence on the perimeter and crafty post play.

27. Boston Celtics: G/F Jacob Evans- Cincinnati (6'6, 210 lbs)

The Boston Celtics have their starting five set and will look to bolster their bench. With Marcus Smart being a free agent, Jacob Evans could be a potential replacement. Evans gives the Celtics a defensive option who can shoot, off the bench.

28. Golden State Warriors: PG Aaron Holiday- UCLA (6'1, 185 lbs)

To make sure that the Golden State dynasty continues, the replenishing of role players is required. Last season as a junior at UCLA, Aaron Holiday averaged 20.3 PPG and 5.8 APG while shooting 42.9% from deep. Shaun Livingston is aging and Holiday could turn into a quality backup point guard for Stephen Curry.

29. Brooklyn Nets (via Toronto): G Donte DiVincenzo- Villanova (6'5, 205 lbs)

Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Nets are still experiencing the effects of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade with Boston. However, with pick 29, the Nets have the opportunity to take an underrated guard who saw a huge rise in stock after the NCAA tournament and NBA draft combine. Brooklyn hits a home run and takes the electric DiVincenzo as a potential backcourt mate of D'Angelo Russell.

30. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): PG Jalen Brunson- Villanova (6'3, 199 lbs)

Is Dennis Schröder the point guard going forward in Atlanta? That has yet to be seen. The Hawks will continue to bolster their backcourt by adding the national college basketball player of the year. Brunson brings leadership and stability to a changing Hawks' backcourt.

#NBA #NBADraft2018 #NBADraft #2018NBAMock #MockDraft

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