Dylan Jackson's Final NBA Mock Draft
Photo Credit: USA Today
1. Phoenix Suns- DeAndre Ayton, Big, Arizona
The only pick that does not seem to be in the air is the Phoenix Suns with the first overall selection. DeAndre Ayton may not be the best player in this draft but he is one of the safest. And with the Suns previous draft history, the one thing they need is a 'safe' prospect. Ayton was an offensive juggernaut at Arizona but lacked desire on the defensive side of the ball.
2. Sacramento Kings- Marvin Bagley, Big, Duke
At this point, it seems as if the Kings are going to select Marvin Bagley, despite the popular narrative that Luka Doncic is the best European prospect ever. Marvin Bagley is another offensive-minded big that lacks a defensive skillset despite the frame to be a very, very good defender. But, Bagley does have a lot of upside on both sides of the ball and should be able to stretch the floor instantly. Sacramento adds another piece to a great young core but will not have a first-round pick next year.
3. Atlanta Hawks- Luka Doncic, Guard, Slovenia
The Atlanta Hawks luck out and get the best player in this draft class with the third overall pick. Luka Doncic looked like a star in Europe winning every accolade imaginable. He doesn't have much athleticism but has the potential to be a superstar in this league. Doncic can play the point guard position or even as a wing, giving him more offensive-versatility than most players. On defense, Doncic struggles more than he succeeds, but should he play either of the guard positions he will be significantly better.
4. Chicago Bulls*- Mo Bamba, Big, Texas
The Chicago Bulls reportedly would like to move up to the third or fourth pick, and it would most likely be for a center. Mo Bamba would be a great fit next to Lauri Markkanen. His prototypical rim-protector style is attractive to anyone who has seen him play. Later in the season, Bamba even started showing signs of stretching the floor and developed a 3-point shot over 30%. There's a lot of potential in this pick, and the Chicago Bulls would be excited to have Bamba.
5. Dallas Mavericks- Jaren Jackson, Big, Michigan State
The Dallas Mavericks hold the keys to the NBA Draft. They could reach for a player like Michael Porter or they could settle for someone that falls to them. But, according to reports, the Mavericks are more likely to settle for a Tier-One type player that drops to them on draft night (like they should). Jaren Jackson has the highest upside in this draft. He shows shades of Draymond Green and should be a top-ten defender in the league in his prime. Jackson has the offensive potential to be a reliable scorer as well. He shot over 40% from the three-point line in college.
6. Orlando Magic- Collin Sexton, Guard, Alabama
The Orlando Magic need to walk out of the draft on Thursday confident in their pick. And while some fans may not be confident in this pick, Collin Sexton is definitely certain of himself. Collin Sexton is a score-first point guard who is comfortable in the paint. Sexton showed a lot of defensive upside at Alabama (mainly as an on-ball defender), and will likely be a solid starting point-guard. The Magic find their floor general.
7. Memphis Grizzlies*- Michael Porter, Forward, Missouri
The Grizzlies are in need of a power forward with JaMychal Green starting the majority of last season for Memphis. Michael Porter is a score-first forward with an immense amount of questions. Will he produce after his back injury? Were those two games played in the SEC and NCAA tournament just a fluke? Was he really that bad? If Michael Porter can prove these questions are silly, he should be multiple-time all-star.
8. Charlotte Hornets*- Wendell Carter, Big, Duke
The Charlotte Hornets may look to trade Kemba Walker on draft night, and this package (at the bottom of this page) gives them salary cap relief and a lottery pick. Wendell Carter may not put up great numbers, but I do believe he will have the better career out of the two Duke bigs (Carter and Bagley). Carter's advanced analytics are uncanny and should be a threat on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
9. New York Knicks- Lonnie Walker, Guard, Miami
The New York Knicks want to come out of Thursday's draft with another shooter. Lonnie Walker has one of the purest jump shots in this draft. Walker also is one of the best athletes in this draft. He also has all of the confidence in the world. Where Walker struggles is shooting consistency and off-ball defense. Also, he thinks that reality is an illusion.
10. Philadelphia 76ers- Mikal Bridges, Wing, Villanova
The Philadelphia 76ers may end up signing Lebron James this summer, which means they might end up trading this pick entirely. But Mikal Bridges is an incredible talent. His development during his three years at Villanova shows he has the work ethic to be a solid NBA player. Bridges is a typical 3&D type player. He played suffocating defense for the Wildcats last year and shot over 40% from three. One major question is his frame, and if he'll be able to hold up against NBA bodies. But with the 76ers and Bridges sharing a mutual interest, it's almost a perfect fit since Redick and Belinelli are set to leave in July.
11. Charlotte Hornets- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Guard, Kentucky
The Charlotte Hornets will need another guard if they end up trading Kemba Walker. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is arguably the best point guard in this class. His defensive versatility and bucket-getting mentality cannot be questioned. However, his jump shot does need some work. All in all, this is a match made in heaven, even if Walker isn't traded.
12. Los Angeles Clippers- Trae Young, Guard, Oklahoma
The Los Angeles Clippers still need a starting caliber point guard after Patrick Beverly missed most of the season and Milos Teodosic was a free agency bust. Trae Young offers shooting - a whole lot of it, and a truckload of star power. Pairing him with the 13th pick in this draft along with Tobias Harris could be great for Los Angeles's future.
13. Los Angeles Clippers- Kevin Knox, Forward, Kentucky
All indications point to the Clippers wanting another forward with either of their picks in this draft. They have threatened to move up for a player like Michael Porter Jr. but Kevin Knox would be the next-best thing. Knox offers both offensive and defensive upside but does lack a 'motor'. In a lot of games for Kentucky, John Calipari asked him to step into the number-one option role but Knox simply couldn't do it. That will be the biggest question going into the first season of his NBA career.
14. Denver Nuggets- Miles Bridges, Forward, Michigan State
The Nuggets may trade this pick come draft night, but Denver should consider keeping it in the meantime. If Miles Bridges is available, it may end up being a huge steal. He can play the small-forward position and even some small-ball four. Bridges offers a great all-around play style and uncanny athleticism. However, his style of play is in question. Miles Bridges mainly played as a power forward in his time at Michigan State so teams wonder where his fit in the NBA will be.
15. Washington Wizards- Robert Williams, Big, Texas A&M
The Washington Wizards need cheap replacements for players like Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi who both eat over $10 million each. If Robert Williams can be developed correctly, he could be a DeAndre Jordan-esque center and fill a rim-running role for a team.
16. Brooklyn Nets*- Dzanan Musa, Wing, Bosnia and Herzegovina
It has been rumored that the Brooklyn Nets may make a move up on draft night at the expense of a player like Spencer Dinwiddie (in this case) or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Dzanan Musa is one of their reported targets. Musa is a spot-up shooter from three and has the frame and length to be a plus defender later on.
17. Milwaukee Bucks- Zhaire Smith, Guard, Texas Tech
If the Bucks are looking to add an all-world athlete, Zhaire Smith is as good as that category gets in this draft. Smith averaged just over eleven points for Texas Tech, but his athleticism and defensive impact already have put him in the conversation for a lottery pick. Smith also has the offensive upside to be a 15+ PPG scorer.
18. San Antonio Spurs- Troy Brown, Wing, Oregon
Well, Kawhi Leonard may be gone soon and the Spurs already needed another wing with Rudy Gay's pending free agency. Troy Brown is a pass-first wing that has just about everything except for a jump shot. With Popovich as the coach (for now), Brown should be an All-Star in less than no time.
19. Atlanta Hawks- Keita Bates-Diop, Wing, Ohio State
The Atlanta Hawks added their lead guard in Doncic early in this draft, now it's time to add some more wings. Keita Bates-Diop is an instant impact player with the upside to be an all-around starter in his prime. Bates-Diop is one of my favorite players in this class and should be able to play the two, three, or four.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves- Jerome Robinson, Guard, Boston College
The Minnesota Timberwolves need an offensive burst off of the bench, and Jerome Robinson can bring just that. Robinson has flown up draft boards this summer and if developed correctly, should be the eventual Jeff Teague replacement at point-guard.
21. Utah Jazz- Elie Okobo, Guard, France
The Utah Jazz are basically destined to select Elie Okobo. It's purely destiny. With Rubio set to become a free agent after this season, the Jazz likely will not pay him the money he wants. Okobo is a great all-around offensive guard with the upside of a player worth a lottery pick. Okobo is one of those 'boom-or-bust' players you hear so much about.
22. Chicago Bulls- Chandler Hutchison, Wing, Boise State
Chandler Hutchison has a draft promise somewhere in the 20s and most people expect it to be the Chicago Bulls. Hutchison projects to the NBA as a 3&D type player who came up clutch for Boise State in many late-game situations. He may be a senior, but his defensive upside and frame still have a lot of potential.
23. Indiana Pacers- Kevin Huerter, Wing, Maryland
If the Indiana Pacers plan on declining Bojan Bogdanovic's team option at the end of the month, Kevin Huerter could be a great eventual replacement. Huerter didn't put up major stats for Maryland but the skills are obviously there. Many 'experts' have labeled Huerter the 'next Klay Thompson' for his frame, shooting ability, and defensive versatility.
24. Portland Trail Blazers- De'Anthony Melton, Guard, Southern California
The Trail Blazers simply will not have the money to pay Shabazz Napier the money he rightfully deserves this offseason. As a result, they will likely use this pick on either a point guard or trade it away for salary cap relief. Either way, Melton is a fantastic point guard who has the passing ability, on and off-ball defense, and all-around game to be a lottery pick in this class. Inevitably, he most likely will not be taken as high as he should be due to his ineligibility last year for the USC Trojans due to a financial scandal.
25. Los Angeles Lakers- Mitchell Robinson, Big, USA
Mitchell Robinson shut everything down after the NBA Draft combine so many analysts expect he has a promise somewhere in the late-20s, like Chandler Hutchison. Robinson is a prototypical rim-runner who showed lobs on lobs on lobs in high school. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see him in college because of.. You guessed it... being ruled ineligible to play.
26. Philadelphia 76ers- Omari Spellman, Forward, Villanova
The Philadelphia 76ers need another rotational forward. If they plan on taking Mikal Bridges with the tenth pick like I project, why not take a flyer on a defensive minded 4/5 combo out of Villanova? Although he is very raw, Spellman could be a very nice player for the 76ers in two or three years. As of now, his technique, frame, and consistency need work.
27. Boston Celtics- Khyri Thomas, Guard, Creighton
The Boston Celtics may look to replace Marcus Smart, especially if they expect another team offers him more money than he deserves. A possible replacement could be the pro-ready Khryi Thomas out of Creighton. The 3&D prospect is a great talent and can catch fire at any time. While he may not be the best player available, he sure fits what the Celtics have currently and can play the one or two.
28. Golden State Warriors- Jacob Evans, Wing, Cincinnati
Jacob Evans is a defender. That is all. Wait. No, it isn't. He has offensive upside and a very high basketball IQ. Evans could be a nice 3&D player in the future, but as of now, he is one of the most boring players in this draft class.
29. Phoenix Suns*- Josh Okogie, Wing, Georgia Tech
The Pheonix Suns acquire this pick via the Spencer Dinwiddie trade regarded earlier. Assuming they go Ayton with the first pick, they will need another rotational wing to add into the mix. Okogie has two-way upside. If he can refine his jump shot, Okogie could be a great player moving forward. Luckily for him, he has a high motor and plays with a lot of energy.
30. Atlanta Hawks- Moritz Wagner, Big, Michigan
The Hawks have added a guard and a wing with their two picks in this mock draft so far. With Moritz Wagner, the Hawks add a stretch four/five combo who dominated in the spotlight of the NCAA tournament. Wagner would complement John Collins very well and adds to a nice young core group of players.
31. Phoenix Suns- Donte DiVincenzo, Guard, Villanova
The Pheonix Suns add another guard behind Devin Booker to come off the bench and score buckets. DiVincenzo won the NCAA championship for Villanova. Hopefully, his play doesn't end there.
32. Memphis Grizzlies- Aaron Holiday, Guard, UCLA
The Grizzlies take a combo-guard with an offensive skill set. Holiday lacks athleticism and size but could contribute for a team due to his shooting ability.
33. Atlanta Hawks- Grayson Allen, Guard, Duke
The Hawks have so many picks in this draft. So why not take a flyer on a Duke senior who led a team with two lottery picks in back to back years? Allen provides athleticism and shooting in the backcourt and could contribute right away.
34. Dallas Mavericks- Shake Milton, Guard, SMU
If the Magic are looking to add another guard/wing combo, Shake Milton is as prototypical as it gets. Milton is a very intriguing prospect due to his size and production but is still very raw in finding what he does that separates him from the competition.
35. Orlando Magic- Melvin Frazier, Wing, Tulane
The Magic have been looking at different wings to select with their first pick. But, if they decide to go Sexton, Orlando will most likely look to add a wing here, and Melvin Frazier has a lot of defensive ability which makes him an intriguing fit with Steve Clifford.
36. Sacramento Kings- Rodions Kurucs, Wing, Latvia
Last year, the Kings took Frank Mason in the second round, who ended up being a huge steal. Rodions Kurucs could also be a steal due to his immense offensive ability. He is a possible draft-and-stash type player who may not even come into the NBA for a few seasons. Kurucs is most impressive in the pick and roll setting, where he can explode and get to the rim with ease.
37. New York Knicks- Hamidou Diallo, Guard, Kentucky
The Knicks go pure best player available here, with the athletic Hamidou Diallo out of Kentucky. Diallo has the frame and defense to be a first-round pick by the end of Thursday but may end up falling because of his lack of production at Kentucky.
38. Philadelphia 76ers- Gary Trent, Wing, Duke
The 76ers have six picks (yes, six), so they may add one of these two as a sweetener in a contract dump trade for a player like Jerryd Bayless. But Gary Trent brings a lot of shooting. In this mock draft, I have the 76ers replacing Redick with Mikal Bridges, but they could also take a flyer on Gary Trent to become their eventual get-buckets player off the bench.
39. Philadelphia 76ers- Jarred Vanderbilt, Forward, Kentucky
As mentioned above, one of these picks could be moved, but Jarred Vanderbilt has the second most questions around him in this draft. The only one who has more is Michael Porter. Vanderbilt has a lot of positives, like his rebounding (for a forward) and defensive versatility, but there are just as many negatives like his injury history.
40. Brooklyn Nets- Chimezie Metu, Big, Southern California
The Nets add a big based on general manager Marks picking the pure best player available. Metu was a very raw player at USC and didn't develop much. However, with Brooklyn's developmentally-based staff, Metu's athleticism and upside could be utilized correctly.
41. Orlando Magic- Kevin Hervey, Forward, Texas Arlington
The Magic finally take a shooter with one of their picks. Hervey was a great offensive player and rebounder similar to Chandler Hutchison who was taken in the first round (in this mock draft). Hervey also has the length and frame to be a great steal due to his two-way potential.
42. Detroit Pistons- Jalen Brunson, Guard, Villanova
With the incredible amount of time Reggie Jackson has missed over the past few years, the Pistons need a reliable floor general. Jalen Brunson was a great all-around offensive guard for the Wildcats last season.
43. Denver Nuggets- Landry Shamet, Guard, Wichita State
The Denver Nuggets will probably need a replacement for Will Barton should he leave, and Landry Shamet should be long-gone by the time this pick is made. But with the way that the board has fallen, the Nuggets luck out, Shamet is an offensive combo-guard who should be taken in the first round.
44. Washington Wizards- Anfernee Simons, Guard, USA
Anfernee Simons is a mystery, and he could fall because of it. We haven't seen much of Simons, but from what we know, he is an offensive-minded guard and has the upside to play a sixth man type role on a team.
45. Charlotte Hornets- Jevon Carter, Guard, West Virginia
The Charlotte Hornets have been dumpster-diving for backup point-guards for a long time now, and Jevon Carter could be the solution. He is a great defensive player but is a bit undersized. All in all, Carter is a high floor-low ceiling player who should make an impact right away for Charlotte.
46. Houston Rockets- Devonte Graham, Guard, Kansas
So, the Rockets won't have a natural point-guard under contract for the 2018-19 season until Chris Paul re-signs. Devonte Graham is a defensive hound who might be able to contribute should he be given minutes.
47. Los Angeles Lakers- Malik Newman, Guard, Kansas
The Lakers need a shoot-your-heart out type of guy, and they didn't get one in the first round. Malik Newman very well could come off the bench as the sixth man and contribute for a team later on. But as for now, he is too raw for the NBA. Newman did show flashes in the Jayhawks' tournament run.
48. Minnesota Timberwolves- Justin Jackson, Forward, Maryland
Justin Jackson is the ultimate flyer. He can be nothing in the NBA, or he could be a rotational piece. But at the end of the second round, what are you doing if you don't take chances?
49. San Antonio Spurs- Brandon McCoy, Big, UNLV
Pau Gasol is kind of old. Brandon McCoy could go in the early 20s. But if he's available here, it's almost certainly worth a look. McCoy is your typical high-upside player here in the second round.
50. Indiana Pacers- Trevon Duval, Guard, Duke
Once projected to go all the way in the lottery, Trevon Duval's stock went on a free fall after a disastrous end-of-season run for the Blue Devils. He could be a huge steal for a team if he proves the experts wrong.
51. New Orleans Pelicans- Isaac Bonga, Wing, Germany
Isaac Bonga did nothing in Europe. Well, he did something. Just not much. Another high upside European player who might be apart of the draft-and-stash strategy loved by general managers today.
52. Utah Jazz- Bruce Brown, Wing, Miami
Bruce Brown is a defensive wing who simply didn't compliment Lonnie Walker very well at Miami. He could be a steal. Ten years from now, we could be thinking, "How could we have let future Hall-of-Famer Bruce Brown fall so far in the draft?" Well... because of reasons... that why.
53. Oklahoma City Thunder- Tony Carr, Guard, Penn State
The Oklahoma City Thunder had perennial let-yourself-go guard Raymond Felton as their sixth man last year. This is, in essence, a tragedy. Tony Carr could end up being a rotational player by the time his career is over.
54. Dallas Mavericks- Alize Johnson, Forward, Missouri State
Alize Johnson is one of the most energetic players in this draft. While he may not be the most sought-after, Johnson has proved before that he can outwork everyone. He may do it again in the NBA.
55. Charlotte Hornets- Arnoldas Kulboka, Wing, Lithuania
Mitch Kupchak said in his pre-draft presser that the Hornets may look to draft a European prospect and use him later on in his career. Kulboka is the best one on the board.
56. Philadelphia 76ers- Kostas Antetokounmpo, Forward, Dayton
Kostas Antetokounmpo probably shouldn't be drafted. He averaged just over five points and three rebounds as a sophomore for Dayton. But, let's look on the bright side. At least he has NBA blood with Giannis.
57. Oklahoma City Thunder- Goga Bitadze, Big, Georgia (the country)
The OKC Thunder need a bench. Nick Collison even gave up and retired recently. Bitadze is a shot in the dark but could be well worth it by the time his career is over.
58. Denver Nuggets- Gary Clark, Forward, Cincinnati
Gary Clark is a pass-first player who brings intensity both on and off the court. He will outwork everyone in the gym and bring that flavor on the court. I'd be shocked not to see him on a roster in five years.
59. Phoenix Suns- Devon Hall, Guard, Virginia
Devon Hall is a decent basketball player. If he's lucky, he might make the Pheonix roster. But that's a pretty low standard in itself.
60. Los Angeles Lakers*- LiAngelo Ball, Wing, USA
Because why the hell not?
Chicago Bulls get: Chandler Parsons, 4th overall pick (Mo Bamba)
Memphis Grizzlies get: Robin Lopez, Justin Holiday, 7th overall pick (Michael Porter)
Charlotte Hornets get: George Hill, 8th overall pick (Wendell Carter)
Cleveland Cavaliers get: Kemba Walker, Marvin Williams
Phoenix Suns get: Spencer Dinwiddie, 29th overall pick
Brooklyn Nets get: 16th overall pick (Dzanan Musa)
Los Angeles Lakers get: 60th overall pick (LiAngelo Ball)
Philadelphia 76ers get: Cash considerations