2018 NBA Mock Draft 1.0
By B. Doody
1. Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton – C – Arizona
The Suns came into the lottery with the best chance to land the number one pick and that’s exactly what they got. Ayton has the potential to be a franchise changing big man who’s an explosive athlete. He can not only finish around the rim, but can knock down the outside shot as well. He has chiseled his frame to add some weight and keep his quick feet. Defensively, Ayton is a bit of a question mark. At Arizona he only averaged 1.2 BPG, but at times he was asked to guard power forwards which pulled him away from the away from the basketball. Ayton will only play the five in the nba and has the athletic potential to be a good interior defender.
2. Sacramento Kings – Luka Doncic – PG/SG – Real Madrid
Doncic has been playing professionally since the age of 13 and it shows. Despite being just 19, Doncic is one of the leaders for Real Madrid and the orchestrator of the offensive. He shows knowledge in manipulating and reading a defense. Doncic has Ben Simmons like passing ability. The Slovenia teenager has good range on his shot that can allow him to play off the ball. He is a sneaky athlete who doesn’t finish above the rim often, but finds creative ways to finish. Defensively there are some question marks of which position he will guard. Point guards with speed will cause issues for him. Doncic is the second best player in this draft and would be a great fit in Sacramento.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Marvin Bagley – PF – Duke
The Atlanta Hawks are in a complete rebuild and in a position to take the best available. Bagley has a diverse offensive game finishing at the rim or stepping outside to knock down a jumper. He has some serious hops and uses them to grab rebounds. Bagley is a bit of a tweener defensively. He will have to bulk up a little to be a consistent rim protector. Bagley should have the ability to contribute from day one and get the Hawks on the right path.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Michael Porter Jr. – SG/SF- Missouri
The Griz are in an interesting position. They need to decide if they’re going to rebuild or attempt at contending. As long as Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are both healthy, Memphis thinks they have a chance. Porter Jr. is a versatile athletic wing who can both shoot and pass. Porter has the length to defend shooting guards and small forwards. If Porter develops, he could be the wing the Grizzlies wanted when they signed Chandler Parsons to a massive deal. A lot of the concerns with Porter are around his back issues and if he can be the same athlete as before.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Jaren Jackson – PF/C – Michigan St.
Dallas is in a rebuilding phase and have a few different positions they could be looking to fill. Jackson is a versatile big man who has developed range out to the three point line. The big man will be great in pick and roll situations with his ability to finish around the rim. He also has the potential to be a pick and pop threat. Jackson is a good athlete with long arms who can defend the rim.
6. Orlando Magic – Mohamed Bamba – C – Texas
Orlando is another team with a few positions that need upgraded. Bamba enters the NBA with incredibly long arms and shot blocking ability. He has potential to be a Clint Capela or Rudy Gobert type defender at the rim. At Texas, he averaged 3.7 BPG. Offensively, Bamba is a work in progress. However, he has good form on his free throws and even knocked down 28% of his threes at Texas.
7. Chicago Bulls – Wendell Carter Jr. – PF/C – Duke
The Bulls have a variety of needs and add Carter to their big man rotation. Carter is a solid athlete in the half court. He has a good standing vertical, capable hands and a solid 15 footer. Carter also has good shot blocking instincts to deter opponents from attacking the basket. The biggest weakness of the Duke product is his ability to get up and down the court. Carter was often the last guy up and down the court in college.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Trae Young – PG – Oklahoma
The Cavaliers get this pick from the Kyrie Irving trade. The team will be desperate to find a player who will help keep LeBron James in Cleveland. Young is a talented passer and has deep range on his jumper. Defenses have to play him honest and they create more space for James to wreak havoc. Young will have to get stronger to defend at the NBA level. He often gets beat off the dribble, but that could be due to the amount of the offense he had to create at Oklahoma.
9. New York Knicks – Collin Sexton – PG – Alabama
Sexton is an athletic specimen who can push the tempo. The Alabama guard consistently puts pressure on the defense and finds himself at the free throw line. Sexton has nice form on his jumper despite it being streaky. Defensively, Sexton has all of the tools to be a lockdown defender if he applies himself. He is also a willing passer once he gets into the paint off the dribble.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Mikal Bridges – SF – Villanova
Bridges has potential to be the prototypical 3 & D wing in the NBA. At 6-7 215 pounds, he should be able to guard both wing positions once he adds a little bit of strength. The Villanova junior has a smooth stroke from three. Bridges still isn’t a creator for others on offense, but knows his limitations and doesn’t force the issue.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Miles Bridges – SF/PF – Michigan St.
Bridges is a combo forward in the Josh Smith mold. Bridges is an elite level athlete who hasn’t put it all together yet on offense. The Tom Izzo coached forward has shown steady improvement on his jumper, but it’s not ready for NBA defensives to respect it. Bridges is a great rebounder and true hustle player.
12. Los Angeles Clippers – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – PG – Kentucky
Alexander came on strong in SEC and NCAA Tournaments showing his athleticism, shooting and passing ability. Alexander was an offensive threat shooting 40% from three and over 80% from the free throw line for the season. Alexander is a willing passer who looks to get others involved, but can get tunnel vision when he forces the issue. The biggest knack on Alexander is his slight frame. In order to fight through picks, he will need to get stronger.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Kevin Knox – SF/PF – Kentucky
Knox is a combo forward who possesses the athleticism to be a versatile defender in the NBA. He is a great athlete who can punish opponents on the boards. Knox has a long way to go to be an offensive threat in the NBA. He has streaky shooting and isn’t a capable passer yet. For the first couple of years, Know will need to work hard and focus on his offensive game to become a solid starter.
14. Denver Nuggets – Robert Williams – PF/C – Texas A&M
Williams is a NBA ready athlete who will be able to rebound from day one on the offensive and defensive glass. Williams is also a good shot blocker utilizing great anticipation. Offensively, Williams relies on others to help him get buckets. Williams has had some disciplinary issues at Texas A&M including a suspension.
15. Washington Wizards – Gary Trent Jr. – SG – Duke
16. Phoenix Suns – Landry Shamet – PG – Wichita St.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Lonnie Walker – SG – Miami
18. San Antonio Spurs – Dzanan Musa – SF – Bosnia
19. Atlanta Hawks – Mitchell Robinson – C – USA
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Zhaire Smith – SG – Texas Tech
21. Utah Jazz – Kyhri Thomas – SG – Creighton
22. Chicago Bulls – Anfernee Sims – PG – USA
23. Indiana Pacers – Troy Brown – PG/SG – Oregon
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Omari Spellman – PF/C – Villanova
25. Los Angeles Lakers – Jontay Porter – PF/C – Missouri
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Donte DiVenceso – SG – Villanova
27. Boston Celtics – Chandler Hutchinson – SG/SF – Boise State
28. Golden State Warriors – Jerome Robinson -SG – Boston College
29. Brooklyn Nets – Aaron Holiday – PG – UCLA
30. Atlanta Hawks – Jevon Carter – PG – West Virginia