1. Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona, Freshman (-)
DeAndre Ayton is going to be the first pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. My final mock’s first pick is the same as my first mock’s first pick. The Suns finally get another franchise cornerstone to help out Devin Booker, and it’s a 7’1″ center with a 43 inch vertical, who can also shoot. Not bad for the Suns. I expect DeAndre Ayton to come close to averaging a double-double right away. He’s that good.
2. Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke, Freshman (-)
Bagley is extremely skilled in the post, and has ridiculous athletic abilities. He’s an Amare Stoudemire/Chris Bosh hybrid, and averaged 21 PPG and 11 RPG in his freshman season at Duke. This is the right pick for the Sacramento, as Bagley joins De’Aaron Fox as the Kings second top-5 pick in the last two drafts.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Slovenia, International (-)
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Hawks are turning their attention to Doncic with the third overall pick. I have a strong feeling though that this is a smokescreen, and Trae Young is the guy for the Hawks. However, I think there’s a high possibility that the Hawks may trade down to five or six, and take Young there, while the Mavericks or Magic would take Doncic at 3. I have a feeling this could be one of those awkward draft moments when Doncic puts on a Hawks hat on stage, but everyone in the crowd knows he’s headed somewhere else. Doncic is a combo guard who won EuroLeague MVP at 19 years old, and I think he’ll have an immediate impact in the NBA, as he was playing competition superior to college basketball.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri, Freshman (-)
The Grizzlies are in a sticky situation, especially if Marvin Bagley III and Luka Doncic are gone by the fourth pick. Normally, I would definitely slot Jackson Jr. or Bamba here, but they both refused to work out for the Grizzlies, and also refused to give them their medical records. I find it hard to believe that Memphis would draft a player that doesn’t want to play for them. The Grizzlies go with plan C, and draft Michael Porter Jr., who could have been the top pick in the draft if he didn’t get injured and miss most of his freshman season at Missouri. Porter fits the mold of a dominant small forward in today’s NBA, and could be a steal at four if he stays healthy.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Michigan State, Freshman (-)
The Dallas Mavericks are going to draft a big if they can’t get their hands on Luka Doncic. They take Jaren Jackson Jr. out of Michigan State, who could be a project, but also has one of the highest ceilings in the NBA Draft. Jackson is an absolutely beast already, as he averaged 5.5 BPG per 40 minutes in his freshman year at Michigan State, and shot nearly 40% from beyond the arc. Once the 18 year old gets stronger, and continues to develop, he has the potential to be one of the best bigs in the NBA.
6. Orlando Magic – Mo Bamba, C, Texas, Freshman (↑1)
The Magic absolutely love Mo Bamba, and Orlando takes him the second he falls down to pick 6. Bamba is my fourth ranked player in this draft class, as he is an elite shot blocker, has a 7’10” wingspan, and is developing a jumper. Many compare Bamba to Rudy Gobert with a jump shot, and I think he’ll be a great pick for a team that has had nearly no success drafting players in recent years.
7. Chicago Bulls – Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke, Freshman (↑2)
Wendell Carter could end up going as high as 4, but with the Grizzlies taking Porter, he falls down to pick 7. Chicago needs a center to play next to Lauri Markkanen, and Carter can be the guy to complement him perfectly. Wendell Carter is a defensive anchor, a great rebounder, and if he gets stronger, he can be very good offensively too. I think Wendell Carter is going to be an Al Horford type player in this league, and fits nicely in the Windy City.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) – Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma, Freshman (↓2)
I originally thought that there was no way Trae Young could fall down this far, but if the Hawks keep their pick, and Bamba falls to Orlando, it’s definitely possible. The Cavs supposedly worked out Trae Young “secretly,” and he is one of their top options at pick 8 if he falls. Young has unlimited range, and is the closest player I’ve ever seen to Steph Curry. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be Steph Curry, but they have similar play styles. Young will give the Cavs the guard production they didn’t have when Kyrie Irving left.
9. New York Knicks – Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky, Freshman (↑2)
According to Draft Express, all signs are pointing to the Knicks selecting Kevin Knox. Knox is only 18 years old, and is late bloomer, so I suspect that the Knicks like his upside and potential a lot more than a player like Mikal Bridges. Knox can shoot the three ball, has great size, and will be able to defend at the next level. He could the big sleeper in this draft if he continues to develop nicely.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) – Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova, Junior (-)
I haven’t heard one bad thing about Mikal Bridges. Most scouts and GMs have said that Bridges is one of the safest players in the draft, as he has one of the highest floors. Bridges is a three and D guy that shoots over 40% from downtown while also guarding multiple positions. I think he fits in perfectly with the 76ers as I expect J.J Redick to depart this offseason, leaving the shooting guard spot open.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky, Freshman (↓3)
Pick 11 is pretty much the lowest Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will drop. I assume that either tonight or later this offseason, the Hornets will trade Kemba Walker, leaving the starting point guard position open. Gilgeous-Alexander is extremely long, quick, and can get to the rim. At 6’6″, Gilgeous-Alexander has tremendous upside and potential if he can develop a consistent jump shot.
12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) – Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama, Freshman (-)
The Los Angeles Clippers are going to take a point guard as long as one of the three best point guards are on the board at 12. In this case, it’s Collin Sexton who I think is a steal here. Sexton is the definition of a playmaker, as he can takeover a game at anytime. Sexton still needs to improve his three-point shooing a bit, but I fully expect him to have no problem with that and become the point guard of the future for the Clippers.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State, Sophomore (-)
I could see the Clippers trading out of this 13th pick, but if they do have it, I see them taking Miles Bridges out of Michigan State. If Bridges declared last year, he probably would have been picked in the top-7, but decided to return to school. Bridges is a freak athlete, and can catch and shoot, but needs to improve on creating his own shot and shooting off the dribble. The potential is there as long as he can develop a bit more.
14. Denver Nuggets – Zhaire Smith, SG/SF, Texas Tech, Freshman (-)
The Nuggets are looking to move up or down from 14, but if they stay, I see them taking Zhaire Smith from Texas Tech. Smith can jump out of the gym with his 40 inch vertical, and that athleticism will help him to defend at the next level. According to people at the combine, Smith’s three-point shot is a lot better than they thought. If that’s the case, than Zhaire Smith is my pick to be the Donovan Mitchell of this draft class.
15. Washington Wizards – Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M, Sophomore (-)
The Wizards will be having a party if Robert Williams falls to 15. Washington needs a big so badly, but are in a pretty bad position to draft one. Luckily, Williams falls. Robert Williams is another freak athlete in this draft, who can make a living off rebounding and shot-blocking. The reason he falls in the draft is because of his unpolished offensive game. Once that’s developed, Robert Williams can be a very solid NBA player.
16. Phoenix Suns (via Heat) – Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA, Junior (-)
I have a feeling that Aaron Holiday is going to go a lot higher than people think. Holiday is experienced having played three years in college, and a guy that I think can contribute right away. Holiday doesn’t have great size, but is extremely quick and a scoring machine. The Suns need a point guard, so I think Aaron Holiday is the guy for them.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami, Freshman (-)
Lonnie Walker is a guy that may fall down a bit in this draft. I think he has the potential to go as high as 11 or 12, but can go as low as 17, 18, or 19. Walker didn’t have a great season at Miami, but scouts love his upside. He has good size and athleticism, and his college shooting numbers were worse than the shooter he is. Walker was a high-level recruit for a reason, and the potential is still there. The Bucks roll the dice on Walker here, and try to develop another player as they have done pretty well in the past.
18. San Antonio Spurs – Donte DiVencenzo, SG, Villanova, Sophomore (-)
The Donte DiVencenzo hype train is absolutely massive right now. That train hasn’t slowed down since the National Championship game. DiVencenzo destroyed the combine as he tested off the charts athletically and also played extremely well in the 5v5 scrimmages. I think scouts feel like DiVencenzo was hidden behind the immense Nova talent in college and is waiting to be unleashed. What better coach to get a hold of this guy than Gregg Popovich?
19. Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves) – Jerome Robinson, PG/SG, Boston College, Junior (-)
Jerome Robinson received a green room invite, and is a guy that has shot up draft boards recently. Robinson averaged over 20 PPG in the toughest conference in the country, the ACC, and I think teams are starting to respect that. He also has great size at 6’6,” and could be a great player to pair next to Luka Doncic in the backcourt.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder) – Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Maryland, Sophomore (-)
The more I watch film on Kevin Huerter, the more I like his game. This guy is a ridiculous shooter, and would pull up from way deep in NBA range on several occasions in college. Huerter is going to be one of the NBA’s next best shooters, and that’s something that Minnesota can use. I like Kevin Huerter to be a Kyle Korver type player at the minimum in the NBA.
21. Utah Jazz – Elie Okobo, PG, France, International (↑10)
Elie Okobo is a player that has skied up boards since he was dropping 40+ points in the playoffs in Europe. He is a guy that is quick and athletic, can score at will, and has a ton of potential. The Jazz don’t plan on keeping Ricky Rubio at the starting point guard position long-term, and they are hopeful that Okobo can step in in a couple of seasons and takeover.
22. Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans) – Chandler Hutchinson, SF, Boise State, Senior (-)
This pick has stayed consistent throughout all my mocks. Chandler Hutchinson reportedly received a guarantee from the Bulls, and I think Chicago is going to stick to that promise. Hutchinson could start right away at small forward for Chicago, as he has four years of college experience under his belt. He can do everything as he averaged 20 PPG and over 7 RPG in his senior year at Boise State. He also shot the ball well from deep. I like this pick for the Bulls.
23. Indiana Pacers – Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova, Junior (-)
The Pacers are 99% going to take a point guard here. I think the guy is Jalen Brunson, who’s definitely NBA ready. Teams have concerns about Brunson’s size and athleticism, but his play makes up for that. Brunson won National Player of the Year for a reason, and can shoot the ball extremely well. He’s experienced, and a guy who is definitely capable at being a starting point guard in the NBA.
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon, Freshman (-)
Troy Brown’s range is extremely big at around 17-30, and I see him going right in the middle of that range. The Train Blazers need a small forward, and the guy with the most potential is Troy Brown. Brown is a playmaker, and a guy who has the handles to be a point-forward, but needs to develop his three-point shot. Right now, Brown can’t shoot, but if he figures it out, he was drafted way too low. Portland goes with the upside pick at 24.
25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavaliers) – Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State, Junior (↑7)
Keita Bates-Diop is another one of my sleepers in this draft. Bates-Diop possesses all the tools to be a good small forward in this league. He has decent size and athleticism, but can most importantly create his own scoring opportunities. Bates-Diop was one of the only reasons Ohio State was so competitive in the Big Ten last season, as he led the conference in scoring. Eventually, I expect Bates-Diop to be instant scoring and defense off the bench for a team like the Lakers.
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Khryi Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton, Junior (-)
The 76ers are going to draft a ton of shooters, and Khryi Thomas is certainly that. Thomas is one of the best shooters in the draft, and can be instant scoring off the bench for the 76ers. You know what you’re going to get from Thomas, as he is experienced, and shoots about 40% from downtown. This is a value pick for Philly.
27. Boston Celtics – Grayson Allen, SG, Duke, Senior (-)
The Celtics are looking for a scorer off the bench at this pick, and that guy is Grayson Allen. Allen worked out for the Celtics, who were very impressed by him there. He is going to get a lot of minutes in his rookie season for whatever NBA team he goes to, as he is 100% NBA ready. Allen can shoot extremely well, and also possesses crazy athletic abilities. This is a great pick for Boston at 27.
28. Golden State Warriors – Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke, Freshman (-)
The Warriors are probably going to go with a guard at pick 28, and they reportedly love Gary Trent Jr. from Duke. Trent Jr. is another player in this draft that can be instant scoring off the bench, as he hits the three at a good percentage. Trent Jr. helps the Warriors improve their bench right away, something that wasn’t great this season despite their NBA Finals win.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Raptors) – Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova, Freshman (↓8)
I am pretty confident that Omari Spellman won’t drop out of the first round despite what others are saying. Spellman could have gone back to school if that was the case. I love Spellman, as he is the perfect stretch four for the NBA if he can get a bit quicker. He shot over 43% from downtown during his freshman season at Villanova to go along with nearly 11 PPG, and 8 RPG. He gives the Nets another big, which they can use.
30. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets) – Josh Okogie, SG/SF, Georgia Tech, Sophomore (↑6)
I expect Josh Okogie to sneak into the first round. Okogie played extremely well at the NBA combine, and possesses great length with a 7 foot wingspan. His length will allow him to guard multiple positions at the NBA level, a main reason for his stock skying since he entered the draft. He led Georgia Tech in scoring the past two seasons, and hits the three at a good percentage. Okogie could be a value pick for the Hawks at 30.
31. Phoenix Suns – Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia & Herzgovina, International (↑3)
32. Memphis Grizzlies – Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia, Senior (↑1)
33. Dallas Mavericks – Rawle Alkins, SG/SF, Arizona, Sophomore (↓8)
34. Atlanta Hawks – Mo Wagner, PF/C, Michigan, Junior (↓4)
35. Orlando Magic – Jacob Evans, SG/SF, Cincinnati, Junior (-)
36. New York Knicks (via Bulls) – Bruce Brown, PG/SG, Miami, Sophomore (↑6)
37. Sacramento Kings – Anfernee Simons, PG, IMG Academy, USA (-)
38. Philadelphia 76ers (via Nets) – Rodions Kurucs, SF, Latvia, International (-)
39. Los Angeles Lakers – Mitchell Robinson, C, USA (↓10)
40. Brooklyn Nets (via Lakers) – Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State, Sophomore (-)
41. Orlando Magic (via Hornets) – Trevon Duval, PG, Duke, Freshman (-)
42. Detroit Pistons – De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG, USC, Sophomore (↑1)
43. Denver Nuggets (via Clippers) – Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane, Junior (↓4)
44. Washington Wizards – Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV, Freshman (-)
45. Charlotte Hornets (via Nets) – Jarred Vanderbilt, PF, Kentucky, Freshman (-)
46. Houston Rockets (via Heat) – Chimezie Metu, PF, USC, Sophomore (-)
47. Los Angeles Lakers (via Nuggets) – Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas, Senior (↑6)
48. Minnesota Timberwolves – Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky Sophomore (↑3)
49. San Antonio Spurs – Isaac Bonga, SF, Germany, International (-)
50. Indiana Pacers – Shake Milton, PG/SG, SMU, Junior (-)
51. New Orleans Pelicans – Malik Newman, SG, Kansas, Sophomore (↓3)
52. Utah Jazz – Wenyen Gabriel, SF/PF, Kentucky, Sophomore (-)
53. Oklahoma City Thunder – Tony Carr, PG, Penn State, Sophomore (↓6)
54. Dallas Mavericks – Isaac Haas, C, Purdue, Senior (-)
55. Charlotte Hornets (via Cavaliers) – Kostas Antetokounmpo, SF, Freshman, Dayton (-)
56. Philadelphia 76ers (via Celtics) – Svi Mykhailuiuk, SG/SF, Kansas, Senior (-)
57. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Celtics) – Ray Spalding, PF, Louisville, Junior (-)
58. Denver Nuggets (via Warriors) – D.J Hogg, SF, Texas A&M, Junior (-)
59. Phoenix Suns (via Raptors) – Devon Hall, SG, Virginia, Senior (-)
60. Philadelphia 76ers (via Rockets) – Justin Jackson, SF, Maryland, Sophomore (-)
Best Available Undrafted:
- Bonzie Colson, PF, Notre Dame, Senior
- Tyler Davis, C, Texas A&M, Junior
- Vince Edwards, PF, Purdue, Senior
- Keenan Evans, PG, Texas A&M, Senior
- Kevin Hervey, SF, UT Arlington, Senior
- Alize Johnson, PF, Missouri State, Senior
- Theo Pinson, SG, North Carolina, Senior
- Alonzo Trier, SG, Arizona, Junior
- Lagerald Vick, SG, Kansas, Junior
- Kenrich Williams, SG/SF, TCU, Senior