1. Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
DeAndre Ayton is by far the best player in this draft in my opinion. He’s a walking double double at 7’1, and can shoot as well. I’ll even go further and say he’s Anthony Davis 2.0. Phoenix needs a dominant big, and Ayton is the answer.
2. Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke
The Kings seem to believe that De’Aaron Fox is the future a the point guard position for them, which is why I can’t see them taking Luka Doncic at pick #2, despite the rumors. The next best available player is Marvin Bagley. Bagley is another player who is a walking double double, and his ability to score combined with his athleticism will translate well in the NBA.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Luka Doncic, G, Slovenia
Dennis Schroeder wants to be traded, so the Hawks will draft their future PG, Luka Doncic. Doncic is one of the best European NBA Draft Prospects ever, and his great size and ability to do everything fits the modern day NBA point guard mold. Doncic averaged 14.5 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game with Real Madrid in 2017-2018.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Michael Porter, SF, Missouri
Michael Porter missed most of the college season with a back injury, but was the #2 recruit in the nation out of high school. The upside and and star potential is still there despite the injury.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Jaren Jackson, PF/C, Michigan State
While his game isn’t completely polished yet, Jaren Jackson has one of the highest upsides in the draft. He’s 6’11 with a 7’4 wingspan, and averaged 3 blocks per game for the Spartans last year. The Mavericks can use a big to pair with Dennis Smith Jr. for the future.
6. Orlando Magic – Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
The Orlando Magic have struck out on the draft for as long as I could remember. With Aaron Gordon probably on the way out in free agency this summer, the Magic are going to be back at square one. They need to bring back excitement that the fanbase hasn’t seen since the Dwight Howard days. Why not take Trae Young, one of the most hyped college basketball players in recent memory?
7. Chicago Bulls – Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
The Chicago Bulls have young guards such as Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine, and a young talented big in Lauri Markannen. Why not pair Markannen with Bamba, a guy who has a game similar to Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert, and Clint Capela. Bamba can rebound and block shots, as he averaged 3.7 blocks this past season at Texas.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) – Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
The Cavaliers have had no point guard all year after trading Kyrie Irving. Isaiah Thomas was a disaster, and George Hill is mediocre at best. Sexton was so good at Alabama, as he’s the type of player who can take over a game offensively when needed. In a potential post-LeBron era, Sexton would be a great way to start it.
9. New York Knicks – Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke
The Knicks need a player to start next to Kristaps Porzingis. Enes Kanter isn’t a starting player in this league, just because of his poor defensive play (he’s also a free agent). Carter has been compared to Al Horford his whole life, and getting a player like that who can rebound, defend, and be a force down low would take a lot of pressure off Porzingis.
10. Philadelphia 76ers, – Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova
Mikal Bridges is one of my favorite players in this draft. He’s gotten Kawhi Leonard comparisons due to his insane abilities as a defender, as well as solid offensive game. The Sixers can use that type of player, so they take Bridges, the local product.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M
I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert Williams jumps a bit higher than 11 in this draft, due to his off the charts athletic ability. If Williams can improve his offensive game, than his potential is sky high. Other than aging Dwight Howard, the Hornets bigs are horrendous and not athletic. Williams would change that.
12. Los Angeles Clippers – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
Gilgeous-Alexander is a guy who started flying up boards towards the end of the college season. He has great size for the point guard position at 6’6, and is probably one of the most underrated players in the draft. He’s a great shooter, and is athletic as well.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Zhaire Smith, SG/SF, Texas Tech
Zhaire Smith could very well end up being this draft’s Donovan Mitchell. He can defend well, and has a ridiculous 45 inch vertical. His offensive game is still not polished, but if he works on it extremely hard in the offseason, his ceiling is limitless. Pair Smith with Gilgeous-Alexander and the Clippers have their future backcourt.
14. Denver Nuggets – Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State
The Denver Nuggets could use a small forward, and Bridges seems to be a guy who will play the 3 rather than the 4 in the NBA. Had he declared last year, Bridges could have been drafted in the top 6-7. Miles Bridges is another athletic freak in this draft, but needs to improve his jumper to succeed in the NBA.
15. Washington Wizards – Bruno Fernando, PF/C, Maryland
Fernando declared for the 2018 NBA Draft without an agent, but I think he’ll get amazing feedback in the pre-draft process. This will be enough to not only keep him in the draft, but also push him all the way up draft boards. Fernando is still growing as a player, but 2-3 years down the road, Fernando could be very successful due to his ability to defend and score.
16. Phoenix Suns (via Heat) – Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky
Knox averaged 15.6 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game and has great size at 6’9. He seems to be a safe pick as I think he will turn out to be a good NBA player, but not a great one. He can defend and is athletic, but needs to improve his 3 point shot a bit to be really successful in the league. Knox can potentially play next to Ayton in Phoenix long term.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Mitchell Robinson, C, USA
Robinson was a 5 star recruit out of high school set to play at Western Kentucky this season. However, he decided that he wasn’t going to play college basketball this year and just train for the draft instead. Robinson is 7’1, and due to the shallowness of bigs in the class, he will go higher than he deserves. Milwaukee can use another big and they have been known to take fliers on players in the past (Thon Maker, Giannis Antetokounmpo).
18. San Antonio Spurs – Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami
Lonnie Walker is a guy that many think can go in the lottery. However, I see him falling a bit further down in this draft after only averaging 11 points per game at Miami in his freshman season. He certainly has a ton of potential, but it’s going to take a team like the Spurs to make sure he develops well.
19. Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves) – Jontay Porter, PF/C, Missouri
Jontay Porter, brother of Michael, is a player that progressed very nicely throughout the 2017-2018 season. He can rebound well, block shots, and even hit the three ball. He fills a need in Atlanta, as they need someone to play next to John Collins.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder) – Anfernee Simons, SG, IMG Academy
Anfernee Simons is one of the biggest wild cards in this draft. He didn’t play college basketball after originally being committed to Louisville, and instead played at IMG Academy for a fifth year of high school. He was the 7th rated recruit in the country for this year, and can shoot extremely well. The T-Wolves take a flier on Simons hoping the can develop into a solid player in the next few years.
21. Utah Jazz – Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova
Omari Spellman is a player that has a decent chance of returning to school. If he returns to Nova, I think there is a decent chance that he can play his way to being a lottery pick in the 2019 draft. Spellman can be a great stretch four, as he shot 43.3% from downtown in his freshman season at Villanova while also grabbing 8 rebounds per game.
22. Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans) – Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon
Troy Brown was a highly recruited player out of high school, and has great size and athleticism for his position. He grabbed 6.2 rebounds per game, while scoring 11.3 points per game in his freshman season at Oregon. Brown would fill well in Chicago as he could play the 2 or the 3, somewhere the Bulls are thin at. However, if he wants to be a good NBA player, he needs to improve his 3 point percentage (29%).
23. Indiana Pacers – Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova
The Indiana Pacers need to draft a point guard at this pick. Fortunately for them, the point guard position is extremely deep in this draft. Guys like Jerome Robinson, Aaron Holiday, Tony Carr, and Trevon Duval are still on the board, but the Pacers pick NPOY, Jalen Brunson. Brunson is a crafty player, and can score from anywhere on the floor as he shot over 50% from the field the past two seasons at Villanova.
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State
Keita Bates-Diop took Ohio State and carried them on his back this year, leading them to 15-3 record in conference. Bates-Diop averaged nearly 20 points per game and 9 rebounds per game. He would fit well in Portland, where they need a small forward who can score at will, which Bates-Diop could do.
25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavs) – Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia Herzgovina
Musa is another international player in the 2018 NBA Draft, and a guy who’s been skying up boards lately. As a 6’9 small forward who can hit the 3, he would fit extremely well with the Lakers, a team that is thin at small forward and was among the league’s worst in three point shooting this season.
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton
Khyri Thomas is a guy who can come in and replace J.J Redick right away. He’s a great shooter, and should turn out to be a decent two guard in the NBA. The pre-draft process is important, as he can potentially sky up into the back-end of the lottery if he does well.
27. Boston Celtics – Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke
The Celtics are built extremely well for the future, and don’t have many needs, so they take Gary Trent, a great shooter and a guy who can come of the bench and make an impact. Trent Jr. shot 40% from downtown in his freshman year at Duke.
28. Golden State Warriors – Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA
The Warriors have no needs, so they take the best player available in Aaron Holiday. Holiday averaged 20 points per game at UCLA the season, and can be a great backup guard who can replace Shaun Livingston (33 years old at start of 2018-19 season) soon.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via. Raptors) – Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan
Mo Wagner isn’t expected to be a first round pick, but the Nets are extremely desperate for size and this class of bigs is so shallow. At this point, there isn’t much left for the Nets to take. While saying that, I also think that Wagner is a undervalued talent in this draft. Wagner is a 6’11” stretch four, and plays with a tremendous amount of energy every single game. He certainly has a place in the league.
30. Atlanta Hawks (via. Rockets) – Jerome Robinson, PG/SG, Boston College
Robinson averaged over 20 points per game for Boston College in the ACC, college basketball’s toughest conference. At 6’6″, he has great size for a guard and is another talented piece the Hawks bring in who can play right away.