1. Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona, Freshman
The Suns need to draft the best player available, and that is DeAndre Ayton out of Arizona. With his 7’1″ height and 43 inch vertical, the guy can be a star in the league right away. I see nothing besides injury stopping him from averaging at least 16 PPG and 10 RPG in his rookie year. He will be a franchise cornerstone to pair with Devin Booker. Ayton is one of the best prospects since Anthony Davis.
2. Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke, Freshman
I don’t buy the “Luca Doncic is going in the top two” hype. I think that Bagley is the second best prospect on the board, and another player that will contribute right away for his team. The Kings will love Bagley, who reminds me of a young Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire. The guy dominated at Duke this year, averaging 21 PPG and 11 RPG.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Luca Doncic, PG/SG, Slovenia, International
Luca Doncic is the best European prospect ever. He has great size for a combo guard at 6’8, and does everything. He can shoot, he can rebound, he can pass, and he can defend. Doncic won a championship with Real Madrid this year, and won EuroLeague MVP. At 19 years old, he’s the youngest ever to take home the EuroLeague MVP. Don’t get confused, the competition in Europe is even better than college basketball, so to be doing this is certainly impressive.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Michigan State, Freshman
Jaren Jackson Jr. didn’t have had the numbers you might have hoped at Michigan State. He only averaged 10.9 PPG and 5.8 RPG. However, he did average 3 blocks per game. Jackson has the size and athleticism to be a much better pro than college player. It also doesn’t hurt that he can hit the three ball (39.6 3PT%). It might take some time before Jaren Jackson reaches his potential, but Marc Gasol isn’t a bad person to learn from. Jackson is one of the first young pieces to what might be a very long rebuild for Memphis.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Mo Bamba, C, Texas, Freshman
Mo Bamba is one of my favorite players in the draft. Dallas has absolutely no bigs at all (besides Dirk of course), so they are salivating when Bamba falls to five. When drafted, Bamba will already have the longest wingspan in the NBA at 7’10”. At Texas, he averaged a double-double with 3.7 blocks per game. In addition, Bamba is developing a jump-shot. If he can develop that jump-shot, we are looking at a Clint Cappela/Rudy Robert type player who can shoot. Very scary for the rest of the NBA.
6. Orlando Magic – Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma, Freshman
Despite dropping off towards the end of the year, Trae Young is probably one of the most electric college basketball players we’ve ever seen. Young averaged over 27 PPG and 8 APG as a freshman at Oklahoma. The way he plays has drawn comparisons to Steph Curry. I believe his drop-off towards the end of the year was more due to other teams figuring out that he was the only player on his team, and his fatigue from a high usage rate. I don’t think that should be a major concern. Orlando needs a point guard terribly, and Trae Young is the guy who can finally bring excitement to Orlando again.
7. Chicago Bulls – Wendell Carter , PF/C, Duke, Freshman
Wendell Carter is another player who many think will be a better pro than college player. He has drawn comparisons to Al Horford his entire life, and that’s exactly who I think he’s going to be like. He’ll be a defensive anchor and rebounder next to Lauri Markkanen, creating a front court duo for the rest of the league to fear in the near future. Carter averaged over 13 PPG and over 9 RPG as a freshman at Duke.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) – Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri, Freshman
Had he not gotten injured this past year, Porter Jr. could have easily been a top two pick in this draft. He’s always been near or at the top when talking about his class rankings. At pick eight, the Cavs get a steal, and someone who could be the next star in Cleveland after LeBron leaves, whether it’s next season, or the near future. Porter’s size, athleticism, and jump shot could make him a lethal weapon in the NBA.
9. New York Knicks – Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova, Junior
Mikal Bridges has one of the highest ceilings, and highest floors in the draft. His length allows his to defend multiple positions, and his athleticism and shooting allows him to play extremely well offensively. Bridges shot the three pointer at 43.5% last season, and fits the mold for your stereotypical great small forward. Coach Fizdale will be craving Bridges talents, and will be ecstatic to land him at pick nine.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) – Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State, Sophomore
Miles Bridges would have been drafted higher had he stayed in the draft in 2017, but I still think he’ll be a top-12 pick. Bridges is an athletic freak, but struggled this past year with his jump shot. If he learns how to shoot better, the 76ers are getting a huge steal with the 10th pick. I think that Bridges will fit in perfectly with the young core of Simmons, Embiid, Fultz, and Saric, and could play a huge role in the team’s future.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M, Sophomore
Robert Williams is the definition of an athlete. He can jump out of the gym, and is a great shot-blocker. An athletic big is something that Charlotte has failed to draft lately (Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, etc.), so Williams fits perfectly. His offensive game isn’t polished, so that is certainly something that he needs to improve on. Learning from Dwight Howard doesn’t hurt.
12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) – Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama, Freshman
Collin Sexton falls all the way down to pick 12, which is a bit low considering how good he is. The Clippers are sitting here so happy that they acquired this pick for Blake Griffin. Sexton is extremely explosive, and can score at will (averaged 19 PPG at Alabama). He’ll be the future point guard of the Los Angeles Clippers, and can possibly start right away as well.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky, Freshman
Let’s get creative! The Clippers do the unexpected, and take another point guard with a high ceiling, in an attempt to pair him with Collin Sexton to create the backcourt of the future. Gilgeous-Alexander could be someone that skies up the board even higher than this in the weeks leading up to the draft. He has great size at 6’5″, and really came on towards the end of the season for Kentucky. Him and Sexton can do some damage in the NBA.
14. Denver Nuggets – Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky, Freshman
The Nuggets can use a small forward, so they take Kevin Knox of Kentucky. Knox can shoot, is athletic, and has drawn comparisons to Paul George. While Paul George is his ceiling, I don’t see him being that good, but I do see him being a solid starter for the Nuggets in the future. The Nuggets have already seen their former Kentucky draft pick Jamal Murray take tremendous strides, so they’re happy to take another Wildcat.
15. Washington Wizards – Zhaire Smith, SG/SF, Texas Tech, Freshman
Zhaire Smith could be this year’s Donovan Mitchell. Smith has already skied up draft boards for his insane athletic abilities. His vertical at 41.5 inches. Shooting was a concern of his, but scouts thought that his shot looked further along than they expected at the combine. While Smith isn’t a big, which the Wizards need, Smith makes the Wizards much more athletic than they already are, and could be a big part of their future.
16. Phoenix Suns (via Heat) – Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA, Junior
With the Suns taking Ayton at the first overall pick, it means they need to address the point guard position at pick 16. Phoenix has been working out several guards, but one that stands out is Aaron Holiday. Holiday comes from a family of NBA players, and is experienced having played three seasons at UCLA. Holiday is a great scorer, as he averaged 20 PPG this past season. He’ll fit nicely next to Devin Booker.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami, Freshman
Walker was a top recruit coming out of high school, and followed it up with a semi-underwhelming season at Miami. It may take a few years until he could reach his potential, but the Bucks have shown patience with several draft picks in the past. Walker is an athletic two guard that can shoot, and Milwaukee loves the athletic players. Walker and the Bucks are a good match.
18. San Antonio Spurs – Khyri Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton, Junior
The Spurs could use another guard, so they take Khyri Thomas out of Creighton. Thomas is another athletic shooter, who is a combo guard. He has a lot of experience, having played three years at Creighton, and seems to have a wide draft range. I have seen him mocked as high as 14 and as low as second round. Thomas has a lot of room to grow, and I fully expect Coach Pop to make the most out of him, and play him next to Dejounte Murray in the future.
19. Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves) – Donte DiVencenzo, SG, Villanova, Sophomore
DiVencenzo had an amazing NBA Combine, which resulted in him keeping his name in the draft pool. He’s known for the NCAA title game vs. Michigan, where he went absolutely nuts for 31 points in the win. DiVencenzo is known for his shooting, but what goes under the radar is his 42 inch vertical, which tested as the highest in the NBA combine. This sneaky athleticism is what gets him picked in the top 20.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder) – Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova, Freshman
Many have chalked up Omari Spellman as a second round pick, but I expect him to be taken way higher than that. Spellman, the third Villanova player of the board, is the definition of a great stretch four, something that Minnesota can use badly. Spellman shot 43.3% from downtown in his freshman year at Nova, to go along with over 10 PPG and 8 RPG. He can use some more time to develop, but I expect Spellman to be a solid NBA player.
21. Utah Jazz – Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State, Junior
Keita Bates-Diop is the main reason why Ohio State was insanely good last season. He poured in nearly 20 PPG, and did it from everywhere. He can hit threes, he can drive, and he’s athletic. He’s just a natural scorer. At this point in the draft, I have no doubt in my mind that he’s the best player available, and that’s what Utah’s strategy is with this pick.
22. Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans) – Chandler Hutchinson, SF, Boise State
Chandler Hutchinson skipped the NBA Combine after reportedly receiving a first round promise from a team. This team is widely expected to be the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls can use a small forward, and Hutchinson can score and rebound extremely well. He averaged 20 PPG, and over 7 RPG in his senior season at Boise State.
23. Indiana Pacers – Jerome Robinson, PG/SG, Boston College, Junior
The Indiana Pacers need a point guard that’s name isn’t Darren Collison. Robinson is a combo guard, that I believe can play the point at the next level. The rumor is that Robinson may be moving up boards after pre-draft workouts. Robinson averaged over 20 PPG in the ACC, the toughest conference in college basketball. He’ll be a good fit at the point next to Oladipo.
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Maryland
Huerter was expected to stay at Maryland when he first entered his name into the NBA Draft pool without an agent. However, Huerter shined at the NBA Combine, and reportedly received a first round guarantee from a team. I wouldn’t be surprised if that team is the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland can use another three-point shooter, and I believe Huerter is going to make a living in the league as a Kyle Korver type player.
25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavaliers) – Mitchell Robinson, C, USA
Mitchell Robinson didn’t play college basketball after originally being committed to Western Kentucky. He is a seven footer, and was a top-recruit. Robinson skipped the combine, but a team apparently wants to take him in the late first round. I believe that team is the Lakers, who really need a true center. Robinson has looked great in workouts, and this chance the Lakers take on Robinson could work out very well.
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Grayson Allen, SG, Duke, Senior
With J.J Redick and Marco Belinelli set to become free agents, the 76ers could use another shooting guard. Allen can hit threes, and is also a tremendous athlete. I believe that Allen has matured since his early days at Duke, and could be a steal for the 76ers at pick 26. With four years of college experience under his belt, Grayson Allen is ready to have a role right away.
27. Boston Celtics – Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke, Freshman
The Celtics don’t have many needs thanks to the genius that is Danny Ainge, but they could use another shooter off the bench. That guy is Gary Trent Jr. Trent Jr. is a 40% shooter from downtown, and really fills that need well. However, don’t be surprised if Boston even trades up for a guy like Donte DiVencenzo in the middle of the draft.
28. Golden State Warriors – Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova, Junior
The Warriors go with the best player available mentality, and take Jalen Brunson, the National Player of the Year out of Villanova. Brunson is an old school point guard, as he isn’t that quick, but has a tremendous post game. Jalen Brunson was also a great shooter in college, which fits in well with the Warriors, of course.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Raptors) – Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State, Sophomore
The Nets are in tremendous need of a big man, but unfortunately, it’s a bit to high for any of the one’s left on the board. If the Nets are going to reach for a big, it’s going to be Mo Wagner, which I had in my first mock draft, but I don’t believe they’ll do that as of now. The pick is Landry Shamet, who’s a solid combo guard who can score and pass well. Don’t be surprised if the Nets deal Dinwiddie for a higher pick in this draft, as they may want to get max value for him while they could.
30. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets) – Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon, Freshman
Troy Brown has great size and rebounds well, but struggles to shoot the ball, which is the reason for his fall in the draft. If Atlanta can help develop his shooting abilities, they can have a nice future piece at this pick. Brown was a very highly recruited player out of high school, so the talent’s there, it just needs to be translated.
31. Phoenix Suns – Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy
32. Memphis Grizzlies – Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane, Junior
33. Dallas Mavericks – Mo Wagner, PF/C, Michigan, Junior
34. Atlanta Hawks – Trevon Duval, PG, Duke, Freshman
35. Orlando Magic – Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech, Sophomore
36. New York Knicks (via Bulls) – Jevon Carter, SG, West Virginia, Senior
37. Sacramento Kings – Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia & Herzgovina, International
38. Philadelphia 76ers (via Nets) – Tony Carr, PG, Penn State, Sophomore
39. Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks) – Chimezie Metu, PF, USC, Junior
40. Brooklyn Nets (via Lakers) – Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV, Freshman
41. Orlando Magic (via Hornets) – De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG, USC, Sophomore
42. Detroit Pistons – Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas, Senior
43. Denver Nuggets (via Clippers) – Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona, Sophomore
44. Washington Wizards – Wenyen Gabriel, SF/PF, Kentucky, Sophomore
45. Brooklyn Nets (via Bucks) -Alize Johnson, PF, Missouri State, Senior
46. Houston Rockets (via Heat) – Bruce Brown, SG, Miami, Sophomore
47. Los Angeles Lakers (via Nuggets) – Rodions Kurucs, SF, Latvia, International
48. Minnesota Timberwolves – Malik Newman, SG, Kansas, Sophomore
49. San Antonio Spurs – Isaac Haas, C, Purdue, Senior
50. Indiana Pacers – Brian Bowen, SF, South Carolina, Freshman
51. New Orleans Pelicans – Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky, Freshman
52. Utah Jazz – Isaac Bonga, SF, Germany, International
53. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jacob Evans, SG/SF, Cincinnati, Junior
54. Dallas Mavericks – Ellie Okobo, PG, France, International
55. Charlotte Hornets (via Cavaliers) – Ray Spalding, PF, Louisville, Junior
56. Philadelphia 76ers (via Celtics) – Jarred Vanderbilt, SF, Kentucky, Freshman
57. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Celtics) – Svi Mykhailuiuk, SG/SF, Kansas, Senior
58. Denver Nuggets (via Warriors) – D.J Hogg, SF, Texas A&M, Junior
59. Phoenix Suns (via Raptors) – Kevin Hervey, SF, UT Arlington, Senior
60. Philadelphia 76ers (via Rockets) – Alonzo Trier, SG, Arizona, Junior
Best Available Undrafted:
- Kostas Antetokounmpo SF, Dayton, Freshman
- 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
- Devon Hall, SG, Virginia, Senior
- Justin Jackson, SF, Maryland, Sophomore
- Theo Pinson, SG, North Carolina, Senior
- Lagerald Vick, SG, Kansas, Junior