2018 NBA Mock Draft (1.3)

The NBA Draft is riiiight around the corner. Going to keep this short and sweet. Below is my latest mock draft. Let me know who I’m sleeping on and who I’m gassing up!

  1. Suns – Luka Doncic: The “Chosen One” will have an opportunity to show off at the Euroleague Final Four and solidify himself as the unanimous No. 1 pick in the draft. He has been locked in to the top spot for me all year.
  2. Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr.: Memphis has some big decisions to make this summer, but my instincts tell me they will keep Marc Gasol and Mike Conley and draft the best prospect that fits in their scheme. Jackson can play with Gasol and will be a very interesting piece on a team that values defense.
  3. Mavericks – Deandre Ayton: Some draft experts have Ayton #1 on their big boards, so the Mavericks won’t be disappointed grabbing him here. With Dirk Nowitzki playing one more season I would imagine he can help Ayton adjust to NBA competition with all of his wisdom and experience.
  4. Hawks – Mohamed Bamba: Seeing Bamba in person at a 76ers game recently I was surprised by how narrow his hips were. His length and defensive ability is undeniable, so the Hawks will be patient for him to fill out his frame and develop his offensive skills.
  5. Magic – Trae Young: My sense is the Magic will try to hit a homerun with this pick. Young is the ultimate grand slam or strikeout player in this draft. They need a playmaker and already have the ability to build an offense around his skills while also developing Jonathan Isaac into their defensive star.
  6. Bulls – Marvin Bagley: The Bulls should keep all their options open with this pick. Entertain offers to trade down or target one of the top three prospects on their board. Bagley and Markkanen would make sense on offense playing inside-out, but can they work together defensively?
  7. Kings – Michael Porter Jr.: The Kings are not in a position to hit singles and doubles with their draft picks, as they currently don’t have a certified star. Porter gives them a potential All-Star and primary scoring option even if there are some other safer picks (especially on the wing).
  8. Cavaliers – Mikal Bridges: An NBA-ready player drops into the Cavaliers lap. Bridges can be plugged into the starting lineup immediately and will make a positive impact due to his shooting and elite defense.
  9. Knicks – Wendell Carter: I’m curious why the Knicks don’t play Porzingis exclusively at center. His injury history would be a key factor into whether they take another big in the lottery. If he is the best player left on their board and Kristaps’ recovery is slow this pick should be a no-brainer.
  10. 76ers – Zhaire Smith: Sixers fans will be hoping their hometown kid Mikal Bridges drops to 10. Wishful thinking at this point, so why not take the next best wing prospect in terms of defense, shooting, and all-around ceiling.
  11. Hornets – Miles Bridges: The Hornets need a secondary scoring option to help Kemba Walker out. Bridges will be more than glad to put up a bunch of shots. Needs to improve on his efficiency, especially from deep.
  12. Clippers – Collin Sexton: With two picks in a row the Clippers are a very interesting pivot point of the draft. They already have sixth man scoring machine Lou Williams and defensive dynamo Pat Beverley, so Sexton would only make sense if they are sure he can develop into a true starting caliber floor general.
  13. Clippers – Kevin Knox: With Blake Griffin gone, it looks like the Clippers could move DeAndre Jordan as well. If they do, Robert Williams would be the natural selection here. Knox would be the pick if they try to make a playoff push again.
  14. Nuggets – Robert Williams: The Nuggets can’t play a lick of defense. Williams could definitely help. They currently don’t play Faried though, so would Williams be glued to the bench too unless he develops a jumper?
  15. Wizards – Mitchell Robinson: Ian Mahinmi has not worked out very well for the Wizards. Ideally, Robinson can be groomed into the role that they expected Mahinmi would fill when they gave him that large contract.
  16. Suns – Jontay Porter: The younger Porter brother is a smart defender, and the Suns could really use any defense they can get. Jontay is still very raw overall and will need to get himself in better shape to run with the rest of their offense.
  17. Bucks – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: The Bucks could use a secondary ball-handler to help Giannis Antetokounmpo out a little. They have drafted lengthy players like SGA, and he fits the bill of an eventual replacement for Bledsoe.
  18. Spurs – Dzanan Musa: Leave it to the Spurs to show patience with international prospects later in the first round. Musa will probably require two years of patience, but has the size, length, and shooting that the Spurs value in their system.
  19. Hawks – Troy Brown: Troy is a young wing that patient teams will invest in for his length and play-making. Any shooting consistency will significantly improve his NBA potential.
  20. Timberwolves – Jacob Evans: Evans is a defensive stud, and guess what the Wolves really lack? I would expect him to make an NBA rotation immediately.
  21. Jazz – Rawle Alkins: Rawle doesn’t necessarily stand out on paper. His size and length are pretty standard for an NBA shooting guard and his statistics are not eye-popping. What he does do is make winning plays, and the Jazz front office values players they can plug and play into their system.
  22. Bulls – Khyri Thomas: Khyri is a prototypical modern guard who can do a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor while providing efficient scoring. The Bulls could use his defense, shooting and floor spacing.
  23. Pacers – Lonnie Walker IV: Lonnie had a rough finish to his freshman season. His lack of efficiency will likely prevent him from being considered in the lottery. His athleticism will intrigue a team like the Pacers looking to put more high-level athletes around Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner.
  24. Trail Blazers – Keita Bates-Diop: The Blazers lack playmakers outside of their two star guards. Keita could replace fellow Buckeye Evan Turner’s role for much cheaper, providing better shooting and more length.
  25. Lakers – Anfernee Simons: Without any college experience, Simons is one of the biggest question marks in the draft. The Lakers are never afraid to take their chances on talent, which he certainly doesn’t lack.
  26. 76ers – Donte DiVincenzo: Delaware’s finest saved his best performance for the biggest game of the year. What he showed in the national championship is that he’s a confident playmaker, shooter, and shot-maker with the athleticism needed to help on both ends of the floor. Certainly worthy of a late first round pick for a 76ers team with a system that enables players with his skill set.
  27. Celtics – Chandler Hutchison: Brad Stevens could mold Hutchison into a serious scoring machine in the NBA. The Celtics seem to put everyone in better scoring positions, and Chandler’s scoring talent with heightened efficiency is a juicy proposition.
  28. Warriors – De’Anthony Melton: Very raw on the offensive end, but a great athlete with elite defensive potential. The Warriors have done pretty well selecting those types of players in the last couple of drafts.
  29. Nets – Hamidou Diallo: Diallo seemed like a potential lottery pick last year and now may even drop into the second round. The Nets are in position to again invest in talent at low price. Buy low sell high, right?
  30. Hawks – Jarred Vanderbilt: A longer DeAndre Bembry? Jarred is a very intriguing prospect that should sneak into the first round if he stays in the draft.

Second Round

  1. Suns – Jalen Brunson 
  2. Grizzlies – Devonte’ Graham
  3. Hawks – Shake Milton
  4. Mavericks – Moritz Wagner
  5. Magic – Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
  6. Kings – Malik Newman
  7. Knicks – Grayson Allen
  8. 76ers – Goga Bitadze
  9. 76ers – Rodions Kurucs
  10. Nets – Isaac Bonga
  11. Magic – Gary Trent Jr.
  12. Pistons – Bruce Brown
  13. Nuggets – Melvin Frazier
  14. Wizards – Tyus Battle
  15. Nets – Tony Carr
  16. Rockets – Elie Okobo
  17. Lakers – Aaron Holiday
  18. Timberwolves – Chimezie Metu
  19. Spurs – Jalen Hudson
  20. Pacers – Jevon Carter
  21. Pelicans – Kevin Hervey
  22. Jazz – Shamorie Ponds
  23. Thunder – Landry Shamet
  24. Mavericks – Josh Okogie
  25. Hornets – Trevon Duval
  26. 76ers – Arnoldas Kulboka
  27. Thunder – Ray Spalding
  28. Nuggets – Nickeil Alexander-Walker
  29. Suns – Justin Jackson
  30. 76ers – Kostja Mushidi
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