Immediate Lottery Reaction: 2018 NBA Mock Draft (1.4)

The Lottery went down last night, with Elton Brand sitting uncomfortably at the same table next to Celtics’ Team President Rich Gotham, as both were hoping the Lakers’ first round pick from the Nash-Kobe-Howard ‘dynasty’ conveyed in the top three. No matter, it stuck at 10, so we didn’t get to see the two of them come to blows during the commercial break. Now that the drama is all over here is my immediate lottery reaction mock draft!

First Round
  1. Suns – Luka Doncic: Kokoskov hire paying off already. No doubt in my mind they go with the Slovenian wunderkind.
  2. Kings – Deandre Ayton: The Kings have made some surprising selections in the lottery in past seasons, which is why I expect them to play it safe with the talented scorer in Ayton.
  3. Hawks – Jaren Jackson Jr: Imagine the athleticism and defensive potential of a Prince-Collins-Jackson frontcourt?
  4. Grizzlies – Marvin Bagley: This seems like a spot the Grizzlies may try to trade down from. Bagley is probably the pick if they stick with Conley and Gasol. If they trade Gasol, they can draft Bamba, and if they trade Conley, they can draft Young.
  5. Mavericks – Mohammed Bamba: Nerlens Noel didn’t work out and Dirk is going into his final season, leaving Bamba as the defensive anchor and the future of the franchise.
  6. Magic – Trae Young: The Magic dropped to six and will probably draft the same player they would have drafted at five.
  7. Bulls – Michael Porter Jr.: Porter may take some time to regain full health from his serious back surgery. The Bulls can be patient with his development because his offensive potential and positional fit is ideal for their current roster (Dunn, LaVine and Markkanen).
  8. Cavaliers – Wendell Carter: I have a feeling that Kevin Love will be the fall guy if the Cavaliers fall short of title – and LeBron will leave town. Carter would be the obvious replacement.
  9. Knicks – Miles Bridges: The Knicks went with the defensive-minded point guard in Ntilikina last year, so I expect them to look for a safety valve of a scoring option behind Porzingis this year.
  10. 76ers – Mikal Bridges: Hometown kid drops into the 76ers laps.
  11. Hornets – Zhaire Smith: Possibly the biggest steal in the bottom of the lottery, youthful exuberance and abundant athleticism can be a home-run for Kupchak.
  12. Clippers – Collin Sexton: Clippers get two picks in a row and start by taking the highly-skilled and driven undersized scorer.
  13. Clippers – Kevin Knox: Knox already has an NBA body and looks like a safe selection to pair with Sexton.
  14. Nuggets – Robert Williams: With Faried stuck to the bench and likely gone soon, Williams provides athleticism and defensive potential to complement Jokic’s lack of both.
  15. Wizards – Mitchell Robinson: The Wizards are stuck in no-mans land, and need to take a shot on a high-upside player with the potential to be a difference-maker in the paint.
  16. Suns – Jontay Porter: The Suns can shoot for a savvy center with upside after adding Doncic to the core of Booker and Jackson.
  17. Bucks – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: The Bucks love to draft length and need to provide Giannis with a secondary ball-handler.
  18. Spurs – Dzanan Musa: If you don’t know who this kid is yet, don’t worry: the Spurs’ international scouts haven’t forgotten to do their homework on him.
  19. Hawks – Troy Brown: With Collins, Jackson, Prince, Schroder and Bazemore, expect the Hawks to invest in this young wing with length and play-making potential.
  20. Timberwolves – Jacob Evans: Expect Thibodeau to take a wing who can make an NBA rotation immediately thanks to his defensive acumen and perimeter shooting.
  21. Jazz – Lonnie Walker: Walker is a prospect some scouts are extremely high on, so this could be a steal at 21. The Jazz know something about first round steals.
  22. Bulls – Khyri Thomas: The Bulls will look for scoring and playmaking. Porter and Thomas are two of the best prospects in those respects.
  23. Pacers – Rawle Alkins: The Pacers gave LeBron and the Cavaliers a scare with their athleticism. Alkins adds some more ammunition to their coffer.
  24. Trail Blazers – Keita Bates-Diop: Keita is a viable replacement for fellow Buckeye Turner with his length and improved shooting.
  25. Lakers – Anfernee Simons: Simons is an unknown entity without any college experience, which makes him a tasty proposition for the Lakers this late in the first round.
  26. 76ers – Donte DiVincenzo: Showed in the national championship that he’s a confident playmaker with swagger for days. Can the 76ers draft the entire Wildcats roster?
  27. Celtics – Chandler Hutchison: Brad Stevens turns marbles into gold. Hutchison can develop into a serious scoring machine in his system.
  28. Warriors – Jarred Vanderbilt: Versatility is key for draft picks that try to find a role in the Warriors’ stacked rotation. Vanderbilt could replace Shaun Livingston.
  29. Nets – Hamidou Diallo: A potential lottery pick 12 months ago slipping to the 29th pick has all the signs of a Sean Marks reclamation project.
  30. Hawks – De’Anthony Melton: Melton is a project and one worth investing in for the Hawks, as they lack depth at PG.

Second Round

  1. Suns – Jalen Brunson 
  2. Grizzlies – Devonte’ Graham
  3. Hawks – Shake Milton
  4. Mavericks – Moritz Wagner
  5. Magic – Elie Okobo 
  6. Kings – Malik Newman
  7. Knicks – Grayson Allen
  8. 76ers – Goga Bitadze
  9. 76ers – Rodions Kurucs
  10. Nets – Isaac Bonga
  11. Magic – Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
  12. Pistons – Bruce Brown
  13. Nuggets – Melvin Frazier
  14. Wizards – Gary Clark
  15. Nets – Tony Carr
  16. Rockets – Gary Trent Jr.
  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 -Ray Spalding 
  25. Hornets – Kenrich Williams
  26. 76ers – Arnoldas Kulboka
  27. Thunder – Josh Okogie
  28. Nuggets – Nickeil Alexander-Walker
  29. Suns – Justin Jackson
  30. 76ers – Kostja Mushidi