2018 NBA Mock Draft

 

With the draft less than a month away, here is my first mock draft after the college underclass deadline passed.

Click on player name to view their scouting report. The list of the top 100 prospects can be found here.

Pick Team: Name: Position: Year: College/Country: Height: Weight:
1 Phoenix Suns DeAndre Ayton C FR Arizona 7’1 250
Ayton could be a centerpiece on the inside for a Phoenix team that lacks a legitimate post presence. The 7-1 center would create a dangerous inside-out combo with Devin Booker. The Suns will likely view the upside and positional fit of Ayton as a little more valuable than versatile Slovenian guard Luka Doncic.
2 Sacramento Kings Luka Doncic SG 1999 Slovenia 6’8 220
Sacramento is still looking for an identity. Doncic will give them the creativity on the perimeter to make life easier for their young core. I like the idea of Doncic and De’Aaron Fox sharing ball-handling duties and playing off of each other. If the Kings are looking for a face of their franchise, it would make sense to build around the supremely gifted guard.
3 Atlanta Hawks Marvin Bagley PF FR Duke 6’11 225
Bagley is going to tear up the league with his energy and athleticism. John Collins and Bagley would form one of the most exciting, young frontcourts in the NBA. Neither are great defenders so I would expect the Hawks to look long and hard at Jaren Jackson with this pick.
4 Memphis Grizzlies Jaren Jackson PF FR Michigan State 6’11 236
The fall of Memphis has been quick. Jackson’s defensive activity will fit in with the rugged style of play that the Grizzlies want to reinvent. Receiving mentoring from Marc Gasol should help accelerate his growth as an offensive weapon.
5 Dallas Mavericks Mo Bamba C FR Texas 7’1 225
Dirk isn’t getting any younger and Dallas already has one of the worst groups of bigs in the league. Bamba would be a refreshing addition as an agile rim-protector that has upside as a two-way threat with his perimeter shot.
6 Orlando Magic Collin Sexton PG FR Alabama 6’1 183
I fully expect the Magic to trade down here. But when they do pick, the point guard position should be at the top of the wish list. It comes down to Sexton and Trae Young. The makeup of their team is more athletic guys with two-way potential. Sexton fits that bill as an aggressive ball-handler that can guard.
7 Chicago Bulls Michael Porter SF FR Missouri 6’11 211
If healthy, Porter would be a steal at 7. Chicago has a glaring hole at the small forward position and Porter is the best one in the draft. He would instantly provide offensive firepower and positional versatility to a rebuilding unit.
8 Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) Trae Young PG FR Oklahoma 6’2 170
This pick will be one of the key pieces to entice LeBron to stay in Cleveland. Either trade it or pick someone who can contribute right away. Young is the type of weapon that the Cavs need. His shooting and passing would give LeBron a chance to conserve some energy on the offensive end.
9 New York Knicks Wendell Carter Jr. PF/C FR Duke 6’10 250
Enes Kanter will likely test his value in free agency. Carter could fill a similar role as a physical big that can score in the paint and pass well. Duke’s second big will have a long career playing significant minutes.
10 Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) Mikal Bridges SG/SF JR Villanova 6’7 210
Bridges is drawing enough interest to get picked higher. But if he slides, Philly could keep the Villanova product local. His defensive capabilities and spot-up shooting would blend in seamlessly on the wing.
11 Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges SF SO Michigan State 6’7 220
New coach James Borrego is looking to play fast. Bridges, a plus athlete and excellent transition player, should be able to aid in that goal. He also knows how to play within an offense, an important trait for a team that will run a motion offense.
12 Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) Robert Williams PF/C SO Texas A&M 6’9 240
Williams is a smart pick to hedge against DeAndre Jordan leaving in free agency. He brings a similar style of play built around energy and superb athleticism.
13 Los Angeles Clippers Kevin Knox SF FR Kentucky 6’9 205
Considering the suspect durability of Danilo Gallinari and lack of depth at the small forward position, Knox would be a player for Doc Rivers to develop. After playing out of position at Kentucky, his scoring ability should show up better with more spacing.
14 Denver Nuggets Shai Gilgeous-Alexander PG FR Kentucky 6’6 180
Denver could lose both of their second unit guards. Gilgeous-Alexander can play both of those spots due to his size and length. Defensively he will be an asset from day one.
15 Washington Wizards Gary Trent SG FR Duke 6’6 204
Trent is ready to space the floor with his shooting ability and is a smart player who knows his strengths. Jodie Meeks is suspended for the first 25 games next year so Washington will target a wing in free agency. Trent would be a cheaper, capable contributor.
16 Phoenix Suns (via Heat) Lonnie Walker SG FR Miami 6’5 196
Walker is a good scorer that projects as a spark plug off the bench with the potential to be a solid starter. Phoenix could use a shot-maker that could develop as a defensive asset with his athleticism.
17 Milwaukee Bucks Keita Bates-Diop SF/PF JR Ohio State 6’9 223
Mike Budonholzer will probably look for players that can contribute early. The Bucks have consistently pursued long, versatile defenders. Bates-Diop checks both of those boxes and is also experienced enough to step into a rotation role.
18 San Antonio Spurs Kevin Huerter SG SO Maryland 6’7 194
The Spurs were one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA last year. Maryland’s Huerter is not only the best spot-up shooter in the class, but he has the passing and IQ needed to thrive in San Antonio.
19 Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves) Bruce Brown SG SO Miami 6’5 195
Atlanta has a lot of areas for improvement, with defense being near the top of the list. Brown guards with toughness and his passing will fit well into a second unit.
20 Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder) Dzanan Musa SF 1999 Bosnia 6’9 187
Musa can be instant offense off the bench. The Timberwolves will have a new-look bench after the likely departures this year.
21 Utah Jazz Zhaire Smith SG FR Texas Tech 6’4 198
Smith is an athletically gifted player with great upside. The NBA’s best defense could add another stopper.
22 Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans) Chandler Hutchison SG/SF SR Boise State 6’7 200
There are rumors that the Bulls have promised to pick the all-around wing. Hutchison would give more depth to Chicago’s weakest position.
23 Indian Pacers Troy Brown Jr. SF FR Oregon 6’7 208
Indiana looks to continue to build in the right direction. Brown is a solid point forward that should be able to add flexibility to lineups.
24 Portland Trail Blazers Chimezie Metu PF/C JR USC 6’10 220
Portland needs more help on the interior. Enter Metu, an agile big with stretch-four abilities.
25 Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavaliers) Mitchell Robinson C FR N/A 7’1 225
Magic Johnson is certain they will lure a superstar free agent to LA. But none of them will be centers. Robinson is big and explosive. With the right coaching, he will be able to protect the basket and finish around the rim.
26 Philadelphia 76ers Anfernee Simons SG/PG HS IMG Academy 6’3 183
With a second first-rounder, the Sixers have the luxury to take a long-term project like Simons. It will take time to adjust to the physicality, but he has the complete offensive package for a combo guard. Three or four years down the line, he could be viewed as one of the best guards in this draft.
27 Boston Celtics Khyri Thomas SG JR Creighton 6’4 200
Thomas would make the potential loss of Marcus Smart less painful. His defensive energy is in line with the rest of the young Boston core and his shooting is a plus.
28 Golden State Warriors Donte DiVincenzo SG SO Villanova 6’5 200
Divincenzo can heat up quickly from the perimeter and excels in an up-tempo game. With Golden State, he could play within himself and make his mark as a solid two-way player.
29 Brooklyn Nets Moritz Wagner PF/C JR Michigan 7’0 240
Brooklyn decided to go small for most of last season with few options in the post. Wagner is a better offensive threat than the other bigs on the Nets, providing shooting and scoring from the inside.
30 Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets) Jalen Brunson PG JR Villanova 6’2 198
Without a true backup point guard, Atlanta’s second unit can stall out. Brunson is a smart ball-handler that can also knock down threes at a high rate.
31 Phoenix Suns Raymond Spalding PF JR Louisville 6’10 215
Spalding could provide competition and depth for a Phoenix frontcourt that has been underwhelming the last few years.
32 Memphis Grizzlies Jacob Evans SG JR Cincinnati 6’6 200
In a largely unproven wing group, Evans could have value for his 3-and-D ability.
33 Atlanta Hawks Elie Okobo PG 1997 France 6’2 180
Dennis Schroder has expressed frustration with the organization. While Okobo isn’t a starting-caliber point guard right now, he has the experience, explosiveness, and feel to play meaningful minutes.
34 Dallas Mavericks Jerome Robinson PG/SG JR Boston College 6’5 188
Robinson is a strong score-first guard that would bring size to a miniature guard crop in Dallas.
35 Orlando Magic Grayson Allen SG SR Duke 6’5 198
On a team near the bottom of the league in three-point shooting, Allen has the outside touch to help the Magic improve in that area.
36 Sacramento Kings Rodions Kurucs SF 1998 Latvia 6’9 200
Kurucs possesses a lot of skill for a guy with his size and Vlade Divac is an unapologetic fan of European prospects.
37 New York Knicks (via Bulls) Aaron Holiday PG JR UCLA 6’1 187
New York is still trying to figure out their point guard spot, as Frank Ntilikina looks better as a secondary defensive minded ball-handler. Holiday can score and get his teammates involved.
38 Philadelphia 76ers (via Nets) Brandon McCoy C FR UNLV 7’0 250
Extra insurance for Joel Embiid never hurts. McCoy is an under-the-radar center in this class.
39 Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks) Omari Spellman PF/C FR Villanova 6’9 253
I would really be shocked to see Philly keep all these picks. Spellman’s combination of shooting and strength will make him a hot commodity at this part of the draft.
40 Brooklyn Nets (via Lakers) Hamidou Diallo SG FR Kentucky 6’6 197
After a slow year at Kentucky, Diallo proved to be more of an athlete than a polished prospect. Brooklyn has the roster makeup that could provide in-game growth opportunities for a player that has an abundance of physical gifts.
41 Orlando Magic (via Hornets) Goga Bitadze C 1999 Georgia 6’11 250
Bitadze is the best foreign big in the draft. Orlando could do a draft-and-stash here.
42 Detroit Pistons Trevon Duval PG FR Duke 6’3 191
Detroit gave up their first-rounder in the Blake Griffin deal. With this pick, Duval has upside as a playmaker who can get to the basket at will.
43 Denver Nuggets (via Clippers) Melvin Frazier SG JR Tulane 6’6 198
Frazier could go higher because he has the look of a good rotation player. Denver wouldn’t be risking much picking the Tulane product at this point.
44 Washington Wizards De’Anthony Melton PG/SG SO USC 6’3 193
This would just be a case of Washington taking the best player available with Melton, the swiss-army knife who missed last season at USC as a trickled down of the FBI investigations.
45 Brooklyn Nets (via Bucks) Josh Okogie SG SO Georgia Tech 6’4 215
Okogie will find his way on a roster with his competitive nature. Brooklyn had one of the softest defenses a year ago, so having a tough guard like Okogie wouldn’t hurt.
46 Houston Rockets (via Heat) Kevin Hervey SF SR UT Arlington 6’8 211
Hervey can defend multiple spots and is capable of making threes to space the floor for Chris Paul and James Harden.
47 Los Angeles Lakers (via Nuggets) Shake Milton PG/SG JR SMU 6’6 207
The Lakers second unit guard-play will be a big question, especially if Isaiah Thomas leaves. Milton can shoot it well and play the one or two.
48 Minnesota Timberwolves Yante Maten PF SR Georgia 6’9 245
It would be hard to see Maten not attracting attention from a coach like Tom Thibedeau. The maturity of his game will make the transition to the professional level smoother.
49 San Antonio Spurs Alize Johnson PF SR Missouri State 6’8 216
The point forward style of play is one that the Spurs value. Johnson has rough edges that San Antonio can smooth out.
50 Indiana Pacers DeVonte’ Graham PG SR Kansas 6’2 186
Graham’s toughness will serve him well, especially on a competitor like Indiana.
51 New Orleans Pelicans Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG/SF SR Kansas 6’8 211
The Pelicans desperately needed a wing shooter in the playoffs. Mykhailiuk is more than comfortable in that role.
52 Utah Jazz Bonzie Colson PF SR Notre Dame 6’5 220
Utah doesn’t shy away from undersized fours if they can play. Colson is undersized but skilled enough offensively to fight for a roster spot.
53 Oklahoma City Thunder Joel Berry PG SR North Carolina 6’0 195
Berry could step in and compete to be the backup PG in OKC.
54 Dallas Mavericks (via Trail Blazers) Vanja Marinkovic SG 1997 Serbia 6’7 197
Marinkovic could be a decent get late in the second round for the Mavs due to his size and shooting.
55 Charlotte Hornets (via Cavaliers) Landry Shamet PG SO Wichita State 6’5 188
The Hornets could look to see if Shamet could be a third-string/fringe second-string point guard for them next year.
56 Philadelphia 76ers Tryggvi Hlinason C 1997 Iceland 7’1 250
Hlinason may have the most upside of any international big man. Still fairly raw, the Sixers could wait to see how he develops over the next few years.
57 Oklahoma City Thunder (via Celtics) Theo Pinson SF SR North Carolina 6’7 211
If Paul George leaves, the wings for the Thunder will be average at best. Pinson may not be a star, but he will be able to guard stars.
58 Denver Nuggets (via Warriors) Tony Carr PG SO Penn State 6’5 198
Denver was great shooting from deep last year, and Carr is a good long-range marksman in his own right.
59 Phoenix Suns (via Raptors) Rawle Alkins SG/SF SO Arizona 6’4 217
I’m sure the Suns have ample information on his skills. Alkins would stay in Arizona here.
60 Philadelphia 76ers  (via Rockets) Malik Newman PG/SG SO Kansas 6’3 189
Newman has some of the best shooting range in the draft.
……………………………….

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