2018 NBA Mock Draft – v 4.0

The draft order is set, so expect the internet to be flooded with updated mock drafts starting…..NOW!

This mock only includes players who have officially declared. Not guys who are simply testing the waters.

  1. Phoenix Suns – C DeAndre Ayton, Arizona. Mohamed Bamba might be the best fit as a defensive minded anchor in the middle, but Phoenix simply cannot pass up on DeAndre Ayton. The offensive potential is just too good. He is the complete package as a scorer and a rebounder, though his defense does need work. Phoenix has missed on quite a few big men, and Ayton is as close to a no brainer as it gets.
  2. Sacramento Kings – PF/C Marvin Bagley III, Duke. I liken Bagley to LaMarcus Aldridge. He is not the best athlete, and will not win any defensive player of the year awards, but he should be an extremely consistent scorer and rebounder. The Kings could go all types of directions, but front court scoring is desperately needed.
  3. Atlanta Hawks – SG/SF Luka Doncic, Slovenia. A big man like Jaren Jackson or Mohamed Bamba would make the most sense, but Atlanta has a chance to land a great player with huge marketing potential; something a struggling fan base has not had since Dominique Wilkins. Doncic is a terror with the ball in his hands, though not a top notch athlete. He is a player the rebuilding Hawks can plan around.
  4. Memphis Grizzlies – PF/C Mohamed Bamba, Texas. Fortunately for the Grizzlies, this is a very deep draft, so “falling” to fourth overall will not hurt them too much. There is still franchise talent available. No one knows what the new ownership is going to do about the high paid core, but best player available should be the mantra here. Mohamed Bamba’s defense is All First Team worthy, and he has already developed a nice scoring game with range out to the three point line.
  5. Dallas Mavericks – PF/C Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State. Jaren Jackson Jr. is the biggest project out of the top big men, but he may wind up being the best. He has everything you look for in a new age center; size, strength, shooting touch, shot blocking and rebounding. He will be a great anchor for a Mavericks team that is very close to life without the best player in franchise history.
  6. Orlando Magic – PG Trae Young, Oklahoma. A team as bad as Orlando probably should not draft for need, but Trae Young is the perfect fit for a variety of reasons. He offers much needed scoring punch, has the attitude and NBA game to be a fan favorite, something the Magic have lacked since before Dwight Howard (fans did not like him).
  7. Chicago Bulls – PF/C Wendell Carter Jr., Duke. Marvin Bagley garnished all of the headlines, but Wendell Carter Jr. had a fantastic freshman season as well. Built like an old school center, he offers surprising versatility and should be a very good current generation starting center. Pair him with Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis, and the Bulls have an envious front court rotation.
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Nets) – SF/PF Michael Porter Jr., Missouri. If Porter did not suffer a serious injury, he would be in consideration for the first overall pick. It is an injury he should bounce back from, and he offers nice combo forward potential as a ball handling big man who can create his own offense. Of course, all eyes in Cleveland are not on this pick, but what LeBron James is going to do.
  9. New York Knicks – SG/SF Mikal Bridges, Villanova. The only player in the top ten who may never play in an All Star game, Bridges just might be the safest bet to have a long NBA career. He is the ultimate 3 and D wing in this class, and the Knicks could use shooter, defender with experience and a winning college pedigree.
  10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers) – SF/PF Miles Bridges, Michigan State. This pick is a bit of a luxury selection, since the core is set, but Miles Bridges would be a great backup forward who does not need the ball in his hands to impact the game. He is a good defender and rebounder, and can provide hustle points.
  11. Charlotte Hornets – PG Collin Sexton, Alabama. The Hornets are the most likely lottery team to blow things up, as the core has tapped out it’s potential. Kemba Walker is the only player on the roster likely to bring back a strong return, and Collin Sexton has a bit of a similar game as Walker. He has a chance to be a 20 point per game scorer.
  12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Pistons) – PF/C Robert Williams, Texas A&M. The Clippers traded Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan is likely to move on. Williams is a bit of a rich man’s Texas A&M era Jordan coming, out of the same college as DeAndre a decade later. His defense and rebounding is NBA ready, and he is strong enough to hold down the paint defensively.
  13. Los Angeles Clippers – SG Lonnie Walker IV, Miami. I am just going with the best player available here as well. I think Walker could have been a top five pick had he returned to Miami, but shooting is king, and few in this draft are as good as Walker, so he could still break into the late lottery.
  14. Denver Nuggets – PG/SG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky. The lowest recruited of Kentucky’s prized freshman, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is probably the best prospect. Denver will have point guard minutes available, and throwing both Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray on the court is enough to give opposing back courts headaches.
  15. Washington Wizards – SF Kevin Knox, Kentucky. The Wizards desperately need a young big man to develop but there are none available at this pick. Kevin Knox could learn from Otto Porter how to be a lanky, three point shooting and defending wing.
  16. Phoenix Suns (from Heat) – PG/SG Jalen Brunson, Villanova. I have always been a bigger Jalen Brunson fan than most. Sure, he is not the most athletic, and players his size tend to struggle if they are not the quickest player on the court, but I cannot ignore the quality of his scoring production. He should make a very fine backup combo guard in Phoenix, someone who can come in and score in a pinch.
  17. Milwaukee Bucks – PG/SG Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech. The Bucks are not afraid to take chances in the draft, and Zhaire Smith is the type of project who could pay big dividends. He is stuck in a combo role developmentally right now, but could emerge as a Zach LaVine like shooting guard down the line.
  18. San Antonio Spurs – SF Dzanan Musa, Bosnia. This is the highest the Spurs have picked in about two decades (not counting the Kawhi Leonard trade), but I expect their philosophy to remain the same. Drafting rookies for their long term potential. Dzanan Musa is not ready to come to the NBA yet, but when he does arrive, he could be one of the better shooters in the league.
  19. Atlanta Hawks (from Timberwolves) – C Mitchell Robinson, United States. Mitchell Robinson is a pretty big unknown as this point, but he was a top ten recruit who is a very skilled offensive big man, and the Hawks will have three first round picks, making this a very worthy gamble.
  20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Thunder) – PG/SG Bruce Brown, Miami. Whoever the Timberwolves draft will be the least productive first round rookie. My condolences, Bruce Brown. Brown’s shot is broken, keeping him out of the lottery, but he is an aggressive scorer who has a bit of Tony Allen in him defensively.
  21. Utah Jazz – SG/SF Gary Trent Jr., Duke. Gary Trent Jr. is as unspectacular as they come. An average athlete, but whoever drafts him will most likely get a good three point shooter and solid defender who plays within himself and offers nice bench production.
  22. Chicago Bulls (from Pelicans) – SF/SF Troy Brown Jr., Oregon. I really do not know what to make of Troy Brown. Not quite the scorer scouts thought, though he was a much better defender and ball handler. He has garnered some very loose Steve Smith comparisons, and would be a nice Kyle Anderson-type for Chicago’s second unit.
  23. Indiana Pacers – PG Aaron Holiday, UCLA. Aaron Holiday reminds me so much of former Bruin Darren Collison, it almost makes too much sense that he will learn from him in Indiana. Holiday will likely be that point guard that bounces from team to team, can start in a pinch, and will be a top notch backup, at the least.
  24. Portland Trail Blazers – PG/SG Anfernee Simons, United States. Anfernee Simons is the ultimate project, but he makes sense at this point in the draft. The Trail Blazers are obviously going as far as their superstar back court takes them, but Simons could eventually work his way into the top backup role behind those two.
  25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cavaliers) – PG/SG Landry Shamet, Wichita State. Landry Shamet will likely cap out as a high quality backup, but he would make the perfect backup point guard to Lonzo Ball. He is heady, takes good care of the ball and can score in a punch.
  26. Philadelphia 76ers – PG Elie Okobo, France. The 76ers hope to be players in free agency, and might not want to add two more rookies to a full roster. Elie Okobo is a very nice draft and stash prospect who could become a Lou Williams like bench scorer if he pans out.
  27. Boston Celtics – SG/SF Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas. Brad Stevens is the best in the NBA at developing rookies, and I believe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has a nice NBA future. Even as a senior, he is only 20 years old, and he really stepped up as a senior. He has great length and can score in a variety of ways.
  28. Golden State Warriors – SF/PF Kenta Bates-Diop, Ohio State. Kenta Bates-Diop flashed strong potential his first two seasons, and finally put it together as a junior. He is tough and has a bit of Matt Barnes to him. The Warriors roster will always be top heavy, so it is important to find productive players at the end of the first round.
  29. Brooklyn Nets (from Raptors) – PF/C Moritz Wagner, Michigan. Best player available here for the Nets. Moritz Wagner has the chance to be a decent scorer off the bench. The most important thing for Nets fans? The nightmarish Celtics trade will finally come to an end this year.
  30. Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets) – SG Grayson Allen, Duke. The Hawks need players, so they should just go best prospect available. Grayson Allen is what he is at this point. A good shooter, great athlete and slight head case. If he can put it all together, he has the skills to be a starting shooting guard.

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