Welcome to the Last Word on Pro Basketball 2018 NBA mock draft. The 2018 NBA Draft will take place on June 21st from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
2018 NBA Mock Draft
1. Phoenix Suns – Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton is the perfect combination of size and skill. He’s a physical freak and already has the strength to hang with other big men in the NBA. Ayton is a generational talent, and a potential centerpiece for the Phoenix Suns. Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough said Ayton had a “phenomenal” workout. It would be a surprise to see the Suns go in a different direction.
2. Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley III
The reigning ACC player of the year is the pick here. Marvin Bagley III makes for a tremendous small ball center or power forward at a position in need for the Kings. Bagley would pair up with perimeter players such as De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Buddy Hield to form a young hopeful core in Sacramento.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is a versatile player who can play as a guard or a wing at an elite level. He is one of the most polished players in this draft, he also has the ability to handle the ball while also stretching the floor. Coming off a EuroLeague MVP, Doncic has already succeeded in the second most difficult league in the world at just 19 years old.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is amongst the top defenders in this year’s draft, while also shooting just under 40% from behind the arc. Listed at 6’11”, Jackson Jr.’s perimeter shooting is certainly an asset to NBA teams. Especially for the Grizzlies who finished 24th in made three-pointers last season.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Mohamed Bamba
Mo Bamba is an elite defender and rebounder, with a 7’9″ wingspan, he has the ability to block shots and rebound at all-star levels. Bamba has an incredibly high ceiling and has the chance to become an elite scorer as well.
6. Orlando Magic – Trae Young
Trae Young has been compared to 2x MVP and reigning NBA Champion Steph Curry. Both have a very similar play style demeanour on the court. Trae Young is often looked at as a boom or bust player, but with the skills, he possesses he should be coveted by whichever team drafts him. After leading the NCAA in points and assists per game, Young is a very intriguing prospect for many different NBA teams.
7. Chicago Bulls – Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter Jr. was once considered to be the #1 selection in this year’s draft before a severe injury that cut his college career short. This means the Bulls could be getting a great value pick here at #7. He has great athleticism and can also play at both forward spots.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Wendell Carter Jr.
As a versatile big man on offence, Wendell Carter Jr. will help spread the floor whether or not Lebron James decides to stay in Cleveland. Wendell Carter Jr. is a physical player with the tools allowing him to finish through contact while also being a productive rebounder. Although he did have limited attempts, Carter Jr. shot 41% from three-point range last season.
9. New York Knicks – Collin Sexton
Although the Knicks were impressed with Trae Young during his New York workout, he will not be available at #9. Collin Sexton is the next best available point guard on the board, and with his dynamic play and leadership skills he should fit in well in New York. Sexton will also be a good pick-and-roll partner with Kristaps Porzingis for the foreseeable future.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Mikal Bridges
Mikal Bridges is one of the older players to be selected in this year’s lottery but he still has more upside to develop in the NBA. He is a solid plug-and-play candidate that should be able to help the 76ers compete for a championship immediately.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Miles Bridges
Miles Bridges is a very similar prospect to 10th overall pick Mikal Bridges, both are listed at 6’7″ and could easily have their draft positions swapped. Miles Bridges is an explosive athlete who can compete with other big men down low while also being able to knock down a consistent three-pointer.
12. Los Angeles Clippers – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a solid prospect all-around. His length, passing, and defense give him an advantage over other point guards in the draft but his offense can be questionable at times. Gilgeous-Alexander and the 13th overall pick will be nice additions for the Clippers to eventually begin a rebuild with.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Robert Williams
Robert Williams has great potential, his speed, size, and athleticism will allow him to be a force in the paint for years to come in the NBA. With Deandre Jordan’s future in question, Williams will be the most able candidate to fulfill his role when he leaves.
14. Denver Nuggets – Kevin Knox
The All-SEC Freshman Team selection demonstrated his ability to be a perimeter threat at the next level. Kevin Knox has a solid frame at 6’9″ and is rather physical towards others of his position. He is also a very reliable selection at #14, he started all 37 games at Kentucky last year while leading them in points per game and rebounds per game.
15. Washington Wizards – Lonnie Walker IV
Lonnie Walker IV is a raw prospect on the offensive end, leaving something to be desired at the three-point line. There is reason to be worried after he shot just under 35% from behind the arc in his only season at Miami. Most of his upside is on defense where he is a versatile defender due to his size and physicality.
16. Phoenix Suns – Zhaire Smith
Zhaire Smith is a very talented athlete who can consistently post highlight plays in transition. Smith was a very efficient shooter in college, but didn’t take enough attempts to become a consistent factor in every game. If Smith became more of a volume shooter, he could form a deadly backcourt with Devin Booker.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Troy Brown
Troy Brown seems to have been forgotten about throughout the draft process and his stock has suffered slightly. He’s still a versatile defender who can defend multiple positions in the NBA. Brown only shot 29% from three-point range in his lone season at Oregon, if he can improve upon this number it would help the Bucks tremendously come playoff time.
18. San Antonio Spurs – Khyri Thomas
With Kawhi Leonard‘s future in San Antonio in question, Khyri Thomas would make for the perfect substitute. Both players are two-time defensive players of the year, Leonard in the NBA, and Thomas in the Big East. They both had very similar careers in college, and both of their skill sets should translate well in the NBA.
19. Atlanta Hawks – Josh Okogie
Another solid defender comes off the board here, with Josh Okogie being one of the best of all in this draft. The Hawks are far from contention, and at worst Okogie will be able to help the Hawks sure up the defensive end of the ball while the #3 overall pick helps to provide more of a spark on offense to this young team.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anfernee Simons
Point guard is the most needed position on this Timberwolves team. Tyus Jones has shown clear flaws that have costed Minnesota. Anfernee Simons has lots of potential and will be able to grow and develop around Minnesota’s core. He is a good scorer, and somebody who will be able to help in quick bursts through a game.
21. Utah Jazz – Keita Bates-Diop
Entering the draft after his junior year at Ohio State University, there are questions about Keita Bates-Diop‘s ability to improve in the NBA. Bates-Diop’s speed and mobility at 6’8″ make him a valuable perimeter defender to teams, and his slashing abilities are what awarded him the Big Ten Player of the Year when he averaged just under 20 points per game at OSU.
22. Chicago Bulls – Chandler Hutchison
After 4 solid years at Boise State University, Chandler Hutchison has proved to be consistent 20 point scorer and capable shooter. Hutchison is old compared to other players in this draft, but that maturity would bring a lot to this Bulls roster in the midst of a rebuild.
23. Indiana Pacers – Donte DiVincenzo
Donte DiVincenzo burst onto the NBA Draft scene after taking over the NCAA championship game, ever since then his stock has continued to rise. His three-point shooting ability along with his determination on defense will provide a spark on both ends of the floor to whatever team selects him.
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Kevin Huerter
Kevin Huerter is known for his knockdown shooting, his presence on the perimeter could take some of the focus off of Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum. He showed improvement after his freshman season at Maryland, he increased his overall FG % by 8% and his three-point % increased by 5%. Huerter complements the Trail Blazers’ stars perfectly and fills a position of need for Portland.
25. Los Angeles Lakers – De’Anthony Melton
De’Anthony Melton is a good finisher at the rim, that is where he scores most of his points. He didn’t shoot a great percentage from deep in his only year at USC which is one of his downfalls. However, Melton is still a great playmaker with good vision and passing ability. He will make for a solid NBA post guard that should work well with the Lakers’ young team.
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Jacob Evans
Jacob Evans established himself as a reliable scorer over his 3 years at Cincinnati. His efficiency could have certainly been better, but his defense makes up for it. Evans is a gritty player and should help the 76ers to become one of the best defensive teams in basketball.
27. Boston Celtics – Mitchell Robinson
Mitchell Robinson is a very undeveloped prospect, his best skills still need to be tuned up in order for him to be successful in the NBA. That being said, Robinson has potential to become the best value pick in this year’s draft. Robinson’s upside is clear, despite him not playing college basketball last season.
28. Golden State Warriors – Elie Okobo
After three seasons in france, Elie Okobo has performed well against good competition. Still just 20 years old, Okobo has a lot of fine-tuning to do but thankfully he’ll have plenty of time to develop on this Warriors team.
29. Brooklyn Nets – Trevon Duval
Trevon Duval has shown his ability to be a playmaker in college, averaging just under 6 assists per game in one year at Duke. His field goal percentages aren’t to par but, he’ll be able to improve those numbers over the years.
30. Atlanta Hawks – Aaron Holiday
Aaron Holiday is a very similar player to Dennis Schroder, Schroder may or may not be in Atlanta for the long haul but it won’t matter. Holiday works well at either guard position and could help the Hawks improve whether Schroder is present or not.