The 2018 NBA Draft was an interesting one. There were many surprises, with some players being a draft “steal” and surpassing expectations, while others were “busts” and have failed to live up to expectations so far. In redrafting the 2018 NBA Draft lottery, it’s clear that some players weren’t drafted in the proper spots.
The Redrafted 2018 NBA Draft Lottery
14th Pick – Josh Okogie
Josh Okogie was originally drafted 20th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now jumping up to 14, Okogie has proven that he can be a great defender for any team. He gained recognition for his defensive prowess during the 2018-19 season when he blocked James Harden’s step-back. Okogie may not be amazing on the stat sheet, but he provides a great defense that every team wants.
Okogie hasn’t been that great on the offensive end, which is why he is at the bottom of this list. He has shot an abysmal 27 percent from three in his two seasons so far and averaged only 7.8 points. Thankfully, he doesn’t need an offensive game as Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns take over that end.
13th Pick – Kevin Huerter
Kevin Huerter was selected with the 19th pick by the Atlanta Hawks. Huerter came into the 2018 NBA draft expecting to be a good shooter. So far, Huerter has done just that. So far, Huerter has shot 38 percent from three and scored 9.6 points per game for his career. He hasn’t been anything special, but he has had his moments, such as when he scored 29 points against the Philadelphia 76ers.
12th Pick – Devonte’ Graham
Devonte’ Graham was selected with the 34th pick and then traded to the Charlotte Hornets. Graham had a lackluster start to his career, only scoring 4.7 points per game on 34 percent shooting. However, with the loss of Kemba Walker, Graham earned a spot in the rotation, and only 18 games in, Graham has averaged 18.1 points per game, seven assists per game, and 3 rebounds per game.
11th Pick – Landry Shamet
Landry Shamet has was selected with the 26th pick by the 76ers. So far, Shamet has proven to be one of the best shooters in his entire draft class. Shamet has shot an astounding 41 percent from three and has scored 9.1 points per game for his career. Teams have recognized Shamet’s ability to score, as he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in the trade that sent Tobias Harris to Philadelphia. Shamet still needs to work on other parts of his game, but at the moment he’s doing just fine.
10th Pick – Mitchell Robinson
Mitchell Robinson was selected with the 36th pick by the New York Knicks. Robinson wasn’t expected to do much in his rookie season, but once he started playing he showed why he was one of the best rookies in his draft class. Robinson has been a defensive beast so far in his career. At the end of the 2018-19 season, Robinson was second in the league in blocks per game with 2.4. He has already shown that he’s one of the best defenders in the league, now if Robinson can develop a good offensive game, he can be a real threat to any team.
9th Pick – Miles Bridges
Miles Bridges was drafted 12th overall by the Charlotte Hornets. So far Bridges has improved greatly from last season, going from 7.5 points per game to 12.6 points per game. he has shown that he is a very athletic forward who can give you a poster dunk on any given night. Offensively, he’s great. He can shoot the three and mid-range decently, and he’s great inside the paint. His only weakness so far has been his defense. Thankfully, the defense can be improved easily if he dedicates time to it.
8th Pick – Wendell Carter Jr.
Wendell Carter Jr. was selected 7th overall by the Chicago Bulls. Carter has been great in his career so far. He has been exactly what the bulls have needed, providing great rebounding and defense, while also being a threat to score in the post at any moment. He is only improving on the offensive end, although at the moment, he doesn’t need to do much more. Carter is currently averaging 12.8 points, 0.9 blocks, and 9.8 rebounds per game.
7th Pick – Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton was selected 8th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Early in his career, Sexton had a lot of expectations: Kevin Love was hurt, LeBron James had left, and coach Tyronn Lue was fired six games into the season. Sexton has lived up to expectations so far, averaging 17.8 points per game in his sophomore season. Sadly, his defense from college hasn’t translated to the NBA, but we have seen the effort, now all we need are the results.
6th Pick – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was selected 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets and was then traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. During his time with the Clippers, he was vital to the team’s playoff run. He provided the defense that was needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. Gilgeous-Alexander was also a big reason why the Clippers managed to win two games against the Golden State Warriors as the eighth seed.
Gilgeous-Alexander was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a deal that brought Paul George to the Clippers. So far in his short time in OKC, he has been amazing. He has increased his scoring from 10.8 points per game to 19.3 points per game while keeping the same level of defense. If he keeps this up, he could move up even higher on this list.
5th Pick – Marvin Bagley III
Marvin Bagley III was drafted second overall by the Sacramento Kings. Bagley had high expectations coming into the NBA draft, and so far he has met them. His ability to get inside the paint has been a key part of his offense, and his rebounding and defense don’t hurt either. Bagley is currently averaging a double-double with 14 points per game, and 10 rebounds per game. Just like a lot of other bigs in this draft, Bagley doesn’t have much of a three-point shot, but over time it wouldn’t be surprising if he develops one.
4th Pick – Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr. was selected fourth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. Jaren Jackson Jr. has been a great pick for the Grizzlies. He has provided good defense while being one of the top scorers for the team. After sharing the court with Marc Gasol for half a season, it’s obvious that Jackson learned a few things from him. Jackson is already one of the best rookies in his draft class, yet he also has the potential to be even better. If Jackson can become more consistent, and become an even better shooter, we could see him become one of the best at his position.
3rd Pick – Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton was selected 1st overall by the Phoenix Suns. Although there were a few doubts, Ayton was who most thought would be picked first. It’s not that Ayton had a bad rookie season, it’s just that other rookies performed better. So far, his inside scoring has been amazing, and he’s a threat to throw it down any time he gets close to the basket. His main problems are his shooting and his defense. Having some sort of jump shot could help Ayton, but the fact that he is scoring without one is a testament to how good he is in the paint.
2nd Pick – Trae Young
Trae Young was selected fifth overall by the Dallas Mavericks and then traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Luka Dončić. Young was compared to Stephen Curry, and in the beginning, it seemed like that was a long shot.
Once the second season started, he managed to find his shot and became a serious candidate to win Rookie of the Year. He is an amazing shooter and has the potential to be one of the best in the league in a few years, but his defense could still be improved upon. Young is currently averaging 26.6 points per game, 8.7 assists per game, and 1.5 assists per game.
1st Pick – Luka Dončić
Luka Dončić has was selected third overall by the Atlanta Hawks, and then traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young. Dončić has had a historic start to his career, putting up numbers that haven’t been seen since LeBron James. He has one of the best all-around games in the NBA and is already one of the best players.
Dončić had a strong rookie season that earned him Rookie of the Year and has somehow improved even more this year. He is currently averaging 30.1 points per game, 9.5 assists per game, and 10 rebounds per game.
Dončić has quite a lot of strengths this early on in his career. His main weakness is his defense, but we are already seeing improvements on that end. He will have a lot of expectations as the Mavericks’ best player, and we can only hope he meets them. In a tough 2018 NBA draft class, he is the best.
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