NBA Mock Draft 2018

NBA Mock Draft 2018

Draft

NBA Mock Draft 2018

POINT GUARDS / SHOOTING GUARDS / SMALL FORWARDS / POWER FORWARDS / CENTERS

Center / 7-1 / Arizona / Freshman
20.1 ppg, 11.6 rpg

Phoenix ultimately opts for Ayton over Doncic because they can’t take the risk that Ayton realizes his unbelievable upside. The ties between Doncic and his former coach Igor Kokoskov being hired as the Suns new HC make this an interesting decision. And while Doncic appears destined to thrive in today’s NBA and make those around him better, the chance to land a guy that will likely challenge the likes of Joel Embiid for center supremacy over the next generation is too great to pass up. The value of a dominant center in today’s NBA isn’t what it once was, but it still holds significant value if they can spread the floor and contribute as a rim protector, as Ayton figures to.

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Comparison: David Robinson
Salary: $6,746,400*
Small Forward / 6-7 / Real Madrid / 1999
16.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg

The Kings need talent, but even more they need stability. Luka Doncic is a dream scenario for a struggling franchise.The lottery could not have worked out more perfectly for Sacramento moving up from the seventh spot to second. GM Vlade Divac has his franchise centerpiece to build around and the added ability to keep the Balkan pipeline in Sac-town rolling.

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Comparison: Toni Kukoc
Salary: $6,036,200*
Power Forward / 6-11 / Duke / Freshman
21.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg

Assuming that Ayton and Doncic go with the top two picks, this pick likely comes down to Bagley or Jaren Jackson. Bagley is exactly what the doctor ordered for Atlanta giving them a new face of the franchise, but also filling a team need following the exodus of Al Horford and Dwight Howard. Bagley is in play at 2 with the Kings, but odds are the Serbian connection will be too strong for the Kings to pass on Doncic. Bagley’s the safest option for the Hawks, giving them a multifaceted big man to build around.

Twitter: @MB3FIVE
Comparison: Chris Bosh
Salary: $5,420,500*
Power Forward / 6-11 / Michigan State / Freshman
10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg

The Grizzlies are in full rebuild mode now having suffered through their worst season in years. At 33 years of age, Marc Gasol is in his twilight and this team no longer has a bona fide perennial All-Star level talent. Jackson doesn’t have nearly as high a basement as the three names listed before him, but his upside really isn’t too far off from theirs. His ability to knock down threes and be a rim protector makes him a unique and highly intriguing prospect.

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Salary: $4,887,200*
Small Forward / 6-10 / Missouri / Freshman
10.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg

The Mavs added a solid piece with point guard Dennis Smith in last year’s draft and could potentially knock this pick out of the park with a Dirk-like scorer in Michael Porter Jr. Porter is the biggest wildcard in this year’s draft and could still challenge to go in the top 2-3, or fall into the late lottery, depending on how his medical reports come out. Dallas could also look to go big with someone like Mo Bamba or Wendell Carter.

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Comparison: Joe Johnson
Salary: $4,425,600*
Center / 6-11 / Texas / Freshman
12.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg

The Magic continue to search for an identity and a true franchise talent to build around. Some other options like point guard Trey Young or Wendell Carter could be possibilities here. But with Bamba’s upside, the Magic shore up their center position for years to come and roll the dice on one of the brightest individuals and talents in this year’s draft.

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Comparison: Rudy Gobert
Salary: $4,019,600*
Power Forward / 6-10 / Duke / Freshman
13.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg

Carter is a versatile big being compared favorably by some to Al Horford, who has shined in this year’s playoffs for Boston. What Carter lacks for in speed, he makes up for in hard work and skill. He’s an excellent outside shooter, and fits the mold of the modern big man with his ability to spread the floor and create shots for himself both in the paint and out on the perimeter. He lacks the upside of some of the other bigs but figures to be more of a sure bet than some due to his high skill level and maturity.

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Comparison: Al Horford
Salary: $3,669,400*
Point Guard / 6-2 / Oklahoma / Freshman
27.4 ppg, 8.7 apg

Assuming they are able to entice him to stick around, LeBron could use some scoring help in the backcourt. Young would offer them a deadly outside shooter and creative passer. He figures to struggle defensively, but with a physically imposing presence like LeBron, some of those deficiencies could be masked. Young could learn the ropes playing alongside guys like George Hill.

Twitter: @TheTraeYoung
Comparison: Mike Bibby
Salary: $3,361,500*
Point Guard / 6-2 / Alabama / Freshman
19.2 ppg, 3.6 apg

The Knicks could use a fearless backcourt scorer/playmaker to complement their Unicorn in the paint. Sexton is a bit of a risky pick as he’s not the most steady floor general, but he has a lot of moxie and competitiveness and would fit a need for the Knicks.

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Comparison: Eric Bledsoe
Salary: $3,090,100*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Villanova / Sophomore
17.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg

With their dynamic duo of Simmons and Embiid, this is a team on the move. The process has been trusted and the results are considerable. This is a team that can legitimately contend for titles so getting a few more personnel decisions correct will be instrumental. Bridges fits with this group especially well with his ability to knock down outside shots, like Robert Covington, but potentially with even more of a dynamic athletic package.

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Comparison: Otto Porter
Salary: $2,935,400*
Small Forward / 6-9 / Kentucky / Freshman
15.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg

Knox is in play in the late lottery and while a risky pick, he offers considerable upside for a team like the Hornets that appear stuck in purgatory at the 11th pick every season. Knox is a dynamic scorer with the ability to become a modern day small ball four with his size and skill set. He has a lot of maturing to do, but it’s not like the Hornets will be any closer to winning a title or even being a surefire playoff team by taking a safe pick here.

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Comparison: Tobias Harris
Salary: $2,788,800*
Point Guard / 6-6 / Kentucky / Freshman
14.4 ppg, 5.1 apg

As long as the Clippers have the Master, i.e. Jerry West, on board as an advisor, it’s safe to assume they will be getting the most out of their selections. SGA is an intriguing guard due to his combination of point guard skill, size and quickness. With a rebuild underway following the trades of CP3 and Blake Griffin, a young, talented lead guard with upside like Shai would appear to fit the bill for the Clips.

Twitter: @shaiglalex
Comparison: Dejounte Murray
Salary: $2,649,400*
Power Forward / 6-7 / Michigan State / Sophomore
17.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg

Bridges struggled some to prove that he’s skilled enough to contribute consistently on the perimeter at Michigan State in his sophomore year. But in today’s "positionless" league, his ability to make baskets and play with great energy should translate. He’s got some Blake-like qualities to his game, despite being quite a bit smaller. On the positive side, if the Clippers take him, he would be quite a bit cheaper than the contract that they had signed Griffin to before unloading him.

Twitter: @MilesBridges
Comparison: Jerome Kersey
Salary: $2,516,900*
Power Forward / 6-9 / Texas A&M / Sophomore
10.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg

The Nuggets traded away the pick last year that became Donovan Mitchell, which will be a tough pill to swallow as Mitchell continues to blossom into one of the games elite point guards. But in fairness, going into the draft he looked awfully similar to two players already on Denver’s roster in Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. Williams offers a team with a Unicorn of their own (Nikola Jokic) an excellent complimentary player due to his extreme athleticism and ability to adroitly convert lobs a la Clint Capela. If Williams reputation for not playing hard at all times is just a phase in college, watch out, as he’s got some of the most extreme athletic tools that you could ask for.

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Comparison: Stromile Swift
Salary: $2,391,100*
Shooting Guard / 6-5 / Texas Tech / Freshman
11.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg

The Wizards have done fairly well in this range in the draft, having landed a gem in Kelly Oubre with the 15th pick a few seasons ago. Zhaire brings a similar level of freakish athleticism, outside shooting promise but rawness as well. Zhaire gives the backcourt tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal some valuable depth and figures to go somewhere in this range on draft night.

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Comparison: JR Smith
Salary: $2,271,400*
Point Guard / 6-4 / Wichita State / Sophomore
14.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg

The Suns seem to have played musical chairs with point guards over the past few seasons, having moved on from Eric Bledsoe midway through this past season. In short, the Suns have a need for a point guard. And while Shamet likely wouldn’t be the immediate or even necessarily long term answer to all of their lead guard troubles, he would at least have a chance to develop into such. If the Suns opt for Ayton at 1, a point guard will likely become their immediate focus. If they could package this pick along with a player or prospects, they could look to move up a few spots to target either Trae Young or Collin Sexton. GM Ryan McDonaugh has shown the creativity in past drafts to get a deal done to move up for a player/position (Marquese Chriss at 8) he coveted.

Twitter: @landryshamet
Comparison: Denzel Valentine
Salary: $2,157,900*
Shooting Guard / 6-3 / Creighton / Junior
15.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg

With a team looking to take the next step from playoff participant to legitimate title contender, Thomas figures to be one of the more NBA ready prospects available. He is older in comparison to other prospects available, which could work in his favor for some teams. While 17 may be a bit of a reach for him, his ability to defend and potential to come in and contribute on both ends works well for a team like Milwaukee looking for immediate help. Thomas’ 8’5 standing reach dispelled the notion that he’s an undersized 2-guard. 

Twitter: @Khyri_2
Comparison: Jrue Holiday
Salary: $2,050,000*
Shooting Guard / 6-6 / Duke / Freshman
14.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg

The Spurs figure to have some big holes to fill depending on which of their core leaves this offseason. Trent may lack ideal size and athleticism, but he’s the type of pure shooter that could eventually be looked upon to replicate what veteren Danny Green gives them. Trent is a natural leader and would fit into the team first culture that the Spurs have worked hard to develop.

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Comparison: Buddy Hield
Salary: $1,947,500*
Point Guard / 6-3 / IMG Academy / 1999

The Hawks finished with one of the worst records in the league and with a new GM are clearly in rebuild mode. They figure to take a big with their 3rd overall pick. At 19, and with another pick at 30, they can afford to take a gamble on a kid that figures to need a little more time, having skipped playing college ball and entered the draft. Simons could eventually develop into a complimentary piece to Dennis Shroeder.

Comparison: Quincy Douby
Salary: $1,859,800*
Shooting Guard / 6-4 / Miami / Freshman
11.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg

Walker could be looked at as a value pick here at 20. The Timberwolves have one of the most talented 2-guards in the league in Jimmy Butler, whom Walker could apprentice under. Shooting guard is arguably the deepest position for this year’s draft and the Timberwolves probably have the greatest need at power forward, but  with a well rounded roster can probably afford to draft the best player available, regardless of position here.

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Comparison: Rodney Stuckey
Salary: $1,785,300*
Power Forward / 6-11 / Missouri / Freshman
9.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg

The Jazz have a shot blocker and interior force in Rudy Gobert and another big with similar inside skills in Derrick Favors. Porter skill set would also compliment their bigs as the type that could be expected to eventually be a floor spacer and outside shot maker at either center or power forward. He also has the type of low key personality that should fit well in Salt Lake City and no nonsense approach that fits the organization.

Twitter: @JontayPorter
Comparison: Brad Miller
Salary: $1,713,900*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Boise State / Senior
19.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg

Rumors out of the combine were that Hutchison pulled out of participating in measurements and other activities due to a promise. Our sources indicate that the promise is in fact with the Bulls. Hutchison would give the Bulls a mature scorer on the wing, and the figure to go with a big (Bamba or Carter) or point guard (Young or Sexton) with their 7th overall pick.

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Comparison: Landry Fields
Salary: $1,645,400*
Shooting Guard / 6-7 / Oregon / Freshman
11.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Indiana is coming off one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory, turning a negaitve into a positive after their franchise talent (Paul George) made it clear that he did not intend to stick around. They somehow got the better of the OKC trade, landing new face of the franchise Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. They were able to keep themselves relevant in the East and not fall into the depths of the lottery. Brown is likely a few years away from impacting NBA games on a regular basis, but offers a lot of potential at this point in the draft.

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Comparison: Caris LeVert
Salary: $1,579,600*
Point Guard / 6-1 / UCLA / Junior
20.3 ppg, 5.8 apg

The Blazers have a dynamic backcourt and probably could use a forward more, but adding an excellent scorer to bolster the backcourt at a cheap salary, Holiday makes for a good fit. He’s a West Coast guy and would potentially learn a lot from Portland’s Batman and Robin.

Comparison: Lindsey Hunter
Salary: $1,516,500*
Center / 7-1 / USA / Freshman

Word out of Laker land is that the team is targeting defense with this pick. The second rumored promise that we have heard coming out of the Chicago predraft camp is that the Lakers have promised Mitchell Robinson, which could explain his decision not to participate in predraft activities. Robinson made an odd decision to not play this past season after his first surprising decision to commit to Western Kentucky. If he is able to find a first round team to bite, the gamble to hide instead of playing this season will pay off.

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Comparison: Dewayne Dedmon
Salary: $1,455,700*
Power Forward / 6-9 / Villanova / Freshman
10.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg

Continuing with the "title town" theme, the Sixers could make it an all Villanova first round, taking local champions with both of their picks. Spellman gives them a versatile player at a position of need at power forward. His ability to shoot would fit well with Ben SImmons drive and kick skill set.

Comparison: Adreian Payne
Salary: $1,407,500*
Shooting Guard / 6-5 / Villanova / Sophomore
13.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg

The rich get richer as the Celtics have an extremely deep and talented backcourt already. They are a team that can afford to take the BPA no matter the position. DD has proven that he’s not afraid of the big stage and should be able to contribute in limited minutes to the Celtics.

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Comparison: Delonte West
Salary: $1,367,000*
Shooting Guard / 6-6 / Boston College / Junior
20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg

The Warriors actually retain their late first rounder this year after landing valuable backups in successive drafts by buying early second rounders. The Patrick McCaw experiement is no longer looking as rosey as it appeared a year ago at this time. Robinson could challenge McCaw for minutes off the bench in the coming years and would give them some depth at the guard positions.

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Comparison: Derek Anderson
Salary: $1,358,500*
Point Guard / 6-3 / Villanova / Junior
18.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg

It’s never easy to find surefire contributors in the late first round. Brunson is a proven winner and while his athleticism limits his upside, he projects as an elite backup point guard with great intangibles. TJ McConnell has taken a great opportunity with Philly and run with it, and while his role with the team may continue to diminish, he has established himself as a valuable contributor. Brunson could find a similar niche in the league.

Comparison: Mark Jackson
Salary: $1,348,600*
Shooting Guard / 6-8 / Cedevita Zagreb / 1999
10.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Musa slips 12 spots from our last update. Why? A number of scouts at the Final Four in Belgrade have mentioned that he’s got a few things that teams may be wary of. First his body type lacks athleticism and strength, and second his attitude as a teammate has drawn criticism. He may ultimately go higher based on his improvement this season, but he may not be as firmly in the first as once believed. The Hawks, with three first rounders could decide to give him another season in Europe, or bring him over in order to get him on a NBA strength and conditioning program.

Twitter: @DzananM13
Comparison: Bojan Bogdanovic
Salary: $1,338,900*

Key: (*) Standard salary for players selected with that pick in 2018-19.

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