2018 Two Round NBA Mock Draft: A Point Guard Drops While Wings Rise The Charts
Now that we have the draft order and knowing all that players are staying in the Draft, it’s time for a mock draft. Now, we still have some movement as trades will happen and picks will get swapped, so this is the second version of the official mock drafts until that happens. As I’ve done the past two years with these it will be a combo of guessing, what I’m hearing and figuring out team needs. I also will continue to put out my top-60 big board, which is strictly just that – a big board. This will be the true mock draft.
1. Phoenix Suns – Deandre Ayton (Arizona)
This feels like a no-brainer. Ayton is the best prospect in this draft for me and gets to stay close to his college home. Ayton became the first player in 25 years to average at least 19.5 points, 11 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting more than 60 percent from the field. You hope the year with Tyson Chandler turns into a mentor session on the defensive side of the ball. However, he’s way too polished to pass up here.
2. Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley (Duke)
It does feel weird to see the Kings not take a Kentucky big here as they seem to always end up with one, but the Kings need someone to anchor that frontcourt. Oh, now imagine him running that fastbreak and pick and roll with him and Fox? You have a bunch of speed and athleticism on the court. The question will be can he adapt defensively at the next level.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michigan State)
This is where it gets interesting for me. The Hawks are in a weird spot because of the development of John Collins. Taking someone like Doncic is possible here. You also have the Dennis Schroder situation happening and need to figure out their point guard spot. Instead I have them taking Jackson here who can step away and help stretch the floor with Collins playing in the post. You also add someone who can protect the rim here.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Luka Doncic (Slovenia)
The Grizzlies take Doncic here simply because they seem set on playing with Conley and Gasol going forward. That’s not to say they could take someone like Bamba here to provide some help alongside Gasol, but the Grizzlies need wing help. Right off the bat he’s able to step in and you have three guys to play around as Doncic can play on the wing with his size.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Mo Bamba (Texas)
It looks like Nerlens Noel will be out of Dallas after this year, opening up a spot up front for a player like Bamba. He’s going to provide the type of defense that many thought Noel would bring and you can use him in pick and rolls with Dennis Smith. He’ll have a year to play with Nowitzki as well filling out the front court. The Mavericks have had success with a defensive-minded big like Bamba in Tyson Chandler. The question will be how much his shot develops to stretch the floor too.
6. Orlando Magic – Trae Young (Oklahoma)
The Magic are desperate for someone who can create for himself. That’s what Trae Young can do and will be able to step in and contribute right away. I know people like to shit on Young, especially for how the late part of the season went, but with more space and better help around him, I like him a lot at the next level. It also gives the Magic someone they can market as Young does have that ability.
7. Chicago Bulls – Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri)
A bit different but I have a hunch that we see something weird here. I don’t know what’s going on with the Michael Porter Jr. situation, but John Paxson has talked about how they want a wing that’s versatile and can switch positions. A lot of wings here fit that mold, but you have Porter, who at 6’10” can handle the ball and bring the Bulls good size and versatility with him and Lauri out there.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn Nets) – Kevin Knox (Kentucky)
The Cavs would likely love to take Trae Young here, but with him off the board they go with a young guy who can score. Obviously with this pick a lot depends on what LeBron decides to do. Knox is someone though who can play off of LeBron has a catch and shoot guy or run off of screens – something he was great at during the 2nd half of the year – for LeBron to find. The Cavs need other scorers and that’s what Knox is first. He’s also the second youngest player in this draft.
9. New York Knicks – Wendell Carter (Duke)
The Knicks will have a unique choice here between Wendell Carter, Kevin Knox and Mikal Bridges. David Fizdale has talked about wanting to get better defensively which would make sense to bring in Mikal. However, Carter is a unique talent that is younger than Mikal with the ability to play alongside Kristaps and you solidify your frontcourt moving forward. Carter has the ability to step out and is an excellent passer from the high post.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Los Angeles Lakers) – Mikal Bridges (Villanova)
The Sixers get the guy that should want the most here. The Sixers need to go with a wing, who can be a catch and shoot guy and also defend other top wings in the East. That sounds like Mikal to a tee. He has the ability to defend four positions and is an excellent catch and shoot guy. He doesn’t need to dominate the ball which is fine when you have Simmons and Embiid already.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky)
The Hornets have to make a decision here. Kemba Walker is entering the last year of his contract. They have a new coach and front office, which means it’s almost like starting new. That’s why they go with SGA here. He’s a guy that can play off the bench as the lead guard or next to Kemba. He’s not unbelievably athletic or anything like that, but he does an excellent job of finding spots and attacking that way. During his run late in the year he started to show his ability to pull up off the dribble from three, adding that to his game.
12. Los Angeles Clippers – Collin Sexton (Alabama)
Sexton finds himself falling a bit here but the Clippers fit well for him. He’ll immediately be handed the ball as the lead guard and he’ll be able to find ways to attack. He’s a defensive minded guard as well and someone that if you resign DeAndre Jordan provide an inside-out threat on the defensive side of the ball.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Miles Bridges (Michigan State)
The Clippers use their second pick to help bolster the wing depth. They get a bit more athletic by adding arguably the most athletic player in the Draft and you immediately pair him and Sexton together. Bridges is someone who improved from the free throw line and his outside shot looks better after his sophomore year and can run with Sexton on the fastbreak. He’s also that athletic wing that can defend multiple wings.
14. Denver Nuggets – Lonnie Walker (Miami)
The Nuggets were one of the worst defensive teams in the league this year while also having a lack of wing depth. Here they get to address both problems as Walker should be a great defender at the next level. He can guard multiple positions and is starting to figure it out offensively, especially when he was one of the go-to options once Brown got hurt. At 6’4″ with a 6’10” wingspan though he’s going to be enticing to most teams.
15. Washington Wizards – Troy Brown (Oregon)
The Wizards have a couple of options here as they could take a big to play next to Marcin Gortat or take a combo forward to help with the rotation on the wing/forward spot. I’m incredibly high on Troy Brown, someone who can step in and do a little bit of everything. If he can get more consistent with his outside shot he’ll be one of the best players in this draft.
16. Phoenix Suns (via Miami Heat) –Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech)
The Suns were the worst defensive team in the league this year and this pick address defensive needs. Smith is quickly climbing up draft charts and is one of the most athletic players in this class. He can step in and defend on the wing. You hope he develops a more consistent shot and provides some depth on the wing spot behind Booker and Jackson.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Robert Williams (Texas A&M)
Now, hear me out. The Bucks have a type They like to draft guys that are longer and especially can protect the rim. Robert Williams is just that as he has a 7’5″ wingspan and is an excellent shot blocker – blocker over 2 shots per game. He’s someone that can play at the four spot due to playing next to Tyler Davis at A&M, but is made to be a five at the NBA.
18. San Antonio Spurs – Jerome Robinson (Boston College)
The Spurs get someone here who can step in and help them on the offensive side of the ball immediately. The Spurs are known for being more defensive-minded, but assuming they get Kawhi back they need someone else who can create his own shot. Robinson is an excellent scorer, averaging over 20 per game last year for Boston College.
19. Atlanta Hawks (via Minnesota Timberwolves) – Elie Okobo (France)
The young Frenchman is quickly climbing draft charts here. Denis Schroder has expressed his frustrations with the Hawks and being part of a rebuilding team. There’s a good chance that he gets traded, which means the Hawks will need another young point guard to step in. Okobo made a big splash when he scored 44 to start the league’s playoffs.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Oklahoma City Thunder) – Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State)
The Wolves need to add depth on the wing/forward spot and Bates-Diop has that and can play both at the four or three spot due to his length and ability to rebound. Bates-Diop is someone coming off a year shooting 36% from three, most of which he created for himself.
21. Utah Jazz – Donte DiVincenzo (Villanova)
DiVincenzo who has great size can come in and play both on or off the ball. Granted, he needs to work on his handle some and cut down on turnovers, he has the ability to spell guys at times at the point guard spot. The Jazz have done a good job of developing wings and players like Donte (see; Mitchell, Donovan) and it provides more offense at that spot.
22. Chicago Bulls (via New Orleans Pelicans) – Chandler Hutchison (Boise State)
The Bulls are notorious for taking an experienced college player and they get that here with Chandler Hutchison. He’s the first senior off the board as he can do a bit of everything – although he does need to get more consistent shooting the ball. With a lack of wings in the draft, the Bulls need to add depth here.
23. Indiana Pacers – Aaron Holiday (UCLA)
Pairing Aaron Holiday with Oladipo just makes sense on both sides of the ball. You immediately have a backcourt that can really defend the hell out of the ball and bother guards. Throw in Holiday’s ability to create and an excellent catch and shoot guy from three you can spread the floor with him as Oladipo drives.
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Kevin Huerter (Maryland)
The Blazers need help on the wing. They have that loaded backcourt with CJ and Dame, but they need to figure out what to do on the wing. That’s where they take Kevin Huerter, who is an excellent passer from the wing and is obviously known as a knock down shooter.
25. Los Angeles Lakers – Khyri Thomas (Creighton)
The Lakers need a defensive-minded guard that can step in and play next to Lonzo Ball. Thomas adds that ability plus the versatility to come off the bench and be a ball handler. He immediately joined a younger core with Lonzo, Kuzma, Hart and Ingram. He’s also an excellent catch and shoot guy from the wing.
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Jacob Evans (Cincinnati)
The Sixers go with another wing here. Look, we saw what their weakness was during the playoffs and now you bring in two wings that are different types of players, but both can shoot and defend. Evans is someone who can come in and defend at an elite level thanks to his history at Cincinnati. He also shot 37% from three this past season and can be that 3-and-D catch and shoot type of guy playing off of Simmons, Fultz and Embiid.
27. Boston Celtics – Mitchell Robinson (N/A)
Robinson is someone that can protect the rim and is athletic enough to step in and run high ball screens with. The biggest thing is how he does during private workouts as he didn’t play this last season and skipped the Combine. But pairing him with Brad Stevens and this group? That gives you a young big who can protect the rim to start with. I’m sure they’ll find a way to make it work.
28. Golden State Warriors – Jalen Brunson (Villanova)
The Warriors take another guy that is used to playing this sort of system. Spread teams out, switch everything and be incredibly smart on the floor, that would be Brunson. Brunson has a past of playing with another lead guard like he did with Acidiacono so you can play him with Curry on or off the ball. He’s someone who will be in the rotation for years no matter where he goes.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Toronto Raptors) – Anfernee Simons (IMG Academy)
The Nets continue to take somewhat of a gamble due to not having a top pick. Simons is a younger guy who is skipping college to go right to the NBA. They can afford to take the risk here and take someone like Simons who can be a scoring guard as he develops into an NBA player. With the Nets in full on rebuild mode, take someone like Simons and build with him as he turns 19 during the year
30. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets) – Dznan Musa (Croatia)
The Hawks have three first round picks, so it won’t be a surprise to see them draft and stash one here. Musa filed paperwork to enter the draft and he’s someone who is young enough that you can be patient with, especially as the Hawks rebuild.
31. Phoenix Suns – Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech)
32. Memphis Grizzlies – De’Anthony Melton (USC)
33. Dallas Mavericks – Bruce Brown (Miami)
34. Atlanta Hawks – Grayson Allen (Duke)
35. Orlando Magic – Shake Milton (SMU)
36. New York Knicks – Melvin Frazier (Tulane)
37. Sacramento Kings – Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky)
38. Philadelphia 76ers – Moe Wagner (Michigan)
39. Philadelphia 76ers – Rodions Kurucs (Barcelona)
40. Brooklyn Nets – Omari Spellman (Villanova)
41. Orlando Magic – Gary Trent Jr. (Duke)
42. Detroit Pistons – Devonte Graham (Kansas)
43. Denver Nuggets – Jarred Vanderbilt (Kentucky)
44. Washington Wizards – Jevon Carter (West Virginia)
45. Brooklyn Nets – Rawlke Alkins (Arizona)
46. Houston Rockets – Landry Shamet (Wichita State)
47. Los Angeles Lakers – Chime Metu (USC)
48. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Hervey (UT-Arlington)
49. San Antonio Spurs – Devon Hall (Virginia)
50. Indiana Pacers – Justin Jackson (Maryland)
51. New Orleans Pelicans – Malik Newman (Kansas)
52. Utah Jazz – Ray Spalding (Louisville)
53. Oklahoma City Thunder – Tony Carr (Penn State)
54. Dallas Mavericks – Isaac Bonga (Frankfurt)
55. Charlotte Hornets – Kenrich Williams (TCU)
56. Philadelphia 76ers – Trevon Duval (Duke)
57. Oklahoma City Thunder – Brandon McCoy (UNLV)
58. Denver Nuggets – Kostas Antetokounmpo (Dayton)
59. Phoenix Suns – Svi Mykhailiuk (Kansas)
60. Philadelphia 76ers – Tryggvi Hlinason (Iceland)