Ell’s NBA Mock Draft 2018
- Suns – C Deandre Ayton, Arizona
You can officially mark Deandre Ayton, as the 1st overall pick, as he is clearly the best player in the draft and a man amongst boys. He claimed this spot a while ago and has been seen hanging with both young stars Devin Booker and Josh Jackson. Ayton will be a good running mate and long term fit at the Center spot they have been looking for and an offensive mate for Booker.
- Kings- C/PF Marvin Bagley III, Duke
The Kings have mostly two options here that make sense, restarting their guards by drafting G Luka Doncic or getting the perfect replacement in Marvin Bagley III; the latter makes more sense. Bagley is an official offensive weapon that they have poorly tried to make C Willie Cauley-Stein, but Bagley can come in and take over the post scoring as they say bye to PF Zach Randolph soon.
- Hawks – G Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
The Hawks have two options if they draft Luka Doncic, as he can allow them to finally move PG Dennis Schroeder or play the two next to each other and see if they fit, as Doncic could be a lot cheaper and productive than Kent Bazemore. Doncic is a do all guard who can play both spots and maybe even SF. With the Hawks, he can develop on a young rebuilding team that will allow him to take over.
- Grizzlies – C Mohammed Bamba, Texas
In this draft, the Grizzlies spot is more of a trade spot, as the only real fit here is SF Michael Porter Jr., but the hype for Mohamed Bamba has really grown and it would make more sense to move this pick for someone who can contribute now. Bamba is the top shot blocker and defensive big man in the draft, and teams are rumored to want to move up for him.
- Mavericks – C Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
The Mavericks need to take the best big man on the board in a draft full of them and Jaren Jackson Jr. makes the most sense with his potential and two-way talent. Jackson is a new age big man who can provide scoring with range out to the 3pt line and be an elite shot blocker and rim protector, he should be a good fit next to Dirk Nowitzki and beyond.
- Magic – PG Trae Young, Oklahoma
The Magic need to select the best player on the board, as they need to add talent, but when the starting PG is D.J. Augustin in a PG driving league, then it is time to upgrade in Trae Young. Young solves both problems as a top talent and a player who can bring the same offensive spark they were getting from Augustin; Young is a more explosive scorer and playmaker.
- Bulls –PF/C Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
Wendell Carter Jr. and the Bulls have been linked since his workout there, as he did and said all of the right things to come in as a good fit. Carter can give them a replacement for the player he wanted to mentor him in veteran C Robin Lopez, as Carter is another lanky, high energy big man who can get up and down the court bringing a defensive presence and improving offense.
- Cavaliers (via Celtics via Nets) – F Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
Unless the Grizzles pull the trigger on Porter at the #4 spot as mentioned earlier, this would be the best fit for Michael Porter Jr. in the case that LeBron James flees town. Porter Jr. is a top talent SF/PF who can come in and provide instant offense and a different mix as a big man who can defend guards to give the new look Cavs a possible star, health pending.
- Knicks – PG Collin Sexton, Alabama
The Knicks needs to stop the PG experiment they had going on all last season and select a real PG in Collin Sexton. Sexton is a great fit for the Knicks as a player who doesn’t mind the spotlight and the crowd, while playing even better in the clutch. Sexton would form the start of a solid offensive backcourt with SG Tim Hardaway Jr.; great excitement potential there.
- 76ers (via Lakers) – SG/SF Mikal Bridges, Villanova
The 76ers need two-way players on the wing and someone who can provide a nice 3pt touch, as one of the three on the team are sure to move on; Mikal Bridges solves both issues. Bridges is a prototypical 3 and D player with the ability to bring some slashing, as well, he would be a nice upgrade on SG J.J. Redick and a lot cheaper.
- Hornets – F Miles Bridges, Michigan State
The Hornets need an upgrade in talent at either of the forward spots and Miles Bridges can takeover either job from Day 1 in this system. Bridges was a highly productive college player who is more comfortable in a small ball PF role showing off his two-way skills and 3-pt shooting against bigger defender; veteran PF Marvin Williams may need to be on the lookout.
- Clippers (via Pistons) – G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
The Clippers could use some help at the guard spots and adding a two-way prospect in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who could take over the long term PG spot after the injury to Patrick Beverley and the failed experiment with Milos Teodosic makes sense. Coach Doc Rivers loves defensive players and Gilgeous-Alexander has the length to bother PGs and a developing offensive game.
- Clippers – C/PF Robert Williams III, Texas A&M
The Clippers will more than likely lose C DeAndre Jordan via free agency this summer and why pnot replace him with a player compared to him in, Robert Williams III. Williams is a defensive big man who can protect the rim, rebound at a high rate, and he has a developing mid-range game. Williams may need to add more weight/strength and work on his free throw shooting.
- Nuggets – SF Kevin Knox, Kentucky
The Nuggets need a SF for the long term and Kevin Knox makes a lot of sense here, as a developing offensive player, who is coming off a season as the lead scorer at Kentucky. Knox has good size for the position and the ability to score all over the court, but he must put in a lot more effort on the defensive end, if he wants to be a starter.
- Wizards – G Lonnie Walker IV, Miami
The Wizards could go many ways with this pick leading me to believe they will pick the best player available in Lonnie Walker IV. Walker is a guard with good defensive instincts, the ability to create his own shot, and the ability to knock down 3’s, but he needs more offensive consistency. Walker could player next to Wall or Beal, but he may fit better as a SG in the long run, as he may be better off ball.
- Suns – G Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
The Suns could use more help on the wing with injuries taking the team down last season, Zhaire Smith would be a nice addition, as a developing two-way player with defensive potential and athleticism. Smith is consistent on offense and getting to the free throw line, but teams would like to see him take more 3pt shots; defensively, they love his energy and toughness.
- Bucks – PG Aaron Holiday, UCLA
The Bucks could use some competition at the PG spot in case Eric Bledsoe doesn’t re-sign and a player of very similar skillset is Aaron Holiday. Despite being a smaller PG, Holiday can score from the 3pt line and get to the free throw line consistently. He is an improving passer and smart player, but he needs to cut down on his turnovers and stay out of foul trouble.
- Spurs – SF Dzanan Musa, Croatia
This is a Spurs type of pick here with Dzanan Musa, a player who can grow for another year two, as he just had his best season at all only 19 years old, but he has good size already. Musa is a catch a shoot 3pt shooter at this point, who also has good handles to create separation to get off his shot or drive inside. He is a developing passer with good athleticism and awareness.
- Hawks (via Timberwolves) – PG Elie Okobo, France
The Hawks have been looking for a different kind of PG, as Dennis Schroder was shopped around last season and will be shopped around this season. Elie Okobo is a scoring combo guard who would fit best as a PG because of his size. He has good passing skills, 3pt range, and defensive instincts, but he must continue to get better and learn to be a true PG.
- Timberwolves (via Thunder) – SG Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
Coach Thibodeau loves players who can contribute on defense first and they could really use help off the bench. Donte DiVincenzo was a standout in the championship game and could be a solid 3 and D player in the league. He is a willing passer and has the ability to get to the free throw line, but he must add more weight and cut down his turnovers.
- Utah Jazz – SF/SG Kevin Huerter, Maryland
The Jazz could use help on the wing and Kevin Huerter gives them a light version of what they loss in Gordon Hayward. He has good size for the position and he is considered one of the best shooters in the draft. He has done a good job blocking shots and getting the occasional steal, but he needs to show more effort on the defensive end and add more weight.
- Bulls (via Pelicans) – SF/SG Chandler Hutchinson, Boise State
The Bulls weren’t very deep on the wing and couldn’t sit Justin Holiday when they wanted to sit him, but Chandler Hutchinson is a four year player who has improved every year. Hutchinson has potential as a 3 and D player, as he outside shot has become more consistent and he is a very good rebounder and passer. He needs to limit his turnovers and gain more weight.
- Pacers – SF Troy Brown, Oregon
The Pacers could use more depth at the wing positions and at this spot Troy Brown would be a nice addition. Brown is a defensive player with good size, rebounding, and the ability to rack up steals, however his offensive game is developing outside of slashing and getting to the free throw line.
- Blazers – F Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State
The Blazers could use help at both forward spots and teams see Bates-Diop as a potential stretch 4 in the league with his solid 2-way game, but he must prove he is more than a one year wonder. Bates-Diop may fit best taking over the SF job until he adds more weight, but he has the talent to play in this league.
- Lakers (via Cavs) – PG De’Anthony Melton, USC
The Lakers could use help at the PG position and De’Anthony Melton showed a lot of potential as a defensive prospect with good size for the position. Melton has good passing skills with low turnovers and the ability to get to the free throw line with good rebounding skills. If Melton could improve on the offensive end, he could be a dangerous starter in this league.
- Sixers – G Jerome Robinson, Boston College
The Sixers could use even more help at the guard position and the best combo guard at this point is Jerome Robinson. Robinson is one of the more polished players with good offensive awareness, a good 3pt shot, and consistent offense, but he needs to give more effort on the defensive end; however, the potential is there.
- Celtics – SF/SG Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
The Celtics are really trying to move up in the draft, but in this scenario they stay at this pick selecting Jacob Evans. Evans is a defensive wing player with a solid around game and projects very well, as a 3 and D player. Evans is a very good passer, has the ability to guard both guards and forwards, and the ability to score from all over the court.
- Warriors – SG Khyri Thomas, Creighton
The Warriors have the ability to add whoever is the best player on the board, but in this case they get a possible 3 and D player. Khyri Thomas has a solid all-around game, as a two-way player with not many limits to his game, but sometimes he can overshoot when his 3’s aren’t falling. Thomas needs to add more weight to his frame and prove that he can play against better talent.
- Nets – C Mitchell Robinson, Chalmette High School
The Nets have been trying to find a long term fit a Center for the past few seasons, but no one has filled that role. Mitchell Robinson is a player who sat out a year, but was a 5 star ranked recruit. Robinson is a big defensive presence and shot blocker with good size and a growing offensive presence, but he needs to work on his free throwing shooting and prove he can play against better competition.
- Hawks (via Rockets) – G Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech
In this situation, the Hawks pick Josh Okogie another possible 3 and player who has shown that he can defend multiple positions. Okogie does a good job of getting to the free throw line and knocking down his shots, while being efficient from 3 without taking many. He is also a very good rebounder for his size, but he needs to continue to add weight and cut down his fouls and turnovers.