This isn’t your average NBA mock draft. I have taken many different factors into account before making these picks. The draft order is decided by record. This is not a player ranking, the players are drafted to the best and most likely fit for them. The top talents of college basketball will be taking over the NBA in a few months. Where will the top players end up? Let’s get into it.
1. Atlanta Hawks- Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Duke
The Hawks need to start somewhere. They are essentially stripped of all talent. Marvin Bagley is the best option for them. A player like Bagley would be easier to build a team around. His stock has dropped a bit with his injury. I see it going back up once the tournament starts. If you aren’t believing that Bagley will go to the Hawks yet, you might want to start. Read this:
BTW from last night, that was at least the fourth time that Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has watched Marvin Bagley play for Duke in person.
— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) January 24, 2018
2. Phoenix Suns- DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
The Suns have recently acquired Elfrid Payton, that move shows that the Suns are looking to acquire a bigman in this years draft. Dragan Bender has been a bit of a disappointment in his first two seasons. Ayton is a monster who can do it all. He has even shown off a shot from deep this year as well. Imagine Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton on the Suns. Does that remind you of anyone? That would be a modern-day Kobe and Shaq.
3. Dallas Mavericks- Luka Doncic, SG/SF, Slovenia
The Mavs need their new face of the team now that Dirk’s era in Dallas is almost over. I see the Mavs going with another European sensation. A young core of Dennis Smith, Luka Doncic and Harrison Barnes is a good place to start.
4. Orlando Magic- Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
The Magic trading Elfrid Payton is basically the Magic saying “we are planning on taking Trae Young”. The Magic have a lot of young talent, they just don’t know how to develop the players. Hopefully an addition of a good leader like Young would help the Magic out.
5. Sacramento Kings- Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri
MPJ is the biggest mystery of college basketball right now. We don’t know if he will return this year, and he said he will consider coming back to Missouri for another season. I think he will declare for the draft after this season, but you never know. The Kings need a SF/PF at the moment. MPJ can play both and has superstar potential.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers(From Brooklyn)- Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
I cannot express how much respect I have for the Cavs GM Koby Altman after this year’s trade deadline. The Cavs got 2-4 years ahead on the rebuild with the trades they made. I see the Cavs trading Tristan Thompson this offseason, so they are going to need their center of the future. Mohamed Bamba would be a great fit with the Cavs.
7. New York Knicks- Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan St.
I can guarantee that the Knicks will draft a SF in this year’s draft. It just comes down to who it is. I see Miles Bridges as the best fit. He even said that he would love to be a Knick. Bridges is a great all-around player. Most importantly he brings defense and athleticism, which the Knicks need. He is very unselfish and a good teammate.
8. Memphis Grizzlies- Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Michigan St.
I don’t know what it is, Jackson just has Memphis Grizzlie written all over him. The Grizzlies are going to be rebuilding in the next few years, Jackson is a good place to start.
9. Chicago Bulls- Wendell Carter Jr., C/PF, Duke
The Bulls will either take likely take a center and a small forward in this year’s draft. Wendell Carter would likely be drafted higher if he didn’t play with Bagley. He has balled out during Bagley’s absence which has helped his draft stock.
10. Philadelphia 76ers(From Lakers)-Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova
The Sixers need their shooting guard of the future. Mikal Bridges might be the one. The other M. Bridges in the draft. Mikal is a superb shooter with a picture perfect jump shot and great accuracy. He hits better than 90% from the free throw line and over 50% from the field. He’s got an accurate and quick 3 point shot and hit’s about 40% from downtown. His ability to space the floor on offense and D it up at the other end of the floor is incredible.
11. Charlotte Hornets- Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky
Kevin Knox has superstar potential as well. He comes from the same breed as guys like Kevin Durant. At 6-9 he’s got great quickness and suddenness, good leaping ability and a ton of length. He plays like a shooting guard in a 6-9 frame, with really good coordination and change of direction.
12. Los Angeles Clippers(From Detroit)- Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
The Clippers are at the beginning of a rebuild. They need their point guard of the future and Sexton is a good fit. Collin Sexton is a vastly athletic point guard who is a gifted shot creator that can get many scores off the dribble as well as on fast breaks, and he is a creative playmaker that can set up numerous scores for his teammates. I just hope the Clippers fire Doc Rivers and get rid of his son because the Clippers aren’t going to get any better until those two are gone.
13. Los Angeles Clippers-Robert Williams III, PF, Texas A&M
The Clippers just traded Blake Griffin and are empty at the PF position. Williams is one of the most underrated players in this year’s draft. Williams surprised many with his decision to return for his sophomore season at Texas A&M. After 10 double-doubles in 31 games and a 25.3 PER in 801 minutes as a freshman, the six-foot-eight big man was projected to go in the lottery last June.
14. Utah Jazz- Lonnie Walker IV, SG/SF, Miami
Lonnie Walker is one of the best SG in this year’s class.Lonnie Walker is an athletic combo guard that can score the basketball in a variety of ways. He will need to be a more consistent shooter and defender.
15. Chicago Bulls(From New Orleans)- Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio St.
Keita Bates-Diop is an athletic swingman that projects to be a 3 and D type of player in the NBA. He will need to be a more consistent player on the floor, but he does have plenty of skills to offer to teams. He is a good shooter that can knock down plenty of shots off the catch, and he also excels at attacking the basket to finish. The Bulls need a young SF as well, Bates-Diop is a good fit.
16.Denver Nuggets- Chandler Hutchinson, SF, Boise St.
You may not know the name, but you might want to get used to it Hutchinson. He might be the Kyle Kuzma of last year. Good scorer off the dribble. He is an adequate shooter from all over the floor. Excels at scoring on the move. He is a great all-around player. Wilson Chandler needs to go and the Nuggets will look to add a SF in this year’s draft. Hutchinson is a great fit.
17. Phoenix Suns(From Miami)-Chimezie Metu, PF, USC
The Suns are going to look to add to their young bigmen in this years draft. Metu is an active finisher around the basket. Fairly good low post scorer. Decent scorer off the dribble who excels at scoring on the move. Good defensive player and gifted shot blocker who is also a gifted athlete.
18. Portland Trail Blazers- Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon
The Trail Blazers need depth. Brown is a good fit who measures extremely well, at 6’6 in shoes with a 6’11 wingspan and a 210 pound frame. He is big enough to play the small forward position in the NBA, even though he has plenty of guard skills. He can do a bit of anything.
19. Philadelphia 76ers- Dzasan Musa, SF, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Sixers need three-point shooting. Musa is one of the best scorers of his generation in Europe if not the best. His ability to score is uncanny and he has already proved it’s his most translatable skill at the next level, along with his ability to play multiple positions. For him to play at the next level though he has to get bigger. Don’t sleep on Dzasan!
20. Minnesota Timberwolves(From OKC)- Bruce Brown, SG/SF, Miami
The Timberwolves are set at almost every position besides the SF. Brown has always flown slightly under the radar relative to many of his peers. Brown is an incredible athlete who can play defense as well. He should be higher on the list, but he has dealt with injuries throughout the season so there is some uncertainty.
21. Milwaukee Bucks- Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
The Bucks need bigmen ahead of anything. Gafford is a great fir. Gafford is an athletic big man who has seen his draft stock rise rapidly, and he could profile into a rim protector in the NBA. Even though he does not always log heavy playing time, Gafford has been very effective in his role, as he can finish plays around the basket, rebound, and block shots.
22. Indiana Pacers- Trevon Duval, PG, Duke
The 6th ranked player in the nation a year ago and the number 1 PG, Duval decided to go to the star-studded Duke Blue Devils to play with other top players. It most definitely hurt his draft stock. Duval is an athletic point guard that could excel as a two-way player in the NBA. He can be a handful for opposing defenses with his tremendous ability to attack the rim, as he can get many scores off the dribble. Plus, he also can collect assists, and he is a solid defensive player that can garner many steals as well. The Pacers need a young point guard to pair with Victor Oladipo.
23. Washington Wizards- Mitchell Robinson, C, IMG Acadamey
Mitchell Robinson announced he would forgo his commitment to Western Kentucky to begin training immediately for the 2018 NBA draft. Robinson, a heralded five-star recruit who was been on and off Western Kentucky’s campus while deciding whether he wanted to play college basketball, had decided to leave school and work out with a trainer this year in preparation for the June 2018 NBA draft. Robinson was one of the top players in the nation. The Wizards have had drama with Marcin Gortat and need their center of the future, Robinson is the best option.
24. Atlanta Hawks(From Minnesota)- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
Gilgeous-Alexander has emerged as Kentucky’s floor leader and found a level of comfort and confidence that’s led to improved play. A 7’0″ wingspan and frame that should add muscle make him a projectable lead ball-handler and useful defender. He’s done a great job of forcing turnovers without fouling and covering ball-handlers. The Hawks need young talent and will take anyone.
25. San Antonio Spurs- Jalen Brunson, PG/SG, Villanova
Jalen Brunson is one of the top players in college basketball. Why is he going so late? I don’t know, but Brunson has Spurs written all over him. Coach Pop will make him a star.
26. Los Angeles Lakers(From Cleveland)-Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV
With the likely departure of Brook Lopez and trading Larry Nance, the Lakers need to add to their frontcourt. McCoy is one of the most underrated players in this years draft. He has put up incredible numbers at UNLV. He would be a great fit setting screens for Lonzo Ball.
27. Boston Celtics-Gary Trent Jr., SG/PG, Duke
The 8th best player in the nation before going to Duke like Duval. The Celtics are loaded with Duke alumni, so i am sure the Celtics will look into that. The Celtics don’t even need anyone else, just draft whoever.
28. Brooklyn Nets(From Toronto)- Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky
Hamidou Diallo has been a mess lately. He went from lottery to maybe not being in the first-round in two months. The Nets have shown interest in Diallo. Very unpredictable. Total Nets move.
29. Golden State Warriors-Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita St.
Shamet has taken a nice step forward this season and has been ridiculously efficient for a very legit Shockers team. He’s been one of the best three-point shooters in college basketball. He would fit right in with the splash bros and would replace McCaw if he goes elsewhere which is very likely.
30. Atlanta Hawks(From Houston)-Shake Milton, PG/SG, SMU
Don’t sleep on Shake! Milton’s size, shooting and ability to play on and off the ball make him an intriguing prospect. The Hawks just need as many young people as possible.