+-The NBA season is over the halfway point, which means the “tanking” will intensify. There are some good prospects that many teams will covet in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the 2018 NBA mock draft February 3:
1. Atlanta Hawks- Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke
Not too many mock drafts have Bagley going this high, but he is the best player in the class. The biggest mistake teams make when picking this high is to reach and fill a need. Atlanta needs talented players more than anything and Bagley would provide that. The 6’11” big man is athletic and can do everything on a basketball court, which includes shooting from deep at 34%.
2. Orlando Magic- Luka Doncic, G, Slovenia
Doncic projects as a wing player in the NBA, but actually plays on ball a lot for Real Madrid. He stands 6’6″ and is an excellent passer and playmaker. His three point shooting has gone down over the last few years, so Doncic will have to work on that. Orlando lucks out in that they are getting a really good player and they have a need for perimeter players.
3. Dallas Mavericks- DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
With their selection of Dennis Smith Jr., the Mavericks have a pretty well fit out backcourt. They need some good players on the interior. Ayton is a well-built and athletic big. He is a great rebounder, who often comes up with the ball with plenty of players around him.
4. Sacremento Kings- Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri
Porter has been injured since Missouri’s first game and had to have surgery on his spine. That is a serious injury, but Porter was a highly-coveted recruit and has the ability to play point forward. The Kings could bolster their lineup to include: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Porter, Zach Randolph and Willie Cauley-Stein.
5. Phoenix Suns- Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
Young has been the best player in college basketball with his electrifying play. He drives, passes and shoots like Steph Curry, but does turn the ball over too much. He also has struggles on defense, but the offense should make up for it. The Suns need a point guard to replace Eric Bledsoe and to feed the ball to Devin Booker.
6. Chicago Bulls- Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky
The Bulls have struck gold with Lauri Markkanen and now need to give him more support. With the selection of Knox, Chicago can go small with Knox at the four and Markkanen at the five or play a big man and play them at the three and four. Knox has heated up as of late with some clutch shooting and will soon see his name rise on draft boards
7. Memphis Grizzlies- Jaren Jackson, PF, Michigan State
Jackson has been a monster on the inside for Michigan State this season. Per 40 minutes, he is averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. The Grizzlies can pair him and Marc Gasol together on the inside, if Gasol stays in Memphis.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers- Mo Bamba, C, Texas
Cleveland needs more players who are willing to accept their roles and be worth the paycheck. Bamba will be great for defense and rebounding, much like Tristen Thompson should be. He will provide very little on the offensive side of the ball other than dunks.
9. Philadelphia 76ers- Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
Is it too early to give up on Markelle Fultz? Who knows, but his jump shot isn’t looking too much better. Either way, Sexton is a great player that can get to the basket and distribute the ball.
10. Charlotte Hornets-Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova
Bridges is one of the most improved players in college basketball this season. He is shooting 43% from deep on the season and provides some good athleticism. The Hornets really need to find out what they are doing with Kemba Walker before taking this pick, as he is seemingly on the trade block every year.
11. Utah Jazz- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
The Jazz hit on Donovan Mitchell in last year’s draft, which means they are set on wing players. They also have Rudy Gobert in the middle. Taking Gilgeous-Alexander to groom behind Rubio wouldn’t be a bad idea. He is a lanky point guard, who plays great defense.
12. New York Knicks- Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke
Wendell has been a very solid player, who sometimes gets overshadowed by Bagley. He has limited athletic ability, but he is very effective. Carter even shoots the three at a solid clip of 46%. While the Knicks do have Porzingis, he and Carter are versatile enough to play on the court at the same time.
13. Los Angeles Clippers- Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M
The Clippers just traded away Blake Griffin and may want to replace him at power forward. Williams hasn’t had a very productive year at Texas A&M, but he is talented.
14. Los Angeles Clippers- Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
With the Clippers having an extra pick due to the Griffin trade they can also improve their perimeter players. Bridges is an athletic wing who already has an NBA body.
15. Philadelphia 76ers- Omer Yurtseven, C, N.C. State
With the earlier pick going to the backcourt, this pick needs to be used on frontcourt depth. Yurtseven is 7’0″ and has taken a huge step forward this season for the Wolfpack.
16. Denver Nuggets- Jared Vanderbilt, SF, Kentucky
Vanderbilt has been out most of the year with an injury, but has come on strong for Kentucky. He is long, which helps him rebound well, but needs to shoot better. The Nuggets can slowly bring him on to fill out the starting lineup.
17. Chicago Bulls- Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky
The Bulls got Knox with their first pick, who can play the three or four, so they now select the super athletic shooting guard. Diallo may be the most athletic in the class and can get to the basket with his strong drives.
18. Milwaukee Bucks- Mitchell Robinson, C, USA
Robinson had intended to go to Western Kentucky, but then dropped out of school to prepare for the NBA draft. The Bucks need more inside depth.
19. Indiana Pacers- Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
Indiana could use some backcourt depth and Walker is really starting to come on for the Hurricanes. Both he and Victor Oladipo are versatile, meaning they can play on the court at the same time if need be.
20. Washington Wizards- Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV
McCoy can provide the Wizards with some much needed front court depth and also be a good developmental player.
21. Phoenix Suns- Bruno Fernando, PF/C, Maryland
The Suns picked Josh Jackson last year and Trae Young with the first pick in this mock. They can get a big here to help fill out the roster.
22. Portland Trail Blazers- Chimezie Metu, PF/C, USC
Metu has progressed every year in college and has even developed an outside shot this season.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves- Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State
Minnesota gets a good defender and a point guard that can learn for a few seasons before challenging for starting minutes.
24. Atlanta Hawks- Dznan Musa, SF, Bosnia and Herzogovina
The Hawks get their star rookie with the first pick in Bagley and can afford to select a possible draft and stash this one.
25. Cleveland Cavaliers- Trevon Duval, PG, Duke
Duval has played well at Duke and can develop into a good pro. Cleveland’s point guard situation can get a little bit murky after the season.
26. San Antonio Spurs- Troy Brown, G, Oregon
Brown is an athletic wing who needs to develop his outside shot more. Fortunately for him the Spurs are successful at teaching players how to shoot better.
27. Brooklyn Nets- Alize Johnson, PF, Missouri State
The Nets acquired Jahlil Okafor, but still need some more production from the inside.
28. Boston Celtics- Grayson Allen, SG, Duke
Allen can shoot, which will be good for the Celtics’ bench next season.
29. Atlanta Hawks- Allonzo Trier, SG, Arizona
In this mock draft the Hawks have drafted Bagley, a possible draft and stash wing and now get a perimeter scorer.
30. Golden State Warriors- Tony Carr, PG, Penn State
The Warriors will likely need to replenish their guard depth this offseason and Carr has been a star for Penn State.