Columns Front Office Writers Joe Heisman NBA Sports

2018 NBA mock draft June 21

The 2018 NBA Draft is today, June 21. There is a lot of excitement across the NBA, but how will the draft go down? Here is the latest NBA mock draft.

1. Phoenix Suns- DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona

Ayton has said it would be cool to play with Devin Booker and how good of a one-two punch it would be. The Suns have a nice crop of young wing players in Devin Booker, T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson, but they lack an inside presence. Ayton would give them that presence and then some. 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.

2. Sacramento Kings- Marvin Bagley III, F, Duke

The 6’11” big man is athletic and can do everything on a basketball court, which includes shooting from deep at 39.7%. Sacramento was a lucky team in the lottery and can now get a real impact player. Bagley can slide in nicely with the Kings young core of De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein and Buddy Hield.

3. Atlanta Hawks- Luka Doncic, G, Slovenia

Atlanta has reportedly decided to take Doncic at pick number three. This goes in line with other rumors that Dennis Schroeder is on the move. Doncic has the size of 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.

4. Memphis Grizzlies- Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri

Porter can play the three or the four for the Grizzlies. He came back from his back injury and was rusty, but showed flashes of why he was rated so highly coming out of high school. Memphis has an aging roster and could use a young star like Porter, who can do almost anything asked of him on the court.

5. Dallas Mavericks- Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State

The Mavs tried to tank, but it backfired with the lottery results. Jackson is an athletic player, who protects the rim well. He can also stretch the floor, hitting nearly 40% of his threes over his one year at Michigan State.

6. Orlando Magic- Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

Young brought life to 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 struggled on defense, but the offense should make up for it. The Magic need a point guard of the future, so they could take Young if he falls to them.

7. Chicago Bulls- Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke

Carter can play the four and the five and presents a player who can even stretch the floor with his shooting.The Bulls could play Carter alongside Lauri Markanen. Expect the Bulls to try to move up though, as they have the capital and teams ahead of them are reportedly trying to move down.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers- Mo Bamba, C, Texas

Bamba will be able to defend the paint, as he averages 5 blocks per 40 minutes. He has been compared to Rudy Gobert, with his good defense, and he’ll have to develop his offensive game.The Cavs have to get LeBron some more support and may want to explore a small trade up to get a better player or trade this pick for a veteran, although they may not have the necessary assets to do so.

9. New York Knicks- Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky

New York worked him out with Miles Bridges and reportedly fell in love with Knox. He has good size and can shoot well. He is inconsistent though, as he can go off in some games and disappear in others.

10. Philadelphia 76ers- Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova

Bridges will walk in the door as a legitimate “3 and D” prospect but has a chance to develop into much more. He’s got good length but does need to add some more strength. The 76ers will need players to spread the floor since Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz have had their issues shooting the ball.

11. Charlotte Hornets- Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

Reports are saying that the Hornets could be moving Kemba Walker. Sexton would be able to take over immediately for Charlotte. Sexton is one of the best point guards in the class and is able to drive and distribute the ball well.

12. Los Angeles Clippers- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

He is a lanky point guard, who has a long wingspan, which helps him play good defense. SGA will need to work on his shooting and add some weight, but the length will get him selected early. The Clippers have Partick Beverly but need a point guard of the future. There are rumors that Gilgeous-Alexande will for sure go in the top 10, with the Raptors trying to move up to get him.

13. Los Angeles Clippers- Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Williams displayed what he is capable of in the NCAA Tournament. He has great athleticism for a big but doesn’t have the best motor. The Clippers could use another productive big with the departure of Blake Griffin.

14. Denver Nuggets- Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Bridges is an athletic wing who already has an NBA body. He can shoot and drive and could fit in nicely with the Nuggets’ young core.

15. Washington Wizards- Zhaire Smith, G, Texas Tech

In the NCAA Tournament, Smith electrified the crowd with his dunks, but he can also hit the three-point shot at a high percentage of 45%.

16. Phoenix Suns- Lonnie Walker IV, G, Miami

He didn’t produce a lot in his freshman year at Miami, but shows flashes of potential, making him worthy of consideration here. The Suns could develop into a decent point guard with the time to learn the position.

17. Milwaukee Bucks- Mitchell Robinson, C, USA

Robinson sat out this year to prepare for the draft after initially signing with Western Kentucky. Milwaukee could use a young developmental big.

18. San Antonio Spurs- Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova

DiVincenzo is athletic and can shoot, which will help the Spurs spread the floor. Ultimately this pick may depend on if anything is figured out with the Kawhi Leonard situation.

19. Atlanta Hawks- Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College

While he didn’t play on a great team in Boston College, Robinson played well against good competition in the ACC. He would be a good wing player to take outside of the lottery.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves- Khyri Thomas, G, Creighton

Thomas can get his own shots but needs to learn how to set his teammates up better. He would be a good player to add to an NBA bench, but with the way Thibodeau runs the team, he may not get much playing time, limiting his chances to develop.

21. Utah Jazz- Troy Brown, G, Oregon

Brown is a bigger guard, which is needed as Rubio and Mitchell are one of the shortest collective backcourts in the league. He will be able to match up with bigger players.

22. Chicago Bulls- Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

The rumors have gone back and forth on whether the Bulls have promised Hutchison they will draft him with their second selection in the first round. They could use a solid, wing player to grow.

23. Indiana Pacers- Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova

Spellman can help fill the void that could be left by Thaddeus Young, as he is rumored to turn down his option to return to the team.

24. Portland Trail Blazers- Elie Okobo, PG, France

Okobo still needs to improve but can score and set up his teammates. The Blazers may decide to stash him for a year or so, which would allow them to figure out their future plans with their current backcourt players.

25. Los Angeles Lakers- Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Another rumored promise as between Huerter and the Lakers. The Lakers are obviously going after some of the biggest free agents on the market, but will need to get shooting to spread the floor for their stars if they land them.

26. Philadelphia 76ers- Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke

The 76ers can’t afford to have too many more non-shooters on their roster with the struggles of Ben Simmons and Fultz. Trent can be a specialist for Philadelphia.

27. Boston Celtics- Jacob Evans, SG/SF, Cincinnati

Evans is a “3 and D” player, who could find his way as a solid role player in the NBA.

28. Golden State Warriors- Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Holiday is a bit undersized for the NBA, but is quick and can shoot. The Warriors can’t rely on Shaun Livingston forever and Holiday could be a replacement.

29. Brooklyn Nets- Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova

Brunson won multiple Player of the Year awards. He is fundamentally sound and uses that to his advantage.

30. Atlanta Hawks- Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Wagner has a good offensive game and can stretch the floor. He does need to work on his defense for the next level.

 

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