In this article, Jordan and Mac have done a complete first round mock draft of the 2018 NBA Draft. Mac took the odd selections, while Jordan made the even selections. We have given our reasonings behind the picks, as well as a draft order based off the standings of 2/14/2018.
- Phoenix Suns- DeAndre Ayton C Arizona
With Tyson Chandler set to come off the books after next summer, and the uncertainty of Alex Len, Phoenix needs to add a big man down low to help Devin Booker. DeAndre Ayton has a wide variety of offensive moves he uses to punish interior defenses. His defensive instincts are questionable, but studying film with Tyson Chandler should hopefully improve this weakness.
- Dallas Mavericks- Marvin Bagley III PF Duke
The Dallas Mavericks are rejoicing because they were able to select Dennis Smith Jr. in last year’s draft, but now they need to surround him with more talent. Marvin Bagley has proven to be an offensive wrecking ball on college defenses. With Dirk Nowitzki nearing the end of his career, the Mavericks need to fill the hole at power forward. Bagley is surrounded by question marks with his defense, but his offensive game meshes well with Smith, and provides the Mavericks with the best player available.
- Atlanta Hawks- Mohamed Bamba C Texas
The Atlanta Hawks made a great selection in last season’s draft with the pick of John Collins. It is now time to get him a frontcourt partner. Mohamed Bamba has the defensive potential to be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams, much like Rudy Gobert is for the Utah Jazz. Bamba may fully develop a deadly offensive game, but players like Gobert and DeAndre Jordan have carved out niche roles for themselves based off game changing defense. The Hawks could look to add a flashy scorer in Trae Young, but Dennis Schroder would benefit greatly from having Bamba on the roster, and should give him another year.
- Orlando Magic- Trae Young PG Oklahoma
At the trade deadline, the Orlando Magic traded Elfrid Payton to the Phoenix Suns. This created a hole at the PG position. The Magic have been in complete disarray since the departure of Dwight Howard, mainly due to poor drafting. Trae Young has a lot of critics, but you cannot teach the offensive confidence he has, and that is sorely missing in Orlando. Young would instantly boost revenue for Orlando, and provide them with the best chance of the next Steph Curry as he matures and finishes his development.
- Sacramento Kings- Luka Doncic SG/SF Slovenia
The Sacramento Kings have been making mistake after mistake in the draft. This franchise may feel compelled to make this selection based off of the highest ceiling, but Luka Doncic looks to be the safest selection in the draft. At only 18, Doncic looks confident playing against grown men over in Europe. He provides the Kings with a valuable wing to pair with De’Aaron Fox. With a guard rotation of Doncic, Fox, and Hield, Sacramento will have the scoring and playmaking to start back on the path to championship contention.
- Memphis Grizzlies- Michael Porter Jr. SF Missouri
Due to a back injury, there is a lot of concern about Michael Porter, but if healthy, he could be the best player in this draft. For the Memphis Grizzlies, they are not getting any younger. Marc Gasol will be 34 next season, and Mike Conley is proving to be injury prone. Porter is capable of leading an NBA offense, and easing the offensive burden on Gasol. Memphis is not going to lure any big free agents with the current roster, but Porter has the star potential to attract big names to come play with him and make the Grizzlies a title contender once again.
- Cleveland Cavaliers(via Brooklyn)- Collin Sexton PG Alabama
LeBron James recently said Trae Young better come out of college. Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers in this draft scenario, Young was already taken. Collin Sexton has been balling out on a mediocre Alabama roster. With countless national televised games, Sexton seems to be energized by the bright lights and stiff competition. He plays with great physicality, athleticism, and aggression. Keeping LeBron James in Cleveland will not be easy, but drafting an attacking point guard will go along way. This move allows Sexton to develop behind George Hill for a season, while keeping Jordan Clarkson in his right position of 6th man.
- Chicago Bulls-Mikal Bridges SF Villanova
The Chicago Bulls came into the season with many pegging them as the worst team in the NBA. With a 3-20 start, the Bulls supported this claim. They strung together a series of win streaks, and now sit at the back end of the top ten. Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen have proven to valuable building pieces going forward, but they could use better pieces at the forward position. Bridges is a two-way superstar who plays frantic, lockdown defense and knocks down over 40 percent of his threes. The Bulls could swing for a higher upside player here, but Bridges provides the Bulls with an elite 3-and-D prospect going forward.
- New York Knicks- Jaren Jackson Jr. PF Michigan State
With a roster devoid of almost all young talent, the New York Knicks need to take the player with the highest upside at this selection. Jaren Jackson has over five games with multiple 3’s and blocked shots in a game. Jackson is a bit raw, but New York is not in the shape to contend yet, so they can give Jackson time to develop next to Porzingis.
- Charlotte Hornets- Kevin Knox SF/PF Kentucky
The Charlotte Hornets have one of the worst rosters in the NBA. It is full of overpaid role players, that cannot seem to stay healthy. Kevin Knox has vastly underperformed this season to what many thought he could do. The Hornets need to start adding star potential talent to convince Kemba Walker to resign after next season. Knox is likely 2 years away from being a meaningful contributor, but has all the physical intangibles you look for in a small forward prospect. If Kemba Walker does leave, Knox and Malik Monk is a good start for the Hornets on a rebuilding project.
- Philadelphia 76ers(Via LAL)- Lonnie Walker SG Miami
Lonnie Walker has had an up and down season. His advanced shooting splits are not great, but he offers immense upside from the shooting guard position. Walker has amazing size and length to be a havoc on defense. The 76ers have been doing a great job of developing players and not putting them on the court before they are ready. The 76ers have two stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, so their primary focus should be surrounding these two with shooters.
- Los Angeles Clippers(via Detroit)- Wendell Carter Jr. Duke
As much of the sporting world heard, DeAndre Jordan is unsure of his place with the Los Angeles Clippers. With as much hype as Marvin Bagley III has gotten at Duke, Wendell Carter Jr has proven to be the more consistent player. With Jordan likely to bolt to a contender in the offseason, the Clippers need to use one of their picks to secure a long term center. Carter Jr should be able to step in and give them valuable minutes, as he can score from anywhere on the court and defend the rim.
- Utah Jazz- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander PG Kentucky
Ricky Rubio has been inconsistent this season. The Jazz are in a new era of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a very raw point guard prospect, but his size is not teachable. Ricky Rubio still has one more season on his current deal, so this will allow for Gilgeous-Alexander to develop and learn the speed of the NBA game. A Gilgeous-Alexander and Mitchell backcourt has devastating defensive ability, as well as explosive offensive potential.
- Los Angeles Clippers-Troy Brown PG/SG Oregon
This past offseason, the Clippers decided to sign Milos Teodosic to a one-year contract. There has not been a lot of word on whether the two parties would be interested in a longer deal. Even if they strike a deal, Teodosic is going to be 31, and Lou Williams, the other point guard will be 32. Troy Brown has insane offensive abilities. His quickness will let him beat almost anyone, while his shooting keeps defenses honest. Brown also has the size and athleticism to handle players at the next level on defense. Brown would be best served coming off the bench as a rookie, as he learns how to control himself in an offense. If the Clippers are looking to rebuild on the fly, Brown would have a shorter development curve than most rookies at this spot.
- Chicago Bulls(Via New Orleans)- Robert Williams PF/C Texas A&M
Bobby Portis is up for a contract extension very soon, and Robin Lopez is a unrestricted free agent next summer, so Chicago needs to look at building up some playable frontcourt players. Robert Williams returned to college to try and increase his draft stock, but he is just in the same draft range. Williams is capable of coming in and anchoring a defense. His unique skill set pairs well with Lauri Markkanen to form a great inside-outside combination for years to come.
- Philadelphia 76ers-Chandler Hutchinson SF Boise State
In this mock draft, the Philadelphia 76ers continue to add capable of three point shooting around their young star players. Chandler Hutchinson started the year as a fringe second round pick, but as of late, has seen his draft stock soar. Hutchinson has great length and size, which allows him to play big, guard multiple positions and disrupt the passing lanes. He projects to be a 3 and D at the next level. The 76ers would be big beneficiaries having this hidden draft day gem on their roster.
- Phoenix Suns(via Miami)- Miles Bridges SF/PF Michigan State
Miles Bridges made the decision to return to Michigan State despite multiple teams interested in taking him in the top ten last season. Bridges has not really improved from last season. His shooting is about the same, rebounding is down, but has shown improvement as a playmaker. The Suns need to be adding as much versatile talent as possible to their roster.
- Denver Nuggets-Keita Bates Diop SF/PF Ohio State
The Denver Nuggets are oozing talent all across the board, but the roster continues to underperform in many people’s eyes. The Nuggets need to cut some salary cap space to try and lure a marquee free agent to come play with them. The best way to do this is moving on from Wilson Chandler, and bringing in a cheaper option at the small forward position. Keita Bates Diop has grown into a devastating scorer for Ohio State. With his ability to be an aggressive defender, Diop could serve a similar role to Chandler if they do move on from him.
- Portland Trail Blazers- Omer Yurtseven C North Carolina State
With all of the rumors the Portland Trail Blazers were trying to trade for DeAndre Jordan, one must assume they do not feel comfortable paying Jusuf Nurkic this summer. Omer Yurtseven has a similar skill set to Nurkic, but at a fraction of the cost. The Trail Blazers are still dangerously close to the luxury tax, and with a roster not capable of competing with Golden State as of right now, they have to seek cheap roster moves, while they try to deal some of their overpaid role players.
- Minnesota Timberwolves(via OKC)- Gary Trent Jr. SG Duke
If you look at three point shooting splits, Minnesota is almost last in every single of them. We all know Tom Thibodeau likes to run his starters into the ground, but Gary Trent Jr could help alleviate the pressure from the starting guards. He is hitting over 45% of his threes this season, something no one of the Wolves bench can match. Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler are at their best when they are attacking the rim, Trent Jr will help space the floor for these two stars to demolish defenses, but if they collapse, Trent Jr will make them pay from outside. If Minnesota wants to compete with Golden State, they need to add more reliable shooters.
- Indiana Pacers- Khyri Thomas PG/SG Creighton
Ever since his hot start, Victor Oladipo has dramatically cooled off. One could argue people have figured out how to guard him, or that the roster around him does not possess enough other scorers to help him. Khyri Thomas does not excel at a single basketball trait, but is just good at everything. He is a hard nosed, power guard that plays with physicality, and he can score in a variety of ways. Plus, he is a tough defender that will get after it on that end of the floor. His ball handling an play aking skills need to improve if he ever wants a shot at a starting gig, but for now he would help take the pressure off of Oladipo on scoring, and provide good bench defense.
- Washington Wizards- Hamidou Diallo SG Kentucky
The Washington Wizards are so close to contention in the Eastern Conference, but they just continue to have a horrid bench. Hamidou Diallo is a project piece at the guard position, but his potential and athleticism makes him an intriguing pick this late in the first round. Washington has been struggling for years to find backup guards for Bradley Beal and John Wall, and these two are two of the best in the game to learn from for Diallo. Going forward a bench duo of Kelly Oubre and Diallo could provide the spark the Wizards need to move past the elites of the Eastern Conference.
- Milwaukee Bucks- Mitchell Robinson C Chalmette H.S.
Would it be the Milwaukee Bucks if they were not taking one of the most questionable picks in the draft. Milwaukee stuck gold with the selection of Giannis Antetokounmpo back in 2013, but since then, they have made some awful first round picks. Mitchell Robinson dropped out of school in the first few weeks, and decided to train for the draft, instead of sitting out a year. Robinson still has a lot of room to develop physically before he can be a true center. The Bucks are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, and this is a trait Robinson excels at, so look for the Bucks to use him as a specialist piece as they work the John Henson deal off their books. They would form a unique 1-2 punch at the center position with Robinson and Thon Maker.
- Atlanta Hawks(via Minnesota)-Bruce Brown Jr. SG Miami
Bruce Brown suffered an injury this season, which did hurt his draft stock, but not enough to knock him out of the first round. The Atlanta Hawks need to start adding scorers to the roster. With a frontcourt of DeAndre Ayton and John Collins, they need to supply these big guys with guys on the perimeters. Brown has also shown a great defensive instinct on passing lanes, and racks up steals. At this point in the draft you are looking for gems, and thanks to a foot injury, the Hawks might have found one here.
- Los Angeles Lakers(via Cleveland)- Grayson Allen SG Duke
The Los Angeles Lakers were smart enough to shed the salary of Jordan Clarkson to the Cavaliers, and acquire a first round pick. The Lakers will have two max salary slots open this summer, and if they are lucky enough to land LeBron James, they will need to surround him with shooters. James loved playing with Matthew Dellavedova, who is a frisky, three point shooting guard. Grayson Allen compares a lot like Delly, but with better athleticism. Even if James does not come to Los Angeles, they do need to add more shooters, and Allen has proven to be a consistent shooter at Duke.
- San Antonio Spurs- Austin Wiley C Auburn
As long as Gregg Popovich is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, they will be competitive. Unfortunately, the roster lacks a lot of talented, young players. Austin Wiley would not be an immediate starter for the Spurs, but he would offer them a great building block to pair with Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray, and of course Kawhi Leonard. Working with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol will also help Wiley develop a nasty offensive game he can implement on the court.
- Boston Celtics- Dzanan Musa SF International
The Boston Celtics have a full roster. They need to utilize the draft-and-stash opportunity the NBA provides to keep their books open, as well as give Dzanan Musa further time to develop. Musa will likely rise in the draft class due to his shooting ability, and adequate defense, but he does have a questionable motor, and clear lack of strength and athleticism. The best thing for him would be going to a contending team where he can develop into a key rotationary NBA player.
- Brooklyn Nets(via Toronto)- Isaac Bonga SF International
Isaac Bonga has one of the best names in the draft. He has not played in the top leagues of Europe, but he has shown immense potential with his size. His shooting mechanics need to be improved, but he could make an immediate impact on the defensive end of the court for a team. The Brooklyn Nets have the time to take risks in the draft. Bonga has good court vision, and is very unselfish. In the modern NBA, point forwards are key to winning basketball, and Bonga presents the Nets with their very own point forward.
- Atlanta Hawks(via Houston)- Tony Carr PG Penn State
As we have talked about before, Atlanta needs to add more playmakers. Tony Carr is very ball dominant, but he has an ability to score from anywhere on the court. With Dennis Schroder under contract for a few more years, the Hawks can groom Carr behind him, and use him as a quick offensive piece off the bench until he is ready to become a starter.
- Golden State Warriors- Rawle Alkins SG Arizona
I fully expect by the time the NBA draft is upon us, Rawle Alkins will move up the draft board. He was hurt early in the season, but has been the best player on Arizona’s roster since his return. Golden State does need to worry about the future of Klay Thompson in the 2019 free agent class, and Alkins could be a good player to groom for insurances purposes.