1. Phoenix: DeAndre Ayton, C Arizona
Ayton brings much needed star potential to one of the weakest frontcourts in the league. The Suns’ new head coach Igor Kokoskov, coached the Slovenian International team at Eurobasket which featured internationally known wonder boy Luka Dončić; interesting move from the front office but let's not get too cute. Phoenix ultimately takes the best prospect in the draft.
2. Sacramento: Michael Porter Jr., F Missouri
Looking at the current construction of their team, Michael Porter Jr. makes the most sense here. His stock’s been rising as the draft nears and after an impressive pro day, GMs all around are warming up to this versatile Missouri product. Standing at 6’11, with the ability to do it all on the floor, the forward can slide in perfectly at the 3 or 4 while the team continues to explore what they have with recent frontcourt 1st round draft picks Harry Giles, Willie Trill Cauley-Stein & Skal Labissière.
3. Atlanta: Marvin Bagley III, F/C Duke
Bagley will be taking his talents and Pumas to the ATL. Most ready to impact a team’s offense from Day One, the Duke big man provides the punch the Hawks desperately need. Pairing this dude with last year's stud 1st round pick John Collins sounds like it could be a scary sight.
4. Memphis: Luka Dončić, G Slovenia
Falling to Memphis can be a blessing for both sides. With Gasol and Conley still in the mix, drafting the most accomplished 19 yr old European player ever is a no brainer. He’s 6’6 and can play along Conley while also being able to take over ball-handling duties when needed. If the Grizz hang on to the pick Dončić can add the playmaking and shooting Memphis needs; intriguing 2K team alert!
5. Dallas: Mohammed Bamba, C Texas
Owning the longest wingspan in NBA combine history, Bamba lands in the Triple D. The Mavs have a reputation for drunkenly swinging and missing on game-changing big men in free agency and to know surprise, Dallas plans on partaking in the Boogie Cousins sweepstakes. Bamba is the defensive anchor the team's been missing since the Tyson Chandler days; add his recent improvements to his shooting mechanics, and the Mavs land their big of the future.
6. Orlando: Trae Young, PG Oklahoma
The Magic need juice. Their starting point guard last season was DJ Augustin (no shade, underrated waves). Insert Trae Young. A threat from just inside halfcourt, Young was the biggest attraction in college basketball for most of the 2017-18 season, and the struggle bus Orlando fans have been riding on has been on E since the conclusion of the Dwight and Stan Van Gundy era. Bringing Young's instant offense to the Amway Center in no brainer.
7. Chicago: Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C Michigan St.
Chicago is in an interesting spot. Drafting the most talented player available is ideal, and the Michigan State product (who some consider has the highest ceiling) lands right in their lap. Locking up their future frontcourt with Jackson and 1st team all-rookie Lauri Markkanen is quintessential, as the Bulls would now have two versatile 7-footers who can stretch it out to the 3-point line. A nightmare.
8. Cleveland: Wendell Carter Jr., F/C Duke
Wendell Carter is one of the rare players who has the skill set, size and intangibles to be successful in any situation. He showcased this while playing alongside surefire Top-5 pick Marvin Bagley at Duke. LeBron’s presence notwithstanding, The Land could use a big who they can depend on. Carter is the guy.
9. New York: Mikal Bridges, G/F Villanova
One of the better shooters in the class, Bridges is well seasoned and ready to provide an impact on both ends from Day One. The 3-and-D guy everyone loves and needs, Bridges is a safe bet as the Knicks continue rebuilding around Porzingis.
10. Philadelphia: Kevin Knox II, F Kentucky
Shooters on shooters is all Philadelphia should be thinking about surrounding their young star PG Ben Simmons with. One of the youngest players in the draft, Knox played on arguably John Calipari’s most awkward Kentucky team and was limited due to the lack of floor spacing and cohesion. Many believe this 6’9 forward has barely scratched the surface of his potential, and Philly is a perfect destination to reach it.
11. Charlotte: Miles Bridges, F Michigan St.
Bridges offers Charlotte a strong, athletic forward that can come in, compete and guard multiple positions. I can see him flourishing as a small-ball 4 for Jordan’s Hornets.
12. LA Clippers: Collin Sexton, PG Alabama
Seeing the most explosive scorer in college basketball this past year fall this far will have Steve Ballmer busting out his best dance moves. Lightning-quick point guard with the “I can't be stopped” mentality, Sexton is exactly what the new look Clippers needs.
13. LA Clippers: Robert Williams III, F/C Texas A&M
The Clippers might look different in 2018-19. DeAndre Jordan is basically out the door, so it would only make sense to bring in a potential replacement. Williams didn’t improve his stock by going back to school, but is a NBA-ready athlete who’s tenacious on the glass. Life without DJ might begin with this pick.
14. Denver: Lonnie Walker IV, G Miami
An elite athlete to add to Denver's youth wave, Walker is a monster in transition. Since it seems likely that Nuggets swingman Will Barton will leave during free agency, picking up Walker, who has similar intangles and playmaking ability, would help with the depth on the wing. Also one of the more versatile defenders in the draft.
15. Washington: Zhaire Smith, G Texas Tech
Texas Tech’s highest-projected prospect since Tony Battie in ‘97, Smith has a motor like few in the draft. The ultimate Swiss Army knife, Smith an all-around ball player willing to do any and everything on court.
16. Phoenix: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG Kentucky
Phoenix already landed its big man in DeAndre Ayton and here it grabs a point guard with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Proving to be the Kentucky Wildcat's best-player late in the 2017-18 season, the 6’6 point guard with a 7ft wingspan has the potential to guard up to three positions, which is music to GMs ears.
17. Milwaukee: Jerome Robinson, G Boston College
It’s muy importante to surround the “Greek Freak” with as much shooting as possible. Adding Robinson is a good start. He shot a modest 40.9% from distance in 2017-18, and the former Boston College guard is more than simply a shooter. He flourished in a highly competitive ACC, where he averaged 17.7 points during his three seasons.
18. San Antonio: Dzanan Musa, F Bosnia
Smooth 6’9 Bosnian wing with a natural knack for scoring, Musa seems like a San Antonio pick -- the organization loves international players. With the Spurs, Musa can come in, put his skills to use and surprise folks with his game.
19. Atlanta: Donte DiVincenzo, G Villanova
The Michael Jordan of Delaware, DiVencenzo adds shooting and offensive tenacity to a Hawks team that was lacking a scoring punch. Who really knows how long Skateboard Schröder will have ATL across his chest, so bringing in the 2018 Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player makes sense.
20. Minnesota: Troy Brown, G Oregon
Brown is a Thibs guy; rangy defender who takes pride in the work he puts in on that end of the floor. He needs works in the shooting department but is a much more gifted passer than he gets credit for. Glue player that fits right in with Minnesota’s philosophy.
21. Utah: Omari Spellman, F/C Villanova
It might be the end for Derrick Favors in Salt Lake, so here we have the Jazz taking out their insurance policy with Spellman. A 43% shooter from 3, this Nova boul is a big body with scary pick-and-pop potential.
22. Chicago: Kevin Huerter, G Maryland
Rumors surfaced that he’s been promised by the Lakers, but unfortunately he won't make it to 25. A sharpshooter with great size and feel for the floor, Huerter lands in Chicago, which would be a perfect spot for the former Terrapin.
23. Indiana: Landry Shamet, G Wichita St.
Darren Collison is getting up there in age, Joe Young looks like his role is better served as a combo guard off the bench, and the Pacers need a young PG to groom alongside their All-Star Victor Oladipo. Shamet fills that role. He’s a smooth 6’5 ball handler and has a near 7 ft wingspan. Combine those traits with his sweet stroke from deep, and the Indiana faithful is going to love this dude.
24. Portland: Mitchell Robinson, C USA
Robinson is by far the biggest mystery in the draft, as the only film he has comes from his high school days more than a year ago. Not many legit bigs left in the draft and the Blazers go out on a limb here.
25. LA Lakers: Chandler Hutchison, G/F Boise St.
Overall strong player. Hutchinson does it all on both ends of the floor and can fill the Lakers' need for a 3-and-D guy. Sources report LeBron to LA is a done deal baby via 4MP HyAli.
26. Philadelphia: Gary Trent Jr., G Duke
More shooting for Philly in the shape of Gary Trent Jr. The son of former Bucks first round pick, Gary Trent, Jr. had an impressive combine, putting his shooting and defensive prowess on display. Fits right next to the talented Ben Simmons like a glove.
27. Boston: Khyri Thomas, G Creighton
There’s a possibility Boston won’t match an offer for Marcus Smart during the offseason, and Thomas is a NBA-ready guard who’s built in a similar mold. Danny Ainge can't pass this up.
28. Golden State: Grayson Allen, G Duke
The most hated Duke hooper since the great J.J. Redick, Allen built a reputation for his on-court shenanigans. Don't be distracted, he's a legit hooper. Another year, another draft steal for the Warriors of Golden State.
29. Brooklyn Jacob Evans, G/F Cincinnati
“I can be one of the best two-way players in the NBA”, said Evans, a former Cincinnati Bearcat. He’s a tenacious defender who has the ability to score in bunches. This is a perfect pick for Brooklyn.
30. Atlanta: Melvin Frazier Jr., G/F Tulane
The last pick of the 1st could be the steal of the draft. Frazier checks in at nearly the same height and wingspan as Kawhi Leonard and is a terrorist defensively. An absolute monster in transition, the AAC’s Most Improved Player of the Year continued to grow as a jump shooter, proving to be a capable threat from distance. Don't get me wrong this draft is hella deep, but a good number of teams are going to be sick, regretting passing up on my man Frazier.