The 2018 NBA draft is finally upon us, and Kyle and Logan did a crazy in-depth mock draft with TRADES for you all to see. Have fun, be safe, and enjoy.
1.Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona, Freshman
Kyle – So Deandre Ayton going to the Suns is no surprise here, right?
Logan – No, as he came in as the top overall recruit and showed consistently why he earned that title. His athleticism and skill set, in a 7-foot frame, make him look like a future star.
K – He’s certainly the most interesting offensive big man in the class, but his defensive potential is questionable. Do you think the Suns can groom him to become a better player on that side of the ball?
J – He certainly has that potential; I have doubts as to whether this organization is capable of providing him the tools he needs to become a defensive juggernaut, though. Hopefully, at least in the short term, his athleticism will make up for his defensive mistakes.
K – Plus, a 140-139 win is still a win!
L – Devin Booker needs to only average 70 a game!
2.Sacramento Kings – Jaren Jackson Jr, PF/C, Michigan State, Freshman
K – At number two, we briefly thought about trading down, but ended up picking JJJ. Do the real-life Kings consider trading down?
L – I don’t think so. They have the chance to pick from Euro Jordan, Chris Bosh 2.0, the Midwest’s version of Serge Ibaka, and Viva La Bamba. No way they pass that up.
K – Plus, their young core isn’t the best and brightest, but they have some solid guys there. I don’t think that JJJ is best available, but what’s the case for him here?
L – It comes down to choosing a prospect with a very high floor. The Kings haven’t exactly implemented their version of The Process in the past few years. JJJ will be an immediate fit next to De’Aaron Fox and the two will be an excellent pick and roll duo.
K – We’ve talked about this before, but our readers obviously haven’t heard us talk about it unless they’re bugging us (they might be). But we both agree that JJJ will never be the best player on a team but could very well be the most important player. The Kings have a few more years of rebuilding left to go, JJJ is a solid piece to build a franchise around, right?
L – I think so, yes. I doubt he’ll ever average twenty a night, but he might have several triple-doubles throughout a season. If his passing and mobility transition well into this league, then we could be looking at a Draymond Green-type player.
K – While it’s a bit of a cop-out to compare him to Draymond Green, I largely agree. Hell, he could be better than Draymond. He certainly already has a higher floor than Draymond had coming into the league.
3.Atlanta Hawks – Marvin Bagley, PF/C, Duke, Freshman
K – The Hawks take Bagley, who may be the most intriguing prospect in the draft for me. While Doncic might be the best player available, but Bagley probably has the higher ceiling. Why do they go Bagley here over Doncic?
L – While Doncic has a very high upside, his athleticism could be a shortcoming. Bagley’s, however, is not. He will immediately compliment Prince and Dennis Schroeder and will remind Hawks fans of Josh Smith.
K – The Hawks have almost no young core, yet we have them trading up in the draft. Is the level of talent they’re getting at 3 and 11 worth the sacrifice of a pick later in the draft? Also, Bagley doesn’t really need to compliment any of the current Hawks, as there’s no one on the team outside of John Collins that is in their future plans. Are the Hawks the worst team next year?
L – Unless Ayton gives the Suns ten more wins, then no. The Suns are barely a basketball team, outside of Devin Booker. The Hawks at least have a few solid players. A front court combo of Bagley and Collins might very well be the best in just a few short years. Have two teammates ever averaged fifteen rebounds a piece?
K – While I disagree with the Hawks having “solid players” I agree that the Suns are gonna be pretty bad too. Back to the original question though, is trading up in this draft worth it for Atlanta? They have 19 and 30 in real life and could potentially make some moves.
L – In our mock, they end up with Shai, while Troy Brown and Chandler Hutchinson are taken at the Hawks original picks. Shai may be the best point guard prospect in the draft. His size and wingspan will give him huge advantages over most NBA point guards. And if I may be excused, his game is reminiscent of Rajon Rondo when he was with the Celtics. Taller and longer, but that’s how his game looks. Someone has to throw the lobs to Collins and Bagley, right?
K – Also worth noting that Atlanta doesn’t owe any first round picks to anyone and have plenty of cap space to acquire future firsts. The future is bright in Atlanta, just a bit off in the distance. They’ll still be bad for a few years though.
L – The future is bright for them, but tomorrow will still be a cloudy day.
4.Utah Jazz(via MEM) – Luka Doncic, PG, Real Madrid, 19
K – Here’s the first of our big trades:
Utah receives: 4, Parsons
Grizzlies receive: Ricky Rubio, Jae Crowder, Thabo Sefolosha, 21, 2019 first protected (1-10, 2020 first unprotected)
Why do both teams do this deal, and who is the perceived winner?
L – Yes, this one is certainly going to shock some folks. I don’t think it’s that extreme, though. The Jazz are primed to make a run for a top 4 seed in the West this year. Donovan Mitchell is a rising star and could be an All-NBA selection next year if he continues to improve. What they’re missing is another offensive weapon. Someone who will step in right away and command attention away from their Mitchell. Who better than Doncic? He will force defenders to keep an eye on him, which should open up the floor for drives, which are Mitchell’s specialty. Doncic is also a top-tier passer. He will put Donovan and the rest of the Jazz lineup in excellent positions to score. But, why would Memphis do this deal? I think it comes down to them still wanting to compete. They’re not in full tank mode. They have had serious injury problems and this probably makes them think they can compete when healthy. The Grizzlies are getting a fine package of players in return. Crowder and Tabo play good D, which fits right in. Rubio will fit in if Mike Conley isn’t 100% or will be the best backup point in the league. Both teams are getting what they want here.
K – I think it’s also worth noting from a financial standpoint that the Grizzlies are saving a lot of money by getting out of the Parsons deal. A “rebuilding” small market team can’t afford to have an injury prone guy like Parsons on the team, while Utah will gladly pay the price of his contract if it means getting Doncic. Also, when Parsons is healthy, he can be a relatively decent player for the Jazz. The Jazz also don’t lose any extremely important role players, and they become a potential destination for trophy chasing veterans on minimum deals.
L – That’s true. This is one of the more “fair to both sides” blockbuster trades we’ve seen in a while.
K – Yet it’s one that 100% will not happen, and we’re okay with that. It’s also worth noting that the Bulls, Knicks, and Clippers all put in offers for this pick in our mock, but we decided that the best trade for the Grizzlies was the package that they got from the Jazz.
5.Dallas Mavericks – Mo Bamba, C, Texas, Freshman
K – The Mavericks at 5 take one of my favorite prospects in the last few years: Mo Bamba. This is a really exciting pick for the Mavericks who still somehow have Dirk Nowitzki on the roster. It doesn’t get them any closer to immediate contention, but it’s a great addition to the rebuild, right?
L – I think Bamba is one of the three best players in the draft, alongside Ayton and Bagley. His athleticism and unique skill set at his size make him a phenomenal prospect. His upside is unreal. This man has a wingspan of 7’10. That’s incredible. He can shoot 3’s well and no one will come close to blocking them. If he stays healthy, as there are always health concerns for 7-footers, then Dennis Smith Jr and he will be a franchise cornerstone combo for years to come.
K – It’s worth mentioning here that Dallas is trying to trade up to get Doncic, and Atlanta suddenly has leaked interest in Doncic as well. I don’t know what to believe from those reports, but it’s worth keeping an eye on as we close in on the draft.
6.Orlando Magic – Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama, Freshman
K – Here’s a fun little game: Without looking, name Orlando’s point guard.
L – Um, I believe Vucevic is currently transitioning to run some point. No, but seriously, they’re so bleak there. I don’t recall.
K – It’s not even worth mentioning. Point guard is the obvious choice here, and it comes down to Sexton versus Trae Young. So, why does Orlando go with Sexton?
L – He’s a safer choice and he’s more of the “team captain” kind of point. He’s hard-nosed and is not afraid of big moments.
K – And that’s something that the Magic desperately need. They’re a young team with no real sense of direction on the roster. A stabilizing presence like Sexton could dramatically change the outlook of the franchise. Plus, he’s a really good player, something the Magic lack a lot of.
L – Exactly. Yeah, talent is something they lack.
7.Chicago Bulls – Michael Porter Jr, SF, Missouri, Freshman
K- Ah, the Bulls. Oh, how I don’t miss nervously awaiting every move that the dumb front office makes. Alas, this draft is hard to mess up in. Michael Porter Jr is who we have them taking, and he’s a guy who certainly had number one overall potential coming into the draft. This is a steal, right? Or is there some sort of risk factor for the Bulls?
L – If he is healthy and his back doesn’t hinder his game, then this is an absolute steal. Only teams and their doctors know how he’s doing. If the Bulls do draft him here, then you gotta figure they feel good about his long-term health. As far as his upside, it’s as high as anyone’s in this class. I think the KD comparisons are a bit overblown, but his unique shooting ability for his size makes him look like a tall, lengthy, big-time scorer. Bulls fans should be happy here.
K – And they’ll be happy a bit later when they see who the moved up to get. It seems though that the Bulls are getting back on track. They have some cap space next year that they can play around with. Are they going to be a free agent destination in 2019?
L – They certainly project to be. Lavine, whose upside, I believe, will show this year; Markkanen; and the guy they take later in our mock will put the Bulls in a position to compete for the East in three to five years.
8.Charlotte Hornets(via BKN by CLE) – Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma, Freshman
K – Hey, we have the second of our major trades:
Cavs receive: Kemba Walker, Nicholas Batum
Hornets receive: George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Ante Zizic, Larry Nance Jr, 8, first available first round pick (2020 or 2021) top 5 protected.
This one was an absolute doozy, but I feel pretty decent about it. Let’s talk about the trade first, and then talk about who Charlotte takes.
L – Yeah, so the Cavs have to make a move like this if they want any chance of LeBron staying. This trade, which ironically has occurred in multiple of my My Leagues on 2K18, gets the Cavs close to where they were two years ago. Kemba isn’t Kyrie, but at least their names both start with “K”. MJ will be happy that he got a bunch of mediocre players, because he’s a trash owner. But, honestly, it’s a good move to get the extra pick, which [*SPOLIER ALERT*] will be Kemba’s immediate replacement.
K – Also, small market Charlotte gets out of the massive Batum contract. They just took on a longer contract for two second-round picks today, so moving Kemba for a pick is great for them. Trae Young is who they take with their first pick, this is a great pick for that franchise. This is also considered the end of the top tier players by some. Why does Young fall so far, and why is he an excellent pick for the Hornets?
L – I think there are questions about whether he can produce at an elite level in the NBA. No doubt he’ll be able to score, but how consistently? And speaking of consistency, his size poses dangers on the defensive end. The Hornets, if you don’t count Kemba, have never had a “franchise guy”, so this sells tickets and may even bring in a lot of dubs (no, he’s not Steph Curry).
K – Horrible joke aside, Trae Young does get a lot of comparisons to Steph Curry. He’s one of the first players to grow up watching Steph play and mimic his game after the Warriors guard. Whether or not he’s as good as the Davidson guard, time will tell. But the Hornets get a good start on a full rebuild, and as our readers will see a bit later, the rebuild is starting strong.
9.New York Knicks – Wendell Carter Jr, PF/C, Duke, Freshman
K – This next pick is a difficult one, as the Knicks are on standby as they wait for Kristaps Porzingis to recover from his injury. What are they hoping to get out of Wendell Carter Jr? Also, it was leaked today that the Knicks are looking to trade up to pick Mo Bamba. What could they potentially offer to get up into that range?
L – WCJ would be a good compliment to Zingers. He’ll be a defensive anchor, which Zinger is not. He’s also probably the most highly touted player left on our board at this point. As far as trading up for Bamba, they’d probably have to part with either Ntilikina or Hardaway Jr., but the latter has a horrible contract.
K – Surprisingly, the Knicks own all of their future picks, but I doubt the would be willing to part with any of those to move up 4 or 5 spots. They should be content with taking Carter Jr and keeping the future opportunities to improve.
10.Philadelphia 76ers(via LAL by PHX) – Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova, Junior
K – We initially had the Sixers trading for Kawhi, but we scrapped that for something else we’ll reveal later. How well does Mikal fit with the team?
L – This is the best fit for any player in the top 10. Is he the most talented? No, but he’ll an immediate plug-in. He provides more deadly 3 point shooting, which is only improve the Simmons-Embiid power punch.
11.Atlanta Hawks(via Hornets) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, SG, Kentucky, Freshman
K – Another trade!
Atlanta receives: 11
Hornets receive: 14 and 19
This was a fun little one. Atlanta moves up and takes an extremely talented guard. The Hornets are able to double dip on prospects in the first round after already taking Trae Young. What are your thoughts on this?
L – Charlotte gets to pick some potential bench contributors that would fit well in the long run with Trae Young. (Editors note: Kevin Knox is probably waaaay more than a bench contributor, but that’s okay.)
12.Los Angeles Clippers (via DET) – Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech, Freshman
K – The first of two picks for the Clippers is Zhaire Smith. Love his game, but how will the Clippers be able to utilize him?
L – He’ll provide immediate offense and take pressure off of Tobias Harris, who is an integral part of the Clippers future plans
13.Los Angeles Clippers – Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M, Sophomore
K – The second pick for the Clippers nets them Robert Williams, who could be a potential DeAndre Jordan replacement.
L – He’ll probably get traded in a few years though for a future pick and the cycle of the Clippers will continue.
14.Charlotte Hornets(via DEN by ATL) – Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky, Freshman
K – This is the first of the two picks that Charlotte received, and they get a slipping Kevin Knox. This is a huge win for the Hornets, right?
L – HUGE. Knox paired with Trae Young is a great start for the rebuilding Hornets, who will have quite a different team look.
End of lottery-end of pick analysis for every pick
15.Chicago Bulls(via WAS) – Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State, Sophomore
Bulls receive: Ian Mahinmi, 15
Washington receives: Omer Asik, 22
The Bulls move up to take another great asset for their young core. The Wizards move back and save money long term.
16.Phoenix Suns(via MIA) – Dzanan Musa, SF, Cedevita, 1999
17.Milwaukee Bucks – Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami, Freshman
18.San Antonio Spurs – Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton, Junior
19.Charlotte Hornets(via MIN by ATL) – Troy Brown, PG/SG, Oregon, Freshman
20.Minnesota Timberwolves(via OKC) – Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland, Freshman
21.Memphis Grizzlies(via UTA) – Anfernee Simons, SG, IMG Academy
22.Washington Wizards(via CHI) – De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG, USC, Sophomore
23.Indiana Pacers – Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA, Junior
24.Portland Trailblazers – Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Ohio State, Junior
25.San Antonio Spurs(via LAL) – Jalen Brunson.PG, Villanova, Junior
Lakers receive: Kawhi Leonard
Spurs receive: 25, 47, Kyle Kuzma, Luol Deng, Thomas Bryant, Ivica Zubac, 2019 first round pick unprotected
This was probably the biggest one we did, and the price in return for Kawhi seems a bit low. However, the Spurs have no leverage in their deals, as it’s been widely reported that Kawhi wants out. The Spurs, in a last-ditch effort to save face, trade Kawhi to his preferred destination and get some interesting young pieces in return, as well as the ability to choose their own young pieces, starting with Jalen Brunson.
26.Philadelphia 76ers – Omari Spellman, PF/C, Villanova, Freshman
27.Boston Celtics – Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova, Sophomore
28.Golden State Warriors – Grayson Allen, SG, Duke, Senior
29.Brooklyn Nets (via TOR) – Elie Okobo, PG, Pau-Lacq-Orthez
30.Denver Nuggets(via HOU by ATL) – Chandler Hutchinson, SG/SF, Boise State, Senior
Oh right, this trade.
Nuggets receive: 30
Atlanta receives: 14, Kenneth Faried
Atlanta used 14 to move up to 11, and the Nuggets move way down while getting out of Faried’s contract. Win-win.