This class may not be as deep as the stacked 2017 class, but there are a number of star players at the top that all look like franchise players. However, the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick centers around three players in Arizona's Deandre Ayton, Duke's Marvin Bagley III, and Real Madrid's Luka Doncic, who became the youngest player to win EuroLeague MVP while leading Real Madrid to the EuroLeague title this weekend.
Where will they and the other top prospects in the draft end up? Here is Version 4.0 our 2018 Mock NBA Draft following the NBA Combine:
1) Phoenix Suns - Luka Doncic, SG/PG, Real Madrid (Spain)
6'8", 225 lbs. - 15.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.5 apg
Ayton may have been the favorite to be the top pick going into the lottery, but the Suns have followed Doncic all year and, as of now, appear to favor him over Ayton. His all-around game made him the youngest player to ever record a triple-double in ACB history, youngest ever to win the EuroLeague MVP, and has great size and vision for the position. There are some questions about his athleticism but he's the most skilled player of this group right now.
It also helps that his coach for the Slovenian national team, Igor Kokoskov, was hired as Phoenix's new head coach last week. The Suns also plan to pursue Clint Capela this summer, meaning guard would be a bigger need than a big man for them.
The Kings would've taken Ayton first so to get him at No. 2 is huge for them. The best true center prospect we've seen in some time, Ayton is a highly skilled big man who still has plenty of upside. He's a physical beast that is dominant in the post and has range stretching out to the three-point line. I rank Bagley as the better player, but given Ayton's physical stature, he may have the highest ceiling of anyone in this class.
Sacramento needs a center and needs a star. Ayton can check both boxes while helping their defense.
Atlanta is in a position to take the best player available regardless of position and I think they'll go with Bagley's upside. At 6-11, Bagley is a silky smooth athlete who can bring the ball up the court and shoot from the outside, but he's lethal in the post and a terror on the glass thanks to his quick second and third jumps. There are some questions about his skinny frame but he projects to be the perfect four man - or stretch five - in today's NBA.
An excellent addition to any NBA team, Jackson has a 7-foot-4 wingspan and is a great athlete, giving him a ton of defensive upside as a shot blocker who can defend every position on the court. He's competitive on the glass, runs the floor well and is a good finisher with a growing offensive skill set, though he needs to improve his shooting. He'll be the perfect pair in the frontcourt with Marc Gasol.
The Nerlens Noel experience was a disaster in Dallas, but they still want a defensive-minded big man who can be a rim protector and defensive anchor. Enter Bamba, who fits that role to a tee. He has a growing offensive game, but he's the best pure shot-blocker in this class. He'll also catch plenty of lobs from Dennis Smith Jr.
Orlando needs a point guard and, with all of the top-quality big men off the board, they will be led to Young, who has incredible quickness, vision, and ability to create shots for himself. There are some major defensive questions about having him, but his offensive upside is tremendous. The Magic will make him their franchise player and hope he turns into a star.
After taking Lauri Markkanen in the first round last year, the Bulls will look to find his long-term frontcourt partner in Carter. He is big and strong enough to play center, yet is also athletic enough and has enough touch on his jumper to play power forward. Fundamentally sound, he can do everything he wants on the court. If he didn't play alongside Bagley at Duke, we'd be talking about Carter as a potential top-five pick.
Cleveland will likely look to trade this pick, but if they keep it for what could be the post-LeBron era, they'll want to take someone they can build their future around. Porter was in the running for the No. 1 pick in the draft before he suffered a hip injury that required back surgery and ended his season before it really started. He's a good, fluid athlete who excels on the perimeter and around the basket with his smooth skill set.
If Bridges is on the board when the Knicks pick, New York is currently leaning towards taking him. Though he played a lot of power forward for the Wildcats, New York views Bridges as a starting-caliber small forward with a ton of NBA upside is as a defender. He's very quick for someone who is 6-foot-7, and with a wingspan over seven feet, he is an impact player on that end of the floor. Bridges is the ultimate 3-and-D prospect.
Philly would love if Mikal Bridges fell to them, but here they'll go with the other Bridges. Miles didn't really help himself with the gamble to return to school for his sophomore year, but he is a freak athlete who is excellent finishing around the rim and has shown somewhat of an improved jumper (though he struggles to create his own shot).
Sexton seems be the logical choice for Charlotte to take here given his value and ability to be a possible replacement for Kemba Walker. However, Michael Jordan doesn't want to part with Walker (he'd still rather play him than rebuild without him) and Walker doesn't want to leave Charlotte.
That will cause the Hornets to look in the direction of Gilgeous-Alexander, who has tremendous size and can play multiple positions. Remember, Charlotte took Monk in this spot last season and both he and Walker are undersized for their position. Gilgeous-Alexander, who was the most consistent player for Kentucky this season, has the size and vision to complement both players.
This would be an ideal scenario for the Clippers. Sexton could easily go higher than this, but I think he'll fall a bit because of his size. Still, he's a dynamic athlete who is exciting to watch because of his quickness, vision, finishing ability and defensive quality. He's also perhaps the most competitive player in this class.
Los Angeles needs backcourt depth and Walker is a terrific combo guard with a lot of upside. Walker could very easily find his way into the back end of the lottery, as he has all of the physical tools and athleticism to be a star in the NBA. However, he needs the ball in hands to be effective and can improve his consistency and shooting. The Clippers will role the dice on both players becoming stars.
There's a reason why Knox was one of the top prospects in the country this year. Despite a lack of aggression and the need to get stronger, Knox can fill it up with the best of them. The Nuggets have been trying to find a solution at small forward for years, and they'll take the game here with Knox, who might be the best pure scorer in this class.
For a team that needs a long-term replacement for Marcin Gortat, the Wizards would be ecstatic if Williams fell to them here. He is a super athlete who may have been a first-round pick if he stayed in the 2017 draft but opted to return to school to work on his consistency. That was a failure as he has struggled to find his place in Texas A&M's big lineup, but his game could translate to modern NBA. He is an elite rebounder and shot blocker who will best utilize those skills in the wide-open NBA game.
At the very least, Washington needs him as a rim protector.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has said they will draft both a perimeter player and a big man with their first two first-round picks, and since they took Doncic first, they could gamble on Robinson here. While Phoenix is planning to offer Clint Capela a max contract this offseason - the plan appears to be to land both him and Doncic - but Robinson gives them some long-term insurance at a needed position.
Robinson did not play this past season due to a weird series of events that ultimately led to him leaving Western Kentucky for a third and final time to spend the year preparing for the NBA Draft. A freak athlete and shot-blocker, Robinson is still very raw at this point in his career - but the upside is obvious.
Perhaps no one saw their draft stock soar more in the NCAA Tournament than Zhaire Smith. His outstanding athleticism has always been his greatest attribute, yet he showed flashes of his immense potential during Texas Tech's run. Smith is still raw - his shooting and ball-handling need to improve - but that incredible athleticism makes him a very intriguing prospect.
Brown has great size for a wing player and can do a little bit of everything on the court, especially as a smart passer and defender. However, he's just an average athlete and needs to improve his consistency, yet for a Spurs team that needs wing depth, he's a good fit.
Simons was the No. 7 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class and but is making the jump straight to the NBA out of prep school. For one of the league's worst teams in Atlanta, they can afford to gamble on a prospect like Simons and hope he delivers on his upside.
Another international prospect who needs to get stronger, Muza has a high basketball IQ and is an aggressive scorer who can fill it up from anywhere on the court. Minnesota needs more wing scoring and shooting so they could gamble on Musa here.
Utah is in a position where they can take the best player available, which happens to be the Big Ten Player of the Year. Bates-Diop's size, length, and versatility give him a lot of defensive upside at the next level, as does his scoring ability. The Jazz will be hoping they can turn him into a 3-and-D guy at the next level.
The Bulls have reportedly given Hutchison a draft promise, so if he's on the board here at No. 22, they're going to take him. He's a good, experienced, smart player with a quality shooting stroke and excellent passing ability.
The Pacers need a point guard and Holiday has the most all-around upside of the multitude of the point-guard prospects that could go late in the first round. He was the unquestioned leader for UCLA this season and shouldn't have a hard time making the adjustment to the NBA because of his high basketball IQ.
In a draft class that is short on top-end wing players, Frazier likely cemented himself as a first-round pick thanks to his measurements at the combine. He checked in at 6'6" with a wingspan just under 7'2" and, when coupled with his athleticism and 40.5-inch vertical, confirmed what NBA teams believed about his defensive upside.
Frazier is still a bit of a project but his name will be off the board sometime in the early 20's because of his defense and 3-and-D potential. Portland has shown an interest in players like this in the past and still have a need for perimeter defenders.
Brunson isn't a super athlete but is an extremely smart, skilled player with the highest basketball IQ in the class. The Lakers need a backup point guard if they let Isaiah Thomas walk (as expected) and, given the way the Lakers franchise loves Josh Hart, they won't hesitate to take another Villanova player. It helps he's the National Player of the Year, too.
Evans is a quality wing defender with a growing offensive game, and for a 76ers team that values size and is looking for defense, he could add a defensive stopper to the bench unit and form a solid bench duo with Miles Bridges.
At the combine, Huerter showed off his excellent catch-and-shoot ability, knocking down some contested three-pointers, along with a high basketball IQ that helped his underrated playmaking ability.
Many think Huerter has the potential to be a lottery pick if he returns to school for his junior season - something he is seriously considering - but his athletic testing (38-inch vertical, third-fastest shuttle time), size (6'7.5"), and well-rounded skill set should have him hear his name called late in the first round should he choose to stay in the draft. That kind of all-around skill set would thrive in Brad Stevens' system.
DiVincenzo burst onto the scene with his 31-point performance in the national championship game and has an intriguing combination of scoring ability and athleticism. He had the highest standing vertical (34.5") and highest max vertical (42.0") at the combine and showcased his shooting and shot-making abilities in the scrimmage. While questions still remain about his defense, his testing shows he has the tools to improve on that end of the court.
With Golden State needing to save money, DiVincenzo could contribute immediately as a scorer off the bench.
Brown is small for a shooting guard but makes up for it with a 6-foot-9 wingspan and elite athleticism. He's a very versatile offensive player who was projected to be a lottery pick at the start of the season but dropped due to a slow start to the season and then a foot injury that cut his year short. Brown would be great value for the Nets at this point.
If Atlanta gambles on Simons earlier in the draft - or even if they don't - they could use something resembling a sure thing to help their young roster. They also need scoring and shooting, both of which we know Allen (an underrated athlete) will be able to provide.Back to the NBA Newsfeed