On Thursday, June 21st, the NBA will be drafting another class of NBA prospects.
Many of the decisions made will be moves to help the future of the franchises. However, some teams may end up drafting players and trading them later on.
They may be traded to other teams who could use the help. Or even team’s who are trying to dump salaries to add Superstar players like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and LeBron James.
Last year, we saw the Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night.
What moves could we see this year? Maybe Kawhi to the Lakers on draft night does happen? How does that change the Lakers draft?
I’ll have another article explaining what needs to be done with the Lakers to make what everyone wants to happen.
But as of now, no moves have been made to help or change the order of this year’s draft. So let’s treat it as if no moves were to happen and see where each of these prospects land?
For the first time in franchise history, the Phoenix Suns have the No. 1 overall pick and have been rumored to wanting to trade down and add another pick later in the draft. But this mock is assuming no moves or changes happen, so with the first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft…
With this pick, the Suns select their new franchise center. Assuming that Tyson Chandler’s days as an NBA player are numbered. The Suns will draft a center and hope the Chandler could be a mentor to the young rookie as he joins the Suns team who is looking to build around their shooting guard Devin Booker. Having this pick will help Chandler get more experience as a players coach and even help Booker get more shoots.
1. Phoenix Suns select Deandre Ayton: C – Arizona
The Sacramento Kings pick shouldn’t come as no surprise either since they are known for drafting foreign players. Plus they could use the help with shooting and De’Aaron Fox could benefit from having another young guard play beside him in the court who could stretch the floor and create his own shot.
2. Sacramento Kings select Luka Doncic: PG/SG – Slovenia
The Atlanta Hawks are still looking to replace Al Horford and Paul Millsap. John Collins seems to be coming along, but with the third pick, they will be adding more help for Collins.
3. Atlanta Hawks select Marvin Bagley III: PF- Duke
The Memphis Grizzlies are another team that has been talking about moving a current piece on their roster. That piece is Chandler Parsons and whether or not he gets moved the Grizzlies pick at four should still be the same despite the player missing out on almost the whole season of career ball.
4. Memphis Grizzlies select Michael Porter Jr.: SF- Missouri
The Dallas Mavericks could try to sneak in and grab Doncic or hope that he falls to them. But with Dirk Nowitzki likely entering his final season, they could look for another piece to help Harrison Barnes, Dwight Powell, and Dennis Smith Jr. That’s what they plan to do with the fifth pick.
5. Dallas Mavericks select Jaren Jackson: PF/C – Michigan State
The Orlando Magic’s pick should be evident to all. They may try to move a few players, but selecting a point guard at six is where the Magic need to go. Hopefully, they won’t have to trade this one away after three seasons of waiting.
6. Orlando Magic select Trae Young: PG – Oklahoma
The Chicago will have the 7th pick again this year and we expect them to add help for last year’s pick, Lauri Markkanen. They also could use a proven shooter that could help their guards create more shots.
7. Chicago Bulls select Mikal Bridges: SG/SF – Villanova
The Nets pick that once belonged to the Celtics now belongs to Cleveland. This pick is the most crucial for the entire draft because it is a pick that the Cavaliers hope the King likes. At the same time, they need to like him too, and he’s shown a lot of growth at Kentucky under Coach Calipari and will continue to do so in the NBA.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) select Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: PG/SG – Kentucky
Knicks are building around Kristap Porzingis, and even though they may have three centers on the team, this pick makes the most sense. We could expect to see two of the three current centers move to another team and help create cap space for a possible coach-player reunion (Fizdale and LeBron). Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet though. Let the Knicks pick the right guy with the ninth pick.
9. New York Knicks select Mohamed Bamba: C- Texas
The process isn’t over yet. Although the Sixers made it to the playoffs as the third seed in the East, there is still more room to add some scoring on the team because we know that isn’t coming from Ben Simmons. Maybe Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz could add a bit more, but lets nothing like drafting a great shooter to a young team.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) select Lonnie Walker IV: SG – Miami
The Hornets failed to make playoffs last year and look to rebound. Speaking of rebounding, that is one thing every team could use more of. For the Hornets, this pick is for the future, and we could honestly see them in the lottery section of the draft for the next few years as they approach some tough decisions with some star players. But the selection at 11 should help ease the decisions.
11. Charlotte Hornets select Miles Bridges: SF/PF – Michigan State
The pick that the Clippers got from the Blake Griffin trade would be used to help find his replacement. But they have their own pick to follow and that could be a replacement for Chris Paul.
With big question marks on the head coach and veteran players like DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams, these picks could benefit the Clippers as they won’t fall too far in the standings. That is of course if Doc Rivers plays the right personnel on the court.
12 and 13. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) select Collin Sexton: PG – Alabama and Wendell Carter: C – Duke
In a draft that seems to be forward heavy, the Denver Nuggets plan to join in on the fun. With Paul Millsap’s age and Kenneth Faried decreasing efforts, this pick could help them find more wins and make the playoffs. Wilson Chandler should also be looking to be moved, so adding a young forward from Kentucky isn’t a bad idea.
14. Denver Nuggets select Kevin Knox: SF/PF – Kentucky
Let’s admit it, the Washington Wizards aren’t the same wizards we have seen in recent years. As they get older, they seem to be getting further and further away from the top of the East. They also keep getting injured, and we haven’t seen what John Wall and Bradley Beal can do together for a full season. Hopefully, this pick will help take the pressure off the Wizards backcourt, and they can be the Wizards team that is worth watching.
15. Washington Wizards select Khyri Thomas: SG – Creighton
After taking Ayton with the No. 1 overall pick, the Suns are back on the clock. This time they address the issue in the backcourt. Sun’s traded long-time point guard, Eric Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks and left the team in the hands of Tyler Ulis. Ulis did what he could, but didn’t help the team fill the void that Devin Booker left while he was battling injury. This pick will help Ulis and Booker both get a break as they learn to trust the new rookies.
16. Phoenix Suns (via Heat) select Aaron Holiday: PG- UCLA
With Bledsoe on the Bucks, they don’t need to worry too much on point guard position. Let’s be honest, he’s a temporary fix anyway. Malcolm Brogdon is the team’s future. Brogdon will be part of the long-term plan for the Bucks along with their All-Star, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Their pick here could be a part of that plan too. He wouldn’t be asked to do so much right away, but he could at least ease himself into the starting role to replace Khris Middleton in a few seasons.
17. Milwaukee Bucks select Zhaire Smith: SG – Texas Tech
If the San Antonio Spurs were to move Kawhi, they might have more than just this pick to work with. But we know that the biggest need will be a big man in the middle. Pau Gasol isn’t the same player he was with the Los Angeles Lakers, and LaMarcus Aldridge isn’t a center. Despite the new NBA not having any true centers, their pick could be an important piece for the transition that the Spurs are about to face regardless of what Leonard does.
18. San Antonio Spurs select Robert Williams: C – Texas A&M
The Hawks second pick of the night is another need for the team. After drafting Bagley to help John Collins, the Hawks look to find a piece to work with Dennis Schroder. Or he could be Schroder’s replacement. Under the new head coach, all the positions are available, and it wouldn’t be any surprise if Hawks planned to trade this pick or even Schroder for more picks, but this would work as the Hawks look to find more shooting.
19. Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves) select Troy Brown: PG/SG – Oregon
What’s the one thing that the Minnesota Timberwolves missed last year? They had Karl Anthony-Towns, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins all together on the same team. They also added Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose. But yet, they still seemed to lack in three-point shooting. With this pick, the Timberwolves could stretch the floor even more. Imagine Butler setting up the rookie for threes.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder) select Gary Trent Jr.: SG – Duke
Last year the Utah Jazz found the best possible player in the draft. This year they look to do the same as they pick what they believe is the piece they need to help Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles in the rotation. The more depth for the Jazz the better it is for their playoff hopes as the players will be more prepared for the future of the franchise.
21. Utah Jazz select Melvin Frazier: SF-Tulane
Bulls got this pick by trading Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans and with the pick, they could look to find his replacement. Okay, maybe not his replacement because that’s what Lauri Markkanen has done, but the Bulls could use help at the forward position. The Bulls previously drafted Mikal Bridges to add to their guard depth and hopefully, he and this pick can help the Bulls became a playoff team again!
22. Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans) select Keita Bates-Diop: SF/PF – Ohio State
The Indiana Pacers surprised many when they made it to the playoffs and took the Cleveland Cavaliers to a game seven in the first round. Most of that is due in part to the emergence of Victor Oladipo. Oladipo could have used a bit more help in the backcourt from a young, talent guard. Darren Collison and Corey Joseph are talented guards that helped the Pacers get there, but they may not be with the Pacers past this next season. Drafting a point guard with pure talent and versatility is what the Pacers need to remain in the playoff picture for many years to come.
23. Indiana Pacers select Elie Okobo: PG- Pau-Orthez
The Blazers went from being the third best team in the western conference to being swept in the first round by the six seeded New Orleans Pelicans. It’s as if the dynamic duo guards of C.J. McCollum and Damien Lillard just simply run out of energy during the playoffs. This pick could help them off the bench. That will allow the Blazers to focus on more important moves like resigning Jusuf Nurkic. This pick will have an important role off the bench of the Blazers.
24. Portland Trail Blazers select Donte DiVincenzo: PG/SG – Villanova
The Lakers original first-round pick went to the Sixers, so they gained this one from the Cavaliers when they traded Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. This pick like the Cavaliers earlier pick could ultimately mean nothing if the Lakers do somehow get the superstars everyone wants them to see. If the Lakers were to miss out or pass on their opportunity with the max players, this pick will help them add depth to the shooting guard position. The Lakers could also try to use this pick to trade up or down in the draft and maybe even trade Luol Deng’s unwanted contract. Whether or not that happens is what we wait for, but this pick will still give the Lakers more versatility amongst the guards.
25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavs) select Kevin Huerter: SG – Maryland
After the Sixers drafted Lonnie Walker IV to help with the shooting, they look to find another forward to add to their depth and this pick is a very impactful as what they have. This pick could comfortably fit in well with the process and help them make it to the playoffs for many more years to come.
26. Philadelphia 76ers select Jacob Evans: SF- Cincinnati
Okay, let’s get deep into the depth charts of the Boston Celtics. They are one of the teams that have a lot to offer to get another superstar on their roster. They made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals without their two all-star players (Kyrie Irving and Gordan Hayward). This pick will help the Celtics add depth to the power forward and center position. With the Celtics having to figure out what to do with the Aron Baynes and Greg Monroe, this pick could be essential in their decision.
27. Boston Celtics select Mitchell Robinson: C- Chalmette HS
Okay, the Warriors have won the NBA title for the third time in four years, do they really need to add anyone else to the roster. Last year they landed Jordan Bell who played a surprising role in the team’s rotation. This pick could actually be just as useful. Or maybe they don’t worry about it too much as they focus on keeping Kevin Durant and adding one of the other superstars like LeBron James. This pick will still be critical to the Warriors franchise though.
28. Golden State Warriors select Omari Spellman: PF – Villanova
Wait, What? The Nets have a late first round pick? That’s the first time in who knows how long? But this pick ends to be an impactful one, and it will help the Nets in whatever their plans are. They could use some more extra shooting that this pick could offer the team provide for this team.
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Raptors) selects Josh Okogie: SG/SF – Georgia Tech
The Hawks have their third pick in the first round. They have already adding Marvin Bagley and Troy Brown to their young roster. This pick could be another piece to work with Schroder. This pick and Brown plan to work side and side and show that they can bring the Hawks back to the top of their division in hopes of having a playoff run soon.
30. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets) select Hamidou Diallo: SG – Kentucky
Notable Teams without a first round pick:
Oklahoma City Thunder
New Orleans Pelicans
What’s your Mock Draft look like? Don’t forget to comment with your opinions about who you got going where?
Featured Image: Photo Courtesy of Sporting News