The 2018 NBA Draft is now open!
1. Phoenix Suns- Deandre Ayton- Arizona (Bahamas)
NBA Comparison: David Robinson
Deandre Ayton has all the physical tools to become an NBA star. At over seven feet tall, the native Bahamian has a face up game, post game and even excels at cleaning up offensive rebounds. The only real question for him is his rim protection which is not terrible but it is not elite either. He does however, have unique athleticism and foot speed that allows him to hold his own on switches with players one through five. Ayton has a chance to reinvigorate the NBA’s love for big men and in Phoenix, he will get every opportunity to do so.
2. Sacramento Kings- Marvin Bagley III- Duke
NBA Comparison: Amar’e Stoudemire and Chris Bosh
On the offensive end, Marvin Bagley III is special. He has the type of offensive skill set for a man of his size that rarely comes along, the only question mark for him lies on the defensive end. This season, he was an absolute liability on that end of the floor for Duke, causing them to have to run a zone. In the NBA there will not be a bail out option of a zone, he will have to compete. For Kings fans though, if Bagley comes to Sacramento, regardless of his defensive shortcomings, you will be getting your best offensive power forward since Chris Webber.
3. Atlanta Hawks- Luka Doncic- Real Madrid (Slovenia)
NBA Comparison: Combination of Steve Nash and James Harden
It is legitimately insane how much criticism Luka Doncic is facing from the mainstream American media. Doncic, is an artist on the pick and roll (kind of important as a guard in today’s NBA), a very good shooter and stands at six foot eight. He may not be the most athletic player in the NBA however, neither is James Harden. But, what they both do is use their unique blends of skill and basketball IQ to dominate. Look for Doncic to have a very very good NBA career and prove a whole lot of people wrong.
4. Memphis Grizzlies- Jaren Jackson Jr.- Michigan St
NBA Comparison: All Star Jermaine O’Neal if he could really shoot
Jaren Jackson Jr has literally everything you could ever want in a 2018 NBA big man. He has the ability to not only protect the rim at an elite level but, he also has the athleticism to switch onto smaller players and hold his own. Throw in the fact that he is a deadly spot up shooter from all the way to the three point line and it is a 2018 scouts dream to watch him play. Oh, and he is the youngest player in the 2018 draft. Safe to say, Grizzlies fans will be getting a good one in this draft.
5. Dallas Mavericks- Mohamed Bamba- Texas
NBA Comparison: Rudy Gobert
If you googled potential, a picture of Mohamed Bamba would pop up next to the definition. Bamba is a seven footer who just happens to have roughly an EIGHT FOOT wing span. It is not surprising when you see his measurables to also see on the court how dominant a rim protector he already is. Add in the fact that Bamba has been working tirelessly to refine and add to his offensive game and, he has the ability and potential to be something we have never seen: A more athletic Rudy Gobert with a jump shot. Watching him and Dennis Smith Jr for years to come should be something special right Mavs fans?
6. Orlando Magic- Trae Young- Oklahoma
NBA Comparison: Isaiah Thomas
When Trae Young is on his game, it is truly magical too watch. So, how fitting is that he will be spending his career as a member of the Magic? Young has all kinds of skill, a fantastic three point shot and, even solid passing skills. My issues lie with him both on the defensive end where to say he is a liability is a gross understatement and, in his lack of efficiency, especially late in the season (he shot under 29% from three from February on this season). For me, I see him as a really talented scoring sixth man, who is just too small to be an everyday starter but, Young has heard that all his life, I gladly invite him to prove it wrong once again.
7. Chicago Bulls- Michael Porter Jr- Missouri
NBA Comparison: Kevin Durant
You do not find players who stand six foot ten with the ability to shoot and handle the basketball on the level of Michael Porter Jr everyday. The issue with him though is not really anything that he has done on the court, it is off of it. For starters, he played only three games last season in college due to a serious back injury that even held him out of team draft workouts even after he was supposedly healthy. Throw in character concerns based on cockiness and entitlement and to say Porter Jr is a sure thing would be crazy. However, it is hard to find a player with a higher ceiling in this draft the question is, will he be Kevin Durant or, Greg Oden?
8. Cleveland Cavaliers- Wendell Carter Jr- Duke
NBA Comparison: Al Horford
This pick has the potential to tell NBA fans a lot about whether LeBron James is staying or not and in this scenario, I assume the Cavs go best player available since I believe they still have hope of a return. Either way, Wendell Carter Jr is a really good player. He has the fairly rare ability to contribute both offensively and defensively right away at the NBA level. Though he will never be flashy, much like his comp, Al Horford, Carter Jr will be the type of player that can help any team win basketball games something even a King can appreciate.
9. New York Knicks- Mikal Bridges- Villanova
NBA Comparison: Otto Porter
There is a lot of ways the Knicks can go with this pick from big, to guard, to even trading it however, I personally feel their biggest need is on the wing. So, why not surround Porzingis with a player who only gets better every single year, can stretch the floor very efficiently and, is a really impressive perimeter defender. Yes, Mikal Bridges is a great fit for virtually every NBA team in 2018 with his 3 and D prowess and for that reason, he will be a really hard player to pass on for the New York Knicks.
10. Philadelphia 76ers- Kevin Knox- Kentucky
NBA Comparison: Tobias Harris
Kevin Knox has one of the highest ceilings in this draft thanks to his already large skill set and, superior athleticism. His ability to stretch the floor is something that future teammates Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will love and, his high ceiling is something Sixers management will love. His only real question is he often struggles to create his own shot off the dribble but, playing with a generationally gifted passer like Ben Simmons should not only hide that problem but, allow Knox to truly excel at the next level.
11. Charlotte Hornets- Collin Sexton- Alabama
Player Comparison: Eric Bledsoe
There is a very good chance that tonight is the official end of the Kemba Walker era in Charlotte as not only are the Hornets expected to take either Collin Sexton or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at this pick but, it is heavily rumoured Walker may be traded during the draft. In terms of why I have them taking Sexton, I think his dynamic athleticism along with high level of competitiveness is something that will intrigue owner Michael Jordan. Sexton is the type of player who has not only already shown he can carry a program but also, the type of person who would relish at the opportunity to take over the Hornets franchise.
12. Los Angeles Clippers- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander- Kentucky (Canada)
Player Comparison: Pre-Injury Shaun Livingston
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has had an epic rise in the draft rankings over the past few months. When he originally arrived at Kentucky, the Canadian looked uncomfortable and unsure of himself, forcing Calipari to go away from him as the main ball handler. By the time he left, Shai was coming off a dominant month of March which saw him lead the Wildcats to an SEC tournament championship and, prove he can be the main ball handler on a high level team. For Shai, the question is now whether that was lightning in a bottle or, something that will last long term. Either way, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has all kinds of potential and as a Clipper, he should get the chance to let it grow.
13. Los Angeles Clippers- Robert Williams- Texas A&M
Player Comparison: Jordan Bell and DeAndre Jordan
Robert Williams is the type of special athlete who does not come along very often. The big man from Texas A&M has a lot of similarities to fellow Aggie and possible future teammate DeAndre Jordan. The one main exception though is that Williams has a higher ceiling as a perimeter defender, much like Jordan Bell in last years draft. For Clippers fans though, it will be hard to pass up on an athletic freak at a position of need like Robert Williams is, especially this late in the lottery.
14. Denver Nuggets- Miles Bridges- Michigan St
Player Comparison: Jae Crowder
Miles Bridges is the type of tweener that used to be an issue in the old NBA. But now, he will fit very nicely in the NBA with his skillset. Bridges in terms of size should probably play the three but, has the athleticism to not only defend and can also hold his own offensively at the four. Much like Jae Crowder, Bridges is poised to be a very useful player for years to come who, could help replace Wilson Chandler while also learning lots from Paul Millsap in the Denver Nuggets organization.
15. Washington Wizards- Lonnie Walker IV- Miami
NBA Comparison: OJ Mayo
16. Phoenix Suns- Aaron Holiday- UCLA
NBA Comparison: Darren Collison
17. Milwaukee Bucks- Jerome Robinson- Boston College
NBA Comparison: Kevin Martin
18. San Antonio Spurs- Zhaire Smith- Texas Tech
NBA Comparison: Avery Bradley
19. Atlanta Hawks- Kevin Huerter- Maryland
NBA Comparison: Kyle Korver
20. Minnesota Timberwolves- Donte DiVincenzo- Villanova
NBA Comparison: Gerald Green
21. Utah Jazz- Elie Okobo- Pau-Orthez (France)
NBA Comparison: Jeremy Lin
22. Chicago Bulls- Chandler Hutchison- Boise St
NBA Comparison: Trevor Ariza
23. Indiana Pacers- Troy Brown Jr- Oregon
NBA Comparison: Caris LeVert
24. Portland Trail Blazers- Anfernee Simons- IMG Academy
NBA Comparison: Austin Rivers
25. Los Angeles Lakers- Keita Bates-Diop- Ohio St
NBA Comparison: Luc Mbah a Moute
26. Philadelphia 76ers- Khyri Thomas- Creighton
NBA Comparison: Norman Powell
27. Boston Celtics- Dzanan Musa- Cedevita (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
NBA Comparison: Wilson Chandler
28. Golden State Warriors- Gary Trent Jr- Duke
NBA Comparison: Buddy Hield
29. Brooklyn Nets- De’Anthony Melton- USC
NBA Comparison: Iman Shumpert
30. Atlanta Hawks- Jalen Brunson- Villanova
NBA Comparison: Derek Fisher