So now we know where everyone is picking. That helps a lot. As before, players in parentheses should be the teams second choice if still available.
DeAndre Ayton (Luka Doncic)
This could STILL go either way.
I really wish the Suns would’ve slipped to 2. They could’ve made this a lot easier on me (taking whoever’s left between Doncic and Ayton). Not to mention they changed their name on Twitter to Šuns (though that was probably for their coach, not Luka) and tweeted a picture of Ayton smiling up at a Phoenix hat on his head.
They still haven’t returned my many calls, and I’m starting to get frustrated. This could go either way, I’ll go 60/40 for Ayton, even though a lot is being made about Doncic playing with his euro league coach. I just think that Phoenix finally getting the #1 pick will force them to take the sure fire choice, after missing in the high and mid lottery for all these years. And as Jackson covers for Booker on D, I feel like Marquese Chriss can do the same for DeAndre. That lineup is scary.
Luka Doncic (Marvin Bagley III)
Alright, let’s see you fuck this one up Sacramento.
Doncic is as close to a lock as there can be here. He’s not falling out of the top 2, he can play next to Fox, and shares the same heritage as Vlade.
Most assumed he would be better suited for an off ball role starting out, and thats exactly what he’ll get playing alongside De’Aaron Fox: an opportunity to adjust to the NBA game as a secondary ball handler without much pressure.
Now stop giving Zach Randolph and Garrett Temple minutes, Sacramento. The basketball gods have smiled on you for no reason whatsoever, get it together.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (Marvin Bagley III)
After leaving the combine with the 3rd longest wingspan and flashing range from deep at Michigan St., I have Triple J moving up over Bagley for the Hawks, who already have a “10 feet-and-in” big in John Collins. It helps that the Hawks aren’t in a position to win any time soon, and will probably be tanking again in 2018, especially if they cut ties with #1 option Dennis Schroeder.
They’ll be patient with the 19 year old, and look for RJ Barrett next year.
Marvin Bagley III (Michael Porter Jr.)
I don’t see Bagley dropping out of the top 4. For a team that needs everything, Bagley is the best talent available. Bamba would fit nicely as well, especially after wowing scouts at the combine with his physical tools, but Bagley is just that good right now, the best post scorer in the draft with range that can be developed out to the 3 point line. Effort is a question, so we’ll see how he handles not winning much.
Side Note: There’s murmurs of a trade here, since salty ass Memphis didn’t get into the top 2. Sore losers.
Mohamed Bamba (Marvin Bagley III)
This kid didn’t even play basketball at the combine, yet walked out of there rising on everyone’s draft board. The wingspan was confirmed, the added muscle showed, and Mo looks like he’s ready to start developing well on whatever team takes him. He’ll be a fantastic P&R partner for Dennis Smith in Dallas, and will be an immediate upgrade from poor Nerlens Noel. He also worked out with KG, which probably means he’s added the blocking-shots-after-the-whistle move to his repertoire.
Trae Young (Michael Porter Jr.)
Sorry Knicks fans, the Magic need a PG.
After a scorching start to the season was cooled off by double teams taking advantage of Oklahoma having no other options, Young was falling on draft boards in January. The size will always be a question, but this is still hands down the best shooter in the draft. And for a front court clogged team like the Magic, taking the best guard available should be the wise move here.
Don’t be surprised if Sexton impresses in his workouts and gets a look here as well.
Michael Porter Jr. (Mikal Bridges)
Finally. I found a way for us to get MPJ.
Don’t be surprised if he’s gone sooner, or if either of the Bridges have a better workout and leap him. Miles seems better suited to the small ball 4, so Mikal would be the next option for a team that already has a 4. But the other Michael is special, back issues be damned.
Tracy McGrady was all over Porter, and said he reminded him of himself, which is probably the highest outlook I’ve seen this far from anyone following the draft. I love his offense as much as the next guy, and his switchability and quickness on defense is hopefully something that can be developed. Good job me, great pick.
Cavs (via Nets)
Mikal Bridges (Miles Bridges)
Maybe it’s a good thing that Cleveland is down 2-0 and playing like hot garbage. Considering there’s nothing at pick #8 that can make LeBron come back, this will allow them to get a young piece that…wait…wait a minute…just got something through the earpiece…
“The Grizzlies have traded Marvin Bagley to the Cleveland Cavaliers????”
Maybe not. But who knows, Cleveland should be looking to move up and for some reason I feel like Memphis is just dumb enough to move down.
Miles Bridges (Lonnie Walker)
Two high flying options for New York here. Bridges is the better prospect, and would allow KP to play more at the 5 in most lineups, assuming that he returns next season and Enes “No Fly List” Kanter goes searching for a new bag of money elsewhere. Not the superstar New York has been craving, but at least he can bring some excitement to the Garden. I still think he should’ve came out last year, or even stayed one more year, but I also sit on my couch all day and don’t have a 40” vertical, so really wtf do I know.
Lonnie Walker(Kevin Knox)
I’m really high on this kid. And this would be almost unfair.
You wouldn’t be getting a straight up replacement for JJ Reddick, but if Walker figures out his shot he’d be a more athletic upgrade in no less than 2 years. And for a team expecting to compete for the next 5+, that’s just scary.
Wendell Carter Jr. (Robert Williams)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Al. Horford.
After seeing the importance of Big Al in the playoffs this season, scouts should be all over this same type of player: smart, patient, can play the 4 or 5, athletic enough on defense.
Honestly Horford was a snub for DPOY this year. Let’s see what a younger version brings to the woeful Hornets. Go back to the Bobcats, that orange color scheme was nuts.
Clippers (via Pistons)
Collin Sexton (Kevin Knox)
Still the best value here, but could rise and fall as workouts go along. Back to back picks are always enticing to move, but I think Jerry West knows what the hell he’s doing and will choose to stay put.
Kevin Knox (Robert Williams)
Assuming the Clippers don’t want to keep Gallinari around into his injury prone 30’s, a scoring wing would fit quite well with a team loading up on whatever they can during this on the fly rebuild. I think Knox is underrated when it comes to NBA readiness, but I thought the same about Malik Monk last season…
Robert Williams (Gilgeous-Alexander)
The Nuggets have one of the best offenses in the league, how’d they miss the playoffs? Oh yea, they also have a bottom 3 defense. The Millsap Jokic experiment is interesting to me; while I believe it can work, I’m not sure about the long term. Also, I forgot Kenneth Faried was a person.
Well, Robert Williams was one of those guys who bet on himself after a season where he was projected by most to go near the lottery. Don’t be surprised if a team like Cleveland takes a chance on him earlier, he’s the real deal when it comes to energy big guys who protect the paint.
Also, this is the same comment from the last mock draft, because I’m getting lazy.
THE REST OF THE FIELD
Mitchell Robinson (Gilgeous-Alexander)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Zhaire Smith)
Keita Bates-Diop (Dzanan Musa)
Gary Trent Jr. (Keita Bates-Diop)
Zhaire Smith (Gary Trent Jr.)
Johntay Porter (Chandler Hutchinson)
Chandler Hutchinson (Johntay Porter)
Bulls (via Pelicans)
Dzenan Musa (Troy Brown)
Anfernee Simons (Hutchinson)
Troy Brown (Omari Spellman)
Donte Divincenzo (Grayson Allen)
Grayson Allen (Caleb Martin)
Brandon McCoy (Omari Spellman)
Caleb Martin (Brandon McCoy)
Landry Shamet (Donte Divincenzo)
Omari Spellman (Brandon McCoy)