Reader Mock by DS11885

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2018 NBA Mock Draft by DS11885 - 6.19
Published at 6/19/2018 10:09:37 PM

I admittedly don't follow the NBA anywhere near as closely as I did growing up, so this may not be a great mock. That's why I won't even attempt to conjure up any trades here as I might do with an NFL mock.

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Round 1

Round 1: 1-15
1. Suns: DeAndre Ayton, Center, Arizona

While I wouldn't count out Luka Doncic being taken here because of his ties to new Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov, it does sound like DeAndre Ayton is the prohibitive favorite to go here. He should be a dominant scorer down low and is very capable of hitting from deep. There are questions surrounding his abilities as a rim protector, but he'd be a nice fit alongside Devin Booker and Josh Jackson.

Suns's Needs via ESPN's RPM

2. Kings: Luka Doncic, Small Forward, Slovenia

A lot of people seem to think the Sacramento Kings might pass on Doncic, but I'm not going to be one of those. This is a 19-year-old that is even more seasoned than college players since he went up against pros overseas. The Kings would have the option of bringing Doncic off the bench as a 6th man before he would push Buddy Hield to that roll and become a shooting guard who can also handle the rock, taking some pressure off of De'Aaron Fox.

Kings's Needs via ESPN's RPM

3. Hawks: Mohamed Bamba, Center, Texas

John Collins should be a very nice scoring and rebounding option for many years in the NBA. He does struggle a bit defensively, but that would be less of an issue with Mohamed Bamba next to him up front. This guy is a freak of nature with his 7'10" wingspan and is a game changer defensively. He's not just a great defender, though. There is offensive potential here, including from three point range.

Hawks's Needs via ESPN's RPM

4. Grizzlies: Marvin Bagley III, Power Forward, Duke

Sounds as though the Grizzlies seem intent on trying to win in 2018-2019 instead of blowing it up and rebuilding from scratch. If that's the case, Marvin Bagley would make more sense to me than either Bamba or Jaren Jackson if they went with a big man. Bagley can struggle a bit on the defensive end of the court, but he's ready to contribute as a scorer next to Marc Gasol.

Grizzlies's Needs via ESPN's RPM

5. Mavericks: Jaren Jackson, Power Forward, Michigan State

Dallas continues to think about the long game here. Dennis Smith had his ups and downs as a rookie a year ago; and Jaren Jackson Jr. is likely to have his share of those as well like most rookies. Jaren's dad had a long career in the pros, but Jr. has the potential to be much better. Like Bamba, he's a fantastic rim protector. He'll do some damage on that end while his offensive game develops.

Mavericks's Needs via ESPN's RPM

6. Magic: Trae Young, Point Guard, Oklahoma

Reportedly, there are teams that want to move up for Trae Young. Should the Magic decide to stay put, they badly need an answer at the point guard spot. Young was on fire to start the college basketball season. He cooled off quite a bit down the stretch, but to be fair, he had to shoulder almost the entire load while at Oklahoma. You'd think he wouldn't have to do that at the NBA level where he'd have capable players around him every night.

Magic's Needs via ESPN's RPM

7. Bulls: Wendell Carter, Power Forward, Duke

Being overshadowed by Marvin Bagley at Duke this season, I think Wendell Carter has become a very underrated prospect for this draft. Comparisons to Al Horford are not at all unfounded here. The team taking Carter may not get its next superstar player, but they will be getting someone I feel is one of the safer bets in this draft class.

Bulls's Needs via ESPN's RPM

8. Cavaliers: Michael Porter Jr., Small Forward, Missouri

After I just talked about a guy who I feel is a pretty safe bet in Carter, Michael Porter Jr. might fall on the opposite end of the spectrum. Injuries have created a lot of question marks around him, but he could be a steal here as he was once thought of as the possible #1 pick in this class. This guy has some of the best offensive talent in this draft class. If LeBron leaves, the Cavs can swing for the fences on Porter and hope he gets back on track health wise. Should LeBron stay, I'm not sure the Cavs would take the gamble. I guess you could say that I'm making this pick in the scenario where LeBron departs Cleveland for a second time.

Cavaliers's Needs via ESPN's RPM

9. Knicks: Mikal Bridges, Small Forward, Villanova

A national champion and an elite role player, the Knicks decide to break the Sixers hearts and take Mikal Bridges here with the 9th pick. It's been a disaster at MSG over the years, so I think it'd be smart of the Knicks to take a guy who should bring a winning attitude to a franchise that really needs it. His all-around game will be well appreciated in New York.

Knicks's Needs via ESPN's RPM

10. 76ers: Miles Bridges, Small Forward, Michigan State

While the Sixers would have loved to have seen the Villanova guy and national champion make it to them at 10 (maybe they can trade up for him on Thursday?), Miles Bridges wouldn't be a bad consolation prize. Miles Bridges seems to be suffering somewhat from "prospect fatigue." I won't say too much, but aside from improving as a free throw shooter, I'm not sure he did a ton to get better after becoming a sophomore. He may also be suffering from being overshadowed by Jaren Jackson ala Wendell Carter at Duke. Either way, I see a player that is capable of helping out the Sixers right away. Philadelphia made it to the playoffs and beat the Heat in the first round, so they should be looking to take that next step forward in an Eastern Conference that's not looking great over the long haul aside from the Celtics and may get worse should LeBron leave Cleveland.

76ers's Needs via ESPN's RPM

11. Hornets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Point Guard, Kentucky

Rumor has it that this may be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's floor. That could make some sense since Kemba Walker only has a couple more years left on his contract. The Hornets could look to trade Walker before he's set to leave in free agency or choose to keep him in pursuit of a playoff spot and perhaps have him mentor Gilgeous-Alexander. Alexander is very tall and lengthy, which he can use immediately to his advantage defensively.

Hornets's Needs via ESPN's RPM

12. Clippers: Kevin Knox, Small Forward, Kentucky

Lots of long term solutions are needed for the Clippers. With how the draft board has played out, Kevin Knox would make some sense with this selection. He could go even higher than this considering that he's reportedly been very impressive in workouts. Knox is sort of the opposite of his UK teammate in Gilgeous-Alexander. You're taking Knox for his offense and hoping his defense eventually comes around

Clippers's Needs via ESPN's RPM

13. Clippers: Collin Sexton, Point Guard, Alabama

There's not much doubt Collin Sexton can put the ball in the basket. He averaged a shade over 19 points per game as a freshman for Alabama last season. Where he needs to get better is becoming a true point guard as he only averaged 3.6 assists per game and had nearly 3 turnovers per game. Those are not the type of ratios you want out of a point guard.

Clippers's Needs via ESPN's RPM

14. Nuggets: Zhaire Smith, Shooting Guard, Texas Tech

Can the Denver Nuggets please get a defensive stop? I think that's what their fans and analysts around the league would like to see start happening. Texas Tech's Zhaire Smith is one of the most athletic players in this draft and also one of the best pure defenders in the draft as well. There is also some offense in Smith's arsenal as he's very good at cutting to the basket and has shown capable outside shooting ability as well.

Nuggets's Needs via ESPN's RPM

15. Wizards: Robert Williams, Power Forward, Texas A&M

To be honest, Robert Williams could be a little bit like Miles Bridges. Perhaps calling it "prospect fatigue" is the wrong way of putting it, but like Bridges, Williams didn't really improve a lot in his sophomore season. With Williams, you're not going to get a lot offensively outside of dunks (especially lobs) and put back buckets. Where this guy is going to make his money is blocking shots on the defensive end of the court.

Wizards's Needs via ESPN's RPM

Round 1: 1-15

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