This will be my first NBA mock draft of the season. Each team will be looking to improve their future in this year’s draft, which is a stacked one and that teams will find steals that will make an immediate impact like the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors did in last year’s draft by selecting Donovan Mitchell and OG Anunoby.
Next, I guarantee that picks will be exchanged before draft night, which will shake up the draft rooms of all the fellow NBA teams.
1. Phoenix Suns – Luka Doncic – SG/SF – Slovenia
The Suns can go either way here by taking Doncic or Ayton. I think Igor (HC) prefers Doncic, as he coached him on the Slovenia national team. Suns can continue to add young talent here and imagine Doncic with Booker and Jackson. Honestly, I think Doncic will come to the NBA if the Suns take him.
2017-2018 Stats: 14.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.6 APG
2. Sacramento Kings – DeAndre Ayton – C – Arizona
The Kings miss on Doncic, which is okay cause they get a monstrous center in Ayton. The Kings pair Fox and Ayton and tag them as their future of the franchise. It is Doncic, Ayton or bust here at number two.
2017-2018 Stats: 20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 1.9 BPG
3. Atlanta Hawks – Marvin Bagley – PF – Duke
Hawks can line up Bagley and Collins however they want, but those two will be a nice force for a long time in Atlanta. Dennis Schröder with Bagley and Collins makes a nice power trio with support from Bazemore and Prince.
2017-2018 Stats: 21.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.5 APG
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr – Michigan State
The Grizzlies are about to hit the restart button and getting the future ready by selecting Jackson. He has the highest ceiling out of any pick in the draft and if developed right, he could end up being the best player in this draft. He is versatile to play either the power froward or center position on the court. It all depends what type of style the team wants to run.
2017-2018 Stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 BPG
5. Dallas Mavericks – Mohamed Bamba – C – Texas
The Mavs should save their money and stay away from centers in the open market. You get a freak of nature here in Bamba. He will give you stability on the defensive side of the court with his freakish wingspan and shot blocking ability. Solid rebounder too, that will need work on his offensive game, but that will come along. He is like Bismack Biyombo, but with more potential.
2017-2018 Stats: 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.7 BPG
6. Orlando Magic – Collin Sexton – PG – Alabama
With the talent left, the Orlando Magic will most likely take a point guard. Many want Trae Young, but I feel like Collin Sexton is a better player. Yes, both are different point guards, but both are solid options here at six. Sexton reminds me of Russell Westbrook by always playing with an edge. The way the Magic’s roster is set up, Young would make more sense due to his 3-pt touch, but Sexton and Gordon attacking the hole to the paint looks killer. Sexton is athletic, plays with pace, finishes at the rim and has good length to compensate for his size. Sexton is also a lockdown defender with the ways he uses his hands defensively.
2017-2018 Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.6 APG
7. Chicago Bulls – Michael Porter – SF – Missouri
The Bulls find a steal in Porter at seven. They get a franchise like small forward and a position they need to address. I like what the Bulls are building here. He missed most of this season due to back surgery, but watching tape of him keeps him inside the top 10 of the draft.
2017-2018 Stats: 3 games, 10 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.0 SPG
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Nets) – Trae Young – PG – Oklahoma
The Cavs finally get the point guard they need after trading Kyrie. Young will bring that explosive outside shot touch at the point. Lebron and Young will end up being a nasty veteran and rookie duo in no time.
2017-2018 Stats: 27.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.7 SPG
9. New York Knicks – Mikal Bridges – SF – Villanova
His ability to guard multiple positions when in the game will be a key to any team he goes to. Bridges likely isn’t equipped to create his own scoring opportunities, at least at this point. But he’s a great catch-and-shoot prospect — perhaps the best in this draft. Bridges is the best player available at pick number nine. Bridges is considered a stat stuffer too.
2017-2018 Stats: 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.1 BPG
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Lakers) – Kevin Knox – SF – Kentucky
Knox is versatile as he could be a combo forward. He might not have the best shot and especially from three-point distance (bad year shooting the three), but as a stretch-four he would fit the bill. Sixers continue to add talent and depth to an already dangerous roster.
2017-2018 Stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.4 APG
11. Charlotte Hornets – Miles Bridges – SF – Michigan State
He is a better small-ball power forward, but he is a wing player. He can shoot, pass, and guard at multiple positions. The NBA has gone away with the normalized positions, so Bridges will figure it out and be fine.
2017-2018 Stats: 17.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.7 APG
12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Pistons) – Wendell Carter – PF/C – Duke
Clippers get a two-way big man that can shoot the ball and play excellent defense. It is time for the Clippers to get some young talent in the system.
2017-2018 Stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.1 BPG
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – PG – Kentucky
The Clippers continue to add to the youth and snatching Alexander is key. The Clippers have no future at this position in this given moment, but that changes when SGA gets his named called. Lastly, at 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan, Gilgeous-Alexander could become a great perimeter defender in time, which is obviously a terrific skill in the modern NBA where perimeter players dominate the league.
2017-2018 Stats: 14.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG
14. Denver Nuggets – Robert Williams – PF/C – Texas A&M
Given his size, shot-blocking ability and athleticism. Williams fits the model of a rim-running center who can block a shot at one end and finish with a dunk at the other. He also led the SEC in rebounding last season. Also, with Faried’s time most likely done in Denver and Millsap getting older, drafting Williams is a no brainer.
2017-2018 Stats: 10.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG
15. Washington Wizards – Zhaire Smith – SG – Texas Tech
Smith only adds more talent to the Wizards. He reminds me of a Zach LaVine without depending on iso play. Smith gives the Wizards an immediate impact shot and play off the bench. Also, he is a stat sheet stuffer.
2017-2018 Stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG
16. Phoenix Suns (from Heat) – Mitchell Robinson – C – N/A
The Suns take Doncic at one and now they get their future center here with Robinson. He will take time to develop and get work in as his college situation was a mess. He was training all year, but no tape on him playing at the collegiate level. If Robinson works well, this could be a player we look back on and say, “How did he fall to 16.”
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Troy Brown – SG – Oregon
Brown could end up playing three different positions, which is a bonus. He has to improve on being a more consistent three-point shooter, but overall, he has the talent to be an offensive force in the NBA and a match up problem on both sides of the court against the opposition.
2017-2018 Stats: 11.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.6 SPG
18. San Antonio Spurs – Khryi Thomas – SG – Creighton
Thomas is a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He is a 3-and-D player. Spurs get a solid player here that fits their system. Quiet and deadly pick.
2017-2018 Stats: 15.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.7 SPG
19. Atlanta Hawks (from Timberwolves) – Lonnie Walker – SG – Miami (FL)
The Hawks add a player that has all the talent in the world. He just needs to put it together. Walker is a strong-framed shooting guard that will be a vital piece in the Hawks future.
2017-2018 Stats: 11.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.9 APG
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Thunder) – Dzanan Musa – SF – Bosnia & Herzegovina
The 6-8 wing has long had a reputation with scouts as a potential quality scorer in the NBA. The only concern is whether he’s a good-enough athlete, and mature enough, to guard his position and flourish in general when he moves to the United States. I love this kid’s ceiling and think he will take time, but it will be worth the wait.
2017-2018 Stats: 10.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.9 APG
21. Utah Jazz – Keita Bates-Diop – SF – Ohio State
He is a lesser version of Mikal Bridges. He thrives with or without the ball and will give the Jazz a nice option off the bench. The Jazz get better and I like the possible mixtures of lineups with Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder, Keita Bates-Diop, Derrick Favors, and Royce O’Neale.
2017-2018 Stats: 19.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG
22. Chicago Bulls (from Pelicans) – Omari Spellman – PF/C – Villanova
The Bulls add to the frontcourt by taking Spellman. Spellman can shoot the ball and be dominate shooting the ball as a stretch-four or spot-up shooter. Steal for the Bulls and they continue to add to the roster.
2017-2018 Stats: 10.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.5 BPG
23. Indiana Pacers – Anfernee Simons – SG/PG – IMG Academy
He might not play right away as a key contributor, but in two-three years he will be ready too. He has a high ceiling. He shoots the ball well and can learn from Oladipo. Good value and gamble pick here.
NBAPA Top 100 Stats: 11.6 PPG, shot 43.3% from the field
Under Armour Association Stats: 20.4 PPG, 1.3 SPG, shot 43.9% from the field
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Aaron Holiday – PG – UCLA
His 6-6 wingspan should prove beneficial while guarding opposing point guards. His ability to consistently make perimeter jumpers means he’s a capable passer and shooter. Also, the Blazers finally get some solid talent backing up Damian Lillard.
2017-2018 Stats: 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 3.7 RPG, 1.3 SPG
25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cavaliers) – Gary Trent Jr – SG – Duke
Trent Jr joins a young Lakers team and I do think he will make an impact in year two due to his excellent play as a 3-and-D guy and talent. Defense will need more work, but he can shoot the ball at a light out type level. Give him as much time as he needs to figure out his potential.
2017-2018 Stats: 14.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.2 SPG
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Donte DiVincenzo – SG – Villanova
So, Donte projects as a bouncy two-way player who can be a weapon on the perimeter. He also comes from a winning culture from Villanova, He stays in-state and Sixer fans will love this! He plays with a chip on his shoulder and has no fear when shooting the ball. When he gets on a hot streak, you cannot stop him. He is a microwave that never turns off.
2017-2018 Stats: 13.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.5 APG
27. Boston Celtics – Jalen Brunson – PG – Villanova
Brunson would be a prudent move for long-term backcourt depth as the Celtics could lose Marcus Smart after this year and Terry Rozier after the following season. Brunson’s strong feel for the game and shooting ability makes him one of the safest bets in the draft to have a long career. Boston has its stars in place and can focus on filling in the blanks.
2017-2018 Stats: 18.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.6 APG
28. Golden State Warriors – Landry Shamet – PG/SG – Wichita State
Solid defender and excellent three-point shooter that can trust teammates and dish the ball around, which is the Warrior way. Shamet can line up at both guard spots.
2017-2018 Stats: 14.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 5.2 APG
29. Brooklyn Nets (from Raptors) – Chandler Hutchison – SF/SG – Boise State
The 6-7 Mountain West Conference star has all the tools necessary to be a quality NBA wing. A well-rounded player that gives the Nets a player they need on their roster. The Nets cannot pass him here.
2017-2018 Stats: 20.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.5 APG
30. Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets) – Jacob Evans – SF – Cincinnati
After drafting a big man, shooting guard, the Hawks close out the first round by taking the talented Bearcat in Jacob Evans. Evans is a do-everything wing who guards multiple positions, plays tough and consistently makes outside jumpers. The evidence is all over the place as he shot 39.4 percent from 3-point range in his final two years at Cincinnati.
2017-2018 Stats: 13.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.1 APG
Players that just missed the first round include Jontay Porter (PF/C/Missouri), Trevon Duval (PG/Duke), Bruce Brown (SG/Miami, FL), Jerome Robinson (PG/SG/Boston College), and De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG/USC).