2018 NBA mock draft — Deandre Ayton will go No. 1
The 2018 NBA draft is considered by many scouts and executives as one of the deepest in a long time.
Most NBA personnel people feel teams can find a prospect who will develop into a solid or great player with the first 15 picks in the draft, which will take place June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
For the Clippers, who draft 12th and 13th, there is a very good chance of getting quality talent. The Lakers don’t select until No. 25, but there is still a good chance of getting a player there that can make the team.
The consensus is that Phoenix will select center Deandre Ayton out of Arizona first overall — if the Suns don’t trade the pick.
Luka Doncic is pegged to go second, but the 19-year-old swingman out of Slovenia who can run the point has said he is unsure if he’ll make the jump to the NBA and might play another season with Real Madrid.
If he opts to withdraw his name from the draft — college players without agents can do so by May 30 to retain eligibility and international players have until June 11 — the Sacramento Kings can use their second pick on Marvin Bagley III out of Duke.
Here’s a look at The Times’ first NBA mock draft:
1. PHOENIX: Deandre Ayton, Fr., 7-0, 260, C, Arizona — The local college and high school product has the talent and upside the Suns need.
2. SACRAMENTO: Luka Doncic, 6-6, 220, G-F, Slovenia — The versatile Euroleague MVP reportedly still is debating whether to enter the draft.
3. ATLANTA: Marvin Bagley III, Fr., 6-11, 235, PF, Duke — He’s a multifaceted offensive player with tremendous footwork.
4. MEMPHIS: Jaren Jackson Jr., Fr., 6-11, 240, PF, Michigan State — An athletic big man, he has good hands and a nice touch.
5. DALLAS: Mohamed Bamba, Fr., 7-0, 220, C, Texas — Michael Porter Jr. is also a possibility, but Bamba’s defense and upside win out.
6. ORLANDO: Trae Young, Fr., 6-2, 180, PG, Oklahoma — The Magic need a point guard and the shooting sensation fits.
7. CHICAGO: Wendell Carter Jr., Fr., 6-10, 260, PF/C, Duke — He’s a mobile big man and an explosive leaper.
8. CLEVELAND: Michael Porter Jr., Fr., 6-10, 215, SF, Missouri — His back issues are a concern, but he’s insurance if LeBron James leaves.
9. NEW YORK: Collin Sexton, Fr., 6-2, 185, PG, Alabama — Considered one of the more dynamic guards, Sexton is physical and athletic.
10. PHILADELPHIA: Mikal Bridges, Jr., 6-7, 210, SG/SF, Villanova — The local product is a tough-nosed kid who plays hard.
11. CHARLOTTE: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Fr., 6-6, 180, PG, Kentucky — He’s slight, but he has talent and a seven-foot wingspan.
12. CLIPPERS: Miles Bridges, So., 6-7, 230, SF/PF, Michigan State — The fact he can play multiple positions interests the Clippers.
13. CLIPPERS: Robert Williams, So., 6-9, 240, PF/C, Texas A&M — Though undersized, he is a shot-blocker and very athletic.
14. DENVER: Kevin Knox, Fr., 6-9, 215, SF/PF, Kentucky — He has the potential to be a versatile player.
15. WASHINGTON: Mitchell Robinson, 7-0, 235, U.S. — Robinson didn’t play in college, but his size and 7-4 wingspan are intriguing.
16. PHOENIX: Jalen Brunson, Jr., 6-2, 190, PG, Villanova — The Suns will need a point guard after taking Ayton first.
17. MILWAUKEE: Zhaire Smith, Fr., 6-5, 195, SG, Texas Tech — His 45-inch vertical leap shows what kind of athlete he is.
18. SAN ANTONIO: Jontay Porter, Fr., 6-11, 240, PF/C, Missouri — Not only a solid defender, he has a high basketball IQ.
19. ATLANTA: Gary Trent Jr., Fr., 6-6, 215, SG, Duke — He’s tough and physical plus he can play many positions.
20. MINNESOTA: Lonnie Walker IV, Fr., 6-5, 205, SG, Miami — Walker can attack the basket and score with contact.
21. UTAH: Anfernee Simons, 6-3, 185, PG/SG — Played at IMG Academy rather than in college; he’s a good perimeter scorer.
22. CHICAGO: Troy Brown, Fr., 6-7, 215, PG/SG, Oregon — An athletic combo guard with length who is a natural scorer.
23. INDIANA: Devonte’ Graham, Sr., 6-2, 185, PG, Kansas — He’ll enter the NBA ready for the grind after four years in college.
24. PORTLAND: Jacob Evans, Jr., 6-6, 210, SF, Cincinnati — He is considered an elite defender, which the Trail Blazers need.
25. LAKERS: Aaron Holiday, Jr., 6-1, 185, PG, UCLA — During his three years in school, he thrived in transition and is a good defender.
26. PHILADELPHIA: Khyri Thomas, Jr., 6-3, 210, SG, Creighton — He has a nice stroke on his jumper and can finish.
27. BOSTON: Landry Shamet, So., 6-4, 180, PG, Wichita State — His size and length make him a good fit for the tough Celtics.
28. GOLDEN STATE: Grayson Allen, Sr., 6-5, 210, SG, Duke — Allen can come off screens and knock down shots.
29. BROOKLYN: Keita Bates-Diop, Sr., 6-7, 235, SF, Ohio State — He developed into a solid player during four years in college.
30. ATLANTA: Dzanan Musa, 6-9, 195, SG/SF, Bosnia — The Hawks most likely will stash him in Europe for another season.
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