NBA mock draft 2.0: Deandre Ayton still No. 1, but Luka Doncic slides
The moment of truth for all 30 NBA teams arrives Thursday evening at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
It is the moment when teams will draft players, many with the hopes that their selections can set their franchise on a course of sustained success.
Arizona’s Deandre Ayton is viewed in that vein, a 7-foot center many NBA executives see as the top overall pick because of his immense ability and potential.
Slovenia’s Luka Doncic is perhaps the most intriguing prospect because of his fame in Europe and all-around skills. But the combo guard/forward has not committed to coming to the NBA from Euroleague champion Real Madrid.
Duke’s Marvin Bagley III, Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr., Texas’ Mohamed Bamba, Oklahoma’s Trae Young and Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. are all big-time freshman talents expected to be lottery picks.
The Clippers have the 12th and 13th picks and will be looking to add depth. The Lakers pick 25th and believe they can select a quality player to add to their young core.
Here is The Times’ mock draft 2.0:
1. PHOENIX: Deandre Ayton, Fr., 7-0, 260, C, Arizona — The big guy can do it in the post and is agile enough to step outside and shine.
2. SACRAMENTO: Marvin Bagley III, Fr., 6-11, 235, PF, Duke — Versatile big man is the right fit for a team that drafted a point guard last year.
3. ATLANTA: Jaren Jackson Jr., Fr., 6-11, 235, PF, Michigan State — He has to prove he can consistently score, but he can defend.
4. MEMPHIS: Mohamed Bamba, Fr., 7-0, 220, C, Texas — His workouts have been impressive, showing improved offensive skills.
5. DALLAS: Luka Doncic, 6-6, 220, G-F, Slovenia — The Mavericks’ eyes will light up if Doncic falls to them.
6. ORLANDO: Trae Young, Fr., 6-2, 180, PG, Oklahoma — He’s ready to prove he’s more than just a shooting sensation.
7. CHICAGO: Wendell Carter Jr., Fr., 6-10, 260, PF/C, Duke — A physical specimen, Carter can do a little bit of everything.
8. CLEVELAND: Michael Porter Jr., Fr., 6-10, 210, SF, Missouri — There is a concern about his back problems, but if healthy, he can be a star.
9. NEW YORK: Mikal Bridges, Jr., 6-7, 210, G-F, Villanova — He’s tough, plays hard and can handle multiple positions.
10. PHILADELPHIA: Kevin Knox, Fr., 6-9, 215, SF/PF, Kentucky — Knox has the size and shooting ability the 76ers seek.
11. CHARLOTTE: Collin Sexton, Fr., 6-2, 185, PG, Alabama — Considered to be hard-nosed, physical and athletic.
12. CLIPPERS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Fr., 6-6, 180, PG, Kentucky — If he falls to the Clippers, they will do backflips.
13. CLIPPERS: Miles Bridges, So., 6-6, 230, SF/PF, Michigan State — A player able to play multiple positions is what the Clippers need.
14. DENVER: Robert Williams, So., 6-9, 240, PF/C, Texas A&M — Needs to improve offense, but Williams is a rim protector.
15. WASHINGTON: Zharie Smith, Fr., 6-5, 195, SG, Texas Tech — An athletic and explosive floor leader.
16. PHOENIX: Lonnie Walker IV, Fr., 6-5, 205, SG, Miami — A clutch shooter in college who can score in the lane.
17. MILWAUKEE: Mitchell Robinson, 7-0, 235, C, USA — Needs work after sitting out college, but the Bucks hope he develops.
18. SAN ANTONIO: Donte DiVincenzo, Jr., 6-5, 205, SG, Villanova — The ability to play both guard spots improved his stock.
19. ATLANTA: Gary Trent Jr., Fr., 6-6, 215, SG, Duke — The Hawks just need more talent.
20. MINNESOTA: Troy Brown, Fr., 6-7, 215, G/F, Oregon — He has the size and ability to play all over the court.
21. UTAH: Jerome Robinson, Jr., 6-6, 190, SG, Boston College — He has a smooth shooting stroke that led to a prolific junior season.
22. CHICAGO: Chandler Hutchison, Jr., 6-7, 190, SG/SF, Boise State — A versatile player from Mission Viejo High, his shooting ability will be a plus.
23. INDIANA: Elie Okobo, 6-2, 180, PG, France — Will work out for the Pacers this week to show how much he’s improved.
24. PORTLAND: Aaron Holiday, Jr., 6-1, 185, PG, UCLA — Displayed a nice all-around game for the Bruins.
25. LAKERS: Kevin Huerter, So., 6-7, 190, SG, Maryland — He’s a knock-down three-point shooter.
26. PHILADELPHIA: Khyri Thomas, Jr., 6-3, 210, SG, Creighton — He can score in a variety of ways, including in the lane.
27. BOSTON: Landry Shamet, So., 6-4, 180, PG/SG, Wichita State — Probably won’t play much on this loaded team.
28. GOLDEN STATE: Jalen Brunson, Jr., 6-2, 190, PG, Villanova — A steady, clutch performer for the NCAA champion Wildcats.
29. BROOKLYN: Keita Bates-Diop, Sr., 6-7, 235, SF/PF, Ohio State — He finishes well around the basket.
30. ATLANTA: Omari Spellman, Fr., 6-9, 260, PF/C, Villanova — The big guy may have enough skills to get playing time.
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