2018 NBA Mock Draft: Debut
Round 1 Picks 1-15
My 2018 NBA Mock Draft is now up. Enjoy!
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: July 17, 2017.
Memphis Grizzlies: Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri
- The 6-10 213 lb forward weighed 220 lbs at one point. Michael Porter Jr. is a special player who averaged 24.8 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game in High School. I got nine picks correct in my 2017 NBA Mock Draft so I'll do my best to top that in 2018.
- Michael Porter Jr. grew up in Missouri and chose to play college there. He can hit short range, medium range, or long range shots on tape. Porter is a guy who can defend well against a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 at point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, or center.
- Michael Porter Jr. is a guy who is versatile enough to play small forward or power forward. One team in the market for upgrades at both forward spots is the Memphis Grizzlies who lost power forward Zach Randolph in Free Agency.
- Memphis traded their 2017 first round pick and their 2019 first round pick may go to the Boston Celtics unless that pick falls within the protected range for picks 1-8. I can see Memphis doing bad enough to miss the playoffs this year with Michael Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol as the only reliable scorers.
- We've seen hometown guys like Derrick Rose and LeBron James play for their hometown team. The Wizards got John Wall so people could forget about the antics Gilbert Arenas caused. The Cavs got Kyrie Irving after LeBron left. New Orleans got Anthony Davis so the team wouldn't relocate. There could be a reason that Memphis gets this pick when you consider that Oklahoma City and Memphis are the two teams closest to Michael Porter Jr.
- The only player I could see jumping Michael Porter Jr. is Marvin Bagley who turns 19 in March. Bagley is a senior in High School, and if you click on that High School link you can check out all of our top High School recruits for Football and Basketball. There are rumors about Bagley making the jump to the NCAA, but for now we are taking it with a grain of salt until something actually happens.
- I am not sure Memphis will do bad enough to pick here since they got Ivan Rabb and Dillon Brooks in the 2017 NBA Draft in the second round. In our first 2018 NBA Mock Draft, we will have them picking here though.
Boston Celtics: Luka Doncic, SG, Real Madrid
- Right now the 6-8 185 lb Luka Doncic is the challenger to Michael Porter Jr. to be the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Doncic is the best international prospect from Spain since Ricky Rubio.
- You'd like to see better numbers than 7.8 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 4.2 assists per game. You have to look past that though since he's he leader of Real Madrid's Basketball team. His leadership got Real Madrid to the 2017 Euroleague Final 4 and that's why NBA teams are really high on Doncic.
- Boston traded Avery Bradley to get Marcus Morris so if they miss out on the top pick they can take Doncic here getting a shooting guard to compliment Marcus Smart while Terry Rozier remains at he point behind Isaiah Thomas. Boston has the ammuniion to trade up for Michael Porter Jr., but I think they would keep their picks after actively going out of their way to sign Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz.
Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
- Atlanta lost center Dwight Howard and power forward Paul Millsap. They got John Collins to replace Millsap and now get Ayton to replace Dwight Howard.
- The 7-1 250 lb center averaged 19.8 points per game and 12 rebounds per game in High School. He is versatile enough to play power forward or center in the NBA with the size and strength of a center. Ayton is a projected top 3 pick and is in the running with Michael Porter Jr. and Luka Doncic to be the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. All of those three should go top 3 barring an injury.
Phoenix Suns: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
- The Phoenix Suns have Eric Bledsoe at point guard, Devin Booker at shooting guard, Josh Jackson at small forward, and Marquese Chriss at power forward when fully healthy. The only remaining need is a center to complete their starting five.
- The 7-0 211 lb Mohamed Bamba is versatile enough to play power forward or center. Bamba averaged 12.6 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game in High School.
- Texas produced two first round bigs in the last three years with Myles Bridges and Jarrett Allen. Bamba is better than both of them so he comes off the board here.
New York Knicks: Wendell Carter, C, Duke
- The Knicks just need a center to complete their starting five. The 6-10 263 lb Wendell Carter averaged 14 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game in High School and is going to Duke. Carter is versatile enough to play power forward or center and would be a fantastic replacement for Joakim Noah.
Orlando Magic: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
- Elfrid Payton started all 82 games improving as a scorer which is why he kept his starting job. The 6-2 183 lb Collin Sexton averaged 28.5 points per game in High School. Sexton will go in the top 7 if he averages at least 20 points per game at Alabama under former NBA head coach Avery Johnson.
Indiana Pacers: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
- The Pacers traded away Paul George. They pick here as a result. The 6-6 226 lb Miles Bridges averaged 16.9 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game at Michigan State. He has great dribbling and can attack the basket. He's versatile enough to play small forward or power forward. Some believe he's a top 5 pick in 2018 after turning down the chance to be a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, so the Pacers get Bridges here.
Sacramento Kings: Isaac Bonga, SF, Fraport
- The Kings are loaded with bigs and have a great situation at the point guard. Fraport Skylanders small forward Isaac Bonga is undersized at 6-9 172 lbs, but Sacramento could take a flyer on him here at 8 since he averages 15.6 points per game overseas in Frankfurt Germany on their International team with all of their depth at point guard, power forward, and center.
New Orleans Pelicans: Troy Brown, SF, Oregon
- The 6-7 210 lb Troy Brown is versatile enough to play point guard, shooting guard, or small forward in the NBA. He averaged 15.8 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, and 3 assists per game in High School. If he builds on that at Oregon showcasing the same versatility, he could easily go in the top 10.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Robert Williams, PF, Texas A&M
- The Minnesota Timberwolves are one power forward away from being a playoff team. The additions of Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler help tremendously, but at the same time if Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, or Karl-Anthony Towns goes down with an injury, this team is screwed since most of their depth players would struggle as starters.
- Everyone is gonna label the Timberwolves a playoff team thanks to Butler. I won't go that far yet, because of all the teams in the top 10 this is clearly the team with the least amount of depth.
- Minnesota still needs a power forward though. Texas A&M big man Robert Williams is versatile enough to play power forward or center and could have been a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Returning to school allows him to improve his game and potentially sneak into the top 10.
- At 6-9 237 lbs, Williams projects more as a power forward. He averaged 11.8 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game at Texas A&M. Williams should improve on that at Texas A&M in 2017 as a sophomore.
Philadelphia 76ers: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami FL
- Philadelphia gets a shooting guard for depth since they are set at most positions. This is still a young team that is a year or two away from returning to the NBA Playoffs even if all of their first round picks stay healthy.
- Lonnie Walker is a 6-4 206 lb shooting guard who averaged 16.8 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 3 assists per game in High School. Walker can be a lottery pick if he recovers from the Torn Meniscus Surgery he had since he was the #12 player in the country coming out of High School.
Dallas Mavericks: Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky
- The Dallas Mavericks get the 6-11 215 lb Mitchell Robinson who averages 20 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game. Robinson can play center plus pairing him with Dennis Smith Jr. makes this a playoff team in 2019 if Dirk Nowitzki can stick around for one more year after the 2017-2018 NBA Season.
Chicago Bulls: Trevon Duval, PG, Duke
- Chicago will get a point guard to push Kris Dunn if they miss the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Trevon Duval only averaged 7.5 points per game in High School, but if Coach K gets the best out of the 6-3 191 lb point guard, he could easily surge up boards.
Portland Trail Blazers: Nick Richards, C, Kentucky
- Portland takes a center here. The 6-11 231 lb Nick Richards had 12.4 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game in High School. His goal is to be the first overall pick. Richards should be a lottery pick under John Calipari at Kentucky.
Philadelphia 76ers: Rodions Kurucs, SF, F.C. Barcelona
- The 76ers use this pick from the Lakers to take the best player available. Rodions Kurucs is the top prospect on the board and would have been a first round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft if he didn't withdraw from the draft.
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