Last year I had 8 picks in the first round of my mock draft correct with Chris barely beating me out with 9. This year I'm hoping for another strong mock. I'm going with Ayton to Phoenix because they need a center and the Suns seem locked in on getting a new center with DeAndre Ayton still on the board.
The Kings have a good starting lineup. Bogdan Bogdanovich can play shooting guard or small forward complimenting De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Zach Randolph, and Willie Cauley-Stein in the starting five. I feel like Randolph is the most likely player in the starting five that could get replaced and Marvin Bagley III said he'd love to play for the Kings after a private workout in Sacramento. Marvin Bagley III can be a stud if you give him one year to learn behind Zach Randolph and improve defensively so I feel like he's who the Kings will take at 2.
Bagley's one weakness is his inconsistent defensive play which can be horrendous at times. Chris has a lot of coverage on Bagley that you can check out on Draft Utopia's Youtube Channel.
Atlanta has a good starting five. Jaren Jackson Jr. acknowledged his flaws like foul trouble and improved decision making and interviewed well after working out with the Hawks. There are also reports that teams outside the top 4 want to move up for Jaren Jackson Jr. I see him going third now if the Kings take Marvin Bagley III second overall.
Memphis picks at 4 here. Luka Doncic has expressed that he wants to play with Marc Gasol because of his Spanish roots, but will play anywhere he goes. I can't see the Grizzlies passing on Doncic at 4 realizing the value at that point is too great to ignore.
The Dallas Mavericks have most of the pieces in place. They are gonna take the best player at 5 regardless of need. I really believe that player is Mohamed Bamba out of Texas even though they could also consider Michael Porter Jr. at 5 if he's there as well.
I have a feeling the Magic will screw this up. They are looking at both Trae Young and Michael Porter Jr. heavily. With last years first round pick jonathon simmons dealing with injuries, I feel like the Magic will shy away of Michael Porter Jr. because of this and end up taking Trae Young at 6 even though its something they could regret.
Michael Porter Jr. has been sporting a lot of Chicago Bulls gear during the 2018 NBA Draft Process. He's been sporting just as much gear as Saquon Barkley was sporting before the Giants took him second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. I don't think that's a coincidence. I think the Bulls are going with Michael Porter Jr. and getting a wing player to compliment Lauri Markkanen last years first round pick at 7.
I think Cleveland will draft a point guard at 8 hoping he can have a Kyrie Irving impact. They know its the only chance they got to keep LeBron in Cleveland who is probably leaving as a Free Agent this Summer. I think LeBron is gonna end up on the Lakers even though I've heard a lot of speculation about him going to the Houston Rockets.
The Knicks need a point guard, small forward, and center. I think the Knicks want to trade up for Michael Porter Jr., but realize they do not have the capital to do that. So they do the next best thing and take Mikal Bridges at 9.
The Charlotte Hornets have their starting lineup in tact. Wendell Carter Jr. was Duke's best defender last year. The Hornets attended Wendell Carter Jr.'s Pro Day. He's a clear steal at this point with a lot of mocks posting Wendell Carter Jr. in the top 10.
The Clippers get Blake Griffin's replacement here. One player that they worked out who could go this high is Kentucky power forward Kevin Knox who can play the 3 or the 4 at small forward or power forward with his versatility.
The Clippers have back-to-back picks. They get Chris Paul's replacement by taking a local point guard out of UCLA who they worked out. Aaron Holiday still averaged double digit points per game last year despite being Lonzo Ball's backup. This says a lot about the skill and talent that Aaron Holiday provides out of UCLA.