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Now that we are into the NBA’s Conference Finals, we start to think about what all these teams will do in the offseason. In that spirit, we need to start looking at what may happen in the NBA Draft. Without further ado, the first NBA Mock Draft for 2018:
1) Phoenix Suns: DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona-He has the potential to be a dominant big on both ends. He has a face up game and good footwork. With all the perimeter players already on the roster, Ayton could be the missing piece to accelerate the rebuild.
2) Memphis Grizzlies: Luka Doncic, G/F, Slovenia-With Marc Gasol in the post and a healthy Mike Conley running the point, Doncic would be the perfect compliment. Luka has a maturity beyond his years. He has a sneaky handle, great size and is a lethal shooter.
3) Dallas Mavericks: Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke-With franchise player Dirk Nowitzki nearing retirement, they draft his heir apparent. Bagley is a multi skilled, potential mismatch problem. He has three point range and can score around the basket.
4) Atlanta Hawks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas-Bamba will immediately bring defense and much needed rim protection. His offense needs a lot of work but the foundation is there to ultimately be a decent option on offense. He runs the floor like a wing and his wingspan is condor- esque.
5) Orlando Magic: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma-They need a lead guard and face of the organization. Enter baby-faced Young. He can score from anywhere and find his teammates. With his size, defense will be a question. He actually has some guys to pass to with Evan Fournier, Mario Hezonja, Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Nikola Vucevic.
6) Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr, F, Missouri-With his back issues behind him, he can look ahead to helping the Bulls get back to the playoffs. His ability to handle the ball, rebound and score, makes him very versatile. He joins a young core of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Bobby Portis and Lauri Markkanen.
7) Sacramento Kings: Jaren Jackson Jr, F, Michigan State-The youth movement continues with Jackson, a Swiss Army knife talent. He can handle, shoot and defend. With a front line that is filled with one dimensional players, Jackson will bring much needed versatility.
8) Cleveland Cavaliers: Colin Sexton, PG, Alabama-Cleveland has to prepare for life after LeBron at some point. Sexton is a dynamic guard with quickness and vision. He has good size, a bright personality and talent to be a feature player. He also excels on the defensive end.
9) New York Knicks: Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky-The Knicks need to add talent to their roster. Knox offers great size on the wing, a capable scorer and defensive potential. He will rebound as well. New York has not had good wing play in a long time. Knox has the potential to be a very good 3 & D player.
10) Philadelphia 76ers: Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova-It’s all about adding the right pieces around the foundation of Embiid and Simmons. Bridges can knock down open shots and play defense. A perfect fit. The process continues.
11) Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State-The Hornets need major help
on the wing. Bridges brings above the rim athleticism and hustle along with a junkyard dog attitude. His jumper is improving and will add range. He’ll defend & rebound with aggression. He fits nicely with Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum.
12) LA Clippers: Wendell Carter, F/C, Duke-With back to back picks, the Clippers have a chance to get two cornerstone pieces. Carter is a big with can run the floor and be effective on both ends. He has a knack for blocking shots and rebounds well. He’ll surprise some with his offense.
13) LA Clippers: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky-They next address the point position with Alexander. He has great size for the position. He’s a good rebounder and solid defender. Alexander has great poise and never seems rushed. He’ll need to work on his jumper and range.
14) Denver Nuggets: Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon-With the backcourt set with Jamal Murray and Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic in the middle, the wing needs help. Brown is offensively gifted with athleticism to match. His size and length helps on defense.
15) Washington Wizards: Mitchell Robinson, C, USA-Center Marcin Gortat has been solid for them but a younger, more athletic center is needed with their core. Mitchell will be a defensive presence immediately. Offense will need to improve but he’ll being able to catch lobs and play above the rim.
16) Phoenix Suns: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami(FL)-They continue to stockpile talent. Walker is gifted offensively and gets after it defensively. He’ll add depth behind Devin Booker.
17) Milwaukee Bucks: Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV-The Bucks have a nice array of perimeter players but lack a true center. McCoy will give them rim protection and post defense but more importantly, a much needed post presence on offense.
18) San Antonio Spurs: Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M-Pau Gasol is still effective but is aging. Williams will add depth to the frontcourt. He has a ton of potential but needs to focus more on being more consistent. Coach Gregg Popovich is the perfect tutor for him.
19) Atlanta Hawks: Anfernee Simons, G, IGM Academy-He has been creating a buzz and climbing up the board. He is freakishly athletic with a smooth offensive game. He can shoot it and create off the dribble. He is an x-factor that could be a huge steal here.
20) Minnesota Timberwolves: Gary Trent, SG, Duke-The Timberwolves starting lineup is set. They need to strengthen their bench. You can never have enough shooting and that’s Trent’s strength. He can provide depth for a team that will lose some players in free agency.
21) Utah Jazz: Jontay Porter, PF/C, Missouri-Nobody benefitted more from an injury to a teammate more than Jontay (Michael Porter, which happens to be his brother). He had the opportunity to show his scoring and rebounding to go along with his high motor and all out effort.
22) Chicago Bulls: Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia & Herzegovina-Musa can handle the ball and shoot it. He has great size for the wing and will stick his nose in around the basket to rebound. He’ll add depth to this young, up and coming team.
23) Indiana Pacers: Austin Wiley, C, Auburn-Wiley is a throwback center with a true post, back to the basket game. He’ll protect the rim and defend the post. He runs the floor well.
24) Portland Trail Blazers: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SF, Kansas-Portland needs more wing players who can compliment Lillard and McCollum. Mykhailiuk certainly fits that profile because of his shooting prowess.
25) LA Lakers: Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan-Wagner has a more than adequate post game but it’s his ability to step away from the basket and knock down shots is what makes him valuable. He has a sneaky handle and rebounds well, too.
26) Philadelphia 76ers: Grayson Allen, SG, Duke-The Sixers need to surround Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid with as many shooters as possible. Allen can flat out shoot. They will most likely lose JJ Redick in free agency so this is a smart pick.
27) Boston Celtics: Chimezie Metu, PF/C, USC-The Celtics are very thin up front after Horford and Baynes. Metu is all about effort and hustle. He can handle the ball, very athletic and adept at sizing up opponents, then attacking them. He rebounds well.
28) Golden State Warriors: Caleb Martin, G/F, Nevada-The Warriors value versatility and Martin can certainly provide that. He put on a great performance during last year’s NCAA run and opened a lot of eyes. You’re looking at Andre Iguodala’s replacement.
29) Brooklyn Nets: Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State-The Nets need to continue to add talent in the front court. Especially with so many bigs contracts expiring. Diop offers versatility, can play inside and out depending on the match up.
30) Atlanta Hawks: Chandler Hutchison, G/F, Boise State-Hutchison offers some versatility as well as toughness. He shown the ability to score and rebound. Being a better playmaker is a must. Has the athleticism and length to be a good defender.