Anion Sports 2018 NBA Mock Draft
The NBA Draft, scheduled for this Thursday, June 21, 2018, is one of the best events on the sports calendar. Every year, the excitement that comes with watching your favorite players join the professional ranks is top notch. We have you covered with our official Anion Sports Mock Draft! Let us know what you think. Drop a comment and say who your favorite player is and why.
*NOTE: This mock does not include trade scenarios.*
Don’s Pick: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
Ayton is in my opinion, the best prospect in a class full of good prospects. His combination of size and skill is what wins me over. At 7'1 and a listed 250 lbs, he combines his physical prowess with a well rounded game that even sees him expand his shooting range to beyond the three point line (34 percent on . Phoenix needs to hit on this pick and this one is a slam dunk. He'll need to improve his production on the defensive end, but he has the tools necessary to be a force. He's already dominant on the offensive end (20.1 ppg).
Dillon’s Pick: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
Ayton seems like a slam dunk at number one in this draft. The 7-footer can score the ball, protect the rim and holds his own when forced to defend on the perimeter. He was the best player in college, while playing right in the Suns backyard, all season. I would be very surprised if Ayton is not the pick here.
2. KINGS Don’s Pick: Marvin Bagley III, F, Duke
Going into this year, Duke was a heavy favorite to win it all due to the talent that they possessed. Marvin Bagley III was a key factor for them all year long. The highly skilled big man averaged 21 ppg to go along with 11.1 rebounds. His offensive game is like art that should be admired and should only get better with age. My only concern is his defensive position. After playing the power forward position in college, I wonder if he can hang with the stretch four's in the league or not get bulldozed by the centers if he plays the five in small-ball lineups. The Kings have missed a lot on players period since they drafted Demarcus Cousins. Bagley is very talented and should be a welcome addition to the frontcourt depth Sacramento has accumulated in recent years.
Dillon’s Pick: Luka Doncic, G, Slovenia
The European game is different than the NBA game, sure, but few are arguing that Doncic's game is NBA ready, he has already had tremendous success in the pro game overseas. I see no reason that won't continue. Standing at 6'8, he is an elite passer and can really create for his teammates. Currently he is a capable shooter with a quick, clean stroke. Don't be surprised if he develops into an elite shooter over time. His defense is often questioned, but I don’t see it being a huge issue in his transition to the NBA. Bagley has been getting a lot of love at this spot, but in a guard driven league I think Doncic is the pick.
3. HAWKS Don’s Pick: Luka Doncic, G, Slovenia
This pick gives me a little trouble. I want to say Doncic is the best in the draft and should have gone #1. But I also have my concerns. However, it may come off, the bag when it comes to European players is a mixed one and I don't know if I would take him higher than three. I see a lot of positives with him: He can create, he's a versatile scorer, he pulls down boards and has a solid shot. His European pro career is not necessarily a detriment to him like his past overseas counterparts. I think Atlanta gets the steal of the draft and loves this pick if he falls here.
Dillon’s Pick: Marvin Bagley III, F, Duke
I think this pick comes down to 3 bigs in Mohamed Bamba, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Bagley. Honestly, Bagley might have the lowest ceiling of the three, but I take him here because he is the most polished right now. I know he can step right onto the NBA floor. There have been some questions about his defense, but I'll take the established scorer here over the two projects. If the Kings pass on Doncic at two, I would bet this is his floor.
4. GRIZZLIES Don’s Pick: Jaren Jackson Jr., F, Michigan State
Now the draft starts to get interesting. Jaren. Jackson. Jr. I've been a big believer in his upside during this pre-draft process. He's a great performer on defense and he provides help on the glass. He has the potential to become a darling of the modern NBA with his 39.6% shooting from deep for his size. One thing I love the most about him is also his potential downfall: his substantial upside. If he can hit on it, he should be a perennial All Star. But the flip side is that the potential could remain just that. Grizzlies roll the dice and hope for some good fortune.
Dillon’s Pick: Jaren Jackson Jr., F, Michigan State
Jackson may be the hardest player for GM's to get a read on. He played just over 21 minutes a game at MSU and is also the youngest player in the draft. For me, this is just trying to figure out how many picks go by before his upside becomes too much to pass up. 6'11 with a 7'4 wingspan, the ability to protect the rim and stretch the floor? I am intrigued, and I think the Grizzles will be too at number four.
5. MAVERICKS Don’s Pick: Mohammed Bamba, F, Texas
Bamba has been doing well for himself in workouts and has stood out for his athleticism and his measurables. Obviously for good reasons when you measure a 7'9 wingspan. His superior length contributes to his great defensive skills. If he can add some weight and an offensive game, he could be special. For now, he fills the Nerlens role for Dallas and probably better than Noel.
Dillon’s Pick: Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri
Porter is another tough one to peg since he missed all but 3 games during his only season at Missouri. He was the nation’s top recruit out of high school, and could very well have been the top pick in the draft if it weren't for health concerns. I think he is probably first in play at pick four and is all but guaranteed to be off the board by 10 even with the extremely limited sample size. His 6'11 frame combined with his ability to handle and score the ball make him tough to defend, and his IQ and ability to adequately defend multiple positions only add to his versatility. As a Bulls fan, I would love to see him slide to 7 but I don't see it happening. I think Dallas pulls the trigger on Porter and ultimately gets a player that has as good a chance as anyone in this draft to make an immediate impact; given his health holds up.
6. MAGIC Don's Pick: Trae Young, G, Oklahoma
Young's best asset: He's absolutely strapped up from deep range which is fitting for a man named Trae. He seriously was pulling up from seemingly everywhere and from all different types of angles. Combine that with his advanced playmaking ability and you have someone who is a match made in heaven for the Magic. They could use his floor spacing in general, but then you combine it with his passing and he will be able to unlock their offense. Downside would be his sometimes questionable passing and his size as he's listed at 6'2.
Dillon’s Pick: Mohammed Bamba, F, Texas
Here is another high upside pick. I don’t think that Bamba necessarily going to help the Magic make that much right away, but he is so easy to dream on. He stands just under 7’ without shoes, his standing reach and wingspan were the highest at the combine at 9’7.5 and 7’10” respectively. He has an established knack for shot blocking, averaging 3.7 blocks a game at Texas. His offensive game remains in question. I personally don’t see the offensive game evolving a ton, but if someone believes in him on that side of the floor, he probably goes higher than six.
7. BULLS Don’s Pick: Michael Porter, Jr., F, Missouri
Word to the wise: I am obsessed with this prediction. Michael Porter is the franchise savior the Bulls have been waiting for. If he slips, and his questionable medical history should provide the perfect cover for this slide into Chicago's waiting arms. Porter provides versatility on offense. He thrives as a shooter but has the height to take advantage of smaller wings and the quickness to take advantage of bigs. For a kid that was the projected first overall selection going into this year, he could be a game-changer. That's assuming he isn't permanently damaged goods.
Dillon’s Pick: Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke
This pick would shift us back into something a bit more of a sure thing. All year at Duke, Carter was “the other big”. Carter profiles somewhat similarly to Bagley in the pro game. He should still be able to score the ball, but his defense may define how good of a pro he can be. He has shown more feel for expanding the floor, and he is able to protect the rim better than Bagley. The biggest issue for him right now is his perimeter defense. You probably can’t switch screens with him on the floor, which is problematic in today’s NBA.
8. CAVALIERS Don’s Pick: Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State
Disclaimer: Don't expect this pick to show up to training camp with the Cavaliers if LeBron stays. But there's no trade scenarios so I must go with the best remaining player in my opinion left. Bridges combines elite athleticism and bounce with size and an overall good game. Showed off versatility in college with his rebounding, above average defense and an improving shot. I think he is the safest left and Cleveland should be ecstatic to either add to their Finals run next season or a key piece in a rebuild.
Dillon’s Pick: Trae Young, G, Oklahoma
Obviously, the biggest question mark in “The Land” this off-season is whether LBJ will break hearts again. Unfortunately, we won’t know that answer before the draft, but either way I think Trae Young makes a lot of sense here. Whatever his defensive shortcomings comings are I think his offensive profile gives the Cavs something they need. With LeBron back, Young gives you another option to spread the floor for “The King” as a catch and shoot guy. If LeBron leaves (sorry Cleveland), then Young, who was arguably the most exciting player in college basketball, will provide a much needed punch to what I assume would be a rather anemic offense.
9. KNICKS Don’s Pick: Wendell Carter Jr., F, Duke
Hear me out. The Knicks get a piece that allows them to add insurance to their frontcourt and a piece that can play with Kristaps. His shooting ability plays well in this hypothetical lineup and I believe he could be an asset with his passing. His game overall, I feel like is a tad underrated due to playing next to Bagley all season.
Dillon’s Pick: Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky
The Knicks need talent, bottom line. Knox is another intriguing upside guy who can play both forward spots. He is one of the younger guys in the draft and comes from an inexperienced UK team, so who knows how far some sort of mentorship could go for Knox. 6’9” with nearly a 7 foot wingspan and the ability to knock down shots, he could give the Knicks a nice player to pair with Porzingis in the front-court of a small set or they could put him on the wing and let him attack. The current state of the NBA is that of constant change, and Knox is a great combination of raw talent and versatility for New York to build with. I could also see Sexton or Gilgeous-Alexander in play here because the Knicks need a lead guard badly.
10. 76ERS Don’s Pick: Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova
I think this pick has the potential to be something special. The Sixers need shooting and Mikal Bridges can shoot it. He also is an all-around player that will make plays, rebound and play solid defense. His championship pedigree is something the team should value as they look to continue to establish their identity as a winner. Staying close to home also is a bonus. Look for him to add strength fine tune the edges of his game as he becomes a part of a winning culture.
Dillon’s Pick: Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova
To me this might be the safest pick so far. If the draft unfolds this way this would be the first domestic player taken that has played multiple years of college ball. Bridges is a true 2-way wing. He knocks down open 3 pointers with ease and can grow into a lock-down defender. I love him in this spot for a couple reasons: he gets to stay in Philadelphia, he lets the 76ers keep their identity of a young athletic team with length and he gives them a much needed shooter to space the floor.
11. HORNETS DC: Collin Sexton, G, Alabama DF: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky 12. CLIPPERS DC: Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky DF: Collin Sexton, G, Alabama
13. CLIPPERS DC: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky DF: Zhaire Smith, G, Texas Tech
14. NUGGETS DC: Lonnie Walker IV, G, Miami DF: Miles Bridges F, Michigan State
15. WIZARDS DC: Robert Williams, F, Texas A&M DF: Lonnie Walker IV, G, Miami
16. SUNS DC: Zhaire Smith, G, Texas Tech DF: Jerome Robinson, G, Boston College
17. BUCKS DC: Khyri Thomas, G, Creighton DF: Robert Williams, F, Texas A&M
18. SPURS DC: Gary Trent Jr., G, Duke DF: Chandler Hutchison, F, Boise State
19. HAWKS DC: Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova DF: Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon
20. TIMBERWOLVES DC: Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State DF: Aaron Holliday, G, UCLA
21. JAZZ DC: Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy DF: Elie Okobo, G, France
22. BULLS DC: Jalen Brunson, G, Villanova DF: Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova
23. PACERS DC: Aaron Holiday, G, UCLA DF: Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State
24. TRAIL BLAZERS DC: Troy Brown, G, Oregon DF: Kevin Huerter, G, Maryland
25. LAKERS DC: Kevin Huerter, G, Maryland DF: Mitchell Robinson, C
26. 76ERS DC: Grayson Allen, G, Duke DF: Josh Okogie, G, Georgia Tech
27. CELTICS DC: Mitchell Robinson, C DF: Dzanan Musa, G/F, Bosnia
28. WARRIORS DC: Devonte' Graham, G, Kansas DF: Jalen Brunson, G, Villanova
29. NETS DC: Trevon Duval, G, Duke DF: De'Anthony Melton, G, USC
30. HAWKS DC: Chandler Hutchison, F, Boise State DF: Moe Wagner, F, Michigan