- How did the NCAA tournament impact the NBA draft? Well, it sure helped Donte DiVincenzo. With March Madness in the books, The Crossover's Front Office projects all 60 picks for the 2018 NBA draft.
April crept up fast, didn’t it? College basketball season is over, the NBA playoffs aren’t far away, and draft season only intensifies from here. We’re just two weeks away from the NBA’s 11:59 p.m. April 22 deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft, and dozens of prospects have already done so. There’s still time for the NBA standings to fluctuate, but the picture has clarified and only gets more intriguing from here. Given the circumstances, the Front Office is expanding its Mock Draft to include two rounds and all 60 picks for the first time this season.
The pre-draft process begins in earnest next week at the Portsmouth Invitational, a proving ground for the top college seniors each year. There’s plenty that can still change in a week, and a number of underclassmen are facing difficult decisions on whether to declare and test the waters. We’ve seen one likely first-rounder, Arkansas center Daniel Gafford, return to school with eyes on what will be a much thinner 2019 draft class, and it’s likely more players in similar boats will follow suit. After Monday's title game, one prospect to monitor is Villanova sophomore Donte DiVincenzo, who picked a great time to have a career night. DiVincenzo was largely seen as a quality prospect for the 2019 draft, but may be forcing the issue after dropping 31 points in the NCAA title game.
As always, this Mock Draft serves to assess what the big picture looks like on a given day, whereas our Big Board serves as the Front Office’s own assessment of available talent. Below, you’ll find projections for all 60 picks, allotted based on the reverse order of the current standings, with tiebreakers done at random. (All stats through April 2).
1. Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona | Fr.
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 260 pounds | Age: 19 | Last Mock: 1
Stats: 20.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 61.2% FG
This would be an ideal marriage, given Phoenix’s biggest need is in the middle and that Ayton is plenty familiar with Arizona. The Wildcats’ swift tournament exit exposed what he has to improve defensively, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s the best prospect in the draft. Ayton will arrive as one of the most athletically gifted bigs in the league and would pair with Devin Booker to give the Suns two high-end young pieces to build around. With a lot of talent already in the fold, nabbing Ayton atop the draft would signal a clear direction—and usher in added urgency to start winning.
2. Grizzlies: Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last: 2
Stats (all competitions): 15.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.4 APG
As a down year winds to a close, the Grizzlies are at a bit of a crossroads, given Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are still dangerous when healthy and the latter is presently unsettled. This is a terrific fit for Doncic, whose size, feel and developed skill set would slot right in to help engineer a turnaround. His greatest strength is his on-court intelligence, and while he may not evolve into a dominant scorer, lessening that pressure while placing him alongside other great passers should bring out the best in him.
3. Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State | Fr.
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 3
Stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 BPG
The Hawks aren’t tied down to much of anything on their roster beyond John Collins, and are in search of a foundational player. Jackson’s ability to space the floor and protect the rim makes for an ideal fit, and would give Atlanta a great interior duo. Although he wasn’t maximized at Michigan State and ended the season in a slump, Jackson really helped himself overall. While displaying a greater offensive skill level than expected, he also made a tangible defensive impact (5.5 blocks per 40 minutes). He needs to mature physically and mentally and is probably a few years away from being able to anchor a winning team, but Atlanta has time to let him grow.
4. Magic: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas | Fr.
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Last: 4
Stats: 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.7 BPG
Expect the Magic to lean toward long-term upside and projection with this pick. There’s no questioning Bamba’s insane defensive potential given his length and mobility. His 7’9” wingspan and 9’6” standing reach are true rarities. Bamba’s rudimentary offensive game is a riskier bet, but he may only need to be a DeAndre Jordan-type lob threat to be immensely valuable. He has shown potential shooting jumpers and is more skilled than he was able to show at Texas. Chief concerns from NBA teams have centered on competitiveness and playing hard, which he can help address during the pre–draft process.
5. Mavericks: Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke | Fr.
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Last: 5
Stats: 21.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 61.4% FG
Should Bagley fall here he’d offer strong value, and would be a fascinating frontcourt complement to Dennis Smith in Dallas. He was picked apart by critics as the season went on, but Bagley’s athleticism, offensive potential and rebounding ability give him a strong upside. He can be a ball-watcher on defense and his interior play can be predictable, but at some point there’s no sense looking past his production. Bagley’s best NBA position is probably going to be power forward, but he will need to keep improving as a jump shooter to make that happen. He’s still a very good prospect, and deserves some patience.
6. Kings: Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Fr.
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 7
Stats (2016 U18 FIBA Americas): 15.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.4 APG
After taking a risk on Harry Giles last year, the Kings may wind up in position to make a similar decision if Porter is available. He did not look mobile or totally comfortable on the court in his brief end-of-season return, but there is reward to be had given his substantial talent scoring the ball. His size, shooting ability and polished offensive game should keep him pretty safely among the draft’s early selections, but there have always been questions about his ability to make others better as well as his defensive makeup. Expect his camp to carefully control which teams receive what medical information pertaining to his back.
7. Cavaliers*: Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke | Fr.
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 19 | Last: 7
Stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.1 BPG
Whatever LeBron decides, Carter’s blend of offensive skill and rim protection gives the Cavs a desirable piece to build around. He solidified himself as a top–10 pick in most scouts’ eyes with an impressively consistent freshman year, despite playing more around the high post and outside with Marvin Bagley stationed on the low block. His game has no major weakness beyond a lack of quick vertical lift, and he should be able to extend his shooting range to the perimeter, where his passing ability and feel will stand out. He’s a terrific rebounder and has a good sense of defensive positioning, as well. Carter is a safe bet to have a long, useful career.
8. Bulls: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Fr.
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 9
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 8.8 APG, 36.1% 3FG
Although Kris Dunn took a step forward for the Bulls this season, Young would bring a different level of playmaking and perimeter scoring that makes sense to add to the backcourt mix. His highs and lows were well-documented this season, but his talent is enticing enough that he probably shouldn’t slip too far. The Bulls’ athletic, perimeter-oriented core guys could benefit from playing off a passer like Young, and he wouldn’t be overburdened with a huge scoring load in turn. His upside should be a reasonable gamble.
9. Knicks: Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova | Jr.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 8
Stats: 18.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 43% 3FG
New York will end up looking hard at the available wings in this range, and Bridges is the safest among them as a plus defender and improved perimeter scorer. His ability to space the floor and guard multiple positions makes him an easy theoretical fit in any lineup. Creating his own shot off the dribble is a weakness, but he should be able to step in and help right away as the Knicks continue to assemble parts around Kristaps Porzingis. His major role in Villanova’s title run certainly doesn’t hurt when it comes to visibility.
10. 76ers*: Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | So.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 12
Stats: 17.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 36.4% 3FG
Bridges finished the season on an inarguable low note, struggling to score from anywhere on the floor against Syracuse’s 2–3 zone. He makes sense alongside Philly’s core group with his energy and ability to run the floor, but the questions about his distance shooting and ability to create for himself are still significant. If he steps up his defensive effort, and gains consistency with his stroke it can work, but he will most likely need to evolve into more of a glue guy than the finesse scorer we saw in college.
11. Hornets: Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Fr.
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 10
Stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 34.1% 3FG
The Hornets reportedly offered their GM job to Mitch Kupchak this week. Until it’s clear who’s running the show, it’s tough to really chart their draft course. A malleable talent like Knox, who’s still learning the game, would be a useful building block for the long-term. He had an up-and-down season, but overall he took steps forward and his scoring touch, three-point shooting potential and physical tools give teams a lot to work with. Knox may not progress into a star, but he’s far from a defined product and should be able to play both forward spots. There are a number of paths for him to become a useful rotation player.
12. Clippers*: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama | Fr.
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 11
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 APG, 33.6% 3FG
Sexton’s late-season performance was a good reminder of his strengths, and it’s certainly possible he ends up the first guard drafted depending on how the lottery shakes out. He’s a gifted downhill scorer who was tough to stop when locked in, though his effort level wavered a good amount during the season. That said, Sexton is a useful defender when he wants to be. There is some concern about the selfish nature of his game and whether he makes teammates better. If he puts it all together, he’ll become a useful player. The Clippers have a glut of ball-handlers to make decisions on, but at this point in the draft, Sexton would be the best piece available.
13. Clippers: Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 18
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG
The Clippers could end up picking back–to–back here if they miss the playoffs. Williams is a gifted athlete who plays above the rim naturally, and when he’s competing he’s a load for opponents on the glass. He’s clearly an NBA talent. The issue is that he’s never really done it consistently, which teams view as a risk factor. The team fit wasn’t ideal at Texas A&M, and it doesn’t hurt that he finished the season with several nice showings. If he ends up in a good team environment Williams could provide a great return in this range.
14. Nuggets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 13
Stats: 14.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG
Gilgeous-Alexander helped himself in the eyes of the NBA as much as anyone in the month of March, leading Kentucky to an SEC tournament title and what was a disappointing exit in the Sweet 16. He’s a crafty finisher with a good sense of pace and his size, length and instincts are all appealing. His shooting is a work in progress but his potential as a defender and playmaker is substantial. Gilgeous-Alexander would complement Jamal Murray and Gary Harris nicely in theory.
15. Suns*: Dzanan Musa, SF, KK Cedevita
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last: 19
Stats (all competitions): 12.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 47.4% FG
Musa provides some shooting and slashing ability and is a legit perimeter threat at 6’9”. As one of the younger players available, he’s put together a good résumé overseas. He’s extremely skilled offensively and known as an intense competitor, and scouts say he is highly motivated to make the NBA. The Suns should have three first-round picks (and just two contracts coming off the books) and could choose to keep him overseas in this scenario.
16. Suns*: Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon | Fr.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 16
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG
The Suns appear likely to get this pick from the Bucks (it has to fall between 11 and 16 to convey), which would give them three of the first 20 selections. Brown’s size, ability to play on the ball and defensive versatility would make sense next to Devin Booker, but he needs added seasoning. His shot-creating ability and his jumper need work, but the tools should play at the next level even if he’s unlikely to become a go-to option. Prospects with his perimeter skill set are in demand right now.
17. Wizards: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami | Fr.
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 14
Stats: 11.5 PPG, 2.0 APG, 34.6% 3FG
Should Walker fall this far, he’d be a terrific value as a lottery-type talent in the mid-first round. There’s a case for him to stay in school and push to lock up a lottery selection in 2019. A talented but inexperienced slasher, Walker has substantial upside, but a long way to go. He can bully his way to the basket and elevate for difficult finishes, but doesn’t have a great feel for picking his spots or finding teammates. He needs to become more consistent and commit further to playing defense, but there’s a lot to work with here. The Wizards could groom him as a third guard to start.
18. Bulls*: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga | So.
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: N/A
Stats: 11.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 56.8% FG
It’s unclear if Hachimura will enter the draft, but if he tests the waters he should expect to find heavy first-round interest. He finished the season strong, but didn’t have quite the breakout some expected (though his numbers really pop on a per-minute basis). Hachimura’s combination of strength, length and explosiveness will play in the NBA, and though he’s somewhat of a project he has rotation-level upside. Able to play both forward spots, he’d be a sensible investment for Chicago here.
19. Hawks*: Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy | HS Sr.
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last: 23
Stats (2017 UnderArmour Association): 15.3 PPG, 41.4% 3FG
Simons announced he will forgo college and enter the draft with an agent straight out of his prep year at IMG, and also withdrew from the Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic. He will make his case as a prospect while riding a degree of mystery, and his camp will presumably schedule his team workouts carefully. Simons has a lot of intriguing traits, with great explosiveness, speed and developing three-point range, but obviously lacks high-level experience. He’s full of potential as a scorer, but untested and a long-term project. The Hawks will likely have three first-rounders, and can focus on getting Simons the G League reps he needs.
20. Jazz: Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette (LA) HS
Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20 | Last: 21
Stats (2016–17 HS): 25.7 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 6.0 BPG
Once Robinson gets into team workouts we’ll have a much better read on his situation, but he’s highly athletic and physically jumps off the page with a 7’3” wingspan. There have been plenty of questions about his feel for the game, and skipping his freshman year at Western Kentucky and taking a season off didn’t help. His draft range is wide, but his tools are first-round caliber. The Jazz could take a shot on upside, and have room to develop another big behind Rudy Gobert.
21. Timberwolves*: Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State | Sr.
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 17
Stats: 20.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.3 APG
Hutchison had a prolific season at Boise State and won’t have to handle as heavy an offensive load in the NBA. He’s got a good build, rebounds and passes well and could potentially even spend time as a small-ball four. The question is how well he’ll shoot from deep (35.2% this season), and how much offense he can create for himself against defenders who eliminate his athletic mismatch. Hutchison isn’t a creative scorer, but he’s a good cutter without the ball and should offer a level of role versatility. His experience and physical readiness make sense for a Minnesota group pushing to be competitive sooner than later.
22. Spurs: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech | Fr.
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Last: N/A
Stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 55.6% FG
After arriving at Texas Tech as an unheralded recruit, Smith’s emergence was quite the surprise, and averaging more than a block and a steal per game as a true freshman for a quality team was no small feat. The platform of the Red Raiders’ Elite 8 run certainly helped Smith from an NBA perspective, and his impressive quick-twitch athleticism and overall instincts give him a decent base. He can’t create much, if any, of his own offense right now, which adds a level of risk. But he’ll have a chance at the first round based on potential if he comes out. The Spurs would be able to get the most out of him.
23. Pacers: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Jr.
Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Last: 20
Stats: 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 43% 3FG
The Pacers could use a ball-handler, and Holiday separated himself from the pack somewhat with a strong senior year. He’s a generally solid player, offering precise distance shooting, poise, toughness and feel for using ball screens. His lack of size and issues getting downhill off the dribble likely cap his upside, but he defends well, can score and should receive an off-court bonus given his older brothers have both been successful pros. Holiday isn’t a swing for the fences, but can help address a need for someone as a backup guard.
24. 76ers: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton | Jr.
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 24
Stats: 15.1 PPG, 41.1% 3FG, 1.7 SPG
Thomas was consistently a plus for Creighton and emerged as one of the better on-ball defenders in college basketball this season, while also hitting threes at a strong clip. In Philly, he’s a nice backcourt fit with Ben Simmons, potentially a plus cover on opposing point guards and also a floor-spacing threat. He’s not a creative scorer, which may limit his overall upside, but has a nice floor given his athletic ability and 3-and-D skill set. He would make situational sense as a role player in this spot.
25. Lakers*: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland | Fr.
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 245 | Age: 19 | Last: 27
Stats: 10.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG
Though it’s uncertain at the moment if Fernando will enter his name in the draft, scouts are enamored with his athletic tools and he’ll find himself getting late first-round consideration if he does. He’s unusually mobile and strong, competes hard and has a higher skill level than he displayed this season in a supporting role at Maryland. Physical two-way rim-runners are in demand, and Fernando would give the Lakers some controllable depth on the inside as a potential backup.
26. Trail Blazers: Bruce Brown, G, Miami | So.
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 26
Stats: 11.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.0 APG
It was a lost season for Brown, who missed all of February and March after foot surgery and didn’t make the type of strides you’d like to see from a 21-year-old sophomore. He regressed greatly as a shooter (26.7% from deep) and profiles more as a combo guard than a point. Still, his gritty defense and athleticism are strong points that lend themselves to an NBA role, and the Blazers could use a tough, hard-nosed player to add to their backcourt. He’s entering the draft without an agent.
27. Celtics: Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona | So.
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last: 28
Stats: 13.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 35.9% 3FG
Amid a challenging year for Arizona, Alkins made the best of a tough situation after breaking his foot in the preseason. He never appeared to be at full strength, and should end up in better shape entering the pre-draft process. Alkins’s strong frame, explosiveness and motor make him an interesting prospect on the wing. Proving himself defensively and adding consistency to his jumper will help.
28. Nets*: Jerome Robinson, G, Boston College | Jr.
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 25
Stats: 20.4 PPG, 3.4 APG, 41.9% 3FG
There’s a sense around the league that Robinson has played his way into the late first round: he was the ACC’s top scoring guard, creates well off the dribble and can put the ball in the basket from all three levels. He plays with a unique change of speeds off the bounce, and solidified himself as a legitimate prospect with a breakout year. His intangibles and ability to play on and off the ball are appealing, and he’d give the Nets another piece to play with in the backcourt.
29. Warriors: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Jr.
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: N/A
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 4.7 APG, 41.3% 3FG
Regardless of how dominant Villanova was in sealing the national title, Brunson should have already endeared himself to teams given his otherworldly feel and well-rounded offensive game. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s going to make teammates better, pick his spots offensively and bring leadership. He won’t lock down NBA ballhandlers, but understands team defense and should be able to make it work. Brunson may be the best of the mid-draft point guard crop, and the late first round is within reach.
30. Hawks*: Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Sr.
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 185 | Age: 23 | Last: 30
Stats: 17.3 PPG, 7.5 APG, 41.2% 3FG
The Hawks will pick three times in the first round and have a great opportunity to replenish their talent base. Graham is viewed as a safe bet to be a useful ball-handler, though not a star. His production was consistent at Kansas, although he shot just 39.2% on two-point shots and struggles to finish at the rim sometimes. Leading the Jayhawks to the Final Four was a nice boost to his résumé. As Atlanta rebuilds, and with Dennis Schröder’s future unclear, adding a steadying presence to the backcourt makes sense.
31. Suns: De’Anthony Melton, G, USC | So.
32. Grizzlies: Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova | So.
33. Hawks: Jontay Porter, F/C, Missouri | Fr.
34. Magic: De'Andre Hunter, F, Virginia | Fr.
35. Mavericks: Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati | Jr.
36. Kings: Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Jr.
37. Sixers (via Nets): Rodions Kurucs, SF, FC Barcelona
38. Knicks (via Bulls): Tony Carr, PG, Penn State | So.
39. Sixers (via Knicks): Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | So.
40. Nets (via Lakers): Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | So.
41. Magic (via Hornets): Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane | Jr.
42. Pistons: Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke | Fr.
43. Nets (via Bucks): Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | Fr.
44. Rockets (via Heat): Grayson Allen, G, Duke | Sr.
45. Nuggets (via Clippers): Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC | Jr.
46. Wizards: Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan | Jr.
47. Lakers (via Nuggets): Shake Milton, G, SMU | Jr.
48. Pelicans: Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech | So.
49. Wolves: Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Fr.
50. Jazz: Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | So.
51. Thunder: Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia | Sr.
52. Spurs: Jarrey Foster, G/F, SMU | Jr.
53. Pacers: Jalen Hudson, SG, Florida | Jr.
54. Sixers: Goga Bitadze, C, Mega Bemax
55. Hornets (via Cavs): Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV | Fr.
56. Mavs (via Blazers): Malik Newman, SG, Kansas | So.
57. Thunder (via Celtics): Isaac Bonga, G/F, Frankfurt
58. Suns (via Raptors): Elie Okobo, PG, Pau-Orthez
59. Nuggets (via Warriors): Svi Mykhailiuk, SG, Kansas | Sr.
60. Sixers (via Rockets): Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Capo D’Orlando