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  • The 2018 NBA draft is loaded with star talent like DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic. The Crossover’s Front Office projects the first round.
By Jeremy Woo
April 19, 2018

Welcome to The Crossover’s Front Office, Sports Illustrated’s online home for all things NBA draft and your go-to resource for up-to-date projections, scouting reports, prospect buzz and more.

If you’re already a draft diehard, you’re in the right place. If you’re an NBA fan looking for an entry point into the world of college hoops—or a college fan searching for the scoop on your school’s top prospects, look no further. College basketball season is over, and it’s time to start making educated projections.

Key dates to remember: All prospects have until 11:59 p.m. on April 22 to declare for the draft, with or without an agent. Combine invites are expected to come out in the days that follow. The draft lottery is May 15 in Chicago, followed immediately by the combine, at which point the picture begins to truly gain clarity. College players have until May 30 to withdraw from the draft.

The aim of our mocks is to project what the first round of the draft might look like on a given day, based on our own intel and which players are trending. Our Big Board serves as the Front Office’s own assessment of available talent. Bookmark this space and check back for regular updates.

Teams are sequenced in the reverse order of current standings, with traded picks and protections considered. Last updated April 18.


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

Though Ayton has settled in as the likely No. 1 pick, there’s definitely some level of debate within front offices right now, with Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III in the mix. Phoenix’s need for a center makes Ayton a pretty strong option from a fit standpoint, and his elite physical traits and developing skill set give him both a star ceiling and a bankable floor. It’s imperative he improves defensively to access his full potential. For the Suns, who have a 25% chance at the No. 1 pick, pairing him with Devin Booker would create an inarguably strong foundation.

2. Grizzlies: Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Height: 6'8" | Weight: 220 | Age: 19 | Last: 2
Stats (all competitions): 14.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.5 APG

Memphis was down this year, but hopefully not out. Adding a player like Doncic into the mix with two other elite passers in Mike Conley and Marc Gasol could provide a necessary jolt and help the Grizzlies turn things around. NBA scouts rave about his overall basketball aptitude, and Doncic offers both immediate help and long-term stability. His playmaking ability and remarkably advanced game at age 19 will enable him to succeed despite a lack of elite athletic ability. The Grizzlies have a 19.9% chance at winning the lottery.

3. 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

After winning a tiebreaker with the Hawks, the Mavs have a 13.8% chance at the No. 1 pick and will be in position to address their need for a frontcourt mainstay regardless. With a major need up front, Dallas is looking hard at Bagley, whose offensive productivity, rebounding and athleticism were highly impressive at Duke. He has strides to make defensively and as a shooter and finisher, but Bagley is certainly an unfinished product with lots of room to grow. At some point his talent outweighs concerns over positional fit.

4. 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

Despite losing a tiebreaker with Dallas, Atlanta should be in good position to find a second core piece to pair with John Collins here. Jackson’s strengths and weaknesses seem like an ideal complement given his ability to protect the rim and also operate some on the perimeter, and as one of the youngest players in the draft, offers significant long-term upside. He needs to mature physically and mentally, but has improved at a rapid rate over the last couple years. Atlanta has a 13.7% chance at the No. 1 pick.

5. 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 around the rim given his 7’9” wingspan and 9’6” standing reach, although he may struggle to defend in space, which limits his margin for error. Bamba’s rudimentary offensive game is a riskier bet, and he’s not an elite run/jump athlete for his size. Chief concerns from NBA teams have centered on his competitiveness, which he can help address during the pre-draft process, but he’s the type of player who should interview well. The Magic have an 8.8% chance at winning the lottery.

6. Bulls: Wendell Carter, C, Duke | Fr.

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 260 | Age: 19 | Last: 7
Stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.1 BPG

The Bulls won a tiebreaker with the Kings for preferable position here and have 5.3% odds to win the top pick. After a drawn-out decision process, Carter declared for the draft on Monday and offer a strong mix of talent and intangibles that should appeal to Chicago. There are no major holes in his skill set beyond a lack of elite vertical lift that can make it tough to finish in traffic. His rebounding and inside-out game would make for a nice fit with Lauri Markkanen. He’s competitive and continues to improve. Carter is generally seen as a safe bet to become a useful player.

7. Kings: Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri | Fr.

Height: 6'10" | Weight: 215 | Age: 19 | Last: 6
Stats (2016 U18 FIBA Americas): 15.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.4 APG

The Porter discourse has cooled on some level due to the risk involved with his back injury, but he remains one of the draft’s most polished scorers at full strength and could be a strong value pick in the middle of the lottery. The Kings, who have a 5.3% chance at the top pick, may end up in position to take a big swing here. Sacramento needs talent, and with De’Aaron Fox and a glut of bigs on the roster, looking at wings here makes sense. Porter’s size and shooting are still appealing, but there are lingering questions about his ability to make others better as well as his defensive makeup. Expect his camp to carefully control which teams receive his medical information.

8. Cavaliers: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma | Fr.

(*via Nets)

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 8
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 8.8 APG, 36.1% 3FG

Cleveland could help fill the hole Kyrie Irving left in its the backcourt with the addition of Young, who would supply three-point shooting and playmaking and give them another ball-handler to work with regardless of whether LeBron stays or goes. He’s slippery off the dribble and showed flashes of special talent early in the season, able to score from deep, initiate offense and find teammates off the drive. In a situation where you’re not asking too much of him too soon, his upside should be a reasonable gamble.

9. Knicks: Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova | Jr.

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 9
Stats: 18.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 43% 3FG

The Knicks could use a wing player, and Bridges is a pretty safe bet to become useful as a plus defender and perimeter scorer. He’s a smooth athlete whose 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 as a secondary scorer, Bridges has room to improve and give you enough everywhere else. However, he may not have the upside of others in this range.

10. 76ers: Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State | So.

(*via Lakers)
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 225 | Age: 20 | Last: 10

Stats: 17.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 36.4% 3FG

While questions remain about how good of a shooter Bridges actually is and how much of a defensive plus he can become, he’s extremely athletic and has the makings of a utility-type combo forward. The four is probably his most natural spot despite a lack of ideal positional size. Bridges could benefit from reimagining himself as a high-energy glue guy, and playing within an established, ball-moving hierarchy in Philly, he would be able to really focus on playing that type of role. He needs to sell teams on his willingness to adjust.

11. Hornets: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama | Fr.

Height: 6'2" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 12
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 APG, 33.6% 3FG

With Charlotte in midst of a regime change as Mitch Kupchak takes the reins (and Kemba Walker potentially on the move), it makes sense for the Hornets to look at talent over fit in this spot. Sexton is a good bet to provide backcourt scoring and has some upside in the right situation as he matures. He’ll never be a pass-first point guard, but the hope would be that he grows into a leader and brings more consistent effort, given how good he can be when he’s focused. His shooting ability and overall efficiency as a scorer are worth questioning a bit, but he could grow into a legitimate piece for the future in the best-case scenario.

12. Clippers: Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky | Fr.

(*via Pistons)
Height: 6'9" | Weight: 215 | Age: 18 | Last: 11
Stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 34.1% 3FG

The Clippers are likely to end up with back-to-back picks here and will have a good opportunity to add a couple longer-term pieces to a veteran roster. Knox is a project with a big, strong frame and the capability to play either forward spot. He’s a fluid athlete, one of the youngest players in the draft, and is still learning what he’s capable of on the court. L.A. can take its time developing him into a rotation piece.

13. Clippers: Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M | So.

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Last: 13
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG

With DeAndre Jordan’s contract situation uncertain, Williams makes sense for the Clippers as a guy you can pencil into a similar role long-term. There’s no questioning Williams’s physical ability, with a thick upper body and springy game that allows him to grab tough rebounds, catch lobs and block shots. The next step is learning to do it consistently, which he struggled with during his two years at A&M. If Williams can tap into more of his ability in the right team situation, he’ll provide value.

14. Dzanan Musa, SF, KK Cedevita

Height: 6'9" | Weight: 185 | Age: 18 | Last: 15
Stats (all competitions): 12.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 47.6% FG

Musa brings high-level perimeter scoring ability and a good level of experience that makes sense within the Nuggets’ roster as constructed. He has great size, a competitive streak, and a high offensive skill level for his age. Denver can never have enough shooting around Nikola Jokic, and Musa is the type of player who could round out their perimeter group nicely. He can really score the ball, though defensively he may not be a plus.

15. Wizards: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky | Fr.

Height: 6'6" | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Last: 14
Stats: 14.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG

The Wizards have a need in the middle, but with a lack of available bigs in this range who can provide immediate help, it could make sense to focus elsewhere. Gilgeous-Alexander showed spectacular improvement over the course of the year at Kentucky and could theoretically slot in next to either John Wall or Bradley Beal as defensive cover and an additional playmaker as he develops. He’s a crafty finisher with a good sense of pace and his size, length and IQ are all pluses. He’d be a nice developmental piece in Washington.

16. Suns: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech | Fr.

(*via Heat)
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Last: 22

Stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 55.6% FG

Drafting Smith this high is a big bet on talent, but his stock has risen immensely over the past couple months. He’s a high-end twitchy athlete who has shown fairly good instincts and averaged more than a block and steal per game as a true freshman. He’s not much of a shooter yet, struggles to create his own shot and has lots of work to do to refine his game, but Smith offers the type of upside teams love to gamble on. The hope is he becomes an athletic game-changer on the defensive end, and adds enough offense to pull it all together. Like many of the prospects in this range, Smith is probably a couple years away.

17. Bucks | Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami | Fr.

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Last: 17
Stats: 11.5 PPG, 2.0 APG, 34.6% 3FG

The Bucks lucked out in keeping their pick from the Suns via tiebreaker. Milwaukee is no stranger to taking swings on upside, and Walker offers that here. He’s a lottery-caliber athletic talent who could go higher than this, but a questionable feel for the game adds a layer of risk and makes him a guy teams will need to bring along slowly. Walker can really bully his way to the basket and is capable of acrobatic finishes, in addition to some shooting ability from outside. He needs to become more polished as a defender and learn to contribute when he’s not scoring.

18. 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

Brown has the type of versatile, ball-moving skill set on the wing that makes sense in San Antonio, where Danny Green and Rudy Gay could be out the door and Kawhi Leonard’s future is unclear. He’s unlikely to become a go-to scorer, but his size, unselfishness and ability to play on or off the ball give him a good foundation as a modern perimeter player. When applied defensively he has the athletic tools to be impactful. Brown needs to become a better shooter, and the Spurs have had past success in that regard with young players.

19. Hawks: Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy | HS Sr.

(*via Timberwolves)
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18 | Last: 19
Stats (2017 UnderArmour Association): 15.3 PPG, 41.4% 3FG

Simons announced he will forgo college for the draft after a 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 untapped ability as a scorer, but will require a lot of work and attention go realize it. With three first-rounders, the Hawks can focus on getting Simons the G League reps he needs off the bat.

20. Timberwolves: Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State | Sr.

(*via Thunder)
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21 | Last: 21

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. This may be a bit of a reach value-wise, but his experience and physical readiness make sense for a Minnesota group pushing to be competitive with a thin group of forwards.

21. Jazz: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA | Jr.

Height: 6'1" | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Last: 23
Stats: 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 43% 3FG

The Jazz could use another ball-handler to spell Ricky Rubio and take some pressure off Donovan Mitchell, and Holiday’s toughness and scoring ability make him a nice fit in that role. 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. Holiday competes defensively, which helps split the difference with his height, and plays with an unselfish level of confidence that appeals to NBA teams.

22. Bulls: Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette (LA) HS

(*via Pelicans)

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20 | Last: 20
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 Bulls double-down on upside and take a second big in this scenario, with Robinson becoming part of the long-term plan.

23. Pacers: Jerome Robinson, G, Boston College | Jr.

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 28
Stats: 20.4 PPG, 3.4 APG, 41.9% 3FG

Robinson, who 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 would add a different dimension to the Pacers’ backcourt. His intangibles and ability to play on and off the ball are appealing, though he may have challenges defensively at the NBA level. He’s not a major upside pick, but has a good amount to offer a team looking for a more mature backcourt piece in the middle of the draft.

24. Trail Blazers: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton | Jr.

Height: 6'3" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21 | Last: 24
Stats: 15.1 PPG, 41.1% 3FG, 1.7 SPG

Portland could use a defensive-minded guard to rotate into their mix. 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. He’s not a creative scorer, which may limit his overall upside, but has a nice floor given his athleticism and 3-and-D skill set.

25. Lakers: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland | Fr.

(*via Cavaliers)
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 245 | Age: 19 | Last: 25
Stats: 10.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG

The Lakers are still searching for a long-term solution in the middle and play the type of spacing-centric offense that works best with a dynamic rim-runner. Enter Fernando, who has the athletic tools to be a poor man’s Clint Capela and would be a nice fit here. He’s unusually mobile and strong, competes hard and his skill level continues to improve. His overall feel is suspect, but as a late-bloomer, there’s some untapped room to grow here.

26. 76ers: Jontay Porter, F/C, Missouri | Fr.

Height: 6'11" | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Last: 33
Stats: 9.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.7 BPG

Porter would fit in seamlessly with Philly’s ball-moving attack as an intelligent passer able to play on the block or step outside the three-point line. His season was especially impressive given he won’t turn 19 until November, making him the youngest player on our Big Board. Though Porter isn’t an explosive athlete, he certainly knows how to play and will be an intriguing player to watch develop.

27. Celtics: Bruce Brown, G, Miami | So.

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 26
Stats: 11.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.0 APG

With Marcus Smart approaching restricted free agency, Boston could use this spot to add another defensive-minded player to its backcourt. Though Brown missed the last two months of a lackluster season with a foot injury, his impressive athleticism and ability to guard still stand out. His jump shooting regressed this season, and Brown will have to prove he can make threes in the predraft process, but he has enough going for him as a gritty utility-type guard.

28. Warriors: De'Anthony Melton, G, USC | So.

Height: 6'4" | Weight: 190 |Age: 19 | Last: 31
Stats (2016–17): 8.3 PPG, 3.5 APG, 1.9 SPG

Though he sat out the entire 2017–18 season in the fallout of USC being implicated in an FBI investigation, Melton should be in the mix in this draft range with one impressive year under his belt. The title-minded Warriors are sure to probe for role players in this slot, and he’d add a different dimension to Golden State’s backcourt with his defensive prowess and physicality. Melton’s swing skill is his jump shot, and shooting the ball well in workouts will impact his eventual draft slot one way or the other.

29. Nets: Rawle Alkins, G/F, Arizona | So.

(*via Raptors)

Height: 6'5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20 | Last: 27
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, setting him back a bit over the course of the year. As he gets into peak shape, his strong frame, explosiveness and motor should prove advantageous over the course of the pre-draft process. and help him a bit defensively. Alkins needs to shoot the ball more consistently but has enough fans around the league that he should end up somewhere in this mid-draft range. The Nets could use a tough, physical wing like him.

30. Hawks: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova | Jr.

(*via Rockets)
Height: 6'3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21 | Last: 29
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 4.7 APG, 41.3% 3FG

Brunson’s otherworldly feel and well-rounded offensive skill set should help him stick around the NBA for a long time in some capacity. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s going to make teammates better, pick the right spots to score and bring leadership. He may not be a plus guarding man-to-man, but understands the value of team defense and should be able to defend enough to make it all work. He’s worth a late first-round pick and could be a plug-and-play guy for the Hawks, who have three firsts.

31. Suns: Devonte’ Graham, PG, Kansas | Sr.

32. Grizzlies: Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati

33. Hawks: Melvin Frazier, G/F, Tulane

34. Mavericks: Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova | So.

35. Magic: Elie Okobo, PG, Pau-Orthez

36. Kings: Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State | Jr.

37. Knicks (via Bulls): Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State | So.

38. Sixers (via Nets): Grayson Allen, G, Duke | Sr.

39. Sixers (via Knicks): Rodions Kurucs, SF, FC Barcelona

40. Nets (via Lakers): Chimezie Metu, PF, USC | Jr.

41. Magic (via Hornets): Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky | So.

42. Pistons: Shake Milton, G, SMU | Jr.

43. Nuggets (via Clippers): Justin Jackson, F, Maryland | So.

44. Wizards: Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan | Jr.

45. Nets (via Bucks): Goga Bitadze, C, Mega Bemax

46. Rockets (via Heat): Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech | So.

47. Lakers (via Nuggets): Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse | So.

48. Wolves: Trevon Duval, PG, Duke | Fr.

49. Spurs: Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke | Fr.

50. Pacers: Tony Carr, PG, Penn State | So.

51. Pelicans: Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia | Sr.

52. Jazz: Kenrich Williams, F, TCU | Sr.

53. Thunder: P.J. Washington, F/C, Kentucky | Fr.

54. Mavericks (via Blazers): Jarrey Foster, SF, SMU | Jr.

55. Hornets (via Cavs): Kris Wilkes, F, UCLA | Fr.

56. Sixers: Svi Mykhailiuk, G/F, Kansas | Sr.

57. Thunder (via Celtics): Omari Spellman, F/C, Villanova | Fr.

58. Nuggets (via Warriors): Isaac Bonga, G/F, Frankfurt

59. Suns (via Raptors): Malik Newman, G, Kansas | So.

60. Sixers (via Rockets): Arnoldas Kulboka, F, Capo D’Orlando

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