QMS 2018 NBA Mock Draft
Because of conflicting schedules, the QuarterMasters were unable to do a podcast for the 2018 NBA Draft, so we’re rocking it old school in the blog. The picks were handed out snake draft style and will be color-coded. (TreBabs, The Cannon, Rongy, TyGuy) Trades are accepted and will be explained when necessary.
1. Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
This seems like an easy choice. Ayton has the potential to be an elite offensive big in this league. Pair him with Devin Booker and the Suns will have a 1-2 punch reminiscent of Shaq & Kobe.
2. Sacramento Kings – Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan St.
The Kings out-King themselves once again. While Jackson Jr. has obvious talent and upside, leaving Marvin Bagley III, Luka Doncic, and Mo Bamba on the table at two seems like a very Kings move. However, Jackson would be a good fit along Willie Cauley-Stein in the Sac-Town frontcourt.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
A reach but the Hawks get their superstar of the future. Young is the only player in NCAA history to lead Division I in scoring and assists in the same season. While ultimately I believe the Hawks will trade out of this pick to stockpile more draft chips, the Hawks could view Young as the next Steph Curry and take a risk here.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Mo Bamba, C, Texas
The Griz get the fire to Marc Gasol’s ice. Good luck matching up with two seven-footers, one who can step out and make you pay from behind the arc and one that will punish you with athleticism inside. Even if Gasol bounces town when his contract expires, Memphis gets its big man of the future.
5. Dallas Mavericks – Wendell Carter Jr., PF, Duke
Carter is perhaps the biggest project among the top five picks; however, his intangibles are off the charts. A core of Carter with Dennis Smith Jr. will anchor the Mavs for years to come.
6. Denver Nuggets (via Magic) – Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri
With Trae Young getting nabbed at three and Mo Bamba at four, the Magic begin to field trade offers for the six. Enter the Nuggets, who part with the fourteenth and forty-third picks in the years draft along with the contract of Kenneth Faried to the Magic for the sixth pick. With the pick, the Nuggets get who they believe is the best shooting big man talent in the entire draft. Many questions surround the health of Porter’s back, but his upside makes it worth the risk for the Nuggets who are a star piece away from contending in the West.
7. Chicago Bulls – Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke
Getting a player that many consider a top-3 talent in the draft at 7 would be a steal for the Bulls. Bagley might not be an ideal fit, but if he could work alongside Markkanen, they would make a tantalizing front court duo.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Slovenia
It’s likely Doncic will not fall this far on Thursday night, but if you’re the Cavaliers this is a dream situation. With or without LeBron, the Cavaliers get a guy who fits their biggest need, a legitimate primary ball handler with insane court vision.
9. New York Knicks – Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova
In a very un-Knicks move, New York goes with a safe pick here. Mikal Bridges fills a big need at small forward and adds some much-needed wing defense.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
Though Ben Simmons is a great point-forward, the Sixers add a young true point guard to the mix picking Sexton at ten. The freshman from Alabama has the ability to be a good scorer in the NBA and would be a solid piece to continue the “process.”
11. Charlotte Hornets – Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky
Michael Jordan, new GM Mitch Kupchak, and the Hornets have three options here; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander if they want to grom Kemba’s replacement, Miles Bridges if they’re looking for an MKG replacement or Kevin Knox. They end up opting for a little offense to give Kemba some help on the wing.
12. Los Angeles Clippers – Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
Miles Bridges isn’t going to be able to replace Blake Griffin, but he’ll damn sure try. Bridges is too short to exclusively play power forward in the NBA, but his explosiveness and strength will allow him to hold his own when asked to handle such duties. In today’s NBA, players like Bridges can play a significant role on a championship team.
13. Los Angeles Clippers – Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
Walker may be the best shooter in this draft, something the Clips desperately need. The “other team” in LA could also benefit from Walker’s South Beach flair. If the Lakers do indeed add 1-2 superstars to their young squad, the Clippers will need an exciting player to fill the stands.
14. Orlando Magic (via Nuggets) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
After trading away the sixth pick in the draft, the strategy pays off for Orlando and they get their point guard of the future. SGA is a freakishly long point guard with the ability get into the lane and finish in traffic. If the Magic can retain Aaron Gordon this offseason, the tandem would be a highlight machine.
15. Washington Wizards – Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV
McCoy is the best center still available. A big presence inside will go nicely with their current guard combo. McCoy’s free throw shooting upside could benefit the Wizards greatly, especially playing alongside an elite slasher in John Wall.
16. Phoenix Suns – Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech
With their second pick in the first round, the Suns select one of the smartest players in the draft to pair with Devin Booker. While his offensive game is still a work in progress, Smith is already an NBA-level defender. His shot isn’t broken and has the potential to develop into a solid scorer in the league. His high basketball IQ will help overcome some of the growing pains as his game formulates.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA
Milwaukee picks up a guard that can be an on-ball PG or help space the floor when Giannis has the ball in his hands. As one of the few first round upperclassmen, Holiday will be capable addition to the Bucks playoff caliber squad.
18. San Antonio Spurs – Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova
With the Kwahi Leonard saga still churning, the Spurs find themselves in a bit of a purgatory. Regardless, shooting is crucial in the NBA and DiVincenzo can fill it up. A safe, yet solid pick for Greg Popovich.
19. Atlanta Hawks – Robert Williams, PF, Texas A&M
The Hawks pair last year’s first-round pick, John Collins, with a stout rebounder and rim protector.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves– Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan
Jeff Teague, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Moritz Wagner. Enough said.
21. Utah Jazz – Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova
The Jazz select Spellman to pair with their current big man, Rudy Gobert. The forward out of Villanova is a strong defender and can all step out and shoot the ball when needed.
22. Chicago Bulls – Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State
Bates-Diop is the wing the Bulls need to complete a solid young core of Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markennen, and Marvin Bagley. Look for him to be a Khris Middleton type player in the NBA.
23. Indiana Pacers – Elie Okobo, PG, France
There’s no way the Pacers pass on the explosive point guard from France. Okobo’s length and ability to play within a system make him a perfect option to pair with Victor Oladipo in the Indy backcourt.
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Chandler Hutchinson, SF, Boise State
Hutchinson offers a playmaking wing to link up with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. He’s not the greatest defender or shooter, but his ability to cut off-ball and take the load off the top two options make him a perfect fit in Portland.
25. Brooklyn Nets (via Lakers) – Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky
*The Nets trade the 29th pick to the Lakers for the 25th pick & Luo Deng.* The Nets take on Luol Deng’s contract to come up and get a solid shooter who can play both ends of the floor.
26. Philadelphia 76ers – Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke
Philly is filling their bench with this pick. Trent is a good young shooter who could be the answer to replacing JJ Reddick whenever he departs.
27. Boston Celtics – Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati
The Celtics take one of the toughest defenders in the draft that can guard multiple positions. If Evans develops a shot, he could end up being a steal for Boston.
28. Golden State Warriors – Mitchell Robinson, C, NONE.
If there is any team that can take a chance on a major unknown, it’s Golden State. Robinson is the ultimate unknown. He is the center that could open up Steve Kerr’s playbook. The only issue is he didn’t play anywhere competitively last season.
29. Los Angeles Lakers (via Nets) – Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland
*The Lakers trade the 25th pick & Luol Deng to the Nets for the 29th pick* In a draft that’s all about attracting superstars to LA, the Lakers do two important things there; get rid of Deng’s contract and bring in a lethal shooter off the bench.
30. Atlanta Hawks – Khyri Thomas, PG, Creighton
By drafting Thomas, the Hawks get their Klay to Trae Young’s Steph. Thomas is highly-composed with a pure shooting stroke that should assimilate well with the current NBA.