NBA Draft 2018: Updated mock draft, possible trades, time and TV information
The NBA Draft has turned into one of the biggest events of the sports calendar and tends to suck up quite a bit of oxygen during a summer period where not much else is going on in sports. As the NBA has increased in popularity in recent years, the NBA Draft has also increased in popularity.
NBA Draft TV & Time Information
Before we get to the mock draft, you can watch the NBA Draft tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern time on ESPN. You can also live stream the event on watchespn.com.
Thankfully, this year, analysts on Twitter will not be breaking the draft picks before they are announced on the broadcast, so you can feel free to second-screen the draft without getting every pick spoiled.
2018 NBA Draft Mock Draft
Let’s get to our mock draft.
1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton
All signs point to the Suns taking the Arizona big man. Ayton is the caliber athlete that the NBA would have drooled over not many years ago, but in the world of the diminished big man, Ayton must settle as a non-heralded consensus no. 1 pick. Who cares? He’s still the no. 1 pick.
2. Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III
Nobody really knows what the Kings will do. They might take Michael Porter, Jr., Jaren Jackson, Jr., European superstar Luka Doncic or even the longest man alive, Mo Bamba. We’ve got the Kings taking Bagley, however. Bagley is a big man that is an elite athlete and a fantastic offensive player. He’s also been the recipient of the popular term this year of “springy.”
3. Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic
A lot can happen with the no. 3 pick especially if Luka Doncic isn’t selected in the top two. Multiple teams have been reported to wanting to move into this slot and grab Doncic. However, trades often don’t materialize, and at the end of the day the Hawks have the opportunity to grab a potential superstar. Maybe their first since the days of Dominique!
4. Memphis Grizzlies: Mo Bamba
The 4 slot is another possible trade-down situation. The Grizzlies could easily trade this pick and attempt to pick up additional assets. However, the Grizzlies love their grit-n-grind, and what better asset than someone with a 7’10” wingspan? The Grizzlies can lock down their rim protection for the next decade with the Texas big man.
5. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Porter, Jr.
Dallas has been rumored to wanting to move up in the draft to grab Luka Doncic, but we’ve got the Mavs grabbing baby Dirk himself, Michael Porter, Jr. Porter is possibly the highest risk / highest reward player in the lottery, but at the no. 5 position, it’s worth the shot. Porter has elite offensive skills, but health is a concern.
6. Orlando Magic: Trae Young
The Orlando Magic need a point guard, and they need scoring. While GM John Hammond loves length, we’ve got the Magic grabbing the Oklahoma sharp shooter. If Bamba falls to 6, perhaps they grab the big man, but we’ve got Trae Young heading to the Orlando Magic. Like Porter, Young is another high risk / high reward prospect.
7. Chicago Bulls: Jaren Jackson, Jr.
Some say Jackson is one of the top prospects in the draft, but if you watch his tape, it’s mixed results. Still, Jackson is a possible steal at the 7 slot and the Bulls will be all over him.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Collin Sexton
The Cavs might have the toughest job of all the lottery teams since they have no idea what Lebron James will be doing. Drafting Sexton works in both scenarios. He’s a tough two-way player that can play a specific role should Lebron stay, or he’s a great piece to build around moving forward. Since Kyrie left, Cleveland could use a point guard.
9. New York Knicks: Kevin Knox
The Knicks love possibly flashes, and Knox fits the mold. He’s been moving up mock drafts in recent weeks as the allure of a 6’9 wing that can shoot is just too much to resist in the modern NBA. Knox is raw and needs work, but he’s young and could be an excellent piece to pair with Porzingis in the years ahead.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Mikal Bridges
The modern NBA loves 3-and-D guys, and the 76ers would love to add a young wing that can contribute right away to their current core of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Bridges fits that mold.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Wendell Carter, Jr.
The Hornets are in rebuild mode, and “the other Duke guy” might be one of the more underrated players drafted in the lottery this year. Bagley got the spotlight, but some wonder if Carter is just as good of a prospect, if not better.
12. Los Angeles Clippers: Miles Bridges
Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is another player that can contribute on both ends of the floor right away. The Clippers have two lottery picks, and Bridges is as close to a sure thing as exists at this stage of the draft.
13. Los Angeles Clippers: Zhaire Smith
Smith is another wing player that has elite explosiveness. While mostly known for his defensive prowess, he gives the Clippers yet another solid piece to build around in the years ahead.
Possible Trades Heading Into the NBA Draft
A number of middle lottery teams are considering moving up into the top 4 to snag European sensation Luka Doncic. Dallas, Orlando, Denver and others have been mentioned as being interested in doing this. Typically this refers to Memphis at the no. 4 pick, but also possibly Atlanta at the no. 3 pick.
The Los Angeles Clippers have been reported to making attempts to trade both no. 12 and no. 13 picks as a package to move into the top 8 of the lottery. Rumors are that few teams are biting on such a deal.
The Boston Celtics with their warchest of assets have been rumored to making attempts to move into the top half of the lottery as well. For instance, a trade like Terry Rozier and next year’s Sacramento Kings pick to Orlando for this year’s no. 6 pick. Danny Ainge is always on the move, and teams are probably concerned about being Ainge’s next victim.
Lastly, the Grizzlies have been noted to possibly consider moving out of the no. 4 slot. They have an interest in making the playoffs soon and might prefer proven talent to a young project.
Every NBA draft each year has quite a few trade rumors leading up to it, but most in the media are reporting that this year is especially unique in that many NBA executives expect some real moves this year. We will see when the NBA Draft starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern.