The 2018 NBA Draft is coming. To prepare, have some fun, and hopefully spur debate, a few of the At The Hive crew decided to run our own Mock Draft for picks 1-30. We will be posting a few picks per day starting today and running through June 21st, the day of the actual NBA Draft. The order was set based on who wanted what pick, so there will be occasions where writers make two picks in a row.
To kick things off, here are picks 1-3, complete with the writer’s analysis of the pick:
1. Phoenix Suns: DeAndre Ayton
Stephen Sears - Judging by his media presence and relationship with the players already on the Suns, Ayton already appears to be one of the boys. What’s still in question is whether he is the without a doubt best player in this draft. However, what’s not in question is the upside that Ayton carries. If he thrives like he should in Phoenix, then Ayton may just live up to his Hall of Fame potential.
Ayton has slight defensive concerns, but his physical build is the perfect molding for a game changing rim protector. He already has a refined offensive game, being able to work the post, score off the block, and even being able to stretch the floor efficiently makes the hard job of the big mans development already close to being done. Devin Booker and Josh Jackson would absolutely love having this guy on the court with them for the future.
2. Sacramento Kings: Luka Doncic
Nick Denning - Doncic is one of the most heralded European prospects in some time and for good reason. He won the Euroleague MVP this past season at just 19, the youngest player to ever do so. He a creative and versatile scorer that can create shots on his own. He needs to improve his 3-point shooting, but he can pull-up and attack the basket with ease. Doncic has good court vision and is comfortable setting up the offense.
The Kings could go a couple of directions here, but Doncic has the kind of star potential they seek. Ayton certainly would’ve been in the mix here if available, but with the big man off the board, Doncic makes the most sense.
3. Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Bagley
Dylan Jackson - The Hawks will likely be deciding between two different players here: Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marvin Bagley. While he may not have as much upside as Jaren Jackson Jr., Bagley’s floor is much, much higher and fits well with current Hawks’ center John Collins.
There has been some speculation of Trae Young being selected by the Hawks at No. 3. However, with the amount of guard depth in this class, the smart move would be to select the best player available, which is Bagley.