The Suns kick off this section of the At the Hive writers mock before a couple playoff teams make their picks.
16. Phoenix Suns (From Miami Heat): Donte DiVincenzo
Stephen Sears - This may be considered a reach by many, but DiVincenzo is the type of player that any basketball team would love to have on their roster. DiVincenzo is a guy who simply makes his teammates better. He’s a pure all around player who can shoot, is aggressive on defense, and a playmaker for those around him. He’s also one of two “deceptively athletic” guys in this draft. The Suns could possibly be solving there bench woes with this pick. With Devin Booker already on the roster the shooting guard position is already taken, but adding DiVincenzo gives Phoenix much needed depth as they continue to rebuild their roster.
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Lonnie Walker IV
Jonathan DeLong - The Bucks go best player available and add Lonnie Walker to their wing rotation. Walker can provide an outside shooting threat to a team that made the fourth fewest 3-pointers in the NBA last season. The former Hurricane also fits the standard Bucks player profile with a wingspan that is significantly longer than his height and tremendous potential on the defensive end.
His path to playing time wouldn’t be apparent right away, but that’s not uncommon for rookies on playoff teams. The Bucks will likely be looking for ways to get out from under Tony Snell’s contract, and his departure would leave an opening for Walker in the rotation.
18. San Antonio Spurs: Shake Milton
Trent Brinkley - With Kawhi Leonard wanting out of San Antonio according to multiple reports including ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Spurs should look for someone who fits the mold of what Leonard brought to the organization for the past seven years. That prospect can be found with the selection of SMU junior SG Shake Milton, whose game and production in college actually compares quite well to Leonard’s production at San Diego State.
Milton at SMU: 87 G, 13.4ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.9apg, 45.2 FG%, 42.7 3PT%, 79.1 FT%
Leonard at SDSU: 70 G, 14.1rpg, 10.2rpg, 2.2apg, 44.9 FG%, 25.0 3PT%, 74.4 FT%
The biggest reason why the Spurs should pick the SMU guard with their #18 Overall Pick is his ability to play as a two-way shooting guard. In his 87 career games played at SMU, Milton recorded a 123.0 Offensive Rating and a 101.7 Defensive Rating, in which both rank higher than what Leonard did in his 70 games at San Diego State (105.5 Offensive Rating, 85.0 Defensive Rating).
Milton’s scoring ability is impressive, in fact, in terms of Points Scored per 40 Minutes and Points Scored per 100 Possessions his career average increases significantly.
- Points Scored per 40 Minutes- 15.4 points (19.8ppg in 2017-2018)
- Points Scored per 100 Possessions- 23.9ppg, (30.7ppg in 2017-2018)
The SMU guard also recorded at least one assist in all but one game this past season, but more importantly finished only with two career games without an assist recorded (vs Colorado, 12/23/15), (vs UCONN, 01/25/18) in 87 career games played. Milton recorded 337 career assists in 87 games played, and finished with a 21.2 Assist%, which ranks 19th all-time in the American Athletic Conference.
With the #18 Overall Pick, the Spurs do have to address to the need of finding a replacement for Leonard if indeed he gets traded away from the organization and if Shake Milton is available at the time the Spurs are on the clock, don’t be surprised to hear his name selected by the San Antonio Spurs come draft night.