Pick-by-pick analysis - 2018 NBA Draft
Sam Smith breaks down the draft as it happens
#01. DeAndre Ayton, Arizona
Phoenix:DeAndre Ayton. Drama, intrigue, excitement. Is it time for Phoenix to become Ayton Place? He's considered a potential core star like Joel Embiid or even Hakeem Olajuwon. So much for this new small NBA.
#02. Marvin Bagley III, Duke
Sacramento: Marvin Bagley III. You always figure the Kings are going to be left holding the bag when it's time to make an important decision. But this one might just be in the bag. Bagley looks like an instant difference maker with his extraordinarily quick jumping and elite athletic ability. He'll smile more than DeMarcus Cousins did in five years.
#03. Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
Atlanta: Luka Doncic. Atlanta Hawks (expected to be for Dallas). The first team to move up. This selection is to be for the Mavericks amidst the incredible celebration in the Dallas Slovenian community. They did pretty well with a European two decades ago with Dirk. Supposedly Mark Cuban declared all future Mavs players must have a four letter given name. Plus, Cuban is saying all his players must change their underwear four times a day. To know if they do, he is demanding they wear their underwear on the outside. Doncic, by the way, is one of those potential versatile stars with an ability to make plays, a player who is a step slow but thinks two steps ahead of everyone.
#04. Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
Memphis: Jaren Jackson Jr. Will Jackson Jr. be singing the blues, also. The Grizzlies have never done much in transition, but they appear to be caught between the Gasol/Conley past and how to begin creating a team that moves on from the past. Jackson is one of the youngest players in the draft, a player some experts believe could become the best from this draft with his wide range of skills and impressive size.
#05. Trae Young, Oklahoma
Dallas: Trae Young. On Peachtree, which is basically every street in Atlanta, they're dancing and chanting Trae Bien! So, anyone interested in Dennis Schroder? The Hawks join the starting over club. He could be exciting. It strikes of a revival of when they traded half their team for Pete Maravich. They were fun to watch and mostly lost.
#06. Mohamed Bamba, Texas
Orlando: Mohamed Bamba. The next big thing? Everyone had the Magic going for a point guard, so it probably was Trae Young, who went at No. 5. Again, a team reconstituting with a lot of big guys and no point guard. Hey, it seems Dennis Schroder is available. He could be the elite rim protector and shot blocker of the draft and even a Disney ride with his reach and wingspan.
#07. Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
Chicago: Wendell Carter Jr. The next Elton Brand? They'll probably keep him longer. He does have some MVP potential—Many Varied Plays. He's not going to stand out, but he'll be an important player to stand in as a versatile big man who can make threes, rebound and defend on the perimeter, a modern version of the center.
#08. Collin Sexton, Alabama
Cleveland: Collin Sexton. Is this finally the guard who will set up LeBron, LeBron's dream teammate? Nah, sounds like James will be abdicating with this selection; no offense to Sexton. He's a really, tough, physical player who does play a bit head down, which is good advice for trying to walk to the arena near Lake Erie in the winter.
#09. Kevin Knox, Kentucky
New York: Kevin Knox. The irony is that Knox has said he is best playing in the triangle. Actually, he would be good in Tex's offense with Scottie Pippin-like possibilities. He's a a fluid wing player, but he was booed by New York fans almost as much as Frank Ntilikina and Kristaps Porzingis.
#10. Mikal Bridges, Villanova
Philadelphia: Mikal Bridges. He's not a Bridges too far for them nor is going to be the Bridges over troubled waters the way the 76ers are going. The question is whether he's the kind of Bridges who'll burn the opposition. Headline writers love this guy. The 76ers should as well as seemingly an ideal fit with his ability as a catch and shoot player and defender and someone from the area who actually thinks Cheez-Whiz on meat is a good idea.
#11. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
Charolotte: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He's supposed to be going to the Clippers in a trade as they need a point guard and Gilgeous-Alexander is believed to be the most popular surname in southern California. He's an intriguing prospect with good size, more a player who glides than explodes and one of the rare hyper names in league history.
#12. Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Los Angeles Clippers: Miles Bridges. What, another Bridges! Time for Michael Jordan's franchise to begin building some Bridges to the future. Well, at least new GM Mitch Kupchak got Timofey Mozgov back. That's twice! Miles is another Bridges worth crossing, a good shooter who's more of a tough power forward.
#13. Jerome Robinson, Boston College
Los Angeles Clippers: Jerome Robinson. The Clippers just completed their backcourt 2020 with Robinson and the point guard Gilgeous-Alexander. Doc Rivers left Boston because he didn't want to go forward with a young team and backcourt. Though it feels better when you're closer to the beach. Robinson rose up quickly in this draft as an impressive ally round shooting guard.
#14. Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
Denver: Michael Porter Jr. The steal of the draft or the fizzle? He was regarded as a top five pick until back surgery and continued questions about his health. As a 6-10 wing player with shooting ability, he has star potential, though he came to the podium for the draft announcement in a wheelchair. Nah, just kidding. But that's what everyone is going to be watching. The Nuggets hope they have struck gold.
#15. Troy Brown Jr., Oregon
Washington: Troy Brown Jr. Does his choice mean the time to trade Bradley Beal? With another playoff second round and out they may have hit a Wall and are ready to make changes. Brown could be an appealing running mate for John Wall with talk they also are moving on from Marcin Gortat.
#16. Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
Phoenix: Zhaire Smith. Never mind. There's a trade with Smith going to the 76ers for Mikal Bridges. So much for the nice homecoming story for Philadelphian Bridges, who really goes too far now to the Suns. Smith to the 76ers is just not another guy named Smith. And unlike me they'll probably make the pizza for him when he calls. Even in Philadelphia. Terrific athlete to run with Ben Simmons.
#17. Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
Milwaukee: Donte DiVincenzo. Ideal blue collar player for the blue collar city. Shoots it well and plays hard, big moment player from the NCAA title game even coming off the bench and now a Buck who stops there.
#18. Lonnie Walker IV, Miami
San Antonio: Lonnie Walker IV. Could he be the next Kawhi Leonard? Nah, but a slasher and defender who may be the next Manu type. Their story for the offseason likely will be the next stop for Leonard—and maybe Pau and Aldridge, too—and probably time to reset with an exciting new group.
#19. Kevin Huerter, Maryland
Atlanta: Kevin Huerter. Excellent shooter, maybe the draft's best catch and shoot, to pair with Trae Young in their new backcourt. Not exactly sure who they're going to be able to defend. Oh, right, probably no one.
#20. Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech
Minnesota: Josh Okogie. An aggressive and explosive athlete who defends well and doesn't shoot quite as well yet and who Thibs is saying he plans to play 48 minutes per game, but not until his third season.
#21. Grayson Allen, Duke
Utah: Grayson Allen. The Jazz hope they haven't tripped up with this pick. Nah, not a worry. He fits their profile of hard working, overachievers who'll make shots and compete. Plus a longtime Duke assistant as head coach.
#22. Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
Chicago: Chandler Hutchison. So they did make him a promise? They've talked about needing a wing player with size and shooting ability and as a veteran player probably can step right in at a fairly open position with the Bulls.
#23. Aaron Holiday, UCLA
Indiana: Aaron Holiday. The six footer is a speedy, penetrating guard who's a nice future fit with their new star, Victor Oladipo. The third brother to play the same time in the NBA, making it a Holiday every day in his family.
#24. Anfernee Simons, Altamonte Springs
Portland: Anfernee Simons. The Floridian actually was named for the Magic's Anfernee Hardaway. He jumped around through various high schools and the IMG Academy. He's an athletic talent who it seems the G-league is made for.
#25. Moritz Wagner, Michigan
Los Angeles Lakers: Moritz Wagner. The next Timofey Mozgov? Note sure how he's going to fit with LeBron other that a guy who'll be able to curse LeBron without him understanding. Good perimeter shooter, but a bit weak for now.
#26. Landry Shamet, Wichita State
Philadelphia: Landry Shamet. A smart, hard working all around guard who has been likened to Denzel Valentine for playing under control without that classic athletic burst. Expected to be the best Landry in the NBA since Landry Fields.
#27. Robert Williams III, Texas A&M
Boston: Robert Williams III. He was the farthest drop in the first round, a super athlete with the consistency of a Nor'easter. So he's in a good place for that. Not much of a scorer.
#28. Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
Golden State Warriors: Jacob Evans. Just in case Andre Iguodala eventually goes on the PGA tour. He's a rugged, athletic defender and already being sized for next year's championship ring.
#29. Dzanan Musa, KK Cedevita (Croatia)
Brooklyn: Dzanan Musa. He was my No. 22 choice for the Bulls, in part because there was a bigger chance I'd get there instead of Boise. They've liked their Bogdanovics and he's a bit like that.
#30. Omari Spellman, Villanova
Atlanta: Omari Spellman. Yet another Villanova player going in the first round who isn't Jalen Brunson. Sort of the modern big man who can shoot, which also means someone better be there for weak side help.
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