Only one player in this draft has checked all of the boxes for me both offensively and defensively on tape while showcasing the durability to stay healthy. You got a lot of guys who either play offense well and do terrible on defense or a lot of guys who defend well, but don't give you enough on offense. That lone player is DeAndre Ayton and unless the Suns want to re-unite Luka Doncic with his former head coach on Real Madrid, I can't see the Suns passing on the home town Ayton which would be a grave mistake that warrants an F grade.
The 7-1 250 lb center averaged 19.8 points per game and 12 rebounds per game in High School. He is versatile enough to play power forward or center in the NBA with the size and strength of a center.
Ayton had 20.1 points per game and 11.6 rebounds per game at Arizona in his freshman season at Arizona. I have seen Ayton hit short range, mid range, and long range shots on tape. He also blocks defenders, wins with his size and can be very imposing defending the basketball.
Ayton is a guy who can defend well against a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 at point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, or center. Their backup center Alex Len is a Free Agent and with Len leaving Arizona needs to draft a new center to be the face of the franchise to round out Arizona's starting five giving them the core they need to become a playoff team.
DeAndre Ayton may be the most complete offensive and defensive player in the entire 2018 NBA Draft. I posted his tape against Alabama on my Youtube Channel. Be sure to subscribe for more content.
Sacramento has a starting five of De'Aaron Fox at point guard, Buddy Hield at shooting guard, Bogdan Bogdanovic at small forward even though he can play the 2 at shooting guard as well, Zach Randolph at power forward, and Willie Caulie-Stein at center. This team has a good core and had the luxury to grab the best player on their board at 2. Outside of DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III is the best offensive player in this years class so I'm amazed that the Kings actually got this right.
The 6-11 220 lb Marvin Bagley III had 24.6 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game at Sierra Canyon High School in Arizona. He's versatile enough to play the 3 at small forward or the 4 at power forward. Bagley was previously our top ranked player on our High School page where we have the top 50 recruits for football and basketball in 2018 posted.
Bagley added 15 lbs of muscle to get up to 235 lbs since enrolling at Duke. Bagley averaged 21 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game at Duke. He is a great passer, can hit short range, mid range, or long range shots. To top that off he's great at attacking the glass to get both offensive and defensive rebounds.
Bagley's one weakness is his inconsistent defensive play which can be horrendous at times. I saw Bagley in person at Consol Energy Center for the 2018 March Madness edition and I even did a film session on Bagley versus Virginia on my Youtube channel.
The 6-8 227 lb Luka Doncic played on Real Madrid as a combo guard at both point guard and shooting guard. He's got the ideal size of a small forward though. He's a great passer plus he can shoot from short range, mid range, or long range. He's got a jump shot that reminds me a lot of John Stockton's jump shot.
Doncic averaged 16 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, and 4.3 assists per game. Doncic averaged 20.5 points per game at the beginning of the season with 7 assists per game and 6 rebounds per game before his average dropped in the second half of the season before a strong postseason in 2018. He's versatile enough to play point guard, shooting guard, or small forward.
Doncic made his debut with Real Madrid at the mere age of 16-years-old in Europe. The 19-year-old became the youngest EuroLeague MVP in history and led Real Madrid to the EuroLeague Final 4 taking home EuroLeague MVP honors in 2018.
There are some questions about Doncic's athleticism and ability to defend consistently on tape which show up as weaknesses on tape. At the same time the versatility to play three different positions is there. The leadership is there. The raw emotion and intensity that you want your player to play with is there. Dallas traded the fifth pick and a 2019 first round pick to Atlanta for the rights to this pick and for the Mavericks to ignore a need at center is questionable, but you can get Doncic and Brook Lopez in Free Agency so this could work out.
I posted a Luka Doncic film session on my Youtube Channel. It's the most watched film session of all the film sessions I've posted for the 2018 NBA Draft so far.
Memphis picks at 4 here. The Grizzlies starting five when healthy consists of point guard Mike Conley Jr., shooting guard Marshon Brooks, small forward Dillon Brooks, power forward JaMychal Green, and center Marc Gasol. Having this starting five gives Memphis the luxury to go for value over need and take the best player on the board at 4 and stash them for depth.
I had Jaren Jackson Jr. to Memphis at 4 in my mock last month. He'd be a good depth player for JaMychal Green who enters the final year of his contract.
The 6-11 241 lb Jaren Jackson Jr. averaged 10.9 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, and 1.1 assists per game. Jaren Jackson Jr. is probably the best defender in the draft outside of DeAndre Ayton. He needs to improve his court vision as well as his decision making when passing despite having the short range, mid range, and long range that teams covet when shooting the basketball. Jaren Jackson Jr. is a better three point shooter then Marvin Bagley III so he could end up going third to Atlanta plus he's more versatile too, but will not fall past 4 with Green entering a contract year in 2018. This allows Jaren Jackson Jr. to start out as a depth player as a rookie and then take over at power forward in 2019 which may be best for him considering he's a pure 4 and a pure power forward.
I posted a Jaren Jackson Jr. film session on my Youtube Channel. Jaren Jackson Jr. struggled in this game so maybe going to a team like the Grizzlies where he can develop is the best fit.
I like Collin Sexton way more on tape then Trae Young. It's no secret that Atlanta was really high on Trae Young.
The 6-2 190 lb Trae Young is a top 10 player. He's not a top 5 player. Atlanta got a first round pick in next years draft from Dallas so that's why I'm giving the Hawks a B grade instead of a C grade. Young can learn how to improve his defense under Dennis Scrhoeder and can eventually become the point guard for the Atlanta Hawks.
I posted a Trae Young film session on my Youtube Channel. Young actually showed good passing versus Texas. I still like Collin Sexton a lot more as far as the tape goes though.
The 7-0 211 lb Mohamed Bamba is versatile enough to play power forward or center. Bamba averaged 12.6 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game in High School.
Texas produced two first round bigs in the last three years with Myles Bridges and Jarrett Allen. Bamba is better than both of them so he comes off the board here.
Mohamed Bamba averaged 12.9 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game. He's very sound defensively as far as blocking and rebounding goes. You can certainly argue that Bamba is a better defender then Ayton despite being 211 lbs. His defense is that good.
Now his offensive game is another story. Yes he can hit shots from short range and mid range. He cannot hit a long range shot like Ayton can which is why Ayton averaged 20.1 points per game compared to Bamba's 12.9 points per game even though both can be effective scorers at times.
Ayton had a .343 three point percentage where Bamba had a .275 three point percentage. Bamba also struggles on short range shots when a defender is in his face and he needs to improve both court vision and decision making when passing to teammates. Bamba can be a star and potentially a better player then Ayton if he fixes those areas of his game. Right now Ayton will get drafted ahead of Bamba because Bamba has those weaknesses.
I posted a Mohamed Bamba film session on my Youtube Channel. Bamba struggled offensively, but looked very good defensively.
The 6-10 254 lb Wendell Carter Jr. averaged 14 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game in High School and is going to Duke. Carter is versatile enough to play power forward or center.
Wendell Carter Jr. averaged 13.5 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game in his freshman season at Duke. He was Duke's best defender and is the one player with the best chance of joining teammate Marvin Bagley III in the top 10 this season.
The 6-2 183 lb Collin Sexton averaged 28.5 points per game in High School. Sexton averaged 19.2 points per game under Avery Johnson at Alabama. He's also a great passer and defender. Trae Young is a better scorer, but his defense is sloppy, plus I believe Sexton is more disciplined as far as attitude and work ethic goes.
I posted a Collin Sexton film session on my Youtube Channel. Sexton showed why he's the best communicator in this years NBA Draft Class.
The 6-9 203 lb Kevin Knox can play small forward or power forward with his versatility. He added 12 lbs of muscle to get up to 215 lbs.
Kevin Knox had 15.6 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game in his first year at Kentucky. He can score and rebound effectively and goes to New York and will start right away as a small forward. He can defend the 1-4 as well.
Mikal Bridges is a combo wing player at 6-6 210 lbs with the versatility to play shooting guard or small forward. He won two out of three championships at Villanova and is the perfect player for Philadelphia to add as a complimentary player at 10.
Mikal Bridges averaged 17.7 points per game at Villanova. He can play shooting guard on the Suns in a depth role. If Devin Booker gets injured again he will start and it only cost the Suns the 16th pick and a 2021 first round pick.
The Pistons traded their first round pick to the Clippers for Blake Griffin. Seriously, if the Pistons just read Draft Utopia and took Donovan Mitchell out of your own state of Michigan, who we mocked to the Pistons they would be in a much better situation. Instead they took Kennard, missed the playoffs, and are in a total rebuild with a new President of Basketball Operations, GM, and HC. Oh, and the Clippers own this pick now so you Pistons fans will have to wait until I post the second round to find out who you got muhaha. The Clippers moved 12 to move up to 11 for Shai-Gilgeous Alexander.
The 6-6 180 lb Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 14.1 points per game, 5.1 assists per game, and 4.1 rebounds per game. He's a better defender then Trae Young, and I think he will end up having a better career then Trae Young. Someone is going to reach for Young though which is going to cause Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to drop to a team like the Clippers allowing them to get a huge steal.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a better defender then Trae Young, but he's not as consistent of a scorer and Young is a better passer too which is why he falls. I still think he could have a better career then Young, so the Clippers getting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at 11 is a great pick for them.
The 6-7 226 lb Miles Bridges averaged 16.9 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game at Michigan State in 2017. He averaged 17.1 points per game, 7 rebounds per game, and 2.7 assists per game as a sophomore in 2018. He has great dribbling and can attack the basket. He's versatile enough to play small forward or power forward.
This is an awesome pick for Charlotte. They get a future starter and a great fit for the Hornets at 12.
Jerome Robinson led Boston College with 20.7 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, and 3.3 assists per game. He gave both of Duke's starting guards problems in Boston College's upset win over Duke and has top 20 tape. Robinson was one of the sleepers I pinpointed as the draft process unfolded and now he's someone who is expected to go in the top 20.
Denver needs a small forward. Denver gets a top 5 player at 14 who falls here mainly due to injury issues.
The 6-10 213 lb forward weighed 220 lbs at one point. Michael Porter Jr. is a special player who averaged 24.8 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game in High School. He only averaged 10 points per game in 17.7 minutes per game at Missouri missing most of the season due to injuries, but Memphis reaches for Michael Porter Jr. at 4.
Michael Porter Jr. grew up in Missouri and chose to play college there. He can hit short range, medium range, or long range shots on tape. Porter is a guy who can defend well against a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 at point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, or center.
The Washington Wizards have John Wall at point guard, Bradley Beal at shooting guard, Otto Porter at small forward, Markeiff Morris at power forward, and Marcin Gortat at center. They need depth behind Morris at power forward.
I had Troy Brown in my lottery last month. I dropped him to the Suns in my final mock and you are getting Brown for depth behind Porter and Beal so I really like the fit here even though I would have drafted Robert Williams to keep this starting five in tact, but overall a strong pick.