NBA first-round mock draft and breakdown

  1. Phoenix Suns, DeAndre Ayton (C, Arizona)

It has become somewhat of a foregone conclusion that Ayton will be the #1 in the draft, and it is hard to argue with anyone one why. He is one of the most unique physical specimens since Lebron James came out of high school in 2003 and already has the tools to stretch the floor as a center.

  1. Sacramento Kings, Luka Doncic (SG, Europe)

There is all sort of talk about American frontcourt players going ahead of Doncic, but I just do not see him sliding past this pick. He is probably the most skilled player in the draft and has already proven himself against professional competition. If the Kings do not take him, somebody will gladly trade up and select him with the #2 pick.

  1. Atlanta Hawks, Marvin Bagley III (PF/C, Duke)

Bagley to the Hawks looks like a match made in heaven. He could be paired with John Collins to create one of the youngest and fiercest frontcourts in the league. Outside of DeAndre Ayton, it seems to be a consensus that Bagley will be the next American frontcourt player selected.

  1. Memphis Grizzlies, Michael Porter Jr. (SF/PF, Missouri)

With the Grizzlies already invested heavily in both the point guard and center position, they surprise some people by taking Michael Porter Jr. MPJ barely played in his freshman season at Missouri because of a spinal injury. However, his offensive skill set combined with his size is extremely rare and something Memphis might not be able to pass on.

  1. Dallas Mavericks, Jaren Jackson Jr. (C, Michigan State)

Jackson is already a complete defensive prospect. He will need to develop his offensive game if he wants to live up to this pick, but his ability to stretch the floor from the center position has NBA teams believing he can become a factor on both sides of the ball

  1. Orlando Magic, Mohamed Bamba (C, Texas)

The hype behind Mo Bamba has continued to rise and for good reason. The 7-footer with the longest wingspan in the history of the NBA combine just ran a faster ¾ court time than both Russell Westbrook and John Wall. That is freakish and it should be a delight to see what he can bring to an NBA team.

  1. Chicago Bulls, Trae Young (PG, Oklahoma)

The most polarizing pick in the draft goes to the Bulls. Many are worried about his size, but his offensive skill set is just too advanced for him to fall out of the top ten.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers, Colin Sexton (PG, Alabama)

Sexton, as many have predicted, will be the second point guard taken in the draft. The explosive point guard from Alabama really improved his stock with a strong second half to the season.

  1. New York Knicks, Wendell Carter Jr. (PF, Duke)

The Knicks add to their frontcourt with Wendell Carter Jr. Carter lived in the shadow of his fellow freshman teammate Marvin Bagley, but he is a physical defender and rebounder from the power forward position. He would compliment Porzingis well in New York.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers, Mikal Bridges (SF/PF, Villanova)

Mikal Bridges starred for the National Champion Villanova Wildcats. The 6’ 7” wing has a complete all-around game on both sides of the ball. He would be a tremendous addition to an already competitive and youthful 76ers team.

  1. Charlotte Hornets, Miles Bridges (SF/PF, Michigan State)

Some might consider this hypothetical selection a reach, but Bridges is still one of the best athletes and players available in the entire draft. He may not have lived up to all of the hype that surrounded him at Michigan State, but he will still pan out to be a solid NBA player with a very high ceiling.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers, Lonnie Walker (SG, Miami)

Lonnie Walker might benefit from just how good Donovan Mitchell was in his rookie season. Everyone is looking for the next Donovan Mitchell, and Walker has a similar game with a sweet stroke and great athleticism. However, Donovan Mitchell’s do not come around every year. That man was special.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers, Robert Williams (PF/C, Texas A&M)

Robert Williams is a 6’ 9” power forward that plays much bigger than his size. He has jump out of the gym athleticism and can throw it down with authority. Defensively and on the glass, Williams will do all the little things. An intimidation player, that should have no problem finding a role for himself in the NBA.

  1. Denver Nuggets, Kevin Knox (SG/SF, Kentucky)

Kevin Knox is still 18 years old, 6’ 9”, 215 pounds and can really stroke it from deep. This guy could be a steal in the middle of the first round.

  1. Washington Wizards, Zhaire Smith (SG, Texas Tech)

Zhaire Smith really made a name for himself his freshman year at Texas Tech. His athleticism gives him the ability to attack the basket, finish around the rim and also crash the offensive glass. He also shot 45% from three in his single season of college basketball.

  1. Phoenix Suns, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG, Kentucky)

Gilgeous Alexander, like the rest of the Kentucky team, took off during the second half of last season. Very few expected him to be a top pick, but he has cemented himself as a first-round selection. He is a true point guard and showed real development as a scorer last season.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks, Aaron Holliday (PG, UCLA)

Forget the Ball brothers, the Holliday brothers were meant to ball. Jrue Holliday is an NBA all-star, Justin plays on the Bulls and now Aaron will be joining them in the NBA after a solid career at UCLA.

  1. San Antonio Spurs, Donte DiVincenzo (SG, Villanova)

DiVincenzo has one of the best all-around games in this draft. He showcased it in the NCAA Tournament, leading the Wildcats to a national championship victory over Michigan. His stock should only continue to rise as the draft approaches.

  1. Atlanta Hawks, Kevin Huerter (SG, Maryland)

Huerter spent two seasons at Maryland before deciding to go pro and was arguably the best player on a Maryland team that really struggled last season. After drafting Bagley with the third overall pick, the Hawks will be looking for backcourt players who can score the rock. Huerter is just that, averaging close to fifteen points a game last season, shooting over 50% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves, Khyri Thomas (SG, Creighton)

Thomas’s 6’3” frame makes him undersized for a two-guard, but his ridiculous 6’ 10” wingspan more than makes up for his lack of height. He plays great defense and has a pristine shooting stroke. Should be a solid asset to a competing NBA team.

  1. Utah Jazz, Keita Bates-Diop (SF, Ohio State)

Bates-Diop made himself a lot of money over his senior year at Ohio State. He exploded for 19.8 points a game after averaging less than 10 in his junior season. He shot over 54% from the field and improved dramatically as a three-point shooter. He is also a terrific rebounder for a wing player.

  1. Chicago Bulls, Troy Brown (SF, Oregon)

Troy Brown has the size and skill to be one of the best players in the draft. He probably could have used another year or two in college, but if he can successfully polish his game at the NBA level, he could be a scary asset for any team.

  1. Indiana Pacers, Chandler Hutchinson (SF, Boise State)

Hutchinson was an all-around baller for the Broncos his final two seasons. He will need to put on some weight as he transitions to the NBA, but height, skill set, and wingspan are there for him to be successful.

  1. Portland Trail Blazers, De’Anthony Melton (PG, USC)

Melton is another one of those players who could have increased his draft stock immensely had he decided to stay another year ago. Now, he could wind up being the steal of the first-round. He has a great base as an all-around player for a point guard. He will definitely need to improve his shot, however.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers, Bruce Brown (SG, Miami)

Over two years with the Hurricanes, Brown proved to be a solid all-around player. He has scoring ability that is still developing, rebounds the ball very well for a two-guard and can pass the rock. His dip in three-point shooting percentage between his freshman and sophomore years in worrisome though.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers, Grayson Allen (SG, Duke)

Grayson Allen has been a staple at Duke since his freshman year when the Blue Devils captured the national championship. The 76ers need to surround Ben Simmons with shooters, which is exactly what Grayson Allen will be in the NBA. He also has an underrated game as a playmaker.

  1. Boston Celtics, Gary Trent Jr. (SG/SF, Duke)

Allen’s college teammate goes right after him to the Celtics. Trent Jr. was a sniper as a freshman for Duke, shooting over six threes a game and making them at a 40.2% clip. He has a lot of room to grow as a player, and nobody should be better at helping him develop than Brad Stevens.

  1. Golden State Warriors, Jacob Evans (SF, Cincinnati)

The rich get richer, as Jacob Evans gets selected by the Golden State Warriors. Evans did a little bit of everything at Cincinnati, leading the team to a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. His shooting touch and defensive ability would be welcome at the Bay.

  1. Brooklyn Net, Hamidou Diallo (PG, Kentucky)

Diallo is a prospect that will be selected in the late first or second-round and could turn out to be a major steal. His shot needs to improve, and he is a bit of a tweener in terms of position. However, his length and athleticism in the backcourt give him loads of a potential for a nineteen-year-old.

  1. Atlanta Hawks, Jalen Brunson (PG, Villanova)

The Hawks close out the first-round with one of the safest selections. Brunson was a constant for the champion Villanova Wildcats at the point guard position. NBA teams tend to love the one-and-done talent, but a lot of times that love is unwarranted. Brunson is a proven veteran that can score inside, stroke it from the three-point line and comes with championship pedigree.

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