2018 NBA Mock Draft: Breakdown of Top PG Prospects and 1st-Round Predictions

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 20: Luka Doncic of Real Madrid in action during the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four Belgrade 2018 Final match between Real Madrid and Fenerbahce Istanbul Dogus at Stark Arena on May 20, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Last year's NBA draft was a special one for point guards. Two floor generals were selected with the first two picks: Markelle Fultz to the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 1 and Lonzo Ball to the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2.

Three ball-dominant guards were off the board by the fifth overall pick and five total were chosen by the ninth.

The 2018 draft class is not as point guard-centric, but there are still a few playmakers expected to be able to take the Association by storm.

Luka Doncic is the most intriguing prospect at the point, bringing a high basketball IQ to the table, as well as great court vision, impressive ball handling and passing skills.

He's expected to go first or second overall and the next point guard most likely to be selected is Trae Young at No. 8 to the Cleveland Cavaliers or fall to the New York Knicks at No. 9.

Here, we'll take a look at this year's top three guards and project first-round selections:

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2018 NBA Mock Draft

1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona

2. Sacramento Kings: Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Real Madrid

3. Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr., PF. Michigan State

4. Memphis Grizzlies: Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke

5. Dallas Mavericks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

6. Orlando Magic: Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke

7. Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn): Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

9. New York Knicks: Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Los Angeles Lakers): Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State

11. Charlotte Hornets: Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky

12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Detroit): Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

13. Los Angeles Clippers: Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

14. Denver Nuggets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

15. Washington Wizards: Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

16. Phoenix Suns (via Miami): Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Dzanan Musa, SG, Bosnia and Herzegovina

18. San Antonio Spurs: Mitchell Robinson, C, United States

19. Atlanta Hawks (via Minnesota): Anfernee Simons, SG, Unattached

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Oklahoma City): Troy Brown, SG, Oregon

21. Utah Jazz: Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State

22. Chicago Bulls (via New Orleans): Jontay Porter, PF/C, Missouri

23. Indiana Pacers: Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

24. Portland Trailblazers: Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova 

25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cleveland): De'Anthony Melton, G, USC

26. Philadelphia 76ers: Khyri Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton

27. Boston Celtics: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

28. Golden State Warriors: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

29. Brooklyn Nets (via Toronto): Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland 

30. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova


The Euro Invasion

BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 20: Luka Doncic of Real Madrid in action during the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four Belgrade 2018 Final match between Real Madrid and Fenerbahce Istanbul Dogus at Stark Arena on May 20, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srd
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

While it's no guarantee that Luka Doncic will nab the top spot in the draft, probably the only player standing in his way is Deandre Ayton.

Ayton's a generational big man, but he's still not a lock at No. 1 for the Phoenix Suns because the 19-year old Slovenian has history with the team's new head coach Igor Kokoskov.

Whether he comes off the board first or not, he's still an incredible pickup for the team that lands him.

It's easy to see his command of the pick-and-roll and his ability to make his teammates better with all the game footage out there, but it's his resume that demands attention.

He's already got a European Championship under his belt, with an MVP of the Final Four and MVP of EuroLeague as cherries on top.

"He's going to be a little challenged, I think, athletically if he plays the 1," Dirk Nowitzki told The Ben & Skin Show (via Dallas Morning News). "He's got enough size to play the 2, especially now with everybody going small anyways. I think he'd be okay. I mean, he's got all the game. He's got all the mid-range. He's got the pull-ups. He's got the step backs. He's great with the ball. He can run pick-and-rolls—which would suit him great here now since it's a pick-and-roll league now anyway. I think he's going to be great."

If he's goes first, he'll be a great running mate for the burgeoning star guard Devin Booker, who can score at will.

If he goes to the Kings, he and De'Aaron Fox would make an interesting pair.


The Perfect En-Trae?

NORMAN, OK - MARCH 2:  Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young #11 shoots against Iowa State during the second half of a NCAA college basketball game at the Lloyd Noble Center on March 2, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Trae Young was brilliant at the beginning of the 2017-18 NCAA season. He led the nation in scoring and assists, and he shot the ball like Stephen Curry 2.0, but then things fell apart.

Defenses focused on him more, and it wasn't long until everyone who praised Young started to doubt him.

Even though the excitement turned to scrutiny, Young still ended the year as the top scorer (27.4 points per game) and assist man (8.7 assists per game).

In addition to shooting long balls from the logo, Young's numbers were similar to Curry's junior year at Davidson.

His 38.5 percent usage rate was the highest in college basketball (Curry was 38 percent) and shot 36.1 percent from behind the arc, hitting 118 of his 328 attempts (Curry was 38.7 percent).

According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, the Knicks are reportedly enamored with Young, but they'll only be able to land him if the Cavs pass on him, which is not likely.

One thing's for sure, Young has no shortage of confidence in his ability to succeed at the next level.


Can Collin Sexton Clip the Competition?

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17:  Collin Sexton #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide dribbles against the Villanova Wildcats in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

From the looks of it, Alabama's brash, competitive guard Collin Sexton will fall to the Los Angeles Clippers at No. 12.

That might be low compared to last year's crop of playmakers, but this year's class has an excess of talented big men and potential stretch 4s.

While Young had most of the scouts' attention, Sexton gained support late in the season with his inspired play in the postseason.

In five games from the SEC to the NCAA tourney, he averaged 24.2 points per outing

He showed he's a player who wants the big moment and wants the big shot.

His nickname "Young Bull" is appropriate because he's not afraid of taking contact and has the hard-charging, in-your-face doggedness that reminds of Russell Westbrook.

"Sexton has the NBA body, NBA athleticism and he plays both ends of the court," A scout told Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman recently. "It depends on the team picking, but he's bigger, stronger and more athletic than Young. He definitely has a chance to go before him."

Through no fault of his own, he's being compared to Trae Young, but he's a completely different player.

He's strong, an attacker and despite his penchant for trash talk, a controlled player who can take over a game at any given moment.

Sexton faired well under head coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year NBA veteran, and he should perform equally well under Doc Rivers.  


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