2018 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions for Prospects Poised to Shake Up 1st Round

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 11, 2018

Oklahoma's Trae Young drives to the hoop during overtime of an NCAA men's college basketball tournament first-round game against Rhode Island, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

NBA teams put a massive amount of research and time into putting together draft boards, but when it comes to draft day, part of the process is reactionary. 

Once the first surprising pick is made, teams realign their respective player rankings in order to figure out which players left in the talent pool are the best fits for their systems. 

The surprising picks could happen as high as the No. 1 overall selection, but realistically, the shocks will start around the No. 6, as a range of prospects will be left for the Orlando Magic. 

Looking deeper down the first round, there are a few franchises that could make a surprising selection and trigger a run on players from a certain position, as teams panic a bit with the fear of missing out on.


2018 1st-Round NBA Mock Draft

1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona

2. Sacramento Kings: Luka Doncic, SG/SF, Slovenia

3. Atlanta Hawks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

4. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr., PF. Michigan State

5. Dallas Mavericks: Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke

6. Orlando Magic: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

7. Chicago Bulls: Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Brooklyn): Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

9. New York Knicks: Michael Porter, SF, Missouri

10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Los Angeles Lakers): Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova

11. Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State

12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit): Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky

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

14. Denver Nuggets: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami

15. Washington Wizards: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

16. Phoenix Suns (from Miami): Troy Brown, SG, Oregon

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

18. San Antonio Spurs: Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

19. Atlanta Hawks (from Minnesota): Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia and Herzegovina

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Oklahoma City): Mitchell Robinson, C, United States

21. Utah Jazz: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

22. Chicago Bulls (from New Orleans): Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State

23. Indiana Pacers: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

24. Portland Trailblazers: Jacob Evans, SF, Cincinnati

25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland): Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

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

27. Boston Celtics: Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech

28. Golden State Warriors: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova

29. Brooklyn Nets (from Toronto): Anfernee Simons, SG/PG, Unattached

30. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston): Grayson Allen, SG, Duke


Prospects Poised To Shake Up 1st Round

Trae Young

After the top five picks are announced June 21, the Orlando Magic are in a precarious situation with the No. 6 selection. 

A handful of top-tier prospects will still be available, and the direction of their pick could alter the rhythm of the first round. 

Oklahoma point guard Trae Young is the best player at his position, but he's going to have to wait until the slew of frontcourt players are drafted in the top five to hear his name called.

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Young would be a great fit for any of the teams choosing from No. 6 to No. 9, but the Magic won't pass up the opportunity to add him to their roster. 

The selection of Young at No. 6 will shake up the first round by forcing the teams in search of a point guard to go after Alabama's Collin Sexton, which in turn could benefit Kentucky's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander if a franchise is in desperate need of a floor general. 

Young going at No. 6 to Orlando also opens the door for the potential slide down the first round for Missouri's Michael Porter, who sat out most of his freshman season with an injury. 

If Young and a few others are taken in the back part of the top 10 before Porter, a team could either wait for Porter to drop to them or trade up and hope they end up with a steal of a pick. 


Chandler Hutchison

At some point in the first round, there is going to be a run on shooting guards and small forwards with impressive two-way abilities in and around the three-point line. 

Given the needs of the teams in the selection order, that trend should occur around the No. 22 pick possessed by the Chicago Bulls. 

Most of the teams selecting in the final third of the first round are playoff teams looking to add pieces to their respective depth charts, and with an abundance of three-point shooters and wing players available, each franchise has a chance to add one. 

Boise State's Chandler Hutchison, who skipped the NBA combine, could be the first of the talented collection of wing players to go in a row. 

Otto Kitsinger/Associated Press

The Boise State senior brings something extra to the table with his skill set since he averaged 7.7 rebounds per game in addition to scoring 20 points per contest. 

Hutchison's rebounding acumen could put him in front of other pure shooters like Villanova's Donte DiVincenzo and Maryland's Kevin Huerter.

Once Hutchison goes off the draft board, there should be a mad rush to take shooting guards or small forwards who could add valuable depth in their rookie seasons, which means DiVincenzo, Huerter, Khyri Thomas of Creighton and Georgia Tech's Josh Okogie should benefit. 

Most of the players expected to be chosen with the final picks of the first round possess strong shooting abilities as well, which could lead to someone like Duke's Grayson Allen getting a call earlier than some expect because most of the three-point shooters are off the board. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.