2018 NBA Mock Draft: Current Projections for Every 1st-Round Prospect

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15: NBA Draft Prospect, Collin Sexton poses for a portrait during the 2018 NBA Combine circuit on May 15, 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Let's take a moment to divert our attention away from Kawhi Leonard trade packages to project what the San Antonio Spurs could do in an updated NBA mock draft.

The selection process kicks off Thursday, so most teams probably have several scenarios lined up for trades and who may be available when it's time to make a decision.

Prospects have participated in team workouts, which, at times, elevate players projected to come off the board slightly outside the lottery picks and potential second-rounders. 

Did a recent visit with a club seal the deal for a prominent prospect? How should the Cleveland Cavaliers approach the No. 8 pick? Who's slotted to the Spurs at No. 18?


2018 NBA Mock Draft 1st-Round Projections 

1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona 

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2. Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke

3. Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Real Madrid 

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

5. Dallas Mavericks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

6. Orlando Magic: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama 

7. Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF, 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): Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke 

13. Los Angeles Clippers: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA 

14. Denver Nuggets: Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State  

15. Washington Wizards: Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

16. Phoenix Suns (via Miami): Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, SG/PG, Kentucky 

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech

18. San Antonio Spurs: Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami  

19. Atlanta Hawks (via Minnesota): Khyri Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton 

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Oklahoma City): Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

21. Utah Jazz: Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

22. Chicago Bulls (via New Orleans): Mitchell Robinson, C, N/A 

23. Indiana Pacers: Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

24. Portland Trailblazers: Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State

25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cleveland): Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova 

26. Philadelphia 76ers: Grayson Allen, SG, Duke  

27. Boston Celtics: Jerome Robinson, PG, Boston College 

28. Golden State Warriors: Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke 

29. Brooklyn Nets (via Toronto): Moritz Wagner, F/C, Michigan

30. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston): Omari Spellman, F, Villanova               

Orlando Magic Give Collin Sexton the Keys to Their Backcourt at No. 6 

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

There's a strong possibility the Orlando Magic take a point guard at No. 6, which leaves Alabama product Collin Sexton and fellow freshman standout Trae Young as viable options.

The Magic traded Elfrid Payton, who started 234 contests at the position for the team over the past four seasons, in February. The front office dealt him to the Phoenix Suns for a second-round pick. D.J. Augustin, 30, filled the role and started 36 games. However, he's primarily served as a backup through 10 seasons.

Sexton worked out for the Magic Saturday and felt good about his performance, per Orlando Sentinel reporter Josh Robbins via Twitter:

The former Crimson Tide guard flashed leadership qualities in one year under head coach Avery Johnson. It's not a stretch to think the former 16-year NBA point guard, who won a title with the Spurs, passed some knowledge to Sexton as he prepares for his career.

The 19-year-old doesn't have a consistent shot from distance, but he goes into attack mode on demand and shows the strength to absorb contact. Sexton averaged 7.6 free-throw attempts per game and converted on 78 percent last season.


Cleveland Cavaliers Select Dynamic Guard Trae Young at No. 8

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15: NBA Draft Prospect, Trae Young poses for a portrait during the 2018 NBA Combine circuit on May 15, 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, b
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Trae Young goes to the Cavaliers at No. 8 largely due to his upside.

Despite sloppy moments with the ball in his possession, the Oklahoma product can score from anywhere on the court. However, it's questionable if his frame (6'2", 178 pounds) can withstand the grind against NBA bodies when driving to the paint.

The former Sooner is aware of the potential issue in his game and added 10 pounds of muscle during the offseason, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.com: 

Nonetheless, the Cavaliers can't overlook Young's dynamic qualities. He can develop into a do-it-all point guard in the league if he pans out. There's flexibility in the Cavaliers backcourt as well. Guard George Hill can move to the 2-guard spot, and J.R. Smith could come off the bench.

With LeBron James' future uncertain, Cleveland must swing hard to hit big in the upcoming draft. A rookie with a low ceiling just won't do at a pivotal point for this franchise.


San Antonio Spurs Take Lonnie Walker IV at No. 18 

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15: NBA Draft Prospect, Lonnie Walker IV poses for a portrait during the 2018 NBA Combine circuit on May 15, 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees t
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Leonard's camp sent shock waves over social media with news about his desire to go elsewhere, per ESPN's Chris Haynes:

Though nothing has been set in stone, the Spurs need to consider either moving up for a top prospect to potentially replace what Leonard brings to the court or choose a high upside player at No. 18.

Like the Cavaliers, who could lose a star, it's not the time for San Antonio to play it safe. The front office must add a dynamic talent to pair with forward LaMarcus Aldridge on an older roster.

Miami product Lonnie Walker IV would bring much-needed athleticism to the Spurs roster. He could also help San Antonio survive Danny Green's hot-and-cold performances on the offensive end.

The team ranked 28th in three-point makes (8.5) from beyond the arc during the previous season. Walker shot 35 percent from distance and logged 1.8 triples per game. It's an area where head coach Gregg Popovich's group could use a boost, especially with the Golden State Warriors on top of the competition.