NBA Draft Results 2018: Team-by-Team List of Grades and Picks

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2018

Deandre Ayton was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
Deandre Ayton was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns have been breathing easy since they won the draft lottery and were handed the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

While there has been much speculation about the draft picks that would come after the Suns made their selection, it seemed certain Phoenix would take Deandre Ayton of Arizona. 

Phoenix did not alter from the prescribed route, and it took the Wildcats' big man. He should be capable of helping to make this struggling team one that can hold its head up high and become competitive.

Here's our look at the 2018 draft, with grades for all the picks in the first round, and we will also update after the second round is completed.


2018 NBA Draft Board

2018 NBA Draft 1st-Round Grades and Selections

1. Phoenix Suns: Arizona C Deandre Ayton (A)

The Suns had the No. 1 pick in the draft for the first time in team history, and Ayton is considered the best big man to come into the league since the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns. 

The 7'1" Ayton gives the Suns a center who can establish his position down low and give the team a credible scoring threat.

This is the most exciting player to arrive in Phoenix since the Suns acquired Charles Barkley in 1992. He is a player who can supplement his ability to score down low with his outside shooting. 

The Suns are starting build a core of young, talented players, but they can't expect Ayton to turn the team around by himself. 

They need to come up with a solid veteran player who can provide leadership in the locker room if they are going to get the most from their talented young players. 


2. Sacramento Kings: Duke PF Marvin Bagley III (A-)

Bagley is a big man who can run the court extremely well, and he comes with a well-developed offensive game.

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Bagley gives the Kings a player who should be an offensive force from the first day he steps onto the court. He told ESPN reporter Maria Taylor his game is all about work ethic and he will bring it every night. 

There are questions about his defensive play, and that part of his game will have to develop, but he is a strong, physical player with excellent offensive skills.


3. Atlanta Hawks: Real Madrid (ESP) G Luka Doncic (A-) 

While he was selected by the Hawks, he has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks, a team that scouted Doncic quite heavily.

The Slovenian has been playing professional basketball in Europe since he was 15, and he has competed against grown men who have played in the NBA. 

The 19-year-old excels at handling the ball and passing, but he will not hesitate to take the big shots when he has the opportunity.


4. Memphis Grizzlies: Michigan State PF-C Jaren Jackson Jr. (B+)

Jackson proved to be 100 percent in terms of health, at least as far as the Grizzlies are concerned. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well as its top defensive player.

Jackson has long arms and huge hands and he appears to be the best defensive player in the draft. He also has excellent shooting skills, and he made 40 percent of his shots from beyond the arc and he is also a better than 80 percent free-throw shooter.

The 18-year-old is a hard worker and a hustler who has excellent finishing ability around the rim.


5. Dallas Mavericks: Oklahoma G Trae Young (B)

Selected by the Mavericks, Young will go to the Atlanta Hawks as those two teams traded top-five first-round picks.

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The Hawks have coveted him all along, and he is a dominating offensive star who can shoot the ball and find his teammates with scintillating passes. He led the nation in scoring and assists.

Young is not afraid to shoot the ball under any circumstances, and while his coaches may be saying "no, no, no" when he releases, they are saying "yes, yes, yes" when it goes through the cylinder.

He has been compared to Stephen Curry in terms of shooting, and that's just what the Hawks are hoping for. He may be a liability on the defensive end, but he appears to be a prolific scorer.


6. Orlando Magic: Texas C Mohamed Bamba (B)

Bamba comes out of New York City and the Texas Longhorns with the reputation of having dominating defensive ability. His greatest skill is his ability to block shots because he has a 7'10"wingspan.

Bamba is an intelligent young man who has an excellent chance to understand the NBA game plan and make a quick adjustment. While he is all about defense, he showed quite a bit of improvement to his offensive game during his season with the Longhorns.

The 20-year-old averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game for Texas last season.


7. Chicago Bulls: Duke C Wendell Carter Jr. (B+)

A smart player who had a chance to go to Harvard but chose Duke, and the move has paid off with his selection by the Bulls. He is an accomplished big man who is strong and can play well on both ends of the court.

He seems to enjoy the contact and often plays better when he gets a chance to show off his aggressive manner. 

Carter is a hard worker, rebounder and a tough pick setter who should have the ability to make his teammates better players.


8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Alabama PG Collin Sexton (B)

The Alabama Crimson Tide had one of the toughest competitors in the nation in Sexton. He will fight for loose balls and concedes nothing to his opponents. He is an excellent defender who excels in the open court.

Sexton has a strong offensive game because he will go to the open spot on the court and then find a way to drive into the paint. He is not the best outside shooter at this point, but he has improved in this area and is getting better.

"Let's do it, LeBron," Sexton said on ESPN upon being drafted by the Cavaliers, with the hope LeBron James stays with the Cavs.


9. New York Knicks: Kentucky SF-PF Kevin Knox (B-)

The Knicks drafted the solid Wildcats forward, who has been compared to Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics by coach John Calipari of Kentucky.

Knox is an excellent athlete who played quarterback for his high school football team, and he is a long-armed player who can excel on the offensive end and also get the job done on defense. 

He is an all-around player who can rebound, shoot and handle the ball. The 18-year-old is not a finished product, but he has the size, length and talent to develop into a star.


10. Philadelphia 76ers: Villanova SG-SF Mikal Bridges (B+)

This pick made Sixers fans quite happy because Mikal Bridges starred for the Villanova Wildcats, and he is a two-time national champion. However, that happiness was quashed when he was traded to the Phoenix Suns.

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Bridges is an efficient player and an excellent catch-and-release shooter who made more than 100 three-pointers last season.

He has improved every year and is also an excellent defender who can take on the toughest offensive players and do a good job of shutting them down.


11. Charlotte Hornets: Kentucky PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (B+)

The Canadian native is one of the best ball-handlers and leaders in the nation. He has excellent size and a good wingspan. He improved quite a bit as the season went on and was at his best over the last 10 games of the season.

He should have excellent defensive skills that will allow him to take on bigger players and do a solid job of shutting them down. He appears to have excellent leadership skills that will translate to the NBA.

Gilgeous-Alexander will end up with the Clippers, and Los Angeles will send its No. 12 pick to the Hornets.


12. Los Angeles Clippers: Michigan State SF Miles Bridges (B)

A tremendous all-around player who has skills on both ends of the court, Miles Bridges was traded to the Hornets and should give them far more versatility because he is a brilliant athlete on the offensive end and a committed defensive player.

If he can add some bulk and get stronger, he has some unstoppable characteristics to his game.

The 20-year-old considered entering the draft in 2017, but he decided to go back to East Lansing and Michigan State. Coached by Tom Izzo, he should be strong in the the fundamentals.


13. Los Angeles Clippers: Boston College PG Jerome Robinson (B+)

Robinson has a well-developed offensive game and should be able to make a contribution in that area as a rookie.

He has an excellent shot, and he also knows how to fake defenders off of their feet and that allows him to buy space. He can do a solid job of handling the ball and setting up his teammates.

There are questions about his defensive skills and that area needs to improve.


14. Denver Nuggets: Missouri SF Michael Porter Jr. (C)

There is no doubt about his talent level, and he is clearly an excellent shooter. However, there are questions about his overall health and ability to compete for multiple seasons.

Porter appears to have top-notch offensive skills and the potential to be a dominant scorer because of his shooting skills and athleticism. However, the the reason he lasted this long was because of his injury history that could result in future health issues.

The 19-year-old had back surgery early in the season and only played two games for the Tigers after he returned.


15. Washington Wizards: Oregon SF Troy Brown Jr. (C+)

A long-armed player who is an excellent defender and has many versatile skills. Brown can shoot the ball, but he is not a high-volume shooter. 

He can pass the ball well and play multiple positions on the court.


16. Phoenix Suns: Texas Tech SG Zhaire Smith (B)

Smith is an explosive player, and he will be on his way to the Philadelphia 76ers, while Mikal Bridges will play for the Suns.

Smith is a world-class athlete with a long wingspan and tremendous leaping ability. He can pick up his opposite number full court and harass him all the way down the court. He has a mid-range jump shot.

The 19-year-old is known for his hard work because he was not a top-100 recruit. However, he improved by leaps and bounds and should give the Sixers an outstanding defensive stopper. 


17. Milwaukee Bucks: Villanova SG Donte DiVincenzo (B+)

DiVincenzo had a brilliant career with the Wildcats and scored 31 points as Villanova won the national championship against Michigan. He is an excellent shooter who is at his best in the biggest games.

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The 21-year-old had a wonderful performance at the combine and showed off his athleticism. He is a tremendous leaper who can use that skill to unleash his excellent jump shot.

DiVincenzo is a fine defender with the skills to develop into an excellent player.


18. San Antonio Spurs: Miami SG Lonnie Walker IV (B+)

Walker has a sharp mind and excellent athleticism. He suffered a torn meniscus last summer but came back strong.

He has excellent shooting talent and the strength to take a hit from his opponents and still make the shot. He is not a brilliant defender at this point, but his physical strength should allow him to improve in that area.

He has a great wingspan and can shoot it on the move. If he can stay healthy, he has a chance to be one of the most impactful players in the draft.


19. Atlanta Hawks: Maryland SG Kevin Huerter (B)

Huerter made it to the top 20 of the NBA draft because he is a dynamic shooter who made 42 percent of his three-point shots with the Terrapins. Shooting and scoring are the best parts of his game, but he is also an excellent passer.

That's something that will help him get more time during his rookie season, and he has the intelligence to take the shot when he is hot or look for the open teammate when he is not. He knows how to get open, and he has first-rate footwork.


20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Georgia Tech SG Josh Okogie (C)

Okogie comes into the league with the ability to play defense at a high level, but he is not the kind of offensive player scouts think of as an elite first-round draft pick. 

The 19-year-old is quite aggressive when he attacks with the basketball, but he does not have the sophistication or finishing ability at this point in his career. 

Still, since he was selected by the Timberwolves, defensive skills should help him win favor with head coach Tom Thibodeau, one of the top defensive minds in the game.


21. Utah Jazz: Duke SG Grayson Allen (C+)

Allen is a talented shooter who became one of the most valuable players for the Blue Devils. He has shown the ability to hit the clutch shot.

He is a fine passer who can get the ball to the open man, and he is quite competitive.

After some problems with questionable behavior on the court in the 2016-17 season, he avoided those issues this year. He has some defensive liabilities, but he is a hard worker who plays an unselfish game.


22. Chicago Bulls: Boise State SG Chandler Hutchison (B)

Hutchison won the Mountain West Player of the Year and has tremendous versatility on the court. He continued to improve throughout his career at Boise State and is a solid athlete.

The 22-year-old has a great understanding of the game and is a hard worker with an excellent ability to get his own shot. He will fight hard on the defensive end and find a way to take the ball away from his opponent.

He didn't always get to show off his ability in the running game in college, but he could have more of an opportunity in that area with Chicago.


23. Indiana Pacers: UCLA PG Aaron Holiday (B)

Holiday averaged 20.3 points for the Bruins last year and plays with tremendous energy and talent. He is a wonderful ball-handler who can find his teammates, and he is not afraid to take the shot at the end of the game.

The 21-year-old is a strong defender who will fight on both ends of the court. He has a lot of toughness, and he can score and help his teammates out on defense. He is going to set a tone for his team with his ability to outwork his opponents.

Brothers Jrue and Justin Holiday are also NBA players.


24. Portland Trail Blazers: United States SG Anfernee Simons (D)

Simons was going to attend Louisville, but after the Rick Pitino scandal, he decided not to go. As a result, he is something of a mystery because he did not play college basketball last season.

The 19-year-old appears to have the offensive skill to help out his team, but he may be one or two years away before he can contribute on the NBA level.

The Blazers have a need for wing players, so it is quite difficult to understand this pick.


25. Los Angeles Lakers: Michigan PF Moritz Wagner (B)

Wagner is a high-energy player with excellent skills. He ranks with the best outside shooting big men in the draft, and he can also take the ball to the hole.

While he isn't a brilliant athlete, he has excellent fundamental skills and is fearless on the court. He will take on tough defensive assignments and work hard to help his team.

Wagner improved quite a bit every season, and if he can continue that, the Lakers will have a solid contributor.


26. Philadelphia 76ers: Wichita State PG Landry Shamet (B-)

Shamet has excellent size at 6'5" and can shoot the three-ball quite well, and he is also an impressive free-throw shooter. He is a solid guard, but he is not a brilliant athlete or a tremendous ball-handler.

He was an exceptional defensive player, as most Wichita State Shockers are, and he is going to sell out every minute he is on the floor. 


27. Boston Celtics: Texas A&M PF-C Robert Williams (B)

Williams is a powerful big man who may not have been in the best situation with the Aggies. He was used primarily as a power forward in college, but he is probably much better suited to play the 5-spot.

He excels at catching the lob pass and turning and dunking, and the Aggies did not take advantage of that enough.

He is an explosive leaper and will work hard to rebound, but he is not a top-notch scorer. Williams is also a strong defender who will block shots.

He was not always motivated as a college player, and he will have to change his attitude. However, he will have a team full of hard workers to help him find the direction he needs. 


28. Golden State Warriors: Cincinnati SG Jacob Evans (C+)

Evans has quite a few skills but is not a star in any of them. However, he has a great basketball IQ and knows how to help his team with his shooting, defense and work ethic. 

Evans is not going to wow Steve Kerr with his ability to handle the ball, but he can do whatever his team asks. He will fight hard on the defensive end and should be a decent role player on this superstar-laden team.


29. Brooklyn Nets: Bonznia-Herzegovina SF Dzanan Musa (C)

Musa showed he was a top scorer in Europe, and he can take the ball to the hole. He is not overly strong, so that means he needs to put on weight and get somewhat tougher.

He also needs to work on his defense and put great effort into getting better in that area. ESPN reported Musa wants to play in the NBA right away, and he should get some playing time on a team that has been struggling for years.


30. Atlanta Hawks: Villanova PF Omari Spellman (C+)

Spellman demonstrated the ability to shoot from the outside and is perhaps the second-best outside shooting big man in this draft after Porter.

He is also an excellent passer and has improved throughout his career with the Wildcats. He is not overly effective near the rim and that's a concern, but he can help the Hawks improve their versatility on offense.


2018 NBA Draft 2nd-Round Grades and Selections

31. Phoenix Suns: PG-SG Elie Okobo (B)

32. Memphis Grizzlines: PG Jevon Carter (B-)

33. Dallas Mavericks: PG Jalen Brunson (A-)

34. Charlotte Hornets: PG Devonte' Graham (B)

35. Orlando Magic: SG Melvin Frazier Jr. (B-)

36. New York Knicks: C Mitchell Robinson (C+)

37. Portland Trail Blazers: SG Gary Trent Jr. (B+)

38. Detroit Pistons: SG Khyri Thomas (B-)

39. Los Angeles Lakers: C Isaac Bonga (C)

40. Brooklyn Nets: SF Rodions Kurucs (D+)

41. Denver Nuggets: F Jarred Vanderbilt (C)

42. Detroit Pistons: SG-PG Bruce Brown Jr. (C-)

43. Denver Nuggets: SF Justin Jackson (C)

44. Washington Wizards: PG Issuf Sanon (D+)

45. Brooklyn Nets: F Hamidou Diallo (B-)

46. Houston Rockets: SG De'Anthony Melton (C)

47. Los Angeles Lakers: G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (C)

48. Minnesota Timberwolves: SF-PF Keita Bates-Diop (B)

49. San Antonio Spurs: PF-C Chimezie Metu (D)

50. Indiana Pacers: PF Alize Johnson (C-)

51. New Orleans Pelicans: PG Tony Carr (C)

52. Utah Jazz: SF Vincent Edwards (C)

53. Oklahoma City Thunder: SG Devon Hall (D+)

54. Philadelphia 76ers: PG Shake Milton (B)

55. Charlotte Hornets: SF Arnoldas Kulboka (C-)

56. Dallas Mavericks: PF Ray Spaulding (C-)

57. Oklahoma City Thunder: SF-PF Kevin Hervey (C)

58. Denver Nuggets: C Thomas Welsch (C)

59. Phoenix Suns: SF George King (C+)

60. Dallas Mavericks: SF Kostas Antetokounmpo (C)


Key 2nd-Round Selections

PG Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks

Brunson had a brilliant college career with the Villanova Wildcats, and he was a key part of two national championship teams.

The 21-year-old can score from beyond the arc, he can hit the mid-range jumper and he can take the ball to the hole. He is also able to move the ball up the court with speed on the break, and he does a solid job on the defensive end.

SG Gary Trent Jr., Portland Trail Blazers

Trent has excellent size and strength for the position, and that bodes well for the next level because he can win the strength battle with most of the opponents he will go up against.

The 19-year-old had fine range on his jump shot, and he is also good at finishing after absorbing contact. He is a powerful defender who can get in the passing lanes, but he is not overly athletic.


SF-PF Keita Bates-Diop, Minnesota Timberwolves

Bates-Diop is a strong defensive player with a tremendous wingspan who can get in the passing lanes and block shots. When he has the ball, he can put it on the deck and speed by defenders.

The 22-year-old has improved throughout his four-year run at Ohio State and appears to play with maturity and understanding of the game.


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