Which teams will land the best prospects in the 2018 NBA draft?
Let’s look at where the top players — including Trae Young, Luka Doncic,? Deandre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba,? Jaren Jackson Jr.?and Marvin Bagley III — might end up.
Our mock draft differs in two crucial ways from our recently updated top 100 prospect rankings. It uses the NBA’s official draft order, as of Friday’s tiebreaking draws, and it’s adjusted for NBA team needs accordingly. It also attempts to project which players will end up declaring and keeping their names in the draft.
Track who’s in and who’s testing the waters in the 2018 draft here.
1. Phoenix Suns
Height: 7-foot?|? Weight: 243
Ayton was beginning to answer some of the questions scouts have had about him since high school with a string of dominant performances down the stretch, before finishing the season on a poor note. Physically, he’s one of the most gifted prospects we’ve seen in the draft in the past few years, and he has an impressive skill level, to boot.
Phoenix, the worst defensive team in the NBA, will be right to question Ayton’s impact on that end of the floor, but his sheer productivity and overall talent level makes it difficult to not slot him at the top of this class.
Starting salary: $8,095,680
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Height:?6-foot-8 |? Weight: 228
Doncic hit a wall in early March after playing 17 straight months without a break for Real Madrid and the Slovenian national team. A two-and-a-half-week break might help rejuvenate him as Real Madrid approaches the final three months of the season and Doncic attempts to re-establish his candidacy as the potential No. 1 pick in the draft.
Considering their aging core, financial woes and precarious ownership situation, the Grizzlies will likely be looking to return to playoff contention as quickly as possible. Doncic would be a dream selection for the Grizzlies because he has the size, skill and versatility to fit in well alongside all their existing talent while possessing star potential in his own right.
Starting salary: $7,243,440
3. Dallas Mavericks
Marvin Bagley III
Height:?6-foot-11 |? Weight: 234
With Nerlens Noel unlikely to be in Dallas’ long-term plans and Dirk Nowitzki turning 40 in June, the Mavs will definitely be looking for a frontcourt player to build around.
While Bagley has some positional concerns defensively, he would have plenty of room to spread his wings on a team that is looking for scoring punch and can afford to build around his strengths and weaknesses alongside promising rookie Dennis Smith.
Starting salary: $6,504,600
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Height:?6-foot-11 |? Weight: 240
The Hawks will be in best-player-available mode, but it helps to be able to complement their existing roster with a building block that fits with the surrounding talent. Jackson would be the ideal big man to pair with promising rookie?John Collins.
The youngest projected first-rounder, Jackson might have the highest ceiling in terms of his ability to affect the game on both ends of the floor. He has enviable physical tools, including a 7-foot-4 wingspan and tremendous mobility. Jackson’s ability to space the floor (40 percent from 3 and 80 percent from the line), block shots (5.7 per 40 minutes), switch on every screen and, increasingly, put the ball on the floor from the perimeter makes him an ideal fit for the modern NBA.
Starting salary: $5,864,640
5. Orlando Magic
Height:?7-foot |? Weight: 207
Bamba’s rare combination of length, shot-blocking instincts and offensive promise gives him one of highest ceilings of any prospect in this draft. Every team in the NBA is looking for a big man who can anchor a defense, and that includes Orlando, which struggled badly on that end of the floor this season.?
Starting salary: $5,310,720
6. Chicago Bulls
Kris Dunn has had a breakout season for the Bulls, but he could certainly use some backcourt help due to his inconsistent jump shot and shaky decision-making skills.
Young looks like a nice backcourt pairing with his ability to navigate pick-and-rolls, make shots off the dribble and find the open man with impressive creativity. Having the luxury of hiding him defensively will be a key to his early success, and Dunn can defend either guard spot.
Height: 6-foot-2 | Weight: 176
Starting salary: $4,823,520
7. Sacramento Kings
Wendell Carter Jr.
Height: 6-foot-10 | Weight: 259
None of the Kings’ big men have emerged as franchise cornerstones, meaning it would be foolish to pass on a top-tier talent due to positional concerns.
Carter’s basketball IQ and versatility are promising in a number of ways. He is a physically mature big man with a 259-pound frame and a 7-foot-3 wingspan, which will allow him to play the center position in the NBA with ease.
He is a polished player with excellent hands and touch around the basket and has demonstrated a nice blend of passing, shot-blocking and perimeter shooting, despite being overshadowed at times by fellow big man Marvin Bagley III.
Starting salary: $4,403,280
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets)
Michael Porter Jr.
Height:?6-foot-10 |? Weight: 214
With an uncertain future on the horizon due to LeBron James’ free agency, the Cavs will need to stockpile as much talent as they can, regardless of their hopes of keeping the King at home.
Porter came into the season with hopes of making a run at being the No. 1 pick in the draft. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to build his case because of a back injury. Porter’s size, shot-creation skill and scoring instincts will nevertheless make him a coveted prospect next June. He is a playmaker on both ends of the floor and is just starting to figure out how to put his talent to full use.
Starting salary: $4,033,800
Cleveland will receive Brooklyn’s first-round pick unprotected.
9. New York Knicks
Height:?6-foot-2 |? Weight: 183
Frank Ntilikina has had some nice rookie moments, but the Knicks are finding out that the long-armed 6-foot-5 guard seems better suited playing alongside a more dominant ball handler and shot creator who can take some of the scoring responsibilities off his shoulders.
Enter Sexton, with his tremendous aggressiveness driving the lane, taking off-the-dribble jumpers and putting defensive pressure on opposing guards. NBA teams have some concerns about Sexton’s decision-making and reckless style of play. Fiercely competitive, Sexton has shown enough flashes in the right areas to be comfortably projected as a starting-caliber point guard with plenty of upside to grow into.
Starting salary: $3,708,120
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers)
Height:?6-foot-7 |? Weight: 200
The 76ers have gotten great production out of J.J. Redick and Marco Belinelli, but with both players approaching free agency and their mid-30s, it makes sense to think about drafting a wing who can complement the building blocks of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz.
Bridges is an easy player to slot on almost any NBA roster, thanks to his multipositional defensive versatility, 3-point shooting and role player potential. He isn’t as gifted a shot creator as you’d like from a top-10 pick, but on this roster, he won’t need to be.
Starting salary: $3,522,480
Philadelphia will receive the Lakers’ pick if it lands at No. 1 or Nos. 6-30. Otherwise, the pick goes to Boston.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Height:?6-foot-6 |? Weight: 226
Charlotte continues to search for long-term solutions at both forward positions and will likely look to add athleticism to what has become a fairly disappointing roster.
Bridges is a freakish athlete who struggled at times to make the full-time transition to small forward, but he undoubtedly has potential as a two-way forward who can guard all over the floor and give you enough shooting, ballhandling and passing to get by at one of the most important positions in today’s NBA.
Starting salary: $3,346,560
12. LA Clippers (via Pistons)
Height:?6-foot-6 |? Weight:?171
The Clippers could very well be looking at point guard as a position in need of supplementing, and the size, length and versatility of Gilgeous-Alexander could be very attractive, considering the type of lineup flexibility he brings.
He is 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot wingspan, highly instinctual defensively and he brings the unselfishness needed to operate alongside a variety of guards, making him an easy player to slot in alongside virtually any type of running mate. His offense made significant strides as the season moved on, helping him surprisingly emerge as arguably Kentucky’s top long-term prospect.
Starting salary: $3,179,280
The Clippers will receive Detroit’s pick if it falls outside the top four.
13. LA Clippers
Height:?6-foot-10 |? Weight: 237
Williams reminded everyone why he was such a highly touted prospect entering the season with an impressive run to finish the year, helping Texas A&M reach the Sweet 16.
Despite playing out of position all season, he showed that his game is tailor-made for the NBA as a rim-running, pick-and-roll-finishing shot-blocker/offensive rebounder in the Clint Capela mold. With DeAndre Jordan in the final year of his contract, the Clippers could certainly look to Williams as a potential successor.
Starting salary: $3,020,280
14. Denver Nuggets
Lonnie Walker IV
Height:?6-foot-4 |? Weight: 206
Walker didn’t have a consistent or efficient freshman season, but his talent, combined with the lack of depth at his position, is keeping his name in the top-20 conversation. His youth, strong frame, 6-foot-10? wingspan and ability to shoot with his feet set or off the dribble make him a candidate to rise during the pre-draft process as teams search for upside and diamonds in the rough.
The Nuggets’ wing rotation is a major work in progress and could certainly use some more shooting, length and perimeter defensive prowess.
Starting salary: $2,869,320
15. Washington Wizards
Height:?6-foot-9 |? Weight: 205
With Markieff Morris approaching the final year of his contract, the Wizards could very well start thinking of supplementing their power forward position with a player who fits the modern game.
Knox didn’t have an efficient freshman season, partially due to his playing out of position, but there’s a significant market in the NBA for combo forwards in his mold who can make an open shot, defend multiple positions and offer some offensive versatility. He’s one of the youngest players in this draft, so he still has plenty of room to grow.
Starting salary: $2,725,680
16. Phoenix Suns (via Heat)
Height:?6-foot-5 |? Weight: 195
Phoenix could look to continue to add length, athleticism and energy on the defensive end of the floor with the long-armed and explosive Smith.
Originally expected to be more of a 2019 draft candidate, Smith accelerated that timeline by helping Texas Tech reach the Elite Eight and has already announced that he will be testing the NBA waters. Smith needs to continue to develop his ballhandling and perimeter shooting, but he’s one of the best athletes in this draft, and his trajectory as a prospect suggests he has considerable upside left.
Starting salary: $2,589,480
Phoenix will receive Milwaukee’s pick if it lands Nos. 11-16.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Height:?6-foot-1 |? Weight: 187
With Eric Bledsoe approaching the final year of his contract, the Bucks could very well look at finding a point guard who complements their existing pieces.
Holiday had an outstanding junior season, and he would bring a number of attractive traits with his microwave scoring ability, long wingspan and toughness. The fact that he can space the floor and play off the ball some is important considering the building blocks the Bucks already have in place.
Starting salary: $2,460,000
Phoenix will receive Miami’s pick if it is outside the top seven.
18. San Antonio Spurs
Height:?6-foot-7 |? Weight: 210
A significant part of San Antonio’s wing rotation is up for free agency this summer, meaning this could very well be a position the Spurs look to address in the draft.
Brown’s size, multipositional defense and upside could be intriguing at this stage of the draft. He’s one of the youngest players in this class, and has the type of character and intangibles this organization always covets. Helping him become a better shooter will be a major key, and the Spurs have an ace up their sleeve in that department with Chip Engelland.
Starting salary: $2,337,000
Atlanta will receive Minnesota’s pick if it is outside the lottery.
19. Atlanta Hawks (via Wolves)
Height:?6-foot-7 |? Weight: 235
With the second of their three first-round picks, the Hawks might look to add some depth at the wing/combo forward position.
With that in mind, drafting a versatile player like Keita Bates-Diop makes sense. He increased his stock dramatically with a breakout season, moving among all of the frontcourt positions for an overachieving Ohio State team, and looking like an ideal fit for the modern NBA, if he can find a way to rev his motor into higher gear at the professional level.
Starting salary: $2,231,760
The Bulls will receive New Orleans’ pick if it falls outside the top five.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder)
Height:?6-foot-9 |? Weight: 195
The Wolves have very little depth at the forward spots, and may not have the financial flexibility to keep Nemanja Bjelica if his restricted free agency offers get out of hand.
Musa’s size, scoring instincts and aggressiveness could be intriguing at this stage of the draft. He’s one of the youngest players in this class, but he already is productive in Europe, playing at a fairly high level.
Starting salary: $2,142,360
Minnesota will receive Oklahoma City’s pick if it is outside the lottery.
21. Utah Jazz
IMG Academy (HS)
Height:?6-foot-4 |? Weight: 183
The Jazz might look for a versatile guard who can operate in different lineups without dominating the ball alongside Donovan Mitchell.
Simons is one of the least NBA-ready players in the draft, but he’s intriguing due to his combination of youth, explosiveness and shot-making prowess. He’s a few years away from panning out, but at this stage of the draft, there isn’t much risk, and adding a prospect with his upside would make sense.
Starting salary: $2,056,680
22. Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans)
Height:?6-foot-11 |? Weight: 215
With Robin Lopez approaching the final year of his contract, the Bulls could certainly be in the market for an athletic center who can protect the rim and make plays around the basket.
Robinson is one of the most talented prospects in the draft physically — with impressive length, athleticism and shot-blocking instincts — but is far away from contributing. The fact that he elected not to play college basketball this season won’t help his NBA readiness, but at some point in the draft, he’s worth taking a gamble on as a developmental project.
Starting salary: $1,974,480
Height:?6-foot-3 |? Weight: 210
Unless a major upgrade at point guard presents itself, shooting and depth on the wing will likely be priorities for the Pacers this offseason.
Thomas is one of the better defenders in college basketball, capable of guarding three positions with his 6-foot-11 wingspan. He’s also a willing ball mover and a promising spot-up shooter, and he has exactly the type of grit and unselfishness the NBA covets in role players.
Starting salary: $1,895,520
Height:?6-foot-6 |? Weight: 210
Like most NBA teams, the Blazers could also use two-way depth at the combo forward spots.
Evans is an ultra-versatile player who guards all over the floor, plays on and off the ball and sports a career 38 percent mark from 3-point territory at the college level.
Starting salary: $1,819,800
25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavs)
Height:? 6-foot-3 |? Weight: 195
Even with Lonzo Ball in place, the Lakers should be looking to solidify their backcourt rotation and add more shooting, ballhandling, defensive intensity and athleticism. Ball’s size gives him the ability to operate alongside another combo guard, and it would be beneficial for him to have scoring to take the pressure off.
Melton looked to be on the verge of a breakout season for USC before the FBI’s investigation into recruiting shut him down indefinitely. His defensive versatility, toughness and intangibles make him a prospect worth investing in.
Starting salary: $1,746,840
26. Philadelphia 76ers
Height:?6-foot-2 |? Weight: 200
The Sixers are loaded at most positions and might not be looking to add as many rookies to their roster as they have draft picks.
Villanova’s NCAA tournament run and the ultra-efficient play of its floor general, Jalen Brunson, might cause the crosstown Sixers to take a look at the versatility and shot-making prowess of the Wooden Award winner. His leadership and intangibles could be attractive on a roster that already has quite a bit of talent.
Starting salary: $1,689,000
27. Boston Celtics
Height:?6-foot-3 |? Weight: 200
The Celtics have a tough decision in front of them with Marcus Smart entering restricted free agency, and they might need to find a less expensive backcourt option to avoid luxury-tax issues.
Although he had a disappointing season that ended with an injury, Brown is a willing passer, lockdown defender and gritty rebounder, and he has shown enough promise with his jump shot to lead you to believe he will become adequate eventually. There’s a significant market for players in his mold, provided he has a strong pre-draft process. Brown is from Boston, and the Celtics always seemingly gravitate toward players with his type of toughness and work ethic.
Starting salary: $1,640,400
28. Golden State Warriors
Height:?6-foot-7 |? Weight: 193
The Warriors are way over the luxury tax and will want to find contributors on cheap rookie contracts.
Hutchison made significant strides with his game as a senior. He looks primed to take advantage of the lack of wings in the draft — and the NBA in general — this June. He has outstanding physical tools and is a much-improved ball handler and perimeter shooter.
Starting salary: $1,630,320
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Raptors)
Height:? 6-foot-7 ?|? Weight: 204
The Nets are still figuring out what their long-term wing rotation will look like and could very well take a flier on a younger player such as Battle at the end of the first round.
He’s a solid-sized shooting guard with smooth athleticism and a frame that will fill out nicely in time. He improved considerably as a half-court creator as a sophomore, even if his efficiency leaves a lot to be desired.
Starting salary: $1,618,320
30. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets)
Height:?6-foot-6 |? Weight: 207
With their third and final first-round pick, the Hawks might look to add some backcourt depth, specifically with someone who can play behind or alongside incumbent starters Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore.
Allen is a big-time shot-maker who should be ready to contribute fairly soon as one of the lone NCAA seniors projected to be picked in the first round.
Starting salary: $1,606,680
Shake Milton?|?PG/SG?| Age: 21.5?|?SMU?
Melvin Frazier?|?SF?| Age: 21.6?|?Tulane?
Jontay Porter?|?C?| Age: 18.3?|?Missouri?
Elie Okobo?|?PG?| Age: 20.4?|?Pau-Orthez?
Landry Shamet?|?PG | Age: 21.0 | Wichita St.
Hamidou Diallo?|?SG?| Age: 19.6?|?Kentucky?
37. Knicks (from Bulls)
Chimezie Metu?|?PF/C?| Age: 21.0?|?USC?
38. 76ers (from Nets)
Justin Jackson |?SF/PF?| Age: 21.1?|?Maryland?
39. 76ers (from Knicks)
Rodions Kurucs?|?SF/PF?| Age: 20.1?|?Barcelona 2?
40. Nets (from Lakers)
Jerome Robinson?|?PG | Age: 21.1 | Boston College
41. Magic (from Hornets)
Jevon Carter?|?PG?| Age: 22.5?|?West Virginia?
Devonte’ Graham?|?PG?| Age: 23.1?|?Kansas?
43. Nuggets (from Clippers)
Malik Newman?|?PG/SG?| Age: 21.1?|?Kansas?
44. Lakers (from Nuggets)
Moritz Wagner?|?C?| Age: 20.9?|?Michigan?
Tony Carr?|?PG?| Age: 20.4?|?Penn St.?
46. Nets (from Bucks)
Trevon Duval?|?PG?| Age: 19.6?|?Duke?
47. Rockets (from Heat)
Gary Trent Jr. | SG | Age: 19.2 | Duke
Jalen Hudson?|?SG?| Age: 21.8?|?Florida?
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk?|?SG?| Age: 20.8?|?Kansas?
Jarrey Foster?|?SG?| Age: 21.3?|?SMU?
Kevin Hervey?|?SF?| Age: 21.7?|?Texas Arlington?
Isaac Bonga?|?SF?| Age: 18.4?|?Frankfurt?
Ray Spalding?|?PF?| Age: 21.0?|?Louisville?
54. Mavericks (from Blazers)
Brandon McCoy?|?C?| Age: 19.8?|?UNLV?
55. Hornets (from Cavaliers)
Rawle Alkins?|?SG?| Age: 20.4?|?Arizona?
Issuf Sanon?|?PG/SG?| Age: 18.4?|?Olimpija Ljubljana?
57. Thunder (from Celtics)
Karim Jallow?|?SF?| Age: 20.9?|?Bayern Muenchen?
58. Nuggets (from Warriors)
Devon Hall?|?SG?| Age: 22.7?|?Virginia?
59. Suns (from Raptors)
Kostas Antetokounmpo?|?SF?| Age: 20.3?|?Dayton?
60. 76ers (from Rockets)
Amine Noua?|?PF?| Age: 21.1?|?Villeurbanne?