With the lottery complete and the draft order set, here is the Big Lead’s 7-person staff mock draft.
The participants in our mock draft were:
Ryan Phillips: Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers
Bobby Burack: Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets
Jason McIntyre: Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards
Vik Chokshi: Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks
Henry McKenna: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz
Ryan Glasspiegel: Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, San Antonio Spurs
Jason Lisk: Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets, Portland Trail Blazers
#1 Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona – The Phoenix Suns are a mess. DeAndre Ayton is the best player in the draft, has the most upside, and alongside Devin Booker can finally give the Suns the one-two punch they have needed.
#2 Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke – Bagley is super athletic, made for today’s NBA, and has All-Star potential written all over him. He is ready to contribute right away after having a monster freshmen season at Duke, averaging 21.0ppg and 11.1rpg last year, all while shooting 61.4%. The Kings add one of the best players in the entire draft to their already promising young core.
#3 Atlanta Hawks – Luka Doncic, G/F, Slovenia – An absolute gift for the Hawks landing arguably the best prospect in the draft. In the new wing-heavy NBA, Doncic can play SG or SF, and with Taurean Prince and John Collins, they’ll have three tough players.
#4 Memphis Grizzlies – Mohamed Bamba, PF, Texas – Bamba and Marc Gasol would give Memphis a formidable frontcourt. He will need to develop more as a scorer to merit this level of pick in the draft, but the Grizzlies are still at least another year away from being any good so this is a place where he will have time to grow.
#5 Dallas Mavericks – Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma – The Mavericks need a scorer after they finished last season with the third fewest points per game in the NBA. Young provides an immediate offensive injection as a distributor and sharp-shooter.
#6 Orlando Magic – Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama – The Magic went upside last year with Jonathan Isaac, so they make the sensible pick here and fill their biggest need. This might be high for Sexton but the team has a ton of wings and big men, it desperately needs punch on the perimeter. If things play out this way, don’t be shocked if Orlando trades out of this spot.
#7 Chicago Bulls – Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri – If Porter Jr. didn’t sustain his back injury, he would’ve been a consensus top-3 pick in this year’s draft. The Bulls roll the dice here and get a guy that can flat out score if healthy. At his size, he will create mismatches as he has the ability to score facing up or off the dribble. His 3-point shooting abilities would also fit Hoiberg’s offense. Another interesting tidbit is that the Chicago-based firm of Priority Sports and Mark Bartelstein represents him. Bartelstein is a family friend of Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and has had a good working relationship with the Bulls as he reps current Bull Bobby Portis, and former Bulls Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, among many others. Hopefully the Bulls can get some inside “intel” in regards to Porter’s back thanks to their relationship. Everything coming out of that camp says his back is looking good, but of course they are going to say that. A healthy MPJ would give the Bulls a nice, young core to build around.
#8 Cleveland Cavaliers – Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State – The Cavs go best available and highest ceiling at No. 8. JJJ can already stretch the floor and guard multiple positions at just 18 years old. If LeBron stays, he can come in and contribute right away on the defensive end. If LeBron does indeed leave, the Cavs would be able to rebuild by pairing another lottery pick with JJJ next year. His offense will improve.
#9 New York Knicks – Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova – The Knicks get a player that can come in and play right away in Bridges. While he does not have that high of a ceiling, his floor is pretty solid thanks to his shooting. Bridges shot 43.5% from three-point land last season, and can defend multiple positions. His game should translate well at the next level. With the Knicks probably tanking again next season, Bridges will be a nice piece to pair with Kristaps Porzingis when he is back, and their future lottery pick.
#10 Philadelphia 76ers – Miles Bridges, SF/ PF, Michigan State – There is no way of knowing where Miles Bridges will fit into the rotation until it is known whether or not the 76ers can add a big-time free agent, but that will be no problem. Bridges will be able to perform any role needed. The two-way wing could add to the potential nightmare the 76ers could become to defend.