The NBA Draft is just hours away, and there's a whole lot of uncertainty surrounding what's actually going to happen. From trade rumors featuring multiple teams in the top five to front-office debates over top prospects, the 2018 event is shaping up to be one of the more unpredictable drafts in recent memory.
The draft's tone will be set with the Kings at No. 2 once Deandre Ayton comes off the board to the Suns at No. 1. Sacramento has been linked to a number of prospects, including Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr. Its front office and ownership also flew to Spain to meet with Luka Doncic. What the team opts to do with its pick will be the first real domino to fall on draft night.
This Mock Draft differs from our recently released final Big Board, which ranks the top prospects in the class, in that it is an attempt to predict what teams will actually do on draft night. Given the aforementioned uncertainty, you should obviously expect all of the following predictions to be totally accurate...
NBA Mock Draft: First-round picks
1. Suns - Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
Age: 19.9 | Height: 7-1 | Weight: 260
Although Phoenix has done its due diligence on prospects like Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Mohamed Bamba, this is the one pick that appears to be a lock. The Suns have a need at the center spot, Ayton was tremendously productive at Arizona and he projects to have a high floor as an NBA player.
There are real questions about how much the 19-year-old will impact winning at the next level given his defensive struggles and likely high-usage offensive game, but he seems destined to pile up box score stats in the league.
2. Kings - Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Duke
Age: 19.3 | Height: 6-11 | Weight: 234
With Ayton seemingly a lock to go No. 1 overall, this is where the draft really starts. The Kings have shrouded their likely selection in mystery, meaning few have an actual feel for what will happen here.
Recent reports suggest Bagley will likely be the pick. The 19-year-old prospect faces positional and defensive questions, but he was one of the most productive players in college basketball last season. He would immediately become Sacramento's best frontcourt prospect.
Real Madrid's Luka Doncic also remains as an option despite reports general manager Vlade Divac isn't a fan. Divac, owner Vivek Ranadive and others met with Doncic in Spain earlier this month. There's a chance Divac and the rest of the Kings' front office are pulling off an impressive rope-a-dope strategy here by spreading disinformation regarding their feelings for Doncic.
3. Hawks - Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Real Madrid
Age: 19.3 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 218
Like the Kings' pick, Atlanta's selection here is a difficult one to peg. This pick realistically shouldn't be that difficult.
Sporting News' Sean Deveney reported new Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce likes the potential Doncic has to elevate an entire roster with his playmaking ability. The 19-year-old Slovenian has the most accomplished resume of any prospect in the draft. He's a high-floor player with tremendous upside should he improve athletically.
Don't be surprised if Oklahoma's Trae Young is in the conversation for Atlanta either here or in a trade scenario. General manager Travis Schlenk, previously of the Warriors, has experience seeing how valuable off-dribble shooting can be for an offense.
4. Grizzlies - Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State
Age: 18.8 | Height: 6-11 | Weight: 236
After the Kings at No. 2, this may prove to be the most difficult spot to project in the top five. The Grizzlies have been unable to convince many of the draft's top prospects to come in for a workout. Wendell Carter Jr. has been to Memphis, and the team has seen Michael Porter Jr. in Chicago. Jackson, meanwhile, has refused to work out or turn over medicals, according to reports.
Still, the 6-11 center is one of the top big man prospects in the draft. His ability to knock down 3-pointers and defend the perimeter would allow him to play some minutes alongside Marc Gasol as he grows into his eventual replacement. Memphis can just take the best player and figure out the rest later.
5. Mavericks - Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
Age: 20.1 | Height: 7-1 | Weight: 226
Dallas is said to be a big fan of Luka Doncic, but with the Slovenian and a number of the other bigs off the board, the team settles in on Bamba here. The 7-footer has the potential to be a monster pick-and-roll partner with point guard Dennis Smith Jr. in the future. His 7-10 wingspan also gives him plenty of defensive upside.
Perhaps the Mavericks explore some trade options here, but if they end up making the pick and the top four falls like so, Bamba could be the pick.
6. Magic - Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
Age: 19.8 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 178
The latest reporting suggests Young will be the selection for Orlando absent anything strange happening in the top five. Although the 6-2 point guard doesn't fit the traditional package of length and athleticism the team's new front office has historically looked for, he fills a position of significant need.
Young's elite shooting and playmaking will be a welcome sight for an offense that sorely needs it.
7. Bulls - Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke
Age: 19.2 | Height: 6-10 | Weight: 251
This could be Michael Porter Jr., but reports out of Chicago indicate the Bulls prefer the Duke big man. Adding Carter to the frontcourt alongside Lauri Markkanen would create a modernized duo capable of spreading out the floor. The 6-10 big man would also give the team additional protection at the rim.
8. Cavaliers (via Nets) - Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF, Missouri
Age: 20.0 | Height: 6-11 | Weight: 211
Porter would be a solid selection for the Cavaliers here, as he could potentially slot in as the next man up should LeBron James leave this summer or play off him as a dangerous shooting threat if he sticks around.
Porter's back injury obviously remains a question mark, but there's a reason he was once the top-rated player in this class.
9. Knicks - Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky
Age: 18.9 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 213
Knox reportedly performed well in a workout for the Knicks against fellow projected lottery pick Miles Bridges. He slots in here as a potential frontcourt partner of the future for Kristaps Porzingis.
The 6-9 forward's combination of shooting, positional size and youth is an attractive package for a team in need of significant talent upgrades.
10. 76ers (via Lakers) - Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova
Age: 21.8 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 210
The Sixers have long been linked with the Villanova product for obvious reasons. As a 6-7 3-and-D wing, Bridges would fit in well as a complementary piece on a roster already shaping up to be built around Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and possibly Markelle Fultz.
Two other names to watch at this spot are Kevin Knox and Zhaire Smith. Both players worked out twice for Philadelphia during the pre-draft process.
11. Hornets - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
Age: 19.9 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 180
It appears that Gilgeous-Alexander has gone dark since the combine in terms of publicly known workouts with ESPN's Jonathan Givony suggesting the Kentucky guard is looking to find his way to the Hornets or the Clippers. Whether sharing a backcourt with Kemba Walker or acting as his replacement in the event of a trade, Gilgeous-Alexander would fit in well on Charlotte's roster.
12. Clippers (via Pistons) - Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
Age: 19.5 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 183
If the Magic don't select a point guard at No. 6, it seems inevitable that one will likely be available for the Clippers here. In this instance, it's Sexton.
The 6-2 guard has elite intangibles in terms of his toughness and competitiveness, but questions remain about his actual ability on the floor. Is he capable of finishing inside against NBA athletes? And will the jump shot translate at a reasonable level?
13. Clippers - Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami
Age: 19.5 | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 196
Walker's worked out for the Clippers and would give the team an athletic shot creator on the wing. The 19-year-old had a tough season in Miami, starting the year injured and never fully recovering, but the talent is there for him to be a productive NBA player.
Walker's combination of athleticism and shot-making is unique among shooting guards in this class.
14. Nuggets - Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State
Age: 20.3 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 220
The Nuggets have been rumored to be shopping this pick to either move up in the draft or offload salary in light of Nikola Jokic's upcoming extension. If they do stay here, Bridges would make a lot of sense.
The 6-7 wing didn't appear to improve much as a sophomore based on strict box score metrics, but he became a more diverse shooter and shot creator in his second season. Denver needs a long-term solution at small forward, and the 20-year-old could help.
15. Wizards - Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech
Age: 19.1 | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 199
Not originally thought of as a one-and-done prospect, Smith now appears set to become the rare non-top 100 freshman to go in the first round. Reports indicate the Wizards - a team in need of some depth in the backcourt - are fans of Smith.
The 6-4 guard is young for his class and may not make an impact immediately, but his statistical indicators suggest he could be due for a rapid development curve that turns him into a breakout player.
16. Suns (via Heat) - Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA
Age: 21.8 | Height: 6-1 | Weight: 187
Holiday worked out twice for Phoenix during the pre-draft process, and the Suns are in search of a more consistent solution at point guard. Despite his rough exit from the NCAA Tournament, Holiday projects to be a capable NBA shooter and willing defender while coming from a family with an NBA pedigree.
Whether the 21-year-old has much starter equity is open to interpretation, but if the Suns take him here, they clearly believe in him.
17. Bucks - Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College
Age: 21.3 | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 191
Robinson has skyrocketed up NBA Draft boards during the pre-draft process, as teams have seemingly fallen in love with his potential as a shot maker.
The 6-5 guard converted 40.9 percent of his 3s as a junior on over six attempts per 40 minutes. An improved free-throw percentage helps provide credence to the idea that his shot will be sustainable from the deeper 3-point line. Adding a prospect who can space the floor would be valuable to the Bucks' long-term offensive prospects.
18. Spurs - Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Maryland
Age: 19.8 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 194
Huerter is a high-IQ prospect with an elite 3-point shot who would seem to fit the archetype of prospects the Spurs like. In two years at Maryland, he connected on 39.4 percent of his 350 3-point attempts. He's comfortable shooting off movement or off the catch.
Defensively, there are concerns. He didn't put up good steal or block numbers, but an NBA team will hope he can translate as a competent team defender.
19. Hawks (via Timberwolves) - Robert Williams III, C, Texas A&M
Age: 20.7 | Height: 6-10 | Weight: 240
If the Hawks don't go with a big man at No. 3 and Williams falls to them here, it's a logical fit. The 6-10 center is often pegged for a Clint Capela-like role in the NBA. In college, he wasn't in position to spend much time rolling to the rim, but he's bouncy off the floor and capable of finishing lobs at the basket.
Defensively, his 7-4 wingspan makes him one of the better rim protectors in the class.
20. Timberwolves (via Thunder) - Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova
Age: 21.4 | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 200
DiVincenzo impressed during the Wildcats' run to the national title. The 6-5 shooting guard can create his own scoring opportunities off the dribble while providing a viable spot-up threat away from the ball.
He may cap out as a microwave bucket getter off the bench, but he showed it's a role in which he can excel while at Villanova.
21. Jazz - Elie Okobo, PG, Pau-Orthez
Age: 20.7 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 180
Okobo is a 6-2 point guard out of France who shot up draft boards this season as he continued to show off the ability to operate out of the pick-and-roll and knock down 3-pointers off the bounce.
In Utah, he would offer head coach Quin Snyder a number of diverse backcourt looks and potentially pair well with Donovan Mitchell over the long-term. The Jazz certainly still need to add shot creators.
22. Bulls (via Pelicans) - Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State
Age: 22.2 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 197
Hutchison withdrew from the NBA Draft Combine at the last minute and has been largely absent from the pre-draft workout circuit. Reports at the time of the combine suggested he had received a promise from a team in the 20s.
The connection between Hutchison's agent, Mark Bartelstein, and the Bulls' ownership suggests it may have been Chicago who pulled the trigger. Hutchison fits the 3-and-D mold with a bit of extra value because he's comfortable attacking closeouts off the bounce.
23. Pacers - Dzanan Musa, SF, Cedevita
Age: 19.1 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 195
Musa, a 6-9 small forward who plans to play in the NBA next season, is one of the better scoring wings in the class in terms of his ability to create his own shot. The accuracy and efficiency of those looks remains a bit of a question mark.
Still, he's a young and developing prospect who has a unique skill set for his position. He'd fit well next to Victor Oladipo.
24. Trail Blazers - Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon
Age: 18.9 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 180
Brown has worked out for a litany of teams, ranging from the back end of the lottery in Charlotte to the mid-20s in Portland. The 6-7 wing brings a diversified skill set to the table, including the ability to facilitate offense and defend multiple positions.
The jump shot remains a question mark, though. He'll need to improve it to become a more threatening off-ball player.
25. Lakers (via Cavaliers) - De'Anthony Melton, PG/SG, USC
Age: 20.1 | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 193
Melton missed out on this college basketball season due to the FBI's probe into the sport, but had he played, he could have been one of the country's breakout stars. Although he's not a highly productive scorer, he impacts winning in a variety of ways.
Melton delivered stats similar to Jrue Holiday during his freshman season and could be poised for a breakout in the NBA. He'd give the Lakers a nice piece in the backcourt to slot in alongside Lonzo Ball in some lineups or act as a backup in other situations.
26. 76ers - Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech
Age: 19.8 | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 213
Philadelphia continues to stockpile 3-and-D wings in this scenario, a luxury of having your primary initiators for the future seemingly sorted out.
Okogie is a long and strong defender who has the potential to be a one-on-one stopper in the league. He's also a career 38.2 percent 3-point shooter. The 19-year-old would be excellent value this late in the first round.
27. Celtics - Jacob Evans, SG/SF, Cincinnati
Age: 21.0 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 210
Evans has reportedly worked out twice for the Celtics and fits the mold of what the franchise's front office has looked for in recent years. At 6-6, he's a versatile wing with 3-point shot and the ability to attack closeouts off the bounce.
Evans likely won't be a star in the league, but he has the potential to be a multi-year rotation player.
28. Warriors - Grayson Allen, SG, Duke
Age: 22.7 | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 205
The Warriors are reportedly interested in a roster retool that includes injecting some youth and filling out the wing positions. While the addition of Allen's past to Draymond Green's antics could make for some fireworks, the 22-year-old would likely be able to contribute quickly as a shooter both in spot-up situations and off movement.
He doesn't project to be much of a defender, but he could fill a role as a complementary offensive piece.
29. Nets (via Raptors) - Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova
Age: 21.8 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 190
Brunson isn't likely to be a star in the league, but he's a good bet to be a solid rotation player. He's one of the more efficient pull-up shooters in the draft and a safe ball-handler.
His athleticism and strength likely won't translate as well against NBA defenders, but a head coach can count on him to lead a second unit. Notably, the Nets have worked out a slew of prospects who could fit at this pick.
30. Hawks (via Rockets) - Melvin Frazier, SG/SF, Tulane
Age: 21.8 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 200
Frazier has the potential to be one of the most versatile defenders in the draft thanks to his lengthy wingspan. He would give Atlanta another young 3-and-D player on the roster.
The key for Frazier is sustaining his 3-point accuracy. He connected on 38.5 percent of his attempts as a junior after converting fewer than 30.0 percent of them in his first two seasons.
NBA Mock Draft: Second-round picks
31. Suns - Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State
Age: 21.3 | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 180
32. Grizzlies - Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia
Age: 22.8 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 205
33. Mavericks - Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan
Age: 21.2 | Height: 6-11 | Weight: 242
34. Hawks - Keita Bates-Diop, PF, Ohio State
Age: 22.4 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 235
35. Magic - Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy
Age: 19.0 | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 180
36. Knicks (via Bulls) - Bruce Brown, SG, Miami
Age: 21.9 | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 190
37. Kings - Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton
Age: 22.1 | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 210
38. 76ers (via Nets) - Shake Milton, SG, SMU
Age: 21.7 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 205
39. Lakers (via Knicks) - Mitchell Robinson, C, N/A
Age: 20.2 | Height: 7-0 | Weight: 223
40. Nets (via Lakers) - Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky
Age: 19.9 | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 198
41. Magic (via Hornets) - Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke
Age: 19.4 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 204
42. Pistons - Omari Spellman, C, Villanova
Age: 20.9 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 254
43. Nuggets (via Clippers) - Kenrich Williams, SF, TCU
Age: 23.6 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 200
44. Wizards - Devonte' Graham, PG, Kansas
Age: 23.3 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 185
45. Hornets (via Nets) - Rodions Kurucs, SF, Barcelona
Age: 20.4 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 220
(UPDATE: Charlotte acquires pick in Dwight Howard trade, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski)
46. Rockets (via Heat) - Issuf Sanon, PG/SG, Olimpija Ljubljana
Age: 18.6 | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 170
47. Lakers (via Nuggets) - Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona
Age: 20.7 | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 220
48. Timberwolves - Trevon Duval, PG, Duke
Age: 19.9 | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 186
49. Spurs - Isaac Bonga, SF, Frankfurt
Age: 18.6 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 200
50. Pacers - Justin Jackson, SF/PF, Maryland
Age: 21.3 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 225
51. Pelicans - Malik Newman, SG, Kansas
Age: 21.3 | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 189
52. Jazz - Jarred Vanderbilt, SF/PF, Kentucky
Age: 19.2 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 214
53. Thunder - Devon Hall, SG, Virginia
Age: 23.0 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 204
54. Mavericks (via Trail Blazers) - Kevin Hervey, SF, UT-Arlington
Age: 22.0 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 230
55. Hornets (via Cavaliers) - Chimezie Metu, PF/C, USC
Age: 21.3 | Height: 6-11 | Weight: 225
56. 76ers - Arnoldas Kulboka, SF, Capo D'Orlando
Age: 20.4 | Height: 6-9 | Weight: 200
57. Thunder (via Celtics) - Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SG/SF, Kansas
Age: 21.0 | Height: 6-8 | Weight: 205
58. Nuggets (via Warriors) - Kostas Antetokounmpo, SF, Dayton
Age: 20.5 | Height: 6-10 | Weight: 195
59. Suns (via Raptors) - Tryggvi Hlinason, C, Valencia
Age: 20.6 | Height: 7-1 | Weight: 255
60. 76ers (via Rockets) - Gary Clark, PF, Cincinnati
Age: 23.6 | Height: 6-7 | Weight: 230