In this article I’m going to be redrafting the top ten picks of the 2018 NBA Draft. The premise is that these teams are drafting based on how the players are currently playing, not how they were seen as coming into the draft.
- Phoenix Suns- DeAndre Ayton, Original Pick: DeAndre Ayton
I know that Luka Doncic is the unquestioned best player in the class right now, but Ayton is the better fit. The Suns are in desperate need of a point guard, but it would be hard to justify drafting based on need at No. 1 overall, especially with another pick later in the first round. Doncic should be the No. 1 pick however the Suns already have a log jam at the three and four, and they signed budding superstar Devin Booker to a five-year, $158 million extension. The next best option was DeAndre Ayton. Ayton is having a first team rookie season and is quietly living up to the hype.
- Sacramento Kings- Luka Doncic, Original Pick: Marvin Bagley Jr.
Luka Doncic is silencing all doubters due to him being European and playing overseas. He looks like he’s a seasoned NBA player and could be an all-star. Doncic is singlehandedly carrying a poor Mavericks team to the border of the playoffs. The Kings are also surprising many people by being .500. Marvin Bagley III was a good player out of college but hasn’t shown it that much in the NBA, being replaced by Nemanja Bjelica in the starting lineup. Bagley has had limited minutes this year and still could live up to expectations, but the Kings don’t have that time this year. With no first-round pick, traded to Philadelphia but then traded to Boston in the Markelle Fultz trade, the Kings have no reason to lose and Doncic could turn the Kings into a tough first round matchup in the playoffs.
- Atlanta Hawks- Trae Young, Original Pick: Trae Young
Coming into this draft the Hawks needed a point guard, so Trae Young made sense. However now that Taurean Prince injured himself it could be argued that a small forward would be needed based on the Hawks starting Vince Carter. However there really isn’t a good small forward available other than Luka Doncic so I have the Hawks sticking with Trae Young. Another option could be Mohammed Bamba, but Trae Young is bringing people to watch this struggling Hawks team with is Curry-like style of play.
- Memphis Grizzlies- Jaren Jackson Jr., Original Pick: Jarren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr. was a great pick by the Grizzlies. His ability to spread the floor with his great three-point shooting makes him fit into the new trend of the big man shooting threes. His long wingspan and freak athleticism combined with the Grizzlies defensive mindset could turn Jaren Jackson Jr. into a three and D player at the four, something unseen so far in the NBA.
- Dallas Mavericks- Marvin Bagley III, Original Pick: Luka Doncic
Having to fill the hole left by Doncic will be a hard thing to do, but I think Marvin Bagley III could do it. Dennis Smith Jr. is having a sophomore slump fueled by Luka’s all-star campaign. With the absence of Luka, Dennis Smith could be allowed to flourish again, and Marvin Bagley is a definite upgrade over Max Kleber and Dirk Nowitzki. Bagley could form a lethal frontcourt with DeAndre Jordan.
- Orlando Magic- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Original Pick: Mohammed Bamba
Mohammed Bamba was one of my favorite players coming into the draft and was expected to be the heir apparent to Vucevic’s throne at the five spot as his deal runs out this season. However, Vucevic has become a triple double machine, having career highs in points, rebounds, and assists. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a tall, lanky, combo guard who has taken the starting point guard job for the Clippers and could solve Orlando’s lack of a strong point guard.
- Chicago Bulls- Mohamed Bamba, Original Pick: Wendell Carter Jr.
Mohammed Bamba has had trouble getting into the starting lineup for the Magic due to Vucevic’s career year. If he was to be drafted by the Bulls, he would make for a deadly frontcourt with sharpshooter Lauri Markkanen. Bamba is a very efficient paint scorer and could clean up at of Lauri and Zach LaVine’s three-point attempts and score some valuable second chance points.
- Cleveland Cavaliers- Michael Porter Jr., Original Pick: Collin Sexton
Maybe the biggest boom or bust pick in the 2018 draft, MPJ is yet to play a game for the Nuggets. This works into the Cavaliers because they are just flat out horrible this season. They are tanking now due to Kevin Love’s injury and are looking to possibly move him and rebuild in the post-LeBron era. Kyrie Irving was picked in the last post-Lebron rebuild and MPJ showed that ceiling in high school and at Missouri.
- New York Knicks- Kevin Knox, Original Pick: Kevin Knox
The Knicks got a real good pick here. If Knox can show more of the summer league dominance that he had then he could be a real great player in this league. He’s turned into the first option while Kristaps Porzingis is out with an injury. Having notched multiple twenty-point games, Knox is turning into one of the better picks and silencing the draft day haters.
- Philadelphia 76ers- Collin Sexton, Original Pick: Mikal Bridges (Became Zhaire Smith)
After breaking Mikal Bridges’ heart by banishing him to Phoenix, who could have guessed that yet another 76er would be injured and miss their rookie season. Collin Sexton is the perfect option for the Sixers as he could be a spark of their bench or fill the need at point guard, currently being filled by Ben Simmons. Sexton is nicknamed “young bull” for his tenacious defense and incredible drive to be the best. This would make him a good match for Jimmy Butler who seems to hate lazy young players and Collin is the opposite.