NBA mock draft: New teams for top prospects
The Phoenix Suns have won the NBA draft lottery.?
Who will they take, and where will the rest of the top prospects land?
Our mock draft differs in two crucial ways from our recently updated top 100 prospect rankings. It uses the NBA's official draft order, 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.
Editor's note: This mock draft, published immediately after the lottery results, will continue to update with the latest information and analysis throughout Tuesday night and into the draft combine on Wednesday.
Height: 7-foot?|? Weight: 243 pounds
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 college season on a poor note in an early NCAA tournament exit.
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
Height:?6-8 |? Weight: 228?
Doncic hit a bit of a wall after playing 18 straight months without a break. He still found a way to help Real Madrid qualify for the EuroLeague Final Four, and will attempt to re-establish his candidacy as the potential No. 1 pick in the draft with a strong showing in Belgrade later this week.
He's an electric transition player with elite instincts on both ends, especially creating out of the pick-and-roll.
Starting salary: $7,243,440
Marvin Bagley III
Height:?6-11 |? Weight: 234
While Bagley has some positional concerns defensively, his athleticism, motor, rebounding, finishing ability and overall productivity will be very attractive here.
He has terrific scoring instincts and likely brings better shot-making potential than he showed in college with more spacing around him at the NBA level.
Starting salary: $6,504,600
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Height:?6-11 |? Weight: 240
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
Height:?7-foot |? Weight: 207
Bamba's rare combination of length, shot-blocking instincts and offensive promise gives him one of the highest ceilings of any prospect in this draft.
He brings a ton of defensive potential, including the versatility to step out onto smaller players, though he also can float at times and doesn't always look engaged on the floor.
Starting salary: $5,310,720
Height:?6-2 |? Weight: 176
Young is a deadly pull-up shooter with deep range who loves transition quick hitters. He would add a much-needed scoring punch to Orlando's backcourt.
While his physical profile for a PG is underwhelming and he struggles to finish in traffic against top athletes, he's an excellent passer who should look even better at the NBA level.
Starting salary: $4,823,520
Wendell Carter Jr.
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 263
Small forward is a definite position of need, but? Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis?are entering the final year of their contracts, so it also makes sense to think about drafting a big man who complements Lauri Markkanen on both ends of the floor.
Carter's feel and versatility are promising in a number of ways. He is a physically mature big man with a 263-pound frame and 7-foot-3 wingspan, which will allow him to play center in the NBA with ease.
Carter is a polished player with excellent hands and touch around the basket, and he has demonstrated a nice blend of passing, shot-blocking and perimeter shooting, despite being overshadowed at times by fellow likely lottery pick Bagley at Duke.
Starting salary: $4,403,280
Michael Porter Jr.
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 214
Porter came into the 2017-18 season with hopes of making a run at being the No. 1 pick in the draft. He wasn't able to build his case, however, because of a back injury. Porter's size, shot-creation skill and scoring instincts will nevertheless make him a coveted prospect in 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
Height:?6-2 |? Weight: 183
Frank Ntilikina has had some nice rookie moments, but the Knicks are finding out that the long-armed, 6-5 guard seems better suited playing alongside a more dominant ball handler and shot creator who can take some of the scoring responsibilities off Ntilikina's 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.
Starting salary: $3,708,120
Height:?6-7 |? Weight: 200
The 76ers have gotten great production out of JJ 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 their 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
Height:?6-6 |? 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 has potential as a two-way wing 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
Height:?6-6 |? Weight:?171
The Clippers could be looking at point guard as a position in need of supplementing, and the size, length and versatility of Gilgeous-Alexander could be attractive here considering the type of lineup flexibility he brings.
The fact that he is 6-6 (with a 7-foot wingspan), instinctual defensively and unselfish makes him easy to slot in alongside virtually any type of player. His offense has made significant strides as the season has moved on, helping him surprisingly emerge as arguably Kentucky's best long-term prospect.
Starting salary: $3,179,280
Lonnie Walker IV
Height:?6-4 |? 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 lottery conversation. His youth, strong frame, 6-10? 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 Clippers' wing rotation is a major work in progress and could certainly use some more shooting, length and perimeter-defensive prowess.
Starting salary: $3,020,280
Height:?6-10 |? 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 has shown 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. The Nuggets could use a big man like Williams to pair with defensively challenged Nikola Jokic. Both are centers, but Jokic and Williams complement each other quite well on both ends of the floor.
Starting salary: $2,869,320
Height:?6-9 |? 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 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 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
Height:?6-5 |? Weight: 195
Phoenix could continue to add length, athleticism and energy on defense with the long-armed, explosive Smith.
Originally expected to be more of a 2019 draft candidate, Smith accelerated that timeline by helping Texas Tech reach the Elite Eight. 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.
Starting salary: $2,589,480
Height:?6-1 |? Weight: 187
With Eric Bledsoe approaching the final year of his contract, the Bucks could look at finding a point guard who complements their existing pieces and whom they can build around for the long term.
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 is important considering the building blocks the Bucks already have in place.
Starting salary: $2,460,000
Height:?6-7 |? Weight: 235
With the uncertainty about? Kawhi Leonard?– along with Rudy Gay, Kyle Anderson and Danny Green all potentially entering free agency — the Spurs could use some depth at the forward spots.
With that in mind, drafting a versatile player like 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. He looks like an ideal fit for the modern NBA if he can find a way to rev his motor into higher gear.
Starting salary: $2,337,000
Height:?6-7 |? Weight: 210
With the second of their three first-round picks, the Hawks might look to add some depth on the wing.
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 that bode well for his chances of achieving his full potential. Becoming a better shooter will be a major key for him.
Starting salary: $2,231,760
Height:?6-9 |? Weight: 195
The Wolves have little depth at the forward spots and might 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 already productive in Europe, playing at a fairly high level.
Starting salary: $2,142,360
IMG Academy (HS)
Height:?6-4 |? 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 because of 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 be intriguing.
Starting salary: $2,056,680
Height:?6-6 |? Weight: 210
Shooting and depth at the wing spots will likely be priorities for the Bulls this offseason (not unlike most teams in the NBA).
Evans is an ultra-versatile player who guards all over the floor, played on and off the ball for Cincinnati and sports a career 38 percent mark from 3-point territory at the college level.
Starting salary: $1,974,480
Height:?6-3 |? Weight: 210
Unless a major upgrade at point guard presents itself, shooting and depth at the wing/combo forward spots will likely be priorities for the Pacers.
Thomas is one of the better defenders in college basketball, capable of guarding three positions with his 6-11 wingspan. He's also a willing ball-mover and a promising spot-up shooter and has exactly the type of grit and unselfishness the NBA covets in role players.
Starting salary: $1,895,520
Height:?6-7 |? Weight:?193
Portland's wing rotation could use some added depth.
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: $1,819,800
Height:? 6-11 ?|? Weight:?20.1
The Lakers don't have anything in the way of a rim-protector on their roster, with all of their centers being of the skilled-but-lumbering variety. The contract of their starting center, Brook Lopez, is also expiring this summer.
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: $1,746,840
Height:?6-3 |? 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. If they keep this pick, they'll want to add someone who brings toughness, versatility and defense, and who doesn't need to dominate the ball to be effective, all characteristics Brown seems to possess.
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 at times to lead you to believe he will become adequate there eventually. There's a significant market for players in his mold, provided he has a strong pre-draft process.
Starting salary: $1,689,000
Height:?6-3 |? Weight: 195
The Celtics have a tough decision in front of them with Marcus Smart entering restricted free agency and Terry Rozier?eligible for an extension, and they might need to find a less expensive backcourt option to avoid luxury-tax issues.
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: $1,640,400
Height:?6-2 |? Weight: 200
The Warriors are way over the luxury tax and will want to find contributors on cheap rookie contracts.
Villanova's NCAA tournament run and the efficient play of their floor general might cause the Warriors to take a look at the versatility and shot-making prowess of the Wooden Award winner. His leadership, toughness and intangibles could be attractive on a roster that already has quite a bit of talent. The fact that he has shown the ability to operate off the ball certainly helps.?
Starting salary: $1,630,320
Height:? 6-11 ?|? Weight: 231
The Nets don't have much in the way of shooting in the frontcourt and aren't really committed to any 4s or 5s long term besides promising rookie Jarrett Allen and the dead-weight contract of Timofey Mozgov.
Wagner brings floor spacing and a high-energy style of play. He was one of the breakout players of March, leading Michigan to a Big Ten title and a surprise run to the NCAA championship game.
Starting salary: $1,618,320
Height:?6-4 |? Weight: 185
With their third and final first-round pick, the Hawks might look to add some backcourt depth, specifically 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
Elie Okobo | PG | Age: 20.5 | Pau-Orthez
Tyus Battle?|?SG/SF?| Age:?20.6? |?Syracuse?
Jontay Porter?|?C?| Age: 18.4 |?Missouri?
Donte DiVincenzo?|?PG?| Age:?21.2? |?Villanova?
Shake Milton | PG/SG | Age: 21.6 | SMU
Melvin Frazier?|?SF?| Age:?21.6? |?Tulane?
37. Knicks (from Bulls)
Gary Trent Jr. |?SG?| Age:?19.3? |?Duke?
38. 76ers (from Nets)
Jerome Robinson?|?PG?| Age:?21.2? |?Boston College?
39. 76ers (from Knicks)
Chimezie Metu?|?PF/C?| Age:?21.1? |?USC?
40. Nets (from Lakers)
Hamidou Diallo?|?SG?| Age:?19.7? |?Kentucky?
41. Magic (from Hornets)
Jevon Carter?|?PG?| Age:?22.6? |?West Virginia?
Landry Shamet | PG | Age: 21.0 | Wichita State
43. Nuggets (from Clippers)
Devonte' Graham?|?PG?| Age:?23.2? |?Kansas??
Malik Newman?|?PG/SG?| Age:?21.2? |?Kansas?
45. Nets (from Bucks)
Rodions Kurucs?|?SF/PF?| Age:?20.2? |?Barcelona 2?
46. Rockets (from Heat)
Justin Jackson |?SF/PF?| Age:?21.2? |?Maryland?
47. Lakers (from Nuggets)
Isaac Bonga?|?SF?| Age:?18.5? |?Frankfurt?
Devon Hall?|?SG?| Age:?22.8? |?Virginia?
Tony Carr?|?PG?| Age:?20.5? |?Penn State
Trevon Duval?|?PG?| Age:?19.7? |?Duke?
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk?|?SG?| Age:?20.9? |?Kansas?
Kevin Hervey?|?SF?| Age:?21.8? |?Texas Arlington?
Rawle Alkins?|?SG?| Age:?20.5? |?Arizona??
54. Mavericks (from Blazers)
Brandon McCoy?|?C?| Age:?19.9? |?UNLV??
55. Hornets (from Cavaliers)
Jalen Hudson?|?SG?| Age:?21.9? |?Florida?
Kostas Antetokounmpo?|?SF?| Age:?20.4? |?Dayton?
57. Thunder (from Celtics)
Issuf Sanon?|?PG/SG?| Age:?18.5? |?Olimpija Ljubljana?
58. Nuggets (from Warriors)
Kenrich Williams?|?PF?| Age:?23.4? |?TCU?
59. Suns (from Raptors)
Karim Jallow?|?SF?| Age:?21.0? |?Bayern Muenchen?
60. 76ers (from Rockets)
Amine Noua?|?PF?| Age: 21.1?|?Villeurbanne?