NBA Mock Draft 2018, Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton. Getty Images

We are nearly three weeks away from the 2018 NBA Draft, and it would be quite boring if we didn’t have at least a little noise regarding Deandre Ayton between now and then. This past weekend Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman provided some doubt that the Suns would take Ayton, reporting that the Phoenix Suns have been looking to bring in Trae Young for a workout. The conventional wisdom is that the Suns would take Ayton with the first pick and jump into the lottery via a trade in order to pick Young as well.

But Suns GM Ryan McDonough is a Danny Ainge disciple, and he no doubt took notes on the fleecing that Ainge pulled off last year with the Sixers. Ainge moved back in the NBA Draft two spots in order to take the player he wanted to take all along – Jayson Tatum. At the time, however, Tatum’s draft stock around the NBA was much like Young’s is right now. Like Young, Tatum was seen as likely to go anywhere from No. 3 to No. 7. In the process of moving back, Ainge also picked up an extremely valuable first round draft pick from the Sixers in the rights to Sacramento’s first round pick in 2019.

If a team like the Kings, or Hawks, or Grizzlies, or Mavericks or Bulls is that smitten with Ayton, and McDonough actually believes Young is the best player in this draft (entirely conceivable) – he will surely explore the option of trading back. These teams mentioned are not going to get better overnight – even if they draft Ayton. If one of these teams were to relinquish a 2019, 2020 or 2021 first rounder, McDonough would surely listen given the history of these type of trades and how the team that trades out of the top spot typically emerges the victor.

 

In this mock we have the Mavericks trading up to draft Ayton.

1. Dallas Mavericks (via Phoenix Suns): DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona

2. Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke

3. Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr,PF, Michigan State

4. Memphis Grizzlies: Luka Doncic, SG, Slovenia

5. Phoenix Suns (via Dallas Mavericks): Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

6. Orlando Magic: Wendell Carter, PF, Duke

7. Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter, SF, Missouri

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

9. New York Knicks: Mikal Bridges, SG, Villanova

10. San Antonio Spurs: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

11. Charlotte Hornets: Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky

12. Los Angeles Clippers: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

13. Los Angeles Clippers: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

14. Denver Nuggets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

15. Washington Wizards: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

16. Phoenix Suns: Gary Trent Jr, SG, Duke

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Robert Williams, PF, Texas A&M

18. San Antonio Spurs: Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

19. Atlanta Hawks: Chandler Hutchison, SG, Boise State

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Landry Shamet, SG, Wichita State

21. Utah Jazz: Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova

22. Chicago Bulls: Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College

23. Indiana Pacers: Andernee Simons, PG, Undecided

24. Portland Trail Blazers: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

25. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami

26. San Antonio Spurs: De’Anthony Melton, PG, USC

27. Boston Celtics: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova

28. Golden State Warriors: Troy Brown, SG, Oregon

29. Brooklyn Nets: Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech

30. Atlanta Hawks: Jacob Evans, SF, Cincinnati

31. Phoenix Suns: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

32. Memphis Grizzlies: Alize Johnson, PF, Missouri State

33. Dallas Mavericks: Elie Okobo, PG, France

34. Atlanta Hawks: Austin Wiley, C, Auburn

35. Orlando Magic: Mitchell Robinson, C, USA

36. Sacramento Kings: Kevin Hervey, SF, Texas Arlington

37. New York Knicks: Malik Newman, SG, Kansas

38. Philadelphia 76ers: Tony Carr, PG, Penn State

39. Philadelphia 76ers: Grayson Allen, SG, Duke

40. Brooklyn Nets: Caleb Martin, SG, Nevada

41. Orlando Magic: Kenrich Williams, SF, TCU

42. Detroit Pistons: Trevon Duval, PG, Duke

43. Denver Nuggets: Chimezie Metu, PF, USC

44. Washington Wizards: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SG, Kansas

45. Brooklyn Nets: Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky

46. Houston Rockets: Brancon McCoy, C, UNLV

47. Los Angeles Lakers: Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia

48. Minnesota Timberwolves: Mortiz Wagner, PF, Michigan

49. San Antonio Spurs: Rawle Alkins, SG, Arizona

50. Indiana Pacers: Yante Maten, PF, Georgia

51. New Orleans Pelicans: Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

52. Utah Jazz: Kelan Martin, SF, Butler

53. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cody Martin, SG, Nevada

54. Dallas Mavericks: Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia

55. Charlotte Hornets: Melvin Frazier, SG/SF, Tulane

56. Philadelphia 76ers: Keenan Evans, PG, Texas Tech

57. Oklahoma City Thunder: Shake Milton, PG, SMU

58. Denver Nuggets: Justin Jackson, SF, Maryland

59. Phoenix Suns: Devonte Graham, PG, Kansas

60. Philadelphia 76ers: Bruce Brown, SG, Miami