NBA Mock Draft 2018: Luka Doncic To Suns, Deandre Ayton To Hawks As Top Draft Picks

Thanassis StavrakisAP Images

The latest NBA mock draft 2018 edition isn’t surprising based on the fact that teams have been on the hunt for the next great international star. This has been part of many teams decisions to start looking overseas to find the next player like Dirk Nowitzki or Kristaps Porzingis. While international phenom Luka Doncic doesn’t have the size or similar skills of either of those players, he’s drawing rave reviews to become a major star in the NBA.

As ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla recently said on SportsCenter, the best comparison of current NBA players to Luka Doncic is a combination of Gordon Hayward’s athletic ability and Manu Ginobili’s “brain for the game.” Fraschilla mentioned that no other foreign player has done what Doncic’s currently doing in international competition, and that includes future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki.

The soon-to-be 19-year-old Slovenian player is currently averaging 13.9 points, grabbing 5.7 rebounds, and dishing out 4.4 assists in an average of 23.7 minutes of gameplay. That gives him tremendous upside, but as Fraschilla indicated, his athleticism may be questionable going forward. There should be plenty of time to address that for whichever team selects him. It’s believed Doncic will go first overall on several mock drafts and Fraschilla agrees.

nba mock draft 2018 luka doncic to suns deandre ayton to hawks
Featured image credit: Thanassis StavrakisAP Images

As seen below, Sporting News pegs the Phoenix Suns to have the first pick in the summer’s NBA Draft, while the Atlanta Hawks would have the second pick, followed by the Kings with the third pick. The Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks would round out the top five picks, but this all depends on how teams finish and how those ping pong balls bounce.

NBA Mock Draft 2018 Top 10 Picks

  1. Luka Doncic – Real Madrid, G (Suns)
  2. Deandre Ayton – Arizona, C (Hawks)
  3. Marvin Bagley III – Duke, PF/C (Kings)
  4. Jaren Jackson Jr. – Michigan St, PF/C (Grizzlies)
  5. Mohamed Bamba – Texas, C (Mavericks)
  6. Michael Porter Jr. – Missouri, SF/PF (Cavs via Nets)
  7. Trae Young – Oklahoma, PG (Magic)
  8. Mikal Bridges – Villanova, SG/SF (Bulls)
  9. Collin Sexton – Alabama, PG (Knicks)
  10. Miles Bridges – Michigan State, SF/PF (Sixers via Lakers)

While Sporting News believes that Duke’s Bagley III could go second, if the Hawks end up drafting there, they may decide upon address their need for a big man. That would result in them drafting Deandre Ayton from Arizona. For the season, Ayton is leading the team, averaging a double-double of 19.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per contest.

They say that Ayton already looks ready to play based on his size and offensive skills, but his defense is the big question mark going forward. Once again, at age 19, there’s plenty of time for Ayton to also improve on the aspects of his game he needs to the most. Should the Hawks land the top pick, they might think differently and choose Doncic, as he could be too much to pass on.

Based on the top five picks, it appears there could be several big men in demand for teams with the potential for a talented star like Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. to fall to the Cleveland Cavaliers, should they opt to add him to the roster. That could give LeBron James someone new to mentor or possibly give the team a future star if LeBron chooses to leave in free agency.