It's finally March! The last chance for everyone to get a good, hard look at some of the top prospects as they put everything on the table before the NBA draft.
It's become apparent who the top two picks are likely to be, but a lot can change. The first 14 picks have been generally consistent, but what about the top 30?
In this edition of theScore's NBA mock draft, we're predicting the full first round, giving more of an in-depth look at the most realistic option for all 30 picks.
1. Grizzlies - Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
Although the Grizzlies are in dire need of perimeter help (depending on Mike Conley's health), Ayton remains the unavoidable top prospect in the draft. The 7-foot-1 monster led Arizona to a Pac-12 tournament championship, finishing his last two contests with 32 points in each, along with 14 and 18 rebounds respectively. It's safe to say there's nobody scouts perceive as more of a sure thing than this Bahamian beast.
2. Suns - Luka Doncic, G/F, Real Madrid (Spain)
Doncic being a consolation prize speaks to how phenomenal Ayton has been. The Slovenian guard dazzled scouts as the leading man for Real Madrid, and at just 19, the 6-foot-8 star has placed himself among the top MVP candidates in the EuroLeague. If his numbers don't wow you, just watch his performance against New York Knicks All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis when Doncic's native Slovenia eliminated Latvia from the European championships in September.
3. Hawks - Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State
It's possible the Hawks have the least amount of talent going forward in the NBA, but Jackson gives them an opportunity to change that, as the MSU forward has arguably the highest two-way ceiling in the draft. Plugging in Jackson as a high-quality shot-blocking big next to the uber-active John Collins settles Atlanta's frontcourt of the future. He currently blocks 14.6 percent of shots when he's on the floor, good for fifth in the nation, and gives the Hawks a decent beyond-the-arc threat, as he's hit 38 of 96 threes so far this season.
4. Magic - Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke
Orlando needs help, badly. Is Bagley the answer? It certainly shouldn't hurt to take arguably the best player in college basketball this season. The 6-foot-11 Duke product has been dominant around the basket, and his 21.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game were some of the best averages in basketball. Though there are questions about his potential on the defensive end, picking up Bagley should enable the Magic to stop questioning their interior presence and investing so heavily in mediocrity.
5. Kings - Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri
Minus the oft-discussed two minutes in the first game of Missouri's season, we have only had the chance to watch Porter once. And although the shooting percentage wasn't pretty, there's a lot to love. The Kings sorely lack a go-to scorer that can fill it up anytime. When healthy, Porter can be that guy for the Kings and a tournament run will give scouts hope that the top recruit they fell in love with is back.
6. Cavaliers (via Nets) - Collin Sexton, G, Alabama
Cavaliers receive Nets' unprotected 1st-round pick
Losing LeBron James would be a killer for the city of Cleveland. But getting an exciting young point guard to take charge should slow the bleeding. Sexton's draft stock has risen after an outstanding conference tournament performance, and it should be safe to slot him as the top-ranked point guard prospect in college basketball.
7. Mavericks - Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
He's not perfect, but Bamba's defensive ceiling may make him a menace at the pro level. His 7-foot-9 wingspan is terrifying and his lateral movement and ability to anchor a defence are the tools he needs to become one of the best defensive players in basketball. Bamba's rail-thin frame is a concern, as are his offensive shortcomings, but his transition game and pick-and-pop potential should ease any concerns on that end.
8. Bulls - Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke
Chicago has three members of their future core slotted nicely into position. Getting a solid replacement for the aging Robin Lopez and oddly overpaid Cristiano Felicio should give the Bulls more to be excited about. Carter can hit shots from deep and is one of the best rim protectors in college basketball. Bagley may be the face of the Blue Devils today, but it's his frontcourt mate that's been the heart.
9. Knicks - Trae Young, G, Oklahoma
The criticism towards Young has been harsh. He has his flaws, as do all 19-year-olds, but still finished the season as the nation's top scorer and playmaker, averaging a healthy 27.4 points and 8.8 assists per contest. Young's limitless range and ability to force defenders to gravitate around him will make him a solid pro, despite his struggles over the past couple months. But will he be able to handle the spotlight of New York? The dim lights of Madison Square Garden would be an amazing location to watch one of the most fun players in the nation.
10. Hornets - Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova
Michael Jordan's Hornets aren't looking so good. Strapped with several immovable contracts and little hope for the future, if the Hornets don't win the lottery, they won't have a chance of snagging that franchise-changing piece, but getting Bridges is a good place to start. They lack reliable two-way play and Bridges is shooting at a 43.3 percent clip on the year. Added bonuses are his 7-foot-1 wingspan and defensive prowess.
11. Clippers (via Pistons) - Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State
Clippers receive Pistons' top four protected 1st-round pick
The Blake Griffin deal was supposed to lead the Pistons into the playoffs, but the Motown blues continue as the Clippers are comfortably sitting in the lottery as they continue to work towards a playoff spot of their own. So what direction do the Clippers take here? Ideally, they'd go with the best available player considering their strange roster construction. The other Bridges isn't playing as well as he did in his freshman season, but he's shooting well from three and is a combo forward who can jump out of the building. He may be forced to become an undersized four but he's built like a tank, and even has a little Griffin in his game.
12. 76ers (via Lakers) - Lonnie Walker IV, G/F, Miami
76ers receive Lakers' 1st-round pick if it lands No. 1 or 6-30; Celtics receive the pick if it falls between 2-5
The Sixers' starters are long and athletic, can destroy you from three, and shut you down on defense. But that bench has far too many question marks. Walker started his freshman campaign poorly but has found his shooting touch since Bruce Brown went down with an injury. In the last 15 games of the season, Walker is averaging 15.1 points and shot 38 percent from three. J.J. Redick is signed to a one-year deal, and Walker can be plugged in as a long and active replacement for the veteran shooting guard.
13. Nuggets - Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky
Denver is in a peculiar position: the wild, wild West has made it difficult for the Nuggets to squeeze into a playoff spot. The picture is far from set, but some added young depth will surely help. Knox has been reliable over the second half of Kentucky's season and is capable of taking over a game, but his inconsistency has made it difficult for him to make the leap. However, he's averaging 17.3 points and shooting 41.9 percent from three over the Wildcats' last 15 games and it doesn't hurt to prepare to move on from the aging (and expensive) Paul Millsap.
14. Spurs - Dzanan Musa, G/F, Cedevita (Croatia)
The Spurs in the lottery - how did this happen? Well, their lack of star power with Kawhi Leonard injured finally got the best of them. But if they don't make the playoffs, why not take a fearless young mold of aged guard Manu Ginobili? Musa can hit the three and is a crafty threat from the perimeter. Under Gregg Popovich, he could become something much greater than his current ceiling suggests. Consider this a very Spurs-ian selection.
15. Suns (via Heat) - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky
Suns receive Heat's top seven protected 1st-round pick
Phoenix has its scorer in Devin Booker and earlier in this mock picked up Doncic to run the offense. How about adding Gilgeous-Alexander to help the backcourt? The 6-foot-6 Canadian has been on a tear, scoring 17.2 points and dishing 6.1 assists per game over the last 13. With the NBA shifting to point guards with size, Gilgeous-Alexander should be able to adapt even better as a lead guard with a 7-foot wingspan. Throwing him into the mix with Doncic and Booker should help provide an active threesome of young stars with high ceilings.
16. Suns (via Bucks) - Robert Williams, F/C, Texas A&M
Suns receive Bucks' 1st-round pick if it lands between 11-16
Another pick for the Suns. If Phoenix sets itself up with a powerful backcourt, their post defense will be desperate for a fix as Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss have yet to wow the front office enough to become reliable options. Williams was expected to take a giant leap forward after a promising freshman campaign, and although playing out of position held him back, he's still blocking 10.3 percent of shots when on the floor.
17. 76ers - Troy Brown, G, Oregon
With their second pick of the draft, the Sixers could take on another project, as the ultra-versatile Brown has all the tools to become an effective NBA player. If Philadelphia can help turn him into a 3-point threat, Brown has a long career ahead as a secondary ball handler and multi-positional defender.
18. Jazz - Jacob Evans, G/F, Cincinnati
With the Jazz set at the center and off-guard position, picking up Evans should add much-needed depth on the wing for a team surging up the ranks in the West over the past month. Leading a top-two defense in Cincinnati and hitting 37.4 percent from deep, he's a natural 3-and-D player who should have a long future in the league.
19. Wizards - Aaron Holiday, G, UCLA
If you're wondering, the answer is yes: Aaron is the brother of Jrue and Justin Holiday. Similar to Jrue, Aaron is a scoring guard that can help lead an offense. Although the Wizards have shown they could survive without superstar John Wall, a steady point guard could make a world of difference for a team that can't seem to get over the hump.
20. Clippers - Jontay Porter, F/C, Missouri
Mizzou's other Porter brother has had himself a great season as the more highly touted Michael sat out nearly the entire year. Porter is averaging 16.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per 40 minutes for the Tigers and the 6-foot-11 big man is hitting 37.7 percent from three on 3.3 attempts per game. Not so bad for the lesser-known sibling.
21. Hawks (via Timberwolves) - Devonte' Graham, G, Kansas
Hawks receive Timberwolves' lottery protected 1st-round pick
He may not be a young gun compared to the rest of the draft, but Graham is a true veteran leader who can properly run an offense. That's something the Hawks are missing with the erratic Dennis Schroder running things. Graham is a finalist for National Player of the Year after leading Kansas with 17.3 points and 7.5 assists per game.
22. Lakers (via Cavaliers) - Keita Bates-Diop, G/F, Ohio State
Lakers receive Cavaliers' top three protected 1st-round pick
A solid resurgent season for Bates-Diop, who suffered a stress fracture early in his junior year. He's averaging 19.4 points and 8.8 rebounds for the Buckeyes and has brought them back into the tournament. Bates-Diop would ideally slot in as an undersized power forward, and his activity could help any team. However, the Lakers could use such a cheap NBA-ready option if they're looking to bring in a couple stars this offseason.
23. Bulls (via Pelicans) - Daniel Gafford, F/C, Arkansas
Bulls receive Pelicans' top five protected 1st-round pick
Despite getting Carter early in the mock draft, recruiting another reliable rim protector could catapult the Bulls in the right direction. Gafford has blocked 11.3 percent of shots in his 22.6 minutes per game. Fitting him in as a backup should be easy, but if a bigger wing is available, you can bet the Bulls would rather take that direction.
24. Timberwolves (via Thunder) - Bruce Brown, G, Miami
Timberwolves receive Thunder's lottery protected 1st-round pick
There's nothing more frustrating than to watch the Timberwolves bench playing. Outside of Tyus Jones, there is no consistently reliable player getting minutes as coach Tom Thibodeau continues to run his starters to the ground. Brown is coming off an injury that may have ended his season, but the talent is there, and plugging him in next to Jones gives Minnesota a formidable defensive replacement unit that will attack passing lanes and run in transition: It's hard to rely on an over-the-hill Jamal Crawford and the shell of Derrick Rose to give you that these days.
25. Pacers - Grayson Allen, G/F, Duke
Arguably the most divisive player in college basketball today, Allen has plenty of transferable skills to become a rotational player at the professional level. Although he's taken a back seat to Bagley this season, the Blue Devils have been at their best when Allen becomes the focal point. The Pacers can use a shooter on the perimeter to help Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner continue their success beyond this season.
26. Trail Blazers - Khyri Thomas, G, Creighton
In terms of wing rotation, outside of CJ McCollum, the Blazers have had to rely on the likes of Evan Turner and his ridiculous contract to take them to the next level. That`s where Thomas comes in. Although undersized, his 6-foot-11 wingspan will allow him to switch and defend anyone on the perimeter. The ultra-active junior is shooting 41.9 percent from three, meaning he should easily translate into a 3-and-D threat in the NBA.
27. Celtics - Shake Milton, G, SMU
Prior to injuring his hand and missing the second half of the season, Milton was enjoying a solid junior campaign, averaging 18 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game - watching SMU struggle to score without him should say enough. He's also hit over 42 percent from three every season and can be a secondary ball handler in any scheme. Brad Stevens could certainly find a way to turn him into a star.
28. Nets (via Raptors) - Chimezie Metu, F/C, USC
Nets receive Raptors' lottery protected 1st-round pick
Instead of a top-10 pick, Brooklyn will settle for the Raptors' late first-rounder. And with the development (or lack thereof) of Jahlil Okafor, it's time for the Nets to quickly move on and find a solid backup to anchor the paint as Jarrett Allen continues to develop. Averaging 15.7 points and 7.4 rebounds on the year, Metu could be that required presence in the late first round.
29. Warriors - Jalen Brunson, G, Villanova
Good ol' reliable at Villanova is an NBA-ready backup point guard, and the Warriors would be a great fit in that regard. The junior is averaging 19.4 points and 4.7 assists and has been the heart of the versatile Wildcats attack all season long. Golden State lacks a steady point guard outside of Stephen Curry and with Shaun Livingston nearing the end of his career, Brunson could become a staple.
30. Hawks (via Rockets) - Chandler Hutchinson, G/F, Boise State
Hawks receive Rockets' top three protected 1st-round pick
The Hawks will have their third pick of the first round after snagging Jackson and Graham with their first two and ideally will find a wing solution. Hutchinson is a solid 3-point threat and has the size and length to become a good pro. He's also improved as a playmaker and he averages 7.5 rebounds as a guard.
Source : https://www.thescore.com/news/1484430