After the Suns signed Igor Kokoskov to be their head coach, there was some speculation Luka Doncic could be next in line given their Slovenian national team connection, but that thought process is losing steam. Our latest NBA mock draft has Deandre Ayton being selected with the No. 1 pick, and all you have to do is ask him.
“I know I’m going Number 1,” Ayton told AZ Central. “This is my one and only workout before the draft.”
It sounds like Ayton is also getting to know his potential future teammates. AZ Sports’ Kellan Olson reported Ayton watched the NBA finals with a group of Suns players that night.
McDonough said Booker, Jackson, Chriss, Bender, Knight, Canaan and a few names he missed stuck around after their work to see some of Ayton. That group is planning to hang out tonight and watch the NBA Finals together.
Suns GM Ryan McDonough spoke glowingly with the USA Today about Ayton’s private workout with the Suns.
“The way he shot the ball was pretty impressive,” McDonough said. “There aren’t many 7-1 guys with that length and strength who can step away from the basket and make shots. He did it some at Arizona but that wasn’t his role. You didn’t get to see him on the perimeter a whole lot.
Today he shot the NBA 3 pretty comfortably. He has really good form, good touch and good rotation on the ball for a guy his size. That was a little bit unique…
I can probably count on one hand number of guys with his size, athleticism, footwork, balance and touch. It’s a unique package. The fact he hasn’t been playing the game all that long I think it makes it more impressive.
Doncic appears to be trending in the opposite direction, but it is hard to decipher smoke from fire this time of year. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported there is unexpected skepticism from executives when it comes to Doncic, including from the Kings front office who have the No. 2 pick.
Barring a trade, I’d say Doncic being drafted in the top three is no better than 50-50. I’ve felt an increasing disparity the past few months between the public’s bullish perception of Doncic — which we share — and what NBA executives say privately. While I believe they are overthinking things, the skepticism is a lot more prevalent than expected. You would think a guy like Doncic, who has played in as many big games as any teenage prospect in recent memory, would be relatively immune to these types of ups and downs in his evaluation process, but it seems that’s not the case…
The Kings were initially supposed to have GM Vlade Divac in Belgrade, according to a Sacramento front-office executive at the combine, but Divac never made it, instead electing to attend his son’s college graduation in California. People I trust say the Kings’ front office has been expressing significant skepticism about Doncic’s NBA prospects all year in private conversations, long before they moved up in the draft. At this stage, I think a lot of NBA teams have already made up their minds about Doncic, and it isn’t quite as flattering as we initially thought.
Here’s a look at our latest NBA mock draft.
NBA Mock Draft 2018
|1. Phoenix Suns||C Deandre Ayton, Arizona|
|2. Sacramento Kings||PF Marvin Bagley, Duke|
|3. Atlanta Hawks||C Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State|
|4. Memphis Grizzlies||PG Luka Doncic, Real Madrid|
|5. Dallas Mavericks||C Mo Bamba, Texas|
|6. Orlando Magic||PF Michael Porter Jr., Missouri|
|7. Chicago Bulls||PG Trae Young, Oklahoma|
|8. Cleveland Cavaliers||PG Collin Sexton, Alabama|
|9. New York Knicks||C Wendell Carter Jr., Duke|
|10. Philadelphia Sixers||SF Mikal Bridges, Villanova|
|11. Charlotte Hornets||SF Miles Bridges, Michigan State|
|12. Los Angeles Clippers||PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky|
|13. Los Angeles Clippers||SF Kevin Knox, Kentucky|
|14. Denver Nuggets||SG Lonnie Walker IV, Miami|
|15. Washington Wizards||C Robert Williams, Texas A&M|
|16. Phoenix Suns||PG Aaron Holiday, UCLA|
|17. Milwaukee Bucks||SF Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech|
|18. San Antonio Spurs||SG Troy Brown, Oregon|
|19. Atlanta Hawks||PG Eli Okobo, Pau-Orthez|
|20. Minnesota Timberwolves||SF Chandler Hutchinson, Boise State|
|21. Utah Jazz||PF Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State|
|22. Chicago Bulls||SF Dzanan Musa, Cedevita|
|23. Indiana Pacers||PG De’Anthony Melton, USC|
|24. Portland Trail Blazers||SG Grayson Allen, Duke|
|25. Los Angeles Lakers||C Mitchell Robinson, N/A|
|26. Philadelphia Sixers||C Moritz Wagner, Michigan|
|27. Boston Celtics||PG Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova|
|28. Golden State Warriors||SG Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech|
|29. Brooklyn Nets||SG Kevin Huerter, Maryland|
|30. Atlanta Hawks||PG Anfernee Simons, IMG Academy|