Charlotte Hornets: Final 2018 NBA Mock Draft

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Nick Rakocevic #31 of the USC Trojans guards Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats during the championship game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wildcats won 75-61. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Nick Rakocevic #31 of the USC Trojans guards Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats during the championship game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wildcats won 75-61. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Who will the Charlotte Hornets select in the final mock before the 2018 NBA Draft?

After months of preparation from all 30 NBA teams and infinite guessing and analyzing from experts and non-experts, draft day has finally arrived. For some, it is just a day where a player is added on to a team, and it isn’t even worth watching. For others, it is one of the most exciting days of the year. We all know that none of us actually know who is going where, so mock drafts are pointless, right? Maybe, but let’s give it a shot anyway and see who the Charlotte Hornets may take:

1. Phoenix Suns- DeAndre Ayton, C (Arizona)

This pick isn’t exactly a mystery. Ayton said himself that he would be a Sun, and Phoenix hasn’t given us any reason to believe he was lying. Ayton is one of the most physically dominant players we have seen in a long time. His measurables are reminiscent to Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid. A duo of Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton has the potential to be an all-time great if things work out properly.

2. Sacramento Kings- Marvin Bagley III, PF/C (Duke)

Opting to pass on Luka Doncic (which is a terrible idea, by the way), the Kings decide to go with Bagley, an extremely athletic big man who has loads of potential. Bagley is a work in progress on the defensive end and is still developing a reliable outside jump shot. Bagley may start the season playing behind the likes of Zach Randolph or Skal Labissiere, but it’s hard to imagine that he won’t work his way into the starting lineup at some point during his rookie campaign. If Bagley is able to put it all together, look out.

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3. Atlanta Hawks- Luka Doncic, SG (Slovenia)

Let’s get one thing out of the way; Luka Doncic is not only the best player in this year’s draft, he is the best European prospect of all time. He is not yet 20 years of age, and already has a Euroleague MVP as well as a championship under his belt. The fact that the Hawks are getting him with the third overall pick could be considered a crime in some countries. Doncic is a tremendous shooter with elite court vision and a ridiculously high basketball IQ. Yes, he leaves something to be desired defensively, but he gives effort on defense, which many players in this draft can’t say.

4. Memphis Grizzlies- Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF (Missouri)

The Grizzlies are not a bad enough team to be picking 4th overall. They were plagued by injuries last season and figure to be back in the playoff race next season with a healthy squad. With the 4th pick, Memphis selects Michael Porter Jr., a player who many assumed would be in the conversation for the #1 overall pick a year ago. A back injury limited Porter to only 3 games as a freshman, but his pure talent makes him hard for Memphis to pass on.

5. Dallas Mavericks- Jaren Jackson Jr., C (Michigan State)

Dallas has been in the market for a center ever since the DeAndre Jordan free agency disaster. Here, they take a player who can run the floor, block shots, and can even step outside and knock down open jump shots. Jackson is an elite athlete and has one of the highest ceilings in the entire draft. Jackson will need to improve his jump shot mechanics because he has a noticeably low release for a big man. If nothing else, Jackson will be an energy guy that can change the game on the defensive end.

6. Orlando Magic- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG (Kentucky)

The thought of Gilgeous-Alexander going this high would have seemed laughable only weeks ago. Now, some people believe that he is the best point guard in the draft. New head coach Steve Clifford values defense and length, which is exactly what Gilgeous-Alexander brings. His jump shot is still raw, but that should develop without much trouble. Orlando is desperate for a solid building block and is in dire need for a lead guard. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can fill both of those roles.

7. Chicago Bulls- Mohamed Bamba, C (Texas)

Mohamed Bamba is a physical freak. He is over 7 feet tall with an NBA Combine record 7 foot, 10-inch wingspan. Not to mention he ran a faster 3/4 court sprint than Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Dwyane Wade. Wow. Chicago doesn’t have anything to worry about on the defensive end with Bamba. He is raw offensively but has apparent skill. If Bamba develops into a reliable offensive threat, he could very well be the best big man to come out of this draft.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets)- Trae Young, PG (Oklahoma)

There is a very good chance that Cleveland will not be the one making this selection. Cleveland has been trying to acquire Kemba Walker since the trade deadline in February. Assuming that they hold on to the pick, they are going to take Young, who we all know can light up an entire arena in the blink of an eye. Shot making and court vision are Young’s main claims to fame. However, simply put, Trae Young is small and can’t guard anybody. He also averaged over 5 turnovers per game as a freshman.

9. New York Knicks- Kevin Knox, SF (Kentucky)

New York could easily go with Collin Sexton or Wendell Carter Jr. with this pick, but instead go with Knox, a skilled forward with solid shooting ability and a very polished transition game. The main concern with Knox is that he doesn’t have a high motor. He doesn’t separate himself on defense, and with a 6’9″ frame, he should be a better rebounder than he is. Offensively, Knox compares to Tobias Harris in many ways (as does somehow every other forward in this draft).

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers)- Mikal Bridges, SF (Villanova)

This pick is perfect for Philadelphia fans in so many ways. Bridges is one of the most NBA ready prospects in this draft, not to mention that he’s a hometown kid, winning two championships at Villanova. Personally, I am a huge Mikal Bridges fan. He has Kawhi Leonard-like potential and at the very least will be a Robert CovingtonTrevor ArizaOtto Porter Jr. hybrid. The only concern I have with this pick is that Robert Covington is already on the roster, and they bring mostly the same things to the game.

11. Charlotte Hornets- Collin Sexton, PG (Alabama)

The Charlotte Hornets are in desperate need of a direction. Regardless of whether or not they choose to trade Kemba Walker, Collin Sexton would fill a huge need. If Charlotte keeps Walker, Sexton provides much-needed aggressiveness and scoring off the bench. If Walker is traded, Sexton would likely jump straight into the starting role as one of the faces of the rebuild. Sexton needs improvement as a jump shooter and as a playmaker, but his ability to defend, get to the basket, and finish is too intriguing to pass on.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons)- Wendell Carter Jr., C (Duke)

Getting Wendell Carter this late in the lottery is a massive steal. Carter spent the majority of his lone season at Duke firmly in Marvin Bagley’s shadow. However, multiple executives believe that Carter is a better overall NBA prospect than Bagley. Carter is very skilled for a big man, possessing a smooth jump shot, great court vision, and underrated athleticism. Snagging Carter at 12 counts as a win for Los Angeles.

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13.  Los Angeles Clippers- Lonnie Walker IV, SG (Miami)

What a luxury it is to have two back-to-back picks in the lottery. After taking what is most likely DeAndre Jordan’s replacement, Los Angeles takes an all-around shooting guard that does not have a glaring weakness. Walker is a terrific athlete, to say the least. He is a streaky shooter, but one who can light it up on any given night. Also, he is a very good defender because he has the quickness and speed to stay in front of most guards. Ideally, the Clippers would have liked to have gotten a point guard with one of these picks, but with the consensus top 3 being taken before, they take the 2 best available players.

14. Denver Nuggets- Miles Bridges, SF/PF (Michigan State)

First of all, I would not be at all surprised if Denver traded this pick, likely to rid themselves of Kenneth Faried‘s contract. If they do make their selection, they’ll take Miles Bridges, a do-it-all forward with a polished offensive isolation game and an underrated jump shot. Bridges is most well known for his unbelievable leaping ability, but that’s not all he is as a player. Bridges still needs to develop on defense, and if he does, he has all-star potential.

15. Washington Wizards- Robert Williams, C/PF (Texas A&M)

I’m not going to sugar coat this. Marcin Gortat sucks. He’s gotten old and he is now slow and unathletic, and he doesn’t have a jump shot to make up for any of that. Robert Williams is raw offensively, but he is a good defender and is a solid athlete, giving him the ability to catch and finish lobs. Williams could be a great asset to John Wall and has the potential to be a crucial piece for Washington.

Next: Are the Hornets targeting Jairus Lyles?

Picks 16-30:

  • 16. Phoenix Suns (via Heat)- Aaron Holiday, PG (UCLA)
  • 17. Milwaukee Bucks- Zhaire Smith, SG (Texas Tech)
  • 18. San Antonio Spurs- Dzanan Musa, SF (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • 19.  Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves)- De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG (USC)
  • 20. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder, via Jazz)- Troy Brown, SF (Oregon)
  • 21. Utah Jazz- Keita Bates-Diop, SF (Ohio State)
  • 22. Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans)-  Kevin Huerter, SG (Maryland)
  • 23. Indiana Pacers- Anfernee Simons, PG (IMG Academy)
  • 24. Portland Trail-Blazers- Jermome Robinson, SG (Boston College)
  • 25. Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavaliers)- Mitchell Robinson, C (USA)
  • 26. Philadelphia 76ers- Gary Trent Jr., SG (Duke)
  • 27. Boston Celtics- Elie Okobo, PG (France)
  • 28. Golden State Warriors- Donte DiVincenzo, SG (Villanova)
  • 29. Brooklyn Nets (via Raptors)- Moritz Wagner, C (Michigan
  • 30. Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets, via Clippers)- Jalen Brunson, PG (Villanova)