Recap: NBA Draft pick-by-pick analysis

By Eric Coughlin
The Detroit News


Round 1

1. Phoenix: DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona

As expected, the big man is headed to the Suns. Ayton is is 7-foot-1 and figures to be the best center in the association when he hits his prime.

2. Sacramento: Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke

After one great season at Duke, Bagley will take his talents to Sacramento. If his defense and jumper improve, he’s a generational talent.

3. Atlanta: Luka Doncic, G/F, Real Madrid

Coming over from Europe, Doncic is one of the most experienced players in the draft. The Slovenian is highly accomplished and an excellent ball-handler. The Hawks turned around and traded Doncic to the Mavericks for Trae Young and a protected 2019 first round pick.

4. Memphis: Jaren Jackson, PF/C, Michigan State

Jackson, the son a former NBAer, is maybe the best two-way power forward or center in the draft. He had trouble gaining the favor of Tom Izzo in one season at Michigan State, only averaging around 20 minutes per game and struggling with foul trouble, but there’s no doubt that Jackson is an intriguing physical specimen at 6-foot-10 with quickness and shot-making ability rarely seen at that size. He can protect the rim on D but is comfortable guarding smaller players on the perimeter. Jackson has potential in spades.

5. Dallas: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

The first player ever to lead the NCAA in points and assists, Young will be traded to the Hawks along with a protected 2019 pick. The Mavericks will get Luka Doncic.

6. Orlando: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

With a huge, 7-foot-10 wingspan Bamba is an elite rim protector. His defensive rebounding is solid, but his offensive rebounding could use improvement for his size.

7. Chicago: Wendell Carter, C, Duke

A versatile center, Carter is a great, fundamental rebounder. His shooting stoke is already smooth but will probably improve with the Bulls.

8. Cleveland: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

With quickness and explosiveness Sexton is very dangerous in the open court. He's known for working extremely hard, but whether or not he'll ever play with LeBron James is still an open question.

9. New York: Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky

The Knicks took the 6-foot-9 forward with the ninth selection. Knox was compared to former Piston Tobias Harris by another former Piston, Chauncey Billups. 

10. Philadelphia: Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova

Making 104 3s last season at Villanova, Bridges is an elite shooter with great defensive skills. He was later traded to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith and a 2021 first round pick. 

11. Charlotte: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

After emerging as a leader at Kentucky, Gilgeous-Alexander will take his impressive point guard size to Charlotte. He averaged more than 19 points per game in his last 10 games with Kentucky.

Gilgeous-Alexander was immediately traded to the LA Clippers. The Hornets received Miles Bridges and two future 2nd round picks.

12. L.A. Clippers: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Drafting for Charlotte, the Clippers took the former Michigan State forward with the Pistons' pick. Bridges had two highly productive years at Michigan State and could have turned pro after the first. His greatest NBA asset is his ability to guard multiple positions. Bridges has great strength for being 6-foot-6, and he was known at Michigan State for monstrous dunks and clutch play, albeit without much postseason success. He won’t create his own offense in the NBA, but Bridges can hit an open shot and is a great help defender to go along with locking down his man one-on-one.

The Clippers received Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for Bridges and two future 2nd round picks.

13. L.A. Clippers: Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College

The high-scoring Robinson had a great season at Boston College. His lateral quickness is suspect, but he's an excellent pull-up shooter.

14. Denver: Michael Porter, SF, Missouri

The wait is over. Porter slid down draft boards after concerns about a back injury. If he's healthy, he could have been the No. 1 overall pick with elite offensive skill.

15. Washington: Troy Brown, SG, Oregon

At only 18 years-old, Brown has tons of potential. He needs to work on his jumper and strength, but he has skills that should translate to the NBA.

16. Phoenix: Zhaire Smith, SF, Texas Tech

Smith was immediately traded with a 2021 1st round pick to the 76ers for Mikal Bridges. He wasn't a highly-prized recruit, but Smith shot up draft boards last season after a superb freshman year.   

17. Milwaukee: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Michigan fans will remember the sharpshooting guard from the 2018 National Championship game, where he torched the nets for 31 points to win it all for Villanova. DiVincenzo can score from anywhere and has underrated athleticism and defensive skills. He was known at Villanova as a 3-point shooter, hitting about 40 percent beyond the arc, but with championship-level talent all around him, DiVincenzo wasn’t asked to do much more.

18. San Antonio: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami

A terrific athlete, Walker battled injuries to shoot 35 percent on 3s last season. He's physically ready for the NBA, and if he improves his ball-handling, he could be the steal of the draft.

19. Atlanta: Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

A 3-point shooter, Huerter also excelled in transition. He turned a impressive performance at the combine into a first round selection.

20. Minnesota: Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech

Okogie plays good defense with a seven foot wingspan. His offensive skills will need to improve, but he's known for a high level of effort.

21. Utah: Grayson Allen, SG, Duke

Allen can shoot and slash to the rim, although his competitiveness sometimes gets the best of him as his junior year was marred by multiple instances of Allen tripping opposing players. He’s a good pick-and-roll player that finds the open man more often than not. Allen’s older than most players in this draft, turning 23 in October, meaning he may have already tapped out his potential, but he has experience playing through a lot of adversity, even if it was self-inflicted.

22. Chicago: Chandler Hutchison, SG, Boise State

A winner a Boise State, Hutchison averaged 20 points per game. He's a great rebounder for his position.

23. Indiana: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

After sliding down the draft board, Holiday is headed to the Pacers. He averaged 20.3 points per game last season, and he's a good ball-handler.

24. Portland: Anfernee Simons, SG, IMG Academy

He didn't play in college, skipping his freshman year at Louisville after the departure of coach Rick Pitino, but Simons is in the NBA now. He has solid athleticism, but no one is sure if he's ready after taking a season off.

25. L.A. Lakers: Moritz Wagner, PF, Michigan

A pick and roll artisan, the big German presents defensive matchup problems for any team. After leading Michigan to the title game, Wagner skipped his senior year. He can hit 3s at a 40 percent clip but also has great catch-and-finish ability. Defense will always be a weakness for Wagner, but with fewer and fewer traditional big men for him to guard in the NBA, he could easily carve out a productive niche.

26. Philadelphia: Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State

With good size, Shamet shoots well over defenders. He's not great in transition, but he won't be asked to handle the ball all that often.

27. Boston: Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M

Shot-blocking is a specialty of Williams, who doesn't have much of an offensive game. He's very athletic and set to rock rims with the Celtics.

28. Golden State: Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati

A long-armed guard, Evans developed late in high school. He can shoot and has good size but needs work on his handle.

29. Brooklyn: Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia-Herzegovina

With big-time scoring skills, Musa started generating international interest when he was just 15 years-old. He needs to improve as a defender, but at 6-foot-9 he's got the size to compete in the NBA.

30. Atlanta: Omari Spellman, PF/C, Villanova

Lacking the prototypical height for an NBA big man, Spellman makes up the difference with pure strength. He shot more than 43 percent on 3-pointers in his one season for Villlanova and pulled down 11 rebounds in the national championship game against Michigan. Spellman doesn’t have a great post-up game, but in today’s anti-post up, 3-happy NBA, that’s just fine, especially with his rebounding skill.

Round 2

1 (31). Phoenix: Elie Okobo, PG, France

Coming over from Europe, Okobo improved quite a bit over the last year. He needs to improve his defense, but rumors are that he wants to come to the NBA immediately instead of staying in Europe.

2 (32). Memphis: Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia

A gritty guard, Carter is a relentless defender. He's not very athletic, but his effort-level is off the charts. 

3 (33). Atlanta: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villlanova

4 (34). Dallas: Devonte Graham, PG, Kansas

As a Kansas senior, Graham showed versatile scoring ability. Plus, he shot more than 40 percent on 3s for three out of four years in Lawrence. He can shoot off the dribble or pulling up and looks very comfortable running the pick-and-roll. Graham’s already 23 years-old, so he’s close to his ceiling, meaning Graham’s just a depth option, but he knows what he’s doing with the ball in his hands, averaging 7.2 assists per game in his final year at Kansas.

5 (35). Orlando: Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane

If Frazier refines his shot, he could be a contributor.

6 (36). New York: Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette HS 

7 (37). Sacramento: Gary Trent, SG, Duke (traded to Portland for two future second round picks) 

8 (38). Philadelphia: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton (traded to Detroit for two future second round picks)

Underrated until last season, his junior year, Thomas has a near-perfect shooting stroke. His 6-foot-10 wingspan makes up for a lack of height.

9 (39). Philadelphia: Issac Bonga, SF, Germany   

10 (40). Brooklyn: Rodions Kurucs, F, Latvia 

11 (41). Orlando: Jarred Vanderbilt, SF, Kentucky (traded to Denver)

12 (42). Detroit: Bruce Brown, SG, Miami

With the ability to defend both guard positions, Brown is a valuable defender. An injury ended his last season with Miami prematurely. He's a great rebounder for his size, and he uses his strength well.

13 (43). Denver: Justin Jackson, SF, Maryland 

14 (44). Washington: Issuf Sanon, PG, Ukraine 

15 (45). Brooklyn: Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky (traded to Charlotte) 

16 (46). Houston: De'Anthony Melton, SG, USC 

17 (47). L.A. Lakers: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SG, Kansas 

18 (48). Minnesota: Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State 

19 (49). San Antonio: Chimezie Metu, PF, USC 

20 (50). Indiana: Alize Johnson, PF, Missouri State 

21 (51). New Orleans: Tony Carr, PG, Penn State 

22 (52). Utah: Vincent Edwards, SF, Purdue 

23 (53). Oklahoma City: Devon Hall, SG, Virginia  

24 (54). Dallas: Shake Milton, SG, SMU

A bit of a project, Milton can slide over to point guard if necessary and has a huge wingspan. He’s a good passer and ball handler with a great transition game. Milton’s problem is that he lacks athleticism but if he can execute the pick-and-roll adequately enough to give him time to develop an above-the-rim game, Milton could be a diamond in the rough.

25 (55). Charlotte: Arnoldas Kulboka, Germany 

26 (56). Philadelphia: Ray Spalding, PF, Louisville 

27 (57). Oklahoma City: Kevin Hervey, SF, UT Arlington 

28 (58). Denver: Thomas Welsh, C, UCLA 

29 (59). Phoenix: George King, SF, Colorado 

30 (60). Philadelphia: Kostas Antetokounmpo, SF, Dayton