Thursday’s NBA Draft was nothing if not intriguing. Aside from the first pick or two, few could have predicted how things would actually turn out. Let’s check out the picks, trades, and surprises that highlighted the 2018 NBA Draft.
No Doubt About It
As expected, the Phoenix Suns selected Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the first overall pick. There was little doubt that this would be the pick. Ayton is 7’1’’ and already has an NBA body, enabling him to make an impact on both ends of the court. Of course, there have been plenty of big men taken high in the draft that haven’t worked out, so it’d be a mistake to call him a “can’t-miss” prospect. This was also the first time the Suns have had the top overall pick, so there is some pressure on the organization to make sure Ayton pans out.
Big Men Dominate Early
As expected, this was a big-man dominated draft. After Ayton went first overall, four of the next six picks were either centers or power forwards. Marvin Bagley went to the Kings. Jaren Jackson Jr. was taken by the Grizzlies. Mohamed Bamba was drafted by the Magic. Finally, Wendell Carter went to the Bulls seventh overall. Of course, after that, guards and wing players took over and big men were ignored until the late first round.
The First Trade
It didn’t take long at all for us to have our first trade of the night. After the Atlanta Hawks drafted Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic with the third overall pick they quickly traded him to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young, who Dallas took fifth overall, and a protected first-round pick in next year’s draft.
Clearly, the Mavericks wanted Doncic badly if they were willing to give up a first-round pick to move up two spots. With Dirk Nowitzki approaching the end of his career, the Mavs may see Doncic as the future face of the franchise, as the 19-year old is already a seasoned pro in Europe. Meanwhile, the Hawks obtained Young, who ended up being the first point guard selected despite there become a few teams not quite sold on him.