Although we are only halfway through December and roughly 35% through the NBA regular season, the 2018 draft selections are already being nitpicked and evaluated.Draft evaluations can essentially be outdated by the time they are published with how quickly rookies can emerge or fall off, but attempting to redo the 2018 NBA Draft is extremely interesting. I took into consideration future potential, team need at the time of the draft as well as team needs at this point in the season. Below is my attempt at a way-too-early 2018 NBA Re-Draft.
1. Luka Doncic (PHX)
(Actual Pick: 3)
It's pretty clear - even this early in the season - that Luka will be bringing home the Rookie of the Year award, unless another rookie emerges out of nowhere or Doncic gets hurt for an extended period of time. He has shown his maturity from playing overseas and is making an immediate impact. A combo of Booker and Doncic would be fun to watch.
2. DeAndre Ayton (SAC)
(Actual Pick: 1)
The Kings are stacked at guard with Fox, Hield, Bogdanovic, and even Shumpert. Although Cauley-Stein is emerging as a solid center for Sacramento, you cannot pass up on a franchise cornerstone center with the number 2 pick in Ayton.
3. Jaren Jackson Jr. (ATL)
(Actual Pick: 4)
Even with the Hawks having a nice, young PF in John Collins, I think JJJ would fight in nicely next to him. They could really play a new brand of small ball with 2 PF's and no true center. This would be a very dynamic, floor-stretching frontcourt.
4. Marvin Bagley III (MEM)
(Actual Pick: 2)
Marvin Bagley could essentially be the new Zach Randolph for the Grizzlies. Being mentored by the veteran Marc Gasol alongside him, Bagley would be the Grizzlies new face of the franchise in the city of grit and grind.
5. Wendell Carter Jr. (DAL)
(Actual Pick: 7)
Although DeAndre Jordan is the Mav's current big man, he is too old to be part of their future core. Carter Jr. would be their rim protector of the future. Pick and roll action with Carter and DSJ would be fun to watch.
6. Collin Sexton (ORL)
(Actual Pick: 8)
The Magic don't have a reliable starting point guard whatsoever. Augustin is a solid backup PG in the NBA, but he wouldn't start on most teams. I like the Magic taking the best PG of the draft in Collin Sexton.
7. Trae Young (CHI)
(Actual Pick: 5)
The Bulls have a ton of young point guards, none of which are panning out or staying healthy consistently. Young would bring them exactly what they need, and could even play off the ball as a shooter when Dunn or the other young guards are healthy and contributing.
8. Kevin Knox (CLE)
(Actual Pick: 9)
Although Kevin Knox is by no means the next LeBron James, he is arguably the small forward with the most upside in this draft. He hasn't produced mind-blowing numbers early in his NBA career, but he seems to have the tools to one day be the leader of a team.
9. Mo Bamba (NYK)
(Actual Pick: 6)
With Vucevic having a career-best season, Bamba has not found many minutes this season to show off his unique skill set. That being said, he still has one of the highest ceilings in this entire draft with his jaw-dropping wingspan and athleticism. Pairing him with Porzingis would be one of the longest frontcourts in recent NBA history.
10. Michael Porter Jr. (PHI)
(Actual Pick: 14)
I know what you are thinking.. Philly drafting an injured player again? Exactly! Trust the Process. MPJ is one of the most risky players to draft in the lottery, but if he pans out to what he has always been projected to be (AKA a #1 pick before injury), stashing him would be so worth it at #10.
11. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (CHA)
(Actual Pick: 11)
Kemba is having an outstanding year for the Hornets at PG. That being said, can the Hornets keep him? He has been a popular in trade rumors the past couple of seasons, and drafting Shai here would give them even more flexibility to trade him if they want to.
12. Allonzo Trier (LAC)
(Actual Pick: Undrafted)
Here he is. The undrafted rookie out of Arizona. This kid just knows how to get buckets. Although I don't ever see him being a stat sheet stuffer outside of scoring, but if you need a scorer, he is your guy. He reminds me a lot of Lou Will, and having him as a mentor on the Clippers could really make that become a reality.
13. Miles Bridges (LAC)
(Actual Pick: 12)
With the Clippers second lottery pick, drafting Miles Bridges would give them a freak athlete wing. He could immediately come in and be one of their focal points off the bench while also being on a winning team.
14. Mikal Bridges (DEN)
(Actual Pick: 10)
Mikal Bridges is extremely long. Standing at 6'7 with a 7'1 wingspan, the Nuggets could really use him, especially with all of the injury problems they have had the past couple of years, including this year. Bridges seems to have a ceiling of a 3 and D guy, which is a very hot commodity in today's NBA.
15. Landry Shamet (WAS)
(Actual Pick: 26)
Shamet is an under the radar player that a lot of NBA fans still don't know about. He is getting his fair share of minutes on a loaded 76ers team and shoots over 40% from three. With all of the trades the Wizards have had lately, their current constructed roster would have Shamet at the backup SG.
16. Mitchell Robinson (PHX)
(Actual Pick: 36)
Robinson is one of the most raw products in this draft. Standing at 7'1 with a lot of athleticism, he could be a productive center for many years. In this re-draft, with the Suns taking Doncic at #1, Robinson would have a shot at being the Suns starting center.
17. Kevin Huerter (MIL)
(Actual Pick: 19)
This kid is a straight shooter. At this point in the season, he is shooting around 42% from three. The Bucks aren't necessarily in desperate need of three point shooting, but anytime you can get a shooter on the floor to open the lane for Giannis, it can't do anything but help.
18. Jevon Carter (SAS)
(Actual Pick: 32)
What a perfect player for the Spurs and Pop. A hard working, defensive-minded guard. He has already surprised a lot of NBA fans with how much of an impact he is making. With Murray going down before the season with an ACL tear, Carter could have really gotten a lot of time on the court in Pop's system.
19. Jerome Robinson (ATL)
(Actual Pick: 13)
Although a lottery pick in the real NBA draft, he has bounced back and forth between G-League and the NBA and has also experienced some injuries. Because of all that, he is only averaging about 5 minutes per game and has not found his way into the packed guard rotation for the Clippers. That being said, on a team like the Hawks that isn't in win now mode, he could have a better chance of showing why he was originally a lottery pick.
20. Lonnie Walker (MIN)
(Actual Pick: 18)
I think everyone knew the Wolves were in somewhat of a rebuild once the Jimmy Butler Saga started. They didn't need to blow the whole thing up, but they probably don't have the talent to be a contender, and even may miss the playoffs. That being said, why not take a flyer on the injured Lonnie Walker? If he were healthy, he may have been a lottery pick.
21. Donte DiVincenzo (UTA)
(Actual Pick: 17)
Another athletic bucket getter, DiVincenzo is a proven winner and showed up when it mattered in college. I think he would fit in great with the Jazz and would be a great backup for Donovan Mitchell. Although he is not shooting great from the field, he is finding other ways to contribute and play around 17 minutes per game currently.
22. Josh Okogie (CHI)
(Actual Pick: 20)
Okogie has already started 7 games in his young NBA career. His ceiling may not be as high as some of the other guards taken before him in the draft, but he seems like a guy that will play for a long time in the league. He is a fan favorite and a high flyer. His high energy style of play would make him a crowd favorite on a tanking Bulls team.
23. Aaron Holiday (IND)
(Actual Pick: 23)
Aaron Holiday has already shown steady improvement. It seems like every game he is getting more comfortable and making an impact for the Pacers. I have him getting drafted exactly where he was originally drafted. It seems as if this is already working out great for him. I could see him being a starting point guard for the Pacers in just a couple short years.
24. Omari Spellman (POR)
(Actual Pick: 30)
Omari is a very physical player. At 6'9 245lbs, he can hang with the biggest of them. A decent shooter at the PF position, not only can he power his way through the lane, but he can spread the floor as well. He has started 8 games this year on a bad Hawks team.
25. Jalen Brunson (LAL)
(Actual Pick: 33)
Jalen Brunson is starting to emerge for the Dallas Mavericks. Although he's third string on the depth chart, when he does get minutes he makes the most of them. In fact, last week when he started 4 games due to injury, he averaged almost 12 PPG on 67% shooting, including a 17 point game.
26. De'Anthony Melton (PHI)
(Actual Pick: 46)
Melton is a bigger point guard who doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but is solid all around. He originally was a top 20 projected pick but slipped into the second round on draft night. Based on what we have seen so far this season, he should certainly be worth a late first round pick in this draft, especially for Philadelphia who had a feeling they would have point guard problems with the Fultz issue.
27. Robert Williams (BOS)
(Actual Pick: 27)
I don't think anyone has quite figured out Robert Williams. Coming into the draft, there was never a clear projection on where he would land. Some teams though he may go in the lottery, while others though he was more of a second rounder. An athletic big man who has a lot of defensive upside, he is averaging 1.3 blocks per game in just 7 minutes per contest. He fits great in Boston with their defensive scheme, which is exactly where he was drafted in the original draft.
28. Hamidou Diallo (GSW)
(Actual Pick: 45)
Another high energy player, Diallo is a crowd favorite in OKC. One of the most explosive players in the Rookie class, he always makes plays that gets the crowd on their feet. He has a nose for the ball and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Unlike other rookies in this draft, he doesn't need the ball in his hands much to make an impact. That is why he would fit perfectly with the Warriors.
29. Moritz Wagner (BKN)
(Actual Pick: 25)
Mo has only played in 7 games this year due to injury, but when healthy has found himself on the floor for about 6 minutes per game for the Lakers. I know it is a small sample size, but he's shooting 46% (!!) from three and looks like he has the potential to be a good stretch 4 of the bench for just about any team. He would get a lot more minutes on a team like the Nets.
30. Shake Milton (ATL)
(Actual Pick: 54)
Shake is on a 2-way contract for the 76ers currently, and has a very bright future in the league. Not only does he have one of the coolest names in the NBA, but he is a great player. At 6'7, he can play both guard positions and shoots the three at 43%, which isn't surprising since he came out of college as one of the best three point shooters in the draft. On a team like the Hawks where there is less talent and more opportunity for playing time, I think Milton would be a rotation player for Atlanta.
Images via NBA.com