Redrafting the 2018 NBA Draft Class

We’re jumping in a hot tub time machine and going back to the Barclays Center on June 21, 2018. The country is abuzz as everyone anxiously awaits to see who their favorite team will draft. There are a few stipulations to our redraft that will drastically change the landscape of the draft picks. First, these picks will be made in regards to fit. Occasionally, a team will take the most talented played on the board, but for the most part, all these teams are drafting a player that fits their needs. Secondly, we are assuming all the rosters reflect the present day teams of the NBA, except for the rookies of course. So yes, that means Kristaps Porzingis is a Maverick and the 76ers have Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. With that said, lets get into it.

1. Phoenix Suns – Trae Young

Woah! We’re starting out wild. Look, Luka Doncic is the best rookie in the NBA. Hands down. But remember when I said these teams are drafting off fit? The Suns have a plethora of wings (albeit average ones) with the likes of Kelly Oubre, TJ Warren, and Josh Jackson, and what they’ve really been lacking is a true point guard. The Suns obviously went and got Tyler Johnson who was the recipient of a massive, unnecessary contract in the summer of ’16 but he can play off the bench while the duo of Trae Young and Devin Booker take the league by storm.

2. Sacramento Kings – Luka Doncic

Okay now we’re back on track. As aforementioned, Luka is the best rookie in the NBA and set to be a perennial All-Star. He should slot in nicely with a lineup of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Willie Cauley-Stein. This Kings team could run the table in the West following the disbandment of the Golden State Warriors.

3. Atlanta Hawks – Deandre Ayton

The Hawks lack star power, and in present day 2019, are really dominated by an incredible rookie class. Ayton has big shoes to fill (coming from a guy in the future) and would form a modern day Twin Towers with fellow big man John Collins.

4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr.

Whoever came up with the butterfly effect is an idiot. I traveled back in time and the Grizzlies still got J.J.J.! This makes the most sense for the roster, and consequently, he was also the best guy on the board. Grit & Grind forever!

5. Dallas Mavericks – Collin Sexton

This may be a reach for Sexton, but since the All-Star break he’s been the best rookie point guard in the NBA. Not to mention, he is the first rookie since Tim Duncan to record six consecutive 23 point games. The Mavericks need a true ball handler to run with the likes of Tim Hardaway Jr and Kristaps Porzingis.

6. Orlando Magic – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Another point guard going off the board. This one makes sense with DJ Augustin just being a bookmark in the Magic’s starting roster and would easily be replaced by this promising rookie. Moving forward, the Magic could experiment with an SGA and Markelle Fultz backcourt, assuming the latter returns to form.

7. Chicago Bulls – Marvin Bagley III

Bagley probably shouldn’t have fallen this far, but he did; get over it. Bagley is one of the most talented players in this class but hasn’t been a great fit for the previous teams. He can slot in next to the Finn Reaper, Lauri Markannen, at center and make the Bulls a suddenly talented team.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Wendell Carter Jr

Carter dropped only one spot from where he was originally taken but finds himself in a much worse Midwestern city (no offense, Cleveland people. Go Browns). Carter adds a defensive presence around the rim that Kevin Love lacks and could make Cleveland a much more stingy defensive team.

9. New York Knicks – Mo Bamba

Bamba hasn’t really played like a lottery pick this year, but it is the Knicks so why not take a shot on the promising seven footer out of Texas? He’d be playing for his hometown team, being from Harlem, and could learn from Deandre Jordan how to be a dominant presence in the paint.

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

10. Philadelphia 76ers – Mikal Bridges

Ironically, the 76ers originally drafted Bridges here before shipping him off to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith. The Villanova product played three years of college and came into the league a lot more polished than most of the other prospects. He is not a game changer, but he has been an excellent role player in Phoenix – similar to Malcolm Brogdon in Milwaukee. He would provide valuable minutes off the bench while JJ Redick or Jimmy Butler catch a breather.

11. Charlotte Hornets – Mitchell Robinson

Robinson is one of the most raw products in the draft, but has shown flashes of his potential which landed him a spot in the lottery. Charlotte is in dire need of a consistent big man who can make his presence felt at the rim. Robinson should have no problem getting minutes over Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky due to his defensive mindedness and ability to block shots in a Rudy Gobert-esque manner.

12. Los Angeles Clippers – Kevin Huerter

Huerter has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 season. He has shown the ability to score and be a consistent role player at the wing position. The Clippers lack depth on the wing and could use Huerter to run along side Danillo Gallinari or provide relief minutes when the Italian needs a breather.

13. Los Angeles Clippers – Landry Shamet

Hey, deja vu, the Clippers are up again. This time the Clippers select a player that is on the roster in the present day (via trade) in Landry Shamet. Shamet was devalued coming into the draft because he was looked at as a point guard who couldn’t be a primary ball handler. Obviously, that would cause some problems, but Shamet has carved out a nice role in the NBA by becoming one of the leagues most efficient 3-point shooters at the SG position.

14. Denver Nuggets – Michael Porter Jr

This one was tough because the Nuggets literally don’t need anybody. Porter is perfect because he has top five talent, but fell in the draft due to injury. The Nuggets are able to groom Porter and not force him back into action before he is ready.

15. Washington Wizards – Omari Spellman

It is no secret that the Wizards lack of big men has been a serious issue for them this season. Dwight Howard was lost early in the year due to a glute injury and Thomas Bryant just can not provide consistent minutes, especially in crunch time. Spellman gives the Wizards another big body to add in the paint defensively.

16. Phoenix Suns – Robert Williams

Williams, nicknamed Time Lord for his lack of punctuality, has shown massive potential in his first year in the league. The big man known for his ability to block shots and surprising athleticism would give the Suns a big man in a rotation lacking size. He would likely get all the minutes he could handle in an attempt to develop his raw offensive game while the Suns rebuild.

17. Milwaukee Bucks – Josh Okogie

Okogie has been a nice surprise as a versatile wing defender. He would find his place quickly with one of the league’s best defensive teams led by Coach Budenholzer. Okogie’s biggest flaw is his lack of shooting ability, which he would need to develop in order to play in the Bucks’ system.

18. San Antonio Spurs – Kenrich Williams

Williams came on late in the season, but has shown himself to be worthy of playing time in the NBA. The 6’7″ wing has shown the ability to shoot well from outside and provide quality minutes to a team in need. The Spurs could use Williams to back up Rudy Gay or fill in the frequent nights that Gay rests.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jalen Brunson

Brunson surprisingly fell outside of the lottery in this redraft but has probably landed in the best possible situation. Brunson would start at point guard right away and be able to run the offense with the twin towers of Collins and Ayton.

20. Minnesota Timberwovles – Kevin Knox

Knox took the biggest drop of anyone in this redraft, but he has not shown the ability to be a consistent NBA player. Granted, he has played a whole season in the black hole that is the New York Knicks, but Knox has not shown any real progression as a player. He joins a high pace Wolves team where he will be able to put up a high volume of shots (at an inconsistent clip).

21. Utah Jazz – Miles Bridges

22. Chicago Bulls – Alonzo Trier

23. Indiana Pacers – Aaron Holiday

(This is a homer pick, but Holiday has shown huge potential and gets time to develop on an already deep Pacers team.)

24. Portland Trail Blazers – Keita Bates-Diop

25. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonnie Walker

26. Philadelphia 76ers – Rodions Kurucs

27. Boston Celtics – Moritz Wagner

28. Golden State Warriors – Donte DiVincenzo

29. Brooklyn Nets – Zhaire Smith

30. Atlanta Hawks – Elie Okobo

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