It’s never easy to land a superstar in the Draft, as a lot of things can go wrong with top picks, and more often than not, those that are picked below or even outside the lottery end up having better careers.
Still, there are a handful of prospects that no general manager can pass on unless they want to lose their job, so whether they turn out to be superstars or not, that’s something that nobody can control.
Perhaps it’s too early to tell who’s going to have the best career out of the 2018 class, but, judging for what we’ve seen so far, let’s gamble a bit and do a re-draft, to see how things should’ve gone there:
1. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Deandre Ayton
Re-Draft Pick: Luka Doncic
The Phoenix Suns hired Luka Doncic’s coach from Slovenia’s national team, so this was a match made in heaven for them. Doncic proved to be way ahead of schedule and looks like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent right now. He’s got an unlimited offensive repertoire and can play as a point guard, shooting guard, or even small forward. He’s not scared to step up and take a big shot, and will go at it with the best players in the world on a nightly basis. The Suns did well by taking Ayton, but they could’ve done great by taking Doncic.
2. Sacramento Kings
Original Pick: Marvin Bagley
Re-Draft Pick: Trae Young
The Sacramento Kings would’ve gotten a perfect complement for De’Aaron Fox in Trae Young. Fox would make up for Young’s defensive liabilities, and they could both run the offense with great ease. Young has the green light to shoot from all over the court with Stephen Curry-esque consistency, and his sick assists per game numbers translated to the NBA with ease. He’s special, and is going to be remembered as one of the deadliest shooters ever when it’s all said and done.
3. Atlanta Hawks
Original Pick: Luka Doncic
Re-Draft Pick: Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton must be one of the most underrated players we’ve seen in years. He had an outstanding rookie year, but nobody seemed to care because he played for the Suns. Also, Doncic and Young kind of shadowed him. Still, Ayton is a scoring machine and a dominant rebounder in both ends of the floor that has a bright future in this league. He needs to put more effort in the defensive end and add some muscle, but he has what it takes to be a superstar.
4. Memphis Grizzlies
Original Pick: Jaren Jackson Jr
Re-Draft Pick: Collin Sexton
The Memphis Grizzlies would’ve fared pretty well had they chosen Collin Sexton with the fourth overall pick last year. Sexton has struggled with consistency and looks more like a shooting guard than a pass-first point guard, but his ability to put points on the scoreboard is worthy of the risk. He’s still has a ways to go to be at his best, but he’s shown glimpses of greatness over and over.
5. Dallas Mavericks
Original Pick: Trae Young
Re-Draft Pick: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
The Dallas Mavericks landed Luka Doncic via trade, but this time, they’d have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who showed his defensive expertise right away and become one of the most valuable trade assets for the Clippers last season. Gorgeous-Alexander is blossoming as a volume scorer now that he has a bigger role. He’s capable of playing lockdown defense and holding his own against bigger players, and is also a great playmaker.
6. Orlando Magic
Original Pick: Mo Bamba
Re-Draft Pick: Jaren Jackson Jr
The Orlando Magic wanted a franchise big man when they got Mo Bamba. Needless to say, he’s far from that, at least for the time being. Instead, they would’ve gotten Jaren Jackson Jr, who has all the tools to be one of the most dominant two-way stars in the league a couple of years from now. Still, he’s struggled to say on the court due to several injuries, and that’s why he’s slipping in this re-draft.
7. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: Wendell Carter Jr
Re-Draft Pick: Marvin Bagley
The Chicago Bulls would be glad to have Marvin Bagley in this re-draft. Bagley’s career got off to a slow start but he broke out after the All-Star break, showing a lot of skills in the post and a nice face-up game as well. He’s strong and makes up for his lack of size with great awareness and hustle in both sides of the glass, but still needs to add some range to his game if he wants to be a star in this league.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
Original Pick: Collin Sexton
Re-Draft Pick: Mitchell Robinson
The Cleveland Cavaliers got Collin Sexton out of Alabama for his scoring ability, but with him off the table, they’d turn their eyes to Mitchell Robinson. Robinson originally went undrafted, but then surged to become one of the league’s best rim-protectors and shot-blockers even on limited minutes. If he’s able to stay out of foul trouble, he’s going to be one of the best defenders in the league in no time.
9. New York Knicks
Original Pick: Kevin Knox
Re-Draft Pick: Wendell Carter Jr
The New York Knicks got Kevin Knox hoping he’d be a Paul George type of player, but so far, he’s vastly struggled with inconsistency. In this re-draft, they’d get a true stud in Wendell Carter Jr, whose only problem so far has been his proneness to get hurt. Carter Jr has the potential to be one of the most prolific defenders in the paint and the perimeter, and has shown the ability to knock down shots from deep as well.
10. Philadelphia 76ers
Original Pick: Mikal Bridges
Re-Draft Pick: Miles Bridges
The Sixers originally took Mikal Bridges, but this time, they’d get Miles. Miles Bridges is an exciting player to watch. He’s explosive, strong, and incredibly athletic. The game still needs to slow down a bit for him and he tends to get lost in defense when he needs to help, but he makes up for it with a top-notch offensive game. Hopefully, we’ll see him in this year’s Slam Dunk contest.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Original Pick: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Re-Draft Pick: Zhaire Smith
With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander already out of the table, the Hornets could get Zhaire Smith. Smith has unlimited bounce and great instincts in both ends of the floor, and while durability may be a concern with him, he’s got the upside to become one of the most explosive athletes in the league. Also, he’d be a major boost over Malik Monk, who’s looking more like a bust by the day.
12. Los Angeles Clippers
Original Pick: Miles Bridges
Re-Draft Pick: Mikal Bridges
The Los Angeles Clippers got Miles Bridges and traded him to the Charlotte Hornets, but in this re-do, they’d get the other Bridges, Mikal. Mikal is strong, fast, and a great defender that proved to be NBA-ready right away. There’s still a lot of learning ahead of him, especially in the offensive end, but he’s got what it takes to be a successful role player in the league.
13. Los Angeles Clippers
Original Pick: Jerome Robinson
Re-Draft Pick: Devonte’ Graham
The Los Angeles Clippers drafted Jerome Robinson, who looked like an athletic freak ready to contribute. However, his impact during his rookie season was modest at best. Devonte’ Graham is having a bit of a breakout season for the Charlotte Hornets now, working as the team’s primary playmaker with Terry Rozier playing off-ball. He’s been solid and has proven to be worthy of a lottery pick.
14. Denver Nuggets
Original Pick: Michael Porter Jr
Re-Draft Pick: Michael Porter Jr
Prior to his injuries, Michael Porter Jr was a consensus top-3 pick and considered the best player of his class. Still, the fact that 13 teams passed on him and his family story with injuries raise a lot of questions about his durability. Porter has the talent to become one of the most unstoppable scorers in the league, so the Nuggets are smart to ease him into the game as he gets back at full strenght.
15. Washington Wizards
Original Pick: Troy Brown Jr
Re-Draft Pick: Mo Bamba
The Washington Wizards took Troy Brown Jr, but it’s clear that it was a bit of a reach to get him that high. Instead, they could’ve gotten Mo Bamba, who has slipped all the way here after his subpar performances. Bamba would’ve gotten way more chances at the nation’s capital and perhaps he would’ve turned into that dominant two-way big man we were all thinking he’d be already.
16. Phoenix Suns
Original Pick: Zhaire Smith
Re-Draft Pick: Jalen Brunson
The Phoenix Suns took Zhaire Smith and traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers, but could’ve drafted Jalen Brunson instead. Due to his age and some skills limitations, Brunson is never going to be a superstar in this league, but he’s got the brains to be a successful backup point guard wherever he goes. The Suns needed a point guard like no other team in the league, so it would’ve been a no-brainer.
17. Milwaukee Bucks
Original Pick: Donte DiVincenzo
Re-Draft Pick: Landry Shamet
The Milwaukee Bucks got into the Donte DiVincenzo hype after a couple of solid games in last year’s Final Four, but they would’ve been better off with Landry Shamet. Shamet proved to be a hard-working, crafty player that can play both guard spots, hit the three, run the offense and even put his body in the line in the defensive end. Now that Malcolm Brogdon is gone, they could really use a guy like Shamet.
18. San Antonio Spurs
Original Pick: Lonnie Walker
Re-Draft Pick: Kevin Huerter
The San Antonio Spurs drafted Lonnie Walker as he looked like one of those crafty players that were ready to break out. However, he’s lacked the playing time to prove his worth and has struggled with consistency when given the chance to impress. Instead, they could’ve gotten Kevin Huerter, a guy tailor-made for Gregg Popovich’s system with his ball-handling skills and ability to play off the ball.
19. Atlanta Hawks
Original Pick: Kevin Huerter
Re-Draft Pick: Moritz Wagner
The Atlanta Hawks got a steal in Kevin Huerter, but now that he’s off the table, they would’ve had to take Moritz Wagner. Wagner is having a bit of a breakout with the Washington Wizards, as he’s showing a consistent stroke from deep. The league is craving shooting big men right now, so, while he may be a liability in the defensive end, he’s got what it takes to have a long career in the NBA.
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
Original Pick: Josh Okogie
Re-Draft Pick: Aaron Holiday
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been looking for a point guard for several years, and Aaron Holiday could’ve been the answer to their prayers, especially with an aging and injury-prone Jeff Teague. Holiday is clearly talented and knows how to play hard on both ends of the floor, but he’s still a couple of years away from being ready to be a starter.
21. Utah Jazz
Original Pick: Grayson Allen
Re-Draft Pick: Dzanan Musa
The Utah Jazz originally took Grayson Allen, but instead, they should’ve gone with Dzanan Musa, who’d be a perfect backup for last year’s version of Joe Ingles. Musa is smart and a more capable playmaker than people credit him for. Also, he’s got a green light to shoot from long range, and, as most European players, knows how to play team defense at a high level, so he’d be a perfect fit for the Jazz.
22. Chicago Bulls
Original Pick: Chandler Hutchinson
Re-Draft Pick: Robert Williams
The Chicago Bulls originally took Chandler Hutchinson, but he’s failed to establish himself as the team’s answer in the small forward spot. Instead, they could’ve taken Robert Williams, who’s still a couple of years away from being ready to be a regular starter in the NBA, but that could potentially be one of the best defending big men if he avoids foul trouble.
23. Indiana Pacers
Original Pick: Aaron Holiday
Re-Draft Pick: Elie Okobo
The Indiana Pacers fell in love with Aaron Holiday and want him to be their starting point guard for the future. But with him off the table and Victor Oladipo as their main ball-handler, they would’ve taken Elie Okobo. Okobo does all the little things well and rarely makes mistakes, but isn’t particularly great at anything, honestly.
24. Portland Trail Blazers
Original Pick: Anfernee Simmons
Re-Draft Pick: Bruce Brown Jr
Bruce Brown was on a roll to start the year, but whether he’s able to keep on the pace and be a consistent scorer in this league is yet to be seen. In our re-draft, he’d be the Blazers’ first man off the bench. He’s proven to be a solid ball-handler and playmaker, and he’s done a lot of damage playing off-ball as well, so he’d be a perfect backup for the Blazers with Damian Lillard y CJ McCollum on board.
25. Los Angeles Lakers
Original Pick: Moritz Wagner
Re-Draft Pick: Anfernee Simmons
The Los Angeles Lakers originally landed Moritz Wagner with the 25th overall pick, but eventually traded him away. Now, they would’ve gotten Anfernee Simmons, a walking bucket and solid scorer that has proven that he’s not afraid of taking a big shot. Simmons is still unpolished and tends to lose his focus in the defensive end, but he’s got Sixth Man of the Year potential.
26. Philadelphia 76ers
Original Pick: Landry Shamet
Re-Draft Pick: Hamidou Diallo
The Philadelphia 76ers got a major steal on Landry Shamet at 26, but this time, they would have to try his luck with another intriguing player with high upside. Hamidou Diallo is an athletic freak and an explosive scorer, but he’s been wildly inconsistent so far. Still, he’s worthy of some playing time to see whether he turns out to be a solid backup in this league.
27. Boston Celtics
Original Pick: Robert Williams
Re-Draft Pick: Troy Brown Jr
The Boston Celtics got a diamond in the rough in Robert Williams, a guy with the potential to be one of the toughest rim protectors in the league. But, with him out of the table, they would’ve been forced to take another wing player – and most likely trade him. Troy Brown Jr is a solid sharpshooter and could be a solid role player in this league if he’s able to knock down those shots consistently.
28. Golden State Warriors
Original Pick: Jacob Evans
Re-Draft Pick: Kostas Antetokounmpo
The Golden State Warriors took Jacob Evans with the 28th overall pick, but lack of playing time and injuries have prevented him from making an impact. Instead, they could’ve landed Kostas Antetokounmpo, for the sole purpose of trying to make a run at his older brother Giannis in case he decides to leave the Bucks and enter free agency.
29. Brooklyn Nets
Original Pick: Dzanan Musa
Re-Draft Pick: Omari Spellman
The Brooklyn Nets took a nice gamble on Dzanan Musa, who’s got the upside to become a solid role player in the league thanks to his brains and shooting. In this re-draft, they would’ve gotten Omari Spellman, a hustler that won’t give up on any loose ball, but that doesn’t bring much else to the table.
30. Atlanta Hawks
Original Pick: Omari Spellman
Re-Draft Pick: Kevin Knox
The Atlanta Hawks turned their attention to Omari Spellman, but he’s not even with the team anymore, as he made it to the Golden State Warriors. Instead, they could’ve gotten a player with some nice upside in Kevin Knox, who could turn to be a solid player if he’s able to consistently knock down shots. Also, he needs to be more active in the defensive end, but the raw talent is definitely there.