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Re-Drafting The 2018 Draft Class: Luka Is The Clear No. 1 Overall Pick, Trae Young Goes To Sacramento As No. 2

Re-Drafting the 2018 Draft Class: Luka Is The Clear No. 1 Overall Pick, Trae Young Goes To Sacramento As No. 2

The 2018 Draft Class is one of the most talented in NBA history since most of these players have become stars or starters early on in their careers. This is the same draft that gave us 42 superstar players, and a host of future All-Stars. Probably since the 2012 draft, we have not seen this collection of talent enter one draft class. That is why in 2021, NBA teams are on high alert because we could be due for another one.

The 2018 class was stacked with talent, and while many of these picks were done correctly, it is time to re-draft the stacked 2018 Draft Class knowing what we now know. To start things off, it is time for the Phoenix Suns to form one of the best duos in the league with Luka Doncic.

1. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Deandre Ayton

Re-Draft Pick: Luka Doncic

The Phoenix Suns might argue they made the right move with the No. 1 pick because Deandre Ayton is nearing All-Star level and helped the team make the Finals this year. But there is no way Ayton is as good as Luka Doncic, a player who might be the next face of the NBA. Doncic is averaging 25.7 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 7.7 APG so far in his career and is the undisputed best player in the draft. Suns fans are only dreaming about what Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, and Chris Paul could do together on the court.

2. Sacramento Kings

Original Pick: Marvin Bagley III

Re-Draft Pick: Trae Young

The Kings believed in Marvin Bagley III so much that they took him ahead of some very big names including Trae Young and Luka Doncic. Bagley III has incredible athleticism but has yet to stay healthy enough to showcase what he can do. The power forward has a very high ceiling and he should not be labeled a flop just yet, but there is no way he should be chosen over Trae Young. Young is one of the best point guards in the NBA with career averages of 25.3 PPG and 9.4 APG and has already made an Eastern Conference Finals appearance this season.

3. Atlanta Hawks

Original Pick: Trae Young

Re-Draft Pick: Deandre Ayton

The Hawks are thanking their lucky stars they were able to draft the player they wanted: Trae Young. Young is a phenomenal offensive talent who is an unstoppable force despite having a very miniature stature. But in the re-draft, the Hawks would have ended up with Deandre Ayton as their franchise center over Clint Capela. Capela has been a great addition to the Hawks franchise but Ayton is a much better offensive player.

4. Memphis Grizzlies

Original Pick: Jaren Jackson Jr.

Re-Draft Pick: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

The Grizzlies made a very solid choice in Jaren Jackson Jr, a big man who is perfectly suited to the modern NBA game. Jackson Jr can hit the three, block shots, and is very athletic. Alongside Ja Morant, Jackson Jr is a franchise cornerstone for Memphis. But the Grizzlies should have taken Shai Gilgeous-Alexander instead, an incredibly athletic guard to pair with Morant. Morant and Gilgeous-Alexander would be an unstoppable duo together in due time, and will both be All-Stars very soon.

5. Dallas Mavericks

Original Pick: Luka Doncic

Re-Draft Pick: Michael Porter Jr.

Dallas got the best player in the draft by swapping picks with the Atlanta Hawks who desperately wanted Trae Young. So far, Young has had greater team success although Luka is the better player. But had the re-draft gone to plan, Dallas would still be in rebuild mode as they wait for the talented Michael Porter Jr to develop into an All-Star. Porter Jr will be an All-Star player at some point, but Luka is a once-in-a-generation talent.

6. Orlando Magic

Original Pick: Mo Bamba

Re-Draft Pick: Jaren Jackson Jr

Without question, the Magic would have taken Jaren Jackson Jr with the 6th overall pick in the draft instead of Mo Bamba. Bamba cannot be judged so early on in his career, but it is clear he isn’t as impactful as Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson Jr is averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG in his career so far and is a bright young star in the making.

7. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Wendell Carter Jr.

Re-Draft Pick: Collin Sexton

The Chicago Bulls gave up on Wendell Carter Jr, a big man who actually had a very strong season this year with the Orlando Magic. In the re-draft, there is no way the Bulls give up on Collin Sexton. Sexton is still developing, but he is a great go-to scorer who would’ve formed a great duo with Zach LaVine. With Sexton, Chicago would be in the playoffs instead of scrambling to find their new point guard in free agency (which is now Lonzo Ball).

8. Cleveland Cavaliers

Original Pick: Collin Sexton

Re-Draft Pick: Marvin Bagley III

Sexton was a great pick for the Cavaliers, although they are looking to move in to free up rotational minutes for Darius Garland. Garland might have a higher ceiling than Sexton, although the latter is a better scorer right now. In the re-draft, Cleveland ends up with Marvin Bagley III instead, a versatile power forward who still needs time to get healthy and develop. Bagley III might actually have benefitted from playing in Cleveland, a franchise known for their patience (willingly or not).

9. New York Knicks

Original Pick: Kevin Knox

Re-Draft Pick: Mikal Bridges

The Knicks ended up taking Kevin Knox, a player whose athleticism was impressive at a glance. Knox looked like a player who would be a perfect forward in today’s game, although he has not become that at all. The Knicks should have taken Mikal Bridges, one of the better two-way wings who shot 42.5% from three this season, to pair with R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle.

10. Philadelphia 76ers

Original Pick: Mikal Bridges

Re-Draft Pick: Mitchell Robinson

The 76ers did not hold onto their original draft choice in Mikal Bridges, but they could have used the athletic and defensive abilities of Mitchell Robinson. Robinson looks like a starting NBA center so playing behind Joel Embiid might have stagnated his growth, although Robinson would have been an excellent cover for the oft-injured All-Star.

11. Charlotte Hornets

Original Pick: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Re-Draft Pick: Duncan Robinson

The Hornets let a future All-Star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander get away from them, something they might regret because a pairing with him and LaMelo Ball would be mouth-watering. Instead, the Hornets should have ended up with Duncan Robinson, one of the best shooters in the NBA who holds a career average of 40.8% shooting from three so far.

12. Los Angeles Clippers

Original Pick: Miles Bridges

Re-Draft Pick: Wendell Carter Jr.

The Clippers drafted and traded Miles Bridges, a versatile forward who is a very good shooter. But Los Angeles should have gone for Wendell Carter Jr and developed him because he would likely be the starting center for them right now. Carter Jr averaged 11.2 PPG and 8.2 RPG this season and is a better athlete than current starting center Ivica Zubac.

13. Los Angeles Clippers

Original Pick: Jerome Robinson

Re-Draft Pick: Devonte’ Graham

The Clippers thought they had a solid two-way wing in Jerome Robinson, who showed flashes of promise early into his career. But Robinson has only averaged 14.2 MPG so far and has been very inconsistent with his three-point shot (31.0%). The Clippers would have benefitted greatly from Devonte’ Graham, a guard who can score and be a playmaker because they have been looking for one over the past 2 seasons.

14. Denver Nuggets

Original Pick: Michael Porter Jr.

Re-Draft Pick: Kendrick Nunn

The Denver Nuggets could not believe their luck when a top-5 talent in the 2018 draft was available at No. 14. There were a ton of counts about Porter Jr’s health (particularly his back), but he was an easy gamble at N0. 14 which turned out extremely well. In the re-draft, Porter Jr goes 5th while Denver makes do with scoring point guard Kendrick Nunn who has carved out a solid role with the Heat so far.

15. Washington Wizards

Original Pick: Troy Brown Jr.

Re-Draft Pick: Donte DiVincenzo

The Wizards went for Troy Brown Jr, a 6’6” wing player who was expected to become a decent scorer. But Brown Jr failed to continue his growth following a solid season where he averaged 10.4 PPG last year. Brown Jr was traded to the Bulls this season, where he only appeared in 13 games. DiVincenzo looks like a starting-caliber guard in the NBA and would have been a better choice for Washington.

16. Phoenix Suns

Original Pick: Zhaire Smith

Re-Draft Pick: Kevin Huerter

The Suns should have taken, and kept, Kevin Huerter rather than drafting Zhaire Smith and trading him to Philadelphia. Smith has only played in 13 NBA games so far, averaging 3.7 PPG in 11.0 MPG. Huerter is already playing over 30 MPG and his play as a scoring wing would have added to an already impressive Suns lineup.

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Original Pick: Donte DiVincenzo

Re-Draft Pick: Miles Bridges

The Milwaukee Bucks made their 2018 draft choice Donte DiVincenzo their starting guard before injuries took him out of the postseason. DiVincenzo is a crafty shooting guard who shot 37.9% from three this season and will be expected to return to the Bucks lineup as the team looks to repeat next year. Miles Bridges should have been taken instead, however, as he is an athletic forward with a more versatile game.

18. San Antonio Spurs

Original Pick: Lonnie Walker

Re-Draft Pick: Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker was always bound for San Antonio. He just looks like a Spurs player with his athleticism and defensive ability, although he has yet to take off just yet. Walker averaged 11.2 PPG this season and is becoming more confident at scoring the ball and playing great on-ball defense. Walker should try to soak up as much as he can from Gregg Popovich because the legendary coach won’t be around for much longer.

19. Atlanta Hawks

Original Pick: Kevin Huerter

Re-Draft Pick: Landry Shamet

The Hawks got a perfect wing player in their system with Kevin Huerter, a 6’7” shooter who can be relied upon to play big minutes when needed. Huerter averaged 11.9 PPG this season on 36.3% shooting from three in 30.8 MPG. Shamet is a knockdown shooter as well but is not as valuable as the taller and more athletic Huerter.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves

Original Pick: Josh Okogie

Re-Draft Pick: De’Anthony Melton

The Timberwolves made a solid choice in Josh Okogie, an athletic defensive wing who can develop a three-point shot to become a starter in the league. But De’Anthony Melton is a great defensive player who actually has some offensive ability, averaging 9.1 PPG on 41.2% shooting from three this season.

21. Utah Jazz

Original Pick: Grayson Allen

Re-Draft Pick: Mo Bamba

The Utah Jazz drafted Grayson Allen thanks to his fantastic shooting ability and flashy style of play. Allen was traded to Memphis, where he averaged 10.6 PPG on 39.1% from three this season. Instead, the Jazz would have drafted Mo Bamba, a center with talent but still has a lot of work to do to reach his potential. The Jazz could have had Bamba play backup to Rudy Gobert, where he could learn the trade of how to be a dominant defensive center.

22. Chicago Bulls

Original Pick: Chandler Hutchison

Re-Draft Pick: Jalen Brunson

The Bulls went for a 6’6” wing player in Chandler Hutchison which is normally a safe move, but drafting an undersized 6’1” point guard would have worked out better. Hutchison only averages 18.2 MPG in his career, averaging 5.7 PPG and 3.8 RPG. Brunson was one of the best bench players this year, averaging 12.6 PPG as a backup point guard for the Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls were looking for their starting point guard and Brunson could have been a solid fit at that position.

23. Indiana Pacers

Original Pick: Aaron Holiday

Re-Draft Pick: Shake Milton

The Pacers went for the brother of Jrue Holiday because the hopes of drafting an All-NBA defender would change the team’s dynamic. Aaron Holiday is a solid defender but does not move the needle as Jrue does. Instead, the Pacers would have drafted Shake Milton who is a promising guard with a ton of scoring ability.

24. Portland Trail Blazers

Original Pick: Anfernee Simons

Re-Draft Pick: Bruce Brown

The Trail Blazers made a solid choice with Anfernee Simons, a solid backup point guard who can shoot the three (42.6% this season) and control ball-handling duties. Simons is a backup as of now, but as the 22-year old improves, he can be groomed to be a starting-caliber point guard. Had the re-draft occurred, Bruce Brown would have been drafted with the No. 24 pick. Brown is a consistent defender who plays hard, and he would have been a solid addition to the Trail Blazers roster.

25. Los Angeles Lakers

Original Pick: Moritz Wagner

Re-Draft Pick: Robert Williams

The Lakers went for a 6’11” German native because he offers size and above-average shooting at his position. Wagner averages 31.5% shooting from three over his career, and is solid at the free-throw line as well (81.7%). The Lakers would have been much happier with Robert Williams, an athletic center who is much more talented. Williams would have also been a great fit with the current Lakers roster.

26. Philadelphia 76ers

Original Pick: Landry Shamet

Re-Draft Pick: Josh Okogie

The Philadelphia 76ers got one of the better shooters in the draft, as Landry Shamet has career averages of 9.2 PPG on 39.7% shooting from three. Shamet is now a part of the Phoenix Suns roster after a trade with the Nets and has been a solid role player in his career so far. The 76ers would have drafted defensive wing Josh Okogie instead, a player who still needs to improve his shooting and all-around game.

27. Boston Celtics

Original Pick: Robert Williams

Re-Draft Pick: Anfernee Simons

The Boston Celtics found a hidden gem in Robert Williams, an active center who had a solid season this year. Unfortunately for Williams, he got injured in the postseason and will be back next year to make an impact. Williams averaged 8.0 PPG and 6.9 RPG this season and will be taking a lot of the minutes at center with Tristan Thompson leaving town. Instead, the Celtics would have drafted Portland’s backup point guard Anfernee Simons in the re-draft.

28. Golden State Warriors

Original Pick: Jacob Evans

Re-Draft Pick: Kevin Knox

The Warriors selected Jacob Evans in the hopes of becoming a solid shooter, but the shooting guard has not become part of the rotation so far. In 59 games into his career, he only holds averages of 2.8 PPG. The Warriors could have been happier with Kevin Knox, one of the flops of the 2018 Draft although he can still be molded into an effective wing. The Warriors probably could have developed Knox better than the Knicks have so far.

29. Brooklyn Nets

Original Pick: Dzanan Musa

Re-Draft Pick: Troy Brown Jr.

The Brooklyn Nets went for a 6’9” perimeter player with the No. 29 pick, which wasn’t a bad move for a team that was building a talented roster. The Nets would have ended up with Troy Brown Jr, who was drafted in the top-15, but neither player have moved the needle so far.

30. Atlanta Hawks

Original Pick: Omari Spellman

Re-Draft Pick: Svi Mykhailiuk

The Hawks got a decent big man in Spellman, but they would have ended up with a shooter in Mykhailiuk instead. Spellman has career averages of 6.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG, which is close to Mykhailiuk’s averages of 7.3 PPG on 33.4% shooting from three.