NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Mavs take Duke star with No. 5 pick
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | 6 days ago

The Dallas Mavericks officially hold the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

The NBA draft lottery was held in Chicago on Tuesday night.

This season the team finished with the third-worst record in the NBA (24-58). And thanks to a tie-breaker they came into the evening with a 42.6 percent chance of a top-three pick, and 13.8 percent chance at the No. 1 overall selection.

They also couldn't fall past the sixth overall pick.

Now, with the fifth pick, the team will have a chance to actually capitalize on a high draft selection. Since the inception of the franchise, the various front offices have a poor track record of finding top-tier talent.

Here is our latest guess at the player the Mavericks will take with that No. 5 pick in the 2018 NBA draft. This post will be updated.

1. Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona, 7-0, 260 pounds

A virtual lock. Staying close to his college program should make the transition to the pro game easier.

2. Sacramento Kings, Luka Doncic, SG, Real Madrid, 6-7, 220

Arguably the biggest winner on Tuesday night. This team really needs a big small forward with a strong offensive skill set.

3. Atlanta Hawks, Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State, 6-11, 240

Pairing Mohamed Bamba's defense with John Collins is tempting. Jackson's overall game is just more balanced.

4. Memphis Grizzlies, Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri, 6-11, 216

Another team that really needs a young wing scorer. If Porter and Mike Conley Jr. come back healthy alongside center Marc Gasol, this team could see a quick turnaround.

5. Dallas Mavericks, Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke, 6-11, 235

Fans are surely frustrated the team didn't secure a top three overall pick. But with the way everything lined up in the lottery, Dallas gets a gift here. Let's get the one negative out of the way. Bagley is so bad on defense that Coach K had to switch to a zone defense at several points throughout the season. And even then his star forward struggled.

The good news is that Bagley was the best player and the leading scorer on a team loaded with future NBA talent. Assuming Dirk Nowitzki doesn't find the fountain of youth and Dwight Powell doesn't become a double-double machine overnight, Bagley becomes this team's best low-post scorer right away.

6. Orlando Magic, Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma, 6-2, 180

This move might raise a few eyebrows. But without looking it up, name the Magic's leading scorer last season.

7. Chicago Bulls, Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas, 7-0, 207

Chicago benefits from Orlando's gamble. He should complement Lauri Markkanen nicely.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from BKN), Colin Sexton Jr., PG, Alabama, 6-2, 183

This team still lands the point guard it needs. This pick works whether LeBron stays or goes.

9. New York Knicks, Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke, 6-10, 263

He might seem like an odd choice here. Until you consider these are the Knicks' forwards aside from Kristaps Porzingis: Enes Kanter, Lance Thomas, Kyle O'Quinn, Luke Kornet, Isaiah Hicks.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (from L.A. Lakers), Mikal Bridges, SG, Villanova, 6-7, 210

This marriage makes too much sense. The 76ers need a wing and Bridges made his name playing right down the road.

11. Charlotte Hornets, Miles Bridges, PF, Michigan State, 6-7, 225

The franchise's plans for All-Star guard Kemba Walker will determine the course of action here. If they don't take a guard, they will likely look to find an uprgrade for Frank Kaminsky and Marvin Williams at the power forward position.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky, 6-6, 171

Patrick Beverly underwent major knee surgery last November and will turn 30 in July. Assuming he comes back healthy, he will serve as a mentor to this developmental point guard.

13. Los Angeles Clippers, Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M, 6-8, 240

Los Angeles adds another shot-blocking Aggie to its roster to go along with DeAndre Jordan.

14. Denver Nuggets, Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky, 6-9, 205

He can play small forward and power forward in a small-ball lineup. The team's starters at those positions are 30-year-old Wilson Chandler and 33-year-old Paul Millsap.

15. Washington Wizards, Mitchell Robinson, C, None, 6-11, 215

Again, the 20-year-old didn't play college basketball at all, so it's hard to say how he'll turn out. Starting center Marcin Gortat is 34.

16. Phoenix Suns (from MIA), Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami, 6-4, 192

This could be a reach. But even though the roster has some good, young talent, Phoenix ranked dead last in the NBA in 3-point percentage last season (33.4). Walker gets buckets.

17. Milwaukee Bucks, Khyri Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton, 6-3, 200

Guards Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon had abysmal postseasons. Thomas would give whomever the new coach turns out to be another backcourt option.

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