With the 2018 NBA draft here, we deliver all the latest NBA mock draft picks for the Washington Wizards first-round draft pick at No. 15 overall.
For the first time in years, the Washington Wizards have a legit first-round draft pick and have many wondering what type of player they can select with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
Not so fast, Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld says. Ben Standig of The Sports Capital reports the Wizards are telling teams they’re open to trading down their No. 15 pick if a team is willing to inherit one of the Wizards expiring contracts.
The Washington Wizards with expiring contracts include two starters Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris, along with bench players Jason Smith, Tomas Satoransky and Jodie Meeks. Most notably, the Wizards are more likely to trade Gortat or Morris, both who bring much more value to the trade table over Smith, Satoransky and Meeks.
Nonetheless, nothing is set in stone just yet. So, we are still interested in who the Wizards may pick at No. 15 overall if they weren’t to trade down.
Without further ado, we roundup the latest NBA mock drafts from around the web and major sports networks.
Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover
Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State
Jeremy Woo of SI.com’s The Crossover issued his 2018 NBA Mock Draft 10.0 just days before the draft projects Michigan State forward Miles Bridges to land at No. 15 to the Washington Wizards.
The 20-year-old forward averaged 17.1 points, seven rebounds and shot an impressive 36.4 percent from beyond the arc in his sophomore under Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo. Bridges also developed his free throw shooting this past season by increasing his free throw percentage from 68.5 percent to a respectable 85.3 percent.
Woo gives his thoughts on Bridges possibly joining the Wizards:
"The Wizards could trade down from here and aim to shed salary if there’s nobody they love on the board. It’s also possible a prospect they like falls to them, with Bridges being one of those candidates. Though he’s a tweener, Bridges is a good rebounder and passable jump shooter who has potential to be versatile defensively. The Wizards’ frontcourt stands to get more athletic, and having Bridges in the rotation at forward could enable them to play smaller and faster—and to John Wall’s strengths—much more frequently. He’d be great value here if he slips."
David Aldridge of NBA.com
Robert Williams, F/C, Texas A&M
TNT Analyst and NBA.com writer David Aldridge published his Morning Tip: 2018 Mock Draft with projections for all 30 first-round draft picks ahead of Thursday’s NBA draft.
At No. 15 overall, Aldridge predicts and recommends the Washington Wizards selecting big man Robert Williams of Texas A&M, who can rejuvenate the Wizards frontcourt in desperate need of young size.
Ranked No. 6 in Aldridge’s Big Board 2018: Bigs, Williams averaged nearly a double-double in his sophomore year at Texas A&M with 10.4 points and 9.2 rebounds. Williams 2.6 blocks per game were second best in the SEC only behind Auburn’s Anfernee McLemore who led the league with 2.7 blocks per game.
Aldridge delivered his insights on the Wizards selecting Williams:
"Picking Williams would be a tell that the Wizards think they can find another home for Marcin Gortat, who’ll be entering the final year of his contract and with whom Wall has been fussin’ with for a while. Williams should also be more impactful offensively playing with better shooters; A&M was an abysmal 283rd in the country in three-point shooting (.329) last season. The Wizards, as we all should know by now, are very good shooting threes; they just need to shoot more of them."
Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
CBS Sports’ Gary Parish released his 2018 NBA Mock Draft and tabs Miami’s guard Lonnie Walker to the Wizards at No. 15 overall. The freshman guard averaged 11.5 points and shot 41.5 percent from the field in 27.8 minutes per game at Miami.
Despite a slow start to his college basketball career by averaging just 8.1 points through the Hurricanes first 15 games, Walker’s game skyrocketed by scoring 14.5 points per game through the remaining 17 games of the season.
Parish had this to say about the NBA draft prospect:
"Yes, he only shot 34.6 percent from 3-point range this season. But, remember, Walker shot 40 percent from beyond the arc two summers ago on the Nike EYBL circuit. So his lower percentage at Miami isn’t too concerning and probably has more to do with his teammates than him."
The Washington Post
Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State
Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post delivered his NBA mock draft 2018 and slates Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State at No. 15 to the Washington Wizards.
Bates-Diop is coming off a magnificent senior season at Ohio State by reaching career highs in points (19.8), rebounds (8.7), 48 percent shooter, blocks (1.6) and steals (0.9) which earned him 2017-18 Big Ten Player of the Year.
Below is analysis from Bontemps:
"This spot could go in a few directions. Smith will be a consideration if he’s on the board, as could Knox and Troy Brown. But Bates-Diop should be able to immediately step in and provide shooting and defense on the wings, plus true size to defend big forwards — something the Wizards need in a big way."
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
Jeff Zillgitt, Michael Singer and Sam Amick of USA Today crafted their 2018 NBA mock draft 3.0 predicts University of Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
The 6-foot-6 Gilgeous-Alexander could be the backup point guard the Wizards have been in search of for the past several years to help orchestrate the offensive when Wizards All-Star John Wall needs to sit a few minutes.
Gilgeous-Alexander registered 14.4 points per game and 5.1 assists in his freshman year at Kentucky. The Canada native led the SEC in minutes and games played, along with his 189 total assists finished third in the SEC rankings.
A quick analysis from USA Today on Gilgeous-Alexander:
"Give him a few years to develop more of an offensive repertoire, and Gilgeous-Alexander is an ideal NBA point guard. His length, passing and defense are all intriguing, but don’t expect him to orchestrate an NBA offense as a rookie."