Dallas Mavericks

NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Mavs take Duke star with No. 5 pick

Marvin Bagley III could become the Dallas Mavericks' best low-post scorer right away.
Marvin Bagley III could become the Dallas Mavericks' best low-post scorer right away. AP file

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.

18. San Antonio Spurs, Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech, 6-5, 195

Smith will need some coaching, but who better to mold him than Gregg Popovich? His athleticism at both ends of the floor is tantalizing.

19. Atlanta Hawks (from MIN), Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova, 6-2, 200

Dennis Schroder could be trade bait next season. Brunson's ceiling isn't all that high, but it's so hard to ignore how clutch he was at Villanova.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from OKC via UTA), Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke, 6-6, 209

This could be one of the last picks of the Tom Thibodeau era. The Timberwolves' head coach will love his defensive abilities and effort.

21. Utah Jazz, Jontay Porter, C, Missouri, 6-11, 215

He's the younger brother of Michael Porter Jr. He's just not quite as skilled.

22. Chicago Bulls (from NO), Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6-8, 190

He needs to put on a good amount of weight. Chicago is in need of creativity on offense.

23. Indiana Pacers, Trevon Duval, PG, Duke; 6-3, 193

The Pacers need a solid, plug-and-play point guard. Duval earned a ton of reps playing for Coach K.

24. Portland Trail Blazers, Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State, 6-4, 180

His stock dipped a bit at the end of the season. He could benefit from some time under Damian Lillard.

25. Los Angeles Lakers (from CLE), Anfernee Simons, PG, IMG Academy

A steal here for Magic Johnson. He is coming off a post-graduate year in high school, which makes him eligible.

26. Philadelphia 76ers, Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Ohio State

Arguably the biggest wild card in the draft. Some project him in the middle third of Round 1, while others have him going in the second.

27. Boston Celtics, Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA, 6-1, 185

Scouting reports view him as a versatile role player in the NBA. Sounds like a good pickup for Brad Stevens.

28. Golden State Warriors, Jacob Evans, SG, Cincinnati, 6-6, 210

The 20-year-old led the Bearcats in scoring last season. He'd have time to mature on Golden State's bench.

29. Brooklyn Nets (from TOR), Chimezie Metu, PF, USC, 6-11, 225

Brooklyn desperately needs scoring help at the power forward spot. Metu has ideal frame for a stretch-four.

30. Atlanta Hawks (from HOU via LAC), Grayson Allen, SG, Duke, 6-4, 185

In our last draft he fell to the Mavericks in the second round. The Hawks need his shooting.

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