Dallas Mavericks

NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Mavs pass on Mo Bamba, opt for Mizzou superstar instead

Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. could be the Mavericks choice in the first round of the upcoming NBA Draft.
Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. could be the Mavericks choice in the first round of the upcoming NBA Draft.

Now that the list of available prospects is finally set, speculation about the 2018 NBA Draft can really get started.

There's still a few weeks to go before NBA commissioner Adam Silver announces picks at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 21, but the Mavericks have already been linked to the hottest NBA Draft trade rumor out there with the Boston Celtics.

Right before the start of Memorial Day weekend, Sean Devveny of Sporting News reported that Boston was considering a trade that would include its No. 27 overall pick, one of its first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, and a young talent like forward Jaylen Brown or guard Terry Rozier.

In return, the Mavericks would send their No. 5 pick to the Celtics, who would, according to the report, select Mohamed Bamba out of Texas.

It's unknown if the team's have engaged in trade discussions in the days since.

As much as the Mavs need a big-man, they need a player who can create their own shot from different spots on the floor just as much. Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr. were first and second on the team in scoring, respectively, neither averaged more that 20 points per game. Despite their age difference, both have the potential to increase their production, but will need another elite scorer in the lineup to do so.

So, where will they find that player? Our fourth mock draft will tell you.

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

He was probably always getting taken here. But the rumors about Luka Doncic pulling out of this year's draft have solidified Ayton's position at the top.

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

Assuming he comes out, he's getting drafted with the No. 2 overall pick. The question is: will a team move up, or could a savvy front office try to hoodwink Kings general manager Vlade Divac.

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

He might have failed the "Wolf of Wall Street Street" test at the combine. But his ability to further develop a two-way game in the paint and away from the basket outweigh his inconsistent motor.

4. Memphis Grizzlies, Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke, 6-11, 235

They have a few other young projects on the roster at the power forward spot. However, none possess Bagley's combination of height, athleticism and an innate ability to score from anywhere on the court.

5. Dallas Mavericks, Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri, 6-11, 216

The Missouri product insists he's fine, even though he missed all but three games of his freshman season recovering from microdiscectomy spinal surgery in November. And some front office's around the league are leery of his health going forward.

Still, this is a player that was projected to be the top pick in this draft before the start of the college basketball season. It's hard to imagine the health concerns have dropped his stock that much.

Michael Porter Jr. , who played at Missouri, fields questions from reporters about his draft situation on May 17, 2018

6. Orlando Magic, Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas, 7-0, 215

The Magic currently start 10-year (?!) veteran D.J. Augustin at the point. Even as the last available player of the first-tier of prospects Bamba is still a cut above anyone else.

7. Chicago Bulls, Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma, 6-2, 180

The Bulls luck out here. Kris Dunn might be a career backup and Cameron Payne barely put out a double-digit scoring average.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from BKN), Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke, 6-10, 26

If you've watched a single second of the NBA Finals, then you know that LeBron James has virtually no scoring help. Maybe Carter plays a factor in convincing James to stay in Cleveland.

9. New York Knicks, Colin Sexton Jr., PG, Alabama, 6-2, 183

He checks almost all the boxes for a potentially elite point guard. And the Knicks don't need a home run, they need a double.

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

You could probably count the number of mock's that don't have the 76ers taking Bridges on one hand. He might also have the opportunity to learn from J.J. Reddick, if the pending free agent takes a paycut.

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

The franchise should make the painful decision to trade All-Star guard Kemba Walker. But new general manager Mitch Kupchak is aggressive and will look to find a more NBA-ready player at an equally pressing position of need.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit), Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami, 6-4, 192

Apparently, his stock is rising. The Clippers have multiple positions of need.

13. Los Angeles Clippers, 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.

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, Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M, 6-8, 240

It would be a major steal for this team if the center dropped this far down. Starting center Martin Gortat will turn 35 next season.

16. Phoenix Suns (from MIA), Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Ohio State

The Suns new starting lineup will include Ayton, Dragan Bender, Josh Jackson, Devin Booker and Tyler Ullis. It's an extremely young starting five and could give it some versatility on defense.

17. Milwaukee Bucks, Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech, 6-5, 19

Guards Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon had abysmal postseasons. Milwaukee needs to swing for the fences here if they are going to keep

18. San Antonio Spurs, Khyri Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton, 6-3, 200

It's so difficult to predict what Greg Popvich is going to do in the draft. At some point, they are going to need to get younger in the back court.

19. Atlanta Hawks (from MIN), Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke, 6-6, 209

They need a ton of help at both guard spots. Trent has good height for a shooting guard in today's NBA.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from OKC via UTA), Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova, 6-5, 205

This could be one of the last picks of the Tom Thibodeau era. DiVincenzo made the right call to leave school.

21. Utah Jazz, Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6-8, 190

Musa needs to add some muscle. But he fills a major need.

22. Chicago Bulls (from NO), Chandler Hutchinson, SF, Boisie State, 6'7, 193

Hutchinson's three-point shooting stats will need to come up. However, he won't have to carry a heavy scoring burden like he did at Boisie State.

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, Anfernee Simons, PG, IMG Academy

He is coming off a post-graduate year in high school, which makes him eligible. Call him Damian Lillard insurance.

25. Los Angeles Lakers (from CLE), Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State, 6-4, 180

Ideally, there would be a replacement available for the likely departure of Julius Randle in free agency. It's also possible that Magic Johnson is counting on free agency to bring in reinforcements at forward.

26. Philadelphia 76ers, Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA, 6-1, 185

Holiday had a solid college career for the Bruins. He will become the backup point guard guard the 76ers needed in their 2018 playoff series against the Celtics.

27. Boston Celtics, Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova, 6-2, 200

Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart could both be gone by this time next year. Head coach Brad Stevens will have no trouble coaching this four-year college starter.

28. Golden State Warriors, Troy Brown, SF, Oregon, 6'7, 210

For the second year in a row this franchise takes a high-potential forward from Oregon. Brown was a five-star recruit who didn't get much of a chance to shine on a middling Ducks team.

29. Brooklyn Nets (from TOR), Devonte' Graham, PG, Kansas, 6-2. 180

D'Angelo Russell needs a backup not named Jeremy Lin or Spencer Dinwiddie. He could make for an excellent point guard on a second unit.

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.

Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle talked about Nowitzki's return next season at a news conference Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Tyson Chandler, Phoenix Suns center and Nowitzki's ex-teammate, also paid a visit.

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