2018 NBA mock draft: Breaking down the first 30 picks

NBA Draft prospect Deandre Ayton, who may be the Phoenix Suns’ choice with the No. 1 overall pick in this month’s NBA draft, talks to the media after an individual workout with the Suns, Wednesday, June 6, 2018 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

MIAMI — The 2018 NBA Draft is almost here. The two-round draft will begin Thursday at 7 p.m. from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Heat don’t have a pick in either round, but they could trade for or buy a selection. Here’s how we see the first round going …

1. Phoenix Suns: DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona

Analysis: The Suns have a hole to fill at center and the consensus No. 1 pick is a center. Perfect fit for a rebuilding Phoenix team.

2. Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Duke

Analysis: Bagley enters the draft after earning the ACC Player of the Year award as a freshman. He averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game in one season at Duke and he could end up as one of the best scorers in this draft class.

3. Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid

Analysis: A skilled 6-foot-8 playmaker who will make an immediate impact. The 19-year-old has spent the past few years playing overseas for Real Madrid and won EuroBasket gold with Goran Dragic as a member of the Slovenian national team.

4. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr., F/C, Michigan State

Analysis: A 6-foot-11 big man with a 7-foot-5 wingspan who is a perfect fit in the modern NBA. Jackson is one of the draft’s top rim protectors and has the agility to switch one through five.

5. Dallas Mavericks: Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas

Analysis: Bamba’s upside seems limitless as a 7-footer with a 7-foot-9 wingspan who has the potential to be an elite rim protector. Oh, and he’s also shown the ability to shoot threes.

6. Orlando Magic: Trae Young, G, Oklahoma

Analysis: A guard with superstar potential. Young could turn into one of the best offensive players in the league, but defense is a question mark.

7. Chicago Bulls: Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke

Analysis: There are players in this draft with more talent, but Carter is one of the most well-rounded prospects in this class. Some have even compared him to Al Horford.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Mikal Bridges, F, Villanova

Analysis: With LeBron James’ future up in the air, what will the Cavaliers do with this pick? Bridges is a safe choice who will at least be a quality 3-and-D player.

9. New York Knicks: Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri

Analysis: The talent is there, but is he healthy? Porter was limited to just three games in his lone season at Missouri because of a bank injury that required surgery.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky

Analysis: As one of the youngest prospects in the draft, Knox is a versatile two-way player with plenty of talent.

11. Charlotte Hornets: Collin Sexton, G, Alabama

Analysis: Kemba Walker’s future in Charlotte is uncertain, so why not draft his possible long-term replacement? And if Walker stays in Charlotte, Sexton will be a solid backup.

12. Los Angeles Clippers: Lonnie Walker, G, Miami

Analysis: Above average athleticism, a 6-foot-10 wingspan and a solid outside shot are all traits that make Walker an intriguing prospect with a lot of upside.

13. Los Angeles Clippers: Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M

Analysis: A big made for the modern NBA who can pretty much switch one through five as a defender. Clint Capela-ish.

14. Denver Nuggets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky

Analysis: With the help of a 7-foot wingspan, he’s an above average defender at the guard position.

15. Washington Wizards: Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State

Analysis: Bridges can make an immediate impact on the defensive end, but he also has the potential to turn into a quality offensive player.

16. Phoenix Suns: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Analysis: After grabbing Ayton with first pick, Suns take 6-4 guard with pick they obtained from Heat.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Troy Brown, SG, Oregon

Analysis: Brown has size and versatility to play three positions and, more importantly, guard all three.

18. San Antonio Spurs: Elie Okobo, PG, France

Analysis: Nobody has developed foreign players better than the Spurs and Okobo is a great fit with Tony Parker on his way out.

19. Atlanta Hawks: Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia

Analysis: Musa is a long wing who has potential to be a solid scorer. Only question is his athletic ability.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Analysis: Holiday has the tools to be a solid combo guard with a nice outside shot and good court awareness.

21. Utah Jazz: Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Ohio State

Analysis: Diop was rewarded for returning to school with a breakout year, going from averaging  9.7 points to 19.8 points.

22. Chicago Bulls: Chandler Hutchinson, SG/SF, Boise State

Analysis: A rare senior who has benefited by playing four years and improving every season. Has maturity to play right away.

23. Indiana Pacers:  Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Analysis: Mature player who is a two-time Big East defensive player of the year and shot 41 percent on 3-pointers last year.

24. Portland Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Analysis: One of the more intriguing players in the draft. Fifth-year prep player worked out twice for the Blazers.

25. Los Angeles Lakers: Mitchell Robinson, C, N/A

Analysis: Robinson left Western Kentucky after two weeks and never returned to school. Worth a gamble and Lakers showing interest.

26. Philadelphia 76ers:  Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Analysis: Huerter is a solid shooter who has worked his way into first round with a nice combine and impressive private workouts. 

27. Boston Celtics: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Analysis: DiVincenzo followed up he heroic effort (31 points) in the national title game with a solid combine.

28. Golden State Warriors: Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke

Analysis: Trent is a border line first-round pick but fits Warriors with his 3-point shooting and versatility. 

29. Brooklyn Nets: Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova

Analysis: The AP Player of the Year and Wooden Award winner is a heady player with great awareness. Must improve defense.

30. Atlanta Hawks: Grayson Allen, SG, Duke

Analysis: Lacking athleticism but a great shooter who can score off the dribble and as a catch-and-shoot player.

[This may not be the summer Pat Riley is able to work his magic, which will leave Heat fans with an empty feeling again]

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