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2018 NBA mock draft 4.0: Marvin Bagley III rising, point guards climbing, Michael Porter Jr. intriguing

The NBA draft is upon us, and despite a dearth of European talent, the 2018 class is a very deep one, with quality at small forward and point guard. However, in a wing-driven, perimeter-oriented league, it is Arizona freshman center Deandre Ayton who likely will be selected first overall. But there is plenty of intrigue surrounding forward Michael Porter Jr. and his medicals, and Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic and his all-around skills. And, no, in case you’re wondering, LiAngelo Ball will not get drafted.

Yahoo Sports’ 2018 NBA mock draft 3.0

1. Phoenix Suns: C Deandre Ayton, Fr., Arizona

The Suns get a potential superstar to plug-and-play from Day 1. Ayton’s fluidity and soft touch around the rim will blend nicely alongside Devin Booker and Josh Jackson. 3.0 position: 1

2. Sacramento Kings F Marvin Bagley III, Fr., Duke

Bagley is a sensational athlete and high-level scorer who will love running next to guard De’Aaron Fox. The Kings now have two foundational pieces, both of whom are left-handed with freakish speed and leaping ability. 3.0 position: 5


3. Atlanta Hawks: G/F Luka Doncic, 19, Slovenia

I’ve loved Doncic for the Hawks for a while. Why? Because he’s a versatile playmaker who thinks the game at an elite level. Doncic has all of the tools to morph into the cornerstone of a rebuilding Hawks franchise. No European teenager — not Kristaps Porzingis, not Drazen Petrovic, not even Dirk Nowitzki — is more accomplished than Doncic. He is the youngest player to earn EuroLeague MVP and EuroLeague Final Four MVP honors. Doncic can dribble, shoot and pass — it’s that simple. And that says a lot about how personnel people evaluate talent today. 3.0 position: 2

Michael Porter Jr. is a high-risk, high-reward player. (AP)

4. Memphis Grizzlies: F Michael Porter Jr., Fr., Missouri

The Grizzlies believe they can win 50 games next season, and Porter gives them the best chance to do that. An immensely talented offensive weapon who plays with rare fluidity, the 6-foot-10 Porter is an enticing option to help reinvigorate Memphis after a woeful 22-win season. The Grizzlies hope the 19-year-old (he turns 20 later this month) is the next Paul George3.0 position: 7

5. Dallas Mavericks: C Mohamed Bamba, Fr., Texas

Bamba, who had a combine-record 7-foot-10 wingspan, ranked second in the country with 3.7 blocks per game and has shown in workouts that he has a soft shooting stroke with 3-point range. Bamba told Yahoo Sports that he believes he is the best player in the draft and noted his 4-0 prep record against Ayton.  3.0 position: 3

6. Orlando Magic: F Jaren Jackson Jr., Fr., Michigan State

The 6-11 Jackson has said he wants to become the next Anthony Davis. The good news? Jackson is only 18 and has tangible offensive upside (he shot 39.6 percent from three) with remarkable defensive versatility. The bad news? He doesn’t handle the ball well and has a basic arsenal of offensive moves. 3.0 position: 4

7. Chicago BullsC Wendell Carter, Fr., Duke

Carter, who I’ve been told compares favorably to Al Horford, is a productive center whose 16 double-doubles rank second all-time among Duke freshmen. While he wasn’t asked to expand his range in college, Carter displays good balance, form and a nice release. He would be a legitimate center to pair with second-year stretch big Lauri Markkanen. With his 9-foot standing reach, the 19-year-old Georgia native is one of the safest players available. He has talked publicly about the evolution of the NBA game as it pertains to big men, and he apparently fully grasps the concept of evolving. 3.0 position: 4

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: PG Trae Young, Fr., Oklahoma

Young is the first player in college basketball history to lead the nation in both points (27.4) and assists (8.7) per game. A crafty playmaker with parking-lot range, the openness of the NBA game will help his swashbuckling style and provide excitement for Cleveland should LeBron James leave. For what it’s worth, Bron believes Young is a “very special player.” 3.0 position: 6

9. New York Knicks: F Kevin Knox, Fr., Kentucky

Knox, who earned SEC Co-Freshman of the Year honors, certainly has question marks — specifically mental toughness and inconsistency — but as the third-youngest player in the draft, the 18-year-old has the measurables (6-9 with a near 7-foot wingspan) to be a matchup nightmare. Now he just needs to iron out his shooting stroke (34.1 percent from three), so he can fully adapt to the way threes and fours play today. 3.0 position: 20


10. Philadelphia 76ers: SG/SF Mikal Bridges, Jr., Villanova

Bridges is a proven winner who has grown every year in college, adding toughness, knockdown shooting and elite defense. The 76ers need another wing to spread the floor for playmaking dynamo Ben Simmons, and they need the high character and intelligence of Bridges around Joel Embiid. Bridges should continue his growth as a playmaker and end up as not only one of the best values in this class, but one of its best players as well. 3.0 position: 8


11. Charlotte Hornets: PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Fr., Kentucky

Charlotte is impressed with Gilgeous-Alexander, one of the real risers in this draft who came off the bench for coach John Calipari at the beginning of last season. With excellent size and length (7-foot wingspan) for a lead guard, the playmaking Gilgeous-Alexander provides insurance for the potential departure of All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, who’s set to hit free agency after next season. 3.0 position: 16

12. Los Angeles Clippers: PG Collin Sexton, Fr., Alabama

With a 6-7-plus wingspan and phenomenal lateral quickness, Sexton is a defensive menace with a relentless approach on both sides of the court. If he improves as a 3-point shooter, the SEC Co-Freshman of the Year has All-Star ability. 3.0 position: 14

13. Los Angeles Clippers: SG Lonnie Walker IV, Fr., Miami

Walker is an attacking guard with great athleticism (40-inch max vertical) and finishing ability around the rim. With his near 6-11 wingspan, active hands and quick feet, he will hound ball-handlers and immediately bolster the Clippers’ defense. 3.0 position: 10


14. Denver Nuggets: F Miles Bridges, Soph., Michigan State

Bridges is an outstanding athlete and a functional offensive player as a cutter and finisher, but he has the potential to be much more as he hones his jump shot. He also has the potential to be a plus defender as well. 3.0 position: 11

15. Washington Wizards: PF/C Robert Williams, Soph., Texas A&M

The 6-10 Williams is a lob-catching, rim-running, rim-protecting physical specimen with a 7-5 wingspan. If he’s motivated — as he should be playing pick-and-roll with John Wall — the Wizards will have a gem at 15. 3.0 position: 13

16. Phoenix Suns: SG Jerome Robinson, Jr., Boston College

Robinson has shot up draft boards because of his smooth jumper (40.9 percent from three) and overall offensive game. A high-character guy with combo ability, Robinson is also a big guard at 6-5, 188 pounds, with enough shiftiness to be a threat off the bounce as well. He quietly torched the ACC to the tune of almost 21 points per game as a junior, trailing only Bagley. 3.0 position: Unranked

17. Milwaukee Bucks: PG Elie Okobo, 20, France

Okobo is an offensive ace with an effective herky-jerky element to his game that will give NBA defenses fits. Think Goran Dragic or — as one front office executive told Yahoo Sports — James Harden. The 6-3 Okobo is a three-level scorer from the highly touted French Pro A League who can play out of the pick-and-roll and get to the free-throw line. Okobo should thrive playing the two-man game with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he won’t mind playing off the ball either. 3.0 position: 19

18. San Antonio Spurs: SG Donte DiVincenzo, Soph., Villanova

“The Big Ragu” has moved up draft boards after a brilliant combine and a series of impressive workouts, leading to speculation that he can become the Donovan Mitchell of the 2018 class. A fearless attacker and excellent athlete who tied this year’s combine best with a 42-inch max vertical, DiVincenzo can be the heir apparent to Manu Ginobili. Regardless of Kawhi Leonard’s future with the franchise, DiVincenzo, who can defend multiple positions, has the talent and moxie to become a building block. 3.0 position: 12

19. Atlanta Hawks: SG Khyri Thomas, Jr., Creighton

Thomas is another riser because he can shoot (41.1 percent on threes), defend multiple positions with his near 6-11 wingspan and has the physical attributes to become a viable NBA scorer off the bounce. The Hawks may not keep their plethora of draft choices, but if they do pick at No. 19, Thomas is an optimal fit who should find success in any system. 3.0 position: 23

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: SG Zhaire Smith, Fr., Texas Tech

This may be a tad low for Smith, who is an incredible athlete with the potential to be a lockdown defender and major wing rebounder. Think of him somewhere between Tony Allen and Marcus Smart. The Nuggets have struggled to find consistent play at the three, and Smith, while undersized at 6-4 1/2, could make up for that with his length (6-9 3/4 wingspan) and defensive tenacity. As one NBA coach told Yahoo Sports, it comes down to mentality for Smith, who is a lackluster creator. Does he have that type of relentless attitude that made Allen so effective? 3.0 position: 15

21. Utah Jazz: F Troy Brown, Fr., Oregon

Utah needs a 3-and-D wing to flank All-World rookie Donovan Mitchell. Brown, with an 8-9 standing reach, may not have the 3-point part down yet (he shot just 29 percent from three in college), but he has a mechanically sound jumper and is just 18 years old. A high-level athlete who attacks the paint, Brown should be a nice offensive complement to Mitchell and an ideal running mate in transition. 3.0 position: 25

22. Chicago Bulls: F Keita Bates-Diop, Sr., Ohio State

Bates-Diop, the Big Ten Player of the Year, is a fantastic wing rebounder (8.7 per game) who provides scoring punch and spreads the floor as a shooter. Bates-Diop possesses an excellent 7-3 1/2 wingspan and near 8-11 standing reach, which allows him to shrink driving lanes and cause deflections. 3.0 position: 10

23. Indiana Pacers: PG Aaron Holiday, Jr., UCLA

Holiday isn’t so much a pure point guard as he is a playmaker, but with Victor Oladipo handling most of the playmaking duties, that’s just fine. At 6-1, Holiday makes up for his lack of size with a ridiculous 6-7 3/4 wingspan and the same physical toughness that brothers Jrue and Justin have displayed. As one former NBA coach told Yahoo Sports, Holiday is a gifted natural scorer. 3.0 position: Unranked

24. Portland Trail Blazers: SG/SF Jacob Evans III, Jr., Cincinnati 

Evans is a terrific defender who understands how to use his length and quickness. An adequate shooter (37 percent from 3 last year), Evans will become more valuable as he improves his perimeter shooting. 3.0 position: 24

25. Los Angeles Lakers: F Kevin Huerter, Soph., Maryland

Huerter, who is only 19, is a splendid athlete with excellent shooting range and the chops to become a viable rebounder and defender. Two of the Lakers’ biggest needs right now? Three-point shooting and defense. The 6-7 jumping jack should be able to fill both needs. Huerter did have hand surgery and is expected to miss two months. 3.0 position: 17


26. Philadelphia 76ers: SG Grayson Allen, Sr., Duke

Allen is a bona fide NBA athlete (40.5-inch max vertical) who explodes to the cup in the open floor and is physical enough to become a plus guard rebounder. Assuming Philly doesn’t retain J.J. Redick, the experienced Allen can also step in and play from the jump. 3.0 position: Unranked

27. Boston Celtics: SG Josh Okogie, Soph., Georgia Tech

Okogie is a power guard with a sturdy body built for guarding big-time scorers. As he refines his jumper, Okogie, who ranked fourth in the ACC with 18.2 points per game, can become a valuable rotational player and possible starter. He’s exactly what GM Danny Ainge will be looking for with the uncertain future of restricted free agent Marcus Smart. Okogie, 19, tied Donte DiVincenzo with a 42-inch max vert at the combine. 3.0 position: Unranked

28. Golden State Warriors: SF Dzanan Musa, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Musa, 19, is an advanced scorer with the ability to beat you at all three levels, playing well in the extremely competitive Adriatic and Croatian leagues, two of Europe’s best. At 6-9, questions persist about Musa’s lack of athleticism and speed, but he’s a good enough offensive player to succeed. He provides wing depth and can contribute earlier rather than later. 3.0 position: 28

29. Brooklyn Nets: SG/SF Chandler Hutchison, Sr., Boise State

Hutchison — a bouncy wing with two-way upside as a 3-and-D specialist — did not participate in Chicago because of what is believed to be a first-round promise. Able to consistently guard the opposition’s top wing threat, Hutchison also can rebound and distribute. He collected nearly eight boards per game each of the last two seasons for the Broncos and averaged almost four assists as a senior. 3.0 position: 29

30.  Atlanta Hawks: SG/SF Melvin Frazier, Jr., Tulane

After posting a 7-1 3/4 wingspan, 8-9 standing reach and 40 1/2-inch vertical, Frazier was a huge combine winner. The 21-year-old wing needs to become a more consistent shooter and decision-maker, but he is the prototypical modern wing in that he guards three positions, excels in the open floor and ideally can spread the floor for guards. 3.0 position: 30

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Jordan Schultz is an NFL, NBA and NCAAB insider/analyst for Yahoo Sports.