The 2018 NBA Draft took place June 21 at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, in Brooklyn, New York. As predicted, University of Arizona phenom Deandre Ayton was selected first in the draft by the Phoenix Suns. The seven-foot, 250 pound center was drafted to his hometown team after spending one season with the Arizona Wildcats and earning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors. Ayton was the University of Arizona’s first ever first pick in the NBA draft.
Marvin Bagley III, Duke University’s freshman, was the second pick in this year’s draft. Bagley went to the Sacramento Kings. Bagley, who averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds in his one year at Duke, impressed NBA teams with his great scoring ability. He earned ACC Player of the Year honors. Bagley is a the grandson to two-time NBA All-Star Joe Caldwell whose number is retired at Arizona State.
A surprising move came from the Dallas Mavericks, who traded their fifth pick out of the University of Oklahoma, Trae Young, to the Atlanta Hawks for Luka Doncic of Slovenia.
The Philadelphia 76ers then traded their pick Mikal Bridges, former Villanova guard-forward, in order to get 6-foot-4-inch shooting guard Zhaire Smith from Texas. The Los Angeles Clippers elected to trade their twelfth pick to the Charlotte Hornets in addition to two future second round picks to acquire point guard Shai Gilgeous Alexander. Ten of the first 11 picks in this year’s draft were college freshman.
Missouri power forward Michael Porter Jr. was considered to be a top three pick according to CBS Sports. He dropped down to the 14th pick made by the Denver Nuggets due to concerns about a back injury he sustained early into his freshman season at Missouri.
The 2018 draft class is said one of the best since the 2003 draft class, which included none other than Lebron James. The newest members of the NBA will have an opportunity to prove to teams they made the right decision as they show off their skills in Las Vegas at NBA Summer League, which kicks off July 6.