2018 NBA Draft: Re-Drafting Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and Other Players

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Luka Doncic

The current media environment requires immediate analysis of the NBA draught, yet it takes time to understand how each club fared. We now have four seasons to make conclusions for the 2018 draught class. Teams would have fared far better in the first round had they known then what they know now.Theoretically prime age for these athletes is still in their early to mid-20s. Therefore, there is also a great deal of subjectivity at work. There are many decisions to be made in order to sort through everyone.It’s also important to take into account basketball’s more widespread changes. 

The concept of positionless basketball, and thus, the significance of wings, wasn’t as well-known four years ago as it is now.The first round should look like this if it were to be redrafted today after combining all of the aforementioned factors into sort of an analytical cocktail (assuming an order of 30 generic teams, not the original order from 2018).

 Luka Doncic,
Luka Doncic,

Jevon Carter (30) (Originally Picked 32nd)In his four seasons in the NBA, Jevon Carter hasn’t had the opportunity to put up a lot of raw output, but he has established himself as a reliable three-and-D backup guard.Carter has attempted 569 three-pointers in his career, with a lifetime field goal percentage of 38.3 percent, and a defensive box plus/minus of 0.5. 

Over that time, just nine other players met or beat all three benchmarks.

Moritz Wagner  (Originally Picked 25th)One of the NBA’s most proficient Moneyball scorers is Moritz Wagner, who has quietly risen to the position. He shoots from three-point range or within ten feet of the basket for almost all of his shots. His effective field-goal percentage ranks tied for 33rd in the league among players who made at least as many threes over the previous three seasons.Landry Shamet (Originally Picked 26th)With even fewer rebounds, steals, and blocks per game than Wagner, Landry Shamet is another offensive-first guy.

 Luka Doncic,
Luka Doncic,

Kendrick Nunn (Originally Undrafted)Kendrick Nunn played the whole 2018–19 G-League season and missed the entire previous one due to a knee injury, but he shown enough in his two NBA seasons to be selected in the first round of the re-draftJae’Sean Tate (Originally Undrafted)Jae’Sean Tate spent the first two years of his professional career playing abroad after going undrafted. The Houston Rockets brought him to the NBA after seeing enough of his Swiss army knife-like game in Australia, and he hasn’t disappointed.

KENRICK WILLIAMS”Kenny Hustle” because to his effort on defence and strong rebounding rate for his positionGrayson Allen (Originally Picked 21st)The fact that Grayson Allen dropped a few spots from his initial selection position has moreto do with the class as a whole than it does with him. He has far exceeded expectations for a first-round pick during his career.

Gary Trent, Jr. (Originally Picked 37th)Gary Trent Jr., Allen’s Duke teammate, has slightly more points over the past three seasons, but he performs worse in terms of efficiency and all-around measures. He is chosen over Allen in the re-draft for a couple reasons.

 Players
Players

Bruce Brown  (Originally Picked 42nd)He spent virtually all of his time on the wing during his first season and contributed good defence there. He briefly played point guard in Year 2 and shown the ability to produce for others. Despite being 6’4″, he frequently played as an offensive rim-runner centre for the Brooklyn Nets.

Devonte’ Graham originally Picked 34th)Since averaging 18.2 points per game in his second season, Devonte’ Graham’s playing time, productivity, and efficiency have all declined. However, his teams have benefited greatly from his ability to consistently make three-pointers.

Luka Doncic,

Donte DiVincenzo (20) (Originally Picked 17th)The Milwaukee Bucks’ Donte DiVincenzo was hampered by injuries in 2021–22, but he had quietly developed into a reliable playmaker and three-and-D wing during the previous two seasons.

Duncan Robinson, age 19. (Originally Undrafted)Duncan Robinson has reached the age of 28. He almost probably lacks the upside that most of the other guys in this situation have. He may already have reached his peak.

2018 NBA Draft
2018 NBA Draft

Marvin Bagley III 18. (Originally Picked 2nd)There is still hope for traditional manufacturing according to Marvin Bagley III. Only 10 players in NBA history have played at least as many minutes as Bagley and have averaged as many points, rebounds, and blocks per possession as him during their respective age-22 seasons.

Kevin Huerter, age 17. (Originally Picked 19th)Most people probably remember Kevin Huerter for his outside shooting. His career shot attempts have been made from deep, where he has hit 37.9% of those tries.

Jarred Vanderbilt, no. 16 (Originally Picked 41st)Jarred Vanderbilt isn’t technically a rim protector, but he’s made a name for himself as a top-tier defender (inside and out) and a dominating rebounder who can play the 4 or small-ball 5.

 

Mo Bamba” (Orig

 Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic

inally Picked 6th)After some time, we were able to see the exciting potential of among other factors. 

De’Anthony Melton 13. (Originally Picked 46th)One of the best perimeter defenders in the game right now is De’Anthony Melton. 

Jalen Brunson, 12 (Originally Picked 33rd)Despite spending the most of his first three seasons as a backup, Jalen Brunson was still able to establish himself as an above-average point guard with potential to be the Sixth Man of the Year.

Mitchell Robinson, 11. (Originally Picked 36th)Mitchell Robinson, Brunson’s new teammate, hasn’t drawn as much notice.

2018 NBA Draft
2018 NBA Draft

Anfernee Simons 10. (Originally Picked 24th)It may seem early to place Anfernee Simons in the top 10 after just 35 career starts and one season with a double-digit scoring average, but that’s how dynamic a creator he was in 2021–22.

Matthew Porter Jr. (Originally Picked 14th)Michael Porter Jr. into the top 10 requires almost as much confidence as the Denver Nuggets’ selection of him in the 14th spot in 2018.

Eight. Wendell Carter Jr. (Originally Picked 7th)When Nikola Vucevic was gone, Wendell Carter Jr. flourished in 2021–2022. He had started every game of his career, but this was his first chance to be the starting big man.

 Players
Players

Jaren Jackson Junior (Originally Picked 4th)Michael Porter Jr. and Jaren Jackson Jr. also have health issues, but not nearly to the same degree.

Robert Williams III, 6. (Originally Picked 27th)Robert Williams III is a lively finisher who is great at wiping the glass and blocking shots, similar to Mitchell Robinson. In just 29.6 minutes per game last season, he averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks while shooting 73.6 percent from the floor. Over 70% of the time in each of his four seasons.

Fifth Mikal Bridges (Originally Picked 10th)Although Mikal Bridges hasn’t had many opportunities to demonstrate his ball-handling or passing prowess, there aren’t many other boxes he doesn’t check.

 Luka Doncic,
Luka Doncic,

4Deandre Ayton (Originally Picked 1st)Although Deandre Ayton, a colleague of Mikal Bridges’ on the Phoenix Suns, receives preference between the two, the trend toward wings who can defend all over the floor and shoot threes may benefit Mikal Bridges.Trae Young (Originally Picked 5th)One of the NBA’s top offensive players just four years into his career is Trae Young. He’s off to one of the finest starts ever on that side of the floor, in fact.

Luka Doncic (Originally Picked 3rd)LeBron James‘ likely successor might have already come from Slovenia less than 20 years after his NBA debut.The first four seasons of Luka Doncic’s NBA career have been absolutely insane. He averages 26.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game.

 

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