I’ve always believed that history is a good predictor of the future. In the case of the NBA Draft Lottery, in 2018, that went out the window.
Apparently the “Curse of the Coin Flip” is no more.
In 1969, the Bucks beat the Suns by a flip of the coin for the #1 overall pick. Milwaukee selected Lew Alcindor (who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Phoenix got Neal Walk. One of these two centers became among the best NBA centers of all-time…the other wasn’t as fortunate.
But luck changed for the better on Tuesday night when the Suns were awarded the #1 pick and the chance to draft potential superstars DeAndre Ayton or Luke Doncic.
Considering Ayton went to prep school at Hillcrest (in the Phoenix area) and to UofA in Tucson for his one year of college, drafting him would be a shoe-in for the local team, right?
Or they could take Doncic, who played under new coach Igor Kokosov on the Slovenian national team and despite having never played in the U.S., he’s dominated the EuroLeague with Real Madrid.
Can the Suns really pass on the next Patrick Ewing / David Robinson in Ayton?
Here are my VERY EARLY predictions on the top-10 picks for June 21st…
1. Phoenix: Luka Doncic (SG, Europe)
The Suns pass on a once-in-a-generation center (which would be a huge mistake in my opinion) for a high upside guy in Doncic. Unfortunately the fanbase might riot if and when this happens.
2. Sacramento: DeAndre Ayton (C, Arizona)
Kings GM Vlade Divac hits the jackpot. In Ayton and last year’s lottery pick, DeAaron Fox, Sacramento will have two players Phoenix will regret passing on in consecutive years.
3. Atlanta: Marvin Bagley (PF, Duke)
The Hawks need a new face of the franchise. Bagley, though a tweener whose defense is suspect, gives them a 20+ point scorer with massive upside.
4. Memphis: Michael Porter, Jr. (SF, Missouri)
Last year’s projected #1 pick for 2018, Porter, if healthy, could become an elite NBA scorer.
5. Dallas: Mohamed Bamba (PF, Texas)
Texas team takes the Texas big man. It’s either Bamba or Jaren Jackson here assuming Porter and Bagley are off the board.
6. Orlando: Trae Young (PG, Oklahoma)
An explosive scorer in his one year at OU, Young would solve the age-long point guard problem in Orlando.
7. Chicago: Jaren Jackson, Jr. (PF, Michigan State)
A physical freak, Jackson has significant upside. But will the Bulls try to trade this pick in an attempt to acquire a scorer (a la Kawhi Leonard or DeMar Derozan)?
8. Cleveland: Collin Sexton (PG, Alabama)
The Cavaliers badly need Young, but assuming he’s off the board at Pick 6, Sexton isn’t a bad consolation prize to start alongside LeBron (if he stays in Cleveland).
9. New York: Miles Bridges (SF, Michigan State)
This Bridges has all the makings of a solid, yet unspectacular NBA player. Seems about right for a Knicks team who can’t seem to hit the jackpot right now.
10. Philadelphia: Mikal Bridges (SF, Villanova)
If they don’t trade this pick in order to acquire a veteran SF, the Villanova product would be an ideal fit for the 76ers who need length, defense, and scoring from their #3.