A Meta-analysis of 20 NBA Mock Drafts

7’0″ Deandre Ayton is an undisputed first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. 19 out of 20 mock drafts surveyed agree. (Matt York/AP)

There is magic in the air.

The birds are chirping, the sky is blue, and the whole NBA world is wondering where the eurostar Luka Doncic is going to drop in this year’s draft. It’s an exciting time – last year we found ourselves asking the same questions about homegrown stars such as Lonzo “Spoken Into Existence” Ball and De’Aaron Fox.  Where NCAA stars such as Duke’s Marvin Bagley III and the Sooners Trae Young will end up in Thursday’s draft is undoubtedly keeping some general managers up tonight. For those sleepless managers, I’ve compiled 20 mock draft results from sources across the web – NBA insiders, NBA fanatics, and ex-NBA players – and analyzed who each team will take in the first round. The results may surprise you. So without further ado, I present the top 15 picks in the draft this year based on popular opinion.

Top 15 Picks in the 2018 NBA Draft

1 Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton
2 Sacramento Kings Marvin Bagley III
3 Atlanta Hawks Luka Doncic
4 Memphis Grizzlies Jaren Jackson Jr.
5 Dallas Mavericks Mohamed Bamba
6 Orlando Magic Michael Porter Jr.
7 Chicago Bulls Trae Young
8 Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) Wendell Carter Jr.
9 New York Knicks Collin Sexton
10 Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) Mikal Bridges
11 Charlotte Hornets Kevin Knox
12 Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
13 Los Angeles Clippers Miles Bridges
14 Denver Nuggets Robert Williams
15 Washington Wizards Lonnie Walker IV

For all the data and analysis through pick 30 of the first round – please follow to the Google Sheets here.

It will be interesting to see if this draft order carries any weight. Maybe there is strength in numbers. It will also be interesting to compare the individual mock drafts to the draft itself. I will be updating the spreadsheet as the draft is happening to rate each survey on correctness – then we can really see which of the insiders have real insider chops.

*Note: For analysis purposes, any candidate that received less than 50% votes was removed from the draft order. These included Bruce Brown Jr., Omari Spellman, Gary Trent Jr., Jalen Brunson, and Anfernee Simons who all danced around the last five picks.


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