Deandre Ayton
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The NBA Mock Draft season is in full effect. “Selection Sunday” just took place for the NCAA Tournament. The field of 68 is set. This will be the last time that draft prospects can prove their worth before the NBA combine.

This is the first NBA Mock Draft of the year here at ESNY. Keep an eye out in the future for updated mock drafts all the way up to draft night. The order is based on the standings as of the close of business Friday, March 9.

Top 10

1. Memphis Grizzlies– Luka Doncic, SG/SF, International

The 6-foot-6, 218-pound Doncic is a virtual Swiss Army knife on the basketball court. He can play either guard position as well as small forward. He has been in the conversation for the top overall selection all season. Pairing Doncic with Marc Gasol, a healthy Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons and the Grizzlies could find themselves right back in the playoffs.

2. Phoenix SunsDeAndre Ayton, C, University of Arizona

After missing on picks like Alex Len and Dragan Bender, Phoenix finally acquires their center of the future. The 7-foot-1, 250-pound big man from the Bahamas is averaging 19.9 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for the Wildcats this season. Ayton, along with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson is a solid core for Phoenix to build around. Don’t forget that they have two more picks in the first round.

3. Orlando MagicTrae Young, PG, University of Oklahoma

Young has endured a roller coaster type season in Norman. The Sooners were ranked as high as third in the nation earlier in the season. Now, they may not even make the tournament. Despite all that, Young leads the country in points per game (27.4) and assists per game (8.8). Orlando gets themselves another building block for the future.

4. Atlanta HawksMarvin Bagley III, PF/C, Duke University

Atlanta is in position to draft the best player available. It just so happens that player is arguably the best player in college basketball. The 6-foot-11, 235-pound Blue Devil can play either the four or the five. This pick will not inject the Hawks directly into the playoffs but will provide them with a franchise player for years to come.

5. Dallas MavericksJaren Jackson Jr. PF/C, Michigan State University

Last season Dallas drafted their point guard of the future. This draft they will get their anchor in the paint. The Mavs still will not win many games next season but they now have a solid foundation going forward. The 6-foot-11, 243-pound Spartan is versatile enough to play the four or the five. He is knocking down 39.6 percent from behind the three-point line. On defense, he is a shot eraser averaging 3.2 blocks per game.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers*- Collin Sexton, PG, University of Alabama

The legend of Collin Sexton keeps growing. He almost willed his team to a win earlier in the season while being unmanned 3-5. Now he is hitting coast-to-coast game winners in the SEC Tournament. Since Kyrie Irving was traded, Cleveland has been trying to replace him. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Sexton gives the Cavaliers a lead guard to build around whether LeBron James stays or goes.

7. Sacramento KingsMichael Porter Jr. SF, University of Missouri

Out of sight, out of mind is the perfect saying when it comes to Porter Jr. The 6’10, 215 pound forward was squarely in the discussion for the number one overall pick before the season started. After playing only 25 total minutes this season due to injury, he falls to the Kings at seven.

8. Chicago Bulls– Mo Bamba, C, University of Texas

Robin Lopez is not getting any younger. He turns 30 in April. While that is not old, it is old enough to not be included in the Bull’s long term plans. The 6-foot-11, 225-pound Longhorn fits right in those plans. He is averaging 12.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.7 blocks in 30.2 minutes per game this season. Chicago could be fighting for a playoff spot next year.

9. New York KnicksMikal Bridges, SF, Villanova University

The two biggest problems for the Knicks have been their perimeter defense and three-point shooting efficiency. Drafting the 6-foot-7, 191-pound wing would help drastically in both of those areas. The Junior is averaging 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game this season. He is also knocking down 42.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Many of the fans will want to see Miles Bridges drafted here, but Mikal’s skill set is too good to pass up.

10. Charlotte Hornets– Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State University

Charlotte is a team on the verge of needing a complete rebuild. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Sophomore is a good start when that time comes. Depending on the matchup, Bridges can either the small forward or power forward position. He is averaging 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 turnovers per game this season. Not to mention, shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 36.9 percent from behind the three-point arch.

Picks 11 through 20

11. Philadelphia Sixers*Gary Trent Jr. SG, Duke University

12. Los Angeles Clippers*– Wendall Carter Jr, PF/C, Duke University

13. Denver NuggetsKevin Knox, SF/PF, University of Kentucky

14. Utah JazzRobert Williams III, PF, Texas A&M University

15. Phoenix Suns*Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, University of Kentucky

16. Phoenix Suns*– Dzanan Musa, SF, International

17. Philadelphia SixersDaniel Gafford, C, University of Arkansas

18. Los Angeles ClippersLonnie Walker IV, SG, University of Miami

19. Atlanta Hawks*Trevon Duval, PG, Duke University

20. Minnesota Timberwolves*PJ Washington, PF/C, University of Kentucky

Picks 21 through 30

21. San Antonio SpursHamidou Diallo, SG, University of Kentucky

22. Indiana PacersKeita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State University

23. Washington WizardsBrandon McCoy, C, UNLV

24. Los Angeles Lakers*Austin Wiley, C, Auburn University

25. Chicago Bulls*Jarred Vanderbilt, SF, University of Kentucky

26. Portland TrailblazersJalen Brunson, PG, Villanova University

27. Boston CelticsBruno Fernando, C, University of Maryland

28. Brooklyn Nets*Landry Shamet, PG, Wicita State University

29. Golden State WarriorsNick Richards, PF/C, University of Kentucky

30. Atlanta Hawks*Troy Brown, SG/SF, University of Oregon

*=Traded Draft Picks

Cleveland receives Brooklyn’s pick

Philadelphia receives the Los Angeles Laker’s pick

Los Angeles Clippers receive Detroit’s pick

Phoenix receives Milwaukee’s pick

Phoenix receives Miami’s pick

Atlanta receives Minnesota’s pick

Minnesota receives Oklahoma City’s pick

Chicago receives New Orleans’ pick

Brooklyn receives Toronto’s pick

Atlanta receives Houston’s pick

Michael has been covering the Knicks since 2016. He does not claim to know everything about basketball, just more than most.