2018 NBA Re-Draft: Greatest Draft of the Decade?

Throughout the history of the NBA, certain draft classes stand out as game-changers, altering the trajectory of the league and leaving an indelible mark on its history. The 2018 NBA Draft undoubtedly belongs to this elite echelon. 

After being in the league now for exactly half a decade, these players have transformed from young and inexperienced rookies into seasoned professionals. As we stand at the crossroads of reflection and speculation, it’s time to look back at the order of the draft and make changes based on what we now know about these players. This Re-Draft won’t necessarily focus on the team’s need and fit, but rather just the order of the best players in the draft. 


1. Phoenix Suns – Luka Doncic

(Original Pick – Deandre Ayton)

2022-2023 Season Stats (66 Games)

  • 32.4 PPG
  • 8.6 RPG
  • 8.0 APG
  • 60.9 TS% (+2.8% above league average)

Luka Doncic going #1 in a Re-Draft comes as no surprise to anyone and is the obvious choice. Doncic has already displayed all-time great seasons and is undeniably going to go down in history as one of the greatest players ever, despite his young age of 24 years. Luka is arguably already one of the greatest offensive players of all time, showing no weaknesses on that side of the ball. He’s a high volume scorer, who always receives an absurd amount of defensive attention, yet at such a young age has still excelled efficiency wise, maintaining an above league average TS% for the last 4 seasons straight. Doncic is also arguably the best playmaker in all of basketball, as he is capable of making any pass possible and also generates great rim pressure to create for his teammates. 

Doncic has played in 28 playoff games already, averaging 32.5 PPG in those games, with a Western Conference Finals appearance in just his 4th season in the league. In my opinion, Luka is already a top 4-6 player in the entire NBA, and he hasn’t even entered his prime yet which is just scary to think about. 

Current NBA Ranking : Top 4-6

2. Sacramento Kings – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 

(Original Pick – Marvin Bagley III)

2022-2023 Season Stats (68 Games)

  • 31.4 PPG
  • 4.8 RPG
  • 5.5 APG
  • 62.6 TS% (+4.5% above league average)

A year ago, Shai would have been 3rd or 4th on this list, but after the season he just had, he’s jumped all the way from 11th pick to 2nd overall in this Re-Draft. Gilgeous-Alexander is one of the best all-around players in the NBA, who just had a top 15 level season. He averaged over 30 points a game on amazing efficiency, despite playing in a tough situation on the Thunder who didn’t have great floor spacing last season. 

Shai is arguably the best driver of the basketball in the entire league as he is able to get to the rim basically whenever he wants, which gives his team such an advantage because he’s able to finish at such a high level, draw fouls, and drive and kick. He’s also a very good passer and playmaker, as well as being an underrated defender. Due to Shai’s long 6’6 frame, he’s able to be a contributing help defender and presence at the rim, which not many guards offer, as well as being a very good defender on the perimeter as well. Shai has a very bright future as OKC’s franchise player. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 12-15

3. Atlanta Hawks – Trae Young 

(Original Pick – Luka Doncic)

2022-2023 Season Stats (73 Games)

  • 26.2 PPG
  • 3.0 RPG
  • 10.2 APG
  • 57.3 TS% (-0.8% below league average)

Atlanta originally selected Luka, then traded him for Trae Young the same night, and in this Re-Draft, they land Trae as well. This past season was a bit of a down year for Trae, scoring less than he usually does, not shooting the 3 ball as well, and the Hawks overall performing a little worse than expected, but we all know who Trae is and what he’s capable of doing. 

Young is one of the most exciting young players in the league. He’s a prolific shooter and scorer, able to create his shot from anywhere with limitless range from beyond the arc, and he is also one of the five best playmakers in all of basketball. It’s uncertain how much Trae can still improve over his career, because he’s stayed as one of the worst defenders in the league, and his numbers also haven’t gotten much better since his second year, but he is still an excellent player in my eyes that can still clean up some stuff offensively. Still an astounding franchise cornerstone to have if you’re the Atlanta Hawks.

Current NBA Ranking: Top 17-25

4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr. 

(Original Pick – Jaren Jackson Jr.)

2022-2023 Season Stats (63 Games)

  • 18.6 PPG
  • 6.8 RPG
  • 3.0 BPG
  • 61.3 TS% (+3.2 TS% above league average)

Jaren Jackson Jr. was originally drafted 4th by the Grizzlies, and he goes 4th in this Re-Draft as well. The 2023 Defensive Player of the Year just had the best season of his career, certifying himself as arguably the best defender in all of basketball. Jaren’s rim protection is just ludicrous as he deters so many attempts using his length, size, instincts, and defensive iq. Jaren is also really versatile and is capable of switching onto guards and forwards because he’s so agile and has great processing speed, even at his size. 

Jackson Jr. also had his best offensive season, scoring the most he’s ever scored, on the best efficiency of his career. He’s really developed a good post game this season, something he’s never really had in his career, and he was also able to get back to shooting the three-ball very well, after 2 years of struggling from that area. 

Jaren is a Top 25 player in the league to me and a perfect complementary piece next to Ja Morant for Memphis. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 23-27

5. Dallas Mavericks – Jalen Brunson

(Original Pick – Trae Young)

2022-2023 Season Stats (68 Games)

  • 24.0 PPG
  • 3.5 RPG
  • 6.2 APG
  • 59.7 TS% (+1.6% above league average)

The Dallas Mavericks didn’t re-sign Brunson during last year’s off-season, but they get the luxury of getting him back in this Re-Draft. Brunson has really been one of the most surprising players in the NBA as no one expected him to be this good. He showed signs with the Mavericks of being a very good NBA player, but took off after coming to New York and is now arguably a Top 10 point guard in the league. 

Brunson is a really good scorer who excels at getting to the middle of the paint and using his array of moves and footwork to finish around the rim, and is also an elite shooter. Brunson is a solid playmaker and overall great All-Star level player for the Knicks and has a bright future as one of their franchise players

Current NBA Ranking: Top 30-35

6. Orlando Magic – Mikal Bridges 

(Original Pick – Mo Bamba)

2022-2023 Season Stats (83 Games, yes, not a typo)

  • 20.1 PPG
  • 4.4 RPG
  • 3.3 APG
  • 58.7 TS% (+0.6% above league average)

Back-to-back Villanova Wildcats here with Mikal Bridges coming in at number 6 in this Re-Draft. Bridges took his game to another level when he arrived in Brooklyn after the Kevin Durant trade. He was always known as an elite defender with the Suns who was capable of guarding multiple positions, as well as the opposing team’s best player, and be a really good shooter and complementary piece as a 3rd-4th option, but in Brooklyn, he showed signs of stardom as the first option. Bridges is also one of the most durable players in the NBA, never even missing a game after 5 years. 

Bridges has a really exciting future and could become a perennial All-Star with the Nets in the future if he could continue what he started last season. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 36-42

7. Chicago Bulls – Michael Porter Jr. 

(Original Pick – Wendell Carter Jr.)

2022-2023 Season Stats (62 Games)

  • 17.4 PPG
  • 5.5 RPG
  • 1.0 APG
  • 62.1 TS% (+4.0% above league average)

MPJ is an electric shooter and scorer coming off an NBA championship with the Denver Nuggets. Porter Jr. always had the potential to be one of the best players in the NBA, and even after 3 back surgeries, he’s become a huge contributor on a championship team. In my opinion, he’s a top 5 shooter in the league, basically being able to shoot over anyone with his 6’10 frame, and has improved in most aspects of his game. 

Everyone knew how good of a scorer Porter was, but the question was always about his defense, which he’s improved tremendously on. His defensive IQ, willingness, and ability have all improved to the point where Porter is now a serviceable defender who can be a positive on any given night. Definitely one of the better players in the NBA who still has All-Star potential. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 55-65

8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Anfernee Simons 

(Original Pick – Collin Sexton)

2022-2023 Season Stats (62 Games)

  • 21.1 PPG
  • 2.6 RPG
  • 4.1 APG
  • 58.1 TS% (Exactly league average)

Simons has progressed steadily every year of his career, and now looks to become one of Portland’s franchise players alongside Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe if they decide to move on from Dame. Simons is a really good scorer and shooter who doesn’t have too many weaknesses offensively. He could have an All-Star season this year as the first or second option on the team without Lillard. And if Dame is still on the team next season, he will still be very good next to him as well. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 60-70

9. New York Knicks – Rob Williams III

(Original Pick – Kevin Knox)

2022-2023 Season Stats (35 Games)

  • 8.0 PPG
  • 8.3 RPG
  • 1.4 BPG
  • 74.2 TS% (+16.1% above league average)

Injuries have been an issue in Williams career, but he’s one of the best rim protectors in the league when he’s on the court, as well as one of the best lob threats in the NBA as well. His numbers don’t pop out, but his on-court impact is huge for Boston due to his rim presence. Hopefully he will continue to develop offensively as well. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 65-75

10. Philadelphia 76ers – Wendell Carter Jr. 

(Original Pick – Mikal Bridges)

2022-2023 Season Stats (57 Games)

  • 15.2 PPG
  • 8.7 RPG
  • 2.3 RPG
  • 62.1 TS% (+4.0% above league average)

Remember, this Re-Draft is just going off the best player available, not fit, so yes the 76ers have Joel Embiid already, but I view Carter Jr. as the 10th best player in the draft. 

Wendell is really a prototype center in today’s game. He’s very athletic, a good lob threat, able to stretch the floor, create his own shot, and is a solid defender. He doesn’t do one thing at an elite level but is a great all-around player.

Current NBA Ranking: Top 65-75

11. Charlotte Hornets – Deandre Ayton

(Original Pick – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander)

2022-2023 Season Stats (67 Games)

  • 18.0 PPG
  • 10.0 RPG
  • 1.7 APG
  • 61.7 TS% (+3.6% above league average)

Ayton was the original #1 pick in the draft, and although he has been underwhelming at that draft slot, he’s still a good NBA player. He puts up good numbers on a great team, 

and has improved shooting the ball, but there is so much more that he could unlock. Many people would say he’s “soft” at the rim, which I don’t necessarily agree with, but he definitely isn’t as assertive as he should be. Defensively, he isn’t terrible but really doesn’t add much value on that end. He’s been in trade conversations for a while now so maybe a change of scenery would be good for him, but right now he just projects to be a solid NBA player and top 15 center for the future. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 80-90

12. Los Angeles Clippers – Bruce Brown 

(Original Pick – Miles Bridges)

2022-2023 Season Stats (80 Games)

  • 11.5 PPG
  • 4.1 RPG
  • 3.4 APG
  • 57.1 TS% (-1.0% below league average)

Bruce Brown is one of the best role players in the league. He’s a good ball handler, okay playmaker, can create his own shot, defend really well, hit the open three-point shot, etc. He helped the Nuggets win a championship with his all-around play. He’s always going to be a very good player. 

Current NBA Ranking: Top 90-110

13. Los Angeles Clippers – Collin Sexton

(Original Pick – Jerome Robinson)

2022-2023 Season Stats (48 Games)

  • 14.3 PPG
  • 2.2 RPG
  • 2.9 APG
  • 61.6 TS% (+3.5% above league average)

Sexton used to be a 20+ point per game scorer with the Cavs, but after dealing with some injuries, he’s now found a reduced role with the Jazz. He’s a good scorer and shooter but lacks playmaking upside as a guard which really limits him. Still a great player with potential.

Current NBA Ranking: Top 95-115

14. Denver Nuggets – Kevin Huerter 

(Original Pick – Michael Porter Jr.)

2022-2023 Season Stats (75 Games)

  • 15.2 PPG
  • 3.3 RPG
  • 2.9 APG
  • 61.7 TS% (+3.6% above league average)

Huerter is a really solid shooting guard who just had the best season of his career. Not much upside with him but is still young and will be a good shooter and player for a long time.

Current NBA Ranking: Top 105-120

Honorable Mentions:

Gary Trent Jr – Honestly arguable for the last couple spots. Good role player and shooter 

Miles Bridges – Probably would be in the 9-11 range in the Re-Draft if not for off-court issues, and him missing a whole season

Donte DiVencenzo – Good shooter and role player, just missed the cut

De’Anthony Melton – Also arguable for the last couple of spots, great perimeter defender and shooter

Mitchell Robinson – Again, arguable for the last few spots as well, amazing rim protector

Marvin Bagley III – Something might still be there? I’m not sure. He has to show something soon

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Pritam Chinthakunta is a High School Senior who lives in New Jersey. He’s a varsity basketball player who has watched basketball ever since he was 6 years old. He will be attending college in the Fall of 2024 and is interested in majoring in Finance. You can follow him on Twitter at @pritam239 and on instagram at @pritam_c23.