Sixers go forward by trading for Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith

By BRIAN MAHONEY - AP Basketball Writer
The Philadelphia 76ers traded their No. 1 pick, Villanova’s Mikal Bridges to the Phoenix Suns for the rights to Texas Tech small forward Zhaire Smith and a future draft pick during Thursday’s NBA Draft. - Charles Krupa | AP file photo

NEW YORK — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks looked all the way to Slovenia for the player they hope can be their next European superstar.

Shortly after the Suns took Deandre Ayton to start the NBA draft Thursday night, the Mavericks traded up two spots for the rights to Luka Doncic.

The Atlanta Hawks swapped the rights to Doncic, the No. 3 pick who has spent the last year winning championships all over Europe, to Atlanta for Trae Young, the No. 5 selection from Oklahoma.

The Mavericks also gave up a future first-round pick to draft Doncic, who only arrived in New York on Wednesday after helping Spain’s Real Madrid win its league championship after he won Euroleague MVP and Final Four MVP honors when they won that title this year.

His lengthy European season kept him from working out for teams but he knew the Mavericks were interested in having him on their team for what’s expected to be Dirk Nowitzki’s final NBA season.

“I’ve been talking to Dallas a lot. They really wanted me, and they were very, very nice,” the 19-year-old said. “They were very nice to me, and I think we had a very good relationship.”

The Hawks will get perhaps the most exciting player in college basketball last season in Young, the first player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season.

“Whatever city I went to, I was going to be able to be comfortable in,” said Young, who wore suit shorts with his burgundy-colored jacket. “I was just really excited to get to Atlanta.”

Otherwise, the top of the draft was dominated by big men, starting with a pair of former high school teammates.

The Suns made the 7-foot-1 Ayton the first No. 1 pick in franchise history. The center from Arizona averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds in his lone season in Tucson, tying for the national lead with 24 double-doubles in 35 games.

He joined Mychal Thompson — father of Golden State All-Star Klay Thompson — in 1978 as the only players from the Bahamas to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

“Having my name called to be the first pick for the Phoenix Suns was mind-blowing,” Ayton said. “Having all that confidence and leading up to that point when I saw Adam Silver came out, I was just waiting for my name, and when he called it, my mind went blank.”

The Sacramento Kings followed by taking Marvin Bagley III, the Duke big man who played with Ayton at Hillcrest Prep Academy in Phoenix in 2015-16.

With Jaren Jackson Jr. going fourth to Memphis, Texas center Mo Bamba going No. 6 to Orlando and Wendell Carter Jr. following to Chicago, it was an early run of big men in what’s increasingly become a perimeter-based league.

Then it was another guard with Alabama’s Collin Sexton going at No. 8 to Cleveland, triggering chants of Michael Porter Jr.’s name by Knicks fans who hoped they would take him with the No. 9 pick. But they ended up disappointed as New York went with Kentucky’s Kevin Knox.

“They booed (Kristaps) Porzingis (on draft night) and look where he is now. That’s the same mindset I’m going to have,” Knox said. “They can chant Michael Porter all they want. But they got Kevin Knox, and I’m willing to work and I’m willing to get better.”

With concerns over back problems that limited him to only three games at Missouri last season, followed by a recent hip injury that he believe scared off teams, Porter ended up falling all the way to Denver at No. 14, the last lottery position.

There were a couple other trades involving lottery picks. Mikal Bridges, the No. 10 pick from Villanova who thought he was staying in Philadelphia with the 76ers — who employ his mother — but was dealt to Phoenix for the rights to No. 16 pick Zhaire Smith of Texas Tech and a 2012 first-round pick from the Miami Heat.

The Charlotte Hornets sent the rights to No. 11 pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — whose floral-patterned suit stood out among the selections — to the Clippers for No. 12 pick Miles Bridges and two future second-round picks.

The Holiday brothers had an NBA reunion when Aaron Holiday was taken at No. 23 by Indiana. Brothers Jrue and Justin already play in the league.

Sixers take Wichita State guard at No. 26

Landry Shamet became just the first Wichita State player selected in first round of the NBA draft in the last 33 years when Philadelphia selected the Kansas City native with the No. 26 overall pick.

Shamet, who declared for the draft following his redshirt sophomore season with WSU, averaged 14.9 points and 5.2 assists per game with 44-percent 3-point shooting to lead the Shockers.

He is the first WSU draft pick since 2014 when the New York Knicks took Cleanthony Early in the second round and the first first-round pick since the Seattle SuperSonics picked Xavier McDaniel No. 4 overall in 1985.


1. Phoenix, Deandre Ayton, c, Arizona.

2. Sacramento, Marvin Bagley III, f, Duke.

3. a-Atlanta, Luka Doncic, g, Real Madrid (Spain).

4. Memphis, Jaren Jackson Jr., f, Michigan State.

5. a-Dallas, Trae Young, g, Oklahoma.

6. Orlando, Mohamed Bamba, c, Texas.

7. Chicago, Wendell Carter Jr., c, Duke.

8. Cleveland (from Brooklyn via Boston), Collin Sexton, g, Alabama.

9. New York, Kevin Knox, f, Kentucky.

10. b-Philadelphia (from LA Lakers via Phoenix), Mikal Bridges, f, Villanova.

11. c-Charlotte, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, g, Kentucky.

12. c-LA Clippers (from Detroit), Miles Bridges, f, Michigan State.

13. LA Clippers, Jerome Robinson, g, Boston College.

14. Denver, Michael Porter Jr., f, Missouri.

15. Washington, Troy Brown Jr., g, Oregon.

16. b-Phoenix (from Miami), Zhaire Smith, g, Texas Tech.

17. Milwaukee, Donte DiVincenzo, g, Villanova.

18. San Antonio, Lonnie Walker, g, Miami.

19. Atlanta (from Minnesota), Kevin Huerter, g, Maryland.

20. Minnesota (from Oklahoma City via Utah), Josh Okogie, g, Georgia Tech.

21. Utah, Grayson Allen, g, Duke.

22. Chicago (from New Orleans), Chandler Hutchison, f, Boise State.

23. Indiana, Aaron Holiday, g, UCLA.

24. Portland, Anfernee Simons, g, IMG Academy.

25. LA Lakers (from Cleveland), Moritz Wagner, c, Michigan.

26. Philadelphia, Landry Shamet, g, Wichita State.

27. Boston, Robert Williams III, c, Texas A&M.

28. Golden State, Jacob Evans, f, Cincinnati.

29. Brooklyn (from Toronto), Dzanan Musa, f, Cedevita (Croatia).

30. Atlanta (from Houston via LA Clippers), Omari Spellman, f, Villanova.


31. Phoenix, Elie Okobo, g, Pau Orthez (France).

32. Memphis, Jevon Carter, g, West Virginia.

33. Dallas, Jalen Brunson, g, Villanova.

34. d-Atlanta, Devonte’ Graham, g, Kansas.

35. Orlando, Melvin Frazier Jr., f, Tulane.

36. New York (from Chicago via Oklahoma City), Mitchell Robinson, c, No College.

37. e-Sacramento, Gary Trent Jr., g, Duke.

38. f-Philadelphia (from Brooklyn), Khyri Thomas, g, Creighton.

39. Philadelphia (from New York), Isaac Bonga, f, Frankfurt Skyliners (Germany).

40. Brooklyn (from LA Lakers via Toronto via Orlando), Rodions Kurucs, f, Barcelona (Spain).

41. g-Orlando (from Charlotte via Phoenix via Memphis), Jarred Vanderbilt, f, Kentucky.

42. Detroit, Bruce Brown Jr., g, Miami.

43. g-Denver (from LA Clippers via New York via Philadelphia), Justin Jackson, f, Maryland.

44. Washington, Issuf Sanon, g, Olimpija (Slovenia).

45. Brooklyn (from Milwaukee), Hamidou Diallo, g, Kentucky.

46. Houston (from Miami via Memphis), De’Anthony Melton, g, Southern Cal.

47. LA Lakers (from Denver via Chicago via Utah), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, g, Kansas.

48. Minnesota, Keita Bates-Diop, f, Ohio State.

49. San Antonio, Chimezie Metu, f, Southern Cal.

50. Indiana, Alize Johnson, f, Missouri State.

51. New Orleans, Tony Carr, g, Penn State.

52. Utah, Vince Edwards, f, Purdue.

53. Oklahoma City, Devon Hall, g, Virginia.

54. Dallas (from Portland via Denver), Shake Milton, g, SMU.

55. Charlotte (from Cleveland via Brooklyn via Philadelphia), Arnoldas Kulboka, f, Capo d’Orlando (Italy).

56. Philadelphia, Ray Spalding, f, Louisville.

57. Oklahoma City (from Boston), Kevin Hervey, f, UT-Arlington.

58. Denver (from Golden State), Thomas Welsh, c, UCLA.

59. Phoenix (from Toronto), George King, g, Colorado.

60. Philadelphia (from Houston), Kostas Antetokounmpo, f, Dayton.

Proposed Trades

a-Atlanta traded the rights of (No. 3) to Dallas for the rights of (No. 5) and a 2019 protected first-round pick.

b-Philadelphia traded the rights of (No. 10) to Phoenix for the rights to of (No. 16) and a 2021 first-round draft pick.

c-Charlotte traded the rights of (No. 11) to LA Clippers for the rights of (No. 12) and two future second-round picks.

d-Atlanta traded the rights of (No. 34) to Charlotte for two future second-round picks.

e-Sacramento traded the rights of (No. 37) to Portland for two future second-round picks and financial considerations.

f-Philadelphia traded the rights of (No. 38) to Detroit for two future second-round picks.

g-Orlando traded the rights of (No. 41) to Denver for the rights to (No. 43) a future second-round pick.

The Philadelphia 76ers traded their No. 1 pick, Villanova’s Mikal Bridges to the Phoenix Suns for the rights to Texas Tech small forward Zhaire Smith and a future draft pick during Thursday’s NBA Draft. Philadelphia 76ers traded their No. 1 pick, Villanova’s Mikal Bridges to the Phoenix Suns for the rights to Texas Tech small forward Zhaire Smith and a future draft pick during Thursday’s NBA Draft. Charles Krupa | AP file photo


AP Basketball Writer