So the NBA Draft is today and for you basketball fans out there, I apologize for not going nearly as in depth about this as I did with the NFL Draft but as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not nearly as good with basketball as football. Also, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t do nearly as much research before doing this as I should have. I’ve been VERY busy with some things that may or may not be in the works right now as well as being a cashier at a liquor store. So if you’ve been following this draft and my analysis is just flat out wrong, that’s why. But I’m going to do my best with this one and I’m going to do the entire 2-round NBA mock. I’m only doing explanations for the lottery picks (1-14) because really those are the only picks anyone cares about. So with that, let’s get to the mock.
1. Phoenix Suns-DeAndre Ayton-C-Arizona
This is pretty much the only guarantee I can make with this draft because it’s basically a foregone conclusion that Ayton is going to be the top pick to the Suns. He’s the best prospect and probably the safest, too. I liken him to DeMarcus Cousins minus the mean streak (that we know of) and I think at worst he’s going to be a quality starter.
2. Sacramento Kings-Marvin Bagley-F-Duke
Marvin Bagley was the preseason pick to be the top selection in the draft but with the rise of Ayton and Bagley not being as amazing as everybody thought (he was still really good, though). But Bagley’s potential is too high to pass on so I think the Kings will take their shot here.
3. Atlanta Hawks-Jaren Jackson-F-Michigan State
The Hawks have nothing right now and Jaren Jackson is among the best prospects in this draft. Jackson needs to put on some muscle but his basketball skills are top-notch. He might get bullied in the paint a little bit at first but if he can fill out, there may not be a bigger threat in the post.
4. Memphis Grizzlies-Luka Doncic-G/F-Slovenia
This is the biggest question mark of the draft. Yeah, Doncic is 6’8 with really good handles, but his competition is trash. Also I guess he’s getting fat? I don’t know, like I said at the outset, I haven’t done as much due diligence as I probably should have. But from what I understand, Doncic could be another Ben Simmons, but he could also be another Andrea Bargnani.
5. Dallas Mavericks-Mo Bamba-C-Texas
Bamba’s potential is off the charts but he’s raw as all Hell. He’s going to need a year or two before he’s really ready for the big time. But he’s a 7-footer with a 7’9 wingspan, which at worst he’s just going to block every single shot. Dirk Nowitzki’s not getting any younger and there’s nobody better for Bamba to try and model his game after.
6. Orlando Magic-Michael Porter-F-Missouri
We really don’t know anything about Porter since he missed basically his entire season at Missouri with a back injury. He was the number 1 recruit last year, though, and that doesn’t just get handed out for nothing so I think the Magic, who really have no marketable talent right now, should take a chance on him.
7. Chicago Bulls-Trae Young-G-Oklahoma
Young was the story of the college basketball world last year as his shooting numbers were just stupid. However he faded down the stretch and people are really wondering whether he’s another Jimmer Fredette. Quite frankly, I think he’s going to be another Monta Ellis but better passer (Young’s a better passer than people give him credit for).
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Boston Celtics through Brooklyn Nets)-Mikal Bridges-F-Villanova
Despite Jalen Brunson garnering all the attention, Bridges is the better prospect. With Cleveland expecting to lose LeBron James, they need to nail this pick in order to remain relevant. Bridges, of course, is far from being LeBron James, but he’s a similar style of player and has the potential to be a star in this league.
9. New York Knicks-Wendell Carter-C-Duke
I mentioned this the last time I did a mock, but when Duke came to Indiana last year, I actually came away more impressed by Carter than I was by Bagley and I think he has the potential to be the steal of this draft. Aside from Kristaps Porzingis, who may not even want to be there much longer, the Knicks don’t have shit from a talent standpoint so adding a bruiser like Carter could give them a very dominant duo down low.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Los Angeles Lakers)-Collin Sexton-G-Alabama
Full disclosure, I actually like Collin Sexton a bit more than Trae Young, mainly because I think I trust Sexton a little more. I think he’s the safest of the two and he’s a better passer. He doesn’t have Young’s shooting ability, which is why I think Young will go higher, but Sexton is more of a traditional point guard that could be a real asset to the 76ers, especially if Markelle Fultz is as broken as everyone says he is.
11. Charlotte Hornets-Kevin Knox-F-Kentucky
Knox was a high-ranking recruit but he didn’t do as much at Kentucky as everyone expected. He’s a bit raw right now and pretty much everything we have on him is projection at this point. But there’s no doubting his talent and if developed properly, he could be the perfect sidekick for Kemba Walker in Charlotte.
12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit Pistons)-Shai Gilgeous-Alexander-G-Kentucky
This is a guy whose draft stock is rising a lot lately. In fact, there are rumors that the Raptors are so enamored with Gilgeous-Alexander that they are trying to trade into the top 10 to land him (the Raptors do not have a pick in this year’s draft). Since they don’t have a pick, a trade to land this guy would likely cost a star player such as Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan. If a team is that in love with a guy, there’s definitely more worth delving into.
13. Los Angeles Clippers-Miles Bridges-F-Michigan State
Miles Bridges was my favorite player in college basketball, but as far as NBA talents go, he’s a little raw. There is definitely something to work with, though, as he took over plenty of games while in East Lansing. If he can translate that over to the NBA, the Clippers could find themselves with a Hell of a player.
14. Denver Nuggets-Lonnie Walker-G-Miami (FL)
Full disclosure, I know nothing about this guy, but that hair is so absurd that he has to be a lottery pick. Not as nuts as Elfrid Payton’s, but it’s pretty damn close But he’s rated pretty highly on all draft boards so he’s probably a guy who could help the Nuggets in the short and long term.
15. Washington Wizards-De’Anthony Melton-G-USC
16. Phoenix Suns (from Miami Heat)-Zhaire Smith-G-Texas Tech
17. Milwaukee Bucks-Robert Williams-C-Texas A&M
18. San Antonio Spurs-Kevin Huerter-F-Maryland
19. Atlanta Hawks (from Minnesota Timberwolves)-Troy Brown-F-Oregon
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Oklahoma City Thunder)-Elie Okobo-G-France
21. Utah Jazz-Jacob Evans-F-Cincinnati
22. Chicago Bulls (from New Orleans Pelicans)-Mitchell Robinson-F-N/A
23. Indiana Pacers-Keita Bates-Diop-F-Ohio State
24. Portland Trail Blazers-Melvin Frazier-G-Tulane
25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland Cavaliers)-Khyri Thomas-G-Creighton
26. Philadelphia 76ers-Shake Milton-G-SMU
27. Boston Celtics-Grayson Allen-G-Duke
28. Golden State Warriors-Donte Divincenzo-G-Villanova
29. Brooklyn Nets-Dzanan Musa-F-Bosnia and Herzegovina
30. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston Rockets)-Jerome Robinson-G-Boston College
31. Phoenix Suns-Jalen Brunson-G-Villanova
32. Memphis Grizzlies-Devonte Graham-G-Kansas
33. Atlanta Hawks-Chandler Hutchison-F-Boise State
34. Dallas Mavericks-Aaron Holiday-G-UCLA
35. Orlando Magic-Anfernee Simons-G-IMG
36. Sacramento Kings-Landry Shamet-G-Wichita State
37. New York Knicks (from Chicago Bulls)-Mo Wagner-F-Michigan
38. Philadelphia 76ers (from Brooklyn Nets)-Bruce Brown-F-Miami (FL)
39. Philadelphia 76ers (from New York Knicks)-Gary Trent Jr-G-Duke
40. Brooklyn Nets (from Los Angeles Lakers)-Jarred Vanderbilt-F-Kentucky
41. Orlando Magic (from Charlotte Hornets)-Rodions Kurucs-F-Latvia
42. Detroit Pistons-Gary Clark-F-Cincinnati
43. Denver Nuggets (from Los Angeles Clippers)-Josh Okogie-F-Georgia Tech
44. Washington Wizards-Trevon Duval-G-Duke
45. Brooklyn Nets (from Milwaukee Bucks)-Omari Spellman-C-Villanova
46. Houston Rockets (from Miami Heat)-Kenrich Williams-F-TCU
47. Los Angeles Lakers (from Denver Nuggets)-Hamidou Diallo-F-Kentucky
48. Minnesota Timberwolves-Justin Jackson-F-Maryland
49. San Antonio Spurs-Rawle Alkins-G-Arizona
50. Indiana Pacers-Ray Spalding-C-Louisville
51. New Orleans Pelicans-Tony Carr-G-Penn State
52. Utah Jazz-Malik Newman-G-Kansas
53. Oklahoma City Thunder-Vince Edwards-F-Purdue
54. Dallas Mavericks (from Portland Trail Blazers)-Isaac Bonga-F-Germany
55. Charlotte Hornets (from Cleveland Cavaliers)-Chimezie Metu-C-USC
56. Philadelphia 76ers-Devon Hall-G-Virginia
57. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Boston Celtics)-Svi Mykhailiuk-F-Kansas
58. Denver Nuggets (from Golden State Warriors)-Alize Johnson-F-Missouri State
59. Phoenix Suns (from Toronto Raptors)-Jevon Carter-G-West Virginia
60. Philadelphia 76ers (from Houston Rockets)-Kevin Hervey-F-UT Arlington
That’s going to do it for this NBA Mock Draft. I’ll try and get a recap out after the actual event is over, but I can’t promise anything since I’ll be working during it (I’m going to try and stream it on my phone but I won’t be able to get instant reactions onto paper like I did for the NFL Draft). Let me know how you think this draft is going to go in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter @jimwyman10.