NBA Mock Draft: Post-Lottery Edition
The Lottery was held last night and as most of you know, the New Orleans Pelicans are on top of the draft this year, despite overcoming tough odds. The Pelicans will likely take Zion Williamson, which is who I have them taking, although the rest of the draft shapes up pretty well. As usual for my Mock Draft’s I will have a full breakdown for the first round picks, then go through the second round.
1.New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson 6’7” Forward Duke
The Pelicans have plenty of questions going forward about who they want to take but one thing they are not questioning is whether or not they should take Zion Williamson first in this year’s draft. Williamson is one of the all-time great athletes in this sport and he is for sure a highlight machine. He should provide some much-needed help to a New Orleans franchise looking to rebuild or maybe contend in the West.
2.Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant 6’3” Guard Murray State
The Grizzlies are looking to rebuild and when doing so they may not have a much better one-two punch at the point guard and center positions than one that has Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. Ja Morant is an extremely athletic guard, who also has great vision. His jump shot still can be improved but I think that is something you are willing to bet on improving. Plus he can learn from one of the leagues best point guards in Mike Conley before taking over the reins in a few years.
3.New York Knicks: RJ Barrett 6’7” Wing Duke
The Knicks will not be happy with the fact that they are drafting third but they still will have a solid prospect in RJ Barrett. RJ Barrett has a good frame and is a dominant scorer, on a team that desperately needs someone to take over games at the current moment. The pick could also be traded to New Orleans in the potential Anthony Davis sweepstakes given the fact he has stated that he doesn’t want to be in New Orleans, which would reunite him with his best friend Zion Williamson.
4.Los Angeles Lakers: De’Andre Hunter 6’7” Wing Virginia
The Lakers could really use some more wing depth and versatility, which is what De’Andre Hunter provides. Hunter is not going to be a star but I do think with his length, defensive versatility and shooting ability he will be a solid player for the Lakers going forward.
5.Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver 6’7” Wing Texas Tech
If there’s a franchise that desperately needs help in this draft it is the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have a good point guard in Collin Sexton but he doesn’t have a lot of options to pass to, which Jarrett Culver provides. Culver is a long player, who is really solid on the offensive end while being a good defender. His jump shot probably needs to be fixed for him to be a star in the NBA but I still think he can provide some offense to this Cavalier team.
6.Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland 6’2” Guard Vanderbilt
The Suns need help at the guard spot and Darius Garland is pretty clearly the best guard available in this draft at this point. Garland is a good shooter and passer while coming off an injury is a risk, this is the best choice for the Suns.
7.Chicago Bulls: Coby White 6’5” Guard North Carolina
The Bulls need some help at the guard position as it clear that Kris Dunn is not the choice going forward. I think White’s speed and shooting ability separates him from other guards and makes him a good choice for the Bulls. White should also pair nicely alongside players like Zach LaVine and Otto Porter Jr.
8.Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish 6’7” Wing Duke
Cam Reddish has slowly been slipping on draft boards, which is very much to the benefit of the Atlanta Hawks who are looking for some solid wing prospects to pair with Trae Young. Reddish has good size, is a good defender and can at times get hot from three, which are all things that can be beneficial to this team. He was often times overshadowed at Duke but with the Hawks, he should fit in nicely and become a solid piece going forward.
9.Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya 6’9” Forward Guinea
The Wizards are stuck in the neutral zone right now, so they are probably one of the teams looking to take a good European prospect like Sekou Doumbouya. Sekou is young, so there is room for growth, while he already has the size to play either the four or the five. He has the length to be a good defensive player as well, playing against other teams bigs.
10.Atlanta Hawks (via Mavericks): Brandon Clarke 6’8” Forward Gonzaga
The Hawks have a solid big man in John Collins, however, with this pick they are probably looking for more of a rim protector, which is what Brandon Clarke is. Clarke has elite athleticism, which helped him become the Gonzaga single-season record holder in blocks. Clarke is pretty good on the offensive end as well, which will force defenders to stay on him when needed. Clarke fits pretty well alongside John Collins, who is more of a scorer and probably is naturally a four, Clarke would be able to guard other teams bigs which is much needed.
11.Minnesota Timberwolves: Rui Hachimura 6’8” Forward Gonzaga
Rui Hachimura is a player who has all the physical tools you could want, whether it would be with his 7’2” wingspan or his elite athleticism. His shot needs some work, as it is not fluid right now but with all his other physical tools this is probably not a bad choice for the Timberwolves.
12.Charlotte Hornets: Jaxson Hayes 6’11” Center Texas
The Hornets could use a solid rim-runner like Jaxson Hayes as they look to build in the future. Hayes is pretty new to the game of basketball, so it may take a while before this pick hits but the upside is there with him. Hayes is 6’11” with a 7’4” wingspan and has shown the inside footwork to be a good low-post option going forward. I also think his ideal fit with this organization is right next to Miles Bridges who should play at the four.
13.Miami Heat: PJ Washington 6’7” Forward Kentucky
The Heat are a team that tends to draft really well and while PJ Washington may not be the best pick, I do think he will be a solid NBA player. Washington has good size and wingspan and has shown the quickness to guard quicker players and the size to score in the paint.
14.Boston Celtics (via Kings): Nassir Little 6’7” Wing North Carolina
The Celtics have a lot of questions going forward between the Anthony Davis trade sweepstakes or with the potential of Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier leaving. Ideally, there would be a good point guard at this spot but since there is not, I would maybe take a risk with Nassir Little. Little really never figured out the North Carolina system but I still do think he probably fits in better in the NBA especially if he can develop with a world-class organization like the Celtics.
15.Detroit Pistons: Keldon Johnson 6’6” Guard Kentucky
The Pistons need guard help desperately, so drafting a player like Keldon Johnson is not a bad idea. Johnson isn’t necessarily a great athlete but he shot a good percentage from three and is good at getting his spot on the court.
16.Orlando Magic: Kevin Porter 6’6” Guard USC
Kevin Porter had many issues on and off the court, whether it would be injuries or other incidents that took place but he is now off to the NBA. Porter has a good skill set, good jump shot and is an explosive athlete, all of these things will help him be a good NBA player if he is able to get onto the court.
17.Brooklyn Nets: Grant Williams 6’7” Forward Tennessee
The Nets are another team that keeps drafting high-IQ players and I think no one in this draft has a higher basketball IQ than Grant Williams. Williams is a really good low-post scorer and defender, who has shown flashes of a jumper. His size mixed with his lacking athleticism could come back to bite him but the Nets are a team that may take him.
18.Indiana Pacers: Tyler Herro 6’5” Guard Kentucky
The Pacers weakness was shown big time in their series against Boston and that was their lack of a shooter/ scorer. While Herro is best known for his shooting ability, which he is a good shooter, he’s also a very good athlete and defender, which can be helpful in addition to his shooting ability. To me, this move makes a lot of sense when it comes to a Pacers team looking for a solid shooter.
19.San Antonio Spurs: Goga Bitadze 6’11” Center Georgia
The Spurs would love to have the ability to draft Goga Bitadze at 19, as his ability to score inside should pair nicely with the Spurs. The Spurs right now have Jacob Poeltl but I think with the upside of Bitadze they should be even more dangerous inside.
20.Boston Celtics (via Clippers): Nickeil Alexander-Walker 6’5” Guard Virginia Tech
The Celtics have some questions surrounding the point guard position and while Alexander-Walker isn’t a true point he can bring up the ball. Alexander-Walker also is a very good scorer and shooter as a whole, all these things that he brings to the table should fit in nicely with the Celtics.
21.Oklahoma City Thunder: KZ Okpala 6’9” Wing Stanford
The Thunder are a team that loves long and athletic wings who is switchable on defense, which is why this pick makes sense to me. Okpala was also drastically improved his three-point percentage this past year, going from 22 percent to 37 percent from downtown, his shooting ability is something that the Thunder desperately need. I think in a system like the Thunder, he should develop into a nice role player going forward.
22.Boston Celtics: Romeo Langford 6’6” Guard Indiana
Romeo Langford was a really good player coming into College but last season saw many of his worst traits become exposed, which is why he lands at 22 in my mock draft. Langford is a good scorer off the dribble and a solid athlete but what he makes up in scoring is lacking in the shooting department where he took and missed many jump shots. He will need to get his jumper intact but I still think he has the potential to help an NBA team at some point.
23.Utah Jazz: Matisse Thybulle 6’5” Guard Washington
The best defender in College Basketball went to Matisse Thybulle, who was a dangerous threat in the Huskies 2-3 zone, which should help him get drafted despite not being the greatest offensive player. Thybulle has a 7’0” wingspan which allows him to get plenty of deflections and protect the rim when needed. His offense will need improvements but if he can do that, he will be a very solid role player in the NBA.
24.Philadelphia 76ers: Cam Johnson 6’8” Wing North Carolina
The 76ers have enough issues spacing with both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on the court, so I think it is very important for them to add a shooter who can play right away like Cam Johnson. Johnson is a really good three-point shooter, often times going over 40 percent on the season, while he also has the size and speed to be a switchable defender in the NBA.
25.Portland Trailblazers: Bol Bol 7’2” Center Oregon
The Trailblazers are a team that might want to take a chance on a player like Bol Bol, as his upside could lead a team to success. Obviously, we know about his ability on the offensive end as he can make shots both inside and out, while he is a good shot-blocker. Bol Bol is obviously very thin and is not a good on-ball defender, which will scare most teams but at this point in the draft, it is safe enough to take a chance on him.
26.Cleveland Cavaliers (via Rockets): Luguentz Dort 6’4” Guard Arizona State
The Cavaliers already drafted one two-way player in Jarrett Culver, adding Dort will be a nice addition to their roster. Dort is a very good athlete, who is a very good on-ball defender and a good rebounder. He can sometimes be inconsistent with his jump shot, however, there is still room to improve upon that.
27.Brooklyn Nets (via Nuggets): Chuma Okeke 6’7” Wing Auburn
At this range, teams are looking for solid players that can step in and help out, while Chuma Okeke probably can’t do that much next year he should be able to step in right away. Okeke is a very good shooter and playmaker on the offensive end, while his quickness and wingspan help make him a really good defender. It still is unknown what he will look like off of this ACL tear but I do think he will play a role at the next level.
28.Golden State Warriors: Zach Norvell Jr. 6’5” Guard Gonzaga
The Warriors will be looking to beef up their bench with some offensive playmakers and a player I like in this spot is Norvell. Norvell is a really good shooter from deep while having the size and length to be good on the defensive end. His role with the Warriors will probably be in the spark plug/ shooter off the bench.
29.San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors): Admiral Schofield 6’5” Wing Tennessee
The Spurs like team-first guys who play hard and are willing to sacrifice for their team and I don’t know if anyone fits that build more than Admiral Schofield. In addition to being a great teammate, Schofield is a good shooter, good athlete and is very strong going against guards. Those attributes should help him be a really good player at the next level.
30.Milwaukee Bucks: Talen Horton-Tucker 6’4” Guard Iowa State
If there was ever such thing as a draft and stash player in the first round, this is it as Horton-Tucker is not ready for the NBA just yet. I do think a couple of developmental years in the G-League should help him as a player in order to become a solid role player in the future.
31.Brooklyn Nets (via Knicks): Ty Jerome 6’5” Guard Virginia
32.Phoenix Suns: Eric Paschall 6’7” Forward Villanova
33.Philadelphia 76ers (via Cavaliers): Dylan Windler 6’8” Guard Belmont
34.Philadelphia 76ers (via Bulls): Bruno Fernando 6’10” Forward Maryland
35.Atlanta Hawks: Luka Samanic 6’8” Forward Croatia
36.Charlotte Hornets (via Wizards): Mfiondu Kabengele 6’10” Forward Florida State
37.Dallas Mavericks: Daniel Gafford 6’11” Center Arkansas
38.Chicago Bulls (via Grizzlies): Nic Claxton 6’11” Forward Georgia
39.New Orleans Pelicans: Dewan Hernandez 6’11” Center Miami
40.Sacramento Kings (via Timberwolves): Jontay Porter 6’11” Forward Missouri
41.Atlanta Hawks (via Lakers): Carsen Edwards 6’1” Guard Purdue
42.Philadelphia 76ers (via Kings): Deividas Sirvydis 6’8” Forward Lithuania
43.Minnesota Timberwolves (via Heat): Quentin Grimes 6’5” Guard Kansas
44.Atlanta Hawks (via Hornets): Justin Wright-Foreman 6’3” Guard Hofstra
45.Detroit Pistons: Aubrey Dawkins 6’6” Guard UCF
46.Orlando Magic (via Nets): Naz Reid 6’10” Forward LSU
47.Sacramento Kings (via Magic): Simi Shittu 6’10” Forward Vanderbilt
48.Los Angles Clippers: Louis King 6’9” Wing Oregon
49.San Antonio Spurs: Zylan Cheatham 6’8” Wing Arizona State
50.Indiana Pacers: Ignas Brazdeikis 6’7” Wing Michigan
51.Boston Celtics: Jalen McDaniels 6’9” Forward San Diego State
52.Charlotte Hornets (via Thunder): Isaiah Roby 6’8” Forward Nebraska
53.Utah Jazz: Marial Shayok 6’6” Wing Iowa State
54.Philadelphia 76ers: Justin Robinson 6’3” Guard Virginia Tech
55.New York Knicks (via Rockets): Shamorie Ponds 6’3” Guard St. John’s
56.Los Angles Clippers (via Trailblazers): Tyus Battle 6’5” Guard Syracuse
57.New Orleans Pelicans (via Nuggets): Tacko Fall 7’6” Center UCF
58.Golden State Warriors: Tremont Waters 5’9” Guard LSU
59.Toronto Raptors: Oshae Brissett 6’8” Wing Syracuse
60.Sacramento Kings (via Bucks): Kyle Guy 6’3” Guard Virginia
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