NBA Mock Draft: Two Weeks until the Draft
We are now two weeks from the NBA Draft, the Draft board is somewhat starting to take shape as many prospects have made their impressions at the combine and have gone through team workouts and meetings. As usual for all my Mock Drafts, I will have the picks that I will make and have a breakdown for each first-round pick. As always free to comment on this board on my Twitter which is @Bracketologist3 and without further ado, here is my latest NBA Mock Draft.
1.New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson 6’7” Forward Duke
The Pelicans are expected to move on from one superstar in Anthony Davis but luckily they will have another one coming in, that being Zion Williamson. Williamson was the runaway National Player of the year in College thanks to his all-time efficient scoring, great defense, and of course his highlight real dunks. The Pelicans will be in rebuild mode but they won the lottery and got the best prospect maybe since Anthony Davis in 2012, for their sake they will want more tournament success.
2.Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant 6’3” Guard Murray State
The Grizzlies are likely going to rebuild and an addition of a potential future star point guard like Ja Morant would be beneficial to the Grizzlies going forward. Morant is a really athletic guard as he is both quick and has shown the ability to throw down highlight real dunks, while Morant has great vision as well. There are still holes to his game, most notably with his jump shot but he still looks like the pretty clear choice for the Grizzlies at number two.
3.New York Knicks: RJ Barrett 6’7” Wing Duke
The Knicks drafting is always one of the best parts of the draft mainly due to the fact that they are known to take a few curveballs like with Kevin Knox last year. The Knicks have been rumored to be interested in a few other guys like Cam Reddish and Jarrett Culver but I ultimately think they land where they should, which is with RJ Barrett. Barrett is a crafty lefty who is a high-volume scorer who has all the attributes to be great in the NBA. There are still questions about his shot-IQ and jump shot in general but I certainly would take him over anyone else in this draft whether it be because of his immediate help to this franchise or the potential ability to move him in a future deal this offseason.
4.Los Angles Lakers: Jarrett Culver 6’7” Wing Texas Tech
There are very few surefire two-way players in this draft but I do think Jarrett Culver is one of them. Culver is sneaky long while having a really good shot-making ability in addition to the ability to play great defense, which are two things that the Lakers could use at the moment. His jump shot has a hitch in it that will probably be fixed but based on everything else he brings to the table this is the safe pick for the Lakers.
5.Cleveland Cavaliers: De’Andre Hunter 6’7” Wing Virginia
Amongst the teams in need of a wing are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are essentially starting over after Lebron left for Cleveland. The best wing prospect left in the draft is De’Andre Hunter who is one of the best defensive players in the draft while being a really good offensive player who is capable of making threes. Hunter is old for this class and he doesn’t look like he will be a future All-Star but he does feel like a pretty safe bet to be a long-term wing in the NBA.
6.Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland 6’2” Guard Vanderbilt
The Suns choices are somewhat limited at this point of the draft but I do think Darius Garland is a nice fit for this organization for a number of different reasons. Garland had a knee injury, so there isn’t a lot of tape of him against College players but all the signs point to him being a good player, whether it would be because of his shot-making ability or his handles. This pick comes with some risks but assuming he pans out like expected this will be a nice get for the Suns.
7.Chicago Bulls: Coby White 6’5” Guard North Carolina
The Bulls have a need at the guard position and Coby White seems like a good option to come in and fix the Bulls. White is a player who loves to play with pace and get up and down the court, while he is a very good shooter, those things are needed for the Bulls. While he didn’t come into College as a natural point guard, he showed that he was more than capable of running the show in his one year at North Carolina. The sometimes erratic ability and lack of a great wingspan could hurt him in the NBA but he certainly looks like a good choice for the Bulls at 7.
8.Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish 6’7” Wing Duke
The Hawks are looking to add pieces to build around Trae Young and while Cam Reddish was often times known for not showing up for Duke, he seems like the smart pick at this point in the NBA Draft. Reddish has a great physical profile in terms of size, wingspan, while he’s shown the ability to be a lethal three-point shooter. Yes, the fact he sometimes doesn’t show up or at times even looks lost on the court in games does scare me but at this point in the draft, it would be better to take a risk on a guy like that and live with the results.
9.Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya 6’9” Forward France
Sekou Doumbouya is likely going to be the first foreign player taken in this years NBA Draft and it will likely happen in the first ten picks, which in this instance is with the Washington Wizards. Doumbouya has a great frame with a long wingspan, with athleticism and strength to play both forward spots. His game is still raw on both ends of the ball but given the fact the Wizards really need someone at the forward spot, this seems like a good move.
10. Atlanta Hawks: Nassir Little 6’8” Wing North Carolina
As mentioned earlier, the Hawks are looking to add some potential upside pieces around Trae Young and while Nassir Little struggled at times, he may have more upside than anyone else left on the board. Little can play both the 3 and the 4, which is something teams will look for in the NBA. While he struggled in his one year at North Carolina, which is probably in part because he didn’t fit in with their system, he still is on record never bad-mouthing the coaching staff about it. He is a high-class kid with a lot of upside, he may not turn out to be a superstar but I do think he is worth giving a look at this point in the draft.
11.Minnesota Timberwolves: Brandon Clarke 6’8” Forward Gonzaga
The Timberwolves are going to have two top picks in Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins for the foreseeable future, so it is probably a good time to start building around those two with some complementary pieces like Brandon Clarke. Clarke is a forward who doesn’t measure well but has insane athleticism and timing, which allows him to block shots and play defense at a high level. He’s also really skilled on the offensive end and is a player that should come in right away and make an impact.
12.Charlotte Hornets: Rui Hachimura 6’8” Forward Gonzaga
The Hornets came up just short last year in their quest to make the NBA Playoffs but adding a player like Rui Hachimura could help them get over the Playoff hump. Rui is really athletic with a lot of physical tools and an elite ability to score from the two-point range. There are still questions about his jump shot but getting him at 12 is pretty good for the Hornets I think.
13.Miami Heat: PJ Washington 6’8” Forward Kentucky
The Heat is likely going into a rebuild in the future but getting their frontcourt set up should be beneficial for them and in doing so, drafting PJ Washington is probably the smart pick here. Washington is 6’8” with a long wingspan and good lateral quickness, which allows him to guard multiple positions. Washington isn’t a great shooter, which is something he needs to work on but he does a lot of other things on offense that can make up for that lacking jump shot.
14.Boston Celtics: Jaxson Hayes 7’0” Big Texas
The Celtics are probably going to need a replacement for Al Horford in a few years when his contract expires and picking up a rim-running big like Jaxson Hayes would be a benefit to this team. Hayes has outstanding physical tools as he has a long wingspan and a great frame to be a long-term NBA player. He has used those tools to be a great interior scorer, as well as a good shot blocker. Hayes is relatively new to the game so he is probably not going to contribute a lot early on but he should eventually develop into a great piece.
15.Detroit Pistons: Romeo Langford 6’6” Guard Indiana
The freshman season of Romeo Langford was pretty disappointing and it showed a lot of the weaknesses in his season. Having a torn ligament in his hand obviously wasn’t beneficial and will be taken into account with teams drafting him. He has a good frame and a plus-5 wingspan and is a good ball-handler. The Pistons are a team in desperate need of a guard help, so having him on the team will be beneficial for them, while Langford should get minutes early on.
16.Orlando Magic: Kevin Porter 6’6” Wing USC
Kevin Porter is another player that has all the talent in the world but disappointed last year in College. Porter had issues on and off the court but he’s now in the NBA and ready to make his mark. Porter has a great frame, good scoring ability off the dribble and has the ability to defend multiple positions. The Magic took a chance on Markelle Fultz, so taking a chance on Porter makes sense and if they can get those to work out, they could be actually contending in the Playoffs.
17.Brooklyn Nets: Grant Williams 6’7” Forward Tennessee
The Nets are a team that is known for taking high-IQ players and in this draft, there may not be anyone better than Grant Williams. Williams has a terrific feel for the game, as he can pass and score the ball at a high-level. The size and lack of a great jumper are things that hold him back from being taken higher in this draft but if he is able to go to a team like the Nets, where he should fit in nicely, that will be good for both teams.
18.Indiana Pacers: Nickeil Alexander-Walker 6’5” Guard Virginia Tech
The Pacers have a pretty good front court going forward, so adding some guards to help provide some depth would be big for this team. The best prospect on my board is Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who is a good shooter and passer while having all the physical traits to be in the NBA. He doesn’t have star written on him but at this point in the draft, I would rather draft a good player that can help them win early on.
19.San Antonio Spurs: Goga Bitadze 6’11” Big Georgia
The Spurs are known for taking overseas prospects and while that hasn’t always been the case in recent years, if they are able to take Bitadze at 19 they will gladly take him. Bitadze is a really skilled big man with the ability to stretch the floor, while he is really long. With a lack of bigs on the Spurs roster, taking Bitadze makes a lot of sense as a long-term piece on this team.
20.Boston Celtics: Tyler Herro 6’5” Guard Kentucky
The Celtics are in need of some shooting as both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown aren’t great shooters themselves and Tyler Herro may end up being the best shooter in the draft. In addition to being a really good shooter, Herro also is a good defender and has a good feel to the game. I think the Celtics are looking for players that can contribute right away and Herro certainly fills that need.
21.Oklahoma City Thunder: Mfiondu Kabengele 6’10” Forward Florida State
The Thunder are a team that is always going to be pretty good but adding a floor-spacing big man would be beneficial. In addition to being a floor-spacing big man, Kabengele has a good frame and is very athletic. He will likely start on the bench but he should get minutes early on subbing for players like Steven Adams or Jerami Grant.
22.Boston Celtics: Keldon Johnson 6’6” Guard Kentucky
The Celtics are likely in win-now mode, so they will be looking for players that can make an impact early on, which is something I think he can do. Johnson showed some flashes of greatness and while he struggled to create shots he still looks poised to be a good piece early on for the Celtics.
23.Utah Jazz: Luguentz Dort 6’4” Guard Arizona State
The Jazz could use some guard depth and they value defense, so drafting Luguentz Dort seems like a logical play for the Jazz. Dort is a terrific defender with good quickness and a long wingspan, who has the ability to drive and score. His jump shot is not the greatest, which could be cause for concern but drafting him based off of all those other traits is something that the Jazz could use.
24.Philadelphia 76ers: Cam Johnson 6’9” Wing North Carolina
The 76ers really are looking for some shooting at this point in the draft, which is something Cam Johnson can provide. Johnson is an elite three-point shooter, averaging over 40 percent from three in his career and he’s shown the ability to shoot NBA threes. His ceiling isn’t exactly great but he should be a solid NBA role player.
25.Portland Trailblazers: KZ Okpala 6’9” Wing Stanford
The Trailblazers could use some help at the 3-4 spots in the NBA, which is something Okpala can provide, while he is a good athlete. Okpala has made some strides offensively, shooting much better from three, while he has the frame to be a good defender. Okpala may not be a great player coming in but I do think he has long-term potential to become a solid player in the NBA.
26.Cleveland Cavaliers: Luka Samanic 6’11” Big Croatia
The Cavaliers are rebuilding but adding a player like Samanic who has shown to have upside would be a good fit. Samanic is a really good scorer both off the ball and shooting wise, while he has the athleticism to switch. For a team looking to rebuild, drafting someone like Samanic would be very valuable.
27.Brooklyn Nets: Chuma Okeke 6’8” Wing Auburn
The Nets are looking for a player like Chuma Okeke who has a high basketball IQ, a good jump shot and he has a really good athletic ability. He has shown struggles at times on defense and he is going to have to wait a while before actually playing but when he does get on the court, he should be a solid NBA player.
28.Golden State Warriors: Terence Davis 6’4” Guard Ole Miss
Terence Davis has been getting real buzz as of late and his draft stock is skyrocketing as of late, so I think Davis could end up going in the first round. Davis is a good scorer off the dribble and is an excellent shooter while being a really good athlete. I think for a Warriors team that is looking to win now, adding a piece like Davis will be beneficial to the Warriors.
29.San Antonio Spurs: Matisse Thybulle 6’5” Guard Washington
The Spurs are likely going to look for a player that can make an immediate impact, so adding a guard like Thybulle will be a smart pick. Thybulle is an elite defender, who uses his wingspan very effectively to get blocks and steals. If he can get his offense to come around this will be a very good pickup for the Spurs.
30.Milwaukee Bucks: Nic Claxton 6’11” Big Georgia
The Bucks are looking for a floor-spacing big man and while Claxton isn’t close to a finished product this team would love to take Claxton. Claxton is a good shooter, rebounder, and shot-blocker, while he’s a good defender. He likely needs to improve upon his strength and improving his skillset overall but he does seem like a long-term fit next to the Greek Freak.
31.Brooklyn Nets: Ty Jerome 6’5” Guard Virginia
32.Phoenix Suns: Zach Norvell Jr. 6’5” Guard Gonzaga
33.Philadelphia 76ers: Bol Bol 7’3” Big Oregon
34.Philadelphia 76ers: Carsen Edwards 6’1” Guard Purdue
35.Atlanta Hawks: Eric Paschal 6’7” Wing Villanova
36.Charlotte Hornets: Bruno Fernando 6’10” Big Maryland
37.Dallas Mavericks: Darius Bazley 6’8” Wing USA
38.Chicago Bulls: Isaiah Roby 6’7” Forward Nebraska
39.New Orleans Pelicans: Dylan Windler 6’7” Wing Belmont
40.Sacramento Kings: Admiral Schofield 6’5” Wing Tennessee
41.Atlanta Hawks: Daniel Gafford 6’11” Big Arkansas
42.Philadelphia 76ers: DaQuan Jeffries 6’5” Guard Tulsa
43.Minnesota Timberwolves: Tremont Waters 5’10” Guard LSU
44.Atlanta Hawks: Talen Horton-Tucker 6’4” Guard Iowa State
45.Detroit Pistons: Terance Mann 6’5” Guard Florida State
46.Orlando Magic: Jalen McDaniels 6’9” Forward San Diego State
47.Sacramento Kings: Louis King 6’9” Wing Oregon
48.Los Angeles Clippers: Jaylen Nowell 6’4” Guard Washington
49.San Antonio Spurs: Deividas Sirvydis 6’8” Forward Lithuania
50.Indiana Pacers: Jordan Bone 6’3” Guard Tennessee
51.Boston Celtics: Miye Oni 6’7” Wing Yale
52.New Orleans Pelicans: Jontay Porter 6’11” Big Missouri
53.Utah Jazz: Jalen Leque 6’4” Guard USA
54.Philadelphia 76ers: Zylan Cheatham 6’8” Wing Arizona State
55.New York Knicks: Tacko Fall 7’7” Big UCF
56.Los Angles Clippers: Justin Robinson 6’3” Guard Virginia Tech
57.New Orleans Pelicans: Charles Matthews 6’6” Guard Michigan
58.Golden State Warriors: Yovel Zoosman 6’7” Wing Israel
59.Toronto Raptors: Oshae Brissett 6’8” Wing Syracuse
60.Sacramento Kings: Rayjon Tucker 6’3” Guard Little-Rock
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