NBA Mock Draft 3.0
1. New Orleans Pelicans - Zion Williamson, F, Duke - This is cut and dry. With securing the first overall selection via the Draft Lottery on Tuesday, the Pelicans are in line to land the coveted Zion Williamson. Now the question shifts to, does Anthony Davis stay or will he be traded. Anyway it works out, the Pelicans have their new guy and are about to get a haul for AD.
2. Memphis Grizzlies - Ja Morant, PG, Murray State - Step aside Mike Conley, there’s a new sheriff in town. With landing the second overall pick on Tuesday, the Grizzlies will have their pick of the field after Zion. Mike Conley turns 32 in October and there have been trade rumors circling his name for quite some time. The Grizzlies have the chance to land Morant and restart the team.
3. New York Knicks - R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke - It’s not the pick Knicks' fans were hoping for but they are going to get one heck of a player, that is if they keep this pick. Barrett could ultimately become the best player out of this draft. He’s shadowed by the Zion hype but will still have a great NBA career. Don’t be surprised if Barrett ends up in New Orleans playing alongside Zion once again as part of an Anthony Davis deal.
4. Los Angeles Lakers - De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia - The Lakers were one of the biggest winners of the Draft Lottery, moving all the way up to fourth. This draft has been deemed a three player draft with a pretty significant drop off beyond the top three. The Lakers will have their pick of players outside of the top three. They could easily go Darius Garland here and part ways with Lonzo Ball. However, I think they’ll opt for Hunter with the fourth pick. Hunter is arguably the best defender in the entire draft and can bounce between the three and four at the NBA level. Let’s not forget that he’s a very efficient and prolific scorer as well. He’ll be a very welcomed addition to the struggling Lakers.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers - Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech - With landing the fifth pick, the Cavaliers have a chance to land one of the draft’s more intriguing players in Culver. He has great size at 6-foot-6 and great athleticism. He’s a play maker. A shot creator. In simple terms, the man gets buckets. He’s going to do well put aside Collin Sexton.
6. Phoenix Suns - Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt - The Suns went into the lottery hoping for a high enough pick to land their point guard of the future. Although they won’t be getting Ja Morant, Darius Garland is not a bad consolation prize. He has unlimited range and a high basketball IQ. We have just a small five game sample size of him in college due to a knee injury, but I expect him to be a very good NBA player. I’ve been on the Garland wagon for a long time.
7. Chicago Bulls - Coby White, PG, North Carolina - The Bulls need a point guard and they’ll have the chance to land their guy at seven. White is a lightning quick player who can get to the rim with ease. He posses spot up shooting ability as well. He’s a floor general and is exactly what the young Bulls roster needs.
8. Atlanta Hawks - Cam Reddish, SF, Duke - The Hawks will still have the chance to get their guy at eight. This marriage just seems like, it needs to happen. Reddish is a lock-down wing defender who has the ability to shoot the three at a high percentage. Plug him between Trae Young and John Collins and alongside Kevin Huerter. That's a formula for success.
9. Washington Wizards - Sekou Doumbouya, F, Guinea - The Wizards are a hard team to predict, especially at the nine hole. They have a large cap figure locked up in the super max of John Wall. Moving Wall will be really hard to do due to the amount of money he makes. With that being said, they could opt to select the top ranked foreign prospect. Doumbouya has great physicals and can play both the three and four. He’s extremely athletic and is a versatile defender. He’s a perfect player to help start your rebuild.
10. Atlanta Hawks - Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas - The Hawks have secured two top ten picks in the draft. They took their small forward with the eighth pick and now have the chance to land the draft’s best big man. Hayes did not make a single jumpshot all season last year. He’s not your modern NBA big man. However, he plays above the rim, is extremely athletic and can block shots with ease. The Hawks don't need him for his offense, which he’s limited in. They need him to protect the rim and that’s exactly what he’ll do.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves - Romeo Langford, SF, Indiana - Langford’s physical tools are what you want in an NBA wing. He’s 6-foot-6 and has a 6-foot-11 wingspan. He does it all. He plays good defense, rebounds, is a good passer and has the tools to score. He struggled a bit last season in college, but with his prototypical build and foundation, he’ll transition well into the NBA.
12. Charlotte Hornets - Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina - Little is one of the more interesting players in the draft. He has what it takes to be a quality NBA player, but he showed little of that in his freshman year at North Carolina. He was one of the most talked about players heading into college last season as he was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game. He’s an elite athlete who is a tough defender. If he can get it right, the Hornets could get a steal in him at twelve.
13. Miami Heat - Bol Bol, C, Oregon - The Heat have one more season with Hassan Whiteside. During that time, they could take the 7-foot-3 wonder in Bol Bol and allow him to heal from his foot injury. Bol is an absolute freak. He’s your NBA center that you want. Skillful, long, tall and a true talent. He’s both the tallest and longest player projected to be drafted. The Heat need to take a risk and could ultimately hit a home run with this selection.
14. Boston Celtics from Sacramento Kings - Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga - Who knows what the Celtics’ roster will look like next season. Kyrie Irving is on his way out of town, that’s a given. They have three first round selections and could bundle them to move up. With not projecting trades, they’ll look to add some front court help. Clarke is defined as a “pogo-stick” athlete who will finish everything around the rim. He’s a versatile defender due to his athleticism and has a good offensive feeling for the game.
15. Detroit Pistons - P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky - Washington has the physical tools to be a quality NBA player. He has a lot of improving to do on the defensive side of the ball but due to his measurements and athletic ability, he’ll be sure to be a mid-first round selection.
16. Orlando Magic - Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech - I’ve been a fan of Alexander-Walker for a long time. He’s a versatile-athletic combo guard. He’s patient, and plays the game correctly. Operating with the ball, he slows the game down for everyone and gets it where it needs to be. He also possess spot-up shooting ability. He’ll be a welcomed addition to the Magic, especially as they move forward in using Markelle Fultz.
17. Brooklyn Nets - Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC - Porter is a raw talent that needs some help being pointed in the right direction. With the Nets’ track record of getting the most out of players, it seems like an ideal destination for Porter. He’s a very talented shot-creator and has an impressive combination of strength, shiftiness and leaping ability. If the Nets can get the most of our of him, we’ll be talking about this pick for years to come.
18. Indiana Pacers - Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga - Hachimura is today’s power forward. He’s light on his feet, very efficient from 15-feet in and plays above the rim. He has the ability to be a quality defender as well due to his athleticism, length and size.
19. San Antonio Spurs - Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia - It goes without saying that the Spurs have a proven track record with foreign players. With Pau Gasol gone and LaMarcus Aldridge being a free agent, the Spurs need to start the rebuild of its front court. Bitadze is a high energy player who will buy into a system. He works well in the pick and roll. He’s ideal for the Spurs.
20. Boston Celtics from Los Angeles Clippers - Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky - Herro fits the mold of a Celtics’ player. He’s a high energetic defender who has a pure shooter’s stroke. He compares to the likes of Kevin Heurter of the Atlanta Hawks. Look for Herro to continue to climb draft boards.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky - Johnson’s high energy and aggressiveness has him fitting into the Thunder system well. He has good physical tools to to be an NBA wing. He rebounds and plays defense well. The Thunder would love to add Johnson with the twenty-first pick.
22. Boston Celtics - Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington State - Thybulle is a defensive specialist. He’s an elite wing defender that’s going to make his mark on the NBA doing just that. The Celtics have three first round selections where I already have them selecting a talented big man as well as a shooter in Herro. Getting a player to lock down the wing could be perfect for the future Celtics.
23. Utah Jazz - Ty Jerome, SG, Virginia - Ty Jerome is a gifted shooter. He shot a career 39-percent from three while at Virginia, where he shot 40-percent last season. He is a high energy defender as well. The Jazz could use some help shooting from the outside.
24. Philadelphia 76ers - Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue - If the 76ers are to somehow keep their big four together, they need to get creative in filling out the roster with cheaper depth. Edwards’ draft stock has been on a constant rise since his historic NCAA tournament. Edwards could be an ideal bench piece for the future 76ers.
25. Portland Trailblazers - Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State - Horton-Tucker is a versatile player who can play anywhere from point guard to power forward. He’s shifty and a play maker. He has a great feel for the game with great handles and a developing three-point shot.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers from Houston Rockets - Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina - Johnson has an NBA caliber shooting stroke and is a decent defender. On a team with many holes, the Cavaliers could look to go best player available at twenty-six which in my opinion, would be Johnson.
27. Brooklyn Nets from Denver Nuggets - KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford - Okpala has shown that he has developed a quality jumper and is also a versatile defender. He will most likely be gone by this point of the draft later in the process. He’s a late bloomer and fits the mold of Nets getting the most out of very talented prospects.
28. San Antonio Spurs from Toronto Raptors - Admiral Schofield, SF, Tennessee - Again, Schofield is your prototypical Spurs player. He’s a tireless worker on both side of the ball. He’ll buy into a system and do whatever he needs to do in any role he is given.
29. Milwaukee Bucks - Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State - It’s hard to pinpoint a weakness on the Bucks’ roster but I’d say it’s front court depth. Kabengele is a quality rebounder and has great touch around the rim. He’ll be a great bench piece for any team.
30. Golden State Warriors - Eric Paschall, PF, Villanova - The Warriors will have to get creative with their roster moving forward. They’ll have limited cap space and therefore limited ability to add depth. Adding someone as polished as Paschall in the later part of the first round will go a long way for them.
31. Brooklyn Nets from New York Knicks - Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
32. Phoenix Suns - Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont
33. Philadelphia 76ers from Cleveland Cavaliers - Luguentz Dort, SG, Arizona State
34. Philadelphia 76ers from Chicago Bulls - Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
35. Atlanta Hawks - Luka Samanic, F, Croatia
36. Charlotte Hornets from Washington Wizards - Dedric Lawson, SF, Kansas
37. Dallas Mavericks - Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
38. Chicago Bulls from Memphis Grizzlies - Jontay Porter, C, Missouri
39. New Orleans Pelicans - Darius Bazley, SF, USA
40. Sacramento Kings from Minnesota Timberwolves - Louis King, SF, Oregon
41. Atlanta Hawks from Los Angeles Lakers - Shamorie Ponds, PG, St. John's
42. Philadelphia 76ers from Sacramento Kings - Jalen McDaniels, F, UNLV
43. Minnesota Timberwolves from Miami Heat - Nic Claxton, C, Gerogia
44. Atlanta Hawks from Charlotte Hornets - Quinndary Weatherspoon, SG, Mississippi State
45. Detroit Pistons - Tremont Waters, PG, LSU
46. Orlando Magic from Brooklyn Nets - Isaiah Roby, PF, Nebraska
47. Sacramento Kings from Orlando Magic - Deividas Sivydis, SF, Lithuania
48. Los Angeles Clippers - Ignas Brazdeikis, PF, Michigan
49. San Antonio Spurs - Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky
50. Indiana Pacers - Miye Oni, SG, Yale
51. Boston Celtics - Henri Drell, SF, Estonia
52. Charlotte Hornets from Oklahoma City Thunder - Chuma Okeke, PF, Auburn
53. Utah Jazz - Borisia Simanic, PF, Serbia
54. Philadelphia 76ers - Jaylen Hoard, PF, Wake Forest
55. New York Knicks from Houston Rockets - Justin Robinson, PG, Virginia Tech
56. Los Angeles Clippers from Portland Trailblazers - DaQuan Jeffries, SG, Tulsa
57. New Orleans Pelicans from Denver Nuggets - Zylan Cheatham, PF, Arizona State
58. Golden State Warriors - Jordan Nwora, PF, Louisville
59. Toronto Raptors - Justin Wright-Foreman, PG, Hofstra
60. Sacramento Kings from Milwaukee Bucks - Jared Harper, PG, Auburn