NBA Mock Draft 4.0
1. New Orleans Pelicans - Zion Williamson, F, Duke - Must we go into further detail? This is nearly as clear cut as a first overall pick goes. When the draft opens on Thursday, Williamson will be the first to hear his name called. It’s Zion time in NOLA.
Previous pick: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
2. Memphis Grizzlies - Ja Morant, PG, Murray State - With Mike Conley being shipped to the Utah Jazz, the Grizzlies have made it certain that they’ll select Morant with the second overall pick. Morant could arguably be the best talent in this draft. He’s everything you want in today’s point guard and is an ideal piece to build a franchise around.
Previous pick: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
3. New York Knicks - R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke - First the Knicks don’t land the first overall pick, then they miss out on Anthony Davis. Reports suggest that the Atlanta Hawks have offered the Knicks the eighth and tenth overall selections for the third overall pick. The Knicks have since denied the trade and will likely use the third overall themselves and take R.J. Barrett. Barrett is the third player in this “three player draft.” With a significant drop off in talent beyond Barrett, the Knicks, although angry they missed out on Zion, should be happy with landing Barrett as a consolation prize.
Previous pick: R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke
4. New Orleans Pelicans from Los Angeles Lakers - Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech - The Hawks have reportedly addressed the Pelicans about swapping their eighth and tenth picks for the newly acquired fourth overall selection as part of the Anthony Davis trade. A play for Bradley Beal could take place as well involving the pick. If the Pelicans are to keep the pick, look for them to bring in Culver. He’s a “three-and-D” type of player. He can shoot the long-ball at an impressive clip and plays great wing defense. Both of which are something the new look Pelicans will desperately need.
Previous pick: De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia (*By Lakers)
5. Cleveland Cavaliers - Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt - Now you may be thinking, why would the Cavaliers select Garland here when they used the eighth overall pick last season on Collin Sexton? However, the 6-foot-3 sexton can slide over to shooting guard and allow way for Garland. The Cavaliers allegedly sent five people to attend Garland’s private workout in Los Angeles last week. There’s serious interest there for the 19-year-old point guard. Garland is today’s point guard. He has unlimited range. Outside of the “big-three” of this draft, Garland has the best chance of being a future star in the league.
Previous pick: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
6. Phoenix Suns - Coby White, G, North Carolina - As odd as it sounds, at this point, reports suggest that the Suns have done more scouting of White than they have on Darius Garland. Luckily for the Suns, they won’t have the chance to make the mistake of taking White over Garland. Maybe they assume Garland will be off the board before they pick at six so they’ve been realistic in scouting White. Anyhow, the Suns are in desperate need of a point guard and have been for years. White is an electrically quick slashing guard who could compliment the likes of Devin Booker nicely.
Previous pick: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
7. Chicago Bulls - De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia - The Bulls just missed out on the two point guards who could realistically be available at the seventh overall selection. They’ll then look to go best player available and that would be Hunter. Hunter is a very talented player. He could arguably by the fourth best in the draft. He’s as good of a wing defender as you’ll find in the draft. He also possess spot-up-shooting ability. He’s an ideal piece for any team picking in the top ten.
Previous pick: Coby White, G, North Carolina
8. Atlanta Hawks - Cameron Reddish, SF, Duke - The Hawks are actively trying to package the eighth and tenth overall selections to move up in the draft. If they are unable to do so and are going to be picking at eight, they could be looking to add the likes of Cameron Reddish. Reddish is exactly what the Hawks need. A great wing defender who can shoot the three at a high percentage.
Previous pick: Cameron Reddish, SF, Duke
9. Washington Wizards - Sekou Doumbouya, F, Guinea - It’ll be tough for the Wizards to move John Wall due to the mega-max deal he is on. However, Bradley Beal will most likely be on his way out and the Wizards could be picking a lot earlier in this draft due to that. At nine though, they’ll look to get best player available which would be Doumbouya, who is also the highest ranked foreign prospect. Doumbouya has great physicals and measurables to be a talented NBA player. He’s improved his jump shot over his last season in France, which was previously a concern.
Previous pick: Sekou Doumbouya, F, Guinea
10. Atlanta Hawks - Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas - In a ton of mock drafts, including this one, the trend seems to be both Cam Reddish and Jaxson Hayes to the Atlanta Hawks at eight and ten. With getting their wing they needed at eight, the Hawks will look to fill their final need, a center. Jaxson Hayes is a raw talent out of Texas. He does play above the rim and is an excellent shot blocker. He has quick feet and good hands, which suggests that his struggling offensive game will improve over time. He’s exactly what the Hawks need to put alongside John Collins in the front court.
Previous pick: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
11. Minnesota Timberwolves - Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga - Although it has been reported that the Timberwolves are trying to trade Andrew Wiggins, which would free up some space in the back court, they also need help in the front court. They’re unsure if Taj Gibson will be back, and even if he does, he’s 33 years old. It’s time the Timberwolves add some youth the front court. Hachimura is extremely athletic and plays above the rim. He plays stellar defense and is perfect for the T-wolves.
Previous pick: Romeo Langford, F, Indiana
12. Charlotte Hornets - Romeo Langford, SF, Indiana - The Hornets need to swing for the fences, especially if they want to entice Kemba Walker in staying. We recently learned that Landford played with a torn ligament in his shooting hand during his time at Indiana, which would account for his underwhelming freshman season. Langford has all of the tools to be a good NBA player. If the torn ligament played as big of a role in Langford’s struggles as one thinks, the Hornets could be getting a steal here at 12.
Previous pick: Nasir Little, F, North Carolina
13. Miami Heat - Nassir Little, F, North Carolina - The Heat are another team that needs to swing for the fences and hit a homerun with the 13th overall pick. The Heat are stuck somewhere in the middle of being semi-competitive and being a lottery team. They have some talent on their roster. Taking Little can pay off big time for them. Little struggled during his freshman year at UNC, despite being one of the most talked about players heading into the season. Everything is there for Little to be successful. Little is known on why he didn’t produce at North Carolina but if everything clicks, the Heat could be talking about this selection for years to come.
Previous pick: Bol Bol, C, Oregon
14. Boston Celtics from Sacrmanento Kings - Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga - Al Horford has recently opted out of the final year of his contract and is now an unrestricted free agent. With things starting to fall apart in Boston, the Celtics need to start acquiring youth pieces to go around Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Clarke is a great piece to help that roster. Clarke is a freakish athlete, who has a graceful touch around the rim. He’s an elite defender who can guard both on the wing and in the post. He’s ideal for the Celtics.
Previous pick: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga
15. Detroit Pistons - Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech - If you’ve been following my mock drafts, you know I’m high on Alexander-Walker. He’s a very versatile guard who can shoot the three as well as pass and dribble. At 6-foot-5, what he lacks in athleticism he makes up in basketball IQ. He is also very good off the dribble in developing plays. He also does well in the pick-and-roll.
Previous pick: P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky
16. Orlando Magic - Kevin Porter, SG, USC - The Magic need shooters. They made a move at the trade deadline to bring in Markelle Fultz from the Philadelphia 76ers. Pairing Fultz’ inability to shoot along with the team’s best players being Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Mohamed Bamba, they need to add shooters. Porter was once a top-five projected pick. He is one of the draft’s best one-on-one scorers. He also has great size and athleticism.
Previous pick: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
17. Atlanta Hawks from Brooklyn Nets - Bol Bol, C, Oregon - The Hawks are still in the asset acquiring stage as they made a move to trade with the Nets, taking on Allen Crabbe’s $18.5 million contract in exchange for the 17th overall selection. With that being said, the Hawks could take a risk on Bol Bol. Although he missed the majority of the college season with a foot injury, the Hawks have the ability to bring him in and allow him to recover at his own pace. The pick could pay off big time down the road for Atlanta.
Previous pick: Kevin Porter, SG, USC (*By Nets)
18. Indiana Pacers - Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky - Tyreke Evans has been disqualified from the NBA for the next two seasons. They’ll look to find his replacement via the draft. Johnson is not exactly what they had in Tyreke Evans but he’s a talented wing who has the physicals to succeed in the NBA. He’s a capable three-point-shooter who too has the power to get to the rim. He’s also an aggressive defender and can play the four in smaller lineups.
Previous pick: Rui Hachimura, PG, Gonzaga
19. San Antonio Spurs - Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia - I love this pick too much to change it from my last mock draft. The Spurs have a glaring need in its front court. With Lamarcus Aldridge a free agent and the team waiving Pau Gasol during the season, there isn’t much left. Bitadze has ideal size and is a very skilled and fluent offensive player. He’s one of those players projected to go outside of the lottery that holds the ceiling of a top 10 player. If the Spurs can get the most out of the Georgian product, they could have a very good center for years to come.
Previous pick: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia
20. Boston Celtics from Los Angeles Clippers - Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky - Tyler Herro is a high level shooter. He also has great size at 6-foot-6 for a combo guard. Although he’s known as a shooter, his offensive game goes beyond just his shooting. There is a lot of uncertainty on the Celtics roster. With multiple first round picks, they have to find the best values they can. Herro is ideal for the Celtics.
Previous pick: Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky - P.J. Washington fits the mold of a Thunder player. He’s athletic and long. Although just 6-foot-8, he has a 7-foot-3 wingspan. He’s also a versatile offensive player who has the ability to step out and shoot the three at a good clip. He even has the ability to play center in a small-ball lineup.
Previous pick: Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky
22. Boston Celtics - Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina - I think Johnson is one of the most underrated players in the draft. Like previously stated, the turnover of the Celtics roster could be extensive this off-season and finding the best value possible with their three first round picks will be crucial. Johnson is a senior, which is a rarity in the NBA draft. He also is the best statistical shooter in the entire draft where he knocked down 40.3% of his career three-pointers.
Previous pick: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington State
23. Memphis Grizzlies via Utah Jazz - Matisse Thybulle, SG/SF, Washington - The Grizzlies are in line to draft Ja Morant after trading away Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz with the second overall pick. With Morant at point and last year’s fourth overall pick Jaren Jackson in the front court, the Grizzlies could use their newly acquired 23rd overall pick to select a young wing. Thybulle has protype wing tools and is one of the best defenders in the entire draft. His ability to guard both the two and three at a high level is something that any team would desire.
Previous pick: Ty Jerome, SG, Virginia
24. Philadelphia 76ers - Ty Jerome, SG, Virginia - The 76ers are in need of shooters. They need players who can threaten the defense from deep to open up lanes for the likes of Ben Simmons. Not only is Jerome a very talented shooter, he’s arguably the best pick-and-roll passer in the draft. Imagine the likes of Joel Embiid playing off the pick-and-roll and receiving passes from Jerome. This would be an ideal acquisition for the 76ers.
Previous pick: Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue
25. Portland Trailblazers - KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford - KZ Okpala is such an interesting player. He has the size and physicals of a power forward yet the grace and touch of a small forward. The Trailblazers are in a position where they need to add versatile bench pieces that have starting potential, which is exactly what Okpala can be.
Previous pick: Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State
26. Cleveland Cavaliers from Houston Rockets - Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland - Tristan Thompson is in the final year of his contract and trade rumors around Kevin Love have surfaced. The Cavaliers lack front court depth and youth. Fernando is arguably the best shot blocker in the entire draft. He’s super raw on the offensive side of the ball however and will take a bit of time to develop that part of his game.
Previous pick: Cameron Johnson, SF, UNC
27. Brooklyn Nets from Denver Nuggets - Dylan Windler, SG/SF, Belmont - Windler was one of the nation’s most efficient high scorers last year. He has a career 67-percentage from two and 41-percent from three. Although those numbers have dropped against good teams, the talent is there. The Nets are expected to be big spenders this off-season and need to find good value in the draft.
Previous pick: KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford
28. Golden State Warriors - Luka Samanic, PF, Croatia - More than ever, the Warriors need to get creative in order to fill out its roster. Samanic is one of the highest ranked foreign prospects in the draft. He has the size of a typical big man. He does a little bit of everything on the floor and has a recently improved defensive game. His versatility is something the Warriors will need this season.
Previous pick: Eric Paschall, F, Villanova
29. San Antonio Spurs from Toronto Raptors - Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State - Going along with their selection of Goga Bitadze earlier in the first round, the Spurs still have a desperate need of frontcourt players. Kabengele is another great value for the Spurs. He has ideal height and length and already possess a skillful offensive game.
Previous pick: Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State
30. Milwaukee Bucks - Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue - The Bucks will be looking to get a spark off the bench with the last pick of the first round. Edwards was one who busted onto the scene after a historic NCAA tournament. He has unlimited range and is a talented ball handler. He’s an ideal backup point guard, where the Bucks lack depth.
Previous Pick: Admiral Schofield, F, Tennessee
31. Brooklyn Nets from New York Knicks - Nic Claxton, C, Georgia
32. Phoenix Suns - Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State
33. Philadelphia 76ers from Cleveland Cavaliers - Jontay Porter, C, Missouri
34. Philadelphia 76ers from Chicago Bulls - Luguentz Dort, SG, Arizona State
35. Atlanta Hawks - Darius Bazley, SF, USA
36. Charlotte Hornets from Washington Wizards - Eric Paschall, F, Virginia
37. Dallas Mavericks - Admiral Schofield, SF, Tennessee
38. Chicago Bulls from Memphis Grizzlies - Shamorie Ponds, PG, St. John's
39. New Orleans Pelicans - Chuma Okeke, SF/PF, Auburn
40. Sacramento Kings from Minnesota Timberwolves - Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
41. Atlanta Hawks from Los Angeles Lakers - Jared Harper, PG, Auburn
42. Philadelphia 76ers from Sacramento Kings - Kyle Guy, G, Virginia
43. Minnesota Timberwolves from Miami Heat - DaQuan Jeffries, SG, Tulsa
44. Miami Heat from Charlotte Hornets - Ignas Brazdeikis, PF, Michigan
45. Detroit Pistons - Miye Oni, SG, Yake
46. Orlando Magic from Brooklyn Nets - Tremont Waters, PG, LSU
47. Sacramento Kings from Orlando Magic - Justin Robinson, PG, Virginia Tech
48. Los Angeles Clippers - Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
49. San Antonio Spurs - Terence Davis, SG, Ole Miss
50. Indiana Pacers - John Konchar, SG, Purdue Fort Wayne
51. Boston Celtics - Jalen Lecque, PG/SG, NC State
52. Charlotte Hornets from Oklahoma City Thunder - Joshua Obiese, PG, Germany
53. Utah Jazz - Zach Norvell, SG, Gonzaga
54. Philadelphia 76ers - Tacko Fall, C, UCF
55. New York Knicks from Houston Rockets - Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State
56. Los Angeles Clippers from Portland Trailblazers - Alen Smailagic, PF/C, Serbia
57. New Orleans Pelicans from Denver Nuggets - Justin Wright-Foreman, PG, Hofstra
58. Golden State Warriors - Louis King, SF, Oregon
59. Toronto Raptors - Jordan Poole, SG, Michigan
60. Sacramento Kings from Milwaukee Bucks - Cody Martin, SF, Nevada