Still weeks away from the lottery, a lot of dust has settled in terms of players who have declared for the draft. There is still plenty that could change, but this mock draft is based on the lottery falling into place by percentages. Which means the Knicks get the sought after top pick. Scouting reports for each player can be seen by clicking on the player’s name.
New York – Zion Williamson (Power Forward, Duke)
The Knicks have been waiting all season for the Duke sensation. Zion immediately would be the most talented player on the roster, at least until Kevin Durant is heavily courted in the summer. I have no doubt Zion will go number one. He has the personality, two-way versatility, and one-in-a-lifetime athleticism that is both a financial jackpot and success driver.
Cleveland – R.J. Barrett (Small Forward, Duke)
Barrett has a game that is better suited for the NBA than college. Cleveland could take a long look at Ja Morant, even with Collin Sexton coming off a great second half. But when you look at Barrett’s positional fit and his upside as a 20-plus point scorer, he could be the leading man for a Cleveland rebuilt.
Phoenix – Ja Morant (Point Guard, Murray State)
Phoenix would get their guy here. Point guard is the need and Devin Booker deserves a dynamic backcourt running mate. Morant is the top point guard in the class and one of my favorite players to watch. Find me a better trio set up for the next decade than Ja, Book, and DeAndre Ayton.
Chicago – De’Andre Hunter (Small Forward, Virginia)
Of the teams likely picking in the top 10, the Bulls are right behind the Suns in terms of point guard need. With Morant gone, you look at guys like Coby White and Darius Garland, but this high may be stretch. Hunter has a league-ready game with a high ceiling despite being the age of a junior. The Bulls lack a defensive identity, as well as bench depth. Insert one of the most lockup defenders in the draft in a situation where he could blossom similar to Jimmy Butler.
Atlanta – Cam Reddish (Shooting Guard, Duke)
Reddish seems like the wing Atlanta has been looking for over the last four of five years. They found their point guard for the future and drafted very well over the last two seasons. Despite his shooting inconsistency in his freshman season, he could wind up being a steal at five.
Washington – Jarrett Culver (Shooting Guard, Texas Tech)
With John Wall out, next year may be viewed as a retooling season for the Wizards. Culver offers a nice combination of early production and long-term growth. He can make tough shots to take a little bit of pressure off of Bradley Beal. His playmaking would serve as an added boost on a team that won’t be able to create a lot of easy offense.
New Orleans – Bol Bol (Center, Oregon)
With an impending Anthony Davis departure, the Pelicans will probably lean on Julius Randle in the frontcourt. To replace the premier rim protection of Davis, Bol would be a moldable shot-blocker. When he is healthy, he can open up the court and take advantage of bigs not used to defending on the perimeter. He may benefit from a weak post player class.
Memphis – Nassir Little (Small Forward, North Carolina)
Little ended a rollercoaster season on a high note, playing his best basketball in the NCAA Tournament. He is a player that should test off the charts, impress in interviews, and show more in workouts than he did at Carolina. The Grizzlies have that tough, attacking culture that Little should fit into, even if he is raw and unrefined in some areas.
Atlanta (via Dallas) – Jaxson Hayes (Center, Texas)
Hayes is one of the best interior defender in the draft. On an Atlanta team without a future center, Hayes could grow into a nice complement next to John Collins. He oozes with potential and similar to Bol, will cash in from a shallow post class.
Minnesota – Coby White (Point Guard, North Carolina)
The oft-injured Jeff Teague is not the long-term answer for the Wolves. White comes with the electrifying speed and energy that forces a team to up its tempo. That should be a key focus for a team that played too lackadaisical for most of the year.
Los Angeles Lakers – Rui Hachimura (Power Forward, Gonzaga)
No one knows if the Lakers will land any big free agents. What we do know is that the Lakers have frontcourt low on production. Hachimura has immense offensive talent that could really shine with the LA second unit.
Charlotte – Darius Garland (Point Guard, Vanderbilt)
Now I don’t want to speculate on Kemba leaving. At this point, Garland would provide both insurance and a solid backup. He will get looks in the top-10, even though he is coming off a season-ending injury, due to his intelligence and shooting.
Miami – Brandon Clarke (Power Forward, Gonzaga)
I don’t know any teams that wouldn’t want a player like Clarke in their rotation. Coming off a breakout season at Gonzaga, the Heat would add another defensive-minded player that could push for a starting role.
Boston (via SAC) – Sekou Doumbouya (Small Forward, France)
Boston isn’t short in draft picks, with this one being the most important trade piece. If they keep the selection, Doumbouya is a powerful combo forward that is still only 18-years old. He’s got all the traits to be a real difference maker in a couple years.
Detroit – Romeo Langford (Shooting Guard, Indiana)
Detroit has struggled to find a reliable scorer on the perimeter for years now. They have swung and missed plenty of times, but an explosive Midwest kid like Langford might be able to break that trend. If the playoffs have shown anything to the Pistons, it’s the necessity for shot-creators.
Orlando – Keldon Johnson (Shooting Guard, Kentucky)
Johnson fits the mold of the athletic wing that the Magic have used to turn into one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. If his shooting efficiency continues, he could plug up another hole for Orlando.
Brooklyn – Bruno Fernando (Power Forward, Maryland)
The Nets’ glaring area of concern is interior depth. Fernando is a physical, dominant big who benefited from returning for his sophomore season to work on his footwork and consistency. Now he is widely considered a top-five post player in the draft and someone Brooklyn could use right now.
Indiana – Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Shooting Guard, Virginia Tech)
Alexander-Walker isn’t going to solve Indiana’s stagnation problems, but once Victor Oladipo returns, his defense and spot-up shooting will prove worthwhile. Having a swiss-army knife never hurt.
San Antonio – Kezie Okpala (Small Forward, Stanford)
I like Okpala’s game in the San Antonio system built on motion. At 6’9, he could play a role similar to what Kyle Anderson used to have, creating mismatches at both forward spots.
Boston (via LAC) – Luguentz Dort (Shooting Guard, Arizona State)
Dort struggled in the back-end of the season, but no one was surprised that he entered the draft. He would be a cheap backup plan that packs some punch for either Terry Rozier or Marcus Smart leaving this summer.
Oklahoma City – Tyler Herro (Shooting Guard, Kentucky)
Once again, the Thunder struggled to address their perimeter shooting woes last summer. They cannot make that mistake again and should do what it takes to land Herro, even if that means trading up a few spots. His outside stroke is one of the best in the class and would do a lot to open the court for Russ and Paul George.
Boston – Charles Bassey (Center, Western Kentucky)
Bassey is a big body that is going to be a different player in three or four years. He is already strong and mobile, but he is still the age of a high school senior. With a third pick, the Celtics would be able to take a bit of a project pick.
Utah – Goga Bitadze (Center, Georgia)
I have been impressed with the limited action I have seen of Bitadze this season. He has leaned down from last year and stretched out his range. Whether or not he comes over right away, adding a big with his skill set would be worth the investment.
Philadelphia- Cam Johnson (Small Forward, North Carolina)
Similar to OKC, the Sixers need outside shooting more than anything to space the court. Johnson is known to be one of the premier marksmen in the draft, ready to play a role as just that.
Portland – Jaylen Hoard (Small Forward, Wake Forest)
Of all of the first-round prospects, part of me believes Hoard will head back for his sophomore year to show some more of his game, primarily his jump shot. If he stays in, I don’t see a player with his potential sliding out of the first round. Portland has some forwards similar to Hoard, but none as gifted.
Cleveland (via Houston) – P.J. Washington (Power Forward, Kentucky)
If I’m the Cavs, I’m taking as many players who could be rotation pieces early on as possible. Washington had a big sophomore campaign and looks like an NBA power forward who can carve out a spot with a team like Cleveland.
Brooklyn (via Denver) – Luka Samanic (Power Forward/Center, Croatia)
Samanic is physically underdeveloped, but with a second first-round pick and some success with international players, the Nets could make it work. The Croatian big will be able to defend the pick-and-roll while running and stretching the floor with time.
Golden State – Kevin Porter Jr. (Shooting Guard/Small Forward, USC)
Porter Jr. has lottery pick talent. He is one of the best isolation players in the draft, but effort and intangibles have been questioned. I imagine if there is a team that makes sure a player’s talent is the topic of discussion, it’s the Warriors.
San Antonio (via Toronto) – Talen Horton-Tucker (Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Iowa State)
Another team with two picks, this would be little risk for the Spurs. Horton-Tucker burst onto the scene for an injury-plagued Iowa State team and showed a unique, unorthodox game that could be a huge asset if developed correctly.
Milwaukee – Dan Gafford (Center, Arkansas)
Gafford was just as dominant as many expected him to be in his sophomore season. I pegged him as a lottery pick for much of the year, and still consider him a solid NBA prospect. The Bucks would walk away happy to add a center of this caliber this late.
- Brooklyn (via New York) – Admiral Schofield (Small Forward, Tennessee)
- Phoenix – Mfiondo Kabengele (Power Forward, Florida State)
- Philadelphia (via Cleveland) – Ky Bowman (Point Guard, Boston College)
- Philadelphia (via Chicago) – Eric Paschall (Power Forward, Villanova)
- Atlanta – Carsen Edwards (Point Guard, Purdue)
- Charlotte (via Washington) – Matisse Thybulle (Small Forward, Washington)
- Dallas – Ty Jerome (Point Guard, Virginia)
- Chicago (via Memphis) – Jaylen Hands (Point Guard, UCLA)
- New Orleans – Dylan Windler (Small Forward, Belmont)
- Sacramento (via Minnesota) – Sagaba Konate (Center, West Virginia)
- Atlanta (via LAL) – Jalen McDaniels (Power Forward, San Diego State)
- Philadelphia (via Sacramento) – Deividas Sirvydis (Shooting Guard, Lithuania)
- Minnesota (via Miami) – Louis King (Small Forward, Oregon)
- Atlanta (via Charlotte) – Jontay Porter (Power Forward/Center, Missouri)
- Detroit – Mike Daum (Power Forward, South Dakota State)
- Orlando (via Brooklyn) – Tyus Battle (Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Syracuse)
- Sacramento (via Orlando) – Laurynas Birutis (Center, Lithuania)
- LA Clippers – Darius Bazley (Power Forward, N/A)
- San Antonio – Naz Reid (Power Forward/Center, LSU)
- Indiana – Markis McDuffie (Small Forward, Wichita State)
- Boston – Shamorie Ponds (Point Guard, St. John’s)
- Charlotte (via OKC) – Jaylen Nowell (Shooting Guard, Washington)
- Utah – Bennie Boatwright (Power Forward, USC)
- Philadelphia – Miye Oni (Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Yale)
- New York (via Houston) – Kris Wilkes (Small Forward, UCLA)
- LA Clippers (via Detroit Portland) – John Konchar (Shooting Guard, IPFW)
- New Orleans (via Denver) – Ignas Brazdeikis (Small Forward, Michigan)
- Golden State – Quentin Grimes (Shooting Guard, Kansas)
- Toronto – Vasilis Charalampopoulos (Small Forward/Power Forward, Greece)
- Sacramento (via Milwaukee) – Ethan Happ (Power Forward/Center, Wisconsin)