All of the college players have made their stay or go decisions. Two weeks away from a top-heavy draft, I expect a lot more trades similar to the Hawks-Nets deal to move picks. As always, the scouting reports for each player can be viewed by clicking on the player’s name. This is the first post-draft decision mock draft. At the end of this article, there is also an early look at my first NBA mock draft for 2020.
New Orleans – Zion Williamson (Freshman Power Forward, Duke)
Nothing new here. Zion is a lock to go to the Pels with the top pick and become the heir to the throne as the face of the New Orleans franchise. While I would like to see him slim down over the summer, he is a rare blend of energy, unselfishness, athleticism, and budding skills.
Memphis – Ja Morant (Sophomore Point Guard, Murray State)
It’s looking more and more likely that longtime floor general Mike Conley will be packaged in a trade to open up the backcourt for Morant. Possessing some of the best vision in recent memory, the Murray State highlight reel has the look of an All-Star point guard.
New York – R.J. Barrett (Freshman Small Forward, Duke)
Barrett said he was built for New York a few days ago on First Take. He doesn’t lack confidence or ability, which should allow him to step into a large role in his rookie campaign. If Kevin Durant does decide to sign in the Big Apple, Barrett’s experience as a playmaker will have to shine while his outside shot improves.
LA Lakers – De’Andre Hunter (Sophomore Forward, Virginia)
I still like Hunter with this pick if it stays in Los Angeles. Anthony Davis talks have been quiet, which leads me to believe the Pelicans are conducting their research on which team has the best offer. Let’s say the Lakers stand pat, the maturity and defensive versatility of Hunter is going to allow him to fill a gap for a young, lengthy team with excellent defensive upside.
Cleveland – Cam Reddish (Freshman Small Forward, Duke)
Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cavs may be considering trading down to get a couple of the Atlanta Hawks first-rounder picks. The move would make sense given the Cavs timetable and need for as many young assets for the rebuild. I don’t see Reddish slipping past this point with his toolsy skillset and potential.
Phoenix – Darius Garland (Freshman Point Guard, Vanderbilt)
The best-case-scenario for the Suns would be to manage to trade up to take Ja Morant. Garland is a top-notch fallback plan. He has rehabbed his knee injury from early in the season and should be ready to be the starting point guard for a team that has mismanaged the position for a while.
Chicago – Coby White (Freshman Point Guard, North Carolina)
John Paxson has made it clear that they are looking to draft on need. The point guard spot has been the most inconsistent, though I still think Kris Dunn is going to have a big summer. White brings tremendous end-to-end speed, size, and the ability to break down defenders and score from all three levels. The Bulls would be one of the better transition offenses with White pushing the pace.
Atlanta – Jarrett Culver (Sophomore Shooting Guard, Texas Tech)
By trading Taurean Prince (as many expected at some point), the Hawks opened up minutes on the wing. Allen Crabbe is a solid shooter, but they will either trade up to get a guy like Cam Reddish or look for a wing here. Culver has blown teams away with his athleticism and defensive ability in workouts. Though his shooting is a question from the NBA line, he has a high work ethic that should translate to more efficiency from three.
Washington – Bol Bol (Freshman Center, Oregon)
In a draft without a ton of good bigs, Bol is the only one with a shot at developing into a unicorn. His success depends on his health and focus on sharpening his skills. You don’t see a lot of 7-footers with handles who can shoot 40 percent from three and lead the league in blocks. That ceiling is high enough for the Wizards to take a chance.
Atlanta (via Dallas) – Jaxson Hayes (Freshman Center, Texas)
Hayes still appears to be the perfect fit for the cast that is in Atlanta right now. He won’t be asked to do more than defend and rebound early in his career, which he did commendably at Texas.
Minnesota – Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Sophomore Shooting Guard, Virginia Tech)
Minnesota needs shooting and defense to complement their max duo of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Robert Covington and Dario Saric were a good start. Alexander-Walker is just a complete player that should be a good 3-and-D player in the league.
Charlotte – Nassir Little (Freshman Forward, North Carolina)
The power forward and center positions need bench depth, but Little is too talented and possesses too much upside to pass on this late in the draft. He would stay in North Carolina where he could learn from Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I have him as the sixth-best prospect in the draft and I know some teams would view this as a steal.
Miami – Sekou Doumbouya (Forward, France)
Doumbouya is a combo forward that is still putting it all together. Miami is in a tough spot where they are a borderline playoff team without a ton of young pieces. The fluid, versatile French forward may alleviate some of that short-term thinking.
Boston (via SAC) – Brandon Clarke (Junior Power Forward, Gonzaga)
Boston should be planning on a lineup featuring Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford. Their bench will be lacking the depth it had even a year ago, especially in the frontcourt. Clarke doesn’t need the ball to make an impact and thrives as a defensive presence in and around the paint.
Detroit – Romeo Langford (Freshman Shooting Guard, Indiana)
The Pistons were one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, in large part because of pace and a lack of perimeter scorers. Even though Langford needs some more strength and creativity off the dribble, he is dangerous in a straight line and can heat up. In a bench role, he could be a spark off the bench.
Orlando – Keldon Johnson (Freshman Shooting Guard, Kentucky)
The potential loss of Terrance Ross in free agency and a generally depleted bench should have Orlando targeting guys like Johnson, Tyler Herro, or Luguentz Dort. Johnson’s play style fits with the Magic and he has a high motor to add.
Atlanta (via BKN) – Rui Hachimura (Junior Power Forward, Gonzaga)
Hachimura is a lottery talent that is an ideal agile four-man that is continuing to stretch his range. The odds of Atlanta keeping all three picks in the first round is low, but Hachimura is a safe option at this point in the draft.
Indiana – Tyler Herro (Freshman Shooting Guard, Kentucky)
While Victor Oladipo rehabs, the Pacers will look to find some much-needed depth to their lineup and bench. Herro, the SEC Freshman of the Year, is a heady decision maker that can light it up from three. He has the ability to run off screens and space the floor, something that Indiana largely lacked this season.
San Antonio – Luka Samanic (Power Forward/Center, Croatia)
Samanic had one of the most impressive performances at the NBA Draft Combine, showing that his unique perimeter skill set and improved strength are for real. The Spurs are not a contender at this point and have an uncertain trajectory. Samanic is young, moldable, athletic, and skilled – the perfect player for a Popovich system.
Boston (via LAC) – Goga Bitadze (Center, Georgia)
Bitadze is quickly rising as a stretch five that can protect the rim. He will get looks in the mid-teens because of how polished his game is for a big man. The Celtics would get a ready-made big that could spell Al Horford.
Oklahoma City – Mfiondu Kabengele (Sophomore Power Forward, Florida State)
The Thunder are coming up on a big offseason after a disappointing early exit in the playoffs. Kabengele has gained a lot of fans with his physicality, defensive versatility, and raw skills. He is a four-man with more shooting ability than the current bigs on the Thunder.
Boston – Luguentz Dort (Freshman Shooting Guard, Arizona State)
Dort is built in the same mold as Marcus Smart. Tough, aggressive, athletic, and a terror on defense. He also comes with a scoring ability when he can get downhill or has time from behind the arc. He is good security should Terry Rozier and Kyrie Irving go elsewhere.
Utah – Bruno Fernando (Sophomore Power Forward, Maryland)
NBA decision-makers will be drawn to Fernando’s effort and rim-running. Who does Utah go to when Rudy Gobert needs a breather? Fernando would be able to be that backup option for the Jazz.
Philadelphia – Nicolas Claxton (Sophomore Power Forward, Georgia)
Claxton has been on the rise in large part because teams are seeing his youth as an asset as opposed to a cause of concern. He is a lengthy, mobile, face-up forward that is going to become a problem for opponents with the right coaching. Philly loves to go with four guards, but Claxton is worth giving a look.
Portland – Kevin Porter Jr. (Freshman Shooting Guard, USC)
If the draft was completed purely on talent, Porter Jr. would be a top-10 pick. Portland has the minutes and needs a scorer on the wing to give some relief to their stars and add bench depth.
Cleveland (via HOU) – P.J. Washington (Sophomore Power Forward, Kentucky)
The Cavs love to draft players from big schools and are in the “add-pieces” stage. Washington is a power forward that can do a little bit of everything, from rebounding to passing to scoring inside and out.
Brooklyn (via Denver) – Kezie Okpala (Sophomore Small Forward, Stanford)
After trading their earlier pick, the Nets will rely on this 27th pick to find another young player for an up-and-coming organization. Okpala can guard and play multiple spots. He is an interchangeable piece that would fit in with Brooklyn.
Golden State – Carsen Edwards (Junior Point Guard, Purdue)
Golden State lacks scoring in their second unit and Edwards is a bucket. This would be a perfect fit for the Warriors.
San Antonio (via TOR) – Talen Horton-Tucker (Freshman Shooting Guard, Iowa State)
With their second first-round pick, they can take a chance on a young player like Horton-Tucker with a different type of game for a guard. San Antonio is the perfect system for his abilities.
Milwaukee – Ty Jerome (Junior Guard, Virginia)
Jerome is a big guard that can shoot it with ease. The Bucks likely won’t shuffle their pieces too much, but there’s never too many high-IQ two-way players on a team.
- Brooklyn (via NY) – Jontay Porter (Sophomore Center, Missouri)
- Phoenix – Jaylen Hoard (Freshman Forward, Wake Forest)
- Philadelphia (via CLE) – Cam Johnson (Senior Forward, North Carolina)
- Philadelphia (via CHI) – Admiral Schofield (Senior Forward, Tennessee)
- Atlanta – Jalen Lecque (Point Guard, High School)
- Charlotte (via WAS) – Dan Gafford (Sophomore Center, Arkansas)
- Dallas – Eric Paschall (Senior Power Forward, Villanova)
- Chicago (via MEM) – Dylan Windler (Senior Small Forward, Belmont)
- New Orleans – Matisse Thybulle (Senior Small Forward, Washington)
- Sacramento (via MIN) – Jalen McDaniels (Sophomore Power Forward, San Diego State)
- Atlanta (via LAL) – Deividas Sirvydis (Shooting Guard, Lithuania)
- Philadelphia (via SAC) – Ky Bowman (Junior Point Guard, Boston College)
- Minnesota (via MIA) – Jaylen Hands (Sophomore Point Guard, UCLA)
- Atlanta (via CHA) – Louis King (Freshman Small Forward, Oregon)
- Detroit – Grant Williams (Junior Forward, Tennessee)
- Orlando (via BKN) – Sagaba Konate (Junior Center, West Virginia)
- Sacramento (via ORL) – Zach Norvell (Sophomore Shooting Guard, Gonzaga)
- LA Clippers – Brian Bowen (Small Forward, Australia [UCLA])
- San Antonio – Miye Oni (Junior Shooting Guard, Yale)
- Indiana – Mike Daum (Senior Power Forward, South Dakota State)
- Boston – Moses Brown (Freshman Center, UCLA)
- Charlotte (via OKC) – Shamorie Ponds (Junior Point Guard, St. John’s)
- Utah – Isaiah Roby (Junior Power Forward, Nebraska)
- Philadelphia – Darius Bazley (Power Forward, N/A)
- New York (via HOU) – Kyle Guy (Junior Shooting Guard, Virginia)
- LA Clippers (via POR) – Jaylen Nowell (Sophomore Shooting Guard, Washington)
- New Orleans (via DEN) – Jordan Poole (Sophomore Shooting Guard, Michigan)
- Golden State – Chuma Okeke (Sophomore Power Forward, Auburn)
- Toronto – John Konchar (Senior Shooting Guard, Fort Wayne)
- Sacramento (via MIL) – Kris Wilkes (Sophomore Small Forward, UCLA)
Early 2020 NBA Mock Draft:
|1||Cole Anthony||PG||Fr.||North Carolina||6’3||185|
|4||R.J. Hampton||PG||2001||New Zealand (USA)||6’5||185|
|12||Vernon Carey Jr.||C||Fr.||Duke||6’10||275|
|14||Charles Bassey||C||So.||Western Kentucky||6’10||220|
|27||A.J. Lawson||SF||So.||South Carolina||6’6||172|
|41||Nathan Knight||PF/C||Sr.||William & Mary||6’10||235|
|46||Neemias Queta||C||So.||Utah State||6’11||225|
|47||Balsa Koprivica||C||Fr.||Florida State||7’0||230|
|51||Silvio De Sousa||PF||Jr.||Kansas||6’9||242|
|55||Tres Tinkle||SF/PF||Sr.||Oregon State||6’8||225|
|56||Reggie Perry||PF||So.||Mississippi State||6’8||240|
|57||Cassius Winston||PG||Sr.||Michigan State||6’0||185|
|58||Lamar Stevens||SF/PF||Sr.||Penn State||6’8||220|
|59||Tyrese Haliburton||PG||So.||Iowa State||6’5||180|