Here’s the last edition of our NBA mock drafts.
This mock is based off the withdrawal date for NCAA players withdrawing their name from the NBA draft and resemble my opinions on why each team will go with a certain player.
The picks are based off a need and fit as well as potential upside.
Any comments or suggestions on why you believe a player may go higher or lower, please provide your opinions as well.
Onto the mock:
Pick 1 – Philadelphia 76ers – PG: Markelle Fultz – Washington
First pre – draft as the 76ers acquired the first overall pick from the Boston Celtics for the third overall pick and a future first rounder. The 76ers take Fultz
Pick 2 – Los Angeles Lakers – PG: Lonzo Ball – UCLA
Lavar Ball gets his wish. Magic Johnson takes Lonzo with his first selection as the teams decision maker. Some believe Lonzo has the ability to run the break the same way Magic’s show time Lakers dominated the NBA. Time will tell but Lakers fans get their dream pick.
Pick 3 – Boston Celtics – SF: Josh Jackson – Kansas
The Celtics traded back in part because they are high on Josh Jackson as a prospect. There was a report, the Celtics were content with their current back court of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart. The Celtics wanted a star on the wing and that’s exactly what Jackson brings.
Pick 4 – Phoenix Suns – SF: Jayson Tatum – Duke
The area of need for the Phoenix Suns is the small forward position. The Suns have Bledsoe – Ullis – Booker in the back court and spent two lottery picks on power forwards in Chriss and Bender. Veteran Tyson Chandler will man the center position for as long as the teams competitive. Tatum fills in nicely along the wing and provides star potential next to Devin Booker for years to come. Tatum is one of the more offensively talented players in this draft.
Pick 5 – Sacramento Kings – PG: De’Aaron Fox – Kentucky
The Kings get their point guard to pair next too Buddy Heild. After trading Demarcus Cousins to New Orleans at the deadline, the Kings are in need of all the talent they can get. Pairing Fox with Hield will provide hope in Sacramento. The Kings hope will be able to push the ball in transition and run a solid pick and roll with Skal Laberiesse who displayed much potential after Cousins was moved.
Pick 6 – Orlando Magic – SF: Jonathan Issac – Florida State
The Magic are another team in need of as much talent they can possibly get. They don’t have to look too for as they grab Issac out of Florida State. Issac is a 6’11 forward with immense potential. In 26 minutes a game, he averaged 12 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. He shot 50.8% from the field (34.8% from 3) and hit 78% of his free throws. Issac will allow Aaron Gordon to slide into his natural power forward position.
Pick 7 – Minnesota Timberwolves – SG: Malik Monk – Kentucky
The Timberwolves are in need of a player capable of spreading the floor and knocking down 3’s at a high level to help space the floor for Rubio, Wiggins and Towns. Monk fits so well as hes the best shooter in the draft. Not too long ago the Timberwolves selected point guards Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio ahead of the smooth shooting shooter in Steph Curry. They won’t pass on the best shooter in this years class.
Pick 8 – New York Knicks – PG – Dennis Smith – North Carolina State
The Knicks need a young point guard to push the floor and to get the ball into Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis hands in better position for them to score. Smith is the best remaining guard on the board. Smith is capable of filling up a stat sheet posting two triple doubles in his freshman season. That kind of productivity will go a long way in New York. The Knicks love Ntilikina and very well could go in that direction, however Smith is a better pick and roll player at this point.
Pick 9 – Dallas Mavericks – PG – Frank Ntilikina – Belgium
The Mavericks are reported to be very interested in selecting Ntililkina with the 9th overall pick according to Chad Ford of ESPN. Ntilikina has one of the highest ceilings in the draft and proper tutelage under Rick Carlisle may be what’s needed to maximize his potential.
Pick 10 – Sacramento Kings – C – Zach Collins – Gonzaga
The freshman from the nations runner ups jumped up the draft boards during the NCAA tournament. Collins is a 7 footer who averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and nearly four blocks per 36 min stats. Collins provides terrific upside for the Kings in the front court as they do what they can to replace Cousins.
Pick 11 – Charlotte Hornets – PF – Lauri Markkanen – Arizona
Markkanen follows a trend of sweet shooting big man the Horents have drafted in years past. Markkanen is a large body and has been considered the best shooting big in the draft. The Hornets offense relies on pick and pop’s and pick and rolls with Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum so Markkanen fits the trend.
Pick 12 – Detroit Pistons – SG – Luke Kennard – Duke
Luke Kennard is climbing up draft boards after his draft combine results. Kennard is an offensive threat and highly efficient on that end. He is one of the draft best’s shooters and with Kentavious Caldwell – Pope a restricted free agent, the Pistons may be hesitant to match a potential max offer.
Pick 13 – Denver Nuggets – SF: O.G. Anunoby – Indiana
Anunoby is still recovering from an ACL tear sustained mid way through the college season but the Nuggets feature a deep enough roster in terms of depth to chance while he recovers. Anunoby won’t be pressed to contribute immediately and can focus to getting to 100% to fill out his upside in the years to come. Anunoby is a high upside player with some even drawing comparisons to Kawhi Leonard.
Pick 14 – Miami Heat – SF – Justin Jackson – North Carolina
The Heat have an immediate need at small forward position. Justice Winslow is coming off a major injury and the team was forced to start Luke Babbitt and Wayne Ellington a majority of the year. Jackson is a three and D wing that will fit nicely in the Heat rotation. Jackson has improved his three point shot and is one of the better defenders in the draft class.
Pick 15 – Portland Trailblazers – C – Jarrett Allen – Texas
Allen is a player who has still yet to put it all together and he already displayed glimpses of huge upside potential in his lone season at Texas. Allen fits an immediate need on the Portland bench as they are team starving for big men. Jusuk Nirkic was a good add at the deadline, but the Blazers need way more depth up front.
Pick 16 – Chicago Bulls – C – Justin Patton – Creighton
The Bulls front office has discussed the possibility of bringing back Rondo and Wade next season. Not sure why as the regular season results were not there and would be difficult to sell the fans on two playoff wins. If they do go this route, front court help will be needed. Lopez is an ok center and Portis showed potential in his two seasons. Patton is an athletic big capable of dominating the defensive glass. An area of need as the Bulls relied on a lot of guards to get rebounds.
Pick 17 – Milwaukee Bucks – PF – TJ Leaf – UCLA
The Bucks played without a traditional four for the majority of the season. with Jabari Parker, recovering from his second major knee injury, the Bucks may look for needed insurance. TJ Leaf is an athletic big capable of running the floor. He’s good for an uptempo offense, something Jason Kidd and the Bucks may look to do more of this season.
Pick 18 – Indiana Pacers – SG: Donovan Mitchell – Louisville
Paul George is unhappy in Indiana and the Pacers are looking to trade him as the draft nears. The Pacers need as much upside as they can get. Myles Turner is a nice prospect for them as he enters his third season as the teams starting center. Mitchell is a terrific defensive prospect with a ton of athleticism. Mitchell needs to improve upon his shooting but the Pacers will be patient as they will have nothing to play for next season.
Pick 19 – Atlanta Hawks – PF: John Collins – Wake Forrest
The Hawks are in full blown rebuild mode after trading Dwight Howard and discussing options about a sign and trade for Paul Millsap. Collins is a good rebounder and will be a day one starter if Paul Millsap bolts in free agency. Collins has a lot of offensive potential and could fit in next to Dennis Schroeder.
Pick 20 – Portland Trailblazers – PF: Isaiah Hartenstein
Harentsein is a stretch four with elite size and play-making ability. Hartenstein can fill a stat sheet and should be an immediate fit with Portland. Portland was forced to start Noah Vonleh at the four at times and Hartenstein has much more upside than Vonleh.
Pick 21 – Oklahoma City Thunder – SG: Terrence Ferguson
Ferguson is a pure scoring guard who spent the past season abroad. He has good size at 6’7 and is a natural two guard. Ferguson can shoot the three and is a good value this late in the draft. He fits a need as a scorer next Russell Westbrook.
Pick 22 – Brooklyn Nets – PF – Ivan Rabb – California
The Nets have Jeremy Lin signed for the next seasons and just acquired D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets have a nice future back court going forward with Russell and Caris LeVert. The Nets add to their front court by selecting Rabb. Rabb was once considered a lottery prospect and the Nets get good value with the selection.
Pick 23 – Toronto Raptors – PG – Jawun Evans – Oklahoma State
The Raptors could possibly lose Kyle Lowery to free agency although all indications are they are likely trying to re-sign him. As insurance, the Raptors take Evans. Evans is a dynamic guard who is underrated by most in this point guard heavy draft. Evans had a terrific sophomore season and can help the Toronto bench immediately. Evans could work his way into the starting rotation if Lowery bolts.
Pick 24 – Utah Jazz – SG – Josh Hart – Villanova
Gordon Hayward and Joe Ingles are impeding free agents and both could depart this off season. That would leave a substantial whole for the Jazz to fill. They take Hart to help possibly offset the loss. Hart has steadily improved his game each season and became a top five player in college basketball his senior season. He’s experienced enough to fill in immediately.
Pick 25 – Orlando Magic – PG : Derrick White – Colorado
The Magic passed on Monk and Smith earlier in the draft to take Jonathon Isaac. With the second first round pick, they take the best point guard available in Derrick White. White is an older prospect at 23 but is coming off a terrific senior season. White does not have much upside since he is one of the older prospects but is a guy that can step in and contribute right away.
Pick 26 – Portland Trailblazers – PF: Bam Adebayo – Kentucky
Every mock draft I have looked at are not high on Adebayo. It’s odd to me as I think he’ll be a solid player in the league but I’ll go with the trend and move him down the board. Adebayo can be an immediate impact player for the Blazers in the front court and provides a lot of upside when he refines his skill set. The Blazers need as much help as they can up front and Adebayo provides a big body capable of grabbing a ton of rebounds.
Pick 27 – Los Angeles Lakers – PF: Harry Giles – Duke
Giles started his freshman season as the number one recruit coming out of high school. Unfortunately, he was never able to be the player he was in high school as the two ACL tears derailed him last season. Giles still has a lot of upside and that should be the major factor the Nets should target in the draft. If he his able to overcome his injury history, the Lakers could be drafting steal this late in the draft. Reports are the Lakers are trying to move the 27th and 28th pick for Paul George. It will be interesting to see if the deal gets any more traction.
Pick 28 – Los Angeles Lakers – C: Ike Anigbogu – UCLA
The Lakers take a second UCLA freshman in the draft. Anigbogu is about as a raw as a prospect as they come by. I don’t agree with the selection as I don’t understand how guys like Anigbogu and Giles will be drafted ahead of way more productive college players but the NBA loves potential and will risk a boom or bust pick rather than taking the known role player.
Pick 29 – San Antonio Spurs – SG: Sindarius Thornwell – South Carolina
Manu is not getting younger and will be 40 at the start of next season. Danny Green is an ok player but has struggled since his strong NBA finals a few years back. Jonathon Simmons is a restricted free agent leaving a possible opening for Thornwell to contribute sooner rather than later. Thornwell is a winning player carrying South Carolina to the Final Four. He projects as a swiss army knife type player perfect for the Spurs system.
Pick 30 – Utah Jazz – C – Tony Bradley – North Carolina
Tony Bradley was one of the best players in the NCAA last season when it came to grabbing an offensive rebound. Bradley played limited minutes as a freshman at UNC but still put up 7 points a game and 5 rebounds a game in 14 plus minutes. The Jazz take a chance on his upside as they have already been know to develop quality players with their solid coaching staff.