*We are not predicting any trades. Some teams have multiples picks (Lakers, Blazers) and others may be looking to trade for a veteran player (Celtics).
1. Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz (PG, Washington)
After trading with the Celtics for this pick it is almost a given that the 76ers are going to take Fultz. Not much more to say for this pick besides: Processing …
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball (PG, UCLA)
After trading D’Angelo Russell to the Nets, the Point Guard position opens up for the Lakers. Lonzo has been connected to the Lakers since he announced he was entering the draft. LaVar (his asshole father) has said that the only team his son will play for is the Lakers.
3. Boston Celtics: Josh Jackson (SF, Kansas)
Originally I had the Celtics taking Fultz with the first pick and there is a strong possibility this pick is traded before the draft for a veteran player. However, I am not doing any trade predictions for this mock draft. Since they traded down they have been connected to both Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson. Many scouts believe Jackson has a chance to be the best player out of this draft. The Celtics are listening to that noise and decide to take him with the third pick.
4. Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum (SF, Duke)
I think the Suns hold off for a bit on drafting a PG as they still have Eric Bledsoe under contract. Tatum was able to average 16.8 ppg and snag 7.3 rpg as a freshman at Duke. His 3-point shot is in question, but that is something that can develop over time. Being able to team Tatum up with Devin Booker and Dragan Bender can have people in Phoenix’s front office drooling at the potential.
5. Sacramento Kings: De’Aron Fox (PG, Kentucky)
The Kings are in need of a lot of help, but it starts with a man who can run the offense. They find that type of help by drafting De’Aron Fox. When Fox and Ball meet in the NCAA tournament, Fox torched Ball and showed how high his ceiling is. Being able to Pair up Fox’s ability to attack the basket with Buddy Hield’s lights out shooting will be too much for the Kings to pass up. The Kings are in desperate need of a floor general and Fox may be the best PG in the draft.
6. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac (SF/PF, Florida State)
The biggest question in the Magic drafting Isaac is how he will pair up with Aaron Gordon. However, the potential of Isaac is too much for the Magic to pass up. They could take Dennis Smith here as they are in need for a PG who can score. Instead they will be happy taking Isaac at number six and hope for improvement in Elfrid Payton’s offensive game.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkanen (PF, Arizona)
The Timberwolves have a roster loaded with young talent and I believe they may trade this pick for a veteran player. A veteran player will take this young team to the next level and I think it would be the right move for them. However, we are not predicting trades in this mock draft. With the 7th pick the Timberwolves will take Markkanen as he can space the floor and may pair up nicely with Karl-Anthony Towns.
8. New York Knicks: Frank Ntilikina (PG, France)
At only 18 years old, Ntilikina is the most intriguing prospect in this year’s draft. Most scouts are pleasantly shocked at how mature he is when it comes to running the point position. If he is able to do this at this age one can only imagine how much better he can get. Also viewed as one of the best defenders in the draft, Ntilikina has a freakish 7-foot wingspan. The Knicks are in desperate need of a PG and with Phil Jackson refusing to move away from the triangle I think Ntilikina is the perfect fit for the Knicks at the number 8 pick.
9. Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith (PG, North Carolina State)
The Mavericks need to get young and deep all across the board. Seth Curry was a solid player for them in the second half of the season. However, everyone in the NBA knows he is a bench player. The Mavericks have been trying to trade up to draft Ntilikina before the Knicks can snag him, but they are not successful in doing so in my eyes. Instead, Dennis Smith falls to the 9th pick and the Mavericks swipe him.
10. Sacramento Kings: Malik Monk (SG, Kentucky)
The Kings have Buddy Hield at the 2-Guard position after a trade with the Pelicans last year. However, when they see Monk fall to them at number 10 there is no way they can pass him up. Monk has crazy upside as a scorer and if they can find a way to play him and Hield together they will be deadly from deep as a team. Once Monk learns to use this athleticism to get to the basket, he may become an All-Star caliber player.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Luke Kennard (SG, Duke)
Kennard is one of the more underrated players in this draft class. He does not possess the athletic ability as some of the top picks and this is what pushes him down some draft boards. Right now the Hornets have Jeremy Lamb and MKG at the SG/SF position after the trade with the Atlanta Hawks. At 6’6” Kennard can play both of the positions and is an upgrade from Lamb. He also brings much more offense compared to Kidd-Gilchrist’s game. The Hornets will be happy taking one of the best shooters in this year’s class in Kennard.
12. Detroit Pistons: Donovan Mitchell (SG, Louisville)
Donovan Mitchell is projected by many to be a lock-down defender as well as a solid scorer. He improved his 3-point shot this year and needs to continue to do so if he wants to reach his potential. Mitchell can also play the PG position and can spell Jackson when he needs a break.
13. Denver Nuggets: Justin Jackson (SF, North Carolina)
Being a three-year collegiate player, Justin Jackson can say he has something most players in this draft do not: EXPERIENCE. Something that is overlooked in the NBA nowadays, but still a valuable piece. Jackson can be an impact on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ball. He also boats a high basketball IQ. Gallinari is most likely set to hit the free agent market this offseason and the Nuggets may not be able to bring him back. Jackson can fill his hole and has a higher ceiling than Gallinari ever will.
14. Miami Heat: Zach Collins (C, Gonzaga)
Zach Collins was sniper from 3-point land last year as he shot 47.6 percent from deep. With Chris Bosh unlikely to ever play again, the Heat could use a Power Forward. Hassan Whiteside does not do much scoring besides inside the paint and I think Collins outside game can complement Whiteside well. Two 7-footers down low will be hard to contain.
15. Portland Trail Blazers: John Collins (PF, Wake Forest)
John Collins took a huge leap in his second year of college. He went from averaging 7.3 ppg on 54.7% shooting his first year to 19.2 ppg on 62.2% shooting his second year. These numbers speak wonders to how hard of worker Collins is. His offensive game outside of the paint can improve a bit as most of his scoring came inside the paint and on offensive rebounds. Collins was also one of the best rebounders in all of college last year.
16. Chicago Bulls: OG Anunoby (SF, Indiana)
Anunoby is a high-risk, high-reward gamble. At this point in the draft there are no players who can have an immediate impact on the Bulls’ roster. Instead they decide to take the chance on Anunoby. The problem with Anunoby is his health. However, before he was injured he was viewed as one of the elite defenders and freak athletes in this year’s draft class. He is undersized to play the PF and does not possess the 3-point shot to play the SF. However, the Bulls can turn Anunoby into a project offensively and rely on his defense for now if he can stay on the court.
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Jarrett Allen (C, Texas)
Allen has the physical measurements to be a dominating force in the paint on both ends of the court. However, his offensive skills need to be tuned up and it is said he does not use his big body enough. He will need to learn to use his body to his advantage in the point and improve from the free throw line. On the defensive end he provides the rim protecting ability that NBA teams look for in a Center and he is strong enough to dominate the boards. He fits well with this young Bucks team.
18. Indiana Pacers: TJ Leaf (PF, UCLA)
Leaf has the offensive skills to be a starting PF in today’s NBA. He passes the ball well for a big, he has good moves inside, and he can shoot from deep. The biggest questions are his defense and physicality. He will need to improve in those two areas if he wants to take his game to the next level. This late in the draft the Pacers are happy to take a guy who can have an immediate impact on offense.
19. Atlanta Hawks: Terrance Ferguson (SG, Australia)
Instead of taking his talents to the University of Arizona for one year he decided to head overseas and play pro ball in Australia. The Hawks traded Kyle Korver to the Cavs this season and can use that spot up shooting scoring that Korver provided. To many NBA scouts that is exactly what Ferguson projects to be. One of the top shooters in this class, Ferguson does not have much more of an offensive game besides that. If he can improve his defense he can become one of the better 3 and D players in the NBA.
20. Portland Trail Blazers: Harry Giles (PF, Duke)
The Trail Blazers can use some front court depth and Harry Giles may be the biggest high-risk, high-reward player in the draft. The Blazers have three first round picks and have the ability to take a gamble on a player like Giles. Giles has been compared to the great Kevin Garnett. However, the biggest question with Giles is his health. He already tore his ACL twice, but before doing so he was one of the top talents coming out of high school. The Blazers take the risk in picking Giles and hope he is worth the reward.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jawun Evans (PG, Oklahoma State)
The Thunder can really use some guard depth. Russell Westbrook is certainly capable of playing almost 40 minutes every night. For him to be even more effective the Thunder need to find someone to give him a breather from time to time. Oladipo is not a true Point Guard and the only other Point Guard on the roster last season was Norris Cole once they traded away Cameron Payne. Evans was very productive last season as a passer and a scorer. The biggest question for him is his size.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Justin Patton (C, Creighton)
After trading Brook Lopez the Nets can look to Justin Patton as the future Center for the team and plug him in right away. The Brooklyn Nets need help up and down their roster. They are virtually the worst team in the NBA with no future at all. Patton is a great athlete for his size and has shown flashes of how good he can be. Some executives say he plays too “soft” at times and that he needs to get stronger. Those are both things that can be worked on and the Nets hope Patton can pan out.
23. Toronto Raptors: Bam Adebayo (PF/C, Kentucky)
The Raptors may lose both Serge Ibaka and Patrick Patterson to free agency this summer. It is a safe bet that they will take a big man with this pick. Bam Adebayo is a physical presence in the paint, but his offensive game needs some work. He may not have a huge impact for the Raptors right away. However, frontcourt depth may be a need for them if they lose both Ibaka and Patterson.
24. Utah Jazz: DJ Wilson (PF, Michigan)
With a disappointing season from Derrick Favors and uncertainty if Trey Lyles will continue to grow, the Jazz have been linked to drafting a Power Forward since draft talks began. Wilson was overlooked until the end of December, beginning of January. He is a solid rim protector and he can expand the floor with his 3-point shooting. Whether they bring him in the provide competition or they are looking to move on from what they have, they will be happy with what Wilson can bring to the table.
25. Orlando Magic: Ivan Rabb (PF, California)
The Magic need some inside depth. They did Isaac with their first pick, but he projects as more of a small forward instead of a big man. Rabb would have been a lottery pick if he entered the draft this year. However, he falls late into the first round in this year’s draft. Rabb does contain some upside and the Magic hope they can help him tap into it.
26. Portland Trail Blazers: Isaiah Hartenstein (PF, Germany)
With this being their third pick of the draft, the Blazers decide to go overseas for this one. Isaiah Hartenstein has been on the NBA radar for a while now. He possesses a strong offensive game and a very solid body frame. The biggest problem for Hartenstein is going to be adjusting to the speed of the NBA. If he can make that adjustment, the Blazers hope they have found a lefty Kristaps Porzingis.
27. Los Angeles Lakers: Wesley Iwundu (SG/SF, Kansas State)
With Nick Young opting out of his deal and becoming a free agent, the Lakers could use depth at the SG position. The Lakers could also use help on the defensive side of the ball. Iwundu fills both of those needs. Iwundu needs to improve from beyond the arc, but he is already a solid defender.
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Ike Anigbogu (C, UCLA)
This is the third pick of the draft for the Lakers. I think with this pick they take a player who has potential, but needs some polishing. Anigbogu was injured to start the year for UCLA and only played 377 minutes in his college career. He showed he can be a very strong defender as he was able to protect the rim and switch onto guards. If Anigbogu can add an offensive game he can become a solid starting NBA center.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Josh Hart (SG, Villanova)
In two years at Villanova, Josh Hart proved that he is a leader. Hart will come in ready to contribute on both ends of the floor. With Manu Ginobili possibly retiring and the Spurs looking to move Danny Green, they will need to add SG depth. Josh Hart can step into a role for the Spurs right away and he just has the attitude of a Greg Popovich player.
30. Utah Jazz: Frank Jackson (PG/SG, Duke)
The Jazz may lose George Hill and other guards to free agency this summer. They will have to be looking to add some guard depth with one of their picks in this draft. Frank Jackson may not be a starter in the NBA, but this late in the draft there may not be any player left who is capable of being a starter. However, Jackson can provide some off-the-bench scoring. Bench scoring is always valuable (look at the Miami Heat). It also helps that Jackson is from Utah and may become a fan favorite.