Sunday, September 20, 2020

A Very Deep Draft Indeed

Ready for the next NBA season? So am I. Let’s check out where the best players in college basketball will (potentially) end up for the 2018-2019 NBA season. Without wasting any more time let’s get right to it.

Full Mock NBA Draft

1) Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton (Fr.)
Arizona: Center

Despite the hype surrounding Luka Dončić to the Suns, Ayton is easily the best prospect in this draft. Ayton is an absolute beast. At 7’1” 250 lbs, Ayton has fabulous size for the center position. His 43.5 inch vertical puts him in another class of athleticism, especially for a center. Ayton has the ability to dominate in the post as well as step out and knock down jumpers. The big knock on Ayton however, is his defense. As it is more of a lack of effort than physical ability, it is an easy fix. Ayton has all the physical tools to develop into a dominant defensive player. Touted as “Shaq with a jump shot,” Ayton has the potential to become the best center in the league.

 

2) Sacramento Kings: Luka Dončić (N/A)
Slovenia: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Marvin Bagley is a popular pick here, but Dončić is a stud. The Kings can not pass up on him after the Suns did. The international star guard stands tall at 6’8” 225lbs. He has the skills to play either guard spot and can even slide over to the 3. He is already a polished and mature scorer with plus playmaking ability. One thing that may hinder Dončić’s minutes at the next level is his 1 on 1 defense, something he will need to improve on. While it remains to be seen if Dončić can become a star in the NBA, there is no doubting his floor. Dončić will be an impact player from day 1, with the potential to be a superstar.

Luka Doncic NBA Draft

3) Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Bagley III (Fr.)
Duke: Power Forward/Center

I’ll be honest, I have serious concerns about Bagley’s size. At 6’10 235 lbs, Bagley plays more like a center who may not be able to dominate against NBA power forwards. The one thing I do not question of Bagley is his talent. Bagley has all sorts of tricks in his bag, can score all sorts of ways from the post and also has the ability to step out and shoot the jumper. Bagley has some point forward skill, he can grab a rebound (which he is amazing at) and bring the ball down the court. Bagley is a notoriously bad defender however, he will need to learn to put in more effort on defense to keep his minutes up. Bagley and John Collins will form a serious big man duo in Atlanta. This is a combo which can be the future frontcourt for this young Atlanta team.

 

4) Memphis Grizzlies: Mohamed Bamba (Fr.)
Texas: Center/Power Forward

Memphis got very unlucky in the draft lottery, dropping from #2 to #4. Regardless, the Grizzlies have a debacle on their hands. A team run by Mike Conley (30 years old) and Marc Gasol (33 years old), questions arise on if the roster should be blown up. Defense, grit, and toughness have run the Grizzlies for many years now. While I do believe the Grizzlies should trade Gasol and start over, they seem to want to stick with their current roster. If that sticks, Bamba would slide in perfectly next to Gasol. This big man tandem would terrorize opposing teams with elite post defense and insane shot blocking. Bamba averaged an insane 3.7 BPG at Texas. Bamba stands at 6’11” 225 lbs. He has ridiculous measurables with a 7’10” wingspan and a 9’8” standing reach. Bamba swats shots away at will. While Bamba’s post game is a work in progress, he is elite in pick and roll situations as well as catching lobs. He is an excellent rebounder, especially offensive rebounder with his 3.2 ORPG. What most people don’t know about Bamba is his ability to step out and shoot the jumper. This will give him the ability to play either the 4 or 5, a perfect fit next to Gasol (for those worried about spacing). Bamba will need to continue to put on more muscle to dominate in the NBA. At best, Bamba is All-NBA 1st Team, at worst Bamba is All-NBA 1st Defensive Team. You can’t go wrong with Bamba, the ceiling and floor are too high. Fans in Memphis will be happy with Bamba for years to come.

 

5) Dallas Mavericks: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Fr.)
Michigan State: Power Forward/Center

As Dirk Nowitzki era comes to a close, the Mavs look to take a step in a new direction. Insert Jaren Jackson, a player who is the definition of potential. At 6’11” 235 lbs Jackson has ideal size for the power forward position. He boasts an elite 7’4” wingspan and 9’1” standing reach. It would be an understatement to say Jackson is a fantastic defender. He’s an elite post defender and even better shot blocker. Jackson averaged an elite 3.0 BPG. I personally watched Jackson swat 8 shots against Rutgers back in December. Jackson has a steady 3 pointer to space the floor. Jackson’s offensive game is very raw. He will need to continue to work on his post game and develop it to be a fully effective player. Jaren Jackson Jr. should immediately start at the 4 position as he continues to develop. He and Dennis Smith Jr. look to be the future stars on a young Mavericks team.

 

6) Orlando Magic: Trae Young (Fr.)
Oklahoma: Point Guard

The stars have aligned perfectly for the Magic. After trading away former first round pick bust Elfrid Payton to the Suns, the Magic are in perfect position to draft their future star point guard. Young led NCAA in both points and assists last year. Young is a dynamic scorer with unworldly passing vision. His biggest strength is his Steph Curry-esque range from three, but he can score all over and in a variety of ways. Young has some size concerns but will use his high IQ and skill set to make those concerns void. The Magic are already flush with scorers like Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic. Adding Trae Young will help them play as a team as well as add the excitement to Orlando, which has been lacking since the SVG days.

 

7) Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr. (Fr.)
Missouri: Small Forward

Porter is the ultimate wildcard. When the season started Michael Porter was firmly in the conversation for no. 1 overall pick. A devastating (almost) season-ending injury derailed Porter’s freshman season at Missouri. Porter played a few games near the end of the season but struggled mightily. That was not an accurate display of who Michael Porter is. Porter stands tall at 6’10” 215 lbs and is often compared to Kevin Durant. Porter has the ability to score all over the floor. He has the athleticism and skill set to dominate in the NBA. The obvious caveat will be Porter’s health, which is sure to peg him down a few spots in the Draft. The Bulls will be very happy with Porter, a future star they can put play next to Lauri Markkanen solidifying their future.

 

8) Cleveland Cavaliers: Collin Sexton (Fr.)
Alabama: Point Guard

I guess one good thing came from the god awful trade the Cavs made for Isiah Thomas. They at least have the Brooklyn Nets pick at #8 to show for it. Cleveland must prepare for the future with or without LeBron James. The pick is Collin Sexton. To be frank, Sexton is a menace. He has the fire and passion you love to see from your star players. Standing at 6’3” 190 lbs, I’ve often said Sexton reminds me of De’aaron Fox with a jump shot. He has elite speed and lighting quickness to get to the rim at will. He is very strong and relentless, putting the Alabama offense on his back quite often. Sexton will need to improve his jump shot a bit to really unlock his game completely. Sexton is everything scouts look for in a prospect, the size, speed, passion are all qualities Sexton excels at. The Cavs have their point guard of the future with or without LBJ.

 

9) New York Knicks: Wendell Carter Jr. (Fr.)
Duke: Center

Often overshadowed by star big man Marvin Bagley, it would be a mistake to write Wendell Carter off. At 6’10” 250 lbs, Carter is plenty strong for the center position. Carter has a 7’3” wingspan and a 9’0” standing reach. He is a fantastic scorer, with his plethora of post moves he has the ability to score on just about anyone. Unlike Bagley, Carter is a fabulous post defender and rim protector. He’s also a fantastic rebounder. Carter will continue to work on his jump shot to become more lethal as a scorer. Carter will be a great fit next to Kristaps Porzingis. Carter will get the space he will need to score in the post while the two form a great defensive tandem. The Knicks have drafted their frontcourt of the future.

 

10) Philadelphia 76ers: Mikal Bridges (Jr.)
Villanova: Small Forward/Power Forward

And how things have come together for the 76ers. From one of the worst franchises in the league to the #3 seed in the east, it’s been a real turn around. #TTP. Adding the 6’7” 210 lbs Mikal Bridges will be a perfect fit next to ball dominant players Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Coming from a Villanova squad filled with stars, Bridges knows how to work without the ball. He is excellent at getting open and is an absolute knockdown shooter (43.5 3PT%). In addition, Bridges is fantastic on dribble drives. Bridges is also an elite defender, making him a true 3 and D wing. Bridges has shown the ability to play the stretch 4 position, giving him even more versatility in the NBA. His 7’0” wingspan is something that seriously stands out. Bridges will continue to work on creating his shot when he gets to the NBA to become an even better player. Bridges will be a hand in glove fit with the 76ers system. Bridges should easily supplant Robert Covington as a starter or replace J.J. Reddick if he isn’t resigned.

 

11) Charlotte Hornets: Kevin Knox (Fr.)
Kentucky: Small Forward/Power Forward

Charlotte is in turmoil. One of the highest payrolls in the league, their roster is barely playoff caliber. Holding onto a bunch of “once upon a time” players, the Hornets need to find a way to unload players like Nicolas Batum and Dwight Howard. They must go younger. Malik Monk was a good start last year and the 6’9” 215 lbs small forward out of Kentucky will be next. Knox is a fantastic scorer highlighted by his great jump shot. Knox moves very well without the ball but is still capable of creating his own shot. Knox will need to work on using his large frame to dominate in the post to unlock his true potential. The Hornets must start shaking up their roster and that will start with bringing in Knox. Depending on what the Hornets do with their roster, Knox may find himself starting from the beginning of the season.

 

12) Los Angeles Clippers: Shai-Gilgeous Alexander (Fr.)
Kentucky: Point Guard

The Clippers made a fantastic decision to start rebuilding their roster by trading away Blake Griffin. In return, they received uber-efficient Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley. Harris seems to get better every year and will be a great player for the Clippers for years to come. The instability comes at point guard for the Clippers. Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley won’t cut it. Gilgeous-Alexander has outstanding size for a point guard at 6’6” 180 lbs. He displays a great feel for the game, always making the right decision with the ball in his hands. He uses his fantastic length to play elite defense. Gilgeous-Alexander has a ridiculous 7’0” wingspan and uses it all very well. He will need to put more muscle on his relatively skinny frame in addition to working to improve his jump shot at the next level. Shai-Gilgeous Alexander will be the future point guard for a now rebuilding Clippers squad.

 

13) Los Angeles Clippers: Lonnie Walker IV (Fr.)
Miami: Shooting Guard

While Harris should stay in LA, Avery Bradley is not so secure. The SG regressed sharply on both sides of the ball in a contract year. It would be a mistake for the rebuilding Clippers to re-sign him. They instead draft the 6’5” 204 lbs, Lonnie Walker. Walker has ideal size for the SG position and fantastic length with his 6’10” wingspan. He is also a fantastic athlete. Walker shot the three ball well and finished at the rim consistently. Walker will need to work on improving his jump shot in the NBA. Despite being a solid shooter, he was inconsistent at times and his 3PT% suffered. Walker should immediately start for the Clippers ahead of 6 man Lou Williams, who teams never want to start due to his defensive woes.

 

14) Denver Nuggets: Miles Bridges (So.)
Michigan State: Small Forward

The Nuggets almost don’t deserve to be here. This roster is already too good and filled with much potential. If you can find one “hole” it’s at the small forward position. Denver goes with the 6’7” 230 lbs stud from MSU. Miles Bridges is unstoppable shooting the three ball. He has worked hard to improve his ability to create his own shot this year. Bridges is fantastic at moving without the ball and running off screens. Bridges must improve his ball handling to really become an elite shot creator. Bridges should fit in perfectly in Denver, his ability to move without the ball surrounded by fantastic passers will get him the open shots he will knock down.

 

15) Washington Wizards: Grayson Allen (Sr.)
Duke: Shooting Guard/Point Guard

Public enemy no. 1. You’ve probably heard about Grayson Allen’s tripping incidents. Looking beyond that, you see the fire and passion from a player who loves the game. Allen is a fantastic player. At 6’5” 205 lbs, Grayson is a legit combo guard given his plus playmaking skills. His most important skill is his knockdown three-point shot, one of the best in the country. Allen uses his fantastic length (6’9” wingspan) and athleticism (40.5” vertical) very well, especially on defense. More important than all of that is Grayson’s leadership. Both on and off the court, he rallied this Duke team together, something Coach K marveled at. Drafting Grayson Allen at #15 will give the Wizards a great option off the bench who can step into either guard spots and score in bunches.

 

16) Phoenix Suns: Aaron Holiday (Jr.)
UCLA: Point Guard

Aaron Holiday was the reason UCLA made it to March Madness. After Lonzo Ball left for the NBA, UCLA needed someone to step up. Holiday responded with flying colors. He boosted averages of 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 46.1 FG%, and 42.9 3PT% Holiday was a legitimate floor general for UCLA and also took on a great load of scoring. At 6’1” 185 lbs, Holiday looks undersized, something he may struggle with at the next level. His 6’6” wingspan will certainly help a bit with that. The Suns will finally have a legitimate point guard to pair up with star SG Devin Booker for one of the best young shooting backcourts.

 

17) Milwaukee Bucks: Moritz Wagner (Jr.)
Michigan: Center/Power Forward

The Bucks have been sorely lacking production from the center position the past several years. At 6’11” 245 lbs, Wagner has the size to slide into the center position, but can also play the 4. Wagner can score in the post, but makes his living knocking down threes, owning one of the sweetest strokes amongst big men. He must work on his passing and rebounding ability in the NBA to really become a complete player. Wagner will give the Bucks another scorer, as well as be able to space out the floor for superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and friends.

 

18) San Antonio Spurs: Zhaire Smith (Fr.)
Texas Tech: Shooting Guard

It wouldn’t really be a Spurs pick if you knew who the player was, would it? Watching Zhaire Smith you think only one thing. “This guy can jump out of the building,” evidenced by his insane 45 inch vertical. Smith is very much a project, he has a real raw offensive game to this point. At 6’5” 195 lbs, Smith has the physical tools and athleticism to develop into a star. Who is better at developing players than Pop? Zhaire Smith is a player who will be stashed away for a few years before being unleashed as a star.

 

19) Atlanta Hawks: Trevon Duval (Fr.)
Duke: Point Guard

Dennis Schroder wants out of Atlanta, understandably. Atlanta will be best suited by trading away their best player and start planning for the future. After drafting Bagley at #3 overall, the Hawks grab the 6’3” 186 lbs, Duval. Duval had an up and down season for the Blue Devils, but the promise is more than evident. Duval has the insane length (6’8” wingspan), which he uses to perfection on defense. He has shown off his elite athleticism and explosiveness getting to the rim time and time again. He has also flashed great playmaking ability. The huge negative on Duval is how awful a jump shooter he is. This is something he will need to improve on in the NBA to find success. The Hawks get their point guard of the future, who happens to be Marvin Bagley’s teammate at Duke, a picture perfect-esque fit.

 

20) Minnesota Timberwolves: Khyri Thomas (So.)
Creighton: Shooting Guard

Now, this is a Tom Thibodeau type of player. The 6’3” 210 lbs SG is one of the, if not the best defenders in the Big East. Khyri Thomas has fantastic athleticism and length (6’10” wingspan). Thomas shot the three ball very well at Creighton, making him a classic 3 and D player. Tomas will need to work on his offensive game, becoming more aggressive and expanding his skill set. While Thomas may find his career starting on the bench behind a loaded starting lineup, he may eventually replace Andrew Wiggins, who is looking like the odd man out in Minnesota.

 

21) Utah Jazz: Jalen Brunson (Jr.)
Villanova: Point Guard

After knocking it out of the park with Donovan Mitchell last year, the Jazz will be looking to do that again. The Jazz take the 6’2” 190 lbs national championship winner in Brunson. Brunson was the engine that made Villanova go. Brunson is one of the smartest players in college basketball. A great athlete, Brunson can score from all over. An elite three-point shooter, Brunson can get to the rim at will. He also has a very good post game, a rarity for a PG. Whether it’s in the face-up or post, Brunson always made the right decision, whether to shoot or pass, he’s a great playmaker as well. Most important about Brunson is his leadership and unselfishness. Those are traits coach Quin Snyder will appreciate greatly. The questions arise with Brunson’s defense, something he will need to improve at the next level. The Jazz are drafting Mitchell’s backcourt mate, a tandem that should dominate for years to come.

 

22) Chicago Bulls: Brandon McCoy
UNLV: Center

Robin Lopez is good, not great, and likely never will be. The Bulls decide to draft the very underrated 7’0” 251 lbs dominant center. McCoy is a solid athlete and great defender. His biggest selling point is his size (7’4” wingspan). He is very good at using his size to dominate smaller opponents. He has also developed a solid jumper to compliment his inside scoring ability. McCoy is still relatively raw in the post, he needs to develop more of a post game to really elevate his game. While McCoy may start off the bench, he should develop quickly into a real star in the NBA.

 

23) Indiana Pacers: Troy Brown (Fr.)
Oregon: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Brown is 6’7” 215 lbs, possessing great size when paired up with his fantastic 7’0” wingspan. He’s a great athlete with good quickness and agility. A great all-around talent, Brown has the ability to handle, score, pass, he’s a jack of all traits. He plays with a high IQ and great instincts. He will need to improve his jump shot to continue his success at the next level. Brown will likely come off the bench in Indiana but will give a boost to that 2nd unit in Indiana.

 

24) Portland Trail Blazers: Keita Bates-Diop (Jr.)
Ohio State: Small Forward

The Trail Blazers have been sorely lacking a 3rd scorer behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum for many years now. Insert in 6’7” 235 lbs Keita Bates-Diop. The first thing you notice when watching Bates-Diop is his great size for the SF position, but do not mistake him for slow. He is a good athlete who is an absolute knockdown shooter. He is a very good rebounder, a solid defender, and a great player overall. Bates-Diop lacks that elite athleticism and the first step to dominate quicker players. Portland will finally have a 3rd scorer who can score with or without the ball, expanding this team in hopes of deeper success in the postseason.

 

25) Los Angeles Lakers: Omari Spellman (Fr.)
Villanova: Power Forward/Center

Spellman was a huge part of Nova’s national championship season. Spellman is not your typical center, despite playing that position in college. At 6’8” 255 lbs, Spellman is undersized for that position but has the strength to play either the 4 or 5. Spellman is a great athlete. He is great in the pick and roll/pop game. Spellman was most known for the three-pointer at Villanova, shooting a whopping 43.3% from beyond the arc, ridiculous number for a center. He is also a great rebounder. His biggest key is his defensive versatility. Spellman was able to switch onto any position and guard 1-5. Spellman must continue to polish his post game, he’s an elite shooter but must use his size to dominate inside. Spellman will be a fantastic fit for Luke Walton’s up-tempo offense and help defensive system. He may even find himself starting on opening night depending on what the Lakers do with Julius Randle and/or Brook Lopez in FA.

 

26) Philadelphia 76ers: Gary Trent Jr. (Fr.)
Duke: Shooting Guard

Trent is a player who clearly understood his role with the Blue Devils. He ran off screens and let the game come to him, and found much success with that. The 6’6” 209 lbs SG has the versatility to play either wing spot. Trent showed some flashes at Duke of creating his own shot. His biggest strength is the three ball, which he shot 40.2 3PT% at Duke. Trent is an average athlete who may struggle with his defense due to lack of lateral quickness. The 76ers have drafted another piece to fit into Brett Brown’s offense to space the floor for rookie sensation Ben Simmons.

 

27) Boston Celtics: Robert Williams (So.)
Texas A&M: Power Forward/Center

GM Danny Ainge strikes again. After struggling with consistency at Texas A&M, Williams takes a huge tumble from a potential lottery pick to #27 overall. Williams is undersized at 6’9 240 lbs but has a huge 7’6” wingspan. This allows him to block shots at a prodigious rate (2.5 BPG) despite being his height.. Williams is something of a project, but has the athleticism and size to eventually become a star. Ainge has handed genius coach Brad Stevens another piece to work with. If the Celtics can develop Williams properly, get his head on right, the sky’s the limit.

 

28) Golden State Warriors: Donte DiVincenzo (So.)
Villanova: Shooting Guard

The 5th Nova player drafted in the 1st round, so that will tell you a lot about this year for the national champions. At 6’5” 205 lbs, DiVincenzo is a great blend of size, athleticism, and pure skill. First and foremost, his three-point shot is ridiculous, shooting 40.1 3PT%, he hit most of those from serious range. He can score in a lot more ways than that, however, great on dribble drives and finishing at the rim. His defense should not go unnoticed, he was a great defender at Nova. He can rebound well, he is a very solid passer and ball handler, even playing some PG for the Wildcats. Despite all the traits, DiVincenzo was in a team full of stars. It remains to be seen how well he can play as the focal point. Lucky for him, he won’t need to show that immediately. Drafted by a team filled with star power, DiVincenzo will be playing in a replica of Villanova. The Warriors play with a high tempo and switch every matchup on defense, something Nova did regularly, oh yeah and they shot a lot of threes. DiVincenzo will be a perfect fit in Golden State off the bench.

 

29) Brooklyn Nets: Chandler Hutchison (Sr.)
Boise State: Small Forward/Shooting Guard

At 6’7 197 lbs, Hutchison has great size combined with his 7’1” wingspan. Hutchison is a great scorer (20.0 PPG). He is very good at all facets of the game, not only as a scorer but as a rebounder and defender as well. You have to appreciate his work ethic as he improved every year in college. Hutchison still needs to put in more work to add strength to his skinny frame. Hutchison has a high floor and the Nets have drafted a very solid player to add to their roster. Someone who could still develop into much more.

 

30) Atlanta Hawks: Bruce Brown Jr. (So.)
Miami: Shooting Guard

At 6’5” 190 lbs, Brown is a great athlete and a legit combo guard. He is a very good scorer all over the floor as well a solid playmaker. He is a fantastic athlete with a great motor. Brown’s 6’8” wingspan allows him to play bigger than his weight insists. Brown struggles with inconsistency, something he will need to focus to get rid of. The Hawks have now drafted their starting backcourt. Brown and Duval should develop into a great athletic two-way tandem.

 

31) Phoenix Suns: Landry Shamet (So.)
Wichita State: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

At 6’4” 180 lbs with his 6’8” wingspan, Landry Shamet has fantastic size for the point guard position. He has a great feel for the game. He boasts a great IQ and understanding for the game. He especially excels in pick and roll situations. Shamet’s biggest skill is his fantastic shooting ability, he can pull the three ball with regularity. The biggest issue doe Shamet is his lack of explosiveness. Shamet will likely come off the bench for the Suns but will provide a great spark at either guard position.

 

32) Memphis Grizzlies: Mitchell Robinson (Fr.)
USA: Center

Robinson is quite an interesting case. After dealing with off the court issues, he elected to forgo playing basketball at the collegiate level. This in effect, dropped him from a potential lottery pick to #32 overall. Despite that, Mitchell’s talent is undeniable. Robinson is a ridiculous shot blocker and great defender overall. He flashes great athleticism and explosiveness, great as a lob catcher and pick and roll finisher. Robinson is large at 7’1” 225lbs and hones a 7’4” wingspan. Despite all the tools, Robinson is still very raw in the post game, a skill he will continue to develop in the NBA. This is another perfect pick for the defensive-minded Grizzlies. Much like Mo Bamba, Robinson has the tools to develop into an offensive star, but will most definitely dominate on defense. Robinson may be the heir to the throne for an aging Marc Gasol, but either way, the Grizzlies got a steal with this pick

 

33) Atlanta Hawks: De’Anthony Melton (So.)
USC: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

Melton is a serious wild card. After starting off his freshman year well, Melton got suspended from USC due to a financial scandal. Teams are understandably concerned about this. If you can look past that, Melton a great prospect. Only 6’3” 185 lbs, his 6’8” wingspan makes up the difference. He is a great athlete with a high basketball IQ. Melton is a solid rebounder, passer, and scorer. He is also a fantastic defender. Given his slender frame, Melton must continue to add muscle in addition to improving his shooting stroke at the next level. Melton will likely start off the bench but will come in and contribute for the Hawks.

 

34) Dallas Mavericks: Anfernee Simons (Fr.)
IMG Academy: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

The Mavs get an absolute steal here with Simons. Simons who is the no. 8 recruit in the ESPN 2018, was projected to be the no. 5 pick in the NBA 2019 Draft. After spending one year in the IMG Academy after high school, Simmons opted to forgo college and go directly into the NBA. The Mavs are grabbing a player who has the talent of a top 5 pick. Simons is a smooth athlete with great ball handling skill. He is an unworldly shooter who is fantastic at creating off the dribble. At 6’4” 185 lbs, Simons has a good frame for either guard spot but must work hard to put on strength to dominate in the NBA. Dallas fans will be will incredibly happy with Simons, who can slide in next to DSJ to solidify the Mavs’ future backcourt.

 

35) Orlando Magic: Jacob Evans III (Jr.)
Cincinnati: Small Forward

At 6’6” 210 lbs, Evans best trait is his defense. He has great IQ and feel for the game, using his 6’9” wingspan to great effect. Evans is a great decision maker, never forcing the wrong play. He’s a very solid finisher near the rim. Evans is still raw on the offensive end. He must develop his jump shot and expand his skill set to become more effective on the offensive side. The Magic struggled on defense, drafting Evans will give them a hard-nosed tough defender right away, with the tools to develop into much more.

 

36) Sacramento Kings: Chimezie Metu (Jr.)
USC: Power Forward/Center

The Kings need serious help at every position besides point guard and now shooting guard with the addition of Luka Dončić. With hopes that Buddy Hield and Luka Dončić can lock down the 2/3 positions, the Kings go with the 6’11” 225 lbs power forward from USC. Metu has the versatility and strength to play either the 4 or 5. Metu is a serious athlete, a fantastic rebounder, and defender. He has shown flashes of a jump shot, which will the Kings with floor spacing. Metu has started to develop a bit of a post game but will need to continue to develop that in the NBA. The Kings will need to solidify their frontcourt and Metu will allow them to do that. Zach Randolph is a solid player, but only has a few years left. His veteran presence will allow Metu to develop well for these young and inexperienced Kings.

 

37) New York Knicks: Tony Carr (So.)
Penn State: Point Guard

The 6’5” 204 lbs PG from PSU had a breakout season for the Nittany Lions. He averaged 19.6 PPG while shooting 43.3% from beyond the arc. He most definitely took the Big 10 by storm. Carr can score in a variety of ways, stepbacks, turnarounds, pull-ups, etc. He became a maestro at shooting off the dribble this year. A very solid playmaker with 5.0 APG, Carr is a dynamic player. He has a solid 6’8” wingspan. Carr was the main cog for PSU’s NIT title run this past season. Carr may struggle with defense, as he does not have the lateral quickness to keep up with most guards, the hope is that his length and size for the point guard position will help with that. The Knicks will get a more polished player than Frank Ntilikina, who is still very much a work in progress. Carr may very well step into the starting role if Ntilikina continues to struggle, but regardless Carr gives them a great scoring option.

 

38) Philadelphia 76ers: Shake Milton (So.)
SMU: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

This is one you almost definitely never heard of. Playing for the 17-16 SMU Mustangs, Milton is a relatively unknown commodity. He averaged 18.0 PPG on 42.6 3PT%. At 6’6” 205 lbs, Milton has fantastic size. A monstrous 6’11” wingspan, Milton has all the tools to become a star. A fantastic shooter, especially from three, he can create off the dribble or off the catch and shoot. He has excellent vision and is a good passer. Milton is not a top-level athlete, however, which may hurt him at the next level. The 76ers will be drafting another strong rotational piece to their lineup.

 

39) Philadelphia 76ers: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Sr.)
Kansas: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

The 6’8” 205 lbs shooting guard is originally from Ukraine. First and foremost, Mykhailiuk is an excellent shooter. He shot 44.4 3PT% on 6.6 3PA at Kansas As the years progressed, Svi became a much more versatile player. He displayed much better playmaking skills his senior year improving his APG to 2.7 from 1.3. He improved as a driver, developing a very good dribble drive move. Svi even showed his versatility by playing the stretch 4 for a small Kansas team. Svi leaves a lot to desire on the defensive end, his lateral quickness must be improved in the NBA. Philly will be adding a solid role player in Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk who can come off the bench and play off of Philly’s more dominant ball handlers.

 

40) Brooklyn Nets: Rawle Alkins (So.)
Arizona: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

The Nets are set at guard with D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jeremy Lin. The Nets have solid, but unspectacular players at all other positions. They take Alkins here, the tough-nosed 2 guard from Arizona. Alkins did not get the chance to be the primary ball handler with DeAndre Ayton and Allonzo Trier in the fold, but can very much hold that role. Alkins is a tough defender first of all. He has great power and athleticism as well. Alkins possesses great power and strength. Alkins must continue to improve his jump shot to find success in the NBA. At 6’5” 220 lbs, the Nets have drafted a player who can play the 2 or the 3. He can be your primary ball handler. If the development goes right, this is a major steal.

 

41) Orlando Magic: Devonte Graham (Sr.)
Kansas: Point Guard

Much like Frank Mason in last year’s draft, Devonte Graham is a very underrated pick. There is no lack of talent for Graham. He was the engine that kept Kansas going all year long. Graham can do it all. He possesses an elite jump shot, shooting 40.6 3PT% this past year. He is an excellent passer, averaging 7.2 APG this past season. He is great in the pick and roll game. Graham’s defense is often overlooked, but he is a very good defender. Graham stands at 6’2” 185 lbs, a bit skinny by NBA standards. Graham will need to put on additional weight to his slender frame. The Magic now have their backup to Trae Young, a player capable of being the first option or the 4th.

 

42) Detroit Pistons: Hamidou Diallo (Fr.)
Kentucky: Shooting Guard

After making the blockbuster trade for Blake Griffin, the Pistons seemed to achieve one thing, decimating their wings. Reggie Jackson, Blake Griffin, and Andre Drummond are the only ones with a secure hold on a starting spot, the rest are up for grabs. The Pistons go with Hamidou Diallo, the athletic freak from Kentucky. Diallo had a roller coaster of a season. After a strong start to the season, his confidence wavered, ending with a subpar freshman year. Despite that, the upside is mouthwatering. At 6’5” 198 lbs, Diallo has ideal height for the 2 guard position. His 6’11” wingspan along with his insane 44’ vertical jump make him an even more intriguing prospect. Diallo is a superior athlete, with great quickness and explosiveness. He can fantastic finish through contact. Diallo also is a very solid defender. At the next level, Diallo will need to improve his jump shot vastly in addition to putting on more muscle to his slender frame. The Pistons have drafted a player with a ridiculously high ceiling. If Diallo can get his confidence straight and his shot proper, he can find himself in the starting lineup quickly for a team searching for wings.

 

43) Denver Nuggets: Jevon Carter (Sr.)
West Virginia: Point Guard

Jevon Carter is a tough, tough man. One of the best defenders in college basketball, he pestered every player he went up against. Carter’s 3.0 SPG was best in the Big 12. Carter is more than a defender however, he developed into a serious offensive weapon at his time at WVU. Carter has the ability to score from all over. This includes complex moves such as step backs, pull-ups, floaters, etc. He shot fabulous numbers from beyond the arc (39.3 3PT%) as well as at the charity stripe (85.8%.). Carter looks big and strong at 6’2” 205 lbs. The main concern with Carter is his age (23). Carter does not have the upside of most players considering his older age. This, however, does not take away from his skill, toughness, or leadership. Carter will not start for the Nuggets but should be an immediate impact player off the bench.

 

44) Washington Wizards: Jarred Vanderbilt (Fr.)
Kentucky: Small Forward/Power Forward

In a Kentucky team filled with stars, Jarred Vanderbilt never got his opportunity. Vanderbilt was a 5-star recruit out of high school. Expected to step right into the starting lineup, Vanderbilt struggled with injuries, missing more than half the season. To be clear, Vanderbilt has the talent of a lottery pick. A fantastic all-around player, Vanderbilt is a natural point forward. He has the handles and passing vision to be the primary ball handler. He struggled mightily for playing time at Kentucky but did one thing stuck out at his tenure there, his rebounding. Vanderbilt averaged 7.9 rebounds per game in only 17.0 MPG. That translates to 18.5 RPG in 40 minutes for you statheads. Vanderbilt has the physical tools to dominate with his 7’1” wingspan and 8’10’ standing reach, along with his 6’9” 214 lbs frame. He has the tools to become a lockdown defender at the next level. Vanderbilt will really take his game to the next level by developing his jump shot, something he struggled with in college. Looking 5 years down the road, Vanderbilt could one of the best players from this draft. Washington will be drafting another ball handler to bring off the bench, but someone who could eventually develop into a star.

 

45) Brooklyn Nets: Vincent Edwards (Sr.)
Purdue: Small Forward/Power Forward

At 6’8” 225, Vincent Edwards played the power forward position primarily for the Purdue Boilermakers, although he may be undersized for that in the NBA. Edwards is a very good scorer from all over the floor. He is a fantastic shooter in addition to being a very solid post scorer. Edwards is also an adequate playmaker. The concerns with Edwards comes with his size. He is undersized to play the 4 and may not be quick enough to beat small forwards off the dribble. The Nets have drafted a high IQ player who will be able to contribute immediately, but it will be a tough battle for him to develop into anything more.

 

46) Houston Rockets: Trevon Bluiett (Sr.)
Xavier: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

What’s more valuable to the Rockets than shooting. Trevon Bluiett is an absolute knockdown shooter. He shot 41.7 3PT% on 7.2 3PA. He has fantastic range and a quick release. Bluiett is very skilled at moving without the ball and getting open. At 6’6” 210 lbs, Bluiett has the ability to post up smaller players and shot over them. Despite being extremely skilled, Bluiett is not overly explosiveness and is not a great defender. Bluiett is a plug and play player in the Mike D’Antonio’s system, a great fit for a player that will make an immediate impact with scoring off the bench.

 

47) Los Angeles Lakers: Malik Newman (So.)
Kansas: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

At 6’3” 190 lbs, Newman is an interesting case. Newman is an excellent shooter, shooting 41.5% 3PT his one year at Kansas. Newman is a great athlete with elite level speed. He caught fire for Kansas late in the year, putting up huge numbers in the Big 12 tournament and March Madness. Newman is not a true point guard and does not have the size to guard 2 guards in the NBA. This may pose issues with what position he plays in the NBA. Despite that, Newman is a hand in glove fit for the LA Lakers. Newman excelled in Kansas’ up-tempo offense, something the Lakers love to do. The Lakers will employ Newman as their first scorer off the bench, a role he should fill well.

 

48) Minnesota Timberwolves: Theo Pinson (Sr.)
UNC: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Theo Pinson was the glue that held UNC together all year. Pinson has great versatility at 6’6” 220 lbs with a 6’11” wingspan. Pinson plays the point forward position, as he can handle and create for teammates very well. He is a great athlete and a solid rebounder. Pinson’s biggest strength is his defense. He was easily UNC’s best defender, taking on opposing teams’ best player. Pinson showed major versatility at UNC, often playing the 4 in smaller lineups and holding his own against bigger players. Pinson’s obvious issue is his jump shot, which is something he will need to develop in the NBA. The Timberwolves will be improving their bench with not only the point forward skills of Pinson but his leadership and toughness.

 

49) San Antonio Spurs: Ray Spalding (Jr.)
Louisville: Power Forward

The 6’10” 215 lbs Ray Spalding could end up being a sneaky pick. Spalding is a very athletic big man, who’s excellent in the pick and roll. He is already an excellent defender, who can block shots well. He is a fantastic rebounder, especially as an offensive rebounder. Spalding has the wingspan teams desire at 7’4”. The main issue with Spalding is his offense, he is quite raw and never developed much of an offensive game. The Spurs are the perfect landing spot for Spalding. Spalding has the athleticism, size, and physical tools to develop into a star, the Spurs will develop Spalding for the next few years before unleashing him.

 

50) Indiana Pacers: Deng Adel (Jr.)
Indiana: Small Forward

Deng Adel has solid size for the small forward position at 6’7” 200 lbs. He’s a very good scorer from all over the floor. He has the pristine ability to score off the dribble. Adel is a solid rebounder and playmaker in addition to being a good athlete. Adel will need to improve his ball-handling and defense at the next level. The Pacers are getting quite a solid scorer to come off the bench who has the potential to develop into more.

 

51) New Orleans Pelicans: Keenan Evans (Sr.)
Texas Tech: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

Keenan Evans played the point guard position as he was all of the Red Raiders offense, but is not a true PG. Evans is a pure scorer. At 6’3” 190 lbs, Evans is an undersized shooting guard who can handle the ball very well. Evans was very efficient in college, scoring 17.4 PPG on only 11.4 FGA. Evans was very good at getting himself to the free throw line. Evans reminds me of Lou Williams, a fantastic scorer who is undersized and struggles on defense. Evans is not a very good playmaker despite being the primary ball handler. The Pelicans are making a great pick here for a player who gives them an immediate scoring spark off the bench at either guard position.

 

52) Utah Jazz: Allonzo Trier (So.)
Arizona: Shooting Guard

This could end up being the steal of the draft. Trier has the talent to easily be a first-round pick. He can score all over the floor, a fantastic shooter first and foremost. Trier can score at will, off the dribble, catch and shoot, in transition, however you want. Trier is a solid athlete and a good playmaker. Trier has good size for the SG position at 6’5” 205 lbs. The main thing that scares teams about Trier is his off the court issues as he’s been suspended for PEDs multiple times. If Trier can get his head on straight, he has a bright future for him. This a great gamble for Utah. They need scoring badly and they get it with Trier. Trier will be able to come off the bench and put up points in a hurry, something Utah is desperate for.

 

53) Oklahoma City Thunder: Justin Jackson (So.)
UMD: Small Forward

The Thunder must start preparing for life without All-Star small forward Paul George. It is hard to find stars this late in the draft, but the Thunder may have stumbled onto one with Justin Jackson. If Jackson had a strong season this year, he may have found himself as a lottery pick. Instead, he had a devastating injury and missed almost all of last season. Despite that, Jackson is a great prospect. At 6’7” 225 lbs Jackson has great athleticism and length (7’2” wingspan) for the small forward position. He is a fantastic shooter (43.8 3PT% as a freshman) in addition to being very adept at finishing near the rim. He is a solid defender and rebounder. The main concern for teams is how Jackson will bounce back from his injury. While that is a real concern, this is a risk the Thunder must take, as Jackson has all the tools to develop into a star.

 

54) Dallas Mavericks: Kelan Martin (Sr.)
Butler: Small Forward

At 6’6” 228 lbs, Martin is a big & strong small forward. The first thing you notice with Martin is how well he shoots, an absolute knockdown shooter from three. He is a solid defensive player in addition to being a good rebounder. Martin is not an elite athlete and still has aspects of his offense he will need to work on. The Mavs have drafted a solid role player who can develop into a good 3 and D player.

 

55) Charlotte Hornets: Angel Delgado (Sr.)
Seton Hall: Center

At 6’9” 230 lbs, Delgado looks undersized for the center position but is not versatile enough for the power forward position. Delgado was quite productive at the collegiate level. A solid low post scorer, Delgado really made his mark with his insane rebounding numbers and fantastic defense. Delgado does not have the prototypical size or athleticism for the center position, something that may harm him in the NBA. Despite that, the Hornets are drafting someone who can immediately step in as an impact role player.

 

56) Philadelphia 76ers: Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (Sr.)
Baylor: Center

The 7’0” 220 lbs big man from Baylor is a very solid player. He is a solid player from the post and has shown some potential to stretch the floor. Lual-Acuil is a great athlete and a fantastic defender. Already 24, Lual-Acuil has limited upside given his age. Despite that, the 76ers have drafted a player who will give them great depth behind star center Joel Embiid.

 

57) Oklahoma City Thunder: Billy Preston (Fr.)
Bosnia: Power Forward

The Thunder will be forced to take another gamble on a player with high upside. Billy Preston was originally committed to Kansas before dropping due to off the court issues before going to Bosnia. Preston may have been a lottery pick before the off-court issues, the talent is clearly there. At 6’10” 225 lbs Preston clearly has the size for the 4 position. First and foremost Preston is an excellent shooter, especially from deep. He is a solid playmaker and rebounder. He is a good athlete. Preston’s biggest issue is his off the court issues. If Preston can figure that out, the Thunder will have a major steal in this year’s draft. Preston has the talent of a lottery pick, he just needs to get his head on straight. Depending on how the Thunder’s offseason goes, Preston may find himself entrenched as the Thunder’s starting power forward, a role he clearly has the talent for.

 

58) Denver Nuggets: Johnathan Williams (Sr.)
Gonzaga: Power Forward

At 6’9” 227 lbs, Williams looks a bit undersized for the power forward position. He is a great scorer, especially in the low post. Williams is an above average athlete, who is a solid playmaker and rebounder. He is also a solid floor stretcher, with a capable mid-range shot. Williams’ biggest issue is his size and how he may struggle against bigger NBA big men. Williams will find it tough to carve a steady role for Denver considering the depth all across this team. However, if Williams can get himself into the rotation, he will be a steady contributor.

 

59) Phoenix Suns: D.J. Hogg (Jr.)
Texas A&M: Power Forward/Small Forward

At 6’8” 215 lbs, Hogg is a bit of a tweener but is best suited for the stretch 4 position in today’s NBA. Hogg’s biggest strength is as a shooter. He is an underrated athlete who can score, rebound, and pass. Hogg’s biggest drawback is his lack of explosiveness, which may hold him back from scoring at an elite rate. If all goes well with Hogg’s development, he could end up being a good option off the bench for the Suns.

 

60) Philadelphia 76ers: Isaac Bonga (N/A)
Germany: Small Forward

With the last pick in the draft, the 76ers choose to go with the 6’9” 190 lbs small forward from Germany. He has the size to play multiple positions but must continue to put on strength to achieve that versatility. Bonga plays much like 76ers star Ben Simmons. He is a tall point forward with fantastic vision who can score well. He’s a solid defender and rebounder, adding to his versatility. The biggest object in Bonga’s way is his lack of a jump shot, something he will need to work on. To begin the season Bonga may find himself buried in the rotation, but he may be able to carve a rotation role in Philly. Bonga has the looks of a player who may eventually develop into a star.

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