NBA mock draft
1. The Phoenix Suns
Luka Doncic (G, Slovenia)
The Euroleague MVP is only 19 and has elite playmaking ability and a solid jump shot. While he isn’t a top level athlete and his defense will need work he is already extremely experienced and has an incredibly high basketball IQ, probably the highest in a prospect since Simmons. Luka will come in and start instantly, his impact will be most noticeable in the play of Devin Booker. Devin Booker suffers from a similar problem that Donovan Mitchell suffered from against the Rockets, he needs a point guard. Both of these players are elite scorers, but they need a system in place to be effective, much like guys like Klay Thompson, JJ Redick, and Ray Allen in the past, otherwise they will be nowhere near as efficient as they should be considering their talents. Luka should be able to provide the playmaking to structure this team around to become an offensive powerhouse. You should also see Marquese Chriss’ play improve too, just as an added bonus. Oh plus the Suns just hired a Slovenian coach, that’s not a coincidence.
2. The Sacramento Kings
Deandre Ayton (C, Arizona)
Ayton’s physicals alone are enough to warrant a top 3 pick. The Kings seem to have their back court in order with Fox and Hield, or at least the point guard position so adding the best center in the draft is a no-brainer. While his defensive skills might be a liability, he has the physical attributes and has flashed great help defense ability in college. Imagine Hassan Whiteside or Clint Capela but uber athletic and can shoot, that’s basically what Ayton will become.
3. The Atlanta Hawks
Marvin Bagley (PF/C, Duke)
John Collins is okay, but that’s it, he’s just okay. Marvin Bagley is an athletic beast with great offensive instincts, averaging almost 22 points in college. His defense will need work as he is not that much of a shot blocker, but he has the quickness where he will be able to defend switches on pick and rolls, which should compliment Dedmon’s shot blocking very well. Hopefully Schroeder stays so that Bagley won’t have to turn into a post-up vacuum.
4. The Memphis Grizzlies
Michael Porter Jr. (SF/PF Mizzou)
Even though he was injured, he’s healthy now, his draft stock should not be hurt by that. While he isn’t much of a playmaker, and as the common trend in this draft goes his defense will need some work, he can score in all forms and scores very well. Porter will be able to play either forward spot, as either a spot up shooter or a face-up four with a baseline drive ability.
5. The Dallas Mavericks
Mo Bamba (C, Texas)
Bye bye Nerlens Noel, hello Mo Bamba. Great defensive instincts, 7’1, 7’10 wingspan, looks to be able to develop an offensive game or at least a mid range shot. Do I need to say more?
6. The Orlando Magic
Trae Young (PG, Oklahoma)
When the Magic drafted Elfrid Payton they got a guy who could defend well but couldn’t shoot for his life, so why not draft the opposite? In Trae Young they’ll get a guy who’ll shoot jump shots all day but will get pushed around on defense. Just looking at the Magic’s roster, they’re gonna need to start playing fast, and Trae Young will gladly help pick up the pace.
7. The Chicago Bulls
Jaren Jackson Jr. (C, Michigan State)
You know what would be a great pairing with the offensive minded, shooting Lauri Markkanen? A defensive beastly center who can also shoot a bit. Besides his physical attributes, Jackson is just as good of a defender as Bomba. Although he might have rebounding issues at first, and will need to fix his shooting form a bit just to speed it up, Jaren Jackson should pair great with Lauri as the bulls lockdown their frontcourt for the future.
8. The Cleveland Cavs
Mikal Bridges (SF, Villanova)
Lebron is most likely leaving, and while obviously nobody in this draft can replace him, you can at least replace his position with Bridges. A Kawhi Leonard-esque player is extremely valuable in this league and given that his 3 point shot is already developed Bridges becomes even more valuable. While Bridges may not become a star at the same level as Kawhi, he will at least be a great 3&D role player that will slot into an modern NBA offense.
9. The New Yorks Knicks
Collin Sexton (PG, Alabama)
A pure, super-physical scorer who averaged just under 20 points while being the only player opponents needed to defend. While he was known for his defense coming in to college he averaged less than a steal per game. But that can most likely be attributed to how much he had to work on offensive end of the floor. At the NBA level he should be able to refocus on defense and become the physical stopper he was known for coming out of high school.
10. The Philadelphia 76ers
Wendell Carter Jr. (C, Duke)
Although Embiid played almost the whole year last year, injuries are still a concern. And Brett Brown’s complete reluctance to play Richaun Holmes has made it clear that he doesn’t trust him to step up, and the last thing anybody should ever want is for Trashmir Johnson to be your backup center. So drafting Carter, a guy who could just as easily go top 6 is a no brainer.
11. The Charlotte Bobcats in Hornet uniforms
Kevin Knox (F, Kentucky)
Kevin Knox is a natural scorer with a good shooting touch, while he was inconsistent he should be able to develop into a solid secondary scorer who can rebound well. He will have to develop his handle to continue playing SF but that he improved greatly over the year so that most likely won’t be that difficult for him.
12. The Los Angeles Clippers
Miles Bridges (F, Michigan State)
Bridges may be a project due to his lack of shooting and awkward positioning, but with his athleticism and natural feel for the game it may be worth it. The Clippers have time too, they aren’t winning anything anytime soon.
13. The Los Angeles Clippers
Robert Williams III (C, Texas A&M)
Another Clint Capela. So another top 10 center potential player. Deandre Jordan should be traded soon, and drafting his replacement would be ideal even if he is another project player.
14. The Denver Nuggets
Lonnie Walker IV (SG, Miami [the real one])
The Nuggets are in a very awkward position where they need a wing star, but are stacked with wing depth, but drafting anything other than a wing for them wouldn’t make sense because they don’t have any needs in the front court to be filled. Soooo… They can at least check off PG as it at least with Jamal Murray, probably. Lonnie Walker, if he can stay consistent, should be able to develop a jumper to compliment his slashing ability.
15. The Washington Wizards
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG, Kentucky)
The Wizards could use some guard depth that can apply pressure on John Wall and Bradley Beal to play to play like the players they’re supposed to be. Shai is a pretty big PG who has a solid shot and good playmaking. He showed solid improvement over the year and could likely develop into a solid guard in the NBA
16. The Phoenix Suns
Jalen Brunson (PG, Villanova)
Drafting Jalen Brunson would at least give Doncic and the Suns a very good backup, but would ideally allow a small ball lineup of Brunson, Doncic, Booker, Jackson and Chriss/Center acquired in FA which could be deadly on offense if they all mesh. Brunson and Doncic would bring a level of basketball experience, leadership and IQ that might be the highest in any rookie pairing, ever, of all time.
17. The Milwaukee Bucks
Gary Trent Jr. (SG, Duke)
While not very good on defense, and unathletic, Trent can shoot, and the Bucks desperately need shooting to space the floor for Giannis
18. The San Antonio Spurs
Dzanan Musa (SG/SF, Bosnia)
19. The Atlanta Hawks
Zhaire Smith (SG/SF, Texas Tech)
Averaging more than a block and a steal a game, Smith could easily develop into a defensive stopper in the NBA
20. The Minnesota Timberbulls
Aaron Holiday (PG, UCLA)
Terry Rozier 2.0
21. The Utah Jazz
Khyri Thomas (SG, Creighton)
A very good defender, so the Jazz don’t have to give up on hiding Mitchell in the corner, he can also shoot the ball very well, while his ceiling isn’t high, a better 3 and D player than Crowder is exactly what this team can use right now.
22. The Chicago Bulls
Rawle Atkins (SG/SF, Arizona)
An aggressive slasher and defensive wing player who looks to be able to develop a jump shot. Could be a good fit for the bulls and develop into a pretty solid 6th man in the NBA
23. The Indiana Pacers
Troy Brown (G, Oregon)
Troy Brown will take some time, but could develop into a pretty solid defensive guard who can help run an offense, could compliment Oladipo well.
24. The Portland Trail Blazers
Jontay Porter (PF/C, Mizzou)
A good screener, shooter and passer, would fit this team perfectly.
25. The Los Angeles Lakers
Anfernee Simons (G, IMG Academy)
He looks like he has the physicals to develop into a good scoring wing, if he can, and improve his defense, because of his size he will be a favorable replacement for IT as the backup point guard and 6th man.
26. The Philadelphia 76ers
Landry Shamet (SG, Wichita State)
Just keep shooting
27. The Boston Celtics
Mitchell Robinson (C, A vacation year)
The Celtics can afford to take on a project, and if he pans out it’d be well worth it
28. The Golden State Warriors
Omari Spellman (PF/C, Villanova)
Very athletic, a solid defender and a very good shooter at his size, perfect player for the warriors
29. The Brooklyn Nets
Jerome Robinson (SG, Boston College)
A very high scoring guard, best player available
30. The Atlanta Hawks
Donte Divincenzo (SG, Villanova)
A great scorer and super physical defender, lower ceiling but could easily become a great sixth man like he was at Nova