(Image courtesy of Clutch Points).
No trades! This is based on my big board found here.
I wrote this prior to the draft, but am publishing afterwards. I can’t be bothered doing the rest of the second round – besides, any player worth $5 mil or less (who would be taken in the mid to late second round in my mock) will need dramatic improvement to have a lasting place in the league, so it’s not as interesting to figure out where they would be drafted.
1. New Orleans Pelicans – Nassir Little. Yep, no Zion. Nasty Nas can guard 1-5, shoot the ball and attack closeouts.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Sekou Doumbaya.
3. New York Knicks – Darius Bazley. The Knicks need playmakers – Bazley is the best in the draft in terms of handles and passing, and at his height, he’s worthy of that top 3 pick.
4. New Orleans Pelicans – Naz Reid. They already have big Jahlil Okafor at the 5, but Reid can guard 4s, which would create huge mismatches in this wing-as-a-four era due to rebounding and interior sealing opportunities.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jarrey Foster. The Cavs already have ball handlers in Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton, and have shooting wings and bigs in Cedi Osman and Kevin Love, so taking Cam Reddish or Luka Saminic here makes little sense. That’s why Jarrey Foster, who has similar value to those guys, is a great fit. He can be the defensive stopper the Cavs need, and can set the tone offensively with team-first play including spacing the floor and cutting backdoor for lobs and dunks.
6. Phoenix Suns – Cameron Reddish. The Suns pick another 6’7″ wing who can defend multiple spots.
7. Chicago Bulls – Luka Saminic. Saminic has a similar game to Bull Lauri Markennen, but he is the best player on the board.
8. Atlanta Hawks – Bol Bol. They need a center, and Bol is the best available. He can perfectly complement John Collins’ effectiveness on the glass, as Bol can play on the perimeter where he causes huge mismatches as a shooter who can put the ball on the deck. He’ll block a ton of shots too.
9. Washington Wizards – Brandon Clarke. They have a need at the four if Jabari or Portis aren’t brought back.
10. Atlanta Hawks – Romeo Langford. They need good distributors, and guys who are physically capable of defending more than one position..
11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyler Cook. This is a tough one, the preceding few guys all fit needs for the Wolves. But Cook gets the edge as a bruising rebounder and shot blocker who can be in the mold of Ben Wallace, while Karl Anthony Towns can go to work offensively and not worry so much about impacting the glass.
12. Charlotte Hornets – Justin Wright-Foreman. I think Kemba is a lock to sign elsewhere, as he’ll command a big contract and the Hornets have limited space, and have little room for improvement due to the contracts of Nic Batum and Marvin Williams. Taking Wright-Foreman eases the blow of losing Kemba however, as he too is a dynamite scorer who can knock down threes over you and provide Rucker-style entertainment with slick passing and short-guy dunks.
13. Miami Heat – Darius Garland. The Heat have solid wings and bigs who can score, but they need setting up. Garland is a perfect fit for them in that regard, and provides some spacing if Justice Winslow and James Johnson are given some point forward duties.
14. Boston Celtics – Kerwin Roach. A splitting image of Terry Rozier stylistically, Roach is a freak athlete who can play with and without the ball. Regardless of what happens in free agency with Kyrie Irving and Rozier’s willingness to re-sign in doubt, Roach provides good depth at the one and two.
15. Detroit Pistons – Kyle Guy. The Pistons need shooters to give their stud front two of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond space. Guy brings that, as well as athleticism to get easy fast break buckets. Reggie Jackson can ease the load of defending the bigger shooting guards.
16. Orlando Magic – Jah Morant. They already have Markelle Fultz who is a similar player, but it doesn’t hurt to have depth behind him. Morant would bring some star power to the oft-neglected Magic, who had one of the quietest playoff-drought breaks in NBA history, I would gather.
17. Atlanta Hawks – Kris Wilkes. Can be a Swiss army knife as a wing defender who can shoot a bit and bring energy as a fast break threat.
18. Indiana Pacers – Jared Harper. A backcourt of Harper and Oladipo would be intimidating to dribble against, as both are fierce defenders. Harper is well suited to getting the ball to Oladipo in the right spots.
19. San Antonio Spurs – Bruno Fernando. The Spurs need big bodies, and Fernando fits the bill. He is mobile enough and sound enough in decision making to fit the Spurs system too.
20. Boston Celtics – Deandre Hunter. They need a big presence with the threat of losing Al Horford, and Hunter can switch onto smaller guys, which the Celtics love. Imagine a starting five of (mystery point guard,) Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, DeAndre Hunter and Jaylen Brown. That is some versatility!
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Deividis Survydis. The Thunder could use some rebounding help behind Steven Adams, but Survydis is better than anyone else available who fits that bill.
22. Boston Celtics – Keldon Johnson. Another 6’7″ wing who can shoot? The Celtics love ’em.
23. Memphis Grizzlies – Myles Powell. The Grizz acquired this pick in the Mike Conley trade (which was an absolute steal for them – Jae Crowder and Grayson Allen alone are worth more than Conley, and his contract is a liability! The Grizz get a hardy wing scorer. (NOTE: Powell returned for his senior year at Seton Hall, but changing the mock now would be too hard).
24. Philadelphia 76ers – Armoni Brooks. The relative unknown out of Houston, Brooks is a lights out shooter who has solid size to defend wings. He is insurance as an off ball shooter if JJ Redick leaves.
25. Portland Trail Blazers – Mfiondu Kabangele. Fits the Blazers scheme well as a pick and pop big. Compares to Al Farouq Aminu, who could leave in free agency.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers – Zion Williamson. The Cavs need more athleticism on the wing and he could fit nicely at shooting guard as a ball handler and passer next to the shooting and cutting Jarrey Foster.
27. Brooklyn Nets – Jordon Varnado. They need a banger inside to complement Jarrett Allen and Varnado can do that, and the Nets will be stacked at guard assuming that DeAngelo Russell is brought back.
28. Golden State Warriors – Luke Maye.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Tako Fall.
30. Milwaukee Bucks – Goga Bitazde
31. Brooklyn Nets – Daniel Gafford. Need more depth at center.
32. Phoenix Suns – Jordan Bone.
33. Philadelphia 76ers – Lagerald Vick.
34. Philadelphia 76ers – Tremont Waters
35. Atlanta Hawks – Matt Coleman
36. Charlotte Hornets – RJ Barrett
37. Dallas Mavericks – Killian Tillie. They badly need perimeter scoring, and Tillie is big enough to guard the forward spots and spell Maxi Kleber.
38. Chicago Bulls – Kenny Wooten.
39. New Orleans Pelicans – Mike Parks