We are less than two weeks until the NBA Draft, which means most teams are meeting with players and evaluating what players they are going to pick. Also since my last mock draft, all college draft decisions have been made, which means we know exactly which players are in the draft. For the First Round picks, I will make my mock draft picks and giving an explanation for the picks, while in round two I will just make my picks.
1.Pheonix Suns: Deandre Ayton 7’0″ Center Arizona
Deandre Ayton said following a workout with the Suns, that he wouldn’t work out with any other teams as he believes he was going number one overall. The Suns will probably work out other prospects but I would be surprised if they move past Ayton, who seems to check all the boxes.
2.Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III 6’11” Power Forward Duke
The Kings have some solid young pieces at the guard position but are really lacking a star big man. Bagley would come in right away and make an instant impact inside while creating some excitement for the fan base. This pick just makes too much sense to me, that being said Vlade Divac always can take someone else.
3.Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr. 6’11” Power Forward Michigan State
The Hawks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon so they can wait on a prospect like Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson Jr. has the potential to be an elite shot-blocker and his ability to step outside and knock down threes seems to have teams excited. Jackson Jr. is a good big man to pair alongside John Collins and with some development that will be a formidable frontcourt in the future.
4.Memphis Grizzlies: Luka Doncic 6’8″ Shooting Guard Real Madrid
At this point in the draft, the Grizzlies will be looking to get the best player available or someone who can help get them to the playoffs next year. Doncic checks off both those boxes, as he has shown in Europe that he will be able to score right away, while most think he has the makings of a longtime All-Star player.
5.Dallas Mavericks: Mohammed Bamba 7’0″ Center Texas
The Mavericks are rebuilding and are looking for a player with a lot of potential, which Bamba has a lot of. He has shown the ability to be an elite shot-blocker, while in workouts he has shown the ability to hit threes. Bamba has the ability to be an All-Star, while he looks like a good replacement for Dirk when he retires.
6.Orlando Magic: Trae Young 6’2″ Point Guard Oklahoma
Trae Young electrified College Basketball last year, as he led the nation in scoring and assists. Meanwhile, the Magic continue to be stuck in the mud, with no real option at the point guard position. This pick would not only electrify the fanbase but he will be able to step in and create shots for Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, should they stay in Orlando.
7.Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr. 6’10” Small Forward Missouri
The Bulls seem to have some good young talent already, however, could use a headline player to lead the team in scoring. Assuming Porter can stay healthy throughout his career he has the potential to be a longtime All-Star in the NBA.
8.Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets): Mikal Bridges 6’7″ Small Forward Villanova
The Cavaliers are stuck in a tough position, where depending on Lebron’s decision, they will be either be rebuilding or looking for a piece to help them win now. Bridges can fill both roles, as he can make immediate impacts on defense and shooting-wise, while he also shows the upside to be good in the future.
9.New York Knicks: Wendell Carter Jr. 6’10” Power Forward Duke
The Knicks are looking to reshape their identity with new head coach David Fizdale and Carter Jr fits into that system well. Carter can play alongside Kristaps Porzingis and provide some inside punch for the Knicks, as Porzingis can play more outside.
10.Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers): Collin Sexton 6’2″ Point Guard Alabama
The 76ers have already some great young talent to build around, however, they can always use a player that can develop. Sexton showed flashes of greatness in his only year at Alabama but has been credited most by his work ethic. Sexton can come in and show flashes of greatness right away, however, he’ll probably be even better as time goes on.
11.Charlotte Hornets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 6’6″ Combo Guard Kentucky
The Hornets are in NBA purgatory as they aren’t really good enough to make the playoffs but they still can’t get any elite prospects at this point in the draft. At this point, I think they should take a player with some upside, like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Gilgeous-Alexander is tall enough to guard multiple positions, while he has the ability to play point guard, which is important for any NBA team.
12.Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons): Robert Williams 6’9″ Power Forward Texas A&M
The Clippers have some options as they have back to back lottery picks, so they are likely to get two different type of players. Williams has high upside, which intrigues many teams and his athleticism can get him playing time right away. If the Clippers can develop him right, he has the potential to be an elite player inside for the Clippers.
13.Los Angeles Clippers: Miles Bridges 6’7″ Small Forward Michigan State
At 12 I think the Clippers will take a high-risk player but at 13 they should probably take a more well-known prospect, like Miles Bridges. Bridges’ has the athleticism to be an elite defender and dunker in the NBA and at 6’7″ he can play both the 3 and the 4, which any team in the NBA can value. The Clippers already have a solid roster in place but this would be a good addition to it.
14.Denver Nuggets: Kevin Knox 6’9″ Small Forward Kentucky
The Nuggets came one game away from making the playoffs last year but with a little bit of help, they should break through this year. The Nuggets have good young pieces already set but are lacking a go-to scorer like a Kevin Knox. In flashes, Knox showed an ability to score from anywhere, which is good for the Nuggets. He will be inconsistent but for a team like the Nuggets, he should be able to help out right away.
15.Washington Wizards: Lonnie Walker 6’4″ Shooting Guard Miami
The Wizards really had some depth issues last year as John Wall went down with an injury, so they should probably look for someone who can help right away. Walker can step in right away and help with that and he also has shown potential to be great down the road.
16.Pheonix Suns (via Heat): Khryi Thomas 6’4″ Combo Guard
The Suns will have already addressed their issues inside by drafting Deandre Ayton, so at 16 they will likely draft a guard. Khyri Thomas not only can step in and handle the ball but his shooting and defense can help set a tone for the Suns. He will not only get playing time early but his defensive tenacity and developing offensive skills can make him an Elite player down the line.
17.Milwaukee Bucks: Kevin Huerter 6’7″ Shooting Guard Maryland
The Bucks have already some good young pieces but you can never have enough depth. At this point in the draft, the Bucks seem forced into taking a guard, so they should pick one that fits in well immediately. Kevin Huerter can come in and become an elite shotmaker early, while he is already a good defender, which can get him on the court early.
18.San Antonio Spurs: Keita Bates-Diop 6’8″ Small Forward Ohio State
The Spurs always seem to get players that fit into their team culture well, as they work hard and are good team players. All these things can describe Keita Bates-Diop, who seemed to show off that hard-work by going from an unknown player to the Big Ten player of the year. Bates-Diop can provide some early offense and will be able to play both the 3 and the 4 for the Spurs.
19.Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves): Zhaire Smith 6’4″ Shooting Guard Texas Tech
The Hawks have a lot of draft picks in this draft, so look for them to take chances on high-upside prospects like Zhaire Smith. Zhaire Smith showed early on his athletic ability by being an elite dunker for the Red Raiders, while also being an Elite Defender. Smith definitely has some things to work on but the Hawks don’t seem to be going anywhere so he could get some time to develop.
20.Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder): Donte DiVincenzo 6’5″ Shooting Guard Villanova
No one knows what the Timberwolves are going to do this offseason, as they don’t seem to be fitting in. That being said at 20 in the draft they should probably draft the best player available, which is Donte DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo showed flashes of greatness offensively last year but in the combine, he showed he was an Elite talent.
21.Utah Jazz: Elie Okobo 6’2″ Point Guard Pau-Lacq-Orthez
The Jazz have a solid rotation already but with an elite player in Donovan Mitchell, they will need a long-term option at the point guard position. Okobo has proven to be an elite scorer overseas but can be even better in the right organization. Okobo will probably start as a backup but he could quickly move into the starting lineup if he plays well early.
22.Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans): Chandler Hutchison 6’8″ Small Forward Boise State
The Bulls have already said that they would pick Hutchison if he was available at 22, which is very likely. Hutchison is very good offensively and can be a good defender based on his size and guard skills. To me, this seems like a good fit, even if I think that they could have gotten him later in the draft.
23.Indiana Pacers: Gary Trent Jr. 6’5″ Shooting Guard Duke
The Pacers already have some good young pieces to build around, however, there is always room for a tough player, who is a good shooter like Trent. Trent is a good shotmaker, which can be helpful for the Pacers, plus if he can play good defense he will be able to get minutes early.
24.Portland Trail Blazers: Troy Brown 6’7″ Combo Guard Oregon
The Blazers had a good regular season but couldn’t handle the Pelicans come playoff time. Brown is a solid prospect but his size and guard skills will be what gets him on the court early. If he shows some good play early on he can get some good minutes early on and eventually he can develop into a starting player for the Blazers.
25.Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavaliers): Mitchell Robinson 7’1″ Center HS-Senior
Many teams fear Mitchell Robinson as he is really an unknown prospect, however, the Lakers are not one of those teams. The Lakers have a lot of depth in most positions but Center is not one of them, assuming he plays to his potential he could be a long-term option at the Center position for the Lakers.
26.Philadelphia 76ers: Omari Spellman 6’9″ Power Forward Villanova
Omari Spellman might not be around at 26 but if so he’ll likely get picked by the Sixers. Spellman has shown elite skills on defense while being able to make shots inside and out. He would be able to step in early and play a role off the bench for the Sixers and as he develops he could get more playing time going forward.
27.Boston Celtics: Jerome Robinson 6’5″ Combo Guard Boston College
The Celtics have a lot of options at the guard position already but could always use some depth. A nearby prospect Jerome Robinson can be helpful going forward, as he has shown the ability to be an Elite scorer. If he can play well early he can move up with the Celtics and eventually become a key role player for the Celtics.
28.Golden State Warriors: Aaron Holiday 6’2″ Point Guard UCLA
The Warriors seem to have their key players set in stone but they could always use a veteran backup if players get injured. Holiday has shown the ability to be an elite scorer at the College level so he could become a sparkplug off the bench for the Bruins.
29.Brooklyn Nets (via Raptors): Anfernee Simons 6’3″ Point Guard HS-Senior
The Nets really are in a tough position, as they don’t have any talent or have the ability to move up in the draft, so they may as well take a risk. Simons has the ability to be an elite level from a talent perspective but is a real mystery, so I look for a team like the Nets to take him and maybe he ends up panning out.
30.Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Josh Okogie 6’4″ Combo Guard Georgia Tech
As mentioned before the Hawks are likely going to take chances in this draft, which is where Okogie comes into play. He has an elite athletic ability which has scouts raving, also with Georgia Tech nearby the Hawks should have plenty of scouting on Okogie, so this seems like a good fit for him.
31.Pheonix Suns: Jalen Brunson 6’2″ Point Guard Villanova
32.Memphis Grizzlies: Moe Wagner 6’11” Power Forward Michigan
33.Atlanta Hawks: Dzanan Musa 6’9″ Small Forward Cedevita Zagreb
34.Dallas Mavericks: Bruce Brown 6’5″ Shooting Guard Miami
35.Orlando Magic: De’Anthony Melton 6’3″ Combo Guard USC
36.Sacramento Kings: Brandon McCoy 7’0″ Center UNLV
37.New York Knicks (via Bulls): Melvin Frazier 6’6″ Shooting Guard Tulane
38.Philadelphia 76ers (via Nets): Landry Shamet 6’5″ Combo Guard Wichita State
39.Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks): Svi Mykhailiuk 6’8″ Shooting Guard Kansas
40.Brooklyn Nets (via Lakers): Grayson Allen 6’5″ Shooting Guard Duke
41.Orlando Magic (via Hornets): Jacob Evans 6’6″ Shooting Guard Cincinnati
42.Detroit Pistons: Trevon Duval 6’3″ Point Guard Duke
43.Denver Nuggets (via Clippers): Chimezie Metu 6’11” Power Forward USC
44.Washington Wizards: Alize Johnson 6’9″ Power Forward Missouri State
45.Brooklyn Nets (via Bucks): Hamidou Diallo 6’6″ Shooting Guard Kentucky
46.Houston Rockets (via Heat): Jevon Carter 6’2″ Point Guard West Virginia
47.Los Angeles Lakers (via Nuggets): Kevin Hervey 6’8″ Small Forward Texas-Arlington
48.Minnesota Timberwolves: Shake Milton 6’6″ Combo Guard SMU
49.San Antonio Spurs: Isaac Bonga 6’9″ Power Forward Fraport Frankfurt
50.Indiana Pacers: Tony Carr 6’5″ Combo Guard Penn State
51.New Orleans Pelicans: Kenrich Williams 6’7″ Small Forward TCU
52.Utah Jazz: Jarred Vanderbilt 6’9″ Power Forward Kentucky
53.Oklahoma City Thunder: Devonte’ Graham 6’2″ Point Guard Kansas
54.Dallas Mavericks (via Trail Blazers): Goga Bitadze 6’11” Center Mega Leks
55.Charlotte Hornets (via Cavaliers): Rawle Alkins 6’4″ Shooting Guard Arizona
56.Philadelphia 76ers: Vince Edwards 6’7″ Small Forward Purdue
57.Oklahoma City Thunder (via Celtics): Malik Newman 6’4″ Shooting Guard Kansas
58.Denver Nuggets (via Warriors): Arnoldas Kulboka 6’11” Power Forward Brose Bamberg
59.Pheonix Suns (via Raptors): Justin Jackson 6’7″ Small Forward Maryland
60.Philadelphia 76ers (via Rockets): Rodions Kurucs 6’9″ Small Forward FC Barcelona