We are exactly one week from the NBA Draft, which means rumors are swirling as to which teams will pick which players. As per my last NBA Mock Draft, I will make the pick and then explain the pick and explain why it is a good fit for the NBA team. As per usual I won’t make any trades and I will draft as the order is currently set. With that being said here is my best guess as to where each player ends up going come draft night.
1.Pheonix Suns: Deandre Ayton 7’0″ Center Arizona
I think it is pretty obvious that Deandre Ayton is the best player in this draft and that will make him an easy first selection. The Suns are rumored to have interest in Luka Doncic and Jaren Jackson Jr. but I think it would be silly to draft those guys at one when they could get both of them at 3 and 4 if they trade down with let’s say the Atlanta Hawks or Memphis Grizzlies. Ayton would be a force inside and has the ability to dominate at the next level.
2.Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III 6’11” Power Forward Duke
The Kings really don’t have a specific player they are looking at, as they need as much help as they can get. While I think Luka Doncic is an interesting prospect, they will probably pick Marvin Bagley as he is an established player. Bagley showed up big in his only season at Duke by becoming a First-Team All-American and his elite ability to rebound will be big for any NBA team.
3.Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr. 6’11” Power Forward Michigan State
The Hawks are in a rebuilding position right now, so they are more likely to take a risk like Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson Jr. has shown the ability to be an elite shot-blocker and step out from beyond the arc and hit threes but there are still some areas that need to be improved upon. Look for him to come in and struggle early but by years three and four he will show that potential and be a worthy top-3 pick.
4.Memphis Grizzlies: Luka Doncic 6’8″ Small Forward Real Madrid
The best guard by far in this draft is Luka Doncic, who has shown the ability to be an elite scorer already in Europe. Doncic won the Euroleague MVP at age 18, which proves he is NBA ready and at four the Grizzlies are looking for an NBA ready player. I think Doncic can come in right away and help get the Grizzlies back to the playoffs and then as he develops he will be able to become the face of the Grizzlies as Marc Gasol and Mike Conley age.
5.Dallas Mavericks: Mo Bamba 7’1″ Center Texas
The Mavericks are in rebuild mode right now, which means they will probably go after a player with limitless potential, like Mo Bamba. Bamba is by far the longest prospect in this draft, which makes him an elite shot-blocker. Bamba is not established on the offensive side of the ball but that can be worked on over time. Many scouts say he is the best prospect in this draft, so I don’t see how he gets past five in the draft.
6.Orlando Magic: Trae Young 6’2″ Point Guard Oklahoma
The most famous player in the NBA Draft is Trae Young, who electrified the college landscape by leading the nation in points and assists. He’s shown already to be a great scorer and an elite passer and while he does make a lot of careless mistakes, there is more upside to bringing him in. The Magic are currently a team that needs a reason to get fans excited and while they can maybe get a better prospect, bringing in Trae Young would provide a reason for fans to buy tickets.
7.Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr. 6’10” Small Forward Missouri
The Bulls have some good young pieces already but could use a star player like Michael Porter Jr. While his back injury is a major concern for many teams, at this point in the lottery the Bulls are in a position that they could take a risk on a prospect like Porter as he has a huge upside. Porter might have some issues early on in his NBA career from a confidence perspective but I think he at some point will become an All-Star and will be one of the best scorers in the NBA.
8.Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets): Wendell Carter Jr. 6’10” Power Forward Duke
The Cavaliers might be heading into rebuild mode following this free agency period and while the Cavaliers do already have some good big men inside, I think they’ll go ahead and take Wendell Carter Jr. anyway. Carter showed in his only year at Duke to be a good player inside, who can occasionally step outside and hit jumpers. Carter is very smart and has been a very hard worker, so he will likely be a good pick down the road. All in all, this is a smart pick now, as Carter can provide a lift inside right now and be a good player down the road.
9.New York Knicks: Mikal Bridges 6’7″ Small Forward Villanova
The Knicks are looking to reshape their franchise with David Fizdale and what better player to help start that than an established player like Mikal Bridges. Bridges showed in college that he can be a great defender and a good scorer, which is needed in today’s NBA. He can also play the 3 and the 4 and is capable of guarding both guards and big men, which is extremely valuable. Best of yet he comes from a winning culture and can bring that into the NBA, to me this seems like a perfect fit for the Knicks at 9.
10.Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers): Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 6’6″ Combo Guard Kentucky
The Sixers are in a tough position at 10, where the majority of the elite prospects are already taken and they are left with players not yet established. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander might be the most established player left on the board as he shows lots of potential in the NBA. First off he is flexible, which means he can play on and off the ball, depending on what is needed. With Ben Simmons likely playing the point, he could play off the ball at the start of games and move on the ball when Simmons leaves the game. While he is not a great shooter, he has the ability to work on that and be a better player down the line for the 76ers.
11.Charlotte Hornets: Lonnie Walker 6’4″ Shooting Guard Miami
The Hornets are somewhat stuck right now, as they have some quality pieces but none of which can really help put them over the edge, so they are probably looking for a high upside player like Lonnie Walker. Walker showed flashes of greatness in parts of his Freshman season at Miami but his ceiling is still yet to be found. Walker has shown the ability to be an elite athlete, as well as a good shooter, which means he could fit the 3 and D narrative early on and develop his offensive game going forward.
12.Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons): Collin Sexton 6’2″ Point Guard Alabama
With back to back picks in the lottery, the Clippers are in position to get a couple of pieces that can pan out, starting with Collin Sexton. Many see Sexton being a Top-10 pick but I think he gets passed over, leaving him to the Clippers who will gladly take him. Sexton is the most athletic guard at this position and is maybe the quickest player in the draft. Sexton would probably take over as the starting point guard in his rookie year and his motor will get him places as his career goes along.
13.Los Angeles Clippers: Robert Williams 6’9″ Power Forward Texas A&M
While Collin Sexton will take care of the Clippers in the backcourt, the player with the highest upside left is probably Robert Williams. Williams has proven to be one of the best athletes in this draft in his career at Texas A&M. While offensively his game is raw, his defense and rebounding will get him playing time early and if he can develop a low-post game he could wind up being a steal at this point in the draft.
14.Denver Nuggets: Kevin Knox 6’9″ Small Forward Kentucky
The Nuggets were one shot away from making the playoffs last year and are looking for that last piece of the puzzle to push them over the edge, Kevin Knox provides that piece, as he is a big-time scorer. Knox had big outbursts last year at Kentucky, including a 34 game in a road win at West Virginia. He has proven to be inconsistent at times, which will likely land him on the bench but in that role, he could flourish and help get the Nuggets a few more wins next season.
15.Washington Wizards: Miles Bridges 6’7″ Small Forward Michigan State
It would be hard to think of a player like Miles Bridges slipping out of the lottery at the beginning of the season but yet here we are. Bridges does bring some good tools, such as a good offensive game and a good post game but really has yet to figure out his game. He has really no true position on the court as he often times is too slow for the 3 and too small for the 4. At Washington, he would likely start on the bench but he could wind up getting a good amount of minutes as the season goes along.
16.Pheonix Suns (via Heat): Khyri Thomas 6’4″ Combo Guard Creighton
Khyri Thomas is one of the best 3 and D players in this draft, which is something the Suns could use with a bunch of scorers. Thomas is more of a combo guard but can play the point, which is important but what he does extremely well is defend. Thomas has been an All-Big East level defender for two straight seasons and that can translate early on. The Suns also already have some quality scoring options, making Thomas a good floor-spacer as well as a point guard. Thomas’ impact won’t be seen offensively but his play should translate into helping the Suns get out of the basement of the NBA.
17.Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo 6’5″ Shooting Guard Villanova
The Bucks already have a decent team but need to add a player to help them get into the top four in the East and DiVincenzo would fit that bill. He established himself as the best sixth man in College Basketball and would probably play a similar role in Milwaukee. He has proven to be a sparkplug at times but also is sneaky athletic, which can keep him in the NBA for awhile. To me, this seems like a good fit for both the player and the team.
18.San Antonio Spurs: Keita Bates-Diop 6’7″ Small Forward Ohio State
The Spurs are in need of a player that can fit into their system and Keita Bates-Diop is capable of doing that. He is either a small-ball four or a three depending upon where you would like to play him and I think he is more than capable of doing both. Bates-Diop has proven that he can be a scorer at Ohio State and he seems to respond well to good coaching. I think he could right away be a role player with the Spurs and at some point, he could become an All-Star level player.
19.Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves): Zhaire Smith 6’4″ Shooting Guard Texas Tech
As mentioned before, the Hawks are in need of some long-term talent and a player like Zhaire Smith would certainly fit that bill. Smith has proven to be an outstanding athlete, which can translate to any NBA team right way. The thing that makes Smith such a good prospect is his ability to play many different positions on the court, likely ranging from 2 to 4 in the NBA. While Smith is not a great shooter right now and is a little undersized at the moment, there’s no reason to think he can’t become a pivotal role player going forward.
20.Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder): Gary Trent Jr. 6’5″ Shooting Guard Duke
The Timberwolves are already a playoff team but could use some bench help right away as well as some floor spacing, which Trent brings. Trent would likely come off the bench but could move into the starting lineup after a couple of years. Trent would add shooting and toughness to the Timberwolves, which they need. There are probably players with higher ceilings than Trent but overall he is a good role player.
21.Utah Jazz: Elie Okobo 6’2″ Point Guard Pau-Lacq-Orthez
The Jazz currently have a solid point guard in Ricky Rubio but he doesn’t seem to be a long-term option with the Jazz, that’s where Okobo comes into play. Okobo has proven overseas that he can be a good scorer and a good athlete, which can last in the NBA. He has a lot of potential and could be a good long-term option at the point guard position next to Donovan Mitchell.
22.Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans): Chandler Hutchison 6’7″ Small Forward Boise State
The Bulls seem likely to take Chandler Hutchison, as they have already told him that they will pick him if he’s available at 22. Hutchison showed last year his elite scoring ability at Boise State and at 6’7″ he can be a valuable asset for the Bulls. I think he could start right away and could be a 15-20 point per game scorer going forward for the Bulls.
23.Indiana Pacers: Omari Spellman 6’9″ Power Forward Villanova
The Pacers have a good young nucleus and are willing to add another big man to help their bench like Omari Spellman. Spellman is like Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis as he is a good shot-blocker and can step out and hit threes, so he could play well along those guys. He can play both the four and the five, which is big in the modern-day NBA.
24.Portland Trail Blazers: Kevin Huerter 6’7″ Shooting Guard Maryland
The Trail Blazers are already a good team, so adding a good piece like Huerter can be helpful. Huerter is a great shooter and is a good athlete, making him a valuable piece to any NBA team. His size allows him to defend multiple positions, ranging 1 to 5, which is valuable in today’s NBA. He will likely start on the bench but he could eventually work into a starting spot down the road.
25.Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavaliers): Aaron Holiday 6’2″ Point Guard UCLA
The Lakers are looking for a big offseason, however, they could probably use a backup point guard in this draft. Last year when Lonzo Ball was injured the Lakers struggled but that would change with Holiday. Holiday can be a good scorer and passer but has also shown the ability to play off the ball, like in 2016-17 at UCLA. Holiday would likely start on the bench but based on circumstances he could eventually move into the starting lineup.
26.Philadelphia 76ers: Moe Wagner 6’11” Power Forward Michigan
One of the Sixers best lineups had Ersan Ilyasova on the court to help stretch the floor when Ben Simmons drove and Moe Wagner could be a good long-term replacement for him. Wagner has the ability to score not only from the outside but he also is a good low-post scorer and a good ball-handler for his size. To me, this seems like a perfect fit for both Wagner and the Sixers, as he seems like a perfect fit in their system.
27.Boston Celtics: Mitchell Robinson 7’1″ Center USA
The Celtics always seem to be a step ahead of the NBA and they could take a risk and get rewarded big time with Mitchell Robinson. Robinson proved in high school that he was a high-level prospect but after multiple series of events, he ended up not playing College Basketball at all. That being said he has a lot of potential and could wind up being a starting Center for a Championship team down the road. I think he will start on the Celtics bench but he could start in the post-Al Horford era.
28.Golden State Warriors: Troy Brown 6’7″ Combo Guard Oregon
The Warriors have the most talented roster in the NBA right now but could use a revamping of their bench, starting with their draft pick. Troy Brown is a good playmaker and a versatile defender, which can be a helpful asset right way. He has the ability to come off the bench right away and at some point, down the road, he could wind up starting for the Warriors or another NBA team.
29.Brooklyn Nets (via Raptors): Anfernee Simons 6’3″ Point Guard HS-Senior
The Nets are in need of as much talent as possible and they could have the ability to take a chance on an unestablished prospect like Anfernee Simons. Simons is a good athlete but is really a mystery to most people. I think the Nets could wind up with a good prospect down the road but it will be hard to know on draft night.
30.Atlanta Hawks (via Rockets): Jerome Robinson 6’5″ Combo Guard Boston College
The Hawks are in need of a player to score and Robinson would fit that mold, as he was an elite scorer at Boston College. Robinson would likely come in and start on the bench but depending upon certain moves made by the Hawks he could move into the starting rotation.
31.Pheonix Suns: Jalen Brunson 6’2″ Point Guard Villanova
32.Memphis Grizzlies: Brandon McCoy 7’0″ Center UNLV
33.Atlanta Hawks: Dzanan Musa 6’9″ Small Forward Cedevita Zagreb
34.Dallas Mavericks: Bruce Brown 6’4″ Shooting Guard Miami
35.Orlando Magic: Josh Okogie 6’5″ Combo Guard Georgia Tech
36.Sacramento Kings: Alize Johnson 6’9″ Power Forward Missouri State
37.New York Knicks (via Bulls): Jevon Carter 6’2″ Point Guard West Virginia
38.Philadelphia 76ers (via Nets): Svi Mykhailiuk 6’8″ Small Forward Kansas
39.Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks): Landry Shamet 6’4″ Point Guard Wichita State
40.Brooklyn Nets (via Lakers): Grayson Allen 6’5″ Shooting Guard Duke
41.Orlando Magic (via Hornets): Melvin Frazier 6’6″ Shooting Guard Tulane
42.Detroit Pistons: Trevon Duval 6’3″ Point Guard Duke
43.Denver Nuggets (via Clippers): Kevin Hervey 6’8″ Small Forward UT-Arlington
44.Washington Wizards: Devonte’ Graham 6’2″ Point Guard Kansas
45.Brooklyn Nets (via Bucks): Hamidou Diallo 6’6″ Shooting Guard Kentucky
46.Houston Rockets (via Heat): Shake Milton 6’6″ Combo Guard SMU
47.Los Angeles Lakers (via Nuggets): Chimezie Metu 6’11” Power Forward USC
48.Minnesota Timberwolves: Jarred Vanderbilt 6’9″ Power Forward Kentucky
49.San Antonio Spurs: Jacob Evans 6’6″ Shooting Guard Cincinnati
50.Indiana Pacers: De’Anthony Melton 6’3″ Combo Guard USC
51.New Orleans Pelicans: Tony Carr 6’5″ Combo Guard Penn State
52.Utah Jazz: Isaac Bonga 6’9″ Small Forward Fraport Frankfurt
53.Oklahoma City Thunder: Malik Newman 6’4″ Shooting Guard Kansas
54.Dallas Mavericks (via Trail Blazers): Kenrich Williams 6’7″ Small Forward TCU
55.Charlotte Hornets (via Cavaliers): Goga Bitadze 6’11” Center Mega Leks
56.Philadelphia 76ers: Vince Edwards 6’8″ Small Forward Purdue
57.Oklahoma City Thunder (via Celtics): Allonzo Trier 6’5″ Shooting Guard Arizona
58.Denver Nuggets (via Warriors): Kelan Martin 6’6″ Small Forward Butler
59.Pheonix Suns (via Raptors): Theo Pinson 6’6″ Combo Guard North Carolina
60.Philadelphia 76ers (via Rockets): Rawle Alkins 6’4″ Shooting Guard Arizona