New Orleans Pelicans
- Pick: PF Zion Williamson, Duke
This pick is as obvious as any in recent memory. Williamson profiles as a game changing talent, with the look, attitude, and skills necessary to become a one-of-a-kind superstar in the league.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Pick: PG Ja Morant, Murray State
Morant would be a slam dunk first overall pick in any other class, but the presence and potential of Zion is just too great for Morant to leapfrog him. With a game that resembles Russell Westbrook’s (minus the permanent tunnel vision and stat padding), many believe that Morant could very well become a top player in the league by the end of his second season. This is yet another clear cut pick at the top of the board for Memphis.
3. New York Knicks
Pick: SF/SG R.J Barrett, Duke
Just like Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram, and Andrew Wiggins before him, Barrett is a long, athletic wing with elite potential as a scorer thanks to his dominance in transition. For the Knicks, he can step in as an immediate leading scorer, with a chance to become a very special player in the future.
4. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers)
Pick: C Bol Bol, Oregon
The Pelicans can afford to swing for the fences here, as they take a chance on Bol, a player with uncharted offensive potential for his size. If he is able to stay healthy, there is a chance that Bol/Zion becomes of the most dominant big man duos in NBA History.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
Pick: SF Cam Reddish, Duke
While he was overshadowed and overmatched at times this season, Reddish is a player with unreal upside as a scorer, and one who the Cavs can afford to let develop as they rebuild their roster.
6. Phoenix Suns
Pick: PG Darius Garland, Vanderbilt
Garland is one of this draft class’s biggest mysteries, as he missed the majority of his lone season with the Commodores, yet remains a lock to be selected in the lottery. The Suns just happen to need a lead guard desperately, therefore it would be surprising to see them pass up Garland here.
7. Chicago Bulls
Pick: PG Coby White, North Carolina
The Bulls, another team in need of a point guard, are left to settle for White, an explosive scorer who has shown himself to be a capable playmaker at the 1. May the lord have mercy on bulls fans and finally
8. Atlanta Hawks
Pick: SF DeAndre Hunter, Virginia
The Hawks have been linked to Hunter a lot during the pre draft process, as he falls to them at pick 8 in this mock. A classic 3-and-D type, Hunter is the optimal version of that archetype and thus he may find himself being selected as high as fourth in this draft.
9. Washington Wizards
Pick: SG Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
Culver was a player that many thought exhibited top 5 potential during March Madness. That was until his brutally inefficient championship game, during which the Culver draft stock bubble finally burst. He’s still a great value at pick nine, where the Wizards will give him a chance to provide his patented scoring punch off at the head of their bench unit.
10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
Pick: PF/SF Sekou Doumbouya, Guinea
Doumbouya is one of the most intriguing prospects in this class, as his measurables and skills suggest that he could one day be a player with a Kawhi Leonard type of skill set. As with any international prospect, small sample sizes of play make it hard to evaluate them accurately, but Doumbouya’s upside is gonna be hard to pass up at this stage in the draft.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
Pick: SG Kevin Porter Jr, USC
Porter Jr has been talked about a lot as a lottery pick all season, but he makes the most sense here for the T-Wolves where he can push for a starting role immediately.
12. Charlotte Hornets
Pick: SF/PF Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
Hachimura’s play style is tough to categorize. Is he an undersized power forward or an oversized small forward? Some things that he does well one night, are nonexistent in his game the next. One thing about him is certain though, his athleticism and physicality are top notch, and he should be drafted relatively high on those as well as his intangibles.
13. Miami Heat
Pick: SF/SG Nassir Little, North Carolina
Little was once considered a candidate to go first in this draft, that was until Zion and the Duke boys lit the world on fire while Little appeared far less comfortable with the Tar Heels. Little should still garner strong consideration late in the lottery, as his defensive versatility and toughness cannot go undervalued, if he can become more consistent offensively there’s no telling how good he could be.
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
Pick: C Bruno Fernando, Maryland
Judging by the team’s interest in Clint Capela, it appears as though the Celtics will be targeting an energetic rebounder with solid defensive skills. Enter Fernando, who is essentially a longer version of Montrezl Harrell.
15. Detroit Pistons
Pick: SG Romeo Langford, Indiana
Langford has the explosive scoring upside to warrant lottery consideration, but the Pistons would love to snatch him up at this stage in the draft.
16. Orlando Magic
Pick: SG Tyler Herro, Kentucky
Herro is a big time shooter, he should fill a major need for the Magic here.
17. Atlanta Hawks
Pick: C Jaxson Hayes, Texas
Hayes has the potential to be a very special player, as he is quite similar to another former Longhorn, Myles Turner.
18. Indiana Pacers
Pick: PF/C Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
An excellent defender and rebounder, Clarke should provide immediate frontcourt depth for the Pacers if they choose to let Thaddeus Young walk.
19. San Antonio Spurs
Pick: C Goga Bitadze, Georgia
Bitadze seems like a real Spurs pick, a European prospect with a lot of grit and determination.
20. Boston Celtics (via LA Clippers)
Pick: SF Matisse Thybulle, Washington
Quite possibly the best defensive player in this class, Thybulle and Marcus Smart could make opposing wings and guards miserable all year long.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Pick: SG Keldon Johnson, Kentucky
Johnson is a nice two-guard, who could immediately push Andre Roberson for playing time at the 2.
22. Boston Celtics
Pick: PG Carsen Edwards, Purdue
Edwards is a spark-plug who could immediately provide rotation minutes for the Celtics behind whoever they start at the 1 this season.
23. Memphis Grizzlies (via Utah Jazz)
Pick: SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech
Another young guard to help out with the rebuild in Memphis..
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Pick: PF P.J Washington, Kentucky
Best player available for Philly.
25. Portland Trailblazers
Pick: C/PF Mfiondu Kabengele, Florida State
Assuming Enes Kanter leaves this offseason, the Blazers will need to add some more talent to their frontcourt, especially if Jusuf Nurkic isn’t ready for the start of the season.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets)
Pick: SF/SG Admiral Scofield, Tennessee
The Cavs add a talented wing to a group that only features one legitimate NBA talent (Cedi Osman).
27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)
Pick: PF Luka Samanic, Croatia
Draft and stash season begins…
28. Golden State Warriors
Pick: SF/PF Dylan Windler, Belmont
An immediate plug and play forward off the bench, Windler is a perfect fit for the Warriors here.
29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
Pick: PF/SF Cameron Johnson, North Carolina
A pure shooter who can space the floor for the Spurs. He could help the Spurs open lanes for players like DeRozan but he will need time to develop.
30. Detroit Pistons (via Milwaukee Bucks)
Pick: SF/SG Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State
A pure upside pick for a franchise in need of a strike of luck.