I am back and I’ve got a mock draft. Let’s get right down to it.
1) Philadelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz
Props to Colangelo.
2) Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball
The Lakers taking anyone else would be seriously overthinking this pick. Lonzo makes ultimate sense, both basketball and culture wise.
3) Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum
They need shooting and scoring. While Jackson (hopefully, for his sake) might be able to provide that eventually, Boston needs it now. Tatum is far more ready to step into an “impact-now” role and boost the Celtics offensive attack.
4) Phoenix Suns – Josh Jackson
He’s widely regarded as the highest-ceiling prospect in the draft – so it makes sense for Phoenix to draft, groom, and develop. Just like they’re going with Chriss and Bender and Booker.
5) Sacramento Kings – DeAaron Fox
I really love Fox, so it breaks my heart to see him ship off to basketball oblivion. But he won’t slip past 5, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him wiggle up to 4.
6) Orlando Magic – Dennis Smith Jr.
He got a bit too much heat for how he handled himself down the stretch last year at NC State. I think he’ll mature, and of the players available, he’s got the best chance to turn into a franchise cornerstone. Let’s usher out Elfrid Payton, please.
7) Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonathan Isaac
The Timberwolves look to get even longer and more athletic with Isaac. He’s far from a finished product, but he’s long and versatile, like almost every Timberwolf.
8) New York Knicks – Frank Ntilikina
9) Dallas Mavericks – Lauri Markkenan
Dirk 2.0. Or it might be more like “we think we can turn him into the next Dirk,” but then in 15 years we look back and remember when the Mavericks thought they could turn Lauri into the next Dirk and then we all laugh.
10) Sacramento Kings – Malik Monk
Fox and Monk. The boys are back in town. They go from college basketball heaven to the depths of NBA hell.
11) Charlotte Hornets – Luke Kennard
They just traded Marco, so it’s only fair that they replace the lost white shooting.
12) Detroit Pistons – Zach Collins
I think he’s far and away the best available player here, and I think the Andre Drummond era is on its last leg.
13) Denver Nuggets – Donavan Mitchell
I don’t really know if this makes sense, but if Mitchell can run the point guard, you’ve then got three really interesting combo guards in Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Mitchell.
14) Miami Heat – OG Anunoby
There’s no obvious pick here, so take the dude with the highest upside.
15) Portland Trail Blazers – Justin Patton
Another upside pick here. Ezili sucks. Hopefully you could pair Patton with Nurkic.
16) Chicago Bulls – John Collins
The Bulls struggled scoring the ball last season. Collins couldn’t defend a traffic cone, but he can get buckets.
17) Milwaukee Bucks – Terrance Ferguson
The Bucks did this thing last year where they reached for Thon Maker at 10. No one really knew what he was. They’ll do it again here.
18) Indiana Pacers – Harry Giles
With the Paul George era dwindling, the Pacers might as well take the highest upside guy here and hope for the best.
19) Atlanta Hawks – Justin Jackson
Since I was like 8 years old, the Hawks have consistently been a good, not great team. Even the year they won 67 games it was like “eh.” Jackson is a safe pick. Versatile defender, veteran, can shoot. Safe pick for the safety-net team of the NBA.
20) Portland Trail Blazers – Anzejs Pasecniks
This management gave Allen Crabbe something like 688 billion dollars and Evan Turner double that, so they’ll take a chance on this guy, whose name I cannot pronounce.
21) Oklahoma City Thunder – Jarrett Allen
He’ll learn the tools of the trade from my favorite mustache man, Steven Adams.
22) Brooklyn Nets – TJ Leaf
I think the Nets will feel blessed Leaf fell all the way to 22.
23) Toronto Raptors – Ike Anigbogu
I cannot pronounce his last name either.
24) Utah Jazz – Semi Ojeleye
You sort of just hope he can become the next Jae Crowder. Let him learn from Jigglin’ Joe and Rodney.
25) Orlando Magic – Bam Adebayo
It’s another one of those “god, were so bad and we need a little bit of everything, so let’s just take the highest upside guy” picks.
26) Portland (They have another first round pick) Trailblazers – Tyler Lydon
They bring in Nurkic’s backup. Lydon needs to get shiftier defensively, but he’ll be able to stick open threes in the pros right away.
27) Los Angeles Lakers – DJ Wilson
Los Angeles makes great use of Tuesday’s deal with Brooklyn. Steal of the draft.
28) Los Angeles Lakers – Caleb Swanigan
Could be a strong, anchoring presence down low. Rebounding always translates.
29) San Antonio Spurs – Josh Hart
Of all the “Spurs” players, Josh Hart might be the “Spursiest.”
30) Utah Jazz – Jordan Bell
He worked out too well to fall into the second round.
Thank you for your time.