The NBA Draft is just around the corner and with most teams already knowing where they may land in the lottery, they’ve got to be taking a very close look to all of their possible choices when Draft night comes.
Having a high lottery pick can mean a couple of things: either you made a terrific move, or you had a terrible season and desperately need this young fella to take your franchise back to contention, so obviously scouting is a major part of this business.
This Draft promises to feature one of the most talents loaded classes the league has seen in ages, and with so many gifted young ballers available, the first 10 picks or so seem to be can’t-miss talent. Today, we’re going to do our mock draft with the lottery picks, so you take a look at the possible next franchise player for your team.
1. Phoenix Suns: DeAndre Ayton
DeAndre Ayton is by far the most NBA ready prospect in this league and one of the most gifted young men in a very long time, being a standout two way center with a David Robinson kind of skill set in both ends of the hardwood.
Ayton is smart, athletic and has a huge wingspan and strength, but tends to try to force mid-range shots at times instead of making the most of his well round up physique. Still, he’s a lock to be the 1st overall pick and is going to really improve the horrid Suns' defense.
2. Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr is perhaps the most athletic player of his class, and one of the best defenders as well with a huge wingspan and timing to change opposing shots, as well as being more than capable of running the floor and spreading the offense with ease.
His lone weak spot may be his shooting stroke who still needs a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to catching and shooting. Nonetheless, he’d be a stud for the long run next to Collins for the Hawks and their rebuilding process.
3. Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic has even made a case to become the 1st overall pick, being a proven player overseas that has shown glances of greatness with his Manu Ginobili kind of skill set, and with his youth, he’s one of the guys with the highest ceiling in this class at just 18 years old.
Doncic can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot, can always find space between defenders and has a really high basketball IQ, but he still struggles a bit in isolation and isn’t quick as a defender either, but he’d be the perfect asset for a struggling Mavericks team for the post Dirk era.
4. Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley
Marvin Bagley is an offensive beast already and looks like a lock to be the new school kind of stretch big man, being able to shoot the three ball with ease and also guard the perimeter with his great lateral quickness and wingspan.
Bagley’s footwork is already elite, although his handles and post moves have a lot of room for improvement, as well as his winning mentality. Still, he’d be a prime complement for a defensive minded big man such as Willie Cauley-Stein.
5. Orlando Magic: Michael Porter Jr.
Some reports state that Michael Porter Jr is actually the best prospect of this class, but his draft stock is sliding as he’s yet to make his NCAA debut following an injury, and the fact that he’s always been quite vocal about his love for the Chicago Bulls.
Even if he wants to play for the Bulls, the Magic could get a hell of a ballplayer, as he’s by far the most round up the offensive player and has a great touch to finish over contact and draw fouls, although his shot selection is a huge concern for an NBA player.
6. Memphis Grizzlies: Wendell Carter
Wendell Carter is a very smart player with a very well developed playmaking ability for a big man and a smooth shooting stroke that grants him the ability to spread the floor on an Al Horford kind of way.
Still, he’s kind of slow and lacks a bit of athleticism and feel on the defensive end of the floor, and seems kind of heavy when he establishes position. He’s got a lot of upsides, but it’s still quite rough for the NBA.
7. Cleveland Cavaliers: Trae Young
Trae Young’s comparisons with Stephen Curry are far from wrong, as he’s easily the best shooter the NCAA has seen since Steph’s Davidson stint, and he’s just offensively unstoppable as well as being the best playmaker of his class.
Obviously, his shot selection isn’t the best, he’s undersized and he’s quite turnover prone, also like a young and unpolished Stephen Curry, but he has the kind of skill set to become a major stud for modern NBA.
8. Chicago Bulls: Mohamed Bamba
Mohamed Bamba is perhaps the best defensive big man in this class, a truly smart and athletic 7 footer with a 7’9.5 wingspan that’s just going to make his presence feel down low and alter as many shots as any opposing players throw his way.
Bamba is set to be a great compliment next to Lauri Markkanen, making up for his defensive flaws. Nonetheless, he’s yet extremely rough on the offensive end of the floor and doesn’t get really involved in that regard of the game.
9. New York Knicks: Kevin Knox
Kevin Knox is quite an interesting prospect, as he has the kind of body that could make him a very strong and dominant forward, but is yet to develop good body control to make the most of his talents.
He’s got a very good feel on defense and a very solid shooting stroke, but other than that he’s still a bit clumsy when it comes to try and create his own offense. Also, he’s an underrated passer and is a great transition finisher.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Mikal Bridges
Mikal Bridges has the kind of skill set to become a lockdown defender and a terrific athletic guard/forward at an NBA level, spending one season sidelined as a redshirt, he made a true quality leap when it comes to the intangibles and basketball IQ.
Bridges is a great fit for the Sixers and off-ball wingman with a great shooting stroke, although he doesn’t seem to be really confident on his three-point shooting, with almost 50% of his attempts coming within a couple of feet of the rim, but shooting a very high percentage in the paint as well.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges
Bridges is likely to be the first sophomore of this class to be Drafted, coming out of Michigan State and showing a lot of improvement over the prior campaign, especially when we talk about his aggressiveness, explosiveness and ability to make the most out of his strength.
Still, Bridges is a bit of a tweener for modern NBA, as he’s a bit undersized for the power forward spot, but lacks the kind of shooting skills to play at the wings, so he needs to put up a lot of work if he wants to become a reliable offensive option.
12. Los Angeles Clippers: Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton might as well be called to be the point guard of the future following the Chris Paul era for the Clippers, and he’s one of the most entertaining players of this class, never backing down on the opportunity to prove his worth, attack the rim and draw a lot of fouls on opposing defenders.
Sexton has a very developed offensive game already and his repertoire is a versatile as you’d like to see on a top-tier point guard, but he’s undersized and needs to put a lot of work when it comes to taking care of the rock and not try to always make a top-10 kind of play to avoid forcing plays.
13. Utah Jazz: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
The Utah Jazz already landed a huge steal with Donovan Mitchell, so they’re going to try and round up their young backcourt with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, yet another Canadian jewel from the UK program and perhaps the most well round-up prospects in Calipari’s team this season.
Gilgeous-Alexander is a terrific backcourt defender, a great playmaker, and an above average scorer. Nonetheless, he’s still yet to develop a solid touch from three-point territory and he’s still kinda rough but has the kind of skill-set to become a very productive two-way guard and a lockdown defender.
14. Los Angeles Clippers: Robert Williams
If DeAndre Jordan winds up leaving the Clippers, they’re going to have a very solid young big man for the future in Robert Williams, a shot-blocking beast out of Texas A&M that has the kind of skill set to be an extremely dominant bully down low.
Williams always establishes himself as the owner of both glasses and has a lot of upside on the offensive end as well. Sadly, he lacks the kind of confidence to try and create his own shot or finish plays, but he’s quickly rising in mock drafts due to his already developed physique, body control and rim protection skills.