1.) Timberwolves- SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia):
Edwards has all the tools to be a great NBA wing. He’s got the size, quickness and strength to dominate. While he also wasn’t the most efficient as a scorer, the potential is clearly there. His mechanics are already really good on his jumper and if he can just buy in defensively, you have a great two-way wing. This is definitely the pick the Wolves have to go as they already have found there PG and C of the future. Now adding an elite wing in Edwards should form a scary big 3 offensively for the Wolves.
2.) Warriors- C James Wiseman (Memphis):
Wiseman is the best prospect in the draft. The Warriors have to take advantage and select him. He is a smart guy who really fits as a modern day center. He can defend in space (once he does a better job of understanding angles), he can protect the rim, he can rim run, and he can shoot the ball very well from mid-range, and should be able to shoot from 3 fairly early in his career. While the Warriors do like to go small-ball, The Warriors have to realize the type of talent Wiseman is. He would make them special defensively and still add value offensively as a lob threat and that potential to space the floor makes him a great fit with the Warriors.
3.) Hornets- PG Lamelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks):
The Hornets have been playing it safe for a long time with their draft picks, and while they have been better in recent years getting Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington, they need someone with a higher ceiling. The Hornets have to take advantage of where they are selecting and get the player with the highest upside. That would be LaMelo Ball. Ball’s handles are phenomenal for someone his age and he is the second best passer in the draft. There is some scoring upside despite the awkward mechanics and he is a shifty 6’8 PG who if he wanted to, could be a great on-ball defender. Hornets need to risk it here as who knows when they will be lucky enough to pick this high. If they were to get some of these other point guards, they would be too mediocre to ever get past 1 round in the playoffs. That was the problem they had when they had Kemba and they got rid of him for a reason. It’s time for them to swing for the fences and learn from their mistakes.
4.) Bulls- PG Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa St):
This is a pick that is largely based on fit and need. Haliburton is not even the highest on the board at his position, but he makes a lot of sense with the Bulls. The Bulls have a couple of good pieces in LaVine, White, and Markkanen, and while they could get a SF, Haliburton would add a different dimension for this team. Haliburton will come in and be a top 20 passer in the NBA day 1 and make this team much more efficient offensively. He would help resurrect Lauri Markkannen’s career as he would be able to put him in positions to succeed that others couldn’t. Then Haliburton would also create situations where they can have him, White, and LaVine on the floor at the same time. Haliburton’s 7’0 wingspan will allow him to defend many positions. He also averaged 2.5 SPG so while this may not be the conventional 4th pick, he would be a glue guy this team desperately needs.
5.) Cavs- SF Deni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv):
After taking Sexton and Garland the last two drafts, the backcourt is set. It would most certainly not make sense selecting another. So BPA that’s not a point guard would be Deni Avdija. He is a player who is team-first and really will play any role the team needs. He can playmake too a little bit, which should help relieve some pressure off the two guards as they are both more score-first mindset guards. He is a very good team-defender and has shown a very good IQ. He moves off the ball well too and while the jump shot is a work in progress, he adds everything else right now for a team that needs to go BPA as fit wouldn’t make the most sense as the Cavs should not be sold on a future with both Sexton and Garland so even though a player who’s less ball-dominant like Okoro may fit better, the Cavs need to collect the best talent and then reassess later.
6.) Hawks- PG/SG Cole Anthony (UNC):
This is not a great spot for the Hawks as you should expect them to move this pick either for a SG that can contribute now, or collecting more draft capital. Since this is a no-trade mock, getting someone to help the bench will make the most sense. Cole Anthony should be able to run the show as well as play next to Trae Young at times. Anthony’s toughness should allow him to guard many SGs. His ability to score from all three levels potentially should give Hawks a threat on the perimeter besides Trae Young that can put up points in bunches. The Hawks already have 3 highly skilled forwards in Hunter, Reddish, and Collins. Then after the Clint Capela trade, drafting a backup center at the 6th pick might be the worst decision one could make in the era of small-ball. So by process of elimination, this is the pick that would help the Hawks most.
7.) Pistons- PG Killian Hayes (France):
This would be a great pick for the Pistons as Killian would be BPA and help them start to rebuild an identity. Hayes is the most complete PG prospect in this draft as he doesn’t have many weaknesses. He can pass well (not as well as Haliburton and Ball), score from all three levels, and is 6’5. The biggest weakness is his lack of quickness that will affect his upside to an extent, but he has almost all the other tools. Defense can improve, but a coach like Dwayne Casey could really help him improve fundamentally as he clearly has the size at 6’5 to defend. This would be a phenomenal pick for this franchise.
8.) Knicks- PG Nico Mannion (Alabama):
The Knicks biggest need is PG and while there are better players on the board, Mannion can be a starting PG in today’s NBA. You love his feel for the game, and while Mannion is smaller at 6’3, he still competes on the defensive end and can sit in a stance with underrated lateral quickness. Then his fit next to Barrett makes sense as Mannion can shoot the ball well so he can play without the ball. Mannion was also one of the best in the nation at moving without the ball and doing a good job of changing speeds coming off screens. Mannion lives and breathes basketball and expect Coach Thibs to respect that.
9.) Wizards- PF Obi Toppin (Dayton):
While the Wizards just drafted Rui, this would be BPA. Toppin could add a dimension that not many other players could add as a lob threat. Toppin’s athleticism is off the charts and while this might not make the most sense in theory, it’s very possible that the Wizards could run a lineup with him at the 5. He played center in college and has some good rim protecting instincts. And while he could get posted up and bullied against certain centers, he could be just as effective on the offensive end of the floor with his ability to stretch a big man out just enough or beat him to the rim. This is a risky pick, but the Wizards are in a position where they can be. Hopefully playing next to proven all-stars would help him “buy in” more as a team-player.
10.) Suns- PF Precious Achiuwa (Memphis):
The Suns could use a PG, but the Suns look like a team that wants to win-now and they seem okay with Rubio running the show. Adding a player like Precious Achiuwa would give them a versatile 4 that the Suns don’t have. He is long and can be a weak-side rim protector. He actually played center for Memphis and was very good at being vocal towards the end of the season. He can start a fast break with his grab and go ability and will fit right in with their fast pace offense. The biggest concern is that it’s largely a read and react system filled with high IQ players. Achiuwa is not that yet, but his ability to affect the game defensively and add so much needed athleticism at the forward position is a pick worth taking.
11.) Spurs- C Onyeka Okongwu (USC):
The Spurs have been great in the draft collecting young assets at practically every position. Then while Okoro would be an intriguing piece, this is one where the GM needs to ask Pop how he views the upside of Okoro. Many years ago Kawhi Leonard was picked and no one would have predicted that he would become the player he is today. Pop and the Spurs organization saw something others did not though so that is the one player I could see here, but I don’t personally see the huge upside. Then the Spurs weakest position is probably center in terms of players that can impact their future and Onyeka adds something that they don’t have. A big that can be a real threat out of pick and roll situations and protect the rim. The Spurs two cornerstone players in Dejounte and Lonnie are meant to play in a faster pace system and Onyeka would fit very well with them as well as alongside Luka Samanic who is a name many probably don’t know, but will in the next year or two. He’s a PF that can do a little bit of everything especially offensively and would theoretically fit well next to Onyeka. This pick makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons as Okongwu has the work ethic to learn, improve, and stay ready for his opportunity.
12.) Kings- SF/PF Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt):
The Kings are in a strange position as they spent and wasted a lot of their money this past offseason and are handicapped for the future. The Kings have struggled to find a forward that they can rely on to knock down threes consistently. Nesmith would be able to come in and immediately help as he also has the size to defend players fairly well. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see Bagley play more of the 5 with Kings struggling to find a franchise center. The Kings also need to do what they can to make a push for the playoffs now. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. This franchise needs to pick the player who will most likely help them achieve that goal sooner rather than later and Nesmith is NBA ready.
13.) Pelicans- SF/PF Sadiq Bey (Villanova):
Despite Gentry getting fired, this team is going to play fast regardless of the coach, and Sadiq Bey will fit right in. Bey is another one of those Villanova players that generally fit very well in today’s game. His IQ, shooting, and defensive versatility will be great for off the Pelicans bench. Don’t expect to see them addressing center in the draft as the ones available won’t fit particularly well. The Pelicans also already have too many guards. The Pelicans are ready to win sooner than later and Bey should be an instant fit for their offense as well as be ready to take on the tougher forward assignments defensively.
14.) Celtics (via Grizzlies)- SF Isaac Okoro (Auburn):
Kira Lewis might be the best player available, but he would not fit well in Stevens slower pace system. The Celtics could use Okoro pretty early as no one has done a better job of developing jump shots than the Celtics staff. There is little doubt that he wouldn’t be able to contribute right away as a strong piece off the bench. While they may have many players that play the same position, Okoro fits the system. Players like Brown and Smart would take on more of a playmaking role most likely, but they would be very strong defensively and help the team win-now. The East is very much up for grabs and the Celtics need to capitalize on this window.
15.) Magic – SG Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky):
The Magic go with a player who will fit whether they decide to blow it up and actually hand the keys over to the young guys or keep insisting that you can win with Nikola Vucevic as your best player. Tyrese is someone who rarely ever took a play off on both ends of the floor. This should speak volumes about his character. Maxey is going to have success wherever he goes, because he is one of the hardest workers you’ll find and will compete defensively and can score offensively. The 3 point shot still needs to improve, but it should over time with his work ethic. He is already a very good driver and is crafty in the paint with floaters and euros. Also, Fournier’s contract only has one year left on it so it would be wise to find an insurance plan for when he leaves.
16.) Trailblazers- SF/PF Jaden McDaniels (Washington):
This pick is largely fit based. With no guarantee at PF for next season with Carmelo (whose contract expires) and Zach Collins (who recently tore his ACL), the Trailblazers really need one. The Blazers have been very good with player development and McDaniels has potential especially on the defensive end. When Whiteside’s not on the floor, they struggle defensively and if McDaniels can buy in and get to the level defender he’s capable of being, this pick will be well worth it. Jaden can guard a lot of the taller skilled forwards as well as be a nice weak-side rim protector. He might not be great especially right away, but Blazers are limited here in what players would actually serve a purpose for them. Ideally Sadiq Bey or Aaron Nesmith would be more beneficial as they are more NBA-ready, but McDaniels is the best available in this mock to fill that need.
17.) Timberwolves (via nets)- PG Kira Lewis (Alabama):
This pick would be an absolute steal for the TImberwolves as Kira is a top ten talent, but with so many point guards in this draft, it’s very possible he finds himself falling. Lewis ran a very similar offense at Alabama that the Timberwolves have been trying to run since Saunders took over. They love the analytics and similar to the Rockets, they want to play fast and shoot a lot of 3s. Kira would be a perfect fit as he is the fastest player in the draft, and he is also a very good 3 point shooter. While he only shot 36.6% from 3, his projected 3 point % is right around there for his rookie season. It’s also expected he reaches around 40% from 3 fairly early in his career. While he will have his struggles, he would really create a problem for opposing benches and make sure the Wolves have the same identity whether Russell is on the floor or not. While the Timberwolves do not get a PF in this mock, they should still be considered winners in this draft.
18.) Mavericks- SG/SF Devin Vassell (Florida State):
Vassell is a lengthy 6’6 wing that plays the game the right way. He is a very intelligent player that knows where the ball needs to go offensively. He is also solid on the defensive end as he buys in which can’t be said about a lot of rookies. He would fit right in with the Mavs and find a way to make their rotation very early despite how deep the roster is. Vassell was great analytically with a total box +- of +10.9 in each of his two seasons at Florida State. This would be a great fit for both the player and team.
19.) Nets (via 76ers)- PF Patrick Williams (Florida St):
We have back to back Sentinels being selected as the Nets address a need at PF. While Williams isn’t the most natural “basketball athlete,” he is still an athlete. He should be viewed as a forward that can help them defensively, while the rest of his game develops. He Probably won’t be able to put the ball on the floor, but his 3 pointer should improve especially if he’s shooting a lot of corner 3s. He doesn’t have the best feel for the game, but he shouldn’t have to be asked of too much in Brooklyn with players like Kyrie and KD coming back.
20.) Heat- PG Malachi Flynn (San Diego St):
Malachi Flynn was one of the most efficient scorers in college basketball this past season. He can score from 3 and at the rim and both skills project to translate, but especially the shooting. The lack of elite athleticism makes it less likely that he will succeed when driving to the rim as well as on the defensive end, but Flynn has a high IQ. He has great instincts defensively and is always competing. He’s not the best playmaker for a PG, but he’s smart and doesn’t turn it over often. This would fill a need for the Heat as it is very possible they will lose Goran Dragic to the open market this upcoming free agency. This would be a great insurance plan and give the Heat another hidden gem potentially.
21.) 76ers (via OKC)- PG/SG Theo Maledon (France):
This would fill a need for the 76ers as they need a backup point guard. Theo is another lengthy guy who will be able to switch defensively and play with or without the ball potentially. His jump shot is definitely a work in progress, but he will be able to run in the open floor and will be a guy that can push the ball with Simmons on the floor or not. His vision is pretty decent especially in the open floor. It won’t be an immediate fix, but in the long run, Maledon could potentially be a starter if he buys in defensively, continues to work on his handle, and keeps improving his jump shot.
22.) Nuggets (via Rockets)- C Isaiah Stewart (Washington):
With Mason Plumlee expected to hit the open market, the Nuggets could get a center here that would fit very well as a backup for Jokic. Stewart is a high IQ center that is solid on the block. He also has a developing jump shot along with a strong ability to pass. Plumlee has been an underrated playmaker behind Jokic that has always allowed Denver to play a similar style without Jokic on the floor. Stewart would be able to add that, but more potentially more as a scorer than Plumlee too. He was also a decent rim protector at Washington and I expect that to translate to an extent. Unfortunately, Stewart is 6’9 but does have a 7’4 wingspan. He doesn’t have quick feet so he will struggle on switches, but luckily Denver isn’t a switch heavy team. This pick is perfect for filling a need and getting a player that will fit the style of play.
23.) Jazz- SG Jahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech):
Ramsey goes to Utah, which would be an adjustment for Ramsey to mesh with the style of play that the Jazz play with, but they could really use his scoring/shooting off their bench. Jordan Clarkson will most likely not return as the Jazz are pretty tight in cap and he’s played such a large role for them this year. Ramsey is the top SG available at this point and could really give them a scoring punch. This is a bit of a riskier pick, but it is a risk worth taking for the Jazz if they believe Ramsey can fit with their style of play. It’d be surprising if he didn’t with vets like Conley and Bogdanovic, and then even seeing a talent like Mitchell buying in too should have a great impact on changing his mentality. Ramsey is not a bad teammate or person by any means, but he does need to grow up and continue to mature and understand the bigger picture.
24.) Bucks (via Pacers)- C Vernon Carey (Duke):
The Bucks need to understand that there is a formula for beating Giannis so they need to understand when opponents are putting a center on him, they need a center that is going to bang down low and get them easy points so they don’t get in these droughts where they’re just chucking up jumpers. Carey is a great talent, but doesn’t mesh well with today’s game. Carey also has a questionable work ethic. He really got killed defensively often especially as the year went on it just got worse. Right now he needs touches to stay engaged, and that might just be the way he is wired, but the Bucks have to take a chance here. Carey is an elite scorer on the block as he is 270 lbs and powerful. This would make defenses have to respect that or else Carey can punish most modern day 4s. The Bucks like to play things safe generally, but this pick could really give them a dimension they don’t have and open up the offense especially come playoff time when teams are running zones to stop Giannis. Carey also has a bit of a jump shot as he shot 8/21 (38.1%) from 3 this past season, but still needs to improve mechanics as his 67.0% from the free throw line was much more telling. Then he can even switch at times as he is very light on his feet despite being 270 lbs. Overall though, this is the pick the Bucks should be highly encouraged to make if Carey is on the board.
25.) Thunder (via Nuggets)- PG/SG R.J Hampton (New Zealand Breakers):
The Thunder go with the highest upside pick here as Hampton has a lot of areas to improve, but he fits with the lengthy-switch heavy team that the Thunder have formed. Hampton will be a project and probably won’t see much time on the floor his first year. Fortunately for him, having guys like Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous should help. Hampton’s best strength is finishing around the rim with his right hand at the moment, but besides that, he needs to improve in almost every aspect. His footwork defensively is awful as his effort level is really disappointing. His base on his jump shot is terrible as his feet are so close together most times where it’s impossible to have good balance (has good upper body mechanics though). He doesn’t have a good feel for playmaking right now either. Despite all these flaws, at this point in the draft, the Thunder need to think long-term. It’s possible Hampton is a bust, but they already have young role players at almost every position so it’s not going to truly hurt their franchise. If it does work out, then Hampton would be a great steal with his upside as a two-way facilitator that can score from both three and at the rim and play strong defense with his length.
26.) Celtics- PG/SG Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall):
The Celtics bench is thinner than people think and in need of role players. Backup PG seems to be a big hole. While Brad Wannamaker is fine, McKnight would be an upgrade with his ability to stretch the floor off catch and shoot opportunities. McKnight is also 6’4, but long so he will fit the switch heavy Celtics. He is a high IQ player and will be more than willing to defer as the Celtics already got plenty of scorers. Overall, this pick would make a lot of sense for the both the Celtics and McKnight.
27.) Knicks (via Clippers)- SG/SF Josh Green (Arizona):
The Knicks are doubling down on Wildcats as they are in a situation where they need to go BPA. That leaves us with Josh Green, someone who showed flashes of being a 3 and D wing, but also has the athleticism to be a threat in transition. The motor was inconsistent game to game though which is a large reason why he falls in this mock. Green has pretty good mechanics in catch and shoot situations generally, but needs someone to set him up. This obviously limits his ceiling as his handling is very poor as well as his mechanics when he’s not set on jump shots. On defense, he showed at times he can lock a man down, but the inconsistency was frustrating to watch. He needs to do some growing up and understand how he is going to best impact the game. The Knicks are in a position where they can wait for him to realize that as they are still at least a year away from even fighting for a playoff spot.
28.) Lakers- SG/SF Cassius Stanley (Duke):
Cassius is going to be a very solid player at the NBA level. He works very hard and is a gifted athlete. He has very good mechanics on his jump shot and is a decent defender, but can definitely improve. You love the fact he’s a team defender though and is willing to take a charge when necessary. If he improves his ball-handling, he can be a very well rounded player for a team. Stanley should be able to step in when needed and run the floor as well as be a decent floor spacer. The Lakers biggest need is backup PG, but unfortunately there is none available left at this point that could come in and be trusted in the rotation right away. All in all, Stanley is the BPA and should be able to help the Lakers or even after a season as none of Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Alex Caruso will be under contract as of right now.
29.) Raptors- C Daniel Oturu (Minnesota):
The Raptors are in trouble at center with Marc Gasol and Serge hitting the open market. They will also have to pay Fred Vanfleet so the chances of retaining both of them are slim. Oturu is the pick here over Jalen Smith, because Smith’s lack of feel for the game. Oturu has a bad assist to turnover ratio, but there is more evident potential for him to figure it out and atleast make the right plays. Oturu shot 36.5% from 3 and would also be a very good rim protector as he has great timing as evident by the 2.5 BPG. He can help mask the loss of Serge Ibaka as a backup center that can protect the rim, stretch the D, and even be more of a rim running threat with his athleticism.
30.) Celtics- PF/C Jalen Smith (Maryland):
Jalen Smith is someone who makes a lot of sense on paper that he will be a great role player in the NBA, but there are some serious flaws that are hard to overlook. As mentioned previously, his feel for the game is just really bad. His decision making is poor. He just doesn’t have a good IQ, and it’s not as teachable as it sounds. However, Smith still shot well from 3 which is projected to be around 34% at the NBA his rookie year. The rest of his game offensively is a serious question mark as he is going to struggle scoring around the rim too as he is not very quick getting into his moves on the block, lacks touch around the rim, and isn’t great scoring on the move. Despite these flaws, the Celtics have addressed everything else besides their need at center and just the potential of Smith being able to stretch the defense from 3 as well as rim protection should be enough to make the Celtics take the chance.
This was BSScouting’s first official mock draft. We hope you enjoyed it and expect many more draft related articles to come
Article Written By Bradley Patten
Stats found on Sports-Reference (https://www.sports-reference.com)