NBA Mock Draft: Round 1, Vol. 3

We are so close. The NBA Draft is tomorrow night and the trade rumors are flying. We’ve already seen multiple trades happen since the beginning of the week, with the biggest one being the Celtics trading down from #1 to #3. So for now, the order appears to be set. With that said, I’m going to take one last stab at a mock draft.

  1. Philidelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington: We all know why Philly wanted to trade up with the Celtics. Fultz is their guy, and he is also the consensus #1 overall pick, so this is a no-brainer. If his college game translates to the NBA, he is going to be an elite scoring point guard for years to come.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA: The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell yesterday. Why? Probably so they can clear the decks for their future point guard, Lonzo Ball. Again, this pick is a no-brainer to me. At this point, I’d be surprised to see these two picks end up any different.
  3. Boston Celtics – Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas: I almost put Jayson Tatum here, but I couldn’t do it. I know they haven’t worked him out yet, but I just feel like Jackson has been the Celtics’ guy all along and they’re going to have a hard time passing him up. Danny Ainge said that he felt he could get the same guy at three that he wanted at one, and I can’t see that being Tatum. Paul Pierce didn’t work out for Boston before they drafted him so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see this happen.
  4. Phoenix Suns – Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke: Whoever the Celtics pass up on between Jackson and Tatum will fall right into the Suns’ lap, and they will not let go. They already have a ton of point guards, so a forward makes the most sense at #4. Tatum’s scoring ability will immediately impact the Suns who lack production in that area outside of Devin Booker.
  5. Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky: Fox is the guy for the Kings, who desperately need a young point guard to lead their franchise. This pairing makes the most sense for them given the fact that they pick again 5 slots down, so they can add another player of need at a different position.
  6. Orlando Magic – Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona: Isaac is still here, but for some reason, I feel like passing on him for Markkanen would be something that Orlando would do. I personally am not a fan of him as a prospect, but that certainly doesn’t mean he’s bad. He’s a 7 footer who can stretch the floor, which in today’s NBA is always valuable. His only questions remain on defense. Maybe he could clean it up and make me look stupid, who knows.
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State: This would be a hell of a pick at 7, especially for the Timberwolves. Isaac stands at almost 7 feet, and with his 7-foot 1-inch wing span, he can guard almost position on the floor. You can insert him at any position from 3-5 and he has shown that he can be productive. He would also be a great addition to the young core that is already being created in Minnesota.
  8. New York Knicks – Frank Ntilkina, PG, France: I have a weird feeling the Knicks are going to reach here. There’s nothing wrong with Ntilkina, but there are plenty of better options on the board still. The Knicks also desperately need a point guard and have made it very clear they like his game a lot.
  9. Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State: The Knicks are going to pass him up, allowing DSJ to fall right into Dallas’ hands. I’m kinda high on DSJ, so I feel like him going at #9 could end up being a steal. His explosive play has been compared to Steve Francis, but he kind of reminds me of a young Derrick Rose.
  10. Sacramento Kings – Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky: Kentucky moves to Sacremento, as the Kings take both members of the 2016 big blue backcourt. I know they have Buddy Hield already, but taking another guard honestly wouldn’t hurt them right now. It’s also worth noting that they have had a thing for drafting Kentucky players recently, as they’ve ended up with at least one in the last two drafts.
  11. Charlotte Hornets – Luke Kennard, SG, Duke: From what I’ve read, the Hornets are locked in on taking either Kennard or Mitchell. This pick will be a toss up, so I chose Kennard for Charlotte solely based on their bottom of the pack team 3 point % last season. Kennard’s ability to shoot the three and create for others is what has made him rise up draft boards recently.
  12. Detroit Pistons – Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville: Donovan Mitchell has drawn a lot of comparisons to Avery Bradley, except he is way more athletic. I think the Pistons are going to try and cash in on that potential value by snagging Mitchell late in the lottery.
  13. Denver Nuggets – Zach Collins, PF/C, Gonzaga: Another player who might slip, Collins would be a solid pick at the very end of the lottery. He is a 7 footer who can spread the floor, but he is also a great rim protector. Denver could use another big with the trade of Jusif Nurkic last year, along with Mason Plumlee’s impending free agency.
  14. Miami Heat – Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina: To close out the lottery, Miami is going to take the UNC Junior who is coming off a National Title. I’m not a huge fan of his game, but he’s going to go here or even higher based on the body of work he has put together along with GM’s being comfortable taking a guy who was coached by Roy Williams.
  15. Portland Trail Blazers – John Collins, PF, Wake Forest
  16. Chicago Bulls – Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
  17. Milwaukee Bucks – Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky
  18. Indiana Pacers – Justin Patton, C, Creighton
  19. Atlanta Hawks – OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiana
  20. Portland Trail Blazers – Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder – T.J Leaf, PF, UCLA
  22. Brooklyn Nets – Tyler Lydon, SF/PF, Syracuse
  23. Toronto Raptors – D.J. Wilson, PF, Michigan
  24. Utah Jazz – Anzejs Pasecniks, C, International
  25. Orlando Magic – Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF, SMU
  26. Portland Trail Blazers – Harry Giles, PF/C, Duke
  27. Los Angeles Lakers – Terrance Ferguson, SG/SF, Adelaide
  28. Los Angeles Lakers – Caleb Swanigan, PF/C, Purdue
  29. San Antonio Spurs – Derrick White, PG/SG, Colorado
  30. Utah Jazz – Ivan Rabb, PF/C, Cal

Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)

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