1. Markelle Fultz 6’4” PG Washington Freshman 18/195
Really no reason to elaborate here, everyone understands why he is going number one.
2. Lonzo Ball 6’6” PG UCLA 19/190 Freshman
Even though I agree with talk about Lonzo being overrated I think this is all just a game lakers are playing and ultimately they do take Ball. Maybe it is not a done deal yet who they have decided on but ultimately I think he goes here.
3.Malik Monk 6’4” PG/SG Kentucky 19/197 Freshman
Whether they take Monk here or they trade back it is starting to sound like Monk is the guy they are targeting. Monk is a player some list as a PG but most people see as a SG in the NBA. He seems to lack PG instincts and vision which is why he will have work to do as a PG if a team wants to use him there. He is super athletic and is a very efficient shooter so there are reasons that he is a top pick in this draft. He is not physically gifted like some others so he will have work to do to compete defensively at the NBA level
4.Josh Jackson 6’8” SF Kansas 20/203 Freshman
For a team as bad as the Suns they just need talent and to get Josh Jackson at four they are very pleased since some feel in the end he will be the best player from this draft. Going BPA is a solid strategy for the Suns.
5.De’Aaron Fox 6’4” PG Kentucky 19/171 Freshman
Still very much seems Fox is their guy so it is easy to continue to place him in this spot. Talk of them maybe trying to trade up seems like a bad idea because it sure seems like he will be available to them here.
6.Jasyon Tatum 6’8” SF Duke 19/204 Freshman
Tatum is a guy that very similar to Bazz is out there to get buckets. For a team as bad as the Magic he could start day one and get them points. I think that if Tatum slides to the Magic they are thrilled so this is a scenario they love. The Magic do need improved shooting so they hope that Tatum can become a better 3pt shooter from his college 34%.
7.Jonathan Isaac 6’11” SF Florida St. 19/205 Freshman
Thibs wants defense, shooting and some length and Isaac will give the Wolves all three. Some have questioned whether Isaac will be here but the teams in front of us seem unlikely to take him. If one of those teams does grab him it just means another talented guy slips to us and trading would make some sense.
8.Frank Ntilikina 6’5” PG SIG Strasbourg, France 18/170
It sounds like Ntilikina and Smith are two names the Knicks are realistically strongly looking at. In recent drafts the Knicks have gone with front court players so now a back court player makes a lot of sense. Rose is likely gone and Frank is a solid two way player that can grow with Porzingis. Smith is definitely a flashier player and very athletic but he does not bring the solid defense that Frank does. Frank can also be a good fit for the infamous triangle offense.
9.Lauri Markannen 7’0” PF/C Arizona 19/225 Freshman
One of the best shooting big men to ever play in college has the chance to learn from one of the best shooting big men in the history of the NBA. Need I say more? Lauri does have work to do because outside of his elite shooting he does have many weaknesses including defense and rebounding. He did show improvement throughout the year though on defense and at only 19 the sky is the limit for him especially given his quick feet for a big man.
10.Justin Jackson 6’8” SF North Carolina 22/193 Junior
As long as Jackson’s improved shooting continues he is a great pickup here for the Kings. He can slide right into the starting SF slot for a team that has to fully embrace their youth given their 2019 first round pick is headed to Philly. Jackson has length and a high I.Q. and he will be able to help on both ends.
11.Zach Collins PF/C 7ft Gonzaga 19/230 Freshman
Collins is a good value pick here with a pretty high floor for a 19 year old making him a very safe pick. He likely has a lower ceiling than some players but is pretty athletic for a seven footer. Has shown off a decent jumper and good defense as well. Has things to work on no question but this is around where he is going to go. Add to this the lack of front court depth for the Hornets and he is the perfect fit here at 11.
12.Dennis Smith 6’3” PG NC State 19/195 Freshman
The Pistons are no longer sold on Reggie Jackson as their attempts to trade him have shown us. He is also very injury prone with bad knees. On top of that, Dennis Smith is great value here at 12 as some people think he will go top ten.
13.John Collins 6’8” PF Wake Forest 19/225 Sophomore
Nuggets are a team that could make some sense for trying to move up in the draft to try and grab a more sure fire talent to add to their young core. Collins was in for a workout today with the Nuggets and as he is the player that led the nation in PER there are obviously things to like about him here at 13. While he does have some work to do to improve he is only 19. He has to work on having more than just a post game and improve his mid range and jump shooting in general. He is by no means a stretch 4 and needs work defensively.
14.TJ Leaf 6’10” PF UCLA 19/225 Freshman
To me this seems like the perfect fit of need and ability. Put Leaf, who is a stretch 4 next to Whiteside and lets go. Leaf Is a quality scorer and rebounder with the ability to stretch the floor shooting 46.6% from 3 this past season.
15.OG Anunoby 6’7” SF Indiana 19/215 Sophomore
OG has a good chance of being the steal of this draft given he is far and away the best defender in it. Injuries are the only reason he is still available at this point in the draft. A player who can likely guard all 5 positions. The Blazers are very happy if he is still here at this pick given his incredibly high upside as a defender. Has work to do to be a quality 2 way player though given his offensive deficiencies. One thing to keep in mind is that with no cap room and 3 picks in the first round the Blazers are rumored to be looking to move players with picks in order to free up room.
16.Donovan Mitchell 6’3” 20/194 Junior
Rumors are out there now that Donovan is going to go to a team in the lottery, maybe even mid lottery like the Knicks. Big wingspan, but he is shorter than ideal for an NBA SG at just 6’3”. In a way this is a sort of double edged sword with Mitchell being a sort of high risk high reward player. Is not close to being a ready made prospect but has a really good looking jumper. One issue he has is he lacks the decision making skills to know when to use the jumper or how to use it. He showed really good defense and continued improvement at Louisville and all that he offers put together makes him a solid pick here at 16.
17.Jarrett Allen 6’11” C Texas 19/224 Freshman
Jarrett Allen had a solid Freshman year at Texas showing ability to block shots and rebound. He does have work to do on the offensive end but at 19 that will not be a problem and he can start his NBA career as a depth guy. For a team that used Maker and Monroe and had issues doing so for various reasons it will be nice for them to have more options at the center position.
18.Terrance Ferguson 6’7” SG playing in Ausralia instead of college 18/186
Was in for a workout recently with the Pacers. Has the advantage of already playing professionally in Australia so he is more used to the size difference you would get going from college to the Pros. He is a willing passer and a good spot up shooter. At a minimum he will be a solid 3/D role player in the NBA and at 18 a team can be happy about that.
19.Justin Patton 7’0” C Creighton 19/230 Freshman
The Hawks are a team that may need to go rebuild. Patton can be an eventual or now replacement for Howard depending on the direction the franchise chooses to go. One of the most efficient shooters in college this season has good speed for a big man. Has a chance to be good on both ends of the court and will develop nicely with the Hawks who could be starting a rebuild. At only 19 Justin has time to really become a solid player for the future of Hawks
20.IKE ANIGBOGU 6”10” C UCLA 18/230
Defensively he will be able to contribute day one due to his physical abilities. His skill set is very similar to that of Deandre Jordan in that he looks to block shots and score in transition/lobs. He has little to no jumper game at this time and unlike Jordan hopefully that can change for him. This is a good low risk high reward gamble for a team that at the moment has very little wiggle room given the cap. This could be a trade and someone else takes him or with the roster’s expanding to 17 he could be a guy they look to have grow and develop in the GLeague. His stock is definitely rising.
21.Luke Kennard 6’6” SG Duke 20/202 Sophomore
The Thunder are looking to give Russell more help on the scoring end and Luke Kennard and his shot can do just that. It is also generally a bonus to have a player who was able to work with Coach K. He is a very heady player and a great scorer with good vision so offensively he can contribute day one. On the defensive end are where the question marks lie. He has a long ways to go to even be an average defender but with his work ethic and his high basketball IQ I think he can definitely improve there.
22.Harry Giles 6’11” PF Duke 19/222 Freshman
This is a very boom or bust pick given the knee injuries he has had with both knees. For a team like the Nets they need a HR and this is one of the only ways they can do that given they had previously traded away their top draft picks. If he can stay healthy, the Nets can get an absolute steal here in Giles
23.Caleb Swanigan 6’9” PF Purdue 20/247 Sophomore
I am higher on Swanigan than almost anyone. I think he is going to continue to work hard and improve and he will be an incredible value here at 23. He is a multifaceted player and he did recently workout for the Raptors where he shined and the Raptors left impressed according to reports.
24.Bam Adebayo 6’10” Center Kentucky 19/250 Freshman
He is athletic and strong and if he is willing to accept his role as a role player he will be solid at the next level. A center rotation of Gobert and Adebayo could be very nice for years to come. In recent workout Bam showed off his athletic ability with some strong dunks and a decent jump shot for a center. He is another player that seems to be moving up draft boards right now.
25.Ivan Rabb 6’10” PF California 20/215 Sophomore
The Magic are a team like the Nets for example that are far from being very competitive and so they need to shoot for the stars. A guy that did not improve like most had hoped is Rabb who was arguably a top ten pick in last years draft. While he does have some translatable skills Rabb is a bit of a gamble given his lack of improvement from freshman to sophomore year. The Magic can afford to gamble that his ceiling is more what people thought last year and they can find a diamond in the rough here at 25.
26.Isaiah Hartenstein 7’0” PF Germany 18/225
This could be a good option for trading to get rid of a player. If not this is a good spot to go draft and stash. I like Isaiah as a draft and stash prospect because he has shown signs of what he could become but still needs much work on his shooting where he uses too much arm and not enough leg.
27.Jonathan Jeanne 7’2” C France 19/210
This is another project pick but again in the end could be a steal this late in the draft if he pans out. Just ask the Jazz about taking a chance on project French Centers. He is a player that has now started to move into first round talks so for a team like the Nets he makes a lot of sense. In workouts he has shown he is able to hit the three ball which is impressive for a player his size. He is very skinny and needs to really fill out before he can help an NBA team much. I am aware of his health diagnosis but I wanted to recognize the hard work he put in and not change this until the next version.
28.DJ Wilson 6’10” Michigan 21/240
Wilson is a player that is really starting to grow on me. In a way he reminds me of a Willie Cauley Stein type player. His defense seems like a skill that will translate well I do however want him to get better at rebounding to really be able to contribute. Has the ability to hit the long ball shooting 36% but the longer NBA three will test his range. At 28 Wilson is a good gamble for a Lakers team desperately looking to improve. He is also a player at 28 that has a decent skill floor and can contribute day 1.
29. Anzejs Pasecniks 7’2” Center Latvia 21/229
End of the first round picks are always a bit of a crap shoot. The Spurs always find gems in the draft including very good international scouting. A player like Anzejs is not perfect but has shown signs of being able to contribute. At 7’2” is able to block shots pretty effectively but has a lot of work to do overall defensively as he does not seem to have a high IQ on that end of the floor. Offensively he is very good at basket cuts as well as sealing off the defender to have an easier look at the rim. Could be a good project type player at the end of the first to take a chance on for a team.
30. Tyler Lydon 6’10” SF/PF Syracuse 21/225 Sophomore
He will come into this league as a really good catch and shoot stretch 4. He is not going to create and score on his own however. He is an OK defender but has a less than ideal wingspan for a 4 and does need to get stronger. A team like the Jazz need good role players and that is exactly what Tyler can do from day one. He will really have to put in the work if he is going to be more than that though long term. This pick could easily be traded as well since most teams are not looking to add 2 rookies drafted in the 20s.
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*Disclaimer, I am posting to show my process but have already written mock 4.0 which has changes and that will be on next weeks episode of The Howl.