2021 NBA Draft Thread - Detroit Picks #1

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by MG2, May 6, 2021.

  1. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    Now that the NFL draft is over, feels like we could start this as the season winds down. 7-8 of our teams are tanking down the stretch. Some real intrigue with Houston and Minnesota about their picks. And the talent this year at the top is legit.
    Dump, FTK and BudKilmer like this.
  2. TC

    TC Who was Richard Greener? sc.edu/greener
    South Carolina GamecocksCarolina PanthersCarolina Hurricanes

    Let’s see a list of top prospects
  3. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    Mock today from The Athletic...

    1. Houston Rockets
    Cade Cunningham | 6-foot-8, lead ballhandler | 19 years old, freshman | Oklahoma State

    The player: Cunningham is a 6-foot-8 primary playmaker. What does that mean? Well, if you need him to play the point, he can do that. His time at Montverde Academy showed he is a smart, unselfish passer who can make all of the necessary reads. If you need him to play as a secondary wing scoring threat, though, he can do that too. Cunningham was the primary scoring option this past season for Oklahoma State, carrying a substandard roster to an extremely impressive season while averaging 20 points per game and shooting over 40 percent from 3. On top of it, he’s a good, multi-positional defender who always knows where he needs to be both in help and in switches. Cunningham is the total package and the clear No. 1 player on my board.

    The fit: No team has more riding on this lottery than Houston. The Rockets keep their pick if it is in the top four, giving them a 52 percent chance to retain it. If it falls outside of that, they lose their pick to Oklahoma City in a convoluted pick swap scenario that also includes Miami. And for a team reeling after the James Harden trade, without a true centerpiece to build around at this stage (sorry, Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood), losing this pick could set Houston back for another full year while waiting for an influx of major, high-end talent. Cunningham is exactly what they need, but the Rockets would also likely settle for any of the other top-four prospects.

    2. Minnesota Timberwolves
    Jalen Suggs | 6-5 guard | 19 years old, freshman | Gonzaga

    The player: A powerful guard with a well-rounded game, Suggs profiles nicely as a lead initiator in the NBA. He has terrific athleticism and quick-twitch, mixed with terrific power and explosion as a dunker. He pairs that with a real skill level and feel for the game. He’s a tremendous full-court passer in transition who has started to really bring some of those elite plays to half-court settings out of ball screens. He has a real understanding of what a good shot is. Game-winning NCAA tournament shot not withstanding, his jumper still needs to tighten up. But it’s far from broken, and he can already take and make pull-up 3s. Plus, when engaged, he’s a tremendous on-ball defender. There just aren’t a ton of holes with Suggs, and he has the look of a future All-Star if the jumper improves just by a small margin.

    The fit: This might seem strange to a team that already has D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, but I love the fit. Suggs plays such a complete game with a real level of unselfishness that I think pairing him long-term with Edwards would be tremendous and lead to a pretty quick turnaround — signs of which we’re already starting to see under Chris Finch. Whereas Edwards and Russell are more ball-dominant, Suggs has the flexibility to play with both and change his role based on who is around him. Also, Suggs’ high-level on-ball defense pairs well with a duo that can struggle on that end and a team that desperately needs an infusion of energy on that side of the floor. He’d give Minnesota another real potential All-Star talent.

    3. Detroit Pistons
    Evan Mobley | 7-0 center | 19 years old, freshman | USC

    The player: Mobley is a very well-rounded center prospect, a much stronger fit for the modern NBA than last year’s top-two pick James Wiseman. Mobley is a tremendous defender with incredible instincts, both as a rim protector and away from the basket. He’s really good in pick-and-coverages due to how fluid and mobile his hips and feet are. Offensively, he is really comfortable handling the ball and making plays as a passer. He has some real upside as a shot creator out of dribble handoffs and short rolls. USC even used him as a pick-and-roll ballhandler at times. He has the potential to step away and shoot too, as he made 12 3s this past season. This is another potential All-Star level talent, even with the fact that the replacement level at the center position in today’s NBA is remarkably high.

    The fit: The Pistons should be taking the best available player. On top of that, I am OK with the fit of Isaiah Stewart and Mobley because Stewart’s mobility and rebounding mixed with Mobley’s length and shot-creation ability should work well together. You won’t play them like that all the time, but I think you can make that work. I think too, Jalen Green would get a real look here next to Killian Hayes given Green’s explosive scoring ability. But Mobley’s all-around game seems to fit more with what Troy Weaver has valued during his time in Detroit and Oklahoma City.

    4. Orlando Magic
    Jalen Green | 6-5 guard | 18 years old | G League Ignite

    The player: One of the better scoring prospects of the last decade, Green will end up with a higher draft grade from me than Edwards, who has taken the league by storm in the second half of his rookie season. Green isn’t quite as powerful as Edwards but has a similar level of quick-twitch and converts that twitch into powerful leaping and finishing off both one foot and two around the basket. I also like Green’s pull-up game and where he is as a shooter a bit more than where Edwards is. Green has a bit better touch entering the NBA and a bit more of a polished in-between game. He still has a ways to go in terms of making decisions and providing real defensive value on a consistent basis, but he’s one of the surest bets to average at least 20 points per game that I’ve evaluated.

    The fit: Pretty perfect. The Magic desperately need more offensive creativity from the backcourt, even with the infusion of Cole Anthony and R.J. Hampton over the course of the past year. For a team that has been looking for an answer from its lead guard creators for a long time, pairing Green with that duo and Markelle Fultz would really give Orlando fans something to be excited about moving forward. Green’s polish as a scoring threat and athleticism would work really nicely with that group. He’d give them the kind of potential All-Star they’ve lacked over the last decade. Frankly, Green has more upside than any guard the team has had on its roster since Penny Hardaway.

    5. Cleveland Cavaliers
    Jonathan Kuminga | 6-7 forward | 18 years old | G League Ignite

    The player: Kuminga has many of the tools that NBA teams are looking for from their big wing creators. He’s an athletic wing with real shot-creation potential due to his body control and power. He’s a terrific driver who gets into the paint, and he plays really hard. He cuts well, and while he didn’t shoot it well this past season, I don’t think his shot off the catch is broken by any stretch. He also struggled a bit on defense within the construct of what the Ignite wanted to do as a team, but he has all of the tools you look for with a 7-foot-plus wingspan and real athleticism and strength. He averaged 16 points and seven rebounds in his first professional experience and profiles well as a starting wing with real All-Star upside if the shot comes around.

    The fit: The Cavaliers could use another wing with real two-way potential. Whereas Isaac Okoro was more of a defense-first guy, Kuminga would offset that at the three/four as more of an offense-first guy with real creativity as a scorer. He’s also a smart passer, which would help foster more ball movement with the backcourt — something J.B. Bickerstaff has mentioned is a priority moving forward. With a legitimate option at center in Jarrett Allen as well as two strong options at guard in Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, getting more help from the wing position would really help round out the roster.

    6. Oklahoma City Thunder
    Scottie Barnes | 6-8 forward | 19 years old, freshman | Florida State

    The player: At between 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a strong, powerful frame, Barnes has prototypical size and length for the wing and switchable big position. His lateral agility also is strong, allowing him to be the one prospect in this class who can genuinely switch one through five right now. Florida State often used him at the point of attack on that end, and he has quick, disruptive hands. More than that, he plays with incredible energy and verve. He’s one of the most positive, energy-giving players you’ll evaluate, with a real positive spirit. Offensively, there is some work to do, but he’s a tremendous passer with a high feel for the game, having averaged over four assists per game for Florida State while playing some point guard. He’s more of a four at the NBA level, and he needs to improve the shot. But Barnes has a chance to be an elite role player who makes well over nine figures in terms of salary if he becomes even an average shooter.

    The fit: The Thunder love these multi-positional, athletic, intelligent players with great character and a high-level feel for the game. Don’t sleep on the fact that he’d be a tremendous pairing with burgeoning prospect Aleksej Pokusevski. The latter can be the floater who uses his tremendous defensive instincts off the ball to pair with the strength and switchability that Barnes presents at the four. On top of that, pairing their passing ability in the frontcourt would really lead to a strong, ball movement-heavy attack from the kind of five-out situation that coach Mark Daigneault has been a fan of running. This would be one of my favorite fits in the draft.

    7. Sacramento Kings
    Keon Johnson | 6-5 wing | 18 years old, freshman | Tennessee

    The player: An elite athlete, Johnson has the kind of twitch and explosion most players only dream of possessing. At 6-foot-5, he can jump out of the gym and has real burst as a driver. He’s also an elite defender on the ball already, where he uses that length and quickness to really cause issues for players at the one through three spots. He’s just very raw on offense right now. The jumper needs work, as he’s essentially a non-shooter right now — at least efficiently. He also needs to work on his handle and driving ability. But once Tennessee let him loose late in the season, Johnson was pretty good. He averaged 14.4 points, four rebounds and three assists over his final 12 games, including a bevy of impressive highlights that showcase what his upside is if he can keep rounding out his game.

    The fit: The Kings basically have two guys they’re truly building around in De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Richaun Holmes is a free agent this offseason and could be in line for a real payday, so I would imagine they look for a real frontcourt option here. Harrison Barnes also is a very real trade target for contenders due to his declining-in-value contract and all-around game, so a bigger wing also makes sense. Ultimately though, Johnson would give them a very different presence than anything they have in their backcourt due to his defensive value and athletic upside. The Kings have one of the worst defenses I’ve seen on an NBA court, so getting someone who can set the tone on that end while also possessing real long-term value on offense seems like a strong choice.

    8. Orlando Magic (via CHI)
    Moses Moody | 6-6 wing | 18 years old, freshman | Arkansas

    The player: The excitement surrounding Moody has dampened a bit following an inefficient NCAA Tournament, but I think some people are overthinking it. Moody is a terrific 3-and-D wing option with real size at 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan. He is switchable on defense, with really good feet and a tough mindset. Offensively, he hits shots with a smooth stroke off the catch. He took a ton of contested shots this season as Arkansas’ go-to guy, which led to some of his inefficiencies. But he also showcased some difficult shotmaking ability, too, off the move. The big things to work on here are his passing ability and finishing — and he’s not a wild athlete by any stretch. But it’s tough to find teenagers who are this good at shooting and defending with a platform to improve his other aspects as well.

    The fit: The Magic have a nice group of creative guards, plus have some real upside in the frontcourt with guys such as Jonathan Isaac, Wendell Carter and Chuma Okeke. The thing they don’t really have is a true 3-and-D wing who can space the floor and play good defense. Moody fits that and fits the timeline of a rebuilding team well given his age. He doesn’t have wild upside, in my opinion, but with handing them Green earlier, plus the fliers on Anthony and Hampton, the Magic can afford to take more of a steady, rock-solid wing who profiles to help teams win games in the future.

    9. Toronto Raptors
    Davion Mitchell | 6-3 guard | 22 years old, junior | Baylor

    The player: The big riser of the NCAA Tournament, Mitchell was one of the best two-way players in the country. He won the national Defensive Player of the Year award due to his toughness at the point of attack. He took on a variety of assignments too, from smaller guards all the way up to guys like Cunningham. But where he made his mark this year was on offense, where Mitchell actualized the tools he has in terms of speed and quickness and became an extremely high-level table-setter as a passer. On top of that, he hit nearly 45 percent from 3. His game looks tailor-made and ready to play in the NBA.

    The fit: The Raptors have a long-term answer at point guard in Fred VanVleet, but Kyle Lowry, the best player in franchise history, is a free agent this summer. What better way to replace him than by signing Mitchell, who in many ways has modeled his game after Lowry’s brand of toughness, playmaking and shot making. The Raptors certainly don’t have to go guard here, though, and likely will just take the best player available. Having said that, Masai Ujiri and the rest of the Raptors’ front office has valued older players who are ready to contribute early more than others across the league (Pascal Siakam, VanVleet and Malachi Flynn stand out, in addition to some of the players they’ve developed through their G League system).

    10. New Orleans Pelicans
    Josh Giddey | 6-8 wing | 18 years old | Adelaide

    The player: Few players have as much momentum up the board right now as Giddey. He posted back-to-back triple-doubles in the Australian NBL last week, showcasing his extremely high-level feel for the game. He’s one of the smartest players in the draft, especially for a teenager. He has an innate understanding of where and how to get his teammates the ball in advantageous positions. That’s his key skill. At 6-8 without elite athleticism, Giddey is more a secondary playmaker in the vein of a Joe Ingles as opposed to a primary point guard. But he should be able to make plays out of ball screens. The keys here will be shooting and an emphasis on defensive fundamentals. He needs to stay lower in his defensive stance. The jumper should improve in time, as nothing is broken mechanically.

    The fit: In my opinion, the Pelicans could use a bit more ball movement within their core. Zion Williamson is still developing as a passer, and Brandon Ingram isn’t particularly strong there yet. Lonzo Ball is obviously terrific as a passer, but he is a restricted free agent, and then their younger guards in Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis can move more toward the scoring aspect. Giddey’s ability to play unselfishly and his potential to shoot it profile nicely with this group.

    11. Indiana Pacers
    Franz Wagner | 6-9 forward | 19 years old, sophomore | Michigan

    The player: Wagner is an interesting 3-and-D prospect with real size at 6-9. His movement is terrific, with great lateral quickness. He can guard a variety of perimeter players on the ball, but his off-ball instincts are absolutely spectacular. He knows exactly where to be positionally, and his reactivity to get deflections is outstanding. The big question revolves around his shot, which comes and goes far too often. Sometimes, he looks like a legit 40 percent 3-point shooter in the future. Other times, he looks like a 30 percent guy and totally non-confident in the jumper mechanics. Whichever one he is will determine his career. If he becomes that high-level shooter, he’ll be a very high-level role player. If he doesn’t, he’s more in the vein of his brother, Moritz, as an end-of-the-rotation guy.

    The fit: The Pacers need someone like this within their core, a defense-first wing who can pass and be relatively low-usage for wings such as Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren to focus on scoring. The team has also struggled a lot on defense in the minutes and games that Myles Turner has missed this season. This is another excellent fit on draft night if the Pacers end up with Wagner because he really fits from a positional perspective rotationally as well as a team-need perspective.

    12. Washington Wizards
    Kai Jones | 6-11 big | 19 years old, sophomore | Texas

    The player: This is a home run swing. Jones is one of the more high-upside players you’ll find in the draft. Having just started playing competitive hoops in his mid-teens, Jones is still figuring things out in terms of defensive awareness and passing reads. But he’s a fascinating prospect because he has elite athleticism at 6-11. He moves his feet as fluidly as a wing and has explosive leaping ability as a shot blocker and dunker. He also has the kind of body control you look for as a shooter, with him having already showcased real shooting potential and shot-making upside. He can legitimately attack closeouts and pull up from the midrange to shoot. He’ll pull out Euro steps and maneuvers around defenders with legitimate skill. He’s a project, but he’s one the right team could get a lot out of over the years.

    The fit: The Wizards still have a significant need inside. Robin Lopez and Daniel Gafford have held things down during this recent run. But Lopez isn’t getting any younger, and Gafford is still pretty limited to catching and finishing around the rim athletically. Jones might end up profiling best as a high-energy, high-athleticism backup. Acquiring another option inside seems like a good plan. I wouldn’t sleep on the Wizards looking for further backcourt depth, though, given that the Bradley Beal situation long-term isn’t going to resolve itself.

    13. Golden State Warriors
    James Bouknight | 6-5 wing | 20 years old, sophomore | Connecticut

    The player: Bouknight is an athlete more in the vein of Zach LaVine, a smooth, floating explosiveness mixed with an authoritative finishing skill. He’s not quite as elite an athlete as young LaVine, but he’s going to throw down some monster dunks that raise eyebrows as a rookie. In general, the best skill Bouknight brings to the table is his shot creation. He averaged nearly 19 points per game this past season. He has a strong first step and has real finishing craft around the basket. He hit 62.7 percent of his shots at the rim in half-court settings, in part because he was able to also get a lot of shots at the basket off cuts due to his intelligent off-ball movement. He needs to get better on defense and as a passer, but there is a real gift for getting buckets.

    The fit: The Warriors desperately need more shot creation next to Stephen Curry. The offense has completely bogged down with him out of the game. They’ll get some further firepower next year when Klay Thompson returns, but even with Thompson, the team still needs more creativity and guys who can get buckets in the backcourt. Bouknight would give them a real infusion of scoring, at the very least off the bench to start his career, then he could move into the starting lineup as the Warriors’ stars age.

    14. San Antonio Spurs
    Alperen Sengun | 6-9 big | 19 years old, international | Beskitas

    The player: Sengun is putting up one of the most productive teenage seasons in recent European basketball history. As our John Hollinger outlined last week, the numbers Sengun is putting up in Turkey are dominant and preposterous at the same time. He is second in the league in scoring, rebounding and blocks. As John pointed out, Sengun’s PER would be the highest of the decade, and his 32.9 PER leads the Turkish league by a wide margin. From a scouting perspective, he can really finish inside, has a great nose for the basket and a great feel for getting separation. His hands are elite. The only problem comes on defense, where I’m pretty skeptical he’s going to be able to guard anyone because he’s a 6-9 center.

    The fit: The Spurs have one of the best international scouting staffs in the NBA, so they will be familiar with Sengun even in this weird season of interrupted scouting overseas. From a roster perspective, the team’s bigs aren’t particularly adept offensively. Jakob Poeltl could use more of an offensive-minded partner inside from a matchup perspective, and Sengun’s hands, basketball IQ and finishing ability on the offensive end are about as big a departure from Poeltl as you’ll find.

    15. Charlotte Hornets
    Usman Garuba | 6-8 big | 18 years old | Real Madrid

    The player: Defense, defense, defense. Garuba is already one of the best defenders in Europe as a teenager and profiles as a potential All-Defense Team guy in the NBA by the time he’s 25. He can really defend on the interior, with terrific fundamentals for verticality and weak-side shot blocking. His ability to slide his feet and drop his hips laterally is ridiculous, and his instincts as a pick-and-roll defender are terrific. The problems come on offense. He’s still not a particularly effective player on that end, but there have been signs of progress. He had two games last week against Anadolu Efes in EuroLeague play that were positive signs, including a ridiculous 24-point, 12-rebound performance. He also has been making more 3s recently, but it’s going to take some time.

    The fit: The Hornets desperately need a long-term answer at center with Cody Zeller entering free agency this offseason. I know they drafted both Nick Richards and Vernon Carey there last year in the early second round, but I don’t see either as really being NBA players. Plus, even if the Hornets do, Garuba is completely different from them and thus is interesting. Garuba would really fit well, helping a team with below-average defense start to put some real pieces together on that end. This would be a tremendous fit, especially given that the Hornets have not been afraid to go small this season. Garuba-at-center lineups would have the same effect as smaller lineups in terms of switchability.

    16. Memphis Grizzlies
    Jaden Springer | 6-4 guard | 19 years old, freshman | Tennessee

    The player: Springer had a strong freshman season for the Vols, since he often played as an off-guard, his advanced numbers and analytics are going to be quite strong for his age. And similarly to Johnson above, Springer was tremendous late in the season. He averaged 16 points, four rebounds and three assists in his final 11 games, finally getting a chance to show off why he was a five-star prospect. He’s also a terrific defender. Having said that, I’ve found that Springer’s game isn’t loved by many scouts. He plays almost solely off two feet and doesn’t seem to get the most out of his athleticism. There’s a degree of bully-ball here. He’s going to have to adjust his game to have success at the next level.

    The fit: The Grizzlies are one of the more analytically inclined organizations when it comes to prospects, and they’ve had an awful lot of success approaching the draft in that manner. They nailed both Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman last year, plus Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke the year before and Jaren Jackson Jr. the year before that. Springer’s age will be attractive to them, as will his defensive intensity and shooting ability, which most evaluators do feel confident will translate at some point.

    17. Oklahoma City Thunder (via MIA)
    Ziaire Williams | 6-7 wing | 19 years old, freshman | Stanford

    The player: A complicated evaluation. Williams had a tough year at Stanford, as the team lived out of hotels for the first six weeks of the season, then he left the team in the middle of the season due to a death in the family. On the court, he had some highs, such as a triple-double against Washington. He also averaged 13 points, six rebounds and three assists prior to his month-long departure. Still, his inefficiency left a bad lasting impression in most evaluators’ eyes, and he struggled to deal with the physicality of the game at what looked to be about 175 pounds. Williams is a project, although one with major upside if the right team ends up with him.

    The fit: Oklahoma City is in a place where it’s taking fliers on projects left and right. This is a rebuild, through and through. If the Thunder end up with the No. 1 overall pick, the rebuild could be fast-tracked. But for now, they should be taking as many high-upside shots as they can, especially given how strong their developmental track record is. In this case, they have a real need for a shot-creating wing with size unless they think Darius Bazley is destined to downshift from four and five down to the three more regularly.

    18. Boston Celtics
    Jalen Johnson | 6-8 forward | 18 years old, freshman | Duke

    The player: We’re in the part of the draft where there are some real flawed but interesting prospects who have high upsides but low floors. In the case of Johnson, he’s a tremendous ballhandler and transition player for his size at the four. His best skill, though, is his passing ability. He’s very creative in how he sees over the defense, and he makes a lot of tough reads. The problem is that he’s not a particularly adept half-court scoring threat. Teams will just play the pass against him because he doesn’t shoot it confidently yet and doesn’t have an in-between floater game yet. If he ever shoots it, though, he has a good shot to turn into a real starter.

    The fit: The Celtics generally have two draft types. They either go for high-achieving, great character older players (such as Grant Williams, Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard and Carsen Edwards) or elite high-school recruits (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Romeo Langford, Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger). Johnson would be taking a flier on the latter, given that he was a top-10 recruit in his 2020 recruiting class. The Celtics are always on the lookout for distressed assets they think they can develop, and they particularly value positional size on the wing. Johnson ticks a lot of boxes for them.

    19. Atlanta Hawks
    Cam Thomas | 6-3 guard | 18 years old, freshman | LSU

    The player: Arguably the most natural scorer in this draft class. Few teenagers have the kind of scoring instincts that Thomas does. He has this innate sense for how to get defenders off balance and has a ridiculous pull-up game that allows him to be constantly on balance himself. He was the fourth-leading scorer in college basketball as a teenager after all. That seems good, right? So where is the issue? Well, scoring is all he does. He’s a bad defensive player and plays fairly selfishly on offense to the point that I can see some friction developing between him and some older teammates at the next level.

    The fit: The Hawks could use more of a long-term scorer off the bench. It’s the reason they acquired Lou Williams this past trade deadline. Williams is a free agent at the end of the season, so replacing him with a younger version of himself could bear fruit down the road — especially if Williams would be willing to re-sign for one year, allowing Thomas to come along slowly and learn from the master himself.

    20. Houston Rockets (via POR)
    Corey Kispert | 6-7 wing | 22 years old, senior | Gonzaga

    The player: Maybe the best shooter in the class. Kispert has quiet shot mechanics in the best possible way, shooting 53 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3 this past season while averaging 19 points per game for the nearly undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. He’s going to shoot the hell out of the ball, and he’s going to make elite decisions. The questions come on defense. NBA teams have started to really question Kispert’s footspeed and whether he’ll be able to keep up at the next level. I personally have him a bit higher than this on my board, but anywhere from No. 10 to 20 sounds right.

    The fit: The Rockets are in a bit of a different place than many rebuilding teams. This is really Year 0.5 of their rebuild, not the first year. Plus, they have a first-year coach who has dealt with a ton of roster turnover. And because of that, they haven’t really even gotten the chance to establish an identity in regard to what the future is going to be. Kispert is the kind of elite shooter who would really help high-upside players develop. But more than that, he’s also an elite character guy. He could really fit as a culture builder who also helps the Rockets with their young guys.

    21. New York Knicks
    Isaiah Jackson | 6-10 center | 18 years old, freshman | Kentucky

    The player: A fascinating situation, as Jackson is considering returning to school, per The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker. That tracks with what agents and scouts I’ve talked to have been told as well. Jackson could certainly use another year in college to iron out some of the more raw parts of his game. Having said that, he showed genuine growth, especially late in the season. NBA teams would assuredly take a chance on him somewhere in Round 1, potentially even in the late lottery, due to his elite-level physical tools. He’s 6-10 with a 7-3 wingspan and all sorts of twitchy explosiveness. He is the prototypical run-and-jump, play-finishing, shot-swatting center prospect and has the athleticism to legitimately do it.

    The fit: The Knicks obviously have a track record of looking toward the Kentucky program for players, with Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, Nerlens Noel and Kevin Knox on the roster, plus John Calipari-coached Derrick Rose. In this case, drafting Jackson could give them some insurance if they decide not to pay Mitchell Robinson this summer. And frankly, given the way their defense has operated with Noel in the middle after Robinson was injured, I don’t think I’d be beating down the door to pay Robinson $15 million-plus per season. Drafting a center like Jackson could give them the kind of high upside that Robinson also presents while restarting the rookie contract timeline and keeping the salary-cap sheet clean for other fits this summer and into the future. With how competent the Knicks finally look, it’s not hard to envision a circumstance where New York is the destination.

    22. New York Knicks (via DAL)
    Chris Duarte | 6-6 guard | 23 years old, senior | Oregon
    The player: Some evaluators have docked Duarte for his age, as he’d be the oldest prospect in the first round. But I think his game is so tailor-made for the NBA that he’s not going to have any problem making an immediate impact. He’s an All-Defense member in the Pac-12 and a genuine playmaker with how disruptive his hands are in the backcourt with length at 6-6. And on offense, he’s a legit 40-plus percent 3-point shooter who can also handle the ball and make comfortable decisions. Duarte has high-level role player written all over him.

    The fit: The Knicks have a lot of smaller guards in the backcourt with guys such as Quickley, Rose and Elfrid Payton. Duarte could really fit as a role player who gives them some length and shooting next to RJ Barrett or Quickley long-term. He’s a versatile chess piece whom coaches can utilize in a variety of ways. And with the Jackson selection above and the potential to chase real high-level free agents, I think a safer pick on a player with a higher degree of likelihood to become a good, cost-controlled role player early in his career makes sense.

    23. Los Angeles Lakers
    Ayo Dosunmu | 6-5 guard | 21 years old, junior | Illinois

    The player: Dosunmu was one of the best players in college basketball this past season, posting 20 points, six rebounds and five assists while leading Illinois to a terrific season. Simply put, he’s pro-ready and should be able to make an impact early due to his athleticism, vision, defensive ability, length and poise. Having said that, I realize there are scouts who are not enamored with him because his jumper leaves some real questions. He hit 39 percent this past season on under 100 attempts, and over the course of his career, he’s hit 34.5 percent of his 300-plus 3-point attempts. But it’s a bit of a wonky shot mechanically that scouts will always worry about in terms of consistency. Teams also aren’t sure if he’s a lead guard or an off-guard from a vision and play-making perspective.

    The fit: The Lakers do tend to value shooting around Anthony Davis and LeBron James. But more than that, I think they will value the ability to get an older guy in who could reasonably step into a role sooner rather than later for LeBron, especially with the question marks surrounding Dennis Schröder’s free agency this summer.

    24. Houston Rockets (via MIL)
    Sharife Cooper | 6-1 guard | 19 years old, freshman | Auburn

    The player: One look at Cooper’s numbers will tell you a lot. He averaged over 20 points and eight assists per game in an extremely high-usage role for Auburn after becoming eligible to play (the NCAA held him out for half the season while looking into amateurism concerns). Cooper’s ballhandling acumen is absurd as he keeps the ball close to the ground and tight to his body while creatively contorting his body, changing paces and adjusting directions. His live-dribble passing also is an extremely high-level skill. The intersection of those two skills should allow him to at least be a backup in the NBA. Where the upside will come is with his shooting and defense. He’s terrible at both of those things right now. And he’s extremely small, making it highly unlikely that the defense is going to come along. For Cooper to reach his ceiling, it involves getting better as a shooter.

    The fit: The Rockets should be looking for high-upside swings and culture builders. Cooper would be the kind of upside player who could really help if he hits. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt if he got to learn from John Wall for a couple of years.

    25. Philadelphia 76ers
    Jared Butler | 6-3 guard | 20 years old, junior | Baylor

    The player: Butler was as decorated a college player as you’ll find this past season, a first-team All-American who has worked his way into a genuine draft prospect over the last two years. He’s a 6-3 scoring guard who can knock down shots from the outside both directly off the catch and off the pull-up. He averaged nearly 17 points per game while shooting almost 42 percent from 3 and taking tough shots too. Plus, he was All-Defense in the Big 12 and generally does a good job of playing within scheme and locking down opposing players.

    The fit: The 76ers continue to need more shooting around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid despite the work they’ve done already. Daryl Morey, of all people, will certainly continue to value perimeter scoring. Butler is about as polished as you’ll find in that regard and would be nearly an instant rotation player.

    26. Denver Nuggets
    Roko Prkacin | 6-9 forward | 18 years old | Cibona

    The player: Prkacin is a high-IQ forward who can really do a lot of different stuff. He excels without the ball, which is really important for a role player at the NBA level. He finds good cutting areas and soft spots in the defense. He moves well into open areas to get little looks. And when he receives the pass, he’s great at moving it quickly on his own. He’s also improved as a shooter this past season, as he’s up to nearly 36 percent on 3 attempts per game. The idea here is a point forward who can do a lot of different stuff.

    The fit: The idea would be to take a flier on someone who can eventually play in a frontcourt with Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic. Having said that, I also think a stash pick would probably be interesting to Denver this season given its cap situation. Every dollar is going to count, and the Nuggets are already damn near the tax threshold with 11 players likely to be retained.

    27. LA Clippers
    Jeremiah Robinson-Earl | 6-10 forward | 20 years old, sophomore | Villanova

    The player: Robinson-Earl is about as well-rounded a forward as you’ll find. He’s really smart positionally on defense, he passes well, he’s mobile enough and he has real potential to shoot it (and already is from the midrange). The Big East Player of the Year this past season, Robinson-Earl is one of those guys I trust will figure it out at the next level despite not necessarily having a traditional game for where the NBA is going. He’s sharp, he knows where he needs to be all the time, he rebounds and he makes good choices. Maybe it’s more of a rotation player than a star, but there is plenty of space for those guys around the league.

    The fit: The Clippers love toughness, and Robinson-Earl is a well-rounded, tough dude who can bring a lot of different skills to the table. He’s more of a forward than the bigs they’ve drafted in each of the last two drafts in Daniel Oturu and Mfiondu Kabengele. And because of that and his potential switchability, I think there would be some real interest in him playing as an early backup for this group. It doesn’t hurt that Villanova guys have a strong track record of being able to play early and on rookie contracts for a team where every single dollar counts against the tax in a big way.

    28. Brooklyn Nets
    Day’Ron Sharpe | 6-11 center | 19 years old, freshman | North Carolina

    The player: Sharpe is one of my favorite non-lottery prospects in this class, a weird center prospect whose best skills are his rebounding and his passing. A 6-11 center, Sharpe made some of the best, most creative passes I saw from any prospect on the move this past season. He clearly processes the game well and seems to understand spatially where his teammates are. He’s a big-bodied guy and a bit heavy-footed, so there are defensive concerns. But his brand of toughness on the inside and passing is the kind of weird combination I like to bet on because tough, smart guys with NBA frames tend to make it at a higher clip than most.

    The fit: The Nets are still looking for their official long-term answer at center, and Sharpe would actually provide a nice complement for the eminently interesting and athletic Nic Claxton. Sharpe’s highly skilled game and strong frame would provide a different type of matchup for opposing teams than the athletic Claxton, who is twitchy and switchable.

    29. Phoenix Suns
    Tre Mann | 6-5 guard | 19 years old, sophomore | Florida

    The player: Mann is a pull-up shooting savant with terrific playmaking ability. He can separate from defenders by changing gears with ease, utilizing impressive deceleration mixed with quick crossovers to get to his stepback. He hit 40.2 percent from 3 and averaged 16 points per game, with most of his shots coming out of such pull-ups. He also has a very impressive floater game that allows him to get into the teeth of a defense and be a threat. He’s also improved as a passer this year at 6-foot-5 but has a ways to go in terms of his defensive acumen and reading complex help defenses. Still, there is some real scoring upside.

    The fit: The Suns, weirdly, don’t have a ton of great scoring options with size behind Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Mostly, it’s smaller guys such as Cam Payne or defense-first guys such as Jevon Carter. Mann would give them a bit of a different look due to his size and iso game.

    30. Utah Jazz
    Aaron Henry | 6-5 wing | 21 years old, junior | Michigan State

    The player: Henry is another guy I’m just a fan of due to his toughness and willingness to play on both ends. He was All-Defense in the Big Ten this past year on the wing and put Michigan State on his back late in the year to push the Spartans into the NCAA Tournament despite a messy roster that never seemed to come together. Where you fall on Henry comes down to the jump shot. The overall numbers don’t look great, as he hit just 29.6 percent of his 3s. But he is much better off the catch and projectable in a way you wouldn’t expect from such a low mark. Throw in that he’s also a smart passer who plays well off closeouts, and I think there is some real upside with Henry that the percentages might not catch.

    The fit: The Jazz need another defensive wing to take some of the pressure of Royce O’Neale, who gets the toughest matchup every single night for 32 minutes of wear and tear. Donovan Mitchell leads the team in minutes per game, but it’s not Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic or Joe Ingles who is second. It’s the unheralded O’Neale, who does yeoman’s work every game and whose skill set is irreplaceable on the Jazz because they just don’t have another bigger wing to do a good job on those difficult assignments. Henry would give them another player to develop who could potentially take on those tough opposing guys.

    Round 2
    31. Milwaukee (via HOU): Bones Hyland | 6-3 guard | 20 years old | VCU

    32. New York (via DET): Brandon Boston Jr. | 6-7 wing | 19 years old, freshman | Kentucky

    33. Orlando: Josh Christopher | 6-4 guard | 19 years old, freshman | Arizona State

    34. Oklahoma City (via MIN): Rokas Jokubaitis | 6-4 lead guard | 20 years old | Zalgiris

    35. Oklahoma City: Isaiah Todd | 6-10 big | 19 years old | G League Ignite

    36. New Orleans (via CLE): Miles McBride | 6-2 guard | 20 years old, sophomore | West Virginia

    37. Sacramento: Joel Ayayi | 6-5 guard | 21 years old, junior | Gonzaga

    38. Chicago: Luka Garza | 6-11 center | 22 years old, senior | Iowa

    39. Detroit (via TOR): Terrence Shannon Jr. | 6-5 wing | 20 years old, sophomore | Texas Tech

    40. New Orleans: Trey Murphy | 6-8 wing | 20 years old, junior | Virginia

    41. Brooklyn (via IND): Greg Brown | 6-8 forward | 19 years old, freshman | Texas

    42. New Orleans (via WAS): Santi Aldama | 6-10 big | 20 years old, sophomore | Loyola (MD)

    43. Toronto (via GSW): Charles Bassey | 6-10 center | 20 years old, junior | Western Kentucky

    44. San Antonio: Matthew Hurt | 6-9 guard | 20 years old, sophomore | Duke

    45. Detroit (via CHA): Daishen Nix | 6-5 guard | 18 years old | G League Ignite

    46. Toronto (via MEM): David Duke | 6-5 guard | 21 years old, junior | Providence

    47. Atlanta (via MIA): David Johnson | 6-5 guard | 20 years old, sophomore | Louisville

    48. Boston: Raiquan Gray | 6-8 forward | 21 years old, junior | Florida State

    49. Brooklyn (via ATL): Moses Wright | 6-9 big | 22 years old, senior | Georgia Tech

    50. Memphis (via POR): Herbert Jones | 6-7 wing |22 years old, senior | Alabama

    51. Philadelphia (via NYK): Austin Reaves | 6-5 guard | 23 years old, senior | Oklahoma

    52. New Orleans (via DAL): Filip Petrusev | 7-0 center | 21 years old | Mega

    53. Detroit (via LAL): Trendon Watford | 6-9 forward | 20 years old, sophomore | LSU

    54. Indiana (via MIL): Kofi Cockburn | 6-11 center | 20 years old, sophomore | Illinois

    55. New York (via PHI): Marcus Garrett | 6-5 guard | 22 years old, senior | Kansas

    56. Oklahoma City (via DEN): Neemias Queta | 7-0 center | 21 years old, junior | Utah State

    57. Charlotte (via LAC): Sandro Mamukelashvili | 6-11 big | 22 years old, senior | Seton Hall

    58. Charlotte (via BKN): Derrick Alston Jr. | 6-9 wing | 22 years old, senior | Boise State

    59. Brooklyn (via PHX): Ariel Hukporti | 6-11 center | 19 years old | Nevezis

    60. Indiana (via UTA): Quentin Grimes | 6-5 guard | 21 years old, junior | Houston
    Dump, Owsley and TC like this.
  4. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

  5. TC

    TC Who was Richard Greener? sc.edu/greener
    South Carolina GamecocksCarolina PanthersCarolina Hurricanes

    3 jalens in that first round :shocked:
    BudKilmer likes this.
  6. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

  7. devine

    devine hi, i am user devine
    West Virginia MountaineersPhoenix SunsPittsburgh PenguinsNational LeagueSan Diego PadresBarAndGrillCoors Light

    I would be taking cade #1 if I were a GM
  8. dtx

    dtx ruthkanda forever
    Texas RangersLos Angeles ClippersDallas Stars

  9. devine

    devine hi, i am user devine
    West Virginia MountaineersPhoenix SunsPittsburgh PenguinsNational LeagueSan Diego PadresBarAndGrillCoors Light

  10. devine

    devine hi, i am user devine
    West Virginia MountaineersPhoenix SunsPittsburgh PenguinsNational LeagueSan Diego PadresBarAndGrillCoors Light

    Greg Brown stock really fell wasn’t he a lottery guy at some point
  11. dtx

    dtx ruthkanda forever
    Texas RangersLos Angeles ClippersDallas Stars

    yeah but then he sucked offensively and always fouled out

    might come back to school
  12. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    Bump for the lotto being tonight
  13. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    John Hollinger posted his top 20 guys, and it's a very different list than the consensus seems to be. Thought this was interesting.

    1. Cade Cunningham, SG/SF, Oklahoma State, Freshman

    The default that Cunningham is the best player in this draft has perhaps not been challenged enough. I ended up with him No. 1 as well, but reasonable people can disagree among the top four players on my board.

    Ultimately, the best reason to pick Cunningham is that his elite shooting gives him the highest floor of any player in the draft. Cunningham shot 40 percent from 3-point range and 84.6 percent from the line, and many of those 3s were tough looks off the dribble. His catch-and-shoots look perfect, and he has the size to shoot over any closeout. That perimeter skill set, from a big wing who can handle and pass, makes Khris Middleton-type outcomes seem reasonably likely.

    Finding big wings with skill of any stripe is also the most difficult thing for any NBA team to pull off. These players are massively valuable — as the playoffs are once again showing us — and should be the priority of any team’s draft process.

    Where I push back is the idea that Cunningham can be “The Man,” the guy you give the keys to the offense on Day 1 and never look back. For me, he’s much more of a secondary creator who can weaponize his shooting threat rather than the guy you play on the ball for 60 trips a game.

    In particular, Cunningham’s game off the bounce strikes me as wildly overrated. He has a loose handle that gets away from him fairly often, particularly with his left hand. He also constantly forces passes and rarely makes deliveries that make you go “ooh!” (They’re in there if you look hard enough, but man, there’s a lot of chaff in between the wheat.) He can throw crosscourt passes with his right hand, but they’re not laser beams; the defense has a chance to recover.

    Between the lost dribbles and wayward passes, Cunningham had a sky-high turnover rate for a prospect of this magnitude (or any prospect, really), giving it away seven times per 100, and a meh assist rate of five per 100. In fairness, we should allow some for context: The surrounding roster was not exactly an offensive juggernaut and was particularly deficient in 3-point shooting, limiting Cunningham’s operating space and assist options.

    As a scoring threat on the ball, he really struggled to get by defenders. Attempts to blow by bigs on switches often ended with him dribbling straight into a defender’s chest, and he rarely got all the way to the basket. Overall he shot only 46.1 percent on 2s. Again, the limited spacing on this roster didn’t help. I like Cunningham a lot better if he starts with a half-step advantage or can leverage his shooting threat against a closing defender. Luka Doncic he ain’t.

    Defensively, he’s good enough. He uses his length well and can slide his feet, but he’s not a disruptor or somebody who anticipates for steals. He won’t be NBA All-Defense or anything, but he’ll be able to switch across positions and hold his own. Again, a floor as a high-level 3-and-D guy is pretty darned good. It’s just may not be what we’re used to for the top overall pick.

    Cunningham is also a cool, unflappable customer with a penchant for big shots. He is clearly an NBA starter from Day 1, and the possibilities of elite shooting gives him Jayson Tatum upside. His inability to beat defenders off the dribble may not matter if he’s rising up for 30-footers against them.

    Overall, he’s my pick here. But it’s not the home run some make it out to be, and I’m hoping the team drafting him has another playmaker.

    2. Evan Mobley, PF/C, USC, Freshman

    Even when the game is going small, Mobley has an argument to be the top pick. His basic premise is that he can do most of the things perimeter guys can, but he’s the size of a center. You can make an argument that Mobley is better at self-created shots inside the 3-point line than Cunningham is, and is also better at defending the perimeter. We call Mobley a “big” and Cunningham a “wing,” but other than Cunningham’s shooting, Mobley is better at most of the wing stuff, too.

    In 2021, however, a big has to be pretty darned good to make a case for himself as being more valuable than a wing with size. Surely there are exceptions — Nikola Jokic won the MVP award, and Joel Embiid was the East’s most dominant player this season — but the bar is higher for bigs.

    Mobley is fortunately the right kind of big because it is going to be very hard to play him off the court in the playoffs. His skinny frame, skill set and defensive mobility almost immediately conjure images of Chris Bosh. In particular, some of his defensive clips had me cackling, as guards embarrassed themselves trying to take him off the bounce. He’s great at keeping his feet moving and using his length to contest shots when picking up guards in switches.

    That said, you wish Mobley was better at some of the things that actually involve being big. He’s not notably good at posting up, owing in part to his very slender frame. His rebound rate was unimpressive, and he gets pushed around near the basket, where his thin frame becomes a liability. Statistically, he’s a good-but-not-great shot blocker, although that partly results from how often he had to defend on the perimeter. His motor doesn’t always run super hot, either.

    Offensively, Mobley hints at upside in all kinds of directions but doesn’t have one overwhelming skill at the moment. As noted above, he’s pretty good when he can attack off the bounce, even against guards. He can put the ball on the floor, score off the dribble as a driver from the free-throw area and finish near the cup. He shows rudiments of stretch ability, making 12 3-pointers on the season and shooting 69.4 percent from the line, and his form suggests he can at least become a break-even proposition as a shooter.

    Mobley has All-Star upside, with shades of Bosh and Pau Gasol in his game, but he has work ahead of him to get there.

    3. Scottie Barnes, SF, Florida State, Freshman

    I’m really surprised Barnes isn’t getting more buzz. He could easily end up as the best player in this draft and has a case for being the top pick.

    Again, the search for big wings comes first at the NBA level, and everything comes later — and the playoffs are showing why. Barnes has weaknesses, and we’ll get to them in a minute, but there is early Spurs-era Kawhi Leonard upside here as well.

    For starters, for a player who is supposed to be terrible at offense, Barnes’s offensive numbers are pretty darned good. He came off the bench for a relatively slow-paced team and that muted his counting stats, but Barnes averaged 23.8 points per 100 possessions — similar to the rate of most other first-round hopefuls — and shot 56.1 percent inside the arc. Both numbers increased in ACC play when the Seminoles played their most difficult competition.

    Barnes showed an ability to get all the way to the cup under his own steam, something he should be able to do much more in the open floor that the NBA offers. Even against defenders that lay off him, Barnes chews up space with huge strides and, at 6-foot-9, can finish over any guard, which allowed him to generate rim attempts despite lacking explosiveness.

    Despite his huge size, Barnes loves to play defense and often checked opposing point guards. I don’t mean switches, either; this was his primary assignment. With his long arms and relentless motor, he frequently picked the dribble of ballhandlers on the perimeter. He offers the kind of switchable “checkmate” defensive answer that every team craves, possessing the size to check interior players but also the quickness and hands to switch onto any perimeter threat. All the background on him is fantastic, too.

    Barnes has warts, particularly in his shooting and his lack of off-the-dribble turbo gear, and that could put a cap on his offensive upside. He doesn’t rebound well for his size and was outplayed by Michigan’s Franz Wagner (see below) in an NCAA tournament game. His downside looms if the shooting doesn’t make him playable at the end of games.

    That said, I remain amazed he isn’t getting more buzz. For comparison, Patrick Williams came off the bench for Florida State a year earlier and ended up as the fourth pick in the draft, and Barnes’ tools and production dwarf Williams’. As the draft’s No. 2 on-the-ball prospect, he compares favorably to Cunningham on defense and distribution but pales next to him as a shooter.

    As ever, shooting is the swing skill, and it’s why I rate Cunningham higher. Barnes’ floor is just much lower because of the shooting question. Nonetheless, I happen to think Barnes is so skilled in other respects that he’s still a useful player even if he doesn’t shoot — think a jumbo, rim-threatening version of Bruce Brown. And if he shoots even halfway decently, he has a pretty good runway to being an NBA All-Star.

    4. Alperen Sengun, PF/C, Besiktas

    As I noted a few months ago, Sengun is the pearl of a strong international class, and he is still flying somewhat under the radar despite winning the MVP of the Turkish League. That league is probably the second-best in Europe right now after Spain’s, and the history says that when a teenager — Sengun turns 19 in July — crushes a good overseas league like that, the fail rate is basically nil.

    There are legitimate concerns about Sengun defensively, that he might be the type of guy who gets run off the floor in a playoff series. Overall, I would profile him as similar to Kevin Love — more of a “4.5” than a true five and somebody whose offense will need to make up for non-elite rim protection and mobility. Nonetheless, his offensive skill set is crazy good for a player his age. He has ball skills, passing ability, a good shooting stroke that projects to 3-point range and a dizzying array of spins, pivots and finishes on the low block.

    I’ll be surprised if he isn’t able to rack up double-doubles relatively early in his career; it’s the defensive question in the modern game that keeps him out of my top three, and even then I still wonder if I have him too low. A lot of not-very-athletic bigs with average tools but advanced feel have ended up being far better defenders than initially projected — Marc Gasol obviously comes to mind for me — and Sengun could be another example. I wouldn’t just write him off at this end of the floor.

    5. Jalen Green, SG, G League Ignite

    A medium-risk, high-reward type pick, Green is a skinny, athletic shooting guard with blast-off quickness and elite leaping ability. You can’t teach this stuff, and it’s why he’s a certain high lottery pick. He’s the one guy who made the most “holy ****” plays in this draft, with fast-twitch hops reminiscent of Zach LaVine.

    Green got off to a slow start in the G League but really picked up his play toward the end, figuring out how to take advantage of his speed and leaping ability to get to the rim. His weaknesses right now are all skill-based. He has to play off the ball because his handle isn’t advanced; he frequently lost his dribble making relatively basic moves in pick-and-roll. His shooting is decent but hardly great, and he relies too much on stepback 3s because he lacks advanced maneuvers with the rock. As a passer, he’s capable of basic reads, but that part of his game is still coming around. He’s not selfish; he just doesn’t have the whole picture yet.

    He is decent defensively but not exceptional. Green should be able to dart into passing lines more often than he does, and his first slide actually looks slow — it’s surprising how often he was beaten off the dribble. However, he competed, and he has the athleticism to surprise shooters with shot challenges.

    Green is only 19 and was a good-but-not-great G League player last season, so we’re talking about a developmental pick here. But his ceiling is high enough to make it worthwhile.

    6. Jalen Suggs, PG, Gonzaga, Freshman

    Suggs reminds me of Jason Kidd in a lot of ways, although the passing is more solid than spectacular. He has pretty good size for a point guard and great end-to-end speed, plus he has absolutely tremendous anticipation at the defensive end. Suggs reads the game almost like a defensive back, closing on the ball with speed to intercept passes. His feet are only average on the ball and he can get caught reaching, but overall he projects as a tough defender.

    Offensively, his pace in transition is an obvious benefit that helps grease the way to easy baskets, but his halfcourt game remains a work in progress. Suggs shot 33.7 percent from 3 and 75.4 percent from the line, so teams will dare him to prove he can knock down shots consistently. The good news is that Suggs has a quick release that he’s comfortable getting it off the dribble, and he shows pretty good footwork getting into pull-ups in the painted area on pivots and up-and-unders. He doesn’t need to improve his percentages that much to turn the shooting from a liability to a strength.

    Bigger picture, the upside as an elite offensive player is maybe a bit limited by the shooting and the lack of elite pick-and-roll craft. That’s why Suggs is a bit lower on my board than some others. After my top five prospects, however, Suggs is the obvious pick due to his long-term starter potential and fairly high floor for such a young player.

    7. Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan, Sophomore

    The younger brother of Orlando center Moritz Wagner, Franz is a very different kind of player: He’s a huge wing with unusually nimble feet for his size, capable of checking guards on the perimeter and busting out in passing lanes for steals. Wagner stands 6-foot-9 but had one of the better steal rates in this draft class; he’s the classic switchable defender teams covet.

    Offensively, he projects more as a role player than a star. Wagner can shoot but has a low release point on his shot and hasn’t shown the footwork or off-the-dribble sizzle to be a high-frequency bomber. He’s good in transition and can attack in straight lines in the halfcourt, where his size and stride length give him an advantage even on basic dribble moves. He’s also a good passer with a strong feel for the game, and rarely screws up, resulting in a better than 2:1 assist-to-turnover rate.

    The other thing Wagner has going for him is his age. Although listed as a sophomore, he is actually younger than several of the freshman in this draft class, including Barnes, Mobley and Suggs. He doesn’t scream outrageous upside, but the youth, production and positional scarcity all point to Wagner as an underrated player in this draft.

    8. Jonathan Kuminga, SF, G League Ignite

    Kuminga is the next level of big wing shot-creator in this class. Right now he’s a good ways behind Cunningham and Barnes in terms of his ability to read the game and make plays for others, with a skill set more reminiscent of younger versions of Harrison Barnes or Andrew Wiggins.

    In Kuminga’s G League stint, he showed the size and skill to dribble himself into pull-up 2s and occasionally make them. Unfortunately, he also revealed an almost unslakable thirst for this particular shot and an iffy ability to generate better ones.

    Kuminga was an ineffective passer and, while a good athlete, doesn’t have the blow-by gear or wiggle that would allow him to generate easier opportunities than the ones for which he routinely settles. One area where he did seem very comfortable, however, was facing up a defender from the free throw line. From there he could get to the basket with one dribble and finish with his size.

    Kuminga has the size and lateral quickness to be the multi-positional defender teams crave (he’ll be at a disadvantage against the fastest guards, though who isn’t), but his instincts are miles behind. He also was a disappointingly poor rebounder for a player of this ilk. That said, he’s 6-foot-8 with some legit perimeter skill, and will be one of the youngest players in the draft, with an October 2002 birthdate. (Yes, virtually every player in this draft was born this century. Sigh …. I know.)

    9. Jalen Johnson, PF, Duke, Freshman

    There are all kinds of questions about Johnson right now, and teams are digging in and doing their homework about how much is genuinely concerning. There are also some basketball concerns, as he is not a great shooter, and as a driver and finisher was much more effective operating in transition than in the halfcourt.

    But there is a pretty sharp talent cliff at this point in the draft, and Johnson comes just before the ledge. Whatever the other concerns, it’s inarguable he’s shown the talent to be a starting power forward in the NBA. Watching him reminds me a bit of a player we had in Memphis, James Johnson; like his namesake, this Johnson can play as a big while operating as an on-ball creator on offense, but can also be plagued by wildness and inconsistent shooting.

    Johnson put up video game stats in his limited time at Duke: 30.4 points, 16.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists per 100 possessions, with a 25.1 PER. He had 3.1 steals and 3.3 blocks per 100, with the steal rate, in particular, being pretty insane for a 6-foot-9 power forward. He also made plenty of mistakes, with the highest turnover rate of any prospect in this draft. My research, though, indicates that otherwise productive prospects with insane turnover rates aren’t notably worse off in the pros.

    The eye test is maybe not quite as bullish. Offensively, he has a pretty good first step and plus ball skills for his size. However, he struggles to adjust the plan when his initial path is cut off. Defensively, he can be a major disruptor as a secondary defender off the ball, but he can be a bit upright and tight-hipped on it.

    I get the overall concerns and I don’t want to minimize them. But there is massively more upside here than with any other player remaining on the board. Yes, it feels high for a risk-reward pick like this, except the middle of this draft isn’t strong. The ninth overall pick also bombs a lot more often than people realize (we recently had Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox go ninth in consecutive years, for instance), so this is where the equation on Johnson starts turning favorable. It’s possible he bombs. But this is as low as I can put him.

    10. Josh Giddey, SF, Adelaide

    Similar to Kuminga, Giddey is 6-foot-8 with perimeter skills. Unlike Kuminga, he only exists in two dimensions. Yes, Giddey needs to pack on a bit of muscle, but his play in a physical professional league in Australia shows that he can be an impact player without looking like Hercules.

    Again, big wings who can dribble and pass are the gold every scout seeks, which gives Giddey a solid boost up the list here. His upside scenarios are reminiscent of Toni Kukoc or Joe Ingles with a right hand. The reason he doesn’t go any higher, however, has to do with some of the limitations that could prove fail points in this development.

    For starters, there is his shot. Giddey shot 29.3 percent from 3 and 69.1 percent from the line this season, and while he relied some on self-created 3s, the eye test backs up the numbers in this case. He shoots an awkward, elbow-out jumper flicked off his forehead, and he’s going to need that shot to open up the rest of his game. Giddey doesn’t have the burst to get to the cup on his own steam consistently and, for that reason, was an underwhelming scorer Down Under (10.8 points per game, exactly 50 percent on 2s).

    His ability to guard on the perimeter is also a question, especially given his thin frame and limited vertical. Giddey wasn’t afraid to stick his nose in and rebound, however, with a 12.8 percent rebound rate in a pretty brutish league.

    The reason to draft Giddey is for his passing. His ability to make deliveries with either hand at his age is pretty special; he just has to be good enough at the other stuff to where it’s worth putting him on the ball. Unlike the other prospects who have played in Australia, Giddey legitimately impacted winning as a teenager. He’ll also be nearly the youngest player in the draft, with an October 2002 birthdate.

    The size, passing and youth make for a strong case. Relative the players above him, however, Giddey has two minuses — athleticism and shooting — and at least one of them needs to turn in his favor.

    11. Jared Butler, PG/SG, Baylor, Junior

    I’m a big fan of Butler, a butter-smooth guard with a sweet handle, long arms, good defensive anticipation and a money outside shot. Butler shot 41.6% on 3s on high volume, had a high assist rate for a combo guard, and shot 52.4% inside the arc while scoring at a high rate (31.0 points per 100). All the tools are there for a rotation-caliber combo guard with starter upside. While his teammate Davion Mitchell has gotten more of the praise recently, Butler is two years younger, bigger, had the greater offensive role and profiles as a better shooter.

    Defensively, he might not be as insanely wired to cut off dribble penetration as Mitchell, but he has long arms that generate deflections and close up passing lanes. Baylor was a high-pressure team so all their steal rates are inflated, but his 4.2 swipes per 100 possessions in Big 12 play was the highest of any prospect in his draft cycle.

    Butler doesn’t offer elite upside because his size and athleticism are pretty unremarkable and he was already a junior, though he might have the best handle of any player in the draft and his offensive game is exceptionally well-rounded. I have a hard time seeing how he fails.

    However, based on the background teams have done, there is a concern about what Butler’s physical will turn up at the Draft Combine this week. We’ll likely know more about that after teams dissect the information in a few weeks. But if Butler gets a clean bill from the doctors, it’s hard for me to avoid putting him in the lottery.

    12. Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga, Senior

    Holy crap, a senior!

    We’re getting into a different strata of player here, because Kispert has near-zero star equity. That said, big wings who can shoot are one of the most valuable player archetypes, and Kispert checks all the boxes for this species. While there remains a pretty big variance between this pick turning out to be more like Doug McDermott (meh) or more like Joe Harris (wahoowa!!), Kispert offers near-certain rotation caliber shooting at the expense of the upside you’d usually want at this stage of the late lottery. Kispert is also 22, which makes him a fossil relative to the other players available here.

    Defensively, Kispert looked pretty solid for a player of this ilk. He’s not a disruptor but his strength is an underrated asset; allowing him to match up with some 4s and hold his own against post-ups. On the perimeter, he relies on his length against smalls and will concede space and some jump shots, however, he moves his feet to cut off driving lanes and is very good at using verticality. I don’t think he’ll have a target on his back.

    We should also talk about some of the upside here as a scorer. I realize Gonzaga didn’t play a tough schedule, but Kispert’s game wasn’t just 3s. He scored 33.0 points per 100 and shot 64% inside the arc; he’s actually a really good finisher off straight-line drives because of his size and strength, and pretty good in transition, too. He weaponized that with his 3-point threat; he hit 44.0% and 43.8% from 3 his final two seasons at Gonzaga, so you better close out on him hard.

    One thing I didn’t like about Kispert was his low release point. I don’t think he’s the type of guy who’s going to run away from his defense and come off two pin-screens wheeling and dealing; he’s better off spotting up away from the play. But he has the tools to be an elite weak-side offensive player.

    13. James Bouknight, SG, Connecticut, Sophomore

    Pronounced “Bucket.” Okay, it’s not, but it should be. He’s a bit undersized for a shooting guard and a bit greedy for a point, but Bouknight’s ability to get this own shot stands out in this class.

    Bouknight averaged an eye-popping 39.3 points per 100 possessions in nine Big East games as a sophomore at UConn this season, despite a midseason injury that seemed to affect his shooting once he came back. He can take it to the cup and finish with long strides and length (54.5 percent on 2s in Big East with a high free throw rate), plus he gets off the floor on his jumper and is comfortable shooting pull-ups off the dribble.

    That doesn’t make him wart-free. You’d like to see more consistency in his perimeter stroke (29.3 percent from 3 this year, 32.0 percent career, although he’s an 80 percent foul shooter); opponents may just go under screens on him and dare him to bomb way. Bouknight also needs to increase his feel as a passer if he wants to play a prominent on-ball role. His rate of 3.2 assists per 100 was unacceptable for a high-volume guard.

    Bouknight needs to show a bit more verve defensively. He shows good lateral quickness, has decent length and competes when he’s guarding on the ball, but he also chills out off the ball and doesn’t anticipate plays. He also needs to build up his skinny frame, as opposing 2s will likely try to take him on the block. One encouraging sign: He does rebound, with 10.2 boards per 100 in Big East play.

    The value proposition here is that high-level shot creation still matters. Bouknight has a lot of Jordan Clarkson in him, both for good and bad, but it’s not hard to imagine him becoming an annual Sixth Man winner.

    14. Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas, Freshman

    Watching Moody’s tape, the two things that immediately strike you are that 1) he has a really good chance of carving out a career as a plus 3-and-D guy, and 2) he has fairly little chance of popping as anything more than that.

    Moody has good size and length at 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and a smooth outside shot. His 3-point rate wasn’t off the charts, however, as he didn’t show the kind of ability to run off screens and fire on the move that you’d want to see from a high-level gunner. He also rarely gets to the basket and doesn’t wow you with athleticism.

    Where he did show well is on the defensive end. While he wasn’t disruptive off the ball, he gets in a stance, slides his feet and uses his length to distract shooters. He’s also young even for a freshman, and has some instincts as a scorer, so there’s a chance some untapped upside remains.

    He shapes up as a high-floor, low-ceiling type in spite of his youth, one who makes for a good pick around this point in the draft.

    15. Usman Garuba, PF/C, Real Madrid

    My rule of thumb, as ever: Guys who play in high-level European leagues as teenagers, hold their own and don’t fail. Garuba played a total of 86 games (!) for Real Madrid this year as a rotation big at the age of 18, showed fairly steady improvement as the year went on and probably can be an NBA-caliber defender from Day 1 as either a 4 or a smallball 5.

    However, I can’t put him any higher than this because of the potential limitations on the offensive side. He’s a good athlete but not a freak, and he’s undersized at the 5. So where is his advantage? At 6-foot-8 without elite shot-blocking or rebounding numbers on his resume, he’s going to have a hard time carving out a role as a full-time center even in a downsized NBA. Adding enough skill to play some minutes next to a true 5 is going to be his pathway to becoming a starting-caliber player.

    On that front, Garuba remains a work in progress. He flies up and down the court in transition and has started to steady his 3-point shot from the corners (31.6% this year). He also actually shows some ball skills when his team lets him paint outside the lines. That said, Garuba isn’t a great finisher around the basket.

    Ultimately, I see a potential comparison for Garuba as a bigger version of Toronto’s OG Anunoby. He can guard on the perimeter, and his switchability means he won’t get played off the floor. At least on defense. He needs the shooting to come around to have starter value, and that’s why he’s just outside the lottery on my board.

    16. Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor, Senior

    Everyone has a visceral reaction to ball-pressure guys, and Mitchell was probably the best in college basketball. His lateral quickness is insane; nobody could get by him off the dribble. Mitchell combines that with a bulldog mentality and a zest for taking charges. He’ll be a Patrick Beverley or Avery Bradley type checking other point guards, a real pain in the ass to play against.

    Mitchell was also one of the country’s most improved players at the offensive end. He shot 44.7 percent from 3-point range last season and showed real growth as an on-ball distributor, although Mitchell and Butler (above) alternated responsibilities in the backcourt. Mitchell also has a tremendous blow-by gear to the rim and shot a stellar 56.5% inside the arc.

    That said, there are concerns here. Mitchell has a good frame but he’s going to look small in the NBA; I question his listed height of 6-foot-2, although we’ll find out more at this week’s Combine. One other notable red flag is that his rebound rate was embarrassing. He only grabbed 3.9 boards per 100 possessions in Big 12 play, the worst rate of any quasi-significant prospect in this draft.

    Offensively, his 3-point shooting from last season may be an outlier; he still only hit 64.1% from the line, and finished his career at 65.7%. Even comparing Usage Rates this year, Butler had far more of the offense on his shoulders than Mitchell. Mitchell also virtually never draws fouls. He’s also one of the older players in this draft, turning 22 in September.

    In an offense-first league, I still have a hard time seeing starter upside in Mitchell at that end. His defense will surely keep him on the court and his work ethic and intangibles will push him up draft boards as well, but today’s NBA is a tough place for ball-pressure guys to shine.

    17. Miles McBride, PG, West Virginia, Sophomore

    I originally had McBride in my “sleepers” area, but when I went back to tape I kept saying, “this guy is good.” Not that I should be surprised. Every year, the Big 12 is guaranteed to produce at least one high-character guy who plays his tuchus off and knows what he’s doing and ends up having a 10-year career even though he wasn’t drafted highly and doesn’t have elite athleticism. Last year it was Desmond Bane. This year McBride is that guy.

    Let’s start on the downside. McBride is 6-foot-2 and plays with more of a shooting guard’s instincts. He doesn’t get all the way to the rim as often as you’d like for a point guard and settles for a ton of pull-up jumpers, resulting in a disappointing 43.9% mark on 2s – a number that sank to just 40.8% in Big 12 play. That’s indicative of some limitations.

    But the good stuff that offsets it is so plentiful. One reason he depends on pull-ups is that he’s a good shooter with a really comfortable stroke off the dribble, one that should easily translate into off-the-dribble 3s coming off pick-and-roll screens as a pro. McBride shot disappointingly few 3s, actually, but made 41.4% of them and hit 81.5% from the line.

    And then there’s the defense. McBride’s feet can be heavy at times, but he plays with tremendous effort and uses his long arms as a weapon, nabbing 3.1 steals per 100 possessions in Big 12 play. He’s not content to ease off ballhandlers, instead going up into the dribbler and betting that his hands and feet will be enough. He’s also surprisingly quick rising up and contesting shots. Despite the high-pressure style, McBride also had an extremely low foul rate: just 2.8 per 100 possessions, nearly the lowest of any prospect, and certainly the lowest of anyone who was actually trying.

    His package screams rotation guard, with a high-character background that makes you more confident he can maximize whatever his upside is. McBride has been pegged in the 30s and 40s for most of this draft cycle and was rumored to still be pondering a return to school, but I still wonder if I have him too low here.

    18. Keon Johnson, SG, Tennessee, Freshman

    Most projections have him in the lottery, but I can’t quite get as excited about Johnson as my peers. I understand the basic premise: After the sure things are off the board, maybe the next-best move is to draft an electric athlete who only recently turned 19 and see what happens. Johnson is a high-flier who might have the best YouTube dunk clips of any prospect and seems to have decent lateral mobility.

    But man, there are warts aplenty here. He’s 6-foot-5 but often looked more like an undersized power forward than a shooting guard. His offense consisted mainly of right-hand dribbles into mid-range pull-ups that went in just often enough to keep shooting them, and for a guy with pogo hops his rates of rebounds and blocks were a crushing disappointment. Bizarrely, Johnson couldn’t shoot a pull-up going to his left; he had to stop and spin 270 degrees back to his right to launch.

    Johnson isn’t a 3-point threat (27.1% from 3 on low volume and 70.2% from the line), and while you wouldn’t describe his shot as broken, he’s a long way from being an even average perimeter weapon. The best thing you could say about his jumper is that he gets into it easily off the dribble and can elevate and release it over nearly anybody. A lot of times you wish he couldn’t.

    It’s possible being away from a constipated Tennessee offense that seemed intent on strangling itself will give Johnson more opportunities to shine. It’s also possible a lower-usage role (his 26.8% Usage Rate was pretty high for a player of this ilk) would take better advantage of his skill set.

    And there is some upside here. As an on-ball player, Johnson was able to find open men as a passer and make some genuinely good reads in pick-and-roll. His handle, however, is as basic as they come. He rarely got all the way to the rim and operated almost entirely in straight lines. He also showed some real shortcomings as a finisher, with poor balance and body control once he got moving toward the basket and a need to jump off two feet.

    In this draft, there are 15 other players like this. Prospects we describe as “young and a good athlete, but about the basketball …”. Of those, Johnson is the best at actual basketball and probably the best athlete, too. There’s a decent chance he fails, but there’s also a right tail where he turns into DeMar DeRozan.

    19. Chris Duarte, SG/SF, Oregon, Senior

    Duarte isn’t for everyone, as he will be 24 years old when training camp opens. History tells us drafting old guys has often turned out badly, and that there is a lot less upside in picking Duarte versus selecting players who are as much as a half decade younger.

    That said, this is where the selling proposition on Duarte looks reasonable. He is an NBA rotation wing right now, and may even be a starter. There is no development curve, no having to use our imagination to color in lines that might not be there.

    Duarte is a good shooter (42.4 percent from 3 on high volume) and a deft operator around the rim who shot a staggering 63.1 percent on 2s, even in a high-volume role that saw him average 31.3 points per 100 in-conference. He handles the ball well enough to be a secondary operator, finishing with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio, and can guard 2s and 3s. He also anticipates well off the ball, with a stellar 3.3 per 100 steal rate in Pac 12 play.

    That combination likely yields a relatively unsexy package of a plus backup wing who can maybe start, but think of this as a free agent move. By nabbing Duarte outside the lottery, a team is basically getting four years of a $10 million player on a $3 million contract for four years. The tradeoff is that they give up on the improbable but still theoretically possible opportunity to pick a teenager and wind up with a $30 million player a few years down the road.

    20. Jaden Springer, PG/SG, Tennessee, Freshman

    I went back and forth several times on Springer, but ultimately I lean toward betting on him for two reasons. First, his birth certificate. Springs won’t turn 19 until September, so he still has time on his side to push his development forward.

    The other reason to bet on him is his defense. Whatever you think of his offensive game, the defense was legit. Springer is a bit short for a shooting guard and a bit slow for a point guard, but he’s strong, competes, moves his feet, and keeps his hands active. He’ll need that kind of feistiness and attention to make it at the next level because he’s not a superior athlete, though the defense should buy him time for the offense to come around.

    As for the offense … the eye test wasn’t as bullish as the stats. Springer made 43.5 percent of his 3s, but it was on extremely low volume for a guard (just 46 all year) and his jumper appears to have a slight hitch. (This is where seeing games in person would have been helpful, but c’est la …). Instead, he is hugely reliant on pull-up 2s that he may have a hard time getting to against NBA defenses.

    Springer is strong enough to body himself some space for his shot at times, and he does elevate pretty well and have a high release point, but at 6-foot-4 without crazy hops, it’s a tough shot to count on. More reliably, perhaps, is drawing fouls, which he also did at a high rate, and his free-throw shooting (81.0%) offers some hope for his overall shooting.

    No matter what, he’ll need to cut down on the turnovers that plagued him as a freshman; as with Johnson above, playing in a real offense might help.

    Three sleepers
    These guys aren’t getting lottery buzz, or anything like it, but I’m much higher on all three and interested to see where their draft stock heads as the big day draws closer.

    21. Roko Prkacin, PF, KK Ciboria

    History says teams undervalue youth in the draft. So let’s talk about the youngest player in the draft — Prkacin, who won’t turn 19 until Thanksgiving weekend.

    That age is irrelevant unless he can play, obviously, but Prkacin had a good year overseas and shows the physical tools to do more as he gets older. Prkacin is 6-foot-9 with square shoulders and long arms, and he rebounded like a center despite playing on the perimeter in the admittedly not-quite-elite Adriatic League. He could end up being a 5 or at least a 4/5 half a decade down the road. But he also had a solid steal rate for this size, and the eye test backs up the idea that he can move.

    Offensively, he has a lot of the basic elements and now needs to refine them. His form on 3s still needs tightening, but he managed to make 35 percent of his 160 attempts across competitions this year. A 65 percent mark at the line is a worrisome countertrend. He can handle the ball for his size, however, and shows an unusual knack for runners and floaters.

    Prkacin has the size and mobility to be a good defender, too, but he still shows some confusion defending in pick-and-roll and switching situations. Again, cut him some slack: He was 17 when the season started.

    Prakcin’s lack of draft buzz oddly makes him an even better choice; late draft picks are much more acceptably stashed overseas, which would probably be the best development pathway for him in the short term.

    22. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State, Junior

    My membership in the Neemias Queta fan club is already well established, so I won’t go too deep down the rabbit hole this time. Suffice to say that despite my general misgivings about drafting centers, I think the 7-foot Queta can offer a lot of value and some relative upside.

    Queta still has to get better defending away from the basket, and that’s a concern for any big man in today’s NBA. The Aggies always played him in a deep drop, so he didn’t get many chances to show perimeter quickness, but his rare forays away from the charge circle weren’t tragic. He’s a little slow laterally but not as bad as some other 5s getting more draft hype, plus he showed a real ability to close down space and block shots from behind at the basket.

    Offensively, Queta added something to his game every year at Utah State, and by the end, he was a legitimately good passer who also had a variety of one-on-one moves to score on the block. Utah State’s plodding pace masked just how effective he was: Queta averaged 30 points and six assists per 100 possessions in Mountain West play. For comparison, Cade Cunningham averaged 31 and five.

    This train is still going up. Queta arrived at Utah State as a raw freshman from Portugal and has added bits and pieces to his game since. His skill level can still go forward from here, but he’ll always be 7 feet tall.

    23. Herb Jones, SF/PF, Alabama, Senior

    Finally, we have Jones, the last guy in this draft that I’d at least feel somewhat comfortable betting on before the real dart-tossing begins. So-called “shutdown corners” aren’t quite as valuable now in the switch-everything era as they were when he could just sick Tony Allen on an opponent’s top scorer and call it a day. That said, defense still matters, and Jones is really good at it. At 6-foot-8 with good feet, piliferous hands and a knack for drawing charges, Jones might be the best perimeter defender in this draft aside from Barnes. As with Barnes, his size and dexterity make him a true defensive chameleon. Jones is capable of checking the other team’s point guard but also line up as a small-ball 5 in the right matchup.

    As for the offense, well … that’s why he’s 23. It’s possible Jones is just too tragic on offense to hold down a rotation spot. That said, he’s improved quite a bit. Jones even made 20 3s this past season — more than in his first three seasons combined — and improved his handle and decisions enough to finish with a positive assist-to-turnover mark. In a more wide-open NBA floor, Jones’s slashing and size to finish at the basket could also reap some rewards.

    Jones is one of the few upperclassmen that packs some upside in the form of a still-developing offensive game. But his defense provides a relatively sure thing to at least give some value. He’s projected for the second round now, but I’d grab him earlier.
  14. Celemo

    Celemo Meatball's Dad
    Michigan WolverinesPortland Trail BlazersCleveland BrownsOregon State Beavers alt

    interesting takes...probably the first time I've seen someone question Cade as the consensus #1 pick, no Cam Thomas in the top 23 is kinda surprising as well
  15. ShuPoor

    ShuPoor I'm covered in cat hair, but I still smell good
    Tulsa Golden HurricaneOklahoma City ThunderSeattle Kraken

    This mock sucks and i hate it
    devine likes this.
  16. Celemo

    Celemo Meatball's Dad
    Michigan WolverinesPortland Trail BlazersCleveland BrownsOregon State Beavers alt

  17. Detlef Schrempf

    Detlef Schrempf Well-Known Member

    I’m really hopeful the rockets get dumped on and have to give away their pick because Fertitta just blows as a human being
    BudKilmer likes this.
  18. dtx

    dtx ruthkanda forever
    Texas RangersLos Angeles ClippersDallas Stars

    Hope Cleveland wins the lottery to see what they do with garland or sexton
    Corch likes this.
  19. Sean Connery

    Sean Connery I'll take Whore Ads for $200
    Penn State Nittany LionsUCF KnightsOrlando MagicTampa Bay BuccaneersPittsburgh PenguinsPittsburgh PiratesBig Ten Conference

    One Jalen Green, pls.
  20. Charles DeMar

    Charles DeMar Smug Outlaw
    Ohio State BuckeyesHouston AstrosHouston RocketsHouston TexansRice Owls

    I would like to dislike this post, even if i agree with you about Fertitta ;)
  21. BudKilmer

    BudKilmer Well-Known Member
    Donor TMB OG
    Atlanta HawksAtlanta FalconsDemocratAvengersAntifa

    Suggs in OKC alongside Shai and point Poku would be a lot of fun.

    Trade Kemba for Simmons and baby we got a stew.
  22. ShuPoor

    ShuPoor I'm covered in cat hair, but I still smell good
    Tulsa Golden HurricaneOklahoma City ThunderSeattle Kraken

    Look I'm not greedy, i just want to see Cade Cunningham and one of the Jalens in a Thunder uniform this fall
    WolfStansson and devine like this.
  23. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    Kuminga at 8 is kind of surprising, although I've been kind of leaning that direction for a while, myself. He just seems to have so far to go compared to other similar sized/age players in Barnes and Wagner.

    Barnes at 3 is crazy to me, though. I like Barnes and would want him on my team, but I don't see how you take him at 3 ahead of Green unless you're like 90% sure his shot is going to be fine. And Barnes' shot has been a problem for a while now and hasn't seemed to get much better.
    Fran Tarkenton and Celemo like this.
  24. fsuNizz

    fsuNizz /nizzbrag
    Florida State SeminolesSt. Louis CardinalsTampa Bay BuccaneersManchester CityColorado State RamsAvengersMiami Heat

    Scottie Barnes to OKC seems fair and the right pick.
  25. bertwing

    bertwing check out the nametag grandma
    Staff Donor
    Arkansas RazorbacksNew Orleans SaintsTiger WoodsBarAndGrillPoker

  26. ShuPoor

    ShuPoor I'm covered in cat hair, but I still smell good
    Tulsa Golden HurricaneOklahoma City ThunderSeattle Kraken

    Please fall to 16
    bertwing likes this.
  27. Dr. Mantis Toboggan

    Dr. Mantis Toboggan Well-Known Member

    Assuming the Magic drop to 8 and the Bulls get the #1 pick.
    Clown likes this.
  28. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Tennessee VolunteersLos Angeles DodgersDenver NuggetsBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    Team Mobley
  29. bertwing

    bertwing check out the nametag grandma
    Staff Donor
    Arkansas RazorbacksNew Orleans SaintsTiger WoodsBarAndGrillPoker

    I’d love him in OKC
  30. killerwvu

    killerwvu Restoring WVU's E-Rep 1 Post At A Time
    Donor TMB OG
    West Virginia MountaineersPhoenix SunsDallas CowboysNational LeaguePittsburgh Pirates

    McBrides physical should be interesting. Had real bad ankle injury in HS and had a toe injury this year

    He was shooting 47% from 3 prior to the injury
    devine likes this.
  31. electronic

    electronic It’s satire!
    Georgia BulldogsCharlotte Hornets

    Seems like he's exactly the type of player Charlotte has been taking the past 2-3 years.
  32. Clown

    Clown No relation to Clown Baby
    Donor TMB OG
    Florida GatorsOrlando MagicNew York Giants

    Bring the pain
  33. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    I'm ready to be crushed and hate life
  34. dtx

    dtx ruthkanda forever
    Texas RangersLos Angeles ClippersDallas Stars

    That .5% for the Warriors is more likely than that 14% for detroit
  35. Corch

    Corch Hmm surprised you didn't know that
    Ohio State BuckeyesDenver NuggetsCleveland BrownsColorado State RamsCleveland CavaliersCleveland Indians

    Detroit is my guess to get #1
    Charles DeMar likes this.
  36. dtx

    dtx ruthkanda forever
    Texas RangersLos Angeles ClippersDallas Stars

    Go Cleveland
    Corch likes this.
  37. Detlef Schrempf

    Detlef Schrempf Well-Known Member

    Magic will for sure end up at the lowest spot possible for both of their picks. They can’t have nice things.
    Corch likes this.
  38. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    OKC is going to pick 1st and 5th because, if I've learned anything over the last 10+ years, everything works out for that franchise.
  39. Clown

    Clown No relation to Clown Baby
    Donor TMB OG
    Florida GatorsOrlando MagicNew York Giants

    Nah, we are gonna drop because the Bulls pick is number 1 so we only get 1 player
  40. Celemo

    Celemo Meatball's Dad
    Michigan WolverinesPortland Trail BlazersCleveland BrownsOregon State Beavers alt

    Make with the picks already
  41. Owsley

    Owsley My friends call me Bear
    Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideAtlanta BravesAtlanta UnitedTottenham HotspurGrateful Dead

    When will they reveal the order?
  42. Celemo

    Celemo Meatball's Dad
    Michigan WolverinesPortland Trail BlazersCleveland BrownsOregon State Beavers alt

    Probably at 5:55 PST
    Owsley likes this.
  43. dtx

    dtx ruthkanda forever
    Texas RangersLos Angeles ClippersDallas Stars

    Feel like the magic and detroit are destined to be disappointed here
    elfrid likes this.
  44. joey jo-jo jr shabadoo

    joey jo-jo jr shabadoo you know for me, the action is the juice

    wolves getting to keep their pick because the league rigged it as part of the arod sale agreement

    Lip, ZeroPointZero and dtx like this.
  45. ShuPoor

    ShuPoor I'm covered in cat hair, but I still smell good
    Tulsa Golden HurricaneOklahoma City ThunderSeattle Kraken

    We have poorly timed injuries
  46. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Tennessee VolunteersLos Angeles DodgersDenver NuggetsBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    Cleveland has had enough awesome lottery wins.
  47. enjj

    enjj Well-Known Member

    Reveal already. Fuck.
    Nandor the Relentless likes this.
  48. Celemo

    Celemo Meatball's Dad
    Michigan WolverinesPortland Trail BlazersCleveland BrownsOregon State Beavers alt

    Having no skin in the game tonight, looking forward to some hilarity
  49. dtx

    dtx ruthkanda forever
    Texas RangersLos Angeles ClippersDallas Stars

    I just want them to draft cunningham and then trade garland/sexton for simmons
  50. MG2

    MG2 I like to give away joy for free

    I think Cleveland winning again is the result that would annoy me the most
    Lip and Celemo like this.