NOW things are starting to get serious. For those NBA franchises who have spent all season playing the likes of Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Ryan Arcidiacono and Danuel House Jr their pre-lottery placement is set and soon they will find out where they pick in the NBA Draft. Therefore, there is no better than now to update my picks for June’s draft night.
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Pick #1 Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona
Last Rank: #1 (level)
GIVEN the Phoenix Suns current roster construct I think it would be wise for them to choose DeAndre Ayton. He can be a game changer at both ends of the floor and can play without the ball in his hands freeing Devin Booker up more. That’s a helluva one-two punch.
Pick #2 Memphis Grizzlies – Luka Dončić, SG/SF, Real Madrid
Last Rank: #2 (level)
THERE is a realistic chance that Doncic is the best player in the draft. News broke today he has lodged the paperwork to declare for the draft and will be one of the most coveted players in recent memory. Here’s hoping he lives up to the hype.
Pick #3 Dallas Mavericks – Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke
Last Rank: #4 ( 1)
MAVS fans would happily add Bagley to their frontcourt despite his elite-defensive shortcomings. He is still an admirable defender, but getting buckets is his strength. If he can develop his shot a little Dallas have a superstar on their hands.
Pick #4 Atlanta Hawks – Michael Poter Jr, SF/PF, Missouri
Last Rank: #3 ( 1)
A lot of people are scared off by Porter’s back and I can understand why. That being said, he might have the highest ceiling of anyone in the Draft and if he pieces it together he could be the next Kevin Durant.
Pick #5 Orlando Magic – Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
Last Rank: #7 ( 2)
FOR a while know I have said that Trae Young to Orlando is virtually a lock and I’m standing by it. He would be an amazing fit for the Magic and would help take the pressure off Aaron Gordon right away.
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Pick #6 Chicago Bulls – Jaren Jackson Jr, PF, Michigan State
Last Rank: #5 ( 1)
A lot of Draft rankings have the Spartans freshman ranked inside the top-3, but I’m not as high on him. Don’t get me wrong he’s a great talent and the Bulls will happily take him. He seems a little raw for me offensively, but he might make up for that on day one with his defense.
Pick #7 Sacramento Kings – Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova
Last Rank: #9 ( 2)
I think over the NCAA Tournament, Bridges proved to everyone that he is an amazing NBA prospect. As Nova stormed to the title, he was arguably their best player and the Kings could use a poised low-risk guy.
Pick #8 Cleveland Cavaliers (from Brooklyn Nets) – Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
Last Rank: #12 ( 4)
THIS is a bit of a reach for Cleveland, but Collin Sexton could be a great fit with or without LeBron. The King’s pending free agency aside, Sexton’s ceiling is huge and he reminds me a little bit of Russell Westbrook (big call). Anyone with that much heart is a huge plus.
Pick #9 New York Knicks – Mohammed Bamba, C, Texas
Last Rank: #6 ( 3)
FOR whatever reason the Knicks seem determined to play Porzingis alongside another big man. With the future of their unicorn up in the air, they can take the rim protector in Bamba to tick that box, but also make sure they get another high pick next year with a losing year.
Pick #10 Philadelphia 76ers (from Los Angeles Lakers) – Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke
Last Rank: #8 ( 2)
WHAT do you get a team that has almost everything? A nice low-risk player who can help contribute to their title hopes right away. They’re that good.
Pick #11 Charlotte Hornets – Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky
Last Rank: #10 ( 1)
I’VE always wanted to see Kemba get another sidekick and Knox can be that guy. If he provides some solid scoring instantly, then the future would be much brighter in Charlotte.
Image from sports.usatoday.com
Pick #12 Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit Pistons) – Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State
Last Mock Draft: #11 ( 1)
HIS stock slipped by returning to school, but Bridges would be awesome in LA. Even if the Clippers are bloated by Gallinari’s contract/minutes, the Spartans forward will force his way onto the court with his awesome play.
Pick #13 Los Angeles Clippers – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Kentucky
Last Rank: #14 ( 1)
THE multi-talented guard from Kentucky would be a great asset for the Clippers, regardless of if they are tanking or competing. His length will be a problem for second units around the league next season.
Pick #14 Denver Nuggets – Kyhri Thomas, PG/SG, Creighton
Last Rank: #21 ( 7)
DENVER is in a position where they can take the best guy available. There will be a few tempting pieces around this mix and Williams could be attractive. Kyhri Thomas is just as good and could make their backcourt devastating.
Pick #15 Washington Wizards – Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M
Last Rank: #13 ( 2)
WASHINGTON is crying out for someone to replace Marcin Gortat’s minutes. Enter Robert Williams.
Pick #16 Phoenix Suns (from Miami Heat) – Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech
Last Rank: #15 ( 1)
I see the floor for Smith as a spark-plug bench scoring guy. His athleticism will keep in the league for at least a few years and he could really help the Suns if the rest of their young guys come through.
Pick #17 Milwaukee Bucks – Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
Last Rank: #22 ( 5)
NOW that the Bucks get to keep their pick they can add another piece to help them surge up the East standings. Walker could be a wicked scoring punch to their team and help support the bench.
Pick #18 San Antonio Spurs – Jacob Evans, SF, Cincinnati
Last Rank: #19 ( 1)
WITH the future of Kawhi Leonard up in the air getting a player like Evans would be a solid insurance policy. Regardless of if their All-Star stays or goes the Spurs would be chuffed with Evans.
Pick #19 Atlanta Hawks (from Minnesota Timberwolves) – Anfernee Simons, SG, IMG Academy
Last Rank: #20 ( 1)
SIMONS is an exciting athlete would be a good addition to this young Hawks core. He is still young and raw, but if they give him some time and minutes anything is possible.
Pick #20 Minnesota Timberwolves (from Oklahoma City Thunder) – Džanan Musa, SG, KK Cedevita
Last Rank: #17 ( 3)
JAMAL Crawford was fine this year and Tyus Jones can play meaningful minutes, but outside of that, the T-Wolves lacked decent bench players. Drafting a solid prospect like Musa gives them more depth and a potential steal.
Pick #21 Utah Jazz – Shake Milton, SG/PG, SMU
Last Rank: #18 ( 3)
AFTER seven seasons in the system it’s fair to say Alec Burks won’t be a star. Therefore taking his potential replacement as he contract nears expiring is a smart move.
Pick #22 Chicago Bulls (from New Orleans Pelicans) – Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School
Last Rank: #23 ( 1)
WITH their second first-round pick the Bulls could see a prospect they fancy slide and leave the draft very happy. However, if this is how things pan out I think that Robinson would be a nice get for their rebuild.
Pick #23 Indiana Pacers – Johntay Porter, PF, Missouri
Last Rank: Not Ranked
THE less famous Porter brother is still a good basketballer and he will push to be a lottery pick. If he is still on the board at No. 23, Indiana won’t let him slip any further,.
Pick #24 Portland Trailblazers – Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane
Last Rank: Not Ranked
THE draft stock of Frazier is soaring at the moment with GM’s excited about his potential as a scorer. At worst he should provide a burst of energy and excitement.
Image from yardbarker.com
Pick #25 Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland Cavaliers) – Rawle Atkins, SF, Arizona
Last Rank: Not Ranked
WITH the way their team is structured, free agency will determine LA’s future. I like the looks of Atkins as a spot shooter and solid defender regardless of if they land a big fish or not.
Pick #26 Philadelphia 76ers – Grayson Allen, SG, Duke
Last Rank: #29 ( 3)
J.J. Redick lite gets to learn from the real J.J. Redick and they can share all their Duke stories in the meantime. Win-win.
Pick #27 Boston Celtics – Gary Trent Jr, SG, Duke
Last Rank: #24 ( 3)
IF the sharpshooter in Trent is available at No. 27 it’s hard to see a scenario where Danny Ainge doesn’t pull the trigger. Boston’s future is starting to look scary.
Pick #28 Golden State Warriors – Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State
Last Rank: #26 ( 2)
WITH Iguodala not getting any younger adding another potential helper is crucial. Buckeyes senior Keita Bates-Diop could provide just that.
Pick #29 Brooklyn Nets (from Toronto Raptors) – Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State
Last Rank: #28 ( 1)
SOMEONE is going to pay Spencer Dinwiddie this offseason and it doesn’t have to be the Brooklyn Nets. If they take Shamet with this pick they can let Dinwiddie walk and not be too worse off.
Pick #30 Atlanta Hawks (from Houston Rockets) – Troy Brown, SG, Oregon
Last Rank: #27 ( 3)
FOR Atlanta it’s all about chasing the highest ceiling from here on out. Troy Brown fits that mould.
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