A lot of movement on my board this week! I will have one more mock draft next week. I have no inside sources. These are just my opinions. Take a look!
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns, University of Kentucky, Power Forward
He is still No. 1 on my board. There is just too much for Minnesota to pass on him. I think he is the best player in the draft.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Jahlil Okafor, Duke University, Center
The Lakers are said to be choosing between Okafor and D’Angelo Russell. While I really like Russell, I believe the Lakers will go with Okafor.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State University, Point Guard
Latvia power forward Kristaps Porzingis has gotten a lot of press lately, but Russell is the real deal. If Philadelphia passes on him (Russell) it’ll regret it.
4. New York Knicks – Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia, Power Forward
Between Porzingis and Emmanuel Mudiay, the Knicks will have a dilemma. I might be falling victim to what has been said about how good Porzingis looks. Ultimately, the Knicks will have to live with it, while I just write a blog post.
5. Orlando Magic – Justise Winslow, Duke University, Small Forward
In my two previous mock drafts, I noted that moving Tobias Harris to power forward to make room for Justise Winslow at small forward would be a good idea. I still think it is a good idea.
6. Sacramento Kings – Willie Cauley-Stein, University of Kentucky, Center
I can’t see Sacramento passing on Cauley-Stein. He and DeMarcus Cousins in the frontcourt will be fun to watch for about 10 games.
7. Denver Nuggets – Mario Herzonja, Croatia, Shooting Guard
Herzonja has had a lot of people talking about him, in positive ways. I don’t see Denver passing on him.
8. Detroit Pistons – Stanley Johnson, University of Arizona, Small Forward
I think Johnson brings too much to the table for the Pistons to leave him on the board. While Greg Monroe will more than likely leave the team, Johnson is better than any power forward on the board.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Devin Booker, University of Kentucky, Shooting Guard
I could see Booker moving up another spot or two before I release my final mock draft. He could become the best player in this draft. He also fits a need that Charlotte needs: shooting.
10. Miami Heat – Kelly Oubre, Kansas University, Small Forward
It would be surprising to see Luol Deng return to the Heat next season. Oubre does a little of everything fairly well.
11. Indiana Pacers – Frank Kaminsky, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Power Forward/Center
Slowly but surely, David West is nearing the end of his career. Kaminsky’s ability to shoot would give Roy Hibbert more space inside.
12. Utah Jazz – Emmanuel Mudiay, Guangdong, Point Guard
While he will go before the Jazz select at No. 12, I have a lot of concerns about Mudiay. The concerns don’t lie within his physical tools, but more so in his basketball skill.
13. Phoenix Suns – Myles Turner, University of Texas, Center
Alex Len is still a project, but there is no reason the Suns should pass on Turner, unless they believe a remaining wing player is more of a need.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder – Bobby Portis, University of Arkansas, Power Forward
The Thunder badly needs a shooting guard, but passing on Portis could haunt them down the road. Plus, Billy Donovan coached against him.
15. Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn) – Kevon Looney, University of California-Los Angeles, Small/Power Forward
Looney could provide help at two positions – small forward and power forward – giving the Hawks more versatility.
16. Boston Celtics – Trey Lyles, University of Kentucky, Power Forward
ˆThe Celtics need a little more depth and athleticism up front, and Lyles brings that to the table.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Robert Upshaw, University of Washington, Center
Upshot makes a big leap up the board. He is a player, if he can stay out of trouble, who could help a playoff team.
18. Houston Rockets (from New Orleans) – Cameron Payne, Murray State University, Point Guard
The Rockets need a point guard, but not one that focuses on scoring. Payne is a good facilitator, and can give James Harden a ball-handling break. Not to mention, Payne averaged 20 points per game, too.
19. Washington Wizards – Sam Dekker, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Small Forward
While the Wizards have Otto Porter, Paul Pierce is getting old. Adding Dekker would give the Wizards depth at small forward, and I think Dekker could even play some power forward.
20. Toronto Raptors – Justin Anderson, University of Virginia, Small Forward
The Raptors need a reliable small forward, and Anderson could become that guy.
21. Dallas Mavericks – Tyus Jones, Duke University, Point Guard
The experiment with Rajon Rondo didn’t work out. Jones is a point guard who can run the show, and is a wonderful teammate.
22. Chicago Bulls – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, University of Arizona, Small Forward
The Bulls have a lot of questions before next season gets started. One of their main priorities will be drafting or signing a small forward.
23. Portland Trail Blazers – Montrezl Harrell, University of Louisville, Power Forward
A lot of signs are pointing toward LaMarcus Aldridge leaving. Harrell could be an inspired replacement.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – Rashad Vaughn, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Shooting Guard
Vaughn got hurt halfway through the season. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert will command more money than both are getting paid this season. Vaughn can score the basketball.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – R.J. Hunter, Georgia State University, Shooting Guard
Outside shooting is something the Grizzlies lack. Hunter can help caulk the hole.
26. San Antonio Spurs – Chris McCullough, Syracuse University, Power Foward
A knee injury crashed his superb freshman season with Syracuse. A lot of scouts said he would have been a lottery pick, so it wouldn’t surprise me if San Antonio drafted another great player late in the draft.
27. Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston) – Jerian Grant, University of Notre Dame, Point Guard
Jordan Clarkson was pretty good in his rookie season. We will see if it was a fluke. The Lakers would be smart to take some insurance at the point guard spot.
28. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers) – J.P. Tokoto, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Shooting Guard/Small Forward
I still like Tokoto. I think he has solid skills and could improve to become a good player in the league.
29. Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta) – Christian Wood, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Power Forward
The Nets need help at every position. They only have one draft pick this year, but Wood is a good player.
30. Golden State Warriors – Delon Wright, University of Utah, Point Guard
While the Warriors have the MVP (Steph Curry) at point guard and the team, as whole, is deep, there is never such a thing as being too deep.