I tried doing this last year, but I was stuck on the beautiful Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Since I’m currently in Oklahoma for this summer, here goes nothing. A couple things: First off, this is done as the draft currently is right now. Trades happen, and it seems like this draft is going to be especially active. But this mock draft will go as if no trades were to ever happen on draft night. Team needs will be taken in consideration. Second of all: Mock drafts are pointless and usually incorrect….but they are fun as hell.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl Anthony Towns – C/Kentucky – He’s basically already been given a promise. Towns was last seen buying snow shoes and snow tires. Moving on..
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Jahlil Okafor – C/Duke – Los Angeles loves their franchise big men. And Okafor is about as offensively talented as they come. If the Lakers stay with the pick, they’ll choose Okafor.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell – G/Ohio State – Philly was said to covet this draft for the guards at the top. Well, they get first dibs.
4. New York Knicks – Emmanuel Mudiay – G/Congo – If (IF) the Knicks keep this pick, look for them to go after the dynamic guard out of the Congo. Phil Jackson probably thinks he can lure another franchise player via free agency, so drafting a possible franchise guard will be the cherry on top if he accomplishes his wishes during free agency.
5. Orlando Magic – Kristaps Porzingis – PF/Latvia – The slender Latvian who’s ceiling many are saying is Dirk Nowitzki falls to the Magic who await with open arms.
6. Sacramento Kings – Mario Hezonja – G/Croatia – Who knows what the Kings will do? But if they keep this pick, look for them to pair franchise center DeMarcus Cousins with this Croatian dynamo that has drawn comparisons to Drazen Petrovic (R.I.P). If you young’ins don’t know who that is, do yourself a favor and YouTube him.
7. Denver Nuggets – Justice Winslow G/F/Duke – Denver, a team chock full of bad shooters and undersized big men, goes on the defensive with their pick and gets one of the better two-way wings in the draft.
8. Detroit Pistons – Stanley Johnson – G/F/Arizona – Stan Van Gundy loves to surround his big man with shooters. While Johnson may not be as prolific a shooter as some other names in the draft, he is one of the better two-way players in the draft, and will immediately be the best perimeter defender for the Pistons.
9. Charlotte Hornets – Frank Kaminsky – F/C/Wisconsin – With their recent moves (getting Nic Batum, Spencer Hawes, Matt Barnes, and reportedly Jeremy Lamb), the Hornets seem to have shored their perimeter needs. That frees them up to take the best player available and that player, to them, is Kaminsky. The Hornets rave about Kaminsky and would love nothing more than to pair him with Al Jefferson as an inside/outside post combo.
10. Miami Heat – Trey Lyles – F/Kentucky – The Heat are in that weird state where they don’t know if they are good enough to contend in the East, but they also don’t want to start rebuilding. Lyles will provide them with good depth at the forward spot, and may even start at small forward.
11. Indiana Pacers – Cameron Payne – PG/Murray State – Payne would give the Pacers a change of pace from incumbent starter George Hill, who had injury issues last season. Pairing Payne with Paul George would allow the Pacers to run a lot more.
12. Utah Jazz – Myles Turner – F/C/Texas – The Jazz are looking for post depth and Turner plays a different enough style to add another dynamic to the Jazz.
13. Phoenix Suns – Willie Cauley-Stein – C/Kentucky – One of the biggest weaknesses for the Suns last season was interior defense. Cauley-Stein fixes that immediately.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder – Devin Booker – SG/Kentucky – OKC finally/hopefully/maybe gets the SG they’ve been coveting to pair with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
15. Atlanta Hawks – Kelly Oubre – G/F/Kansas – Atlanta would love for Oubre to be their version of Kawhi Leonard. Someone that can guard multiple positions and also develop a dynamic offensive game.
16. Boston Celtics – Sam Dekker – F/Wisconsin – The departure of Jeff Green and the continued development of James Young have opened up a wing spot for the Celtics heading into next season. Dekker may seamlessly transition into that spot if he is take with this pick.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Rashad Vaughn – G/UNLV – The Bucks are said to really like Vaughn’s offensive repertoire and see him as a key piece of their puzzle.
18. Houston Rockets – Tyus Jones – PG/Duke – The uncertain future of Patrick Beverly mixed with the desire to maybe want a floor general who will push the ball more leads the Rockets to pick Jones.
19. Washington Wizards – Bobby Portis – PF/Arkansas – The versatile Portis will give the Wizards a different look than what Kevin Seraphin currently provides them as a back-up PF/C. Portis is a madman on the full, chock full of energy and ability.
20. Toronto Raptors – Montrezl Harrell – PF/Louisville – The Raptors have a lot of questions from their PF position (Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough are both expiring, while the question lingers whether Lucas Nogueira is ready for consistent mintues). Enter Harrell and his toughness.
21. Dallas Mavericks – Jerian Grant – G/Notre Dame – Yep, that Rajon Rondo trade really worked out. Hence, Grant.
22. Chicago Bulls – Delon Wright – G/Utah – Derrick Rose gets injured a lot. Kirk Heinrich is old. Aaron Brooks is short and is a free agent. Enter, Wright.
23. Portland Trailblazers – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – F/Arizona – Portland may be in a world of hurt if LaMarcus Aldridge walks in free agency. At least they got Noah Vonleh from the Hornets. Now, they pick Hollis-Jefferson to eventually replace Nic Batum.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers – RJ Hunter – G/Georgia State – What better than to surround LeBron James and Kyrie Irving with another shooter.
25. Memphis Grizzlies – Jarell Martin – PF/LSU – Martin would fit in well with the Grizzlies’ front court, as there are rumors that the Grizzlies have already given Martin a promise to draft him.
26. San Antonio Spurs – Guillermo Hernangomez – C/Spain – Other than Minnesota and the Towns pick, this was probably the easiest pick to guess in the draft. Spurs…a Euro big man…possible championship contributor incoming.
27. Los Angeles Lakers – Justin Anderson – G/F/Virginia – Let’s see, an aging Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, and Jordan Clarkson. Yeah, you take the perimeter defender who can hit 3’s.
28. Boston Celtics – Kevon Looney – F/UCLA – The Celtics go with the versatile front court player who still has upside.
29. Brooklyn Nets – Terry Rozier – PG/Louisville – If there is one player the Nets are dying to get rid of somehow, its Deron Williams. Rozier is a step in the direction.
30. Golden State Warriors – Rakeem Christmas -PF/C/Syracuse – With David Lee likely not being on the team next season, Christmas give the Warriors an athletic big man that works in their system.