With the draft one day away, I thought I would give one more shot at this. My final mock draft will probably come tomorrow sometime.
With the time crunch, there is no time for super fancy, state of the art editing. I’m going old school here.
1. Philadelphia 76ers – PG/SG Markelle Fultz, Washington. Fultz is pretty much guaranteed to be the first pick. He will fit in well with what the 76ers are trying to do.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA. The Lakers traded away D’Angelo Russell to open up a spot for Ball. You can set this in stone.
3. Boston Celtics – SF/PF Jonathan Isaac, Florida State. Isaac has only worked out for teams in the top four. Add the fact that the Celtics desperately need to add shooting and this could be the first shocking moment of the draft. Unlike Jackson and Tatum, Isaac is capable of playing the four and five, which gives him added value on this roster.
4. Phoenix Suns – SG/SF Josh Jackson, Kansas. This pick has ended up in plenty of rumors but if they keep it Jackson makes the most sense due to his defensive ability and all around game.
5. Sacramento Kings – PG De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky. This should be a no brainer. The Kings have zero point guards on the roster, and Fox will bring a winners mentality to a culture that needs it.
6. Orlando Magic – SF/PF Jayson Tatum, Duke. Tatum is not quite the shooter Orlando needs but the Magic front office has stated they intend to draft the the best player available.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – SG Malik Monk, Kentucky. I have absolutely no idea what the Timberwolves are going to do. It would be too early to give up on Kris Dunn, so I will give them the best non-point guard prospect.
8. New York Knicks – PG Frank Ntilikina, France. Ntilikina has recently stated that he believes he is a good fit for the triangle offense. That should be all Phil Jackson needs to hear.
9. Dallas Mavericks – PG Dennis Smith Jr., North Carolina State. The Mavericks need to overhaul the point guard position and cannot wait until free agency to do so. Smith has his deficiencies but is a talented scorer.
10. Sacramento Kings – PF/C Zach Collins, Gonzaga. Lauri Markkanen gets all of the pub, but Collins is a better all around prospect. He would fit in nicely as a contrast to Sacramento’s defensive bigs.
11. Charlotte Hornets – SG Donovan Mitchell, Louisville. The Hornets could use Markkanen’s shooting, but there is no room for any more front court minutes, so they go with an explosive bench scorer.
12. Detroit Pistons – PF Lauri Markkanen, Arizona. Even though Detroit took Henry Ellenson (remember him?) last year, Markkanen is a much better prospect, and should be a rich man’s Jon Leuer.
13. Denver Nuggets – PF/C John Collins, Wake Forest. Denver is showing a lot of interest in Collins, and could use a young power forward to groom next to Nikola Jokic.
14. Miami Heat – SF Justin Jackson, North Carolina. The Heat would love to have Smith, either Collins, Mitchell or Markkanen, but, of course, those were the previous five picks. Justin Jackson is a pretty safe bet to develop into, at worst, a very good backup.
15. Portland Trail Blazers – PF/C Edrice Adebayo, Kentucky. Portland needs front court depth. While Adebayo might be a center only, the drop off will not be steep when Nurkic comes off the court.
16. Chicago Bulls – SG Luke Kennard, Duke. The Bulls need front court players but almost always go with the best player available. Every team needs shooters.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – PF/C TJ Leaf, UCLA. The Bucks are another team that I have no idea about. They did work out TJ Leaf, and will likely have front court minutes available for the 2018-2019 season.
18. Indiana Pacers – SF/PF OG Anunoby, Indiana. Anunoby might not play the first half of the season but has the most upside of any prospects available here.
19. Atlanta Hawks – C Justin Patton, Creighton. The Hawks gave away Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap will probably leave, meaning there are zero front court players on the roster.
20. Portland Trail Blazers – PF Harry Giles, Duke. With three first round picks, the Trail Blazers can afford to gamble on Giles. Even though I do not think he will ever return to pre-injury form.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – PF/C Tony Bradley, North Carolina. Bradley could end up being a very good player, but will not play right away, which is just fine for Sam Presti and the Thunder.
22. Brooklyn Nets – PF/C Caleb Swanigan, Purdue. The Nets have zero front court players. While not that athletic, Swanigan can rebound and hit the three.
23. Toronto Raptors – SF/PF Semi Ojeleye, SMU. Ojeleye is an ideal 3 and D NBA player, and the Raptors need a back up plan for DeMarre Carroll.
24. Utah Jazz – PG/SG Frank Jackson, Duke. Jackson is thought to have a first round promise. Jackson is somewhat of a poor man’s George Hill.
25. Orlando Magic – PG Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State. This would be a great pick for Orlando, who gets a serious bench scorer.
26. Portland Trail Blazers – PF Isaiah Hartenstein, Germany. Hartenstein was born in Oregon and is a Trail Blazers fan, and with three first round picks, this is an obvious match.
27. Los Angeles Lakers – PF Jordan Bell, Oregon. Bell is a Kenneth Faried type who will provide defense and rebounding to the Lakers bench.
28. Los Angeles Lakers – C Anzejs Pasecniks, Latvia. I seriously doubt the Lakers end up with three first round picks. If they do they will want to save some salary and draft a European stash player.
29. San Antonio Spurs – PG/SG Derrick White, Colorado. The Spurs struck gold with Dejounte Murray last year and need to continue to supplement the bench with some youth.
30. Utah Jazz – PF Ivan Rabb, California. Rabb is too good to fall out of the first round all together. Should be a solid backup big.
Other first round possibilities
C Ike Anigbogu, UCLA
PF/C Mathias Lessort, France
PF/C Thomas Bryant, Indiana
PF Kyle Kuzma, Utah
SF/PF DJ Wilson, Michigan
SF/PF Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
SF/PF Cameron Oliver, Nevada
SF/PF Jonah Bolden, Australia
SG/SF Wesley Iwundu, Kansas State
SG Terrence Ferguson, United States
SG Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina
SG Josh Hart, Villanova
PG/SG PJ Dozier, South Carolina