The draft is tomorrow! Let’s dive in for one final mock of how it may play out. Long live Hinkie!
- Minnesota Timberwolves/Karl-Anthony Towns/C/Kentucky
The Wolves are rumored to have already notified Towns they are selecting him Thursday night. He’s the best player in the draft, I have zero reason to doubt this. Although draft rumors are usually false…
- Los Angeles Lakers/Jahlil Okafor/C/Duke
Even though Russell may be tempting, it’s so rare to find big men as skilled as Okafor. The Lakers are willing to overlook his lack of a defensive presence and questionable rebounding and free throw shooting skill.
- Philadelphia 76ers/Emmanuel Mudiay/PG/Guangdong
There’s so much noise about Russell and Porzinigis I find it hard to believe the Sixers are really that strongly interested given that Hinkie plays it so close to the cuff. I’ve flipped on this pick so much in the past few weeks, but I just feel like Mudiay is ultimately the type of talent Hinkie prefers even if Russell’s offensive game is more advanced.
- New York Knicks/D’Angelo Russell/PG/Ohio State
The Knicks definitely luck out that Russell drops to #4. He fits extremely well in the triangle offense. If the Sixers take Russell, I’m really clueless at what the Knicks would do.
- Orlando Magic/Kristaps Porzingis/PF/Sevilla
Perfect stretch 4 to match with Vucevic. His ceiling as a Dirk/Pau mix with more athleticsim is scary for opponents to think about. But he obviously has a larger bust potential if he is unable to add to his lean frame and battle underneath with NBA bigs.
- Sacramento Kings/Justise Winslow/SF/Duke
Willie Cauley-Stein is in play but Winslow’s upside I feel is too good to pass up. Of course getting a rim protector would be nice, but WCS offers nothing on offense and Winslow has a skill set very similar to that of Kawhi Leonard’s. Kings front office wants an impact player, I don’t think they care about drafting for need either (an example would be Stauskas over Payton last year).
- Denver Nuggets/Mario Hezonja/SG/Barcelona
Best player left on the board and Hezonja has the skill to become a star. Lights out shooter and ultra-competitive. If he played college ball in the U.S., he would definitely be considered for a top 3 pick. Size for his position is another huge asset.
- Detroit Pistons/Stanley Johnson/SF/Arizona
Probably would’ve liked Winslow to slip to this spot. I also wouldn’t rule out them taking a power forward to replace Greg Monroe like Turner, Kaminsky, or Lyles. Stanely is arguably as good as Winslow and his draft value was likely suppressed by the system he played in at Arizona.
- Charlotte Hornets/Willie Cauley-Stein/C/Kentucky
If this scenario happened it’s likely the Celtics would move up in a hurry and mortgage some picks to grab WCS. He’s still the best player available at this spot and with Al Jefferson on the last year of his deal as well as Biyombo likely leaving in free agency, the Hornets could use a rim protector to launch them into the postseason.
- Miami Heat/Devin Booker/SG/Kentucky
I’m not a huge fan of Booker and I think he’s being overrated right now because of his shooting stroke. But this pick gives the Heat some options if in fact Wade doesn’t return. They’d potentially have an interesting and offensively gifted backcourt of Dragic and Booker.
- Indiana Pacers/Cameron Payne/PG/Murray State
Pacers could use another young big man like a Myles Turner, but getting an impact PG to lead them back to the postseason is key. The window might be closing for the Pacers with this current squad until they can re-tool again with new players around Paul George. If Cam Payne is as good as advertised a lineup still featuring George, West, and Hibbert could still possibly get back to conference finals.
- Utah Jazz/Myles Turner/C/Texas
Even after trading away Enes Kanter this pick still makes sense for the Jazz. They need depth now and Turner is versatile enough to play both the 4 and 5. Turner can stretch the floor which is something Favors nor Gobert can do at the moment.
- Phoenix Suns/Frank Kaminsky/PF/Wisconsin
Alex Len and Markieff Morris is a solid frontcourt but like the previous Jazz pick they lack depth. Kaminsky can play the 4 or 5 and stretch the floor creating even more interesting lineup possibilities for Hornacek and the Suns.
- Oklahoma City Thunder/Kelly Oubre/SF/Kansas
The Thunder aren’t likely to make it back to the lottery for a few years and they have to make this pick count. Oubre is extremely raw but has the most upside at this point in the draft. He has some time to mature under Durant and could possibly be needed to step in in 2016 if KD leaves OKC.
- Atlanta Hawks/Trey Lyles/PF/Kentucky
It’s unclear whether the Hawks will re-sign Paul Millsap, but if they don’t Lyles should be ready to fill that role for the Hawks. He’s a very gifted offensive talent who already has an NBA body.
- Boston Celtics/Bobby Portis/PF/Arkansas
Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Tyler Zeller aren’t really inspiring the Celtics to not draft replacements. Portis is best big left on the board and is very coachable player who has a solid offensive game and motor that will run for 48 minutes.
- Milwaukee Bucks/R.J. Hunter/SG/Georgia State
Bucks could really use another big man to play minutes for them, but instead settle for one of the best shooters in the draft. They need more shooters to surround guys like MCW and Giannis who don’t have a jump shot. RJ will be a role player to start and is insurance if they don’t resign Middleton.
- Houston Rockets/Jerian Grant/PG/Notre Dame
The Rockets started Jason Terry during the entire playoffs this year. I rest my case for Jerian Grant.
- Washington Wizards/Sam Dekker/SF/Wisconsin
Paul Pierce might not return to the Wizards and I personally believe Otto Porter is overrated. Even if the Wiz believe in Porter, at least bring in some competition and bring out the best in of these guys to become your full time starting SF.
- Toronto Raptors/Rondae Hollis-Jefferson/SF/Arizona
So they got nothing out of Bruno Caboclo last season and now after getting trounced out of the first round of the playoffs this year they need to get some impact players. RHJ is going to immediately become one of the best perimeter defenders from day one and the Raptors will just have to hope his offensive game develops.
- Dallas Mavericks/Tyus Jones/PG/Duke
The Rajon Rondo experiment failed in dramatic fashion, and now there is a glaring hole at PG. Makes sense for Mark Cuban to bring in the reigning NCAA tournament MOP.
- Chicago Bulls/Delon Wright/PG/Utah
It’s unclear how Hoiberg and the front office is going to approach this draft, being that it’s their first together. But Hoiberg doesn’t have an allegiance to Derrick Rose and Delon Wright is an interesting PG talent standing at 6’5″. Even if Rose is healthy, the Bulls still need depth at that position.
- Portland Trail Blazers/Christain Wood/PF/UNLV
Wood is undeniably a boom or bust talent. He showed up out of shape at the combine and many execs doubt his commitment to the game. But his ceiling is high as a stretch 4 who can be a rim protector on the other end. Wood is a project, but if Aldridge leaves town he is a project worth taking on.
- Cleveland Cavaliers/Terry Rozier/PG/Louisville
Kyrie is constantly hurt and if the Cavs are still relying on Delly to play backup PG next season they should be ashamed of themselves because he is awful. Rozier is one of the best pure scorers in the draft and could become one of the better sixth men in the league. He is great insurance policy if Kyrie gets hurts again (he will).
- Memphis Grizzlies/Justin Anderson/SG/Virginia
The Grizz could use some more frontcourt talent off the bench but Anderson is great value at #25 and could become a solid “3 and D” type player. He is a willing defender which suits the Memphis culture. He is also a decent shooter, and solid 3 point shooting is another Grizzlies weakness.
- San Antonio Spurs/Montrezl Harrell/PF/Louisville
Harrell isn’t going to replace Tim Duncan but he can eat up minutes while Duncan takes games off during the regular season. He has arguably the best motor in the draft and is relentless on the boards. His offensive game is developing but he has a lot of room for growth under Popovich.
- Los Angeles Lakers/Rashad Vaughn/SG/UNLV
If you didn’t hear, Kobe Bryant is retiring after this season. Vaughn is a talented scorer who has some upside at this point in the draft. Although I wouldn’t envy him for having to replace Kobe in LA.
- Boston Celtics/Robert Upshaw/C/Washington
If Upshaw is healthy and stays out of trouble off the court he is arguably worthy of a lottery pick and is just as effective a rim protector as others in this draft like WCS or Myles Turner. At pick #28 he’s worth the risk for the Celtics.
- Brooklyn Nets/Jarell Martin/PF/LSU
Thaddeus Young opted out and the Nets are looking to deal Mason Plumlee, so they could be in desperate need of another big man soon. Martin is talented offensively and could provide some solid minutes for the Nets right away.
- Golden State Warriors/Chris McCullough/PF/Syracuse
Purely a speculative pick for the NBA Champs. If McCullough stayed healthy he could’ve been a lottery pick in 2016. Now David Lee and Andrew Bogut can play out their contracts and the Warriors can sit McCullough for the year and let him heal up and then join the nucleus of Steph, Klay, and Draymond the following year.