Anyone who knows me knows that I love drafts. Any draft. NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and anything of the sort. I follow every draft and have my own viewpoints and opinions on prospects/players. I also do mock drafts. The draft order I’m going to be using is what the draft order would be of this very second. I’m not going to randomize a lottery type thing. Just gonna be going straight off of record. At the end I’ll add in some personal notes about a few of the players. And we’re off!
01.) Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
02.) Orlando Magic: Dante Exum, PG, Australia
03.) Philadelphia 76ers: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
04.) Boston Celtics: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
05.) Utah Jazz: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
06.) Sacramento Kings: Marcus Smart, CG, Oklahoma State
07.) Los Angeles Lakers: Zach LaVine, PG, UCLA
08.) Cleveland Cavaliers: Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
09.) Denver Nuggets (from New York): Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
10.) Charlotte Bobcats (from Detroit): Rodney Hood, GF, Duke
11.) Philadelphia 76ers (from New Orleans): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
12.) Minnesota Timberwolves: Doug McDermott, CF, Creighton
13.) Orlando Magic (from Denver): Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
14.) Memphis Grizzlies: James Young, GF, Kentucky
15.) Chicago Bulls (from Charlotte): Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
16.) Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn): Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
17.) Phoenix Suns (from Washington): Dario Saric, CF, Croatia
18.) Chicago Bulls: Wayne Selden, SG, Kansas
19.) Toronto Raptors: Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
20.) Boston Celtics (from Atlanta): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
21.) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Dallas): P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carolina
22.) Phoenix Suns: Mario Heznoja, GF, Croatia
23.) Utah Jazz (from Golden State): C.J. Wilcox, SG, Washington
24.) Houston Rockets: Jahii Carson, PG, Arizona State
25.) Los Angeles Clippers: Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
26.) Miami Heat: Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky
27.) Charlotte Bobcats (from Portland): Brandon Ashley, CF, Arizona
28.) San Antonio Spurs: Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier
29.) Oklahoma City Thunder: Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA
30.) Phoenix Suns (from Indiana): Mitch McGary, PF, Michigan
And now a few notes.
- I’m not sold on Jabari Parker anymore. I like him as an offensive player but his defense leaves a lot to be desired on the perimeter. He gets caught flat-footed way too often and generally looks lazy on defense. His athleticism is also a concern. He’s athletic but not as much as you’d like out of a small forward. I feel like his best spot would be in the Eastern Conference as a stretch four that can somewhat rebound down low. Think Carmelo Anthony but lazier on offense and about the same on defense. Parker hovers way too much when he doesn’t have the ball and fails to be aggressive. Big problem.
- Many people know my love affair with Joel Embiid so I’m sure him going 4th is somewhat of a shock. Thing is, I think the other guys ahead of him are better true fits for those teams. Wiggins fits perfectly into what Milwaukee is doing, Exum is the most natural point guard in this draft which is something Orlando needs, and Randle provides the low post threat that Philadelphia sorely needs. That leaves Embiid to Boston and the Celtics would be fools to pass on him.
- Speaking of Julius Randle, he scares me. And not the good kind of scare, either. He’s a more athletic but less effective Zach Randolph. His defense is decent but he makes his mark on offense. The problem with that is he relies way too much on ball-handling and that shouldn’t be his game. He reminds me of the kind of player who’d put up great stats on a bad team but if you put him on a good team he’d shrink in the limelight. Not really a “winning” player so to speak.
- Marcus Smart, aka right-handed James Harden, is a guy teams will overvalue because of stuff like “leadership” which is why a team like the Kings would take him. They think he could right the ship and take over the reigns from Isaiah Thomas and thus lead the Kings towards the top of the divisional standings. There’s a problem with that. He’s not a good shooter. He’s a great defender and he’s relentless going to the hoop but he’s far too reliant on free throws and contact. Nice player, not a difference maker.
- I root for the Denver Nuggets to get someone like Joel Embiid or Noah Vonleh since they both fit what Brian Shaw wants to do. Put either one in Denver and I’m sure they’d tear it up. The triangle was made for guys like that. Seriously hope one of them gets there. Speaking of Vonleh, expect him to rise when the draft rolls around. If he goes in the top five, I wouldn’t be shocked one bit.
- With a slew of first round picks, the Suns will dictate how things shake out. I have them taking two Euro players simply because it makes sense for their system. I actually expect Phoenix to deal some of those picks in an effort to move up after they find a buyer who believes they can get value later on. Phoenix will be a major player on draft night.
- When it’s all said and done, Gary Harris will be the best shooting guard from this draft. He reminds me so much of Eric Gordon that it’s scary. Same type of two-way ability and unconscious range. Whoever gets him is getting a future All-Star caliber player.
- Dakari Johnson will be the Daniel Orton of this draft. A team later on will take him simply because they think they can mold him into their center of the future. It remains to be seen whether or not that’s true but the comparison is there.
- Is there a more perfect marriage than Tyler Ennis and Brad Stevens? Probably not. I hope it happens and that’s why I’m going to continue to mock Ennis there. Also, I expect Rondo to get traded and Boston to get another high pick which they might use on Ennis earlier.
- Lastly, whoever uses their first round pick on Doug McDermott is basically giving their pick away for nothing. I like McDermott as a college guy but his game is so close to Adam Morrison that it’s scary. He gets by on being that kind of player now but it won’t work in the NBA. He could be a decent pro in the right system but I wouldn’t bet on that happening. You could say the same thing about Kyle Anderson. He’s a wasted pick too. But for a different reason.
- Enjoy. Tweet me (@FlyByKnite) if you wanna discuss anything.