For my 2nd Mock Draft of #MockDraftSZN, I am going to predict some pretty wild trades that will really shake things up. Remember, if you want to just see the traditional 30 pick 1st round mock draft, I published a NBA Mock Draft 1.0; Post-Lottery edition. Also, I’m just going to do the lottery with this edition, as thats where all the fun happens.
1. Chicago Bulls- Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
TRADE: Chicago Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to the Boston Celtics for the 1st overall selection, Jae Crowder and Jordan Mickey.
The Bulls hit the rebuild button, and trade away their franchise superstar for the best draft prospect in years, a SF on a solid contract and a young big man. The Celtics already have a younger better Jae Crowder in Jaylen Brown, and with IT4 at PG they are better suited acquiring an off guard. In this alternative scenario the Celtics sign Gordon Hayward too and run out a IT4-Bradley-Butler-Hayward-Horford late game lineup and maybe only lose to LeBron by 15. For the Bulls, this pick is a no brainer, as Fultz takes over the keys as the next great Chicago Bulls guard.
2. Indiana Pacers- Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
TRADE: Indiana Pacers trade Paul George for #2 selection and Larry Nance Jr.
The Pacers realize PG13 is LA bound no matter what they do next year and ship him off to the Lakers for the #2 overall choice. The Lakers decide to avoid the Lonzo show and lock up PG13 long term and keep him away from the Celtics, and by bringing Paul George to LA once again become the center of basketball in LA. As for the selection, the Pacers decide they would rather replace PG13 with the next closest thing in the uber athletic Josh Jackson, as Lonzo and Lavar in the nation’s heartland is drama waiting to happen.
3. Sacramento Kings- Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
TRADE: The Sacramento Kings trade picks #5 and #10 to the Philadelphia 76ers for pick #3 and Justin Anderson.
After refusing to work out for them or provide them information, the 76ers passed on Kristaps Porzingis for Jahlil Okafor. Lonzo Ball is also going to refuse to work out for the 76ers, so maybe they pass again? Plus, with the ball dominant Ben Simmons needing the ball full time, maybe they would be better off with Malik Monk instead of Lonzo. So they trade down and get 2 picks out of it, giving away the chance at Lonzo and the recently acquired Justin Anderson for two top 10 picks. For the Kings, they finally have an identity, and a core of Lonzo with Buddy Hield stretching the floor and Willie Cauley Stein catching lobs and protecting the rim is definitely interesting.
4. Phoenix Suns- Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
No trade here, because the Suns need a young wing to grow with Booker-Bledose-Chriss and Bender. Tatum is that guy. Sorry can’t have a trade every pick.
5. Philadelphia 76ers- Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
TRADE: See pick #3
The 76ers get the guy they wanted and get the 10th pick along with it. Monk is the perfect fit with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
6. Dallas Mavericks- De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
TRADE: Dallas Mavericks trade the 9th pick and their 2018 1st rounder to the Orlando Magic for the 6th pick.
So at this point in the draft the prize is clear, De’Aaron Fox has slid to pick 6 and everyone wants to get their hands on him. The Magic however really don’t need another poor shooting PG, as they already have Elfrid Payton, so they are motivated to cash in on this much desired pick and get some compensation in return. So who trades for Fox? How about the Mavs. After trading for Nerlens Noel and signing Harrison Barnes to play the 4 after Dirk goes, the Mavs have the makings of a nice modern NBA spread pick and roll team. Lets imagine Cuban falls in love with Fox, the prospect who dominated Lonzo Ball in the NCAA tourney, and gives up a likely lottery selection next year to move up 3 picks and get him.
7. Denver Nuggets- O.G Anunboy, F, Indiana
TRADE: The Denver Nuggets trade the 13th pick and Danilo Gallinari for the 7th overall selection.
This one is a bit weird for sure, but hear me out. The Timberwolves HAVE their stars already, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns are a great long term 1-2 punch, what they need is the auxiliary guys. And after a disappointing 2017 the Wolves are probably anxious to contend, and might be willing to cash in this #7 pick for a worse pick and a veteran who can help them finally get back to the playoffs in 2018. And the Nuggets need defense. They are loaded with a wealth of shooters and a incredibly talented big man in Nikola Jokic, but they need someone to shield the poor defenders they have in Jokic and Jamal Murray and co. So enter Anunboy. I’m sure they Nuggets would love to get him at 13, but thats a lot to bet on, so maybe instead they sacrifice 1 year of Gallinari and his floor spacing abilities to move up 6 picks and get the defender they so desperately need long term. And for the T-Wolves they move back 6 picks but get a floor spacer to open things up for the non-shooters at PG in Dunn and Rubio.
8. New York Knicks- Frank Ntilkina, PG, France
No trade here, the Knicks get the Triangle PG they need and crave.
9. Orlando Magic- Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State
TRADE: See Pick #6
The Magic trade down and get an extra 2017 pick all while ending up with a potential game changing PG still. Not bad. Frankly, the Magic will probably just need to decide who’s better between Smith and Payton, they probably won’t pair well together, but at least Smith offers a different skill set than Payton, while Fox has much more overlap. And they get a likely lottery pick in 2017 unless they are super wrong about Fox.
10. Philadelphia 76ers- Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State
TRADE: See Pick #3
The 76ers take the last game changing talent on the board, staging the versatile Isaac and running out a front line rotation of Saric, Isaac and Embiid. Not bad. Jahlil Okafor really fell off quick.
11. Charlotte Hornets- Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
No trade two picks in a row, sorry to get boring. Anyways, Mitchell makes for a nice two guard next to Kemba.
12. Portland Trail Blazers- Justin Jackson, F, UNC
TRADE: Portland Trail Blazers trade SG C.J McCollum and #20 overall for #12 overall and Kentavious Caldwell Pope.
So here’s a blockbuster. The Trail Blazers are going to have to realize Lillard and McCollum just isn’t going to work, they are too poor a defensive pairing, and need the ball to much to be effective. So the Blazers take action and ship Lillard to Detroit for a better defender and spot shooter in Caldwell-Pope while also moving up 8 picks and grabbing an NBA ready wing in Justin Jackson. For the Pistons, they don’t seem confident the Reggie Jackson-Andre Drummond pick and roll pairing is going to put them over the top, so enter McCollum. They have to pay a small draft pick price moving down 8 picks, but the offensive potential McCollum offers over Caldwell-Pope warrants it.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves- Zach Collins, F, Gonzaga
TRADE: See pick #7
The Timberwolves end up with Gallinari for 1 year to help speed up the contention timeline, and Collins for the long term to pair with Towns. Not bad.
14. Miami Heat- Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona
The Heat grab the sweet shooting Markkanen, who’s rebounding and shot blocking weaknesses can be masked by Hassan Whiteside, and can spread the floor for the spread P&R attack of Goran Dragic.