Philadelphia 76ers- Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
Simmons-Fultz-Embiid is hands down my favorite core in the league, so much fun. Love this trade by the 76ers, this is the generational talent they need to accompany Ben Simmons (he shoots with the wrong hand).
2. Los Angeles Lakers- Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
One of the all time great draft smokescreens was the Lakers trying to convince us this wasn’t happening. Lonzo Ball to the Lakers is such a lock I can’t believe the entire world played along with their act for 2 weeks. Lonzo Ball is absolutely going to end up a Laker.
3. Boston Celtics- Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
As a loyal Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball supporter I think were all going to look back and wonder what the hell Danny Ainge was thinking with this trade. None the less, Tatum represents the foil to Jaylen Brown that Josh Jackson doesn’t, and Jackson’s refusal to workout with the Celtics makes me believe Tatum is the guy at #3.
4. Phoenix Suns- Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
If the Knicks end up trading this pick for Kristapas cuncel the Phil Jackson. I particularly am very low on Jackson, but even his biggest supporters wouldn’t even consider that swap 1-1. Anyways, the Suns get what they want here; an athletic wing to run the floor and bring energy and defense to their Bledsoe-Booker-Chriss-Bender starting lineup.
5. Sacramento Kings- De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
This is a home run for the Kings, as their man falls to them at 5. Fox supposedly wants to be a King, and is the perfect backcourt pairing with Buddy Hield. Huge pick for the future of the Kings franchise.
6. Orlando Magic- Dennis Smith Jr, PG, North Carolina State
This has the “how did Paul Pierce go 10th” feel to it. Dennis Smith Jr. could easily be another immature flameout PG who never figured out how to harness his immense physical talent, or he could become one of the top 5 PG’s in the league with an incredible combination of bounce and finishing ability. I personally would take Smith Jr. over Fox 10 out of 10 times, but in this mock the risk falls at the hands of the Orlando Magic.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves- Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State
If he gets to 7 this seems like a no brainer, as the lineup of Dunn-LaVine-Wiggins-Isaac-Towns seems ripe to capitalize on the eventual Warriors downfall in 4-5 years.
8. New York Knicks- Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
Malik Monk flamethrower sessions in MSG? Sign me up.
9. Dallas Mavericks- Frank Nitilkina, G, France
The Mavs had made their desire to land “Franky Smokes” very clear. This one seems like a lock.
10. Sacramento Kings- Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona
Vlade can’t help himself but add the sweetest shooter in the class. The combination of him and Buddy will space the floor very well for the Kentucky non-shooter starters (Fox and WCS).
11. Charlotte Hornets- Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
The Hornets could use a defensive minded 2 guard who can stroke it next to Kemba Walker.
12. Detroit Pistons- Zach Collins, F, Gonzaga
Zach Collins is what Andre Drummond isn’t, and the Pistons seem to be searching for that.
13. Denver Nuggets- DJ Wilson, F, Michigan
Denver needs an athletic 4 next to Jokic. They might not be willing to wait for Anunoby, so they pull the trigger on the B10’s other option, the late rising Wilson.
14. Miami Heat- OG Anunoby, F, Indiana
The Heat get possibly the biggest value of the draft. Anunoby next to Hassan Whiteside and Winslow oozes defensive potential.
15. Portland Trail Blazers- Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
The Trail Blazers are going to take their pick of Allen, Justin Patton or John Collins here. I’ll bet on the highest ceiling in Allen.
16. Chicago Bulls- Luke Kennard, G, Duke
College performer from big school with limited athleticism? Boom.
17. Milwaukee Bucks- Justin Jackson, G/F, UNC
Long athlete who recently discovered his jumper. Jackson should be able to step in right away next year and replace Tony Snell in the rotation for a playoff Bucks team.
18. Indiana Pacers- John Collins, F, Wake Forest
1st step in moving on from PG13 is finding someone who can score. Collins is that guy at #18.
19. Atlanta Hawks- Justin Patton, C, Creighton
Dwight Howard is gone and the Hawks need a new athletic center to groom. Patton could be a real steal at 19.
20. Portland Trail Blazers- Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
One of Allen or Ike is spending 2018 in the D League, if not both. 2 lottery tickets is better than 1.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Derrick White, G, Colorado
An NBA ready PG who can spell Russ for stints and even play next to him when they need scoring.
22. Brooklyn Nets- Harry Giles, F, Duke
As evidence by their Caris Levert pick last year, the Nets are here to take risks. Hopefully for the Nets Giles regains his “Middle School Phenom” form and teams up with D’Angelo Russell to speed up their rebuild.
23. Toronto Raptors- T.J Leaf, F, UCLA
The Raptors need a stretch 4 next to Jonas who can spell Serge Ibaka from time to time. Leaf is the best stretch 4 available.
24. Utah Jazz- Jordan Bell, F, Oregon
I love the “Jordan Bell 1st round” prop bet, as he just seems like an extremely safe NBA rotation piece. He is going to defend and protect the rim as a small ball 5 when teams go small, its that simple. He will never be a starter of a core piece, but for a team like the Jazz, this how the protect the rim when Gobert is off the floor.
25. Orlando Magic- Terrance Ferguson, G, Australia
The Magic can afford to swing for the fences a little. The Smith-Ferguson backcourt is something they can dream on.
26. Portland Trail Blazers- Juwan Evans, G, Oklahoma State
Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum prove the Blazer’s affinity for small pick and role PG’s. I think they just can’t help themselves here and take the ultra efficient Evans.
27. Los Angeles Lakers- Jonah Bolden, F, Europe
Who knows if they keep this pick, but the Stretch 4 Bolden seems like a nice fit with Lonzo and Brandon Ingram if they do.
28. Los Angeles Lakers- Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky
Same statement about keeping the pick applies here, but Bam is their athletic 5 who can run with Lonzo and protect the rim a little.
29. San Antonio Spurs- Semi Ojeleye, F, SMU
He will proceed to be a very useful rotation piece, replacing Jonathan Simmons, on the Kawhi and CP3 led Spurs in their 2018 playoff series vs. the Warriors, spawning the question of how he ever fell to 29
30. Utah Jazz- Frank Jackson, G, Duke
Jazz take a chance on the super athletic local product. Maybe he replaces Dante Exum down the line.