Cavs and Warriors going to 7 games really hurts our pre-draft article time. But here we are anyways. Let’s break down the last 10 picks of the first round:
30. WARRIORS: KAY FELDER, OAKLAND
Felder’s a flat out scorer out of Oakland. And obviously, the Warriors want that. Maybe looking for somebody to replace their point guard that can’t perform in the Finals?
29. SPURS: AJ HAMMONS, PURDUE
Should’ve added a disclaimer at the start that I won’t be including foreign players in this mock draft, because none of them have enough scouting for me to act like I know what I’m talking about. And the Spurs will likely stash a foreign guy here. But thus, we come to AJ Hammons, a big guy from Purdue with potential.
28. SUNS: DAMIAN JONES, VANDY
Riser since he declared for the draft. Efficient big man with a 60% field goal percentage a season ago. Hell of an athlete to add to a young Phoenix team that will surprise teams next season.
27. TORONTO RAPTORS: DIAMOND STONE, MARYLAND
Weird spot for the Raptors to be in. They’d love some back security with the uncertainty of Demar Derozan coming back (although signs point towards it). But at this point in the draft, I don’t see a lot of guards being worth the pick. So they either take a a big guy (both vertically and horizontally) who can score and defend well enough for a late first round pick, or trade back into the second round
26. SIXERS: STEPHEN ZIMMERMAN, UNLV
Zimmerman was plagued with a little injury trouble last year, along with a team that couldn’t win ball games. But Zimmerman’s high school highlights are still enough for a team to take a chance on him. He’s got an edge and motor as good as anyone in the draft. Sixers need that desperately, and need the defense Zimmerman brings.
25. CLIPPERS: MALACHI RICHARDSON, SYRACUSE
Scouts can’t find a consensus on Richardson. Some people have him in the top 10. Others have in mid-late second round. I like him here with Los Angeles though. He’s a very long, very versatile player that can step out and hit a three. He’ll help fill some holes in the bench, and can add more scoring to a Clippers team that’s worried only about scoring.
24. SIXERS: DEJOUNTE MURRAY, WASHINGTON
Philly will be lucky if Murray drops this far, as he’s one of the 16 guys invited to the draft, which would point to the idea that he’ll be higher. But nonetheless, I still think this is where he should go. He’s still not complete, but he reminds me of Jamal Crawford. Could be a great backcourt piece for a team that doesn’t have much back there.
23. CELTICS: DEANDRE BEMBRY, ST. JOSEPH’S
Perfect fit for Boston right here. He’s an all around solid player, just with no jumpshot. Does Boston need someone with a jumper? Well, yes. But Bembry can defend, and finish at the bucket. He can create a shot, and pass the ball very well. Alongside Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, and whoever they get with the third pick, this will be a steal for the Celtics that we’ll see in the starting lineup in 4 years.
22. HORNETS: DEMTRIUS JACKSON, NOTRE DAME
Hornets already have Kemba Walker, so they’re not looking for a star in their backcourt right now. Jeremy Lin looks like he’s on his way out, so they need some depth off the bench. Jackson’s been solid in his Notre Dame career, and although he’s not superstar talent, he’s the best option for the backcourt this late in a weak guard class.
21. HAWKS: CHIECK DIALLO, KANSAS
By far the biggest riser from the combine. He played great in the scrimmages, and the measurables are all there. Only problem is how little in-game video there is from last season. Hawks are the best terrible team that I’ve ever seen. They don’t have any great players, just a bunch of mediocre guys. So they need best available.