Read 30-21 here
Read 20-11 here
10. BUCKS: DEMONTAS SABONIS, GONZAGA
Decent amount of hype from the Gonzaga big man who proved to be their best player this year, above Kyle Wiltjer. He’s as solid on the boards, and defensively, as anybody in the class. His offense leaves a little to desire though. Bucks stack their front court by adding Sabonis.
9. RAPTORS: DEYONTA DAVIS, MICHIGAN STATE
Kid’s an absolute freak of nature. Raptors look like they can bring back Derozan and Lowry, and they could use a young, athletic guy down low that can score to complement them two. Biyombo’s great on defense, and the offensive boards, but no moves to speak up. And with Jonas’ health always a question mark, Deyonta Davis seems like the obvious pick.
8. KINGS: DENZEL VALENTINE, MICHIGAN STATE
Much higher than all the other mocks likely have. But let me explain. First off, I already did my first two parts of the mock draft before I heard that Denzel Valentine’s allegedly the next Brandon Roy.
Second, I still think a team like the Kings would take a chance on a proven player like him rather than a Brice Johnson or Skal. Denzel’s been doing his thing the last 4 freaken years at Michigan State. Teams don’t want to pass up on him like they did on Draymond.
7. NUGGETS: KRIS DUNN, PROVIDENCE
Not sure what the Nuggets have in store for the future, but they definitely need a point guard. They won’t plan on getting Dunn, but he’ll fall further than expected, and the point guard-needy team will scoop him up.
6. PELICANS: MARQUESE CHRISS, WASHINGTON
Chriss is intriguing to a lot of people, because he was barely on TV last year, and wasn’t even a top 50 recruit in last year’s class. Which is unheard of for a one-and-done guy.
But what he lacks in experience and notoriety, his athleticism and versatility get teams 95% chub. Because he’s 6’10” and can jump through the roof. On top of that, he’s able to play with his back to the basket, or face up. He’s got a nice jumper. No, he’s not going to come in immediately and be an all-star or contend for rookie of the year. But this could be like investing in Amazon in 1997.
5. TIMBERWOLVES: JAYLEN BROWN, CAL
This was my dude going into the past season. And he was such a disappointment. He moves very very slowly on the court, and I think that he put on 15-115 pounds this past season. But still, he’s so hype up on the boards for some reason. I can’t decide if this mock is where I think guys should go or where they will go. He shouldn’t go until the mid to late first rate. He will go, though, to the Timberwolves at 5.
4. SUNS: JAMAL MURRAY, KENTUCKY
Devin Booker’s turned out to be one of the best picks in the draft last year. Can the Suns follow it up with a great draft this year? Absolutely, if they pick Jamal Murray. Kid’s a pure scorer, and makes that backcourt extremely steady. Eric Bledsoe or Brandon Knight are going to be moved before next season, so no worries about it being too crowded.
3. CELTICS: BUDDY HIELD, OKLAHOMA
Buddy was the most exciting player in the country last season. After his performance in the Kansas-OU triple OT game, I would’ve picked him number one without hesitation. In reality, he’s the third best prospect in this draft, and a great fit for the Celtics, if they keep this pick. He’s one of the best shooters to come out of the draft in the last few years.
Back court could get a little crowded with Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and Isaiah Thomas already there. But Buddy can be better than Marcus and Avery, and would be the compliment to Isaiah that he’s been lacking.
2. LAKERS: BRANDON INGRAM, DUKE
Lakers need a big man next to Julius Randle, because Brandon Bass and Roy Hibbert weren’t it. Ingram’s got the most potential offensively of any player in the draft. Defensively, there’s a little bit left to desire, which is why Simmons still sits above him. Has to be Ingram for the Lakers.
1. SIXERS: BEN SIMMONS, LSU
He’s been the unanimous top pick in this draft since his junior year of high school. Personally, I thought this last season showed he’s not so certain a superstar lock as Lebron or other guys were. But all the measurables are obviously there. 6’10” with the ability to take anybody off the dribble, or post up anybody. He can guard 2-3-4, and maybe even a smaller 5. His jump shot’s the only thing that needs a major overhaul. Without a doubt, the consensus top pick in the draft.