Hi guys and welcome back to a kid in his early 20’s telling you what’s gonna happen. Full disclosure: I have no fucking clue. The lottery isn’t for another couple weeks, and we still don’t know a lot of things until the combine. That being said, I made this draft with every lottery team ordered per end of season position, no trades, and no cool fonts. It’s a rough draft, they’ll only get better.
*NOTE*: Players in (parentheses) are players that I believe are next on the teams draft board OR best available fits
DeAndre Ayton (Luka Doncic)
Honestly this could go either way.
The Suns haven’t had a productive big man since Amare, and Tyson Chandler’s albatross of a contract isn’t helping much. Len hasn’t progressed at all, and while I’m not the biggest Bender fan, I can see the vision. Though Tyler Ulis is still a person, the Suns could use a distributor who can create his own shot and get shots for Booker (see: Doncic, Luka)
However, I’d prefer keeping Josh Jackson at his natural 3 spot, and taking the “surer” thing in Ayton. While his rim protection has come under criticism, he’s a guy that could be a 20/8 producer right out of the gate on a team that desperately needs scoring. While I love watching Devin Booker dropping 70, I also want to see them winning games. And I bet the Suns would love that too.
Luka Doncic (DeAndre Ayton)
The Grizzlies were a dumpster fire this season. The only players showing any progress are JaMychal Green and (to a lesser extent) Deyonta Davis. Mike Conley aged 7 years in one season, and with that contract it’s time to look at another go to ball handler. I’d let those big guys develop, and take the Slovenian wunderkind here. They really need just about everything.
Doncic is somewhat unknown, but can create his own shot and operate as your primary ball handler. His defense leaves something to be desired, but the Grizzlies are a few pieces away from doing anything at this point, and will count on his development as a plan for the future.
Side Note: get rid of Gasol already
Marvin Bagley III (Jaren Jackson Jr.)
The Mavs added a nice piece in Dennis Smith, even though he might have had an up and down season. Marvin Bagley should ease some of the pressure off of Smith to try to score every time he touches the ball. Harrison “The Pride of Ames, Iowa” Barnes has yet to prove his contract worth, and Dirk is miraculously still playing with two working legs in his 45th season. Taking the preferred bench role will allow him to mold Bagley into the unstoppable 4 that he once was, and hopefully the other pieces fall into place around them.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michael Porter Jr.)
You have no idea how bad I wanted to move this guy into the Top 3.
Long, athletic, can shoot and protect the rim? The Hawks could have a twin towers for the future with Collins and Jackson, even if they do play more or less the same position (which is why I have them contemplating Porter here). I don’t see much downside to this pick, especially considering he’s one of the youngest players in the draft. Getting a solid big man who can shoot is a premium in today’s game, and while he only took 3 triples a game at Michigan St., he hit on 40% of them. That’s something the Hawks can work with.
Michael Porter Jr. (Trae Young)
Let’s see if the Magic can stop being trash.
Aaron Gordon showed flashes of a star before going down this season, but outside of that, nothing intrigues me about Orlando. Fournier will continue to do his thing, Vucevic is…well, imagine Mehmet Okur feasting on a D League team. After trading away Elfrid Payton for a sack of nickels and 2 tickets to a Flo Rida concert, I almost had them taking a chance on Trae Young.
But though it kills me inside to do it to my boys in black and red, I think they take the risk on Michael Porter Jr. Having two young 6’9” forwards who can score a variety of ways could be fearsome for years to come. Again, this team is still a couple moves away from making any noise. But throw out the rusty return games, I believe in Porter’s talent.
Mikal Bridges (Mohamed Bamba)
After John Paxson came out and said that the Bulls were targeting wings in the draft, I threw my Bamba prediction in the trash and gave em the best wing available here. The two Bridges have been next to each other in mocks all year, with Mikal edging ahead based on his championship run and Miles not improving as expected. Bridges gives the Bulls the athletic shooter offenses crave today, and a defender that can cover for Zach Lavine’s weaknesses.
Wendell Carter (Mikal Bridges)
Stop. Giving. Zach. Randolph. Minutes.
Now we come to perhaps the worst team in the league at developing young talent. I’m still high on Skal Labissier, but a logjam up front has hindered his ability to develop. De’Aaron Fox is a fine PG, and outside of that you have…uhh Willie Cauley-Stein?
If either of the Bridges are available here they could be the perfect replacement for an aging Vince Carter. I went with the other Carter because I just can’t see a team passing on him this far. Every second of tape reminds me of Al Horford, a great defender who plays smart and can hit the 3 when needed. That’s a start for the Kings, who honestly need to trade half their roster to retool around their core.
Cavs (via Nets)
Mohamed Bamba (Trae Young)
Since Tristan Thompson is gonna be dead in a ditch with his dick cut off by Khloe by the end of the summer, the Cavs get a younger version with more potential. Bamba could go anywhere from 5-10, and could be anything from Deandre Jordan to Brendan Wright.
Now, this isn’t a go to scorer. So, if LeBron leaves, he’s allowed plenty of touches on a tanking team. If the chance arises where lebron wants one more year, Mo is still allowed plenty of minutes since the Cavs best center is Larry Nance. I know TT showed up in that game 7, but remember: he’s dickless and dead in a ditch.
Trae Young (Miles Bridges)
Remember how New York booed the absolute mess out of the Golden State Warriors when they took Steph Curry 1 pick ahead of them? Here’s your chance New York, better take it.
Young isn’t Curry, let’s keep it real. But you see the potential. Small guy, in the gym range, creates for himself and others. Sure his last half of a season wasn’t stellar. But why not take a chance on the kid who led the nation in scoring and assists? Frankie Alphabet showed some promise running the point this season in the Big Apple, but both could take turns playing on and off the ball. Most are higher on Sexton, but New York and I would rather have shooting.
Miles Bridges (Kevin Knox)
Robert Covington has been one of my favorite players for years now. He’s been around through the entire process, from the days where Jakar Sampson was running point in Philly. The Sixers should try to get another year out of Reddick as well. This moves Bridges to the bench, where I think he would thrive as a spark plug running the second unit with Markelle Fultz. Depending on workouts, Bridges could rise and fall anywhere from 7-15, maybe even 20. But I think his value after a down year in Lansing fits the mold of an athletic finisher who can hit a 3 when needed and play great defense. The sixers just have the luxury of not having room for him in the starting lineup.
Kevin Knox (Collin Sexton)
Who knows what the Hornets are doing this offseason. Hopefully they would be able to package their bulky contracts (I’m looking at you, Marvin Williams) into a trade including Kemba, before he decides to walk for nothing next summer.
Either way, Sexton looks attractive here. With a disappointing season from Malik Monk, the Hornets will probably need more wing scoring, especially if Batum is one of those large contracts involved in a transaction. Knox is a smooth shooter who kind of reminds me of a bigger less athletic Monk, and can fill it up from 3 levels on offense.
Clippers (via Pistons)
Collin Sexton (Kevin Knox)
I love Teodosic as much as the next guy, but the Clippers should look to take the best value here. I think it’s great if Sexton is still around this late in the lottery, and should be able to step into a lead guard spot from the jump. He’ll probably get minutes behind Milos and Lou Will, but that’s what you want out of a rookie. And you guys aren’t supposed to be this good anyways, Clippers.
Lonnie Walker (Robert Williams)
So they definitely won that Blake Griffin trade, even if they are dirt balls for it. I’m really high on Lonnie Walker, the kid plays with limitless energy and can attack the basket while keeping defenses honest with his jumper. His consistency leaves a bit to be desired, but at this stage of the draft you have teams looking for bench players, not stars.
Robert Williams (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander)
The Nuggets have one of the best offenses in the league, how’d they miss the playoffs? Oh yea, they also have a bottom 3 defense. The Millsap Jokic experiment is interesting to me; while I believe it can work, I’m not sure about the long term. Also, I forgot Kenneth Faried was a person.
Well, Robert Williams was one of those guys who bet on himself after a season where he was projected by most to go near the lottery. Don’t be surprised if a team like Cleveland takes a chance on him earlier, he’s the real deal when it comes to energy big guys who protect the paint.
THE REST OF THE FIELD
(I GOT LAZY SO WHAT)
Kyrhi Thomas (Mitchell Robinson)
Mitchell Robinson (Zhaire Smith)
Keita Bates-Diop (Dzanan Musa)
Gary Trent Jr. (Keita Bates-Diop)
Zhaire Smith (Gary Trent Jr.)
Johntay Porter (Chandler Hutchinson)
Chandler Hutchinson (Johntay Porter)
Bulls (via Pelicans)
Dzenan Musa (Troy Brown)
Anfernee Simons (Hutchinson)
Troy Brown (Omari Spellman)
Omari Spellman (Landry Shamet)
Landry Shamet (Caleb Martin)
Brandon McCoy (Omari Spellman)
Caleb Martin (Brandon McCoy)
Grayson Allen (Donte Divincenzo)
Donte Divincenzo (Grayson Allen)