NBA Mock Draft (Post Lottery) 1.0
1. Boston Celtics
Markelle Fultz, G, Washington
Despite posting the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics were awarded the number one pick in Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, thanks in part to a 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
Fultz is the ideal pick for Boston. Not only is he regarded as the consensus best player in the draft, but he also is a tremendous fit for a Boston team ready to compete now. He has an incredible wingspan (7 feet) for a player his size (6’4), and can play either the one or the two position alongside either Avery Bradley or Isaiah Thomas. He’s elite at creating his own shot and in the pick and roll as either the screen setter or the ball handler.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA
In the end, Lonzo and his father Lavar got what they wanted: the Lakers to either land the number one or number two overall pick in the draft.
With the recent report that Lonzo will only work out for the Lakers and the fact that Lonzo is an LA kid, is inevitable that Lonzo will be the pick for the Lakers. They need a ball dominant, scoring guard, and that is just what Lonzo brings to the table. Drafting Lonzo will allow D’Angelo Russell, the teams 2015 first round pick to play the two-guard, his more natural position.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Malik Monk, G, Kentucky
TRUST THE PROCESS.
For the fourth straight year, the 76ers have a top three pick. Their biggest need is at the guard positions. Either a point guard or a shooting guard is needed, but I think they’ll look to address the latter via the draft and opt to fill the other need via free agency.
Monk is among the best perimeter players in the draft. He is not only an elite three point shooter, but is also proficient at creating his own shot.
4. Phoenix Suns
Jayson Tatum, F, Duke
Tatum is hands down the best non-guard in this draft, and that is just what the Suns need, making Phoenix the ideal landing spot for this potential homerun talent.
Tatum is the prototypical slashing forward. He’s not a knockdown shooter, but his 34 percent from three last season was respectable. What he is elite at is playmaking from the forward position, and that is something the Suns are in desperate need of.
5. Sacramento Kings
De’Aaron Fox, G, Kentucky
The Kings have been the laughing stock of the NBA for the last decade, and that is largely in part to the lack of a proficient point guard on their roster. They have been searching for that guard for what seems like forever. Hopefully Fox can be that guy they need.
As I previously mentioned, the Kings need a point guard, and outside of Fultz and Ball, Fox is arguably the best prospect at that position. Fox is a traditional, pass first point guard, whose game will transition quite nicely into the NBA. His athleticism combined with his immense speed is much more suited for the NBA game than the collegiate game.
6. Orlando Magic
Josh Jackson, F, Kansas
Josh Jackson is an elite athlete who will be a nice compliment to go alongside Aaron Gordon. Jackson is also a capable defender, something the Magic need. The Magic were among the worst teams in terms of defensive efficiency last season, making Jackson’s fit only that much better.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Dennis Smith, G, NC State
The Timberwolves have one of the brightest futures of any NBA team, and adding Dennis Smith will only add to that.
The team already has their two core franchise pieces in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Adding Smith will provide their already young core with an even younger traditional point guard. This also allows them to trade Ricky Rubio, something they have been trying to do for what feels like forever.
8. New York Knicks
Frank Ntilikina, G, International (Strasbourg)
We know Phil Jackson isn’t afraid of what the fans think of him, so why wouldn’t he draft a relatively unknown international player? I mean he did with Porzingis and that has seemingly worked out.
9. Dallas Mavericks
Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State
Issac is among the best defenders in this draft and his slow playing style fits what the Mavericks have been running the last few seasons. Issac will not have to play right away given the plethora of forwards and centers on the Mavericks. He will be able to sit behind Dirk Nowitzki and learn.
10. Sacramento Kings
Laurie Markkanen, F, Arizona
The Kings are in total rebuild mode and are in need of a bigman who can score. He will fit nicely alongside the defensive first big Willie Cauley-Stein. Markkanen is an offensive orientated player, and although his upside is limited due to his ability on the defensive end of the court, he is a nice fit for the Kings, given their need for a big who can score from the perimeter.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
The Hornets’ depth at the center position was their Achilles heel last season and it very likely cost them a playoff spot. Drafting an NBA ready seven footer will only improve their biggest need.
Last season, Collins proved himself as a big game player, posting strong numbers throughout the NCAA tournament. Given the Hornets’ need at the position, Collins is the ideal pick.
12. Detroit Pistons
Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
The Pistons took a step back this season after making the playoffs in the previous season, largely in part to their play at both guard positions. Both Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were atrocious in terms of efficiency.
Drafting Mitchell as a future replacement for Caldwell-Pope only makes sense in this spot. The Pistons were also in need of three-point shooter, which is something Mitchell can provide them with right away.
13. Denevr Nuggets
Justin Jackson, F, UNC
With the likely departure of Danilo Gallinari, the Nuggets will be in need of an athletic wing who can score, and that is just what they will get with Justin Jackson.
In his three seasons at UNC, Jackson proved to be a capable scorer, leading the team in scoring last season. The Nuggets have a plethora of young talent, and adding Jackson will only improve their young core for the future.
14. Miami Heat
John Collins, F, Wake Forest
At pick 14, the Heat need to address their weakest position, which is power forward. Given the lack of depth at that position in this draft, this pick is strictly need based. Collins is a long-term project, but given the Heat’s history of player development, I think Miami is an ideal destination for Collins.