The Crossover’s “Day Of” NBA Lottery Mock Draft

Oh boy. Prepare for perhaps one of the most inaccurate mock drafts you will see this season. Or, maybe I’ll get lucky and hit it out of the park. Either way, here goes nothing.

  • № 1 pick, 76ers: Markelle Fultz, G, Washington

Okay, this is an easy one. He’s the best prospect in the draft, has virtually no holes in his game, and Joel Embiid is already making them known as teammates. And it’s the “process”. Enough said.

  • № 2 pick, Lakers: Lonzo Ball, G, UCLA

Another big surprise, right? Even with the Josh Jackson rumors swirling in the City of Angels, don’t expect the Lakers to pass on Lonzo. I think Lonzo is the real deal, and I’m pretty sure Magic Johnson does too. If they really like Jackson more, they should trade down. (Can you believe you just read this and it had nothing to do with Lavar?)

  • № 3 pick, Celtics: Jayson Tatum, F, Duke

As I said in my previous article, I think this is almost a definite pick for the Celtics. Tatum has good size and length, and projects to be the type of scorer that the Celtics will need in years to come.

  • № 4 pick, Suns: Josh Jackson, F, Kansas

If you are the Suns, who do you pick here? It’s hard to draft a point guard, since they already have Eric Bledsoe, Tyler Ulis, and Brandon Knight. They drafted two power forwards last year, Bender and Chriss, so it would seem redundant to draft another big. The best option here is to take the best available guy, which I guess is Josh Jackson. I’m a big fan of his athleticism, and it’s not unheard of for a young player to develop a shot.

  • № 5 pick, Kings: De’Aaron Fox, G, Kentucky

So the Kings get their guy without having to trade up. Talks in Sacramento point to the Kings doing whatever it takes to get Fox. The way I see things playing out, they won’t have to. Teams will be scared of the Kentucky guard’s lack of a shot, and let him drop. Sacramento’s love for Fox has been well documented, and won’t let him get past pick number 5. His questionable shooting would be less of a problem in Sacramento, playing beside Buddy Hield.

  • № 6 pick, Magic: Malik Monk, G, Kentucky

Here’s when things start to get tricky. The consensus top five prospects are off the board. I’m sure the Magic are sick of only having one player who can shoot consistently (Evan Fournier), so I’m going to give them the most promising shooter in the draft.

  • № 7 pick, T-Wolves: Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State

This is just a scary combination. Can you imagine if Isaac lives up to his potential and is playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Dear God.

  • № 8 pick, Knicks: Lauri Markkanen, F, Arizona

This is the stupidest pick the Knicks could possibly make. They need a point guard more than anything, and their two best players are forwards. But it’s the Knicks, and I expect them to mess up in a major way.

  • № 9 pick, Mavericks: Dennis Smith, G, NC State

I know that the Mavericks have been in love with Frank Ntilikina, but I think they are only doing that for two reasons: 1) try to trick the Knicks into thinking Frank is better or 2) because they think Dennis Smith will already be gone. No Rodrigue Beaubois 2.0 for the Mavericks.

  • № 10 pick, Kings: OG Anunoby, F, Indiana

I love Anunoby here to the Kings. They got their point guard at number five in Fox, and now pick a high upside, versatile player. Anunoby has some of the most potential in this draft. Expect him to be an effective rim runner and a great defender.

  • № 11 pick, Hornets: Luke Kennard, G, Duke

The Hornets already have Kemba Walker at point guard, and just traded for big man Dwight Howard to play beside Frank Kaminsky. So at this point, their biggest weakness is wing players. The best available is Kennard.

  • № 12 pick, Pistons: Frank Ntilikina, G, France

Filthy Frank finally comes off the board. It’s about time for Detroit to move on from Reggie Jackson, who had an ugly season in 2016–17. Frank has great upside and will have an immediate role as a defensive point guard.

  • № 13 pick, Nuggets: Zach Collins, F, Gonzaga

The Nuggets can be flexible with this pick. They have assets at every position, so picking the best available player here is the best move. Zach Collins didn’t star in college, but he impressed a lot of people and showed maturity and seems to be a guy who would play well alongside Nikola Jokic.

  • № 14 pick, Heat: Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville

The Heat are another team who is pretty well rounded at all positions. Mitchell fits their scheme of athletic, versatile players who all fit together well. Mitchell can play either guard position and is also one of the more NBA-ready talents in the draft, after two years under Rick Pitino at Louisville.

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