The NBA Draft Lottery went chalk this year, with Philadelphia finally coming out with the top pick (congratulations Sam Hinkie) and the Lakers keeping their pick. The Celtics were the big losers of the night, with their pick staying at the three spot. With a clear top two and a dearth of talent elsewhere, this draft projects to be one of the most interesting in years. This mock draft is a mix of my personal opinion on prospects and what teams think of the prospects, so if I think a guy is a fringe first-rounder, but he is projected to go top 5, I will take both of those things into account.
- Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons, LSU, 6-10, PF/SF
Whilst there has been some buzz about Brandon Ingram going first, it now seems that the 76ers will lock in Ben Simmons on draft night. With Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric already on the books, Philly may think twice about drafting another player who projects as a Power Forward. Despite this, Simmons absolutely should be the first guy selected in this draft. Simmons projects as a franchise changing player – the exact type of player for which Philly have been tanking for the past three years. Simmons posted a 19/12/5 split in his only season at LSU, whilst shooting 56% from the field. Not only is he an otherworldly rebounder, but he is also possibly the best passer in this class. In the current NBA, there may be no more important skill than being able to pass and see the court, and Simmons is already excellent at both. There are concerns over his shooting ability, but with the amount of upside that Simmons has shown, there is no doubt he should go first. Even if he never learns to shoot, he could still be a go-to scorer down the road, whilst also being one of the better passers and rebounders in the league. The best prospect since Anthony Davis.
Comparison: Magic Johnson/LeBron James/Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Los Angeles Lakers – Brandon Ingram, Duke, 6-9, SF
This draft is widely considered a two-man draft, with Brandon Ingram being the second best player. Ingram projects as the prototypical modern wing; an athletic big that can shoot, pass and defend. On paper, Ingram looks perfect. The reason that he is not above Simmons on draft boards is that he is rail thin, which could lead to some serious defensive issues in the pros, as well as some potential problems finishing with contact. Along with this, after watching Ingram I have concerns as to whether Ingram is actually as athletic as advertised and whether his defence will hold up in the NBA. Despite this, he’s still an excellent shooter and passer and can run the pick and roll thanks to his good handle. Ingram may never be a top-10 player, but he may end up being the second or third best guy on a Championship team. At worst, he’ll be a solid rotation player in this league, which is as good as it gets in this draft class.
Comparison: Trevor Ariza/Kevin Durant
- Boston Celtics – Wade Baldwin, Vanderbilt, 6-4, PG/SG
At pick 3, it seems the Celtics are considering guys like Dragan Bender, Jamal Murray, Jaylen Brown, Kris Dunn and Buddy Hield, but in my opinion, Wade Baldwin is clearly the third best player in this draft. A lot of mock drafts have Baldwin going 10th-20th, but I honestly cannot see how he could drop that low. In his two seasons at Vanderbilt, he shot 44% and 41% from three, whilst making nearly six trips to the Free Throw line a game in his Sophomore year. Not only can he shoot, but he loves getting to the rim and he loves getting fouled. Baldwin is hugely athletic and plays with passion, and with a 6’11 wingspan, he is a tremendous rebounder for the Point Guard position. There are concerns over his decision making, but when compared to his peers past and present, his assist to turnover ratio is outstanding. Along with this, he didn’t even run the Point in his freshman year, so with more experience, he will only improve. There are still concerns over his handle and his finishing at the rim (44% from two-point range), but there is a long line of prospects that transformed their shaky handle at college level into a solid handle in the pros. Defensively, Baldwin has good instincts, outstanding size and length, huge hands and dynamic athleticism. The Celtics have players at every position, so they should target the best player available, and with Baldwin’s ability to play both on and off the ball, he should get minutes straight away.
Comparison: Kyle Lowry/Chauncey Billups
- Phoenix Suns – Dragan Bender, Croatia, 7-1, PF/C
After Wade Baldwin, there are no obvious future superstars left on the board, so the Suns could possibly target Dragan Bender, who has the highest upside left and also fills a position of need. Naturally, the comparison will be drawn to Kristaps Porzingis, another seven-foot European at the top of draft boards, but he and Bender’s games are vastly different. Bender is nowhere near as athletic as Porzingis, nor is he as good a shooter, but nonetheless, Bender is still a top prospect. Bender is a solid athlete, a wonderful passer and a decent shooter, albeit an inconsistent one. He may never be a go-to scorer and that limits his ceiling, but he’ll be able to contribute on both ends. Defensively, he moves well, is a good shot blocker and may be able to switch the Pick and Roll eventually, but his lack of strength will lead to issues in the short term. The fit with the Suns is natural, they traded Markieff Morris and need a long term answer in the frontcourt. Although he may struggle to score at the next level, he should still be a very solid contributor.
Comparison: Andrei Kirilenko/Nikola Mirotic
- Minnesota Timberwolves – Jamal Murray, Kentucky, 6-5, SG
The Timberwolves already have a stud big man in Karl-Anthony Towns, a decent Point Guard in Ricky Rubio and a high upside wing in Andrew Wiggins. One thing the Timberwolves lack is shooting, and Jamal Murray could be the answer. Personally I believe that shooting can easily be found on the trade market and that drafting a pure shooter this high is fraught with danger, but that won’t stop the Wolves taking Murray. Don’t get me wrong, Murray is an incredible shooter and a good scorer, but with the recent track record of Nik Stauskas, Doug McDermott, Ben McLemore and Rashad Vaughn, it doesn’t look good for Murray. To make matters worse, Jamal is unathletic, showed no signs of being even an average defender at Kentucky and is limited as a facilitator. It will be interesting to see if Murray will be able to transform into a go-to scorer at the next level, or even be able to do anything other than be a spot up shooter. The upside is that he’s still young, and on a Minnesota team that already has Towns and Wiggins to score, he may be able to flourish.
Comparison: Arron Afflalo/Eric Gordon
- New Orleans Pelicans – Deyonta Davis, Michigan State, 6-11, PF/C
Here comes the second big surprise of draft night, the Pelicans reaching for Deyonta Davis at pick 6. The Pelicans should target a big man to partner Anthony Davis long term, with Jrue Holiday still young and wing options available in free agency. Ideally for New Orleans, Dragan Bender would still be on the board, but with him gone it comes down to Davis or Marquese Chriss. Deyonta seems like the better fit next to Anthony (yes, I’ve resorted to first names). Not only can Deyonta protect the rim, but he’s quick enough to guard the perimeter on switches, an ideal defensive skillset alongside AD. Offensively, Deyonta has wonderful athleticism, good touch around the basket and potential to be a great roll man in the NBA. He moves well up and down the floor and has a good physical profile for the NBA. There are still questions about his motor and his work ethic, but you’d hope that he would have that shaken out of him in the pros. Deyonta measured 6’11 with a 7’3 wingspan at the combine, which are ideal physical measurements for a big man in today’s NBA. The Davis-Davis frontcourt will be athletic enough and quick enough to cope with the changing environment of the NBA and could potentially be dominant.
Comparison: Serge Ibaka/Bismack Biyombo
- Denver Nuggets – Marquese Chriss, Washington, 6-10, PF/SF
The Nuggets actually have a large pile of talent, with Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Jusuf Nurkic, Joffrey Lauvergne and especially Nikola Jokic all talented players. As such, they can afford to take a flier on a guy with enormous upside like Marquese Chriss who was a late riser in the draft rankings after being just the 6oth ranked recruit out of high school. But after averaging 13.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in just 24.9 minutes per game, shooting 53% FG and 35% 3PT (on 60 attempts). He had a 21.7 Player Efficiency Rating, 58.5 True Shooting Percentage, 112 Offensive Rating and 102.2 Defensive Rating. His per-100-possession averages were 28.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 1.9 steals. Oh and by the way, the kid is 18 years old. So why is he available at pick 7? Firstly, he has serious fouling issues, averaging 4.1 fouls per game, 6.5 per 40 minutes and a huge 8.4 per 100 possessions. Clearly this shows some immaturity defensively and potential to get fouled out of games early at the next level. Going into the 2014 draft, Noah Vonleh had similar fouling issues, and he averaged nearly five fouls per 36 minutes last season for Portland. If Chriss is to become anything at the next level, this must improve. Also, he is an atrocious rebounder and not a great ball handler, which could lead to him being stuck between the two Forward positions in the NBA (even with less positional structure in today’s NBA). However, he is ridiculously athletic, which may lead to defensive prowess, has shown signs of a three point shot and is only new to basketball, which hopefully means that he will read the game better down the road. Overall, Chriss has a huge upside and a D-League downside, but if he can translate his athleticism into defense and improve his rebounding, he may just end up being a star.
Comparison: Charlie Villanueva/Rudy Gay
- Sacramento Kings – Kris Dunn, Providence, 6-4, PG
Kris Dunn is a very difficult prospect for me to rate, as he’s 22 and I don’t think he will ever be the starting Point Guard on a good team. With Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, John Wall, Reggie Jackson, Ricky Rubio, Eric Bledsoe and even Giannis Antetokounmpo guys that he will have to compete with (as well as anyone in the next couple of draft classes that may be good), I find it difficult to see Dunn as anything special. Granted, he is an elite defender with an elite physique who is a solid passer and a good scorer at the rim, but Dunn has some serious flaws. He’s an okay shooter, and has slightly improved every year from deep at Providence, but a Point Guard that shoots under 70% from the Free Throw line is concerning. Along with this, his decision making and facilitation is overrated and he has some serious issues with turnovers. This is due to a loose handle and some poor decision making, a big concern for a four year senior. In the end, the only way I see Dunn being a difference maker in the NBA is if his shooting gets better and he plays off the ball. This would allow him to develop into an Avery Bradley type that can act as a second facilitator on offense whilst locking down the opposition’s best guard defensively.
Comparison: Avery Bradley/Devin Harris
- Toronto Raptors – Buddy Hield, Oklahoma. 6-4, SG
The history of score-first seniors coming into the NBA is littered with failures, but Buddy Hield is attempting to be the exception. There are plenty of parallels between Hield and Jamal Murray, and it remains to be seen how well their skill sets will translate. Hield is an elite shot maker, shooting 50% from the field and 45% from beyond the dark whilst averaging 25 points per game. There is no doubt that he will be able to score at the next level, but as with Murray, the question remains as to what else he will bring to the table. In college, he averaged just over two assists a game, which doesn’t exactly bode well for his facilitation potential at the next level. Along with this, he’s a poor defender who often zones in and out of possessions. Perhaps he will be best suited coming off the bench, but if DeMar DeRozan leaves Toronto, Hield may just be in the best place for his development. If Hield can continue to create and make his shots and his average athleticism isn’t exposed, Hield could immediately fill the starting role alongside Kyle Lowry.
Comparison: Kevin Martin/JJ Redick
- Milwaukee Bucks – Dejounte Murray, Washington, 6-5, PG/SG
Dejounte Murray is one of the most tantalising prospects in this draft, some have him going in the second round, some have him going top 10. I’m a Murray optimist, and I think his game will translate well to the NBA. Despite his 170lbs frame, Murray has still shown good hands defensively, decent rebounding instincts and an ability to take contact. Offensively, Murray’s basketball IQ is hugely lacking and limits his ceiling, but if he can improve in this area he could be special. Murray is a good athlete, is excellent in the open court and has shown an ability to make a truly special play from time to time. Unfortunately, Murray is far too reliant on floaters when finishing at the rim (due to his frame and a lack of aggression) and is also too reliant on mid-range jumpers. But, Murray shows some serious potential as a shooter, facilitator and athlete and could be perfect on a Bucks team that is stacked with length. There may be no better coach to help build Murray’s IQ and cut his turnovers than Jason Kidd, another reason Milwaukee is a great fit.
Comparison: Reggie Jackson/Kemba Walker
- Orlando Magic – Skal Labissiere, Kentucky, 6-11, PF/C
Labissiere is one of the most intriguing players in the draft; a top recruit coming out of high school is now a borderline lottery pick due to his poor play at Kentucky. Skal has shown wonderful touch on his shot, but attempted just two threes in his Freshman season, which leads to doubts about whether he can shoot at the next level. He also struggled on the boards in college, which is absolutely due to his 225 pound frame, lack of basketball IQ and lack of toughness. In fact, when watching Labissiere, it often seems as if he has no idea how to actually play basketball. Despite this, he improved towards the second half of the season and will look incredible in workouts due to his ability to hit open shots in a gym with no one guarding him (Darko Milicic?) and finish with both hands. Labissiere does have some star potential, which the Magic seem to value at pick 11, but all in all it looks very much like Skal could be a bust.
Comparison: Channing Frye
- Utah Jazz – Furkan Korkmaz, Turkey, 6-7, SG/SF
The Utah Jazz have a good prospect at every position, so with this pick, they should just go for best player available. Some might say that’s Jaylen Brown, but an 18 year old with Korkmaz’s shooting ability, they could take a flier. Korkmaz is silky smooth both on the dribble and the catch and shoot, and has shown some excellent athletic potential. His frame gives him some defensive potential, but unfortunately he has shown no signs of being interested in playing defense thus far. There are some question marks over whether he will be able to create offense in the NBA, but he’s 18 years old and has huge upside. An issue could be the expensive buyout from his current contract and doubts linger as to when he will come over to the NBA, but Utah is a team that may like to keep a contract off the books for a while due to the amount of players they need to sign. Worst case scenario Korkmaz just becomes a spot up shooter in the NBA.
Comparison: Marco Belinelli
- Phoenix Suns – Jaylen Brown, California, 6-7, SF/PF
There’s one guy in every draft who falls, and I think it could be Jaylen Brown in this one. If he doesn’t go third (which looks likely), he could end up falling all the way to 13. I’m not in love with Brown as a prospect, he struggles to shoot, he’s not a great passer and his dribbling and handling is not where it should be for a lottery pick. He’s supposedly a good defender, but none of that showed through in his only college season. He committed 3.2 fouls per game, 4.6 fouls per 40 and 6.7 fouls per 100 possessions, including fouling out five times – a ridiculous amount for a wing. Along with this, he tended to float in and out of games and shot just 29%, meaning that he will need some serious spacing around him in the NBA. Brown is, however, good in the open court, has a strong build and is one of the more athletic players in the draft. If he can find some consistency that he lacked in college, with guys like Bledsoe, Knight, Booker, Tucker or Bender around him, the Suns may be Brown’s best chance for success.
Comparison: Stanley Johnson
- Chicago Bulls – Henry Ellenson, Marquette, 7-0, PF/C
The Bulls are likely to lose some combination of Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson this offseason and will need a long term answer in the front court. They could look towards Jakob Poeltl or Domantas Sabonis with this pick, but Ellenson is the guy with the most upside. He’ll probably need to play Center in the NBA due to his lack of footspeed, which could expose his poor rim protection and pick and roll defence, but Ellenson can still be a valuable asset. He’s a good shooter with good mechanics (even though he shot just 29% from deep in College, his shot looks great and he shot 75% from the Free Throw line) and that should translate to the NBA. He’s also an excellent rebounder, averaging 16 per 100 possessions, which will lead to him being a bench player in the NBA at worst. Unfortunately for Ellenson, he’s a very heavy dude and isn’t the most athletic type going around, but he’s good in the post and could be even more dominant offensively if he loses some weight. How he fits in the NBA will be interesting and there will be some situations where he will be unplayable, but ultimately his upside is far too much to pass at pick 14.
Comparison: Kevin Love/Trey Lyles
- Denver Nuggets – Juan Hernangomez, Spain, 6-9, PF
Hernangomez is quickly rising up draft boards due to some excellent workouts that displayed his athleticism and shooting. He averaged 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and shot 36% from deep in the ACB league and could be an ideal draft and stash for the Nuggets if he’s still on the board at 15. When he comes over, Hernangomez could be an ideal stretch four, and with time allowed for him to develop overseas he could be perfect for the Nuggets in a couple of years.
Comparison: Terrence Jones/Jonas Jerebko
- Boston Celtics – Jakob Poeltl, Utah, 7-1, C
Poeltl was once considered a top 5 prospect in this draft, and is still widely considered a top 10 prospect, but I have him falling to 16 mainly due to team needs. The Bucks or Magic could go for him at 10 or 11, but I think they’ll target upside. The Jazz have Gobert, the Suns took Bender at 4 and already have Len, the Bulls took Ellenson and the Nuggets have 73 Centers on their roster already. This leaves Poeltl to the Celtics at 16, which is good value for a potential two-way stud. In his first year at Utah, Poeltl was mammoth defensively, posting a defensive rating of 88 and a DBPM of 7.2 and 3.2 blocks per game. On the offensive end, he looked limited and averaged just 9.1 points per game. In his Sophomore year, however, he looked skilled offensively and even increased his Free Throw Percentage from 44% to 69%. Poeltl runs the floor well, has good enough athleticism to stay in the NBA and has showed signs of being a good passer. Unfortunately, Poeltl got monstered by Domontas Sabonis in the NCAA Tournament, which has led to some serious questions about how he’ll handle the bigger, more skilled players in the NBA.
Comparison: Andrew Bogut
- Memphis Grizzlies – Malachi Richardson, Syracuse, 6-6, SG
If Richardson is still on the board at 17, it seems that the Grizzlies are locked into him. Despite some alarming statistics (37% FG, 35%3PT, 2.1AST), teams are enamoured with Richardson following a breakout NCAA Tournament performance. Along with this, Richardson impressed at the draft combine, measuring a 7 foot wingspan and a 38 inch vertical leap. This combination of athleticism and shooting (some of his 35% can be attributed to poor shot selection) is intriguing scouts that think they can fix his decision making. The problem with Richardson is that he’s already 20 years old and there is no gauge on his defence after playing in the Syracuse zone. Memphis seem intrigued with him though, and he could be a nice fit alongside Conley (if he stays).
Comparison: Jeremy Lamb
- Detroit Pistons – Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga, 6-10, PF/C
The Pistons were searching for a Power Forward at the trade deadline, and even though Tobias Harris looked great alongside Drummond, the Pistons still need another player in their big man rotation. If Sabonis falls to them at 18, he would be the perfect option. He has a huge motor, is sneakily athletic and has excellent post touch and feel around the basket, even if he is very reliant on hook shots that will be tough to get off in the NBA. He’s also a good rebounder and an excellent passer, where he demonstrates his high basketball IQ. If Sabonis can extend a mid-range shot to the three-point line, he should be a starter in the NBA despite his atrocious defence. It is very possible that he will never be a good help defender – a huge concern for a guy that projects to be a Center – and his physical tools are underwhelming. For the Pistons, however, he could fit perfectly alongside Andre Drummond.
Comparison: Luis Scola/Donatas Motiejunas
- Denver Nuggets – Taurean Prince, Baylor, 6-8, SF
I doubt the Nuggets will keep this pick, but if they do, I think they will target some help on the wing. Taurean Prince is a guy that could translate into a 3&D wing in the NBA or even a small ball stretch 4 after nailing 37.6% of his three point attempts in his four years at Baylor. He won’t offer much else on the offensive end, and he needs to improve his handle, but he should still have a role as a shooter and cutter. On the other end of the floor, he has good size, good instincts and is a good help defender. With Danilo Gallinari’s injury history, Prince would be good cover for the Nuggets.
Comparison: Robert Covington/DeMarre Carroll
- Indiana Pacers – Denzel Valentine, Michigan State, 6-6, SG/PG
The hype on Valentine has cooled recently with concerns over his knees, but he is still a good prospect and would be a good fit for the Pacers at 20. Indiana currently have just Ty Lawson (28) and Joseph Young (23) as guards on the roster that are under 30 years old, and will be looking to stock up on draft night. Valentine is a good shooter and passer with good length and a high IQ, but to succeed in the NBA, he will need to become an elite shooter and a better player without the ball. Valentine is an awful defender and will ideally need to play Point Guard to supplement his lack of size on the wing. The Pacers would be an ideal fit for Denzel as he would be allowed to run off screens to get his shot off and craft his game from the bench until the time comes for him to take over as a starter.
Comparison: Greivis Vasquez
- Atlanta Hawks – DeAndre Bembry, St Joseph’s, 6-6, SG/SF
Bembry would be a perfect fit for an Atlanta team chasing an instant contributor on the wing that also has high upside. At the moment, Bembry is a multi-faceted player that can do everything but shoot, and guys with his length that can do what he can are rare. Bembry is a high IQ facilitator with an excellent assist to turnover ratio that can create his own shot and shot for others. He also improved as a rebounder from his Freshman to Junior year and is athletic enough to continue this in the NBA. He also has the length to be somewhere between passable and excellent as a defender at the next level. His shot is concerning, as he has poor Free Throw and 3PT percentages, but shooting can be taught and the Hawks will be hoping he can improve.
Comparison: Kent Bazemore
- Charlotte Hornets – Cheick Diallo, Kansas, 6-9, PF/C
Diallo had an awful year at Kansas where he was often confined to the bench and showed very little when he did get on the court. But at the draft combine, Diallo measured very well and was good in the 5 on 5’s. Naturally, the standard is much lower than NBA standard, but his rebounding, defence and athleticism were on show. He could end up being a rim-running big man offensively and an athletic rim protector defensively, which would make for a nice pairing alongside Kemba Walker.
Comparison: Tristan Thompson/Bismack Biyombo
- Boston Celtics – Petr Cornelie, France, 6-11, PF
Cornelie is one of the lesser known European prospects in this class, but the Celtics could look to stash him if he’s available at pick 23. He’s a sharp shooting big man and a fluid athlete, which could translate to offensive rebounding and rim protecting in the NBA. He needs to be more imposing on the game and he hasn’t shown much production yet, but the physical tools and the jump-shot are the basis for a productive NBA player.
Comparison: Ryan Anderson
- Philadelphia 76ers – Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame, 6-2, PG
The 76ers desperately need some assistance in the backcourt and Jackson could be the answer. He’s an excellent athlete, has a good frame and has explosiveness to be able to finish at the rim despite his size. He may be able to play off the ball in a catch and shoot role in the NBA (he shot 38% from deep over the course of his college career), which only adds to his potential. Jackson needs to improve his facilitation but with Ben Simmons now on the 76ers he won’t need to be a facilitator immediately. Defensively, he doesn’t have great length, but his athleticism should translate and he should be solid.
Comparison: Eric Bledsoe
- Los Angeles Clippers – Thon Maker, Australia, 7-1, PF/C
Maker is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft due to the incredible mix tapes that surfaced and misrepresented him. Maker isn’t a 7’1 Kyrie Irving, but he does have a good handle, he is athletic and he has shown the ability to shoot the ball. He has a huge upside and a huge motor and if he can gain some weight, he should be able to hold his own in the paint. The Clippers have plenty of talent and without a sure-thing Small Forward prospect on the board, it’s worth the Clippers taking a gamble on Maker.
Comparison: Myles Turner
- Philadelphia 76ers – Malik Beasley, Florida State, 6-5, SG
Malik Beasley can do a little bit of everything, but doesn’t stand out in any particular aspect of the game. He’s a good athlete, a good shooter and his handle and facilitation have shown promise. He is also athletic and young enough to be a good defender in the NBA and has shown that he can be an efficient scorer (47%FG, 39%3pt). It will be interesting to see whether he can create shots in the NBA, but he’s young enough for the Sixers to gamble on at the end of the first round.
Comparison: Gary Harris/Evan Fournier
- Toronto Raptors – Brice Johnson, North Carolina, 6-10, PF/C
The Raptors already took Hield at pick 9, so they will be looking to draft a Power Forward at 27. Johnson is a good athlete, a good rebounder, good at defending on the ball and could potentially become a great scorer. For Johnson, he could either be a role player or a very good starter depending on how well his athleticism and rebounding relate to defence in the NBA.
Comparison: Pau Gasol
- Phoenix Suns – Timothe Luwawu, France, 6-7, SG/SF
Luwawu was seen as high as 7 on big boards, but some serious concerns have caused him to fall so far that he may not even stay in the first round. Luwawu projects as a 3&D wing, but concerns over his shooting have cast doubt as to his role in the league. He can’t create shots for himself or teammates and he struggles to score inside the paint. He is, however, extremely athletic and can guard multiple positions which should lead to at least some sort of role in the NBA. The Suns can afford a gamble here and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them take Luwawu.
Comparison: Danny Green/Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- San Antonio Spurs – Tyler Ulis, Duke, 5-9, PG
There are some serious issues with Tyler Ulis, but if any team can take his skillset and turn him into a contributor, it’s the Spurs. Ulis has displayed excellent vision, playmaking and the ability to shoot the ball. The issue with Ulis is his 5’9, 150lbs frame, which will lead to issues with finishing at the rim and on defense in the NBA. Ulis also doesn’t project to be an elite scorer, so any Isaiah Thomas comparison can be thrown out the window. Ulis could however, be a savvy pass-first Point Guard in the Spurs system and a spot up shooter if his shot improves.
Comparison: Muggsy Bogues
- Golden State Warriors – Patrick McCaw, UNLV, 6-7, SG
With the final pick in the first round, the Warriors are going to opt for a shooting guard with length, a three point shot and defensive potential. McCaw is also young, athletic and has shown the ability to rebound (a 6’10 wingspan helps here). Unfortunately, he’s just 180lbs, which means he’ll need to gain some serious weight before he contributes. McCaw has shown signs as a passer and could very well act as a “Klay Thompson Lite” for the Warriors off the bench.
Comparison: Courtney LeeThat’s it! Don’t take this mock draft as gospel on draft night as it heavily factors in my personal opinions, but in this class, who knows what could happen? If your team ends up with Wade Baldwin, DeAndre Bembry or DeMetrius Jackson, you’ll have one of my favourites in this class and possibly a future star.