The NBA Draft is today and for fans of teams that aren’t the Cleveland Cavaliers, your Basketball Christmas Day is here. We had one major trade happen since the last Mock that I posted earlier in the week, so here is my final Mock Draft before Thursday’s Draft. This time I go a bit deeper with my thoughts on the players in the 1st Round. Please read this with the song playing in the background. (Makes it more intense)
1) Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, SF/PF, LSU
2) Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
3) Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets): Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma
4) Phoenix Suns: Marquiss Chriss, PF- Washington
5) Minnesota Timberwolves: Jamal Murray, G, Kentucky
6) New Orleans Pelicans: Kris Dunn- G- Providence
7) Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks): Jalen Brown, SF, California
8) Sacramento Kings: Dragan Bender, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
9) Toronto Raptors (via Denver Nuggets): Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette
10) Milwaukee Bucks: Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
11) Orlando Magic: Skai Labassere, PF/C, Kentucky
12) Atlanta Hawks (via Utah Jazz): Furkan Korkmaz, SG, Turkey
13) Phoenix Suns (via Washington Wizards):Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State
14) Chicago Bulls: Wade Baldwin, PG, Vanderbilt
15) Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Timothe Luwawu, SF, France
16) Boston Celtics (via Dallas Mavericks): Domatas Sabonis, C, Gonzaga
17) Memphis Grizzlies: Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse
18) Detroit Pistons: Denzel Valentine, SG/SF, Michigan State
19) Denver Nuggets (via Portland Trail Blazers): Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Washington
20) Indiana Pacers: Brice Johnson, SF/PF, North Carolina
21) Atlanta Hawks: Cheick Diallo, PF/C, Kansas
22) Charlotte Hornets: Thon Maker, PF/C, Australia
23) Boston Celtics: Ante Zinic, C, Croatia
24) Philadelphia 76ers (via Miami Heat): Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
25) L.A. Clippers: DeAndre Bembry, G, St. Joesphs
26) Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
27) Toronto Raptors: Juan Hernangomez, PF, Spain
28) Phoenix Suns (via Cleveland Cavaliers): Ivica Zubac, C, Croatia
29) San Antonio Spurs: Diamond Stone, C, Maryland
30) Golden State Warriors: Taurean Prince, SF, Baylor
- Simmons as the number one pick shows that Philadelphia is all-in on the most talented player in the draft, instead of the player who I think fits their current roster better in Ingram.
- Ingram is ready made for Los Angeles and as long as they don’t get silly in free agency, Ingram could be a starring piece right next to DeAngelo Russell and Julius Randle in Los Angeles.
- Hield, is still at number 3, but that could change. Boston does need an outside shooter
- Chriss is the scariest player in the draft, has a lot of Chris Bosh in him but there are signs of Tyrus Thomas as well
- Murray and Minnesota are a perfect match, now can Thibs get him to play defense is the question.
- Speaking of questions, Kris Dunn should answer all of the Pelicans guard issues. He can play both spots and will be a perfect partner for Anthony Davis.
- Jaylen Brown could go as high as number 3 (I think that’s who Boston wants to take at 3, but want to move down) his athleticism would be a hit in Denver. Him and Will Barton on the wings is a very solid duo.
- Dragan Bender at 8 to the Kings is a great spot for him. He’s long and can defend. Slide him right next to DeMarcus Cousins. But be patient with him in the meantime.
- Ellenson is a solid fit in Toronto and a better option at Power Forward than Patrick Patterson and Luis Scola
- Poelti will give the Bucks a solid center and will allow Jason Kidd to put Greg Monroe back at Power Forward, his natural position. Wouldn’t be surprised if a Point Guard is taken here either.
- Orlando like Boston doesn’t want to keep this pick, but Skai if kept will fill a gaping hole at Center because he can protect the rim and has solid range on his jump shot
- Atlanta moves into to the 12th spot in a trade on Wednesday and they need a shooting guard here. Korkmaz is very simliar to Orlando’s Evan Fouriner, or even a more polished Mario Herizonja from last year’s draft.
- Davis is the 2nd Bigman taken by the Suns in the Lottery, the difference is that he will get to learn how to be a defensive Center from one of the best around and Tyson Chandler. Besides the Suns don’t need anymore guards at all.
- After Trading Derrick Rose to New York on Wednesday afternoon, the Bulls need a new point guard and the ultra-long Baldwin is the right fit. This could be even more interesting if the Bulls move Jimmy Butler before the draft.
- Luwawu would be the 3rd player from the European Club Mega Leaks on this roster. This really a draft and stash spot because the Nuggets do not need any other guaranteed roster spots at all.
- Sabonis is great value pick for the Celtics at 16 because they do need a quality Center and the son of the former Portland Trail Blazers would slide right in go well in the rotation with Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynik.
- Richardson like Chriss earlier has flown up draft boards because of his impressive workouts. Could go higher but Memphis would be elated to have him fall right here. He has a lot of potential and is an upgrade over Lance Stephenson.
- Valentine is a Michigan State guy and we all know about Michigan State and the Pistons relationship. A very good all-around player that does nothing spectular at all. But some injury reports question his knees. A story to watch out for.
- Murray is going to be a nice complement as a backup point guard to Mudiay in Denver. Remember the backup point guards were DJ Augustin and Jameer Nelson last year.
- Johnson bring the Pacers another hustle guy that is a very good rebounder. Doesn’t need the ball to be effective with is good since you have Paul George, Monta Ellis and now Jeff Teague doing alot of the heavy lifting on offensive side of the ball.
- Diallo will come into Atlanta as a solid big man who can defend the post. If Al Horford does decide to leave this summer, the Hawks a starting point as a replacement.
- Maker and Charlotte seem to be an interesting fit here, Charlotte could be losing Al Jefferson this summer and that leaves them with not much at Center. Maker will benefit from being in the D-League for a good part of the season, the good news is that if he reaches his potential then we have the steal of the draft right here.
- At this point the teams with earlier picks (Boston, Toronto and Phoenix) will take draft and stash guys only because they have so many players on their roster and do not need any additional players. Picks could be up for grabs. (Hint Brooklyn and New York)
- The Sixers pick at 24 and 26 and draft backcourt players in Beasley and Jackson in these spots. Both players can contribute right away. Philly hasn’t figured out either spot in the back court so they could step in right away and get some meaningful playing time.
- Bembry will help because a lot of the Clippers scoring threats off the bench (Jamal Crawford and Paul Pierce) are getting up their in age.
- Stone is an interersting prospect. He has a lot of talent, but he doesn’t seem to play with it on a regular basis. Coach Pop should fix that right up.
- Prince is great fit in Golden State because of this team potentially losing Harrison Barnes to free agency. He has a lot of Jae Crowder to his game.
What do you think? Are you excited for the NBA Draft Today? Let me know in the comments below and listen to our show Full Court Press Radio and download our app in the Apple Store and Google Play Store under the Full Court Press.