We pick up where we left off. Just after the lottery. This year’s draft is deep with guys that will be contributors for teams for years to come with plenty of sleeper potential. We’ll keep the same format with Josh’s picks first and mine below.
#15. Portland – Luke Kennard
Portland has three 1st round picks. I’m sure they’ll trade one – if not more – of them at some point. But for now I’m saying they take the draft’s best shooter to create even more space for Lillard and McCollum to do their things.
Bib’s Take: I agree that the Blazers take a scorer here but with the two guards already in place they take a shooting wing in Justin Jackson. (You’ll note Josh sent Jackson to Detroit and I sent Kennard there so again we’re on the same page.) He slots into the roster nicely and with two more picks, unless they trade for a 4 man *Porzingis* they’ll still be able to address that need later.
#16. Chicago – Jarrett Allen
M-Bibs has Jarrett Allen rated as the 19th best player on his top 50 rankings, so this I think is a pretty good landing spot for him. I’m from Austin, and basketball fans here were hyped last season as Allen kept getting better and better. He’s got a 7’5” wingspan and a soft touch that helped him shoot about 48% from the field last season. Chicago needs an upgrade in their front court and Allen is my favorite player at this point to do that.
Bib’s Take: I’m actually amazed that we have the same guy here as well. As Josh mentioned the Bulls need to get better here. They are safe at every position except center as far as young talent and Allen gives them that. I do like the fit for both sides as he’s the type of Center you want beside their floor spacing 4 men.
#17. Milwaukee – Justin Patton
A 7 footer that moves well and protects the paint, Patton is just the sort of long (7’3” wingspan), athletic player the Bucks have had so much success with over the past few years. Greg Monroe and Spencer Hawes might be gone in the future too, so Milwaukee will definitely need a big man to round out its roster.
Bib’s Take: I agree that the Bucks go big here but with Patton off the board they go with Ike Anigbogu. They are not shy when it comes to taking guys that are raw and Anigbogu comes in to give them rebounding and rim protection. He’s beefier than what they currently offer at the position as well and with him in the rotation the Bucks are loaded with young athletic guys that will take on any challenger.
#18. Indiana – OG Anunoby
The rumors of a Paul George trade are in full force. Maybe he gets sent to Cleveland before the draft. Or maybe he stays through next year and darts for LA in free agency. Either way, Indiana needs to get a versatile, two-way player that has the potential to be the franchise’s next star. Anunoby was almost a lottery-lock before he injured his knee. If the Pacers take it slow and let him fully recover, he’s probably a huge steal at 18.
Bib’s Take: I shied away from the PG talk and instead went with the best player available. I let Zach Collins slip and the Pacers can’t help but grab a guy that’s going to give them front court depth. Collins won’t have to start right away so he’ll have time to get acclimated to the NBA game and get his fouls down.
#19. Atlanta – Ike Anigbogu
Dwight Howard is getting older. Paul Millsap might be gone in free agency. Plain and simple, Atlanta needs a big man in a big way. He’s not a great scorer, but his shot blocking is relentless. He’d do well to study Howard and expand his game.
Bib’s Take: Clearly Josh made this pick before he knew Howard was getting traded but his points remain valid. However with Ike in Milwaukee I had the Hawks taking Harry Giles. Like OG he’s a lottery talent who fell because of health issues but if he’s healthy the Hawks will have gotten a stea.
#20. Portland (From Memphis via Denver and Cleveland) – Harry Giles
Someone’s gotta do it. Portland has 3 picks – as of the time of this mock draft – so why not take a risk on the former number 1 overall recruit coming out of high school. Two season ending injuries and knee problems at Duke made Giles’ stock plummet. But it seems he’s impressing teams in workouts and if his injuries are behind him, could bring elite scoring and solid defense to pair next to Jusuf Nurkic.
Bib’s Take: As I mentioned I was going to have the Blazers going big here as well. With Giles gone in my mock they go with Bam Adebyao. Another athletic big man Bam should be able to play some small-ball 5 and will enjoy catching his lobs from Dame and CJ. He and Nurkic should become a two headed monster in the paint as well and the Blazers become instantly better with their two picks in this draft.
#21. Oklahoma City – Terrance Ferguson
I personally think if Ferguson had just gone to Arizona, he’d be a lottery candidate today. But alas, he went to Australia, got very few minutes behind established veterans, and will now be a mid to late-1st round pick. That being said, he’s a sharpshooter that OKC desperately needs and has for real 3-and-D potential.
Bib’s Take: We are officially completely off track as I have the Thunder taking OG Anunoby. Oladipo turned out to not be a ton of help for Russ and the Thunder need to give him some support. With OG Russ will have someone who can take some of the heat off of him.
#22. Brooklyn (From Washington) – Bam Adebayo
It won’t be long before Brook Lopez escapes from the Alcatraz that is this roster. Soooo they need a big man. I probably have Adebayo way too low, but I think if he does manage to fall this low, he’ll be a great low-post presence for this… umm… team? Yeah, team.
Bib’s Take: Well, Josh was right… I think the trade went down about 20 minutes after he submitted this to me. With Brook gone the Nets will need to fill the hole in the middle. However, with Bam off the board in my mock I have them taking the young big man from Indiana Thomas Bryant. He’s been slowly sneaking up draft boards and I have him rated as the #3 Center in the draft. He’s physically ready to play and should get plenty of burn in Brooklyn.
#23. Toronto (From LA Clippers via Milwaukee) – Anzejs Pasecniks
I’ll be honest I can’t say this dude’s name. But basically he’s a 7’2” pick-and-roll nightmare that can hit the three. Probably not the next Porzingis, but I mean come on – you never know.
Bib’s Take: Pasecniks is actually a smart pick here and I really like it. However, with the futures of Lowry and Derozan already uncertain and the struggles at holding down the 3 spot on this roster that’s where I think the Raptors go. Semi Ojeleye would be a sexy pick here and is a guy that I would probably slot right into that starting spot if the roster stays together. I rated him as a great 2nd or 3rd option type of player and he is physically ready to hold his own as well.
#24. Utah – Semi Ojeleye
I think this dude is going to be legit. Utah might need to plan for the potential event that Gordon Hayward heads off in free agency. Ojeleye is big, strong, quick, and was one of the best shooters in college last year (42.4% from beyond the arc).
Bib’s Take: I also was thinking of replacing Gordon Hayward if he leaves in the offseason and that is why I have the Jazz taking the 3/4 shooting ace Tyler Lydon. He really reminds me of Ryan Anderson and would give the Jazz more scoring ability right away to help replace Gordo’s production.
#25. Orlando (From Toronto) – Jawun Evans
Orlando passed up a PG at pick 6. I don’t see them doing that again, especially Evans, who would probably be a lottery pick if he were just a few inches taller. This guy is a wizard with the ball and can break down defenses and make his teammates better. (Side note: M-Bibs has him ranked as the 4th best player in the draft. Dayum.)
Bib’s Take: *Looks at Josh’s next pick* We’re just missing each other here again but I have the Magic going with TJ Leaf here. As I said earlier they need points and TJ can provide that as well. Monk and Leaf off the bench will provide a scoring punch right away and finally make this Magic team look like the team they were supposed to be the past two seasons.
#26. Portland (From Cleveland) – TJ Leaf
Maybe a slight mix between their first two picks, Leaf can rebound and shoot the 3 (he shot nearly 47% at UCLA last year). He’s not the strongest or fastest or most athletic guy, and his defense leaves something to be desired, but I think he’s the best player on the board at this point, and maybe a Kevin Love-esque talent. That’s probably too far, but maybe.
Bib’s Take: I’m not sure how much the Blazers trust Napier or want to have CJ playing the backup point. They nab Jawun Evans (who I love) to help spell Dame and keep the offense running smoothly. They also get an insurance policy in a guy who can run the offense long term if the unfortunate were to happen and Dame asks out of Portland. (I can’t see it).
#27. Los Angeles Lakers (From Brooklyn via Boston) – Caleb Swanigan
I’ve seen mocks that have Swanigan higher than this. I’ve seen mocks that have him much lower. But from what I’ve seen, this dude is a smart player and an extremely hard worker who will most likely continue to get better in the NBA. He’s strong down low and could be one of the best rebounders in the league one day. We shall see.
Bib’s Take: As much as I love Swanigan I think NBA GM’s are sleeping. The Lakers take Terrance Ferguson (who Josh had going a few picks earlier) to run on the wing with Lonzo catching lobs and what not. Swaggy P just opted out so there’s room for another SG in LA.
#28. Los Angeles Lakers (From Houston) — Tyler Lyndon
The Lakers were 22nd in 3-point percentage last year. Lyndon brings some size and an efficient long-range game to their team. Might be hard for him to find playing time on this squad of other young players, but I’m sure Magic Johnson will take anyone who can help them win.
Bib’s Take: I think the Lakers double down here and take a second guard with Derrick White. He reminds me of Evan Turner and could potentially play some backup point for the Lakers. #WhyNot?
#29. San Antonio – Isaiah Hartenstein
No team does “draft and stash” better than the Spurs. Heck, they might just let him play next season and I’m sure Pop will make him look good. Seems like Hartenstein needs a little more time to develop, but I think this team is the best to help him reach his potential.
Bib’s Take: It’s a Christmas Miracle that we actually have the same pick again. As mentioned the Spurs know their foreign guys and I have Hartenstein as a top 15 talent in this draft. They are already shopping Aldridge which I expected when I put together my mock and with Gasol on his last legs they’ll need front court depth and a dynamic player. Pop should also be able to reign in his attitude issues.
#30. Utah (From Golden State) – Kyle Kuzma
He looks like Ben Simmons 1.0. Kuzma looks like he should be an early 1st round talent, but there are lots of holes – primarily consistent shooting and defense. I’m high on him, but I doubt he’ll get drafted much sooner than this, unless he impressed a team in workouts. Still, he could eventually be the guy that replaces Gordon Hayward’s production if he leaves.
Bib’s Take: We saw last year when Gobert went down that the Jazz don’t have anything close to him off the bench. In my original draft I wanted the Jazz to take Jeanne but with his diagnosis they go with another guy over 7 feet in Pasecniks. He’s not exactly ready in my opinion but neither was Rudy when they took him. He’ll get to practice against the best defensive big man in the league which will only make his scoring ability more deadly when he’s playing against lesser centers.
All in all Josh and I had somewhat similar picks with the following major differences.
Josh has: Swanigan and Kuzma going in the first round and I have Derrick White and Thomas Bryant. Both of Josh’s outliers are at the very end of the draft however and I have Bryant going at 22. We’ll revisit these picks when the draft is done to see who came out closest.
The day has come however so good luck to your team!
Another quick thank you to Josh for making this happen as well!