1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, SF, Duke, Freshman
The first pick of the Final NBA Mock Draft is the same first pick everyone would have had if they did a mock 6-7 months ago… Zion Williamson. I don’t only expect Zion Williamson to be a perennial all-star in the NBA, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s an all-star in his rookie season. He’s the most hyped prospect since Lebron James, and it’s all warranted. Zion is a once in a generation athlete and body type, as he can jump out of the gym at his 6’7,” 285 lbs. frame. His ability to finish around the rim for someone of his height is unprecedented as he shot 68.0% from the field last season, while also having a player efficiency rating of 40.8, the highest in college basketball in the last decade. Not only is Williamson a force offensively, but he’s a future All-Defensive Team type player. He averaged 2.1 steals per game and 1.8 blocks per game last season and can defend every position 1-5 due to his insane athletic abilities. David Griffin picked an amazing season to come back into the NBA, as there’s no doubt the Pelicans organization is in the best position as good of a position as it’s been in in years.
2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State, Sophomore
The Grizzlies have all but solidified their plan to select Murray State point guard Ja Morant with the second overall pick. The final straw came when they traded longtime franchise player Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Morant’s by far the best passer in the draft, as he led the NCAA in assists per game last season (10.0) by a landslide. In addition, his gifted athleticism allows him to get to and finish around the basket as well as any guard in the draft (55.6% on 2-point FGs). Ja Morant reminds me of De’Aaron Fox coming out of college… a quick guard that will be lethal as long as he continues to develop his jump shot. There’s no doubt that the Grizzlies are off to a phenomenal start to their rebuild, as they’ll pair Ja Morant with Jaren Jackson Jr., a stretch four who showed all-star potential in his rookie season.
3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke, Freshman
Despite some late Darius Garland rumors, Woj confirmed today that the Knicks are indeed ‘locked in’ to taking R.J. Barrett with the third pick in the draft. Barrett caught a lot of criticism throughout the college basketball season for some inefficient games. However, I think the narrative would be completely different if he wasn’t playing next to Zion Williamson the entire season. Barrett still scored 22.6 points per game last season while playing in a lineup crowded with talent. In addition, he was only 18 years old and playing in the toughest conference in college basketball. Barrett also doesn’t get enough credit for his passing abilities, which are good enough to make me think he’ll see some time at point guard throughout his career. He averaged 4.3 assists per game this past season, good for fifth in the ACC. Even if the Knicks don’t land any big name free agents this summer, Barrett and Robinson give them a solid start to a rebuild.
4. New Orleans Pelicans: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
I think the Pelicans really want to trade this pick, and that’s why all the rumors are being leaked. The Pelicans want to receive as much as they can back and if teams are bidding against each other, or think they are, then that’ll happen. It seems that the player most teams are interested at if they were to trade for the pick is Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland. Garland only played five games in his freshman season due to a torn meniscus, but was extremely impressive in his short time on the court. In those games, he averaged 16.2 points per game on 53.7% from the field and 47.8% from three. Garland’s quickness and shot off the dribble is extremely impressive, a reason to think he’ll be a a starting-caliber point guard in this league. If the Pelicans hold onto the pick, then it could be different, but the Pelicans haven’t worked out DeAndre Hunter or Jarret Culver either, so who knows what they’ll do. If they hold on to the pick and do take Garland, then Lonzo Ball will have some competition, but ultimately, I think the pick is dealt.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech, Sophomore
The Cavaliers are likely going to select the best player available that isn’t a point guard at pick #5. In this case, Jarrett Culver falls to five, so he is the selection. Culver’s size at his position allow him to create his own shot and get to the basket with ease. He averaged 18.5 points per game for Texas Tech in his sophomore season and was a key component in their run to to the NCAA Tournament championship game. Not only can Culver score, but he’s an elite passer and defender. He was fourth in the Big 12 in assists per game with 3.7, and first in the nation in defensive win shares. Culver’s playmaking ability combined with his defensive abilities should turn him into a solid player in the NBA, and a nice fit in the Cleveland backcourt next to Collin Sexton.
6. Phoenix Suns: Coby White, PG, North Carolina, Freshman
The Suns have needed a point guard for what feels like the longest time. After taking big men and wings for the last few drafts, they finally address the point guard need here by selecting Coby White. White’s quickness, handles and scoring ability is what makes him special. He averaged 16.1 points per game last season, shooting 35.3% from beyond the arc. White uses that quickness and handle to create his own shot opportunities. However, White struggled shooting off the dribble this past season and thrived in catch-and-shoot scenarios. If Coby White can fix his shot off the dribble in order to become a greater scoring threat, he can become a good starting-caliber point guard in the league.
7. Chicago Bulls: De’Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia, Sophomore
Considering the Bulls have addressed their bigs in the last two drafts with Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., the Bulls are likely going to select a point guard or wing with the seventh pick. Their decision is made easier here when the top-three point guards are off the board in the top-6, with a great wing in De’Andre Hunter falling right into their lap. I see Hunter as a safe pick in this draft, and a guy who’s floor is a nice 3&D rotational player. Hunter’s defense and ability to guard multiple positions due to his size and athleticism is a huge strength of his. While his offensive game isn’t developed fully yet, he did shoot 43.8% from three-point range this past season. We saw what Hunter’s potential could be, if he does develop a more consistent offensive game, in the National Championship as he put up a career-high 27 points against an elite Texas Tech defense. Selecting Hunter at pick #7 is good value for Chicago and he should fit in nicely with the rest of that young core.
8. Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish, SG, Duke, Freshman
I’ve had Cam Reddish slotted to the Hawks ever since the lottery. It just seems like a natural fit given the way the team is being built with shooters such as Trae Young and Kevin Huerter. There’s no doubt that Reddish struggled with his shot in his freshman season at Duke, as he only shot 35.6% from the field and 33.3% from downtown. That’s an issue when you’re a highly-touted shooter coming out of high school. I’m on the record saying that Cam Reddish is like that TV show that you expect to be really good and it’s not. Then there’s that one episode that’s amazing, and you keep watching thinking that every episode is going to be that good. That’s really how I feel about Reddish. However, Cam Reddish still possesses the size and defensive talent to the point where if his shot starts falling, he’ll be a really good NBA player. That is something that I expect to happen once he’s adjusted to the NBA game.
9. Washington Wizards: Nassir Little, SF, UNC, Freshman
Despite being a McDonald’s All-American coming into his freshman year at UNC, Little is someone I was extremely unimpressed with throughout his time at North Carolina. However, I did see a lot of improvement in his game by the end of the year. He scored 19 points in the Tar Heels’ first NCAA Tournament game on 9/13 shooting then 20 in the next one on 8/11 shooting. Little extremely strong for his size, and one of his strengths is using that physicality in order to get to the rim. If Little can improve his jump shot, I think he has a chance to become a solid player in the league. Due to Little’s high profile coming out of high school, I do think a team overdrafts him and takes him in the top-12. In this case, it’s the Washington Wizards.
10. Atlanta Hawks: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas, Freshman
It’s a near guarantee that the Hawks are going to draft a center with one of their three first round picks. They need a player who’s going to be a defensive anchor next to John Collins in the front court and in this case it’s Jaxson Hayes. Hayes is a guy with a tremendous amount of potential given the fact that he’s a late bloomer. He’s grown at least 10 inches since his freshman year of high school. At Texas, Hayes wowed with his athleticism and defense as he averaged 2.2 blocks per game in only 23.3 minutes per game. His block percentage was over 10%, and he also showed he can shoot from mid-range. Texas centers have worked out in the NBA the last couple of years and I see no reason why Hayes will turn out any definitely. He’s the modern-day NBA center.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Rui Hachimura, SF, Gonzaga, Junior
There have been rumors flying that Rui Hachimura received a promise in the lottery, either from the Heat or the Timberwolves. While there are defensive and decision-making concerns with Hachimura, he did average 19.7 points per game for Gonzaga this past season on 59.1% from the field. He also has great size for his position at 6’8.” The potential of Hachimura to be a good scorer in the league is there. However, the main question is just how much more will he develop? If he can become a smarter player and more capable defensive talent, then this will be a pick that pays off long-term for Minnesota.
12. Charlotte Hornets: Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia
Goga Bitadze is the number one international player on my big board. He’s another modern-day big man in this draft with a lot of upside. In just 24.2 minutes per game for Buducnost VOLI in the EuroLeague, Bitadze averaged 12.1 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 2.3 blocks per game. He also shot over 30% from beyond the arc. Bitadze seems to be someone who has impressed in workouts throughout the draft process, as videos have been all over social media of him splashing threes. If Bitadze’s defense and improving shot can translate to the NBA, then the Hornets might be getting a steal here at pick 12.
13. Miami Heat: Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Gonzaga, Redshirt Junior
If the Heat really do want Rui Hachimura, but he doesn’t fall, then Brandon Clarke is what I’d call the better consolation prize. Clarke is the fifth player on my Big Board, as his athleticism is absolutely off-the-charts. If there was no Zion Williamson in this draft, then Clarke’s name would be brought up a lot more. Not only is Clarke’s athleticism insane, but so are his defensive instincts. At only 6’8,” Clarke averaged 3.2 blocks per game last season with a block percentage at over 11%. The fact that he’s undersized is the reason he’s being slept on by NBA scouts, but the athleticism more than makes up for it. If Clarke can develop his jump shot further, then he’s going to become a dangerous player in the NBA. The thought of Clarke playing next to Bam Adebayo in Miami’s future front court is intriguing.
14. Boston Celtics: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky, Freshman
Unless Brandon Clarke or Goga Bitadze fall to 14, I think the Celtics are going to go with the sharp shooter from Kentucky, Tyler Herro. Herro only shot 35.5% from beyond the arc at Kentucky this past season, but his shot is a lot better than the numbers say. I see Herro as a guy we may look at as one of the top shooters in the league down the road. He also shot 93.5% from the free throw line this past season, which is always an added bonus. We’ve seen Kentucky players unleashed once they’ve entered the NBA recently, and it’s possible Herro may be one of those guys.
15. Detroit Pistons: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, France
I could see Sekou Doumbouya being selected as high as pick #9 in this draft. Doumbouya is an extremely raw talent, but possesses the size and athleticism to eventually develop into a special player one day. He stands at 6’9 with nearly a 7-foot wingspan. In addition, he’s a decent shooter from downtown as he shot 33.3% in 29 games of the French Jeep Elite this year. It’s likely that Doumbouya is one of the boom-or-bust prospects in this draft, but with his high ceiling, the Pistons will likely pounce on him if he falls to 15.
16. Orlando Magic: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana, Freshman
The Orlando Magic are in dire need of guards, which is why they go with Indiana’s Romeo Langford at pick 16. Langford was a top-ten recruit coming out of high school, and largely underwhelmed as a Hoosier. Like Cam Reddish, Langford couldn’t get many long distance shots to fall as he shot just over 27% from three-point range. If there was a redeeming quality for Langford this season, it was his ability to finish at the rim. Langford placed in the 87th percentile in terms of finishing at the rim this past season, a main reason why he still averaged over 16 points per game despite his poor shooting performances. At 6’6,” Langford also possesses good size for the 2-guard, which fits in nicely with the long and lengthy lineup of the Orlando Magic.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Bol Bol, PF/C, Oregon, Freshman
The Hawks have three first round picks after their trade with the Nets a couple of weeks ago. With their third first round pick, why not take a big risk? Bol Bol is a guy who probably would have been drafted in the top-5 had he not injured his foot after only nine college games, holding him out for the rest of the season. While there are injury concerns with Bol, there’s no denying his ridiculous basketball abilities. Bol averaged 21 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game to go along with 2.7 blocks per game in his short-lived college career. The craziest stat though is that Bol shot 52% on his 25 three-point attempts despite the fact that he’s 7’2.” If Bol’s legs can hold up, he can become one of the biggest steals of this draft. Twitter would probably explode if Atlanta is able to pull off Reddish, Hayes and Bol Thursday night.
18. Indiana Pacers: Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC, Freshman
Kevin Porter Jr. probably has the biggest range out of anyone in this draft. I could see him sneaking into the back of the lottery, and even possibly falling to the late 20s. This is due to his high level of talent combine with his off-the-court issues that got him suspended at USC. However, Porter sits at 11 on my big board due to his gifted athleticism that had him wowing teams in draft workouts. In addition Porter can shoot the three at a high-percentage (41.2% this past season at USC), and has that pretty dribble-pull up jumper. I think Porter can have an impact in the league right away, something that will make Indiana happy given their shallowness at guard with Victor Oladipo injured for the beginning portion of the season.
19. San Antonio Spurs: PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky, Sophomore
You never want to let a special talent fall all the way to the Spurs, and that’s the case right here. PJ Washington is as solid as they come in this draft. Despite being a bit of an undersized power forward at only 6’8,” Washington can do everything from playing in the paint to stretching the floor with his three-point shot. He’s a guy that seemingly always makes the right play due to his high basketball IQ. There’s no doubt that the Spurs and PJ Washington would be a phenomenal fit.
20. Boston Celtics: Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State, Sophomore
Mfiondu Kabengele has risen up NBA Draft boards since the pre-draft process began. If you look up what an energy guy is in the dictionary, you see Kabengele’s face right there. He came off the bench for Florida State and had a massive impact averaging with his efficient play (24.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 2.8 BPG per 40 minutes). Kabengele is a guy who is going to crash the offensive boards and play good defense. He averaged over 2.1 offensive rebounds in his 21.6 minutes per game this past season. Add Kabengele to the beginning of the Celtics list of big men in the Post-Al Horford era.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Keldon Johnson, SG, Kentucky, Freshman
I’m fully expecting the Thunder to take a guard that can shoot well from distance. In comes Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson, a player that doesn’t excite me much, but did have a solid freshman year. Johnson isn’t very athletic and doesn’t do anything at an extremely high level, but is very solid all-around. He did score 13.5 points per game on 46.1% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc. It’s important for Thunder to add some shooters this offseason through the draft and free agency, as it’s one of the only ways that I think they can take the next step as a team. Keldon Johnson is the start to this process. Expect the Thunder to also be active tonight on the trade market in order to free up some salary cap.
22. Boston Celtics: Chuma Okeke, SF/PF, Auburn, Sophomore
The Celtics must continue to add front court depth and they do just that with the selection of Chuma Okeke. Okeke will likely see little, if any time next season due to the torn ACL that he suffered in the NCAA Tournament. However, Okeke’s size and athleticism at 6’8,” 230 lbs. is a major reason why so many project him to be a productive NBA player. Okeke can guard multiple positions, and averaged near 2 steals per game and just over a block per game this past season for Auburn. He also shot the three at nearly 40%. When Okeke comes back from injury, I expect him to be a solid 3&D player, and a guy that’ll make it in the league longer than most in this draft class.
23. Memphis Grizzlies: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech, Sophomore
Nickel Alexander-Walker is another player that I think has a high-range going into the NBA Draft Thursday night. I think he can go as high as 13 or 14, but also fall all the way down into the mid-late 20’s. In this case, the Memphis Grizzlies, who recently acquired this pick from the Jazz in the Mike Conley trade Wednesday, are thrilled that Alexander-Walker falls. There are rumors that Grind City is looking for shooters to play next to Ja Morant, and Alexander-Walker can be that guy. He’s jump shot is silky smooth (37.4% from 3) and he also has the size and wingspan to defend at a high level in the NBA. Not only can Alexander-Walker play a 3&D role for Memphis, but he’s a guy who is a solid passer as well and averaged 4.0 assists per game as a Hokie this past season. N.A.W is another good piece to add to the young core of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.
24. Philadelphia 76ers: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina, Redshirt Senior
The Sixers had to prioritize three-point shooting in February, as that was something they lacked prior to acquiring Tobias Harris and Mike Scott. With Tobias potentially on his way out, that could be something they look to focus on once again. Philly needs a backup point guard, but with two early second-round picks to address that need, they instead select North Carolina forward Cameron Johnson. Johnson was arguably the best pure three-point shooter in the nation last season shooting 45.7% from downtown. In addition, he has great size for his position at 6’9,” which will help him on defense despite the fact that he needs to improve in that area. At age 23, Johnson is a guy that’ll likely be able to help the Sixers right away off the bench.
25. Portland Trail Blazers: Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee, Junior
Grant Williams is lacking size and athleticism, which is the major reason that NBA scouts seem to be a lot lower on him than the general consensus. Personally, I have Grant Williams as a top-10 player on my big board, and think he’s a guy that will be a solid starter in the NBA for a long time. Williams has one of the highest basketball IQs in the draft, and sometimes when your IQ is that high, it’s good enough to overcome your lacking athleticism. Williams can do everything from finish in the paint to shoot from the outside to take a charge when needed. He reminds me on Draymond Green a bit in the sense that he is one of those ultimate glue guys. For a team that needs a power forward in the Portland Trail Blazers, Grant Williams is a major steal at pick #25.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers: KZ Okpala, SF/PF, Stanford, Sophomore
There have been rumors flying that KZ Okpala may be drafted in the 10-19 range, but I just don’t see it. Okpala is one of those long and lanky small forwards who has a good jump shot, and may be worth and late first-round pick for a team with multiple first round selections. However, Okpala will probably need some time to develop his game in the G-League, as he does need to improve his basketball IQ and shot selection. Okpala is a project, but if he is brought along properly he could be a nice rotational scorer at some point in his career.
27. Brooklyn Nets: Nic Claxton, PF/C, Georgia, Sophomore
The Nets have what seems like a million guards and a million wings, so they need to address their big man depth behind Jarrett Allen in the draft. Power forward/center Nic Claxton has risen up boards since he declared for the draft following the conclusion of his sophomore season at Georgia. The reason being is for his unique and freaky play-style that you don’t see often. I’m not even sure how I can describe it in words, but he’ll make some crazy move that makes you question what he’s doing and then the shot will somehow fall. The other scenario is he’ll do the same thing and miss terribly. Claxton has that long and lanky build, where if he’s developed well he could turn into a solid modern-day big man. There aren’t many organizations that are better at developing talent than the Nets, so they take the risk with Claxton.
28. Golden State Warriors: Dylan Windler, SG/SF, Belmont, Senior
After the NBA Finals, it’s rather clear that the Warriors need depth, especially at the wing. Windler can be that guy and would fit nicely into the Warriors system given his ability to shoot the three. Windler shot over 7 threes per game this season and still shot just over 42% from beyond the arc for Belmont. He also shot just over 42% in his junior season at Belmont, so it’s clear how good of a shooter this kid is. In addition, he’s 6’8, so he has good size for the 2 or 3. Windler is one of the late-first, early-second round guys that I really like in this draft, and I think the Warriors are the ideal team for him as well.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Matisse Thybulle, SG, Washington, Senior
Well this is a San Antonio Spur if I’ve seen one… Thybulle falling to 29 is what would be a dream scenario for the Spurs, as he’s one of the top, if not the top-defensive guard the draft. Matisse Thybulle is the only college basketball player since the 1992-1993 season (as far as the college reference play index goes back to) to average 3.5+ steals per game and 2.0+ blocks per game. There’s no doubt that Thybulle’s energy and defense is going to be there, but the question for him is will be shoot well enough to be a productive pro? He only shot 30.5% this past season from three-point range compared to 36+% in his three seasons before that.
30. Detroit Pistons: Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue, Junior
The Pistons just acquired the 30th pick in the draft from the Bucks in a trade yesterday afternoon. With the selection, they take Carsen Edwards, a guy that I think will be a nice sixth man for his entire career, if not better than that. Edwards saw a major drop in his shooting percentages this season from last season (17-18: 45.8% FG/40.5% 3PT FG | 18-19: 39.4% FG/35.5 3PT FG), but that was probably due to a 7% rise in usage rate and increase of nearly 6 minutes per game. With the lower usage rate and less minutes, which Edwards will certainly get in the NBA, I think he’ll be more effective. I would love this pick if I were a Pistons fan.
31. Brooklyn Nets: Darius Bazley, PF, USA
32. Indiana Pacers: Luka Samanic, PF, Croatia
33. Philadelphia 76ers: Ty Jerome, PG, Virginia, Junior
34. Philadelphia 76ers: Eric Paschall, SF, Villanova, Senior
35. Atlanta Hawks: Luguentz Dort, PG, Arizona State, Freshman
36. Charlotte Hornets: Terence Davis, SG, Ole Miss, Senior
37. Dallas Mavericks: Louis King, SF, Oregon, Freshman
38. Chicago Bulls: Talen Horton-Tucker, SG, Iowa State, Freshman
39. New Orleans Pelicans: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland, Sophomore
40. Sacramento Kings: Admiral Schofield, SF, Tennessee, Senior
41. Golden State Warriors: Alen Smailagic, PF/C, Serbia
42. Philadelphia 76ers: Jaylen Nowell, PG/SG, Washington, Sophomore
43. Minnesota Timberwolves: Naz Reid, PF, LSU, Freshman
44. Miami Heat: Terrance Mann, SF, Florida State, Senior
45. Detroit Pistons: Ignas Brazdeikis, SF, Michigan, Freshman
46. Orlando Magic: Shamorie Ponds, PG, St. Johns., Junior
47. Sacramento Kings: Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas, Sophomore
48. Los Angeles Clippers: Jontay Porter, C, Missouri, Sophomore
49. San Antonio Spurs: DaQuan Jefferies, SF, Tulsa, Redshirt Junior
50. Indiana Pacers: Kyle Guy, SG, Virginia, Junior
51. Boston Celtics: Zach Norvell, PG, Gonzaga, Redshirt Sophomore
52. Charlotte Hornets: Isaiah Roby, SF, Nebraska, Junior
53. Utah Jazz: Jalen McDaniels, SF/PF, San Diego St., Sophomore
54. Philadelphia 76ers: Jordan Poole, SG, Michigan, Sophomore
55. New York Knicks: Justin Wright-Foreman, PG, Hofstra, Senior
56. Los Angeles Clippers: Cody Martin, SF, Nevada, Redshirt Senior
57. New Orleans Pelicans: Charles Matthews, SF, Michigan, Redshirt Senior
58: Golden State Warriors: Jordan Bone, PG, Tennessee, Junior
59. Toronto Raptors: Ky Bowman, PG, Boston College, Junior
60. Sacramento Kings: Jalen Lecque, PG, USA
- Miye Oni, SG, Yale, Junior
- Tremont Waters, PG, LSU, Sophomore
- Tacko Fall, C, UCF, Senior
- Jaylen Hoard, SF/PF, Wake Forest, Freshman
- Dedric Lawson, PF, Kansas, Redshirt Junior
- Josh Reaves, SG, Penn State, Senior
- Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA, Sophomore
- Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA, Sophomore