ROUND 3. LET'S GET IT ON.
It's time for another Mock Draft Friday installment Violators. With the NBA Draft just 12 days away, the smoke is starting to rise...and the rumor mill is SIZZLING. We will talk about some of these rumors in the analysis of each pick. This mock might open some eyes, but as we've stated before...it's important to educate everyone on what COULD happen on Draft Night. That way, you are prepared for the amount of absolute anarchy that could actually take place.
This is our final "normal" installment. Next Friday will be our "What We Would Do" mock, which could ruffle some feathers with where we would project certain prospects. The last installment, which will be in the very early MORNING of the NBA Draft, will be the "What We Are Hearing" installment...which we are extremely excited to share with you. (Starts laughing maniacally like the Joker.)
ANALYSIS: Nope, I'm not going to do it Timberwolves fans. You can't get me to buy into LaMelo at #1. I'm still a firm believer that this is the best decision for the T'Wolves moving forward. Edwards is most likely going to stay here until Minnesota's front office slaps me in the face on Draft Night. Edwards has the highest upside in this draft and is an absolute freight train in transition. If he falls into a situation early on in which he doesn't need to carry a team offensively, he could blossom. D'Lo and KAT would be thrilled to add someone with this type of upside.
ANALYSIS: I've been a big believer that the Golden State Warriors will look to trade this selection...but the buzz around is that Wiseman to GSW is heating up. That's obviously if GSW decides to stay put here. While it's interesting to think of the possibilities the Warriors could have if they trade this selection, we all need to remember that it needs to make sense for the team the Warriors would trade with. Maybe Golden State gets Charlotte to bite and trade up one spot in order to secure Wiseman. Maybe Charlotte is fine with staying put at 3. As of now, Wiseman makes a lot of sense for Golden State who install a juicy addition to their roster. Steph Curry throwing lobs to Wiseman or kicking it out for Klay Thompson Spot Up three's sounds like a league pass dream.
ANALYSIS: CURVEBALL CITY. There have been reports out this week that the Charlotte Hornets are intrigued by Onyeka Okongwu. Now, I'm not saying I'm convinced that Charlotte would pull the trigger here at 3. In a dream scenario, Charlotte would move back a couple of spots and still land Onyeka. But let's just say for pure chaotic sake that Charlotte does pull the trigger here. While I still believe that LaMelo Ball could be the selection here, it's important to think of how one pick could swing the entire board. Onyeka is such a unique talent that I believe wherever he goes on draft night, he's going to be a great value. The Hornets could slide Onyeka next to last year's promising lottery selection PJ Washington, giving the Hornets a nice foundation throughout their rebuild.
ANALYSIS: If Charlotte does throw a "wildcard" during Draft Night and select Okongwu at 3...it could leave the Chicago Bulls in an interesting situation. While I've been the first to admit that I don't love the LaMelo train heading to Chicago. It does make some sense. Although there's been some talk about LaMelo "falling" on draft night, we were told that it would be a "shock" if LaMelo falls out of the Top 4. Personally I've been a believer that Deni Avdija would make the most sense here for the Bulls. BUT like we've stated earlier in this mock draft installment, it's important for everyone to consider the alternative routes. Ball would make some sense here if Chicago is buying into the idea of Coby White playing off the ball. See what I did there? "Off the ball" thanks I'm here all day folks.
ANALYSIS: This would be a major win for the Cleveland Cavaliers if Deni Avdija fell into their laps here. We've been projecting Obi Toppin here for the Cavaliers in our previous Mock Draft installments, and while I could still see that being the call here for the Cavaliers, my mind thinks that the Cavs would be better off targeting some help on the wings. Isaac Okoro is an intriguing name to consider here, and maybe the Cavaliers even consider someone like Devin Vassell as a wildcard. With Avdija the Cavaliers are getting a high basketball IQ player who can give them some flexibility on the wings as well as playmaking ability.
ANALYSIS: In our previous Mock Draft, we had the Atlanta Hawks throwing a curveball and drafting Devin Vassell here. It kept me up all night for a week and I believe the ghost of Tyrese Haliburton is talking to me in the middle of the night. On a serious note, this match just makes way too much sense to me. Which means, of course, that it won't happen or that Atlanta will actually trade out of this spot. If not, I believe that Haliburton would be a fantastic addition to the young core that the Hawks have moving forward. Haliburton can play off of the ball and is a flat out gamer who makes winning plays.
ANALYSIS: This is where we can see some madness start to come into the picture. The word on the street has been that the Pistons are high on Patrick Williams. When we dug around to see if the hype was real, we were told "Detroit is either running the perfect smokescreen or they are 100% all-in on PWill." It makes some sense here, as Detroit is in rebuilding mode and they are still trying to mold an identity for this roster. Williams isn't close to a finished product by any means, which is scary to consider, and the upside he has as a two-way weapon will have a front office drooling.
ANALYSIS: I'll go down swinging here that Kira Lewis Jr and the New York Knicks are a match made in heaven. It will be interesting to see if the Knicks are hot on the Lewis trail or if they decide to go another route here. Kira Lewis has the playmaking and multi-level scoring ability that would be a welcomed addition for this young Knicks roster.
ANALYSIS: It seems like the dream of Onyeka Okongwu falling to Washington could be in trouble if the rumors of Charlotte's interest are true. BUT, it is rumor season for a reason basketball fans. If Okongwu is off of the board, then the Wizards could go in a number of different directions. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Wizards look for another big man here, and Precious Achiuwa has been a name thrown around. Personally, Achiuwa at 9 would be a little rich for my taste. The Wizards could look at Isaac Okoro here, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they target wing help, but Toppin could simply be too intriguing of a piece to pass up.
ANALYSIS: The smoke is rising in Phoenix when it comes to the overall interest in Killian Hayes. It could be a blessing for both sides, as Hayes could develop at his own pace behind Ricky Rubio and learn the ropes. This will be a big selection for the Suns, and while they could create some anarchy and draft another long wing such as Devin Vassell here...Hayes has the offensive firepower that could be an intriguing asset coming off of the bench early on.
ANALYSIS: The word on the street is that the Spurs are high on Williams or Bey here. Saddiq would be the most Spurs selection of all-time which makes sense and he will probably be an All-Star. High basketball IQ with versatility on the defensive side of the Ball, Saddiq would be a welcomed addition in San Antonio.
ANALYSIS: Could easily see Isaac Okoro going anywhere from 5 on in this Draft. But this is a situation in which the draft could get a little chaotic. If Okoro is on the board here, I would imagine that the Kings might set a record for the quickest draft selection of all time. Sacramento will have an interesting offseason ahead of themselves, especially with pending RFA Bogdan Bogdanovic. Okoro here would be a dream, as the Kings could use some additional toughness in the defensive department when it comes to their wings.
ANALYSIS: New Orleans should be targeting adding some perimeter help with this selection and they will find themselves in a great position to add a potential shooting threat from outside. We've had Saddiq Bey projected here recently, and with Bey off of the board to San Antonio at 11, Devin Vassell gets the nod here. Vassell would be a fantastic addition here for New Orleans, as he could slide alongside Brandon Ingram and give the Pelicans some serious length on both sides of the floor. Aaron Nesmith could be a candidate here, but Vassell gets the nod with his defensive ability.
ANALYSIS: Boston has been reported trying to move up in the draft by packaging their three selections in the first round. There's no secret that Boston doesn't want to add three more rookies to their already full roster...but Boston needs to find a team that is willing to move down. If Boston doesn't move up from 14, look for them to add a potential wing here. Nesmith would be a welcomed addition for Boston as they could use his offensive firepower from outside. Cole Anthony could be a sleeper selection here.
ANALYSIS: We've had Cole Anthony penciled in here for an extended period of time, but we've been told that there are some serious "fans" of Tyrese Maxey in Orlando. Take it for what it's worth obviously, as it could simply just be rumor season...but let's say the rumors are true and Maxey is the pick here. Maxey would be a welcomed addition for Orlando, as his offensive firepower and alpha mentality on the defensive side of the ball could fit well with that core.
ANALYSIS: Still think that this could be a spot in which Jalen Smith gets the nod from Portland. With Hassan Whiteside scheduled to hit free agency, Portland could look to find another big man presence and Smith has an intriguing amount of offensive versatility to his game. Precious Achiuwa could be a candidate here as well if Portland is looking to add some rebounding. If Portland doesn't go the big man route, could see them adding a versatile wing such as Arizona's Josh Green.
ANALYSIS: As we've said before, the direction the Timberwolves go with this selection will be largely in part of what they decide to do at the top of the draft. If Minnesota does add Anthony Edwards at one, look for them to try to add a big next to Karl-Anthony Towns here. I'm personally a Naz Reid believer, but this could just be adding another valuable piece to the puzzle. Achiuwa has contagious rebounding ability and shows great versatility as a defensive asset.
ANALYSIS: Have had Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey going to Dallas in a number of our previous mocks, and it's still one of my potential favorite fits. But in this installment, we had Maxey going 15th to Orlando. Still think it will be interesting to see the direction that the Mavericks go here and I love the idea of adding Josh Green's defensive upside to the Mavericks roster. A bit of an absolute wildcard name I was told might shock some people here...Isaiah Stewart. Got to love rumor season.
ANALYSIS: Brooklyn is going to be another fascinating team to keep an eye on during Draft night. While this team could go in a couple of directions, it would surprise me if they don't look to add another wing. Our previous mock draft had Desmond Bane going to Brooklyn here, but this time Josh Green is the selection. With pending free agent Joe Harris expected to cash out, Brooklyn would be wise to add a wing here who can offer some intriguing defensive ability.
ANALYSIS: Think Miami is going to find themselves in a position to add a really nice piece here. While I think this is a spot in which the Heat could prioritize adding a big man like Xavier Tillman Sr (Michigan State) or Zeke Nnaji (Arizona), Cole Anthony could simply be just too intriguing to pass up. Anthony could thrive in Miami with the additional spacing and his work ethic. The idea of Anthony going from the spacing he dealt with last year to being surrounded by Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro would be basically like the final battle in Mad Max Fury Road.
ANALYSIS: We've mocked Tyrell Terry to the Sixers in every mock draft. This means it probably won't happen now. I'm so sorry Sixers fans. But seriously, this would be a match made in heaven. Personally, I think Terry will take a bit more time to hit his stride than some might expect, but it's worth the gamble here for the Sixers moving forward. If the Sixers are looking to add a floor general who can shoot it, and they want to go another route...Malachi Flynn would make some sense here as well.
ANALYSIS: Sometimes you got to go backward to go forward. We had Xavier Tillman Sr here to Denver in our first installment before switching it up recently, but I'm back on the Tillman to DEN train this time. Tillman just had a promising performance shooting the ball from deep at the NBA combine, so he could be a name that teams start to slowly creep up their boards. Even if that didn't happen, the fit in Denver is still fascinating to me. Tillman is a ferocious competitor with outstanding passing ability for a big man. He'd be a fantastic addition behind Nikola Jokic.
ANALYSIS: Would love to see the Utah Jazz add to their wings with this selection and Robert Woodard II is the highest remaining wing I have on the board here. Woodard II is a defensive weapon who will be able to defend multiple positions at a high level early on in his career. He's got the length and frame you look for in a wing. Could be some intriguing sleeper appeal here for Utah.
ANALYSIS: I'm giddy about the idea of the Milwaukee Bucks swinging for the fences and adding a prospect like Hampton to their arsenal. Hampton could go a lot earlier in this draft and it wouldn't be much of a surprise. A former top recruit coming out of high school, Hampton has Ferrari-like speed in the open court and could be a fantastic addition for the Bucks if they stress patience.
ANALYSIS: I REFUSE TO GET OFF OF THIS TRAIN. There's been plenty of reports that Poku has met with the Thunder multiple times. Just do it Sam Presti. We know you want to.
ANALYSIS: Repeating that I would be shocked if the Celtics keep all three selections in this draft, but I'll play along for now. Rumor is that the Celtics have shown "a lot of interest" in the former Kansas product. Devon Dotson is a feisty competitor with a nose for the ball on the defensive side of the ball. Sounds exactly like the type of weapon that the Celtics would look to add as a potential rotational asset.
ANALYSIS: Still beating the Ramsey to the Knicks drum as I believe his spot-up shooting early on could be a valuable weapon for this young Knicks roster moving forward. Ramsey has the potential to be a strong defensive presence as well, and I'm sure Thibs would welcome a physical project on the defensive side of the ball.
ANALYSIS: The Lakers could easily target a big here with this selection, but I'm going to give Cassius Winston the nod here. Personally, I'm extremely high on Winston and I believe someone is going to get an absolute steal in this draft. Regardless of what the Lakers decide to do with Rajon Rondo in Free Agency, Winston is the type of high basketball IQ presence that would be welcomed with that Lakers roster.
ANALYSIS: Had Daniel Oturu going here to the Raptors previously but I am starting to like the idea of the Raptors adding a presence like Zeke Nnaji to their roster instead. Zeke is an ANIMAL on the boards and plays like his hair is on fire. There's plenty of examples during his time at Arizona last year in which Zeke gave his team life with his ability to keep plays alive. He'd be a welcomed addition to Toronto's roster with his hustle and offensive upside.
ANALYSIS: Boston could look for a potential draft-and-stash here at 30 if they are unable to unload their picks...but I'm just an agent of chaos. Let's just say the Celtics say screw it and run a "hunger games" like camp to decide who makes their roster (Highly unlikely I'm joking guys just play along). Isaiah Stewart would definitely be the right type of player that the Celtics should look to add to their roster. Stewart is a physical high energy big who could add some toughness alongside Robert Williams for Boston.