MERRY CHRISTMAS DRAFT FANS. THE BIG DAY IS FINALLY HERE. IT'S DRAFT DAY.
Welcome back to our FINAL Mock Draft Installment. If you've been following us close since last year, you should know the drill by now. This is our "What we're hearing" mock draft, which will focus on the buzz that's going around the league. Now, this isn't saying that these are the picks that are going to happen. An important reminder that a couple of trades could throw a massive wrench in how the rest of the board would shape up. There's a lot of team buzzing when it comes to potential trade talks. I'll make sure to make note of that in the analysis of each pick. "The Buzz" is based on some of the intel that I have received from asking around when it comes to people in the know.
At the end of the Mock Draft, I'll have a section marked as "Other Draft Intel." That's probably going to be an obvious section that doesn't require much explanation. This draft is shaping up to get a little crazy after Oklahoma City's pick at 6th overall. There's A LOT OF SMOKE out there, so we will try to be as accurate as possible while preparing you for some other prospects that are shaping up to be in the conversation. If the annoying Draft Day tradition of a mid-morning trade happens, I'll make sure to try and get this updated as fast as possible. Let's Get Started.
ANALYSIS: I know, an absolute shocker to start the NBA Draft. Okay, let's keep it serious for the moment. This is going to be short and sweet. It's going to be Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham barring some absolute curveball. Troy Weaver and the Pistons Front Office did a great job of playing the pre-draft process out. You never know when you're going to get a potential "Godfather" offer that's simply just too good to pass up. That being said, I think that this pick was decided once it showed on lottery night that the Houston Rockets had the 2nd pick overall. Cade will move this organization forward in a big way and Detroit Basketball is on its way back. DEEEEETROITTTTTT BASKETBALLLLLLL.
THE BUZZ: Um...it's Cade Cunningham. That's the buzz.
ANALYSIS: While I spent the majority of NBA Draft season believing that USC big man Evan Mobley should be the call here, it looks as if the Jalen Green train has just been a powerful force. It makes a lot of sense for the Houston Rockets, who are just entering the beginning stages of their rebuild. Green has the upside to become a superstar with his combination of athletic ability and offensive firepower. He's a shifty guard who can create serious separation off of the dribble and he explodes off of the floor with impressive leaping ability. Green will need plenty of time to get some valuable experience and he will have the opportunity to get some serious run right away with this Houston Rockets team.
THE BUZZ: No surprise expected here, Houston looks to be locked in on G-League Ignite guard Jalen Green.
ANALYSIS: I've decided that I'm going to go to war for Cleveland Cavaliers fans in this draft and I'm doing everything in my power to make the Evan Mobley train stop in Cleveland. It would be a dream fit and a massive get for this organization. While plenty of attention has been towards Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham, the USC big man has the potential to turn into a dangerous two-way weapon at the NBA level. There was plenty of buzz about the Cavaliers trying to move Collin Sexton this offseason, but I'm still a bit optimistic that idea could cool down once the Cavaliers secure Mobley. Adding Mobley to that young core brings some serious excitement about the direction that this franchise is heading in. If Mobley can continue to develop his offensive weaponry, as well as becoming a more consistent outside threat, he's got the potential to be one of the best players in this class.
THE BUZZ: We keep rolling along. All are expecting that Evan Mobley is going to get the call here to Cleveland.
ANALYSIS: You'll see plenty of others that are convinced there could be a potential "curveball" here, and like I've said multiple times...I can't get the weird feeling of some Scottie Barnes love here. It's basically a cold sweat that wakes me up in the middle of the night. That being said, I do think that Jalen Suggs will be the pick here. Suggs and the Raptors are one of my favorite personal fits in the top 5. The former Gonzaga guard is a threat all over the floor who plays like his hair is on fire. He changes gears like a sports car and has some impressive athleticism to his game. Suggs and the Raptors roster would be a perfect match, especially with Kyle Lowry expecting to move on in Free Agency.
THE BUZZ: I specifically sent texts stating that I'm terrified of Scottie Barnes curveball here and I was told basically to not worry about it and that the expectation is Suggs around the league.
ANALYSIS: Regardless of what people might think about the fit, it looks as if this is another pick that is wildly expected around the league. As CEO of the Scottie Barnes fan club, I'm in love with this pick. Sure, plenty will stress some caution about Barnes when it comes to his outside shooting, but I believe that all of the tools already are special enough to cement him as a top 5 selection in this draft. Barnes has the ability right now to be a player who plays at a high level in the NBA for a long time. If he can develop an outside shot to go along with the rest of the game...dear lord is he a scary talent. A versatile defender who can guard multiple positions at a high level, Barnes also has some sneaky impressive playmaking ability and he will bring some serious energy to that Orlando franchise.
THE BUZZ: Another pick that's expected from everyone you talk to. As of now, it would be a shock if the top 5 doesn't go as listed above.
ANALYSIS: Well, well, well...Good evening Sam Presti. Now, this is where things "could" get juicy, but from what I've heard, it looks as if there's a real possibility that the Top 6 in this draft is locked and ready to roll. Pretty crazy how things can change after last year just not knowing the direction teams would go early in the draft. While a couple of weeks ago it was thought that Jonathan Kuminga could be the name to go off of the board here, UConn James Bouknight has generated some serious buzz as of late. I'm buying the buzz and it sounds like this is going to happen. It makes all of the sense in the world. The idea of adding Bouknight alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is extremely exciting and Thunder fans should be pumped out of their minds for this to happen. Bouknight was asked to carry the load offensively for UConn this year, so his percentages might be a bit lower than you might expect. When you watch him on film he jumps out immediately with his shiftiness and sneaky explosiveness. He's a dynamic weapon who has a great feel for the game and he has the potential to make a dangerous young backcourt duo in OKC.
THE BUZZ: Sam Presti is going to trade this for three first-round picks. I'M KIDDING GUYS. It's going to be Bouknight, even though there's also been plenty of rumors about OKC trying to move up in this draft.
ANALYSIS: Okay. Let's take a deep breath. Gather our thoughts. Ready? This is where you're basically going to be tip-toeing into the Chaos Chamber. There's been A LOT of names thrown around when it comes to this selection for the Golden State Warriors, and a couple of names have seriously started to heat up in the last 48 hours. One of the names that has been scorching as of late here is Australian guard Josh Giddey. I do think there's a REAL possibility that the Warriors could go Giddey here. Although he's one of the youngest players in this draft, Giddey could be a type of "Shaun Livingston" presence that the Warriors have been missing for years. That being said, I am going to be a bit bold and stick to my guns here. Although Jonathan Kuminga has had a bit of a "cold" pre-draft process, I'm still a much bigger fan than the consensus might be. Kuminga has the upside and tools to be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams in the NBA. He's one of the youngest players in this draft and has an eye-opening frame at 6'8", 210 pounds. The frame looks to have plenty of room to add some weight too, making the idea of Kuminga as a two-way weapon just flat out scary. With this selection and the 14th overall pick, Golden State should be looking to target some upside here while getting an early contributor later in the draft. If Kuminga is on the board at 7, he might just have way too much upside to pass up. Kuminga would land in a perfect situation for his development if Golden State makes him the pick here.
THE BUZZ: As of this morning..."Looks as if Golden State is steering AWAY from Kuminga." So it looks like this could come down to Australian guard Josh Giddey and Michigan forward Franz Wagner. Arkansas wing Moses Moody will be in the conversation as well. If UConn guard James Bouknight somehow doesn't go to OKC at 6, he would be the favorite here.
ANALYSIS: WELCOME TO THE 8TH LAYER OF HELL. This is where things are going to get TERRIFYING. No one knows what the Orlando Magic are going to do at 8. There's been a lot of names thrown around here as possibilities and it wouldn't even shock me if Orlando could potentially move back a couple of spots if they find a suitor. Even though it's expected that the Orlando Magic are going to select Scottie Barnes at 5, I wouldn't rule them doubling down and taking another forward here as well. Obviously what happens at 7 with Golden State is going to swing the direction that the Magic would go with this selection. As of now, I think Arkansas wing Moses Moody would be the smart selection here. Moody would come in and give the Magic a sharpshooting wing with serious potential on the defensive side of the ball. If Orlando could leave the top 10 with both Barnes and Moody, it's a heck of a draft for the Magic franchise and their fans.
THE BUZZ: From what I've been told..."Jonathan Kuminga's floor is 8." That seems to be the belief around the league. Even if Barnes is the pick at 5, as expected, Orlando could double down and draft Kuminga at 8 based on the fact the upside is too juicy to pass up. Maybe even potential for someone to trade up for Kuminga. The other names thrown around here include Moody, Franz Wagner, and a wildcard of Alperen Sengun. There's also been a chaotic wildcard mentioned of Stanford forward Ziaire Williams at here...but personally, I'm not buying it.
ANALYSIS: So there's a lot we need to discuss here. As of last week, there was increasing buzz that Franz Wagner had a "promise" here at 9 to Sacramento. Since then, it seems as if that buzz has cooled off a bit. That being said, I would still be shocked if Franz doesn't go somewhere in the 7-9 range. For what it's worth, I do believe that the Kings could easily move back from this selection. There was even some buzz that they had a trade locked in with Memphis before it fell apart, which resulted in the Grizzlies/Pelicans pick swap. So let's just say for Mock Draft purposes that the Kings decide to stay put at 9. While I'd love to see the Kings go with either Moses Moody or even Alperen Sengun here, I do think that Franz might have some serious steam as a potential selection for the Kings here. While I'm a bit lower personally than others when it comes to Wagner, I get the idea. Wagner would fit well in Sacramento with his ability to become a dynamic two-way asset in the league. There are also some CRAZY rumors that Wagner grew two inches and is now 6'11" which is...awesome.
THE BUZZ: Looks as if this is "Trade, Franz Wagner, or Alperen Sengun." Maybe some chance that Moses Moody could be in the conversation as well depending on the board.
ANALYSIS: The Memphis Grizzlies made themselves a big move this week with their trade with the New Orleans Pelicans and they now are selecting 10th. It's expected that Australian guard Josh Giddey will be the selection here if he's still on the board. One of the youngest players in this draft, Giddey is a playmaking weapon with great size at 6'8". He has sensational vision as a passer and understands how to play the game with pace in order to get to his spots on the floor. The bigger question is...how will Giddey fit with Ja Morant if this is the pick at 10? Both are players that seem to need the ball in their hands often to be at their best. The idea of Giddey is awesome...but plenty will wonder if the "fit" will be a bit awkward. If Giddey can continue to develop his outside shot, he's got all of the tools to be a fun talent in the NBA for a long time.
THE BUZZ: A lot of Josh Giddey buzz, as it's been reported all over. Still some vibes that Memphis could try to move up, especially if Jonathan Kuminga is falling. There's also some Moses Moody love here, but that obviously means he would still be on the board. Memphis will most likely be anxiously watching what Golden State does at 7...like the rest of us.
ANALYSIS: So this is where I'm actually becoming Jack Nicholson in The Shining. There's a lot of directions I would personally love to see the Charlotte Hornets go with this pick. Unfortunately, the buzz has been heating up in other directions. I was skeptical at first when it was reported that the Hornets were intrigued by Texas big man Kai Jones, but I've been told that interest is legit. The idea of Kai Jones is just awesome. He's a freight train in the open floor at 6'11.5" with the quickness and mobility of an athletic wing. Jones also has the potential to turn into a serious shot blocker with his leaping ability and length. Charlotte needs to add a big man this offseason and adding a potential lob threat like Jones, with LaMelo Ball's playmaking ability, would be an intriguing development. He's going to need some serious time though, as Jones lacks consistency on both sides of the floor. If Charlotte is in love with the idea of adding Jones, maybe they could potentially try to move back a bit and still add him. But at the end of the day, GO GET YOUR GUY.
THE BUZZ: Have continued to hear Kai Jones is the popular name here. It's either a legendary smokescreen or the hype is real. Would love to see if Charlotte potentially added a guy like Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert here, or even Arkansas wing Moses Moody, but it does look like the Kai Jones momentum is picking up quickly.
ANALYSIS: We never learn do we? Yes, I'm believing that the San Antonio Spurs will jump all over the idea of adding ANOTHER international prospect in Alperen Sengun. When it comes to prospects in this draft, I'm a massive believer that Sengun has the ability to be a force in the NBA. He's a bit of an old-school type of big man, but he plays the game with a rare feel for the game. His passing and anticipation are terrifyingly fun and he's got the tools to turn into a respectable threat from outside. Sengun seems like a candidate to go off of the board starting at 8, but I think San Antonio would jump at the chance to secure him.
THE BUZZ: "Potentially Sengun or Wagner if they reach them. Could also be a Moses Moody landing spot." Also has been reported by The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor that the Spurs are intrigued with Keon Johnson for what it's worth...
ANALYSIS: Indiana is going to be in a fascinating position to go in a variety of ways here. I just can't get over the idea of Davion Mitchell being coached under Rick Carlisle. It seems like the perfect match for this Pacers team and a player who could set the tempo right away. There have been some rumors that the Pacers were looking to move Aaron Holiday this offseason, and like always...make sure you take each rumor with a grain of salt. That being said, I still love Mitchell and think that he'd be a great fit here.
THE BUZZ: It sounds like this could come down to Baylor guard Davion Mitchell and Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert. One would think this could also be an intriguing spot for teams to try to trade up to.
ANALYSIS: At first I think that this would be a home run spot for the Warriors to land Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert if he's somehow still on the board. But for this Mock I have them taking Jonathan Kuminga so I doubt they would draft two forwards. *Make sure you read the UPDATE on the Kuminga pick at 7*. That being said...I do think that the dream for Golden State is if Oregon wing Chris Duarte is still on the board at 14. Although Duarte is one of the oldest players in this class (24), he has the offensive versatility and feel for the game to thrive in a situation like Golden State.
THE BUZZ: Golden State has been a popular connection with Duarte and it would seem if he's there, and no one jumps above them, he would be the pick. I would expect that Trey Murphy III would also be in heavy consideration here if Duarte isn't on the board. Maybe even Davion Mitchell if they don't go Giddey at 7.
ANALYSIS: There's just an insane amount of directions that the Washington Wizards could go with this selection. The elephant in the room is what are the Wizards planning to do this offseason with Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. That being said, I do like the idea of the Wizards adding a raw developmental talent that has some serious upside. Tennesee wing Keon Johnson will have himself a wide range on draft night, but I personally love the idea of him being a piece the Wizards could bring along slowly. He's got the potential to become a dynamic two-way player in this league as his outside shot continues to develop.
THE BUZZ: Seems like there's some increasing buzz that this could be Virginia wing Trey Murphy III, Oregon guard Chris Duarte, or potentially Gonzaga forward Chris Duarte. Looks like Washington will be a bit of a wildcard, but adding some shooting on the wing could be a priority. Call me crazy, I just like the Keon fit okay?
ANALYSIS: This is just one I can't seem to get out of my head. I think that Duke freshman Jalen Johnson is going to have himself a "fall" as most are expecting on draft night. At some point, a team is going to want to take the gamble on his talent. It would seem as if the Oklahoma City Thunder should be one of those teams with three first-round selections. Johnson could fit in nicely alongside SGA and expected 6th overall selection James Bouknight. With multiple picks in the first round, Sam Presti should take a big swing and Jalen Johnson is a massive one.
THE BUZZ: Still seems as if there's a lot of smoke going around as to what the Thunder try to do with 16 and 18. Some expect them to try to move up, some think they may stay put. Sam Presti is a madman.
ANALYSIS: This is just a case of a player slipping through the cracks and going lower than I would have expected. I still think that Kispert could easily go much earlier, even potentially 13th overall to Indiana. But every draft class has a player that seems to go a bit later than expected. This is probably the dream scenario for New Orleans as they would end up getting a player at 17 after the trade with Memphis that they could have taken at 10. Kispert is an intelligent basketball player who can make an impact on both sides and who can shoot the crap out of the ball. This would be a homerun for Pelicans fans.
THE BUZZ: If Kispert isn't on the board here (probably likely) there are some names to watch out for. Virginia wing Trey Murphy III, Oregon guard Chris Duarte, and LSU guard Cameron Thomas.
ANALYSIS: Okay so this one is something we need to talk about for a bit, but I'll break it down specifically below in "the Buzz." As for Jared Butler, he'd be a heck of a get for any team that scoops him up in this draft. Butler is an intelligent combo guard with the ability to make a big impact on both sides of the ball. Each year his game improved and he's become a dangerous threat from outside. He's an underrated defender and has some shifty handles to his game. He'd be a great get here for the Thunder.
THE BUZZ: So there are some rumblings when it comes to Baylor guard Jared Butler. Even after getting clearance from the "Fitness to Play" panel on July 18th, it seems as if Butler has had some concerns when it comes to team doctors. Some have even said they wouldn't be surprised if he falls into the second round of the draft. While I have him positioned here at 18, I do think there's a realistic chance he could fall and every fan base will be screaming at their television "why is Butler falling?" If he does...that's the reason, but it does only take one team's medical staff to give him the green light.
ANALYSIS: This is probably a dream fit for the New York Knicks if the board falls this way. One of the hottest names throughout the pre-draft process, Virginia wing Trey Murphy III is a lethal sniper from outside when it comes to catch-and-shoot opportunities. Murphy is basically a dream type of 3-and-D prospect and he'd be a fantastic addition for the Knicks with his ability to light it up from deep in a hurry.
THE BUZZ: Continue to be rumors that the Knicks are trying to move up, but it remains to be seen if they can find a suitor. If not, I still think New York is in a great spot to add two solid pieces at 19 and 21. West Virginia guard Miles McBride has gained some steam as of late, and Kentucky big man Isaiah Jackson has been a popular name as well.
ANALYSIS: Pretty much would be just one of the most exciting potential "fits" in the entire draft if LSU guard Cameron Thomas were to fall to Atlanta. A lethal microwave scorer, Thomas would give the Hawks some serious firepower on the offensive side of the ball. He's a shifty guard who can make extremely difficult shots look relatively easy. If Thomas was here, the Hawks would probably fall over trying to rush to send the card in as fast as possible.
THE BUZZ: There have been some vibes that Atlanta is trying to package 20 and Cam Reddish to try to go up. I'm a bit on the skeptical side...but we will see what happens. I'm intrigued by the idea of Tennessee wing Keon Johnson here as well if he's still on the board.
ANALYSIS: This is a match that keeps coming up that I'm extremely intrigued by. Personally, I'm a bigger fan of Kentucky big man Isaiah Jackson than most are. I think if he can land with the right team, he has the potential to develop into a heck of a two-way big man at the NBA level. Jackson has a great combination of mobility and athleticism. He runs the floor in transition like a wing and he offers some serious upside as a defensive anchor. Some of his rejections are hilarious because he tries to spike the ball into another galaxy. He's explosive off of the floor and has quick leaping ability, even with his second jumps. If Jackson can go somewhere and have his role simplified early on...he could be of great value. Yes, I know the Kentucky connection with the Knicks...I'm cool guys I promise.
THE BUZZ: Sounds like there's a lot of Isaiah Jackson love here. I would imagine the Knicks try to go some combination of Guard, Big, or 3-and-D wing with these two picks...if they keep them. Tennessee guard Jaden Springer could be a darkhorse candidate here.
ANALYSIS: There are some growing expectations that the Lakers will try to move this selection, so we will have to wait anxiously to see if they are able to make a trade. But, for Mock Draft sake, let's say the Lakers stay put. The Lakers could find themselves in a position to go in a number of directions. Personally, I do believe they could target a ballhandler here. Baylor guard Jared Butler would be a dream here, but he could be on the fall after some shaky team doctor feedback (see Thunder Buzz for more). Florida guard Tre Mann has also been of rumored interest, as well as Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu. If not a guard, the Lakers could take a swing on some serious upside with Stanford forward Ziaire Williams. After a disappointing freshman year, Ziaire will still intrigue teams with his untapped potential. If you're a team like the Lakers, you have the potential to get a player here that was a popular pre-season early lottery selection. That might be worth the roll of the dice.
THE BUZZ: Previously, the buzz was that Oregon guard Chris Duarte had a promise from the Lakers...but it looks as if Duarte won't be here unless the Lakers can make a big jump up. The word is that this could be on the move. If not, there's a bundle of players connected to this pick. Baylor guard Jared Butler, Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu, and Florida guard Tre Mann have all been in connection.
ANALYSIS: Although I'm a massive fan of Real Madrid "big man" Usman Garuba, it's getting a bit difficult to figure out where he's going to end up tonight. It wouldn't surprise me if a team picks him much earlier than this, but for now, let's say the Houston Rockets scoop him up at 23. Houston has a long way to go in their re-build, and adding a defensive freak like Garuba would be a smart call. Garuba will bring it every night regardless of the opponent. He flies all over the floor with contagious energy and he knows how to make winning plays. He'd be a great developmental piece for the Rockets, as they can allow him to get some valuable playing time while he continues to develop his offensive game.
THE BUZZ: Bit all over the place when it comes to the Rockets. Most expect them to potentially move one of these selections. Others think they could keep both and target some upside with one of the picks. So let's just say it's a bit "smokey" here. I would think that Houston would try to add a big and a guard, especially if they go Jalen Green at 2 as expected.
ANALYSIS: I can't get over the idea of Houston adding Sharife Cooper with one of these selections. Houston will most likely have the John Wall experience for another year, but I think they would be wise to add a talent like Cooper who has so much upside to his game. Sharife will need to continue to develop his outside shot, but he's shown some improvements throughout the pre-draft process. This would be a great pickup for the Rockets moving forward, especially at 24th overall.
THE BUZZ: While some have wondered if Cooper could slip to the second round, I've been told that's not the case. "Would be shocked if Cooper still doesn't go late first round." Houston seems like a smart team to scoop up his upside.
ANALYSIS: So there's a number of directions I think the Clippers could go here at 25. This draft is shaping up that there's going to be some fantastic value anywhere from the early 20s to the early second round. North Carolina big man Day'Ron Sharpe was rumored to get an early promise throughout the pre-draft process, which was a reason why he possibly withdrew from the NBA Draft Combine. Sharpe is a physically imposing big man with some serious upside and underrated playmaking ability. He'd be an intriguing addition for this Clippers roster here at 25.
THE BUZZ: Seems like there's been a lot of Day'Ron Sharpe buzz here as of late. Also, have some weird vibes that the Clippers could potentially target a young guard here as well. Can't seem to get the idea of Miles McBride landing here out of my head...but that's just my opinion.
ANALYSIS: The Denver Nuggets are never afraid to take some young talent that they can groom with patience. Alabama guard Joshua Primo would be a heck of a get for the Nuggets here at 26. Primo surprised some NBA scouts when he decided to keep his name in the 2021 NBA Draft. Many were expecting he would return to Alabama for his Sophomore year and put up some big numbers, as he was projected as a potential 2022 lottery selection. After an impressive combine showing, Primo now looks like a potential first-round selection. Don't let the lack of production fool you, Primo has some serious upside to his game. He's got the ability to become a serious floor spacing threat from outside and he's just scratching the surface of how good he can be. Still just 18-years-old, Primo won't turn 19 until December.
THE BUZZ: Sounds like there's a number of scenarios in play here for the Nuggets. Some rumblings about them trying to move up into the Top 20 (KOC). Also some connections with Florida guard Tre Mann and Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu.
ANALYSIS: I'm a much bigger believer in Florida guard Tre Mann than others might be. That being said, I do think he could have a bit of a wide range when it comes to tonight. I think Mann has the potential to come off of the board at any time once you get around New York at 19. There are some expectations around the league that the Nets could be trying to move this pick, so we will have to see what happens. But this is a mock draft...we don't do trades here! If Brooklyn does keep the pick, I think they would look to add some depth in their backcourt. Tre Mann is still raw in a number of aspects in his game, but he could be a fantastic addition off of the bench with his size and shooting range. He's still got plenty of upside to his game and landing with a team like Brooklyn could do wonders for a young guard. (Hello Steve Nash).
THE BUZZ: Sounds like this pick could easily be on the move, even have been some Landry Shamet rumors (Rumor season is exhausting). Could see Brooklyn even looking at another guard like West Virginia's Miles McBride here. Maybe even Tennessee guard Jaden Springer or even Stanford forward Ziaire Williams if he's around.
ANALYSIS: I've had Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland mocked to the Philadelphia 76ers since the last Mock Draft Installment, and honestly...I've thought this fit would be sensational for months. The idea of Tyrese Maxey and Bones going nuts all over the floor in the same backcourt would be a thrilling experience for Sixers fans. Plus doesn't "Bones" just sound like a guy the Sixers fans run through a brick wall for? On a serious note, the Sixers will have to figure out the Ben Simmons situation this offseason. Regardless of what they decide to do, they need to continue to add some shooting on that roster. Bones plays with a chip on his shoulder and he can light it up in a hurry. He's got LETHAL RANGE when it comes to his outside shot. No seriously, when you watch some of his games he pulls up from another country and he's a much better shooter than his percentages might make you believe. He's a walking bucket who saw his stock rise in a hurry after an impressive display during 5-on-5 play at the NBA Draft Combine.
THE BUZZ: Could potentially be a trade candidate with Daryl Morey's draft record. Still think that the Sixers should use this selection to get a talented outside threat with some upside. Alabama guard Joshua Primo could also be an intriguing option here, or even West Virginia's Miles McBride. Maybe even a wildcard of Houston wing Quentin Grimes as well.
ANALYSIS: Phoenix is actually going to find itself in a great spot to get some value, especially if they are targeting a young guard in this class. There's a number of directions they can go with this selection, but the Suns will have the luxury of letting the board fall to them. With the depth of guards in this class, I think there's a realistic chance that they could get a strong rotation asset early on for their roster. One of my favorite fits here would be West Virginia guard Miles McBride. Although he's a bit undersized at 6'2.5", McBride is a demonic presence on the defensive side of the ball and he can shoot it from deep. He's terrorizes opposing players on defense with his ability to wreak havoc and uses his elite lateral quickness to force turnovers. McBride might be undersized, but he makes up for it with grit and his impressive 6'8.75" wingspan. Even if the Suns are confident that they can resign Cam Payne this offseason, it would be smart to target a guard in this class with some upside. Phoenix will want to reload to make another run at a title...and McBride has the mentality that would be welcomed with open arms by the veterans in that locker room.
THE BUZZ: Seems like adding some backcourt help is the route the Suns will most likely go here. Some names to consider are West Virginia guard Miles McBride, Tennessee guard Jaden Springer, Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu, or even Florida guard Tre Mann if he's on the board still. Could also see Houston's Quentin Grimes in the conversation. I do think there's a wildcard chance that the Suns could look to add a big man here...but most expect them to target that in free agency. I have serious Charles Bassey vibes...but I'm also a little crazy right now.
ANALYSIS: Think there's a number of directions that the Utah Jazz could go with this selection and they've been a popular team considered as a possible trade candidate. That's mainly due to the fact that Utah is looking to unload some salary. That being said, we aren't doing trades here folks. If Utah stays put, I think they will look to add a player that offers some serious upside. Tennessee guard Jaden Springer will be one of the most interesting prospects to keep an eye on throughout the entire draft. He's got a wide range and could easily go MUCH earlier than here at 30. Springer has the tools to become a strong two-way guard in this league. He's a bulldog on defense and he has some sneaky explosiveness to his game. If his offensive game can continue to improve, the talent is there for him to become a heck of a player in the NBA.
THE BUZZ: Looking like Utah will try to move some salary and potentially attach this pick...but it's rumor season...and sometimes teams can't find a suitor. Think there's a number of ways the Jazz could go here if they stay put. Jaden Springer, West Virginia's Miles McBride, maybe even Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu could be options. Utah could also look towards some wildcards like Villanova's Jeremiah Robinson-Earl or G-League Ignite forward Isaiah Todd.
NOTABLE DRAFT INTEL
- Expectation is that Michigan forward Franz Wagner comes off the board in the 7-9 range.
- As of this morning, "Golden State looks to be steering AWAY from G-League Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga at 7."
- Jonathan Kuminga "floor seems to be at 8."
- Some concerns about Baylor guard Jared Butler having scary medicals with team doctors. "Could fall to Second Round." (I hope not).
- Rumblings connecting UCLA forward Chris Smith and Sacramento in 2nd Round.
- Kai Jones to Charlotte "buzz" keeps getting louder.
- Orlando at 8 has been a bit of everything...depends on GSW at 7.
- San Antonio potentially Sengun or Wanger if on the board, but could also be a Moody landing spot.
- Sharife Cooper still looking like he will end up in the First Round.
- Knicks do like McBride but trying to move up (as expected). Would be surprised though of McBride "reach" with talent still on board at 19/21
- SAC buzz is Trade, Wagner, or Sengun.
- When asked about the Ziaire Williams to Orlando at 8 rumors...multiple sources expressed extreme doubt to word it kindly...