NBA Mock Draft, First Predictions

The draft is coming up on Thursday, June 22. And for a Sixers fan, this is an annual tradition of anticipation and hope. The Process has brought the disasters of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, but it also brought us the embodiment of “The Process” and Ben Simmons. But enough about my own team, let’s talk about this draft, which has a lot of hype going. Will the Celtics take the Fultz or trade out? Do the Lakers still take Lonzo? Do the Kings and Knicks screw everything up? Where do guys like Malik Monk, Dennis Smith, and Lauri Markkanen go? What trades get made? It’s set to be a great night. I’ve done two mocks so far and I left them both here. The first one I did has no trades, but the second one does. Note: the players Jonathan Jeanne and Rodion Kurucs are not on the second mock because neither are in the draft anymore. Unfortunately, Jeanne has been diagnosed with the same disease that Baylor center Isaiah Austin was diagnosed with two years ago. Truly tragic and I am very sorry for him as he was a top 20 pick and had a great future in front of him. As for Kurucs, him and another European prospect have decided to withdraw and head back to their international teams for the next year. With that said, hear is the first ever mock drafts of NBA Everyday:

NBA Mock Draft 1.0

  1. Celtics – Markelle Fultz, Wasington (potential trade)
  2. Lakers – Lonzo Ball, UCLA
  3. Sixers – Josh Jackson, Kansas (potential trade)
  4. Suns – De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
  5. Kings – Malik Monk, Kentucky (potential trade)
  6. Magic – Jayson Tatum, Duke
  7. Timberwolves – Jonathan Isaac, Florida St.
  8. Knicks – Dennis Smith Jr., NC State
  9. Mavericks – Lauri Markannen, Arizona
  10. Kings – Frank Ntilikina, Strasbourg (potential trade)
  11. Hornets – Zach Collins, Gonzaga
  12. Pistons – Donovan Mitchell, Louisville (potential trade)
  13. Nuggets – Luke Kennard, Duke
  14. Heat – Justin Jackson, North Carolina
  15. Trail Blazers  – OG Anunoby, Indiana
  16. Bulls – TJ Leaf, UCLA
  17. Bucks – Ike Anigbogu, UCLA
  18. Pacers – John Collins, Wake Forest (potential trade)
  19. Hawks – Terrance Ferguson, Adelaide
  20. Trail Blazers – Justin Patton, Creighton
  21. Thunder – Jarret Allen, Texas
  22. Nets – Harry Giles, Duke
  23. Raptors – Semi Ojeyle, SMU
  24. Jazz – Jonathan Jeanne, Nancy International
  25. Magic – Bam Adebayo, Kentucky
  26. Trail Blazers – DJ Wilson, Michigan
  27. Nets – Rodions Kurucs, Barcelona
  28. Lakers – Isaiah Hartenstein, Zalgiris
  29. Spurs – Anzejs Pasecniks, Gran Canaria
  30. Jazz – Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State


NBA Mock Draft 2.0

  1. Celtics – Markelle Fultz, PG Washington
  2. Lakers – Lonzo Ball, PG UCLA
  3. (Trade) Kings – De’Aaron Fox, PG Kentucky
  4. Suns – Josh Jackson, SG/SF Kansas
  5. (Trade) Sixers – Jayson Tatum, SF Duke
  6. Magic – Jonathan Isaac, F Florida St.
  7. Timberwolves – Lauri Markannen, PF/C Arizona
  8. Knicks – Frank Ntilikina, PG Strasbourg
  9. Mavericks – Dennis Smith, PG N.C. St.
  10. (Trade) Sixers – Malik Monk, SG Kentucky
  11. Hornets – Zach Collins, PF Gonzaga
  12. (Trade) Bulls – Donovan MItchell, SG Louisville
  13. Nuggets – John Collins, PF Wake Forest
  14. Heat – Luke Kennard, SG Duke
  15. Trail Blazers – OG Annuoby, SF Indiana
  16. (Trade) Pistons – TJ Leaf, PF UCLA
  17. Bucks – Justin Jackson, SF North Carolina
  18. Pacers – Jarret Allen, C Texas
  19. (Trade) Suns – Justin Patton, C Creighton
  20. Trail Blazers – Harry Giles, C Duke
  21. Thunder – Semi Ojeleye, SF SMU
  22. Nets – Ike Anigbogu, C UCLA
  23. Raptors – Tyler Lydon, SF Syracuse
  24. Jazz – Anzejs Pasecniks, C Gran Canaria
  25. Magic – Bam Adebayo, C Kentucky
  26. (Trade) Pacers – Terrance Ferguson, SG Adelaide
  27. Nets – Derrick White, PG/SG Colorado
  28. Lakers – DJ Wilson, PF Michigan
  29. Spurs – Isaiah Hartenstein, PF/C Zalgiris International
  30. Jazz – Frank Jackson – PG/SG Duke

Trade Breakdowns:

  1. Sixers send 3rd Overall Pick, Jahlil Okafor, to the Kings for 5th and 10th Overall picks
  2. Pistons send 12th Overall Pick, 2nd round pick, bench warmer, to the Bulls for 16th Overall Pick and Rajon Rondo
  3. Hawks send 19th Overall Pick to the Suns for Brandon Knight and Cash
  4. Trail Blazers send 26th Overall Pick, Festus Ezeli, to the Pacers for multiple future picks, mostly 2nd rounders


So there you have it. Feel free to comment anything you disagree with or ideas you have. Right now I’m going to break down the guys who I think are the top 10 prospects and/or picks in the draft:

  1. Markelle Fultz, PG Washington                                                                                                             I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t been big on Fultz. I’m a guy who’s very concerned with wins and losses, and Fultz just played for a team that finished the year with an unbelievable 13 losses in a row. Ouch. Now, Fultz was injured for some of those games, but regardless, I just feel like the NBA’s next star should be able to do more than that. But then again, Ben Simmons’ LSU team wasn’t the best, and I still would’ve picked him. According to scouts everywhere, Fultz is a surefire 20 point scorer and potential franchise player in the NBA. I do love his ability to playmake and shoot, and he is the least likely of the stars to bust because of his skill set, athleticism, and demeanor. My major concern with is game is that he struggled on defense, but that’s true of every young, confident point guard in the college game. I want the Celtics to trade out because a) I think it makes sense for them and b) because I love super teams and basketball mayhem. The most likely trade would be the Celtics sending the pick and guys like Jae Crowder or Avery Bradley for Jimmy Butler and maybe even Paul George. I’ve also heard rumors of the Sixers trading up for Fultz himself, with us giving up Dario Saric or maybe even (gulp) Ben Simmons. Luckily, I think my Sixers are smarter than that and will hold back. But then again, they’ve proved me wrong before. Overall, I think the ceiling for Fultz is a 6’3″ Tracy McGrady, a lanky, athletic shooter that can get whatever shot he wants. His basement, … Ty Lawson. Just some guy who’s super talented, can’t really help you win, and can still drop 20 every night.
  2. Lonzo Ball, PG UCLA                                                                                                                                Lonzo, Lonzo, Lonzo. He is polarizing, there’s no denying it. I’m going to do my best to not mention LaVar Ball during this paragraph, as I’m sure we’ve all had enough of him. But Lonzo. I know people hate him and what he stands for, but if he falls to my Sixers, they’d better draft him. He’s just that good. I think he’ll be a star no matter what. He’s the best passer in college I’ve seen in a long time, and he has the potential to be a top scorer. Like Fultz, defense is a struggle, but I’ve already explained that. Of course, with the Ball’s game, his shooting form comes up. Some hate it and predict his downfall because of it. Others say it’s all good as long as it goes in. I personally think it’s just fine except for one aspect: the pull up going right. Every time I watch him, he excels in every offensive point, except stopping while going hard to the right for that pull up. And I know why. He has to bring the ball back to his left side while his motion is carrying right, and every thing gets thrown out of wack. His balance is off, the hand releases wrong, he gets it off to slowly, it’s a problem. He’ll need to fix this because NBA teams with advanced scouting will know this and force him to make the shot. Now, for all the rumors swirling that the Lakers might not take Lonzo and that he had a bad workout, I think that’s BS. The Lakers are just sending negative thoughts out there to destroy any chance that the Celtics, their bitter rivals, take Lonzo. The truth is, LA and Magic Johnson are drooling at the thoughts of Lonzo in a Laker uniform. I mean, there may be a chance that they take Josh Jackson, who I’m just about to talk about that, but I’d be shocked if Adam Silver doesn’t say, ” Lonzo Ball to the Los Angeles Lakers.” I personally believe that Lonzo has by far the most potential of any player in the draft and has all the makings to be a better version of Jason Kidd. But he also has the highest chance to bust with his weird mechanics and off the court issues and fame. He really is all or nothing.
  3. Josh Jackson, SF Kansas                                                                                                                        Now this is important, because there’s a great chance that this guy is about to be the wingman for my boys. Jackson has been tabbed as the best all-around prospect in the draft as he’s already an elite defensive player. He can get it done offensively too, but he’s much more inconsistent on that end of the floor, especially with a shot form which looks like it has a small hitch. At the beginning of the year, I was low on Jackson as he had off the court issues and struggled to score. I thought he was just horrible and overrated. But then as the season progressed, he became a better shooter and an absolute monster on the boards, and I was incredibly high on him. But then finally he got ousted in the Elite 8 by an underwhelming Oregon team in a game where he absolutely sucked. So who knows. He could honestly go anywhere from the predicted Sixers pick, to a Lakers surprise, a fall to the Suns, or even the Celtics trading back to him. He’s a wild card and a heck of an athletic player. Reports are now that he’s cancelled workouts with other teams outside of the Lakers and Sixers, prompting thoughts that at least one organization has affirmed him that he’ll be selected by them. Just thought I’d put that in there. At his best, he’s Kawhi Leonard, a great one on one scorer and surreal defender. At worst, he’s just another 3 and D player, much like Trevor Ariza.
  4. Jayson Tatum, SF Duke                                                                                                                           Tatum is very similar to Jackson in that I had the same impression with him. He looked awful as Duke struggled at the start of the year, but then turned it on for the second half and became their second best player behind other draft prospect Luke Kennard. Tatum is a smooth, ball handling 6’8″ forward who can make jump shots, but that shooting is inconsistent. Tatum could also go anywhere. The Suns are the most likely spot, he could slip to the Magic, and there are even rumors that the Sixers will take a risk on him. I think Tatum is one of the most predictable prospects in terms of his career. He’s the classic athletic ball dominant scorer. He’s gonna get his every night no matter what you do. But I don’t think he’s great at making his teammates better, and he’s just about average on defense. He’ll be a good player, and maybe even an all star, but he’s a second or third option player, not the franchise star. He reminds me a lot of Rudy Gay or Andrew Wiggins. Guys who aren’t stars but can consistently score 20 a night and even go off for 40 sometimes. At worst, he’s just another role player in the NBA.
  5. De’Aaron Fox, PG Kentucky                                                                                                                    ATHLETE. Nuff said. But seriously, is there a scarier freak of nature than Fox. He just screams speed. On defense, he’s tenacious with quick hands and a strong base. On offense, he can explode to the rim and finish with creativity and force. He has but one weakness. Unfortunately that weakness is what the NBA is now super focused on: 3 point shooting. But I’ve seen his workouts, I think he can improve. But here’s more bad news, there’s a good chance he’s going to the Kings and GM Vlade Divac. I love Fox’s game from his physical freakiness to his competitive nature. Fox could go as high as 2 or 3, but he’s much more likely to go 4 and definitely by 5. It’s publicly known that the Kings are desperate for him and have no chance of passing on him. The only question is if the Suns take a shot at him. It doesn’t make a ton of sense considering a log jam in the back court with Bledsoe and Booker, but maybe the young Fox-Booker combo entices them so much that they go for it and then use Bledsoe as trade bait. But either way, I think Fox will bring a lot to the NBA, and if his shot develops, he’ll be scary. At his best, he’s the next John Wall or Russell Westbrook. At worst, he’s like Elfrid Payton, super athletic but a horrendous shooter. I hope for the first option.
  6. Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF Florida St.                                                                                                          To me, Isaac is the safest pick in the draft. He has much less upside than others, but he’s almost guaranteed to not bust. He’s built to be a small ball NBA center. Long, can defend all 5 positions with his quickness and length, and even hit 3s on offense. His lack of skill, bulk, and agressive attitude on offense means he probably won’t be a star. But he can be a great role player and a difference maker for quality teams. He probably goes to either the Magic or the T-Wolves, as I don’t see him breaking the top 5 or slipping past 8. At his very best, maybe he’s a skinny Draymond Green, but that’s a stretch. Like said, at worst he’s a versatile 3 and D player. That’s a nice luxury to have that as your basement.
  7. Lauri Markkanen, PF/C Arizona                                                                                                            Next up we have the stereotypical “tall European guy who can shoot, he must be the next Dirk/Kristaps Porzingis” player. I’m sorry, I just hate that we always give that title to guys like this. The truth is that I love Lauri’s game and think he is easily the best center in the draft. One comparison, and this is a stretch, is a young Kevin Durant. Now I know, I just compared a skinny European kid to a guy I just recently named as the new alpha dog of the NBA. But think about it, Markkanen is around 7 feet like KD, has nice handles for his size, though not as good as Durant’s, and a lethal 3 pointer, which he has shot better than KD at Texas. Offensively, I think Markkanen will be great for scoring no matter where he goes or pans out. His quick but long body combined with his beautiful shot will provide match-up nightmares for opposing teams. But his defense is the issue. His quick step off the dribble does not translate to guarding one-on-one, as Markkanen leans to far forward, is off balance, and reacts slowly. He can block shots sometimes with his length and vertical, but he often is an easy drive to the basket for other teams. NBA coaches will have to work on improving his technique and hiding him on defense. I’ve already compared him to Dirk and KD, but that seems pretty lofty. His ceiling is a lesser version of those guys. His basement is like all other big European guys who are called soft and kicked out of the league.
  8. Dennis Smith Jr., PG N.C. State                                                                                                                48 inch vertical. That’s right. Word is today that Dennis Smith jumped out of the building in his workout with Lakers and that this was the vertical reported. Whether it’s real or not, the dude can jump. Just look at some of his highlight dunks. He looks a lot like Westbrook where he rises up off two feet and powers it through the rim and the defender’s head. And he shares more similarity with Russ. Freak athlete? Check. Super intense? Check. Bad shooter? Check. Out of control and immature at times? You bet. Dennis Smith has as much talent as anyone in this draft, but his decision making and control are just risky. He’ll either be a home run and the next freak point guard, or he’ll be an out of control disaster along the lines of Brandon Jennings and Lance Stephenson. He could go anywhere, as it’s rumored the Sixers and Lakers love his athletic genes, the Magic think he might be their star, New York could use the hype surrounding him, and the Mavericks could use a point guard. I’m not a huge fan of his game, but if he goes anywhere below 9 I’d be shocked.
  9. Malik Monk, SG Kentucky                                                                                                                       Monk got a ton of hype at the beginning as Kentucky was destroying people and he exploded for 47 points against the eventual champs, North Carolina. But as the season progressed, Monk began to struggle versus more physical teams while his teammate Fox began to take over. Both finished the year strong as Fox dominated Lonzo in the Sweet 16 and Monk was one Luke Maye game winner away from being the hero himself. Now, after rising to 3 in some mocks early in the year, Monk is slated to go in the range from 6-10. The biggest knock on Monk is his size, because he’s more of a shooting guard and that makes him undersized at 6’3” and very skinny. There’s questions to whether Monk can guard guys at his position, and if he can handle more physical defenders. But I still like Monk. He has the elite shooting that creates stars at the next level. And as evidenced by that game against UNC and other scoring explosions, I’d say that Monk has the killer instinct necessary to take over games. He’s best suited going to a team set with guys who can guard multiple positions and are very versatile. Think the Sixers with Ben Simmons or the Bucks with Giannis. Both those two can be the “point guards” on the court, let Monk play off ball on offense, and then let him guard the other team’s point guard, which is usually the best match-up for him. I’d love it if the Sixers pull that trade for 5 and 10 with the Kings and are able to get him at 10, that’d be an absolute steal. But I could see the Magic liking his star power at 6, the T-Wolves might need shooting, and the Knicks might do something. Personally, I think it’s a mistake if goes past 9. His ceiling is that of a modern star guard, like CJ McCollum or Damian Lillard. His basement is guys like Nik Stauskas, who are good shooters, but suck at every other area of the game.
  10. Luke Kennard, SG Duke                                                                                                                         While I think Frank Ntilikina will go higher, is really good, and might even be the better prospect, I’m going to use the last spot to talk about Kennard. I don’t know enough about Frank to give him a good report, but from what I’ve heard, he’a a smart, lanky point guard out of France who a lot of GMs like. But back to Kennard, a guy who I think will be a steal wherever he goes. I know his athleticism isn’t as elite as the top prospects, but it’s better than what people credit him for. But the best thing Kennard has is obvious: that honey sweet stroke. Reports are that at his workouts he’s had multiple streaks of 15 3s in a row. I watched a clip of one, he doesn’t even hit the rim. It’s the same motion everytime and it’s always a swish. I think Kennard will develop into an absolute sniper in the NBA, and he’s crafty and skilled enough to finish layups and mid range shots. At Duke, he struggled as a freshman while trying to get playing time, but he absolutely erupted as a sophmore and had certain games where he would just carry his whole team to victory. He can get so ridiculously hot that he even gets into Curry and Klay mode in terms of making tough 3s. On defense, he’ll struggle to keep guys in front of him with a lack of lateral quickness, but like on offense, he’s still crafty, has nice bulk, and will find ways to irritate opponents. I am glad that he’ll go later in the lottery and join a smart team like the Nuggets or the Heat who he can help improve right away. I think Kennard can be a guy a long the lines of J.J. Reddick, Kyle Korver, or even good old Wally Sczerbiak. At worst, he’s also like Nik Stauskas. P.S. I think Nik Stauskas sucks.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well that’s all I have for now. There are other late prospects I like, such as Zach Collins from Gonzaga, Josh Hart from Villanova, and Jordan Bell from Oregon. There are others that I can’t stand, the most notable being DJ Wilson from Michigan. Man that guy sucks. I’ll hope to put out one final mock draft before June 22, and after that I’ll go in to all things free agency, including predictions, the Cavs’ plan, Paul George’s future, and more. But now, I’m just waiting for the draft. And once again, I’ll have to trust the process.

12 thoughts on “NBA Mock Draft, First Predictions

  1. Will Morris

    Pretty good. I’d put Justin Jackson a bit higher (I have him going 11th, but I’m a little biased as a UNC fan). The other thing is, why is everyone hopping on the Ike train? I’m not saying he was bad at UCLA because he didn’t play much, but I’ve seen him as the first center off the board in some mock drafts. Just seems very unproven to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nbaeverydaysite

      I think a big reason for people liking Ike Anigbogu is that his wingspan is freakish at almost 7’7″. Scouts love wingspan as the best defenders in the league (Draymond, Kawhi, Gobert) all have super long wingspans. I like Justin Jackson too, and I hope he slides to the Bucks because he’d fit their theme of crazy length, but he’d also add some needed shooting.


  2. Cool insights. I think Philly’s mission for the last five years or so is to claim the best talent so I’m pretty sure you’ll get a goldmine from whatever spot they first land on (hopefully they’ll stick it at third). I doubt if they’ll have the best rookie in 2017-18 though as I expect them to do whatever they can to put the spotlight on ben simmons. it’s hard enough for a top pick to miss his supposed first season but it’s another thing for a guy to miss his first season and try to whip it as a point guard.

    am i the only one who thinks lonzo ball is good for boston? they can get a good SF in free agency but I’m not sold that they win big playoff games with avery bradley as their starting SG.


    1. nbaeverydaysite

      Thanks man.Unfortunately, every thing I’m reading says that the Sixers are about to trade away their pick and 2 future ones for the number one pick so that they can take Fultz. I wouldn’t do it, I’d stay put and take Josh Jackson, but it looks like I’m going to have to get used to rooting for Fultz instead.


      1. I am never a fan of lottery teams trading down but at least the sixers aren’t the kings. I mean… past drafts suggest they need a point and they kept padding their roster with bigs. now with the team overloaded with guards and slashers, they could pick a guard or a slasher.

        like i said, i trust the process than the kings.


    1. nbaeverydaysite

      He played so bad while at Duke that I can’t see any team thinking it’s reasonable to pick him before 20. He has bad hands, shot terribly, and looked lost on the court. I think the Blazers take him because they have multiple 1st round picks and will be willing to take an all-or-nothing risk on him.

      Liked by 1 person

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