Saturday, June 29, 2019
By unloading Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards in addition to having Anthony Davis waive his $4M trade clause, the Los Angeles Lakers have freed up $32M in cap space. As a result, they now a chance to land one more max player to join LeBron James and Davis.
With James and Davis alone, the Lakers have a much more competitive team than they did last season. If they can add one more max level player (such as Kawhi Leonard), there's a possibility that we'll see them in the NBA Finals next season. Especially since the Golden State Warriors are hobbled.
That all said, the Lakers shouldn't be banking on a 2020 championship just yet. For one thing, we don't know who they'll add in free agency. Secondly, health is a major concern. James is 34 years old and played in just 55 games last season due to various injuries including a hamstring. While some of the games he missed were due to caution, it's no secret that he is getting older and has a lot of miles on his legs.
As for Davis, he's much younger (26 years old) but also not as durable. He has never played 82 games in any NBA season and on average misses a shade over 16 games a year. What's particularly alarming is that Davis has never made a deep run in the playoffs. Given his injury woes, it's far from a guarantee that he'll be holding up come late May and June.
The bottom line with the Lakers is that as good as they project to be on paper, it's hard to predict how well they'll navigate the injury bug. If this were a shorter season with fewer playoff games, I would like the Lakers' chances to go the distance. But when we're talking about an 82 game season and a playoff format consisting of four rounds all of which are a seven game series, I don't know if I like their chances. The NBA playoffs are a grind and I'm far from convinced that the Lakers have what it takes to survive.
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Thursday, June 20, 2019
The 2019 NBA Draft is on Thursday at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN, which means the annual NBALord.com mock draft is due! I enjoy writing these up every year and I hope people in turn enjoy reading them. On Monday, I explained about how I go about writing a mock draft. Click here to read that if you'd like. As some of you know, I also write analysis of individual players for NBADraft.net. I will provide links to those analysis pieces in here as well. Without further introduction, let's dive in!
1. New Orleans Pelicans-Duke freshman SF Zion Williamson: All year long, Zion Williamson was the consensus top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and he’s going to remain that way. At 6’7”, 285 pounds, Williamson evokes comparisons to Charles Barkley mixed with LeBron James type of athleticism. He’s even got some Dominique Wilkins in him with his flair for the highlight reel dunks. The Pelicans are going to make him their franchise piece for the future. Stats: 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game.
2. Memphis Grizzlies-Murray State sophomore PG Ja Morant: Despite concerns about his minor knee operation, I still have Ja Morant going #2 overall to the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s the best point guard in the draft and the Grizzlies seem to be all in on making Morant their point guard for the future after trading Mike Conley to the Jazz. At 6’3”, 175 pounds, Morant can score, facilitate, and push the ball in transition in the open floor, making him a prototypical point guard for today’s NBA. Stats: 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 10.0 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.
3. New York Knicks-Duke freshman SF R.J. Barrett: Not to be overlooked in this year’s draft is R.J. Barrett, who played a huge role on last year’s Duke team. Barrett has all the physical tools you want in an NBA wing at 6’7”, 205 pounds. He can run the floor, throw it down in transition, and play good defense. It’s just a matter of him improving his shot a bit (30.8% from 3-point range and 66.5% from the foul line). While the Knicks lost out on the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, getting Barrett isn’t a bad consolation prize. Stats: 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and .9 steals per game.
4. New Orleans Pelicans-Virginia sophomore SF DeAndre Hunter: Due to the presence of Lonzo Ball as a result of the Anthony Davis trade, I don’t see the Pelicans taking a point guard. This pick could get traded, so we’ll have to see what happens, but as I wrote on Monday, I don’t factor in trades in my mock draft.
Assuming this pick stays with the Pelicans, I think DeAndre Hunter makes a lot of sense for them. He would give them another athletic wing to go alongside Zion Williamson, allowing him to slide to the power forward position with more frequency. Hunter runs the floor well, can leap out of the gym, and has great size for an NBA wing at 6’7”, 225 pounds. On top of that, he’s a really good shooter, shooting 43.8% from 3-point range his sophomore year. He would compliment Williamson well. Stats: 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, .6 steals, and .6 blocks per game.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers-Texas Tech sophomore SG Jarrett Culver: I hinted about this on Monday, but now I’m confirming it. I don’t have the Cavaliers taking a point guard with this pick given the presence of Collin Sexton. Sexton had a good enough rookie season to be trusted with the point guard duties going forward. It would make no sense for the Cavaliers to take another point guard. Unless they trade the pick, which as I said, I don’t factor into my mocks.
Operating under the assumption that the Cavaliers keep this pick, I think Jarrett Culver makes a ton of sense for them. He’s a versatile scorer, can shoot it from beyond the arc, and plays solid defense. He would be a nice fit for a team that could use a little bit of everything. At 6’5”, 195 pounds, Culver has NBA level athleticism and all the tools to be an elite wing in the league. What also makes him appealing is he’s not done getting better. He averaged 11.2 points per game as a freshman and improved his scoring average to 18.5 points per game as a sophomore. It’s going to be fun to see where he’s at in a few years. Stats: 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
6. Phoenix Suns-Vanderbilt freshman PG Darius Garland: Despite playing in just five games his freshman year as a result of a knee (meniscus) injury, many people have Darius Garland going as high as #4 overall in this year’s draft. I personally think that’s a little crazy considering the severity of his knee injury and the lack of film we have on him (Remember Dante Exum?).
Anyways, upon watching some tape on him, what stands out to me about Garland is his ability to get to the rim and finish in a number of creative ways. The talent is definitely there, but his durability should raise concerns as should his size (6’2”, 175 pounds). The Suns could really use a point guard, though and if Garland is still available, I don’t see them passing on him. Stats: 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
7. Chicago Bulls-North Carolina freshman PG Coby White: Coby White was the floor general of a really good North Carolina team, doing whatever was asked of him. He can score in a variety of ways, he can facilitate, and he has good size for an NBA point guard at 6’5”, 185 pounds. He’s got the potential to play some shooting guard as well as he shot 35.3% from 3-point range as a Tarheel. The Bulls could use a versatile playmaker in the back court, which is why I have them taking White. Stats: 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.
8. Atlanta Hawks-Duke freshman SF Cameron Reddish: This is one of those cases where I have the Hawks taking the best player available, which at this point would be Cameron Reddish. Overlooked by the presence of Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, Reddish is one of the most talented players in this year’s draft. He has great physical tools at 6’8”, 218 pounds and is a pretty polished shooter for his age, shooting 33.3% from 3-point range and 77.2% from the foul line. He still has a lot of room for growth, which is exciting. He would be a great fit in Atlanta. Stats: 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game.
9. Washington Wizards-North Carolina freshman SF Nassir Little: I wrote a piece on Nassir Little a few weeks ago indicating how high on him I am. I interviewed him for Rivals.com back when Cal was looking at him and I was really impressed by his maturity and drive. He has tons of athleticism and physical gifts at 6’6”, 220 pounds. It’s just a matter of him polishing his game and honing his craft. Just like Kawhi Leonard was coming out of San Diego State. The Wizards need someone who can give them some hope for a brighter tomorrow and if he lives up to his max potential, Little could very well be that guy. The Wizards have nothing to lose by taking him. Stats: 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
10. Atlanta Hawks-Maryland sophomore C Bruno Fernando: Bruno Fernando is projected to be the top big man in this year’s draft. He’s got great size at 6’10”, 240 pounds and does a good job crashing the boards and protecting the rim. He’s also a good foul shooter (77.9%). The Hawks have a lot to play with in this year’s draft, which is really nice. They would be wise to improve their front court by adding Fernando if he’s available at this spot. Stats: 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves-France PF Sekou Doumbouya: At 6’9”, 230 pounds, Sekou Doumbouya has great physical tools to work with. Has great length, runs the floor well, is a legit athlete at the NBA level, etc. It’s just a matter of him learning how to play the game better. This is one of those prospects where we won’t know what we have for five years and in retrospect, he could wind up being one of the best players in this draft. He’s definitely a guy the Timberwolves should seriously consider if he’s available. He’d be a good fit there, I think. Stats: 6.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, and .9 steals per game during EuroCup. 18 years old. Turns 19 in December.
12. Charlotte Hornets-Gonzaga junior PF Rui Hachimura: Rui Hachimura is one of the most NBA ready prospects in this year’s draft. His age is the only thing that’s preventing him from being a top 6 or 7 pick. Hachimura has a great feel for the game, knows how to score inside, and is comfortable being a leader. He’s also improved his shot, shooting 73.9% from the foul line and 41.7% from 3-point range on 1 attempt per game. If you want to convince Kemba Walker to stay in Charlotte, adding a good pick and roll mate in Hachimura wouldn’t be a bad start. Stats: 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game.
13. Miami Heat-Florida State sophomore PF Mfiondu Kabengele: Mfiondu Kabengele is one of those guys that has a ton of potential due to his physical gifts (6’10”, 250 pounds), but is still learning the game. One of the things that bodes well for Kabengele is he improved a lot from his freshman year to his sophomore year, going from 7.2 points per game to 13.2. He’s also improved as a shot blocker, getting more comfortable with his body and ability to protect the rim (1.5 blocks per game). He’s still a project, but his upside warrants him being a late lottery pick. Stats: 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.
14. Boston Celtics-Kentucky sophomore PF P.J. Washington: When I interviewed P.J. Washington a couple of years ago back when he was balling at Findlay Prep, I knew he was supposed to be really good, but I didn’t know he would become a lottery pick kind of talent. Washington has evolved into a really good forward that can score, stretch the floor, rebound, and defend. His 42.3% shooting from 3-point range on 2.2 attempts per game is really exciting. The Celtics have a lot of picks to use in this year’s draft and I don’t see why they would pass on Washington if he’s available at this point. Stats: 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.
15. Detroit Pistons-Virginia Tech sophomore SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker: One of the best two-way players in this draft is Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who has good size for a shooting guard at 6’5”, 205 pounds. He plays sound defense (1.9 steals per game ), gets to the cup, and has greatly improved his facilitating up from 1.5 assists per game as a freshman to 4.0 assists per game as a sophomore. I feel like he would be a good fit in Detroit because of his defense and playmaking abilities. Stats: 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
16. Orlando Magic-Kentucky freshman SG Keldon Johnson: Keldon Johnson is a promising talent due to his 3-point shooting and rebounding. He shot 38.1% from 3-point range and averaged 5.9 rebounds per game. He has solid size for an NBA wing at 6’6”, 210 pounds, possessing NBA level athleticism. His ceiling doesn’t project to be super high, but he could fit in nicely with a Magic team that is looking to make more noise in the playoffs. Stats: 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
17. Atlanta Hawks-Georgia sophomore PF Nicolas Claxton: At 6’11”, 220 pounds, Nicolas Claxton runs the floor really well, knows how to get up, and all in all is a great NBA level athlete. It’s just a matter of him improving his craft and getting better on the offensive end. His major strength is his defense (2.5 blocks per game), which indicates he has a high motor. The Hawks could use a high energy guy like him and would also get someone who could help sell some tickets given that he’s a local talent. Stats: 13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.
18. Indiana Pacers-Indiana freshman SG Romeo Langford:I’m staying local here as I have the Pacers taking a local talent of their own in Romeo Langford.I feel like Langford flew under the radar a bit in college after having a lot of hype coming out of high school. His 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game at Indiana wasn’t bad, but he could have done more. If he can improve his defense (.8 steals per game) and also his shooting (72.2% from the foul line and 27.2% from 3-point range), he could end up having a pretty solid NBA career. Stats: See above.
19. San Antonio Spurs-Republic of Georgia PF Goga Bitadze: There’s a funny photo circulating of Goga Bitadze getting zero media attention as Zion Williamson is one stall over from him sucking up all the space in the room. It’s a funny picture, but should also serve as motivation for a guy who is actually quite talented in his own right. He moves well for his size, knows how to score in the post, has good shooting touch, and all in all is your prototypical 6’11”, 250 pound European big. Given the success of European bigs like Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic, one could argue he should go top ten. At some point, teams have to catch on to the trend, right?
As for why I’m picking San Antonio, guys like Bitadze are right up their alley. They’re always finding talented European guys that do damage. It’s kinda their thing. Stats: 14.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game during ABA Liga. Turns 20 in July.
20. Boston Celtics-Oregon freshman C Bol Bol: Son of the late Manute Bol,Bol Bol has tons of upside due to his 7’2”, 210 pound body and ability to stretch the floor. He’s a total physical freak that could end up being the best player in this entire draft. What hurt his stock is his foot injury, which caused him to miss most of his time at Oregon. If can stay healthy, the sky is the limit to what he can accomplish. The Celtics have a lot of picks, which is why taking Bol Bol is a low risk, high reward type of move for them. Stats: 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Bol Bol for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder-USC freshman SG Kevin Porter, Jr.: Despite not having much of a freshman season at USC, Kevin Porter, Jr. caught the attention of NBA scouts with his athleticism, defense, and energy. He has great size for an NBA shooting guard at 6’6”, 218 pounds and has all the pieces to be a great two-way guard in the league, drawing comparisons to DeShawn Stevenson. Like Stevenson, there are concerns about his maturity, but if he can grow up and become all that he can be, maybe he’ll become the DeShawn Stevenson that could have been but never was. Which was Michael Jordan 2.0. Which, ok, I’m going to stop now…
Stats: 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Kevin Porter, Jr. for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
22. Boston Celtics-Texas freshman PF Jaxson Hayes: Jackson Hayeshas all the physical gifts in the world at 6’11”, 220 pounds. It’s just a matter of his game catching up with his talents. One thing he will bring right away is defense as he averaged 2.2 blocks per game during his freshman year. If he figures out the offensive part, it could be game over. Stats: 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game.
23. Memphis Grizzlies- Stanford sophomore SF KZ Okpala: After flying under the radar a bit in high school and his freshman year, KZ Okpala blossomed into a potential lottery pick during his sophomore year on the “The Farm” due to his unique blend of athleticism, shooting, and basketball IQ. He’s got a ton of talent and should continue to get better. He’s a bit of a quiet guy if you interview him, so maybe that’s why he’s fallen in mock drafts. Teams just not liking how he comes across, but that isn’t a reason to worry about him. If continues on the trajectory he’s on, we’ll look back and wonder why he wasn’t a top ten pick. He would be a great fit in Memphis alongside Ja Morant.
Stats: 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of KZ Okpala for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
24. Philadelphia 76ers-Oregon freshman SF Louis King: Louis King had a bit of an underwhelming freshman year, but he still managed to be a solid contributor for the Ducks. He’s a unique talent in that he’s a 6’9”, 205 pound small forward that has good shooting touch (38.6% from 3-point range and 78.5% from the foul line). Given that package, I have a hard time seeing him not go in the first round. Stats: 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
25. Portland Trail Blazers-Gonzaga junior PF Brandon Clarke: Brandon Clarke demonstrated NBA level talent when he was a freshman at San Jose State. I watched him play live when he was with the Spartans and was amazed by his athleticism and motor. I think it was a put back dunk that caught my eye.
After sitting out a year and transferring to Gonzaga, Clarke has done a great job of polishing his game and honing his craft. He shot a remarkable 68.7% from the field last season and swatted 3.2 shots per game. He actually had just as many total blocks (117) as he did missed shots last season, which is just nuts. He would fit well with a Portland team that could use another energetic body off the bench. Stats: 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers-Belmont senior SF Dylan Windler: Ja Morant stole the show in the Ohio Valley Conference this past year, but Dylan Windler was pretty good, too. He has good size for an NBA small forward at 6’8”, 200 pounds and shot 42.9% from 3-point range. On top of being a really good 3-point shooter, Windler was a good all-around scorer (21.3 points) and a killer rebounder (10.8 rebounds). He’s a very polished and NBA ready player that would learn a lot from Kevin Love. Stats: 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
27. Brooklyn Nets-Virginia junior PG Ty Jerome: Ty Jerome is one of those guys that makes up for his lack of athleticism with his skill and playmaking abilities. He’s a good facilitator, good shooter, plays smart, and a leader. Plus, while not being very athletic, he has good size at 6’5”, 195 pounds. The Nets are looking to improve their chances of winning a playoff series, making a solid backup point guard like Jerome a good choice at this point of the draft. Stats: 13.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
28. Golden State Warriors-Washington senior SG Matisse Thybulle: Matisse Thybulle is a phenomenal defender at 6’5”, 195 pounds, averaging 3.5 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game. His offense needs to improve, but he’ll come in right away as a legit defender that can force turnovers and wreak havoc. He would be a perfect fit on a Warriors team that could use more disruption on defense.
Stats: 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Matisse Thybulle for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
29. San Antonio Spurs-Kentucky freshman SG Tyler Herro: Tyler Herro has solid size for an NBA shooting guard at 6’5”, 195 pounds and is a really good shooter (35.5% from 3-point range and 93.5% from the foul line). On top of being a good shooter, he’s a pretty solid rebounder (4.5 rebounds per game) and defender (1.1 steals per game). If he can improve his quickness and athleticism, he could be a steal. Stats: 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.
30. Milwaukee Bucks-LSU freshman C Naz Reid: At 6’10”, 250 pounds, Naz Reid is one large dude. He’s a solid scorer in the post, solid rebounder, and a pretty good foul shooter for a big man (72.2%). The issue with him is he is a bit overweight and isn’t REALLY good at any one thing. Plus, he’s a below average passer (0.9 assists) and shot blocker (0.7 blocks). If he can improve in those two areas and become more tenacious on the glass, he could be a steal at this point of the draft. Stats: 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
31. Brooklyn Nets-Auburn sophomore SF Chuma Okeke: At 6’8”, 230 pounds, Chuma Okeke is a solid forward and borderline first round talent. He can stretch the floor (38.7% from 3-point range), score, rebound, and defend (1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game). Lots to like about him. Stats: 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game.
32. Phoenix Suns-Purdue junior PG Carsen Edwards: Carsen Edwards’ 42 point explosion against Virginia in the Elite Eight put him on the NBA radar for good as he almost willed his team to victory. He was pulling out all of his bag of tricks in that game. It should be noted though that Edwards was a good scorer all season long (24.3 points per game) and played much bigger than his 6’1”, 200 pound frame. The only concern with him is he's not much of a facilitator (2.9 assists per game) and it’s tough to make it in the NBA as a 6’1” shooting guard. If he can improve his facilitating and develop in other areas, he could find a nice home in the NBA. Stats: See above.
33. Philadelphia 76ers-Arkansas sophomore PF Daniel Gafford: At 6’11”, 235 pounds Daniel Gafford runs the floor well and has nice physical tools to work with. He rebounds well and knows how to protect the paint. What’s holding him back is his lack of a perimeter game (0 3-point attempts in two years at Arkansas). If he can develop a perimeter game, he’ll take his game to new heights. Stats: 16.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game.
34. Philadelphia 76ers-USA SF Darius Bazley: If Darius Bazley had decided to play college basketball instead of opting to sit out a year to train for the NBA, he could have been a projected first round pick. There are a lot of unknowns with the 2018 McDonald’s All-American, but he has tremendous physical tools at 6’9”, 210 pounds. It’ll be interesting to see where he falls in the draft and how much his decision to sit out a year hurt or helped him. Stats: N/A
35. Atlanta Hawks-Villanova senior PF Eric Paschall: Eric Paschall is undersized for a power forward at 6’7”, 255 pounds, but he’s made up for it with his energy, leaping ability, strength, and quickness. If he can improve on his 34.8% shooting from 3-point range and become reliable from deep in the NBA, he could be one the major steals of this draft. Stats: 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
36. Charlotte Hornets-Tennessee junior PG Jordan Bone: After back-to-back seasons of scoring averages in the single digits, Jordan Bone really came into his own his junior year, averaging 13.5 points per game to go along with 5.8 assists. He could be a solid replacement for Tony Parker, who served as a reserve point guard last season for the Hornets. Stats: See above.
37. Dallas Mavericks-Mississippi senior PG Terence Davis: At 6’4”, 205 pounds, Terence Davis has solid size for a point guard. What really helped him out this past season was his improved 3-point shooting (31.7% as a junior; 37.1% as a senior) and defending (1.6 steals per game). He’s a below average facilitator, but he’s been making up for it in other areas. If he can improve at getting his teammates involved, he could find a permanent home in the NBA. Stats: 15.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.
38. Chicago Bulls-North Carolina senior SF Cameron Johnson: What makes Cameron Johnson intriguing is he’s a 6’8”, 205 pound wing that shoots 45.7% from 3-point range. I may have him pegged a bit low as he could sneak into the first round. Wherever he lands, he could wind up being a steal. Stats: 16.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
39. New Orleans Pelicans-Syracuse sophomore SF Oshae Brissett: Given his draft projection, it’s fair to question whether or not Oshae Brissett is coming out a year early. The counterargument to that is that he regressed from his freshman year to sophomore year in terms of his scoring, rebounding, minutes, foul shooting, and 3-point shooting. So perhaps its good he’s coming out now as opposed to slipping even further next year. Stats: 12.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
40. Sacramento Kings-Tennessee junior SF Grant Williams: Grant Williams was the top player on a Tennessee team that was #1 in the country for a lot of the year. That alone makes him a legit prospect. On top of that, he’s a 2x SEC Player of the Year that knows how to lead a team. If you’re talking about guys who could outplay his draft stock, Grant Williams could be one of those guys. Stats: 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game.
41. Atlanta Hawks-Croatia PF Luka Samanic: At 6’11”, 230 pounds, Luka Samanic is a talented forward that moves well for his size and has a pretty well-rounded game on offense. He’s got first round talent, so it’ll be interesting to see if he goes earlier than I have him going. We shall see. Stats: 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game (Euroleague U18).
42. Philadelphia 76ers- Virginia junior SG Kyle Guy: If there’s one thing we know about Kyle Guy, it’s that he has ice in his veins. Without his clutch shooting, Virginia would not have won a national title. He’s also a solid scorer to go along with being a clutch shooter. The big concern with him is he’s just 6’2”, 175 pounds, which is really small for a shooting guard. He definitely deserves a look, though. Stats: 15.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
43. Minnesota Timberwolves-Arizona State freshman SG Luguentz Dort: Given his projection, Luguentz Dort may have been wise to play one more year of college basketball. What makes me thing he still gets drafted, though is his physical profile. He’s built like a truck at 6’4”, 220 pounds and is very aggressive, especially in the open floor. He’s a pit bull on defense (1.5 steals per game) and has all the tools to be another Tony Allen type. Stats: 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
44. Miami Heat-Florida State SG Terance Mann: Terance Mann is a 6’7”, 215 pound shooting guard that shoots 39.0% from 3-point range and 79.0% from the foul line. It’s tough for guys like him to go undrafted. Stats: 11.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
45. Detroit Pistons-San Diego State sophomore SF Jalen McDaniels: What will help Jalen McDaniels find a home in the NBA is he’s 6’9”, 190 pounds with an ability to do a lot of different things. He can score, rebound, and force turnovers. His main needs are to add more weight and become a better 3-point shooter. Stats: 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.
46. Orlando Magic-Germany PG Joshua Obiesie: Joshua Obiesieis a 6’6”, 195 pound point guard that really is more of a combo guard due to his size and versatility. If given the right situation, he could flourish in the NBA. Stats: Just turned 19 years old. Averaged 5.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1 assist per game in the BBL league in Germany.
47. Sacramento Kings-Washington sophomore SG Jaylen Nowell: I got to know Jaylen Nowell decently well when he was being recruited by Cal out of Garfield High School in Seattle. He of course decided to stay home and build up the Huskies program. Nowell is a really talented scorer that can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. He can beat you from the perimeter (44.0% from 3-point range), beat you at the foul line (77.9%), or beat you to the rim (52.5% from 2-point range). On top of that, he’s a pretty good rebounder and can defend the perimeter well.
Stats: 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Jaylen Nowell for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
48. Los Angeles Clippers-Central senior Florida C Tacko Fall: Tacko Fall is 7’6”, 310 pounds with a solid post game and ability to protect the rim. Truth be told, his shot blocking should be better than what it is. If he can become another Mark Eaton, he’ll have a long and fruitful career in the NBA. His name is also really cool. Stats: 11.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game.
49. San Antonio Spurs-UCLA sophomore SF Kris Wilkes: At 6’7”, 210 pounds, Kris Wilkes has the ability to go off. It’s just a matter of him becoming more consistent. He’s got first round talent, so he’d be an absolute steal at this point of the draft.
Stats: 17.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Kris Wilkes for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
50. Indiana Pacers-UCLA freshman C Moses Brown: At 7’1”, 245 pounds, Moses Brown has tons of upside, but is just very raw. His shooting stroke is really weird, and he’ll definitely need to spend a lot of time in the G-League. He’s a guy worth rolling the dice on at this point of the draft, though. You can teach his physical gifts.
Stats: 9.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Moses Brown for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
51. Boston Celtics-Tulsa junior SF DaQuan Jeffries: DaQuan Jeffries was a 2018-19 All-AAC player for Tulsa this past season, shooting 36.6% from 3-point range and 75.5% from the foul line. He’s a little short for an NBA small forward at 6’5”, but he makes up for it with his 230 pound frame. He’s a very physical player that should be able to handle the NBA just fine from a physical standpoint. A man among boys in the AAC. Stats: 13.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steal per game.
52. Charlotte Hornets-UCLA sophomore PG Jaylen Hands: To his credit, Jaylen Hands improved from his freshman year to sophomore year at UCLA. His scoring improved, his assist numbers improved, and he averaged more steals per game. He’s another option the Hornets could go to add point guard depth.
Stats: 14.2 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Jalen Hands for NBADraft.net. I also got a couple of quotes from him talking about his game and what he needs to improve. Click here to check it out.
53. Utah Jazz-Yale junior SG Miye Oni: Every now and then the Ivy League produces an NBA level talent and this year they have one in Miye Oni. He’s 6’6”, 210 pounds, and a solid all-around player that can score, rebound, and defend. He’d fit right in Utah that is looking for rookies who can help out right away.
Stats: 17.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Miye Oni for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
54. Philadelphia 76ers-Nebraska junior SF Isaiah Roby: The main thing Isaiah Roby has going for him is his 6’8”, 230 pound frame. He’s physically ready for the NBA. He just needs to improve his foul shooting, 3-point shooting, and all-around scoring. Stats: 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
55. New York Knicks-Michigan freshman SF Ignas Brazdeikis: At 6’7”, 215 pounds, Ignas Brazdeikis is a legit stretch forward, shooting 39.2% from 3-point range. When I interviewed him back when Cal was looking at him, he was being recruited as a stretch forward. I had no idea he would get on the NBA radar like he did, so it’s been fun to see him blow up. Stats: 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
56. Los Angeles Clippers-Sydney Kings SF Brian Bowen: Brian Bowen is more famous for his role in the national college basketball corruption scandal back when he was committed to Louisville. It’s a shame because he’s actually a pretty talented player. He’s 6’7”, 190 pounds and a 2017 McDonald’s All-American. It would be cool to see him redeem himself in the NBA and find a home. Stats: 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in the NBL.
57. New Orleans Pelicans-Michigan sophomore SG Jordan Poole: At 6’5”, 195 pounds, Jordan Poole more than doubled his scoring average from his freshman year to his sophomore year (6.1 points to 12.8 points per game). That definitely bodes well for his ability to get better. Stats: 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.
58. Golden State Warriors-Oregon sophomore PF Kenny Wooten: At 6’9”, 235 pounds, Kenny Wooten has great physical tools. He runs the floor really well, protects the rim at an elite level, and has promising talent on offense. He just needs to spend some time in the G-League and hone his craft. He’s worth a pick towards the end of this draft. Stats: 6.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. NBA Draft Profile: I provided more in-depth analysis of Kenny Wooten for NBADraft.net. Click here to check it out.
59. Toronto Raptors-USA PG Jalen Lecque: Jalen Lecque is an athletic point guard at 6’4”, 195 pounds, who decided to skip college (former NC State commit) to go to the NBA instead. It’s hard to know how good he’ll be since he didn’t play in college, but he might be worth a gamble at this stage. Stats: N/A
60. Sacramento Kings-Nevada SG Caleb Martin: Totally a gut thing, but I think the Kings roll the dice on local product Caleb Martin. They’re sort of the default home team for Nevada fans and bringing in their star player to training camp wouldn’t hurt. He’s also a pretty talented scorer that can play both small forward and power forward. Stats: 19.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
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