With less than 24 hours before the 2018 NBA Draft, here’s a final Extended Mock 5.2 with descriptions for each prospect and an explanation of why each team will select them.
|1.||Deandre Ayton 7-0 260 C Arizona Fr.||A generational bigman, Ayton is one of the most dominant prospects to emerge at the center position in two to three decades. He showed a lot of growth with his maturity both on and off the floor this season at Arizona. The quick tourney exit was disappointing but didn’t have any real effect on his draft stock. Ayton should contend with the likes of Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and KAT as one of the top centers in the league over the next decade. His ability to dominate around the basket on both ends, run the floor as well as step out and knock down outside shots, gives him an extremely rare package of skills. The sky is truly the limit for Ayton and it’s become nearly unanimous in the scouting community, Ayton will be the first pick and one of the stronger ones in the past few years.
Why the Suns take DeAndre Ayton: Is there anyone as confident about this year’s draft as DeAndre Ayton? While you can count the number of winning teams in today’s NBA that are constructed around bigmen on one hand, Ayton is destined to join that group. Would the team consider dealing Josh Jackson in order to land Luka Doncic? It would be risky as there is a bond between Ayton and Jackson that goes back to high school, but a move the Suns, whose new coach has ties to him, have surely pondered.
NBA Comparison: David Robinson
||Marvin Bagley 6-11 225 PF Duke Fr.||Bagley is one of the youngest prospects available having turned 19 (in March). He’s a manchild, capable of physically dominating nearly every opponent he faced at he college level. And will be a handful for many opponents from day one in the NBA. While his offensive skillset still has some developing to do, the fact that he plays with such energy and passion gives his outlook a lot of promise. He showed some ability to face up and attack the rim, and was a disciplined defender in Duke’s system. He improved as a 3 point shooter as the season went along, finishing at 40% on the year and hitting over 50%, after his return from injury, over the final month of the season. Bagley can become a franchise type of player if his offensive game continues to expand. Despite not leading a talent laden Duke squad to a Final Four appearance, his stock remains extremely high, with a strong chance to be the 2nd name called on draft night.
Why the Kings take Marvin Bagley: Bagley makes the most sense from both a positional and talent standpoint. There are whispers that the team may still be interested in Luka Doncic. But after trading away DeMarcus Cousins, the chance to land a potentially dominant big to anchor their frontcourt is likely too big of an opportunity to pass up. Bagley could team with DeAaron Fox to give the Kings a very nice inside/outside nucleus to build around.
||Luka Doncic 6-8 220 SG/SF Slovenia Intl.||
Doncic is one of Europe’s top overall players, which is unheard of at 19 years of age. It’s no wonder why so many scouts in Europe feel that he should be considered for the first overall pick. And in a lot of drafts, he probably would be. His feel for the game is special for such a young player and he’s got a magical ability to find passing angles and make those around him better. He’s extremely competitive and clutch and never seems to get rattled or lose composure, even in the biggest moments. What he lacks in comparison to the other elite prospects is sheer athleticism. He’s not an overly quick or explosive athlete, so his ceiling isn’t quite as high as the others when you consider defense and ability to create and finish. Doncic’s size (6’8 with a 6’11 wingspan and 8’9 standing reach) and playmaking ability give Europe’s "Boy Wonder" a chance to be special.
Why the Hawks take Luka Doncic: Doncic gives the Hawks a ready made talent that should be able to come in and compete for the Rookie of the Year award. The Hawks are still said to be enamored with point guard Trae Young. So there’s always the chance they opt to move down 2-3 spots and target him if someone like Dallas offers enough to move up. They could also shock everyone and just draft him here, but that seems unlikely. If the Hawks don’t move the pick and opt for Doncic over Jackson, he gives them a centerpiece to build around and maybe the safest option in the draft.
||Jaren Jackson Jr. 6-11 235 PF/C Michigan St. Fr.||JJJ has a body and package of skills ideally suited to play in today’s NBA. Similar to Bamba he has rim protection and great ability to run the floor, but even more polish and potential as an offensive player who can pull defenders away from the basket and knock down outside shots. Jackson proved to be a lot further ahead of schedule than many realized coming into the season. He’s still one of the less polished of the lottery picks in terms of fully realizing his skill set and abilities, but the fact that he became an impact player in Coach Izzo’s system as a freshman speaks volumes. He struggled through some inconsistency, particularly as the season came to a close. But there’s no denying the kid has an extremely high ceiling.
Why the Grizzlies take Jaren Jackson Jr: Doncic would help Memphis a lot more in the short term than JJJ, but the team could end up with an extremely promising prospect with Jackson at 4. He figures to need quite a bit more time than the guys listed before him, but age works in his favor. The Grizz should consider tearing it down and rebuilding, but with an aging core (Gasol and Conley) on big contracts, that may be easier said than done. There’s been a lot of speculaltion about Memphis possibly moving out of this pick, having not been able to get prospects to come work out for them. It will be disheartening for fans if they decide not to add a talent like Jackson, when given the opportunity, to give the franchise hope for the future.
NBA Comparison: Jermaine O’Neal
||Michael Porter 6-11 210 SF/PF Missouri Fr.||Porter’s return to action for two games at the end of the season had both positive and negative results. The positive was that he showed that the back has healed enough to allow him to get up and down the floor and showcase his skills. The negative being that he obviously wasn’t back to full health and his play suffered as a result. He is an explosive athlete with great fluidity, but having missed so much time, his leg strength has been depleted. Scouts have a good feel for his skill set and talent level, so reclaiming his stock as a top 3 pick will be contingent upon how his back checks out in physicals, and gaining back some of the explosiveness and fluidity over the next few months. His potential to become one of the NBA’s elite scoring weapons gives him a great deal of intrigue, which was why he had leapfrogged DeAndre Ayton in the second half of his senior season of high school.
Why the Mavericks take Michael Porter Jr.: Porter seems to have three main suitors in the top three with Dallas, Chicago and New York. But there are a lot of concerns floating around that his back is a huge concern and that he may be forced into a red shirt year. Could the Mavs risk a lost season for an injury player? Could it be time for fans in Dallas to "trust the process". Porter would certainly give the Mavs hope for a Dirk like scorer for the future. The hope would be that with a top notch medical staff they could rehab him back to full strength, and in the mean time stockpile more talent over the next season or two.
NBA Comparison: Joe Johnson
||Trae Young 6-2 180 PG Oklahoma Fr.||Young had one of them most prolific seasons of any college player in recent memory. He’s the first player ever to lead the nation in both points and assists, since the assist statistic has been kept. Considering he did that in one of the most competitive conferences in the nation from top to bottom and in his freshman season, and you have to marvel at his accomplishment. Sure the Sooners had a very rough end to the season. But making the tournament and having a strong showing individually helped Young gain some of the momentum back that he had lost due to his shooting woes in February. Young isn’t Steph Curry, but he could end up a very impactful NBA player due to his ability to shoot, score and create baskets for teammates.
Why the Magic take Trae Young: The Magic are clearly in the market for a point guard, and while Sexton is clearly the more athletic of the two, Young seems to have a better fit in today’s NBA. The Magic have been in need of a true franchise talent to build around. Trae Young fits the bill as one of the few players in this draft that has a chance to get to that level due to his offensive and playmaking potential.
NBA Comparison: Mike Bibby
||Wendell Carter 6-10 250 PF/C Duke Fr.||Carter’s outside shot showed a lot of growth as the season progressed. He isn’t a speed burner and figures to fit in better with some of the more methodical offensive teams in the league. His 7’3 wingspan gives him the ability to play bigger than his 6’10 size allowing him to more easily recover defensively as well as rebound more effectively. Carter’s work ethic and determination are rare for a freshman. He showed a tendency to let situations get the better of him and lose his cool emotionally, but that’s an area that he should be able to improve upon with age and experience. Despite a disappointing close to the year, battling some bumps and bruises, he remains in good standing with NBA teams as one of the most skilled and highest rated bigs in the draft.
Why the Bulls take Wendell Carter:The Bulls figure to get a really solid player at 7 and Carter is just that. He’s among the safest picks in the entire draft and could surprise and be a long time All Star. Some other possibilities here include Young or Collin Sexton, as well as Porter if available.
NBA Comparison: Al Horford
||Mohamed Bamba 7-0 225 C Texas Fr.||Bamba showed a lot of development this season with Texas, hitting his stride offensively and posting a few 20 point games and fourteen double doubles on the year. With an amazing 7’9 wingspan and a 9’6 standing reach, Bamba is a rim protector with a chance to be special on the defensive end with his ability to both block and alter shots. He’s an extremely bright individual who has Ivy League offers and attended a high school set up for gifted kids. While not an absolute freak of nature run/jump, he is a freak of nature with his physical attributes. And his fluidity is elite. Bamba’s ability to impact games improved as the season went along and he figures to go somewhere in the 3-7 range on draft night.
Why the Cavaliers take Mohamed Bamba: There is some speculation that Bamba could go as high as 5 to Dallas on draft night. But someone that is rated highly is destined to fall and there’s a chance it will be Bamba. While his defensive game is extremely intriguing due to his unmatched length, his offensive game will require some patience and is no sure thing to materialize. He’s an extremely bright individual who should thrive in the right situation. Cleveland is a huge uncertainty with regard to how their roster will shape up, but adding Bamba would potentially give LeBron some incentive to stay with additional help on the defensive end.
NBA Comparison: Rudy Gobert
||Kevin Knox 6-9 215 SF/PF Kentucky Fr.||
Knox was one of the steadier freshmen in the "One and Done" Kentucky system this season. He’s far from a finished product and among the riskier potential lottery picks because of that. He shows a lot of offensive promise with his ability to create offense and his fluidity for a player his size. While he shot just 34% on the season from deep, he has a pretty jumper and had some big scoring outbursts and proved a difficult match up for many opponents. His diverse skillset and potential as a scorer give him a lot of intrigue, however he’s still got a ways to go as a defender and maturity. His ability to be a stretch four in today’s small ball focused NBA adds value.
Why the Knicks take Kevin Knox: Knox is an upside pick, but has a low floor. He’s been in the mix for New York and is now considered a virtual lock for them provided Porter and Wendell Carter are off the board. Knox didn’t prove that he has toughness or that he could rise to the challenge against top competition as a freshman at Kentucky. But the hope will be that those concerns can be chalked up to youth and that the bright lights of New York will bring out the best in him.
NBA Comparison: Tobias Harris
||Mikal Bridges 6-7 200 SG/SF Villanova Jr.||Along with fellow junior Jalen Brunson, Bridges has grown from key contributor into one of Villanova’s MVPs reaching their second Final Four in three years. Bridges had a breakout junior season nearly doubling his scoring output from 9.8 ppg to 17.8 PPG. He also did so in a highly efficient manner, shooting 44% from deep, knocking down nearly three per game. He has the size and skill set to be a prototype 3-and-D player with his 7-foot wingspan and prolific three point shooting ability. Bridges also uses his length well to fill up the stat sheet with steals and blocks. He should look to get stronger in order to become better at finishing plays at the rim. He has a chance to crack the top 10 with the NBA’s premium on defensive shooters.
Why the Sixers take Mikal Bridges: The Sixers would be ecstatic to land Bridges here at 10. He’s already got ties to the organization with his mom, Tyneeha Rivers, who is vice president of human resources for the team. Plus the fact that he’s from Philadelphia and played his three years of college in the city. He meshes perfectly with Ben Simmons and would allow them to seamlessly transition from the one year JJ Reddick rental to a more well rounded, and younger sharp shooter.
NBA Comparison: Otto Porter
||Collin Sexton 6-2 185 PG Alabama Fr.||While not the most composed point guard, Sexton loves the big stage and is a fearless competitor. He’s proven on numerous occasions, both in USA basketball and at Alabama, that when challenged, he finds a way to answer the bell and lead his team to victory. His performance against Minnesota, orchestrated a comeback while down 2 players was the stuff of legend. His runner to beat Texas A&M in the SEC tournament put the Crimson Tide in the post season and showed his innate ability in do or die moments. He still has a ways to go as his 3 point shooting (33.6%) needs to improve as does his decision making and ability to lead the team in the half court. His 3.6 to 2.8 a/to ratio isn’t ideal. But his dynamic ability to excel in ISO situations, in transition and finish at the rim give him a lot of intrigue.
Why the Hornets take Colin Sexton: The team’s star player Kemba Walker is now 28, and they seem to be stuck in late lotto purgatory with their current roster. Sexton has some of the same Walker gusto only in a bigger and more dynamic package. Though there’s no guarantee that Sexton would be able to lead this franchise any further than Kemba has been able to, he would offer solid value at their pick.
||Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 6-6 180 PG Kentucky Fr.||Coach Calipari raves about Shai, describing him as his hardest worker and most focused player on the team this season. Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t come in with the hype of a number of the other freshmen, but could end up being taken before all of them, Knox included. He’s an exceptionally quick player with the ball in his hands, which is unusual considering his size. He’s also become a very reliable outside shooter, as his shooting numbers can attest. That combination of speed and shooting ability make him difficult to contain. He’s still a ways off from mastering the PG position, meaning he may need time to get up to speed. But that’s unlikely to deter teams from considering him in the top 10, and selecting him somewhere close to that range.
Why the Clippers take Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Gilgeous-Alexander is a promising point guard who could be a nice building block for a team in a transitional phase. With their current roster, they can’t focus on filling needs and instead just adding young talent for the future. Lou Williams is 31 and hitting the twilight of his prime.
||Jerome Robinson 6-5 190 SG/PG Boston College Jr.||An explosive guard who shot over 40% from three and exhibited the speed and athleticism to thrive on the break. Robinson was a bit of a surprise to some to enter his name and follow through with signing an agent to remain in the draft. He had great numbers and flashed some impressive explosiveness at times during his junior year. He should be in the mix for teams in the late first round in a deep shooting guard class.
Why the Clippers take Jerome Robinson: Robinson received a green room invite, indicating there is enough interest in the top 20 that he will likely be selected in that range. Team advisor Jerry West has a great eye for talent and likely will grab the top shooting guard available here and there is word that they are high on the BC junior.
NBA Comparison: CJ McCollum
||Zhaire Smith 6-4 200 SG Texas Tech Fr.||Zhaire is one of the nation’s most explosive athletes and although he wasn’t necessarily on the radar to begin the season, he surely ended the year on everyone’s radar. He’s a raw prospect who will require more patience than some other prospects, but his upside is considerable. He’s got a very nice shooting form and elite level leaping ability for the next level. His 45% three point shooting is impressive, but with only 18 made threes on the year, he’ll need to impress teams with his shot in workouts, which he’s clearly capable of, in order to grab a mid first round spot.
Why the Nuggets take Zhaire Smith: Zhaire is another upside pick that has been mentioned as a possibility in the early teens, and go as high as 11 to Charlotte. Smith is said to be in the mix with Denver at 14. He could potentially pair with Jamaal Murray and compete with Gary Harris for minutes.
NBA Comparison: Avery Bradley
||Robert Williams 6-9 240 PF/C Texas A&M So.||Williams’ decision to return to school may not have improved his stock. But a second year in College Station has given him the benefit of further maturity to handle the off court and social aspects that go along with playing professionally. Williams will probably benefit by not going too high and thus avoiding the initial expectations that accompany it. He’s not a consistent performer at the college level, so to expect that over an 82 game season, at this point doesn’t make much sense. Williams is an elite athlete, but his skill level has yet to fully develop. A team that envisions him in the role of defender and rebounder and could look to slowly bring his offensive game up to speed and probably do well with him somewhere in the teens.
Why the Wizards take Robert Williams: Williams could potentially offer the Wizards an explosive and fast big man to keep up with their dynamic back court of John Wall and Bradley Beal. The Wiz are said to be looking for an explosive big, so if Williams is still on the board, he could be their pick.
||Miles Bridges 6-7 230 SF/PF Michigan St. So.||Bridges may lack a traditional skillset, however he is a freak athlete with ambition and determination, a combination that generally fares pretty well at the next level. But it’s not as if Bridges enters the league solely with great physical abilities. He’s improved considerably in his ability to shoot, knocking down 85% of his FTs as a sophomore and 137 of 339 (37.5%) of his 3 pointers in his two seasons at Michigan State. He’s a little stuck between positions as he’s not a great passer or ball handler, and is small for the PF position. But in today’s "position-less’ league, Bridges strengths outweigh his weaknesses, and he should be able to punish certain match ups at the next level.
Why the Suns take Miles Bridges: Bridges has everyone using the term "positionless basketball", and while today’s league has a number of "tweeners" thriving, his inability to fit a position could limit his ability to stay on the floor, or actually play into his hands as a possible mismatch. After landing their center of the future at 1, the Suns will probably focus on trading up for one of the three stand out point guards, or if unable to, grab value here at 16, which Bridges would provide.
NBA Comparison: Jerome Kersey
||Lonnie Walker 6-4 200 SG Miami Fr.||Walker didn’t have the freshman season many envisioned and could slide some from this projection. His statistics (11.5 PPG, 41.5 fg%, 34.6 3p%) just never materialized to match his abilities, but he remains high on many scout’s lists nonetheless. He started his freshman season slow coming off knee surgery that many feared could force him to redshirt the season. But scouts remain enamored with him after such an impressive high school career. He’s got some combo skills and is an elite athlete who plays with great composure for his age.
Why the Bucks take Lonnie Walker: Walker has been one of the standout workout performers and a number of lottery teams are said to have him in the mix. He would offer tremendous value at 17 if he were to slide this far. There are some concerns that his body isn’t 100% and there could be teams that shy away from him due to medical concerns.
||Donte DiVincenzo 6-5 200 SG/PG Villanova So.||The "Michael Jordan of Delaware" played up to his nickname in the NCAA title game, giving his draft stock a huge boost. He reinforced his reputation as an athlete with his 40 plus inch vert at the NBA combine. His combine measurements also show that he’s got decent size for a 2-guard with his 6’5 height and 6’6 wingspan. He’s rolling the dice with whatever decision he makes, and when you consider his stock following his huge title game and the fact that he’s already 21, it’s probably in his best interest to leave his name in and accept wherever he lands in the draft.
Why the Spurs take Donte DiVincenzo: DeVincenzo just feels like a Spurs kind of player. He’s shown the ability to perform on the biggest stage and also aced his NBA Draft combine appearance. Donte could learn a lot from Manu Ginobili if given the opportunity to play together.
NBA Comparison: Dan Majerle
||Grayson Allen 6-4 200 SG Duke Sr.||Allen had a bit of a frustrating season as Duke’s only real upperclassman leader. He struggled individually and inevitably assumed some of the blame for Duke falling short of expectations. But he had a very solid four year career in Durham. He’s an excellent athlete and one of the most competitive kids in this year’s draft, at times apparently too competitive. He’s been one of the top workout guys according to teams and is seen as a likely top 25 pick with a chance to get into the top 20.
Why the Hawks take Grayson Allen: The Hawks are likely to add a PG (Doncic) with their early pick and should be looking for some further stability at 19. Allen may not have much ceiling left, but he’s got plenty of floor to offer as he’s one of the more NBA ready prospects available. His competitive spirit is something that should help a young team looking for an identity.
NBA Comparison: Bob Sura
||Troy Brown 6-7 210 SG Oregon Fr.||Similar to Zhaire Smith, Brown didn’t have an overwhelming statistical year yet has a shot to go high based on his potential. He shot just 29% from three on the year, so obviously will need to work on becoming a better outside shooter. He’s a versatile wing capable of playing multiple positions, having played as a point guard in his prep days growing up in Las Vegas. His near 7-foot wingspan gives him great length on defense. He’s a charismatic kid who communicates well and should develop into a solid pro over time.
Why the Timberwolves take Troy Brown: Brown is a versatile guard with promising upside that would add depth to their current backcourt. His ability to play multiple positions adds to his value. Brown needs some time to develop but would benefit from learning under Minnesota starting 2-guard Jimmy Butler.
NBA Comparison: Caris LeVert
||Kevin Huerter 6-7 195 SG Maryland So.||Huerter was trending way up following the combine in which he played exceptionally well in the scrimmages and then tested extremely well in the athleticism portion of the event as well. Huerter had a very solid 2 year career at Maryland displaying excellent ability to hit shots from the outside, as well as a solid all around feel for the game. He’s a bit of a sneaky athlete who had some very surprising dunks when the opposition let their guard down.
Why the Jazz take Kevin Huerter: Huerter opted to pass on attending the NBA Draft in Brooklyn in favor of watching the draft with his teammates in Maryland. Displaying a strong sense of team, it’s clear that our intel on him not being well liked by teammates was erroneous. Huerter is rumored to have a promise by a) The Lakers at 25 and b) Utah at 21. Whether he actually makes it to either of these picks to verify those rumored promises is another story. He would offer a nice shooting specialist to team with Donovan Mitchell going forward.
NBA Comparison: Fred Hoiberg
||Chandler Hutchison 6-7 195 SG/SF Boise State Sr.||
Hutchison had a big senior season and stands an excellent chance to be the lone senior that hears his name called in this year’s NBA draft. With a 7-foot wingspan and an expanding offensive game, he brings a lot of versatility to the table. He under-performed as a shooter, but teams remain high on his ability to knock down shots as well as play a mature, disciplined game of basketball.
Why the Bulls take Chandler Hutchison: Hutchison was pulled out of the combine creating speculation that he has a promise in the first round. Our sources have indicated that Chicago is the team that likely gave him the promise. Hutchison is older and not the most physical player, but there’s a lot to like with his maturity both on and off the floor.
NBA Comparison: Landry Fields
||Elie Okobo 6-2 180 PG France Intl.||An athletic lefty who has shown explosive scoring ability in ProA playing for Pau-Lacq-Orthez.. He’s a late bloomer who was barely on the radar a year ago and is now considered by many as the second best International prospect available. Okobo will take some time to master the point guard position and learn how to compete at an NBA level, but his potential gives him a good chance to be a late first rounder.
Why the Pacers take Elie Okobo: Okobo is a bit of a wild card as he still will probably need time to round out his skill set, but shows solid potential with his athleticism and scoring ability. He would benefit by coming over right away and getting on an NBA strength and conditioning program. Indiana curiously only worked out a handful of projected first rounders, and Okobo was one of them. They could opt out of the pick for a more experienced player, or give Okobo a chance to develop behind Darren Collison.
NBA Comparison: Rodrigue Beaubois
||Aaron Holiday 6-1 185 PG UCLA Jr.||Holiday became one of the most prolific scorers in the nations in the second half of the year. He’s a highly effective 3 point shooter who has really improved as an all around scoring point guard in his three years at UCLA. While he’s undersized at 6’1, he does have a 6’7 wingspan. The fact that he has two brothers playing in the NBA also helps his cause as he has been around pros and has been exposed to what it takes from a preparation and intensity standpoint. While not the most explosive athlete, Holiday is quick and skilled and should have a chance to carve out a role in the NBA as an instant offense type.
Why the Blazers take Aaron Holiday: Holiday’s green room invite would indicate that he should be selected higher than this. Some possibilities include Phoenix at 16 or Milwaukee at 17. Holiday would give the dynamic duo in Portland a solid complimentary backup and scoring off the bench. The expectations for Holiday may exceed his talent, as he projects more as a high level back up than a starter.
NBA Comparison: Lindsey Hunter
||Mitchell Robinson 7-1 225 C USA Fr.||Robinson made a highly questionable decision to skip playing college ball this season and train off the court instead of playing for Western Kentucky. He’s a long, highly athletic center with excellent potential on the defensive end of the floor. He’s obviously a long term project, and will take additional time after a year of non-development. He’ll need strong workouts in order to cement a spot in the first round. But the intrigue surrounding him during his senior season should help his cause.
Why the Lakers take Mitchell Robinson: The Lakers had a rumored promise with Robinson very early in the process. Mitchell only worked out for a small handful of teams, and the Lakers were one of them. The Lakers acquired the 39th pick yesterday and there’s some speculation that they will use one of their picks on Robinson. USC combo guard DeAnthony Melton is another possibility here (or at 39)
NBA Comparison: Dewayne Dedmon
Khyri Thomas 6-4 210 SG Creighton Jr.
||Thomas is a late bloomer who has steadily climbed up draft boards this season and now has a shot to jump into the lottery. He’s older than many of his draftmates as he will be 22 in May, however his polished and balanced game is intriguing to teams. He may not be the most explosive athlete, but he’s a good athlete with a big wingspan and excels on the defensive end. He’s got a textbook jumpshot and should be able to develop into a 3 point shooter at the NBA level. With Jrue Holiday-like attributes and skillset, he’s not overly flashy but extremely effective. Khyri is a hot name among scouts and should see his name called in the same range that Jrue (17th) did.
Why the Sixers take Khryi Thomas: Soon to be known as the "other" Khyri. The Sixers will probably go backcourt here, and if Thomas is still on the board at their pick, he may be difficult to pass up. With a game that reminds some of the the prolific scoring Pelican guard, Just call him "Uncle Jrue".
||Landry Shamet 6-5 190 PG Wichita St. So.|| Shamet proved to be one of the top overall shooters at the college level connecting on 44% from three on a high volume (2.6 makes per game). He’s a big point guard and extremely cerebral and steady for a 21 year old. His 5.2 assists to 2.1 turnovers illustrates the steadying influence that he can have on a team, despite not being an explosive scorer. Wichita State didn’t play the most difficult schedule, leaving some concern over level of competition, but Shamet appears to be a potential sleeper due to his "sneaky athleticism". While not the quickest or most explosive athlete, he’s extremely efficient running the point guard position.
Why the Celtics take Landry Shamet: The Celtics are a stacked roster with a lot of depth and may end up looking to package this pick in a trade. Shamet plays a smart brand of basketball and shows the ability to knock down threes, two qualities that the Celtics are looking for in a draft pick. He may struggle to see the floor on a team that already has Kyrie Irving and battle tested Terry Rozier, but he would certainly be able to develop being around them and practicing against them.
NBA Comparison: Denzel Valentine
||Gary Trent Jr. 6-5 205 SG Duke Fr.||
Trent struggled with his shot in the early part of the season and really hit his stride in the second half of the year and finished strong. He showed why many considered him among the best shooters in his high school class, exhibiting pure outside shooting ability. He also expanded upon his game with added ability to create offense off the dribble and the use of runners to get shots over shot blockers around the rim. He’s got a clutch gene that a number of his Duke teammates appeared to lack as he took over late in games on a number of occasions. With the shift to shooters in today’s NBA, his value is enhanced. While he lacks the ideal physical profile of a NBA shooting guard, and will probably struggle some on the defensive side, his bloodline and intangibles, not to mention shooting ability give him a lot of NBA intrigue.
Why the Warriors take Gary Trent Jr.: The Warriors haven’t had their first round pick and generally end up buying a pick and turning them into a bench contributor. Don’t count that out this year as well. At 28, they will probably join the shooting guard party and grab a player that slides like Trent. Son of Shaq of the MAC is being overlooked by many and with the imminent departure of Swaggy P, Trent could offer some clutch shooting off the bench.
||Jacob Evans 6-5 200 SG/SF Cincinnati Jr.||Evans is a solidly built wing without a flashy college career but showed enough in his junior season and in workouts that scouts feel he can get into the late first round. Evans calling card is his defensive ability as he played at one of the better defensive programs and spearheaded their attack. That ability to shoot and defend will give him an excellent chance to stick in the league for an umber of years in the the 3 and D mold.
Why the Nets take Jacob Evans: The Nets could go in a number of directions including a longterm prospect like Anfernee Simons. Evans figures to be one of the best "complimentary" piece types in this draft with his 3-and-D potential. He may take a year or so to be able to extend his range to NBA three, but the potential is there.
NBA Comparison: Maurice Evans
||Moritz Wagner 6-11 240 PF/C Michigan Jr.||Wagner is a determined bigman with a lot of confidence in his abilities. The German import showed leadership skills over the past two years, helping lead Michigan on a nice tournament run. He has very good length and the ability to hit outside shots that fits in well with today’s spread the floor NBA game. While not the quickest or most athletic big, his skill level and attitude give him a chance to overachieve and stick in the league.
Why the Hawks take Moritz Wagner: With a team essentially being built from scratch, developing the right culture is vital. Wagner checks a lot of the boxes as far as being a strong influence and leader, aside from his basketball skills. Is he a team’s long term answer as a starting center? Probably not, but he could potentially be a valuable addition for a young team like the Hawks.
NBA Comparison: Kelly Olynyk