With the draft set to take place tomorrow night at 8 PM Eastern, here is one final look at the NBA Extended mock, with explanations for each pick. ***Our main two round mock draft will continue to be updated leading up to draft time.
1. Detroit Cade Cunningham 6-8 220 PG/SF Oklahoma State Fr.
Cunningham came into the season as the prohibitive favorite to go number one overall. And his play did nothing to change that over the course of the season, as he was clearly the most impressive prospect from a consistency and production standpoint. A case could be made that he doesn’t have the highest ceiling among this year’s draft class, however he likely has the highest floor. He figures to be a “culture” changer and brings a level of confidence and maturity that should allow him to overcome a bad situation and thrive. Cunningham has a strong, calm demeanor and never seems to become rattled or thrown off his game. His focus and determination are keys to his success and should allow him to be an elite facilitator with size in the mold of Luka Doncic. While he doesn’t have quite the killer instinct or facilitating ability of Doncic, he’s a better shooter than Luka entering the league.
Why the Pistons take Cade Cunningham: For a team that has been searching for an identity having become a perennial bottom dweller over the past 10-15 years, adding the least situational dependent, highest floor player makes the most sense. Cunningham has the safest floor, and the most maturity and confidence to handle the current Detroit situation. He also has the ability to elevate teammates the best of the options. Green and Mobley may both have more upside, but each can be ruined more easily than Cunningham by landing in a bad situation. Detroit has turned into a team in need of a culture change. And while Cunningham may not ultimately be a guy that can be the top player on a championship contender, he’s a huge step in the right situation.
NBA Comparison: Jayson Tatum
2. Houston Jalen Green 6-6 180 SG G-League Fr.
Green has some freakishness to his athleticism and combines that with a very smooth and polished floor game. He certainly doesn’t lack for sizzle, with a sick repertoire of crossovers and the ability to mesmerize opponents and create offense for himself on the perimeter. He figures to go in the 3-5 range after a solid season playing for the Ignite in the G-League. Green, along with fellow G-leagers: Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix and Isaiah Todd were the NBA’s guinea pigs, with players being recruited away from their college teams in some instances and given the opportunity to play in the G-League before being drafted. The G-League “experiment” appears to be a success in the midst of the pandemic, paving the way for future players (Jaden Hardy for instance) to follow in their footsteps.
Why the Rockets take Jalen Green: Green arguably gives the Rockets the player with the most upside here. He shows not only elite athleticism but the ability to be a high level shooter and scorer. He’s certainly not the safest pick, as there have been concerns surrounding him for over a year. But he seemed to have matured during his season in the G-League. The Rockets moved on from James Harden, and should they select Green, will hope they have found his predecessor with the potential to be a high impact player in Green.
NBA Comparison: Bradley Beal
3. Cleveland Evan Mobley 7-0 215 PF/C USC Fr.
Mobley is the first player since Anthony Davis to win Conference, Freshman, and Defensive Player of the Year awards. And Davis is a name that gets linked to Mobley as they’re both freak athletes with defensive and scoring ability. What seems to separate AD from Mobley is his consistency and focus. On top of everything, Mobley has intriguing ball handling skills. His defensive ability as both a rim protector and perimeter defender gives him a lot of potential, and makes him extremely intriguing. Based on pure upside, Mobley is probably the player with the highest ceiling in this year’s draft. So why is he projected to fall past 1? Mobley’s demeanor concerns some scouts due to his lack of consistency with regard to intensity and focus. Mobley does not always illustrate ideal body language and shows a tendency to defer at times instead of taking over. With an obvious talent like Mobley, perhaps that is nitpicking. But there is a fine line between being a high level NBA player and being a generational bigman that impacts a team’s ability to contend for titles.
Why the Cavaliers take Evan Mobley: The Cavs have Jarrett Allen and could pair him with Mobley and have a talented young frontcourt to build around. Suggs would be a possibility as well, but they are already facing a logjam in the backcourt with Sexton and Garland. Mobley is one of the highest upside bigmen to enter the draft in a number of years. his skill set really matches today’s NBA. Cleveland has a young backcourt in place and figure to grow into a playoff team if Mobley is able to realize his potential.
NBA Comparison: Pau Gasol
4. Toronto Jalen Suggs 6-4 205 PG Gonzaga Fr.
Suggs hit arguably the biggest shot in NCAA history considering the stage, Final Four, degree of difficulty, and number of eyes on him. Suggs is sure to benefit financially from the brand name he’s cultivated at the college level. He has ideal leadership and toughness, having been a five star quarterback in Minnesota high school. He’s a dominant athlete with impressive size at the point guard position. He came into college as a borderline top 10 recruit, and quickly established himself as a player that could contend to be the top pick. He lacks Cade Cunningham’s skill level as a scorer, granted they were used in different roles in the freshman seasons. And it’s clear Cade is the superior shooter with more length. Where Suggs gets the edge is his speed and athleticism and defensive potential.
Why the Raptors take Jalen Suggs: .Toronto has an extremely talented point guard in Fred Van Vleet on a long term deal. So the question is whether Suggs would fit in well playing alongside Van Vleet. With Van Vleet”s great shooting and ability to play off the ball, they would seem to be a great paring as Suggs likely has the size to guard 2s. Whether Suggs’ shooting ability convinces Toronto is likely the question. There’s also the possibility that another player like Jonathan Kuminga or Scottie Barnes piques their interest. There are rumors that the team would like to move on from Pascal Siakam, in which case a forward could be selected as his eventual replacement. Suggs is the obvious pick here.
NBA Comparison: Jason Kidd
5. Orlando Scottie Barnes 6-8 225 SF/PF Florida St. Fr.
Barnes is a tricky prospect to project since the NBA’s game has shifted so heavily to shooting, and it’s clearly Barnes biggest weakness. Barnes does a ton of things to help his team win. He’s a thoroughbred with a 7’2 wingspan and plays at times as a point forward with the ability to defend positions 1-through-4. He’s got some parallels to Draymond Green with his skill set and while very few can match Draymond’s passion for the game, Barnes is a high level competitor with intangibles in his own right.
Why the Magic take Scottie Barnes: Orlando GM John Hammond has always put a premium on length. he stuck gold with Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2013, but has not had the same success thus far with Mohamed Bamba. Barnes would give them tremendous versatility and a potnetial standout two way player. After gutting their frontcourt at the trade deadline, a young talent with substantial upside like Barnes is just what the Doctor ordered.
NBA Comparison: Draymond Green
6. Oklahoma City James Bouknight 6-5 190 SG UConn So.
Bouknight was one of the breakout stars of the season, coming off a promising freshman year at Storrs. While he doesn’t have elite length, he has sneaky athleticism and had numerous highlight plays at the rim. He shows a lot of grit and determination with a crafty skill set that has shown excellent improvement. He showed just how lethal a scorer he can be with his 40 point performance in an OT loss to Creighton in December. Bouknight fell short of expectations with just a 6-8 wingspan at the combine measurements, but remains intriguing as high as 7 due to his dynamic play making and scoring ability.
Why the Thunder take James Bouknight: OKC is likely going to be choosing between Bouknight and Kuminga here. Bouknight is the more polished offensive player and the Thunder seem to be leaning toward drafting him. Kuminga has the higher ceiling, but there are some concerns about his shooting and he likely is further away. Either player would give the Thunder a solid second key piece to team with SGA moving forward.
NBA Comparison: CJ McCollum
7. *Golden State Jonathan Kuminga 6-8 205 SF/PF G-League Fr.
Kuminga has as much raw talent as any player in this draft. He’s a freak athlete with an NBA frame at 19, great versatility, and possessing the ball skills to run the break as well as create offense for himself. He shut down his season a few games early coming off a minor injury, but showed flashes that should insure he’s a high lottery pick. He can still improve in a number of areas including shooting and defense, but his potential is considerable if he lands in the right situation and applies himself. Kuminga has a chance to be a standout at the next level and has a ceiling amongst the top 2-3 overall players in this year’s draft.
Why the Warriors take Jonathan Kuminga: Check please! The Warriors main objective is to add veteran talent around their core, but if they have the opportunity to add a talent like Jonathan Kuminga to the team, it would be difficult to pass up. They have a second first rounder at 14 that they could use on a veteren shooter that is more ready. Kuminga gives them a second young talent, along with Wiseman, to carry on with a winning team past the Splash Brother era.
NBA Comparison: Jaylen Brown
8. *Orlando Moses Moody 6-6 210 SG/SF Arkansas Fr.
Moody was one of the most productive freshmen in the country, displaying a very polished shooting stroke. And although his three point numbers dipped some over the course of the season, it’s clear he has high level shooting ability. Moody ended up hitting just 36% from three on the year, but developed the reputation as a quality outside shooter in high school and was comfortable in the role of go to scorer at Arkansas. While not the most explosive run jump athlete, he possesses a huge 7′ foot wingspan, which allows him to defend and get shots off more effectively than most players his height. Moody’s lack of speed, athleticism and ball handling ability are concerns and he’s fallen in minds of some from a top 10 pick to a possible mid first rounder.
Why the Magic take Moses Moody: Moody figures to find a spot in the 8-10 range. Orlando moved on from their core and in return received two top 8 picks. They are in a solid position to reload if they make the right moves. With Evan Fournier no longer on the team, a shooter like Moody would be a solid pick from a team need standpoint. While he’s not the most athletic player, he has one extremely valued asset in his shooting. His 7-foot wingspan also will surely be valued by the team as well.
NBA Comparison: Glen Rice
9. Sacramento Franz Wagner 6-9 220 SF/PF Michigan So.
Wagner struggled in March. And depending on how much importance you put into tourney performance, may have hurt his stock as much as any prospect with his lackluster play. He has tremendous passing and vision for a 6-9 forward, and his feel for the game and basketball IQ are real selling points. He’s got solid quickness, and while he’s not going to blow anyone away with his athleticism, his dexterity and composed game makes him intriguing to scouts. He didn’t light it up as a scorer in his sophomore year, but after Isaiah Livers went down towards the end of the season, he rose to the challenge, and helped lead Michigan to their first Elite Eight in years. Lateral speed and perimeter defensive potential are a big selling point for Wagner.
Why the Kings take Franz Wagner: The Kings should have a number of quality options here and will have to decide which player brings them the most value. Wagner possesses an intriguing combination of size and shooting ability plus defensive potential and should continue to improve both his skill set and athleticism. His ability to play stretch four would give the Kings a scoring weapon to add to their talented back court. There are a lot of reports regarding the Kings interest in Wagner. Now the only question is whether it’s a smoke screen.
NBA Comparison: Nemanja Bjelica
10. Memphis Josh Giddey 6-8 205 PG Australia Intl.
Similar to Scottie Barnes, Giddey is able to impact the game in a number of ways despite shooting limitations. Giddey is a legit point guard at 6-8, and has the ability to elevate those around him with his great vision and passing skills. He’s not the most explosive athlete, but he’s got solid foot speed and understands how to set up defenders with fakes and hesitation moves. He benefits from the outstanding rookie season from LaMelo Ball, as it further legitimizes the Australian league, in terms of level of competition to gauge a player’s ability.
Why the Grizzlies take Josh Giddey: The Grizzlies moved up to 10, taking on Steven Adams salary in a flip of centers. if they are targeting Moses Moody, they may need to move up another couple spots. However it’s possible they have the young Aussie in mind and would like to pair him with Ja Morant. Despite his age, Giddey figures to be able to contribute right away and is potentially a good fit for them to share ball handling/facilitating duties with Morant.
NBA Comparison: Joe Inglis
11. Charlotte Jalen Johnson 6-9 220 SF/PF Duke Fr.
Jalen Johnson is one of the draft’s big wildcards. Johnson did himself no favors by quitting on the Duke team when things got difficult, and making the decision to “focus on training for the upcoming draft”. But it’s unlikely that he will slide too far considering the upside and how highly rated he was entering college. He’s got an intriguing combination of athleticism and versatility to play some point forward and also slide over to the PF position as a modern face up 4. One of the real polarizing picks with some scouts seeing him closer to where he entered the season, around 5-6 range, while others see him falling out of the lottery and possibly even further. Johnson will excite coaches with his versatility and skill set having the ability to use as a match up problem going small ball.
Why the Hornets take Jalen Johnson: Hard to know if His Airness would green light a Duke prospect. Granted a Duke defector might be a little easier to stomach. Johnson is clearly a bigtime talent, but he could slide a ways as there are concerns about attitude and dedication that stem back to his high school days when he bounced around high schools and AAU teams. He would give them additional versatility playing with LaMelo Ball. Kai Jones would figure to be a possibility too as they don’t have their long term center position addressed.
NBA Comparison: Stephen Jackson
12. San Antonio Kai Jones 6-11 220 C Texas So.
Jones is from Nassau, Barbados and is in his fourth year in the US having come over prior to his junior year of high school. He’s obviously raw considering his usage rate and background, but shows a solid feel for the game, all things considered. The fact that he’s such a quality shooter and also such a fluid and bouncy athlete, at his size, gives him a great deal of intrigue. While there’s obviously a long road ahead with his development, and the floor and ceiling have tons of space between them, he’s likely to get plenty of looks at the end of the lottery and stands a good chance of being drafted in the 10-15 range.
Why the Spurs take Kai Jones: .The Spurs found just a little success the last time they took a bigman out of the Bahamas. Jones would greatly benefit working with the Spurs player development staff and adjusting his shooting form. Despite being a slight reach here, Turkish bigman Alperin Sengun is rumored to be another possibility for the Spurs as he’s got more offensive potential and appears to be more ready to contribute.
NBA Comparison: Jaxson Hayes
13. Indiana Davion Mitchell 6-1 200 PG Baylor Jr.
Mitchell was Baylor’s best player and is likely to benefit most from Baylor’s run to a National Title. He took the Bears on his back and carried them as their fearless, emotional leader. He also showed impressive ability to impact the game on both ends all season. Mitchell is a blur with the ball in his hands, and has the physicality to play through contact and impose his will against weaker opponents. He has a chance to be a lock down defender at the next level and despite his age, granted he may not be able to cover 2-guards with the same level of success on switches. Mitchell stands a good chance to find a spot in the late lottery area.
Why the Pacers take Davion Mitchell: Mitchell going 13 doesn’t seem so crazy when you consider the lack of need for point guards in the mid to late lottery area. The Pacers have a solid point guard in place with Malcom Brogdon. But Brogdon has the size to cover most shooting guards and could probably form a solid backcourt with Mitchell. Mitchell would be excellent value at 13, despite his age. He carried Baylor to a national title and his tough nosed style would figure to fit in well with the Pacers. Unless a team decides to move up for him, there’s a good chance Mitchell could be a player that provides excellent value where he’s selected.
NBA Comparison: Ty Lawson
14. Golden State Trey Murphy 6-9 205 SF Virginia
Murphy passes the eye test with an NBA body and a very smooth and athletic frame and ability to move. He’s a Rice transfer and took a little while to adjust to the jump in level of competition. he has a bit of a blender personality and will likely need to be encouraged to be more aggressive in order to become the scorer and player that he can. He’s a bigtime shooter, and combine that with his great frame and athleticism and he could really turn into great pick down the road.
Why the Warriors take Trey Murphy: Golden State has the luxury of having two lottery picks in a year with a lot of talent in that range. They figure to make their selection at 14 based on what presents itself at 7. They can’t really afford to have 3 projects on the team, considering that James Wiseman is still in his infancy stages as an NBA center. If an upside talent like Kuminga ends up the pick at 7, a more ready guy like Murphy, Duarte or Kispert makes the most sense. Should Kuminga be gone, and they opt for Bouknight, a less ready player with more upside like Ziaire Williams becomes more feasible.
NBA Comparison: Robert Covington
15. Washington Chris Duarte 6-5 195 SG Oregon Sr.
Despite being one of the oldest players in the draft, Chris Duarte has a lot of first round intrigue due to his breakout senior season and impressive combination of athleticism and skill level. His shooting became a real strength and he took over as Oregon’s number one option offensively and team leader as a senior. His athleticism really stood out and he improved his three point shooting from 33% to 42%.
Why the Wizards take Chris Duarte: Washington has a star studded backcourt, and would like to make another playoff push next season. Duarte is one of the most NBA ready players and has been on the rise. He received a green room invite and scouts feel he’s in the mix to be the first senior to come off the board. Duarte would give the Wizards a solid third guard to ease the scoring load and give quality minutes off the bench when Beal and or Westbrook are out of the game.
NBA Comparison: John Starks
16. Oklahoma City Alperen Sengun 6-9 240 PF/C Turkey Intl.
Sengun has come a long way having lost a great deal of weight in recent years and dominating in lower tier level Turkish league with his youthful exuberance. He has been extremely productive for a teenager and drawn a lot of fanfare and hype in the process. He is a bull in a China shop and reminiscent of a smaller Jusuf Nurkic with his physicality. Whether his game translates as well as the all the optimism remains to be seen. He’s definitely a player with a great deal of determination and has an outside shot that looks a lot better than the results have shown.
Why the Thunder take Alperen Sengun: Sam Presti is stock piling assets and Sengun is seen as a young European with solid long term potential. Sengun could anchor the frontcourt for OKC for the next 10 years if he ends up as good as some feel he can. Sengun is rumored to be in the mix for teams in the late lottery including San Antonio. He would surely benefit from the playing time he could receive right away with the Thunder.
NBA Comparison: Bobby Portis
17. New Orleans Corey Kispert 6-7 225 SG/SF Gonzaga Sr.
Kispert had a breakout senior season and elevated his stock considerably to becoming a potential lottery pick. He obviously struggled shooting in the NCAA tournament and lost some ground, however he remains an intriguing prospect due to his elite level shooting ability. Kispert lacks great speed and is just average athletically. But his steady improvement throughout his college career and his dedication to strength and conditioning are obvious. He was very dependable as a clutch shooter throughout much of his college career, and he stepped up as Gonzaga’s main bucket-getter throughout their near perfect season.
Why the Pelicans take Corey Kispert: With a number of shooters in the 10-20 range, the trade to rid themselves of Stephen Adams’ contract and bring on Valanciunas cost them just 7 spots on the board as well as a slide down the 2nd round board. At 17, Corey Kispert would be an ideal floor spacer for the team as he is perhaps the draft’s top shooter. Kispert also works with the team’s recent proclaimed dedication to winning now and not trying to bring on any more long term prospects (like Williams).
NBA Comparison: Joe Harris
18. Oklahoma City Ziaire Williams 6-9 190 SG/SF Stanford Fr.
Like most of the freshman class, Williams had an up and down season and how much of that is attributed to COVID-19 and the lack of development for younger players depends on who’s making that judgement. Williams had quite possibly the most challenging situation of anyone on this list considering the team was playing in a county with the most stringent COVID-19 regulations and it kept the team from practicing as well as having to stay in a hotel off campus. Not an ideal set of circumstances. Williams has good shooting ability, but struggled to show it, and was seen by some as a potential top 10 pick coming into the season. He’s got solid length and fluidity, and could easily be undervalued on draft night due to aforementioned circumstances. The talent is clear, but adding strength and consistency, plus better shooting, will be key for him.
Why the Thunder take Ziaire Williams: The Thunder will likely be ecstatic should Ziaire still be on the board at their third pick. He’s a project and despite having one of the highest ceilings in the draft, the fact that he struggled so much and appears to be a few years away is likely to scare a number of teams off and make him an ideal upside/value pick in the mid to late teens.
NBA Comparison: Rashard Lewis
19. New York Keon Johnson 6-5 185 SG/SF Tennessee Fr.
Despite struggling to score consistently in the early part of the year, Johnson improved as the season went along and found ways to contribute. He was probably the NCAA leader in highlight plays, and had what most considered the dunk of the year. He’s an above average athlete with excellent versatility and upside. While he’s a bit of a project, the fact that he’s such a talented athlete and hard worker gives his outlook a lot of promise. He’ll likely begin his career as somewhat of a project, and defensive specialist, but if his offensive game clicks, he’s got star potential. Johnson showed what a phenomenal athlete he was with his 48 inch vertical at the NBA combine.
Why the Knicks take Keon Johnson: With two picks, the Knicks can talk themselves into rolling the dice with the superfreak athlete extraordinaire of this year’s draft. He’s likely a few years away from being a consistent contributor and will require patience, but at this point in the draft he becomes difficult to pass up. And with multiple picks, it makes sense for a team like New York to roll the dice on a kid with so much upside.
NBA Comparison: Latrell Sprewell
20. Atlanta Cameron Thomas 6-3 200 SG LSU Fr.
Thomas lit up the SEC in his freshman season and is a natural born scorer. He was the fourth leading scorer in the country at 23 points per game, and the leading freshman scorer by nearly three a game. While there are some obvious limitations to his game, being an undersized and unathletic 2-guard, the fact that he is so proficient on the perimeter in a shooter’s era helps his cause. He has a solid wingspan in the 6-7 neighborhood, making up for being potentially an inch or so shorter than listed.
Why the Hawks take Cameron Thomas: Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has shown the foresight to build a team around shooters in today’s game. And Thomas is one of the draft’s best shooters making him an excellent fit here. The Hawks have been the big surprise of this year’s playoffs and Trae Young is proving that he has the altruism to put the team over the individual that teammates gravitate towards. And he has proven to be a Stephen Curry type of weapon that makes leads evaporate in short order. Thomas would give the Hawks more offensive firepower as an instant offense scorer off the bench.
NBA Comparison: E’Twaun Moore
21. *New York Isaiah Jackson 6-10 205 PF/C Kentucky Fr.
Isaiah Jackson is one of the most impressive run/jump athletes in the draft and draws intrigue with his potential as a shot block and rim runner. While his offensive game is still a long ways away, he did show the ability to face up and hit mid range shots at times. Jackson was one of the few bright spots for an extremely disappointing Kentucky team that started off the year 1-6 and failed to make the tournament. While Jackson struggled to make a huge impact in college, he shows intriguing upside. Whether his position/skill set combination has been severely downgraded at the next level is debatable, but his fluidity to defend on the perimeter is a positive.
Why the Knicks take Isaiah Jackson: The Knicks have a clear Kentucky connection, and the fact that Jackson received the last green room invite indicates that there’s a good chance the Knicks intend to surprise no one by selecting a Kentucky player with one of their picks. Jackson is a bit of a project, but with two picks they can afford to use one of them on upside. The Knicks are a defensive minded team, so the fact that Jackson shows solid potential as a defender, provided he puts on strength, helps his cause.
NBA Comparison: Nicolas Claxton
22. LA Lakers Jared Butler 6-3 195 SG/PG Baylor Jr.
Butler figures to add some value to a team in the late first round as a big time shooter with a championship pedigree. He Is a hard nosed combo and really more of a shooting guard than a point at 6-3, which decreases his value some. Add in the fact that his athleticism is well below standard at the next level and it’s hard to see him climbing too high, but end of first round seems realistic. He gets a boost due to the fact that he has a good deal of experience at the highest level and has proven to be a clutch performer and defender.
Why the Lakers take Jared Butler: The Lakers are hot on the trail of Oregon’s Chris Duarte, but it has been made clear to them that in order to get him they will need to move up from 22. The are under the impression that they must obtain a pick in the lottery, to move ahead of Washington to get him. The problem for the Lakers is they don’t seem to have any appealing assets to get there. Butler gives the Lakers an NBA ready guy and a winner who should be able to provide some quality minutes off the bench and provide backcourt shooting.
NBA Comparison: Bryn Forbes
23. *Houston Usman Garuba 6-8 230 PF/C Spain Intl.
Garuba played a solid season showing some real progress in the Spanish League. He’s an athletic big with great length and the ability to be disruptive on the defensive end. He has also shown the ability to knock down threes at times, but still needs work to become a real threat from the outside. While short in stature at 6-8, his huge 7-2 wingspan and solid physical strength makes him effective on the glass. Another important aspect is his lateral speed and ability to defend on the perimeter, adding some intrigue to his potential.
Why the Rockets take Usman Garuba: .Garuba could give Houston some flashbacks of Clint Capella catching ally oops from Chris Paul and James Harden just a few seasons ago. The Rockets are in need of talent, and Garuba’s defensive potential and length makes him a potential solid pairing with Christian Wood.
NBA Comparison: Kevon Looney
24. *Houston Miles McBride 6-2 200 PG West Virginia So.
McBride is a player that for much of the season was not expected to be in this year’s draft and may still ultimately opt to return to West Virginia. But he had a breakout season including strong showings in his two match up with projected number one pick Cade Cunningham. McBride has above average size and athleticism, as witnessed by his above the rim finishes on the break. And he’s also a promising shooter from the perimeter. He’s got to work on his point guard skills and nuances of the position, but he’s clearly learned solid defensive fundamentals after two seasons under Bob Huggins.
Why the Rockets take Miles McBride: McBride could learn from John Wall while coming off the bench, and potentially develop into a starting point guard in a few seasons if everything falls into place for him. his fearless play, toughness and leadership, not to mention athleticism and scoring ability give him a lot of promise. And playing for a lottery team wouldl ikely give him plenty of minutes to develop.
NBA Comparison: Derrick White
25. LA Clippers Joshua Primo 6-5 190 SG Alabama Fr.
Primo is a versatile guard with excellent ball handling and scoring ability. He sustained an injury that knocked him out of action but was able to bounce back quickly and finish the season. Primo has excellent size and athleticism and a very smooth skill set with the ability to create shots off the dribble He was a bit of a surprise to enter the draft but has really impressed with his play in the Pre-Draft build up, and it looks as if he will
Why the Clippers take Joshua Primo: .The master, Jerry West, has put his imprint on the Clippers each season. But with Kawai expected to miss all (or most) of next season, their immediate outlook is unclear. With potentially less urgency to take an NBA ready player here, a guy like Primo could be a solid fit with his ability to shoot and develop into a contributor over the next 2-3 seasons.
NBA Comparison: Gary Trent Jr.
26. Denver Nah'Shon Hyland 6-3 170 PG/SG VCU So.
Most scouts see “Bones” in the 25-40 range and is shaping up to be one of the draft’s more interesting sleepers. He showed nice potential with his ability to create offense for not only himself but teammates. Hyland has an impressive repertoire of offensive skills with a tremendous handle and polished shooting/scoring ability. Despite a lack of size and strength, Bones could offer an instant offense for a team off the bench, at least early in his career. With a playground flare to his game, Hyland is ultra quick and athletic and makes a lot of highlight plays. Hyland put his skills on display at the NBA Draft combine and lit the gym on fire with 17 points knocking down three 3s in a row.
Why the Nuggets take Nah’Shon Hyland: Denver saw a significant drop off when Jamal Murray got injured. And while Hyland likely wouldn’t be asked to be the full time back up point, at least initially, he could possibly develop into the role while providing minutes early as an instant offense type.
NBA Comparison: Jordan Clarkson
27. Brooklyn Ayo Dosunmu 6-5 200 PG/SG Illinois Jr.
Dosunmu is one of the draft’s most polarizing prospects with a wide range of views surrounding his talent and in turn, where he will land. He’s a big lead guard and had an extremely productive season, ending up among the nation’s top scorers at over 20 points per game. He’s really polished his ability to score in the ISO game and has solid decision making leading the break. There are concerns that he may be peaking to some degree as he’s not the most athletic guard, but based on productivity and positional size, there’s a lot to like.
Why the Nets take Ayo Dosunmu: The Illinois product gives the Nets one of the more NBA ready backcourt players available. He’s in mold of big combo guards that they have found success with like Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie, though obviously not as talented. He could potentially compete for minutes off the bench as he develops.
NBA Comparison: Delon Wright
28. Philadelphia Jaden Springer 6-4 200 SG/PG Tennessee Fr.
Springer doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional guard at either position. But he should find a role as a combo, and continue to improve on his weaknesses. While he lacks elite athleticism and offensive skills, he plays with a great deal of determination. He has a very scrappy style of game, attacking the basket and playing a high level of intensity on both ends. He’s an extremely hard worker and will look to fill a role similar to Marcus Smart for Boston for a team as a defensive stalwart with toughness and physicality.
Why the Sixers take Jaden Springer: The Sixers have a dilemma on their hands with what to do following the late season collapse of Ben Simmons and how he’s perceived by their fans. There’s a lot of media speculation that he must be traded, but the team would likely be getting pennies on the dollar to move him right now. Springer is not a true point, but would at least add depth to a backcourt that could be in flux.
NBA Comparison: Jerryd Bayless
29. Phoenix Tre Mann 6-4 180 PG/SG Florida So.
Mann was a highly rated prospect coming out of high school and while he may not have busted out as a star in college, he slowly emerged as a key player and had a clutch shooting performance in the tournament. He’s viewed as a combo, but has solid ball skills. He’s got excellent size if he evolves at the point guard position and shows very good ability to create shots for himself in ISO situations. He fits the mold of the instant offense sixth man.
Why the Suns take Tre Mann: Going into free agency the Suns have a lot of uncertainty at the point guard position. Odds are Chris Paul will be back, but he does have the ability to opt out and seek a longer contract. Back up Cameron Payne had an excellent playoff performance and his value has increased, so it will be interesting to see if the Suns opt to bring him back. Mann isn’t a finished product and more of a scorer than facilitator but would give their back court some depth.
NBA Comparison: Jordan Poole
30. Utah Joel Ayayi 6-5 180 PG/SG Gonzaga Jr.
Ayayi was a solid contributor for Gonzaga showing the ability to both knock down shots as well as facilitate. He’s on the thin side at 180 lbs, but has very good length and speed for a combo guard. He elected to skip the combine drawing some speculation that he may have a first round promise in place. Ayayi’s ability to defend multiple positions as well as score and pass make him an intriguing option in the late first round area.
Why the Jazz take Joel Ayayi: The Jazz had the best record in the league last year and will be selecting last in the first round. Adding Ayayi could give their backcourt some depth, which would be helpful considering the injury woes they sustained, both Conley and Mitchell missed time. Ayayi figures to bring some value immediately and should only improve as his body gets stronger over the next few seasons.
NBA Comparison: Nickeil Alexander-Walker