Mock Draft 1.0. Who goes after Zion?
On Tuesday night, many people turned off their TVs, shocked at the lottery results. There were a lot of unexpected risers, like the Pelicans and the Lakers, and even bigger fallers, like the Cavaliers and the Bulls. At the end of the night, the Pelicans shocked the world by getting the first pick in the draft, with the Grizzlies and Knicks rounding out the top 3. Here is a full lottery mock draft following these results.
1) New Orleans Pelicans- Zion Williamson (PF, Duke)
This is a no brainer pick and would be an absolute shocker if the Pelicans don’t take him with this pick. Zion will join a team of Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis (if they keep him), immediately making them a playoff contender for the future.
2) Memphis Grizzlies- RJ Barrett (SG Duke)
This will be a very interesting pick for the Grizzlies, whether they take Barrett or Morant. If they take Morant, then Mike Conley is on his way out, however the smart thing for the Grizzlies to do is take Barrett. Barrett is an elite scorer and has all star potential.
3) New York Knicks- Ja Morant (PG Murray State)
Even though the Knicks won’t get Zion like they wanted, they still get an incredible point guard in Ja Morant. Morant has the ability to score and has elite passing and will help the Knicks young core get better. Don’t be surprised if this pick is the Pelicans’ by the end of draft night and the Knicks have Anthony Davis on their roster.
4) Los Angeles Lakers- Jarrett Culver (SG Texas Tech)
The Lakers should be stoked after jumping 7 spots in the draft and landing this pick. The only positions the Lakers are lacking at are shooting guard and center, and Culver will be a great addition to the roster. Culver brings great scoring and defense, and could help the Lakers win more games next year.
5) Cleveland Cavaliers- Cam Reddish (SF Duke)
The Cavaliers need scoring badly. They finished second to last in the league in that category, and Reddish can help them greatly. His numbers weren’t as good as his talent next year, due to him being the third option, but he will improve greatly in the NBA and pair well with Collin Sexton.
6) Phoenix Suns- Deandre Hunter (SF Virginia)
The Suns get a steal here with Hunter. Hunter is the best defender in this draft and a great shooter, shooting nearly 45% from three last season. The Suns already admitted to trying to move Josh Jackson and TJ Warren this offseason, so Hunter should have problem finding minutes.
7) Chicago Bulls- Coby White (PG UNC)
The Kris Dunn experiment hasn’t progressed fast enough for the Bulls and it seems like it’s time for them to move on from him. White is a terrific point guard who exceeded his high expectations at UNC and could make an immediate impact to a Bulls team full of young talent.
8) Atlanta Hawks- Nassir Little (SF UNC)
The Atlanta Hawks are definitely one of the more fun teams to watch in the NBA thanks to the rise of Trae Young and the development of John Collins. Little will be a great addition to this high paced team full of athleticism. Little had a disappointing season at UNC, but he was the McDonald’s All American game MVP in high school, and has a lot of potential.
9) Washington Wizards- Darius Garland (PG Vanderbilt)
This pick might seem like a surprise because they still have John Wall, but Wall will be 30 years old when he can play again following that injury, and the combination of his age and the severity of the injury may never let us see the all star John Wall we have seen in the past. The Wizards get a steal with this pick, and even though teams didn’t get to see him play this season due to his injury, he is one of the most NBA ready players in the draft.
10) Atlanta Hawks- Jaxon Hayes (C Texas)
If you’re looking for a fun team to play with in 2k, this is your team. With Young, Collins, Nassir Little, and now Hayes this team can run for days and tire out teams. Hayes is a great rim protector and can shut down bigs. Great pick up for the Hawks.
11) Minnesota Timberwolves- Rui Hachimura (PF Gonzaga)
Timberwolves will take the potential pick in Hachimura over the safer pick in Clarke. Hachimura will do a great job stretching the floor with Towns, and if Wiggins can play to his potential the Wolves can sneak into the playoffs next season
12) Charlotte Hornets- Brandon Clarke (PF Gonzaga)
With Walker on his way out, the Hornets may try to trade up if Garland is still available at 9, but if not they get a great player in Brandon Clarke. Clarke averaged over 3 blocks a game in college and shot 69% from the field. Clarke could be just the player the Hornets need in Charlotte to restart their program.
Miami Heat- Kevin Porter (SG USC)
Porter had a rough season between injuries and suspensions, but he is still a terrific player. He shot the ball very well at USC and can hopefully be a good replacement to the newly retired Dwyane Wade.
14) Boston Celtics- Romeo Langford (PG Indiana)
With Irving and Rozier almost definitely gone, the Celtics will desperately need a point guard. Langford is the best one available, and has terrific potential, especially under a great coach like Brad Stevens.