It’s never too early for a mock draft, and with the draft only 11 months away, now is the perfect opportunity to do so. Here are my projected top 10 picks and (spoiler alert) the teams they will play for.
1) Charlotte Hornets- Lamelo Ball
People love to hate on Lavar, but Lamelo is insanely talented. He has had ton of experience playing professionally, and is the key to the future of the Hornets organization.
2) Phoenix Suns- Anthony Edwards
Edwards is the #1 recruit for a reason, and will be the top college player taken in this draft. Edwards will form a big three with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton that may give a lot of teams a run for the money in the future.
3) Washington Wizards- James Wiseman
No offense to Thomas Bryant, but he’s not going to be their center of the future, with John Wall coming back healthy and Bradley Beal still in his prime, the Wizards could climb back into the playoffs within a year.
4) Cleveland Cavaliers- Isaiah Stewart
Stewart isn’t the best player available, but the best big for sure. Stewart can team up with Kevin Love (if he’s still on the team by then) and the two young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland to build a solid overall team.
5) New York Knicks- Theo Maledon
Last time the Knicks drafted a foreign guy in the Top 5, it turned out pretty well for them. Maledon is insanely talented and him and RJ Barrett could be the best backcourt in the league in 5 years.
6) Minnesota Timberwolves- Cole Anthony
Jeff Teague is getting up there in age and just isn’t the same player he used to be. Anthony is a beast, and is just the player the Timberwolves need to get a boost into the playoffs again.
7) Chicago Bulls- RJ Hampton
Fun fact: This will be the 4th year in a row the Bulls have the 7th pick. The Bulls have been shopping Zach Lavine and will finally make a deal, opening up a spot for Hampton, who will gain plenty of experience after his trip overseas to New Zealand.
8) Memphis Grizzlies- Ochai Agbaji
The Grizzlies really need a small forward who isn’t declining and overpaid (no offense whoever starts for them this year) and Agbaji is their guy. Agbaji is built like a freak, and will be a perfect fit in the Grizzlies offense.
9) Dallas Mavericks- Deni Avdija
The Mavericks are in a battle with the Spurs for the most international players in the league, and they get another one here. Luka Doncic will move to the point, and Avidja, who at 6’9 and a great rebounder can play small or power forward, will be able to fill either position.
10) Detroit Pistons- Nico Mannion
Reggie Jackson is finally a free agent after this season, opening up the spot for Mannion. With Drummond being a free agent too, the Pistons might go full rebuild mode, opening up the opportunity for Mannion to be their franchise player.