When I made the first mock draft in July, I put LaMelo Ball as the first pick and got a large amount of backlash. As I am writing this, LaMelo has now become the favorite to go first. Before making this mock draft, I must remind everyone, this isn’t a big board, so the best player might not go first because the team drafting doesn’t need that position. With that being said, scroll through to see who the bottom 14 teams in the NBA should be adding to their teams next year. *Order is based on standings from December 4th, 2019.
1) Golden State Warriors- James Wiseman (C)
Now, Lamelo Ball is the best player in this draft, but it wouldn’t make sense for the Warriors who have Stephen Curry, Deangelo Russell, and Klay Thompson at the guard position to add him. Wiseman is still an elite center, and the only thing this team will need next year is that, making Wiseman a perfect fit for a team that can potentially go from worst to first next season.
2) New York Knicks- Lamelo Ball (PG)
Credit: Bleacher Report
Putting Lamelo in a big market like New York just makes so much sense. He is one of the better passers and scorers we have seen coming out of college and already has pro experience. He and RJ Barrett in the backcourt could be a top backcourt in the NBA for the next ten years.
3) Atlanta Hawks- Anthony Edwards (SG)
Credit: 247 Sports
Edwards is a tremendous scorer and looks like one of the most NBA ready players in this draft. While Kevin Huerter is good for the Hawks, Edwards is a clear upgrade and should help this young core. Barring something drastic, Ball, Wiseman, and Edwards will be the top three picks next year in no specific order.
4) Cleveland Cavaliers- Deni Avdija (SF)
The Cavaliers really shot themselves in the foot last year by drafting a point guard instead of addressing other needs, especially since this draft is so stacked at that position. Avdija is not the 4th best player in this draft, but he’s the best forward and should fill a hole for this Cavs team.
5) New Orleans Pelicans- Cole Anthony (PG)
Credit: Yahoo! Sports
The Pelicans wanted Lonzo Ball to be their point guard of the future when they traded for him, but now it seems like he’ll never live up to that. Someone who can is Cole Anthony, who has shown at UNC how talented of an all-around player he is and can become.
6) Memphis Grizzlies- RJ Hampton (SG)
Credit: OKC Thunder Wire
Hampton becomes the third overseas player to get picked already, which might be a sign of the future. His numbers overseas aren’t elite, but he has all the intangibles to be a great guard and would pair nicely with Ja Morant. He was also a top 5 recruit coming out of high school.
7) Washington Wizards- Jaden McDaniels (SF)
Credit: AIR Highlights
With John Wall returning next season, a point guard doesn’t make sense. Wizards desperately need a small forward and McDaniels is their guy. Keep in mind there’s a long way to go until the draft, and Bradley Beal is a trade option so don’t lock in this pick.
8) Chicago Bulls- Nico Mannion (PG)
The Bulls are stuck. They have a quality player at each position, but none of them are good enough to lead the Bulls to wins. It would make sense for the GM to trade Lavine, who is young and would have a lot of trade value, and draft Mannion. Coby White would make up for the loss of scoring, and Mannion has great court vision which should open up teammates and perhaps get the Bulls out of this tough situation.
9) Charlotte Hornets- Isaiah Stewart (PF/C)
Credit: ABC News
The Hornets should take a point guard here, but they spent too much money on Terry Rozier to give up on him already. Stewart would have to play a small-ball center at 6’9 to replace Cody Zeller, but he is a solid post scorer and one of the best shot blockers in this draft.
10) San Antonio Spurs- Obi Toppin (PF)
Credit: Soaring Down South
Lamarcus Aldridge will only have one year left on his contract following the season, and at 34 years old, it is hard to see him producing much longer. Toppin is the biggest riser in mock drafts currently, and rightfully so. He can score from all three levels, is a great rebounder, and a solid defender. He is also the type of player that fits the Spurs system perfectly.
11) Portland Trail Blazers- Josh Green (SG)
Credit: Swish on Youtube
Damian Lillard and CJ Mccollum aren’t going anywhere, but having a solid guard off the bench won’t hurt. Green hasn’t been as good as some hoped in college so far, but he has a lot of time to get used to the flow of the game and develop before being drafted.
12) Detroit Pistons- Tyrese Maxey (PG)
Maxey is easily the biggest faller in this draft solely because most teams lack a need for a point guard, and at 6’2 Maxey is limited to one position. As a freshman, Maxey has shown that he can be a leader early on and someone who can have the ball in his hands with the game on the line. With Drummond potentially leaving this offseason, the Pistons will need someone to compliment Blake Griffin, and Maxey is that guy.
13) Sacramento Kings- Vernon Carey (C)
Credit: Duke Athletics
Center is the only position the Kings don’t have a young or highly paid player at, and Vernon Carey has recently shown why he was a top 5 recruit. He fills all the requirements of a modern-day center, and a Marvin Bagley- Vernon Carey Duke frontcourt would make a lot of people happy.
14) Oklahoma City Thunder- Tyrese Haliburton (PG)
Credit: AIR Highlights
The Thunder have Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder under contract for multiple years, so they would need to trade one or both to make this pick. Haliburton has great size for a point guard and is second in the entire NCAA in assists. With this draft not being very forward heavy, don’t be surprised if they trade down with the Timberwolves or Mavericks so they can fill the guard position while the Thunder can get a forward later on.