NBA Mock Draft 4.0: End of Season Editon?
As painful as it is to say, the college basketball season is over. The NBA season is only suspended and could come back, but with this horrible virus continuing to spread, it seems like only a matter of time before they cancel it completely. With both most likely being over, that means the NBA draft is on the clock. As top players have slowly begun to declare or “test the waters” over the past few days, here is a projected lottery results based on current team’s records.
Before this article begins, please make sure to do what you can in order to stop the spreading of the virus. Wash your hands, social distance, and avoid populated areas. Enjoy the article!
1) Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman (C)
Stats: 19.7 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 3.0 BPG, 77% FG%, 70.4% FT%
Despite his season being even shorter than the other players due to his violation of the NCAA rules, he still proved in that time just how talented he is. Averaging about 20 points per game on 77% shooting is absurd, and is certainly ready for the next level. With the Andrew Wiggins trade, Warriors have a quality starter at point guard, shooting guard, small forward, and power forward, so taking a center is a no brainer here.
2) Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin (SF/PF)
Credit: Inside the Edge
Stats: 20 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 63.3% FG%, 39% 3P%, 70.2 FT%
This pick may seem crazy for some who don’t believe Toppin is even a top 10 pick, but Toppin was the AP Player of the year for a reason. He can score on all three levels, is a solid rebounder, knows how to be the leader of a team. The reason the Cavs don’t take someone like Lamelo Ball or Anthony Edwards is because they’ve taken two guards the last two seasons. They traded for Andre Drummond so they don’t need a center, and Kevin Love is still there, meaning the only position they need is a small forward, and Toppin is the best option.
3) Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards (SG)
Stats: 19.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 40.2% FG%, 77.2% FT%, 1.3 SPG
Edwards is one of the best scorers, if not the best in the draft, and is a gifted rebounder for a guard. He didn’t have a great team around him at Georgia, but with All-Stars Deangelo Russell and Karl Anthony-Towns alongside him, he can have a lot more success. The Timberwolves don’t really need Edwards, considering they took Jarett Culver, another shooting guard last year with the 6th pick. Edwards is too good to pass up on, and they need to take the best player available in this situation.
4) Atlanta Hawks: Lamelo Ball (PG/SG)
Stats: 17 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.8 APG, 1.6 SPG, 72.3% FT%
At 6’7, Lamelo is the perfect height for a combo guard. He can score, rebound and pass, and is going to be one of the most exciting players in this draft. He struggled shooting the ball in Australia, but with practice and good coaching that is something that will improve. The backcourt of Trae Young and Ball may average 50 points and 20 assists per game, that’s how good both of them are. Ball will have a gifted pick and roller in Clint Capela, and Atlanta may be the perfect fit for him.
5) Detroit Pistons: Cole Anthony (PG)
Stats: 18.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 75% FT%
Anthony missed a good chunk of the season with an injury but is a terrific player. Like Edwards, he can rebound at a high rate as a guard despite being just 6’3, and when hot can knock down a couple of threes. Detroit did trade their center Andre Drummond, but when Blake Griffin comes back Christian Wood will play that position. They also bought out there starting point guard Reggie Jackson, opening up the spot for Anthony.
6) New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton (PG)
Stats: 15.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.5 APG, 2.5 SPG, 50.4% FG%, 41.9% 3P%, 82.2% FT%
Haliburton is one of the best passers and might be the facilitators in the draft. He is an efficient scorer, had multiple double-digit assists games at Iowa State, and was one of the countries leaders in steals before he got hurt. The Knicks have a lot of scorers, like RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Kevin Knox, and Bobby Portis, but no true facilitators. Haliburton is the perfect guy who can get his teammates open and provide a big boost to his team.
7) Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija (SF)
Stats: 7.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 51.4% FG%
His stats might not stand out, but playing in the Euroleague, especially at his age, it is difficult to put up good numbers. What you should look at is his potential. At just 19, he has shown signs of maturity and already has professional experience. The Bulls may be picking for the 4th straight year at pick 7 (Lauri Markannen, Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White), but this might be the year they get a steal. Small Forward is the only position they need, and Avdija is that guy.
8) Charlotte Hornets: Onyeka Okungwu (PF/C)
Stats: 16.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.7 BPG, 61.6% FG%, 72% FT%
The high school teammate of Lonzo and Lalmelo Ball, Okungwu might be the best of the three. He’s the best defender that will be taken in the lottery, can score, and is a great rebounder. At 6’9, he is a little small for a center, but at 245 pounds, he has the strength to battle with the best. The Hornets have Terry Rozier on a big contract at point guard, Devontae Graham had a breakout season at shooting guard, and the Hornets have great young players in Miles Bridges and PJ Washington at the forward positions. With no disrespect to Cody Zeller, Okungwu is a much better option at center for them.
9) Washington Wizards: Killian Hayes (PG)
Stats: 11.6 PPG, 5.4 APG, 1.5 SPG, 48.2% FG%, 87.6% FT%
Hayes is a great passer and a decent scorer. Like Avdija, he is a high risk, high reward player. If he can lower his turnovers and increase his three-point production, he could be the best guard in this draft. This pick is very interesting for the Wizards, considering they are getting John Wall back for the first time in two seasons. It is unknown whether Wall will be able to get back to his level of talent he used to be, so drafting Hayes is a safe pick in case Wall can not.
10) Phoenix Suns: RJ Hampton (PG/SG)
Stats: 8.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 40.7 FG%, 1.1 SPG
This is the year to be a guard. Six of the first ten picks are guards, and that’s for a good reason. Hampton didn’t put up great numbers in Australia but has great potential. The Suns have Rubio at point guard, but he’ll be a great mentor to Hampton and when Rubio’s contract is over, Hampton will be ready to take the Suns to the next level.
11) San Antonio Spurs: Isaac Okoro (SF)
Stats: 12.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 51.4% FG%
Okoro is a very consistent scorer and does a good job getting to the free-throw line, shooting over 10 free throws in a game twice. He has a lot to work on, but with Greg Popovich as your coach, that shouldn’t be a problem. Demar Derozan is their current small forward, but with a player option he will most likely opt out of, the position is his for the future. Okoro could be a major steal at 11 for the Spurs.
12) Sacramento Kings: Nico Mannion (PG)
Stats: 14 PPG, 5.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 79.7% FT%
Mannion is a great passer but has a lot to work on at this level. He had some big games that made him look like a top 3 pick and others that made him look like he should stay another year. Mannion needs to learn how to maintain the former and this could help him become a great player in the NBA. If the Kings were smart, they would either trade up or down, because there’s no player here that really fits there team, but if they decide not to, Mannion could be a really solid backup to Deaaron Fox.
13) New Orleans Pelicans: Devin Vassell (SG)
Stats: 12.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 0.8 TO, 49% FG%, 41.5% 3P%,
Vassell has really increased his draft stock with his play this season at Florida State. He can score efficiently, is a great defender, and turns the ball over very rarely. Despite being 19, he seems ready to contribute immediately. Jrue Holiday has a player option after next season, and if he decides to not come back, Vassell is a pretty similar option for the Pelicans. Their lineup of Lonzo Ball, Vassell, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Jaxon Hayes might be one of the youngest, but it could be one of the deadliest.
14) Portland Trail Blazers: Isaiah Stewart (PF/C)
Stats: 17 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 57% FG%, 77.4% FT%
People forget how good of a season Stewart had because his team was so bad. He can score, rebound, defend, and can make free throws, just what any team would want. He is also very young and would only turn 20 during the playoffs next season. Carmelo Anthony is the correct power forward for the Trail Blazers, but at 35 years old, he only has a little left in his tank and Stewart can fill the role very nicely.