Post Madness NBA Mock Draft
1 New York – Jahlil Okafor
Center – Duke
Okafor has led Duke to a fantastic season and a National Championship, and he has impressed in all facets of his game. He is the main force on a stacked Duke team and has really looked like a once-in-a-generation big man at times for the Blue Devils. His skill set fits the bill for most top picked big men, and there should be no reason he doesn’t thrive in Phil Jackson’s system.
The Knicks are desperate for another star to help fix, well, everything, because the entire team is broken. Carmelo Anthony re-signed for big money over the offseason in hopes of a resurgent team built by mastermind Phil Jackson, but the swingman finds himself on a losing team yet again.
While the Knicks scrambled to make everyone available for a trade in hopes of a midseason fix, the real goal remains bringing in a star in the draft and signing a big name free agent(s) this summer. Okafor is the first step in the right direction.
Okafor will be a day one star in the association, especially on a team where he will be desperately needed like New York. The Knicks haven’t had a star at a big man position since Amar’e Stoudemire was lighting it up pre-Melo era. Okafor’s winning mentality can have only positive effects.
A Melo – Okafor inside out attack could be the thing NY needs to start turning the ship around.
NBA Comparison: Dwight Howard / DeMarcus Cousins
2 Minnesota – Karl Anthony Towns
Power Forward / Center – Kentucky
Karl Anthony-Towns has thoroughly impressed in his first season at Kentucky. Despite not eye-popping stats of 10.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 2.4 BPG. He has been the star of a historic Kentucky team and by far the most impressive NBA prospect on the Wildcats.
Towns fits right in with Minnesota’s future plans. They have their backcourt set in Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine, and they have other pieces to build around like Andrew Wiggins and Nikola Pekovic. The power forward slot is one that needs to be addressed, as Anthony Bennett and Adreian Payne haven’t shined in bigger roles so far this year.
The Timberwolves are a team on a rise, and a starting lineup of Rubio, LaVine, Wiggins, Towns, and Pekovic would be a competitor out west in a season or two. Plus, he has the future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett to show him the ropes.
NBA Comparison: Kevin Garnett / Tim Duncan
3 Philadelphia – D’Angelo Russell
Guard – Ohio State
Russell is probably the best offensive player in this draft, capable of scoring from all over the court. He showed that in Ohio State’s second round game of the tournament against VCU, putting up 28 points. He couldn’t lead the 10 seeded Buckeyes past heavily favored Arizona, but that doesn’t mean he can’t lead NBA teams.
With Philadelphia selling off Michael Carter-Williams for draft picks at the trade deadline, they need a guard for the future. They have their frontcourt set since Nerlens Noel is making a strong case for Rookie of The Year and they still have Joel Embiid waiting in the ranks.
Russell could easily end up the best player out of the draft, but his combine tests are going to determine if he can reach higher than number three.
NBA Comparison: Monta Ellis
4 LA Lakers –Emmanuel Mudiay
Point Guard – Guangdong
Mudiay may be positioned higher in the draft if he had played college ball at SMU (like he verbally committed to), but he chose to support his family and sign for over $1 million in China with Guangdong.
Although his season was riddled with injuries, he turned heads like many expected he would when he did get on the court. The Congo-born playmaker is just what the Lakers will be looking for come draft day, as they already have Kobe at the off guard and Julius Randle at the 4 spot. With the top guy remaining being Mudiay, the holes at small forward and Center will have to be addressed later.
Mudiay is an offensive minded guard who can help the offense move along, lessening the stress on Kobe. If the Lakers want to contend, or even reach the playoffs this year, finding a point guard to fix the offense would be a good start, especially one who has already played in a professional league and has the experience to start off fast.
NBA Comparison: Jeff Teague / Eric Bledsoe
5 Orlando – Justise Winslow
Small Forward – Duke
Orlando has the potential to be a scary team in a season or two. Pieces like Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton, and Nikola Vucevic are already coming together to form a heavily mismatched team.
Adding one more effective defender and slasher to that mix won’t hurt a bit. Justise Winslow led Duke to the National Championship and him, Tyus Jones, Grayson Allen, and Jahlil Okafor led them to a victory. Winslow showcased his undeniable skill in getting out in the fastbreak and scoring in clutch moments.
At times it looked as if the Blue Devils were his team, and that is something NBA scouts will drool over. Winslow propped himself from a top 12 to a top 5 pick in this year’s tourney, so don’t be surprised if he goes even earlier than five.
NBA Comparison: Wilson Chandler / Corey Brewer
6 Sacramento – Willie Cauley-Stein
Power Forward / Center – Kentucky
DeMarcus Cousins can score, there is no doubt about that. What he really needs is a defensive presence to join him down low.
Cue Willie Cauley-Stein, the anomaly of Kentucky Wildcats. Stein has stayed with the team for three seasons, seeing guys like Nerlens Noel, James Young, Julius Randle, and Archie Goodwin leave him behind for the big leagues.
In a starting role this season alongside #2 draftee Karl Towns, Cauley-Stein has solidified himself as a huge defensive presence. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and was also selected to the All-SEC First Team, the All-SEC Defensive Team and the USA Today first team All-American Team.
He would join the big DMC in Sactown as a defender to balance out Cousin’s attack.
Sacramento is a piece or two away from playoff contention and being a genuinely good team again. Stein could be the guy to push them over.
NBA Comparison: Brandan Wright
7 Detroit – Mario Hezonja
Wing – Barcelona
Hezonja has been on NBA executive’s radars for some time now, and it is expected that he will finally make the leap over to the NBA this summer.
Undoubtedly a lottery pick, Hezonja fills a huge need for Detroit on the wing. Hezonja is a shooter by nature standing at 6’ 8”, but he has some drive and kick in his game. The Pistons don’t have the money to sign a big name shooting guard since they have to re-sign Reggie Jackson and pursue Draymond Green.
Hezonja, aside from his European roots, reminds me a lot of a Marco Bellinelli kind of player. I’d say Manu Ginobli is his best case, while Marco Bellinelli would be his more likely. Either way, Detroit is getting a young, useful guard early in the first round that is well worth it. Hezonja is a big risk with a possible even bigger reward.
NBA Comparison: Marco Bellinelli
8 Denver – Kristaps Porzingis
Power Forward – Cajasol Sevilla
People don’t know a lot about Kristaps Porzingis, the power forward playing in Spain at the moment.
Porzingis is a young and athletic stretch four, but he is a lanky 7 footer and weak when it comes to battling down low with potential NBA bigs. He will need to put on lots of weight if he wants to stand a chance in the paint.
However he has massive upside and, with due time, could be a great player in a few years time – and Denver has time to wait.
NBA Comparison: Who the hell knows? Lets say Mirza Teletovic – Nikola Mirotic blend
9 Atlanta (Via Brooklyn) – Stanley Johnson
Small Forward / Arizona
Atlanta is not only one of the best teams in the NBA right now, but they are also one of the luckiest.
Their trade with the Brooklyn Nets that shipped off Joe Johnson for several contracts and picks is going to net them a lottery pick in this year’s draft.
Stanley Johnson has unlimited potential, and the NBA may just be the best platform for him to showcase it.
The main star of an elite Arizona team, Johnson has drawn comparisons to LeBron James from Reggie Miller for his explosiveness and finishing ability. Johnson may not be an instant contributor (or LeBron James…), as he may take some time to develop into the stud he could be, but Atlanta has time to wait.
The Hawks could let DeMarre Carroll walk this offseason, so the small forward position will be one to address in the draft. With pieces like Jeff Teague, Al Horford, and Kyle Korver already in place, he would be joining a core that has a lot of potential to compete for a championship right now.
NBA Comparison: Ron Artest (sigh, Metta World Peace)
10 Charlotte – Frank Kaminsky
Center – Wisconsin
Here comes the most interesting pick in the draft.
The Hornets, once safely in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, have free fallen out of playoff contention and look like a team that needs an utter revamping.
One way to revamp the team would be to step away from the post-oriented Al Jefferson ball-feeding offense that they have going right now. To do that, they would obviously have to let Al Jefferson go.
Big Al has been an absolute star in Charlotte, a fan favorite above all others, and a great role model for the city. His big smile and presence made him likeable to the Buzz City crowd from day one, and it will be sad to see him go. But with a player option this offseason and this being his last chance to score a huge contract, it is likely that he opts out, hoping to get paid by Charlotte or another squad.
Charlotte, if this pick and player fall to them, are going to have to let him walk. They obviously need a rebuild of youth, and Frank Kaminsky is the perfect player to start that up with.
Kaminsky has been the best player in the nation this season. He will be severely underrated before draft day because of his lack of spurtability and athleticism, but man can he play.
He would fit in perfectly with the Hornets young core of Kemba Walker, Cody Zeller, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, instantly becoming a starter and offensive presence.
Not many are as high on Kaminsky as I am, but I am adamant that he could be the next big thing in the NBA. Hopefully Charlotte sees that too.
NBA Comparison: Poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki / Nikola Vucevic
11 Indiana – Jerian Grant
Point Guard – Notre Dame
Jerian Grant, a hometown hero of sorts in Indiana as a member of Notre Dame’s big tourney run team, is too good of a fit here at number 11 for the Pacers.
While they have other needs like the power forward spot, George Hill is not producing like he once was at the point guard slot and Grant offers a potential second star to join Paul George in Indianapolis.
Grant really pushes the ball with pace yet has some of the best handles and control among all point guards in NCAA play. He can shoot, but that isn’t his game. He prefers to get dribble penetration and dish it out to his teammates, something Paul George and company will love.
Grant has a real future in the NBA, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank Vogel and company can ring all of his success out of him in the first few seasons.
NBA Comparison: Mike Conley
12 Utah – Kelly Oubre
Forward / Wing – Kansas
Oubre is a pure upside based pick. He hasn’t shown that he can consistently be a force on offense or defense this season for the Jayhawks. He hasn’t even shown he can lead a team to success in the NBA tournament – his Jayhawks lost in the second round of the tournament.
But he does have great athleticism and physical tools that could be harnessed in some time in the NBA, and for that he has lottery value. The Jazz have been playing excellent as of late and have a stud at small forward in Gordon Hayward, meaning there is time for Oubre to grow.
Utah is known for being patient with players – guys like Dante Exum, Trey Burke, and Rudy Gobert are all developing into stars.
Oubre should be able to join those ranks effortlessly as the Jazz attempt to complete their rebuild.
NBA Comparison: Gerald Henderson
13 Phoenix – Kevon Looney
Forward – UCLA
Kevon Looney led his UCLA Bruins to a surprise Sweet Sixteen run, averaging around 10 boards and 8.5 points a game in the tournament. Now these aren’t eye popping stats, but his seasonal averages have been.
Looney has been a rebounding machine this season and shown some real promise as a post threat. His biggest game this season came in a double overtime win vs Stanford on January 8th where he posted 27 points, 19 boards, and three assists – not too shabby.
Looney is a defensive force as well, averaging about 1 block and 1.3 steals a game this season. He also can stretch the floor – he made 22 three pointers this season, good for a solid 41.5% three point field goal average.
Overall Looney is a very well rounded prospect, and Phoenix is able to snag him based on the fact that Utah and Charlotte don’t need a power forward.
Phoenix doesn’t have a dire need either, but they are looking at the best available product here, and Looney is that, by leaps and bounds.
NBA Comparison: Taj Gibson
14 Houston (via New Orleans) – Devin Booker
Guard – Kentucky
Devin Booker is an assassin on the wildly talented Kentucky team, and his skills will translate perfectly over to the NBA.
Booker shoots over 40% from three and over 82% from the free throw line. He is more than capable of being a young-Jason Terry-esque spark off the bench.
Booker’s main issue is he doesn’t do anything but score, but that is somewhat excusable for an undersized 2 guard whose main purpose is to get buckets.
The Rockets can always use more young talent behind James Harden. While Myles Turner may be a tempting pick as a long term replacement for Dwight Howard, Booker is the immediate option for the win-now Rockets.
NBA Comparison: Alec Burks
End Of Lottery
15 Boston – Sam Dekker
Forward – Wisconsin
No one has improved their draft stock more than Sam Dekker has in the tournament. He had two huge performances against UNC (23 points, 10 boards) and Arizona (27 points, 5-6 three pointers) that shot his draft stock up, and here he is, just outside of the lottery.
Boston is compiling young talent at all positions, but the small forward slot is their weakest at the moment. Dekker could come in as a day one starter alongside Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger.
Dekker has shown he has ice in his veins and could be a deadly three and D guy in the pros. He reminds me a lot of Trevor Ariza in the sense that he really can do anything you need him to do when it comes to clutch time.
Boston looks good from here on out and is set for a very successful future under coach Brad Stevens.
NBA Comparison: Trevor Ariza
16 Philadelphia (Via Miami) – R.J. Hunter
Guard – Georgia State
R. J. Hunter is another player whose stock rose leaps and bounds in the NCAA tournament, as he led his Georgia State team to a second round upset over 3 seeded Baylor, coming back from 10 points down with 90 seconds left.
R.J. and his father and coach, Ron, took the nation by storm with their father-son duo that seemed destined to make noise in the tourney, and they sure did.
Hunter looked like a dangerous, Klay Thompson-like shooter in the tournament and he could have a big future in the NBA. He fills a huge hole (one of many) in Philly at the two guard, and would join newly minted Sixer D’Angelo Russell in a powerful, young backcourt.
Russell, Hunter, Covington, Noel, and Embiid make up a team that Sam Presti might finally be happy with.
NBA Comparison: Klay Thompson
17 Milwaukee – Bobby Portis
Power Forward / Center – Arkansas
Portis has been great all season for his Arkansas Razorbacks, holding down the center position and being a monster on the boards.
Portis averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds a game this season, and cemented those numbers further with a 15 point, 13 rebound win vs Wofford in the tournament’s second round, and then a massive 18 point, 14 board, and 5 steal game in a loss to UNC.
Portis shot a staggering 53.6% from the field this season, and even hit 14 three pointers out of his 30 attempts.
Portis would come into a Milwaukee team that has limitless potential behind the Greek Freak, Jabari Parker, Michael Carter-Williams, and John Henson. He can play the 4 or 5, which Milwaukee will need, as Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova are their only other options.
Portis has a huge build and wingspan that will allow him to fit alongside the extremely lanky Bucks team. He won’t be a star, but he will be a force in the paint.
NBA Comparison: Gorgui Dieng / Elton Brand
18 Oklahoma City – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Small Forward – Arizona
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: Kevin Durant’s replacement? No. But future piece for the OKC Thunder? Absolutely.
The Thunder have had holes defensively on the wing since Kevin Martin, Thabo Sefolosha, and Caron Butler donned Thunder colors. Hollis-Jefferson can instantly make a huge impact on the Thunder as they look to get back to elite form.
The Arizona forward had a hell of a tournament, putting up 23 and 10 in the second round against Texas Southern and 17 and 8 against number one seed Wisconsin.
He isn’t an offensive minded player, as he averaged just 11.2 points off of about 7 shots a game, but he shoots a fantastic 50% from the field and 70% at the free throw line.
RHJ has a future as a premier wing defender in the NBA.
NBA Comparison: Less offensively minded Evan Turner / Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
19 Washington – Montrezl Harrell
Forward – Louisville
Harrell here falls to a team that is absolutely perfect for him, since his alter ego is already on the team. Who is that? Nene Hilario, the starting power forward for the Wizards.
They have extremely similar play styles of tough inside games, banging down in the paint, however they both are able to step out and knock down a midrange. The hair style also adds to the similarities.
Harrell’s tournament performance did wonders for his draft stock, as he would have been a mid-20s pick without such a great run for the Louisville Cardinals to the Elite Eight.
Harrell really could be AS good as Nene or better if he finds that veteran mentor and sticks to it. He has a lot to learn, but guys like Nene, Marcin Gortat, and Kris Humphries could teach Harrell a lot about being a tough big in the NBA.
Harrell could be a guy that averages a double double in the Association if he puts in the time.
NBA Comparison: Nene
20 Toronto – Myles Turner
Power Forward / Center – Texas
Perhaps my most radical prediction here; the lottery projected Myles Turner falls down to 20.
Personally, I just haven’t seen Turner perform to warrant such a high draft pick. Sure, his size and jumpshot combination is attractive, but Turner, who was a top recruit coming out of high school, only led his Texas Longhorns to a 11 seed and first round exit in the NCAA tournament, and that was with another star, Isaiah Taylor, alongside him.
I mean Turner scored over 15 points just NINE times this season, and put up a pathetic 2 point effort in his tournament game against Butler. His only impressive stat from this year is his 2.6 blocks per game average.
I just don’t see Turner panning out in the NBA, or at least in the first few years, which means GMs who don’t want another prospect project will shy away from Turner.
But the seven foot three point shooter has promise, and with time he could develop into a solid NBA player. Toronto has some holes in the frontcourt that could get him some playing time in his rookie year, and he also would have a good mentor in Jonas Valanciunas to teach him how to play post basketball.
However, if Turner and other Raptors project Bruno Caboclo, Toronto’s biggest project currently, turn out like some people think they might (stars), Toronto would have A LOT of talent on their hands.
NBA Comparison: Hyper athletic Spencer Hawes
21 Chicago – Tyus Jones
Point Guard – Duke
He’s no Derrick Rose, but Chicago needs to face the facts that Rose will never return to All Star form, and his days as their starting point guard may be coming to a close.
Here is where Tyus Jones comes in. He led Duke to a fantastic tournament, and he looked fantastic doing it. He has been Duke’s court leader all season and he has shown that he can run a team from the point. He shoots a healthy 41.3% from the field, with 37.3% from downtown.
He also is the hero of this year’s tournament, as he hit big shot after big shot to propel Duke to National Champions. He is undoubtedly clutch.
If Chicago can retain Butler, their only hole will stand at the starting point guard spot. Can Jones come in day one as a starter? Absolutely not. Chicago will give that job to Rose until his next blown knee. But Jones will have time to learn and get a feel of NBA life and what it takes to be the point guard on a contender.
NBA Comparison: D.J. Augustin
22 Dallas – Delon Wright
Guard – Utah
Wright received a huge honor of being selected to the Wooden All-American team this season. His value comes from his versatility. He averages about 15 points, 5 boards, and 5 assists, but he also averages a ridiculous 1.o block and 2.1 steals per game.
That kind of versatility is coveted in the NBA. Dallas strikes me as a team that would look to acquire this kind of player at #22. Monta Ellis has been injured a lot this season and is entering a summer where he has a player option. Whether he accepts or declines his option, he still has just one more year on his contract until he comes off of Dallas’ books.
Wright could come in as a shooting guard for the future for Mark Cuban and be the carrier of a new era of Mavs basketball.
NBA Comparison: Jamal Crawford / Jerryd Bayless
23. San Antonio – Trey Lyles
Power Forward – Kentucky
How fitting that even at #23, the Spurs grab a guy who is a top ten projected talent in some mocks and big boards?
The Spurs would see any big man they draft here as an heir to Duncan’s throne, and Lyles could be a prime option to step in and attempt to fill those shoes.
Its likely Duncan retires after this season, but if he stays around, Lyles could learn textbooks full of information from the Big Fundamental. His post presence and midrange game will serve him well in a system where that is crucial for the big men.
Lyles has shown his value as one of the most impressive Kentucky Wildcats this season and would be an excellent fit in San Antonio under Gregg Popovich.
NBA Comparison: Carlos Boozer
24 Cleveland – Jakob Poeltl
Center – Utah
Poetl is seeing a major rise in stock after a great tournament for the Utah Utes, where he shut down Duke’s Jahlil Okafor in the Sweet Sixteen matchup.
While I respect his tourney performance, I just don’t see a lot of upside here. He’s a tough bruiser who can defend and box out down low, but his offensive game is immature and he won’t make much of an impact in the pros from there.
Poetl does fill a huge need in Cleveland, though, as the Cavs can always use another quality rim protector. Timofey Mozgov and Anderson Varajao are likely to be in Cavs uniforms next season, but the Cavs won’t hesitate to bite on cheap production from Poetl.
NBA Comparison: Less physical Robin Lopez
25 Boston (Via LAC) – Jarell Martin
Power Forward – LSU
Martin also falls under the bruiser category, but has a little more athleticism in his step than Poetl.
While the coveted Kris Dunn is still available and on the board, Boston has to go with the need pick here. Drafting Dunn would crowd an already stacked backcourt of Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, James Young, and Avery Bradley. They also have Evan Turner and now Sam Dekker on the wings.
Martin comes in and as a reserve big man who can make a statement off the bench behind Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Tyler Zeller. He has a strong, useful jumpshot that will do wonders for Boston’s bench production if used correctly.
Martin may be going late, but he is one of my sleeper picks to be a diamond in the rough of this draft.
NBA Comparison: Mareese Speights
26 Portland – Kris Dunn
Guard – Providence
Dunn’s plummet down the draft board is due to Providence’s poor performance in the NCAA tournament, losing to 11 seeded Dayton in the first round.
Dunn failed to make use of a wonderful opportunity to shoot up his draft stock in the prime time. But he is still an extremely talented, do-it-all guard. He averaged 15 points and over 5 rebounds and assists this season for the Friars.
Portland would be ecstatic with this pick, as Wesley Matthews could be a goner this offseason. Dunn is an ideal replacement for the Blazers, and he could be starting from day one out in Oregon.
NBA Comparison: Rodney Stuckey
27 LA Lakers -Caris LeVert
Guard – Michigan
The Lakers, as sad as it is, are still in win-now mode in their attempts to get Kobe Bryant another chance at another ring.
That process of win-now mode involves filling the team with as many good, productive, and complimentary players the team can manage.
Caris LeVert is one of those guys. He is the best available on the board, and he has the likeliest path to a year one producer.
In fact, LeVert looks like he may actually be a productive player for many years, as his offense is very developed, much like his Michigan predecessor Tim Hardaway Jr.
LeVert can come into LA, no matter the crowded backcourt, and give the Lakers good minutes off the bench. Hopefully he will be just the start of many productive players to join the Lakeshow this offseason.
NBA Comparison: J.R. Smith / Tim Hardaway Jr.
28 Memphis – Justin Anderson
Small Forward – Virginia
Memphis has been fantastic this season. They have great players at really every position, and their bench isn’t all that bad either. So this pick should be used on a safety kind of guy, a guy capable of giving them good albeit short minutes off the bench.
With Jeff Green possibly hitting free agency this summer, the small forward slot is one that could be addressed. Justin Anderson of Virginia has shown he can be a threat from deep and a solid team player and ball-mover.
He isn’t a day one or an any day starter, but Anderson is good value for this low of a pick.
NBA Comparison: Khris Middleton / Matt Barnes
29 Brooklyn (Via Atlanta) – Terry Rozier
Point Guard / Louisville
Rozier spiked his draft stock from borderline second round bust to first round talent after an amazing elite eight run with his Louisville Cardinals.
Rozier made some big shots and contributed all around in the tourney, even posting a double double with rebounds against NC State. His defense also turned heads, racking up steal after steal.
He isn’t an NBA starter, but he is a quality energy guy that can provide solid defense off the bench for Brooklyn who, with the exception of Markel Brown, have an aging backcourt of Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack, and Alan Anderson.
NBA Comparison: Darren Collison
30 Golden State – Christian Wood
Forward – UNLV
The Warriors, as terrible as it sounds, may very well lose big Draymond Green in the offseason, when he enters restricted free agency. Drafting depth at the four spot would be wise for Steve Kerr and company.
Wood didn’t get to showcase himself on the big NCAA tournament stage this season for UNLV, but he was able to turn heads with his athleticism and solid numbers. The combo forward averaged a double double of around 15 points and 10 rebounds.
He won’t play much for GSW, but it never hurts to have depth at a position to soften the blow of losing a star.
NBA Comparison: Wesley Johnson
Notable Tourney Standout Second Round Picks
Brice Johnson – UNC
Johnson was surprisingly effective in the tournament, leading UNC to a Sweet Sixteen run. He impressed with some athleticism and rebounding, and he should go around pick #40.
Marcus Paige – UNC
Paige, another UNC product, facilitated the offense for the Tar Heels. He should go to a team looking for depth at the point guard spot, like New Orleans or Milwaukee, around pick #45.
Yogi Ferrell – Indiana
Ferrell is probably the best point guard prospect in the second round after leading his Indiana Hoosiers to the tournament. He should go in the mid 30s.
Ron Baker – Wichita State
Baker proved his worth as a lights out shooter, despite being somewhat of a ball hog for the Wichita State Shockers. He should go to a team looking for three point shooting in the 30s.
Fred Van Vleet – Wichita State
If Van Vleet joins his teammate Baker in the draft, he should go late in the round as a depth pick for teams looking for defense and third string point guards. As a junior, Van Vleet may be better off staying a year at Wichita State.
Kennedy Meeks – UNC
A big body who can bang inside, Meeks has good physical tools. However his athleticism is poor, and they may see him fall to past #50.
T.J. McConnell – Arizona
The Arizona floor general was effective as the main ball handler for the Elite Eight Arizona Wildcats. He should get drafted around pick #40.
Norman Powell – UCLA
The explosive offensive product from UCLA was a key part of the Bruins’ Sweet Sixteen run. Don’t be surprised if he goes 31st.
Brandon Ashley – Arizona
Another Arizona guy, Ashley showed offensive consistency throughout the year. He should go in the late 40s.
Dakari Johnson – Kentucky
Johnson doesn’t play a ton in the crowded Kentucky frontcourt, but he has real promise as a backup big. He would be best served waiting another year to enter, but if he does choose to declare, look for his name to be called around pick #50.
Andrew and Aaron Harrison – Kentucky
The Harrison twins are useful in their own right, but they aren’t stars. They both could go anywhere from #45 to last.
Travis Trice – Michigan State
The Michigan State shooter definitely made a name for himself in the tournament for the Spartans. A team looking for guard depth and shooters could grab him in the late 30s.
Whoever drafts Jahlil Okafor should just sign Emeka too – why not?
I don’t really like the Winslow comparison. Can we get an explanation of why he’s compared to Chandler and Brewer?… And I’m really high on Justise. If the draft order is like this (which it won’t) then I think 4 or 5 is a good place for him, and even 7th or 9th to teams like Detroit and Atlanta. He’s one of those talents who I think will translate better to the pro game, as first time I saw him suit up, knew he was a one-and-done NBA guy, and he gives you that vibe.
I am glad I’m not the only one comparing Kaminsky to a poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki (my exact words), and he’s going to be a special player in the NBA. How he even defended Okafor and had his number all night in the championship game is beyond me. Kaminsky gave his team the best chance to win, even if Sam Dekker wasn’t on the top of his game. I think Frank Kaminsky warrants a Top 5 pick, honestly. He likely won’t be, but teams may regret it if they continue to have poor seasons after this draft.
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Thanks for your feedback!
I completely concur on your Kaminsky sentiments. He is a special player, and with the right training could become a star. He is also a true professional and a winner. I agree he may be a top five pick, but yes, the GMs and scouts won’t see it that way. Too big of risk.
As for the Winslow comparison, it is hard to pinpoint just one player that encompasses his skill set. I think Chandler is the heavier comparison here, just because his ability to run the break, shoot from range, and handle the ball. But looking back, Jeff Green may be a good comparison as well. Both hyper athletic forwards that slash and make the big hustle plays when it counts. I do think he will be a instant contributor in the NBA, but I think he will need to grow a little skills wise before he can reach his All Star potential. Brewer and Chandler are more of a floor, and Green isn’t even the max of Winslow’s ceiling.