The NBA Draft IS Right Around The Corner, See Where Your Favorite Player Will Land, With Bryson Gordon

The NFL just wrapped up their three day draft in Chicago, and for us super hoops fans, we cannot wait to see where our favorite players will end up at, what international players are taken early, and who the potential sleepers in the draft are. The Draft is not until June 23rd this year, but the lottery is coming up really soon, on the 17th of May. This draft order in this mock draft is based off of the team’s records, and is expected to change by the time the draft will take place

1.Philadelphia (10-72), Pick Ben Simmons, PF, LSU

Breakdown: The 76ers are not in a position to draft a certain position, they could use a player at almost every position, and why not pick the player who can play ANY position. The 6-10 Aussie can run the point, but can also step into the paint and bang with the big boys. If Simmons can develop a consistent jump shot, he can be the best prospect the NBA has seen in years. He has drawn comparisons to everybody from LeBron James to Lamar Odom, and I personally think LeBron is his ceiling, but his floor could be Lamar Odom, which is not a bad comparison.

2.Los Angeles Lakers (17-65), Pick Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke

Breakdown: ACC fans got the honor to watch Ingram put up sensational numbers for Coach K and the Blue Devils this season. The Lakers, who will not have Kobe on the roster for the first time in twenty years, need the next superstar, and Ingram can fit that role for them, without the Lakers having to dish out big money to free agents. Ingram can play point guard through small forward in the NBA, but not in the paint like Simmons. If Ingram can add the muscle to his lanky frame, the Kinston, NC product can be a several time all-star in the NBA, and have a career just like Kevin Durant.

3. Boston Celtics (Trade with Brooklyn), Pick Jamal Murray, Combo Guard, Kentucky

Breakdown: If you are looking for the best scorer in the draft behind Buddy Hield, look no further than the combo guard from Canada. The upside on Murray is he just turned 19 in February, while Buddy Hield is 22. At three the Celtics can finally start to utilize the many draft picks they have. The Celtics need that superstar they lack, and Murray is cut from that fabric. Murray can score from anywhere on the court, and has a knack for getting to the rim in traffic. Murray has a game that is similar to Damian Lillard. Murray is sneaky athletic, and is a sharpshooter from deep, the only difference between the two is Murray can slide and play the two because he can create his own shot at a better rate than Lillard.

4. Phoenix Suns (23-59) Pick Dragan Bender, C, Croatia

Breakdown: Most people will say, WHO? Allow me to take you back one short year ago. The New York Knicks are on the clock, and they pick Kristaps Porzingis, and that ensued a loud groan from Knicks fans. One year later, if you could repack the draft, Porzingis would actually go number two overall, instead of four. Bender is a kid who could fit right into the mold of Porzingis. He can play any position 3-5, but the knock on the kid is his jump shot. Bender can get into the right position in Phoenix, who need a big guy, and play a similar role to Nikola Mirotic, who is one of the best young players in the Bulls organization.

5.Minnesota (29-53) Pick Kris Dunn, PG, Providence

Breakdown: The young team just keeps getting younger, and better. The Ricky Rubio project is now in year four, and it has been a mild success, but the Timberwolves need to take that next step at point guard, and Kris Dunn is the guard that fits the prototypical NBA guard mold. Dunn is a 6-4 point guard, that can score any way he pleases. When Dunn played against UNC in the NCAA tournament, he went for a cool 29 points, on 62% shooting, and he was battling foul trouble throughout the game. Dunn is the best pro prospect of any guard in this draft, but questions about his shot selection has kept him from being the highest guard drafted. Dunn’s game is extremely similar to that of NBA sixth man of the year, Jamal Crawford.

6.New Orleans Pelicans (30-52) Pick Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma

Breakdown: Everybody got a great opportunity to watch Buddy Buckets on the big stage on the NCAA Tournament, and that was no different than what he did all season long. Buddy Hield is the best shooter this draft has to offer, and he will help an already good shooting team become one of the best the league has to offer. Buddy Hield on the perimeter, and Anthony Davis patrolling the paint would be a scary combination for opposing teams for years to come, if Hield can play up to his ceiling. Buddy Hield has all the potential in the world to be the player James Harden is, without the motor issues, and lack of defense.

7.Denver Nuggets (33-49) Pick, Skal Labissiere, C, Kentucky

Breakdown: Skal did not have the season many expected at Kentucky, but the raw potential, combined with the height he has is something that still has NBA scouts salivating. The 6-10 center from Haiti has shown he could protect the rim for almost any NBA team, and score from anywhere inside the three point line. Labissiere is the best face up big man in this draft, and that is why he has drawn comparisons to the talented big man from San Antonia, Lamarcus Aldridge. If the motor and drive can start to match the potential, Skal has the potential to be a steal at number seven in this draft.

8.Sacramento Kings (33-49) Pick, Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah

Breakdown: Jakob Poeltl was one of the top five big guys in college basketball all season. Poeltl helped his own stock big time by staying for his sophomore season, after only being a fringe first round pick guy. Poeltl is a true big guy that is not going to over step his boundaries and try to shoot threes. Poeltl is old fashioned and likes to get his points in the paint. Poeltl has a game that models Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Hornets. Poeltl runs the floor as hard as anybody and loves to play in the pick and roll. With the chance of losing DeMarcus Cousins soon, Sacramento cannot miss on a good big guy early in the draft.

9.Toronto Raptors (Trade with New York Knicks) Pick, Domantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga

Breakdown: This pick may seem puzzling for a team that already has serviceable big men like Jonas Valanciunas, Patrick Patterson, and Bismack Biyombo, but the depth they have on the perimeter is too much to draft a shooting guard to bury on the bench. If the Raptors find out they cannot resign Demar Derozan, Jaylen Brown may be a good pick here. But Sabonis is neck and neck with Poeltl, as far as ability. They both are the same style. They run the floor like no other big men, and they love to get their points around the rim. Longtime NBA veteran Luis Scola could be a great comparison for Sabonis, even though Scola can knock down the jumpshot at a higher clip.

10.Milwaukee Bucks (33-49) Pick, Jaylen Brown, SF, California

Breakdown: Jaylen Brown has the highest ceiling of anybody not named Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons in this draft. The only knock on Brown is his jump shot, which he struggled with big time in Cal’s first round exit to Hawaii. Brown was never recruited as a knockdown shooter, but as a high level athlete. Brown is by far the most explosive player in this draft. Milwaukee already has a young roster, which can be completed with a consistent 15 point, 8 rebound, 5 assist small forward, and Jaylen Brown is completely capable of that. Brown has the highest ceiling of any player since Andrew Wiggins, who has developed into a nice player for Minnesota. Brown can be the piece that helps this young Bucks team breakthrough and contend for a playoff spot every season.

11.Orlando Magic (35-47) Pick Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State

Breakdown: Beasley was one of the few bright spots for a rather disappointing Florida State squad. Beasley, who averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds, would have been the newcomer of the year in the ACC, had it not been for Brandon Ingram. Beasley has a smooth jump shot, and that is proved by his 39% shooting from three. Beasley draws comparisons to Justise Winslow, due to his elite athleticism, ability to drive, and be able to knock down threes. Orlando, who is a few years removed from drafting Victor Oladipo, needs a second scorer to pair with him on the wing, and Beasley has the ability to take some pressure off Oladipo.

12.Utah Jazz (40-42) Pick Malachi Richardson, SG, Syracuse

Breakdown: This is going to be one of my sleeper picks. Richardson has put his name in the draft, but has not hired an agent, leaving the door open to return to college. Richardson is a 6-7 shooting guard, which fits the prototypical NBA shooting guard body. Richardson, who averaged 13 points, showed more potential in the NCAA Tournament. He dropped 23 in the comeback victory against Virginia, and 17 against UNC. Richardson is a playground style baller, who can beat most players off the dribble at any given time. Richardson, who if he stays in the draft, reminds me of a taller version of CJ McCollum, the most improved player in the NBA this season. They both can knock down jumpers, but are known for their quick first step.

13.Phoenix Suns (Top 10 protected from Cleveland), Pick Deyonta Davis, PF, Michigan State

Breakdown: Deyonta Davis was really quiet for the Spartans this season, but did not get the minutes his play warranted. Davis averaged 7 points and 5 rebounds in only 18 minutes of play. Davis, known for his incredible length, can score from the paint at will, which is why he shot 60% from the field this season. The only knock on Davis is his weight. At 6-10, and 240 pounds, Davis could afford to add a few more pounds. When I watched Davis play some he reminded me of Hassan Whiteside, the big man that just swatted everything the Hornets put up on Sunday. Davis can block shots, score, and rebound with the best of them, but he needs to put on some weight to be able to dominate NBA big guys like he hopes to.

14.Chicago Bulls (42-40) Pick Thon Maker, Orangeville Prep, Canada

Breakdown: That’s right, Thon Maker hopes to be the first high school player drafted since 2005. Maker, who is originally from Sudan, filed papers with the NBA, and was able to forgo college and go straight to the league. Maker, the 7’1 center, has the same problem as Deyonta Davis, he is 7’1 and 218 pounds. Maker needs to add a lot of weight to be able to compete in the paint, but his incredible ability to shoot for a seven footer will buy him some time as he puts on weight in the league. Maker has potential to be every bit as good as Kevin Garnett, but he must be able to polish his post game, and that will come with time.