It’s NBA Draft day and many young men will hear their names called as they become part of the NBA brotherhood. For the final time in this cycle let’s project where many prospects will land in both rounds of the draft based on the latest public intel. This is a what will happen mock draft and not a what would I do mock:
1. Orlando Magic- Jabari Smith Jr., Forward, Auburn
With confirmations from the most trusted sources in basketball, Jabari Smith seems destined to become a Magic. Smith has a special brand of outside sharp shooting and on ball defense at his 6’10 size will seamlessly fit into the Magic current core.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder- Chet Holmgren, Big, Gonzaga
Not only are the Thunder zoned in on Holmgren here but they’ll look to make a trade and pair him up with another ultra talented prospect from this class. Holmgren provides a bedrock to build a stellar defense off of and unique shooting and passing skills for his frame.
3. Houston Rockets- Paolo Banchero, Forward, Duke
Banchero at three is fantastic value as there’s a solid chance he could become the best player from this class. His three level scoring traits, pull-up mid range proficiency, and superb passing skills will form a great co-alpha to go along with Jalen Green for a long time.
4. Sacramento Kings- Keegan Murray, Forward, Iowa
It’s a true mystery what the Kings will do with this pick but of their options, drafting Murray is an intriguing yet believable one. Sacramento thinks they can compete so they’ll look to add a NBA ready wing who can supplement their star creators and match up on defense.
5. Detroit Pistons- Jaden Ivey, Guard, Purdue
The NBA world wants this pick to happen and it’s certainly a real possibility. Ivey contrasts last year’s number one pick Cade Cunningham in the best way imaginable. While Cunningham runs the offense as a facilitator, Ivey will thrive at creating downhill advantages.
6. Indiana Pacers- Shaedon Sharpe, Guard, Kentucky
Indiana is now prioritizing the future and this means taking big time upside swings in the top 10. Sharpe is as big of a boom or bust prospect you could find at the top of the draft. If he booms then the Pacers have found their dynamic “Robin” in the backcourt.
7. Portland Trail Blazers- Dyson Daniels, Guard, G-League Ignite
Out of all of the reported teams with heavy interest in Daniels inside the top 10, it looks like Portland has become the favorite to land the Australian guard. Daniels brings the size, secondary P&R playmaking, on ball defense, and connective skillset that teams love to have.
8. New Orleans Pelicans- Benedict Mathurin, Wing, Arizona
After some deliberation on who they’ll take, Mathurin is the most logical choice based on conventional wisdom. New Orleans needs off ball specialists to capitalize off advantages from their stars through cutting and shooting. These are traits Mathurin has in spades.
9. San Antonio Spurs- Jalen Duren, Big, Memphis
This pick could go in many different directions. San Antonio has a lot of moderate needs but no pressing ones. They’ll select the youngest player in the class who possesses incredible athleticism, the frame of a 10 year NBA veteran and big time shot blocking skills.
10. Washington Wizards- Johnny Davis, Guard, Wisconsin
Washington would have a good problem in deciding between Griffin and Davis. They’ll lean towards the safer selection and one who will be a stellar two way player. Davis is a great defender and scorer. He proved the ability to shoulder a heavy load on both ends in college.