The NBA Draft is right around the corner and FortyEightMinutes‘ has you covered through draft night on July 29. In our latest mock draft (check out a pre-lottery version where the Cavaliers selection No. 1 here), we take a look at what the teams will do in a post-lottery world.
With the Pistons winning the lottery, let’s dive into Detroit’s pick as well as the other teams with first-round selections in the upcoming draft:
1 – Detroit Pistons – Cade Cunningham, 6-foot-7 guard, Oklahoma State
Regardless of who ended up with this pick, it was hard to imagine Cade Cunningham not being selected. Looking at Detroit’s roster and breaking it down, it’s clear they could use a player like Cunningham in their lineup. Pairing him with Grant, Bey, and Hayes on the court could lead to a lot of future success, and nobody in this draft is more NBA-ready than Cunningham.
2 – Houston Rockets – Jalen Green, 6-foot-6 guard, G-League
The Rockets do not need to put this all together right away—the goal is to build this team piece by piece. Mixing in Jalen Green, who may just have the most upside and potential in the whole draft, would be a very good idea.
Being able to grow with Kevin Porter and Christian Wood but also learning the in’s and out’s of the NBA game from John Wall would be a very solid addition for the Rockets to start with.
3 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Evan Mobley, 7-foot-0 center, USC
Jarrett Allen enters restricted free agency with some uncertainty and while he’s likely returning to the organization, there have been some rumors of a potential sign-and-trade.
Evan Mobley would be a great pick for the Cavaliers if he’s available regardless of Allen’s status. Mobley is one of the most athletic players in this draft and is extremely gifted in many phases on the offensive and defensive end. He would be the centerpiece the Cavaliers build around and even might work alongside Allen in the frontcourt.
4 -Toronto Raptors – Jalen Suggs, 6-foot-4 guard, Gonzaga
Jalen Suggs is the best two-way player in this class. His craftiness and ability to score on the offensive end translates to his dog mentality on the defensive end. Toronto may not need a guard to start with right away but with many rumors about the possibility of Lowry’s tenure with the Raptors nearing the end why not replace him with one of the best young guards in the draft.
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5 – Orlando Magic – Jonathan Kuminga, 6-foot-8 forward, G-League
Kuminga is a prospect who didn’t get the hype he deserved playing beside Jalen Green all last year but still managed to average 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Orlando will look to add a guard/forward who can play belong side Jonathan Issac once he gets healthy again and Cole Anthony.
6 – Oklahoma City Thunder – Scottie Barnes, 6-foot-8 forward, Florida State
Barnes is a player I believed would fit extremely well with Golden State but with the Warriors slipping to No.7 and OKC getting the No.6 overall pick. It would be a good idea to add a player like Scottie Barnes.
Barnes is very young still with a lot of upsides. OKC has several picks over the next few years. They could start by adding a forward who is capable of starting or coming off the bench.
7 – Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota) – James Bouknight, 6-foot-4 guard, Uconn
Bouknight is already an extremely talented player who will likely go in the lottery anyway at some point. But he has been extremely impressive so far through the NBA Combine. His shooting has been off the charts.
If Golden State doesn’t end up moving this pick (as the franchise is rumored to do), Bouknight would be a very nice addition in this spot as a born-scorer off the bench, especially if Oubre’s time in the bay is coming to an end.
8 – Orlando Magic (via Chicago) – Keon Johnson, 6-foot-4 guard, Tennessee
Keon Johnson probably wouldn’t find himself starting right away in Orlando but having an athletic young ascending player off the bench would be fine for the franchise for the time being. Johnson’s stats don’t jump off the board but when actually watching him play you really can see the potential in his game.
9 – Sacramento Kings – Jalen Johnson, 6-foot-9 forward, Duke
Jalen Johnson can attack the basket and is a great rebounder offensively and defensively. Johnson will need to be a more consistent shooter but he has proven he is capable of shooting the three. But to be able to grow his game, he will have to prove to defenses he can knock down shots if left open.
But Sacramento who has several shooters and scorers, adding Johnson would be a very solid pick for a team who was very bad on defense last season.
10 – New Orleans Pelicans – Davion Mitchell, 6-foot-1 guard, Baylor
Davion Mitchell could go higher than No.10 but he none of the teams above fit as well as the Pelicans do. Mitchell is a guy who can make an impact right away. And with the chance Lonzo Ball ends up elsewhere this off-season it could be ideal.
Mitchell is one of the better two-way players alongside Suggs in this draft and knows what it takes to win considering he played for Baylor last season.
11 – Charlotte Hornets – Kai Jones, 6-foot-11 forward/center, Texas
Hornets are an extremely guard-heavy team. Plus they have Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward at the small forward spot and PJ Washington at power forward. So the only realistic option
I could see here is a center that the Hornets really lacked last year. Kai Jones is an outstanding prospect and is one of my favorites in the entire draft. Jones is a product in the making. But, putting him in a system with other young guys who are also growing would be perfect for him. And just cause he’s still developing doesn’t mean he can’t make an impact from day one.
12 – San Antonio Spurs – Josh Giddey, 6-foot-8 guard, Australia
Giddey will be a highly anticipated prospect in his rookie season due to being a 6-foot-8 guard who is capable of filling up the stat sheet. No better system for a European player to develop than Coach Pops either. Giddey averaged 10.9 points, 7.5 assists, and 7.4 rebounds per game in the NBL last season.
13 – Indiana Pacers – Moses Moody, 6-foot-6 guard, Arkansas
Moody averaged 17.5 points last season and the Pacers could use another offensive weapon off the bench. Pacers lacked finding TJ Warren’s replacement when he went down last year and even though Warren may return Moody would fit nicely behind him and alongside Holiday or McDermott.
14 – Golden State Warriors – Franz Wagner, 6-foot-8, Michigan
Warriors are going to look for a guy who can play behind Draymond Green and if Scottie Barnes is off the board at No.7 and they do in fact take Bouknight then Wagner will be a serious consideration if still available at No.14.
Wagner was one of Michigan’s most consistent players last year and UM was one of the better teams in the country throughout the year.
15 – Washington Wizards – Ziarie Williams, 6-foot-9 forward, Stanford
Wizards need a few positions and they may decide to blow it all up but as long as this pick remains theirs then Williams would be a great selection. Williams is entering the draft only after his freshman year so he may not start right away. The forward provides good value at No.15 and he has a very bright future.
16 – Oklahoma City Thunder (via Boston) – Corey Kispert, 6-foot-7 forward, Gonzaga Baylor
If Oklahoma City can land Scottie Barnes and then Corey Kispert, it’ll drastically help mitigate a disappointing lottery. Kispert will be a guy who will come in and affect the team right away. He naturally has a shooter’s touch and he has plenty of experience coming in as a Senior. Kispert was arguably the best shooter in College Basketball last year.
17 – Memphis Grizzlies – Ayo Dosunmu, 6-foot-5 guard, Illinois
Ayo Dosunmu may be one of the more NBA-ready players. His upside isn’t through the roof but he may come in and just naturally be a very good player and for a team who is on the cusp of being a competitive playoff squad that may just be exactly what they need. Dosunmu was an All-American player for Illinois last season.
18 – Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami) – Alperen Sengun, 6-f00t-10 center, Besiktas
Sengun is extremely young but he has some extreme upside. He averaged 23.0 points while adding 7.3 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. OKC has so many draft picks that they will experiment with some of their picks. Sengun would be one of those but this kid has some serious potential.
19 – New York Knicks – Jared Butler, 6-foot-3 guard, Baylor
Jared Butler was the leader for the champion Baylor Bears the last few seasons. He is a very good defender and is capable of being aggressive on offense as well when he is not facilitating. Butler would be a very nice addition to a Tom Thibodeau system.
20 – Atlanta Hawks – Jaden Springer, 6-foot-4 guard, Tennessee
Hawks will need to add someone behind Trae Young. I don’t expect many changes to their overall lineup next season. Especially, after what they are accomplishing currently. But Springer would add a spark off the bench when Young is not on the floor. Pair Springer with Reddish in the backcourt off the bench and you start building that foundation.
21 – New York Knicks (via Dallas) – Usman Garuba, 6-foot-8 forward, Real Madrid
Garuba is a big and strong 6-foot-8. He plays a lot like a big power forward or a center in smaller ball lineups. Garuba would place nicely into the power forward/center room for the Knicks considering Nerlans Noel is a free agent and Mitchell Robinson is coming off a season-ending injury,
22 – Los Angeles Lakers – Cameron Thomas, 6-foot-4 guard, LSU
One serious issue the Lakers need to address this off-season is the inability on the offensive end outside of James and Davis. Lakers need shooting and players who can create their own shot and can be consistent. Cam Thomas is that guy. Thomas averaged 24.3 points per game as a true freshman at LSU. Thomas can score from anywhere on the floor and makes it look easy.
23 – Houston Rockets (via Portland) – Josh Christopher, 6-foot-4 guard, Arizona State
Christopher was one of the more anticipated players coming out of High School with a very big fan base. Although Christopher was on a very underwhelming ASU team who didn’t even get a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Christopher still managed to have a very successful freshman season but many could claim they were empty stats. Christopher has all the ability in the world to be a successful player and he will have a lot to prove in his rookie season. Houston matches well and would give him a serious opportunity.
24 – Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee) – Charles Bassey, 6-foot-11 center, Western Kentucky
Rockets picking back to back will make them lean towards a big man if they go Green and Christopher with their first two picks. Bassey was Western Kentucky’s best player but didn’t get a lot of notice. Would be a great fit behind Wood.
25 – Los Angeles Clippers – Johnny Juzang, 6-foot-6 forward, UCLA
In my previous mock, I had the Lakers landing Juzang at No.22. Now I have him going to the cross-town rival. Juzang was the catalyst to UCLA’s postseason success breaking records for points scored for the Bruins. Juzang fits very well with the Clippers and they could use him right away due to his ability to score the basketball at all phases.
26 – Denver Nuggets – Tre Mann,6-foot-4 guard, Florida
With Jamal Murray battling some serious injuries these past few years. I expect the Nuggets to look at adding some depth at the guard position. Tre Mann would be a guy not only that could play but could be a future piece to the puzzle for the Nuggets. Tre Mann is the visual of the modern-day point guard.
27 – Brooklyn Nets – Greg Brown, 6-foot-9, Texas
The Nets do not need much. Plus, this draft won’t be crucial but adding some younger big men will be something Brooklyn looks at. DeAndre Jordan isn’t getting any younger and Jeff Green won’t have to continue to play outside his true position.
Greg Brown may not see minutes right away but getting some younger forwards and centers in the organization will be a smart way to go.
28 – Philadelphia 76ers – Chris Duarte, 6-foot-6 guard, Oregon
Philly needs scoring. Simple. They need a guy who can create his own shot from anywhere on the court not just from three or just in the paint. Duarte reminds me a lot of former Duck and current Grizzlie Dillon Brooks. Duarte has the experience as a four-year player and can score in many different ways. Duarte averaged 17.1 points on 53.2% from the field and 42.3% from the three-point line.
29 – Phoneix Suns – Shariff Cooper, 6-foot-1 guard, Auburn
If Cooper falls into the Sun’s lap. Watch out. Cooper’s stock dropped based on a poor season from Auburn and injuries. But when Cooper played he was dominant. Cooper won’t be a necessity right away but Chris Paul is 36 years old and we don’t know what will happen with Cam Payne after erupting this postseason.
He could be in tune for a bigger contract. Cooper was only a freshman so developing behind Chris Paul before stepping into a critical role makes a lot of sense.
30 – Utah Jazz – Isaiah Jackson, 6-foot-10 forward/center, Kentucky
Isaiah Jackson rounds out the first-round. He’s a talented big from Kentucky who has the potential to be a double-double machine with the right minutes. Jackson could be an upgrade over Derrick Favors in the near future or down the line.