Welcome to NBA Mock Draft 9.0 at SKORNorth.com, our penultimate edition.
This version was unplanned, but thanks to the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers
striking a deal this weekend, it was only right to see how that could impact the draft this
We include brief writeups for each lottery selection and feature the complete first round as
1. New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson, Duke
Just because they finally made the Anthony Davis trade doesn’t change anything at the top. They’re still selecting Williamson first overall and not thinking twice about it.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant, Murray State
Nothing has changed here, and it’s hard to imagine something changing between now and Thursday night’s draft. The Grizzlies probably should look to move on from Mike Conley for some extra draft capital as well, especially considering they owe a first-round pick to Boston in either 2020 (top-6 protected) or 2021 (unprotected).
3. New York Knicks – R.J. Barrett, Duke
The Knicks not landing Anthony Davis via trade wasn’t super surprising, but it seems like that all but ensures that Barrett will be the pick at No. 3. It’s hard to see that changing.
4. New Orleans Pelicans (from Los Angeles) – Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
So, whoever the Pelicans draft with this selection will be wearing Lakers gear on draft night, but this pick is one of the ones that’s being sent to New Orleans for Davis. With the pieces acquired by the Pelicans, the biggest hole right now seems to be shooting guard for the long term. Maybe the team moves Jrue Holiday and looks for point guard help here, but Culver would be a nice pick if not.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Darius Garland, Vanderbilt
Garland falling to the Cavs is a big win for Cleveland. Yes, Cleveland drafted Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick in last year’s draft and these two play the same position. With that said, we’re in an era of basketball where having two ball-dominant scoring point guards is certainly an okay thing to have. If Garland reaches his potential, Cleveland is starting to look towards a bright future.
6. Phoenix Suns – Coby White, North Carolina
This pick is probably the best fit for the Suns at No. 6. White is a little raw, but he’ll be an awesome fit with Devin Booker as he matures into an NBA player. He’ll be able to play at a really quick pace and stretch the floor with a solid outside shot.
7. Chicago Bulls – Cam Reddish, Duke
The Bulls have needs in the backcourt – more so at a lead guard spot than the 2 – and Reddish could supply more offensive firepower for a team that’s looking to add. If Reddish develops into something worth it, the Bulls could be in business. It could also make sense for the Bulls to make this pick the center of an offer for New Orleans’ Lonzo Ball.
8. Atlanta Hawks – De’Andre Hunter, Virginia
Hunter sliding this far down is a result of the trade between New Orleans and the Lakers. Plugging him in to the Hawks’ lineup shouldn’t be an issue. He’ll be someone that can contribute there right away, make them better defensively, and knock down plenty of open looks from 3-point range that will be generated for him.
9. Washington Wizards – Sekou Doumbouya, France
Doumbouya is a project. He’s very young to be in the draft, as he won’t turn 19 until during next season. Doumbouya has been compared to Toronto’s Pascal Siakim lately, which is obviously a good thing. He could turn into an All-Star caliber player, it’s just going to take a bit of time before he reaches that level.
10. Atlanta Hawks – Jaxson Hayes, Texas
After grabbing a wing with the No. 8 pick, the Hawks add to their frontcourt depth here. Hayes could be electric in the pick-and-roll with Trae Young in the future. The Hawks could also end up moving one, or both of their picks in order to move up in the draft. The fifth pick (owned by Cleveland) has been a spot that’s been rumored.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyler Herro, Kentucky
Herro sticks in at No. 11 for the Wolves in 9.0. His drawback is that his wingspan didn’t measure very well (6-foot-3) compared to his 6-foot-6 height. With that said, his skillset fits into what the Wolves need really well. He could develop into an elite outside shooter in the NBA and can attack off the dribble really well. The Wolves don’t currently have enough weapons on the roster capable of creating their own shot, Herro could change that.
12. Charlotte Hornets – Romeo Langford, Indiana
Langford is a score-first guard that could potentially be the first step of a rebuild if the Hornets are without Kemba Walker moving forward. Maybe Walker sticks around and Langford is some help for him, but if not, this is a solid beginning to the rebuild in Charlotte.
13. Miami Heat – Kevin Porter, Jr., USC
Porter, Jr. is a guy that could have been a top-5 talent in this draft, but had character concerns while at USC. He was dismissed from the team during the season at Southern Cal, but has the talent to potentially be a star in the NBA.
14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento via Philadelphia) – Nassir Little, North Carolina
The Celtics could go a number of different directions with this pick, but with it looking more and more likely that Kyrie Irving is walking out the door, they need help on the offensive end. Little won’t be a game-changer right away, but he certainly could turn into a very serviceable outside shooter.
END OF LOTTERY
15. Detroit Pistons – Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
16. Orlando Magic – PJ Washington, Kentucky
17. Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn) – Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
18. Indiana Pacers – Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech
19. San Antonio Spurs – Goga Bitadze, Georgia
20. Boston Celtics (from LA Clippers via Memphis) – Bol Bol, Oregon
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Cameron Johnson, North Carolina
22. Boston Celtics – Matisse Thybulle, Washington
23. Utah Jazz – Grant Williams, Tennessee
24. Philadelphia 76ers – Carsen Edwards, Purdue
25. Portland Trail Blazers – KZ Okpala, Stanford
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston) – Darius Bazley, Princeton High School
27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver) – Johntay Porter, Missouri
28. Golden State Warriors – Keldon Johnson, Kentucky
29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto) – Dylan Windler, Belmont
30. Milwaukee Bucks — Nicolas Claxton, Georgia