By Elijah Silas-Tafelsky
We finally have ourselves a trade. Over the weekend the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics completed a deal that sent Boston the third overall pick in this year’s draft plus either a first-rounder in 2018 and 2019. Philadelphia received the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
I figured since we had some movement and swapping of picks, a final mock draft was needed.
- Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz: PG, Washington
Philly got what they wanted. Fultz will be an absolute perfect fit for the 76ers. He has all the skills and the right mindset necessary to become the franchise point guard Philly has wanted since Allen Iverson left. If the team can stay healthy there is no reason why they can’t push for 35 wins in the East conference next season. TRUST THE PROCESS.
- Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball: PG, UCLA
Even though the there have been reports of teams asking the Lakers about trading the number two pick in the draft I can’t see them giving up this slot. Ball for now is the Lakers point guard of the future even with D’Angelo Russell. Ball loves to play up tempo and run in transition which I am sure new team president Magic Johnson will emphasize a lot with his young team. There still are some question marks about Ball as a defender but if he gets the keys to the offense he should thrive down for years to come.
- Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum: SF/PF, Duke
The Celtics traded down in the draft but you had to believe that all along Boston knew they could add an extra first round draft pick for the future drafts while still getting the player they wanted in this draft. Tatum is a born scorer who can play small forward or power forward at the next level. His ability to play multiple positions is the key with this pick because I expect to see Tatum at power forward a lot in Boston while developing as a nice tandem scorer with Isaiah Thomas.
- Phoenix Suns: De’Aaron Fox: PG, Kentucky
Fox paired up with Devin Booker would be an awesome combination to watch in Phoenix. His speed combined with his vision and ability to attack the basket make this a great selection for Phoenix. Eric Bledsoe and Tyler Ulis are currently the point guards in the roster but Bledsoe could easily be traded and Ulis for now is a solid backup. The Suns want Lonzo Ball to fall to them at this spot but Fox may end up being the better player when we look back on this draft in five years.
- Sacramento Kings: Josh Jackson: SF, Kansas
Jackson addresses the one of the many needs the Kings have. A true go to scorer. With Rudy Gay on his way out of Sacramento and Boogie Cousins in New Orleans, Jackson could pair up with Buddy Heild to give the Kings a couple of terrific scorers they missed in the second half of last season. Jackson also has the potential to be a terrific defender with his length, height and athleticism while emerging as the Kings superstar of the future.
- Orlando Magic: Malik Monk: SG, Kentucky
In my first mock draft, I had Monk going third in the draft, but because of the Philly and Boston trade Monk was destined to fall. Monk is a natural scorer but his height may cause him to slip possibly farther than this spot come Thursday’s draft. The Magic are looking for scoring at the wing position and Monk can provide them with exactly that. He should be able to quickly move up the depth chart in Orlando as the likes of Mario Hezonja, Terrance Ross and even Evan Fournier have all underachieved during their time with the Magic.
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonathan Isaac: PF/C, Florida State
Isaac’s length and mobility for his size looks like his best traits heading into the NBA. He can defend multiple positions while his offensive game is still streaky. The T-Wolves have a lot of positions filled for now and the future, so adding Isaac’s versatility would allow Minnesota to play him with Karl Anthony Towns or if Isaac puts on more weight, he could even play the five at certain times.
- New York Knicks: Luke Kennard: SG, Duke
I honestly, have no clue what the Knicks are doing with their franchise. Melo looks like he is out, Porzinigs might be traded and nobody in free agency wants to deal with the triangle offense. I decided to put Kennard at this spot because of the offensive versatility he brings. Watch Kennard highlights and you immediately see how well he moves without the ball. He comes off screens extremely tight and well giving the defender no room to maneuver. Kennard’s handle is not that bad either and he has great size and vision to play the shooting guard spot at the next level. Think a left handed Klay Thompson as his peak potential.
- Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr.: PG, North Carolina State
The Mavs are in a rebuild mode even if they will never admit it. Dirk is playing his last season so you know the team will give it everything they have to send him out by at least making the playoffs. Dennis Smith Jr. athleticism and play-making ability would be a nice fit for the Mavs. Smith is not the best shooter but can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket with authority. Smith also dished out more than six assists per game at NC state showcasing his great passing and vision.
- Sacramento Kings: Frank Ntilikina: PG, Strasbourg (France)
I’m not sure how many mock drafts have Ntilikina going to Sacramento but I kind of like this selection for the Kings. Ntilikina is a raw prospect as a point guard but he his shooting, length and defense are all strong parts of his game. The Kings are not a playoff team right so even if they make this selection they could add a veteran point guard for at least the first half of the season or more before giving the keys to Ntilikina.
- Charlotte Hornets: Lauri Markkanen: PF, Arizona
Markkanen has been all over many people’s mock drafts. At times, you will see him being selected as high as sixth and as low as 14th. Shooting will not be an issue for Markkanen at the next level but defense and strength might be. Markkanen needs to become more physical at the next level or else he is going to be bullied and unplayable at times. If he can become even average defensive player at the next level then Markkanen will be looking like and absolute steal.
- Detroit Pistons: Donovan Mitchell: SG, Louisville
I absolutely love Mitchell’s game. Built like a tank, but a little undersized to play the two-guard. Mitchell’s strength and wingspan though make up for his lack of height. As far as scoring goes Mitchell can get buckets. Athletically he is as it gets for this draft class. His shot is streaky but there is no reason why he can become an above average shooter from three-point range. Mitchell has a good work ethic and putting him on a Pistons team that has some of the most inconsistent guards in the league would be a big boost.
- Denver Nuggets: OG Anunoby: SF/PF, Indiana
Even with Anunoby’s injury he should be a lottery pick. There is too much potential for him to not be selected. Defense, defense, energy, and more energy is what you will get from him once his if fully healthy. I look at Anunoby and his career could go in two directions. Either his shot does not improve and he is Michael Kidd-Gilchrest or He finds his jumper and we are looking at Kawhi Leonard. Call me out if you want for the Leonard comparison but Kawhi was the 15th pick in his draft mainly because he was not a great shooter in college but could defend like nobody else. Anunoby will likely redshirt for some of the season recovering from the ACL injury he sustained in this past January.
- Miami Heat: Zach Collins: PF/C, Gonzaga
The Heat have Hassan Whiteside, but are looking to pair him up with another young big man. Collins looks like a young player who will only get better with age. In college, he played next to a 7-foot-3 big man so playing next to Whiteside shouldn’t be an adjustment. Collins perimeter game is a still a work in progress but shot 10-21 from three-point range at Gonzaga. A small sample size but it looks like he could be a good outside shooter. Collins can protect the rim as well and should be able to learn a lot about being a better defender working with Whiteside.
15. Portland Trail Blazers: Ike Anigobou: C, UCLA
Anigobou is a great defender who runs the floor extremely well. On pick and rolls he is tremendous soring to the rim and slamming with authority. Anigobou needs to of work on his offensive game a lot but his defense should play immediately in the NBA. Portland has Jusuf Nurkic but Anigobou would give them a young shot blocking center to develop behind Nurkic.
- Chicago Bulls: Jarrett Allen: PF/C, Texas
- Milwaukee Bucks: Harry Giles: PF/C, Duke
- Indiana Pacers: Justin Jackson: SG/SF, North Carolina
- Atlanta Hawks: John Collins: PF, Wake Forest
- Portland Trailblazers: Anzejs Paseciks: C, Lithuania
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Derrick White PG/SG, Colorado
- Brooklyn Nets: Justin Patton: C, Creighton
- Toronto Raptors: Jonah Bolden PF, Radnicki Basket/Australia
- Utah Jazz: T.J. Leaf: PF, UCLA
- Orlando Magic: Frank Jackson: PG, Duke
- Portland Trailblazers: Edmond Sumner: PG, Xavier
- Brooklyn Nets: Terrance Ferguson: SG/SF, Adelaide/USA
- Los Angeles Lakers: D.J. Wilson: PF, Michigan
- San Antonio Spurs: Jordan Bell: PF/C, Oregon
- Utah Jazz: Wesley Iwundu SF, Kansas State