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ISF 2018 Mock #2
Published at 6/20/2018 6:57:34 PM
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The modern NBA is a wing player league. Every team is hoping for the day they find they find the true "unicorn". 7 foot 3 point shooter who can defend the pick and roll, defend on switches and be an elite rebounder. Unfortunately, it's probably going to be a while before we find that player. DeAndre Ayton struggles with perimeter defense as well as being to lazy to try to recover after being beat to the rim. Yeah, Ayton may average 20+ PPG and 10+ rebounds, but if his passing isn't where it needs to be for a #1 pick center and his defense is lack luster, why is he even being considered for a #1 pick in the current NBA? With all the reports that Ayton sees himself as a PF, he might not be much more than what Karl Towns is (not a diss, Towns is terrific) if he doesn't get his head right. Luka Doncic is the clear cut #1 player in this draft. Owner Robert Sarver is infamously money hungry and seeing as a local favorite like Ayton would instantly boost ticket sales, seems this pick is locked in.
Suns's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Reports that the Kings will pass on Doncic are absolutely ridiculous. Somewhere in Sacramento, Vlade Divac is wearing a bib after salivating on himself so much at the thought of picking Doncic. You're really gonna believe the guy who drafted Georgios Papagiannis #13 isn't going to take the greatest euro league prospect of all time? Does Doncic have his own concerns? He does. He's not a great perimeter defender and not overly explosive, but man does he do everything else at an elite level for a 19 year old. His BBIQ is off the charts and IMO he's exactly the type of player they need next to WCS, Fox, Buddy Hield and Bogdanovic.
Kings's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Bagley and John Collins in one front court. How many teams are going to out rebound the Hawks? If Collins is able to hit the 3 pointer consistently like he flashed at points in last season, pairing him with Bagley might be a monster duo. Bagley isn't a great shooter, seems to only use try to finish with his left hand and struggled to cover perimeter players. What Bagley does bring is a massive motor on the glass, elite athleticism and seems to be pretty polished in the paint. Pairing him with Collins and Prince could be a good trio especially if they bring back Dennis Schroeder.
Hawks's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Elite scoring potential? Memphis Grizzlies? Drafting elite scorers? Well, this is strange. Michael Porter Jr apparently had a monster workout and proved he seems to be healthy and back on track to being what we all thought he would be before his back injury. If he's truly healthy, he's easily the 2nd best player in this draft ahead of Ayton. Porter Jr's concerns besides his back are his dribbling and his defense. Neither are a huge concern for an elite scorer in high school at his size. I think he's well worth this pick and could potentially help a bleak looking Grizzlies situation look a lot better with Dillon Brooks at SG, JaMychal Green at PF, Porter at SF and the returning Conley and Gasol filling out the PG and C positions.
Grizzlies's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Jackson is a long, rim protecting, 3 point shooting and perimeter defending 18 year old Center. His potential is through the roof. Being placed with an elite coach like Rick Carlisle and a potential mentor in Hall Of Famer Dirk Nowitzki may end up being the best thing for Jackson seeing as there's so many parts of his game that are raw.
Mavericks's Needs via ESPN's RPM
This pick might be Trae Young, might be Porter Jr, might be Jackson, who knows. The Magic fired coach Frank Vogel to hire Steve Clifford (insert Nick Young confused meme here.) The Magic were among the worst defensive teams in the league, among the worst rebounding teams in the league and the 2nd worst paint protecting team in the league. Mo Bamba projects to at the very least be an elite rim protector due to having the soon to be longest arms in NBA history. With his size and fluidity, Bamba shouldn't have a difficult time improving as a rebounder and should be good for rim running. The Magic's PG situation is awful, so this pick may very well be Trae Young because of Bamba's concerns with his offense and his motor.
Magic's Needs via ESPN's RPM
The Bulls desperately need defense. Another team ranked near the bottom in defense, teams absolutely beat the Bulls up on the perimeter seeing as they allowed the most amount of 3 pointers per game last season. Bridges is exactly what they need. He's an insanely smart basketball player on both ends of the floor. Having a guy like him anchor the defense and getting guys to be in the right positions will hugely benefit the team with defensive minded guard Kris Dunn coming back from injury. Bridges to me is a very safe pick and good bet to be a good player in the league.
Bulls's Needs via ESPN's RPM
An ultra athletic and super competitive guard next to LeBron? Yes please. Sexton never gives up, doesn't seem to be in his vocabulary. He has the athleticism to be a slasher and has the ability to be a secondary ball handler. His concerns are mainly his decision making which will surely improve with age and playing with LeBron. Seeing how hard Sexton goes on defense and seeing how he had the ability at Alabama to shoulder an entire offense, I don't see how Cleveland passes on him here. If Cleveland does pass on Sexton, it should be for Wendell Carter and not Trae Young. The Cavs have massive defensive concerns and Young will not help that.
Cavaliers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Sitting at #9, this is absolutely what the Knicks want. This years hyped college player, Trae Young earned it for a reason. Young is an elite off the dribble shooter and already has borderline elite vision. The concerns with his turnovers and shot selection are silly to me considering that the Sooners literally made him do everything with the ball. Young is the perfect fit next to Ntilikina. Ntilikina should help mask Young's defensive concerns and Young should help mask Ntilikina's offensive concerns.
Knicks's Needs via ESPN's RPM
6'10 wingspan, can shoot on the move/off of screens/off the dribble and is very explosive. Walker is one of the higher upside players and seems to be a perfect fit at the 2 guard in Philly. He isn't a good ball handler and is a bit of a streaky shooter. He should be able to grow into the starting two guard role in Philly.
76ers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
The Hornets keep taking big guys and keep striking out. Kaminsky and Zeller both look like rotation players and not starters in the league. Dwight Howard is for sure not long term and Kemba Walker might not be there very long either. They could opt to take Shai Alexander here, but I think new GM Mitch Kupchak takes the BPA similar to when he did in 2015 with D'Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor. Carter is one of my favorite players in this class. He has a high BBIQ, can operate in the post, is a good rebounder, a good rim protector, can pass and can shoot. His concerns seem to lie with his perimeter defense, but much like his pro comparison, Al Horford, I think he can improve upon that with experience. Carter deserves to be higher than here.
Hornets's Needs via ESPN's RPM
Clippers have Gallinari and Tobias Harris at the SF and PF positions, they're going to get beat up defensively. Even if DeAndre stays, he can't carry the entire defense if their two forwards are constantly getting beat to the rim. With that being said, they might be able to add an elite defensive back court with Beverley and Bradley. Bridges is raw, but there's no denying his physical tools and athleticism. If he could develop a good handle, he could be a very,very good player.
Clippers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
I think the Clippers have to think big potential with both these picks, they really don't have an future prospects that are franchise altering. Of course, they have Jerry West helping make these picks so that makes it much easier. Smith has elite rebounding skills for a guard and is an elite finisher. Smith plays like a bullish PF in a SG's body due to his long wingspan, athleticism and loves to get down and dirty on the court. He seems to be the type of player to have the drive to continuously improve his game. He's going to be able to guard 1-4 due to his size and athleticism. His concerns are he isn't much of a shooter and his ball handling isn't great. For his age, those aren't major concerns.
Clippers's Needs via ESPN's RPM
The Nuggets need a SF, there's no other position that immediately jumps out as a need. Wilson Chandler was awful this season. Knox has the physical tools, athleticism and fluidity to play both forward positions. He's very young which explains why he struggled at times in his freshman year at Kentucky. Once again, he's another player that doesn't have major concerns and should improve over time.
Nuggets's Needs via ESPN's RPM
The Wizards have good/great athletes in Wall, Beal, Oubre, Porter and Morris. Then there's Gortat.. Year after year Gortat sticks out like a sore thumb. They need a great athlete at center to pair with a young, fast team. Williams can switch onto perimeter players, can protect the rim, can rebound and is an elite finisher at the rim. He relies too much on his physical ability rather than technique.
Wizards's Needs via ESPN's RPM