The NBA Draft is just over two weeks away, and on the most recent episode of the Bank Shot, I conducted a mock draft with Spencer Pearlman. He selected all the picks at odd numbers, and I selected at even numbers. We did not predict trades. This is the draft we did on the podcast with only three minor changes at picks 20, 26, and 30.
You can listen to the podcast for more detailed analysis on the picks, and read along with the results below!
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards: Edwards is a high-octane guard with limitless potential given his elite athleticism. Shot selection and feel for the game makes him a risk but he is the player with the highest upside that fits in Minnesota.
2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman: The Warriors would love to move this pick for an established veteran player but we aren’t doing trades. I love the Deni Avdija fit but I don’t think they pull the trigger. Instead they go with the big man with the best physical tools.
3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball: He is the best player left on the board. Late rumors are that he might be sliding down boards due to poor interviews and attitude issues. He is an other-worldly passer and has great size, but his shooting and shot selection need a lot of work.
4. Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija: I could see the Bulls going with Isaac Okoro but they choose the best big man playmaker in the draft instead. I would love him to fall to the Knicks, but he won’t.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Isaac Okoro: Another player I would love to fall to the Knicks. He is a NBA caliber athlete with good size and feel for the game. He will be a solid starter for a long time with a chance to be more.
6. Atlanta Hawks: Tyrese Haliburton: Okoro would have been my pick for the Hawks, but he was not on the board. I do not see another great fit for them, so I went with a good team defender who can be a glue-guy that doesn’t need the ball alongside Trae Young.
7. Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes: Many Knicks fans dreams are dashed again. Hayes is a big point guard with excellent vision and passing skills. He has an improving jump shot and can defend multiple positions. He would have been a good fit for the Knicks.
8. New York Knicks: This is one of the worst case scenarios for the Knicks given who went before this pick. Kira Lewis Jr., Onyeka Okongwu, Devin Vassell, Obi Toppin, and Patrick Williams were all options here. Okongwu might be the best overall prospect but with Mitchell Robinson on the roster and the reduced impact of big men in the NBA, I removed him from the equation. Obi Toppin’s defense is a disqualifier. Devin Vassell will be a very good NBA player for a long time, but I don’t see him as becoming much more than an upper echelon three and D wing.
I settled on Kira Lewis Jr. I think he has a high floor at point guard given his speed, athleticism, and improving passing skills. His ability to get to the rim gives him a higher upside if he can gain some strength and finish consistently. He is rising in the draft process, and could now be a top ten pick. In this scenario, especially if Okoro, Avdija, and Hayes are off the board, Lewis Jr. is the pick.
9. Washington Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu: He is my favorite big man in the draft and is a perfect fit in Washington that can defend, rim run, and finish with either hand.
10. Phoenix Suns: Patrick Williams: In five years, he may be the best player in this draft. He is raw but can do a little of everything and is an excellent athlete that can play both forward spots.
11. San Antonio Spurs: Alexi Pokusevski: He is rail-thin and has not played against good competition, but his overall shooting and passing skillset for a seven-footer is impressive.
12. Sacramento Kings: Devin Vassell: He is an elite three and D player that can become something more if he continues to develop his off-the-dribble game.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Tyrese Maxey: A combo-guard with a developing skillset on offense that also defends well, Maxey could become a good two-way player if his shot falls more consistently.
14. Boston Celtics: Obi Toppin: On draft night, there is virtually no way Toppin drops this far. His offensive game provides way too high of a floor. The Celtics get a steal here.
15. Orlando Magic: RJ Hampton: One of the top athletes in the draft with high upside, if Hampton can improve his jump shot and play better defense he could be the top player in the draft.
16. Portland Trailblazers: Saddiq Bey: He will be a nice replacement for Carmelo Anthony, and provide a nice shooting and defense compliment to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves: Aaron Nesmith: He can shoot but not do much else. He is a good fit with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
18. Dallas Mavericks: Desmond Bane: One of the most NBA ready players in the draft that can shoot, play team basketball, and help defensively.
19. Brooklyn Nets: Josh Green: A wing that projects as a three and D player that can also cut to the basket.
20. Miami Heat: Malachi Flynn: A point guard the Knicks would love to get at 27th overall, but he is too good to last that long. He can do a little bit of everything.
21. Philadelphia 76ers: Isaiah Joe: A sharpshooter that can makes shots from anywhere, he will give the Sixers a much-needed perimeter threat.
22. Denver Nuggets: Precious Achiuwa: A big man that has potential to stretch the floor and guard multiple positions.
23. Utah Jazz: Cole Anthony: It does not seem like a typical Jazz pick, but Anthony would have the pressure to be the primary ball-handler taken off of him by Donovon Mitchell. He could offer Utah a spark as a scorer.
24. Milwaukee Bucks: Tyrell Terry: Terry’s shooting and playmaking ability will give the Bucks another perimeter scoring threat.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jalen Smith: A big man that can shoot but still needs to improve his defense.
26. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Stewart: The Celtics already got Obi Toppin and now they get a more traditional defense-oriented big man in Stewart.
27. New York Knicks: Leandro Bolmaro: The Knicks have seven picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts. It will be impossible to roster that many players so the Knicks use the 27th pick on a draft and stash in Bolmaro. It will be at least two seasons until he comes stateside, maybe more, but his defensive ability and elite passing as a wing make him worth the wait.
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Robert Woodard: He is an athletic wing that can score to provide a boost around LeBron James.
29. Toronto Raptors: Xavier Tillman: A big man that can do a little bit of everything offensively.
30. Boston Celtics: Rokas Jokubaitis: With three picks, the Celtics cannot roster all those players and find a draft and stash since they passed on Bolmaro at 26th overall.
31. Dallas Mavericks: Grant Riller: The high scoring guard joins Desmond Bane in Dallas, which will probably really annoy Knicks fans.
32. Charlotte Hornets: Jaden McDaniels: After draft LaMelo Ball, the Hornets take another high upside player with some personality quirks in Jaden McDaniels.
33. Minnesota Timberwolves: Theo Maledon: A big point guard that can defend who should fit as a complement to D’Angelo Russell.
34. Philadelphia 76ers: Cassius Winston: This point guard shoots it extremely well and is an elite passer. He will struggle defensively and is not quick enough to take opponents off the dribble.
35. Sacramento Kings: Tyler Bey: The Kings get another wing that can defend.
36. Philadelphia 76ers: Elijah Hughes: This explosive guard from Syracuse should give the Sixers more perimeter scoring to play in Daryl Morey’s system.
37. Washington Wizards: Tre Jones: A tough defensive minded point guard that can run a team but struggles to shoot and blow by people.
38. New York Knicks: Killian Tillie: Tillie is extremely skilled as a shooter, playmaker and a defender but he has been injury-plagued his entire career. It is a high-upside pick that might not pay dividends if he cannot stay healthy.
Follow John Schmeelk on Twitter: @Schmeelk