- New York Knicks- Zion Williamson, SF/PF, Duke
If the Knicks get the ping-pong balls to roll their way and spend their cap space well, they could go from worst to first in the East. If they sign Kevin Durant and another wing such as Jimmy Butler, then the Knicks’ 2019-2020 lineup could be looking like Smith Jr., Butler, Durant, Williamson, Robinson, and that’s dangerous. Zion is averaging 22.0 points per game, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 2.3 steals. He is absolutely dominating the college scene as much as he was in high school, and all of his numbers have gone up from my last Mock. Williamson, in my mind, is now officially the consensus No. 1 overall pick.
- Phoenix Suns- Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
Although the Suns may have traded for guard Tyler Johnson, he won’t make the Suns pass on Ja. Morant is still averaging a double-double in 23.9 points and an NCAA high, 10.2 assists, adding 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game, all but his steals are marginally down from Mock 1.0. He is now up to 5.1 turnovers a game which is still high and one of his only drawbacks. The Russell Westbrook comparison is still there however Ja is having more success from the field at 50.3%. A majority of his baskets are layups and dunks which probably won’t transfer to the NBA. The other question that there is about Ja is the level of play at Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference. Hopefully for Ja, he can carry the Racers to the Ohio Valley title and face some tougher competition on national television in the NCAA Tournament.
- Cleveland Cavaliers- R. J. Barrett, SG/SF, Duke
Like I said last time, R.J. has a lower ceiling but a higher floor than Zion Williamson, but not nearly the hype. The six-foot seven Canadian is averaging 22.7 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Barrett would be a good fit on the Cavs, taking over the Jordan Clarkson role on the Cavaliers as the number one scoring option. While Zion has all of the dunks and the Top Ten plays, R.J. is scoring more and is becoming a lethal shooter and a pure scorer, similar to a DeMar DeRozan or a Bradley Beal.
- Chicago Bulls- Cam Reddish, SG/SF, Duke
Yes, Cam is a wing, and yes, the Bulls just acquired Otto Porter Jr., but the Bulls still need wings. Reddish has struggled to get the ball at Duke but he’s starting to hit the limited shots he’s getting, more and more. His stat line is 14.0 points per game, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Reddish has the best NBA frame and defensive ability to become an elite 3-and-D wing which every team can’t get enough of. Cam has the skill set of Paul George and its getting easier to see that with Reddish scoring 22, 17, and 24 points in Duke’s last three games. If the Bulls don’t want to pay point guard Kris Dunn and/or the Suns pass on Ja Morant, I could definitely see the Bulls going with the Murray State guard.
- Atlanta Hawks- Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana
Romeo Langford is a promising guard averaging 17.5 points per game and adding 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Langford would be a great fit for the Hawks as he will need a year or two to adapt to the NBA. While he has continued to have problems producing against strong competition, Romeo Langford has all the skills and the build to be a solid player in the NBA. That being said he has the highest bust potential out of the top five picks in this mock draft. A pro for Langford is how poor his team around him is and how tough the Big Ten is this year. He will score 15-20 points against a team, but it won’t be super flashy.
- Memphis Grizzlies- Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
Due to the Grizzlies trading away franchise center, Marc Gasol, there is a potential need there. Jonas Valanciunas is the current center and is starting to find his stride in Memphis. In the last Mock Draft, I had the Grizzlies selecting Jarret Culver, a shooting guard out of Texas Tech, but due to Avery Bradley’s scoring coming back, a shooting guard isn’t a need anymore. Now I’m having the Grizzlies select point guard Darius Garland out of Vanderbilt. Darius Garland came into this season as the top point guard in the recruiting class. In Garland’s five games prior to his injury he played he averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and a lights-out 48% from the three-point line. Due to Garland coming off of injury, and the Grizzlies showing they are willing to part ways with Mike Conley, Garland would be a great piece to add alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. in the upcoming rebuild for Memphis.
- Washington Wizards- Bol Bol, C, Oregon
The Wizards are having a below average season fueled by injuries to Dwight Howard and John Wall, made worse by John Wall getting another injury on top of his existing injury. The Dwight Howard experiment has completely failed and it’s all but certain that the two will part ways this off-season, so Bol Bol would be a perfect fit. After trading away Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls, the Wizards were able to free up nearly $28 million in cap-space. This makes the Wizards be put into a tough spot, will they choose to re-build on the fly and sign a player this season or blow it all sky-high and trade Bradley Beal and start to tank until they could trade John Wall. The rebuild on the fly seems likely due to John Wall’s supermax salary making him virtually immovable, especially without trading away draft capital. Bol Bol was having a fantastic season for the Ducks before he had a season ending injury so his stat line of 21 points per game, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks hasn’t changed. Bol Bol did have a crazy 52% three-point percentage, perfect for the modern NBA’s center.
- New Orleans Pelicans- Jarret Culver, SG, Texas Tech
New Orleans is in shambles after All-NBA talent Anthony Davis requested a trade. This pick will be hard to predict if Davis goes as the return is unknown. Also unknown is whether or not Julius Randle will resign in New Orleans as he will most likely opt out of his player option this summer due to him out playing his $8.6 million salary. I have opted for the Pelicans to go for the best available rout in shooting guard Jarret Culver. Jarret is the second sophomore to be drafted in this mock after Morant, and he is having a solid second year. Culver is now scoring 17.7 points each game, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals. All of these stats are down from the first mock draft as Culver’s red-hot start is cooling down. Culver is playing a lot more point guard this season showing he could potentially be a combo guard in the NBA. If Randle signs elsewhere, Jaxon Hayes could be another option for the Pelicans.
- Orlando Magic- Nassir Little, SF, UNC
Last mock draft the Magic selected Darius Garland. Although he’s already off the board in this draft, he wouldn’t have been selected by Orlando. Their seemingly decade long need for a point guard could be filled due to the acquisition of point guard Markelle Fultz from Philadelphia for Johnathan Simmons, a first, and second-round pick. Fultz is a flyer for the Magic, but no other point guards are on the board and there’s no way Orlando would draft Duke’s Tre Jones or Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu in the lottery, let alone the top ten. The last two seasons, the Magic have selected Johnathan Isaac and Mohammed Bamba, two raw players with freaky high athleticism and Nassir Little fits into this mold. Little has had a hard time getting into Roy Williams’ rotation only playing an average of 18.7 minutes per game. Nassir is averaging 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game. Little has a large ceiling and with Orlando developing a very nice young core, look out for the Magic in a year or two.
- Atlanta Hawks (Traded from Dallas) Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
The Hawks picked Trae Young over Luka Doncic, ouch. At least they get some form of compensation in an additional lottery pick. The Hawks line-up this season is currently Young, Huerter, Prince, Collins, and Dedmon. After picking Romeo, or another wing earlier in the draft, the only player that isn’t young and could be upgraded on is Dwyane Dedmon. Jaxon Hayes could be that player. He’s now scoring 10.5 points per game, and 5.2 rebounds per game. He is one of the best blockers in the NCAA, the sixteenth best, with 2.4 blocks per game, and he’s second in the NCAA in field goal percentage, 75%, proving how efficient of a big-man he is. Hayes is the best fit for the Hawks so if the Mavericks’ end up keeping this pick (top five protection), look out for the Hawks taking him with their own pick. The Mavericks would probably take Ja Morant (if available) if they ended up in the top four.