NBA Final Mock Draft
By Ashkan Motamedi
1 Pelicans Zion Williamson PF
Easy pick no reason to explain this my pro comparison is a more athletic Charles Barkley
2 Grizzlies Ja Morant PG
Another easy pick as they get their point guard of the future. My pro comparison is Chris Paul and I’m very high on Morant. Can’t wait to watch him play.
3 Knicks R.J Barrett F/G
Knicks did not get what they want in Zion Williamson but will have to settle for Barrett instead. I’m not as high on Barrett as others as his decision making down the stretch was not good. Just go back and watch Duke losses to see what I am talking about. However a potential front court paring of Barret and Kevin Knox could get the Knicks somewhere if they miss out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I do believe Barrett will be able to handle the New York media as well.
4 Hawks Deandre Hunter F
Hawks trade up get their guy in a wing player who can shot with a 48% three point percentage, play defense. I predict that in a few years Hunter will be NBA first team all defense. This will also add to an already solid young Hawks core. They really love Hunter enough to trade their assets for him.
5 Cavs Darius Garland PG
Garland falls to the Cavs because of trades. It is however a risk reward pick but the Cavs time to develop him with his high upside. Injuries are a question so I can see this pick going in the opposite direction. He can help provide a spark for the backcourt of the Cavs in their rebuild. My pro comparison is Damein Lillard without the glutch gene.
6 Suns Jared Culiver PG
Suns need a point guard to pair with Devin Booker plain and simple. They were hoping they get Morant but now they really love Culiver and might have to trade up to four to get him. Either way they give Devin Booker some help with a shooter to run the point.
7 Bulls Coby White PG
One of my favorite players in this draft class. White can do it all and proved it at UNC. He has good size for a guard so he will be able to switch onto multiple players. White can shot the rock with big range and he gets paired with some young assets on this Bulls team. I like this fit and pick a lot by the Bulls. Only team I see taking White is the Wizards but they have to trade up.
8 Pelicans Cam Reddish SF
Well the Pelicans have this pick now If Reddish cannot make his threes I’m not sure what else he can offer you. Reddish has great upside that comes with his game. However Reddish that can get hot and cold quickly. This player is the one scouts are going back and forth on. All Star talent or underachieving role player like fellow Duke alumni Luke Kennard.. To me however this is his best fit in the NBA outside of the Rockets . However now he is going to be paired with teammate Zion Williamson.
9 Wizards Sekou Doumbouya PF (potential trade down pick)
How have the Wizards managed to screw up their General Manager search? You know their old general manager/president Ernie Grunfeld loved his international players to develop and gain control off. Guess what his right hand man Tommy Sheppard is in control of this draft and you know if they do not get White. Sheppard will follow Grunfeld philosophy and take Doumbouva at nine. The Wizards meet with him but did not work him out. I do not know much about him but know he is young and may not be NBA ready to contribute once the season starts.
10 Hawks Jaxson Hayes C
Position of need here with a loaded backcourt and a player I like. You take care of forward spot with Hunter now you go after center Alex Len is a good role player that is it. Hayes can come in and offer the Hawks much needed defense around the rim two blocks per game and can offer offense around the rim as well (72.8 FG%). Only thing is he was a one and done player and will need time to flourish to become a reliable NBA big man. In a growing trend of centers moving outside the paint on offense being more athletic .
11 Wolves Nassir Little F
Was overshadowed at UNC but finally broke out a in March to show his potential as a lottery pick. Little will be raw and need some development in the NBA as he lacks shooting. He can play both forward spots and has great athleticism so it can be a great paring with Karl-Anthony Towns. However his game needs polishing in certain areas. However with the Wolves in full rebuild mode and needing some front court depth with Andrew Wiggins being on the trade block best pick up here is Little. Though the Wolves do like Garland want to trade up for him so if they go guard here or higher up the draft it will not shock me.
12 Hornets Rui Hachimura,
This is what is tough about the Draft being before free agency unlike in the NFL. Hornets draft pick could be based on feel on Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb coming back or not. To me this is a best player on the board situation if they cannot move up. Rui Hachimura is a long, athletic forward who lead a Gonzaga team to the Elite Eight. There is concerns about commitment issues how his game will come to form in the NBA. Michael Jordan has not been great with NBA drafts in the past and this will be a risky pick but there is potential there.
13 Heat Tyler Herro SG
Who am I to judge Kentucky players willingness to move up on draft boards. Best fit my mind for Herro is the Heat who are guard hungry and need shooting. His shooting and off ball movement is among the best in the draft. Herro has range and game and oh he shoots above 90% free throw line so there is your closer down the stretch to isolate the game at the free throw line. Only problems you see is his defense and being little undersized but that can come with development. Either way the Heat get one of the steals and talents of the draft to help the rebuild post Dwayne Wade era. Pro comparison – Klay Thompson (not as good as a defender)
14 Celtics PJ Washington F
Kentucky players going back to back. This is another pick where their feel of how free agency will go determines who they take at 14. PJ Washington seems like the smart pick here can do it all rebound post up play (jump hook is awesome) and he plays hard physical defense. He can also shot the three ball well and force defenders to close out. Washington improved a lot his sophomore season and learned from John Calipari the potential is through the roof.
15 Pistons Romeo Langford SG
With Herro off the board they need some guard help and go with Langford who has great intrigue and talent shown off at Indiana. He can score and get downhill quick on the pick and roll. Playing through injury most of his freshman year Langford never showed his true potential and the Pistons need a guard like him to operate their offense.
16 Magic Nickeli Alexander Walker G
The Magic are another team with some important free agents including Nikola Vucevic. That could factor in some of their draft decisions. I do believe however they need a guard here to run their offense. I actually think with some time and development Alexander Walker can development into a solid two player. You saw that potential his sophomore year at Virginia Tech. Their backcourt consisted off Markelle Fultz, D.J. Augustin and Terrence Ross who is a free agent. That is not going to take you to the next step you are trying to take.
17 Hawks (potential trade pick ) —– Now Pelicans Brandon Clarke F
Hawks got assets to use on draft night to trade up meaning this pick could be traded away. (update now the Pelicans have this pick I believe Pelicans go with Clarke here to add onto their young lineup. Clarke is a defensive asset to go along with being the pick and roll asset on offense. Clarke is also 23 years old so I suspect he will start right away and be a good locker room leader as well with the Pelicans. Now the Pelicans add 8 17 and 35 to get more assets they are making moves.
18 Pacers Keldon Johnson F
I love Keldon Johnson I loved watching him play at Kentucky. His defense to me where he excels Johnson can guard multiple positions close out well on shooters. On offense he has the tendency to be gun shy but that doesn’t mean he cannot develop better shooting in the NBA. Johnson has excellent size and can get to the rim with his slashing ability makes this pick a good one for the Pacers. This could be a position of need for the Pacers as well.
19 Spurs Goga Bitadze C
Just like the first four picks in the draft this pick was a no brainer to me. This pick screams Gregg Popovich an international big man who can develop under the guidance of LaMarcus Aldridge. While the Spurs fill needed frontcourt depth with this 19 year old center who played against the best international talent. With a height of 6’11and the ability to stretch the floor and shoot while being a rim protector on defense. Gregg Popovich could have a special talent here with a questionable future for the Spurs front court
20 Celtics Bol Bol C
It’s simple here you have three first round picks to use and now center has become a big need with Horford moving on. Why not replace him with one of the most intriguing prospects this draft has to offer. Bol Bol is just like his farther and can stretch the floor his talent is so there to the point where he can be a cornerstone for your team. Only problem with a guy this big is durability and Bol Bol health was a problem in college taking away most of his freshman year he will need to get into NBA shape. orHyou
21 Thunder (trade back pick) Cam Johnson F
Thunder needs shooters badly to help out Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Enter Cam Johnson one of the best shooters in college basketball this past year. He is one of the older players in the draft at age 23 so I expect him to play right away. You know with Westbrook on offense doing his thing Johnson will get a lot of looks his rookie year and beyond.
22 Celtics Kevin Porter Jr. G
I’m not high on Porter Jr. as other picks which is the reason why he has fallen here. However there are a lot of question marks about him as well off the court. However Porter Jr. is a lottery talent and the Celtics need backcourt depth as they are losing Kyrie Irving to free agency. So I believe this pick is a best player left on the board pick.
23 Grizzlies Ty Jerome G
Ah yes a trade in getting this pick from the Jazz for Mike Conley. Well you trade your guard to draft another guard to go alongside new guy Ja Morant. Jerome is a steal in my mind he has it all. Size, can shot, create his own shot, run the point and plays great defense has great ball IQ. A backcourt of Morant and Jerome can be a lethal backcourt in the future.
24 76ers Matisse Thybulle F/G (trade back/trade up pick)
The most tricky pick here for me to predict as the 76ers could have some needs at guard or forward. It all depends on free agency with JJ Reddick, Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler all being free agents. Thybulle has the potential to be a lockdown defender in the NBA. His ability to shoot and defend multiple positions with his versatility gives him huge upside. Remember Robert Covington well this is the role I see Thybulle having with the 76ers.
25 Blazers KZ Okpala F
Need more front court players to help out with their loaded backcourt. Okpala is physical and can Warrdefend and offers long term upside and development. He is as raw as meat on a Sunday morning needs time to grow. This is simply a best player on the board and develop him to be a key player years to come.
26 Cavs Mfiondu Kabengle C
If you need a center this draft offers a lot of them. Kabengle is a one of the better defensive centers in the draft. At 6’10 Kabengle is a force at alerting or blocking shots at the rim and is underrated around the rim Cavs can have their center of the future here to develop behind Tristan Thompson and be mentored by Kevin Love.
27 Nets Bruno Fernando C
One of the most athletic draft prospects this draft has to offer. I like to call him a freak on the court and being a spark plug. A rebounding machine who can post up but also can shot it with his improved range and put the ball in the basket while being a rim protector on defense. His stock is improving and he can run with any lineup on the floor and can you imagine a Fernando Irving pick and roll!
28 Warriors Eric Paschall F
Surprisingly the Warriors have a lot of needs depth at wing, a center and a backup guard with Shaun Livingston potential retirement. Paschall here at 28 offers the best chance to contribute right away being at age 23. Also Paschall offers shooting which well the Warriors want and could use with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson out with injury. Paschall ability to guard multiple positions on defense will be key too. However this is one of those picks where the Warriors can go a lot of different routes here.
29 Spurs Luka Samanic F
More front court depth for the Spurs here. I have read that the Spurs are really interested in Samanic and he will most likely be available at 29. Another international prospect here for Gregg Popovich to take in and develop. Looking at him he needs to put on some muscle to match the physicality of the NBA. It may take a year or two to breakout with potential but there is talent there with his jump shot. He can spread the floor and be a playmaker out on the perimeter and hopefully is a factor in the Spurs going back to the top of the NBA.
30 Pistons Darius Bazley F
So the Pistons now have pick 30 after a trade with the Bucks last night. They take a shooter with some pop and can defend to give them a much needed help position of need