Welcome to my May Mock NBA Draft
High Bust Probability
Not a Sexy Pick, But Fits a Team Need
Decent Probability of Success
Money Pick (Too high of a talent to pass up)
416Basketball Seal of Approval
Disclaimer: I’m not projecting a prospect’s floor or ceiling. When I says reminds me of player X that is who I think of when watching them play.
1) PG – Markelle Fultz – Boston Celtics
The Celtics are in need of a big man, but it’s hard to imagine them reaching on a big when Markelle Fultz is rated significantly better than any big in this draft. I would expect the Celtics to select Markelle Fultz to either keep or potentially trade later.
Reminds me of: Dwyane Wade
2) PG – Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are in need of a franchise player. They have some nice young talent on the roster in D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, Larry Nance, Julius Randle, & Jordan Clarkson, but it’s hard to assume any are a lock to become superstars. Lonzo is a talent, but off court family issues are a little concerning. At the end of the day, Lonzo and his family want him to play for the Lakers and he has a high enough ceiling for the Lakers to consider him at 2.
Reminds me of: A King Size Version of Chris Paul
3) G – Malik Monk – Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers are in an interesting situation where they have a really nice core, but lack shooting. Joel Embiid was phenomenal when he played this season. Dario Saric is in the running for rookie of the year. Ben Simmons didn’t play a game due to being injured but could be an elite passing forward. So the Sixers desperately need a guard that can shoot the ball. Malik Monk just might be the best shooting guard in the draft. Also, I think people are underrating Monk’s playmaking ability because he played beside PG De’Aaron Fox at Kentucky.
Reminds me of: Chauncey Billups
4) SF – Josh Jackson – Phoenix Suns
The Suns are in a similar situation as the Lakers. They have a lot of nice young talent in Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, Tyler Ulis, & TJ Warren but lack a franchise player. Josh Jackson is one of the best defenders in the draft if not the best. The Suns still have Eric Bledsoe so they shouldn’t be obligated to take a point guard.
Reminds me of: Draymond Green
5) SF – Jayson Tatum – Sacramento Kings
I have no idea what the Kings are going to do. Does anyone? I’m asking do you know? The Kings paid a high price for Buddy Hield and he was terrific for them so it’s probably safe to safe the Kings won’t select a shooting guard. Adam Silver: “The Kings select Luke Kennard.” Hopefully, we don’t hear that, but I everything is on the table when in comes to the Kings front office. I like Jayson Tatum for the Kings because he has a high floor. The offensive talent is there and he could be the perfect replacement for Rudy Gay.
Reminds me of: Rudy Gay
6) PG – Dennis Smith – Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic probably need shooting. Dennis Smith might not be the best shooter in the draft, but he’s a competent shooter and one of the better point guards in the draft. Elfrid Payton was solid this season, but has shown he cannot shoot in this era of crazy good NBA shooting. Markkanen is a guy that could help their shooting issues, but I wouldn’t expect them to draft him because I would expect their new management to give Aaron Gordon at least a year of support as the starting PF. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Magic tried to move the pick to trade up or down to better help fill their needs.
Reminds me of: Kemba Walker
7) PF – Lauri Markkanen – Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves are in a unique situation where they already have their superstar in Karl Towns. They also have a great number 2 in Andrew Wiggins. It’s hard to imagine the Wolves select another point guard when they just took Kris Dunn last year and still have Ricky Rubio. So they will likely take a wing or big. Gorgui Dieng has been good for the Wolves, but they could probably use a better player to pair next to Towns. Three-point shooter Lauri Markkanen would help open the court for Towns.
Reminds me of: A Better Shooting Danilo Gallinari
8) PG – De’Aaron Fox – New York Knicks
The Knicks desperately need a point guard for the love of Porzingis. Fox has lightning speed that can defend. If ever figures out shooting the sky is the limit for him.
Reminds me of: Elfrid Payton
9) PG – Frank Ntilikina – Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs need a point guard. I think a lot of people are expecting Markkanen to be here and learn under Dirk, but if that doesn’t happen I think they take Ntilikina. In this age where point guard is the deepest position in the NBA Seth Curry or Yogi Ferrell isn’t the answer to the question who should be the Mavs starting point guard. Ntilikina has experience playing professional basketball overseas.
Reminds me of: A King Size Version of Brandon Jennings
10) FC – Jonathan Isaac – Sacramento Kings
In this scenario Kings probably were hoping Frank Ntilikina was available at 10 after taking Jayson Tatum at 5. Without another highly rated PG on the board, I have them taking Isaac. It’s unclear what position Isaac will be in the NBA. Some people seem to think he’s a SF, but at 6’11 and without a consistent jumper I think he’s best suited to come in and play centre. My big worry about him is his small frame. He looked lost at times playing against bigger guys in the NCAA. If he bulks up he could start off his career being a good role player with an impact on the defensive side of the ball. Otherwise, he could be in over his head.
Reminds me of: Nerlens Noel meets Bobby Portis
11) C – Zach Collins – Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets felt like a playoff team at times this season. Their biggest hole seemed to be at centre. Cody Zeller was a solid role player when he played, but probably isn’t cut out for more than 20-25 minute role. Charlotte trading for Miles Plumlee’s horrific contract was probably a mistake. And I’m not sold on Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky being a starting centre. Since the Hornets have an affinity for white centres how could they possibly pass up on Zach Collins? If they did pass on him and he becomes a star the Hornets will become a joke for finally passing up on a white big who actually turned out to be good. Zach Collins has shown he can score from almost anywhere on the floor and also play above average defensively.
Reminds me of: Myles Turner
12) SG – Luke Kennard – Detroit Pistons
The Pistons desperately need shooting. Malik Monk & Luke Kennard are probably two of the best shooters in this draft. Malik Monk ain’t falling to 12. So it could make sense for the Pistons to take Luke.
Reminds me of: Rodney Hood
13) SF – OG Anunoby – Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets have a deep roster except at PG. If all the highly rated point guards are off the board, so I’m not sure they reach for one. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler are always being rumoured in trades. If they move on from one they would be able to make room for a defensive small forward like OG Anunoby. Also, Will Barton got outplayed by Gary Harris this season, so they might look to move on from Barton as well. I feel like OG would pair well with a guard like Harris or Jamal Murray. If Anunoby ever develops a shot he could be really dangerous in the NBA.
Reminds me of: Andre Roberson
14) PF – Ivan Rabb – Miami Heat
The Heat could go in a bunch of directions with this pick, but I think they go with a PF to pair next to Hassan Whiteside. I don’t know if the Heat believes or believed Justise Winslow to be their PF, but want I do know is that he struggled hard offensively before getting injured. Ivan Rabb is a good rebounder and at 3 inches taller than Winslow and probably better suited to play PF. If the Heat select a PF, Winslow can primarily play SF.
Reminds me of: Julius Randle
15) SF – Justin Jackson – Portland Trailblazers
The Blazers have their PG in Damian Lillard, shooting guard in CJ McCollum, and centre in Jusuf Nurkic. So they are probably looking at a forward here. Justin Jackson does a little bit of everything, but doesn’t excel at one particular skill. If the Blazers were ever looking to trade either Moe Harkless or Al-Farouq Aminu who are both on reasonable contracts Justin Jackson could slide into that kind of role.
Reminds me of: TJ Warren
16) SG – Donovan Mitchell – Chicago Bulls
The Bulls need shooting. If Donovan Mitchell continues to develop his shot he could be a pretty nice two-way player in the NBA.
Reminds me of: Avery Bradley
17) F – Semi Ojeleye – Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have lots of size on their roster, but don’t have massive amounts of shooting outside of Khris Middleton. I don’t know which forward position Semi Ojeleye will play in the NBA, but I believe in his jumper.
Reminds me of: Marcus Morris
18) G – Monte Morris – Indiana Pacers
If the Pacers want a chance at keeping their franchise stud, Paul George, they will need to show him they are better this season. Monte Morris might not have the greatest upside, but he could come in from day 1 and carve out a bench role on this Pacers team.
Reminds me of: A Poor Man’s Ricky Rubio
19) FC – Harry Giles – Atlanta Hawks
If the Hawks are thinking about the future after Dwight Howard, Harry Giles might be their man. Giles was once thought of as a high lottery pick, but after injuries and not showing much in limited action in college will likely push him outside the lottery. If Giles can put everything together he has the tools to be a really good player in the NBA.
Reminds me of: Ed Davis
20) PF – Caleb Swanigan – Portland Trailblazers
So this is the 2nd of the Blazers 3 first round picks. With pick 15 I had them taking a small forward in Justin Jackson. Their other position of need is PF. Caleb Swanigan might just be a good floor stretcher next to Jusuf Nurkic.
Reminds me of: Jared Sullinger
21)PG – Jawun Evans – Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder were the ones that drafted Reggie Jackson roughly around this spot in 2011. He ended up being a good pick for them while he was in OKC. The Thunder traded point guard Cameron Payne to the Bulls at the deadline this year. Me thinks there is an opening for a role behind Westbrook. Could that guy be Jawun Evans?
Reminds me of: Reggie Jackson
22) GF – Terrance Ferguson – Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets desperately need talent. They went with a high-upside guy last year in Caris LeVert and it paid off. Could they do it again with Terrance Ferguson? Ferguson is super athletic and starting to put together a jumper. The raw talent is there, but can he translate that talent into the NBA?
Reminds me of: Early Career DeMar DeRozan
23) PF – TJ Leaf – Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are in a tough spot at both forward spots. PJ Tucker, Patrick Patterson, & Serge Ibaka are all free agents. It’s unlikely that all will be back. If Patterson is the odd man out, TJ Leaf could be a nice replacement. Leaf is a good shooter & is better than advertised on the defensive side of the ball.
Reminds me of: Dario Saric
24) PF – Jordan Bell – Utah Jazz
If the Jazz want to pay big money to bring Gordon Hayward & George Hill back they will likely need to move Derrick Favors who is a free agent in a year. Trey Lyles really struggled when the Jazz needed him most (when Favors was injured). In fact, Lyles shooting numbers were worse than his rookie season which is troubling, to say the least. Jordan Bell isn’t much of a shooter from range, but he is a good defender that can finish around the basket.
Reminds me of: A Fun Size Version of Nerlens Noel
25) SF – Rodions Kurucs – Orlando Magic
If the Magic do snag a point guard with pick 6 they will likely be looking for a wing with this pick. Rodions Kurucs is good at finishing strong around the rim. He also projects as a good shooter and decent passer. With a new front office in place, they can afford to stash him if they need to.
Reminds me of: Joe Ingles Without Any Defense
26) PF – John Collins – Portland Trailblazers
This is the Blazers 3rd first round pick. If they keep the pick I could see them taking another PF here. Yes, I had them taking Swanigan at 20. Not every pick pans out. This would give them another crack at filling PF. John Collins is a good scorer from the paint and a good rebounder. His concerns on defense might be a tad overblown.
Reminds me of: A Poor Man’s LaMarcus Aldridge
27) C – Jarrett Allen – Brooklyn Nets
I had the Nets taking a wing in Terrance Ferguson at pick 22, so maybe they take the best available player with this pick. Jarrett Allen was the best player on my board here. If they Nets are looking for a centre that can change the way they play when Brook Lopez is off the floor this could be their guy. Jarrett Allen is a good defender and rebounder that finishes at well around the basket.
Reminds me of: Tyson Chandler
28) C – Justin Patton – Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are probably looking for someone that has a chance to stay in the NBA with pick 28. Justin Patton certainly has a chance to be that guy for them. Patton is a solid shooter and good defender for a big man. However, he needs to get a little better rebounding the ball. Could be a solid backup for Zubac.
Reminds me of: A Poor Man’s Al Horford
29) G – Derrick White – San Antonio Spurs
With the Spurs on the clock I’m going to say they take a guard. Why a guard you might ask? Tony Parker suffered a major injury and Patty Mills is a free agent. Derrick White is an exceptional shooter around the basket and from range. The knocks on White are that he’s slow and doesn’t have room to grow (will turn 23 years old in July). If I know one thing about the Spurs it’s that they can develop almost anyone.
Reminds me of: Tyler Johnson
30) PF – Tyler Lydon – Utah Jazz
I have the Jazz taking a PF at 24 in Jordan Bell and yes I have them potentially taking another one right here with Tyler Lydon. If my theory about the Jazz is correct about wanting to trade Derrick Favors they will likely need multiple guys to replace him. Jordan Bell is the defensive PF and Tyler Lydon is the floor stretching-shooting PF. If Lydon becomes passable on D he can be an NBA player.
Reminds me of: A Dollar Store Ryan Anderson
That concludes my May NBA Mock Draft.
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C – Christopher “Ike” Anigbogu
C – Edrice “Bam” Adebayo
C – Isaiah Hartenstein
C – Jonathan Jeanne
FC – DJ Wilson
PF – Alec Peters
PF Johnathan Motley
SF – Dwayne Bacon
SG – Josh Hart
PG – Frank Jackson
PG – Frank Mason
These were just some names that I think could creep into the first round, but couldn’t find a team to pick them. Thanks for reading my May NBA Mock Draft.