The first mock draft of the year is always exciting, and usually way off. The College Basketball season is just getting underway and we have seen some great play already. What we do know is that the top of this draft class is deep. The separation of talent between it and other draft classes will be determined in time. Overall, the prospect pool is littered with Point Guards and Freshman. As we get closer to March Madness, it will be interesting to see what players will step up and which ones regress.
For now, for this first mock draft, I have focused solely on slotting players into their rightful draft slot. As we get past the trade deadline, have some understanding of what the standings will look like at the end of the year, and we know what players are heading back to school, this column will get more and more drilled down and specific.
Round 1 (Based on standings as of January 8th)
#1. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn Nets)
Markelle Fultz, PG, 6’4″, Washington, Freshman
Strengths: Incredibly Athletic, Full Offensive Arsenal, Versatile Defender.
Weaknesses: Needs To Get Stronger.
NBA Comps: Zach Lavine / Russell Westbrook
#2. Miami Heat
Josh Jackson, SG/SF, 6’8″, Kansas, Freshman
Strengths: NBA Ready Body, A+ Athleticism, Plays Both Ends Of The Floor, Can Get To The Rim With Ease.
Weaknesses: Streaky Shooter, Can Force Too Much Offensively At Times.
NBA Comps: Otto Porter / Kawhi Leonard
#3. Philadelphia 76ers
Lonzo Ball, PG, 6’6″, UCLA, Freshman
Strengths: Size, Passing, Court Vision, Leadership.
Weaknesses: Average Outside Shot, Needs To Add Strength.
NBA Comps: Rajon Rondo / Jason Kidd
#4. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jayson Tatum, SF, 6’8″, Duke, Freshman
Strengths: Full Offensive Game, Solid Defensively, Can Get Anywhere He Needs Offensively.
Weaknesses: Needs To Add Size, Shot Selection.
NBA Comps: Bonzi Wells / Paul Pierce
#5. Dallas Mavericks
Dennis Smith, PG, 6’2″, NC State, Freshman
Strengths: Extremely Athletic, Can Finish In Traffic, Willing Passer, Leadership.
Weaknesses: Not Yet A Lock-Down Defender, Outside Shooting.
NBA Comps: Eric Bledsoe / Steve Francis
#6. Phoenix Suns
Malik Monk, SG, 6’3″, Kentucky, Freshman
Strengths: Pure Scorer, NBA Ready Body, Good Off The Ball, Can Take Over When Things Break Down,
Weaknesses: Undersized For A SG, Can Improve Defensively, Can Play Some PG Though Not A Natural Distributor.
NBA Comps: Bradley Beal / Monta Ellis.
#7. Philadelphia 76ers (from Los Angeles Lakers)
Frank Ntilikina, PG, 6’5″, France
Strengths: Above Average Passer, Great Ball Handler, Floor Leader.
Weaknesses: Defense, Outside Shooting.
NBA Comps: Michael Carter-Williams / Anfernee Hardaway
#8. New Orleans Pelicans
Harry Giles, PF, 6’10”, Duke, Freshman
Strengths: Quickness, Rebounding, NBA Body, All-Around Game.
Weaknesses: Injury-Prone, Lacks Experience.
NBA Comps: Paul Millsap / Lamar Odom
#9. Denver Nuggets
Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, 6’10”, Florida State, Freshman
Strengths: All-Around Offensive Game, Can Defend The Perimeter, Length, Athleticism.
Weaknesses: Strength, Relies On Athleticism Too Much, Post Defense.
NBA Comps: Maurice Harkless / Rashard Lewis
#10. Sacramento Kings
De’Aaron Fox, PG, 6’3″, Kentucky, Freshman
Strengths: Good On Ball Defender, Great Speed, Can Penetrate With Ease.
Weaknesses: Needs To Improve Strength, Decision Making
NBA Comps: Brandon Jennings / Reggie Jackson
#11. Orlando Magic
Ivan Rabb, PF, 6’11”, California, Sophomore
Strengths: Athletic, Defense, Good All-Around Offensive Game, Plays Smart.
Weaknesses: Needs To Add Muscle.
NBA Comps: Joel Embiid / Tyson Chandler
#12. Detroit Pistons
Lauri Markkanen, PF/C, 7’0″, Arizona, Freshman
Strengths: Inside And Outside Offensive Game, Agile For His Size
Weaknesses: Strength, Still Developing As A Defender.
NBA Comps: Dragan Bender / Kristaps Porzingis
#13. New York Knicks
OG Anunoby, SF, 6’8″, Indiana, Sophomore
Strengths: Length, Strength, Defense.
Weaknesses: Ball Handling, Outside Shooting.
NBA Comps: Marvin Williams / Giannis Antetekuonmpo
#14. Milwaukee Bucks
Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, 6’11”, Germany
Strengths: Inside And Outside Offensive Game, Good Ball Handler For Size.
Weaknesses: Speed, Not As Athletic As Other Stretch 4’s.
NBA Comps: Raef LaFrentz / Dirk Nowitzki
#15. Portland Trailblazers
Robert Williams, PF, 6’8″, Texas A&M, Freshman
Strengths: High Energy, Length, Quickness, Athletic.
Weaknesses: Needs Work Offensively, Gets By On Athleticism Right Now.
NBA Comps: Thon Maker / Keon Clark
#16. Washington Wizards
Miles Bridges, SF, 6’7, Michigan State, Freshman
Strengths: NBA Body, Solid Defender, Can Carry A Team Offensively For Periods.
Weaknesses: Turnover Prone, Decision Making, Outside Shot Cam Improve.
NBA Comps: Michael Kidd-Gilcrest / Aaron Gordon
#17. Chicago Bulls
Jaron Blossomgame, SF, 6’8″, Clemson, Senior
Strengths: A+ Athleticism, Plays Hard On Both Ends, Finishes Well Around The Rim.
Weaknesses: Ball Handling, Outside Shooting.
NBA Comps: Jimmy Butler / Demar DeRozan
#18. Charlotte Hornets
Johnathan Motley, PF, 6’9″, Baylor, Junior
Strengths: Rebounding, Athleticism.
Weaknesses: Consistent Shooting,
Needs To Get Stronger.
NBA Comps: Montrezl Harrell / Ed Davis
#19. Indiana Pacers
Terrance Ferguson, SG, 6’7″, Australia/USA
Strengths: Elite Athleticism, Outside Shooting.
Weaknesses: Lacks On-Court Discipline, Needs To Slow The Game Down Against Higher Competition.
NBA Comps: Zach Lavine / Vince Carter
#20. Atlanta Hawks
Alec Peters, SF/PF, 6’8″, Valparaiso, Senior
Strengths: NBA Ready, Smart, Rebounds Well For His Size, Solid Offensively.
Weaknesses: Lacks Elite Athletcism, Could Get Overpowered At NBA Level.
NBA Comps: Jeff Green / Drew Gooden
#21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Edrice Adebayo, PF/C, 6’10”, Kentucky, Freshman
Strengths: Strength, Athletic, Finishes Well At The Rim, NBA Body.
Weaknesses: Outside Shooting, Not Polished Offensively.
NBA Comps: Dwight Howard / Derrick Favors
#22. Denver Nuggets (from Memphis Grizzlies)
TJ Leaf, PF, 6’10”, UCLA, Freshman
Strengths: Shooting, Passing.
Weaknesses: Speed, Defense.
NBA Comps: Kelly Olynyk / Kevin Love
#23. Utah Jazz.
Jawun Evans, PG, 6’0″, Oklahoma State, Sophomore
Strengths: Ball Handling, On Ball Defense, Outside Shooting.
Weaknesses: Lacks Size To Get His Shot Off, Over-Aggressive Offensively At Times.
NBA Comps: Ty Lawson / Darrell Armstrong
#24. Brooklyn Nets (from Boston Celtics)
Thomas Bryant, C, 6’10”, Indiana, Sophomore.
Strengths: Strength, Rebounding, Polished Offensive Post Game.
Weaknesses: Quickness, Defense.
NBA Comps: Al Jefferson / Jared Sullinger
#25. Toronto Raptors
Tyler Lydon, SF, 6’9″, Syracuse, Sophomore.
Strengths: Solid Offensively Inside and Outside, Quickness, Defensive Effort.
Weaknesses: Consistent Shooting Needed, No Natural Position, Lacks Elite Athleticism.
NBA Comps: Ersan Ilyasova / Jonas Jerebko
#26. Toronto Raptors (from Los Angeles Clippers)
Jonathan Jeanne, C, 7’1″, France
Strengths: Defense, Shot Blocking.
Weaknesses: Needs To Add Muscle, Needs To Improve Offensively.
NBA Comps: Samuel Dalembert / Rudy Gobert
#27. Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rodions Kurucs, SF, 6’8″, Latvia
Strengths: All-Around Offensive Game, Can Create His Own Shot.
Weaknesses: Defense, Strength.
NBA Comps: Danilo Gallinari / Mike Dunleavy
#28. Houston Rockets
Edmond Sumner, SG, 6’5″, Xavier, Sophomore.
Strengths: Ball Handling, Attacking The Rim, Physicality.
Weaknesses: Needs To Improve Outside Shot, Still Developing All Aspects Of His Game.
NBA Comps: Ron Mercer / Tony Snell
#29. San Antonio Spurs
Omer Yurtseven, C, 7’0″, NC State, Freshman.
Strengths: All-Around Offensive Game, Length.
Weaknesses: Needs To Get Stronger, Defense.
NBA Comps: Enes Kanter / Nikola Vucevic
#30. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors)
Josh Hart, SG, 6’5″, Villanova, Senior.
Strengths: Outside Shooting, Effective Without The Ball, Smart.
Weaknesses: Ball Handling, Lacks Elite Athleticism.
NBA Comps: Kyle Korver / Eric Gordon
And there it is- Round 1. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions in the comment section below. You can also post your thoughts to me on Twitter @TheMaineDoug.
This is going to be a great year for the NBA and the Draft. Enjoy!