By now you’ve probably already read several informative articles written by draft experts who have put in countless hours of research and analysis to give you high quality, informed opinions on this year’s NBA Draft.
This is not one of those articles.
I haven’t watched a single second of tape on any of these guys and prior to about a month ago, I had heard of maybe 3 of them. But hey, I read too and I like to listen to podcasts while I do chores. So I’m not an “expert” on the draft. And by that I mean I have internet opinions. I can’t promise that they are good opinions and I’m willing to bet that most of them are wrong, but hey why not, right?
I figure I’ll use the SBNaiton mock draft as a jumping off point and then I’ll give you my “takes” on each prospect (based on the minutes of effort I’ve given to each one).
He might be really, really good. Or he could be complete trash. You’re potential #1 pick, ladies and gents!
Oh, and his family is a walking circus, which is fine (more power to them to do what they like). Just not sure that’s a number one (or even top-3) pick I want any part of. I guess this is a good year to NOT have a top-3 pick. Sorry, Minny.
2. Golden State Warriors - Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
Again, he could be really special. Great athleticism, special talents, just a questionable motor and inconsistent effort. Not what you want to be banking your future on. Maybe he’ll figure it out and be Dwyane Wade, or maybe he’ll just be another Andrew Wiggins.
3. Charlotte Hornets - James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Again, maybe he’ll be a really special big man with dynamic skills and a modern game. Or maybe he’ll be a rich man’s Robert Williams. Good thing we already have the non-rich-man’s version already. Or said another way, you can find rim-running bigs without using a top-3 pick on one.
4. Chicago Bulls - Killian Hayes, G, Ulm
Here’s the guy that is the sweetheart of Celtics Twitter and podcasts. Not to mention old friend Kevin O’Connor has him number one overall on his big board!
If he drops or the Celtics trade up into the top-8, he could be a great pickup. Sounds like he does a little of everything and he developed overseas playing against good competition. If he’s as good as people say he is, then he could be an immediate contributor and a guy that could really develop for the future.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers - Obi Toppin, C/F, Dayton
Top tier name. Would love to use that name in pun blog headlines for years.
Other than that, I don’t remember much about him except that he’s an all offense, no defense kind of guy. Perhaps a poor man’s Amare Stoudemire? Not my ideal descriptor for the Celtics.
6. Atlanta Hawks - Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Heard him compared to Lamar Odom. Kind of a point forward that can’t shoot. I mean, maybe if he develops his shooting he could be great. Maybe it’s just me but I’m really tired of rooting for young players to figure out shooting.
Seems like a lot of people like him a lot as a solid, smart player. Not a high upside, but reasonably high floor. Perhaps a career rotation guy role player. I’m cool with that if he drops to 14 but I don’t think I want to trade up for him.
8. New York Knicks - Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
Fast and talented scorer. Would be a nice bench option for the Celtics. Again, not sure if I’d want to trade up for him.
9. Washington Wizards - Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
He’s not Bam Adebayo! But we should pick him because ...he’s like Bam Adebayo!
I’m sold on him because he’s a special potential defender and can do a little bit of everything. Just don’t put him under the pressure of naming him the “next Bam.”
Rotationally, I could see him fitting in well with Theis and Timelord to give three good looks from that spot.
Seems like he could go as early as top-3 and as late as 9 to the Wizards. So if we want him, we’ll have to trade up to get him.
Sounds like a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. I could see the Celtics taking a shot on him at 14 but I could also see more high level guys slip to that spot.
11. San Antonio Spurs - Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
Blah blah blah can’t shoot I’m out.
12. Sacramento Kings - Devin Vassell, F, Florida State
This guy CAN shoot! At least he could. There’s a video of him chucking up shots with a drastically changed (for the worse) shooting mechanics that has scouts spooked. Some say he was just messing around, some aren’t too sure.
Maybe he’ll be a great 3-and-D guy. Or maybe he’ll be a taller Markelle Fultz.
13. New Orleans Pelicans - Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
Scoring combo guard. Sure.
14. Boston Celtics - Precious Achiuwa, F/C, Memphis
The Celtics are looking for a big man so Precious fills a role. Plus, great name.
I’m just having trouble understanding what he gives us that Robert Williams doesn’t. Or if you like him more than Timelord, maybe that means a trade is coming. We’ll see.
15. Orlando Magic - Aaron Nesmith, SG, Vanderbilt
Here’s where I talk out of both sides of my mouth. I say I want shooting, but I also want a player that does something (anything!) besides shoot. If he only does that one thing, he better be Duncan Robinson.
Which brings me to Bey, who at least can play defense.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves - Aleksej Pokuševski, F/C, Serbia
Seven footer who plays like a guard. Sounds great, until you see him compared to Dragan Bender.
18. Dallas Mavericks - Josh Green, G, Arizona
The Celtics love guys named Green. (Yup, that’s all I’ve got on him.)
19. Brooklyn Nets - R.J. Hampton, G, Breakers
High upside guy who sounds a bit like Zach LaVine. Could fit the profile of “guy that had high ranking out of high school” that Danny Ainge likes to take a swing on.
20. Miami Heat - Desmond Bane, SG, TCU
Seems like a nice, all around player that would be a nice pickup if he slips this low.
21. Philadelphia 76ers - Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
Good shooter. I think Coach Spins likes him.
22. Denver Nuggets - Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina
Another highly touted high school player that slipped due to a poor college season.
23. Utah Jazz - Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
Seems to be rising up draft boards because he’s a big that can shoot. Not much of a defender though so I’m not sure if he’s a fit.
24. Milwaukee Bucks - Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL Lyon
25. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
Sounds like a guy that has all the physical tools but hasn’t proven he knows how to actually play basketball well. Pass.
26. Boston Celtics - Leandro Bolmaro, G, Barcelona
Everyone has him mocked to the Celtics because he’s a draft-and-stash guy. Which is great except that everyone knows he would be a good pick for us. As Tom Westerholm points out, a team could pick him ahead of the Celtics and demand 26 and 30 if we really want him.
27. New York Knicks - Robert Woodard, F, Mississippi State
28. Los Angeles Lakers - Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
30. Boston Celtics - Grant Riller, G, Charleston
So to sum up, here are my favorites.
- Trade up: Killian Hayes or Onyeka Okongwu
- Stay at 14: Tyrese Haliburton, Kira Lewis Jr., or see if anyone else falls
- 26 or 30: Trade fodder. We could use one or both to move into the top-8 or we could trade just 26 and 30 to get into the late teens. Maybe we’ll need to move one to shed a salary and create a roster spot. Unless someone projected in the 20’s falls, I’m not overly excited about the players we could pick in this range. But once again, what do I know?
Hope you enjoyed this random walk down the draft board. I’m looking forward to learning some more about these guys. Or at least the ones we pick because I’ll largely forget about the others until we play them and I’ll think to myself, “hey, I recognize that name. Oh, he’s taller than I pictured in my head.”
Stay tuned as we count down to the draft because people much smarter than me will be writing about it right here on this blog.
So who are your favorites?