By: Charlie DiPasqua
My NBA Mock Draft:
1. Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons, PF, LSU
Simmons is clearly the best player in the draft. You can teach shooting. You can’t teach his athleticism or ball-handling as a big man. It was not Simmons’ fault that LSU did not make the NCAA tournament. Name one other guy on that team. Simmons will end up adjusting to small forward in time for the Sixers.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
Ingram will go second in the draft. It is a toss-up between Simmons and Ingram to go number one. I would compare him to Kevin Durant because of his shooting ability and length as a defender. Ingram is not a project, but he will take two years to develop. He will have standout moments. Pending free agency, the Lakers will likely be a top 5 pick next year too.
3. Boston Celtics – Dragan Bender, PF, Croatia
The Celtics are in desperate need of a big man. Bender could go to Boston here, but there have been trade talks potentially with the Sixers or Kings. Please don’t trade Okafor to the Celtics!! Those trades will not end up happening. Bender will fit in with their system. Boston is a potential Eastern Conference Finals team.
4 . Phoenix Suns – Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Kentucky
The Suns may have plenty of guards with Bledsoe, Knight, and Booker, but you can get good value with Murray at number four. You take the best player available in this situation. Murray is the full package, being able to score and defend. I think Bledsoe will be traded.
5 . Minnesota Timberwolves – Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
Can we just trade this pick to the Chicago Bulls already? Jimmy Butler will find his way to Minnesota and play for his former head coach Tom Thibodeau. Either way, Dunn will go number five to the Bulls or Timberwolves.
6 . New Orleans Pelicans – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma
Every team in the NBA knows that Anthony Davis is the face of the Pelicans’ franchise. However, Davis will have more one-on-one opportunities to score if you add a perimeter shooter like Buddy Hield.
7 . Denver Nuggets – Jaylen Brown, SF, California
The Nuggets are in need of a small forward, even though they have Danilo Gallinari. Be honest, they have not been the same team since trading Carmelo Anthony. If you add a player like Brown, you get another young player who could play alongside Emmanuel Mudiay.
8 . Sacramento Kings – Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
This is a high risk, high reward type of pick. Chriss has a lot of athleticism and can play bully-ball. He kind of reminds me of the “Greek Freak” in Giannis Antetokounmpo. DeMarcus Cousins has not had a player to alongside with in years. Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo do not count. However, a player like Chriss will take more pressure off Cousins and giving better opportunities to other players on the team.
9 . Toronto Raptors – Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette
A surprise pick out of Marquette. Ellenson has a lot of potential and can be stashed away on a talented roster. If the Knicks were here, they would probably take Denzel Valentine.
10 . Milwaukee Bucks – Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
Since Larry Sanders went out in the sunset with his very own rapping career, the Bucks need to look for bigs. The big men on the roster are not good enough, expect for Greg Monroe. Standing at 7’1″ Poeltl can provide an instant impact on both ends of the court.