The college basketball season is, unfortunately, coming to an end. It’s only a couple of days before a national champion is crowned and a runner-up is sadly determined. With March Madness coming to a close, it’s time for another chapter: NBA Mock Draft season.
Without a doubt this year’s March Madness run has been wild, and that’s probably an understatement. Every year, we see players make a run and further cement their status amount the top of any NBA mock draft. However, this year has been a bit different.
There hasn’t been a Kemba Walker-esque player. Nonetheless, it’s early, but let’s give it a shot.
NBA Mock Draft: Lottery Edition
The most important thing to remember is the standings could absolutely go upside down rather quickly. On the other hand, some players could shock the world and decide not to enter the draft. However, the latter is usually not the case, except in rare circumstances.
Here goes nothing.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves— Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State
But the Wolves have D’Angelo Russel!
Who cares. Cade Cunningham is THAT good. He’s a star, he’s sensational, he’s the number one pick for a reason. He averaged 20.1 points, with 6.2 boards, and 3.5 assists in his lone season with the Cowboys.
Friendly reminder that Cade Cunningham will have no issues adapting to the NBA. Elite vision and accuracy. He was doing this with the entire DEF collapsing on every drive. I don't understand how people are convincing themselves that he won't be a stud w/ NBA spacing and shooters. pic.twitter.com/lZHvq7T2Dn
— Tyler Metcalf (@tmetcalf11) March 25, 2021
2. Houston Rockets— Jalen Green, SG, G-League Ignite
With Christian Wood in Houston for a while–possibly–they don’t need a big. Enter Jalen Green.
The talented teenager decided to join the G-League Ignite and has lit it up since going there. Arguably any other year Green would go first overall. Unfortunately, Cunningham is that good that it’s not really a contest.
He’s one of the most explosive players we’ve ever seen for his age and absolutely torched opponents in the G League bubble.
Jalen Green is so damn quick with the basketball, exciting to see him leverage that athleticism and pressure the paint
74 FG% at the rim in the G League Bubble, with 30% FGA coming in the restricted area, only 44% rim FGM unassisted pic.twitter.com/4xwfhxW9AM
— Brian Geisinger (@bgeis_bird) March 30, 2021
Kevin Porter Jr., Wood, and Green is a great nucleus for this young, rebuilding Rockets team to build around.
3. Detroit Pistons– Evan Mobley, C, USC
Now, before you say it, yes, Isaiah Stewart was drafted this past year. That’s fine, because Mobley is better. If you watched USC and their magical run in March Madness you would know.
He averaged 16.4 points with 8.7 boards in his lone season as a Trojan and projects, without question, as a top-three pick. In case you missed it, watch him drop this HAMMER.
EVAN MOBLEY WITH THE EXCLAMATION POINT FOR USC 🔨🔨🔨
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 29, 2021
4. Cleveland Cavaliers— Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga
The other Jalen, and this isn’t even a consolation prize. Jalen Suggs has been phenomenal for a Gonzaga team that has remained the best in college basketball all year.
He can score at every level, he can defend, he can pass, rebound, you name it. He’ll do it. He averaged 14 points, with 5.5 boards, and 4.5 dimes during his one-year stint with the Zags. And man is he exciting to watch.
Jalen Suggs has been balling during the Tourney
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 30, 2021
5. Orlando Magic— Corey Kispert, G/F, Gonzaga
Another Gonzaga player? Yes.
Sure, Corey Kispert is a four-year player at Gonzaga, but that’s ok. Players of his nature are a rare breed, just look for yourself.
Corey Kispert coming off the double pin-down and hitting his first 3-pointer of the game.
Contested yet still cash. pic.twitter.com/a63VTByiQ6
— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) March 28, 2021
That release is as quick as it gets and something you can’t teach. The Magic would get a bonafide three-point stud who can immediately make contributions for them. Plus, he shot a blistering 41% from beyond the arc in his Zags career, including a 45% mark with more than 18 points per game this season.
6. Washington Wizards— Moses Moody, G, Arkansas
He showed out in his one year at Arkansas and was a huge reason for the Razorbacks’ success. He averaged 16.8 points per game as a freshman and can help in every way imaginable.
Plus, if Beal or Russell Westbrook leave, he could eventually be a starter for a rebuilding Wizards squad.
7. Toronto Raptors— Kai Jones, C, Texas
This might be a reach, perse, but the Raptors need a center. As it turns out, Toronto absolutely desperately needs a big man. Sure, maybe Andre Drummond goes there, maybe not.
Above all, the need for a center is evident in Toronto. While Kai Jones‘ numbers weren’t fantastic, the talent and potential is there, without question.
8. Chicago Bulls— Jonathan Kuminga, SF/PF, G League Ignite
The G League Ignite is owning the first round of the NBA Draft. Moreover, the Bulls could easily wind up as a playoff team and avoid a top-10 pick.
Enter Kuminga, who is a freak of nature. Nonetheless, the Bulls don’t even blink at this pick.
Lottery prospect Jonathan Kuminga showed out in his G-League debut.
∙ 19 Pts
∙ 4 Ast
∙ Game-sealing block
∙ Ignite Win pic.twitter.com/q7dMqfIdKB
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 10, 2021
9. Oklahoma City Thunder— Keon Johnson, G/F, Tennessee
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gets his backcourt mate of the future. With Sam Presti and the Thunder’s enormous amount of firsts, this time will be scary–eventually.
Even so, what the Thunder ultimately do in the summer will hinge the direction of this pick. However, Keon Johnson at nine is an absolute steal, with people throwing out top-five grades for the Volunteer.
10. New Orleans Pelicans— Josh Giddey, PG, Australia
The Pelicans get a young point guard with a tremendous amount of talent. Haven’t heard of him? Click the link and enjoy the show. A Giddey, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson core is something to build on–assuming Lonzo leaves town.
11. Indiana Pacers— Scottie Barnes, SF/PF, Florida State
12. Sacramento Kings— Franz Wagner, SF/PF, Michigan
If you watched the tourney, you know the name, plain and simple. Harrison Barnes is probably gone this summer, and maybe others. Still, a De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Franz Wagner core is full of playmakers who can score.
13. Memphis Grizzlies— Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State
14. Boston Celtics— Ayu Dosunmu, PG, Illinois
Clearly, the Celtics might not pick here, or they might, who knows. Finally, they get their heir-apparent to Kemba Walker at the point guard position. Ayo Dosunmu struggled against Loyola Chicago, then again everybody did. He would be perfect next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Stay tuned for more editions of the NBA Mock Draft.
Embed from Getty Images