NBA Mock Draft: Lottery Edition

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NORMAN, OK - FEBRUARY 27: Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) calls a play during overtime against the Oklahoma Sooners on February 27th, 2021 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman Oklahoma. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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.

Top Five

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.

He can do it all: pass, shoot, drive, rebound, play defense, whatever. Just look for yourself. Plus, imagine a three-man lineup of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and Cade? Oh boy.

2. Houston Rockets— Jalen Green, SG, G-League Ignite  

This pick comes down to team fit. If the Detroit Pistons are drafting here, then Evan Mobley is possibly the pick. However, for the sake of conversation, it’s the Rockets.

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.

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 

The Pistons are absolutely, emphatically thrilled to take Evan Mobley here. With Saddiq Bey and Josh Jackson (yes, THAT Josh Jackson) leading the charge, Mobley slides right into a starting role.

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.

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.


Plus, a lineup of Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, and Suggs is going to give opposing defenses headaches.

5. Orlando Magic— Corey Kispert, G/F, Gonzaga 

Another Gonzaga player? Yes.

The Magic traded away Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier at the trade deadline to propel their rebuild. Terrence Ross probably leaves over the summer as well.

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.

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 

Without a doubt, the Wizards offseason is really questionable, and this pick will depend on that. Furthermore, assuming Bradley Beal leaves, Moses Moody is the pick. Either way, he might be the pick.

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.

However, if they end up picking here, Kuminga is their guy. Clearly, the rumors about a courting of Lonzo Ball this summer are legitimate. The rumors of Lauri Markkanen leaving might also be true.

Enter Kuminga, who is a freak of nature. Nonetheless, the Bulls don’t even blink at this pick.

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 

Scottie Barnes somehow falls this far and the Pacers take him without thought. The electric, lengthy forward can slide right in and play with Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis right away.

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 

Josh Christopher can play next to Ja Morant and give the Grizzlies what they need- a legit scorer. He’s an athletic freak and, while it might be early, the Grizz get their guy.

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.

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