NBA Mock Draft: Lottery Predictions
- Sixers (via Celtics) – PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
The Sixers will take the consensus best player in the draft in Fultz; he has all the skills to be an explosive two-way point guard. Fultz doesn’t have any weaknesses in his game, but does need to put on more weight; he is the star PG this team has been waiting for.
- Lakers – PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
The connection between the Lakers and Ball has seemed long overdue and the trade of PG D’Angelo Russell solidified it. Ball has the most star potential of anyone in the draft and the Lakers have been missing a star since Kobe; Ball and his family will add excitement to the Lakers. Ball’s passing skills will help the Lakers with shot selection which has been an ongoing problem.
- Celtics (via Sixers) – SF/SG Josh Jackson, Kansas
The Celtics traded down with the value of getting an additional high 1st round pick. The Celtics still have their pick of quality players at this spot and will go with Jackson; if this pick isn’t packaged for a veteran. Jackson is a solid perimeter defender with great athleticism and a growing offensive game; once he develops a consistent jump shot sky is the limit.
- Suns – SF Jayson Tatum, Duke
The Suns could go many ways with this pick, but the best player on the board and the best fit at this point is Tatum. Tatum has good size, rebounding, and a solid jump shot that is consistent from mid-range, but he has not reached his full potential due to injury and one year in college. Tatum would be a nice fit in this up-tempo offense and a solid sidekick to SG Devin Booker.
- Kings – PG De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
The Kings are in dire need of long term help at PG and while they would love a shot at Jackson or Tatum to replace SF Rudy Gay, both should be off the board at this point. Fox has risen up draft boards since the tournament, after showing off his defense and explosiveness; however, he needs to develop a consistent shot and put on more weight.
- Magic –SG Malik Monk, Kentucky
The Magic need to improve their outside shooting and Monk is one of the better, more consistent scorers in the draft. Monk is an explosive scorer who can bring instant offense and offers value with PG experience, as a combo guard; the Magic need someone who can shoot other than SG/SF Evan Fournier.
- T-Wolves –SF Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
The T-Wolves have a solid starting lineup and can really afford to pick the best player available. Issac is a lanky defender with good athleticism and an improving offensive game with range out to the 3pt line. Issac is looked at as a potential problem at SF or an extreme two-way mismatch as a stretch PF; either way his potential is very high. Issac would be a perfect fit with the T-Wolves as Coach Thibodeau loves physical defenders.
- Knicks – PG Dennis Smith Jr., NC State
The Knicks need a PG to build around after losing PG Derrick Rose sent the season into a downward spiral with no real replacement in place and he is now a free agent. Smith is considered one of the most explosive players in the draft with a solid all-around game, but his injury history scares off most teams.
- Mavs – PF Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
The Mavs need to find a long term PG, if Yogi Ferrell is not the answer, or a replacement for Dirk at PF. Luckily, Markkanen could be a possible Dirk replacement and could learn a lot from him while playing next to him. Markkanen has good size, blocking ability, and the potential to be a solid stretch 4 with range out to the 3pt line; however he needs to improve his consistency and overall defense.
- Kings – PG Frank Ntilikina, France
The Kings are looking for another young player to add to their roster with their 2nd pick in the top 10 and at this point can go with the best player available. Ntilikina is a lanky PG with good defense ability and a developing offensive game, but he is only 18 and needs to continue to get better. The Kings have the time to allow him to develop into a solid combo guard with a lot of potential.
- Hornets – SG Donovan Mitchell, Louisville
The Hornets don’t have an immediate need, as they have a solid starting lineup, which allows them to pick the best player on the board. Mitchell is a tough two-way guard with good perimeter defense and an improved outside jumper; he also has experience at both SG and PG. Mitchell could serve as backup PG to Walker and continue to bring intensity off the bench.
- Pistons – PF/C Zach Collins, Gonzaga
The Pistons could use help down bottom off the bench and Zach Collins is a solid two-way big man who doesn’t have many weaknesses in his game and stretch 4 potential. However, Collins averaged about 17 mins a game and teams aren’t sure what they will get based on his sample size, but he was very productive. Collins needs to stay out of foul trouble and continue to polish his game, but he has starter potential.
- Nuggets – SF OG Anunoby, Indiana
The Nuggets have young prospects at every position, but SF and Anunoby is the best SF prospect on the board at this point. Anunoby is a solid defender who can guard multiple positions and really shutdown his player, but two injuries ended his season. Anunoby needs to continue to improve his shooting consistency, but he has starting potential, if he can stay healthy.
- Heat – SG Luke Kennard, Duke
The Heat could go many ways with this pick, as they could use help on the wing and depth inside and at PG. Kennard is one of the best outside shooters in the draft and he has the ability to create his own shot, pass, and score in many ways, but many teams question his ability to defend at the next level. Kennard could really help the Heat space the floor, replacing SG Wayne Ellington.