So this draft is absolutely unpredictable and insane. If I get five of these picks correct, I will have considered it a success. I'll give a quick one or two sentences on each pick, but this will mostly be shorter than most things that I write. This isn't even going to be close to accurate because I'm predicting a lot of movement. For instance, I think Oklahoma City is going to move up in order to get their guy. I think someone moves up for whichever of Anthony Bennett or Ben McLemore or Alex Len falls.
So without ado, here it is:
This is for obvious reasons. He's the best player in the draft. The Cavs need a big. This is a win-win, until they take Alex Len and everything falls apart and Fear The Sword dies.
It's either going to be Oladipo or Ben McLemore here (despite the fact that I think they're insane for passing on Trey Burke). Given that we know a ton of GMs love Oladipo and that McLemore was unimpressive in workouts, I'm going with Oladipo.
This is possibly the most perfect fit. He'll play next to John Wall and Bradley Beal for the next seven years at that combo small forward, small-ball power forward position. Wall is going to be salivating after seeing him move without the ball both cutting to the rim and getting open from the corners.
I think the stuff yesterday about Rich Cho loving Zeller was actually true. Bennett is probably the most perfect fit here as a scorer, but given the bad luck of this organization and Bennett's inability to work out, I think Zeller's the guy. I think they're going to surprise and throw off the draft.
5. Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, 7'1" 255 lbs, Maryland
One of he, Bennett, or McLemore is the pick here I think. Given that we know McLemore had something of a poor workout there, I'm saying they go with Len here as the upside center who can learn under Gortat for a year.
6. New Orleans Hornets: Trey Burke, 6'1" 187 lbs, Michigan
If this scenario plays out in the top five, I think that in some order Burke, McLemore, and C.J. McCollum go 6, 7, and 8. I'm saying Burke goes to New Orleans simply because that's what the rumors have been all along (also because he's the best of the bunch).
7. Sacramento Kings: C.J. McCollum, 6'3" 197 lbs, Lehigh
You know, when you're Sacramento and you get a chance to take another mid-major 6'3" shooting guard, you have to do it (good stuff Jimmer). That's unfair to McCollum, who's very clearly a far better prospect than Jimmer was, but if they're expecting a point guard here they're going to be sorely mistaken.
8. Detroit Pistons: Ben McLemore, 6'5" 189 lbs, Kansas
The Pistons get their home run scenario here as they pick up a shooting guard that could possibly go as high as #2. I like this from their perspective a lot. I didn't necessarily mean to drop McLemore this far because of my dislike of him as a prospect, but it just kind of happened.
The TWolves barely miss out on their dream scenario in McLemore falling to #9, but they'll settle for a great backup plan here in KCP. He's going to be an excellent scorer in the NBA, the questions just come with whether he can fill out his game.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Anthony Bennett, 6'7" 240 lbs, UNLV
While the Wolves barely missed their home run, the Blazers hit one 500 feet. Bennett can step in from day one and score off the bench for the Blazers, which was their biggest weakness last season. Someone is probably going to move up to grab him if he falls past 6, but as the board stands now this where he falls because of guard needs 6-9.
As someone who wants Adams to succeed in the NBA, I don't think this is the best fit for him. But as the best big left on the board I think there's a pretty strong chance this is the direction they go. Could also go Karasev or Nogueira.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Sergey Karasev, 6'7" 197 lbs, Russia
This is probably the disaster scenario for the Thunder. If all of the players other than Adams that they want are gone by the time #10, I think they probably try to move up and secure their man. In this case, they just take another shooter to possibly replace the aging Thabo Sefolosha.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, 6'9" 215 lbs, Greece
I think if the Mavs stay here, they try to convince Antetokounmpo to stay overseas for a year. If they move out, my guess is that it's for one of the teams directly below them that want to try to convince Giannis to stay overseas (even though he apparently wants to come over now). Either way, this feels safe to have him at 13.
They're looking for a point guard, and get kind of lucky as my 8th overall prospect falls directly into their laps. He's the perfect fit here.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dennis Schroeder, 6'2" 169 lbs, Germany
Replacing Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings with a point guard that is excellent in the pick and roll, plus one that doesn't always look for his own shot may be a foreign concept to Bucks' fans. But I hope they aren't too scarred to continue on.
The Celtics are said to be looking for a big with this pick, and then a point guard later. They are said to be high on Olynyk and this is about his value.
The Hawks are in an interesting position in that they really officially have no one on their team next year seemingly outside of Al Horford, Lou Williams, and John Jenkins. They can basically use every position so I selected two of the best players on the board. I love imagining watching Dieng and Horford pass back and forth in a hi-lo game, and then Muhammad fits as a slasher next to the shooters that Jenkins and Williams are.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers: Reggie Bullock, 6'7" 200 lbs, North Carolina
You know what, we've had it for three months now, I'm sticking with it. As it looks increasingly unlikely the Cavaliers will be able to move up for Karasev at 13, this gives even more reason to take Bullock. I have no idea if they'll stay here though.
20. Chicago Bulls: Tim Hardaway, Jr., 6'6" 185 lbs, Michigan
He seems like a pretty good fit here, as the Bulls could use another wing shooter off the bench with Luol Deng's seemingly unknown future.
21. Utah Jazz: Lucas Nogueira, 7'0" 215 lbs, Brazil
The Jazz again hit the jackpot here as a guy they were considering at 14 falls to them at 21. Nogueira isn't nearly ready for the NBA yet, but has great potential as a shot blocker.
Franklin would give them a wing to bring along with Joe Johnson. Also, with the team possibly looking to trade Marshon Brooks to the TWolves, this could be his replacement.
This is the perfect scenario for the Pacers. They get their explosive guard off the bench who can lead a second unit, plus keep him away from the Knicks at 24.
24. New York Knicks: Tony Mitchell, 6'9" 240 lbs, North Texas
The most JaVale-like player in this draft just seems like he'd be a perfect fit for the Knicks, right? I'm not a fan of his game at all, hopefully for his sake he proves me wrong.
I think someone tries to take a flier on him at the end of the first round, and I think the Clippers are actually a pretty good fit for him. Plus I really don't think he could ask for a better situation.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Rudy Gobert, 7'2", 129 inch arms, Someplace in France that my girlfriend made fun of
This is pretty much the prototypical Timberwolves player, right? European, tantalizing tools? I think he can fit pretty well next to Kevin Love if he ever pans out, but who knows with him.
This one goes out to Nate Timmons who runs Denver Stiffs. He says Green had a great workout in Denver and that he hopes that's the pick. The Nuggets might trade out of this spot though.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Livio Jean-Charles, 6'9" 217 lbs, France
This one is just a hunch. Jean-Charles plays for the team in France that Tony Parker owns part of, plus the Spurs might want to try to stash to preserve some cap space. I like him a lot actually. Huge motor, great game at the Nike Hoop Summit this year. If the Spurs pick him, guaranteed he ends up a player. If it's the Cavs, he'll end up driving a car he can't afford and getting a blog named after him.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeff Withey, 7'0" 225 lbs, Kansas
Withey is an excellent fit as a backup defensive center in Oklahoma City, who loves shot blockers. With luck, maybe he can become a borderline starting NBA center.
30. Phoenix Suns: Tony Snell, 6'7" 198 lbs, New Mexico
I'm pretty sure that he's a first rounder because he looks like Kawhi Leonard and that's it. Because watching the tape, this guy literally does none of the things you want out of a "3 and D" small forward. He's lazy on defense and shot poorly. That normally makes it difficult to become an effective role player in the NBA.