After a week hiatus, the fourth edition of the Def Pen NBA mock draft is here with 14 changes. With the season being over, we know which teams will be in the lottery, and which teams won’t. Barring any trades, this is what the draft order will most likely look like.
All trades involving picks are included.
Our draft order will just go by current standings in reverse order.
No change at number one with Towns. The Wolves can than hold on to Nikola Pekovic and play the two big men together at the same time, plus he can learn from Kevin Garnett as Towns can play either the 4 or the 5.
The Knicks need a big man, badly. The Andrea Bargnani, Cole Aldridge, or whoever else they put out there this year combination was laughable, just watch the Knicks One Shining Moment Video. The Knicks need a lot of help, and they do have options with this pick. They could maybe draft D’Angelo Russell, but good big men are hard to find these days compared to guards. So If they have a chance at either Towns or Okafor, they need to select one of them.
3. Philadelphia 76ers- D’Angelo Russell PG/SG, Ohio State (Previous: Emmanuel Mudiay)
Reports are out there that the Sixers want Russell. Unless the Wolves or Knicks try to pull a shocker and draft him, he’ll be there at three for the Sixers who need help everywhere except down low.
Rajon Rondo to LA seems like a real possibility, but Lakers fans, I promise you would rather have Mudiay. The team needs a ball handler to pair with Julius Randle. A Mudiay-Randle future could bring the Lakers back to the glory days. Besides a young guard learning from a retiring Kobe Bryant? Not terrible.
5. Orlando Magic- Justice Winslow SG/SF, Duke (Previous: Same)
Tobais Harris is on his way out. The Magic all ready have a young solid squad with Elfird Payton, Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic. Enter Justice Winlow, or even possibly Stanley Johnson to the open small forward postion, and this could be a team to watch out for in the future.
6. Sacramento Kings- Kristpaps Porzingiz, PF, Latvia (Previous: same)
DeMarcus Cousins needs some help down low in the post. A lot of scouts say that Porzingiz maybe the best overall player in the draft, we just don’t know as much on him compared to some of the other prospects. He possibly has the best offensive game out of any post player in the draft. Hey can score from anywhere on the floor whether its inside or out. One thing he does need to improve his rebounding and toughness as he is 7″0 but a slim 220lb.
7. Denver Nuggets- Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona (Previous: same)
They have Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried and thats pretty much it. Jusuf Nurkic looks like he can be a solid center in the league and get more minutes next season. Stanley Johnson is a big 6’8 small forward who can shoot and slash. He improved his shooting more and more as the season went on. What teams will be attracted to most is his defense. He has great size, skills, and can anticipate where the ball is going.
8. Detroit Pistons– Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky (Previous: same)
It looks more and more obvious that Greg Monroe is on his way out. Lyles played out of position this year but has tremendous upside. A complete post player who can score anywhere on the floor and is long, Lyles can step in a take over for Monore and have a nice tandem down low for the Pistons with him and Andre Drummond.
9. Charlotte Hornets- Mario Heznoja, SG/SF, Croatia. (Previous: Same)
Other than Kemba Walker, the Hornets don’t really have much talent. Yes they have Al Jefferson, but he’s getting up there in age and hasn’t been healthy this season. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is still only 21 but so far hasn’t lived up to the hype since coming out of Kentucky and the whole Lance Stephenson signing has been a disaster. Charlotte can go many different ways with this pick. I think they need to find a way to trade Stephenson, get something back for him and draft a shooting guard like Heznoja.
10. Miami Heat- Kelly Oubre SF, Kansas (Previous: Same)
Miami has options with this pick. At the beginning of the year most would probably say they would take a center. The emergence of Hassan Whiteside may change that though process. Oubre is a great athlete who can also shoot from both midrange and beyond the arc. His defense is in question and there are some red flags about his attitude. But the talent is there and, why nobody is going to replace LeBron James, the Heat need a reliable small forward.
11. Utah Jazz– Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky. (Previous: Same)
The Jazz have a solid young core of players with Trey Burke, Dante Exum, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. While Gobert looks like he has the potential to be a solid starting center, Cauley-Stein is just too good of a player to pass up. The Jazz have so much size with Exum, Hayward, Favors, and Gobert. Add Cauley-Stein to that mix, this could be a dangerous team in the future.
12. Indiana Pacers– Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky (Previous: Cameron Payne)
Pacers need upgrades at every position except for center and small forward. They can draft David West’s replacement or a guard who will start right away. Guard is a big need which is why Devin Booker makes sense. They team was at the top when they had a secondary option next to Paul George. Get Devin Booker, a guy who can shoot the lights out, put him next to George and the Pacers are back in business.
13. Phoenix Suns- Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas (Previous: Devin Booker)
The Suns need help at power forward and shooting guard considering they really don’t have a player that plays that position. They play the two point guard system and two small forwards around a center. At this point they have to take the best available at either shooting guard or power forward and that’s Portis. He’s a great face up player who is incredibly tough to guard. He’s got a great mid-range game and is expanding his range to include the three ball . Defensively, he is active which leads to his fair share of deflections and steals. Portis also won SEC Player of the year beating out guys like Karl-Anthony Towns and the rest of Kentucky’s roster.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder- RJ Hunter, SG, Georgia State (Previous: Same)
The Thunder were DEVASTATED by injuries this season and lacked depth. They also lack a true shooting guard. 14 maybe early for Hunter but he’s an upgrade from Andre Roberson. Hunter can score, create his own shot, and would be a nice addition next to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
15. Atlanta Hawks (from Nets) Myles Turner, C, Texas. (Previous: Sam Dekker)
The Hawks are the one seed in the East and basically get a lottery pick. They aren’t deep down low, and while yes they have Al Horford, Turner provides size and defensive off the bench. Also either Horford and Turner can slide down and play the four, so when giving Paul Millsap a rest, the Hawks can play big, something they can’t do now with their lack of size.
16. Boston Celtics– Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin (Previous: Jerian Grant)
With all the pick the Celtics have in the next few years they will have tons of depth and talent. Evan Turner is their small forward right now, and while he had a good year leading the team to the playoffs, Sam Dekker can be the future. A 6’9 swing man who can shoot from the outside, Dekker can also get to the basket and finish at the rim. Maybe even Larry Legend 2.0? (Please don’t take that too seriously)
17. Milwaukee Bucks– Frank Kaminski, PF/C, Wisconsin (Previous: Myles Turner)
Back to back Badgers with Dekker and Kaminski. Frank the Tank gets to stay in the state of Wisconsin with this pick. The Bucks need to find someone to replace Larry Sanders. While Zaza Pachulia is ok, he’s not a starter. Personally, I see Frank as a power forward at the next level, but Jason Kidd likes to play small, like moving Paul Pierce to the Nets last year and Jabari Parker likely to play the 4 when he comes back next season. With the way the Bucks play, Kaminski fits the system perfectly while still getting to play the way that made him successful in college.
18. Houston Rockets (from Pelicans)- Tyus Jones, PG, Duke (Previous: same)
How many true point guards to the Rockets have on their roster. Yeah If you count Pat Beverly and Pablo Prigioni I guess two. Still those aren’t reliable guys who can start on a constant basis. Jones was the Most outstanding player of the Final Four. He’s a do it all player. He can Drive and kick to James Harden, feed Dwight Howard down low, and his a deadly shooter. The Rockets love to play fast, which is how Jones led Duke to the National Title this year, so Jones to the Rockets is really a perfect fit for both sides.
19. Washington Wizards- Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville. (Previous: Frank Kaminski)
Nene is old, it’s simple as that. The team drafts his replacement with this pick. The Brad Beal and John Wall future looks bright in a more uptempo system, as we’re seeing Paul Pierce get a lot of action at the 4 this post season. Harrell is 6’9 240 but very athletic and can run the floor. Scouts say if he can develop a better jumper that he could even be a small forward at the next level. If Washington decides to move to a faster tempo in years to come, Harrell would be a perfect fit at a position that they need.
20. Toronto Raptors– Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF, Arizona (Previous: Montrezl Harrell)
This pick is solely based off defense, as RHJ might be the best defender in the draft. The Raptors didn’t play much defense is the playoffs, and the Terrence Ross experiment doesn’t seem to be working out.
21. Dallas Mavericks- Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State (Previous: Delon Wright)
So Rajon Rondo is gone so the team needs a point guard. Payne you maybe haven’t heard of because where he played but don’t let that fool you. Think of Elfrid Payton from a year ago because Payne can ball. I originally had him in the lottery but his stock seems to be slipping but that doesn’t mean much. Payne is a do it all guard. He can score from anywhere, as a great court awareness and IQ. He needs to improve his strength and he is a lanky guard and weighs about 180lbs. Other than that he’s a huge sleeper who will have a very good career at the next level.
22. Chicago Bulls- Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame (Previous: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson)
Insurance for Derrick Rose, simple as that.
23. Portland Trailblazers- Christian Wood, PF, UNLV (Previous: Same)
LaMarcus Aldridge is a free agent and there are reports that he may leave Portland. The Blazers don’t have much depth up front already so no matter who is on the team, this pick needs to be used to add depth to the front court.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers– Kevon Looney, SF/PF, UCLA (Previous: same)
Looney is a project who is still raw but has tremendous upside. He’s not the greatest athlete but is an animal on the boards and can shoot a consistent jumper. Looney is a tweener which is why he still raises some question marks. He’s simply is a boom or a bust, (Much like a former Cavs Anthony Bennet who had the same issue as Looney) They already had the bust in Bennett, maybe now they have the boom with Looney. Plus the Cavs have that LeBron guy, who makes everybody better.
25. San Antonio Spurs- Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas (Previous: Same)
The eventual replacement to Tim Duncan maybe? At the beginning of the season, Alexander was projected to be a top 5 pick. After an ok season at Kansas, in which he sat out the remaining eight games due to an NCAA investigation, Alexander decided to declare for the draft. There was a reason there was so much hype on Alexander when he left high school, he can play. Having him learn under Pop and Tim Duncan can only make him play to his true potential.
26. Memphis Grizzlies– Justin Anderson, SG/SF, Virginia (Previous: same)
Who is the Grizzlies shooting guard? They need a shooting guard who can actually shoot the ball (Tony Allen.) Anderson can play guard or small forward but is a spot up jump shooter. He needs to improve getting to the basket, but in Virginia’s pro style half court offense, Anderson was the Cavs leading scorer as a jump shooter.
27. Los Angeles Lakers (from Rockets)- Robert Upshaw, C, Washington (Previous: Dakari Johnson)
Robert Sacre? Ed Davis? Tarik Black? Carlos Boozer? Upshaw with Julius Randle down low gives the team size that’s a threat. Upshaw was kicked off of the Washington basketball team this year so teams have been turned off by his character. Playing with Kobe Bryant though should make sure that he takes this serious which is why the Lakers should feel comfortable taking him.
28. Boston Celtics- Jarrell Martin PF, LSU (Previous: same)
I like to compare Martin to a 6″10 version of Draymond Green. A big guy who can shoot from the perimeter but bang down low in the post. He has great size for a NBA power forward at 6″10 240 and just adds to the Celtics young talent.
29. Brooklyn Nets (from Hawks)- Delon Wright, PG/SG, Utah (Previous: Aleksandar Vezenkov)
From D-Will to D-Wright. Deron Williams is on the down side of his career. Whether Wright will even be avilable this late is questionable but if he is the Nets have no choice but to take him. He’s the younger brother of sharp shooter Dorrell Wright, and yes he can shoot like his brother. He can play both guard positions at 6’5, but his natural position is point guard. The Nets need to get younger and better especially in the back court, enter Delon Wright.
30. Golden State Warriors– Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky (Previous: Robert Upshaw)
Get this team some size! Size is just something that this team lacks badly. Johnson gives them that and his best trait is rebounding, something the Warriors don’t do well. The Warriors can shoot they don’t need help with that, but basically they can use this pick to draft someone 6’9 or higher who can get rebounds and it will be a great pick.