This NBA draft may have the most intriguing and ambiguous crop of players we’ve seen in recent years. While this draft may not produce the most talented group of guys the league has ever seen, there are many possibilities as to where each player could fall, which makes creating a mock draft this year difficult. However, it is always fun to hypothesize, and on November 18, we get to see where exactly the pieces fall into place.
1- Washington Wizards (via Minnesota)- PG LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks (NBL)
Trade alert: Washington receives no.1 pick, no. 17 pick, Jarrett Culver, Josh Okogie for Bradley Beal, no.9 pick
The Timberwolves must add a third star if they want to contend and salvage their place in the NBA. The T-Wolves have not been in the playoff mix for some time now, so they need to do everything in their power to stay a relevant team. Trading for both Bradley Beal and the number nine selection is worth it, even if that means giving up the promising: Jarrett Culver or the 17th selection. On the flip side, The wizards launch themselves into rebuild mode with assets like the 17th pick, where they may be able to steal a high-upside prospect, and with the addition of the young Jarrett Culver. With the first pick, The Wizards should take LaMelo Ball. Ball is a good height for the point guard position and has the polished handles and shot to go with it. His court vision is superb, and he has a knack for threading the needle. You can argue that Anthony Edwards should be the pick here, but LaMelo has more potential and will likely grow into the better play if he can correct some issues. Melo needs to work on his defense as he plays more laid back on that side of the court. However, with his height, he should have no problem defending other point guards. He also needs to work on his decision making, as he often chucks up ill-advised shots from deep. This trait should be easy to correct with a season of individualized practice, but for now, it’s a low point of his game.
2-Golden State Warriors- C James Wiseman, Memphis
The Warriors only hold the number two pick because of various injuries sustained to their star players. Now, they are back, and if they get this pick right, it can launch them into title contention once more. Packaging this selection and Andrew Wiggins for a third star seems likely, but with Bradley Beal on the T-Wolves, this trade may not come to fruition. The next best option is drafting a center, which they have lacked since the inception of their dynasty. James Wiseman is the best big man on the board, but he comes with a certain amount of risk. Wiseman was ranked number one on ESPN’s top high school prospects list last year, but he was caught up in a scandal where he allegedly received $11,500 in moving expenses in 2017 from Head Coach: Penny Hardaway. While Hardaway did not start coaching for Memphis until 2018, the NCAA deemed this unjust and suspended Wiseman. Wiseman would forego his season to prepare for the draft. Due to this, Wiseman was scouted less than some of his contemporaries. However, Wiseman is uber-athletic for his size and can run the floor like no other. Wiseman has great shot-blocking instincts and can rebound just as well. Wiseman needs to work on his technical ability on both sides of the floor, as his game is more athletically based, but the potential is there. At worst, Wiseman will be a defensive complement to Draymond Green and someone who prolongs offensive possessions with rebounding and physicality down low.
3- Charlotte Hornets- SG Anthony Edwards, Georgia
While Edwards is not the best fit for Charlotte’s current roster, his potential is undeniable. Edwards is an athletic freak who has no problem driving to the hoop and throwing it down. He plays with a high motor, high intensity, and has all-star potential purely based on his offensive skill set. While his shooting is not as polished as LaMelo Ball, he has the potential to become an above-average shooter, and he has the shot-creating ability to facilitate easy buckets when he gets it down. While his defensive tenacity is not there, he has the raw athleticism to lock his man down when he is giving the effort. I would not be too worried about this right now, as his defensive ability and engagement should come with maturity and the realization that you need to play defense to stay in the league. While the backcourt would look a little clogged with Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham commanding sizable minutes, moving one of them will be easier than most believe, even if the Hornets have to eat an unfavorable contract to move Rozier and retain Graham.
4-Chicago Bulls- SF Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel-Aviv (Israeli Premier League)
Deni Avdija is the perfect fit for the Bulls. The top international prospect of this class has allegedly shot up draft boards in recent months after his impressive performances in the EuroLeague. Is this hype just a product of former EuroLeague sensation: Luka Doncic’s Meteoric rise? Maybe, but that does not mean that Avdija is devoid of talent. Avdija is a 6’9″ small forward who makes a living off his playmaking ability and post play. Avdija may be the best off-ball player in the draft, frequently catching defenders off guard with a well-timed cut to the basket. Avdija also makes plays with the ball in his hands, as he often threads the needle to deliver a strike to an open teammate or someone making a cut of his own. Avdija is also great at bullying defenders down low, as he has an advanced post skill-set, reminiscent of a player many years his senior. Avdija has some drawbacks, as his shooting is not up-to-par with what the league may want from him, and he gets pushed around a lot on the defensive side of the ball. However, In Chicago, he can learn under Otto Porter: a three-ball specialist. Avdija can rise up the ranks and ultimately usurp Porter’s role as the starting three when he adapts his game to the NBA.
5- Cleveland Cavaliers- PF Obi Toppin, Dayton
Cleveland is in an interesting predicament right now. Their rebuild since the departure of LeBron James has not resulted in much building. Most of their draft picks and acquisitions have fallen flat, and the team’s construction is nothing to write home about. Dayton’s Obi Toppin is not likely a cure-all, but he will hopefully begin to facilitate the first success the Cavs have seen since King James left for greener pastures. Toppin is an explosive power forward who bears a striking resemblance to Amare Stoudamire. Both Stoudamire and Toppin run the floor with ease and can catch lobs and bring the hammer down regularly. There are questions about Toppin’s defensive ability, but his offensive versatility and surprising shooting touch should be enough to make a case for his selection here.
Pick 6- Sacramento Kings (via Atlanta Hawks)- PG Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State
Trade Alert: Buddy Hield, no. 12 pick to the Hawks for the no.6 pick.
Trading out of this pick would be a risky move for an unproven Hawks team, but trading for Buddy Hield could help them in the long run. The Hawks have a strong lineup with Hield at the two, as he will be able to add more spacing along with Trae Young, as the front-court is grittier and focuses on grinding down low. While there is no obvious incentive for the Kings to trade up, Buddy Hield has publicly requested a trade and honoring the request before free-agency puts them at an obvious advantage. With this selection, the Kings take Tyrese Haliburton. While this does mean that the Kings have two natural point guards in the backcourt, Haliburton is one of the unsung studs in this class. Haliburton is one of the best playmakers and passers available this year, and he has displayed a magnificent shot. However, a glaring flaw that the Iowa State product has is not completely a basketball issue: Haliburton needs to gain some weight. During games, he is being pushed around on defense, and too often screens are set on him because he has trouble fighting around them. Assuming Haliburton bulks up, he can be a key piece to the revitalization of the Kings that has taken too long to materialize.
7- Detroit Pistons- PF/C Onyeka Okongwu, USC
The Pistons are finally entering rebuild mode. This means that Detroit has the liberty of selecting whoever they deem the best player in the draft. Onyeka Okongwu may not have the highest ceiling in the class, but he definitely has the highest floor. Okongwu is the prototypical center. He makes grown men look like boys in the post on offense and plays very well in paint overall. Okongwu is polished in his shot-blocking mechanics and is one of the better defenders in the class. Okongwu may not be all-star caliber, but he has the potential to be a mainstay in the Pistons starting lineup as they progress forward with their rebuild, and add more dynamic playmakers and franchise cornerstones.
8- New York Knicks- PG Killian Hayes, Ratiopharm Ulm (Bundesliga)
The Knicks woes on the offensive side of the ball are well documented and evident. The poor roster construction, coupled with a problematic game plan, has made the Knicks one of the most laughably bad organizations in basketball. Currently, The Knicks need to add floor spacers to compliment slasher: RJ Barrett and Center Mitchell Robinson, both of who benefit from scoring in the paint. Thus, Killian Hayes should be the guy. Hayes is a dynamic ball-handler who has the speed to break defenders down quickly and efficiently. He is comfortable with letting it fly from mid-range and is working on his accuracy from deep, which is steadily improving. Hayes is also one of the better playmakers in the class, as he can make flashy passes easily and regularly. Hayes needs to work on getting used to handling the ball with his right hand, as he often gets the ball stolen from his grasp with a small amount of pressure. He also needs to work on his defensive consistency. Hayes is a player who can lock down his matchup on one possession, then cede an open lane to the hoop the next. If he nails these down, his stock will increase dramatically, as well as the value he will bring to the team that selects him.
9- Minnesota Timberwolves (via Washington Wizards)- SF Isaac Okoro, Auburn
Minnesota adds another piece to their playoff contender in Isaac Okoro. While there is no guarantee that Okoro will be here if the T-Wolves end up making a trade like this, I am positive that Minnesota would not be hesitant to select him if the draft materializes in this way. Okoro is the best defender, and his lock-down presence should be a foil to the dynamic scorers on the T-Wolves roster. While Okoro has some intriguing offensive attributes, his calling card is his defense, where he thrives in any scheme or assigned to any player on the court. He suffocates his man at the perimeter to cut off the advancement of the ball, or stuffs him down low, not giving up an inch in the paint. Okoro will add much-needed defensive acumen to a team overrun with scorers.
10- Phoenix Suns- PF Patrick Williams, Florida State
After an impressive run in the bubble, the Suns need to capitalize on this momentum. Keeping Devin Booker should be the Suns’ main mission, so surrounding him with the pieces he needs to go to work is of paramount importance. This class is a guard-heavy draft, but the Suns can find a diamond in the rough in Patrick Williams out of Florida state. Williams is another good defender in a class where they are few and far between. While Williams may not be the best instinctual defender, he is a smart player and recognizes schemes the offense is running or plays they are calling. Williams also has the potential to be a dynamic offensive player. While his shooting is not fully developed, Williams shows signs of a strong face-up game in the future. Williams needs to work on securing the ball more when he drives or is setting up an offensive maneuver, but based on his sheer size, Williams should gain the ability to protect the ball consistently as he grows as a player.
Pick 11- San Antonio Spurs- SG/SF Devin Vassell, Florida State
The Spurs select the second Florida State product in this draft, with sharpshooter Devin Vassell. San Antonio has been very formulaic in its drafting and free-agent signing over the past 20 years. However, the team has begun to stray away from their philosophy as of late. Devin Vassell will most likely not become a superstar in the league, but he has a defined role and plays it to perfection. Vassell is the quintessential 3 & D player. He circulates the perimeter and lets it fly for easy buckets, along with playing lock-down defense with all the intelligence in the world. He is ruthlessly consistent and on both ends of the court and is exactly what the Spurs should be looking for this year. With the 11th position in the draft, San Antonio should not be gunning for a star player. However, if they continue to build up their supporting cast, and embrace the tank when it’s time to find their franchise guy, San Antonio will once again be viewed as the league’s model organization.
12- Atlanta Hawks (via Sacramento Kings)- PF Jalen Smith, Maryland
The Hawks use this pick to select Jalen Smith, who, by some accounts, is shooting up draft boards. Jalen Smith is an athletic big who can protect the rim and hold down the paint. Smith grabs every rebound that comes his way due to his length and athleticism and has an enticing outside shot, which is impressive for a big. Overall, Smith has the potential to be a game-changer, but he needs to strengthen up and work on his post offense. Smith needs to work on his post-up game to contribute to the Hawks offense, as it would allow for more frequent buckets. In short, Smith can assist Atlanta by adding a rare floor spacing element as a big-man and solidify the Hawks’ defensive unit, two areas that if Atlanta masters, they will be next up in the Eastern Conference.
13- New Orleans Pelicans- SF Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt
There have been rumblings that the Pelicans could move Shooting Guard Jrue Holiday in the near future. I believe that this trade will occur after the draft, but NOLA will find his replacement during it. Enter: Aaron Nesmith. Aaron Nesmith may not seem like the most intriguing prospect in the draft, after all, there is nothing overtly interesting about him. Nesmith went to Vanderbilt, not a basketball powerhouse, and stands at 6’6″, somewhat short for a small forward. Aaron Nesmith’s value comes from the fact that he shoots an inhuman 52% from three. Nesmith’s Effective Field Goal percentage is equally as impressive, sitting at 65%. While nothing else about his game screams superstar potential, Nesmith’s defense is rather impressive, as he is smart on that end of the court as well. While there is an argument to be had that Nesmith has one attribute maxed-out to 99, the Pelicans do not need any other superstars. If Nesmith can make his shots and play a 3 & D role without compromising rising stars: Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, this selection will work out.
14- Boston Celtics- SF Saddiq Bey, Villanova
While Boston does not need this pick as much as the Grizzlies, who originally owned this selection, it can prove valuable to the Celtics. Boston has explored moving the underachieving Gordon Hayward, who suffered a gruesome injury at the beginning of his Celtics tenure. Diverting the burden of his albatross contract and replacing him with a younger Small Forward is the best option for Beantown. Villanova’s Saddiq Bey is the best option at the three left in the draft. Bey is a dynamic three-point shooter who is gifted on the defensive end, a good match for defensive-minded Head Coach: Brad Stevens. Bey has also shown rapid improvements in offensive variability, and the Celtics are the organization to unlock his untapped potential. However, if Bey needs to step-up in any department, it’s with his speed and ball-handling. Bey needs to work on being more explosive and abrupt to catch the defense off guard while driving to the hoop, and he also needs to work on creating space with his handles, or else he will suffer when attacking the paint or attempting to rip off a shot when being covered. Despite these setbacks, Bey should be able to gel with the Celtics and become a better ball player under their superb coaching staff.
15- Orlando Magic- PG Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama
The Orlando Magic are stuck in NBA purgatory. The Magic are not contenders, but not selecting superstars at the top of the lottery. Essentially, Orlando needs to roll out the tanks, and it starts by pawning off their better players for future assets. Fortunately for the Magic, Kira Lewis Jr. is on the board in this simulation. While Lewis is a point guard and could see a conflict with current starter Markelle Fultz, he has too much potential to pass up. The argument of whether Fultz is the guy moving forward is a debate Orlando can have for hours. Lewis can be a game-changer and help the team ease into a potentially meticulous and painful rebuild in the future. Lewis is a speedy guard, who’s smooth handles and shot-creating ability draw parallels to De’Aaron Fox. Lewis is also a great playmaker who can thread the needle on crafty passes and find the open man consistently. Lewis is an explosive and high-energy guard, but he needs to work on keeping himself grounded and not forcing passes and plays that aren’t there. He has trouble finishing through contact, but this should problem recede when he bulks up. The Magic will most likely enter a rebuild very soon, and the team will have to part ways with consistently good but not great players such as Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordan. The Magic may even have to move young players with heaps of potential such as Markelle Fultz if they do not deliver on their promises. The point is this journey might be arduous like it often is for Magic fans, but the addition of Lewis may ease the pain and be a reminder of a brighter future in Florida.
16- Portland Trail Blazers- SG/PG Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky
The Trailblazers have a choice to make, and it’s going to be a tough one. The Trailblazers have one of the best guards in the league in Damian Lillard on their squad, yet they cannot capitalize on his superstar caliber performances. If they want to help him out, Portland needs to surround him with role players who go out every night on the floor and do their job consistently. While they do need to pair him with a second star, they can make this move by trading CJ McCollum. With this pick, The Trailblazers select Tyrese Maxey. While Maxey is not as versed in the high-octane, flashy play that Damian Lillard has become so well known for, Maxey stands out by clamping up his assignment on defense. Though Maxey is a couple of inches shy of the ideal shooting guard frame, the Kentucky product can defend guys twice that height, assisted by his defensive IQ and courageous effort. Maxey does a great job driving the lane and laying the ball in, but it would help if he improved upon his shooting. Since the season ended, Maxey has sped up his shot’s release, which should help him stand-out and thrive next to Dame Lillard.
17-Washington Wizards (via Minnesota Timberwolves)- PF Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
The Wizards return with the number 17 pick and select Precious Achiuwa. Achiuwa shined after Wiseman departed from campus, showing flashes of brilliance as Memphis’ top NBA prospect. Achiuwa is a high-motor Power Forward with freakish speed, strength, and overall athleticism for a guy of his size. Achiuwa runs the floor like a mad-man and drives to the paint like a run-away train. His defense is based more on his innate physical ability as opposed to his fundamental knowledge of how he is supposed to play, but he should pick this up rather quickly in the NBA if he’s already making an impact on D. It’s also worth noting that Achiuwa showed promise as a rebounder and elite rim protector, so he appears to have figured out his own way of playing defense. Achiuwa needs to work on his shooting and shot selection. He is not a naturally gifted shooter, but he showed promise during the season. He needs to get into the gym and start getting shots up if he wants to get quality minutes in the league. Achiuwa also needs to learn when it is his time to pull-up or when he is better off kicking the ball out and waiting for another opportunity.
18- Dallas Mavericks- SG RJ Hampton, NZ Breakers (NBL)
If the rumors are true, NBA front-office executives are souring on the NZ Breakers guard. Does Hampton fall out of the lottery? Probably not, but he is one of the most confusing players in the draft, so it is easy to see why he may. Hampton is a slashing guard with an impressive level of confidence in his game. Hampton has potential in the Pick-and-Roll with Porzingis, and Hampton also has potential in his shooting game. Hampton has been inconsistent but should be able to knock down shots if he continues to get reps in and becomes acclimated with pull-up jumpers or wing threes. However, Hampton’s shortcomings are as prevalent as his strengths. Firstly, his defensive ability is nowhere near starting caliber, and his sloppy footwork often leaves him in the dust when guarding faster opponents. Hampton also needs to work on adding variety to his offensive skill set. Currently, his repertoire consists of slashing his way to the rim and laying it in with finesse, but if he wants to succeed at the next level, he needs to add variety to his bag.
19-Brooklyn Nets- PG Tyrell Terry, Stanford
The Nets will likely contend for a championship next season barring any unforeseen developments, so Brooklyn should focus on selecting a consistent role player who can support the core for a title run. Tyrell Terry is a young guard out of Stanford who can shoot, finish at the rim and make plays consistently. While Terry is not as polished on the defensive end, which is further hindered by his height, there are not many better options for Brooklyn to add bench contributors. Terry is far more dynamic then Josh Green and more NBA ready than Cole Anthony. Terry will most likely be shorted in the minutes department at the NBA level, playing behind Kyrie Irving. Still, he can learn a lot in this role, and maybe end up with quality minutes on a team by year three.
20- Miami Heat- C Aleksej Pokusevski, Oympiacos B (Greek A2 Basket League)
There is an argument to be made that the underweight Serbian kid playing in the Greek second league could become the best player in the class. However, he has the potential to never even step onto an NBA court. Aleksej Pokusevski is a 7 foot, 200-pound center, which is not ideal. However, what Pokusevski lacks in size, he makes up for in every other aspect of the game. Pokusevski makes jaw-dropping passes every other possession, he has an inconsistent yet potentially deadly three-ball if he can fix some minor mechanical issues, and he runs the floor like a gazelle. Pokusevski also has smooth handles for someone of his height. He also can block any shot coming his way and is an elite rim protector. So if Pokusevski is all of these things, why is he not the number one pick? In short, he has the lowest floor of anyone in the draft. His passes don’t always connect, and he throws the ball around without regard for fundamental mechanics and set basketball plays. His shooting form is odd, and his lanky frame is bullied around by more physically assertive competitors. Finally, this all happened in the Greek second league, which is not competition worth bragging about. Needless to say, Pokusevski is the most polarizing player in the class. He has everything that NBA scouts dream of, but often his play resembles their worst nightmares. The Miami Heat are the perfect team to select him. They can let him simmer in the EuroLeague while he matures, and grows as a player. If the Heat give him individualized attention and prioritize his development over every other prospect in their system, he has the chance to be the face of their franchise. However, if they slip up, this year’s draft was a waste for South Beach.
21- Philadelphia 76ers- SG Josh Green, Arizona
Josh Green is your average 3 & D player. There is not much to say about Green’s game other than that. He does not impress analysts and spectators alike with raw athleticism or strength, Green will just turn up to work and do his job, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Last year, no one on the Sixers was who they should have been. No player on the court was consistent, and no player on the court did anything of note. This might result in an overhaul of the roster or the addition of perimeter shooters, but this new school of thinking should start with drafting and signing solid role players. While Green did not take many threes at Arizona, this ability was apparent. Green did not get the opportunity to shoot off the dribble, but in catch and shoot situations, he was accurate. Nothing is definite regarding the Sixers moving forward, but the addition of Josh Green should add some consistency amongst the uncertainty.
22- Denver Nuggets- PG Theo Maledon, ASVEL (LNB Pro A)
The Nuggets made a deep playoff run after taking out the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic obviously did their jobs, but the Denver role players coming off the bench also stepped-up. Adding French guard Theo Maledon should help the Nuggets bench create shots and scoring opportunities. Maledon is a facilitator and will likely find ways to set up the Denver role-players and give quality offensive minutes. Maledon has good hands and can finish well off the dribble. Maledon’s shot has also been improving as his career has progressed. He has the potential to become one of the better point guards in the draft if he continues to grow his offensive game. Like many of the guards in the draft, his defense is not something to write home about. However, Denver is a capable and organized team on that end of the court, so Maledon’s presence should not ruin anything that the Nuggets have been piecing together.
23- Utah Jazz- SF/PF Jaden McDaniels, Washington
McDaniels had an inconsistent freshman season at Washington, but this should not stop teams from letting him slip out of the first round. McDaniels has the height and athleticism to make him an immediate defensive and offensive contributor at the three and the four, but McDaniels also has tremendous potential in the way of scoring, as he can shoot and drive with speed. His spectacular handles also put him in the position to score, allowing him to create space from his defender. McDaniels needs to learn how to pick his moments and when he has the authority to shoot, but a reduced role and less pressure on him to make plays should help dilute this trend.
24- Milwaukee Bucks- PG Malachi Flynn, San Diego State
Malachi Flynn is a talented ball-handler and playmaker who creates opportunities for his teammates through movement and spacing. He has not reached his full shooting potential, but he should transform into a rotation level player or even sixth man if this comes to fruition. This selection will allow the Bucks to add someone who can set up the back half of their lineup for easy buckets, in turn taking pressure off Giannis. While Flynn has his shortcomings, he should be a good rotation-level player in his first season, where he can hopefully add some much-needed energy to a lethargic Bucks lineup, with the exception of Giannis.
25- Oklahoma City Thunder, PG Cole Anthony, North Carolina
Will Cole Anthony fall this far in the draft? Probably not. However, when the NBA develops a narrative, they run with it. The consensus on Cole Anthony is that he is selfish and a one-trick pony. While Anthony is not as talented as LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, or Tyrese Haliburton, he still draftable, and NBA executives seem to have this idea that he is not going to sniff the court. Anthony is still a great shooter, he can still knock-down threes like it is no one’s business, and his step-back is just as deadly as it was this time last year. Yes, his shot selection is not at an NBA level, and he plays hero ball from time to time, but so do LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards, but they are still getting number one pick buzz. However, if Anthony is drafted by OKC, they can correct his flaws and make him into a star player alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
26- Boston Celtics- PG Tre Jones, Duke
The Celtics will probably pass on the sophomore out of Duke, but Tre Jones can add some value to the team’s backcourt. Quite frankly, the only reason I contemplated this pairing was to make the best defensive backcourt in the league, with Marcus Smart. Boston does not get enough credit for selecting players in the draft and magnifying their strengths so they contribute whatever they may succeed in but at levels that make little to no sense. Tre Jones shined as a defensive glue guy with Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett on Duke, and it would be a crime if he were not to reprise his role with Marcus Smart on the Celtics.
27- New York Knicks- SG Desmond Bane, TCU
The Knicks need floor spacers to thrive in the modern NBA. Fortunately, Desmond Bane falls into their lap here at 27. Bane is a three-point specialist who has a high basketball IQ and should be a solid rotation guy who the Knicks can plug next to anyone, and he will perform. Bane’s defense is also one of his more enticing attributes and should hopefully help the Knicks correct their dismal performance on that end of the court, especially from their bench players. If Bane needs to work on anything, it would be his ability to move quickly and urgently with the ball, as he does not have the natural speed to attack a lane that is quickly closing.
28- Oklahoma City Thunder- PF Isaiah Stewart, Washington
OKC returns with a pick acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers. With this selection, they pick Isaiah Stewart. Stewart is a high motor, high-intensity big-man who can rebound and hold down the paint. There are question marks surrounding other parts of his game like his playmaking and physical, but as long as he sits in the paint and cleans the glass, he should fit right in.
29- Toronto Raptors- C Zeke Nnaji, Arizona
Nnaji has a lot of potential defensively and offensively in the paint. He is not a finished product, but he should get solid reps at the center position for the Raptors next season. He needs to work on his decision making, but the effort and energy that he brings to the game are unmatched. Nnaji has been working on his shot and has shown flashes of untapped three-point shooting.
30- Boston Celtics- C Vernon Carey Jr., Duke
Rounding out the first round, the Boston Celtics select Vernon Carey. Carey was an extremely hyped up high school prospect but fell short of expectations at Duke. Carey can definitely score the basketball, in the post and occasionally from three, but he is currently a defensive liability. I believe Boston will select him and will be able to coach him into becoming a better player on that end of the floor, but for now, it is an issue for any team looking into drafting him.