The draft order has been set. The Finals are approaching. That means it's time for more mocking.
Here are the rules:
- Chip Williams and I are putting on our GM caps and switching picks.
- Trades are possible and encouraged.
- No picking Memphis Tigers because well....why would we?
- We are being logical and unbiased so Chip can't pick Dakari Johnson number one overall.
With the sixteenth pick, the Boston Celtics select.........Bobby Portis (6'11" 246) Power Forward, Arkansas.
Chip: I really, really like Booby Portis. The guy's motor never stops running, and he's going to score a ton of hustle points. He's a relentless offensive rebounder. His jump shot is terrific from midrange, and he could possibly extend it out to the three-point line in the NBA. Portis competes on the defensive end and has the ability to guard both wings and bigs. His pick and roll defense is exceptional. He has the size and length to develop into a rim protector.
Jonah: The Celtics should feel silly for wanting to get swept and ending up here, with a player who is a questionable fit and may not have a very high ceiling. Rather than a player in the lottery. I wouldn't be shocked if Danny Ainge worked some voodoo to get them into the lottery. Portis reminds me of Darrell Arthur in a few ways. Like him just not to the Celtics.
With the seventeenth pick the Milwaukee Bucks select......Trey Lyles (6'10" 241 lbs.) Power Forward, Kentucky.
Jonah: I'm not in love with Lyles like I was at the beginning of the college season. I thought we'd be talking about him around 5 or 6, but his limitations as an athlete became more and more obvious as the season went on. He's long and big, but isn't a big jumper and he's slow. He's still got a great offensive game, though. Lots of college guys aren't able to go into the post and spread the floor like Lyles can. The Bucks have been relying on Ersan Illyasova to be there stretch four for the last few years. He's not going to cut it, anymore so replacing him here makes sense.
Chip: The Bucks could go in several directions here. There are several point guards that would make sense, but Lyles is fine. The Bucks have several power forwards that just haven't really developed like they wanted them to. Maybe Lyles can breakthrough.
With the eighteenth pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder select.......Tyus Jones (6'2" 185 lbs.) Point Guard, Duke.
Chip: Tyus Jones is another guy in the running for the Guy-Who-Helped-Himself-The-Most-During-The-NCAA-Tournament Award. He's flown up draft boards, and OKC finds him too good to pass up. There are several point guards that have slipped a bit, but Jones makes sense to OKC. He should be able to challenge DJ Augustin for the backup point guard spot, and I'm salivating over a Tyus Jones-Russell Westbrook two point guard lineup.
Jonah: Tyus "Big Stones" Jones is going to follow in the foot steps of all those other Duke point guards you see in the league right now.
With nineteenth pick the Washington Wizards select.....Cameron Payne (6'2" 183 lbs.) Point Guard, Murray Stare.
Jonah: The Wizards are basically going into this offseason having to improve their bench. If they had anything resembling a competent bench I believe they would be in the Eastern Conference Finals right now. It starts here by picking a player that could've gone in the late lottery. Payne is already better than Ramon Sessions. This kid is just a pure scorer. If gambling were legal I'd be putting some cash on him to be Rookie of the Year next season. He'll be able to space the floor right away. Once he gets stronger (which is a must) he'll be able to show his creativity in the lane. I think he'll probably rely on his nice floater until that happens. Also, Payne is from Memphis so he gets extra cool points.
Chip: I was so torn with the Thunder pick between Payne and Tyus Jones. It only seems right that he's the next pick. I'm pretty excited to see him backup John Wall.
With the twentieth pick, the Toronto Raptors select.......Montrezl Harrell (6'8" 253 lbs.) Power Forward, Louisville.
Chip: The Raptors have to go with a big. Amir Johnson, Tyler Hansbrough, Chuck Hayes and Marcus Camby (hehehe) are free agents this summer. Harrell should be ready to contribute from day one in the NBA. He's got great size and strength, and he's a really good athlete for being over 250 pounds. He has a 7'4.25" wingspan that will help make up for being a bit undersized (measured 6'7" without shoes at the combine). He's a great floor runner who loves to get out in transition, and he really developed his offensive game during his junior season at Louisville.
Jonah: Harrell is kind of a mini Amir Johnson. Should be fun to see if the two can mesh next to each other. Some coach is going to try him out at small forward and it's going to be a disaster. He's a tweener than doesn't really tween well.
With the twenty first pick the Dallas Mavericks select.....Robert Upshaw (7'0" 258 lbs.) Center, Washington.
Jonah: The Mavericks had an awesome deal in place to move up and get Cameron Payne, but it fell apart so here they are with no first round talent point guards left on the board. So they take a chance on Upshaw. He's a big risk, but could be the next Tyson Chandler. If it weren't for his off the court issues which led to him being kicked of two teams in three years we'd be talking about him in the top 15 this year. He's an excellent shot blocker and a good athlete. I think he'll be a difference maker on the defensive end of the floor under Carslisle due to his strength and smarts. He can post up weaker defenders, back them down and finish with long arms and nice touch. He needs to work on having several different moves in the post, though. He doesn't have a very divers offensive game.
Chip: Well, I hate everything now. Robert Upshaw is the guy is desperately want the Grizz to draft. He has talent to be a late-lottery pick, but there's a chance he doesn't go first round due to his off the court issues. Dallas made a good pick.
With the twenty second pick, the Chicago Bulls select.......Delon Wright (6'6" 181 lbs.) Point Guard, Utah.
Chip: The Bulls go with a very productive point guard (averaged 15-5-5-2-1 as a senior) who has elite size. Wright could, in theory, play off the ball (although he's much better on the ball), and he's big enough to guard three positions. He is a very good scorer, and he can finally allow Kirk Hinrich to ride off into the sunset.
Jonah: That last sentence made so many Bulls fans happy. Kirk Hinrich was their scapegoat this last season. I'm interested to see if Wright will be able to score at the next level. He'll need to add some meat to his bones, but Snell and Wright is going to be F-U-N.
With the twenty third pick the Portland Trailblazers select.......Rondae Hollis Jefferson (6'7" 211 lbs.) Small Forward, Arizona.
Jonah: The Trail Blazers could make the case that they would've made a deeper run if they were healthy. They are in position to keep that core intact. So picking a player that's a project isn't the worst idea in the world. Jefferson is an incredible athlete that relentlessly attacks the rim. He draws fouls and can finish in traffic. But his jumpshot is a nightmare. Every part of it needs to be worked on extensively. His inability to maintain his dribble will also be a problem at the next level. What makes Jefferson a first round pick is his defensive ability. You don't find many players in the 20's with his defensive energy and know how. He knows how to use his athleticism to his advantage and can guard multiple positions. I could see him falling, but the Trail Blazers feel right for Jefferson.
Chip: RHJ is definitely a project, but he also has pretty decent potential. As you said, the guy is an athletic freak. He actually had a pretty good tournament showing that helped his stock, but he'll need time to develop.
With the twenty fourth pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers select.........Justin Anderson (6'6" 231 lbs) Small Forward, Virginia.
Chip: Anderson is the classic 3-and-D potential guy. I think he needs to improve on his shooting before he earns that title, but he's certainly got the defense part down. He's a big, physical wing who takes great pride in his defense. He has great defensive footwork, and he has terrific speed when closing out on a shooter.
Jonah: And a single tear rolls down Joe Mullinax's face.
With the twenty fifth pick the Memphis Grizzlies select........Aleksander Vezenkov (6'8" 200 lbs.) Small Forward, Cyprus.
Ok hear me out! Chris Wallace got to pick the last Grizzly small forward and that was a swing and a miss. So it's only right John Hollinger gets to pick this one. Vezenkov has been playing professional ball since he was 16. I don't know how more people aren't on him. This is another left handed player in the draft and another to add to the Grizzlies. He's a deadly three point shooter that is best when spotting up. That's exactly what the Grizzlies need. He'll be able to play the 2-4, but won't be able to guard 4's. He may not be the quickest guy in the world, but he can drive to the basket and finish with his left. He's not only a scorer, but a guy that will battle on the boards. This is who the Grizzlies should take. He's the best prospect left on the board (and has been for about 4 picks now) and fills a need.
Bet you thought I was going to pick RJ, again.
Chip: I actually had a conversation with someone today as Vezenkov was one of the names I threw out as a guy I'd like to see the Grizz pick. He fits the John Hollinger PER model (24.5 last season), and he fills a glaring hole the the Grizz have had at small forward for several years now. He has tremendous size and can flat out score the basketball. He attempted nearly five threes per game last season and shot just under 40% from downtown. His body needs work, and I question whether he can survive being roughed up by NBA small forwards. But the Grizz training staff was able to take weight off of Jordan Adams, so I trust they could put mass on Vezenkov,
I'm proud of you, Jonah. This is one of my favorite picks of the draft.
With the twenty sixth pick, the San Antonio Spurs select......Kevon Looney (6'9" 222 lbs.) Power Forward, UCLA.
Chip: I suspect that Looney will go higher than this, and he's the best player left on my board. Looney has good size and athleticism for a power forward, but what scouts love about him is his skill-set. Looney has shown the ability to step out and knock down the three (41.5% last season), he can take opponents to the basket when they close out on him recklessly, he's an elite offensive rebounder and he has a knack for finding the ball and scoring hustle points. The Spurs get s super talented kid that Pop can mold into a stretch four.
Jonah: I've been down on Looney, but now he's going to be awesome and make a ton of money as a Spur.
With the twenty seventh pick, the Los Angeles Lakers select.......RJ Hunter (6'6" 185 lbs.) Shooting Guard, Georgia St.
Jonah: The Lakers are in desperate need of talent and Hunter could've gone higher than this. He can flat out score the basketball from all over the floor. Even though he was a chucker at Georgia St. he is still a high IQ player. The Lakers could use some of those. His thin frame is going to make defense and offense tough so he has to get stronger.
Chip: I'm a RJ Hunter fan. Maybe he turns out to be awesome, so he and Jordan Clarkson can be awesome together.
With the twenty eighth pick, the Boston Celtics select.......George De Paula Lucas (6'6" 197 lbs.) Point Guard, Pinheiros (Brazil).
Chip: The Celtics take a chance on one of the biggest freaks of nature in this year's draft. Lucas is already a huge point guard at 6'6" and if you add his 7'0" wingspan and his freakishly huge hands, he'll be on either the most physically gifted point guards in the league. Lucas just turned 19, and he's very raw. But Brad Stevens will be given plenty of time to develop Lucas alongside Marcus Smart.
Jonah: I love this pick! He's like the Greek Freak but plays point guard. Brad Stevens is going to turn him into something. #StevensForPresident
With the twenty ninth pick the Brooklyn Nets select...... Christian Wood (6'11" 216 lbs) Power Forward, UNLV.
Jonah: When in doubt go with the guy with crazy athleticism and long arms. Wood is good around the basket but he's going to be a bit of a project. The Nets are stuck in NBA purgatory so they probably have time to develop him.
Chip: I kind of like Christian Wood. He's got great size and tremendous athleticism. He's a bit raw and needs time to develop. Although, I have zero faith in Lionel Hollins developing a young big, so, uh, sorry, I got nothing.
Jonah: The only thing Lionel develops is a grudge and bad cases of gout.
With the thirtieth pick, the Golden State Warriors select........Rashad Vaughn (6'5" 199 lbs.) Shooting Guard, UNLV.
Chip: The Warriors don't necessarily *need* anything or anyone specifically, so they take a chance on a guy who was considered one of the top high school recruits on 2014. Vaughn does several things well, but he's most renowned for his ability to score. He can take players off the dribble or spot up. The UNLV freshman averaged 18.3 points per game and shot over 38 percent from three. The Warriors are adding another weapon to their already loaded scoring arsenal.
Jonah: Two UNLV guys in a row to end it! Didn't see that coming. It's really great the Warriors got another guy to shoot threes they really needed that. Don't have enough of that down in the Bay Area.