We have yet another trade!
In case you’re just joining us, here’s the deal. Every year before the NBA Draft we here at Grizzly Bear Blues put on a mock draft of epic proportions. This isn’t your granddaddy’s mock draft - there are trades (lots of them, as you’re about to see) that have to be approved unanimously by our trade panel (former GBBer/current Patreon page owner Matt Hrdlicka, NBA Twitter hero Sagar Trika, and Peter Edmiston of Sports56 WHBQ in Memphis and The Athletic) - and also all thirty teams are represented by a collection of GBB contributors, GBB community members/readers/Twitter followers, and members of the Memphis media.
Here is where we stand 22 picks in to the mock-
- New Orleans Pelicans - Zion Williamson, forward, Duke University
- Memphis Grizzlies - Ja Morant, guard, Murray State University
- Atlanta Hawks (via New York) - RJ Barrett, wing, Duke University
- New York Knicks (via Atlanta via LA Lakers) - Jarrett Culver, wing, Texas Tech
- Houston Rockets (via Cleveland) - De’Andre Hunter, wing, Virginia
- Phoenix Suns - Darius Garland, guard, Vanderbilt
- Memphis Grizzlies (via Chicago Bulls) - Cam Reddish, wing, Duke
- L.A. Lakers (via Atlanta Hawks) - Bol Bol, center, Oregon
- Washington Wizards - Bruno Fernando, center, Maryland
- L.A. Lakers (via Atlanta Hawks) - Tyler Herro, guard, Kentucky
- Minnesota Timberwolves - Coby White, guard, North Carolina
- Utah Jazz (via Charlotte) - Rui Hachimura, forward, Gonzaga
- Memphis Grizzlies (via Miami Heat) - Brandon Clarke, forward, Gonzaga
- Miami Heat (via Memphis Grizzlies via Boston Celtics) - Nassir Little, forward, North Carolina
- L.A. Clippers (via Detroit Pistons) - Jaxson Hayes, center, Texas
- Orlando Magic - Nickeil Alexander-Walker, guard, Virginia Tech
- Brooklyn Nets - P.J. Washington, forward, Kentucky
- Indiana Pacers - Kevin Porter Jr., wing, USC
- San Antonio Spurs - Romeo Langford, wing, Indiana
- Boston Celtics - Grant Williams, forward, Tennessee
- Oklahoma City Thunder - Cameron Johnson, forward, North Carolina
- Miami Heat - Sekou Doumbouya, forward, France
The Hornets traded Nicolas Batum and the #23 pick in this draft to the Milwaukee Bucks for George Hill, Tony Snell, and the #30 overall pick
The Hornets continue to use this draft to unload bad money - and this deal really helps them long-term. Batum not opting in to a $27 million player option on their roster makes maxing out Kemba Walker far more easy to stomach years down the road.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee...must really like who they’re taking at #23.
With the 23rd pick in the 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks select Matisse Thybulle, wing, University of Washington
The Bucks (and their mock GM Charlie Ridgely) valued Matisse a good bit, and for good reason. As good as a defender as there’s ever been in the PAC-12 - and arguably all of college basketball - Thybulle has an enormous wing span (7’0” on a 6’5” frame) and set all sorts of records for blocks and steals at Washington. Within the defensive schemes of Milwaukee, which prioritize switching and playing passing lanes, Thybulle should thrive. If he can develop any above-average offensive skill set - a three-point shot would do - he could easily be the next Danny Green or even Tony Allen, but with a better offensive game.
The mock Philadelphia 76ers (and their mock GM, GBB’s Shawn Coleman) are on the clock, and they keep their pick.
With the 24th pick in the 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Keldon Johnson, guard, University of Kentucky
Another Wildcat comes off the board. Here’s Shawn on the selection-
With the 24th pick, I focused on a player who could contribute on both sides of the court. I wanted someone who could shoot and improve the spacing on offense, while also adding needed length on the perimeter on defense. I feel Keldon Johnson offered the best combination of those desired skills, with plenty of room to mature into a significant 3 and D type player. His shooting stroke on offense along with his effort and athleticism on defense was a very attractive find this late in the first round.
With a desire to sign Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris long term, Johnson is a valuable talent on a cost effective contract that could become a solid starter in the future. For now, he can add significant scoring punch to our second unit. Overall, I feel very excited and fortunate to add Johnson’s talent to our young core for the near and long-term future.