A day after the brilliant Mock GM of the Memphis Grizzlies (full disclosure - me) helped rebuild the core of the roster in one mock draft, the 2019 GBB Community Mock Draft moves right along...to 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 14 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
The mock Detroit Pistons were on the clock...then they weren’t. We have another trade!
The Los Angeles Clippers (and Mock GM Nick Bushart) have traded Lou Williams and the #48 overall pick in the 2019 Community Mock Draft to the Detroit Pistons (and Mock GM Zak White of The BarnBurner) for Glenn Robinson III, Langston Galloway, and the #15 pick in the 2019 Community Mock Draft.
Here’s why the Clippers do the deal -
The Clippers are in a great spot this summer with possibly two max salaries that they can offer. Lou Williams put in a great season for LA last year as he averaged 20 points per game. However, the Clippers have young guards that look to step up and take over. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson, Landry Shamet and Tyrone Wallace all look to make impacts as young players. With Williams turning 33 this trade allows for the Clippers to continue to get younger while looking to add two stars in free agency. Langston Galloway gives the Clips a good bench player who averaged 8.4 points last season and Glen Robinson would be stretch provisioned, opening up more cap space for a second max player. Assuming that the Clippers go after Kawhi Leonard or Klay Thompson, this trade makes sense.
Fair enough. Now for the pick-
With the 15th pick in the 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select Jaxson Hayes, center, University of Texas
A good value pick at #15. Here again is the Clippers Mock GM Nich Bushart-
With the 15th pick the LA Clippers turn to one of their needs which is rim protection. Jaxson Hayes is a 6-11 center, from Texas who has a 7-3 wing span. As a freshman Hayes finished up his season averaging 10.0 points per game, 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots. He finished his year breaking the all time single season field goal percentage record at Texas and finished third in the Big 12 in block shots. He gives the Clippers another DeAndre Jordan type of player who could pair well with Montrezl Harrell.
As for Detroit? Their GM weighs in on the trade that brings elite scorer Lou Williams to the Pistons-
The focal point of the Pistons roster - for at least the next two seasons - is Blake Griffin. Griffin was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Clippers last January. This off-season, a familiar West Coast trade partner expressed interest in our first round pick in the upcoming draft. We are willing to part with a coveted first round pick only because we are looking for an immediate impact to the roster. Instead of forcing us to wait on the development of a youngster (who might not develop until after Griffin’s time is up in Detroit) this enables us the opportunity to add a known contributor.
Last season, Detroit’s offense boasted little to no threat, residing in the bottom third of the league throughout the season. In order to maximize Griffin’s contribution in the Motor City, we needed to add more firepower. The most effective way to achieve this is to bring on an individual that can add 20 points-per-game and provide needed energy off the bench. For this, we look to Lou Williams. Williams’ scoring consistency will provide an immediate upgrade offensively. We are optimistic that his contributions will propel the Pistons past the first round of the playoffs.
It’s a win for the Pistons. Williams may ever make the All-Star team in the East, given his production abilities, depending on his role.
With the 16th pick in the 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select Nickeil Alexander-Walker, guard, Virginia Tech.
A talented combo guard that could wind up making noise on the rising Magic. Here’s their GM with the logic behind the pick-
The Orlando Magic have a big problem; literally, there are too many bigs on their roster. The future of the Magic as it currently stands relies on the development of Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, and Mo Bamba, and that doesn’t even account for the possibility of retaining Nikola Vucevic. While there were players that had higher ceilings available (namely Goga Bitadze, and Sekou Doumbouya), the Magic need a scoring guard more than they need another 4 or 5.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker will be able to contribute on the wing almost immediately. He projects as a good to great shooter with an eye for finding the open man in transition and an ability to play the game comfortably at any pace. Defensively, he reminds me a lot of his cousin, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with his ability to use his long wingspan to find open passing lanes and take advantage. The Magic need someone to come in and contribute immediately and be a part of their future.
At #16 overall, a wing like Alexander-Walker is fortunate to go to a team trying to win now. It should help both with prospective role and his overall development.
The 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft rolls on!