SportsGrid NBA Mock Draft Begins with Smith Jr. to Magic
The NBA draft is set to go down tonight from the Barclay’s Center, and there’s plenty of intrigue surrounding the first round. A lot could occur in the top-five tonight, sending shockwaves down the entire draft board. This draft class isn’t one where you’re getting bonafide superstars at the top, but there’s a lot to like about these prospects who could become difference makers at the next level.
Without further ado, here’s the SportsGrid NBA Mock Draft:
1. Orlando Magic (Jabari Smith Jr. F/Auburn Tigers)
This one might go down to the wire. Leading up to today, Jabari Smith Jr. was the odds-on favorite to be selected first overall by the Orlando Magic, but there have been mixed reports that could see movement. There’s a lot to like about Smith Jr., including his versatility and pure scoring ability while also being able to handle the ball with ease, including solid range with his shot. With the odds now in his favor and no clear-cut number one prospect, the Orlando Magic get their guy.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (Chet Holmgren PF/C/Gonzaga Bulldogs)
Suppose the Magic ultimately go the route of Smith Jr. or Paolo Banchero. In that case, the Oklahoma City Thunder will happily add to their core up front by selecting Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey being foundational pieces, it’s hard to say this selection wouldn’t be a home run for the Thunder.
3. Houston Rockets (Paolo Banchero PF/Duke Blue Devils)
After the Houston Rockets dealt Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks, there was a sense that this move was to clear space for one of the incoming high-end forwards in this draft class. With Paolo Banchero waiting on the board at three, this feels like a no-brainer for the Rockets’ front office. Jalen Green and Banchero should provide two great scorers for this team as they continue their rebuild.
4. Sacramento Kings (Jaden Ivey G/Purdue Boilermakers)
This spot is where the draft should get interesting, with the top three seemingly locked in with the prospects, minus the order they’ll go in. It’s difficult to say whether or not the Sacramento Kings will add another guard into the fold. This pick could come down to Jaden Ivey or power forward, Keegan Murray. If the Kings opt to go with Ivey, it could start another roster transformation.
5. Detroit Pistons (Keegan Murray PF/C/Iowa Hawkeyes)
There have been multiple reports that Keegan Murray is someone that the Detroit Pistons front office is quite fond of, which means if the Iowa Hawkeye is still on the board at fifth, there’s a good chance they’ll grab him. Moving away from Jerami, Grant should confirm these suspicions as the Pistons can add to their young core of Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey.
6. Indiana Pacers (Bennedict Mathurin SG/Arizona Wildcats)
After seeing Murray and Ivey leave the board, the Indiana Pacers won’t force something here. Instead, they’ll be happy to select Bennedict Mathurin from the Arizona Wildcats. Mathurin is already good off the ball and can create offense as a scorer, which should fit in well with this Pacers team.
7. Portland Trail Blazers (Dyson Daniels G/G League Ignite)
Things get more interesting at number seven with the Portland Trail Blazers on the clock. Damian Lillard and the Blazers have been lacking an elite defensive presence and someone who can efficiently distribute. Dyson Daniels could complement what this team has heading into the near future.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (Shaedon Sharpe G/Kentucky Wildcats)
The second Canadian prospect off the board in the top ten, Shaedon Sharpe, provides significant upside here for the New Orleans Pelicans. Sharpe would bring a lot of excitement to the Pelicans’ backcourt after the team acquired C.J. McCollum last season, and this pick has the potential to be a home run selection with his upside.
9. San Antonio Spurs (Jeremy Sochan F/Baylor Bears)
Jeremy Sochan is a great defender and fits the mold of prospects the San Antonio Spurs typically gravitate toward. It’s not a safe pick either, there’s a definite upside, and he could be a difference-maker for years in the Spurs’ frontcourt.
10. Washington Wizards (Johnny Davis G/Wisconsin Badgers)
There’s a lot to like about Johnny Davis out of Wisconsin, and the Washington Wizards would be happy to see him still on the board ahead of their tenth selection. Davis is great at creating his shots, and Bradley Beal can help him develop his jumper into a consistent threat at the NBA level.
Below you can find all 30 of our selections ahead of the first round of the NBA draft tonight.
|1. Orlando||Jabari Smith Jr.|
|2. Oklahoma City||Chet Holmgren|
|3. Houston||Paolo Banchero|
|4. Sacramento||Jaden Ivey|
|5. Detroit||Keegan Murray|
|6. Indiana||Bennedict Mathurin|
|7. Portland||Dyson Daniels|
|8. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers)||Shaedon Sharpe|
|9. San Antonio||Jeremy Sochan|
|10. Washington||Johnny Davis|
|11. New York||AJ Griffin|
|12. Oklahoma City (from LA Clippers)||Jalen Williams|
|13. Charlotte||Jalen Duran|
|14. Cleveland||Ousmane Dieng|
|15. Charlotte (from New Orleans)||Malaki Branham|
|16. Atlanta||Ochai Agbaji|
|17. Houston (from Brooklyn)||Tari Eason|
|18. Chicago||Wendell Moore Jr.|
|19. Minnesota||TyTy Washington Jr.|
|20. San Antonio (from Toronto)||Blake Wesley|
|21. Denver||Dalen Terry|
|22. Memphis (from Utah)||E.J. Liddell|
|23. Philadelphia||Jaden Hardy|
|24. Milwaukee||Jake LaRavia|
|25. San Antonio (from Boston)||Ismael Kamagate|
|26. Dallas||Nikola Jovic|
|27. Miami||Bryce McGowens|
|28. Golden State||Patrick Baldwin|
|29. Memphis||Kennedy Chandler|
|30. Denver Nuggets (from OKC)||Andrew Nembhard|