The NBA champions are in Canada! Golden State is broken. LeBron and the Lakers are back in play while the Celtics grand plans are fading away. This past NBA season wasn't always FAN-tastic, but it sure was entertaining!
I want tonight's NBA Draft to follow suit. I need plenty of reaches, trades and Woj-bombs. I love the this goofy talent hunt like no other...always have. So for the 24th straight year and without any prompting, requests, need or adieu here is my take on what will go down in the first round.
Despite my grand desire and unquestioned availability no GM has ever called my name on draft night. Apparently my age, lack of ability and questionable attitude have always been held against me. Haters gonna hate, but for those lucky few who will have their dream come true tonight...congrats! I am eternally jealous.
What better way to show off that envy then a snarky mock draft! Away we go...
Photo: Wix.com via Unsplash
1. Pelicans - Zion Williamson PF, Duke
Easiest lock in the draft. Zion will be busting shoes in the Big Easy for years to come as New Orleans hits the jackpot with the only player that could make fans forget The Brow.
2. Grizzlies - Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
Goodbye Bump-n-Grind...hello flash and dash. A long way still to go for the Grizz, but they start with an exciting building block in the electrifying Morant.
3. Knicks - R.J. Barrett, SF, Duke
Barrett wants NYC while the Knicks want a do-over of the draft lottery and the last two weeks. Barrett aint Durant, but he's the best option at 3.
4. Pelicans - Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
While I believe this pick is going to be traded (to the Wizards in deal for Bradley Beal), if the Pelicans are drafting at 4 they take Hunter to offset their newly formed and woeful shooting Bayou version of the Lakers.
5. Cavaliers - De'Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia
As usual, the Cavs need sooooo much. New coach John Beilein will keep them away from the risk and go with the a refining national champ over the higher ceiling of Garland.
6. Suns - Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
Phoenix finally gets the PG they have needed since Steve Nash went to La-La Land. The Suns are going to be scary good if they can get a good vet to babysit all this young talent.
7. Bulls - Coby White, PG, North Carolina
The Kris Dunn experiment is over in the windy city. White will push the attack for Chicago and fit right in on a team that only plays lip service to defense.
8. Hawks - Cam Reddish, SF, Duke
Atlanta needs help up front, but with 3 first round picks, can't pass up a chance to add more offensive punch in Reddish. Like Alex Lifeson of Rush, Reddish was the forgotten member of Duke's power trio, but they were better with his complimentary skills.
9. Wizards - Sekou Doumbouya, C-PF, France
Again, I believe this pick is in play in a deal with the Pelicans. If Washington is picking they take a Euro-step to improve their pitiful front court.
10. Hawks - Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
Atlanta gets the big man they covet and really need. Like the Suns this team is loaded with young talent. It will be interesting to see how it will be squandered.
11. Timberwolves - Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga
Minnesota would love to get a PG & ship Wiggins and his contract out. That aint happening, so they add Rui to KAT upfront. Who had Hachimura as a 1st rounder 2 years ago? Don't lie!
12. Hornets - Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina
Meh...Little is a fabulous talent, but like all the moves made by MJ as an owner it leaves me shrugging. 3-and-D only works if you have a star to build around.
13. Heat - PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky
Floor spacer...3-and-D guy...high basketball IQ. And with that I am out of cliches for a good fit player heading to South Beach.
14. Celtics - Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky
Their plans have gone sideways. Time to build around the young core and a long range scoring machine is the hero the grumpy Beantown fans will rally around.
15. Pistons - Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana
Montagues and Capulets. Can Detroit find a backcourt to marry with Blake and Andre up front? “I defy you, stars.” Hello Romeo...welcome to Detroit
16. Magic - Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech
Admit it, you can't name 3 players on the Orlando roster...now you can name one 3-name player. It's a start with a team full of faults...err Fultz
17. Hawks - Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga
Another pick that I think will be traded, but if not the ATL gets a big body with great hops and I get to use more draft day cliches! Loved watching him play for the Zags and I hope he proves me wrong but the words tweener and reach come to mind.
18. Pacers - Bol Bol, C, Oregon
He's like 10-feet tall and weighs 150 pounds. How can the Pacers pass him up. I may be off on my measurables, but Bol is a rare combination of tremendous size and athleticism. If he stays healthy (BIG if) he will be better than his pop. Pacers roll the dice.
19. Spurs - Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia
There are few locks in the NBA Draft, but we all know San Antonio will get a Euro-star int he making that the rest of us have barely heard of. 2019...Done & done.
20. Celtics - Mfiondu Kabengele, PF, Florida State
Contrary to popular belief, Wazzu Cougar Aron Baynes can't dominate forever. The C's added scoring at #14, now they address their glaring holes upfront.
21. Thunder - Kevin Porter, SG, USC
OKC needs shooting and Porter can light it up from long range. The added delight in this pick for SONICS fans is his off court issues/maturity questions and the possibility of implosion with a fragile team.
22. Celtics - Chuma Okeke, PF, Auburn
Boston didn't want to be using their 3rd pick in the first round, and might not if Ainge can wheel and deal. If they are picking, they take a chance and get a lottery pick in Okeke pre-injury.
23. Grizzlies - Keldon Johnson, SG, Kentucky
It's going to be a long season for Memphis as they rebuild. Morant gets his backcourt mate that can score to ease the pain.
24. 76ers - Eric Paschall, PF, Villanova
I don't see Philly bringing back everybody. They keep Reddick and Paschall steps right in upfront for either Harris or Butler. Good fit who can shoot, but does it matter as long as Ben Simmons still can't?
25. Blazers - KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford
Portland needs points beyond their backcourt and this pick may be in play for a veteran. Okpala is project, but with so much $$$ tied up into Dame & CJ, the Blazers have to take a shot, something their forwards shied away from too often
26. Cavaliers - Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington
You know what you're getting here...3-and-TENACIOUS D! This makes sense for a Cleveland team that had the worst defensive rating in the NBA last year. So of course they won't do it.
27. Nets - Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
Brooklyn needs some more offensive punch up front. Fernando impressed last year for the Terps. I think we all look forward to Kyrie not working well with him in the post.
28. Warriors - Ty Jerome, SG, Virginia
Golden State literally limps into their new digs next season. With most of the squads scared to shoot, they'll need offense from someone other than Curry. Jerome is not afraid, even if he did double-dribble!
29. Spurs - Nicolas Claxton, SF/PF, Georgia
Having secured their European requirement, San Antonio gets an exciting work in progress with a huge upside. You can already see Pop turing red and screaming on the sidelines. the best and worst times a coming for Claxton.
30. Pistons - Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont
Got nothing...C'mon he's from Belmont. He can score and the Piston smalls cannot. Works for me and for Dwayne Casey.
There you have it, the first round of the NBA Draft in mocking glory. I guarantee nothing except that every GM will say they love all their picks and it will all be overshadowed by the free agency circus that will follow on June 30th. Break out the popcorn tonight and later this month to take in the show that may surpass the craziness of the just wrapped up season. Enjoy it...you're on the clock!