Tonight, we’re going to witness NBA Christmas.
Well, the Finals are *actual* NBA Christmas. Maybe this is more like NBA Easter? NBA 4th of July? That sounds better. At any rate, the draft is upon us! Teams’ hopes and futures will be secured or dashed! The Boston Celtics will do something to add more assets to their team, the Lakers will continue trying to make themselves a megastar destination, and the Sacramento Kings will likely keep on making me *Kanye shrug gif*. It’ll be a great time!
With that preamble out of the way, I’m proud to present the first annual Brew Sports NBA Last Minute Mock Draft. It’s like every other mock draft, but we put it out the morning of the real thing! That way I don’t have to revise it when the Lakers make a crazy trade or Phil Jackson hits the panic button and wrecks a New York franchise even further.
#1 Philadelphia 76ers (via Boston): Markelle Fultz, Washington
Fultz is the lead guard the Sixers need to pair with their bevy of front court prospects. He’s also the clearest Result of The Process. No pressure, kid!
#2 Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, UCLA
The Lakers’ trade of D’Angelo Russell on the eve of the draft telegraphs this pick – the Ball family is staying in LA. Get your popcorn ready.
#3 Boston Celtics (via Philadelphia): Josh Jackson, Kansas
It’s a tough pick between Jackson and Tatum, but pairing either with Jaylon Brown would set Boston up with a versatile forward combination to build around for years to come
#4 Phoenix Suns: Jayson Tatum, Duke
Death. Taxes. Forwards from Duke in the lottery.
#5 Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Some people think that Fox might be the best point guard in this draft, and he certainly has the tools to get there. Sacramento is willing to take that bet.
#6 Orlando Magic: Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
Isaac is the NBA’s next great unknown: is there a Giannis in that box, or is it more of a Bruno Caboclo?
#7 Minnesota Timberwolves: Lauri Markkonnen, Arizona
With a ceiling of Finnish Dirk Nowitzki and a floor of Finnish Ryan Anderson, Markkonnen adds shooting to an already potent Wolves attack. Defense… well, they can fix that later.
#8 New York Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr., NC State
Can he run the triangle?
(Trick question: no one under the age of 37 can run the triangle. But Smith is a fine pickup for whenever the Knicks are ready to move on from Derrick Rose’s next knee injury)
#9 Dallas Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina, France
Dallas will probably be fine with whichever of Smith or Ntilikina falls to them, and finding a guard to pair with franchise building blocks Harrison Barnes and Nerlins Noel should be the top priority.
#10 Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans): Malik Monk, Kentucky
I’ll admit this one is just too easy considering that I gave Sacramento Monk’s collegiate backcourt buddy at #5. But if you take Fox, then you’re going to need shooting to go with him. Any concerns about doubling up at guard with Buddy Hield will probably be overshadowed by the appeal of picking Monk this low.
#11 Charlotte Hornets: Luke Kennard, Duke
#12 Detroit Pistons: Zach Collins, Gonzaga
#13 Denver Nuggets: John Collins, Wake Forest
Not related to the other guy – while he hasn’t clearly demonstrated the shooting range that would make him a great fit next to Nikola Jokic in Denver, it’s hard to ignore his college productivity.
#14 Miami Heat: Donovan Mitchell, Louisville
#15 Portland Trailblazers: OG Anunoby, Indiana
#16 Chicago Bulls: Jarrett Allen, Texas
#17 Milwaukee Bucks: Ike Akignobu, UCLA
Either him or the other young, long-wingspanned big man who projects as an energy big/rim protector.
#18 Indiana Pacers: Bam Adebayo, Kentucky
(Him. I was referring to him.)
#19 Atlanta Hawks: Justin Jackson, North Carolina
#20 Portland Trailblazers (via Denver): Anzejs Pasecniks, Latvia
#21 Oklahoma City Thunder: Justin Patton, Creighton
#22 Brooklyn Nets: Harry Giles, Duke
Don’t look now, but the Nets have strung together a series of smart moves to grab unconventional or undervalued prospects like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, and now D’Angelo Russell. When you’re at the bottom, might as well swing for the fences.
#23 Toronto Raptors (via Milwaukee): Terrance Ferguson, Australia
Ferguson took the risky road of playing overseas instead of going to the NCAA, and I think he’s going to slide because of his relatively unimpressive pro season. Someone like the Raptors will be more than happy for it, though.
#24 Utah Jazz: Semi Ojeleye, Southern Mississippi
#25 Orlando Magic (via Toronto): Derrick White, Colorado
If they don’t trust Elfrid Payton’s long-term potential (and I wouldn’t), picking up a mature, big point guard late in the first makes sense for Orlando.
#26 Portland Trailblazers: Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
#27 Los Angeles Lakers (via Brooklyn): Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State
You know, in case that Ball kid doesn’t work out.
#28 Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston): DJ Wilson, Michigan
#29 San Antonio Spurs: Ivan Rabb, Cal
He could go much higher than this. But a guy like Rabb falling to the Spurs and then becoming a critical piece of their future is just too perfect.
#30 Utah Jazz: Isaiah Hartenstein, Germany
And that’s the first round! Don’t make me do the second as well, or I’ll just start making up names to see if you’re paying attention.
But now, we want to hear from you – who’s too high? Who’s too low? Why will the Celtics trade down again for a 2021 first? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more coverage as the draft unfolds!