With the NBA Draft two days away, the offseason is in full swing. One hour after the start of the offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns for a package that included Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, and a future first-round pick. Paul will form a three-headed monster with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton. While there is much more in store for the offseason, this is my mock draft of the picks 1-14. Keep in mind this can change based on trades made within the next couple of days.
1.Minnesota Anthony Edwards G Georgia
While Lamelo Ball seems to be the consensus number one at this point, I don't see the Timberwolves taking him due to Ball's lack of defense and fit with D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Edwards will provide a great third option for the Timberwolves and will be in the rotation immediately. While his IQ and shooting-ability were two problems that have come up, they are fixable. Edwards is a great defender and iso scorer who should be a solid player for years to come.
2.Golden State James Wiseman C Memphis
The Warriors likely will not have this pick if Lamelo Ball falls to the second pick. But, if they are making this pick, they will pick James Wiseman due to their need at the center position. Wiseman is incredibly physically gifted at 7'1'' 247 pounds with a 9'6'' standing reach. There is no doubt he will be able to make an impact on this team right away as a rim protector. Because the Warriors have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins, there won't be a lot of pressure on Wiseman to rush his development and score right away.
3.Charlotte Lamelo Ball G USA
The Hornets would be ecstatic if Lamelo Ball somehow fell to them at the third pick. Ball played twelve games in the NBL and averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He did this on 37.5% shooting and 25% from three. While the shooting numbers are not good, that should not stop teams from drafting him. Ball is a flashy, marketable player who will try to help get the Hornets over the hump of mediocrity.
4.Chicago Deni Avdija G/F Israel
Avdija will be a fantastic fit in Chicago. He is very versatile and can play every position but center. Deni Avdija is a point forward who can create for himself and others. While he might not start right away, he will be in the rotation as a backup who will provide a spark for Chicago. Deni will need to improve his shooting and finishing around the rim with his off hand to have success on a young Chicago Bulls team.
5.Cleveland Onyeka Okongwu F/C USC
Many have compared Onyeka Okongwu to Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo, and I think that is a perfect comparison for him. Okongwu is an incredible rim protector and is a flashy dunker. He averaged 1.6 steals and 3.5 blocks per 40 minutes in college, so he has proved he can get the job done on the defensive end. With the rumors of Kevin Love wanting out of Cleveland, Okongwu will most likely back up Andre Drummond at center for the beginning of his career due to his lack of shooting.
6.Atlanta Isaac Okoro G/F Auburn
Okoro is very similar to DeAndre Hunter as they are both fantastic defenders. He will be yet another play added to this team to try and make up for Trae Young and John Collins' lack of defense. Isaac Okoro is one of the best defenders in the draft, as he was in the 90th percentile in isolation points per possession. He likely won't play a lot of minutes right away but should be a solid role player off of the bench.
7.Detroit Patrick Williams F Florida State
One of the big risers during the pre-draft process, Williams has impressed scouts with his defensive versatility. Detroit is currently rebuilding, and it would not be surprising if they gave Williams minutes right away. Patrick Williams will bring immediate impact as an explosive three and D wing who should be a nice compliment to Blake Griffin.
8.New York Obi Toppin F Dayton
Obi Toppin was the best player in college basketball last year. Many have him projected as a top-five pick, but I have him falling out of the top five due to his horrendous defense. Toppin countless times last season could not play defense. He gambles too much on passes, falls asleep on defense, and gets himself way out of position at times. Tom Thibodeau is a great defensive coach who will give Toppin time to develop his defense as he rarely plays rookies.
9.Washington Devin Vassell G/F Florida State
With their likely target Isaac Okoro off the board, Vassell is Plan B as a fantastic three and D wing. He will immediately help the worst defensive team in the league and will not be more than a fifth option behind John Wall, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, and Thomas Bryant. While his impact won't show up in the box score, it will be felt by teammates with his help on defense.
10.Phoenix Tyrese Haliburton G Iowa State
With the recent Chris Paul trade, Phoenix will most likely draft a guard due to their complete lack of depth at the position. There are many quality guards available, but Haliburton fits what the Suns want to do the best. Haliburton will get minutes off of the bench and is a great all-around point guard. He is 6'5'', can shoot from deep, is a flashy passer, can rebound and is a fantastic defender. Haliburton will get to learn from future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul and will be a quality fit for this team.
11.San Antonio Precious Achiuwa F/C Memphis
With a frontcourt that is getting up there in age, the Spurs will look to give themselves some youth with Memphis big man Precious Achiuwa. Achiuwa is 6'9'' 234 pounds and can play both the four and the five. He showed he was capable of shooting as he shot 32.5% from three at Memphis. While he likely won't need to play right away, he will have a role as a defensive energizer off the bench.
12.Sacramento Killian Hayes G Germany
Killian Hayes is a solid fit for Sacramento because he does not need to play right away, and when he does, he can play next to De'Aaron Fox. He is a bit raw but has been scouted as high as the Chicago Bulls at #4. He has already played in 72 professional games across Europe, and that experience will help him become more comfortably adjusted to the NBA. I wouldn't expect him to play right away, but watch for him to become a key backup or even starter by the end of the season.
13.New Orleans Kira Lewis G Alabama
With the recent rumors of Jrue Holiday getting traded, Kira Lewis would fit right into this fun, New Orleans Pelicans team. He is a nimble point guard who can shoot and pass. Lewis is similar to De'Aaron Fox when it comes to speed and should be able to provide a spark plug off of the bench for the Pelicans.
14.Boston Aaron Nesmith G/F Vanderbilt
Boston likely won't be picking here, as they have three first-round picks and would like to move up in the draft. If they do have this pick, Aaron Nesmith with be a positive addition to this team. Nesmith is a fantastic shooter who shot 52% from three last year in college and will likely get minutes off the bench because of his ability to knock down threes.
Do you agree with all of these? Let me know in the comments!