– By Steve Stich
Version I of my NBA mock draft. See below for my thoughts on the first 30 selections for the upcoming June draft. Version II will be my final installment closer to selection day on June 25th.
1) Minnesota Timberwolves – Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
Timberwolves go with Okafor over Towns.
2) Los Angeles Lakers – Karl-Anthony Towns, PF/C, Kentucky
The Lakers gladly take Towns with pick #2.
3) Philadelphia 76ers – D’Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State
Russell gives the 76ers a playmaking guard who can shoot from the outside.
4) New York Knicks – Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Guangdong Tigers
The Knicks desperately wanted to be picking one of the top two big men in this draft. Instead, they take the best player available.
5) Orlando Magic – Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
Cauley-Stein forms a nice 1-2 punch alongside Nikola Vucevic.
6) Sacramento Kings – Kristaps Porzingis, PF, CB Sevilla
Sacramento adds Porzingis who can shoot from the outside and should be able to help spread the floor for Demarcus Cousins.
7) Denver Nuggets – Justise Winslow, SF, Duke
The Nuggets make Winslow the first small forward taken in the draft.
8) Detroit Pistons – Mario Hezonja, SF, FC Barcelona
Hezonja provides much needed depth at the small forward position.
9) Charlotte Hornets – Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
The Hornets desperately need backcourt shooting, so they add perhaps the best shooter in the draft in Booker.
10) Miami Heat – Frank Kaminsky, PF, Wisconsin
Kaminsky can help the Heat return to the playoffs right away.
11) Indiana Pacers – Myles Turner, C, Texas
Turner has the ability to protect the rim while also being able to shoot from deep.
12) Utah Jazz – Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
Johnson gives the Jazz more depth on the wing while also giving them another good athlete to go along with Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert, and Gordon Hayward.
13) Phoenix Suns – Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
Lyles can come in and help the Suns and be that stretch four they did not have last year after they lost Channing Frye to free agency.
14) Oklahoma City Thunder – Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
Grant’s experience playing in big games will help him contribute right away.
15) Atlanta Hawks (From Brooklyn) – Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas
The Hawks may lose DeMarre Carroll to free agency, so they need to add depth to the small forward position.
16) Boston Celtics – Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
Boston would like to trade up, and with all of the assets they have collected over the past few years, they might be able to. If not Portis would be a good selection here.
17) Milwaukee Bucks – RJ Hunter, SG, Georgia State
Hunter can provide the Bucks with instant offense off of the bench. One of the best shooters in the draft.
18) Houston Rockets (From New Orleans) – Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
Jones should be able to help take some of the ball handling pressure off of James Harden.
19) Washington Wizards – Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
Harrell helps give the Wizards much needed front court depth.
20) Toronto Raptors – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona
If Hollis-Jefferson can develop a jump shot, he could be one of the steals in the draft.
21) Dallas Mavericks – Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State
Payne can come in and be one of the replacements to Rajon Rondo.
22) Chicago Bulls – Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA
The Bulls add some depth to the front court with the addition of Looney.
23) Portland Trailblazers – Christian Wood, PF, UNLV
The Blazers must select a replacement for LaMarcus Aldridge in case he does not re-sign in free agency.
24) Cleveland Cavaliers – Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
Dekker adds some depth behind LeBron.
25) Memphis Grizzlies – Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia
Memphis gains a small forward who can help right away in Anderson.
26) San Antonio Spurs – Delon Wright, PG, Utah
Wright, a bigger guard, can help replace production from Manu Ginobli if he decides to retire.
27) Los Angeles Lakers (From Houston) – Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV
The Lakers select Vaughn, who can learn from Kobe, and perhaps develop into his future successor at the two guard spot.
28) Boston Celtics (From Los Angeles Clippers) – Chris McCullough, PF, Syracuse
Coming off an ACL tear, the Celtics add a player with potential lottery talent.
29) Brooklyn Nets (From Atlanta) – Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville
Rozier adds youth to the Nets backcourt.
30) Golden State Warriors – Norman Powell, SG, UCLA
Warriors add another scoring guard.
Steve Stich, @stevestich12