• Update: Mock now finalized following trades that have taken place as of 7 AM PST on June 23rd

    We are now just days away from the NBA Draft and the anticipation is starting to mount up.  King James just finished his playoff run of terror in the most historic of ways and all NBA fans have to look forward to is four months of offseason speculation and hype.

    If you are one of our regular readers, you will notice I have been submitting mock drafts over the past few weeks in an attempt to hit an ever-moving target.  As the draft gets closer, fans are able to get a little more transparency as to the mindsets of NBA front offices.  There are bound to be curveballs, trades and poor decisions to be made Thursday night.

    However, I’m going to project this final mock in a way that I believe makes the most sense without trades impacting the selections too much.  In addition, this mock draft will not include a second round as I fear there will be too much movement to accurately guess who will be picked.  Make sure to click the ‘next’ button on each page to check out further picks and analysis throughout the entire first round.  Finally, come back next week for my article on draft night analysis and fantasy impacts for rookies.

    Top 5

    1. 76ers – Ben Simmons, PF/SF, LSU

    Simmons is the top talent in the draft and the 76ers are said to be sticking with him.  There are plenty of rumors that the 76ers will be moving one or more of their current big men to make room for Simmons in the rotation.  Regardless of trade outcomes, the 76ers have to take Simmons and build around him and he is simply too talented to let slide.

     

    2. Lakers – Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke

    The Lakers will gladly take Ingram or Simmons, but they will most likely be left with Ingram here.  Ingram should immediately start and have fantasy value.  The Lakers are said to be looking for another top 5 pick if they can find a team willing to deal.  The Lakers worked out Buddy Hield this past week, but it is unlikely they take him as the second overall pick.

     

    3. Celtics – Kris Dunn, PG, Providence

    The Celtics could go many directions with this pick, including a trade.  They are supposedly very high on Brown after a recent workout, but I believe this may simply be a smokescreen.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the rumors are all pre-draft posturing by the Celtics and they decide to go a different route.  If I had to bet, I would guess the Celtics are the most likely to trade out of the top five.  I see Boston doing whatever it takes to trade out of this spot or simply taking Dunn here for trade bait.

     

    4. Suns – Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington

    Chriss has a lot of potential and the Suns are willing to let his potential play out over time. Rumor has it that they see him as a Shawn Marion type in the future.  The Suns have worked out Chriss and Bender at this point and could go either direction.  Bender would most likely have a more immediate impact, but the hope is that Chriss would develop nicely and reach a higher ceiling aroud the same time Devin Booker hits his prime.  Formerly a fringe lottery pick, Chriss has soared up draft boards as NBA front offices are intrigued by his potential.  There are plenty of trade rumors involving the Suns as they possess three first round picks.  Barring a trade for a player like Jimmy Butler (which I am hoping for), I would expect Phoenix to keep this pick and grab either Chriss or Bender.

     

    5. Wolves – Buddy Hield, SG, Oklahoma

    Hield is all over the place on draft boards as we get closer to the draft, but he would fit an immediate need for the Wolves (shooting) if he falls to five.  There is a lot of talk that the Wolves trade out of this spot for a veteran player to appease new head coach Tom Thibodeau.  Hield is very talented, as evidenced by his senior college campaign, and has displayed his shooting and athleticism during pre-draft workouts.

Fantasy News

  • Kenny Wooten
    PF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.

    Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post

  • Oshae Brissett
    SG-SF, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Jordan McLaughlin
    G, Minnesota Timberwolves

    The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.

    McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay
    PG, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.

    All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.

    Source: NBA.com

  • CJ McCollum
    SG, Trail Blazers

    C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Frank Mason
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.

    Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Kyle Korver
    SF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

    This is not the worst landing spot for Korver but he will strictly be a backup and entering his 17th season, he should not be relevant in standard leagues. He was able to knock down 2.1 triples per game in only 20.1 minutes last season so he may have value as a specialist in super-deep leagues however.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Chris Paul
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Chris Paul has reportedly settled on the idea of starting the season for the Thunder.

    Although Oklahoma City and Miami did not have formal discussions regarding a Chris Paul trade according to Brian Windhorst, the Thunder were willing to discuss giving back the Heat some picks but the Heat would have also wanted Paul to decline his $44 million player option in 2021-2022, which is not going to happen. The Heat want to remain flexible in the next big free agent class of 2021 and adding Paul on his current deal would take that away. Paul's usage rate will likely increase on the Thunder but keep in mind that he has missed at least 21 games in each of the three seasons before drafting him as the 9-time All-Star enters his 15th season in the league.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon withdraws from Team USA training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Gordon is the third player to withdraw this week after James Harden and Anthony Davis. The original training camp list of 20 is now down to 17 and the official 12-team roster will be announced on August 17.

    Source: Shams Charanis on Twitter

  • Luke Kornet
    PF-C, Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls have officially announced the signings of Luke Kornet and Shaquille Harrison.

    Kornet can provide threes and blocks as a backup big for the Bulls. He is currently behind Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young and Wendell Carter Jr. but may be able to carve out some minutes for deep-league owners. Harrison will be fighting for minutes with the Bulls' plethora of point guards at the moment. If he can find some minutes during the season, he can be a source of steals as a player to stream or for deep leagues.

    Source: Bulls.com