• 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

  • Lou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams went off for 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in a 129-121 win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    Williams went 1-of-2 from deep and 8-of-9 from the stripe. He also contributed four rebounds and 10 assists to the stat sheet. When the Clippers were down 118-117 with under two minutes left, Williams hit a 4-point play to go up three points. After that play, he made two more buckets to widen the gap to 125-118. Williams iced the game for the Clippers and he is one of the cogs that keeps the team successful when he is on his game.

  • Patrick Beverley - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Patrick Beverley put up 17 points with 14 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    He shot 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point territory. His attitude and energy provide the young Clippers much-needed confidence. His defense and toughness have helped the Clippers push this series to six games and possibly further, which is something many people would have counted out before the playoffs started.

  • Danilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Danilo Gallinari put up 26 points on 9-of-22 shooting in a team-high 42 minutes as the Clippers beat the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday to avoid elimination.

    He did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc as he went 3-of-11, but he did shoot 5-of-6 from the stripe. He also contributed seven rebounds, two assists and one steal to the box score. Gallinari has not been efficient during this series, and it is quite disappointing to see him taking a dip from his high level of production in the regular season. Gallinari will need to bring another performance like this one if the Clippers hope to force a Game 7.

  • Montrezl Harrell - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell played well in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday as he had 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting in 27 minutes of action.

    He added five rebounds, two assists and one block while shooting a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Harrell provided energy and paint dominance for the Clippers throughout this game, which lifted them to a win to force a Game 6. Harrell's only block came late in the fourth quarter on a Kevon Looney dunk attempt, which shifted momentum in the Clippers' favor.

  • JaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green started in Game 5 and scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three triples in 27 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors on Wednesday.

    Green was guarding Kevin Durant for much of his court time during Game 4, and Game 5 was no different. Durant is unguardable, so the 45 points that he scored is not Green's fault. He has been playing well in the starting lineup and there is no reason to believe that his role will change for Game 6.

  • Stephen Curry - G - Golden State Warriors

    Steph Curry scored 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5 as the Warriors lost to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors are still up by one game in the series, but it would have been nice to end it on their home court. Curry added three rebounds, four assists, and one block to the box score while shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Curry has had a phenomenal series thus far, which is seemingly inevitable with the Warriors' stars. The rest of the roster will need to step up in order to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Klay Thompson - G - Golden State Warriors

    Klay Thompson followed up his 32-point performance in Game 4 with a 22-point outing in Game 5 on 9-of-20 shooting in a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    He made four triples while adding three rebounds and two assists to the box score. Thompson is having a solid series with averages of 18.3 points and 2.5 triples per game in the first four games, The Warriors will have another chance to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Kevin Durant put up 45 points on 14-of-26 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in a Game 5 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors had a chance to end the series tonight but could not capitalize as they got absolutely torched by Lou Williams down the stretch. Durant added two steals, one block and five 3-pointers to the box score. He was their main scoring option down the stretch and really kept them in the game, but Williams got the best of him and pulled out the win.

  • Chris Paul - G - Houston Rockets

    Chris Paul got it done in Wednesday night's win over the Jazz, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three turnovers.

    Paul finished this series scoring 17.4 points on 46 percent shooting, both above his regular season averages. He has a habit of increasing his production in the post season and should continue to be a linchpin for the Houston offense as long as he stays healthy.

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela looked healthy in Wednesday's 100-93 win over the Jazz, scoring 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.

    Coach Mike D'Antoni indicated that Capela was feeling a lot better and it certainly looked it tonight. The lob-catching big man is essential to Houston's playoff success and could be in for a huge role in a potential showdown with the Warriors.