On a normal year, we should be already talking about the upcoming NBA Draft but this year has been everything but normal. In fact, we didn’t even get to watch the NCAA’s March Madness, where many prospects rise or fall on the big boards.
This NBA Draft is going to be quite unique. There’s not as much footage as usual and truth to be told, there isn’t that much talent either. That’s why scouts are likely going to play it safe this time, especially when it comes to picking in the top 10.
That’s why today we’re going to put together our top-10 pick mock Draft. We’ll talk about the can’t-miss talents that will enter the NBA next season and most importantly, how they’ll fit the plans of the teams lucky enough to get them in the Draft:
10. Phoenix Suns – Cole Anthony
Cole Anthony has been surrounded by NBA players since day one. He’s as confident as they come on his game and is a reckless scorer that will get you buckets every time you need it. He’s used to going vs. NBA players in scrimmages and has a vast offensive repertoire.
The Suns would get a suitable successor for Ricky Rubio here. He’s a bit undersized and defense would be an issue, especially paired with Devin Booker. Thus, Rubio – a solid defender – could mentor him into becoming a better all-around player.
9. Washington Wizards – Isaac Okoro
The Washington Wizards currently have a historically bad defense. That’s likely going to change once John Wall gets back in the court and Bradley Beal starts playing defense again as well. But they’ll also get a major boost by drafting Isaac Okoro.
Okoro is arguably the best defender in this class. He’s long, physical, athletic and has great instincts in the defensive end. He’s a great switcher and an outstanding defender off the ball as well. If he develops a somewhat reliable shot, he’d be a solid 3-and-D small forward for many years to come.
8. Charlotte Hornets – Onyeka Okongwu
The Charlotte Hornets have more mouths to feed than they’d like right now. Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier, Mikal Bridges, and PJ Washington are the go-to-guys in the offensive end, but they need someone to anchor their defense down low, and that’s Onyeka Okongwu.
Okongwu is a bit undersized for a center but makes up for it with his impressive athleticism and wingspan. He’s a huge menace below and above the rim and doesn’t get bullied around by bigger rivals in the post. Still, he needs to put a lot of work on his offensive and ball-handling skills.
7. Chicago Bulls – Deni Avdija
Well, the Chicago Bulls got the 7th pick. Again. Luckily for them, they’d be getting one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s Draft: Deni Avdija. He’s one of the most experienced players in this class and has a pretty round-up game.
Avdija has the size and skills to play at both the 3 and the 4. He’s more than capable of running the offense if needed, is a great finisher, and excels in transition. He also uses his size well in post-ups and has a high basketball IQ. His three-point and free-throw shooting must improve and he may struggle at times due to his lack of athleticism.
6. New York Knicks – Tyrese Haliburton
The New York Knicks have been looking for a franchise point guard for years, so they’re definitely going to go with Tyrese Haliburton here. He’s a big, physical point guard with quite a strong frame who looks ready to go vs. NBA opposition.
Haliburton is an old-school pass-first point guard. He excels in the pick-and-roll and makes the most of his size vs. smaller players, both in defense and offense. Also, he’s an efficient three-point shooter (40%). Still, he needs to be way more aggressive as a scorer.
5. Detroit Pistons – Obi Toppin
Obi Toppin is one of the most polarizing players in his class. He struggles mightily in the defensive end and is already 22, which may scare some teams, but his offensive skills and dominant presence make him interesting and promising enough to take in the top-5.
Toppin can play all three spots in the frontcourt. He’s an elite and explosive athlete that can make an impact right away, as well as a 42% three-point shooter. The Pistons would get a replacement for Blake Griffin in case they decide to trade him and they’d build around him and Doumbouya.
4. Atlanta Hawks – Killian Hayes
The Atlanta Hawks already have Trae Young as their point guard of the future but Killian Hayes would be a perfect complement for their backcourt. He’s got the size and length to be a great defender and hide Young in that aspect, and enough playmaking ability to allow Trae to play off the ball from time to time.
Hayes is already pretty experienced and has a high basketball IQ. He can create his own shot and find the open teammate with ease. On the downside, he needs to take better care of the ball and improve his shooting from beyond the arc. He’d give the Hawks enough talent to explore trading some of their prospects for an All-Star.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves – LaMelo Ball
LaMelo Ball is one of the most polarizing and intriguing players we’ve seen in years. The talent is undeniable, and the upside as one of the most unstoppable scorers in the league is already there. However, his terrible defense and proneness to turn the ball over raise a lot of questions, and so does his father LaVar.
Everything aside, LaMelo could end up being a franchise player, no question. A backcourt with him and D’Angelo Russell would have to outscore every single rival in the league, and sometimes they may succeed. Obviously, they could also trade him for an All-Star player.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers – James Wiseman
Not so long ago, James Wiseman was a lock to be the first pick of the Draft. However, the lack of playing time at Memphis following his suspension and drop out was a huge red flag, as well as his old-school kind of game a la Jahlil Okafor. With him, however, they could explore moving Andre Drummond before his deal expires.
Wiseman has the physical tools to be a dominant big man on both ends of the floor but he won’t be able to bully around NBA centers like he’s done through his career. He’s an elite athlete and finisher but his offensive repertoire is limited at best, as well as his ball-handling skills. He needs to put a lot of work to become a modern-day big man
1. Golden State Warriors – Anthony Edwards
We still don’t know whether the Warriors will keep their pick or trade him for an All-Star. Anthony Edwards is the can’t-miss kind of talent that would make both choices worthy. Either they keep him and build for the future around him, Paschall, and Wiggins, or they trade him right away as the guy with the highest upside on this class.
Edwards has struggled with inconsistency but he’s proven to be able to do absolutely everything in the offensive end. He’s got the size, frame, speed, and length of a top-notch athlete. He can finish with both hands and is aggressive when drawing contact. He must improve his three-point shooting so we’re sure he’ll get plenty of help from the Splash Brothers there.