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2024 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Buzelis Moving Up?

2024 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Buzelis Moving Up?

It is NBA mock draft time!

We are reaching the culmination of the college basketball season and it finally seems appropriate to do mock drafts. For this edition a lottery was simulated so if the draft order is different than you are used to seeing that is the reason why.

In this mock draft I am doing what I personally would do for each pick so this is not a prediction on what I believe will happen come June.

More than normal fit will matter in this draft so I tried to add some analysis justifying why I think each pick should be who I selected.

1. Atlanta Hawks: Alex Sarr, Big, Perth

Other players were seriously considered but at the end of the day, it is the man atop my big board, Alex Sarr. The fit with Onyeka Okongwu and Clint Capela is a little clunky but the Hawks elect to take the best player and fit and figure the rest out later.

Sarr gives the Hawks an elite defensive anchor who is really intriguing offensively. As of now on offense, Sarr is a play finisher capable of handling the ball but not much of a shooting threat. Playing next to Trae Young (maybe) should give Sarr plenty of easy looks early in his career. Certain shooting indicators say Sarr will never be a “good” shooter but he shoots with enough confidence that it gives Atlanta some hope.

The defense is what makes Alex Sarr such a great prospect. Sarr has posted a 7.5% block rate and a 1.2% steal rate in a professional league. When Sarr is the primary defender he ranks in the 87th percentile of the NBL (0.716 PPP) overall, and holds opponents to 0.444 points per possession in pick-and-roll coverage.

This type of versatility is rare for a 7’1, 18-year-old and is exactly what makes him the top selection in this draft. Atlanta is reaching a crossroads for this roster construction, but adding Sarr should point them in the right direction.

2. Detroit Pistons: Zaccharie Risacher, Forward, JL Bourg

Cody Williams is heavily considered here but the Pistons elect to grab an elite shooter who fits their team regardless of what their timeline is. Risacher’s case for #1 has strengthened in recent weeks as he continues to light the nets on fire on a nightly basis.

Sarr is still the #1 on my board but Risacher is gaining momentum because of the versatility he gives a team on both sides of the floor. Offensively, the spacing alone will help but his ability to handle and push the ball in transition will give Detroit a fun new wrinkle.

The underrated aspect of Risacher’s game is his defense. At 6’10/6’11, Risacher offers weak side rim protection and the ability to guard multiple positions. The reasoning against Risacher towards the top of the draft is the lack of star potential. I agree with this sentiment because of the lack of playmaking Risacher possesses but his handle has gotten significantly better so the upside may be more than originally thought.

3. Washington Wizards: Cody Williams, Forward, Colorado

A swing. Washington seems to be in the infant stage of their rebuild and is in a safe position to swing on a guy with the hope they pan out. The wing/forward position in Washington seems to be their deepest position but that is a good problem (especially considering Kyle Kuzma and Corey Kispert may not be long in Washington).

Cody Williams will not contribute highly to winning in year one but he needs a system to develop and fine-tune his deficiencies. The numbers indicate that Cody Williams is a future superstar and although he is an excellent college player I don’t think that is a definite outcome.

Cody Williams shoots 47% from 3 but that is only a 34-shot sample size. His 3-point attempt rate and FT% (70.8%) indicate that Williams may be more of a 34-36% three-point shooter in the NBA. At that clip, he could still be a very good player but it changes the ceiling outlook of what he can be.

At 6’9, Williams’ playmaking is something often talked about, and although I view it as intriguing the film and 11.1% assist rate do not move me too far. I like Cody Williams, I think his versatility, finishing, and ball handling make him worth a swing in the top 5 but would understand more of a Jerami Grant-level outcome rather than a true star.

4. Charlotte Hornets: Stephon Castle, Guard, UConn

Charlotte picks at 4 with an open board and elects to add a defensive identity to a team that ranks dead last in adjusted defensive rating. Castle is a great athlete and that translates directly to the defensive end of the floor where he is an on-ball pest with over a 2.0 steal and block rate.

Castle holds opponents to a ridiculous 0.147 points per possession in the pick-and-roll. I view Castle as an Alex Caruso type of defender which is the exact shock on that side of the floor that Charlotte desperately needs.

Offensively, this is where the scouting really takes place. Castle gets to the rim and finishes well when he gets there but lacks the offensive creativity you would hope from a lead guard. His 20% assist rate should give him a solid foundation for creation but he needs to do a better job of using his strength and athleticism to create advantages.

The shot will be what teams are monitoring the closest throughout this process. Castle started this season shooting horribly, but he has recently shot better from 3 and the free throw line. Currently a 32% three-point shooter which is roughly in line with what he will be in the NBA.

5. Portland Trail Blazers: Matas Buzelis, Wing, G-League Ignite

Matas Buzelis has been a hot name in the process as of late. An impressive showing in the Rising Stars game gave Buzelis some national attention he was not getting in the G-League. In high school, Buzelis was touted as a sniper but he has struggled to shoot in the G-League at just 28% from 3.

At Sunrise Christian, he shot 43% on 3.5 shots a game and nearly 79% from the free throw line. It does not seem plausible that he would suddenly be a non-shooter after being such an elite shooter. If Buzelis can be a 36%+ shooter then it is easy to see how he will be a good NBA player.

The surprise of the season has been Matas’s exceptional defense. Matas has been a great off-ball defender, and although his frame means he gets pushed around more than you would like he does a great job keeping players in front of him. There are a lot of theories when it comes to Matas, but at this pick, I think it is worth any gamble when you combine his shooting in high school with his G-League defense. The Blazers need capable wings considering Jerami Grant doesn’t fit their timeline and Matas makes too much sense to pass up.

6. San Antonio Spurs: Kyle Filipowski, Big, Duke

The first big surprise of the draft, the Spurs elect NOT to take a guard with the 6th pick and instead grab the versatile big man from Duke. The Spurs also own the 8th pick in this draft and with Dillingham and Topic still on the board it is in their best interest to wait on that pick and get the best on the board here. Filipowski makes a lot of sense next to Wembanyama as someone who can move his feet on defense but may not be the defensive anchor you would want from your center.

Offensively, Filipowski is smooth with the ball in his hands even at seven feet. Filipowski shoots 34% from 3, but much of that is because of his high usage with Duke. On catch and shoot 3’s, he shoots a much better 38.5% which shoehorns him right into a pick-and-pop role.

As a big, he is more than capable of handling the ball and getting to the rim which he does roughly 8.5 times per 36 minutes. The most underrated aspect of Filipowski’s game is his playmaking. He boasts a 17.6 assist percentage and has over 3 assists per 36 minutes.

7. Memphis Grizzlies: Ron Holland, Wing, G-League Ignite

The amount of Ron Holland film will not grow before the draft as he announced he is being shut down for the rest of the season with a thumb injury. Holland is arguably the most divisive prospect in this draft and I have seen him ranked anywhere between 1 and 15.

I have Holland ranked farther down my personal board but I understand the intrigue with Memphis. In the 2022-23 season, the Grizzlies finished 3rd in the NBA in rim attempts per game; this season, they rank 22nd. The Grizzlies are better when they get to the rim and obviously, a lot of the difference between the seasons has to do with the absence of Ja Morant but the Ron Holland pick helps change this for the better.

Ron Holland finishes his season getting to the rim 10.66 times per 36 minutes (out of 120 prospects this finishes 2nd). Most everyone agrees Holland will at the minimum be a good defender because of his combination of length and athleticism.

The swing skills for Ron Holland will almost certainly be shooting and playmaking. Holland had a 0.86 Ast-TO ratio this year and although a lot of that can be solved with a change of role it should make teams skeptical he will be an offensive initiator. The shot was really bad this year but he shot it with confidence all season and made some tough shots. Memphis is a near-perfect landing spot, especially considering their ability to develop talent.

8. San Antonio Spurs (via TOR): Rob Dillingham, Guard, Kentucky

The Spurs choose between Dillingham and Topic here and decide to go with shooting in Rob Dillingham. Wembanyama, Vassell, and now Filipowski make up the Spurs core but there is still a desperate need for a point guard or guard initiator.

Dillingham is undersized and certainly someone who will be exploited on the defensive end of the floor but is he good enough offensively to counter that? Dillingham is the best ball handler in this class and is a good athlete as a change-of-speed guy. Even at his size, he gets to the rim nearly whenever he wants.

With a 30.8 assist rate and over a 2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, Dillingham projects to be an elite playmaker at the next level. Dillingham also gives the Spurs much-needed spacing shooting 44.8% from 3 and 48.4% off the catch. The Spurs can feel comfortable taking Dillingham with a defensive front line that includes Victor Wembanyama, Kyle Filipowski, and Jeremy Sochan. Wemby will be happy with adding Dillingham and a player who can coordinate and operate within an offense.

9. Utah Jazz: Nikola Topic, Guard, Red Star

The Jazz have multiple young players at every position on the floor so the goal with this pick is to take the best player available. Topic ranks in the top 5 of most boards and gives the Jazz point guard depth inside the top 10. Utah loves what they have with Keyonte George so some internal discussion on ensuring Topic doesn’t stunt his development is important.

Topic has had a hell of a season in Serbia that resulted in him being recalled to the top European league, the EuroLeague. 18-year-old playing in the second-best league in the world but sadly he got hurt 3 games into his campaign although he is expected to return in a short time.

It is nearly impossible to stay in front of Topic and he is great around the rim (68.1%). Arguably his best skill is leveraging his rim pressure into creation for others which is shown with his 26.9% and 2.2 Ast/TO.

The first thing that has to be mentioned when it comes to Topic’s weaknesses is his shot. 30.6% from 3 won’t cut it in the NBA but his 86% free throw percentage indicates that clip will go up. Nikola Topic with a 35% jump shot or without one is two very different players so it will be important for teams to see his shot in a workout setting. It is also worth noting that despite being 6’6, he is a really poor defender and at this point, it does not appear that he will ever be even average.

10. Chicago Bulls: Tyler Smith, Forward, G-League Ignite

In recent years, the Bulls have prioritized guard play and now there is a need for forward depth outside of Patrick Williams who will be a restricted free agent. Tyler Smith is a 6’10/6’11 sharpshooter capable of playing in unique schemes defensively. Recently Smith has shown more on-ball ability which should intrigue teams within the lottery.

At the rim, Smith dunks everything which inflates his percentages at the rim but strictly looking at his layups he is finishing an underwhelming 46.4% at the rim. This percentage has climbed slowly throughout the season so I paint some of this off as getting used to pro basketball but it is worth noting.

The reason for Smith in the lottery is the versatility he gives you. A legitimate stretch four always has value, but at 6’11 with wide shoulders, teams should explore some small-by-five potential. Defensively, Smith is most valuable guarding bigger fours or as a weak side-shot blocker.

Despite his length, Smith has plotty feat, making it tough for him to guard guards or quicker wings. Smith’s success in the NBA will depend almost certainly on how his drafting team uses him defensively.

11. Houston Rockets (via BKN): Reed Sheppard, Guard, Kentucky

The Rockets have the 5th worst three-point percentage in the NBA at the all-star break. Reed Sheppard shoots a blistering 51.4% from 3 on a 105-shot sample size. On a projected 3-point percentage formula that I developed, Reed Sheppard ranks #1 out of all prospects with a projected 3-point percentage of 39.75%.

Outside of being an elite shooter, Sheppard is an excellent playmaker with 5.2 assists per 36 minutes and he can control an offense without turning the ball over at a high rate. Undersized and not an elite athlete the concerns around Sheppard will stem from his inability to create advantages.

Playing next to elite advantage creators such as Jalen Green, Amen Thompson, and someone elite at creating advantages for others in Alperan Sengun, Sheppard should be able to play as an off-ball guard seamlessly.

Sheppard is a solid defender when it is within his realm of athleticism. Opponents score 0.778 on Sheppard overall (74th % of prospects) and 0.495 on pick and roll coverage (89th % of prospects). He may not exactly look the part but Sheppard is an NBA player and if he continues his incredible campaign for the rest of the season he should hear his name called in the lottery.

12. New Orleans Pelicans (via LAL): Ja’Kobe Walter, Wing, Baylor

There may not be a better low-pressure system for a player to enter than New Orleans. It seems safe to assume the Pelicans would elect to keep this pick instead of deferring it to 2025 if the Lakers miss the playoffs. With so much depth on the roster, Walter will bounce between the G-League and the senior team during his rookie season trying to make him as ready as possible.

Ja’Kobe Walter will be an excellent shooter but right now that feels like the only certainty. Coming out of high school, ball handling and playmaking seemed like skills Walter would bring to the table but he has not shown that at Baylor. We have seen cases in the past where skills shown before college are legitimate and return when the player is in the NBA.

Walter is a solid defender but not nearly as impactful a defender as it seemed out of high school. Flat-footed on closeouts, Walter often gets blown by which is worrisome considering who he will guard at the next level.

Rim pressure is another skill that Walter has lacked at Baylor getting to the rim only 2.95 times per 36 minutes (although a 20% free throw rate is excellent). The Pelicans can afford to draft a project and here they are betting more on his high school tape rather than at Baylor which has shown to be a successful strategy in the past.

13. Oklahoma City Thunder (via HOU): Dalton Knecht, Wing, Tennessee

We have yet to see Gordon Hayward play in Oklahoma City but I fully expect it to be a great addition to the team. Hayward is a free agent in July and if Sam Presti elects to save money he could instead use the draft to replace this role.

Dalton Knecht is a different player than Gordon Hayward but he could help replace the scoring punch at a much younger age. Knecht is an average defender at best but if the Thunder are drafting for their bench, then Knecht makes a lot more sense as someone who would day could take a leap to the starting lineup.

40% from 3 and 60% at the rim are numbers in line with how the Thunder play. Knecht is capable of making reads with the ball in his hands and has shown so much development over the last couple of seasons I wouldn’t be quick to put a ceiling on him just because he is 23 on draft night.

Next to Shai, Jalen Williams, and Chet, the Thunder aren’t looking for stars but instead, players that make sense in their system and people who can help them win games next season and in five seasons. There are sexier picks available but sometimes it doesn’t have to be complicated.

14. Sacramento Kings: Johnny Furphy, Forward, Kansas

The lack of production from Huerter on the wing this year and the potential loss of Malik Monk calls into question the need for wing shooting. A riser as of late Johnny Furphy has shown his ability to fit into an offense this season while holding great efficiency at the volume asked of him.

The Australian native is most known as a shooter shooting just under 39% on nearly 6 attempts per 36 minutes. Furphy is more than just a shooter he is a capable connective passer and a player that plays within himself.

Furphy doesn’t get to the rim at a high rate but when he gets to the rim he finishes an impressive 80%. Additionally, Furphy is a good rebounder getting around 7 per 36 minutes. On the defensive end of the floor, I wouldn’t say Furphy is going, to win awards but he holds opponents to an impressive 0.429 points per possession when guarding pick-and-rolls. Furphy is a swing but the Kings can afford to take one and as the roster reaches a stage of stagnance they may need to hit on one or changes may come.

15. Miami Heat: Yves Missi, Big, Baylor

Yves Missi is a ball of clay and the Heat are very good at making those guys into real players. The Heat don’t have a long-term big man on their roster outside of Bam Adebayo and Missi gives them one. Freshman big men are hardly productive in college and Missi has been so this year. An explosive lob threat, Missi has steadily gotten better all season.

Lately, he has shown flashes of drives off pick and pops where he attacks the hope. Only 19 years old on draft night, the Heat could make Missi into whatever type of big man they want and he could be their long-term backup.

A versatile defensive big, Missi provides tremendous value as a drop coverage big. One of the best rebounders in this draft, it isn’t hard to imagine that Bam and Miss could play in lineups together with less spacing. Missi lacks any shooting touch or playmaking skills that make him have any superstar potential but it isn’t hard to see him becoming a high-end role player like Clint Capela.

16. Toronto Raptors: Jared McCain, Guard, Duke

The Raptors rank in the bottom 10 in the NBA in both 3 attempts and 3-point percentage, McCain helps fix that immediately. McCain has shown lately that he is a good shooter and has a real chance at being a great shooter. On Saturday against Florida State, McCain hit 8 threes and ended up with 35 points in a college superstar performance.

McCain is a solid not great defender but my main concern regarding him is his NBA role. At 6’3, McCain ideally plays the point but is not much of a playmaker. He doesn’t turn the ball over but doesn’t set up others on the court.

Despite his stature, McCain is a terrific rebounder, giving the Raptors something else outside of shooting. McCain is a tough eval but he has a real chance to be such a special shooter that his lack of other great skills won’t matter.

17. Orlando Magic: Alex Karaban, Wing, UConn

Like Toronto, the Magic need shooting even more desperately as they rank in the bottom 4 in the NBA for both attempts and percentage. I am very high on Karaban and love what he can bring to Orlando. Karaban is a phenomenal shooter which on its own helps the Magic but he also does much more on the floor.

The UConn sniper is a capable ball mover and an active off-ball mover. Playing off of Paolo and Franz, Karaban will get open looks as a spot-up shooter and can put the ball on the floor if he is run off the line.

Karaban will be competing with Jett Howard for the shooter role on the team and for some reason he is viewed as an older player despite being just a sophomore. He is a big wing at 6’8 and is fairly solid on the defensive end of the floor.

Near the rim, he uses his length well finishing 70% of his shots at the rim. There are certainly worries about Karaban not being an NBA-level athlete and his inability to get to the free-throw line but the scoring upside should allow him to have a long career.

18. New York Knicks (via DAL): DaRon Holmes, Big, Dayton

A rim protector and elite rebounder, Holmes gives the Knicks flexibility as either a smaller 5 or someone who can play next to Hartenstein/Robinson. I am perplexed as to why Holmes is not mocked higher as of now, but nonetheless, he is the right pick here.

Holmes is the only player in the country with above a 7% block rate, an 18% assist rate, and shoots over 36% from 3. Slightly undersized as a 6’10 center, Holmes makes up for it with his versatility on both sides of the floor.

Playmaking and shooting are rare from big men but Holmes can provide it to New York. His 7% block rate is in line with what New York wants from their centers and the upside he provides is worth the swing.

Concerns on Holmes will include his size causing him to get bullied by bigger players but he provides too much value as a shot blocker for him to be ignored as a prospect. Holmes will rise up draft boards in the coming months and the 18th pick is not a stretch.

19. Phoenix Suns: Devin Carter, Guard, Providence

Devin Carter has become a complete scorer this season and thus skyrocketed up draft boards. Phoenix needs defense and playmaking from the guard position which are two boxes Carter checks. A 5.2% stock rate shows his activity on the defensive end of the floor and although he is 6’3 he can be an effective point-of-attack defender. Carter is a solid playmaker and someone who can play next to Durant, Booker, and Beal and eat up regular-season innings.

Carter’s shot is my main concern as although he is shooting 40% from 3, his career free throw percentage is 71% and before this season he never shot 30% from 3. It is very possible that he got much better as a shooter a lot of times it is proven that the most recent time is a fluke, not the previous seasons. If Carter can maintain this level of shooting he is more than worthy of a top 20 pick and it is not hard to see him playing off-ball with the Suns stars.

20. Portland Trail Blazers (via GSW): Donovan Clingan, Big, UConn

The guard position in Portland is crowded and they just selected Matas with the 5th pick, so they chose to add depth at the center position here with Donovan Clingan. DeAndre Ayton is paid like a true star so the Blazers will play him as long as he is on the roster. Portland hedges their bets and adds another talented center with potential lottery buzz.

Clingan is a complete rim deterant and at 7’2 I would not expect that to change in the NBA. At his size, he gives you just about what you’d expect: rim protection, finishing, and rebounding. He runs the floor well but I doubt he will ever be a guy who can play more than 30 minutes in a game.

Portland has many talented players on their roster, and a rotation with DeAndre Ayton and Donovan Clingan provides them with different options on any night.

21. New Orleans Pelicans (via MIL): Kel’el Ware, Big, Indiana

The Pelicans are deep at nearly every position with youth and talent everywhere. There seems to be two directions the Pelicans could go with this pick, either grabbing a ball handler to back up McCollum or a big to back up Valanciunas. Here the Pelicans elect for the latter grabbing skilled big man Kel’El Ware. Ware is lined up as Valanciunas backup and gives the Pelicans lineup flexibility going forward.

I believe in Ware’s ability to score the basketball and his passing ability is a huge bonus with any big man. His motor will be the main question as he lacks consistent effort, especially on the defensive end of the floor. A 5.8% block rate is pretty good and shows his potential when he is locked in but too often he isn’t the help side shot blocker that he could be as a highly mobile 7-footer.

22. Philadelphia 76ers: Kevin McCullar, Wing, Kansas

Only Joel Embiid and Paul Reed are under contract for the 76ers next season and they are clearly in the win-now stage of their roster construction. Kevin McCullar is arguably the most NBA-ready player in this draft and the 76ers are in the business of certainties not possibilities.

My biggest concern regarding McCullar is his shot. Before this season McCullar was a career 30% 3-point shooter so did he just become a better shooter or is his 35% shooting this season a flaw? The latter isn’t a hard argument to make as his percentage has slowly fallen all season and could be returning to the mean.

Regardless of the shot, McCullar is a terrific point-of-attack wing defender and a really good passer. 6.6 rebounds per 36 minutes and a 23.3% assist rate make him a triple-double candidate every night but his defense is probably his biggest skill. The shot is questionable but he is still the most attractive candidate for the 76ers as someone who can fit next to Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and whatever stars they can attract to Philadelphia.

23. Denver Nuggets: Kyshawn George, Guard, Miami

Surrounding Jokic and Murray with shooters feels like a pretty safe method of drafting in Denver. George is a 39.6% three-pointer shooter on nearly 11 three-point attempts per 100 possessions. Currently, that is George’s main role as a freshman but with playmaking flashes and a 16.4% assist rate at 6’8, there is some intrigue in terms of a jumbo playmaker. Size and length should allow George to survive on the defensive end of the floor not long into his career.

In the last two drafts, the Nuggets have drafted Christian Braun, Julian Strawther, and Hunter Tyson all players who play a similar role as George, a spot-up 3 and D player. This season George ranks in the 72nd percentile as a spot up (1.037 PPP). Slightly older than 20, George doesn’t have the age of a typical freshman but out of Denver’s last 5 draft picks, only one of them was a freshman so that should not sway them much.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via NOP): Tyrese Proctor, Guard, Duke

If Tyrese Proctor got to the rim at a higher rate I would state he is an easy lottery pick, but he doesn’t. 35% from three isn’t an elite clip but he is shooting 39% on catch-and-shoot threes this season.

Everyone is aware that Proctor is a terrific defender but it is the offense that will decide where he is drafted. Damian Lillard is the clear point guard in Milwaukee but there is another guard opening and they are in desperate need of a backup point guard.

A lot of his role in Milwaukee will be off-ball so his lack of rim of pressure won’t be as glaring. Even without rim pressure a 21.5% assist rate shows how talented of a passer he is. The Bucks could have chosen to swing more with Collier but the consistency and reliability of Proctor wins Milwaukee over.

25. New York Knicks: Isaiah Collier, Guard, USC

After adding DaRon Holmes, the Knicks roster feels deep so let’s take a swing. I was a Collier fan at the start of the season, then I cooled off tremendously, and now I am starting to come back around. Collier is a big physical guard who applies rim pressure on a pretty consistent basis. The Knicks will not be drafting a point guard with the hopes of him being a starter but instead as a backup behind Jalen Brunson.

Collier’s shot needs a lot of work but his playmaking and rim scoring may be enough to make him a useful pro. This season Collier has turned the ball over too much but that has occurred in a direct relationship with Collier’s usage rate. So with a smaller more confined role, I believe Collier will take care of the ball and could help the Knicks win basketball games.

26. Washington Wizards (via LAC): Tidjane Salaun, Forward, Cholet Basket

The Wizards now have 100 wings and forwards on the team but they are not in a place to be picky. Salaun is a true forward and a complete project. While some are high on Salaun, his floor scares me and I am not sold his ceiling in the league.

Without being said, the Wizards aren’t scared of something that comes with a risk label and they buy that his shot will allow him to stick around long enough for him to develop. He would almost certainly play for the G-League in his rookie season but at this point of the draft, it is worth the swing.

27. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan da Silva, Wing, Colorado

A smooth upperclassman, da Silva is another step in Cleveland’s never-ending pursuit of a true forward. A solid shooter and capable passer, da Silva can play a sort of connector role in Cleveland alongside Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. 41% from 3 is a great start and he is more than capable of putting the ball on the floor and creating if he is run off the line.

Being age 23 on draft night is not ideal but plenty of players have returned first-round production when drafted at an older age. Max Strus and Georges Niang were great starts to addressing this issue but getting someone on a rookie contract would be very beneficial.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves: Dillon Jones, Wing, Weber St.

Jaden McDaniels and Kyle Anderson play their roles really well and adding Dillon Jones gives them more wing help next to their stars. Similar to Kyle Anderson in many ways, Jones can play the wing position predomently but when Mike Conley is out of the game he can fill in as a ball handler.

Projected to be a good not great shooter, Jones will be a role player in Minnesota which is okay because of how good their roster is.

29. Utah Jazz (via OKC): Zach Edey, Big, Purdue

Zach Edey is a highly polarizing prospect. Utah has Walker Kessler as its long-term big man but needs a rotational backup with Kelly Olynyk gone. Will Edey work? Maybe not. It’s possible that he is too slow to play defense or anything in transition and when matched with physicality he can’t finish as easy at the rim or maybe… it works.

Maybe Zach Edey’s size serves as a rim deterrant and no player is built like him so in limited minutes he can score efficiently. At the 29th pick, the Jazz should be more than willing to take that risk.

30. Boston Celtics: Judah Mintz, Guard, Syracuse

It seems public knowledge that the Celtics roster is very good and well-rounded. Offensive initiation on the Celtics is well distributed amongst several players but mostly just the starters. Payton Pritchard is a great regular-season player but I am not sure of his value come playoff time.

Judah Mintz is a great athlete, an elite rim threat, and most importantly an offensive initiator. The only downside of the Celtics offense is how it can get robotic and settle for too many threes. With Mintz, they would have a bench motor capable of getting to the rim and creating advantages.

2nd Round

31. Portland Trail Blazers (via CHA): Wooga Poplar, Wing, Miami

32. Toronto Raptors (via DET): Bobi Klintman, Forward, Cairns

33. Utah Jazz (via WAS): Mantas Rubstavicious, Wing, New Zealand

34. Milwaukee Bucks (via POR): Oso Ighodaro, Big, Marquette

35. San Antonio Spurs: Tyler Kolek, Guard, Marquette

36. Minnesota Timberwolves (via MEM): KJ Simpson, Guard, Colorado

37. Philadelphia 76ers (via TOR): Ryan Dunn, Wing, Virginia

38. New York Knicks (via UTH): Adem Bona, Big, UCLA

39. Portland Trail Blazers (via ATL): Kwame Evans, Forward, Oregon

40. Boston Celtics (via CHI): Baylor Scheierman, Wing, Creighton

41. Memphis Grizzlies (via BKN): PJ Hall, Big, Clemson

42. Miami Heat: DJ Wagner, Guard, Kentucky

43. San Antonio Spurs (via LAL): Melvin Ajinca, Wing, Saint-Quentin

44. Charlotte Hornets (via HOU): Izan Almansa, Big, G-League Ignite

45. Sacramento Kings: Ulrich Chomche, Big, NBA Africa

46. Los Angeles Clippers (via IND): Keshad Johnson, Forward, Arizona

47. Orlando Magic: Hunter Sallis, Wing, Wake Forest

48. Boston Celtics (via DAL): Ryan Kalkbrenner, Big, Creighton

49. Washington Wizards (via PHX): Trevon Brazile, Big, Arkansas

50. Houston Rockets (via GSW): Baba Miller, Forward, Florida State

51. Indiana Pacers (via MIL): Justin Edwards, Wing, Kentucky

52. Indiana Pacers (via NOP): Terrence Shannon Jr., Wing, Illinois

53. Detroit Pistons (via NYK): Payton Sandfort, Wing, Iowa

54. Los Angeles Lakers (via LAC): Coleman Hawkins, Big, Illinois

55. Indiana Pacers (via CLE): Juan Nunez, Guard, Ulm

56. Denver Nuggets (via MIN): Ajay Mitchell, Guard, Santa Barbara

57. Memphis Grizzlies (via OKC): Pacome Dadiet, Wing, Ulm

58. Dallas Mavericks (via BOS): Jaylon Tyson, Wing, California


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