As we approach the midway point of the season, the Mavericks continue to find themselves near the bottom of the conference. In preparation for the upcoming NBA Draft, I will be producing three different Mock Drafts to help give Mavs fans an idea of who we could draft in June. Every week, the Basketball Power Index (BPI) uses an extensive analytic system to simulate the season 10,000 times, and then project the final record and standing of each team. To best predict the draft order, we will be using the BPI Projected Records to set each pick (link here – http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/BPI-Playoff-Odds/espn-nba-basketball-power-index-playoff-odds.) With that, here it is – MavsWorld Mock Draft 1.0!
The immediate needs for the 76ers are a scoring PG or SG that can step in an immediately make a difference. Fultz not only fits the roster they’ve already assembled, he’s arguably the best pure scorer in the draft.
The Celtics don’t need a point guard at this juncture, but Lonzo is far and away the second-best player in this draft. I don’t think Danny Ainge could pass him up. I’d look for the C’s to move the pick at some point, however.
The Suns really need some defensive help. They have needs at SF and PF long-term, and I think Tatum’s great offensive play and even better defense at Duke this year make him a great pick at 3rd overall.
Yes, the 76ers are probably going to have two lotto picks. The pick is top-3 protected by the Lakers, but they currently sit sixth in the lotto standings. Drafting Malik Monk here allows the 76ers to fill both gaps at PG and SG in one draft.
The Heat really need a SG after Dwyane Wade’s departure, however the SG pool in this draft is really weak. Jackson is a developing offensive player with a high basketball I.Q. and great defensive ability.
The Mavs’ are 5-4 in their last 9 games, hurting the extremely high draft aspirations of Team Tank. However, with needs at PG, PF, and C, grabbing Dennis Smith here would be a big win.
The Magic really need a PG for the future, because Elfrid Payton is not that guy. They also lack a SF, and Vucevic is aging at the C position, however I think Fox is the right pick here.
The Timberwolves only real gaps are at SG and PF. However, it’s starting to look like Zach Lavine is making the transition to SG, leaving the only gap at PF. Harry Giles is an athletic rim protector that should play really well alongside KAT.
After acquiring Buddy Hield last June, the next hole in the Pelicans roster that needs filling is probably SF. Tyreke Evans is on the roster, but he’s played 33 games in the last two seasons. Isaac is a raw prospect with ridiculous athleticism.
The Kings will only keep this pick if it stays in the top 10, otherwise they’ll have to swap with the Bulls. They desperately need a future PG, but with Rudy Gay already packing his bags they’re going to need a SF soon. Ntilikina is a great raw prospect, and frankly the last PG available at this point.
With Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamaal Murray heading up the backcourt and Nikola Jokić becoming one of the league’s most skilled, young big men, one major weakness the Nuggets have is the SF/PF position. Miles Bridges is a raw and athletic prospect that, paired with Mudiay, Murray, and Jokić, could do some damage in the West for years to come.
The Knicks have Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis already. The one major hole in the Knicks lineup is Joakim Noah. Drafting Robert Williams gives you an athletic rim protector and rebounder, with tons of offensive potential.
The Pacers are much like most teams in the area of the draft. Solid lineup with one or two weaknesses, which in the Pacers’ case is Monta Ellis at SG. Monta is in his mid-30’s and is a black hole on steroids. Anunoby is a great young prospect to eventually take his place.
The Bulls desperately need some three point shooting. They rank last in the NBA in three point percentage (30.7%) and adding a pure shooter like T-Ferg will really help them.
The Blazers have a great backcourt in Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum, but they really lack a solid big man (all three of their big guys have a PER under 10). Markkanen is a big improvement over Meyers Leonard.
Much like the Blazers, the Wizards have a strong backcourt and weak front court. John Wall and Brad Beal are averaging almost 50 points per game. Adding a stretch big like T.J. Leaf will definitely help take some of the scoring burden off of the backcourt.
The Pistons’ one major hole is their SG position. They don’t have any pure shooters. Luke Kennard’s ability to hit threes at a high level, as well as drive to the rim and finish through contact, will add a big element to the Pistons’ game.
With the news that the Hawks are shopping Paul Millsap, they will need to add a young big man to possibly replace him. Dwight Howard is also getting up there in age, adding a 19 year old to learn under him would be a smart move.
The Bucks have one of the best young rosters in the NBA, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker leading the way. However, the Bucks do need another athletic big man to help fill out their lineup. Bam Adebayo is a freak athlete that rebounds well and blocks shots like crazy
Last season, Ivan Rabb was thought to be a sure-fire lotto pick, now after staying for his sophomore season, he’s seen his draft stock drop a little (mostly because of the ridiculous amount of freshman talent). For the Hornets, adding an athletic big man could help them in their climb to the top of the East.
If there’s one thing we know about the Nuggets, its that they love international players. After taking Miles Bridges earlier this draft, Jonathan Jeanne is a promising addition. Jeanne has CRAZY physical attributes. He’s 7’1 with a 7’6 wingspan, he’s got handles and crazy potential.
The Thunder are still working on rebuilding their roster after the departure of Kevin Durant last offseason. Adding a promising big man to play alongside Steven Adams could help these Thunder get back to prominence.
The Utah Jazz look much improved this year, however the one position they could use some depth in would be SF. Tyler Lydon is a great prospect out of Syracuse, as he would allow teams to stretch the floor with his shooting. Still needs work on the defensive end, but he’s 6’10 so size isn’t an issue.
Team Needs: Everything. The Nets are very bad, and the fact that Boston owns their next TWO picks doesn’t help them out any more. Grabbing a solid young center like Bryant is a step in the right direction, but nowhere near the talent they would be getting at #2.
The Raptors are a fairly strong team, they currently sit second in the Eastern Conference standings. Their one weak position is small forward. DeMarre Carrol is a good defender, but they could use an upgrade. Blossomgame is a great prospect, even though he’s a Senior at Clemson he shows constant improvement and ability.
Honestly, I’m a big fan of Grayson Allen. He’s an underrated athlete, at 6’5 he still has the best vertical on the Duke roster. Allen’s game has grown from a simple 3-and-D guy his freshman year, to a multifaceted scorer. He could be a steal for the Rockets this deep in the draft.
The Raptors are another team that loves to grab international players deeper in the draft. To some degree, Hartenstein is a guard in a 7 footer’s body. He has the ability to score from the perimeter, as well as destroy weak defenders in the paint. He has a big, strong frame with lots of potential.
Prior to this season, I wouldn’t have had Motley in the first round. However, he’s increasingly becoming a more respected prospect heading into conference play. The Cavs lack depth in the front court, and Motley could definitely be beneficial.
Tony Parker is 34, and his game just isn’t where it used to be. It would be a very Spurs-like thing to take Evans at 29 overall and turn him into their next franchise PG. Evans was heralded as a potential lotto pick last season, but after deciding to stay for his sophomore year he’s seen a drop in stock. Evans shows innate scoring ability and serves as the court general for a good OSU team.
Joe Johnson is nearing the end of his career, and the Jazz will need some more depth at the SG position. With Rodney Hood on the rise, adding Bacon will help when Johnson leaves.
Written By: Spencer Forsyth