The NBA draft is eight days away. Teams are finishing up their workouts. Draft boards are firming up. With the deadline to withdraw from the draft passing on June 15 (and a number of young international prospects deciding to withdraw), we now have a finalized list of who is eligible to be drafted.
Still, there's much left to be decided. I spoke with a number of NBA executives in Las Vegas on Friday. Most of them said their draft boards are still pretty fluid. Most teams admitted to still considering four to five players at their draft position.
In other words, while it's becoming clearer who is in consideration for each pick, it's hard to pinpoint who exactly a team is going to take. Nevertheless, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, here's our best stab at how the draft might play out on June 25. And for the first time this year, we're also running a full second round mock! If you think the first round is tough to predict, the second round is almost impossible right now.
Remember, our mock draft is not a ranking of who we think the top players are (see our Top 100 for the latest rankings of players). Instead, it's a reporting tool to convey our latest intel from NBA scouts and GMs on what each time might do in the draft.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns, F/C, Kentucky
It's a two-man race between Towns and Okafor for the No. 1 pick, multiple sources say. Though the Wolves have been trying to get in Russell, traveled to Vegas to see Porzingis and are bringing in Mudiay - those are the two guys atop their board. Which guy will they take? Head coach and GM Flip Saunders has been an Okafor guy all year, but most of his staff is pushing Towns, who will be a better fit given Minnesota's personnel. Flip traveled to Thousand Oaks last week to watch Towns work out. After the workout, I keep getting assured that Flip will ultimately turn Towns's way. But it's not a done deal yet. Okafor is in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday.
2. Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
The Lakers will keep crossing their fingers that Towns somehow falls to them. If he doesn't, it sounds like it's down to Okafor versus Russell for No. 2. Both players worked out for LA last week. While neither player necessarily wowed in the workout (Russell was fighting a bug and Okafor struggled a bit with the pace of the workout), neither hurt or separated himself, I'm told. Mudiay also came in for a workout and, while he was impressive in many areas, he didn't shoot the ball as well as he's been doing in other workouts. The Lakers also traveled to Vegas to see Porzingis work out and interviewed him afterward. They were impressed, but I'm told it's doubtful they'd select him over Okafor or Russell. There are arguments for both players, but I'm told the Lakers fear getting a quality center via free agency or trade will be much harder than getting a scoring guard. Advantage: Okafor.
3. Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
We've been hearing both Mudiay and Russell's name here for months. But over the past few weeks multiple sources around the league suspect that Sam Hinkie may actually be leaning toward Porzingis. He's an odd fit given the Sixers abundance of big men (though news that Joel Embiid's foot hasn't healed may change the fit analysis). But Hinkie has always drafted based on the best player available strategy. He doesn't draft for need. So while the team needs Mudiay or Russell more, if he believes Porzingis is the best player on the board, so be it. Or, as one rival GM opined, this Porzingis intel is all a smoke screen to get Orlando (who loves Porzingis) to trade up to three and give Hinkie another coveted asset. I believe Porzingis's camp would strongly prefer he land in Orlando. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the next few weeks.
4. D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State
As I wrote on Monday, the Knicks are exploring possibly trading their pick if Towns, Okafor and Russell are all off the board at 4. They'd trade down a few spots, grab someone like Frank Kaminsky and get a veteran to help them now. However, in this scenario, I doubt they trade their pick. For all of Phil Jackson's talk about defense, Russell is an almost perfect fit in the triangle. While he could go as high as two, I doubt Russell slides past four.
5. Mario Hezonja, G/F, Croatia
The Magic have been very high on Porzingis, but he's not the only player that makes sense for them. The team needs shooting, badly, and Hezonja's ability to stroke from three, combined with his athleticism and aggressiveness on the scoring end, will be a perfect addition to the defensive minded Magic. Willie Cauley-Stein is another option here for Orlando if Porzinigs is off the board, but I think Hezonja's offense is more of a need.
6. Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China
The Kings have needed an elite point guard for some time and I think if Mudiay is on the board, it's going to be hard for them to pass. On talent, he's a top four pick and is a major upgrade over Darren Collison at the point. Cauley-Stein is the other option for Sacramento, and he's also a fit, but I just don't see them passing on Mudiay if he's still on the board.
7. Justise Winslow, G/F, Duke
We've had Winslow here for a while and still think this is his floor. He'll get looks as high as the Knicks at 4 and the Magic at 5. But he'd be a good fit in Denver and with defensive mastermind Mike Malone taking over as head coach, he could really use a player like Winslow to help jumpstart the defense.
8. Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin
Everyone in the league has Mario Hezonja pegged here for the Pistons. And if he falls to eight, it's likely he'll be the pick. However, if he's off the board, don't be surprised if the Pistons select Dekker a few spots higher than other NBA teams have him. He had a terrific workout there on Saturday, shot the lights out, and is more NBA ready than several of the wings. The Pistons also have a huge hole at the three. Stanley Johnson and Devin Booker will be other options for Detroit.
9. Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
The Hornets traded Lance Stephenson to the Clippers on Monday, getting back Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes in return. Barnes will likely be waived which means that there's a very strong chance the Hornets will look to replace Stephenson with a two guard who can really shoot threes. Booker is probably the best shooter on the board. No. 9 might be a little high, but given how desperately the Hornets need shooting, I think they won't mind reaching. One other scenario to consider. The Hornets also really like both Kelly Oubre and R.J. Hunter. I'm told they'll explore options to trade back into the mid to late teens if they can land a valuable veteran as well for the No. 9 pick. One team to watch in that scenario? Boston. They've been exploring moving up for a while and would especially be thrilled if Willie Cauley-Stein was still on the board.
10. Stanley Johnson, G/F, Arizona
Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and Johnson are the three players most likely to find a home in Miami. In this scenario, Dekker is off the board. Kaminsky is an option -they could use more offense in the middle -but the Heat's needs at the three may push Johnson to the top. He's tough, plays on both ends and is super competitive. His upside might not be as high as several others on the board, but I wouldn't be shocked if Miami is just content to hit a double instead of a home run.
11. Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
Larry Bird told Cauley-Stein he thought he'd be a max player someday. For weeks it's looked like Cauley-Stein could go as high as the Knicks at four and the Kings at six. That's still possible. But if both teams pass, then Cauley-Stein could slide and I doubt he gets past the Pacers. They are looking to re-energize their front line with speed and defense. Cauley-Stein offers both, and is worth the risk. Cameron Payne, Myles Turner and Bobby Portis are other players getting a strong look from Indiana.
12. Myles Turner, F/C, Texas
The Jazz have been looking at around seven players at this spot: Turner, Trey Lyles, Kaminsky, Johnson, Dekker, Looney and Oubre. You can make a solid argument for each of them. However, if Turner somehow falls to them at 12, I don't know how they pass. The Jazz have the ability to be patient. They have starters at every position and money to add a few free agent veterans to support the bench. And Turner gives them something they don't have - a big man who can really stretch the floor. If Turner is gone, I think Lyles is the next most likely option at 12.
13. Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin
It's been hard to get a read on what Phoenix is going to do at 13. There are a lot of variables left in the draft. But Kaminsky makes a lot of sense for a team that's trying to fight its way into the Western Conference playoffs next year. He's more ready than most draft prospects to come in and do his thing. His ability to stretch the floor is especially appealing. Alex Len can't play 48 minutes a night. The Suns really need back-up help at the five.
14. Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State
The Thunder have been on Payne for a while. They need a longterm back-up behind Russell Westbrook and the buzz around Payne has made him a real draft sleeper. Payne has a high basketball IQ, excels in the pick-and-roll and has great quickness for his size. Another sleeper at 14, I'm told, is Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
15. (via Brooklyn)Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas
Portis has drawn raves everywhere he works out. He's got a great motor, is skilled, and competes on both ends of the floor. He's one of the safest players in the draft and could go as high as 11 to the Pacers. But at 15, he gives the Hawks some much needed support in the frontcourt. Portis can rebound, block shots, stretch the floor and gives you tremendous energy. Lyles and Oubre are other potential options for Atlanta.
16. Kelly Oubre, G/F, Kansas
The Celtics, as we said, are trying to move up in the draft. But if they stay at 16 and both Oubre and Lyles are on the board, they're in very good shape. Both players could fit a need and I'm not sure which player the Celtics would take. Oubre is here because, in many ways, his upside is the highest, both as a defender and as an offensive player. He's shown more maturity of late and if Boston believe he'll work, he's worth the risk. Two dark horses to watch - Hollis-Jefferson and Rashad Vaughn.
17. Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
Lyles is getting looks from teams as high as the Pistons at 8. No one is sure quite what to make of him after he played out of position all year at Kentucky. Everyone likes him. I'm just not sure anyone is in love with him. With Ilyasova now out of the mix, the Bucks will have a little more playing time for a player like Lyles. While the Bucks bigger needs are at center and shooting guard, Lyles's talent will make him tough to pass at this spot. Sometimes you just have to take the best prospect left on the board.
18. (via New Orleans) Tyus Jones, PG, Duke
Jones hurt his back in a workout with the Rockets and hasn't worked out since. While the injury may be legitimate, rival GMs have whispered that the Rockets may have shut him down. He's an analytics darling, fits a major need, and has a lot of momentum after winning a National Championship. Jerian Grant, Delon Wright and Terry Rozier are other players the Rockets like.
19. Kevon Looney, F, UCLA
As I wrote two weeks ago, the Wizards are hoping that one of the three young power forwards - Portis, Lyles or Looney - falls to them at 19. That's their major area of need going forward and all three players are young and still have upside. Of the three, Looney has the most. He's incredibly long, a terrific offensive rebounder and very skilled. He's also the furthest away of the three and questions about a hip he injured before his freshman season at UCLA and a form of sports asthma have caused his stock to slip from the mid-lottery to here. He's worked out well recently, however, and if teams can get comfortable with the hip (the asthma thing doesn't seem to worry anyone), he could end up going as high as the Heat at No. 10.
20. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, G/F, Arizona
Hollis-Jefferson is rising. A number of teams in the teens have told me he's now in the mix after terrific workouts. Yes, his shot is broken, but many teams see him as an elite defender and slasher and feel he'll find a niche in the league. And if his shot starts falling, he could be a star. Grant and Vaughn are two other guards that could fill a similar role in Toronto.
21. Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame
Just about everyone in the league is penciling in a point guard for the Mavs. Rajon Rondo is likely leaving and J.J. Barea is a free agent. They need help. Grant is one of the most NBA ready point guards in the draft, is terrific in the pick-and-roll, can swing to the two when you need him and plays with incredible fire. He could go as high as 14 to the Thunder, but if he's here, he'll be tough to pass on. Vaughn, Hunter and Wright are other options for Dallas.
22. Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV
The Bulls are always looking for shooting and Vaughn can really fill it up. Some teams also feel he can play some back-up point guard in a pinch. He's received interest from the Celtics, Bucks, Raptors and Mavericks, but could end up being here at 22. Very few players his age can score the way he can. Hunter, Wright and Justin Anderson could also hear their name called by Chicago.
23. R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State
Hunter is one of those love him or hate him type prospects. Teams that love him point to his terrific shooting and passing ability. Teams that hate him think he's soft and will get killed on defense. He has teams as high as the Hornets at nine who really like him. But I could also see him sliding to around here. It would be tough for the Blazers to pass on him, however, with Wesley Matthews heading into free agency.
24. Delon Wright, PG, Utah
With Kyrie Irving out, Matthew Dellavadova has played admirably (and sometimes great) in his absence. But the Cavs could always use depth at the point position and Wright has the chops to provide it right away. He's an excellent, pass-first point guard who, if he can continue to improve his jumper, could be a terrific NBA back-up. Anderson and Rozier are other good candidates at No. 24.
25. Justin Anderson, G/F, Virginia
Anderson is another guy that's been tough to peg. Teams in the teens like the Bucks and teams in the early 20s like the Raptors and Bulls are interested. At this point, he's a steal, especially if you believe his 3-point shooting wasn't a fluke this year. And the truth is, the depth of the draft really starts to fall off here. The Grizzlies could use more shooting and Anderson is probably the best shooter left on the board.
26. Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville
Harrell has explosive athleticism and is tough, but his lack of focus has scared some teams off. The Spurs are the right sort of culture to nurture his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. They definitely could use some back-up help at the four.
27. (via Houston) Joseph Young, G, Oregon
If the Lakers take Okafor or Towns with their first pick, I expect they'll look at guard with their second one. The Lakers had great success with Jordan Clarkson last year and I think they could have similar success taking a chance on Young here. I believe both guards could play together in the backcourt because of Clarkson's size at the one. Young brings something to the table that the Lakers desperately need: shooting. And the fact that he hasn't worked out since the Combine is suspicious. Multiple sources believe that a team in the late first round made him a promise in exchange for not working out for other teams. While I have no idea if that's LA or not, he is a good get at 27.
28. (via L.A. Clippers) Jarell Martin, F, LSU
One of the reasons Danny Ainge can roll the dice on a wing like Oubre is that there are several interesting forwards who will be available later in the draft. Martin is especially intriguing. He's skilled, a very good athlete, and he has an NBA body. He's just a bit of a tweener. But if he focuses on rebounding and toughness, he'd give the Celtics so much needed athleticism to their front court.
29. (via Atlanta) Chris McCullough, F, Syracuse
McCullough tore his ACL and will likely miss most of the NBA season. But there is lottery talent there and given the Nets's atrocious draft pick situation in the coming years, they need to take a half court heave here and hope, when healthy, McCullough can live up to his raw potential.
30. Anthony Brown, G/F, Stanford
The Warriors, believe it or not, are looking for more shooting in their backcourt. When Steph Curry or Klay Thompson sit, they'd like someone who could come in and make open shots. Brown shot 45 percent from three as a junior and 44 percent this season, and has very good size for his position.
The second round of every draft is a bit of a crap shoot. Unlike the NFL draft, very few prospects taken in the second round go on to have a major impact. However, there are always exceptions. Jordan Clarkson was taken 46th last year and made the All-Rookie First Team. Draymond Green is about ready to get a max contract after falling into the second round.
This year's draft is particularly thin in the second round thanks to a dearth of international players. But here's our best guess at what each team will do.
31. Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville
Rozier will get several good looks in the first round, but if he slides, he won't slide far. Rozier's toughness and ability to play both backcourt positions will be a good fit in Minnesota.
32. (via New York) Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain
Hernangomez draws comparisons to a young Zaza Pachulia. He's not the most athletic guy in the world, but he's skilled and is playing significant minutes in the ACB. He's under contract for one more year in Spain, so the Rockets are free to stash him overseas and continue to let him develop.
33. (via Philadelphia via Miami) Robert Upshaw, C, Washington
Danny Ainge has been a risk taker in the past (remember Fab Melo and JR Giddens, or Rajon Rondo for that matter). The Celtics desperately need an elite shot blocker and Upshaw has all the tools to be that. His off-the-court issues killed his draft stock, but he may be worth the risk in the second round.
34. Cedi Osman, F, Turkey
Osman has the most upside of anyone left. He's a playmaking three who, while he can't really shoot, does just about everything else well. He's a likely draft-and-stash for the Lakers though his play for Efes this season suggests he may be more ready than some.
35. (via Orlando) Olivier Hanlan, G, Boston College
Hanlan is also getting looks in the first round - especially by teams who think he could become a point guard at the next level. The Sixers sure could use some help there and have the ability to experiment with him.
36. (via Sacramento via Houston) Mouhammadou Jaiteh, F/C, France
The Wolves only have so many roster spots to play with in this draft. Jaiteh has done well enough in workouts. He's big and skilled. He just plays under the rim. Expect him to go back to France and continue to develop for a few more years.
37. (via Denver via Houston, Portland and Minnesota) Vince Hunter, F, UTEP
The Sixers just love guys like this. They already have several, but grabbing Hunter will be a bit like their K.J. McDaniels pick last year. He's super athletic, plays with a high motor and is a jump shot away from being a very good role player in the NBA.
38. Rakeem Christmas, F/C, Syracuse
Christmas has been a star in the draft process and if he goes in the late first, I wouldn't be surprised. I doubt he slides further than here. The Pistons will need back-up help at both frontcourt positions and Christmas can come in and contribute right away.
39. Tyler Harvey, G, Eastern Washington
The worst shooting team in the NBA doubles down on one of the best shooters in college basketball. Some scouts still feel there's a little Steph Curry in him. His ability to play some point guard also helps his cause.
40. Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky
Johnson is your classic back-up NBA center. Good for five fouls, some rebounds and some putbacks at the rim. Given the dearth of size in the middle for Miami, this would be a good fit.
41. Christian Wood, F/C, UNLV
Wood has first-round talent. Maybe lottery talent. But teams are worried about his basketball IQ, lack of strength and so-so work ethic. The Nets can afford to swing for the fences with him
42. Pat Connaughton, G/F, Notre Dame
Connaughton was another star at the Combine. He's tough, athletic and can really shoot it. Is he the next Matt Harpring?
43. Larry Nance F, Wyoming
Nance has picked up major momentum of late and several teams are considering him in the first round. He's been slowly improving from an ACL tear last year and has impressed everywhere he's gone. He could play an Austen Croshere type role for the Pacers - especially with David West in the final year of his deal.
44. Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas
Alexander's stock has really fallen. He sprained his MCL in a workout which has limited his ability to prove himself the past few weeks. He starts working out again this week, but the damage may be done. The Suns can afford to gamble on one of the most athletic forwards in the draft.
45. Nikola Milutinov, C, Serbia
The Celtics are going to have to use some of their picks as a draft-and-stash. Milutinov has size, mobility and great footwork. He just needs to get stronger. He's a wait-and-see type prospect.
46. Norm Powell, SG, UCLA
The Bucks could use more help at the two guard. OJ Mayo is in the last year of his deal and Powell's athleticism and improving jump shot could make him a nice rotation player.
47. (via New Orleans via Washington and L.A. Clippers) Josh Richardson, SG, Tennessee
There's been some significant buzz about Richardson the past few weeks. He's been excelling at workouts and is one of the few seniors with significant upside left on the board. The Sixers need backcourt help and Richardson will be worth the gamble here.
48. Arturas Gudaitis, C, Lithuania
Gudiatis played a significant role in the Euroleague this year and has shown some major progress over the past few seasons. But let's be honest. The Thunder don't have any roster spots, they need a pick they can keep overseas.
49. Richaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green
Holmes has been another star of the draft camps. He's incredibly long, bouncy and a terror as a shot blocker. His offense is pretty limited, but he could help the Wizards interior defense.
50. (via Toronto) Michael Frazier II, SG, Florida
The Hawks love shooters and Frazier's ability to launch if from deep has been proven over the past three years at Florida.
51. (via Chicago) Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU
Mickey could go 10 to 15 spots higher. He was very impressive in Chicago. But teams are still trying to figure out what else he gives besides shot blocking. The Magic are in desperate need of rim protection and this appears like a good fit.
52. Guillem Vives, PG, Spain
Vives is a pure point guard with a really high basketball IQ. He's not a great athlete, but his feel for the game makes up for some of that. He's a draft-and-stash candidate.
53. (via Portland via Chicago and Denver) Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky
I could see the Cavs being the team willing to take a risk on Harrison. They have a strong leader and culture and Harrison has been bred in the hot bed of huge expectations at Kentucky. I think this would be an ideal landing spot for him - especially if Kyrie continues to struggle with injuries.
54. (via Cleveland) Jonathan Holmes, F, Texas
Holmes started the season great before tapering off like the rest of Texas. But he's got great size, can stretch the floor and can play multiple positions. The Jazz will really upgrade their shooting if they take these three in the draft.
55. Aaron White, PF, Iowa
White's a mobile big man who runs the floor well and even became a bit of a stretch shooter this season. He's got a great work ethic and just seems like the sort of player that would thrive in San Antonio.
56. (via Memphis) Alan Williams, PF, UC Santa Barbara
Williams is a beast in the paint and has been one of the best rebounders in college basketball the past few years. He should help the Pelicans front line offensively.
57. (via L.A. Clippers) Quinn Cook, PG, Duke
The Nuggets could use some help at the point and Cook may be one of the most underrated players in the draft. He shoots the ball well and rarely turns it over. He's an ideal back-up point guard.
58. (via Houston) Ziga Dimec, C, Slovenia
Dimec wasn't heavily scouted, but he's big, performed well at the Las Vegas pro day and has drawn a lot of interest from teams looking to stash players. The Sixers have been one of the teams showing interest and could keep him in Europe until he becomes a more valuable asset playing on a better team.
59. J.P. Tokoto, SF, UNC
Tokoto has talent as a wing defender and as a passer. If he could ever figure out his jump shot, he'd be very valuable. With DeMarre Carroll hitting free agency, Atlanta might try to groom him into the same role Carroll played. There are a lot of similarities.
60. (via Golden State via Indiana) Daniel Diez, SF, Spain
Diez had a very good season in Spain this year. He shot 41 percent from three on 4.7 attempts per game. The Sixers won't want seven rookies on their roster and his ability to be stashed overseas should get him drafted.