NBA Mock Draft: LaMelo Ball goes No. 1 as Pistons trade up; Anthony Edwards falls to Hornets at No. 3

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LaMelo Ball


PG

USA

• 6’6″

/ 180 lbs

PPG

17.0

RPG

7.6

APG

6.8

3P%

25.0

The Timberwolves reportedly want to trade down, and the Pistons reportedly want to trade up with a close eye on Ball, so this makes sense. The deal could look something like No. 1 and James Johnson for No. 7, Detroit’s 2022 first-round pick (maybe with protections) and Tony Snell. That way the Wolves get a win-now piece and a future asset, while the Pistons get a potential franchise player to commence the rebuild without losing their pick in next year’s loaded 2021 draft class.

Memphis

• Fr

• 7’1″

/ 240 lbs

PPG

19.7

RPG

10.7

APG

0.3

BPG

3.0

The Warriors shouldn’t overthink this. Wiseman fills an immediate need as a rim protector/lob catcher and creates a bridge to the future with his tremendous upside — exactly what Golden State is looking for.

Georgia

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 225 lbs

PPG

19.1

RPG

5.2

APG

2.8

3P%

29.4

The Hornets will look for talent regardless of position at No. 3, and Edwards fits the bill as a potentially elite NBA scorer with defensive upside.


Deni Avdija


SF

Israel

• 6’9″

/ 215 lbs

PPG

9.0

RPG

4.7

APG

2.0

3P%

33.3

We don’t know what the new Bulls front office will do with their young players, so adding Avdija makes sense given his positional versatility and ability to play with or without the ball.

Southern California

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 245 lbs

PPG

16.2

RPG

8.6

APG

1.1

3P%

25.0

Some consider Okongwu to be the best big prospect in the draft — yes, better than Wiseman — and Cleveland is in desperate need of his defensive ability. The offensive upside makes him a strong addition for the rebuilding Cavs.

Iowa State

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 175 lbs

PPG

15.2

RPG

5.9

APG

6.5

3P%

41.9

Atlanta has loaded up on wings in recent drafts, so it makes sense for them to draft a guard who can take some of the ball-handling duties off of Trae Young’s shoulders. Haliburton can also play off the ball with his shooting ability, which is an added bonus.

Auburn

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 225 lbs

PPG

12.8

RPG

4.4

APG

2.0

3P%

28.6

The Wolves need to get serious about defense, and Okoro will bring that immediately from the wing. His offensive upside is questionable, but his athleticism should make him a terror in transition and as a slasher next to Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.


Killian Hayes


PG

France

• 6’5″

/ 192 lbs

PPG

12.8

RPG

2.3

APG

6.2

3P%

39.0

Hayes may take a few years to develop, and that’s OK because the Knicks won’t be ready to contend any time soon. The 6-5 point guard is the No. 2 overall prospect on our Kyle Boone’s Big Board, so he’s well worth the risk at No. 8.

Dayton

• Soph

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

PPG

20.0

RPG

7.5

APG

2.2

3P%

39.0

The Wiz showed a willingness to go all-in on offense, and Toppin is just the kind of talent that can help in that department. The big man can serve as both a rim-runner and a pick-and-pop threat, opening up all sorts of possibilities next to Bradley Beal and John Wall.

Florida State

• Soph

• 6’7″

/ 194 lbs

PPG

12.7

RPG

5.1

APG

1.6

3P%

41.5

The Suns made tremendous defensive strides last season, and adding a 3-and-D piece like Vassell will only improve things on that end. Offensively, Vassell should be able to make spot-up 3-pointers right away, with potential to do much more if they can develop him.

Florida State

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 225 lbs

PPG

9.2

RPG

4.0

APG

1.0

3P%

32.0

Williams isn’t quite as polished as the other 3-and-D prospects on the board, but he has arguably the most upside and the Spurs have a track record of developing talent. Williams would be a nice fit next to the young backcourt of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White.

Vanderbilt

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 213 lbs

PPG

23.0

RPG

4.9

APG

0.9

3P%

52.2

With the futures of Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic uncertain in Sacramento, adding a flat-out knock-down 3-point shooter like Nesmith makes a lot of sense to space the floor for De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley.

Villanova

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 216 lbs

PPG

16.1

RPG

4.7

APG

2.4

3P%

45.1

Bey will immediately be able to space the floor on offense and guard multiple positions, exactly what the Pelicans need around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

Alabama

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 165 lbs

PPG

18.5

RPG

4.8

APG

5.2

3P%

36.6

Lewis is in the top 10 on my board, so the Celitcs would be lucky to snatch him up here. The blazing quick point guard’s development could be accelerated by learning from Kemba Walker, who pretty much embodies Lewis’ ceiling as an NBA player.

North Carolina

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 190 lbs

PPG

18.5

RPG

5.7

APG

4.0

3P%

34.8

The Magic need some scoring punch and a point guard (depending on how they feel about Markelle Fultz), and Anthony provides both with significant upside.

Memphis

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 225 lbs

PPG

15.8

RPG

10.8

APG

1.0

3P%

32.5

The Blazers would love if one of the wing prospects like Vassell, Bey or Nesmith would fall to them at 16, but if that’s not the case then they should take Achiuwa to shore up their defense and rebounding. He also has the potential to become an effective 3-point shooter.


R.J. Hampton


SG

USA

• 6’5″

/ 185 lbs

PPG

8.8

RPG

3.9

APG

2.4

3P%

29.5

If the Wolves trade down from No. 1, they could take a big swing later in the draft with Hampton, a potentially elite scorer who struggled in the Australian NBL last season.

TCU

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 215 lbs

PPG

16.6

RPG

6.4

APG

3.9

3P%

44.2

The more shooters you can put next to Luka Doncic the better, and Bane certainly fits the bill. With an NBA-ready frame, he should be able to hold his own on the defensive side as well.

Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 198 lbs

PPG

14.0

RPG

4.3

APG

3.2

3P%

29.2

Maxey profiles as a combo guard who’s more of a scorer than an initiator, but his talent on both sides of the ball is undeniable. Some consider him a lottery talent, so Brooklyn will be happy if he’s still sitting on the board at No. 19.

Arizona

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 210 lbs

PPG

12.7

RPG

4.6

APG

2.6

3P%

36.1

Green is just the type of versatile, aggressive wing defender that Miami is looking for, and as a bonus he can also knock down 3-pointers.

College of Charleston

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 190 lbs

PPG

21.9

RPG

5.1

APG

3.9

3P%

36.2

I really like Riller for the 76ers as an NBA-ready combo guard who can use his strength and ball-handling to initiate offense and get buckets. He’s also a capable off-ball 3-point shooter to help give Philly some much-needed floor spacing.

Stanford

• Fr

• 6’2″

/ 160 lbs

PPG

14.6

RPG

4.5

APG

3.2

3P%

40.8

Terry profiles as a potentially elite off-the-dribble 3-point shooter who has tremendous offensive upside. He may not help right away given his slight frame, but the Nuggets have proven that patience pays off if you find the right talent.

Duke

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 185 lbs

PPG

16.2

RPG

4.2

APG

6.4

3P%

36.1

Utah needs a backup point guard, and Jones is as low risk as they come. He knows how to run an offense and will give maximum effort on the defensive end. There are questions about his shooting from NBA distance, but he’ll certainly make winning plays for you.


Aleksej Pokusevski


C

Serbia

• 7’0″

/ 205 lbs

PPG

9.9

RPG

7.3

APG

2.8

3P%

32.1

Pokusevski is a lottery talent, but likely won’t be ready to play this season given his slight frame and lower-level previous competition. As a title contender, Milwaukee will look for veteran help through trade and free agency, so this would be a great opportunity to brighten its future with a prospect who needs some seasoning.

Maryland

• Soph

• 6’10”

/ 225 lbs

PPG

15.5

RPG

10.5

APG

0.8

3P%

36.8

BPG

2.4

OKC is in the talent acquisition business, and Smith is one of the more talented big men at this stage of the draft. His offensive potential is intriguing given his 3-point shooting ability, to go along with his rim protection on the other end.

Mississippi State

• Soph

• 6’7″

/ 235 lbs

PPG

11.4

RPG

6.5

APG

1.3

3P%

42.9

The Celtics need wing depth, and Woodard will be able to defend immediately. If he proves he can make his 3s the way he did his last season in college, he should earn minutes quickly.

Duke

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 193 lbs

PPG

12.6

RPG

4.9

APG

1.0

3P%

36.0

A freak athlete whose talent should only flourish in a more open NBA game, Stanley would be a big swing for the Knicks at the end of the first round.

San Diego State

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 185 lbs

PPG

17.6

RPG

4.5

APG

5.1

3P%

37.3

Flynn could step in and earn minutes for the champions right away given his ability to shoot, distribute and defend, especially if Rajon Rondo ends up elsewhere in free agency.

Washington

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 200 lbs

PPG

13.0

RPG

5.8

APG

2.1

3P%

33.9

McDaniels passes the eye test as a potentially elite wing scorer, but he’ll need the Raptors development team to work its magic for it all to come together.


Theo Maledon


PG

France

• 6’4″

/ 174 lbs

PPG

7.3

RPG

1.9

APG

2.7

3P%

33.3

Maledon is an intriguing 19-year-old French prospect whose shooting has improved nearly every season. His potential as a playmaker is obvious, but the Celtics may want to stash him overseas to get him more experience.


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