The NBA draft is in a week; so in this preview, Greg and Andrew completed an online chat making selections for each team (first round). They made each pick based on what they would do, not based on what they necessarily think will happen. Here are the selections and summary of the reasoning.
NOTE: Since it’s hard to predict accurate trades with all the money scenarios and tax stuff, we avoided speculating on trades in this mock.
The Sports Guys NBA Draft
1. Cleveland Cavaliers select…
Greg: Anthony Bennett
Andrew: Victor Oladipo
Greg: Bennett will be a matchup nightmare and has as much talent as anyone in this draft. He has massive upside also. I would avoid taking a shooting guard because I would fear it would hurt the development of Dion Waiters.
Andrew: I believe Oladipo has the most upside of any player in this draft class and can contribute right away. He offers defensive skills that the Cavs don’t have and has the length/athleticism to play the 3 when he and Waiters are in there together.
2. Orlando Magic select…
Greg: Victor Oladipo
Andrew: Nerlens Noel
Greg: Oladipo has the most upside and can contribute towards winning right away. His attitude could revive a rebuilding team and would bring a great intensity to build around.
Andrew: Noel provides a big man they can build around like they did with Howard. Plus, with him being injured for most of this season, Orlando would be in a good position for the first pick next year, which will be somebody like Andrew Wiggins.
3. Washington Wizards select…
Greg: Nerlens Noel
Andrew: Otto Porter
Greg: It is scary picking Noel this early with his injury situation, but he could be a great inside player to pair with Wall on the outside. I also think that he could play alongside Nene for years to come.
Andrew: Porter is a safe pick and is very ready to play immediately. They have a need at the SF position and should add to their young core on the perimeter.
4. Charlotte Hornets select…
Greg: Otto Porter
Andrew: Ben McLemore
Greg: I know he plays a similar position to Kidd-Gilchrist, but I think they could play alongside each other at the 2 and 3 and would give them great flexibility. He’s the best player available and could make them better immediately.
Andrew: McLemore would fill in between Kemba and MKG at the SG position. He gives them a pure scorer and offers great athleticism. I question his work ethic but not his talent.
5. Phoenix Suns select…
Greg: Ben McLemore
Andrew: Anthony Bennett
Greg: I nearly went with Trey Burke here, but McLemore can score so well and he would blend in better with what they currently have on the roster.
Andrew: Bennett is very talented and could blossom into a desperately needed star. I think his skillset match Phoenix better than some of the others available.
6. New Orleans Pelicans select…
Greg: Alex Len
Andrew: Trey Burke
Greg: Len will probably be better than Noel but he comes cheaper. I believe he could turn into a great long-term center to pair with Davis.
Andrew: The Pelicans have a lot of talent but nobody to mesh it all together. Burke could be that guy to lead them and can fill a passing and scoring role nicely.
7. Sacramento Kings select…
Greg: Trey Burke
Andrew: Cody Zeller
Greg: I love Burke here. This would allow Tyreke Evans to slide over to the wing and become a more primary scorer. Burke could also stretch the floor from the PG position for others.
Andrew: Zeller would be the perfect compliment to Cousins on the interior. What Cousins lacks, Zeller has… what Zeller lacks, Cousins has. Beautiful.
8. Detroit Pistons select…
Greg: Michael Carter-Williams
Andrew: Michael Carter-Williams
Greg: Carter-Williams is an athletic point guard that instantly makes them better. He fits the team and the city of Detroit well, and he would help set up Drummond and Monroe very well.
Andrew: Carter-Williams could be a great distributor and offers great size as a point guard. He would allow Knight and Stuckey to play off the ball more and focus on scoring, which is what they are more suited for.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves select…
Greg: Cody Zeller
Andrew: Alex Len
Greg: Zeller would work great alongside the core established there in Love and Rubio. He would be perfect for an up-tempo style and would develop into a solid player there quickly.
Andrew: Len could turn out to be a big steal at this point in the draft. He could play center and allow Love to dominate at the power forward position. Len could learn a lot from Kevin Love too.
10. Portland Trailblazers select…
Greg: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Andrew: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Greg/Andrew: Only the second time we’ve agreed… Caldwell-Pope would be a great backcourt partner with Lillard, and they could go for 40 a night. He would spread the floor for Aldridge inside too.
11. Philadelphia 76ers select…
Greg: Lucas Nogueira
Andrew: Kelly Olynyk
Greg: Lucas gives them size and his Euro-style game should help them inside, especially with questions surrounding their current big men (and they could lose Bynum in free agency). He and Jrue would be their future.
Andrew: Olynyk would give them an NBA ready player that offers versatility. If Bynum returns, Kelly could play the 4 spot. If Bynum doesn’t, Kelly could play center. They need size either way.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder select…
Greg: Shabazz Muhammed
Andrew: Steven Adams
Greg: Muhammed has a good stroke, he has good size, and he’s a good scorer. He would fit well and be a potential replacement for James Harden (which they are still looking for).
Andrew: Adams is young, big, and athletic. He could become their long-term replacement for an aging and limited Kendrick Perkins.
13. Dallas Mavericks select…
Greg: Tony Snell
Andrew: CJ McCollum
Greg: The Mavs need a wing player to replace the old Vince Carter, someone who shouldn’t be kept any longer. Snell can shoot, defend, and could be developed into a star by Rick Carlisle.
Andrew: McCollum would be tremendous value at #13 and gives them versatility because he could play at the point or shooting guard position (depending on who they keep/bring in through free agency).
14. Utah Jazz select…
Greg: Steven Adams
Andrew: Shane Larkin
Greg: He’s a big man that will allow them to finally trade Millsap while his value is still good.
Andrew: I think the Jazz need to target a point guard here or with their next pick. I love Larkin for them and it’s looking like he may not be available at #21. So I reach slightly and take him here.
15. Milwaukee Bucks select…
Greg: Dennis Schroeder
Andrew: Shabazz Muhammed
Greg: Dennis is a German National player that has immense skill and is really the only point guard worth taking at this point (which is a potential position of need).
Andrew: The Bucks could go a lot of different directions here but finding an athletic wing that that can score is near the top of the list. Muhammed as tremendous upside to bloom into a star if things go right.
16. Boston Celtics select…
Greg: Reggie Bullock
Andrew: Mason Plumlee
Greg: His size and shooting ability make him a good fit with the Celtics, regardless of who is coaching and still on the team. Think of him as a candidate to replace Paul Pierce long term.
Andrew: With Garnett seemingly on the way out, Plumlee could step in and contribute as a power forward very quicly. Can you imagine their team speed with Rondo, Bradley, Green, and Plumlee running the floor?
17. Atlanta Hawks select…
Greg: Jamaal Franklin
Andrew: Tony Mitchell
Greg: Franklin plays a position of need and is a player that can be productive now. The question is, who else will be on the team next year?
Andrew: With two picks in a row, the Hawks can be aggressive and use a pick on a player that is boom or bust. Mitchell is that guy and can play a variety of positions.
18. Atlanta Hawks select…
Greg: Mason Plumlee
Andrew: Jamaal Franklin
Greg: Since I had them taking a wing with their last pick, they need a big here. He is another guy that can step in and contribute right away due to his athleticism.
Andrew: Franklin is a fairly safe pick and will be a solid wing for years to come. He can affect the game in a lot of different areas.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers select…
Greg: Giannis Adetokoubo
Andrew: Lucas Noguiera
Greg: Since the Cavs have a lot of young talent on their current roster, and two more picks to come, he could be a good Euro stash for a few years until he’s ready to come player here.
Andrew: With a wing player chosen at #1, I go big here with a player that has big upside. There wouldn’t be big pressure to produce right away with other players on the roster who can, but his future could be bright.
20. Chicago Bulls select…
Greg: Allen Crabbe
Andrew: Gorgui Dieng
Greg: I debated here between him and Hardaway Jr. but Crabbe is tougher which fits the Bulls. He has more potential defensively also.
Andrew: Gorgui Dieng is a perfect player for the Bulls. He’s a great defender that brings energy and has an emerging offensive game. He could play with Noah inside or become an excellent backup.
21. Utah Jazz select…
Greg: CJ McCollum
Andrew: Allen Crabbe
Greg: McCollum won’t drop this far but if so, he’d be a steal. It would give the Jazz a great guard to build a backcourt around.
Andrew: With a point guard in hand at #14, Crabbe gives them a shooter on the perimeter to pair up with Larkin. Crabbe reminds some of Reggie Miller, which would be awesome.
22. Brooklyn Nets select…
Greg: Shane Larkin
Andrew: Sergey Karasev
Greg: Larkin would be a good backup for Deron Williams and could learn a lot from new coach Jason Kidd. Brooklyn could use a bit more scrappiness.
Andrew: Karasev would provide versatility and would be a younger, more talented forward than Gerald Wallace.
23. Indiana Pacers select…
Greg: Tony Mitchell
Andrew: Reggie Bullock
Greg: This is assuming that Granger can be traded… Mitchell could fill that position right back up. Lots of upside here too.
Andrew: Bullock is the type of player the Pacers like. He’s similar to Paul George in that he could play the 2 or 3 in the NBA, seemingly alongside Paul or behind him.
24. New York Knicks select…
Greg: Kelly Olynyk
Andrew: Rudy Gobert
Greg: I’m not sold on Olynyk’s ability at the pro level because of his slow feet, but he would fit in well at the 4 for the Knicks.
Andrew: Gobert is big and could learn a lot from Tyson Chandler. Great fit here.
25. LA Clippers select…
Greg: Tim Hardaway Jr.
Andrew: Giannis Adetokoubo
Greg: Hardaway would thrive as a shooter in LA, but this pick may very well be dealt to Boston soon.
Andrew: With all of the rumors out there surrounding the Clippers, I don’t know who will be on the roster now and if they will even have this pick. But assuming they have the pick and their roster is similar, they have a deep bench and wouldn’t need someone to contribute now. Giannis could be kept overseas to help down the road.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves select…
Greg: Gorgui Dieng
Andrew: Dennis Schroeder
Greg: Adding Dieng and Zeller (earlier) would help them tremendously offensively and defensively. That would be quite a draft.
Andrew: Schroeder could be long gone by this point, but he would be great in Minnesota. He would fit in with some of their other international players, plus he could play alongside or behind Rubio.
27. Denver Nuggets select…
Greg: Rudy Gobert
Andrew: Tony Snell
Greg: The Nuggets already have a few foreign players so Gobert would feel comfortable. Things may change, but this fits what they have typically done in the past.
Andrew: Snell is athletic and would fit into their game plan perfectly. He can bring it on both ends of the floor and is NBA ready now.
28. San Antonio Spurs select…
Greg: Ricky Ledo
Andrew: Nate Wolters
Greg: Ledo is a solid addition with the declining skills of Manu Ginobili. Ledo is a wildcard in this draft, but the Spurs can fit any character in with them.
Andrew: Wolters is a heady player, the type that Coach Pop loves. He could be a solid backup for Tony Parker for sure.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder select…
Greg: Erick Green
Andrew: Erick Green
Greg/Andrew: It’s been a while since we agreed, but Green gives them more scoring punch to continue replacing Harden, especially if they lose Kevin Martin.
30. Phoenix Suns select…
Greg: Deshaun Thomas
Andrew: Deshaun Thomas
Greg: Thomas is a wing player that knows how to score and can fit in with many different styles.
Andrew: I debated back and forth between Thomas and Hardaway Jr., and either would be a good pick. I went with Thomas because he is more versatile and has better size.
By: The Sports Guys