2018: Apocalypse Draft

It's summer, and that means it's time for my annual (first round) mock draft. You could read my 2017 draft right here, and my 2016 one by clicking here. I have to say, I'm super fucking proud of myself for finishing yet another year of this, and this is by far the longest I've committed to almost anything in my life. Anyway, below you will find a completely subjective mock draft with custom made GIFs, lighthearted, not-so-serious writing, and way too much time and effort put into a damn mock draft. Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of care put in this from hypothesizing trades to attempting to choose draft picks that make sense for every team, but I want this to be the sorbet to all the serious, meaty mock drafts out there. Enjoy.


One of my favorite things about Ayton is that in every interview I've seen from him, he's almost frothing at the mouth at the prospect of being able to talk shit at the next level. He can't wait until he's a sophomore bullying people for their lunch money and hoarding their chocolate milks in his JanSport and selling them for a profit. In the past, I've touched on a visual theory that the Phoenix Suns are by far the angriest young team (Chriss, Jackson, Booker) in the league, and they're only going to get younger and angrier. Be prepared for a cranky day out in the desert. 

The Suns will undoubtedly have their Distracted Boyfriend moment with Doncic, but when your girl is sculpted like a David Robinson who isn't held captive by the seas for two years, you should be thankful and just pick him.

Do you think Michelangelo's intention while sculpting Ayton was for him to be, at best, Al Jefferson with a freakish body? He's going to learn how to defend at a passable level. Do you think Finster from Power Rangers popped Deandre into his Monster-Matic machine and prayed that he would pass like Serge Ibaka? Let him improve organically on his weaknesses and in the end, I think we'll see him flourishing as an all-around center sooner rather than later.


Bagley is sipping tea (not spilling it) because he knows how NBA Twitter will react if they Kings made this pick in real life. It's just the price you pay for doing Kings Things for the past decade. But in this reality, Sactown has zero big men on their roster with the skill set that Bagley possesses. You could say that he's fitted with all of the big man Infinity Stones if drafted by Sacramento, including the one that blesses him with sensational hair. Bagley, I must warn you, Kosta Koufos is going to go to great lengths to get his clammy hands on that sucker.

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Kings snatch up Doncic here, but I can also imagine them having the utmost faith in Bogdan and Fox holding down the ball handler/scoring role in the backcourt, and not make them regret taking a big man in 2018.


(*acquired by the Memphis Grizzlies who trade the #4 pick and Dillon Brooks for the #3 pick.)


The good news is, the Grizzlies end up winners of the Doncic Sweepstakes. The bad news is that they get extorted in the process. The Hawks' Travis Schlenk grew a mustache in the offseason just to twirl it in this moment, and held back a distorted, muffled cackle when demanding the rights to Dillon Brooks. Chris Wallace begrudgingly accepted the deal. In the end though, for superstar level talent (by the Grizzlies estimations), they bite the bullet and hope that a top flight European guard can match the production level that their big men seem to churn out each year.

My sources also relayed to me that Doncic reportedly interviewed with the Hawks just a few days ago and answered "Stankonia" as the answer to "What is OutKast's best album?" They mentioned that one ATL exec slammed his fist on the table in disgust, while another excused himself from the room in utter disbelief.

(*acquired by the Atlanta Hawks who trade the #3 pick for Dillon Brooks and the #4 pick.)


The Hawks get the man they wanted all along and get an extra morsel on their chocolate chip pancake. The Hawks could've gotten more potential value for Doncic if they shopped the pick around the league, but in my theorized mock, they realistically only wanted to trade back only one or two spots at most so they could still secure JJJ while adding another young player as they attempt to retool with a platoon of draft picks during this draft and the next one. They would've been happy keeping Doncic, but they're over the moon with Jaren Jackson Jr.

But yeah, I can't explain it. Sometimes you just look at a player and you can't picture them donning any other jersey. JJJ 💖 ATL. 


The Mavericks pull the first gotcha bitch (!) of the draft when they draft Wendell Carter Jr. as their future big man instead of Mo Bamba. In my humble opinion, Carter is getting mega disrespected by LON (Lack of Name) syndrome. I almost caught the sickness myself. Initially, I felt an innate desire for this guy to drop into the late teens because his name was just so damn boring. Trae Young? It works. Mo Bamba? Rolls off of the tongue. Shai G? Fucking superb. These are world class basketball names. Wendell Carter Jr. just doesn't cut it for most people.

But the man can pass, he can shoot, he can defend inside, and he plays with some aggression when he has the ball in the paint. He was truly hiding in the shadows of Bagley, and is in his own right, a hell of a player. The entire basketball world sometimes gets caught up in every measurable and detail outside of basketball, when the best choice is to just pick a guy that offers you everything that you want in a new age center. 


*raises hand with mouth slightly agape to say something poignant, but sighs loudly as I realize nobody really gives a shit about the Magic*

This is my team, so I could blabber on for days about what's right (a little) and what's wrong (a lot) with the Magic, but I'll try my best to keep this short and sweet. 

No offense to D.J. Augustin, but if Grays Sports Almanac is correct, he's 100% going to have a bad year next year. And I was legitimately shocked that I'm a year older than Shelvin Mack because I was under the impression that he was in his early 30s. The NBA barely likes to acknowledge the Magic as a franchise, so picking up Trae Young for all of his offensive prowess and Brand Power wouldn't be the worst idea for the Magic, who need a guard (as well as any sort of talent).  The foil to this plan is the well known fact that John Hammond is widely known to favor elongated, gangling limbs, and Trae Young is the proverbial stump to his redwood fetish.

Personally, I've warmed up to Trae Young and I find myself wanting to see him shoot 30 footers and attempt semi-wild passes to Isaac and Gordon because I don't care anymore (I do, I really do, sadly). What's worrying to me is that all of Hammond's interviews seem to be very telling and forthright, which makes me believe that the Magic are going to go with a dude that nobody expects.



(*acquired by the Los Angeles Clippers who trade the #12 pick and #13 pick for #8.)


The Clippers are in dire need of star power and are ready to risk it all, Tristan Thompson style (or just several late lottery picks style), to achieve it. The Cavaliers on the other hand are bracing for the tsunami of toxic chemicals and left feet to wash ashore in LeBron's wake, and want to address a few immediate needs while also anticipating a top 5 draft pick next year without LeBron. 

I can't put my finger on it, but Michael Porter is the guy I'd be least excited to cheer about in the top 10, and it's not because of his skills. I think 100% of it is the whole Matt Damon x Kris Humphries look he has going, but I think I can shake my indiscriminate bias if he balls out and shows that his back is good enough to carry the Clippers to the promise land. Or if he lets me scope out hot chicks in the stands on the bench with him, whichever comes first.


The only downside about Mikal and his fit with New York is his age, it's a shame that he's going to be 33 when the Knicks are finally ready to compete (just kidding, Knicks fans -- I hope).  This is basically a throwaway year for the Knicks as Porzingis isn't going to be ready to play until late in the season, and there's no incentive to sign any short-term fix free agents to try and win 33 games.  The Knicks finally have a draft with little fanfare, taking a player that most fans would be excited with, and a player that is projected to have an extremely high floor. With this pick, the bridge isn't over. Quite frankly, it's just beginning. 

HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!, Where are the children? Are they all right?

Just kidding, I'm not Ghostwriter. I'm also not Bryan Coangelo, I swear. I'm just a dude who sold him cotton candy at a fair in Allentown in '95 once. Please don't talk shit about his collars though. Seriously. What are you guys, 12? Anyway, I just wanted to say that "Nicolas Saint" is wrong here because I would NOT make this pick. I want Redick here for 10 more years and this guy would only get maybe five minutes a game. What we really need here is a big man. Can we also stop this "The Process" moniker and find a new one? At some point, we have to move past the process into winning. What? Did you suggest "The Burner"? Stop, that's not funny. I told you it really isn't me. 

Oh, hey Embiid... *nervous chuckle* what are you doing here in the office so early? Why are you carrying a gallon jug of Shirley Temple and an iron? *gulp*


Collin Sexton is bearer of what is known as The Look, and has the competitive spirit to match, as evidenced by his 3 vs 5 gem of a game versus Minnesota.  His on-court style and strengths are the antithesis of what Kemba Walker brings to the table, for better or worse, and the Hornets are looking to move on from the last surviving Bobcat this summer as they explore trades.*

(*Shai is also an option at this pick.)

Give me a second please, I left my window open by acco43\fokfspfe[44 .






(*acquired by the Cleveland Cavaliers who trade the #8 pick for the #12 and #13 picks.)


I like Miles quite a bit. I've read too many mocks that are down on him, saying how he's just going to be a tweener at the next level, and how he'll struggle to impact the game as much as he does in college. In all of the game tape I've seen of him, he's consistently attacking the basket with aggression, shooting it from deep on good averages, and has sneakily impressive body control for being a bit thicker than your average (gotta say, didn't think I'd be calling anybody "thicc" today). Plus he reps Flint, Michigan hard and Flint still needs help. You can help or send money to Flint residents by going here


(*acquired by the Cleveland Cavaliers who trade the #8 pick for the #12 and #13 picks.)


Shy-G may end up the best pure point guard of the draft, and if he does, his damage will be done in the shadows like a nebulous villain. He wields a body archetype that you think would mimic a number of bigger NBA point guards that can't shoot, but his college numbers at Kentucky, even if on small attempts, are a sign that he could tear up that "big PG, bad shooter" stereotype in a short amount of time. The Cavaliers would gladly start both Shy-G and Miles this upcoming season at an attempt of a quick rebuild for a city that will watch LeBron James leave their home once again and never return (except a one-day when he retires). That was actually heart-wrenching to write.


Year after year, this is the team I always have the most trouble with doing these mock drafts. I originally had the Nuggets taking a chance on Khyri Thomas with a bit of a "reach" here as a replacement for Will Barton (if he leaves), but then I noticed that the small forward position is a bit thin if they decide to move on from Wilson Chandler via trade this offseason.  Knox is super young and is a bit of an enigma as far as what talent he can paint the league with, and the Nuggets could be opening a Fortnite chest with a golden rocket launcher inside of it with this guy. The Nuggets are always about 35 deep, and have a number of players that are deserving of more playing time than they actually get, so the Nugs can go a number of different ways here. Just don't trade Donovan Mitchell level talent away again, please.


The Wizards need an intervention and anger management classes, but the biggest thing they need is an infusion of young talent. Since 2014, only Kelly Oubre Jr. has joined their roster as a draft pick, and they've dodged a lot of the hate that the Brooklyn Nets got for trading away their future because of the magnitude of how badly the Nets fucked up. Keep the damn pick, Grunfeld. Gortat is almost a sure bet to be gone, so technically, they can look for a big at this spot, but I like the guard and wing prospects around this pick much, much more than the bigs that are available. Address the big man issue in free agency, draft wing here. Zhaire Smith's stock has cooled off for some scouts and insiders with his below average combine measurements and showings, but he is a filthy athlete that has a lot of offensive growth still to come. 


This is my biggest reach pick in my entire mock, but I think the Suns are in a position to attempt some Icarus-esque experimentation while not trying to melt the kid in the process. I have two reasons why this pick is going to work.

Firstly, has a guy named Anfernee in the NBA ever failed to produce? No.

Secondly, look at this list of HS to NBA players. I'd wager about 2/3 of those players became decent role players in the league, if not outright stars. The Phoenix Suns can take a chance on talent with how many picks they have in this draft (4), with a young, alluring point guard developing next to Booker.


This mock draft business is tough, man. I could've easily went Okobo here, but I'm betting on the Bucks going with the "safer" pick, even if he's the less popular option of the two currently. "Scary" Terry Rozier ruined Bledsoe's stock in an eerily similar mirror to what Pusha T did to Drake last week, but in actuality, Bledsoe's hot and cold on court play would've cast doubt on his future as franchise point of the Bucks regardless of the Boston series. The Bucks also have Malcolm Brogdon , who has a Shane Battier-like moxie as a 2nd year vet, but works best as a steadying, combo guard commander from the bench. Holiday, Okobo, or even Brunson here is a move that I can see the Bucks making on draft night, and whoever it is will reap the reward of getting to drink smoothies with Giannis after arriving for their Introductory Press Conference.


(*acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers who trade the #25 pick and Ivica Zubac for the #18 pick.)


The Lakers move up to snag a falling Robert Williams. He's one of the better big men in this draft, however, I have him dropping only because he hoards a skillset that the NBA as a whole is moving away from. Luckily, the Lakers need someone that will bang around the paint, rebound, and attempt to catch bodies with each and every dunk. The Lakers, more than any other team, are a team pegged to make a lot of moves this offseason, potentially trading away Julius Randle and other youngsters to go after Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, or even LeBron James. Zubac in this scenario is a causality of numbers and isn't happy with a super reduced role, so the Spurs will welcome him as a reclamation project.


Elie Okobo is un homme d'esthétique. The Menace looks to be on the outs, and the Atlanta Hawks try their luck with another foreign point guard, but this time decide to throw their neon dart a bit west of Germany. Okobo is said to be rising up the draft boards quickly over the last week, which always gives me pause for concern and reminds me of many past European guards that got drafted 10-20 spots ahead of where they rightly should have, but watching film of this guy play (check out his 44 point outburst) is an experience, and leaves you wondering what he can do against NBA players.


Jamal Crawford is a living legend, but being a designated shooter that the Timberwolves had to depend upon last year put them in a number of precarious positions during the season, and even handed them a few losses. We have to protect Jamal's legacy from being tarnished. The NCAA darling (ignore his Twitter stuff for a second, if you can!) is a solid addition to a team with a bench, that outside of Bjelica, needs a whole lot of shooting and scoring to come out of it. You could also say he brings "winning", because the pundits on draft night love to source this as a tangible thing that translates from college to the pros, but the only thing I want to see translating is the money student athletes don't yet receive.


If Favors leaves in the offseason, the Jazz might be looking for frontcourt help in the draft, but I do like the prospect of a shutdown shooter like Khyri flourishing in SLC from the bench as a mini-microwave to spell Mitchell, or even play with him when Mitchell is the primary ball handler. I absolutely love how the Jazz's roster is constructed, as many of their players are elite at multiple areas on the court, allowing for any sort of pick to work here.


Daddy Trent was way more swole than Junior in that picture, but I'm still trying to catch up to my pops in that category too, so I feel his pain. Sidenote: God, it must be weird for Nowitzki to play against both fathers and their sons in the NBA. He's definitely seen some shit. And I've seen Trent Jr. on mock drafts placed in the early 20s all the way to mid 30s, but for me, he would be a solid get as a shooter with size who can light it up off of the bench and do a simple job -- shoot. Something that every team, but especially the Bulls, could use. 


A guy named Chandler Hutchison seems oddly destined to play in Indiana for his entire career. I'm not sure why his name screams "Pacer", but it just does. And as of writing this, he's earned the nickname "Captain Hutch" from me, I encourage all of you to follow suit. Don't ask any questions.


In my last draft, I had Donovan Mitchell falling to pick #20 in the draft and being drafted by the Portland Trailblazers for some scoring off of the bench. I could maaaybe have squeezed a job in the lower level front office of Portland if that actually happened, but the Jazz ruined my plans. I tried, Portland. I really did. And it's not because I didn't think he had the talent to go higher, but there was a lot of mid-lottery big man talent that I anticipated coming off of the board in 2017. Well, it's another year and the Trailblazers still need offense coming from anybody other than CJ, Nurk, and Lillard. Why not take a net murderer from the DMV? 


(*acquired by the San Antonio Spurs who trade the #18 pick for Ivica Zubac and the #25 pick.)


The post-Duncan Spurs have veered away from the whole European drafting modus operandi for boring old NCAA players, but it makes sense in the grand scheme of things. They simply don't have the luxury of being able to stash players like they used to (besides the current Nikola Milutinov), and accents confuse Kawhi.

Shamet juxtaposed with Dejounte Murray, who is a fascinatingly freakish rebounder at his position, creates a fun 1-2 punch for two point guards who do two very divergent things. With this pick I'm also predicting the end of Tony Parker's career in San Antonio, but I've learned a long time ago never to never feel confident of Spurs-involved predictions. Jalen Brunson is also at play here, but I anticipate the Spurs settling on Shamet and falling in love with his incendiary stroke.


This was a difficult pick for me to make because I tried to factor in potential free agents like Paul George or LeBron James, etc, and how their acquisition would affect the balance of their roster. But I also thought it would be funny for the Sixers to send one last "fuck you" to the Boston Celtics and draft a big man who can rebound, which is something that the Celtics do desperately need. The only salaried big man on the Sixers current roster for next season is Joel Embiid, so drafting Mitchell Robinson would be a luxury to have when The Process gets tired, or, you know, yeah. Knock on wood.


The Boston Celtics are my top choice for morphing into the new Spurs in terms of drafting and stashing talent on their roster. If he's willing (or wants) to come over, he can play limited spot minutes on a deep ass Celtics team. Or they can wait a year or two and bring him in with a more guaranteed role after playing overseas for that extra year. He has a lot of defensive flaws, but on a team like the Celtics, he can count on a "take-your-pick" number of teammates to shoulder the defensive load and let him work his magic on offense.

                               "Whose mans is this?"

                               "Whose mans is this?"

Musa I (of Mali) was one of the richest people in the history of the world. In fact, he was so rich from the gold trade that historians couldn't estimate his overall wealth. In addition, he also made a long journey to Mecca while destroying the economies of cities in his path as he showed off his extraordinary wealth to onlookers.


The second biggest slide in my mock draft is probably KBD, and it's strictly the result of injury related concerns and recent setbacks in workouts. I like his fit here and I think the Warriors future intention with him would be to groom him to fit the Iguodala role (minus the passing) off of the bench and do everything (on a lesser scale) that Draymond does.

Who knew the free ride would continue after college? Hah! 


The Nets were by far my hardest team to draft for since they could use talent everywhere and nowhere. D. Loading might work best as a SG, LeVert can play 1-3 effectively, Dinwiddie had an impressive stretch at PG for a while, and Jeremy Lin is a solid guard when not hampered by injuries. The Nets frontcourt with Jarrett Allen and RHJ are untouchables as far as I'm concerned, and they have a few interesting bench pieces to plug the holes when needed. I landed on Okogie, who is a high octane guard with athleticism, confident shooting, and feels comfortable with the ball in his hand. MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE NETS ARE FREED FROM BILLY KING. GOD FUCKING BLESS


Does this look like a man that cares if anybody likes him? Little do you know, he's enjoying the hearts (and balls) of his enemies in that Styrofoam box. The biggest compliment I'm going to give this dude is that if you squint your eyes really hard, his name sort of looks like "Draymond Green" from far away, and that's what the Hawks will hope for in a player with this pick. The Hawks address a lot of needs in this draft with JJJ, Okobo, acquiring Dillon Brooks, and end it with a do-it-all, pesky, love him only if you're on his team sort of player.

2017: To Kill A Mock(ing) Draft

It's just a few days after the 2017 Draft Lottery and I'm returning with my annual mock draft. You can check out my 2016 draft by clicking here, and my 2015 one is lost in the abyss. My apologies. I always preface these mocks by stating that these picks don't necessarily represent the order of how I think the draft will unfold, it's more along the lines of where I'd like to see certain players end up, along with some educated guesses and need based picks. Mix in a few fake trades and some shenanigans and you have this not-so-serious but (hopefully) fun mock draft. Enjoy. 

With the 1st pick, the Boston Celtics select... Markelle Fultz (G, Washington)

Before we get started, a word of caution to the ever-prideful Celtic horde. For the next month or so, you're going to need to take a page out of Leonard from Memento's book, and tape this to your thigh when your "friends" begin to politely suggest that Danny Ainge trade the pick for Jimmy Butler or Paul George, or make a different selection entirely because you already have IT lighting it up from Haverhill. The Green Bay Packers had both Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre on their roster concurrently and they didn't even have the luxury of being able to play them at the same time! Seeing what happens with Markelle at the two guard, or gorging him with significant minutes off of the bench isn't something that will cause irreversible damage — especially if you have a winning ball club. 

If I'm forced to needlessly dissect Markelle Fultz and find something unsavory about him, it's that he appears to be one mundane dude. I don't know him personally, and maybe his close friends can vouch for his entertainment value, but I can feel it. He's a pop-a-shot playing, NBA 2K binging, The Walking Dead watching, completely normal student athlete. And hey, there's nothing wrong with that. If all you do is breathe basketball and conduct professional interviews with sensible answers and muted emotion at the age of 18, you're doing better than 99% of the world's population already. You just can't ignite the fire of being the last pick of the draft like Isaiah Thomas, you don't run purely off of sugar, ranch, and spaghetti sandwiches like Terry Rozier, and you damn sure don't have the entire opposition fuming from your presence on the court on a nightly basis like Marcus Smart.

You're just good ol' Markelle Fultz, and that's good enough.

With the 2nd pick, the Los Angeles Lakers select... Josh Jackson (F, Kansas)

This can happen, right? I'm not landing the TARDIS on an alternate Earth that will self destruct on impact if this happens? The Lakers would be wise to continue going about business as usual and not verbally handcuff themselves to the Ball Family with careless endorsements. I predict that Magic Johnson is going to be great for the Lakers — not because of judicious drafting and free agency decisions where he will have the ultimate say (although he could be a genius for all I know, just ignore his Tweets), but because the Lakers operate best when the team is in a constant state of turmoil, excitement and unrest. Josh Jackson claims he played out of position for the entire year, and he thrives in transition already, so the Luke Walton Lakers would be a fun landing spot for a player with Jackson's skillset.

I'm sorry, I tried to be serious for most of this Jackson mock, God, how do people do it?

With the 3rd pick, the Philadelphia 76ers select... Lonzo Ball (PG/G, UCLA)

LaVar Ball is the perfect Philadelphia sports father. Not only would he become utterly embraced in Philly like no other sports town, it also doubles as a place where LaVar can exercise his free speech with clear visibility to his theatrics. A world where LaVar Ball is drowned out by the opaque lights of the Staples Center is a world that I don't want to live in.

I need to see LaVar behind the visitor's bench pegging 14th men in the back of the head with chalk-hard Dubble Bubble while he sells ZO2's to greasy handed, Philly cheesesteak eating Sixers fans in an inconspicuous hallway of the Wells Fargo Center underground at halftime. And maybe you don't realize it quite yet, but you need that too.

It's no secret that Ben Simmons is going to have the ball in his hands more often than not next season, testing the point guard waters and letting his playmaking make the headlines. It's also no secret that Lonzo Ball functions best with the ball in his hands, setting his teammates up for easy baskets, being the unselfish future GOAT that LaVar so often predicts he will become. But even the Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis weren't crazy enough to task Giannis with purely point guard minutes the entire season, or let his success and failure at that spot alone dictate where their dreams died. They adjusted and made it so that Giannis was slotted in the most optimal role for his game to provide maximum impact — and in turn, his team to flourish. The Sixers hope to...

Somebody's at the door — hold on a second. 


Fuck, fuck, fuck.

If I don't finish this mock, just know that LaV--

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͇̰͈̮̗̟̘̭̗͢M̧̡̹̟̦͟y̵͇̩̫͉ ̦̰̬̟̀b̡̛̼̜̦o̪̻͉͚͔͔̯͝͞y̢̟̭͙̹͉ ̝̞̩̞͜i̪̤̳s̨҉͚͓ ̴̸̛̹̩̜͓̤g̸̟͉̕o̳̖̝͈̹i̸̝̬̣̭n̺͝g̴̲ ̵͝҉͚͓t̼̰o̩̲͕̞͍͞ ̼̘d̟e̲̯͟s̪͕̹̬̦t̷̸̼̙̜̳͙̹ͅr̨͎͔̕o͎͈̣ỳ̸̻̮͖̫͢ ̵͈̼̖̮̭t̞̣h̴̬̮̯̖̪͘͞e̸̵̖̳̝͖̰͡ ̧҉̭̠͎̱͇͟l̳̻̣̫̦̠̫e͉̻̲̙a̡̮̦̫̝͙͠ģ̵̻̩̦̯̖ú̶̦͚͙͠e҉̠̖͙̖͇͕ͅ ̵̢̛̘̗̩͎̮̰̭͍a̷̖̖͓n̸̨̜̺͈͔̩̰d̴̤͕̭̜ ̵͔̙͔̰̥͘y͙̦͖̯̤͍̺ơ̫̭̻̜͖͖̘̱͜ú̢̼͕̥̥͙͎͎͓ ̥͔͔̹͘w͉͓͢i̡̲͇̮͉̪ĺ̩ͅl͚̹ ̣̪̱̟̲̼̀̀͡a̧̬̖̫̜̲͖ͅl̛͔̲̬̮̳͍l͍ ̷̫̙̫̳̕͟p̦͔̮̦̥͍̘a͏̼̭̮̬̘y̨̠͚̜
̵̢̦͉̳̮̖̕ͅS̵̮̬͈͉̖͈̱̠t̢͔̯͟͡a̴̶̧͕̹͚͈̮͓̙̭y̷͎̮̞͟͞ ͍̫͚͈̺̜͉͇͢͝i̛̟͔̫̩̩̯̝̳̕n̴̞͙͎̯̦̯̬̘̕ ̸̧̤̠̱̫y̯̱̥̞o̤̘̮̥̪̲̭̻ù̢̩̥͍̫͇͉̞̤̩r̢̰̮̠ ̧͈̬͙́͢l̟̝̥̤a͓̠͙͇̘̝̠ͅǹ̢̲̹͓̠̺e̹̺͎̹̦̥͔͟ 
҉̩̣͓̘̗̹̦F̭͈̗̻̫̗U̘̫͎̖͚̜̙͍͟͜Ć̴̼͍̯͚̰̫̫K̵̠̭̜̜ ̴͍̮̯͔̖J͕̟͓͓̗̭̩͉͓́͟O̵̡͔̥R͏̵̙̪̘̠̘͚̖D̶̨̼̩͈͖̪̠͓̜̘A͔̠ͅṊ̖͙̲ ̛͚̙̦̝͘F͔̹́͢͡U͍̪̻͔͇͙͇̪͟ͅC̺̙͜K̵̼̥̮̤̘̖͚̞͇ ̵̟̯̠͔̪̺̤ͅL͖̱̟͉̘͡ͅE̪̟͜B̷̷̷͇̫̙Ŗ̟̝͉͘ͅO͇̦N̫̞͟͞ͅ ̞̳͈͉̼̦͙̦F̪̥͓̪͙͢Ṵ̧͇͕̬͕̞̖̝̕C̨̣͖̣̳͚K̥͙̼͎̮̭̪ ̲͖̫̖̦͕̝ͅĶ̱̞̘̭̲̣͍͓Ǫ̤̪B͖͔̻̥̜͍̳̖E̶̱̞͍͝ ͍̩̹̺F͎̭̠͚̘̀͟U͚͙͇͘C̛͖̖̯̟̜̰K̴̬͖̘͈̦͖̺̀͢ ̷̲̯̟̭̠̳W̦̥̻̦̺͜͡E̖̹̭S̼̺̼̖̫̗͢T҉̩̺̯͚B̙̪̥̟̟̼͘R̪͈̭̟͓̠͕̲̀͜O̵̖̼͚̳͟Ò͏̹̩̳̘̤̲̮̖͍K͏̡̝̰̮̼̹̬̕ ̱͕̪͚̙̖̀ͅF̷̗̞̘̳̪̖͙̀͘U͏̙͞C̀͏̩̘̣̥̺̝̯Ḱ̢̟̗̞̩̬̩̞̕ ̡̰̪̬͍̳͉̦ͅH͉̤̮͕̺̤̕͢A̝̭͎͘͞R̛̪̳̗͍̩̟͓̬͠D̛̰̟̺̪̺̼̯́͜E̛̼Ṇ̢̡̺͔̩͢ ̶̜̮͖̦͈̣̦̮F̷̣̼U̬͎̞͘͜Ç͎̳͉͕̬͝K̨̟̟̬͔̥̀̀ ̸̡̠̬̳̼̙̙̮̲̤̕K̭A̴̛̞̠̰͚̞͔ͅͅW̢̞̬̘̕͟H̦́͡Í͙̭̞̮̜̼̕͠ͅ ̮͈̰̼F̡͖̙͙̱̻͇̙̪͙͜U̶͉͠͞C͍̣̞̜̯̭̱͉K̸̥̯̖͔̰̦̲̀ ̡̡̻̯Ý̴̭̦̭͚͉̪̺̙̀ͅƠ̷̢̬͔̻̮͙͇̘̞U̼͉͖̤̙ͅ

With the 4th pick, the Phoenix Suns select... Malik Monk (G, Kentucky)

Computer glitch. Nothing to worry about.

I'll throw hands with anybody that wants to say that Monk and Booker can't coexist on the Talking Stick Resort Arena (boy, is that a handful of words to name an arena) light hardwood floor. How can you watch the NBA in 2017 and come to the conclusion that two (potentially) deadly shooters on a team together is somehow a bad idea? And to be quite honest, Booker at this point in time is only a great scorer, his shooting is still developing into an area where it's palatable. Drafting Monk would not taint or overflow a cup of water in the Valley of the Sun.

To prepare themselves for a Monk arrival, the Phoenix Suns training staff should throw an open armed welcoming party to Eric Bledsoe and wrap him up in memory foam like Jake Berman in the Little Giants in hopes that he will stay healthy enough to thrive with their reverse-aging roster. Bledsoe/Monk/Booker/Warren/Big Sauce is a fun lineup. Switch in Ulis, Chriss and Bender for whoever is struggling for your optimal starting lineup, and you suddenly have a 👀 team to look out for nipping at your heels if you're a middling Western Conference playoff team. 

In a year.

Talent aside, the Suns win the draft simply off of the power of Malik Monk's legendary name. If I were him, I'd completely own it and roleplay the fuck out of it, doing the whole head shaving/tonsure/pre-game robe thing for his branding, but that's also because I'm a giant nerd. 

With the 5th pick, the Sacramento Kings select... De'Aaron Fox (PG, Kentucky)


With the 6th pick, the Orlando Magic select... Jayson Tatum (SF, Duke)

Isolation scorer ✅

Tobias Harris vibes ✅

Jayson "T." Buckets ✅

Silky smooth voice ✅

It's at this point that I have to remind you, or more appropriately, inform you that I am a fan of the Orlando Magic. Did you guys see Frank Vogel at the draft lottery? He's one step away from Boozer-ing his entire scalp, and the addition of the struggle beard is a good touch as a coach of the Magic. Hey, at least he didn't hand in a resignation letter and point middle fingers at every young player on the roster before peacing out.

The Orlando Magic need talent in the worst way. They can go Tatum here — they can also go Isaac or DSJ or Markkanen and I wouldn't bat an eyelid. One of the most pressing needs however, is a reliable scorer. Fournier is a solid but streaky scorer who just dyed his man bun blonde and thinks he's on acid when Vucevic isn't on the floor with him, the nickname "Coin Toss" Ross speaks for itself, and as fun as Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon are together, they don't have the skillset that Tatum can bring to the Magic.

  • Acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Tyus Jones for Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris and the #12 overall pick.
With the 7th pick, the Detroit Pistons select... Jonathan Isaac (SF/PF/C, FSU)

If there's one thing I've learned about making fantasy trades, it's that both fan bases will end up refusing to acknowledge that they actually have to give up talent to receive talent. I'm guilty of it myself. Do you know how many potentially great trade scenarios I've nixed in my head because Mario fucking Hezonja was involved in it? More than I'd like to admit. 

 The Pistons need to make a cannonball sized splash in the draft, in my humble opinion. If they somehow go into next season with a slightly tweaked version of this last season's roster, Stan Van Gundy is going to have an aneurysm, or even worse, be resigned to making can crushing videos on the internet. Giving up on Stanley Johnson is a tough sell, he's 20 and had an encouraging rookie season (besides the shooting numbers, don't look at the shooting numbers). Let him run around with the other young Wolves in the sea of minutes that Thibs has stored deep in his Samsonite briefcase and you'll forget about his sophomore slump quicker than you can say "42 minutes a game".

But this is about the Pistons. Isaac can come in, and SVG can figure out what position he's best at and let him rock. Tyus Jones is a nice throw in as a point guard prospect, since I'm assuming Stan wants to throw Reggie Jackson in Lake St. Clair. Re-sign KCP, let Isaac romp around with Ellenson and the rest of the sort-of-young Pistons roster, suck for a year and then you'll have a decently retooled roster in a relatively short amount of time.*

(*SVG the GM would surely give SVG the coach some leeway for the rebuild.)

With the 8th pick, the New York Knicks select... Dennis Smith Jr. (PG, NC State)

Double R, that's a Rolls, paint it yellow like it's dairy
I'm talkin' Rose like Derrick
I'm talkin' rolls like a belly (woo)

Fear not, Knicks fans — DSJ is not Derrick Rose. Er, well, he's not the Derrick Rose that played for you guys this season. Which was better than the Rose that played in the NBA the previous three years, but still not a Rose you necessarily want in the future. You know what, you get the point.

Anyway, fuck the triangle. The Knicks need a player that's going to go Apocalypto (warning, organs) on the opposition and bring a vicious, revenant version of Porzingis emoting out on the floor like the bloodthirsty Latvian he really is. It may be too late to convince some Knickerbocker fans to hop aboard the DSJ train, a good number of them are already thoroughly enamored with Ntilikina, with good reason. But DSJ is the guy you need to bring the culture forward — before long, he's going to be given carte blanche on any chop cheese he wants Uptown. Ntilikina ain't going Uptown.

Either way, the Knicks really want to get this pick right. given the fact that the last two #8 draft picks for the Knicks were Channing Frye and Jordan Hill. When your franchise has been running like the Long Island Rail Road since the departure of Patrick Ewing, you know you need help badly. Drop all of dead weight from the Knicks organization at the Hillside Support Facility and let them stew in their failure and think about what they've done before letting them back on the train.

With the 9th pick, the Dallas Mavericks select... Lauri Markkanen (PF, Arizona)

It will be fun, they said, he's sort of like Dirk, they said!

Dallas fans will probably think this is a lazy pick and comparison. You know what? Shut up. What do you even know about the lottery? You're just a visitor here. You call your Uber and  Airbnb and call it a day — us Magic, Knicks, Kings, Timberwolves, and Sixers fans are really out here in the streets criticizing and bashing the hell out of each other's picks, even if we were just ranting and raving about that player minutes earlier before the selection. I slot him here because the Mavericks need a big man that will do some real damage out on the perimeter, unless you expect Nerlens Noel and Dwight Powell to poof into Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins overnight. Yeah, I'm really sorry that Nowitzki comparison is causing slight discomfort to you. God forbid he even becomes even 75% of what Dirk ever was. 

You schmucks.

  •  Acquired from the Sacramento Kings along with Malachi Richardson and a 2018 second round draft pick for a protected 2018 first round draft pick, Paul Zipser and the #16 overall pick.
With the 10th pick, the Chicago Bulls select... Frank Ntilikina (PG, SIG Strasbourg)

The Chicago Bulls are uninspiring. Just writing that makes me feel like I don't even need to state it — you know it, I know it, Bulls fans know it. What I don't know is how they bumbled into the playoffs, but that was apparently A Thing That Happened — and so was the 2-0 lead on the Celtics. No real reason to talk about if anything happened after that, fake news. But if we want to get into the meat and potatoes of the Bulls roster, it starts with coming to grips with the future of the point guard position, and it isn't Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Canaan, or Michael Carter-Williams that will be trampling all over people in Pamplona.

Ntilikina is the man to lead the Bulls, but only after an Alpha hazing session (no, not soggy biscuit, sicko) from Butler, Wade, and a departing Rondo (hell, he could even come back and teach Young Frank a thing or two about Ray Allen). 

Plus, his name as an anagram is a few letters away from "Knick Killa" — make of that what you will. 

With the 11th pick, the Charlotte Hornets select... OG Anunoby (F, Indiana)

At some point this century, the Bobcats-Hornets organization is going to have to roll the dice on a high ceiling / unknown basement player (that basement might have some cool old baseball cards inside of it, you never know). In their twenty some-odd picks since Emeka Okafor was drafted, they've made a grand total of one interesting or inspiring pick in Kemba Walker — two if you want to include Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to that list.

OG Anunoby spent most of his last season injured, but has an air of gravitas that execs seem to love. He's a big dude, and moves pretty fluently with that frame, while doing a multitude of things on the court to impact the game. 

Let it fly, Cho.

  • Acquired from the Detroit Pistons along with Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris, for Tyus Jones and the #6 pick.
With the 12th pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... TJ Leaf (PF, UCLA)

Okay, listen up, I'm not going to pretend that TJ Leaf is a name that will evoke any sort of excitement from the Timberwolves faithful — but I'll tell you why he's the superior choice to anybody they'd be able to field at the 7th pick.

It's simple. The asset collecting stage has already reached critical mass, and taking a swing on an Isaac or a Markkanen (realistically the only two players that can be picked without it causing log-jam issues) makes it so that a naturally inefficient rookie (surrounded by other young players who have yet find the "keys" to winning) may cause the team to drop games they didn't plan on dropping, or push back a time table that's already been ticking for far too long.

If I'm Thibs, I'd order Leaf to come off of the bench and shoot the fuck out of the ball with no conscience. You're going to pay attention to his future and treat him as a great prospect in practices and walkthroughs, but he's not a pressing development need for the future of the franchise like Isaac or Markkanen would be.

With the addition of Marcus Morris (a tough young veteran, the sort of player the Wolves need), Stanley Johnson (a 3rd year player with talent and something to prove), and TJ Leaf doing his thing off of the bench, the only thing left to do as a Wolves fan is calm down, watch the new season of Fargo, and enjoy the 2017-2018 campaign as your team emerges from the forest after a decade of Kahn induced pain. 

  • Acquired from the Denver Nuggets for a future 2018 second round draft pick, the #24 overall pick and the #30 overall pick.
With the 13th pick, the Utah Jazz select... Zach Collins (PF/C, Gonzaga)

Another mock draft, another white-dude-heading-to-the-Jazz theme going on in my drafts. I swear this isn't intentional, and I 100% believe in the "Salt Lake City Actually Has A Really Good Night Life" thing, despite the weird defense mechanism response that Jazz fans apparently have to that criticism. You guys weren't even this vicious when sports media were accusing you of only drafting white players.

The Jazz consolidate their picks to move up and take Zach Collins in my mock draft. The power forward position isn't the most urgent need for the Utah Jazz, especially when you have a tumultuous point guard future with George Hill hitting free agency, Dante Exum maybe? being? a? decent? player? and Raul Neto and Shelvin Mack not exactly cementing your future at that position. But Trey Lyles has to prove his worth after a sophomore slump, and Derrick Favors isn't guaranteed to stick around after next year, leaving Gobert and a whole lotta nothing in his giant French shadow. Take Zach and throw the biggest party Salt Lake City has ever seen, and make sure to Tweet the pictures to @warriorsworld.

With the 14th pick, the Miami Heat select... Harry Giles (F, Duke)

What a year for the Miami Heat and their fans. The Wade-Riley Saga, Chris Bosh literally almost dying, the roller-coaster of being in the driver's seat for the Fultz sweepstakes to barely missing the playoffs, and most impressively, seeing Dion Waiters Island attract permanent residents.

A bunch of surgeries on a 19 year old knee doesn't scream *PICK ME*, but those knees belong to a kid that was hyped as a potential #1 pick this year before his second ACL tear. If Kodak Black can turn an 8 year bid into 2 months, Harry Giles can be a great NBA talent.

With the 15th pick, the Portland Trailblazers select... Justin Patton (C, Creighton)

The Portland Trailblazers don't exactly need a center after The Great Nurking of '17, the guy committed regicide on Lord Jokic I and cackled at his family afterwards with fresh blood still rolling down his cheeks. But when you peer beyond Nurkic's massive Bosnian shell, you're suddenly hit with the realization that you're depending on Meyers Leonard, Noah Vonleh and Festus Ezeli when it's all done, the latter exiting the team this offseason.

It wouldn't hurt for the Blazers to grab a young big with solid fundamentals to mold and throw out there into battle, having his size and strength off of the bench could be a valuable weapon in the future.

  • Acquired from the Chicago Bulls along with Paul Zipser, and a protected 2018 first round draft pick for the #10 pick, a future 2018 second round pick, and Malachi Richardson.
With the 16th pick, the Sacramento Kings select... John Collins (PF, Wake Forest)

A haul of Zipser, Collins, Fox, and a protected first rounder next year would be a wonderful haul for the Sacramento Kings. I'm patting myself on the back as I type this.

It's like watching an unboxing video, people on YouTube go ape shit for those. This is basketball mukbang, and for the first time in a while, fans of the Sacramento Kings can sit back and indulge without wondering what's going to pop out of the screen and jump scare them.

Labissiere, WCS, Papa, and Collins could end up turning out to be a fun 4-man big combination that will wreak havoc on the West for years to come.

With the 17th pick, the Milwaukee Bucks select... Jarrett Allen (C, Texas)

John Hammond: Does he have a wingspan picture?

Justin Zanik: Let me look.

Justin Zanik: Got it. 

John Hammond: Boom.

With the 18th pick, the Indiana Pacers select... Hamidou Diallo (SG, Kentucky/HS)

One #whynot reason is that there is zero tape on this kid playing against college level competition, so technically you're drafting a high schooler, which is a semi-scary proposition as a general manager. But looking at this list of HS to NBA draftees,, you'll see that there is a damn good chance he's going to be something in the league. 

Paul George is starting to sound a lot like Dwight Howard when he wanted to commit career suicide and leave the only place that caved in to his demands (I'm not bitter, I swear), and seeing a team field CJ Miles and Monta Ellis in George's wake doesn't sound like an enjoyable prospect to me, I don't know about you, Pacer fans.

Diallo has the ability to be an explosive, game changing guard on the court. Yeah, there is an issue of what he even has in his arsenal, but opening up a mix of his on YouTube or seeing him post a vertical of 44.5 inches at the Draft Combine doesn't make this seem like too big of a reach at all.

With the 19th pick, the Atlanta Hawks select... Luke Kennard (SG, Duke)

Do you know who the Atlanta Hawks missed last year? Kyle Korver.

Do you know who Luke Kennard could turn out to be? Kyle Korver.

I wrote both of those statements with zero thought given to it, but it could be true. Maybe not.

But honestly, Kennard just makes sense here. He's a great shooter that can spread the floor and work with anybody on the team, from Schroder to Millsap to Dwight. The Hawks still have Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr. for next season, but if the Hawks suddenly don't want to pay Timmy as a RFA next year, Kennard can step up and be a cheap but effective gunner.

Plus, he seems like a guy that really will appreciate the organ player in Philips Arena. Can never give enough love to that organ player.

With the 20th pick, the Portland Trailblazers select... Donovan Mitchell (SG, Louisville)

I'm not going to trust any bench with Shabazz Napier coming off of it, I don't care how great he played for three whole games last year. Donovan Mitchell has the potential to add a special scoring dynamic off of the bench, something that the Blazers rarely enjoyed from their Turner, Crabbe, Shabazz guard rotation in their bench stints last season.  

With the 21st pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder select... Justin Jackson (F, North Carolina)

The Thunder could go in a variety of different directions with this pick, but I settled on Jackson to supplant Roberson at the SF position, who I feel would work better off of the bench where he can play freely without the pressure of focusing on the offensive side of the ball too much. Or maybe that puts more pressure on Roberson because of the lack of scoring on the court, and the fact that fans are just counting down the minutes until Westbrook hops back onto the court.

I just hope that Justin Jackson isn't too fond of his 14.9 FGA attempts a game as a Tar Heel, because those are going to go waaaaaaay down on the Thunder. But that's fine, it's not like Westbrook is going to force the kid to shovel ghost peppers down his gullet in the locker room for his personal amusement. I think.

With the 22nd pick, the Brooklyn Nets select... Terrance Ferguson (SG, Adelaide 36ers)

I bet I could pretend that I know all about Terrance Ferguson and his prospects as an NBA player after his single season in Adelaide and you'd be none the wiser. 

Well, I'm not going to give away my scouting secrets, but trust me, I know all about this guy. So much. I can't hold all of it, I'm like the players at the Draft Lottery with all the hats in their hands. Help me, it's too much.

No, but seriously. I like how it looks on the court. He just looks natural out there — his stroke looks fine, his body control and movement is fluid, he looks to be in great shape. I like his prospects as an impact wing player for the Brooklyn Nets. 

Bonus thought: First person to get a "Fuck Billy King" tattoo on their body next season on the Brooklyn Nets should be offered a lifetime contract by Sean Marks.

With the 23rd pick, the Toronto Raptors select... Isaiah Hartenstein (PF/C, Zalgiris Kaunas)

I'm going to be honest, I'm not sure if this is a bad pick or not. He's playing in a Lithuanian league, and I know that anything that has to do with Lithuania will throw Dwane Casey into a tizzy. I'd wager that he caps Hartenstein's minutes at 10 and calls it a day, cackling and eating poutine while muttering obscenities, with no front office member having the balls to inform him that Isaiah, in fact, has no Lithuanian ancestry.

I love Toronto. Their fans are insane, and I almost got attacked by a homeless man with a massive dog when I was in there. Good times. The Raptors are going to have to re-sign somebody, even if they don't want a similar team next year. I know that the Sixers are trying to poach Lowry from them, but it's hard to let him go, even with his age being a big factor in extension talks. Drafting Hartenstein softens the blow of a possible Ibaka and Patterson departures. 

  • Acquired from the Denver Nuggets for the #24 overall pick and the #30 overall pick.
With the 24th pick, the Denver Nuggets select... Aodions Kurucs (SF, Barcelona)

Congrats! You just picked this dude and now you're stashing him! 

(*I'm sorry Nuggets fans, I know this isn't the present that you want, but sacrificing the excitement of a draft pick for future success is a trade I'd take any day.)

The Nuggets have Mudiay, Murray, Jokic, Hernangomez, Harris, and Plumlee that need to develop and gel together towards the future, even Gallinari could end up staying. Drafting and stashing Kurucs is a realistic option for a team that plans on building around Jokic, Harris and Murray, while attempting to find more minutes for Hernangomez, seeing what the future holds for Mudiay in the powder blue, all while working in spot minutes for the veterans on the team.

And even if the Gallinari signing doesn't work out, you suddenly have a SF ready to come over and confuse you on how to pronounce his name. Perfect!

With the 25th pick, the Orlando Magic select... Tyler Lydon (F, Syracuse)

The Magic have a lot of needs. Starters, backups, jerseys, logo, president, possibly a new GM — even though I'd personally like for them to keep Matt Lloyd. If there's one thing I know after being a professional armchair GM for many years, it's that Lloyd can't be too particular about positions and overlapping in this draft. With two picks early in the second round, the Magic need to go after players that possess high ceilings but enough immediate impact so that the fans won't go insane waiting another 4 years for something to bubble up out of the cauldron. Or magic hat. Sigh. Lydon offers a wide range of skills: athleticism, a three point shot, solid post moves, shot blocking and maybe he streams on Twitch or something, what do I know?

Vogel's overuse of 5-man substitution units makes Lydon an ideal bench contributor that brings a different game to the court compared to the other bigs on the team; Vucevic, Biyombo, and Gordon.

  • Acquired from the Portland Trailblazers along with a future 2018 first round pick and a future 2020 second round pick. 
With the 26th pick, the Golden State Warriors select... Ivan Rabb (F, California)

The Warriors pry their way into the first round and select the hometown kid, Ivan Rabb. It's a bit of a sob story for Rabb, returning to California only to find yourself on a mediocre team losing in the first round of the NIT. The millions he'd potentially lose from dropping to this spot also doesn't help, but I'd say it's a heck of a consolation prize to be drafted by the best team in basketball for the next (???) years. Not to mention, he can always work his way into Curry's Fave 5 and finagle a few million from his soon to be $200 million dollar contract. 

With the 27th pick, the Brooklyn Nets select... Jonathan Jeanne (C, SLUC Nancy)

Jeanne, at least aesthetically, is too much of a Gobert clone to not have a team take a flyer on him in the first round. In going to the Brooklyn Nets, he'll provide juxtaposition to the suddenly perimeter-oriented Brook Lopez as well as much needed big man depth. Brook looks like an extremely easy guy to make friends with, and is the sole survivor of the Billy King regime — he's undoubtedly going to have some great stories to tell Jeanne during late night Waffle House sessions in Atlanta.

With the 28th pick, the Los Angeles Lakers select... Frank Jackson (PG, Duke)

Frank Jackson is good sized point guard that had a respectable-yet-unspectacular one-and-done freshman season at Duke. More importantly, the Lakers now officially have 40% of the Jackson 5 after this pick. 

Not everybody is sold on D'Angelo Russell as the future starting point guard of the Lakers, preferring him to slide over to the shooting guard position. By passing on Lonzo and taking Frank at #28, that decision doesn't have to be made immediately. It eases Jackson into the role by letting him come off of the bench until he becomes comfortable enough to potentially start.

By the way, I lied. This is the second extremely boring Lakers write-up I did in my mock draft. I'm sorry Lakers Nation.

But hey, did you know Frank is Mormon?

With the 29th pick, the San Antonio Spurs select... Ike Anigbogu (PF/C, UCLA)

Oh, San Antonio. When you expect them to zig, they zag.

It's super easy to pencil in a skilled European stash pick here just because it's the Spurs and that's how they operate as a franchise. But I fancy this as a perfect Anigbogu landing spot. The space that he occupies is a box that Shea Serrano's favorite LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee, and Pau Gasol don't like to step inside and is ultimately what makes this a wine and cheese like pairing. And I'm quite sure Coach Pop loves his wine and cheese. 

  • Acquired from the Utah Jazz along with a 2018 second round draft pick, the #24 pick for the #12 pick.
With the 30th pick, the Denver Nuggets select... Jawun Evans (PG, Oklahoma State)

Jawun Evans reminds me a bit of Ty Lawson, and the Nuggets last enjoyed great (adequate?) point guard play when Ty Lawson was off of the sauce and working up a sweat in that Mile High altitude. When you have The Mystery Files of Emmanuel Mudiay and whoever is masquerading as Jameer Nelson as point guard options, taking Evans here at 30 is a viable play. But then you have the issue of Murray, who is still most useful at shooting guard to me, but then so is Gary Harris, and so on and so on. I'm sure it'll all work out in the end, I don't need this headache. Give me a break, I'm tired. It's not my fault that this Nuggets team is 14 deep for no good reason.

An In-Depth Look Into In-Game Celebrations

After the whirlwind of free agency, the NBA offseason tends to grind to a halt. I've decided to compile a list of current NBA players to critique and adulate some of their most notable in-game celebrations. There are some omissions due to their murky future (Steve Novak, Caron Butler, Jason Terry) and one that I couldn't make a quality GIF of (Mike Conley), but for the most part, I'm pretty happy to highlight these players as the cream of the crop NBA celebrators.

Vince Carter (Crank It Up)

Long time aerial expert Vince Carter has been adamant in interviews that his "crank it up" celebration has nothing to do with motorcycles or handlebars, and it should be taken quite literally for what it is: "cranking it up" after the crowd loses their collective shit over a monstrous dunk. This move comes from a man that exercised his demons in the Olympics over Frederic Weis, so I think my gripe of it being a little tame has some legitimacy to it. But he can do whatever the hell he wants to considering that he still throws down vicious dunks at 39 years old. What's more impressive to me however, is his broadcasting skills. He would be a low-key great addition to the TNT family.


Stephen Curry (Glory To God)

Without invoking anything from the Crusades, there has been a lot of basketball violence carried out directly from the practiced hands of Curry. It's true, basketball is not a Bloodsport and Curry is no Frank Dux, but from my personal observations (minutes of rewinding and reviewing records of retinal scans) a number of players defending Steph Curry went through brief flashes of self-immolation while attempting to stay in front of him. This celebration has a straightforward explanation: a nod to the man above after splashing a trey, from a God-fearing servant. And while playoffs-and-beyond Ayesha Curry isn't helping the stock of the Curry family, there is nothing to hate about such a simple gesture, even if it is the basketball equivalent of death by a thousand cuts.

James Harden (Cookin' // 🍲)

His defense will never win him a Michelin Star, but watching Harden throw up silly numbers in the Houston offense is a real common occurrence nowadays, like a Rattata or a CS:GO cheating scandal. Throw D'Antoni into the mix, and things will get downright silly. The Lil B inspired celebration takes on its own form with Harden.

He's either secretly been communicating "Fuck Kevin Durant" this entire time, or doing his best impersonation of the creative process of a Jackson Pollock painting. Who knows? What I do know is that you can't whip your ladle around a pot of boiling vegetable stock or soup at the force and speed that Harden does without sustaining third degree burns in the process. But egg yolks? Harden is your man for the most balanced meal of the day.

LeBron James (Cocked // Kill 'Em All)

Introducing the first of a number of gun celebrations on this list. But as far as I know, this one is a one-off, sort of like the Wow! signal or Chickenpox. Leave it to LeBron to make it the most detailed and elaborate of all of the weapon related celebrations. I was scared that he would start spraying it side-armed with reckless abandon, but the recourse of that action would leave his pockets a bit lighter and cause imaginary collateral damage. Plus, quite frankly, the last thing we need right now is getting LeBron mucked up in gun control drama. Scoop Jackson wrote an entire article on the potential repercussion of said celebration and the climate that we now live in, where the action symbolizes so much more than just an action. Regardless of my personal opinion on the silliness of our gun laws, it's an effective celebration and it looks cool. Luckily for LBJ, Ohio is an open-carry state.

Chris Andersen (Birdman // Bird Flying High)

I'd wager that a decent chunk of (casual) NBA fans don't even know what Birdman's real name is and only identify him as "Birdman". That's pretty cool, actually. I wish I had an entirely different persona that everybody knew me for rather than my given birth name. Andersen has come a long way from being banned from the NBA for continued hard drug use, as well as physically, using the offseason to spill more ink on his canvas to complete his persona. For those reasons alone, his celebrations hold more weight than most of the list. Never stop flapping, Birdman.

Kawhi Leonard (The Claw)

If Kawhi displaying his oven mitts to the crowd doesn't deter you from testing your weak ass crossover and first step combo on him, be my guest. I'm sure the Spurs absolutely love running fast breaks. If I could parallel an entity to Kawhi Leonard, it would be Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot. Introspective, weird, quiet, daring, dangerous. His reputation as a staunch defender with frighteningly high impact means his impending ascension (higher than Finals MVP Kawhi) could signal a heel turn among fickle NBA fans. Kevin Garnett went through it, LeBron went through it, Durant is going through it and even Curry is wading dangerously close to villain waters. Of course, it's hard to hate a Spur and people like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki have managed to dodge that bullet, so maybe I'm talking out of my ass. My secret motive is actually wanting the whole Dr. Claw angle to come to form. It's ripe for the taking, especially now with Brandon "Inspector Gadget" Ingram entering the fray. 

Russell Westbrook (The Walk // Post Apocalyptic)

The best thing about this is that it's not even Russell's best celebration. The second best thing about this is that his dunks are propelled by the amount of rage built up in that compact, sculpted Michelangelo body of his -- exploding around the court like he swallowed a liter of Diet Coke and topped it off with Mentos tabs. With that post dunk strut of his, he definitely could clear a fallen Tyronn Lue and then some.

Danilo Gallinari (The Kiss of Death // Bellissimo!)

The oft injured Gallinari is a sight to behold when he's firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately, his career has been plagued with sprains and tears and creaks and cracks.. As a fellow Italian, I absolutely love this celebration. The bench makes it even better with the exaggerated Italian "What the hell are you doing?" hand movements. 

I need Gallinari to play 82 games next season. His absence makes me feel like what A.J. from The Sopranos once famously uttered: "So what? No fuckin' ziti now?"

Dirk Nowitzki (The German Gun // Hand Thing)

I don't know what the fuck this is supposed to be, but it looks menacing. I think it's a mixture of a three celebration with some gun mechanics thrown in. To me, it's almost as if he's dragging the remnants of your soul after watching his high arching three drop crisply through the net.

Rudy Gobert (The Salute // O Captain)

A simple celebration from a giant of a man. The Stifle Tower is either sending your stuff back or cramming it on your skull. None of that frilly in-between stuff. After that, he's saluting the crowd as a send-off. It's not that hard to comprehend. Unless you're a Russian urban climber or DeMar DeRozan, nobody is getting the best of the Stifle Tower.

Paul Pierce (Take A Bow // Goodnight)

The bow is not quite a staple in the Paul Pierce celebration repertoire, but I have to put it on here for how balls deep brazen and cold-blooded it is. To step inside of the Mecca and desecrate the Knicks with clutch basket after clutch basket is one thing, but bowing down to the opposing fans as if they should leave satisfied and in awe of such a performance is straight up fearless.

Carmelo Anthony (3 To The Dome // Click Clack)

Carmelo Anthony has developed himself into one of my favorite players since 2003. Partly because of on the court heroics, but mostly off of it, as he tackles social issues that other stars don't want to get involved with, while staying active in the community and expanding his brand. He's one of the main practitioners keeping the art of bully-ball alive, but Carmelo has no qualms about hitting you with the quick pull-up three and giving you that dome tap. It's iconic and one of the most popular celebrations in both the NBA and blacktops across the nation. It just doesn't look as cool when your friend Kenny tries to re-enact it after banking in an ugly three.

To quote the great Bill Walker: "Melo's wet all the time!"

Elfrid Payton (X)

Those who have stumbled upon a '16 Aaron Gordon dunk mix might find a moppy-haired point guard plastered all over it, supplying some nifty alley-oop passes from difficult angles all over the court. The reticent floor general from Louisiana loves throwing up the X every time he and his running mates connect on a nasty dunk. The meaning of the celebration is currently unknown, but it's not like we don't know where Elfrid hides that key.

Wesley Matthews (Bow & Arrow // Bullseye)

Do you ever sit back and wonder to yourself why it took so long for an NBA player to fire an arrow after hitting a three pointer? The former Trailblazing Hawkeye used to hit the bullseye all over Portland until his unfortunate Achilles injury. It would be nice to see Wesley get back on course with a stronger result than his 2016 season.

I'm sure Mark Cuban has been itching to say this line

D'Angelo Russell (Ice In My Veins)

D'Angelo Russell is one of the few vocal tenderfoots that doesn't mind putting himself in the spotlight for all the right and wrong reasons, which is both worrying and encouraging as a Lakers fan. He doesn't shy away from taking the final shot, and doesn't shy away from letting you know it if it just so happened to go in. The whole "There's ice in my veins!" celebration feels a bit contrived, but in this day and age if it looks good and is easy to digest, it will sell. D'Angelo certainly has people watching more closely now that the Mamba is gone.

Iman Shumpert (Hold My Phone)

The reality of Iman Shumpert has yet to catch up to the idea of Iman Shumpert. The former Yellow Jacket still feels incomplete, as if the download keeps pausing or the video keeps buffering. He is a champion, though -- you can never take that away from him no matter how his career ends up. Now, the celebration? After Marshawn Lynch's "Hold My Dick", it's my second favorite holding celebration. I hope that the Cavaliers sign Caron Butler to answer that phone to form the greatest combination of in-game celebrations the world has ever seen. 

Lance Stephenson (The Shimmy)

There is a strong argument here for Stephen Curry, but I don't regret giving Lance the nod for best shimmier in the biz. It has to be painful for the opponent to watch Lance dance adjacent to you as you walk past him with your head down, knowing that your damp, pungent locker room awaits you. The next step to peak shimmy celebration is getting him, Curry, and Antoine Walker all on the same team. Who wouldn't want to host a BBQ for them?

LeBron James (The Silencer)


Marc Gasol (The Spank)

From former Laker throw in for Pau Gasol to Memphian of the Year, Marc has had a hell of an NBA career. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a giddy-up or a pat on the back or in his case, an ass slap because clearly he's into kinkier things in the bedroom.

A man powered by paella and salchichón is a man I'm never going to question

Joakim Noah (Crazy Gun Robot)

Joakim Noah is not a megalomaniac. Okay, maybe the whole "lack of understanding for other people's feelings" thing applies to him, but that's it. My favorite thing about his gun celebration is that he looks more like he should be on Thomas & Friends as Thomas the Tank Engine blazing down the track at breakneck speed. Joakim Noah without any injuries to inhibit him is one of the most entertaining personalities this side of Rodman, watching him hobble around clearly limited by his bumps and bruises is downright painful to witness. I hope the Knicks get the former Noah.

Dwyane Wade (My House)

I'm not a Miami Heat fan, but this stings. My stomach is turning. It feels like the first time I got dumped without any closure. I'm being dramatic, but if this doesn't make you feel any sort of way, I'm going to check for a pulse because you're obviously not of this world. The entire Wade and Riley soap opera should be made into a future ESPN: 30 for 30. You could tell that Wade never wanted to leave, but like many beautiful relationship gone sour, one problem turned into another and what once began as a small cut turned into full blown infection. Miami will always be Wade County, and even as a Chicago Bulls player, AmericanAirlines Arena will always be his house. 

J.R. Smith (The Air Guitar // The Pipe)

Reborn. Nobody has become as renewed as J.R. Smith has in the last year. As often is the case with former Knicks like Zach Randolph, Jamal Crawford and Stephon Marbury, J.R. Smith found success outside of the Big Apple and stumbled upon a delicious caramel surprise in the form of a title with LeBron and company in Cleveland.

Russell Westbrook (Threes In The Holsters)

The beauty of this celebration is in the execution. We all know that Westbrook does everything with earthquake sized tremors, so his celebrations can be adjusted and judged using the Richter scale. A crowd hushing three? A delicate drop into the holsters. Capping off a huge run or exploding for a momentum-changing dunk? Jam that shit in there so hard that it potentially gets stuck next time you want to pull it out. It's all in the details, baby. 

J.J. Redick (Don't Do This In Brazil)

J.J. Redick has established one of my favorite career arcs. A college savant turned bench-warmer under the SVG ran Orlando Magic. He slowly proved himself to the coaching staff, carving out small chunks of minutes while gaining trust. Every year his role would become more and more important until it was apparent that he could handle whatever an NBA level player could throw at him. J.J. is super appreciative of the handling of his career, even if at the time he didn't understand why he wasn't playing much. After a lost half-season in Milwaukee, he found a great spot for him in Los Angeles and hosts one of the best basketball podcasts around. It must feel pretty good to be J.J. Redick. The arm sleeve still looks a bit awkward, but as long as he doesn't go full Birdman with it, I don't think he's strayed too far from his wheelhouse in his 10+ years as an NBA player. 

Aaron Gordon (Severed Head // Pop Off)

The spiritual dunk contest winner and young Pogo stick Aaron Gordon slyly does a throat slit but with the X motion; his thumbs acting as the scythe. The head wag is an entirely different celebration in the arsenal of Aaron Gordon, and this GIF captures both of them in a rare "Dub-Celeb". Magic fans love to affectionately make fun of his big ass head and face, so when he starts shaking it after a couple of threes, it gets the crowd can't help but get pumped up with him.

Nick Young (3 Goggles // The Monocle)

From D'Angelo Russell cosplaying as a member of the NSA to Iggy Azalea, his ex-girlfriend, throwing him to the curb after getting another girl pregnant, to having Gilbert Arenas hop the fence to his house and show up like like Roger from Sister Sister, Nick Young has had a truly forgettable year. And that's without mentioning his numbers from last season or his future in the NBA.

The "3 Goggles" are classic and while quite a number of players do this, I'll just credit it to Nick Young because I feel for him. Part of me wishes I used the double goggles because it very much resembles The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Stank Face)

It feels as if it's been a long time since Giannis of Sepolia entered his name in the NBA draft -- the intriguing prospect from Greece whose scouting videos looked like a half taped over VCR recording from the '90s . What we know now is that the only thing two years away from Giannis was his impending stardom. The wide-eyed international player landed in Milwaukee full of wonder, ignorant of any shortcomings it had compared to more "lively" U.S. cities, and immediately made it his home. The first order of business for Giannis was exploring and enjoying the hell out oft he little things in life, like the smoothie. 

Since his arrival, he's bulked up, starred in several NBA related commercials and transformed into a 6'11 point guard while gulping down triple doubles like it was his first smoothie. The Stank Face is now fully embraced by Giannis, and it has a sprig of fuming anger mixed in. Almost as if he's smelling the blood in the water.

2016: A Mock Draft Odyssey

This is my annual mock draft and my personal Christmas. The draft just gets me so giddy with excitement. We're at a time before Summer League overreactions and draft anger turned acceptance turned homerism, before armchair GM trades where you refuse to give away your new draft pick for talent that will always be better than what you're giving away, but you still cling to hope because you want this relationship to really work out. 

The 2015 mock draft I did last year is lost in space and time, but I am proud of slotting Porzingis in at number three and having Booker at eight. A word of caution before you have an embolism, these predictions aren't exactly how I think it'll go down, it's more along the lines of what I'd like to see happen + team needs + a small dash of gut and feeling. I am also allowed one Petty Point -- for instance, I did not put DeAndre Bembry in the first round because of how his afro is shaped in relation to his head. He has the Josh Childress afro and Josh Childress really strikes a nerve with me for reasons I'll never be able to explain.

Let's get it started. 

(1) Ben Simmons (F, LSU)

"The higher I get, the less they accept me, Even had the OG's tryna press me, Ha-ha-ha-ha!" 

There will never be a better moment than right now to be light-skinned and in the NBA. Coincidentally, there is probably never a better time than right now to be Australian and in the NBA as well. Ben Simmons is both, which means you have to pick him if you're the Sixers. Look at Dellavedova, off being a rabid mercenary for hire in Cleveland. Look at Dante Exum, still shrouded in mystery and stardust -- it's said he's still playing against unknown competition to this day. Look at Bogut, he's held the door open for over a decade now letting his countrymen join him in greener basketball pastures, managing to become an oft-injured but useful cog on one of the greatest teams of all time -- the list goes on and on. Ben Simmons seems like the quintessential Lakers pick, but the Sixers have to go 100% at this jawn and let him rock with a mostly blank canvas of talent. 

Remember kids, Hinkie fell on the sword for this pick and he delivered in the end with the help of Mutombo the Seer. It's time for B.C. to pick Simmons, high five some high ranking smiling Sixers officials, and then go back to his popcorn bag as Embiid, Okafor and Noel play a spirited game of janken. Loser goes on the trading block. 


(2) Brandon Ingram (F, Duke)

Cthulhu sent Brandon Ingram to wreak havoc upon the walking earth. "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" the fans chant as Brandon Ingram catches a lob from a similarly colored jersey, the silhouette not registering just quite yet in his name index reader. It looks something like "-'------ 🎥  -------" to him. Odd. The records show Brandon's ancestry tracing back to Dhalsim and most recently Kevin Durant, which is a hell of a lineage. The only thing left to do is stuff his gob full of Animal Style Fries and say really nice things about Kobe for 82 games.


(3) Kris Dunn (G, Providence)

This is possibly my first "whoa" pick, ring the alarm! Okay, it's not that crazy at all, and in all honestly I just wonder what Bill Simmons would think about Dunn going to Boston. This is also a precursor to a trade that I have bubbling in the gut a little later on. In the meantime, who doesn't want a rook that expresses such fearless demeanor? Sure, he'll be stuck behind guards like Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, but it's not like anybody in the league is really untouchable, just faux untouchable. Plus, guards are the new centers. You can get away with playing a bunch of good guards at the same time. Something only Phoenix managed to royally fuck up.

Speaking of Phoenix... 


(4) Dragan Bender (PF/C, Maccabi Tel Aviv) 

Daenerys walked slowly over rugged gravel that was littered with pieces of seared flesh and unidentifiable bone fragment. Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion all glared and hissed at the unknown shadowy seven footer encroaching upon their territory.

His cape looked hand-woven, and depicted a rising sun with a large red cross next to it. He flicked two bronze coins at Daenerys, which she managed to haphazardly catch despite being in awe of what she was witnessing. He did all of this while carrying a half eaten loaf of bread in his left hand, which he soon devoured in one large chomp. He confidently strode toward the dragons with no regard for his near future, and began to slowly stroke the surprisingly cold scales on the side of their mouths.

"I am now the dragon." he whispered in an almost soothing tone. 

"You are free." 


(5) Marquese Chriss (PF, Washington)

A decent number of mocks have slotted a point guard here, but I don't agree that the Wolves have to go down that route. It's tempting because Curry has been disintegrating records and slicing limbs off with dribbling exhibitions, but Ricky Rubio is still the Spanish love stallion that has captured countless hearts in the Twin Cities area. Marquese Chriss is interesting to say the least. Here is Matt Moore of CBSSports describing his defensive instincts:

Luckily, General Thibs is reporting for duty and can give him all of the 48 minutes he could handle to work on it. Oh? There is an offseason, and practices as well you say? Even better. He's like an unfinished Leonardo da Vinci sculpture and Thibodeau can finish chiseling Chriss into a bouncy four that will stretch the floor and run around with bad things on his mind (hopefully not Lisa Ann) while adding defensive impact. The rebounding... I'm not so sure about, but one thing at a time here! More importantly, Big KAT can slide over to the center position and rule over teams that try to punish them with small-ball lineups. 


(6) Jamal Murray (PG/G, Kentucky)

I'm sure there is a 6 God x Toronto illuminati situation going on here but I already used up all of my Drake material on the first pick. Jamal can really shoot, as reports out of a Boston Celtics workout recently confirmed. The Pelicans fielded hospital beds last year as a starting lineup, managing to incur the wrath of Lil B or Santeria from the only good season of True Detective. While Jrue Holiday is solid, Jamal Murray can easily slide into any of the guard spots and start his own archery club. 


(7) Buddy Hield (G, Oklahoma)

Pairing Mudiay with somebody like Buddy is just what the Nuggets and Mudiay and the doctor ordered. It also doubles as a great working movie title, "Somebody Like Buddy". I'll take my royalties later. But for now this puts Denver on the map with a "oh shit, they're a sneakily good rebuilding team with tons of promising talent!" narrative that they can build off of. 

The Bahamanian Baller is going to be a sight to behold, and it's always intriguing to see how NCAA juggernauts translate to the NBA. Redick, Hansbrough, Curry, they all go unknown distances like your kids after high school. Plus weed jokes, Air Bud, etc.



(8) Jaylen Brown (SF, California) (Via Sacramento for Marcus Smart and 16th Pick)

The Celtics make the first power play of the draft and move Marcus Smart and the 16th pick for Jaylen Brown. I know what you're thinking: "Dude, why would the Celtics select two wing players with their first two picks when the most pressing need is a big?" The answer is quite simple, and it's free agency and trades. If they manage to snag Horford or any other big man that doesn't play like they see ghosts fucking each other inside of the 3 point line, they'll be perfectly fine. 

Smart could be used as a trade chip for an impact veteran or superstar, but I think he's better served to be flipped for a young player that has a higher offensive ceiling and wears shorter shorts. There are still a lot of picks and talent that the Celtics can potentially package for a bigger splash later on down the road.

As much as it hurts to give up on Marcus Smart this early, it's hard to imagine his shot becoming anything more than "acceptable" and his shot selection anything more than "atrocious". For the Kings, they get a player with a ceiling comparable to the talent level of a top 6-10 pick from this year's draft and move back a bit to a position where there is still a considerable amount of talent, even if the ceiling isn't quite as high. 


(9) Skal Labissiere (F, Kentucky)

A few sports above where he's been projected to go, the allure of Skal lies not in what he achieved at Kentucky but what he projects to in the NBA. This is a really "duh" statement, but I already see people arguing against his NBA potential because of what he didn't show in college. Gliding around the court like a more athletic Channing Frye, Skal is a tempting pick for the "new NBA" style. While he rarely attempted threes at the college level, he's made it no secret in workouts that he has range and wants to show it off as much as he wants to show off that ugly ass Kentucky hat. (Sorry, I have no issue with Kentucky or their fans, it's just an ugly hat.)


(10) Jakob Poeltl (C, Utah)

This is Poeltl's "I'm going to Milwaukee? Really? Stop joking." face. I had something written here about it being okay because he went to school at Wisconsin anyway but it turns out that he went to Utah and I'm an idiot. I blame the jersey. Don't take away my basketball credentials, I beg of you. 

Anyway, I was just joking about Milwaukee being a miserable place for a draftee. They have Giannis and his smoothies, Jabari and his underground hip-hop, Monroe and his packed bags. A perfect situation for all involved.

Jalen Rose butchered Hezonja's name last year and I was oddly perturbed by it. It just sounded so aggressive and ugly: "He-ZONGA!", so I really want him to tackle this guy's name this year*. 

(*It's pronounced "Yakob Pertle".)


(11) Chieck Diallo (PF/C, Kansas)

As an Orlando Magic fan, every year I get giddy about the draft because that's all I've had to look forward to. I study up on a lot of the prospects during pre-draft and prepare myself to learn to love these awkward teenagers. But I must admit, I cannot crack the Rob Hennigan code of Drafting 101. He speaks in buzzword speak, he sports a wry smile, facial tics, and never tips his hand ever. He always drafts the one guy I have the least knowledge about out of the handful that I obsessively scout, and I consider myself decently up to par on college prospects and range appropriate players.. So I'm just throwing shit to the wall here and saying that Chieck Diallo will be the pick because why not? He's been mocked everywhere from mid teens to the end of the first round, but he ticks a lot of the boxes that Hennigan loves to gush about.

There are other bigs that could be available in this range like Ellenson, Poeltl or Skal but their talents tend to overlap with Vucevic a bit too much. Deyonta Davis is a player that doesn't overlap at all, but from interviews I've seen of him he just doesn't seem like the "Hennigan type."


(12) Henry Ellenson (PF, Marquette)

The Jazz finally get back to making a Jazz pick. Yes, that's a joke about them drafting white people. Henry Ellenson provides a skill-set that both Gobert and Favors do not currently posses. In that sense, Ellenson fits both a need and could very well be the BPA at this spot if the draft was to shake out exactly like this (I mean, why wouldn't it?). More importantly, he's primed to be recruited by Gordon Hayward to his League of Legends team and they will be the first multi-sport athletes to excel at both video games and basketball when the Jazz launch their own esports club. 


(13) Timothé Luwawu (SG/SF, Mega Leks)

The Suns double up on international talent and select Luwawu with the 13th pick. Luwawu sports a long lanky frame that mimics gazelle-like movement (think LaVine without the shot). There would be an immediate (fun) dynamic brewing with Booker, Warren, Bledsoe and even Knight. 

Stylistically, Luwawu would be a one of a kind on the Suns roster. Let the Luwawu-Booker connection flow through your veins and embrace it. 

Side note: Mega Leks have the best jerseys in the world, bar none., and coincidentally the best team to watch while on acid.


(14) Wade Baldwin IV (PG/G, Vanderbilt)

The writing could be on the wall right behind the rose that grew from concrete. According to reports, Derrick Rose is being shopped by the Bulls and that would leave a gaping hole that the Bulls and recently acquired Spencer Dinwiddie + mustache cannot fill. For Baldwin IV to become truly great, he will need to set and accomplish small reachable goals. The first order of business is to be a better than Acie Law IV, and after that beat out E'Twaun Moore or something.


(15) Deyonta Davis (PF/C, Michigan State) (Via Denver for 21st + Future Second Round Pick)

The Nuggets are rich in draft picks in a "bad draft" and they realize that many players that they would like to choose at this spot will still be there if they move 6 spots down. The Hawks do not have that luxury with Deyonta Davis and realize that he will be taken in the next few picks, so they swoop on up and add an early second rounder to send to Denver. Deyonta provides toughness, shot blocking, defense, and media hatred. Just look at his eyes, he totally doesn't want to answer any of those questions. Who can blame him? He's also potential insurance for losing Horford in free agency if he decides to bounce.


(16) Taurean Prince (SF, Baylor) (Via Boston for 8th Pick)

Taurean Prince explaining to a reporter about how his team didn't secure more rebounds than the other team will never get old. He's a beautiful flower. The Kings re-tool with a mid-first and Marcus Smart, which is not a bad coup at all considering Collison has recently done a very bad thing and Rondo speaks like a man that is not returning to Sacramento. Taurean can do a lot of different things on the floor, which is actually kind of rare in Sacramento if you think about it.

 Next order of business is to move Rudy Gay and his contact losing self as quick as possible and the Kings may just sneak into the playoffs next year!


(17) Dejounte Murray (PG, Washington)

The Grizzlies have aged hard in every area, sort of like Shane MacGowan. However, their most pressing need is going to be at the PG spot. Conley is no lock to return to Memphis, Chalmers felt his achilles explode and found himself teamless, Farmar is unrestricted and not good anymore, and the rest of the guards are not going to take Memphis anywhere (Born Ready aside). There are some very good options that are still available that would be great Z-Bo replacements down the line, but Murray fills a need and has intriguing skill that the Grizzlies may just want to bite on.  


(18) Domantas Sabonis (PF, Gonzaga)

Domantas Sabonis is not a stretch four yet, but little does he know that it is his destiny. Drummond is too busy clogging up the middle and doing all of the '90s center stuff that Shaq jerks off about on Inside the NBA, so that means Sabonis has the chance to become the player that SVG holds most dear to his heart -- the stretch four. I think this is a considerable drop for where a lot of people have him slotted, but I think he's the potential slider that may end up proving a lot of teams wrong if they pass on him. 


(19) Demetrius Jackson (PG, Notre Dame)

Demetrius Jackson would be a brilliant pick at 19 for the Nuggets, and I'm not just saying it because I made this pick, I made all of these picks. I just feel *good* about this one. The fact that they only have one real backup point guard and he's on the verge of playing himself out of the league (love you Jameer!) is one thing, but getting a player that has the potential to be a top 10 pick in talent is another. Sure, Mudiay is good. We've seen his ability playmaking and athletic ability, but we also know that the league is starting to chew up and spit out guards that cannot shoot worth a lick with no regard for Kevin Harlan. Insurance, potential, depth. What's not to like?


(20) Ivica Zubac (C, Mega Leks)

I am not going to write about Ivica Zubac pretending to know that I know a lot about Ivica Zubac. But what I can tell you is that Ivica Zubac would love me talking about Ivica Zubac the way that I am talking about Ivica Zubac. Ivica Zubac? More like IBIZA Zubac, it's a fucking EDM block party. and you're invited.

(No, but seriously, from what I've watched from Zubac, I think that him and Myles Turner would play great off of each other as a 4/5 combo. The other option would be going for a guy like Malachi Richardson or Furkan Korkmaz.)


(21) Thon Maker (F, Orangeville Prep HS) (Via Atlanta for 16th Pick)

Thon Maker and the Nuggets make perfect sense. There is a considerable amount of average veteran talent on the roster, and all sorts of young talent that have yet to fall head first out of the crib and waddle out of the room. Thon is a risk, no question. But who isn't a risk? Life is all about risks and taking the Cyborg From Down Under is a risk that I would jump on quicker than you could say pork chop sandwiches. 

Let him develop amongst your other younger talent and see where he falls. There are a lot of minutes that will be needing to go around, so you let the oil rise and you let the bland ass tap water fall to the bottom. 


(22) Furkan Korkmaz (SG, Anadolu Efes)

This is actually Furkan Korkmaz. If you thought you hated dunk props in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, watch Furkan Korkmaz in his dunk contest. He dunks over a dinner table with people eating dinner, and then dresses up above as Darth Vader. The only issue is that he's built like a skinnier version of Evan Fournier, so it wouldn't look as cool as if, say, LeBron James did it. Courtney Lee is a free agent, Jeremy Lin opted out and may or may not return, Batum is said to want to stay but could also find himself playing elsewhere, so Korkmaz would provide a much needed addition on the wings and once again is a player that has slid from where he has been projected to go.


(23) Damian Jones (C, Vanderbilt)

There we go, the Celtics finally add beef to their frontcourt. Gifted with an imposing physique and brains, Damian has impressed quite a few teams during workouts. The only thing he really needs is a mean streak and more even play from a game to game basis and he will be that big man that the Celtics desperately need.


(24) Malachi Richardson (SG/SF, Syracuse)

Look at the flick of the wrist. Malachi has been shooting up the draft boards the last few weeks, but finds himself slipping a bit because of a few "need' picks. The Sixers are in a drought when it comes to any sort of guard talent, so taking a flyer on Malachi is something they'll be happy to do. Let's just hope it turns out better than the last guard from Syracuse they drafted. 



(25) Brice Johnson (F, North Carolina)

Is it just me or does Brice Johnson just sound like the name of somebody who's destined to play for the Clippers? Brice, at least to me, is the safest pick of anybody from the 20-30 range, where I think his efficiency and production will translate to the NBA. The Clippers are a Cursed Franchise (TM) so he will fill in nicely for any big man that injures himself sneezing or trying to catch a falling iPhone like Darren McFadden.


(26) Malik Beasley (SG, Florida State)

Look at him dance! I'm actually not sure why I have him ranked this low. He's basically exactly what you want out of a SG. Good shooter, athletic as all hell, confident and fun to watch. What can go wrong? He can improve in a lot of areas like defense and passing the ball more, but I would be extremely hyped if my team came away with Simmons, Malachi and Beasley in the draft.


(27) Denzel Valentine (SF, Michigan State)

Every year there is a guy that slides about 10 spots lower than you expect him to. It's reported that Denzel Valentine has a bad case of the Brandon Roy knee, and this has caused quite a few teams to sour on the prospect of bringing along that all around Draymond type of player that they all covet. The Raptors say to hell with all of that, and we're bringing some love (or a massacre) back to T Dot. 

Carroll is going to need a lot of rest and maintenance and Terrance Ross once scored 51 points in a game (he's only 25 and that seems like ages ago) and is too busy throwing shade on social media. If Denzel truly isn't hampered by his knee and can give you a few good years before having to worry about that sucker, you have to take him here.


(28) Juan Hernangómez (F, Movistar Estudiantes) 

Third straight international prospect for the Suns. This time, they'll stash Juancho for a few years and bring him over in 2017 or 2018 and let him shine as a quality role-player. It's a good play for a team that has suddenly collected a vast amount of young talent with not enough minutes to give to them all. 


(29) Paul Zipser (SF, Bayern Muenchen)

You can't tell me that this isn't a Spurs pick. If you look at tape of this guy, you really wonder why he's being projected as a second rounder. He looks the part, but needs to learn under a coach like Popovich to realistically play the part. There's a lot to like about Zipser including his size and athleticism at the SF position, and the Spurs continue to chug along with a solid pick at the back of the pack. 


(30) Diamond Stone (C, Maryland)

Win or lose, after watching what LeBron has been doing to them in the finals, the Warriors need to pick up a player that isn't afraid of Copperfielding up a few dirty tricks. Now, I don't condone potentially giving somebody a concussion or worse, but you want a player with a little bit of grit and nastiness. If you can channel that into something positive, you now have a recipe for something special. There are also a lot of headline worthy puns that newspapers are frothing at the mouth over when looking at his name. Don't let them down.


The NBA Finals: Who Is Fun, Who Isn't Fun, A Stock Market Index

Tristan Thompson

The most interesting thing about Tristan Thompson this year was his preseason holdout and coup d'état of Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers front office. He sat down on the plush chair at the head of the table intended for the owner, Dan, (and heir-in-waiting Nick Gilbert) and took a giant dump on the desk in front of it, forcing a deal to the tune of 5 years, $82,000,000. Some say he left the room with a toothpick in his mouth and a new-found swagger not unlike WWF's Razor Ramon circa '93. 

As far as placing anywhere but last on this list, Thompson had the Canadian thing going for him originally, but our Northern neighbor is producing Canadian wunderkinds faster than hash browns in a Waffle House at 2 a.m. His game is also unremarkable but solid, which is probably not the best case scenario for a 17 million dollar a year big man. But this upcoming summer is going to be like that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the fizzy lifting drinks, everything makes zero sense and everybody is going to be out of their fucking minds.

His hairline is fantastic and he’s got a Crest smile, so he’s got that going for him -- but unfortunately, he leads us off in last place in the NBA Finals fun stock market. 

Entertainment Value: His contract.


Kevin Love

Perhaps the most positive press Kevin Love has gotten this year was through Richard Jefferson and his Li'l Kev magazine cutout that he loves to parade around in his Snapchat. The real Kevin Love is too busy putting weird products into his hair, had a curious case of disappearing/reappearing Etch-a-sketch beard in a photo shoot, and is putting up fragile numbers on a team where you think he would really excel statistically. 

Love was vastly underrated as a spectacle in Minnesota, carving defenses up for 30/30 games and throwing around his toned baby fat with a purpose like Zangief or Vincent D'Onofrio as Kingpin.

Entertainment Value: The "Does LeBron James even like Kevin Love?" fiasco, Droppin’ Dimes Chorus, The Beach Boys Connection.

Shaun Livingston

To Shaun Livingston’s credit, I don’t think anybody in the world thought that he would show this much impact and be relevant in the year 2016 after his grotesque 2007 knee injury, aka the prelude to Kevin Ware and Paul George destroying their legs, aka things that you only need to see once (like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but for other reasons.)

If he brought back the afro or the cornrows, he would significantly jump on this list.

Entertainment Value: The Anthony Randolph syndrome, 2004 Magic Johnson unicorn, his old hair, his old knee.

Andre Iguodala

At first glance, Iguodala is quite the intriguing person. Over the course of his career, when he was in his prime, his field goal attempts per game actually lowered by year. It's as if he realized that he would never be a true number one option and decided to work towards benefiting the team rather than inflate his own numbers, a noble sacrifice indeed. Add onto that a finals MVP, and securing the rights to the @andre Twitter handle, an impressive feat in its own right.

It’s no secret that Iguodala does all of the little things that nobody sees, but fuck that. It’s boring as hell to talk about after first pointing it out. I can’t really get hyped up over Iguodala producing a 9/5/3 statline or him always hitting clutch free throws at the end of a game despite being a horrendous free throw shooter. It’s impressive, and unselfish, but I can’t pretend to enjoy it one bit. Nope, never. 

I can't front though, his Twitter is a god damn goldmine. 

Entertainment Value: His "breathy" speech pattern, shot hatred, his Twitter account.

Iman Shumpert

His hairstyle being an ode to Johnny Bravo is dope. So is marrying Teyana Taylor and managing to start a semi-meaningful rap career while being an NBA player, something that no NBA player has succeeded at yet. It's seriously a harder record to break than Skiles' 31 assists.

While Shump is quite alluring from the outside looking in, he just doesn't grab me like the other players on this list. I’m not accusing Iman Shumpert of being “fake deep” or anything, but I'm also not saying that he doesn't seem like the type to brag about how he loves the Sex Pistols but couldn't name a song from Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols when asked.

He did go to Georgia Tech, which is the alma mater of Stephon Marbury, and was my favorite team to play with on Coach K’s College Basketball back on the Sega Genesis, so he's at this spot for those reasons alone. 

Entertainment Value: Grand Theft Auto style music video, rapper, hair.

Festus Ezeli

Getting pranked on YouTube by his Warrior teammates, believing that he was to be cut from the team was probably the only time I've seen Ezeli outside of his jersey this year.  The most interesting thing involved with Ezeli’s current form is how much he will fetch in free agency and if he is that breakout big man in waiting (a la Biyombo) that many people assume him to be. 

Truth be told, I don’t know how entertaining Festus Ezeli is as a personality, but we’re going to see just how much he enjoys the Jerome James spotlight after he's awarded a shiny new contract and is expected to expand his role past "pretty damn good bench big". 

After reviewing this list, I definitely put this guy a little too low, but this is my draft and stash pick. Festus is going to deliver on many fronts in a year or two, just watch him work.

Entertainment Value: Free agency, dodging injuries.

Matthew Dellavedova

The Australian Bill Laimbeer of point guards.

The gritty nuisance known as Matthew Dellavedova is categorized as a "hate 'em or love 'em player" like Draymond Green, Tyler Hansbrough, or Matt Barnes. I mean, most recently he got called a “pussy motherfucker” by Kyle Lowry (an honor, now that I think about it) and played the notorious villain of the 2015 NBA Finals. Him and Patrick Beverley should start aiming for a buddy cop movie franchise as a post-career gig.

Matthew Dellavedova also looks like he’d enjoy eating a ham and cheese sandwich while mowing his lawn on a lazy Sunday afternoon, don't ask me why.

BREAKING NEWS: As of 40 minutes ago, Dellavedova will release his own shoe with a Chinese Shoe Apparel company which will be called the “Delly 1's”. Dream big, kids.

Entertainment Value: Being a pest, accent, a possible showdown with Draymond Green.

Marreese Speights

The mole is the best thing he has going for him branding wise. Unfortunately, The Mole was a (exceptionally underrated) TV show, but you figure that Speights can really capitalize on it if he focused all of his resources on his head. It's even in NBA 2K17, so why not bring more attention to it?

The Lord of House Buckets can play 18 minutes or six minutes for you with dissimilar results. What's not to like about that? An 18-foot jumper ain't nothing but an extended lay-up for Mo Buckets. 

Entertainment Value: Long two heat checks, long twos in general, the mole, his nicknames.

Richard Jefferson

Now here is a player that wouldn't be on most NBA lists a year ago. Richard Jefferson, known recently more for his strange offseason photos with Luke Walton than his pretty damn successful playing career with the New Jersey Nets comes in at number 12 on the fun list.

Thanks to his Snapchat stories and letting the world feel more connected to LeBron and fellow Cavs teammates, Jefferson has once again become relevant in NBA circles. He is also playing 16 minutes a game in the playoffs at 35 years old. What a year for the guy with the hideous "RJ" tattoo. 

Dahntay Jones

Dahntay Jones played during the preseason with the Brooklyn Nets, and played in exactly one regular season game for the Cavs, earning exactly 42 minutes in that game while fouling out. He's also been sprinkled odd minutes here and there during the playoffs, managed to execute a low blow and was suspended one game as a result. Jones undoubtedly played a pivotal part in the Draymond Green kerfuffle and was a cited reason as to why Draymond should be banished for a game. Just start calling him Wikipedia.

Entertainment Value: Following his career in 2016.

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is like that really chill popular athlete friend you have in school that you just can’t believe is so down to earth and not a complete raging douchebag. So rare, he's like a Javan rhino.

But when I think of the world's most average basketball player, Harrison Barnes comes to mind almost immediately (as well as Wilson Chandler) -- he needs to spread his black falcon wings and soar toward the sun to really prove his worth in this league... which is sort of funny to write, considering he's been a big part of a championship team and is on another team that has broken the Bulls all-time regular season record that is chasing yet another title.

Barnes had potential to make it really low on this list. It’s okay to be hip and current, but The Black Falcon takes it a little too far in that regard. You need to be completely stupid and ignorant in one facet of your life, or else you run the risk of being a pretentious know it all that nobody wants to hang out with because you can't enjoy your shitty tastes around them.

Like, I could totally picture Harrison Barnes dancing in the back of a Roman Flügel Boiler Room set. Get a life, Harrison.

Entertainment Value: Plays saxophone, Nickname, Free Agency, Game of Thrones fan, all around cool guy.

LeBron James

LeBron James would be tops on this list a few years ago, but this whole making it to the Finals thing six straight times is getting real old. The conversion rate is unreal, but he also has a bit of trouble with the two point conversion, which is after the 7 points... yeah my comparison is all out of whack. The point is, LeBron gets to a lot of finals but outside of Miami, ain't winning them.

The real talking point of LeBron is which one of his seeds is going to dominate the NBA first, Bryce Maximus or LeBron Jr.? Junior has a huge legacy to look up to, and seems to be the more polished player at this stage of their lives. Bryce Maximus sounds like he duel wields machetes and kicks ass for a living. Both will be animals if they choose to go the basketball route. 

Jeffrey and Marcus Jordan proved to be duds, the LeBron lineage will be studs, and the world will be a better place because of it.

Entertainment Value: Cigarette meme LeBron, Passive aggressive LeBron, being insanely good at basketball.

Channing Frye

Ever since his trade from the Orlando Magic to the Cleveland Cavaliers, I have taken a liking to Channing Frye, something I wouldn't have said three months ago.

I am a rare Orlando Magic fan, so I have some pent up hatred toward Channing “Backpedaling Fouler” Frye -- but even I know that the Magic coaching staff didn’t put him in the best of positions on the floor. In post-game interviews, he had as impressive of an interview as any coach, and serves as a constant reminder that even if you're a seven footer, you can hang around the perimeter 100% of the game and be effective. 

I will also admit that he likes to mix it up a bit and puts some stank on his dunks.

Richard Jefferson compared Frye to the new kid at school that unknowingly brings groups of people together even if they were in different cliques, and has shot lights out during this postseason. Good for you, Channing.

Entertainment Value: Random cursing in interviews, interviews, locker room shirts, random dunks.

Andrew Bogut

The Big Australian doesn’t mince words, and that is my favorite thing about him -- the fact that he's like your crazy uncle at the BBQ that you have to keep an eye on so he doesn't offend all of the guests and sour the mood. It is only me favorite thing about him because I am not a Warriors fan or the owner or anybody else that could stand to lose anything from him doing A Dumb Thing. 

What controversial statement is going to come out of his mouth next? What tweak or small injury will he suffer in the Finals? The International Man of Mystery is here, ladies and gents. 

I also like to envision Bogut as the de facto leader of a Australian zombie apocalypse annihilation party. He commands the group that has Ben Simmons, Patty Mills, Dante Exum and Joe Ingles in it. It's a ragtag unit of Aussies, but he leads and they follow*.

(*Dellavedova was off doing his own thing, perfecting his famous rat stew and wearing chain mail 24 hours of the day -- too fussy to recruit.)

Entertainment Value: His mouth, injury watch, Australia. 

Stephen Curry

In a lot of ways, Curry deserves to be overshadowed by Riley and Ayesha. His utopia is the hardwood, where he's able to launch 30 footers with no remorse and frolic about after hitting three after three in your eye.

Pour some hot sauce on that ball so you can have an excuse as to why you're tearing up when it happens for the seventh straight time.

But yeah, Stephen Curry. I'm sure you're tired of reading about him -- but at least he's not 2010-2014 Miami Heat LeBron when it comes to media coverage.

Entertainment Value: Wife, Daughter, Wife's other Instagram, on court antics.

Draymond Green

Before delivering the most talked about kick in the world for a week, Draymond Green was likable in the sense that 98% of the world didn't hate him.

Most of his entertainment comes from his mouth. He's the emotional and spiritual leader of the Warriors, and doesn't care if he wakes you up from slumber at four in the morning if he was your neighbor. -- but I also feel that he would bring you a cooked meal as an apology the next day. 

He loves making o-faces and drunkenly responding to questions in victory parades, so I say forget about the hate and point to those factors alone as to why you should love Draymond Green.

Also, his nbadraft.net comparison was Luke Harangody.

Entertainment Value: Glitching the hell out, hunched three pointers, antics, mouth, personality.

J.R. Smith

Why he hasn’t earned the nickname of “The Mayor” yet is beyond me, but I guess expecting people to understand a Haggar reference is expecting way too much. Swish is good enough (which he got as a kid, because him and his friends didn’t count the basket if it hit the rim) in the meantime. 

Smith has been through a lot in his NBA career, including a manslaughter charge, a marijuana suspension (luck of the draw, really), and some Knicks/Nuggets brawls that have insane replay value.

The funny thing is, a lot of people had written J.R. Smith off and he's enjoying one of his best years in the NBA this year as far as impacting a winning team. Dion Waiters should seriously look up to him and try to carve out a career like him. This is a real statement in 2016 and I will read this back in 5 years to see if it still holds weight.

Entertainment Value: Twitter DMs, Heat check J.R., career arc, shoelaces. 

Kyrie Irving

Kehlani, Kyrie, Kylie, PND, EPMD, C&C Music Factory. What do these all have in common? Well the latter two mean jack shit, but Kyrie found himself in the middle of an interesting triangle two months ago, and I'm not talking about whatever the Knicks attempted to run on offense.

The Puppetmaster has delighted crowds for years now, especially at the expense of Brandon Knight -- but will he ever be a winner? Well, he is a winner.. but a winner winner. Why am I even asking that? I don't give a shit. 

The problem is that nobody knows if Kyrie is a pure scorer or if he can transition into a point guard with good intentions. I, for one, think we need a new age Gilbert Arenas that will mercilessly play around with his dinner on the court but not bring choppers into the locker room.

Entertainment Value: Playing style, future playing style, love life.

Coach Tyronn Lue

The Sea Scrolls of Iverson XI transcribe an old tale, one of unspoken hegemony by one named “The Answer” -- it is said he had a servant by the name of "Little Lue" who was at his beck and call every hour of the day. One passage even reads that Iverson XI used to lay Little Lue on the floor and walk over him for shits and giggles. Rotten one, that Iverson XI. 

From watching his own idol Sir Blatt IV beheaded in front of him to telling King James to "shut the fuck up and listen" -- Little Lue is not so little anymore, as he sits atop the masses with a ticket to the finals and a new found confidence. 

Entertainment Value: Almost hanging out with Kyle Lowry deep in a playoffs series with the Raptors, surviving the Cavs guillotine, respect, life after Iverson. 

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is without a doubt the most interesting player to me. From his innocent gaffes, to his brother Trayce bombing away in Dodger-land, to using the wrong words in interviews like calling basketball his "scapegoat", Klay is that stoner you love to love. 

Throughout the playoffs, Klay is cosplaying as a flamethrower searing opponents to a nice medium rare, as well-done will ruin any sort of meat, and Klay knows that. 

Rocco factors in strongly when considering these rankings. His dog wakes up at noon, and they both like to chill on a ripped up couch while staring at the TV. I'm envious, really. This is the same dog that appeared on a Warriors bobblehead with him. 

Plus, you cannot be convinced that there isn’t more to this guy. You might find him at a house party playing beer pong, or you might find him at the local Whole Foods staring at the produce section. You might even find him in a porno ten years from now, who knows?

The real question at hand is who does Klay choose in Overwatch? I choose Genji.

Entertainment Value: Himself, dog, interviews, life.