NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Can Celtics nab Top-10 talent later in first round?
BOSTON -- The NBA draft is less than a month away and teams are ratcheting up their workout schedule while players zig-zag across the country, all hopeful of being among the 60 names called on June 20.
If things stand as they are, the Celtics will have three selections (No. 14, 20 and 22) in the first round and a fourth pick (No. 51) in the second. That’s a lot of potential youth to add to a roster that appears to be in need of more experienced talent going forward.
So, what will the Celtics do? Here's yet another stab at trying to make sense out of this upcoming NBA draft.
And with that, here's Mock Draft 4.0:
1. New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson, F, Duke
One of the biggest no-brainer picks we’ve seen in years, Williamson has left no doubt as to who's the best player in the draft.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant, G, Murray State
The Nike deal he signed recently just one of the many clues as to how big a deal Morant is expected to be in the NBA.
3. New York Knicks
R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke
The Knicks would love to package this pick with assets to acquire a star such as Anthony Davis. But more likely than not, Barrett will be ballin’ in the Big Apple.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
Cam Reddish, G/F, Duke
His above-average measurements at the NBA pre-draft combine alleviated a number of physical concerns teams had coming into the draft process.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
The Cavs will think long and hard about taking Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver here, but Hunter’s all-around game is too tempting for them to pass up as they try and build depth.
6. Phoenix Suns
Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
Word around the league is that he got a draft promise from the Suns. Considering his talent and their needs, this makes a lot of sense.
7. Chicago Bulls
Coby White, G, UNC
The Bulls aren’t thrilled with their current stable of backcourt options, so adding White gives them a speedy playmaker who can compete for minutes from Day 1.
8. Atlanta Hawks
Jaxson Hayes, PF/C, Texas
The Hawks have a great 1-2 punch to build around with Trae Young and John Collins. The addition of Hayes strengthens the defense while adding another rim-running big to the mix.
9. Washington Wizards
Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
John Wall’s health remains an issue, so the addition of added firepower from the perimeter is a must takeaway for the Wizards in this draft.
10. Atlanta Hawks
Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
Size won’t be as big a factor for him, not with a 7-2 wingspan and an emerging mid-range game.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, International
The youngest player in the draft, this is a minimal-risk, high-reward pick for the Timberwolves in selecting the 18-year-old multi-positional talent.
12. Charlotte Hornets
Keldon Johnson, G/F, Kentucky
Plays with great confidence, the Hornets need to keep adding scorers and Johnson’s skillset fits the bill.
13. Miami Heat
Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
The Heat will be ecstatic to land Langford, one of the better rebounding guards in this year’s draft whose aggressive, get-to-the-rim mindset will help his transition to the NBA.
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
Bol Bol, F/C, Oregon
Teams are concerned that he’s too thin to take the physical pounding of the NBA, but the skills he possesses for a 7-footer? Hard to imagine Danny Ainge letting this Top-10 talent slip any further.
15. Detroit Pistons
Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
Tremendous bounce for a 6-11 big man, has a great motor, good shot blocker and gives the Pistons another young player with upside as they continue their rebuild.
16. Orlando Magic
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
Long-armed shooter, Alexander-Walker adds more perimeter depth to an Orlando team that is on the rise.
17. Brooklyn Nets
Bruno Fernando, F/C, Maryland
Adding enforcer-type Fernando makes a lot of sense for the Nets, whose playoff series loss to Philadelphia was in large part because of how physically dominating Joel Embiid was against Jarrett Allen.
18. Indiana Pacers
Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
The Pacers need to come out of this draft with a shot-maker, so, yes, they are all about Herro-ball!
19. San Antonio Spurs
Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State
He led the Seminoles in scoring and blocked shots despite being the team’s sixth man. Kabengele has shown he can make an impact in little to no time at both ends of the floor.
20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers)
Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC
A slew of off-the-floor transgressions and an underwhelming season at USC have made a player many believe has Top-10 talent available for the taking.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
A multi-positional defender, Brandon Clarke would bring added toughness and upside offensively with the potential for impact as both a small-ball big as well as a wing player because of his above-average versatility as a defender.
22. Boston Celtics
Luka Samanic, F, International
Decent scorer who can play both forward positions. Look for Boston to either trade this pick or, in this case, draft a player and stash him overseas for a year or so.
23. Utah Jazz
Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
While there are concerns about how he will fare at the next level against better athletes than those he faced in college, his play-making, high basketball IQ and leadership skills make for what should be a seamless transition under Quin Snyder.
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Nassir Little, SF, UNC
Has legit two-way potential, needs to become a more consistent scorer in the NBA if he’s going to stick around for a while.
25. Portland Trail Blazers
Goga Bitadze, C, International
Not the most athletic big out there, but he does have good footwork and animproved mid-range game that has been compared to current Blazer Jusuf Nurkic.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets)
Naz Reid, C, LSU
Has ideal NBA size, his ball-handling and low-post game give him a shot at having a solid but unlikely spectacular career.
27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)
P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky
Brooklyn needs a better mix of talent and toughness, and Washington can provide just that with strong 6-7 build and a sprawling 7-2 wingspan.
28. Golden State Warriors
KZ Okpala, SG/SF, Stanford
Explosive athlete getting to the rim, Okpala has tremendous upside as an NBA scorer in this league due to his versatility, ball-handling and shoot-first mindset.
29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
Matisse Thybulle, G/F, Washington
An exceptional wing defender with huge hands and decent shot mechanics, but questions linger about his ball-handling and perimeter shooting at the NBA level. Sound familiar, Spurs fans?
30. Milwaukee Bucks
Nicolas Claxton, F/C, Georgia
A seven-block performance at the NBA pre-draft Combine opened the eyes of many to his first-round potential.