The NBA Finals just concluded and irrespective of how you feel about outcome, we have to appreciate the importance and gravity of this moment.
All of the superstars you just witnessed have an impact on the Finals with the stare downs, nut punching or weak-ass trash talk – they all got their start on this very same night at the Draft.
Golden State started four lottery picks (Steph, Klay, Barnes, Bogut) and second round pick (Draymond) that would have been top five pick if we re-did the 2012 Draft . The Cavaliers started four lottery picks (Kyrie, LeBron, Thompson, Love) and the their turn-up MVP, the man who has not won a shirt since Cleveland won the championship (JR Smith) was selected on the fringe of the lottery at 18.
The Draft matters.
The literal future of multiple franchises hangs in the balance based on people who still get carded at airport bars and share every waking moment of their lives on social media.
Mock Drafts are a way for everyone to prognosticate like a professional sports gasbag, which is always fun. Sports, politics and religion are probably the only three aspects of life where you can be incredibly wrong but it’s entertaining once you say it with enough conviction.
It’s our turn to take a crack at it in our “Completely Wrong, More Than Likely Most of This Won’t Happen, We’re Really Just Guessing, Mock Draft”.
Ben Simmons (F)
To me it seems obvious that Philly is going to pick the 19 year old who’s garnered Lebron James comparisons.
He’s been the consensus No.1 overall pick ever since he phased out the Australian accent (No one would trust taking a true Aussie with the top pick after Andrew Bogut). When your NBA comparison is LeBron James, you’re as close to a “can’t miss prospect” as you can get. Simmons is so LeBron James that his biggest question marks are his shooting and work ethic…along with the other ridiculous immeasurable variables we use when we don’t like a guy’s face – “work ethic, will to win, killer instinct.” If he didn’t pay attention to the sham of a freshman year at LSU, it’s because he didn’t need to. If as a freshman he can average 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and two steals per game…I think he’ll be fine.
Simmons has gotten the James comparison despite the fact that he couldn’t lead his team to the NCAA tournament, which most people chalked up to as a lack of effort. Or maybe he realized that all of his teammates at LSU sucked and he should’ve just went to Duke or Kentucky like every other highly touted pick. Immediately his decision making is questionable.
NBA Comp: The Vice President’s Version of Lebron James. He won’t have the power to rule over everyone, but there’s only one guy that’ll be ranked above him in any four year timespan
What do we want to happen? Well just don’t draft Buddy and we’re fine.
2. Los Angeles Bahamas Lakers
Brandon Ingram (F)
You’re going to be hearing way too much about Brandon Ingram’s length on Thursday (pause). He has a 7’3 wingspan though and may be the future of the franchise we cannot escape in The Bahamas.
Most of 10YS thinks Ingram is a lock to be an All-Star in the very near future. It took him awhile to get adjusted to the NCAA game at Duke so we’ll have to grade him on a learning curve in the NBA but he’s earned the Kevin Durant comparisons. He averaged 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, but most importantly, shot 41 percent from three.
He may also be the non Snapchat snitching heir apparent to Kobe Bryant the entire city’s been waiting on. The real big plus here though, he’s already a great shooter even though he may need to gain weight. We think he’s going to be the player in this draft who hits his peak the earliest.
NBA Comp: The Jounser’s Kevin Durant
What do we want to happen? The 76ers ignore the hype and pick the player that fits them the best. His actions at LSU suggest that Simmons craves the limelight so ending up in LA may me great for him.
Another thing that could happen could be the Bahamas’ wet dream scenario – D’angelo Russell gets traded somewhere in the lottery so the Lakers can add both a guy named Ingram and Buddy Hield to the roster in the same year. (We just made 380,000 people smile…on second half subtract PLP supporters and recalculate).
Kris Dunn (PG)
Dunn is the only pure point guard prospect in the lottery (not a myth, they still exist). A former Big East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Dunn finished second in the NCAA in assists. He couldn’t be a more “Brad Stevens” guy if he tried.
The Celtics have been trying to shop this pick down to the last minute but will probably end up taking Dunn the nice safe choice. In fact the only thing that would make Kris Dunn more desirable to the Celtics would be if he were a worse shooter. Then Ainge would probably take him first overall if he could.
NBA Comparison: John Wall on NyQuil
What we want to happen: Buddy goes to the Lakers rivals making Bill Simmons and 10YS very very happy. That means a plethora of Buddy podcasts on the ringer, some HBO appearances and of course the support of the Boston Media who’d romanticize his story more than it’s already been. Also, this means we get Buddy playing in a city we can get direct flights to and that also happens to have a disproportionate number of Cape Verdian women as a part of its population. Stay Woke.
Dragan Bender (F)
Just a fantastic name. I mean his name wins the draft all on its own. When we produce draft report cards the next day, Dragan Bender gets an A. There is no better name in the draft it’s as if Game of Thrones and Futurama decided to create a basketball player. I really hope he has Bender’s personality and just happens to be the prototypical stretch 5 (once he adds weight that everyone in the league covets. A big man with handle and the passing ability in the west. He’s also the opposite of James Harden who showed no loyalty to his Adidas brand by wearing Jordans the day right after he signed his contract. No Bender refused to play with the Croatian national team because he couldn’t wear his Adidas, add to that he’s probably going to have the hottest girlfriend in the draft. This is a solid pick. Maybe the Suns feel as if they needed a true Euro big, one that didn’t sell out and have their game Americanised by the NCAA.
NBA Comparison: The last Euro big you saw. That’s how we do the math on this
What do we want to happen? It would be great if Phoenix picked another PG and eventually run an all PG lineup in some experimental basketball deal. They’d out Golden State Golden State. To take that further, it really needs to be Tyler Ulis or Jamal Murray so they can have five Kentucky guards on the roster. Just tremendous.
Buddy Hield (SG)
We’re gonna keep bringing this up until we speak this into existence. Thibbs as the coach on a team that has Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio. That team needs a shooter.
The T’Wolves shoot 34 percent from three with no catch and shoot guys on the perimeter. Something you may want to have moving forward if you have a player like KAT that will demand double teams. Lavine was the top shooter at 39 percent and the drop off to the remainder of the guards was sizable with Rubio next at 33.
When your top perimeter shooter wasnt ranked among the top 50 in the conference in true shooting percentage, you can use an upgrade
NBA Comp: Jesus Shuttlesworth/Christ
What do we want to see happen? You mean other than Buddy going to the most talented young team and walking up to shake commissioner Adam Silver’s had while the stadium speakers play either Dexta Dap’s “Shabba Mudda Pot” or Alkaline’s “Don’t Throw It All Away.” As KG says anything is possible.
Jamal Murray (SG)
This guy here is the greatest threat to Buddy’s draft stock. As the other highly touted shooting guard in the lottery, any team looking at Buddy is also looking just as closely at Murray as an option. As a combo guard, Murray is projected to be able to play the point, which in all likelihood is the only advantage he has over Buddy. Another advantage is youth. At 19, he could be projected to have a higher ceiling. For all the fanfare Buddy received by making an amazing 85 of 100 three pointers in his predraft workouts with the Celtics, Murray made 79.
When your top perimeter shooter wasnt ranked among the top 50 in the conference in true shooting percentage, you can use an upgrade
At Kentucky he never got to show much of his point guard skills because Tyler Ulis was running the show so he’s coming into this with a skillset that NBA teams didn’t get to see fully displayed on the college level. Sounds exactly like the concerns there were about Eric Bledsoe playing alongside John Wall. Worked out well for the Suns.
NBA Comparison: Canadian Bradley Beal with point guard skills
What do we want to see happen? Well Nal wants him to go back to Kentucky to further his education and maybe play some basketball to wash the stink of Skal Labissiere from the program.
Devener ‘Pothead’ Nuggets
Jaylen Brown (SF)
Cal should have been a better team this year with Brown and Ivan Rabb. We’re still confused on why that turned out the way it did, but if we’re confident in anything, it’s that Brown turns out to be a better pro than he was a college player. Brown averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in his freshman season, but there were flaws in his game. People couldn’t figure out why an elite athlete and the PAC 12 Freshman of the Year faltered down the stretch of the season. He shot 29 percent from three and in his final collegiate game he had just four points and seven turnovers.
“You know weed is legal there right?” That’s the sentence every single one of Jaylen Brown’s friends is going to say to him if he gets drafted by Denver. He may also be the most athletic guard here and may just be the steal of the draft, and I’m sure he’ll be able to keep all of his friends who are going to beg to visit him cause they wanna “hang,” in check.
NBA Comparison: Jimmy Butler, even down to the weird introvert practices of playing chess and listening to Taylor Swift
What do we want to see happen? Go back to the old Mutumbo-era Nuggets uniforms already then we’ll take you seriously
Timothe Luwawu (SG)
No one has any idea who this guy is. We’re not certain how great or lame this pick would turn out to be, but one thing is for certain – everyone is going to mispronounce his name for the duration of his rookie contract.
What’s hilarious is that the Kings had to go to France to find a guy that would workout for them. About 12 of the top 14 picks refused to workout for the Sacramento Kings because the word is out that this franchise is just a colossal *cluster****. Vlade Divac is running the team and he obviously looks like he smells like cigarettes as Dan Lebatard is keen to point out.
Their owner is meddlesome and fires his coaches on a whim. His biggest claim to fame in basketball is he once coached a really good junior girls team. So they may feel compelled to go international with this pick and the kings could use some guard help.
For the mercy of all people involved, one of the Kings’ shoting guard prospects in the draft has to pan out. They failed on McLemore and Stauskas…something’s gotta give.
NBA Comparison: Other French People
What do we want to see happen? For a camera to be trained on Boogie Cousins once this pick gets made and he sees the jersey Timothe played in.
I feel like his post-season friendship with Buddy Hield was the reason behind his rise up the draft boards. That, or his ability to do everything and the fact that as a Freshman he already looked bored with the NCAA.
We saw Chriss play in person at Battle 4 Atlantis and he looked like a project that he is. But it was also obvious that if he taps into half of that potential he’s going to be a great pro. If you’re the Raptors better to go with the project with tremendous upside than try to reach in the draft and replace your All-Star guard who’s destined to leave. If you’re going to take a project best to ensure that it’s the youngest player in the draft and if you’ve read Outliers you know that kind of stuff matters for the long term prospect of an athlete, given of course that they end up in the right situation.
NBA Comparison: Chris Webber
What we want to see? Drake walks up on stage the exact same time as Marquese and yell it’s a 9 now.
Henry Ellenson (PF/C)
The most Milwaukee pick Milwaukee can make. He’s a tall white guy from Wisconsin with a buzzcut. He has a polished low post game, he’s physical, he has range on his jumper and he averaged 17 points and 9.7 rebounds as a freshman. He was consensus freshman All-American as well as Big East freshman of the year and first-team all-Big East. He also set eight Marqutte freshman records.
That being said, Henry Ellenson looks like the best insurance salesman of all time. Henry Ellenson looks like he has a plethora of shorts with anchors printed on them. Henry Ellenson looks like he should’ve went to Alabama and pledged every frat. Henry Ellenson looks like every assistant coach for Duke.
NBA Comparison: We want to go cross racial reference here – Chris Bosh
What we want to see happen? Ellenson gets traded to the Warriors for cash considerations.
Orlando “Needs a New Name” Magic
Skal Labissiere (C)
Had he not played college basketball at all Skal would’ve probably ended being the first or second pick in the draft. Instead he went to the University of Kentucky stunk it up and made Nal drop multiple F bombs at the TV and ruined every bracket in 10YS. Thanks Skal. I guess he has some redeeming qualities. I mean he’s tall and NBA teams seem to love that.
NBA Comparison: Every white American big man who can shoot.
What we want to see happen? Gets traded to he Warriors for cash considerations.
Hotlanta “Does anyone still call it that?” Hawks
Wade Baldwin (PG)
Well they just traded away their point guard so clearly they’re moving ahead with this rebuild because there is nothing worse than being mediocre in the mediocre Eastern Conference. Wade Baldwin is also a really cool name and that is always underrated around draft time. It’s why I’m wary of Ben Simmons, also going to Philadelphia.
NBA Comparison: Russell Wilson (it’ll make sense later).
What do we want to see happen? These kids really need entrance music when they get drafted. And Desiigner’s -“Panda” needs to be featured prominently whenever the Hawks draft.
Anytime you can draft the son of a former NBA player you have to do it. Just take the gamble, draft the kid, cross your fingers and hope the pedigree takes over.
NBA Comparison: Seriously?
What do we want to see happen? Just trade him to the Blazers so they can have the young Sabonis they were promised.
Jimmy Butler’s Team
Denzel Valentine (SG)
They traded away Derrick Rose because he and Jimmy Butler can’t be on the same team. I want Denzel to go here to be the long lost shooting guard the bulls have been searching for ever since the great Pete Myers left them in the long long ago. Valentine is also versatile enough to run the show at point guard in spot duty, which is useful because we have no idea who this team’s point guard is going to be.
NBA Comparison: James Harden if he cared about his teammates shining
What do we want to see happen? Denzel is friends with Buddy and played two years with Tum Tum Nairn at Michigan State, this practically makes him like 4/7th Bahamian so we should be jut as concerned about where he gets drafted.
So there you have it that’s our take on the lottery and let’s be honest, only the true hardcore basketball fans watch beyond this point. No matter the deals and value still left on the board. 10YS is probably going to take an extended lunch break right after the Bulls pick and end the lottery, but stay tuned to the site for updates, and as always…