For the first time in a long time draft day isn't the highlight of the Sixers' season.
Wooo!! Trust The Progress.
With that being said though, this is still one of the most talented draft classes I can recall in a quite some time. The top half of this draft is riddled with skilled players. Pair those two together and you have one every entertaining evening.
I'm breaking down my mock draft top 10 picks, the Sixers' 26th pick and a few trade scenarios. Let's go!
Easiest pick of the night. Ayton isn't just big but he will immediately become one of the NBA's most athletic big men. There is no doubting his offensive talent, shooting 63.5% from 2p, 34.3% from 3p and 73.3% at the line. Most scouts believe he needs to improve defensively but has all the tools to do so.
With Vlade Divac at the helm there is almost no telling what happens at 2. Could he choose to trade back for a sub par package, could they roll the dice on Porter, or could he just take the best available? Hard to say but I'm giving Divac the benefit of the doubt and saying he makes the right move here and grabs Bagley.
3. Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic, G, Real Madrid
H: 6'8" | W: 220 | 14.2 PPG | 5.2 RPG | 4.6 APG
This maybe the first pick we see moved during the draft. Atlanta has 3, 19, and 30 and in this deep draft they may look to move back a few spots and pick up even more assets. Euros are always tough to gauge going into draft night but Doncic has been a nearly polished prospect since he was 16.
4. Memphis Grizzlies: Michael Porter, SF, Missouri, Fr.
H: 6'10" | W: 210 | 10.0 PPG | 6.7 RPG | 33% FG
Throw his numbers out the window, Porter only played 53 minutes in college before injuring his back. If he is and can remain healthy Porter has a chance to be the gem of the draft. Memphis maybe hesitant to gamble on Porter given that Parsons is already injury prone. However Porter's camp has been open with respect to his medicals and having teams run their own tests.
5. Dallas Mavericks: Jaren Jackson, C, Michigan State, Fr.
H: 6'11" | W: 235 | 10.9 PPG | 5.8 RPG | 3.0 BPG
Jackson is another tall and athletic C. He has the ability to score inside and protect the rim at an elite level. He is still a little thin for his size but may have the highest ceiling of any player in this draft.
6. Orlando Magic: Mo Bamba, C, Texas, Fr.
H: 7'0" | W: 225 | 12.9 PPG| 10.5 RPG | 3.7 BPG
If Dallas does take Jackson, Bamba will be off the board right after him. Mo fits all of Orlando's needs, size, intelligence and athleticism. His defensive presence will be felt immediately around the league. I know Mo personally and there isn't a more genuinely nice kid in this draft. Now a days teams have to worry about players both on and off the court. For any team that takes Bamba the latter will not be an issue.
7. Chicago Bulls: Wendell Carter, C, Duke, Fr.
H: 6'10" | W: 250 | 13.5 PPG | 9.1 RPG | 2.1 BPG
The Bulls are in a tough spot at 7. They will have to make the call of doing one of the following: move up to take a flyer on Michael Porter who they like, rolling the dice on Trae Young or drafting the more sure thing in Wendell Carter. I think Chicago will look to pair Carter with Markkanen for a highly talented front court.
Trae Young put up some impressive numbers at Oklahoma and has the skills to be a great outside threat. I think his small size, lack of defensive skills and how much harder it is to create your own shot in the league will make Trae Young the bust of this class. Of all the top 10 picks he is my least favorite and the player I would avoid. Sorry Trae :(
9. New York Knicks: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama, Fr.
Maybe my favorite player in the draft. Sexton is a tough, athletic and aggressive player. He still has a lot of growth left but he is a fearless player that is ready for a big stage like New York.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova, Jr.
H: 6'7" | W: 210 | 18.0 PPG | 5.4 RPG | 43% 3pFG
For Philly, it doesn't get much better fit wise than Bridges. A local kid that could step right in as a bench player and make a small impact. He has the ability to knock down open 3's and he is at his absolute best in transition. If the Sixers don't trade up, this is the best pick for them to take.
Mikal did take 3 years to get to this level in college so do not expect him to make a large impact right away. Mikal also showed spots of timidness during Nova's championship run this year that makes me nervous with how he will handle the NBA. Bridges won't be an NBA star but can be fundamental piece of a championship team with the right system.
26. Philadelphia 76ers: Grayson Allen, G, Duke, Sr.
H: 6'4" | W: 195 | 15.5 PPG | 4.6 APG | 37% 3pFG
Take off your homer/Duke hating glasses for a minute. Is Grayson a punk? Yes. Did he go to Duke (for some reason people around here hate Duke)? Yes. But can he fill it up? You bet your ass he can. This team NEEDS scorers, Allen scores. If they can get him at the tail end of the first round they will get great value for that pick.
Speaking of great value....
Great Outside Top 10 Value Picks:
Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky
Miles Bridges, F, Michigan State, So.
Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami, Fr.
Possible Moves To Look Out For:
- Will San Antonio trade Kawhi? The Spurs have the 18th pick and a star player that wants to get out of town. That is a recipe for draft night trade. He wants to get out to LA, the Clippers could package the 12th, the 13th and a player to get Leonard in town in hopes to get DeAndre Jordan to take his player option.
- Boston. Ugh, I hate this team but they are loaded with assets and with the leagues best GM Danny Ainge at the helm they will be in trade conversations. They are going to be not only in the Kawhi sweepstakes but they will also be looking to move up from 27.
- Chandler Parsons. Memphis has made it very clear that they want out of the Parsons' contract. They could use the 4th pick to partner with a team like the Knicks to accomplish that. They can swap picks so that New York is in the position to draft a much needed top 5 player.
- Cleveland's last chance. The Cavs are going to do anything they can to keep the king. something they might do is reach out to Charlotte about one Kemba Walker. If Cleveland can get Kemba by using the 9th pick and possibly Kevin Love, that paired with a free agent might be just enough to keep LeBron happy.
#LeBronWatch (Day 11)
Tonight may tell us everything we need to know about where LeBron is heading next season. Cleveland will be the team to watch. They are going to do everything they can to interest LeBron to stay. According to Zach Lowe they have already reached out to San Antonio about Kawhi.
Once Leonard does get moved, whether it be to Cleveland or anywhere else, that is when LeBron will make his decision. If Cleveland can't pull Leonard they will be reaching out to Memphis about Kemba Walker.
Tonight should be a wild night with an unexpected trade or two. Follow along on twitter @MPSportsTalk