Howard's Mock Draft
Updated Rankings: Point Guard | Shooting Guard | Small Forward | Power Forward | Center
1)Cleveland Cavilers – Alex Len, Maryland, So.
About the Pick: Len is a big bodied center who put on a lot of weight and muscle this past offseason. He has shown a lot of improvements this year but I would like to see more consistency on the offensive end. Sometimes he relies too much on his jump shot when he should attack the basket.
Howard’s Take: The Cavs won the first pick in the draft in last week’s NBA Draft Lottery. This isn’t the best year to have the first pick, but they can now add another solid player to a very young and talented roster. Len could develop behind Varejao and Thompson. The Cavs are set at guard with Irving and Waiters, They could also trade this pick.
2)Orlando Magic – SG Ben McLemore, Kansas, Fr.
About the Pick: He is a great pure scorer with athleticism on one of the top teams in the country only as a freshman. Any team that picks him will most likely be able to insert him into their starting lineup immediately or be there 6th man off the bench. I definitely see him being able to score 20 points a game in a few years.
I did not like McLemore at all in his team’s first two games of the tournament but I was very impressed with him in his team’s loss to Michigan. I believe the reason why Kansas lost is because they stopped giving him the ball.
Howard’s Take: McLemore should be a solid addition at guard which is a position the Magic need to get younger at. I cannot imagine Nelson being with this team much longer. The Magic have some solid young players on their roster, especially in the front court like Nikola Vucevic and other solid young front court players like Andew Nicholson and Mo Harkless.
3) Washington Wizards – PF Anthony Bennett, UNLV, Fr.
About the Pick: One of the most impressive front court players in the country. He is only 6’7” with a wingspan of 7’1”. He is very quick and difficult to guard.
Howard’s Take: I love this pick for the Wizards. The Wizards need a small forward to compliment their set guard combo of Wall and Beal. Nene and Okafor will be great mentors to him as well in the front court. I had Porter going her but I don’t know if he can live up to the hype of staying in DC.
4) Charlotte Bobcats- PG Trey Burke, Michigan, So.
About the Pick: In my opinion, one of the most exciting players in college basketball. He is a true point guard and can do it all.
Howard’s Take: Burke should be another solid young piece to this Bobcats team who already have players young guys like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Trey Burke is explosive and a talent which is fun to watch. The Bobcats need that.
5) Phoenix Suns- SF Otto Porter, Georgetown, So.
About the Pick: A good young small forward with a lot of versatility. Only a sophomore but I like his wing play. However, he played very poor until the end of game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when his team lost in the first round.
Howard’s Take: Porter would be a very solid addition on the wing. They have some age in the front court so Porter adds youth at small forward. I do not expect all of Gortat, Scola, Dudley, or Fyre to be there next year.
6) New Orleans Pelicans- PF, Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, Fr.
About the Pick: This guy (a lot like Anthony Davis) can impact a game by just playing defense. His offensive game needs some work but he will get a lot of blocked shots and rebounds as soon as he gets in the league
Howard’s Take: A power forward center combination of Noel and Davis? Try getting a rebound or scoring in the paint on those guys. The Hornets will be ecstatic if he somehow drops to them. Ryan Anderson will get plenty of good looks on the perimeter and the Hornets are already set at guard with Vasquez and Gordon.
7) Sacramento Kings- SG Victor Oladipo, Indiana, Jr.
About the Pick: Can play the shooting guard or small forward. He is a great defender and has proved he can score in the big game
Howard’s Take: Oladipo is one of my favorite players in this draft and I think a young core of Evans, Cousins, and Oladipo is something solid to build on.
8) Detroit Pistons- SF Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, Fr.
About the Pick: He is a very solid wing player with a lot of potential. Started slowly this year but he is really starting to come along. He is only a freshman so he has a lot of potential.
Howard’s Take: Muhammad would be a great piece to the Pistons. They need some exciting talent on their roster and Muhammad does just that. The last lefty small forward worked out pretty well for them.
9) Minnesota Timberwolves- PF Cody Zeller, Indiana, So.
About the Pick: I like Zeller and what he brings to a team a lot but I do not think he will be a great NBA player. He shows great leadership and hustle and can obviously rebound and get it done near the basket on offense.
Howard’s Take: If Pekovic resigns, then Zeller can have a chance to play under him and Kevin Love and develop. I can eventually see him as a starter on this team and thrive off the pick and roll with Rubio and get some isolation down low with Williams and Love on the wing at times because they are versatile forwards.
10)Portland Trailblazers- SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, So.
About the Pick: A very solid off ball scorer with a lot of potential. He has been climbing draft boards as of late.
Howard’s Take: Lillard and Caldwell-Pope could potentially be one of the top scoring back courts in the country in a few years. The Trailblazers can also go big man here.
11) Philadelphia 76ers- C Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, Fr,
Adams has great size, length, and athleticism. Still is very young and is still developing. He should be a solid bench until he develops as a starter.
Howard’s Take: The Sixers need help in the front court and Adams can come in and develop into their starting center.
12) Oklahoma City Thunder- PG/SG CJ McCollum, Lehigh, Sr
About the Pick: Projects more as a shooting guard at the next level. He likes to have the ball in his hands and he can flat out score.
Howard’s Take: The Thunder may regret trading Eric Maynor now that they only have Evans now that Westbrook is out. McCollum will be a great scorer off the bench to replace Kevin Martin who is a free agent.
13)Dallas Mavericks- PG Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, So.
About the Pick: He is a great pass first point guard who does not turn the ball over much as well. Can easily get 8 plus assists a game in his first few years in the league.
Howard’s Take: The Mavs need to get younger at guard and Carter-Williams can come in and immediately help this team. The Mavs are expected to make a run at a big free agent guard and whoever that is and Carter-Williams can be a solid combo. I expect the Mavs to let OJ Mayo leave.
14) Utah Jazz- PG Shane Larkin, Miami, So.
About the Pick: Shane Larkin is a floor general who really put himself on the map this season being able to play in the big game. He should be a solid guard in this league.
Howard’s Take: The Jazz have some solid players on their roster but need to add youth at guard. Larkin will come in and help with team chemistry.
15) Milwaukee Bucks- PG Dennis Schroeder, Germany
About the Pick: A guard with great speed and a long wingspan. He should fit in with those “run and gun” type teams.
Howard’s Take: Schroeder can be used off the bench or as a starter if Jennings or Ellis leaves. It is rumored the Bucks prefer to keep Ellis over Jennings.
Shown in the Hit the Boards Mock Draft Database