While NBA mock draft season is starting to officially open up due to the fact that so many teams are jockeying for playoff position. Playoff regulars like the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors are still trying to make last-gasp efforts that will bring them into the playoff picture.
The draft features a small collection of players that will, in some order, make up the first three or four picks in this class. While this class is one of the deepest in recent memory, it is far from a finished product at this stage, and that ambiguity could make this one of the more unpredictable first rounds in recent memory.
A team like Toronto, who won just one game in March, could be the X-factor in this draft. If they end up making it to the playoffs, the draft order will be turned completely upside down, as Masai Ujiri would’ve gone from a no-doubt Top-10 pick to a mid-first.
If the Raptors end up making the play-in tournament and winning a few games to make it to the playoffs, it could have seismic effects on the draft, as Toronto picking in the middle rather than the very beginning opens up a world of possibilities.
Where will the top prospects be picked in NBA Mock Draft 3.0?
Yes, the Rockets already have John Wall and his supermax contract. That should mean little if they end up with the top selection in this draft class. Cunningham, who has already been essentially confirmed as the top draft choice by NBA scouts, looked every bit as good as advertised at Oklahoma State.
This should give Houston confidence he will be an instant star.
At 6-8 and a robust 220 pounds, Cunningham blends elite scoring ability with excellent shooting off of the dribble, offensive and defensive versatility, solid ball-handling, quality passing, and a fiery leadership style that helped the Cowboys win the Big 12. Cunningham isn’t a perfect prospect, but he’s darn close, and Houston would be set at guard for the next decade.
Chris Finch has Minnesota playing some exciting basketball of late, as the combination of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards in the starting lineup and D’Angelo Russell averaged 19.0 points per game off of the bench has the Timberwolves improving. They still need that X-factor point guard to take them over the hump, and a Minnesota native in Suggs could get the job done.
After leading Gonzaga to a national championship appearance following his jaw-dropping buzzer-beater, Suggs is ready to cut his teeth in the pros.
Suggs can get to the rim at will, shoot the ball at a very efficient clip, and show off the defensive effort and tenacity coaches will love. The draft’s best passer, Suggs tacking over for the withered husk of Ricky Rubio would be the catalyst Finch needs to make Minnesota a potential playoff team in the West.
Mobley is not only the best big man in the draft, he’s the best big man in the draft by such a ridiculous margin that there isn’t even a close second. Detroit did load up on centers with Mason Plumlee and Isaiah Stewart, but Mobley inside and Killian Hayes on the perimeter could be the magic recipe that helps the Pistons return to their old form.
Mobley was billed as the next great versatile big man, and he looked the part at USC due to his freaky athleticism.
He might need to work on his outside game just a bit before he can truly make the leap from intriguing player to star prospect, but Mobley offers the two-way star potential that GMs dream about. A double-double average right out of the gate would not be crazy for Moble, especially if Detroit retains a coach in Dwane Casey that has had exceptional results coaching big men.
Even though Green didn’t choose the college route, playing in the G League hasn’t hurt his stock one bit. One of the most effective scorers in the league, Green has a lethal jumper and uncommonly good handles for a player his size. When he gets a full head of steam at the rim, he could finish with ease.
The Magic have a few point guards that could eat up minutes next year in Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony, but Green would be the perfect 2-guard.
The Nikola Vucevic trade has given Orlando a potential center for the next five years in Wendell Carter, but they need to grab that one transcendent scorer that could help one of the worst offenses in the league turn the corner. Green ending up in Orlando would make the Magic one of the more interesting young teams in the league.