Wes goes into the future for the:
1) Charlotte Bobcats – Junk Maxwell (C) – University of Kentucky
At 7’8”, 285 lbs, Maxwell possesses good size and a handle that is unparalleled by any player at his position. His sometimes-lazy demeanor and the fact that he has never successfully made a free-throw have both raised a few eyebrows, but he is unquestionably the consensus gem of the draft and fills one of Charlotte’s immediate needs, as they will rely on Maxwell to guide them to their first regular season victory since the truncated, 16-team season in 2028.
2) Miami Heat – JAMBO (SF) – Philippines
The internationally-acclaimed prodigy wowed worldwide audiences during last summer’s Olympics with his three-point line dunks and his perimeter shooting. JAMBO is still considered a project and needs to get bigger (his combine weight was 130 lbs… at 6’9”), but GM/Coach Eric Spoelstra has been a fan since JAMBO was in high school and essentially promised this pick to his family in exchange for political favors.
3) Utah Jazz – Nathan Koresh (PG) – Baylor University
Koresh is the best pure point guard in the draft and has a throwback approach that organizations crave. He possesses great court vision and a pass-first mentality. Despite his lineage, Koresh is a level-headed, composed thinker that will bring a much-needed stability to Coach Greg Paulus’s talented but troubled squad.
4) Minnesota Timberwolves – John Wall Jr. (PG) – University of Kentucky
Like his dad, Wall has elite athleticism and tremendous instincts. The difference between father and son is largely the result of sheer size, with Wall being a monster of a point guard at 6’7.” Wall needs to work on his shooting and defense, but the Wolves supposedly love his attitude and think he’ll fit perfectly.
5) Brooklyn Nets – DeFranklinton Good (PF) – University of Kentucky
Good raises a number of red flags within many organizations due to his several run-ins with the law and his role in the instigation of the nightclub brawl between the Wildcats and several Georgetown Hoyas players (which left 6 dead), but his physical play and back-to-the-basket savvy are exactly what is desired in Brooklyn. If he slides, don’t expect him to fall far.
6) Boston Celtics – Baller Rockwell (SG) – University of Kentucky
Rockwell can shoot with the best of them and is regarded is the best on-ball defender in the draft. The Celtics desperately need an answer for Trigger O’Hare, Mike Cheque, and the other Eastern Conference guards that have torched them over the course of the past few years. Rockwell could be that man.
7) Milwaukee Bucks – Ace Middlewood (C) – University of North Carolina
The Bucks have avoided drafting a big man since 2012, when first-round pick John Henson broke both legs upon landing after a tip jam. Middlewood, however, presents a great combo of size and fundamentals that has had him near the top of Milwaukee’s big board for several months.
8) Oklahoma City Thunder – Swag El-Ahad (SF) – University of Kentucky
El-Ahad has come a long way since a drug overdose two summers ago, and benefitted greatly from John Calipari’s leniency and system. In a reversal of past circumstances, El-Ahad now needs to get his weight down from over 300 pounds, but the Thunder cannot look past his shooting numbers (86% from the field; 79% from beyond the arc) or the fact that he can back down nearly any player on the planet, regardless of their position.
9) Orlando Magic – Larry Byrd (SG) – Arizona State University
Byrd has done remarkably well when it comes to living up to unrealistic expectations. There are concerns amongst many about a rumored prosthetic right leg, but he has shown the ability to play a pro-style game no matter what his limbs consist of.
10) Brooklyn Nets (via San Antonio) – Motherfucker Milloy (PF) – Oral Roberts University
The “future first-round pick” that was part of the ill-conceived Dwight Howard/Tiago Splitter deal of 2014 finally comes around, and the Nets will likely use this one on Milloy, whom the organization has been infatuated with since he brought down two backboards in a game against Clemson. We already have them taking a power forward earlier in the draft, but that never stopped them in the past (32 power forwards drafted in the past 27 years).
11) Atlanta Hawks – Barrel O’Hare (SG) – Ohio State University
Trigger’s younger brother isn’t the same type of prolific scorer, but having to defend that growing up has resulted in Barrel’s frantic, intense defense. Scouts describe him as a perimeter-oriented hybrid of Nick Young and Rolando Blackmon, but he’s physically superior to both of those players. Not a box-score star, but a guy who can immediately play in the NBA.
12) Cleveland Cavaliers – Hennessy Brook (PF) – USC
Brook’s stock dropped after his poor pre-draft measurables showed that he can’t jump (14” vertical leap), has a wingspan (70”) a full foot shorter than his height, and a body-fat percentage over 40. Regardless, his tank-like approach to the game is what makes him attractive to teams like Cleveland, and there isn’t another big man in the draft who can pass like he can.
13) New York Knicks – Strovignog Blasnerognovichikan (C) – Lithuania
The Knicks are in desperate need of a big man, and “Stro-Blas” will likely be the best available late in the lottery. He has holes everywhere, but he is large.
14) Memphis Grizzlies – Nick B. Alexander (SF) – Florida State University
“N.B.A.” will finally realize his name, and Memphis is said to be targeting the 6’8” leaper. His multiple personality disorder is less of an issue than you’d think.
15) Houston Rockets – Burt Frank (SF) – Michigan State University
Houston already has 6 small forwards on the roster, and Frank doesn’t do anything really well. He does everything “okay.” Great practice guy, and the organization loves him.
16) Seattle Supersonics – Mobo Gak (PF) – Republic of Congo
Despite only playing competitive basketball for a total of 15 minutes, the Sonics are enamored with Gak’s height (8’4”) and assumed shot-blocking ability.
17) Toronto Raptors – Baller Lee (PG) – University of Florida
I had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Lee at the Nike Hoop Summit last year. The first thing that jumps out at you is the fact that, despite being born and raised just outside of Atlanta, GA, he cannot speak more than a few words of actual English and cannot hear anything (deaf). However, he is more than adept at reading body language and is the type of warrior that Toronto has been looking for since the days of Tom Crotch and those dynamic Raptors teams.
18) Phoenix Suns – Zang Then (SF) – China
“Then is now” for Phoenix. “F*ck America” tattoos aside, the defensive-minded, 34-year old is an agreeable individual who should fit in nicely in the 6-man rotation employed by the team on a regular basis.
19) Golden State Warriors – Plymouth Marbury (SG) – UCLA
Scores like his grandfather, and does everything else better. His work ethic is questionable, but look for that to be remedied by the structured, disciplined style of Coach Chandler Parsons and his staff.
20) Chicago Bulls – Juke Jones (SG) – Xavier University
Jones is still considered a major project and is one of the few players that the NBA has ever publically encouraged to stay in school, but he’s had his sights set on the pros forever, and plenty of teams are willing to look past his weaknesses because of his raw athleticism. Could be a sleeper and/or move up if he can shed allegations of disorderly conduct and indecent exposure.
21) Philadelphia 76ers – Name Richards (PF/C) – Syracuse University
Lacks ideal size for the position, but his no-look hook shot is nearly impossible to defend, and he fills an immediate need in Philly.
22) New Orleans Hornets – Dane Briggs (SG) – University of Texas
Briggs is lightning quick and has elite passing and ball-handling abilities. He averaged less than 5.0 PPG in each of his 4 seasons at Texas, but that isn’t what the Hornets are looking for and/or need.
23) Portland Trailblazers – Skizzle Sizzle (C) – Duke University
Has medical red-flags related to both knees, back, and brain, but Portland doesn’t care.
24) Los Angeles Lakers – Trix Tomjanovich (SF) – Rutgers University
The Lakers unofficially promised to take Trix if he is still available at #24 (he could move up), based primarily on his defense and length. Easily the ugliest player in the draft.
25) Los Angeles Clippers – Melachi Hopkins (PG) – University of Alabama
Needs to mature and abandon his musical aspirations if he wants his basketball career to develop, but Hopkins has excellent instincts and is a bonafide assassin.
26) Denver Nuggets – Ned Smith (PG) – Duke University
If everyone shot free-throws like Smith, no one would ever want to foul anyone. Unfortunately, the rest of his offensive game is so lacking that teams essentially begged him to shoot from the field. Still, Smith is a great leader and Denver needs white players.
27) Dallas Mavericks – Eric Cuban (?) – Hofstra University
Dallas maintains that Cuban is more of an NBA player than a Division I, system-player. He better be, as he failed to make Hofstra’s team during his first two years at the university. He was somewhat of a beast on the campus’s intramural circuit (9.4 PPG).
28) San Antonio Spurs – Calvin World Peace (PF) – University of Michigan
With Tim Duncan finally heading for retirement, the Spurs will need someone to replace those minutes. Calvin is too timid at times, but has plenty of game.
29) Detroit Pistons – Jeru Hathwell (SG) – UCLA
The best pure-shooter in the draft may be the difference that the Pistons need to get them over the hump. Already has 14 children.
30) Washington Wizards – Ray Zup (C) – Florida State University
The whole rape-thing might keep him from being eligible, but the Wizards don’t need much immediate help after winning their sixth consecutive title.