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NBA Draft: Rich and Brenden Mock the Lottery

Mocking the top 14 picks of the upcoming draft.

It’s June, which means the NBA Draft is almost here! Oh wait. Never mind, it’s 2020, the year where nothing is right.

All the same, it’s been over 100 days without basketball, and many of us at The Kings Herald have focused some of that downtime on examining college players and international prospects. Richard and Brenden have been breaking down top prospects on the Kings Pulse podcast for over a month now.

It’s time to put that research into action by writing up our first mock draft. Things will change a bit between now and the currently scheduled draft date of October 16, but it’s never too soon to start reading the tea leaves praying for good fortune from lottery balls.

We ran a sim on Tankathon to generate our draft order and agreed to go with the first result, which unfortunately didn’t help the Sacramento Kings. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery, while the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls moved up three spots each. The Golden State Warriors got the worst result, dropping four spots to pick five. Sacramento will be picking 12th.

Rich will handle the odd numbered picks, while Brenden gets the even spots. Let’s get the party started.

  1. The Cleveland Cavaliers select Anthony Edwards

Cleveland is about as deep into a rebuild as any team in the NBA. They need upside over anything else, which means I only considered Edwards and LaMelo Ball here. Ultimately I am going with Edwards because I feel he is the same level of prospect as Ball, with a slightly better fit next to Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. An athletically dominant player will help their roster.

Cleveland would probably be best off adding a bigger wing, but they aren’t going to reach down the board to do so. Edwards is plenty big for a two-guard and will give them a huge scoring punch. The Cavs are going to have a ton of upside on the perimeter. They’ll be bad for a while, but if a couple of their high picks work out, they could be in a decent spot in a few years.

  1. The Detroit Pistons select LaMelo Ball

There is a reasonable argument to be made that the Pistons have zero players currently locked into being a part of their long-term core. With no real identity, LaMelo Ball can come into Detroit and be the entire engine of their offense from day one where he will be presented a chance to learn through his mistakes. As Rich stated, Edwards and Ball are the two highest upside players in this draft and Detroit is fresh into a rebuild similarly to Cleveland so they should select whichever one left on the board at 2.

If Blake Griffin ever returns to decent health, he and LaMelo could be a fun pick-and-roll duo, but this selection is all based around long term upside. The Pistons will have an opportunity to build their roster out around LaMelo Ball’s phenomenal passing prowess and could end up with their star of the future if he pans out. 

  1. The Minnesota Timberwolves select Onyeka Okongwu

I have wanted to see Okongwu land in Minnesota for a while now. So much so, that I started doubting this pick because I was worried I wasn’t considering other options enough. I am just completely in love with the fit for Okongwu in Minnesota. He is the interior defender that Karl-Anthony Towns needs, and KAT is the shooter Okongwu needs. They’re a perfect pair.

But it’s not just the fit alone. Okongwu is a consensus top-five pick at this point. Maybe it wouldn’t be that way in another year, but it is what it is. Onyeka could be a 15 and 10 guy with a pair of blocks for the next decade. And he could be the best defender on a contending team if everything works out. That’s a very valuable player, and worthy of the third pick here.

  1. The Chicago Bulls select Killian Hayes

While the Bulls are desperately in need of some talent at the wing, particularly after Otto Porter Jr. suffered his injury, Killian Hayes is the final member of my top tier in this draft remaining and is simply too promising to pass up.

Zach LaVine is an unideal primary playmaker for the Bulls currently and Hayes will fit well alongside him as a savvy pick-and-roll player with a great feel. Hayes’s main concern comes from being left-handed dominant and therefore will need some proper scheming to be optimized, which I am not the most confident in Chicago to do so, but at four the Bulls should prioritize the best player available. Coby White will have to remain as a microwave bench scorer for the foreseeable future while Hayes displays his manipulation, stepbacks, and crafty finishing among the starters. 

  1. The Golden State Warriors select Obi Toppin

It was between Toppin and Wiseman for the Warriors here at the fifth spot. I think Wiseman has a much higher ceiling but Toppin has a far safer floor. In fact, I think Toppin might have the best floor in this draft. It’s almost unfair that the Warrior will get the best day-one player out of this group, but sometimes the rich get richer.

Toppin will walk into the league as a legitimate contributor, and might even start for the Dubs. Even if he comes off the bench as their third big man, I see Toppin as a fantastic fit for the later years of Golden State’s dynasty. If they wanted to improve their chances to compete in five to ten years, maybe they go for more upside. But they want to win now, so they’ll take Toppin.

  1. The Atlanta Hawks select Devin Vassell

The Atlanta Hawks managed to finish the season dead last in three-point percentage despite Trae Young creating a multitude of open catch and shoot opportunities for his teammates. With their star in place, the Hawks are in need of a tertiary playmaker and defensive impact prospects to aid Young’s clear deficiencies. 

I would not be surprised if Atlanta preferred Isaac Okoro here, but the desperate need for spacing is enough for me to lean towards Devin Vassell. While Okoro has a higher upside and playmaking abilities, his shot is questionable and Vassell has proven his efficiency letting it fly from range while maintaining comparable defensive playmaking capabilities to Okoro. Devin Vassell will likely be the best 3&D wing in this draft and is almost surely the most NBA ready as well. There were some flashes of creation off the dribble when Trae needs any aid in that aspect, and I love the fit for Vassell in Atlanta. This would leave the Hawks with Cam Reddish, DeAndre Hunter, Devin Vassell, and Clint Capela backing up Trae Young and that lineup has a real chance to cover Young’s inevitable deficiencies on that end. 

  1. The New York Knicks select Cole Anthony

Personally, I am pretty low on Anthony. I’m concerned about his poor efficiency and score-first mentality. However, the Knicks have such a large vacancy at the point that I can’t help but go with Cole. The Knicks are an old school (perhaps vestigial) franchise that would love to put the ball in the hands of a high-profile shot creator..

Anthony was widely considered the number one overall prospect in this class before a disastrous year at North Carolina. The Knicks just feel like a team that would buy in on an elite high school recruit, despite the red flags. Anthony has the reputation and the production potential to fit in New York. Is it a great pick? Probably not. Is it a Knicksy pick? Absolutely.

  1. The Charlotte Hornets select James Wiseman

James Wiseman is an obvious fit here for me. The Charlotte Hornets have nothing going for them at the center position and are in the early stages of what could be a long rebuilding process with nothing but role players at the moment in Terry Rozier, Devonte Graham, Miles Bridges, and PJ Washington. 

James Wiseman is a swing for the fences, but the Hornets have the time to allow him to develop and take a risk for the potential of him panning out as an elite rim protector and rim runner at 7’1” with his eyecatching agility and explosiveness. PJ Washington has proven to be a more than respected floor spacer that should fare well alongside Wiseman as well. Wiseman fits a clear hole at the five and maybe, just maybe, ends up as their cornerstone of the future. 

  1. The Washington Wizards select Tyrese Haliburton

Haliburton is a fairly easy pick for the Wizards here. He’s the best player on the board in my opinion, and he presents a nice versatile future for Washington. Depending on how John Wall looks when he returns from injury, Haliburton could run the second unit or hold his own early on as a starter. His combination of off-ball and on-ball skills makes him a good fit with Bradley Beal.

Even if Beal is eventually traded, I see Haliburton as the type of player who could soak up numbers and potentially be a number one option. Obviously the Wizards wouldn’t compete for a while if they let go of Beal, but Haliburton, Rui Hachimura, and Troy Brown would be a decent young core to build around.

  1. The Phoenix Suns select Isaac Okoro

The Phoenix Suns should be ecstatic if Isaac Okoro is on the board for them at 10. While he does not resolve their obvious hole at the four, as Deni Avdija would, Okoro’s NBA ready body along with his tantalizing defensive versatility and instincts have won me over.

As I mentioned previously, the shot with Okoro is a concern but his playmaking and relentless driving prowess have shined during his time at Auburn. Phoenix can surround him with shooters more than most lottery teams and allow him to initiate the offense at times in an Igoudala-esque fashion. I also relish the idea of Mikal Bridges and Isaac Okoro wrecking havoc behind Devin Booker with Deandre Ayton waiting at the rim. I see this is a borderline perfect pairing. 

  1. The San Antonio Spurs select Deni Avdija

This is the most obvious pick in the draft for me. Avdija is a top-ten prospect and he is found money for the Spurs. San Antonio doesn’t have much at the four, and Avidja would slide right in as the future of the position. Rudy Gay, who is about to turn 34, and Trey Lyles, who is not very good, played almost every power forward minute for the team this season.

It’s a great landing spot from Deni’s perspective as well. While he would lose some money by falling out of the higher lottery spots, he’s going to gain a world-class development system. If any team can turn his questionable shooting into something real and respectable, it’s San Antonio. I have some doubts about Avdija, but in this situation, he is well worth the risk.

  1. The Sacramento Kings select Saddiq Bey

It came down to Saddiq Bey and Aaron Nesmith, just as we all knew it would. While there were tempting guard options on the table, Sacramento should prioritize fit at this point due to the lack of any clearly superior talent.

Between Bey and Nesmith there is no wrong answer. It may be an overstatement, but I viewed the question as: would you rather add another prototype similar to Buddy Hield (Nesmith) or Harrison Barnes (Bey)?

I am admittedly skeptical of Nesmith’s defense despite his plus wingspan and simply do not think the Kings could handle another negative on that end of the floor. Saddiq Bey has shown an absurd switchability at Villanova and is no slouch shooting from beyond the arc himself. Bey stands at 6’8” with a reported 7’0” wingspan and while his lateral quickness is underwhelming, he utilizes his length, instincts, and supreme positioning to contain any players on the floor that aren’t centers.

I also believe that Bey is a preferred fit in Walton’s offensive scheme, where versatility is essential, compared to Nesmith. He has revealed promising flashes of playmaking while Nesmith is guilty of frustrating decision making and tunnel vision, similarly to Hield.

Saddiq Bey is one of the highest floor players in this draft while simultaneously having one of the more underwhelming ceilings in the lottery, but Sacramento needs a surefire impact talent. Bey could find himself starting in the near future and very well may end up as the second-best wing defender for the Kings in a division featuring LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Klay Thompson. 

  1. The New Orleans Pelicans select Tyrese Maxey

I see the Pelicans’ biggest need as a stretch big, but there is no one on the board I am comfortable with taking at pick 13. I also think New Orleans is happy to go with the best player available as their roster is mostly young guys that are still developing. Aaron Nesmith and Patrick Williams were in consideration for me here, but I think Maxey is the best bet.

Maxey is a two-way combo guard who would fit with a lot of different looks in New Orleans. He would pair well with both Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday. And if the Pels ever trade Holiday and fully commit to the youth movement, I see Maxey having the potential to fill his role.

  1. The Portland Trail Blazers select Aaron Nesmith

The Trail Blazers are financially locked into Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for years to come and were so desperate for an additional scoring punch from the wing that they added Carmelo Anthony last season -  and it helped. 

While Nesmith can’t create off the dribble like Anthony, his movement shooting should prove valuable alongside the high usage backcourt in Portland. Nesmith has been claimed by many to be the best shooter in this draft class and that will surely translate to the NBA level at a quick rate. While there are defensive concerns, the Blazers’ need for wings made Nesmith a fairly straightforward selection at 14 over the likes of guard Kira Lewis Jr.

Note: Richard and Brenden have been breaking down prospects through a Sacramento Kings lens on their podcast, Kings Pulse, all summer. We hope you will follow us on twitter @Kings_Pulse and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts.

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June 29, 2020 3:07 pm

I think the biggest question I have for the Kings is, who is going to create on offense for this team other than De’Aaron Fox? I just believe that shot creation on offense is the biggest issue for this team going forward. It seems like there are very few shot creators in this draft unfortunately so I guess a 3-D wing would be useful as well but I just don’t believe another player who has no creation ability is going to help this team all that much as currently constructed.

June 29, 2020 4:39 pm

This. Absolutely, this.

June 29, 2020 6:08 pm

It’s just difficult to get shot creators from the wings, especially in the late lottery.
And since Sacramento already has Fox, Hield, and (likely) Bogi, I didn’t want to pick someone like Maxey or Kira Lewis.

June 30, 2020 9:11 am
Reply to  Brenden

It is hard to get those players which is why I think they should look to trade the pick. I don’t think any player in this draft in the Kings range will help them anytime soon or maybe even at all. I’m not sure I remember a draft I was less excited about than this years draft.

June 29, 2020 9:39 pm

Shot creation? Just give the ball to Marvin in the high post and he’ll create a shot for you himself.

June 29, 2020 9:48 pm

BB8’s another creator (so I hope they’ll be able to keep him at a reasonable price). However, there’s nothing beyond Fox & him. I hope the Kings can get a creator in the draft, but it sounds like that’ll be hard. Of course, it wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t idiots in the 2018 draft.

Last edited 8 months ago by richie88
June 29, 2020 3:12 pm

This was a good read.
I like Bey, but would prefer Nesmith if that’s who it comes down to. Ideally one of Okoro, Advija, Vassell, or Haliburton slides, but at this point it looks likely that the Kings’ decision will come down to someone after those preferred options are off the board.
I just think Nesmith is a more versatile shooter, but Bey is certainly the better defender at this stage.

June 29, 2020 4:58 pm
Reply to  TonyXypteras

I’m not really high on either of those guys. I’d happily take Avdija and Haliburton. Vassell would be acceptable. The other guys I just don’t think are worth the pick. I think Okoro’s playmaking is oversold and his shooting is ugly. Nesmith is a one-dimensional shooter and, honestly, I’m not entirely sold on his shooting. His percentages are good but it’s a 14 game sample and I’m not a big fan of his motion. Bey is exceptionally bleh. I just can’t get excited about a guy with a best-case outcome ceiling of a less athletic Harrison Barnes.

June 29, 2020 3:25 pm

I can’t remember a draft in which I knew so little about the potential player pool. That being said, I think it’s the perfect draft to get weird. I don’t think there will be a lot of deals out there to trade down (or trade out of the draft completely for future draft compensation). I don’t think there’s really any defined tiers like most years. If I was the GM, I’d consider a trade to move up in the draft. It seems like this is the perfect year to move up if you are confident that there’s a difference maker in the top 5.
My get weird trade is creating the all-lefty backcourt of the future by trading Bagley and the #12 pick to the Bulls for Markkanen and the #4 pick, then drafting Killian Hayes. This is based on me being left-handed, Fox’s shortcomings as a playmaker, and watching 7 minutes of Hayes highlights.

June 29, 2020 4:42 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I don’t think Bagley + 12 gets you especially close to Markkanen + 4. In fact, I’m not sure Bagley gets you Markkanen straight up.

June 29, 2020 5:20 pm

yeah who knows. Markkanen has some warts as well. I think there’s a compelling argument that he’s been misused in Chicago, but the same can be said about Bagley. In a normal year the structure of the trade might not be feasible, but I can at least imagine a scenario in which trading up requires less draft capital than it would in draft with more top-end talent.

June 29, 2020 5:23 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I absolutely agree with this:

but I can at least imagine a scenario in which trading up requires less draft capital than it would in draft with more top-end talent.

June 29, 2020 5:00 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Bad idea to trade players (even MB3) for picks in this draft. That said expect Vlade to trade #12, Marvin and next years top 5 protected 1st for Markkanen. and 4 2nd rounders.

June 29, 2020 5:04 pm
Reply to  CoreyBrewersD

I would say that depends on the players and the picks.

June 29, 2020 10:46 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

apparently no one appreciates my uneducated takes…and that’s fine!
(I have much more educated takes about stuff such as my belief that Emergen-C is a yuge scam and the money spent on it annually could be distributed in a way that makes a real difference in the world.)

June 29, 2020 4:19 pm

Vlade is about to screw up another pick like it’s his destiny.

June 29, 2020 5:14 pm

Here’s the “RORDOG’s opinion on various players that seem to be in the Kings draft pick range based on watching one Strengths video and spending a few minutes looking at their bball reference page” scouting report:
Nesmith: super slow release at times on his jumper. I’m scared, yet intrigued, by the massive jump in efficiency from year 1 to year 2.
Bey: Funky release on his jump shot. Like nowhere near as weird as Lonzo, but weird in the same way. I like his footwork when defending one-on-one. He can do that thing where his eyes are focused on the player he’s defending, but his feet/hips react on their own like a cornerback in football. He seems to move well as an off-ball cutter. He can also handle some playmaking responsibilities out of the PnR and in transition. Doesn’t seem super-athletic. I guess you could say he’s explosive, but not quick-twitchy?
Avedija: (this seems to be a theme) I don’t really like his jump shot form, but there’s been plenty of players with weird form that still made shots at a high volume. He seems like a fun player. He understands verticality on defense, and seems to enjoy protecting the rim. I have a hard time coming up with an upside player comp for him. Tomas Satoransky maybe? I don’t know it’s always hard with euros because you tend to only compare them to other euros.
Anthony: I actually watched one of his games! My only thought is that he seems like he’s either one of those players that kills it at the NCAA tournament, but doesn’t do much in the NBA, or there’s some sort of untapped potential, and he’s about to be a star. Also, side note, I was at the airport once when I was a kid and the entire UNLV team was there. I got a newspaper signed by Cole’s dad, Stacey Augmon, Larry Johnson and Tark the Shark.
Okoro: He seems strong. Does a lot of stuff well, but not great at anything? The type of player I personally like, but I’m not sure how valuable they are. Like is he basically Justise Winslow?

June 30, 2020 7:41 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Just for fun, here are my 2nd round (as defined by being ranked 30th or lower on Vecenie’s most recent Big Board) versions of the guys you listed that just may be better players.
Nesmith – Sam Merrill or Tres Tinkle (yes, that’s his real name.)
Bey – Chris Smith, N’Doye
Avdija – Bolmaro
Anthony – The easy one would have been Riller, but Vecenie ranks him 29th. So I’d go with Dotson or Butler.
Okoro – Trevelin Queen
The thing that stands out here is often the replacements are older prospects or non-prestige schools. Both, IMO, still lead to them being underrated.

June 29, 2020 5:39 pm

Tepid draft pool, this front office, and a head coach that likes pounding square pegs into round holes. Yeah, consider my enthusiasm for this draft to be rather muted.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
June 29, 2020 5:52 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yup, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Kings trade way back into the 1st round that involves our old friend Cash Considerations. They will then draft a high profile player from a big name school like Duke, Kentucky or North Carolina that is low on everyone’s draft board.

June 29, 2020 5:53 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

You know excited me?? The draft two years ago when we had the second pick with Doncic available… or a trade and the ability to draft Trey Young… that was cool until MB3

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
June 29, 2020 5:48 pm

I haven’t read up on too many mock drafts this year…thanks COVID… so I need some help on Anthony Edwards. From what I read about him, he can’t shoot. How is a guard who can’t shoot at #1 on so many draft boards. I’d understand it if he were a passing savant or a DOPY candidate, but he is neither. What is it about him that fits the modern NBA?

June 29, 2020 6:03 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

He should shoot decently well. His shot selection is the biggest issue with his percentages. That and his motor. To some degree he’s Donovan Mitchell with a couple more inches and a questionable motor. Do with that what you will.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
June 29, 2020 6:19 pm

Looking at his numbers, he doesn’t even approach Mitchell’s percentages. If you wanna call him a poor man’s Mitchell, fine, but does that make him worthy of #1? I mean, he doesn’t even shoot 30% from college three. Maybe this draft class is just that bad?

June 29, 2020 7:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

In this draft? Yes. Also, as a freshman:
.250 on 2.3 threes per game,
.754 FT%
.520 TS%
.294 on 7.7 threes per game
.772 FT%
.525 TS%
I should note that I’m not particularly high on Edwards and Donovan Mitchell basically hit the best case development scenario path. I wouldn’t necessarily expect Edwards to develop as well. But yes, in this draft, that’s enough to be in the conversation for the top pick.

Last edited 8 months ago by BestHyperboleEver
June 29, 2020 6:57 pm

I have watched zero college basketball and have no informed opinions on this matter. However, as an American in the week before Independence Day, I feel compelled to partake in my patriotic duty of not letting that hold me back. So, here goes: I am confident that whomever the Kings select will be the worst available player.

June 29, 2020 9:36 pm

This is a draft that looks high on decent rotational players, low on stars that can lift a team to a higher level.
we need the latter.
I’d be shocked if Avdija is not picked between 4-9.

June 30, 2020 7:52 am
Reply to  RikSmits

In general, Avdija has been taking advantage of his league opening up. I think he’s had 3 games and seen more minutes. Two of which have reportedly been very good. The other not so good though not terrible: 31min, 11 pts, 3/7 3pt, 7rebs, 3ast, 1to, 1blk, 1stl. Only 2/6 on FTs though.

June 30, 2020 8:57 am

His FT’s is an issue, although he has worked hard on his shooting form and it shows on most of his 3P-attempts.
He was already receiving an uptick in minutes pre-Corona, but he worked hard during the break from play.
The first two games back was against lesser competition, the third one (yesterday) a tight and hard thought contest against a contender in Hapoel Jerusalem. And despite Avdija’s so-so statistical game, he logged in the most minutes of all of Maccabi’s players, which includes veterans like Amare Stoudemire and former King Quincy Acy.
In a league notorious for playing its vets, it is telling that a 19 year old played the most minuets in such a high pressure game. Why? Because he has an innate feeling for the game, excellent BBIQ, is often in the right spot (on offense and defense) and makes the right decisions. He does so much of the little things that don’t show in the box score but helps a team win and he’s the ultimate team player. (So basically, he has all the traits that this FO is not looking for in a draft pick).
Although he is good enough and intelligent enough to survive most teams, I really hope he lands in a good spot. Such an easy guy to root for.

June 30, 2020 8:33 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Avdija is the only guy I’d be willing to move up for, he looks like a good 3rd best player on a team; fastbreaks remind me of Ben Simmons, pick and roll is great for a tertiary playmaker, defense is really good, size, shooting in empty gym looks good.
I’m not sure what the cost would be to move up, next year top 10 protected pick+12+34?
I have a strong feeling the Warriors are going to pick him, he would fit really well with their team.

June 30, 2020 9:00 am
Reply to  Chent

Oh yeah, the Warriors would be excellent for him.
As much as I love him, this is not the year to move up, IMO. Better off to trade into next year’s draft, IMO, than to trade out of it.
And if I am being really honest, I don’t wish the Kings upon him. How sad is that?

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
June 30, 2020 9:13 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I think I’d be willing to move up if it were apart of a bigger package and didn’t involve trading future assets. If Vlade really wanted Avdija I’d be cool with something like Buddy and the #12 to the Wolves for #4, Culver and James Johnson.

June 30, 2020 9:21 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree that type of move would be interesting. I personally, wouldn’t make that move if I were the Wolves as I think they’re perfectly situated for the ideal guy to play with D’Lo and KAT in Okongwu and I’m not sure Buddy is enough of an upgrade on Beasley to tempt them. But the #12 plus a player to move up is interesting. I think the challenge is figuring out HOW MUCH you need to move up. I think there’s so much fluidity in the top 10 picks that a guy like Avdija could go anywhere from 3 to 10.
I will say, I think Bolmaro is a pretty good door prize for a team that misses out on Avdija.

Last edited 8 months ago by BestHyperboleEver
June 30, 2020 9:23 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I think the Wolves would be wise enough to not make that move. I dont want to give up future picks either, but that seems like the main compensation teams look for when trading down. So I would do that but only for Avdija, just because I feel he would fit this team like a glove, and we would probably be in the playoffs next year meaning pick is not as highly valued.

June 30, 2020 9:33 am
Reply to  Chent

I think it’ll be really interesting to see what the Wolves do moving forward, but in general I really like what Rosas has done so far. I think the Covington trade was excellent (I like Beasley, Juancho and even Vanderbilt). And as much as I’m not a huge believe in DLo as a centerpiece, getting him and getting out from under Wiggins’ contract for the cost of one pick is pretty good IMO.

June 30, 2020 11:17 am

I do too, and my only issue with that team is that the two best players are negatives defensively, but they have such a great offensive Center that it’s worth attempting to move forward with this group.
The Kings are in such a tough spot due to bad moves but decent talent, and young West teams having a lot of assets. We really need to find out how good Bagley can be, there was one game when he was a rookie against the Spurs where he played exceptionally that I remember where I thought if he can be this consistently, he can be the second star, aside from that he had a lot of flashes of really good and really bad. But the Kings need one more playmaker to be a starter, that’s where my interest in Avdija is, the fit would be great, next to Fox, a great shooter in Buddy, and hopefully the fully realized potential of Bagley.

June 30, 2020 9:33 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’ve got an idea to move up. Let’s say the Warriors move down to 3 or 4, I mean this may even be an option at 1 or 2 because this draft doesn’t have top end talent, looks like it starts in tier 3 in a normal draft and 5 players in that tier.
Would the Warriors, who are easily playoff contenders with a healthy team, be looking for complimentary players to really open up a championship window for 2 years?
My trade:
Warriors receive Barnes, Holmes, 12th pick
Kings receive top 4 pick, Wiggins.
Does that Warriors team look familiar, and does that trade look like fair? Warriors also sign Bazemore with part of mid-level after that.

June 30, 2020 5:57 am

I think the value in this draft is in the 2nd half of the first round.
I’m still big on trading back & grabbing Jalen Smith.
BUT, who is trading up? I just don’t like anyone in the lottery this year.

June 30, 2020 8:00 am
Reply to  TheBufferZone

I agree with trading back. Though I’m not particularly enamored of Jalen Smith.

June 30, 2020 8:56 am

What options do you like if moving back was an option?
I do like Jalen Smith, but he would need to add 15 lbs of strength (lower body development) before he is actually a rotation player. He has great instincts defensively and seems like a good developmental prospect. Aside from him, I like Jamius Rhamsey, Desmond Bane, Leandro Balmaro, and Pokusevski.

June 30, 2020 9:14 am
Reply to  Chent

I think Bane, Balmaro, and Poku are all really good options in the late 1st. Mostly because of size/positional need I’d probably rank them Balmaro, Poku, Bane. I’d probably add Tillman, Riller, and Reed to that list.
I’m not a big believer in Ramsey. Everywhere in the draft, I tend towards guys that have shown above average passing chops. Ramsey’s decision-making is a bit scary.
As for Smith, I just don’t think he’s going to find a defensive home. He has good weakside shot blocking instincts. The issue is that his base is so high and narrow (and upper body so developed) that I don’t see him adding the lower body strength to be able to hold position on either end. And his stiffness/lack of lateral quickness will get him killed on the perimeter either against NBA 4s or on switches. Overall, I just think he’ll be an easy mark on the defensive end. On the offensive end he has a good stretch potential but he’s a negative passer/ball mover and, well, see my statement in paragraph 2.

June 30, 2020 3:13 pm

I’m with you on Bane, Balmaro, Poku, I would be happy if we were able to swing a trade with Boston for 2 of their picks 1st rd picks, pick Poku to stash, and either Balmaro or Bane with the other.
Smith may not be able to bang at all, but with hardly any Centers having the ability to be post up options I dont think that will be that much of an issue. I kind of think he can be similar to Dedmon, but hopefully better. He will have issues at first, I’m trying to imagine him at 25 rather than now.

June 30, 2020 8:29 am
Reply to  TheBufferZone

I’d actually prefer trading out altogether. This draft is terrible and the chances that Vlade picks the diamond in the rough are astronomical. Try to get a 2021 first and hope Vlade’s been fired by then would be my strategy.

June 30, 2020 8:54 am

I’d generally be fine with that. They could theoretically either try for the highest likely (least protected from the worst team) pick or go for a young-ish player plus a slightly lesser pick. Since I’d rather have a pick in the 20s in any of the coming drafts than #12 in this draft, I’d be pretty easy to please. There are a number of guys from the past couple drafts that aren’t getting much time for their team but I would probably rather have than guys like Nesmith and Bey. Like Claxton, Goga, Bazley, NAW.
That said, I do think there’s talent and value to be had in this draft. I just think a lot of it is being projected in the late-1st and 2nd round. While the top of the draft is mediocre, there’s talent there. But I see this entire draft as basically two tiers. Tier 1 includes about 8 or 9 guys (all of which would be tier 2 or even 3 in an average draft). Then tier 2 runs pretty much through the end of the draft.

June 30, 2020 9:00 am


Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
June 30, 2020 9:15 am

Kind of crazy to think that the team with the longest playoff drought in the NBA would go two straight years without a first round pick, but that could definitely happen.

June 30, 2020 1:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

What’s crazier is that I’d feel much more comfortable NOT letting Vlade make another first round pick this year and grabbing a 2021 first than actually letting our incompetent GM make a pick. That has to be the like the final boss level of front office incompetence right? When you actually would prefer your team just trade for future picks on the hope that your team might have a new front office?

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