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2023 NBA Mock Draft post-lottery: Spurs set on Victor Wembanyama

CHICAGO — Now that the San Antonio Spurs have won the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes and the draft order is set, it’s time to circle back to our FOX Sports NBA Mock Draft 2.0. Some questions started to get answered Tuesday night, but there are still a plethora that remain deeper into this class. The hot debate

2023 NBA Mock Draft post-lottery: Spurs set on Victor Wembanyama

CHICAGO — Now that the San Antonio Spurs have gained the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes and the draft order is ready, it is time to circle again to our FOX Sports activities NBA Mock Draft 2.0. 

Some questions began to get answered Tuesday evening, however there are nonetheless a plethora that stay deeper into this class. The recent debate that may rule within the coming weeks forward of the draft is what the Charlotte Hornets will do at No. 2, and whether or not Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson will go increased within the draft.

Right here’s what we’ve in the mean time. 

1. San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama, PF/C, Metropolitans 92

Wembanyama will be part of David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1997 as San Antonio’s third No. 1 decide in franchise historical past. He’s what the Spurs have been working for and can immediately turn out to be the franchise centerpiece, surrounded by a younger core of Keldon Johnson (23), Devin Vassell (22), Tre Jones (23), Malaki Branham (20) and Jeremy Sochan (19). Wembanyama is 7-foot-3 with an eight-foot wingspan, has the power to hit 3s with a signature runner shot from past the arc, exhibits the talent set to be a playmaker for others, and is a lock, if wholesome, to be within the NBA’s Defensive Participant of the Yr race each season due to his size. It is merely absurd simply what number of bins Wembanyama checks off. 

All Wembanyama has finished with Metropolitans 92, the LNB Professional A group in France, is common 21.6 factors on 47% taking pictures, 10.5 rebounds and three.1 blocks in simply over 32 minutes per recreation. Past the numbers, the hassle he provides and the way he’s been a teammate to others are areas which were praised. There’s simply no draw back to Wembanyama, creating a selected aura that we’ve not seen from a prospect since LeBron James

The one factor stopping Wembanyama from being one of many greats in NBA historical past is that if damage points come up. Three scouts have informed FOX Sports activities the identical factor within the final week in Chicago: “By Yr 3, he might be a prime 3-5 participant within the NBA, if not the most effective all-around expertise within the league.” 

Spurs win 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, proper to draft Victor Wembanyama

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to the Spurs profitable the NBA Draft Lottery, giving them the best to pick Victor Wembanyama.

2. Charlotte Hornets: Brandon Miller, F, Alabama

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Charlotte has a number of questions to handle this offseason. At the start, who’s the proprietor of the group? Studies have said proprietor Michael Jordan is in talks to sell a major stake of the franchise. This might affect restricted free agent Miles Bridges, who was suspended by the NBA after getting charged with domestic violence. Is he worthy of a long-term deal? We’ll see what Charlotte thinks of a participant who put up over 21 factors per recreation within the second half of the 2021-22 season however has character points. 

The opposite query might be what they do with restricted free agent P.J. Washington. LaMelo Ball’s season ended due to a damaged foot, however you might be nonetheless speaking about an All-Star and a lead guard possibility. Including Miller because the group’s franchise centerpiece is a pleasant second prize within the lottery. There are issues with Miller’s character after a Tuscaloosa police investigator testified that he brought the gun that ex-teammate Darius Miles used in a fatal January shooting near campus on Jan. 15. Miller was not charged for this involvement. 

On the basketball ground, Miller is a 6-9 wing with a 6-11 wingspan, and his offensive talent set is powerful. He shot over 38% from 3-point vary this previous yr and confirmed the power to make photographs off the dribble. He mimics his talent set after Paul George and goes in regards to the recreation with a playmaking aptitude. His size permits him to protect a number of positions, block photographs and disrupt opposing offenses together with his lively arms. Miller has to do one factor: present he can maintain up from a sturdiness standpoint within the NBA. 

3. Portland Trail Blazers: Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

Let’s be sincere right here: This isn’t the most effective slot in Portland, however you possibly can’t go on Henderson at No. 3. The Blazers have an elite participant and seven-time All-Star in Damian Lillard, together with 19-year-old Shaedon Sharpe, who went No. 7 to Portland final season. That being stated, Henderson is an impressive athlete with elite velocity that results in a fast first step and the expertise to complete on the rim. He could make performs for others as a very sturdy guard in pick-and-roll conditions, and he’s proven the power to hit pull-up photographs. The talent set past the 3-point arc is one thing that should preserve coming alongside, however all of his plus exercise on the offensive finish, together with the pleasure he takes in getting stops and in his recreation basically, are all the explanation why he is likely one of the finest prospects on this draft class. The 19-year-old is barely 6-2, however he has a 6-9 wingspan and possesses elite hops. His management qualities have grown leaps and bounds within the final two years, whereas his upside and having the ability to probably develop beneath Lillard’s wing make him a very attention-grabbing prospect to observe in Portland. 

I might not be stunned if the Blazers traded out right here primarily based on Henderson not being the right match and his worth and upside being so excessive.

4. Houston Rockets: Amen Thompson, G, Time beyond regulation Elite

The 6-7, 20-year-old is the most effective prospect from the Time beyond regulation Elite program in Atlanta, serving as a high-level playmaker and elite distributor. His quickness in transition and burst to go above the rim are on one other stage, and Thompson tries to create these forms of sequences by being a very regular defender that blows up performs together with his exercise on that finish of the ground. As for the match, Thompson can come into the Rockets group and arrange the offense whereas teaming up with Jalen Green, who put up 22.1 factors and three.7 assists per recreation this previous season. 

5. Detroit Pistons: Jarace Walker, F, Houston

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It was Detroit devastation on Tuesday because the Pistons fell out of the highest 4 and into the fifth slot. The vibe across the city must be considered one of disappointment. The excellent news for this franchise? They’ve backcourt items to construct off with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, and whereas the group does have Jalen Duren and James Wiseman, going after who I imagine is the most effective obtainable expertise and somebody who will function an enormous addition to a group that was atrocious defensively this previous season looks as if a sensible transfer. 

Walker, a 6-7 ahead with a 7-3 wingspan, performs the sport with a physicality stage that may make you suppose he’s a fullback on a soccer subject. He’s switchable defensively and has the power to play by way of something opposing groups throw at him on that finish of the ground. Walker may also be in a small-ball lineup, possessing versatility that ought to play nicely within the NBA. The important thing query: can a shot physician get him to turn out to be extra constant in that division? In that case, be careful. All the things else is in place. 

6. Orlando Magic: Cam Whitmore, F, Villanova

With NBA Rookie of the Yr Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter and Markelle Fultz, Orlando has a rising core of expertise that’s well-positioned for the long run. The large want for the Magic coming into the 2023 NBA Draft? A catch-and-shoot offensive possibility who can do quite a lot of issues. Whereas Whitmore is just not a confirmed shooter, he has proven the power to get scorching from 3, taking pictures simply over 34% on the season. The primary one-and-done Villanova prospect since Tim Thomas in 1997, Whitmore has a superb deal with whereas being a very lively defender and rebounder. The important thing might be honing in on the alternative ways he can assault the rim and the steadiness he can discover together with his shotmaking potential from the surface. If the latter comes by way of, Whitmore’s explosiveness and the best way he embraces contact make him an incredible match for any roster. He can provide the Magic with one other perimeter possibility. 

Cam Whitmore leads Villanova to a victory over Georgetown

Villanova’s Cam Whitmore scored 19 factors in opposition to the Georgetown Hoyas in an 80-48 victory.

7. Indiana Pacers: Ausar Thompson, G, Time beyond regulation Elite

Indiana has its backcourt set with Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin. Pursuing a high-upside wing who carries a ton of athleticism and bounce whereas enhancing his jumper as time has gone on is what the Pacers could be getting in Thompson, the dual brother of Amen. Indiana may use a lockdown defender on its roster, and that’s Ausar to a tee. He’s acquired elite quickness and understands the way to get stops on that finish of the ground, possessing the power to protect any place. He makes use of his velocity to get to the rim, the place he’s developed right into a stable finisher. The bottom line is the perimeter shot, however his potential to take action many little issues, together with the pure athleticism, give him worth for an Indiana group looking for defensive stoppers. 

8. Washington Wizards: Taylor Hendricks, F, UCF

The Wizards are in a deep gap proper now. They’re available in the market for a common supervisor after firing Tommy Sheppard earlier within the offseason. Bradley Beal is beneath group management by way of 2026, whereas 27-year-old Kyle Kuzma averaged over 21 factors, seven rebounds and near 4 assists this previous yr and has a participant possibility. The purpose on this draft for Washington is to intention for upside. Hendricks has shot up boards like a rocket as a 6-8 huge man with a 7-1 wingspan. Averaging over 15 factors per recreation this previous yr whereas taking pictures practically 40% from 3-point territory, the UCF product may be particular within the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop conditions. Hendricks can be a very sturdy defender who can defend the rim, guard the ball nicely in opposition to any place and get after the opponent. His pull-up jumper off the dribble is one other one of many instruments in a loaded field for the versatile expertise. There should not many negatives to what he can do, only a little bit of an unproven nature to his general pattern dimension. 

9. Utah Jazz : Anthony Black, G, Arkansas 

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The Jazz are set with dimension as Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler are within the fold, however constructing with a dynamic guard who makes high-level performs for his teammates could possibly be the best way Danny Ainge goes as he enters the subsequent part of an organizational rebuild. Black has a change-of-pace to his recreation that enables for him to be a very tough cowl in transition, and he has a knack for realizing when and the place to distribute on the courtroom. Averaging near 13 factors and practically 4 assists per recreation in his freshman yr with the Razorbacks, Black showcased a well-rounded potential on each ends, using his quickness to be disruptive defensively. The important thing for Black might be when opponents go beneath screens and whether or not he can bury them by hitting jumpers.

10. Dallas Mavericks: Cason Wallace, G, Kentucky

What a distinction a yr makes for the Mavericks. Kyrie Irving is eligible for a five-year, $272 million extension, which might put Dallas over the wage cap and into a tricky spot. Whereas there’s a consensus that the Mavs must fill the void with inside protection, there’s probably not an incredible worth with this tenth decide within the draft. It is doable Dallas strikes again by way of commerce, but when the Mavs decide somebody, how in regards to the Kentucky product, Wallace? His dedication and depth on the defensive finish of the ground on the age of 19 is past his years, and he has an offensive recreation that carries some burst. The way in which that he can dig in and disrupt opposing guards at simply 6-2 is fairly particular, and on the offensive finish, he’s developed a floater recreation with stable contact. There are some issues he wants to determine within the scoring column, however he bothers folks in the best way that he guards and that helped John Calipari’s Wildcats get on observe. May Wallace be the subsequent Kentucky guard to get rolling within the NBA like we have seen within the playoffs? Actually. 

11. Orlando Magic: Gradey Dick, Kansas

As Orlando tries to construct out its future, capitalizing on a 6-8 wing who has nice really feel for the sport and was coached by Invoice Self at Kansas ought to play on the subsequent stage. Dick’s taking pictures launch is actually sharp, and he can transfer nicely with out the ball, a pleasant attribute to an offensive system with a playmaker like Banchero. The quantity of stress he places on a protection to protect the 3-point line can result in him scoring as a driver and slasher whereas having the ability to make performs with a excessive IQ. Dick isn’t essentially nice on the defensive finish, however he generally is a function participant within the system. 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jordan Hawkins, Connecticut

With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rising to star stage on each ends of the ground and Josh Giddey showcasing his potential to be a distributor and playmaker for his teammates, the Thunder are in want of shotmaking. There’s completely a case to be made for Hawkins being the most effective pure shotmaker on this class. The 21-year-old can transfer nicely off screens and has a easy, fast launch that may devastate a protection. He shot 21-of-42 from downtown on the Huskies’ journey to a nationwide championship. This appears like a no brainer match for OKC. 

13. Toronto Raptors: Nick Smith Jr., G, Arkansas

Toronto has loads of questions to determine this offseason. What’s going to occur with Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr.? Each affect guards may stroll away from the group this summer time and head elsewhere as free brokers. With that in thoughts, it may be helpful for Toronto to try to get a playmaking guard with critical upside. Smith, a 6-5, 19-year-old from Arkansas, was the No. 1 recruit within the class of 2022. A knee damage hampered his freshman season, however Smith’s pure scoring potential mixed with high-level athleticism permit him to do quite a lot of issues on the offensive finish of the ground. Shot choice is a crucial space for Smith to work on, however there’s no denying his ending potential and contact. His perimeter shot additionally must develop. The defensive finish isn’t too huge of a priority, as Smith performs with lots of power on that finish of the ground and his positional dimension is sweet sufficient. Serving to out Scottie Barnes is essential for Toronto, and the backcourt is the place it has to start.

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14. New Orleans Pelicans: Jalen Hood-Schifino, G, Indiana

The Pelicans may use extra assistance on the perimeter to swing their offense into a unique gear at instances. Whereas Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum make up a pleasant core, this group wants to search out one other guard possibility to assist them rating the ball extra successfully. There’s no denying the defensive tenacity that Willie Inexperienced’s group performs with. The 6-4, one-and-done Indiana prospect, Hood-Schifino may fill a pleasant function in New Orleans. His pull-up recreation off the dribble was actually spectacular this previous yr at Indiana, and the best way he took over the lead guard slot when Xavier Johnson went down confirmed simply how a lot he was able to evening in and evening out. The stress he can placed on a protection in ball-screen motion is actually good, and Hood-Schifino is a stable defender who disrupted Huge Ten guards this previous season. He didn’t get overwhelmed by the massive expectations and vibrant lights of Bloomington both, and will show to be the best supplemental piece for the Pelicans, who simply hope Williamson may be absolutely wholesome and able to go for a full season. 

Jalen Hood-Schifino goes off in opposition to No. 5 Purdue

Indiana freshman star Jalen Hood-Schifino went off in opposition to No. 5 Purdue with a career-high 35 factors in a 79-71 win.

15. Atlanta Hawks: Jett Howard, G, Michigan

After being among the many worst 3-point taking pictures groups within the NBA, the Hawks want to handle perimeter shotmaking to assist help their famous person, Trae Young. Whereas Dick or Hawkins could possibly be lead choices, they’re monitoring to not be round by the point the Hawks decide at No. 15. Howard, a 6-8 wing who is nineteen years and the son of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard, would fill the opening on the perimeter in Atlanta. Between the positional dimension and the need to be a playmaker, there’s some upside to him at this slot.

16. Utah Jazz: Keyonte George, G, Baylor

The Jazz have dimension and main potential with Lauri Markkanen and a longtime rim protector in Walker Kessler, so the technique for Utah is to focus on upside and potential bucket-getters. George may be that kind of man within the league. At 19, he stepped into Baylor and made sure issues on the offensive finish look rather a lot simpler than they really have been. With 12 performances of at the very least 20 factors in his freshman yr, George performs a method that ought to translate to the NBA, from drilling 3s to having the ability to rating on the drive to the rim. George additionally tallied three assists per recreation this previous yr. Whereas the 6-4 body is of slight concern defensively, his offensive talent set could possibly be a pleasant match for Utah’s system. 

17. Los Angeles Lakers: Rayan Rupert, G, New Zealand Breakers 

Los Angeles has different offensive choices past LeBron James and Anthony Davis with Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura, amongst others. However how about an elite perimeter defender with vital upside? That’s an space of want for L.A, and Rupert can fill it. The 6-6, 19-year-old Frenchman is likely one of the finest defensive gamers within the class, disrupting something and every part in his method with a 7-3 wingspan. He’s throughout passing lanes – significantly, his exercise on that finish of the ground within the NBL has been outrageous. The shotmaking is up-and-down, however that’s an space that may evolve. He’s the son of French nationwide group captain, Thierry Rupert, whereas his sister Iliana was a first-round WNBA draft decide in 2021. 

18. Miami Heat: Brice Sensabaugh, F, Ohio State

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As Miami has been the shock of the NBA postseason, let’s not overlook the final space this group was uncovered for within the common season: 3-point taking pictures. The Warmth are arrange with centerpieces as Jimmy Butler is assured $146.3 million by way of 2026, whereas Bam Adebayo is in Yr 2 of his five-year, $163 million deal. However Miami can use extra shotmaking, and Sensabaugh confirmed off loads of that in a single yr with the Buckeyes. Capturing 41% from downtown this previous yr in Columbus, the 6-6 wing has super mechanics, a easy supply and displayed a knack for realizing the place to be from a spacing perspective to get good photographs in transition. 

19. Golden State Warriors:  Kobe Bufkin, G, Michigan 

Whereas the Warriors have taken some initiatives lately within the midst of the reign of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, getting a two-way expertise who can add one thing defensively to a gaggle that actually struggled this season looks as if a really logical transfer. The 6-4 Bufkin has a very good really feel for the sport and the athleticism to assist the Warriors or one other group in quite a lot of capacities. His velocity and talent to maneuver with out the ball are positives, and he confirmed that he may end on the rim within the Huge Ten, averaging 14 factors per recreation. The pull-up recreation off the dribble is one other high quality trait, and Bufkin’s midrange was actually stable with the Wolverines. He makes use of his quickness to defend and for somebody at his dimension, he’s a top quality defender. Whereas he could possibly be turnover-prone at Michigan, there’s no query he can come into a corporation and assist in some capability on each ends. Golden State wants so as to add depth and athleticism. 

20. Houston Rockets: Leonard Miller, F, G League Ignite

Houston was abysmal defensively this previous season and Miller can handle that want. A 6-10 ahead with a 7-2 wingspan, Miller possess guard expertise whereas being ambidextrous on the rim. His talent set is exclusive and the Rockets needs to be trying to take huge swings of their rebuilding efforts. Along with his size and athleticism, the defensive progress ought to proceed for Miller. He additionally would observe within the footsteps of G League Ignite product Jalen Green, who Houston picked two years in the past and clearly has a connection to that group. Whereas perimeter shotmaking isn’t essentially a power, his jumper contained in the arc was fairly stable for Ignite, in order that a part of his recreation may progress. The athleticism and upside are current for Miller to sit down someplace within the prime 20. 

21. Brooklyn Nets: Dereck Lively II, C, Duke

Let’s begin with the place the Nets stand – they do have some stability following the drama and finish to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. That doesn’t imply Brooklyn is ready as much as win at a excessive stage, making back-to-back draft picks within the 20s necessary as a result of the group enters the offseason simply $10 million under the $162 million tax threshold. Having Ben Simmons wholesome, getting a deal finished with Cameron Johnson and constructing off Mikal Bridges are priorities for this group. Getting a rim protector is a precedence for this group, and that’s why Energetic II could be a pleasant choice. At 7-1 with a 7-8 wingspan, Energetic II selecting up steam because the yr went on modified Duke’s season. He’s a top quality assist defender and is actually cellular, giving him the upside to be sturdy in ball screens and be a lob risk. His aggressiveness and general agility are areas to enhance upon, however the best way the sport slowed down for him because the yr went on led to him turning into nearly as good as any rim protector in faculty basketball by the tip of the season. Hitting the burden room this summer time might be a precedence for Energetic II.

22. Brooklyn Nets: GG Jackson, G, South Carolina 

Watching Jackson on the mix in Chicago this week left me questioning if he’s going to finish up taking pictures up draft boards. It’s been a wild final yr for the South Carolina product, who reclassified after initially getting ranked because the No. 1 recruit within the 2023 class and electing to go to the Gamecocks after decommitting from North Carolina. As one scout stated, Jackson is difficult to gauge on a board as a result of he performed for a nasty South Carolina group and was so younger, however you possibly can’t deny the upside when watching him on the mix. He’s 6-9 and greater than bodily prepared for the NBA stage. Jackson can create photographs off the dribble for himself, and he’s acquired high quality contact whereas utilizing his body to be a succesful defender. The shotmaking upside is the world in query, however whenever you take a look at all Jackson can do with the concept in thoughts that he can deal with the ball at his size and will take off with the best teaching, this can be a actually attention-grabbing prospect whose inventory may show to be a steal within the 20s. 

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23. Portland Trail Blazers: Noah Clowney, F, Alabama

The most important want for the Blazers is dimension, and Clowney can definitely match the invoice for that. Jusuf Nurkic is a stable 7-footer, however Clowney’s upside, mobility and defensive expertise are all a plus, and he could possibly be a long-term huge for whoever he finally ends up with. With a 7-2 wingspan whereas averaging 10 and eight per recreation, Clowney confirmed that he may assault the rim and canopy lots of floor on each ends. Capturing simply 28% from 3, that’s the world for the 18-year-old to proceed to evolve in. And sure, that younger age is why there’s rather a lot to love about him if he’s nonetheless round at 23.

24. Sacramento Kings: Bilal Coulibaly, F, Metropolitans 92 

Coming off a breakthrough 48-34 season and an epic playoff collection with the Warriors, the Kings are on the map and have a core of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Malik Monk, amongst others. So, the Kings can get inventive with their choice, and Coulibaly is likely one of the rising prospects on this class. At 6-7 with a 7-3 wingspan, the 18-year-old is a very athletic participant who can defend at a excessive stage already. He strikes nicely off the ball and confirmed the trait of attacking the rim this yr. The ball dealing with and taking pictures are areas for enchancment, however the Kings possess lots of that. Coulibaly’s pure athletic potential and disruptive nature on protection are why he’s rising on boards, particularly if there’s a perception that the shot can come round. 

25. Memphis Grizzlies: Kris Murray, F,  Iowa

Whereas the Grizzlies’ hopes for subsequent season are in nice jeopardy with disciplinary motion hovering over Ja Morant following his suspension from all group actions after being captured for a second time holding a gun in an Instagram video, when it comes to who Memphis drafts, the necessity for extra 3-and-D threats is the thought in thoughts. Murray, the dual brother of Keegan, is a bucket-getter who averaged over 20 factors per recreation this previous yr at Iowa and confirmed a capability to affect the sport off the dribble. Murray could be a pleasant addition to a group that believes it may possibly win within the close to future as a result of he’s already 23. The way in which the offensive aspect comes simple for him ought to make him a plug-and-play possibility. 

26. Indiana Pacers: Bobi Klintman, F, Wake Forest 

Whereas the Pacers have their backcourt of the long run in place with Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin, buying high-upside weapons is of apparent profit to a Pacers group trying to construct up a core. Klintman is a 6-10, two-way wing whose faculty stats this previous yr at Wake Forest (5.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG) don’t inform the entire story. His dealing with and passing potential at his dimension mixed with shot creating have allowed for his rise, and the eyebrow-raising choice to withdraw from the mix implies that he has been given a assure from any person on this draft and will create extra curiosity from different organizations to take a shot on him. Klintman has to get stronger, however the shot mechanics and mobility match right now’s recreation.

27. Charlotte Hornets: Colby Jones, G, Xavier 

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The Hornets have a necessity at each place to construct round LaMelo Ball and they should get NBA-ready expertise. How a couple of 6-6 wing who steadily acquired higher in an influence convention and averaged 15.0 factors, 5.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per recreation on 51% from the ground? That’s the story with Jones, who has stable positional dimension and a really feel for the sport that has solely progressed all through his profession. He’s a really prepared defender who will struggle by way of screens and take his assignments personally. The bounce shot generally is a bit inconsistent, however he ought to assist Charlotte as one other perimeter scoring possibility. 

28. Utah Jazz: Jaime Jaquez, F, UCLA 

His will to win, the best way he performs on each ends, and his sneaky good athleticism are all the explanation why Jaquez could possibly be the steal of the primary spherical. If the Jazz are in reality in search of gamers who’ve had a confirmed faculty background and have proven they’ll rating the ball in quite a lot of capacities, Jaquez is that reply. The All-American averaged 17.8 factors, 8.2 rebounds and a pair of.4 assists per recreation whereas taking pictures an efficient 48% from the sector. Jaquez is only a winner and may slot in nicely in Utah. Mick Cronin known as Jaquez a dream to educate, and whereas there are legitimate issues together with his jumper, Jaquez has a pullup recreation, a physicality and a supreme potential to execute the basics inside a recreation. He’s a pleasant worth within the closing 5-10 picks of the primary spherical. 

29. Indiana Pacers: Dariq Whitehead, G, Duke 

The 18-year-old, former No. 2 ranked recruit out of highschool had an up-and-down freshman season at Duke that had rather a lot to do with a fractured foot damage, so it’s tough to completely consider Whitehead heading into this draft. At 6-6 with a 6-10 wingspan, he can step into the Indiana group and handle the catch-and-shoot want for Haliburton to look to on the perimeter. Whitehead shot 43% from downtown this previous yr. On the defensive finish of the ground, Whitehead is definitely a really attention-grabbing prospect. He has a excessive motor and lively arms, and primarily based on a yr at Duke, he didn’t draw back from physicality. Any two-way wing participant goes to get valued within the again finish of a primary spherical if he’s nonetheless there, and that’s the logic with Whitehead late within the first spherical with Indiana taking up extra of a danger at 26 with Klintman. 

30. LA Clippers: Sidy Cissoko, F, G League Ignite 

Not one, not two however how about three French natives within the first spherical of the NBA Draft? The Clippers may use a fast and hard-nosed defensive expertise with upside, and Cissoko matches that invoice. The 6-6, 19-year-old averaged 13 factors and three.5 assists per recreation this previous season for Ignite whereas displaying that he generally is a high quality defender and shot blocker. Cissoko can be good at attacking the rim, and he confirmed progress in his perimeter recreation as nicely. That bounce shot is unproven, and there are some questions on his lateral quickness, however the power he can provide on the ground may result in him having a job off the bench. 

LA’s precedence is straightforward: Will Kawhi Leonard and Paul George keep wholesome and play collectively? So far, the system has not labored out. Russell Westbrook and Mason Plumlee are the one pending free brokers with 13 gamers anticipated again. Including an upside wing who has proven that he generally is a high-level finisher is what makes Cissoko a fascinating prospect.

John Fanta is a nationwide faculty basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports activities. He covers the game in quite a lot of capacities, from calling video games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Community to offering commentary on The Area of 68 Media Community. Comply with him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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