Finally it is that time of year... sort of. Tonight is the NBA Lottery and as a Knick fan we've never had a bigger night than tonight... other than last year but we don't need to talk about it.
Going into tonight these are the odds, with the Warriors dynasty leading the way for the number one pick. This draft in my opinion is a topheavy one, meaning the top ten guys are pretty good, maybe one or two late steals like there always is, and than that should probably wrap up the night. Unfortunately for the Knicks (since we are projected the 6th Pick) I think we are probably going to miss on the elite guys. But let's think positive.
The guys to look for heading into the draft are Anthony Edwards (Whose been open about favoring the Knicks and the Hawks), James Wiseman, Lamelo Ball, Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu, Obi Toppin, Killian Hayes, and last but not least in my opinion Cole Anthony. Now with all that said and let's say the draft goes the way it supposed too... which it absolutely will not, here's my opinion on who will be playing where.
#1 Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman
Look in my opinion the only guy I would want more than Wiseman would be Lamelo Ball, but since the warriors have the best backcourt in the league (and no center) I don't expect them to take a guy like Ball or even Edwards, who in all likelihood will be playing around 30 minutes a game come the end of the season. If they don't trade the pick, look for Wiseman to be the choice.
#2 Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija
The Cavs are a guard heavy team, meaning the two guys on their roster with the highest ceiling are Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, and I do not think they really want another guard here. Instead of course I think they wanted Wiseman, but because he's unavailable the choice obviously won't be him. They can go a couple different ways here, Deni Avdija out of Serbia, Obi Toppin, or Onyeka Okongwu. Personally Onyeka and Toppin are too risky to be #2 overall picks, and because guys overseas are translating so well to the NBA I think Deni has a strong chance to be picked here... but I mean it's the Cavs so maybe look for Myles Powell to go about 20 picks early here as a "sleeper"
#3 Minnesota T-Wolves: Obi Toppin
Look. I know this is a surprise to most people but hear me out. The clear pick here is Anthony Edwards or Lamelo Ball, and when I say clear I mean the talent drop off from those two to Obi Toppin in my opinion is large. But the T-Wolves have their Guard in DLo and their Power Forward in KAT. So in my eyes those two positions are out. Yes Edwards does play SG but he's a ball dominant scorer, and the T-Wolves have their ball dominant scorer in DLo. So since what they are missing is a true wing who is showing great promise AND is ready to start immediately, Obi Toppin would be a great move for them
#4 Atlanta Hawks: Anthony Edwards
Somehow Edwards drops to 4 and the Hawks get their man. An Atlanta native, Edwards has already said he would like to play for the Knicks or to Atlanta, because in Atlanta he already knows Trae and Cam Reddish an is ready to run with those boys. This pick actually makes Atlanta a really deep team that could even make some noise in the East next year (as long as their young guys progress like they should) with Huerter moving to the bench and Edwards starting at SG.
#5 Detroit Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu
Man I hope to God for both the Knicks sake and Detroit's Sake they stay AWAY from Lamelo Ball. Lamelo is the best available, but situationally if the Piston suck with him and Lavar starts screaming and Lamelo gets off to a cold start your going to be in for a nightmare. With DRose at the Helm and Blake at the PF, the Pistons in my opinion are getting a great rebounder and defender in Onyeka, something they've been missing since the Andre Drummond trade. Helping Blake defensively and on the boards will give him more energy on offense, where he excels, and all in all its the right move... DONT FUCK IT UP.
#6 New York Knicks: Lamelo Ball
The Knicks somehow get their man late. I don't think it's likely due to the Knicks being the Knicks and a lot of teams who are incompetent ahead of them potentially picking him despite not needing him, but in this mock draft he falls right in the Knicks Lap and I love it. With Lamelo's flashy play bpth passing and scoring, offensively speaking once he gets in a groove he fits quite well with the rest of the Knicks offense, and with Thibs staff who knows maybe he'll even become a disciplined player who eventually becomes a Lonzo esq defender. This also allows some heat off Frank, who I think can develop well being a sixth man along with Kevin Knox off the bench. The future COULD be bright.
#7 Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro
This pick is the beginning of no man's land every year. It's where all the elite guys are gone and now you are trying to seperate who will be good, from who has that elite potential, and most people in this spot fuck it up. If I am the GM of the Bulls (which I clearly am) I am taking Isaac Okoro strictly for the fact that he's the safest pick for what they need. They need Coby White and Lauri Markkanen to be pleased, and with rumour of Lauri wanting out they need to get this right. Okoro is the wing they need, and I think he fits well. Unfortunate Obi Toppin didn't fall but hey, thats the world we live in.
#8 Charlotte Hornets: Precious Achiuwa
Look I don't know much about Precious so I can't really evaluate him well. But what I do Know is that he's a good PF/C who fits well with this team. With the emergence of the man who should've been MIP, Devonte Graham, look for them to stay away from a PG here and look to a big. Precious is the best available player here according to all the "experts" and in this scenario is the likely #8 pick.
#9 Washington Wizards: Cole Anthony
I know the Wizards have Beal and Wall so it feels unlikely that they will take another guard with a top ten pick, and that may be true. But, Anthony is a great Point Guard who had an unfortunate freshman season. With him learning how to run an offense from John Wall, who will be fresh off the IR, look for him to learn a lot off the bench this season, and start when Beal or Wall get hurt (it inevitable they are just too injury prone).
#10 Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes
The final step for the Suns. The Suns were 8-0 in the bubble and actually looked like a playoff team for the first time in years. Killian Hayes averaged 13 points and 6 Assists in just 10 Games played in France while shooting almost 40% from three. The Upside potential for Hayes is there, and I think Monty WIlliams along with his staff and Dbook can mold him into the point guard they'll need to make legit playoff runs starting sometime over the next three seasons. He's a good player, and with guys coming from overseas proving that the game translates to the NBA, this pick should do nothing but make Suns fans happy for a little steal here at 10.
Now for the Spurs, Kings, Grizzlies and Pelicans, I don't have a for sure answer on who they might snag, but I don't expect it to be anyone incredible. Guys to look out for in these spots are Tyrese Haliburton, and some other guys who are probably decently good and will be good role players.
All in all if you read this far just know I am for some reason optimistic at the chances Lamelo will be a Knick, so yea that explains that.