We are halfway through the year and March Madness is right around the corner for those of us already thinking about the NBA draft. Given the hype around the class and the upcoming showcase, it is time to do the first mock draft of the season here! This season has the benefit of the G-League Ignite team showcasing some of the preeminent draftees-to-be against NBA-level talent.
The race for the top five picks in this draft is fierce. The picture of the top 10 teams in the Western Conference has solidly taken form, with a 3.0 game cushion between the 10th seeded Memphis Grizzlies and the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder. In the Eastern Conference, the bottom three teams are more than clear at his point. There is plenty of season left but for now, we are as clear as we can be.
Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley and Jonathan Kuminga highlight a major draft class. It is time for Mock NBA Draft 1.0.
For the sake of this exercise, we will be taking the mock NBA draft order based on the standings at the All-Star break. Almost every team has played half of their games and the trade deadline has not yet passed to set up who the true buyers and sellers are and if draft picks are changing hands.
We will also be projecting fit as the best as we can. Sometimes that fit is whether or not the level of readiness fits the level of readiness for the roster they are headed to is ready to compete. In other places, where the team is ready to compete for something more than ping pong balls, the fit will be about the actual current roster.
Without further ado, we start with the team who had the top pick last season.