Last week, we brought you our Mock Draft 1.0, looking at picks 1-7. This week, in Mock Draft 2.0, we round out the lottery looking at picks 8-14.
8. Sacramento Kings – Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona: The word coming out of Kings camp is that the franchise wants a guy that can help their team win, either now, in the future, or both. My sources tell me that GM Pete D’Allesandro really values players who can help the team on either offense, defense, or both. Things can change as we get closer to draft day, but for now, based on that scoop, my hunch is they land on Arizona’s Gordon.
9. Charlotte Bobcats – Gary Harris, SG, Michigan St.: From what I’m hearing, all internal draft deliberations keep circling back to one fact: Gerald Henderson is terrible at shooting and Michael Jordan refuses to watch it anymore. While it will be tough to pass on Noah Vonleh if he falls this far, Jordan hating watching Henderson shoot tilts this pick to the sweet-stroked Harris.
10. Philadelphia 76ers – Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana: In our initial mock draft, despite GM Sam Hinkie absolutely loathing him as a basketball player, we had the Sixers taking Duke F Jabari Parker, for fear of peer ridicule. Unfortunately, for the Sixers top guy, it seems that the same situation plays out here. While I’m hearing that Hinkie sees Vonleh as the most overrated prospect in this year’s field, and that the Sixers numbers guys deem him an early second round value, if he falls this far, I hear that Hinkie will snatch him up simply to avoid being on the receiving end of one of R.C. Buford’s notorious smack-talk group emails.
11. Denver Nuggets – Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan: From the people I’m talking to in Denver – some of my best and most trusted friends in the world – this pick could go a couple ways: Either the team will try to get bigger or smaller, will try to speed up or slow down, will try to tighten the clamps on D or add some new dimensions on O. Given this, all signs point to Stauskas.
12. Orlando Magic – Zach LaVine, PG, UCLA: Last week, I was there when Magic GM Rob Hennigan watched the freakishly athletic LaVine work out at Athletes’ Assault Achievement Apex, a private workout facility in Chicago, and Hennigan’s jaw was on the floor. Literally, something terribly strange happened and Hennigan’s jaw became unhinged. It was really freaky and looked incredibly painful. I’ll never quite shake the image or the sounds he was making.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse: The Johnny Flynn Redemption Project.
14. Phoenix Suns – James Young, SG, Kentucky: My sources are telling me that this pick comes down to one word, three times, all capitalized: Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemistry. After the Suns surprising success this past season, the front office doesn’t want to disrupt the team’s Chemistry. In fact, word is, in lieu of workouts, they’re actually just having prospects play video games and crack jokes at the Morris twins’ apartment. From the time I spent with him at the Combine, I can tell you James Young is a very chill and hilarious guy.
Check back for Mock Draft 3.0 soon.