Podcat 49: Mock Draft, Cade Cunningham goes One, Jalen Suggs could be Rising?

First Pick The Detroit Pistons select Cade Cunningham 

The consensus number one overall pick is Cade Cunningham.

Cade scored 20.1 points per game on 43.8% from the field and 40% from three. Grabbed 6.2 rebounds a game and dished out 3.5 assists a game. 

He is the obvious choice at number one. Cade is very skilled on the offensive end with tremendous size. Standing at 6’8 and playing the point guard position is impressive, then adding the fact he is NBA ready, he is destined for great things in the NBA. 

Second Pick the Houston Rockets select Evan Mobley 

Like I’ve stated in previous podcasts, I don’t like the idea of drafting bigs. You can get bargain bin-free agents that do the same thing for a cheaper price.

But let me say, Evan Mobley, is not your typical big. He averaged 16.4 points per game on 57.8% from the field and 30% from three. He grabbed 8.7 rebounds a game and blocked 2.9 shots a game.

He offers a unique skill set for a big as he’s a force on the offensive end. He’s very crafty and has shown some good handles for a big his size.

Houston is not in a position to pick by position, they have to pick the best available player here, and Mobley is that guy. This gives them the flexibility to cash out on the gem that became Christian Wood, for maybe a wing.

Third Pick the Cleveland Cavaliers select Jalen Green

Jalen Green is easily one of my favorite players in this draft. Of course next to Jalen Suggs. I’m very high on Green because of his scoring potential, along with his potential to be a primary ball-handler and isolation scorer.

Green opted to skip college and join the pro ranks right out of high school as he joined the G-League Ignite. In the G-League, he averaged an impressive 17.9 points per game on 46.1% from the field and 36.5% from three. He also grabbed 4.1 rebounds a game and dished out 2.8 assists as well.

It sounds like the Cavs are opting to build around Darius Garland and are looking to trade Collin Sexton to a new home. Jalen Green would come in right away and make an impact next to Garland. I think together they could become one of the most feared scoring duos in the league someday.

Fourth Pick the Toronto Raptors select Jalen Suggs

Jalen Suggs is my favorite player in the draft. From his amazing game-winner in the NCAA tournament against UCLA, it seems inevitable that this kid becomes amazing. 

Suggs averaged 14.4 points per game on 50.3% from the first and 33.7% from three. He also grabbed 5.3 rebounds a game and dished out 4.5 assists, while also nabbing 1.9 steals a game.

Suggs offers the Raptors Kyle Lowry’s replacement. I believe Suggs will be the starter on day one, and he should fit in really well next to Fred VanVleet, and Pasacl Siakam.

Fifth Pick the Orlando Magic select Scottie Barnes

Scottie Barnes is another player I’m very high on. His stats do not tell you the full story. Barnes is tremendous on the defensive end, and I think something that gravitates scouts towards him, is his overall passion for basketball. He plays with his heart on his sleeve and that should excite any scout.

Barnes averaged 10.3 points per game on 50.3% from the field and 27.5% from three. He grabbed 4 rebounds and dished out a team-high, 4.1 assists a game.

I’m not doing comparisons for every rookie, but this one is too easy. He reminds me a lot of Draymond and he will have his handprints all over the game, even if the stats don’t say so.

Sixth Pick the Oklahoma City Thunder select Jonathan Kuminga

Jonathan Kuminga is a very interesting player to me. He, like Green, opted to skip college and turn pro right away. He played on the G-League Ignite alongside Green. He offers raw athleticism and the potential to be a very special player.

The Thunder acquires the services of Kuminga to pair alongside their two building blocks in Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and Lu Dort. Kuminga averaged 15.8 points per game on 38.7% from the field, and 24.6% from three. He also grabbed 7.2 boards a game.

The stats are not on Kuminga’s side. He has poor shot IQ and an inconsistent jumper. With his unique combination of size and speed, I’d definitely like to see him take better advantage of that to get to the cup more often. Regardless, Kuminga’s upside is far too great for the Thunder to pass up.

Seventh Pick the Golden State Warriors select Moses Moody

Moses Moody is an exciting player for sure. I was having trouble choosing between James Bouknight and Moody. Ultimately I chose Moody because of his jumper and his size.

Moody scored 16.8 points per game on 42.7% from the field, and 35.8% from three. He also grabbed 5.8 rebounds a game.

What sets Moody apart from the rest of the off guards in the class is his 6’6 height and his 7’1 wingspan. This tells me he offers the potential to be a nice three and D wing that can hold his own on the perimeter. Someone that can contribute right away off the bench next to Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.

Eighth Pick the Orlando Magic select James Bouknight

James Bouknight is a very good scorer. He has good size at 6’5 and can handle the ball. His jumper was inconsistent at the college level, and his free throw suggests he’s better than a 29% shooter. He dazzled scouts with his shooting display during the combine so there is hope for an effective, consistent jumper. Although I did notice a slight hitch in his jumper, I think he should be okay.

Bouknight averaged 18.7 points per game on 44.7% from the field, and 29.3% from three. He grabbed 5.7 rebounds as well.

Bouknight is a pure scorer who would fit right away with the Orlando Magic. They desperately need any kind of talent and Bouknight could be that guy for them. The Magic need any type of scoring after giving up Nikola Vucevic.

Ninth Pick the Sacramento Kings select Keon Johnson

Keon Johnson is one of the best athletes in the class. His defense and his IQ are definitely what gets him into the top 10. At 6’5, he is more of a shooting guard, but with his defense, he can definitely hold his own on as a small forward.

Johnson averaged 11.3 points per game on 44.9% from the field and 27.1% from three. 

The Kings will take Johnson because of his potential. They don’t need a scoring wing because De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton can take on the scoring load. Both of their playmaking ability should help Johnson ease into the NBA as well.

Tenth Pick the New Orleans Pelicans select Josh Giddey

Josh Giddey is one of the most interesting players in the draft. As a overseas player playing in Australia, he stands as a 6’8 point guard. He easily towers over a majority of the opposing guards and has tremendous playmaking abilities.

Giddey averaged 10.9 points per game on 42.7% from the field and 29.3% from three. He also grabbed 7.4 rebounds a game and dished out 7.5 assists a game as well. 

The Pelicans take Giddey because of the surrounding uncertainty with Lonzo Ball. With Zo eying out of the Swamps of New Orleans, Giddey immediately comes in as his replacement. With Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Jaxson Hayes, Giddey could thrive. That’s a lot of weapons for him to pass to. Especially with Giddey’s size, which will help him see over defenses.

Eleventh Pick the Charlotte Hornets select Kai Jones

One of the positions of need for the Hornets is a big man. LaMelo Ball needs a big man to work with. Kai Jones fits that bill very well. Standing at 6’11, Jones should fit really well next to Melo. Especially with a good, smooth jumper as well.

Jones will be drafted on potential due to his shooting ability and his athleticism. He averaged 8.8 points per game on 58% from the field and 38.2% from three. 

Although his rebounding and defense were nothing to write home about, his potential and athleticism are definitely intriguing enough for the Hornets to take a flyer on him. Especially with the lack of front-court depth they have.

Twelfth Pick the San Antonio Spurs select Franz Wagner

With his brother Mo Wagner already in the NBA, Franz Wagner should know what to expect. Wagner offers the Spurs a small forward with really good size at 6’9. He has a nice smooth jump shot and he can play a bit of the point forward because of his playmaking abilities.

Wagner averaged 12.5 points per game on 56.3% from the field and 34.3% from three. He also grabbed 6.5 rebounds a game and dished out 3 assists a game. 

Wagner should fit nicely into the Spurs system. With his size, he would likely have to play the power forward position but that shouldn’t be much of a problem. I think Wagner’s jumper, and playmaking definitely make him an interesting fit, as well as a smart player to add into the Greg Popovic system.

Thirteenth Pick the Indiana Pacers select Ziaire Williams

Ziaire Williams offers the Pacers a good sized guard/wing that stands at 6’8. Although he isn’t the most polished scorer in the draft, his athleticism and potential make him an interesting player for the Pacers. The Pacers are a fringe playoff team and are likely closer to blowing it up than competing. Williams can come in, learn for a bit, and eventually take over as the starters leave.

Williams averaged 10.7 points per game on 42.7% from the field and 29.1% from three. He was also able to grab 4.6 rebounds a game. 

Williams should fit in right away. The Pacers have always been known for stifling defense and with Williams size, he should be able to become a good defender. With TJ Warren on the outs, Williams may be able to carve out a nice little role for himself next season. 

Fourteenth Pick the Golden State Warriors select Davion Mitchell

The final pick in the draft lottery will be Davion Mitchell for me. I think the Warriors pick him up because of his defense and his work ethic. His size is a concern, as he is listed at 6’2. But he gives me Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell vibes. His ability to create his own shots like Donovan is impressive. Seeing the two side by side in comparison shots is where it gets weird. Their moves are very very similar. But Davion will make his money on the defensive end. The IQ is there. I think he may have trouble against bigger players, but for the most part, I think he can hold his own.

Mitchell averaged 14 points per game a game on 51.1% from the field, 37.6% from three, and 64.1% from the charity stripe on the National Champion Baylor squad. 

One of the main concerns that I have with Davion, is his jump shot. Yes the percentage from three is good, but often the free throw percentage tells more than the three. It could mean his jumper this season was a fluke as that was his best season from three in his college career. But either way, he would be a very nice fit off the bench for the Warriors as they try and rebuild their bench to what it once was in the past.

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