Cleaner more organized column: https://forums.operationsports.com/forums/nba-2k-basketball/952639-stakzz-mock-draft-2-0-w-team-analysis.html#post2049784283 Email: [email protected] personal: [email protected] Twitter: mr.12thhouse submitted by
This is all opinionated and should be taken with a grain of salt. I am a member of Operation Sports Forum and for my community work I have received free/early releases from 2K Games. I will not be making anymore rosters nor draft classes this year per my current agreement w/ 2K sports. June and July are almost here and I am getting hives from being less involved than my previous years. So i bring to you a very thought out Summary of what i would like to see draft night.
The NBA Draft is far from perfect, while I do like the new Lottery system that went into effect this year, I just do not believe it can be perfect until GM's start drafting on team needs rather than chase the best available. Format: The top three teams will have more detailed information on their current rosters and why I believe they will draft such player. The first two paragraphs of every breakdown explains team & draftee needs, while the last two paragraphs express the strengths and weaknesses of those players. Next to each team i will note important players whos status effects how their team moves this July! 1. New Orleans - Zion Williamson (Anthony Davis) [22ppg 8rpg 2apg 68%FG 33%3PT] New Orleans best fit:
David Griffin is going to need to start their rebuilding process as if Davis is already gone. Drafting in hopes of bringing a big name to New Orleans as in incitative to change Davis’s mind will only result in another GM losing their job. If i was David Griffin i would only have two choices on draft night: Draft the biggest name, or draft your future offensive leader. For this i would be looking at Williamson vs Morant. Of course the likelihood of being fired becomes greater if Griffin selects Morant over Williamson. If the pelicans decide to draft Williamson, their focus will be on acquiring the right assets to play with Williamson. Don’t worry, whoever drafts Williamson will have four years and 8 expected draft picks where they will be looking to add height and floor spacing bigs. Williamson best fit:
(A team with expandable shooters and length, A primary ball handler to help Williamson get to his spots) Williamson will be a great player. But due to his laundry list of weaknesses, Williamson needs to be treated as a centerpiece from day one. Williamson will need to be surrounded by 3-4 Shooters. I’d prefer 4 as I don’t see him developing a jump shot the way Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum did the summer before his rookie season. Playing Williamson at the 3 leaves a huge offensive disadvantage, while playing him at the 4 leaves a huge height disadvantage. Playing with a 4-5 like Anthony Davis will be tremendous for Williamson, but 7 foot shooters don’t grow on trees, so trying to find 4 shooters who can play with an undersized forward won’t be easy. Williamson developing an outside shot allows him to move to the 3 spot and add some height to the front court.
- GM David Griffin along with the rest of the NBA execs had absolutely no plan for Zion since currently he is the projected #1 overall pick. Boston Celtics GM, Danny Ainge may have helped New Orleans start their rebuilding process off with a kick. By David Griffin waiting until the offseason to move Davis, that gave way to a potential trade with New York for what was believed to be the #1 overall. Now David Griffin has the best shot at Williamson as well as a trade asset in Davis where they can use Zion to convince Davis to resign or simply move the six time All-Star before the midseason trade deadline. New Orleans needs to draft as if Davis is gone. That means they need to gain a centerpiece whether that's Williamson or assets from the preestablished Davis trade. Free agents aren't knocking at David Griffin's door, New Orleans must become a free agent destination if they want to make it back to a top 8 team of the western conference.
Highly anticipated recruit with an admirable on and off the court attitude. Williamson’s humility is part of the reasons why we believe he can be a great player. He looks as if he wants to learn while Coach K has complimented his ability to be coached. Averaging 2.1spg and an added 1.8 rejections, Williamson height will not be a liability in today’s small-ball NBA lineups. Williamson can jump as high as you can shoot. Weighing more than most boxing heavyweight champions, your only hope at beating Williamson at the rim is to get past him and even still Williamson has the lateral quickness and defensive IQ to anticipate lane attacks. This unique combination is something that we have never seen in this association. Williamsons body allows him to guard the top four positions in today's NBA. Elite defense coupled with his offensive skill-set: being able to put the ball on the floor, willingness to take outside shots, high motor, willingness to initiate contact rather than avoid it like his other draft constituents. Williamsons game and his early attitude towards the game is a desired mold for the perfect NBA player. Cons:
While I do believe in the Williamson ceiling debate, the current consensus in regards to his floor should be more concerning. Any avid stat-junkie knows that the NBA adds an inch. Maybe two. Player measurements are vital as often High School coaches boost their players heights on online stat sites for HS Hoops. I like to callout real measurements and want to express in no way am I 'Williamson biased'. At 6 foot 6, 280lbs Williamson's potential is as high as the level of activity his body can endure. Although Williamson will be a great player, GM’s can be fired for the players they pass up on draft night (including David Griffin if he chooses to not draft the all-american). Sam Bowie, Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, Anthony Bennett, and Lonzo Ball are prime examples why GM’s with top picks could be more conservative. I believe Williamson has the biggest bust factor comparable and maybe even worse than Sam Bowie. I’m not saying that there is Michael Jordan level talent stashed away somewhere in this draft, but considering Williamson is the most anticipated draftee since Lebron James… Williamson has big shoes to fill if he can prevent breaking through them. Compared to future All-Star Ben Simmons who did not shoot jumpshots at the collegiate level, Williamson also lacks a reliable jumper but has not been afraid to show that part of his game. As i stated, Williamson puts the ball on the ground, but his movement w/ the ball is one-sided. Nba defenders will abuse this weakness by giving a poor shooter room to shoot, while elite defenders like Kawhi & Jimmy Butler will play to Williamson’s inability to switch hands when handling the ball. While ball handling and a jumpshot can be taught, at his height and weight what worries me is his ability to play season after season, 82 games - 48 minutes. Without a serious conditioning program, Williamson will not play an 82 game rookie season. Williamson’s iconic “through the shoe” Injury was painful to watch. Not because the number one college player in the country looked to have suffered a lower-body muscle injury, but due to Williamson’s muscle mass. That same injury would have not happened to a player with a lesser muscle. Lebron James sometimes plays at the weight of 260lbs+ and yet I do not think that James would have missed time do to an injury of that nature. Any nba player would kill to have Williamsons natural athleticism. So quick off his feet at nearly 300lbs of pure muscle, while other players like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant don’t need the extra muscle to be effective on the offensive end. 2. Memphis - Ja Morant (Mike Conley Chandler Parsons) [24ppg 5rpg 10apg 45%FG 36%3P]
Memphis Best Fit: With Conley & Parsons accounting for nearly 45% of the Grizzlies player payroll and only scoring a combined 28ppg - 27% of the teams scoring - I am either smelling a trade or another GM vacancy. Conley becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021 making a fully guaranteed $22,426,383 while Parsons is serving a 25% max bid ending after the 2020 season where he will make a fully guaranteed $25,102,511. We all thought the that Memphis could compete with their big three of Conley, Parsons and Gasol (all respectable pros) but with injuries and trades, Memphis will be looking to use their assets to start their rebuilding process. Mike Conley can be considered a “win-now” facilitator. His veteran status is more treasured to a contending team so look for a possible outing for the 11-year vet from Ohio State. Ja Morant Best Fit:
Morant will have success on any team that selects him. While for personal reasons i’d like to see him in New York - or any team that’s well into their rebuilding process - Morant will make family with the Grizzlies other younglings. Morant is a player who can give you the same attitude, the same level of production whether he is the best player on the team or a backup option. Morant will feed his teammates, It’s up to them to knock down the shot. Morant will need high-motor bigs like Montrezl Harrell, guys who catch lobs out of the pick and roll. Pros:
Morant has NBA-level Point guard skills. The type of skills guards struggle to develop during the development years coined the ‘rookie contract’. There is misconception that young passive players can grow into a high-motor. This is untrue. Guys like Russell Westbrook, Draymond Green, Pascal Siakam all have a unique high-motor level of play unforeseen and unlike any previous association players. While I don’t compare Westbrook to Morant as their skillsets are very different, Understand that you get what you get when it comes to a players hustle and motor. This is the NBA, everyone plays their motor to a 100%, some players are just working with bigger engines. Taking that into account, if you draft Morant, you are getting something unique you may not get from his 59 other constituents this draft. As far as skillset goes, Morant can play in multiple styles when it comes to a point guard's role. Morant can run the offense through his own scoring, and while he can play a passive facilitator role, Morant is at his best with a mixture of scoring and assisting. His ability to shoot, draws defenders closer to the perimeter. What we usually see from collegiate shooters when defenders close in on the perimeter, they tend to launch bad shots or pass out to a teammate. With Morant, his elite quickness and ball-handling allowed him to get by defenders all season long often leading to primary and secondary help defenders closing in resulting in a foul at the rim or an open jump shot off an assist. Morant’s willingness to attack the basket puts defenders in a guessing situation. Morant has not shown us any terribly exploitable kinks in his game so far. Cons:
Most of Morant’s points came from the foul line and inside the arc. If your name is not Kevin Durant, you can not ignore that the midrange is a bad shot to take. Morant will have to put on some muscle if he wants to continue attacking the basket against NBA level defenders. Morant has the attitude of a champion. Not a complement, due to Williamson being in this draft, he and Morant will be forever compared. So in comparing their attitudes, I wouldn't mind having a guy on my team with an attitude similar to Morant’s, it is clear he wants to win. Often times Morant displayed his frustration on the court with himself and his teammates. Players known for their unsavory attitudes like Kyrie Irving, Westbrook and Dray Green cause trouble in the locker room. Morant just like these NBA vets, needs to realize it’s not your job to discipline or ridicule teammates for taking bad shots. The coach will explain why the shot was a bad shot and what they can do to get to a higher percentage shot. Your job as a facilitator of the offense is to put your guys in positions where they already have a good chance to make it. For this reason, I would rather have humility in my locker room which is the attitude you get when drafting Williamson. Continuing… Murray State! I’m not knocking on Murray State, I loved the Isaiah Canaan years. One of the best shooters to play at the college level, But guys like Isaiah Canaan & Washington’s Markelle Fultz are clear indications of what happens when Point Guards play for teams with weaker regular season opponents. I believe Duke’s Barrett could still be a #1 or #2 overall pick if he had a team where the entire offensive scheme is run through him. So yes the team you play for does affect your play which in terms can boost your draft rating which is an overall assessment that ranks you among your constituents. If Morant is truly a 3-star recruit, his play at Murray State aligned him with the 5 star recruits of his class. Who is to say that this would be the case if he played for Arizona, Kentucky or North Carolina. By numbers Morant would be the consensus for the number one pick, but due to Williamsons potential, whether or not Morant is better or will be better does not matter. Williamson has showed his weaknesses, shown us that he can play against the highest level of competition, but as far as Morant, he will have to continue to prove that come July. 3. New York - RJ Barrett (DeAndre Jordan) [22ppg 7rpg 4apg 45%FG 30%3PT]
NY Best Fit: NY currently has no identity. No style of play. By trading away Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks avoided having to give out a max guaranteed rookie contract extension and in return they gained a $22m DeAndre Jordan who becomes an unrestricted free agent this July. Nearly 50% of the Knicks player payroll ($59M) is tied into dead cap from guys who they recieve zero production from, coupled with the expiring Jordan, the Knicks will retain more than $90m (65% of team salary). By obtaining a 2nd year Dennis Smith Jr. NY will have a better chance of attracting free agents this offseason and considering the future RFA Smith won’t be crossing off the checklist to a max extension in 2021, The knicks look to be in a very good financial situation If they can spend that $90M this offseason. The Knicks should be looking to draft in the 2,4 and 5 spots. The stars that they will need to turn around the franchise won’t be found in this draft. Draft the best available at those positions and hope that the FA you bring in can influence the draftees production. RJ Barrett Best Fit:
Towards the end of the season, we started to see that Barrett cannot be the best player on a stacked Duke team. This does not mean that he struggles playing with talent, but rather his talent is less effective when the offense is not being run through him. Similar to James Harden, Barrett’s game is his scoring ability, and when too much team responsibility is put on Barrett, he does not produce as efficiently as he does when he’s locked in scoring. For this reason, If Barrett does not step up as a facilitator or defender, you are going to want to surround him with selfless guards and bigs who can defend. I’d like to see Barrett in Memphis. Barrett won’t make his NY teammates any better, but going to a Memphis team with veterans, an identity and young guys who know their roles, Barrett could potentially make Memphis a plus .500 team. Pros:
The original consensus for #1 pick. GM’s are comfortable with drafting guys like Barrett. All GM’s understand where players are ranked with other teams so being able to get a higher rated player at a lower pick adds job security for Scott Perry even if Barrett is the worst of the top three. With above average quickness, Barrett has the length to defend. Similar to Harden who is considered a mediocre defender, Barrett will find success playing the passing lanes and switching onto NBA sized point guards. He has shown us his ability to score, leading Duke in ppg very early as a Freshman with very little added help from the three ball. While he does not possess the strength of a James Harden, I do see the potential to add some weight to his frame. Barrett is able to dribble and drive on both sides of his body, making him a more skilled attacker than his teammate Williamson. While Williamson relied on his athleticism, Barrett relies on his skillset. Being able to pull up off the dribble or drive with either hand Barrett has the tools to apply pressure on good defenders. Shooting as inefficient as Barrett did this season, to be able to have that level of point production marks his basketball IQ which may be higher than some of his “one-and-done” constituents. Cons:
As i stated Barrett is not a good defender at this stage. He has all the tools to be an elite defender, but lacks the attitude and discipline to get low and into guys space without fouling. This can change once he reaches the NBA which is less half court, less zone and more isolation play than the collegiate level. Even though Barrett shot just 2 of 6 from deep, If you sag off as a defender, he will shoot. So Barrett’s mediocre shooting should be overlooked as he has all the tools to be an elite shooter in today's association. Offensively Barrett only has his skillset and length at this moment. Although he possess above average speed and quickness, he is not considered to possess the elite athleticism that Morant & Williamson holds. Throughout the season when the defense took away his shot and his path to the basket, Barrett showed to be ineffective. When the defense removes all of your spots, you can either work harder to get to your spots or work harder to help your teammates get to their spot. When you have RJ Barrett talent understand that if you are struggling with your defender, your teammates may be struggling as well, so instead of focusing on making his next shot, Barrett needs to look to drive and kick, attract a help defender, feed the postman (no karl malone). Barrett has done this averaging 4.3 assists per contest, but on paper Barrett looks similar to Lonzo Ball who averaged 7.6 assists at UCLA while shooting less and more efficiently. I have no excuses for Guards who can’t shoot free throws. I won’t be acknowledging every player who struggled at the freebie line, but i find it miraculous how guys can feel comfortable pulling up from deep, but become a liability when they are shooting for free. 4. Los Angeles Lakers - Deandre Hunter
The Los Angeles Lakers have to win now. What better way than drafting an NCAA Tourney winner.The Lakers have three key points this offseason: Lebron James, trades and Lonzo Ball. Lebron James needs to win now, which to me foreshadows trades as I never believed the lakers could win even a participation trophy with the semi-pro roster they assembled. No one expected Ball to not live up to his hype (I did). While Ball has a high ceiling comparable to players who have led their teams to championships, he is not ready now and the Lakers could have drafted 58 other players including a Donovan Mitchell with the potential that they’d be ready to play with James now. So for this reason either Magic Johnson is fired or Ball is traded to salvage assets. If i was an NBA exec, and the Lakers were at the table, If Ball is not on the table then i'm not giving up any assets. For this reason LA is going to have to part ways with Ball or bet on drafting a guy who can make immediate improvement. Instead of trying to surround James with shooters, LA needs to look to fill out their roster and start getting rid of some guys who are hurting their chances of contending. 5. Cleveland - Cam Reddish
Cleveland can improve at the 2-5 spot with this pick. They aren't going to focus on Kevin Love, but rather continue to fill holes in their roster. Seeing as they won by drafting an underrated Colin Sexton in the previous draft, Cleveland should be drafting a two guard that can play alongside Sexton and Osman. 6. Phoenix - Darius Garland
Phoenix will look to improve at the 1. While they lack in talent at the forward spot, James Jones has four young forwards under rookie contracts. Bringing in a coach like Monty Williams who has had success with the young group in Philadelphia, the young phoenix forwards - ranging in age 20-22 - will have to develop so future draft picks can be used to fill out the bench spots. 7. Chicago - Kobi White
Chicago should be looking to improve at the point guard position in lu of attracting free agents. Kris Dunn has not lived up to his potential which awarded him a draft spot over younger and better players. Chicago should avoid drafting a big with this pick. Chicago needs to shift its focus on Boogie Cousins. Chicago has the best chance at landing Cousins after his future departure with the Warriors
*8. Atlanta - Sekou Doumbouya *
The Atlanta Hawks feels as good as any losing team could feel right about now. Well other than New Orleans. While they don’t have a top pick in a more top-heavy draft than the previous, Atlanta made one of the best picks last draft. In Trae Young, Atlanta gambled and got a guy who showed more potential in one year than guys who were drafted ahead of him. While Atlanta needs more production at the rim, Alex Len looks to be stepping into a new role. For this reason i believe Atlanta should look to improve at the 3 spot with this pick and draft Texas bigman Jaxson Hayes with the 10th pick. Taurean Prince was a member of my favorite Baylor team with Isaiah Austin back in 2013 and since Prince has been solid but not great. Prince looks to be either just about to hit his ceiling or maybe peeking over which both concerns me as he never had high potential to begin with. From Trae Young to Omari Spellman, Travis Schlenk won the lottery with every pick he made last draft. Atlanta wants to continue the hot streak by not only drafting the best player available, but also drafting good players that tend to slip on teams draft boards. 9. Washington Jarrett Culver
At this point in the draft, your not going to get the elite point guards, but Washington can settle for a combo guard this draft. While they would be better off drafting a big or forward, Washington has to be looking past the John Wall era. Wall has been good for jersey sales, but back in 2016 Wall along with Grunfeld could not attract FA Kevin Durant who grew up close to the DC area. Drafting a combo guard gives Wall assurance that this is his franchise, while if they lose Wall or Beal in the next four years, at least they have the second best combo guard of the 2019 draft. 10. Atlanta (from Dallas) - Jaxson Hayes
Not much to put here, Atlanta will be select 3-5 considering they need to give Huerter and Young room to develop. Considering bigs are not at the top of this top heavy draft, Atlanta will find more success with using this latter pick to select a big that no one would have taken as high as their first pick (#8) 11. Minnesota - Tyler Herro/ Brandon Clarke
Scott Layden and the Minnesota staff has been some of the most patient losers. I’m sure the players aren’t happy, but Minnesota feels comfortable in the current position they're in with their young guys. Wiggins gets a $25M max. The same will happen with Karl Anthony-Towns come July when he signs his 5-year $158M rookie max extension. It’s hard to have a good attitude when your losing 4-5 years in a row, but when you are getting paid $100M to lose, that’s gotta be a pretty happy loss. So while Minnesota does not have the allure the a Los Angeles does, Wiggins and KAT should have no trouble attracting big name free agents. Layden will look to spend his #11 lottery ticket to improve at the 4 or the 1 position. Jeff Teague expressed his $20M option to run through 2020, So If Minnesota cashes in on a 4, they’ll can move Teague before the trade deadline. Teague will become the third highest paid player while being the 5th highest scoring Wolf this season.
*12. Charlotte - Romeo Langford *
Charlotte cant bet on Kemba Walker taking their money. At this point they should be looking at how they can help Malik Monk produce for them the way he did for Kentucky. Monk dropping 20+ points per game will be enough to attract free agents in the future. Charlotte will look to improve at the 1-3 with this pick. And at this stage the best guards available: Kevin Porter & Langford are both combo guards that lack strong PG skills. 13. Miami - PJ Washington
Miami is the one team in the lottery in which needs help at every position. Miami will be hoping Culver or Garland slips as they could use a PG, but if Miami is selecting the best player available, that won't be a PG. Miami has very little money as they built their team around expiring bigman Whiteside. Although Whiteside had a terrifying run offensively and defensively dominating the NBA, it came at the worse time. Future bigs are going to need to have perimeter skills to go along with their bully ball. For this reason i like Bol Bol coupled with Adebayo, but Miami will avoid drafting a 5 and instead look to develop Bam Adebayo into a floor stretching big. So expect a trade or Andy Elisburg filling out the roster by drafting in the 2-4 positions with this pick. 14. Boston - Rui Hachimura (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)
The Boston Celtics do not have needs that can be fulfilled with a #14 draft pick, unless there is another greek freak i haven’t heard about lurking around in this draft. The C’s are going to be looking to add an asset at any position. If the pick is not traded, expect for Boston to select the best available. While the C’s won’t lose both their primary facilitators, they will lose one come July and at this point in the draft any PG taken will be seen as a backup with maybe starter potential. For these reasons the best available will be Kevin Porter, although considering the current issues with the C’s team morale and Porter’s off and on the court issues, Danny Ainge for sure has Nassir Little & Rui Hachimura higher on his draft board.
Feel free to share your opinions here or at OS Forum. Mock Draft 2.0 Will include possible picks for the remainder of the first round, as well as players who i believe will slip on draft day.
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