Most of the country has now decided if they are going to turn pro, enter the transfer portal, stick around at their current school for another year of eligibility, or a combination of both. In today’s college basketball landscape, all options are on the table.
With some of the biggest names declaring over the last week or so, here is an updated top 10 NBA mock draft, assuming the lottery pans out as numerically expected.
1. Chet Holmgren, Houston Rockets
The new unicorn has been at the top of draft boards all season. He was the number one overall prospect coming out of high school, and he did plenty to impress the scouts in his first year at Gonzaga.
As it appears, that one season will be his last in Spokane as he enters the NBA. His lack of physicality is definitely a concern, but his other abilities for a seven-footer are too impressive to pass up. He’s an elite shot-blocker in the paint and he can stretch the floor, which is every modern NBA franchise’s dream.
Jalen Green needs a partner, and Chet will go number one, and he’ll produce.
2. Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic
The Magic are in a bit of a pickle with a lot of young players and more to come. They’re going to have to figure out who they want to build around.
Cole Anthony and Franz Wagner have been their best young stars and are most likely to be around for the long haul. Jalen Suggs also can’t be ruled out after just one season with the Magic.
Jonathan Isaac has had one too many injuries over the last few seasons, and he may be moved on. The Magic need a bigger forward who can stretch the floor to create one on one opportunities for their guards. Banchero brings that, and his March Madness performances have placed him above fellow floor-stretcher Jabari Smith.
3. Jabari Smith, Detroit Pistons
Cade Cunningham was electric as a bigger guard, and Smith will complete a very dangerous duo. He’s big and long and can impact the game on the defensive end much more than Cunningham can, and he’s also probably a better three-point shooter than Cunningham already, even at his size.
Smith is a great athlete and showed his fight to score on every possession as he improved all season long at Auburn. He turned the Tigers into a winning program, and I wouldn’t be shocked if alongside Cunningham, he did the same in Detroit.
4. Shaedon Sharpe, Oklahoma City Thunder
No one really knows quite what to make of Sharpe as we haven’t seen him play against top talent yet really in a full season. Sharpe enrolled at Kentucky early after reclassifying as the top recruit in the nation.
Joining the Kentucky Wildcats in the middle of the season, it was decided that he wouldn’t suit up in games, with the idea that he may return to play a season under John Calipari. But, that wouldn’t be the case, as Sharpe declared for the draft and discussed his plans for going pro.
He’s an elite-level scorer at 6’6”, which is awfully big for a guard.
His scoring will be much needed to more conservative playmakers Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
5. Keegan Murray, Indiana Pacers
The Pacers acquired Tyrese Haliburton from Sacramento and will be looking to build around him as well as last year’s first-rounder Chris Duarte. Though they do have Myles Turner, they’re missing a forward who can shoot, which they didn’t really have with Domantas Sabonis before he was shipped out to the west coast.
Murray is one of the best shooters in the draft and was one of the leading scorers in all of college basketball last season. He showed vast improvement and his scoring is what they’ll need for Haliburton to rack up some insane assist numbers.
6. AJ Griffin, Portland Trail Blazers
There are a lot of guard options here for the Blazers, but I’m not so sure they want to select a guard. They have Damian Lillard, who though they may trade down the road in a rebuild, is still on the roster. They also have some other young guards to fill that void in the lineup.
Griffin gives them a bit more size and a lot more shooting. He came on late for Duke as one of the best shooters in the country. He’s absolutely knockdown from anywhere on the court in catch-and-shoot situations, and if he can develop a Klay Thompson-like game, he’ll be worth this sixth overall selection.
7. Jaden Ivey, Sacramento Kings
Nobody really knows what direction the Kings are trying to go in with their current roster, and that includes Sacramento’s front office as well it seems. Fox has voiced his displeasure on a number of occasions and it may be time for him to force a move out of one of the worst franchises in professional sports.
Ivey can be the new guard, a scorer, and an athlete who can get the fans excited about the future. He’s a jump-off-the-page prospect who wants to win, and that’s all that Sacramento cares about right now as their playoff drought continues to roll on.
8. Tyty Washington, New Orleans Pelicans
This is a match made in heaven for both parties. New Orleans has built themselves into a respectable team with the CJ McCollum trade, as they partner his abilities with Brandon Ingram, and hopefully next year, Zion Williamson.
All they’re missing is a ball-handling point guard that can take some attention off the other top talents, and find the open man when needed. Washington can do all of that and more, and he’ll be the perfect fit for a team needing his skill set.
9. Bennedict Mathurin, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are kind of in no man’s land, with many of their recent early selections having underperformed as of now. They have a lot of needs and they must fill their holes quickly before budding All-Star Dejounte Murray becomes frustrated.
Mathurin is a risky pick, but his elite scoring skill is what the Spurs need to reignite themselves. They need a big hit in this year’s draft, and Mathurin was surely one of college basketball’s most electric players all year.
10. Johnny Davis, Washington Wizards
Much like the Spurs, the Wizards are in a bit of a pickle. Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert haven’t shown their full potential quite yet, and they need a big hit if they want to avoid another abysmal season, which may be in store regardless for next year.
Davis is a fiery prospect and he can impact the game in many different ways. He’s a fantastic guard-rebounder, and he’s great at finding the open man. He’s also great at getting to the free-throw line for free points which is essential in today’s game.
This can be Davis’s team, and it’s going to need to be, for both parties, if they want to find some success.
11. Jalen Duren, New York Knicks
12. Jeremy Sochan, Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Ochai Agbaji, Charlotte Hornets
14. Ousmane Dieng, Cleveland Cavaliers
15. Mark Williams, Charlotte Hornets
16. Jaden Hardy, Atlanta Hawks
17. Tari Eason, Houston Rockets
18. Jean Montero, Chicago Bulls
19. Kendall Brown, Minnesota Timberwolves
20. Dyson Daniels, San Antonio Spurs
21. MarJon Beauchamp, Denver Nuggets
22. Malaki Branham, Memphis Grizzlies
23. Blake Wesley, Brooklyn Nets
24. Harrison Ingram, Milwaukee Bucks
25. Patrick Baldwin, San Antonio Spurs
26. E.J. Liddell, Dallas Mavericks
27. Trevor Keels, Miami Heat
28. Nikola Jovic, Golden State Warriors
29. Walker Kessler, Memphis Grizzlies
30. Kennedy Chandler, Oklahoma City Thunder
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