2020 Official NBA Mock Draft Featuring Coach Trager and LordTreeSap

The Lakers hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy less than six weeks ago, the NBA Draft is less than 48 hours away and its November, the season is getting ready to tip off in just over a month, but at this point it is par for the course when it comes to 2020.

The 2020 draft class has garnered a middling reputation, but will be stronger as the round goes on with solid depth. With a ton of unpredictability at the top, there’s still no consensus No. 1 overall pick as the time continues to tick on Minnesota. We’ve already seen a ton of wheeling and dealing in the league, which doubles as an Academy Award-winning drama when the off-season rolls around.

Luckily for you, Brandon “Coach T” Trager and LordTreeSap are here to walk you through the entire lottery for Wednesday’s NBA Draft. Take a look at our predictions and keep it locked on the Daily Mix Report for draft coverage from LTS, while Trager lives the life of luxury in the green room with Obi Toppin.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Coach T: LaMelo Ball, Australia

The most mysterious, yes unmysterious, tantalizing prospect of the draft. If you’re a hoops fan, we all remember what seems like yesterday a young freshman LaMelo pullin’ up from half court in video clips gone viral. Fast forward a few years, LaMelo is a 6’7″ do-it-all PG. I am beyond happy LaVar has shut his mouth and just let his boys have a normal professional career. It was funny at first, but it got old pretty quick.

However, I will give him credit, he said LaMelo would go No. 1, and be the best of the three Ball brothers. He’s made a lot of promises that have yet to come true, but it’s amazing that some of them have. In a draft with no certain No. 1 pick, LaMelo may have the best upside with his size and playmaking ability. Just like big bro Lonzo, he looks to make everyone around him better. I’m not sure how the Ball – Russell Dynamic will look, but if he pans out, a two-guard backcourt alongside KAT doesn’t sound too shabby. I see the Wolves going Ball here.

LordTreeSap: Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Anthony Edwards has been billed as the top prospect for months now, so I don’t think the Wolves will ultimately pass up on the opportunity to pair him with D’Angelo Russell for an explosive back court and potential big three forming with Karl-Anthony Towns. During his best moments, AE looks like a young James Harden without the elite court vision, but a bulldog going to the rim just like the school he reps.

NBA Draft 2020: Anthony Edwards Opens Up on His Surreal Experience With  Michael Jordan and Golden State Warriors - EssentiallySports

2. Golden State Warriors

Coach T: James Wiseman, Memphis

Let me rant quick then I’ll stop, WHY DO THE WARRIORS NEED TO GET REWARDED AT 2!? Yeah, it stinks their two studs were essentially out for the season, but the NBA Gods hand them the No. 2 pick, when the Knicks can’t catch a break. Ok I’m done. The Warriors need a big, and Wiseman offers the best upside. 7+ footer, incredibly athletic, and will eventually step out and shoot, he may be the gem of this draft. Steph, Klay, Wiggins, Green, Wiseman, yeah, the Western Conference forgot about the Warriors. Here we go…

LordTreeSap: James Wiseman, Memphis

This is the layup of the draft. GSW has played it coy as a contender picking at the top of the draft who would probably prefer to flip the pick and assets for a third star alongside the Splash Brothers. If that doesn’t come to fruition, the athletic rim-running Wiseman gives the Dubs another weapon at their disposal and an inside presence they’ve lacked.

James Wiseman Says He Would Be A Great Fit With The Golden State Warriors –  Fadeaway World

3. Charlotte Hornets

Coach T: Anthony Edwards, Georgia

If Edwards slips to three, there’s no way the Hornets can pass up on him. If you look at this dude in a uniform, you may think he’s been in the NBA for 3-4 years. Explosive wing who can get to the rim and shoot the ball. He has that slasher wing in him looking like a young D-Wade at times. MJ may make up for all of his failed drafts with this pick here. Look for the Hornets to go with my favorite player in this year’s draft, Anthony Edwards.

LordTreeSap: Onyeka Okongwu, USC

We never know what Michael Jordan and the Hornets are going to pull when it comes to drafting, we just usually know it’s going to be the wrong decision. Onyeka has soared up draft boards as a versatile big in the mold of Bam Adebayo and everyone saw how valuable he was inside the bubble on Miami’s Finals run.

4. Chicago Bulls

Coach T: Deni Avdija, Israel

These European dudes are so hit and miss, but I feel like these have been more hits than misses of late. Basketball has really stepped up its game overseas, and you’re seeing the product translate to the NBA. Avdija is a strong 2-way player who is very experienced and has played against supreme talent.

The Bulls have a young roster, and he should fit in nicely next to Lavine, Markkanen, Carter, and some of the other Bulls young talent. I think anyone who passed up on (or traded) some guy named Luka would tell you they regret not honoring his dominance overseas. Look for the Bulls to continue to grow their young roster under new coach Billy Donovan with Deni Avdija.

LordTreeSap: LaMelo Ball, Australia

LaMelo Ball, the most polarizing prospect in this draft. You ask five different “experts” about his career trajectory and you’ll probably get five different answers. The final Ball brother has a good chance to be the best of the bunch with the way Lonzo has stumbled out of the gate. Chicago didn’t extend a qualifying offer to Kris Dunn, so a ball handler spot opens up alongside sniper Coby White to form the backcourt of the future. I’m still trying to figure out why Billy Donovan took this job though.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

Coach T: Obi Toppin, Dayton

This next player is special because I had the opportunity to be a part of his path to the NBA coaching both him and his younger brother Jacob (University of Kentucky). Obi has grown from a 6’1″ high school senior, to a 6’9″ rim-running monster. The reigning National Player of the Year may be the most “NBA ready” prospect. He is incredibly athletic, savvy in the post, and can step out and shoot the 3. He is a prototypical NBA Big.

He needs to improve his perimeter defense/lateral quickness and continue to get stronger. However, he is going to be a consistent NBA player with a long career. From knowing Obi personally, he’s one of the most likable, humble people you’ll ever meet, and everyone who comes across him loves him. Being he played for Dayton in Ohio, I don’t see him slipping past six. I don’t love this spot for him, because this is probably my least favorite team picking in the top 10. However, look for Obi to make an immediate impact wherever he goes.

LordTreeSap: Deni Avdija, Israel

I’m not going to act like I’ve watched Deni Avdija play a full game of basketball, but he’s been on the NBA’s radar for some time. Checking out his skillset, I could easily see a Danilo Gallinari type of career coming his way, which would be a win for Cleveland.

6. Atlanta Hawks

Coach T: Isaac Okoro, Auburn

Full disclosure, I hope Okoro doesn’t get picked here, because I want the Knicks to draft him. Anyway, let’s pair up the talented young hawks with an athletic versatile 2-way wing. Okoro plays hard and will be an elite NBA defender. If he can develop a jump shot, he’ll end up being the highly coveted “3 and D” stud that every NBA team is looking for. Young, Okoro, Collins and co. sounds like a nice young core to me.

NBA Draft news: Auburn star Isaac Okoro to declare for draft

LordTreeSap: Obi Toppin, Dayton

Coach T put Obi on my radar a couple years ago and he’s played his way into a bona fide top 10 pick in that time. Although he’s already 22-years-old, Toppin is a sure-fire fit at the four in the NBA with great athleticism and a capable jumper.

I still feel bad for his Dayton Flyers season being cut short; who knows when they’ll be a potential one-seed again? Atlanta could use Toppin if rumors flying are true that they plan to test the market on John Collins if the two sides can’t agree on a fair extension.

7. Detroit Pistons

Coach T: Patrick Williams, Florida State

Williams seems to be fling up draft boards as a modern NBA big. 6’8″, versatile defender who can shoot the three. The Pistons are in the midst of a rebuild and Williams may be able to learn a thing or two from Blake Griffin, who has had trouble staying on the court.

LordTreeSap: Isaac Okoro, Auburn

Okoro will be a great fit and culture changer for Detroit on the wing for a barren roster that needs a lot of help. A tenacious defender, and if his jumper comes along, he’ll be the type of versatile defense-first wing that just about every team is starving for. We just saw the Trail Blazers pay two firsts for Robert Covington this week. This pick might finally right the wrong of selecting Stanley Johnson in 2015, who I really liked coming out of Arizona.

8. New York Knicks

Coach T: Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

I can’t invest myself emotionally into the Knicks. It’s a yearly heartbreak that I can’t handle. We kill ourselves, and seemingly find no luck on our side. Mini-rant over. Let’s go with Tyrese Haliburton here, a nice combo guard who is a nice playmaker and can shoot the basketball. He plays hard and I think would be a great fit next to RJ Barrett, and in NY in general.

The Knicks have DESPERATELY needed someone to step in and man the PG position. They have a solid foundational core, and a point guard to help accelerate the rebuild would be huge. Pair Tyrese with RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks two best prospects, and we may be headed in the right direction (at least I have to say that). 

LordTreeSap: Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

Coach T and I are on the same page here. The Knicks have been searching for a point guard to power the offense since Stephon Marbury ate Vaseline on a live stream. Haliburton has won me over as a sound decision maker, explosive enough to get to and finish at the rim, and still nail his funky jumper. Sign me up to see if Tyrese can finally fill the lead guard void that has plagued us for eons.

9. Wizards

Coach T: Onyeka Okungwu, USC

Considered by some to be the best true “big man” in this draft, he is already an excellent defender and rim protector. With a healthy John Wall and Bradley Beal this year, the wizards should be an improved team. Look for them to improve their front court with Onyeka.

LordTreeSap: Patrick Williams, Florida State

When early mocks were coming out, I kept seeing Vassell as the top FSU prospect, but P-Will has shot up draft boards in recent months to become the top Seminole available. Williams is oozing with potential as a gritty, do-it-all forward on the floor who makes the right play. Boasting a nearly seven-foot wingspan and still being 18-years-old always helps as well.

10. Phoenix Suns

Coach T: Devin Vassell, Florida State

Okay Suns, no pressure. You have one of the best young talents in the league in Devin Booker who reportedly wants out. Don’t screw this up. Vassell is another one of those potential 3 and D players you can surround Booker with in order to help the Suns be successful. They have some nice young talent with Ayton. Add Vassell to the fold and see what happens.

LordTreeSap: Killian Hayes, France

Another very intriguing prospect who opted for the professional overseas route. My good friend at The Ringer Kevin O’Connor has Hayes as the top player on his big board and he should be in consideration for the Knicks as well. The push in his jump shot does scare me a bit, but he can create and has good size. What a situation this would be to walk into and learn behind Chris Paul as Phoenix makes a push for the post-season.

Why Killian Hayes Is the Best Prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft | The Restart  | The Ringer - YouTube

11. San Antonio Spurs

Coach T: Saddiq Bey, Villanova

Who knows who the Spurs will pick, but whoever they pick, will make an impact at some point, like they ALWAYS do. Bey comes from a great program in Villanova and is a nice complimentary player. He’s 6’8″ and is highly versatile on the floor. I’m sure Pop will find a creative way to make the most out of him.

LordTreeSap: Devin Vassell, Florida State

I’m always looking for 3-and-D players in the draft. Just inject them into my veins — every good team needs them to surround stars with shot making and doing the dirty work defensively. Vassell fits that mold and should be a nice fit with the Spurs. Two FSU Seminoles in the top 11 gives me a chance to just remind the people coach Lenny Hamilton has never made a Final Four.

12. Sacramento Kings

Coach T: R.J. Hampton, New Zealand

In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting players in the draft. One of the most highly rated prospects coming out of high school, Hampton took the Ball route playing overseas this past year. Hampton didn’t get to showcase much of his talent, but he sure has a lot of it. He’s raw, but if he develops, he won’t have many flaws in his game. He’d be a nice piece next to Fox as a 1-2 punch.

LordTreeSap: Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt

With the Kings moving on from Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield wanting out, Sacramento needs to find another two-guard/wing to supplement their losses and give Fox some help. Enter Vanderbilt’s Nesmith, who is the best shooter in the draft and should be a sniper in the NBA.

13. New Orleans Pelicans

Coach T: Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt

SVG! Great young core that should start to make waves soon. Let’s go with Nesmith here, who is one of the best shooters in the draft and would fit nicely next to Ball, Ingram, and Zion. Pelicans like to push the pace (whether SVG will want to or not) and this would be a great spot for him stretching the floor for Ingram and Zion to operate inside.

LordTreeSap: Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama

Goodbye Jrue Holiday, hello Kira Lewis Jr. I debated Kentucky’s Maxey here as well, but the speedster out of ‘Bama heads to the NOP. The Pelicans are in a great spot and add their potential point guard of the future here, who plays with reckless abandon when attacking the cup, if they decide to move on from Lonzo Ball.

14. Boston Celtics

Coach T: Killian Hayes, France

There’s a good chance he won’t be available here, but it’d be a nice pick here for the Celtics. He could play behind the likes of Kemba Walker, develop, and potentially be a long-term replacement down the road for Boston.

LordTreeSap: Jalen Smith, Maryland

Anyone that watched Boston knows they need help down low. Jalen Smith was a beast at Maryland. Anytime I watched him play Michigan he seemed to be a lock for a double-double and addicted to cleaning the glass. He could get away with being a smaller five if he bulks up a bit because he’s already a strong defender with a nonstop motor.

NBA Draft Broadcast Needs Overhauling

Some parts of the NBA Draft will be frustrating. We know this going in (word to Hubie Brown). There is too much time in between picks. It will likely run past the projected midnight finish. This year’s edition went past 12:30. However, so much nonsense could be avoided. Putting hats on guys when they are not going to be playing for whatever team is on their head has got to be one of the dumbest sports traditions that we have not yet ended. Why do they even need to wear these ugly hats? If getting the proper hat just can’t happen, let the guy go without one. Or, have him wear a hat with the NBA logo.

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ESPN’s SVP has bashed this hat nonsense. He also talked about not knowing what teams people were on. Although sites had the teams that players were going to, at least two did not put Michigan’s Iggy Brazdeikis with the Knicks. Sacramento’s logo was next to his name. Trades are finally announced at the podium hours later. Far from breaking news at that point. The whole thing is awkward.

SVP did not seem to agree with me on my next complaint. Tipping picks is ridiculous. Scott was probably being a company guy by not blasting Woj. Although, he praised him and laughed about it last year. This time was more of a comment about how no thesaurus had to be used because the tweets were all similar. I think the idea is moronic to begin with, but having an ESPN employee tip picks when the show is on ESPN makes it even more insane. Phrasing your tweet so that it does not necessarily guarantee that your information is set in stone just mocks this whole process. I really do not understand any of it. One person tweeted about muting the person tipping picks but still seeing tweets through another account.

In fact, Frank Isola aggravated me last month. The NBA Draft Lottery is supposed to be supervised by people who had their phones taken away. Isola flaunted that someone was able to pass along some type of information. Frank basically stated that the fix was in. It helped narrow down what we would see. In my case, it made me think that either the Knicks or Lakers had won. So, I got my hopes up for nothing. Regardless, that should be kept secret. At least we knew that there would be tweets tipping picks on Thursday. I didn’t think we needed to stay off social media when those envelopes were being opened. The whole thing sucks!

I know I’ll get aggravated again when the NFL says that moves will be made on a certain date or they have been agreed upon but are not yet official. This isn’t strictly a complaint about basketball. It is a stupidity issue. Hopefully common sense can prevail at some point. Until then, I must stay on the flip phone and away from society if I’m looking to be surprised.

Everything You Need to Know About the New York Knicks’ 2019 Draft Lottery Chances

The day is finally here. For me, I’ve had May 14 circled on my calendar since the start of 2019. Not because that’s when I moved to NYC, but because the 2019 Draft Lottery could be one of the most pivotal moments in this tormented franchise’s history. On one hand, the Knicks could revitalize the Big Apple by landing Zion Williamson at No. 1, but on the other, the cyclic dysfunction is more likely to continue at No. 4 or 5.

NYK missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season, finishing the year with a franchise-low 17 wins. I don’t anticipate that streak going on for another season. If you’re like me, you already have Kevin Durant as a member of the Knicks roster come July 4th. With the lottery unfortunately changing its format for the first time, I just want to set the record straight on percentages of where New York could land Tuesday evening.

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Don’t panic. I know, it doesn’t look good when you start breaking down the numbers. There’s a 60% chance we’re staring down a disaster in the making shouting “Same old Knicks” from the top of the Empire State Building, but there’s also an NBA-leading 14% chance the ‘Bockers win probably the most important lottery since 2003 for LeBron James. With Patrick Ewing — our only draft lottery win back in 1985 — representing the Knicks in Chicago on Tuesday, it’s only fitting for him to pass the torch to our next homegrown potential star.

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Overall, I keep the mindset of just landing in the top three (Zion, Morant, Barrett) to keep our roadmap of bringing Kevin Durant and another top free agent to NYC on target this summer. I’m also in the camp that’s more open to dealing the pick in a package (once given a commitment from KD and dependent where we land) to get a player such as Anthony Davis, C.J. McCollum or Bradley Beal that might be available.

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Sit down and do your best at trying to relax when everything gets going at the Hilton Chicago around 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN leading into game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

**Whatever you believe will give us luck tomorrow night, make sure you do it before you go to sleep Monday my fellow NYK compatriots** 

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The New York Knicks Select Kevin Knox In The NBA Draft

With the 9th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select Kevin Knox.

Instant reaction: Solid, safe pick. Going into the draft, the Knicks were going to be selecting from a group of players that could fit in nicely with the system that David Fizdale is trying to run, which relies on strong defense and the ability to make 3s. My guess is that the Knicks would be selecting one of the following four players: Michael Porter Jr. Collin Sexton, Wendell Carter, and Kevin Knox. Carter and Sexton were picked before 9, and Porter Jr.’s medical sheet was worse than expected. So that left Kevin Knox as the last man standing, which is exactly who the Knicks selected.

Knicks Twitter seemed quite happy with the pick, but the crowd preferred Porter Jr. over Knox, which I can understand to an extent. Our NBA insider LordTreeSap was on the scene to capture the crowd reaction.

Although the fans booed and chanted for MPJ, as I referenced above, Knicks Twitter and NBA Twitter in general seemed to like that pick (as did I).

This is what you want in a Knicks draft pick. You want someone who doesn’t care about being booed. Just like Porzingis, you want a player who is willing to take the challenge and turn those boos into cheers. Kevin Knox is excited to be a Knick and I am happy to have him. The Knicks filled a need, which was a stretch 3/4 who could guard and play multiple positions. On a stacked Kentucky team, Knox became the go-to player down the stretch, winning the SEC co-Freshman of the Year with Collin Sexton. Knox can hit a consistent pull up jump shot. He’s long, athletic, and has not even hit his ceiling of what he can become as a player. I’m not saying Knox a franchise player, but I could see him scoring 15 PPG as a staple in the rotation these next two years. I LOVE the comparison to Jayson Tatum. Sometimes, the college game does not let you showcase your full arsenal of tricks because it’s a more team-oriented game. That was true for Tatum as he became the best player on the Celtics once Kyrie and Hayward went down. Will that happen with Knox? With Porzingis out for most of the season, Knox will get a chance to silence his critics.

Welcome to the squad, Kevin. Let’s get to work.

LordTreeSap’s Official 2018 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

It’s finally NBA Draft week and there is still much to be decided outside of the consensus No. 1, sending Arizona’s transcendent center DeAndre Ayton to Phoenix, with some of the most turbulent franchises picking in the top 5.

A draft class that was once thought to be weak now has turned into another stacked group loaded with talent throughout the lottery. The 2018 class finds an excess of versatile big men at the top which could swing the league back from the small ball that’s dominated in recent years.

Make sure to tune in when everything gets rolling on ESPN Thursday (June 20) at 7 PM EST. For now, check out our official lottery mock draft below. (Picks are subject to change as more information becomes available)

1. Phoenix Suns – DeAndre Ayton, Arizona

Ayton enjoyed a highly successful freshman campaign at Arizona, even though it ended with a first-round exit in the NCAA tournament. DeAndre is one of four freshmen in college basketball history to average more than 20 points and 11 rebounds in their first season. He joins some elite company alongside 2018 prospect Marvin Bagley, Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant. The 7-footer has the prototypical frame for the new-age athletic freak seen in the NBA. His game should project well at the next level with a soft touch around the basket and NBA 3-point range. All of a sudden, the Suns possess a solid core that could blossom if developed properly over the next few years.

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2. Sacramento Kings – Marvin Bagley III, Duke

It’s been rumored that the Kings are enamored with prospects such as Duke’s Marvin Bagley and the polarizing Michael Porter. When something makes too much sense like selecting a Luka Doncic here, the Kings tend to go against the grain and pull off the unexpected. They should probably go B.P.A. with such a bare roster featuring not much to believe in beyond DeAaron Fox, but I guess you can’t kill them for pairing a potential all-star big man with a backcourt of Fox and Hield.

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3. Atlanta Hawks – Luka Doncic, Real Madrid

Atlanta is another team that can go in just about every direction. If this scenario plays out, I can’t see ATL passing on a talent like Doncic, who experts are saying has potential to be the best player out of the bunch when we look back in five years. John Collins was a solid pick in the first round for the Hawks in 2017, let’s see them make it two hits in a row. Admittedly, I haven’t watched a ton of Doncic, but he seems to be in the distributor mold of a Hedo Turkoglu and Manu Ginobili. He probably best translates as a shooting guard and needs to improve his stroke from downtown and penetrating ability to be most effective.

4. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson, Michigan State – *TRADE* Marc Gasol to the Lakers for Kuzma, Josh Hart, Luol Deng, and 2020 First Rounder

Memphis is in an odd situation here as a team that could bottom out or go for the post-season again as they’re tied into a core of Gasol, Conley and unfortunately Parsons for another two seasons. I could see them dealing Gasol to a star-hungry team like the Lakers on draft night and slide their neophyte center in to replace Marc.

Don’t panic Grizz nation, this isn’t Hasheem Thabeet 2.0 as Jackson maintains way less bust potential. Jaren has a lot of skills that can translate to the NBA and even boasted the top box plus/minus in the country out of all freshman this season. At only 18-years-old, the versatile athlete can be an impact player on both ends at the Grind House.

5. Dallas Mavericks – Mo Bamba, Texas

One of my favorite prospects in this entire draft, Bamba immediately comes in to anchor a defense and can be an elite rim runner. He’s recently been boasting more of an ability to step out and extend his range as a jump shooter to the three-point line, which is a scary proposition for someone boasting this kind of length. The Mavs should be thrilled to roll the dice with a talent like Bamba at 5. The team isn’t committed to any contract besides Dennis Smith after next season. The pair should provide an elite pick and roll combination.

6. Orlando Magic – Michael Porter Jr., Missouri

This is really where the draft begins. I’m confident the previously named prospects will be the first five names called off the board next Thursday. Porter has been linked in a range from the top 3 to the bottom of the lottery. A lot of this hinges teams’ medical staffs to sign off on the possible selection. As part of his vamped up workout regiment, back spasms and a hip strain initially thought he would have to cancel another workout. It’s no secret Orlando would love to select a guard. This may be too high for Trae Young, who may very well end up being the pick. For now, let’s say everything checks out for Porter. He could be too talented a prospect to pass up on.

7. Chicago Bulls – Wendell Carter, Duke

Chicago is actually in a great spot cap-wise going forward after a bunch of contracts come off the books following this season. With a core of Dunn, Lavine, Valentine, and Markkanen already intact, an all-around big alongside Lauri makes perfect sense for the Bulls. Carter can come in and give Chicago one of the most versatile young front lines in basketball, with something Chi-town residents can be proud of every night. There are some experts that believe Carter could end up being a better pro than his college teammate Marvin Bagley.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers – Trae Young, Oklahoma

The Cavaliers will still be in LeBron purgatory when they make their selection come draft night. Do they deal the pick for a proven veteran in hopes to retain LBJ? I believe they need to take the best player available and prepare for post-LeBron life, who has until June 29 to decide if he will opt-in to his player option for 2018. Trae Young is another polarizing prospect and the splashiest pick Cleveland can make at No. 8. The Cavs are starved for scoring and an influx of youth at PG with just George Hill and Jordan Clarkson on the roster. The unprecedented shooter is worth a roll of the dice at this point.

9. New York Knicks – Mikal Bridges, Villanova

The Knicks could go a multitude of directions here. There have been rumors of possibly trading up with the Grizzlies while taking on Chandler Parsons’ disastrous contract along with the No. 4 pick. I believe the Knicks will hone in on a wing here which is a huge position of need. I love what I saw out of Bridges this year, even though he’s years older than Kevin Knox out of Kentucky. Mikal comes into the league with a higher floor than most. Three and D players are thriving in the league and he fits the bill with great length and shooting ability. He’s also a versatile fit at the four alongside Zinger in our small ball lineups for the future.

*Other Viable Options: Kevin Knox, Lonnie Walker, Collin Sexton*

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10. Philadelphia 76ers – Kevin Knox, Kentucky

Philly is in a great spot with the 10th pick which they receive courtesy of the Lakers. Some believe they could package this pick along with a Fultz/Saric for a proved veteran and still have cap room to bring in another star in free agency. If the Sixers stay put, they should take the highest player on their board. Kevin Knox is still just 18-years-old and could be the type of polished scorer that can put the ball in from just about anywhere on the floor. Knox is raw but boasts great potential and size if it all comes together in a few years, just make sure to be patient. He could end up being a Tobias Harris type of player.

11. Charlotte Hornets – Collin Sexton, Alabama

Sexton was one of the most exciting players to watch in basketball this year, willing his Alabama team to an NCAA Tournament appearance. Collin’s a fearless finisher around the rim and plays much bigger than his 6’2″ frame. His jump shot (33% from 3pt) and defense should get more consistent throughout his career. I believe the only thing that will hold him back from stardom is his playmaking ability (3.6 assists/g) for others on the floor. The 19-year-old will be a blessing for the Hornets as their heir-apparent to Charlotte staple Kemba Walker, who enters the final year of his contract. Sign me up for a Sexton-Monk backcourt.

12. Los Angeles Clippers – Lonnie Walker IV, Miami

Lonnie Walker is a name that has picked up serious steam in the pre-draft process and has seen his stock vault into the lottery. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I watched a bunch of Miami basketball so I won’t even waste your time as far as the type of player he could potentially fill out to be. The Clippers boast back-to-back picks so they could package one or both for either a veteran or move up to get the player of their choice. With really nobody on their payroll past next season, LAC should take the best player available.

13. Los Angeles Clippers – Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Miles Bridges is a player that was a sure-fire lock to go in the top 10 if he decided to enter the draft last year. He came back for his sophomore season and underperformed much like the Michigan State team as a whole. Bridges was oddly played out of position all season at shooting guard when he should’ve been down low at the four alongside Jaren Jackson. Miles settled for too many jumpers and his numbers were just similar and maybe a bit worse than his freshman campaign outside of his much-improved shooting at the charity stripe. This is a great situation for him to enter in Los Angeles.

14. Denver Nuggets – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky

The Nuggets came within a game of the post-season when they fell short with a loss on the last day of the regular season to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the right to clinch the 8th seed. Denver still ended up with a successful 46-win campaign. The Nuggets are set with a core of Jokic and Milsap down low with Harris and Jamal Murray in the backcourt. They could either go with a small forward or playmaking lead guard here. I have them taking Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who made serious strides over the course of the year under Calipari, showcasing aptitude as a facilitator (5.1 assists/g). He also causes match up problems at 6’6″ and with a nearly 7-foot wingspan.

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Knicks Select The French Prince Of New York, Frank Ntilinkina

The French Prince of New York

So after all the dust has settled, the Knicks take Frank Ntilinkina. Since I ate a slice of humble pie with the Porzingis pick a few years ago, I’ve learned to do my homework with Knicks picks before cheering or booing. I’ve watched a few highlights of the kid and I like what I see. He’s a point guard for starters, which is something they desperately need. He’s a physical, 6’5 PG who can guard multiple positions. He’s an improved shooter and he’ll only get better. Most importantly, he is 18 years old. He’ll have some growing pains, but most scouts think he’ll be a nice NBA player, which I’m totally content with.

For now, Porzingis is staying put. I still don’t trust Phil Jackson. I really don’t think this was a motivational tactic. I don’t think Phil was trying to teach Zinger a lesson. I think Phil was truly pissed that Zinger spoke out against management, Phil got hurt, and wanted to trade him. That’s very concerning. Very concerning.

The offseason is going to be #RumorCentral, but for now, let’s celebrate Frank The Tank.

Viva La France! La Resistance (s/o WWE)

Interview: Malik Monk Talks NBA Draft Preparation And What It Would Mean To Play For The Knicks

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Malik Monk is one of the can’t miss prospects coming into Thursday night’s (June 22) NBA Draft and is a sure-fire top 10 pick. The 19-year-old shooting guard out of Kentucky is the best shooter coming out of college and whatever team that selects him will be getting a potential all-star level player.

The Arkansas native has been wearing New Era hats his whole life and is excited the NBA will be teaming up with New Era as the official cap of the NBA. They will be debuting the On-Court Collection Draft Series this Thursday(June 22) at the NBA draft. Monk made his way to the 5th Ave. NBA store in NYC Monday afternoon (June 19) for a meet and greet with fans as hundreds lined up along the side of the store.

LordTreeSap caught up with the SEC Freshman of The Year award winner who was rocking a pair of red and white Nikes, blue jeans, white t-shirt and backwards snap-back for a conversation about preparing for the league, New Era becoming the new face of the NBA and some of his inspirations growing up.

What has your draft week been like so far? 

Malik Monk: I don’t even know yet. It really just started. I’m meeting people, doing a lot of interviews. I’ve been here (NYC) a couple times for basketball (AAU).

What Talk to me about your relationship with your brother Marcus and how he’s been a mentor in your life?

He’s been with me my whole life, he’s 12 years older than me. I’ve been looking up to him since, trying to compete with him. When he was in 12th grade I was in kindergarten so it was tough (laughs). I’ve been watching him since day one.

What’s the best advice he’s given you over the years as someone who has played professional sports?

Whatever you dream you can accomplish.

What’s your favorite kicks?

Probably the Jordan ones and fours. In high-school that’s all I used to wear.

Could you bring those back in the NBA?

I don’t think Jordan would let me do that. He doesn’t let people wear retros.

Who were some of your favorite players growing up?

Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, LeBron of course you got to love LeBron. Lou Williams and C.J. McCollum.

How did you workout/dinner with the New York Knicks go, I’m a die-hard fan.

I seen that. It was good, everyone was there (Phil Jackson, Jeff Hornacek, Steve Mills) it went well. They gave me great feedback. I learned a lot about the triangle. That’s all we did in the workout. They had me playing both guard positions.

Do you think you could play point guard at the next level?

For sure.

How did Coach John Calipari sell you on the University of Kentucky?

He actually told me don’t come here if you don’t want to get pushed to another level and compete with the best. That’s really what sold me, I wanted the challenge.

Your signature game vs North Carolina, 47 points, 8 threes have you watched it since?

Of course (laughs). I watched it right after for sure when we got on the plane and went back to Kentucky. I’ll watch it every now and then.

In the Elite 8 they (UNC) guarded you differently.

Man, super different. Way differently.

What did you learn from that going into the next level?

I just have to know how to play against face guarding and switching defenders every time down. Whatever I took from college I plan on transferring to the NBA.

Has shooting from the NBA 3-point line been different?

Nah, it’s about the same (laughs).

40% ain’t bad, have you reached out to anyone in the NBA or has anyone contacted you?

I worked out with Russell Westbrook recently out in Los Angeles. He talks to me. I talk to Devin Booker as well.

70 points, could you match that performance this season?

Nah (laughs). That’s crazy.

How do you feel about New Era becoming the official draft cap of the NBA?

I don’t even know my size yet, but we’ll figure that out today. I’ve been wearing these hats since I was growing up. Like you said, they’re the new face of the NBA. My hat, whoever I get picked by will be nice.

I know you don’t like to compare your game to anyone in the NBA but what do you think about Bradley Beal’s game?

I’ve been watching his film, a lot of his film actually.

What do you think you need to improve the most on coming into the league? Defense?

Nah, I could play defense when I want to. I just have to bring it every play, be consistent.

What would it mean for you to play in New York City in front of the fans of Madison Square Garden?

Everything is legendary here. It would be legendary for sure.

Top NBA Draft Prospects Reveal What’s On Their Pre-game Playlist

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The NBA Draft is upon us, a day where kids dreams become reality and it’s really a joy to be a fan of a team with a top pick hoping you are selecting the piece that finally turns your franchise around. This draft class is supposed to be one of the most stacked in recent history and definitely has a chance to be really special.

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With trade rumors flying left and right the NBA has really become a sport that’s in the news cycle 11 months out of the year. Tonight could get really fun if a rumored blockbuster we’ve been hearing about is pulled off. Other than picks one and two being a sure thing, the rest of the draft is really up in the air and could go a multitude of directions so make sure to tune in 7 PM on ESPN when it all gets going with Markelle Fultz hearing his name called and becomes an official member of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The NBA held their media availability and LordTreeSap was on the scene and caught up with almost all of the top picks to see what they’re listening to before games and we got some pretty diverse answers from Luther Vandross to J-Cole and Kendrick. Most of the prospects were happy to chop it up about their music preferences rather than the rhetorical questions most older journalists were bombarding them with.

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De’Aaron Fox: “I’m not the type to get hyped. I usually listen to classical music before games, a lot of hip-hop. Nothing constantly, but Big Sean is one of my favorites. He’s been one of my favorites since middle-school then Logic came along. I still like J-Cole, Kendrick and guys like that.”

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Jonathan Isaac: “I listen to everything. I’m a big music fan, I listen to new music and old music. I’m a big Luther Vandross fan, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne. I’m a huge Drake fan. I get into singing too, I like Bruno Mars.”

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Jayson Tatum: “Hip-hop mostly. Drake and Yo Gotti are probably my two favorites.”

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Josh Jackson: “I’ll listen to some Kodak Black, Future, J-Cole and Kendrick usually.”

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Markelle Fultz: “J-Cole and Lil Wayne. I listen to a lot of old school songs too, Sam Cooke and Anthony Hamilton.”

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Dennis Smith Jr.: “Before games I listen to R&B. I’m all over the place ’90s, 2000’s I’m everywhere. Keyshia Cole and Beyonce for sure and a lot of Monica though.”

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Malik Monk: “I only listen to one person before games and that’s The Weeknd.”

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Zach Collins: “Drake, Big Sean, Logic, Green Day and Metallica. A little bit of everything.”