NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Kings get coveted prospect, Jazz make a surprise selection

Victor Wembanyama. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
Victor Wembanyama. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jordan Hawkins, UCONN
Jordan Hawkins, UCONN Huskies. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

15. Atlanta Hawks: Keyonte George, CG, Baylor

The Hawks can take the best player available while improving their much-needed guard depth. George is an incredible scoring talent who can get the ball in the basket at all three levels. His playmaking and intensity allow him to be a big contributor on any team he lands on, especially off the bench in Atlanta.

16. Utah Jazz (via MIN): Jalen Hood-Schifino, PG, Indiana

The Jazz can pick up their most-needed position here with a talented two-way point guard. After taking a risk with Coulibaly with the 9th pick, Utah selects a 6’4″ guard with a 6’10” wingspan who helps them on both ends of the court.

17. Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bufkin, PG, Michigan

While it would create headlines for the Lakers to draft a player named Kobe, Bufkin would make an immediate impact in Los Angeles, and his high potential makes him the best player available. After multiple seasons of a lack of guard depth, the Lakers get a player who can eventually start and be a versatile two-way presence.

18. Miami Heat: Jordan Hawkins, SG, UCONN

Coming off a Finals appearance, the Heat can snag a National Champion guard out of Connecticut. Hawkins is a talented scorer and one of the best shooters in the draft as the Heat look to add to their guard depth. While he is not a positional need for the Heat, they will not overlook the talent and offensive versatility he brings

19. Golden State Warriors: Ben Sheppard, SF, Belmont

After showing flashed at the NBA Combine, Sheppard’s draft stock has sky-rocketed. The Warriors can snag a player who fits their scheme, as he is a sharpshooter with great playmaking qualities. He gives the Warriors much-needed depth and has a great feel for the game, regardless of his competition in college.

20. Houston Rockets (via LAC): Leonard Miller, SF, G League Ignite

Even with the hiring of Ime Udoka, the Rockets are not ready to win now. After drafting Amen Thompson with the 4th pick, Houston can get risky here. The 6’10” forward has guard-like skills and elite athleticism. Miller is a high-ceiling project player that might take a year or two to get to where the Rockets would want him.

21. Brooklyn Nets (via PHX): Jett Howard, SG, Michigan

The Nets are entering an off-season in a state of confusion, not knowing what direction the franchise is heading. By drafting Jett, they get a talented scorer to give them backcourt depth. Howard has the potential to be the steal of the draft at the 21st pick.

22. Brooklyn Nets: Brice Sensabaugh, SF, Ohio State

With back-to-back picks, the Nets take the best player available. If a strong point guard was available, that’s the direction the Nets would be heading, but Sensabaugh is a strong prospect. He is an impressive scorer that can contribute off the bench behind rising star Mikal Bridges.

23. Portland Trail Blazers (via NYK): Maxwell Lewis, SF, Pepperdine

Whatever happens with their 3rd overall pick, the Blazers can look to take an NBA-ready forward. Lewis is an impressive 3-and-D prospect that has shown glimpses of having a high ceiling. He will be great whether he plays alongside Damian Lillard, Scoot Henderson, or both.