The Basketball Nomad
So on My Run this Morning I Created My All-FIFA Soccer 23-Man Roster.

GKs: Begovic (BIH), N’dy Assembe (CMR), Demirel (TUR)

DFs: Jagielka (ENG), Mertesacker (GER), Assou-Ekotto (CMR), Lugano (URU), Luiz (BRA), Cameron (USA), Halliche (ALG)

MFs: Ozil (GER), Van der Vaart (NED), Vidal (CHI), Bale (WAL), Oxlade-Chamberlain (ENG), Diskerud (USA), Cabaye (FRA), Krohn-Dehli (DEN)

Fs: Dzeko (BIH), Ibrahimovic (SWE), Hulk (BRA), Cavani (URU), Balotelli (ITA)

Manager: Roberto Martinez

I’d hope that my love of attacking mids and center backs cancel each other out, and that we never played any team with strong wing play. 

Streetlight Manifesto - A Better Place, A Better Time
10,117 plays


You don’t owe anything to anyone

Currently listening to Keasby Nights because Twitter told me to.

True Romance has never been better.

Morning Mocking 5/8

Hey, a novel idea: What if we did a draft with the Bucks picking first?

1. Milwaukee Bucks - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Wiggins to the Bucks hasn’t happened in these here mock drafts, but it’s the smartest pick for Milwaukee to make. Even with Wiggins being the best prospect available, the Bucks need a player like him to really fill out their roster. With Wiggins, the Bucks could become a dominant defensive team, with Giannis Antetokuonmpo and Wiggins on the wings and Larry Sanders and John Henson inside. That sounds like a solid core, and if they could get some stronger offensive players on the bench, the Bucks could be set.

2. Philadelphia 76ers - Jabari Parker, Duke

Parker to Philly, where the 76ers need a strong scoring presence so that Michael Carter-Williams doesn’t need to be a chucker. Philly’s a pretty raw situation, with only two major pieces to build around. Parker already fits nicely with MCW and Nerlens Noel, and they have another pick to fill out the roster in order to maximize Parker’s potential. This is one of the best landing spots for him.

3. Boston Celtics - Joel Embiid, Kansas

Embiid could be the rim protector and defensive presence that the Celtics need. Offensively he reminds me a lot of Al Horford, and that skill set works well in pretty much any system. For Boston, Embiid would be a strong fit as a mid-range shooter and passer from the high post, and could play well with Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. Boston could have a really nice, big frontcourt for the future.

4. Orlando Magic - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

I’ve been very attached to Exum for the Magic, but what if they’re set on making Victor Oladipo into a point guard? Smart would also be a nice fit in Orlando, where he could be an offense generator as a combo guard. It’d be a bit strange for the Magic to attempt to play two combo guards together, but Smart’s tenacity on both ends and playmaking ability would pair nicely with Oladipo’s strengths in their backcourt.

5. Utah Jazz - Julius Randle, Kentucky

Randle can do pretty much do anything you ask him to with the ball in his hands. Since Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter…….can’t, that seems pretty ideal for Utah. Randle’s the best player available and would be a great fit as a third big, and eventually best big, for the Jazz.

6. Los Angeles Lakers - Dante Exum, Australia

The Lakers are just taking best player available, which is certainly Exum. A nice combo guard with excellent pure point guard skills, the Lakers could develop him into a mutant Chris Paul to build around for the future. Exum could probably fit any in most offensive systems, so until they get a new coach, Exum’s a safe pick.

7. Sacramento Kings - Noah Vonleh, Indiana

I love this pick for them. Vonleh as a floor spacer and rim protector seems like the perfect fit next to DeMarcus Cousins, and he can live as a low-usage player on a roster full of high-usage guys. I don’t think there’s a better fit on the board for Sacramento.

8. Detroit Pistons - Gary Harris, Michigan State

Harris is my sleeper to be an All-Star in this draft. He does everything you want from a shooting guard, and doesn’t need to dominate the ball. On the Pistons, that’s very important with Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings on board. Harris would be the accessory scorer that this team needs right off the bat, and he could thrive in spite of the nature of this team’s dysfunction.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers - Dario Saric, Croatia

I’m jumping on the Saric bandwagon a little late, but he’s a decent fit for the Cavs if he’s coming over from Europe. A 6’9” combo forward that can attack off the dribble and pass effectively, Saric would likely be a leak-stopper for the Cavs at the small forward position, covering up a variety of weaknesses as they move forward.

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Parker is an offensive weapon that can’t play defense. Gordon is a defensive potential goldmine that struggles on offense. It’s a question what position each would play, but if Jabari is on the perimeter and Gordon is inside on offense, and the reverse is true on defense, that seems like a fit that could work really nicely.

11. Denver Nuggets - Nik Stauskas, Michigan

The Nuggets could probably use a little bit more offensive firepower, and Stauskas definitely brings that. He seems like the type of player who would accel in the triangle at the top of the key, a spot-up guy who can also attack off the dribble. He’d give them a little bit of size in the backcourt, and could probably play nicely with Ty Lawson and Randy Foye.

12. Orlando Magic - Doug McDermott, Creighton

McDermott is an interesting choice for the Magic at this spot. A great three-point shooter that can space the floor, McDermott could slide in as a swing forward off the bench, and his defensive shortcomings could be hidden with the amount of athleticism that the Magic have on their roster.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - James Young, Kentucky

Young could play either wing spot, and he addresses a lot of the problems Minnesota had this season with their wing players. He could bail the T’Wolves out defensively when paired with Kevin Martin, and help spread the floor when Corey Brewer is his partner.

14. Phoenix Suns - Clint Capela, Switzerland

The Suns could use some extra depth in the post, and Capela offers rim protection that they didn’t have this year. They could easily develop him into a strong defensive post off the bench that can play either post spot, and they have the luxury of time and flexibility in order to do so.

15. Atlanta Hawks - Kyle Anderson, UCLA

I just love the idea of Anderson playing for the Hawks. His length on the wing would be helpful, Mike Budenholzer could really untap his passing and ball-handling potential, and they could definitely get by with his lack of athleticism. Anderson and Korver on the wings sounds really fun.

16. Chicago Bulls - Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

This is a great value pick for Chicago, who needs a safety valve at point guard that isn’t Kirk Hinrich. Ennis would be a nice facilitator that could open up the offense slightly, and that seems like a big key for them given how this year went.

17. Boston Celtics - Rodney Hood, Duke

I’ve been set on K.J. McDaniels if the Celtics take a wing at 17, but Rodney Hood’s actually more likely a better option. They’ll probably want to keep Avery Bradley in restricted free agency, so they’ll have a nice defensive backcourt. Boston needs three-point shooting, and Hood could be a strong offensive weapon for them to work with. If he can become better defensively, I think he’s a better fit here than McDaniels.

18. Phoenix Suns - K.J. McDaniels, Clemson

Speaking of McDaniels, if he’s not taken by the Celtics, there’s a strong argument for Phoenix taking him. A great wing that can play solid defense and score in transition, McDaniels would be a better accessory wing than guys like Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker.

19. Chicago Bulls - Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chicago’s a great landing spot for Nurkic, who needs a little bit of development before he’ll be an effective NBA player. I think the Bulls would be wise to nab him as their backup center.

20. Toronto Raptors - T.J. Warren, N.C. State

Warren would be another scorer on a team that struggled to put up points at times this season. Throw him in small-ball lineups or when Demar DeRozan sits, and he could be a lower-usage Rudy Gay type for the Raptors, meaning he’s a much more ideal fit.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Zach Lavine, UCLA

Lavine has been all over the board for me, but OKC seems like a strong place for him to land. He can be a bench shooter and potential tertiary ball-handler for them, and should fit seamlessly into what they want to do. He basically does what Derek Fisher does. This is a good thing for the Thunder.

22. Memphis Grizzlies - Adreian Payne, Michigan State

I’ve been wing-heavy for the Grizzlies so far, but Zach Randolph is closing in on the end. They need a contingency plan for the power forward position, and Payne is a super athlete than can be an excellent two-way player for Memphis. They might be better taking someone like Payne and finding a wing improvement in free agency.

23. Utah Jazz - Jordan Adams, UCLA

A primary scorer with some good defensive potential, Adams can step in and be another versatile piece for the Jazz to work with on the wing. His size and scoring ability will pair nicely with Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks, and this can be an insurance policy if they can’t keep Hayward this summer.

24. Charlotte Bobcats - Cleanthony Early, Wichita State

Early is a swing forward that can score in a variety of ways, and has some good potential as a transition finisher. He could bolster the Charlotte offense, and would fit nicely on their bench.

25. Houston Rockets - Jerami Grant, Syracuse

The Rockets really struggled to handle strong power forwards and small forwards this season, and landing Grant would be huge for them. Grant has the potential to be an excellent NBA defender, and he can be an accessory scorer for them as well (And if Houston’s D-League team gets him shooting threes…..). He’s a steal for the Rockets.

26. Miami Heat - P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends

He’s probably the best player available at this spot, and the Heat could use a strong defensive wing to put behind whoever is brought in at wing this offseason. He’d be a project, but a great one for the Heat to pursue.

27. Phoenix Suns - Elfrid Payton, UL-Lafayette

Best backup point guard available. He’d fit in well with what Phoenix wants to do.

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Mitch McGary, Michigan

I sound like a broken record here, but McGary is a great option as a backup big for the Clippers. He can run the floor, rebound well, and his size is great.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia

He’s emerged as the best stash candidate according to Draft Express, and I think OKC could stand to do that.

30. San Antonio Spurs - Deonte Burton, Nevada

Seems like a nice backup combo guard in case Patty Mills gets paid this offseason.

Morning Mocking, 5/6

Another mock draft, this time with a top-3 team I haven’t had yet.

1. Philadelphia 76ers - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

I don’t think I’ve had a draft order where the Sixers could nab Wiggins yet. While I somewhat like Jabari Parker’s fit in Philly better, Wiggins is too tantalizing to pass up. With MCW and Nerlens Noel as the primary prospects already on board, the Sixers have talent, but a few questions surrounding their youngsters. I think Wiggins provides a stabilizing force in Philly, and this is a scenario where he should be able to, and perhaps need to, develop his scoring acumen early.

2. Milwaukee Bucks - Jabari Parker, Duke

The Bucks need scoring punch and a legitimate star, so that’s why I take Jabari over Joel Embiid. I think Jabari gives them more immediate benefit, and even though their defense was bad last year, the Bucks have more defense-oriented prospects than scoring prospects. Take Jabari, let him be your creator, and let Giannis, Larry Sanders, and John Henson carry the defense.

3. New Orleans Pelicans - Joel Embiid, Kansas

Ah, New Orleans. With the Pelicans trading this year’s top-3 pick away for Jrue Holiday at last year’s draft, and a trade of their 2nd-rounder to Minnesota, the only way we’ll  be seeing the them in this draft is this scenario. I really like Wiggins and Parker for this team, but if both are gone, Embiid is their best option. He provides a stabilizing force defensively so that Anthony Davis doesn’t have to guard bigger centers, and Embiid’s passing ability sets up some nice flexibility for the Pelicans’ offense. It’s not an ideal fit, but he’s the best player available for this team.

4. Orlando Magic - Dante Exum, Australia

I’ll eventually get tired of picking Exum to the Magic, but that’s not happening just yet.

5. Utah Jazz - Julius Randle, Kentucky

I can’t pass up Randle at this spot with Utah, who could use a low post scorer to compliment Derrick Favors. I’m not sold Enes Kanter is the answer at center, and I like Favors and Randle to give Trey Burke better options in the pick-and-roll.

6. Boston Celtics - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

I usually go with Noah Vonleh at this point for the Celtics, but I’m steering away from that today. Gordon is also a pretty decent fit in Boston, and he could operate alongside Jeff Green while he’s still in Boston better than Vonleh, theoretically. At the end, Boston gets a potentially dominant defensive force at one forward spot, and a devastating transition finisher to boot. 

7. Los Angeles Lakers - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

My pet pick for the Lakers strikes again. Smart. Kobe. Nick Young. Literally, anything is possible.

8. Sacramento Kings - Noah Vonleh, Indiana

The best possible fit for Sacramento. Vonleh slides in as a nice compliment to DeMarcus Cousins, someone who can stretch the floor and guard the pick-and-roll while Boogie operates in the post and at the rim.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - Gary Harris, Michigan State

We don’t know what Charlotte’s plan for Josh McRoberts is, and while I like Doug McDermott’s fit here, Harris is probably the safer option. Harris can shoot it a little bit, and is a nicely moldable prospect to fit into whatever Steve Clifford wants to do here. He can back up, and perhaps eventually supplant, Gerald Henderson.

10. Cleveland Cavaliers - James Young, Kentucky

Reeeeeeally tough spot for the Cavs here. With Harris and Vonleh off the board, Young is probably the most attractive prospect, although any prospect here is a reach at this point. I like Young here because he’s a decent three-point shooter, can play some small forward, and should develop into a nice defensive wing. Chemistry-wise, he either gels perfectly with Dion Waiters, or it’s a black hole. Who knows.

11. Denver Nuggets - Dario Saric, Croatia

I still have no idea what to do with the Nuggets. They need a backup point guard, unless Aaron Brooks and Nate Robinson return. They probably need a center, but there’s already Javale, J.J. Hickson, and Timofey Mozgov. They probably could also use Danilo Gallinari insurance, but what if he comes back at full strength? Saric, a versatile stretch four that can handle the rock and score in transition, is probably a safe bet, because he can help this team from multiple positions, and they aren’t doomed if he doesn’t come over immediately.

12. Orlando Magic - Doug McDermott, Creighton

I previously haven’t explored this option for Orlando, but realistically, McDermott could be Hedo 2.0 for them. His shooting touch and rebounding would fit in right along with what they appear to be building in the frontcourt, and with an athletic tandem like Tobias Harris and Mo Harkless alongside him, the Magic could probably afford to play him at either forward spot without it killing them defensively. I’m not sure why I’ve never considered this before.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

With McDermott gone, Ennis is probably the better fit than Nik Stauskas, honestly. Ennis does a lot of what Ricky Rubio can do, although he’s a better outside shooter and you could probably play them together a bit. There are some PTSD flashbacks as the Timberwolves take another Syracuse point guard, but I like Ennis to stabilize their bench backcourt after J.J. Barea killed them regularly this season.

14. Phoenix Suns - Nik Stauskas, Michigan

Oh, man. Stauskas in Phoenix is a pipe dream, because he can give them a third ball-handler behind Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, and his shooting will stretch the floor quite nicely for an offense that’s already good at that. I basically am picking best player available for the Suns because of their three draft picks, but this is one that just makes too much sense.

15. Atlanta Hawks - Kyle Anderson, UCLA

Versatility is what got the Hawks to a Game 7 in this playoffs, and they could stand to add even more in this draft. Anderson can realistically play any wing spot, can handle the rock a bit, and would be another nice accessory piece for the Hawks to play with. Joining him and Kyle Korver to give the Hawks #2Kylez to work with would be a nicely harmonic situation.

16. Chicago Bulls - Clint Capela, Switzerland

He’s like Nazr Mohamed, except not 658 years old! Capela as your backup center on a defense that’s already fairly impervious sounds scary. Worry about scoring later and grab the best player available.

17. Boston Celtics - K.J. McDaniels, Clemson

Huh. McDaniels and Gordon. I’ve accidentally morphed Boston into a monster transition team, and I’m okay with that. McDaniels is the best wing on the board and he’s a nice compliment to what they want to do on offense. Also, I think if any player/coach combination can discipline the chucker instinct out of K.J., it’s Rondo and Brad Stevens.

18. Phoenix Suns - Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Another one of those picks I’m somewhat stuck on. The Suns need a better PNR finisher than what they have right now, and Nurkic might be the best big at doing so in the draft. He should be able to step in here right away and be a solid scoring option off the bench in the post.

19. Chicago Bulls - Jordan Adams, UCLA

Has all the tools to be a solid defensive player, but needs to develop his work ethic. I think the Bulls are a great landing spot for Adams, as they could use his offensive versatility, and develop his defensive abilities. A nice potential answer at the shooting guard position.

20. Toronto Raptors - Jerami Grant, Syracuse

The Raptors need a stretch-four type that can make their small-ball lineups a little bit more functional. Amir/2Patz is a decent pairing, but Grant would allow them to match up better with a team like Brooklyn or Oklahoma City, thanks to his athleticism and defensive potential. I really like his fit up north, where they can develop him defensively and use him as a transition weapon and garbage disposal option on offense.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Rodney Hood, Duke

More scoring punch on the wing is their biggest need, and they have the luxury of being able to overcome his defensive shortcomings due to the rest of their roster.

22. Memphis Grizzlies - T.J. Warren, N.C. State

Just about a perfect fit for the Memphis offense, in my opinion. Warren can score in a multitude of ways, and gives them the ability to go small-ball. Conley/Lee/Allen/Warren/Gasol. You’ve been warned.

23. Utah Jazz - Elfrid Payton, UL-Lafayette

They probably need a backup for Trey Burke more than anything at this point, and Payton is about a perfect option in that regard.

24. Charlotte Bobcats - Adreian Payne, Michigan State

A destructively athletic four that can defend and stretch the floor with his shooting is probably near the top of Charlotte’s wish list. If Payne drops to 24, Charlotte is in a good place.

25. Houston Rockets - Zach Lavine, UCLA

James Harden’s new caddy, and more offensive firepower for them to work with.

26. Miami Heat - DeAndre Daniels, UConn

I’ve been set on Cleanthony Early here, but Daniels is a good fit too, and his rebounding ability and shooting would really help them in two needed areas of improvement.

27. Phoenix Suns - Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia

Best European Player available.

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Mitch McGary, Michigan

He’ll probably average at least one overthrown lob per game because he can’t get up for them, but McGary’s probably the perfect backup big for Lob City.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends

Grab Hood for offense and Hairston for defense. Suddenly OKC’s set on the wing.

30. San Antonio Spurs - Cleanthony Early, Wichita State

Just over here grabbing best player available [Early becomes league’s most productive stretch four]

Morning Mocking, 5/1

The goal today was to get the Lakers a top 3 pick. The lottery machine spit this out on the first go, so we’ll roll with it.

1. Utah Jazz - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

This was the pick I went with in my first mock draft, and it’s the one I really want to stick with if Utah gets the top spot. Wiggins and Gordon Hayward would be a nice forward combination, Wiggins could potentially play some four to free up small-ball, and he’d definitely give an impotent fast break offense some punch. That, and he’s the best player in the draft.

2. Philadelphia 76ers - Jabari Parker, Duke

Jabari just makes a ton of sense for Philadelphia, and this is a spot I want him landing. With a strong point guard developing in MCW and a player who should be a great rim protector joining the active roster next year in Nerlens Noel, this is a great setting for Jabari to flash his capabilities immediately, and develop into a dominating scorer.

3. Los Angeles Lakers - Joel Embiid, Kansas

Whatever the next iteration of the Lakers is, Joel Embiid will likely fit in well with them. He’s an incredibly versatile big who can score inside and has a developing midrange jumper, and has some positively scary potential on defense. Even if this year isn’t the big free agency splash for the Lakers, if they can grab Embiid, L.A. becomes a more attractive team to lure star free agents.

4. Milwaukee Bucks - Dante Exum, Australia

I like the fit of Exum in Milwaukee, and he’s quickly solidifying his reputation in the 3-5 spot in this draft. I felt like a major piece the Bucks’ offense was missing last year was someone who could manage the offense, and this was especially true after Luke Ridnour got traded. Exum could fill that role, and probably could play either backcourt spot, giving the Bucks the option of pairing him with Brandon Knight, allowing Knight to be the main scoring option, or with Giannis Alphabets, because that pairing with Giannis at two would have the length to [WORLD ENDS]

5. Orlando Magic - Julius Randle, Kentucky

This is a rough spot for Orlando to be drafting, and it’s a scenario where I could see them attempting to package picks 5 and 12 to move up to get any of the top four. However, if stuck here, I would rather have Randle than Marcus Smart. I really think the jury is still out on Tobias Harris, and I’m not sure he has the potential that Randle does. Same with Andrew Nicholson, who was a bit of a tire fire this year. Randle could solidify the Magic’s frontcourt, and give them a dynamic rebounding pairing with Nikola Vucevic.

6. Boston Celtics - Noah Vonleh, Indiana

I feel this is probably the best fit at this spot for Boston. I’ve been pretty sold on them bolstering the frontcourt, and Vonleh could be the defensive anchor they’ve been looking for. Vonleh/Sullinger/Olynyk is slightly undersized as a frontcourt unit, but there’s enough talent there that I think that grouping could be successful.

7. Sacramento Kings - Dario Saric, Croatia

A very difficult decision for the Kings to make between Saric and Aaron Gordon. I ultimately selected Saric because he’s probably a small forward primarily in the NBA, and his point forward abilities would add an interesting wrinkle into a sometimes sluggish Kings offense. He’s very versatile, something the Kings just don’t have a lot of, and is probably going to need less development than Gordon.

8. Detroit Pistons - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma  State

Kindly ignore the horrible fit of Brandon Jennings teaching Marcus Smart things. Detroit needs scoring and defensive potential on the wing, and Smart brings both. He’d likely start as the third guard for the Pistons, and slowly transition into whatever role seems to be a better fit. Like Brandon Knight, but actually good!

9. Cleveland Cavaliers - Gary Harris, Michigan State

I hate drafting here for the Cavaliers, because all of the options that could better help this team are ranked in the 12-16 range. However, Harris is a solid all-around shooting guard who could end up being an upgrade over Dion Waiters. If he can develop his outside shot more, I like Harris in Cleveland.

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

If Gordon drops to Philadelphia, and they can pair Parker and Gordon together, I feel like that’s a great combination. Both are super-athletic and could potentially play the three or the four, and if you can pair them, both address many of the other’s deficits on both ends. Philadelphia with Parker and Gordon is terrifying.

11. Denver Nuggets - Doug McDermott, Creighton

I’m somewhat at a loss for what the Nuggets can do with this pick. There are just too many bodies in their frontcourt and at point guard to draft one of those positions, even though those are probably their two biggest needs. I’ll go with McDermott then, because Denver probably needs a little more shooting in order to be more competent.

12. Orlando Magic - Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

I’ve made this pick before and am sticking with it. Ennis has a lot of value for the Magic if they can’t land Dante Exum, and the Magic could easily hide him on defense and allow him to grow into a better shooter. This is a good environment for him.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Nik Stauskas, Michigan

If I’m the Timberwolves, picking Stauskas here is a no-brainer. They need another shooter who can handle the ball, and he can easily do both. Stauskas can transition in and take over J.J. Barea’s minutes, and I love the idea of him playing extensive minutes with Corey Brewer.

14. Phoenix Suns - Clint Capela, Switzerland

Capela is the type of rim protector and finisher that Phoenix needs, and he’s a vast upgrade over Miles Plumlee. I’m higher on Capela than most, but if he’s here, I think Phoenix has to entertain taking him.

15. Atlanta Hawks - James Young, Kentucky

Another floor spacer and energy guy off the bench seems like a solid pick for the Hawks. Young can be the type of bench gunner than Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson have been for them in seasons past, and should find a place in the Hawks’ offense quickly.

16. Chicago Bulls - Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I like Nurkic on the Bulls because he’s a fantastic PNR finisher to pair with Derrick Rose, and I really want Chicago to get a quality backup for Joakim Noah.

17. Boston Celtics - Rodney Hood, Duke

We’ve addressed Boston’s defense with Vonleh, so grabbing an offense-first wing seems like a good choice. Hood can score in a variety of ways and be a bit of a safety valve to a Boston offense that used Jeff Green in that role over the past couple of seasons. That’s not ideal.

18. Phoenix Suns - K.J. McDaniels, Clemson

A perimeter guy who can attack the rim and lock down defensively is probably ideal for the Suns, so McDaniels is worth consideration, especially if P.J. Tucker isn’t in their future plans.

19. Chicago Bulls - T.J. Warren, N.C. State

More offense for this team is a good thing, and Warren can give them that, given his abilities attacking the rim as N.C. State’s only real offensive threat this past season. He could definitely develop into something special here.

20. Toronto Raptors - Kyle Anderson, UCLA

Anderson’s slide ends here, where he could be a solid option to add some perimeter size for Toronto. He can be a facilitator and low-usage scoring weapon for Toronto, and could play the two, three, or four as the Raptors decide to go small or big.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Adreian Payne, Michigan State

 Nick Collison’s getting up there in age and the Thunder could probably use some extra athleticism. Let Payne develop into a poor man’s Ibaka and unleash him in what could be some terrifying big lineups with those two and Durant paired together.

22. Memphis Grizzlies - Jerami Grant, Syracuse

Grant could fill a nice role as an athletic finisher for the Grizz, and their defense would be a good one for him to turn his raw potential into something actually useful on that end.

23. Utah Jazz - Jordan Adams, UCLA

I’ve kind of locked into a backup point guard for the Jazz, but now that we know Adams is coming out, I like his fit here. Utah could fill their backup point guard hole simply by slotting Alec Burks there for added time, and Adams gives them size at the two that they are lacking, as well as some solid two-way potential.

24. Charlotte Bobcats - P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends

We’re going with Hairston because he could be a useful guy in the Charlotte defense and possibly provide some outside scoring touch. He’d be a nice backup for Gerald Henderson.

25. Houston Rockets - Cleanthony Early, Wichita State

Easily a solid fit in Houston, Early would be a great transition weapon and could be molded into a solid three-point shooter on the Rockets’ D-League squad.

26. Miami Heat - Zach Lavine, UCLA

Backcourt depth for a team that desperately is going to need it.

27. Phoenix Suns - Elfrid Payton, UL-Lafayette

With a wing and a big on the squad already, An upgrade over Ish Smith seems smart. Payton is a huge upgrade.

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Mitch McGary, Michigan

Near the top of my wish list if I’m the Clippers is a big who can run the floor. McGary can do that, and I feel like this is a good environment for him to develop into a useful player.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Shabazz Napier, UConn

Insurance for when Derek Fisher goes to coach the Lakers.

30. San Antonio Spurs - Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia

Best International Available.

Morning Mocking, 4/26

My big goal for today’s mock was to push the Milwaukee Bucks out of the top three. The lottery machine was surprisingly uncooperative in this endeavor.

1. Boston Celtics - Jabari Parker, Duke

I just like what Boston could potentially do with Parker more than I like the Wiggins fit. The Celtics already have experience figuring out what to do with a guy of Parker’s physical profile, with Jeff Green in hand, and they could use the added scoring punch that Parker would likely bring. The two-man game of Rajon Rondo and Parker would make for excellent offense, and I have a feeling that Brad Stevens would be a good pick to develop Jabari’s defensive game.

2. Orlando Magic - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

The Magic are one of my favorite potential landing spots for Wiggins. He fits in nicely with their team full of highly athletic high-upside guys, and would be a nice upgrade over Mo Harkless at the three.

3. Sacramento Kings - Julius Randle, Kentucky

I like the fit of a power forward for the Kings better than a center or a point guard, so Randle is the pick in this scenario for Sacramento. Randle has an underused long-range shot that will be key for him to develop in the NBA, and if he can, it helps the Kings space the floor and put two monster rebounders on the floor together in Randle and Cousins. There could be defensive limitations here, but seriously, try and stop Cousins and Randle from scoring inside.

4. Milwaukee Bucks - Joel Embiid, Kansas

Embiid is by far the best player available at this spot, and the Bucks would probably be foolish not to grab him. Yes, it creates a logjam in the middle for them with Larry Sanders, John Henson, and Ekpe Udoh, but it also gives them a ton of young assets to work with in free agency. With a new ownership group in place, GM John Hammond might be able to make rational moves this offseason, and if Embiid falls into their lap, I could potentially see the Bucks moving Henson for either a draft pick or a young asset who’s a better fit.

5. Philadelphia 76ers - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

It’s kind of difficult to put the Sixers in a tough spot in this draft because they need so much, but Philly is kind of in one if this is how the draft breaks. Smart probably makes the most sense here due to fit. Him on the wing with MCW is a nice potential defensive combination, and while they can’t shoot, that’s a monster transition duo. Smart just makes more sense for the Sixers than Dante Exum, and that’s what makes this the pick.

6. Utah Jazz - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

I’m really starting to fall in love with this scenario. Gordon playing stretch four with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter would help the Jazz defensively, and he could be given the time he needs to develop on an insanely young team. Let Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson walk, let Gordon play 35 minutes a game, and he’ll figure himself out.

7. Los Angeles Lakers - Dante Exum, Australia

Exum learning from Steve Nash and potentially developing into a mutant 6’7” transition distributor sounds fun. Exum has expressed interest in playing in L.A., and he’s a very safe pick for this team because of his versatility. Also he could be a great feeder and defensive bailout guy for Kobe, if you’re interested in that.

8. Detroit Pistons - Doug McDermott, Creighton

There’s just not a situation in the world where I can see Detroit taking Noah Vonleh, so he continues to slip while the Pistons grab a shooter to pair with Josh Smith. The Hawks last year really benefited from the combination of having Kyle Korver and Smith on the floor at the same time, and McDermott should be able to play that role reasonably well. Detroit needs guys that actually can compliment their quagmire of improperly fit star players, and McDermott’s a great option to do that.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers - Noah Vonleh, Indiana

A dream scenario for Cleveland. Vonleh is the type of floor-spacer and defensive presence this team desperately needs in its frontcourt, and if he drops to number 9, it’s a great scenario. Cleveland develops him as a center, where he compliments Tristan Thompson and transitions into a supercharged version of Anderson Varejao as a pick-and-roll threat and defensive stopgap.

10. Philadelphia 76ers - James Young, Kentucky

With Marcus Smart on board, and a wealth of shooting guards available, this is a rather unfortunate spot for the Sixers, again. With shooting guard taken care of, a small forward who can shoot and make up for the Smart/MCW mid-range bonanza is probably their big need. Young can do that, and while I worry about the sudden swagginess of their perimeter unit, Thaddeus Young and Nerlens Noel should be a fairly efficient frontcourt, and this combo would give the Sixers some explosiveness on both ends. They’d probably suck again next year, but this looks fun.

11. Denver Nuggets - Dario Saric, Croatia

I have never really thought about Saric to the Nuggets until now, but he makes a ton of sense for them, actually. A tall distributor that can score well on cuts to the basket and in the midrange is very important to the triangle, and Saric can do all of those things. He’d probably be a Euro-stash for at least next year, but Denver’s cap situation is a little tight next year anyway, so that’s not a huge deal. Saric could give the Denver offense some really unique looks.

12. Orlando Magic - Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

Just makes a ton of sense. Plug him in for Jameer Nelson, let him dish assists to Afflalo, Wiggins, Tobias, and Vucci Mane, make sure he never attempts a shot in traffic, and let him be your floor-leader and late-game takeover guy.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Nik Stauskas, Michigan

My last two mocks have had Stauskas off the board before Minnesota picks, but in the event he’s there, he’s perfect for this team, who needs an efficient bench scorer that can handle the ball when Ricky Rubio sits. Stauskas could be a combination of what the team expected from J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved, and would be a great fit for a team that’s pretty close to getting to a playoff level.

14. Phoenix Suns - Gary Harris, Michigan State

Harris went on a bit of a free-fall here, but as the best player available, the Suns would probably have to take him. Harris could slot in at shooting guard and develop as a slasher and defensive stopper next to Goran Dragic.

15. Atlanta Hawks - Kyle Anderson, UCLA

I’m interested. Solid secondary ball-handler, decent shooter, rangy defensive player. All of these things sound nice for Atlanta, and I’m particularly interested in a Teague/Korver/Anderson/Scott/Horford lineup. Go Five-Out, dribble-penetrate with Anderson and Teague and let Scott and Korver fire away from deep. FUN.

16. Chicago Bulls - Clint Capela, Switzerland

Somewhat unfair, but Capela fits so well on the Bulls. He’s another garbage-collector underneath to pair with Joakim Noah offensively, and has some great potential in a Thibodeau defensive system.

17. Boston Celtics - K.J. McDaniels, Clemson

Thought about Rodney Hood and Jusuf Nurkic here, but I like the fit of McDaniels more. The Celtics need to replace Jerryd Bayless and to find insurance in case Avery Bradley signs for big money elsewhere, and McDaniels can slide in as a rangy wing that would allow the Celtics to better hide Jabari defensively. Also, Rondo/Bradley/McDaniels/Parker/Sullinger sounds amazing for small-ball.

18. Phoenix Suns - Adreian Payne, Michigan State

You know what the Suns actually need? more athleticism in their frontcourt. Markieff and Channing Frye offer great shooting, and Miles Plumlee is absurd and fun and all, but adding someone like Payne to turn Dragic fast breaks into highlight reels would be a nice idea. The Suns would also then pick Keith Appling at pick 50, and East Lansing has now been annexed by the state of Arizona.

19. Chicago Bulls - Rodney Hood, Duke


20. Toronto Raptors - T.J. Warren, N.C. State

The Raptors bolster their offense with the draft’s best off-ball scorer. I like what Dwayne Casey’s staff has done for Demar DeRozan and Terrence Ross on their outside shots, and think the same could be done for Warren. A good fit for both sides.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends

Apologies to Dallas fans, who this week were reminded that OKC gets their pick because two years ago they traded for Lamar Odom (WHOOPS!). OKC could always use another wing, and Hairston fits in as a solid two-way guy for them.

22. Memphis Grizzlies - Jerami Grant, Syracuse

He’s not Tayshaun Prince! And Memphis seems like a nice place for him to develop his defensive potential.

23. Utah Jazz - Zach Lavine, UCLA

Could back up Trey Burke and Alec Burks, and packs some nice scoring punch on a team that needs it. Seems like an excellent third guard for these guys.

24. Charlotte Bobcats - Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jusuf slid very far in this draft, but I think the Bobcats are a candidate to grab him here. They could really use another shooter, but a backup center for Al Jefferson is also a good idea, and having just remembered Jeff Taylor is still a thing, I think Charlotte could get a lot of value from Nurkic at this spot.

25. Houston Rockets - DeAndre Daniels, UConn

A wing who can rebound well would pair nicely with Chandler Parsons, and if Daniels can be an efficient three-point shooter at the next level, Houston would get a lot of value from him.

26. Miami Heat - Cleanthony Early, Wichita State

I just can’t get over the idea of a Norris Cole/Dwyane Wade/Early/LeBron/Chris Andersen lineup destroying everything with full-court alley-oops.

27. Phoenix Suns - Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia

There are no Michigan State players to take at this spot, but Phoenix could afford to take a Euro flier with one of their picks, so this is a good place for 2Bogdanz to end up.

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Elfrid Payton, UL-Lafayette

Chris Paul’s new understudy.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Artem Klimenko, Russia

If only because Sam Presti doesn’t want his former employer to nab this year’s Giannis Antetokuonmpo. Klimenko is a huge unknown (Literally, he’s playing in the Russian B-League, and is also enormous) coming into the draft, but the Thunder have a first-rounder to burn thanks to Dallas, and could let him sit over in Europe until he’s ready to replace Kendrick Perkins.

30. San Antonio Spurs - Isaiah Austin, Baylor

The Spurs need to re-sign Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner this summer, and odds are they will probably only bring back one. Austin does some of the things both guys do, and even if he’s just the new 12th man for this team, he fits.

Morning Mocking, 4/23

1. Orlando Magic - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

I like Dante Exum’s fit more than any any other prospect’s for the Magic, but if they’re picking number one, Wiggins is easily their best option. Wiggins/Oladipo on the wing is a great defensive combination, and Orlando really doesn’t have a go-to scorer, so this is probably one of the better places for Wiggins to develop his offensive abilities.

2. Milwaukee Bucks - Jabari Parker, Duke

Parker + Bucks is pretty much a lock if Milwaukee’s picking number two. His scoring abilities will really help bolster one of the league’s worst offenses, and there are worse situations for him to develop in defensively than one with Giannis on the wing and Larry Sanders and John Henson behind him.

3. Los Angeles Lakers - Joel Embiid, Kansas

Embiid is probably the better pick for the Lakers than Julius Randle, because his potential is higher. There are worse starting points for this franchise’s rebuild than a high-upside two-way center.

4. Philadelphia 76ers - Julius Randle, Kentucky

It’d be hard for Philadelphia to pass up a talent like Randle, even if they could bring back Thaddeus Young. He’d be a nice fit in Philly’s high-octane offensive system, and could step in and improve the team right away.

5. Utah Jazz - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Gordon’s fit makes more sense than Exum, Marcus Smart, or Noah Vonleh in Utah. The Jazz could use Gordon in smaller lineups where they play Derrick Favors at center, and the high athleticism of a Gordon/Favors pairing would make up for a lack of athleticism in their backcourt. The Jazz would be able to develop Gordon on the fly as a defensive stopper and transition demon, and he’d definitely be a nice fit alongside Derrick Favors defensively.

6. Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

A better fit than Exum or Vonleh for the Celtics, Smart would be a nice backup plan if Avery Bradley leaves, and could end up being a better version of Bradley, particularly offensively, if developed correctly. This isn’t a great spot for the Celtics, but this is probably the best fit.

7. Sacramento Kings - Noah Vonleh, Indiana

Yes, Sacramento has ALL THE POWER FORWARDS. However, Vonleh compliments Boogie Cousins and Carl Landry well, and should be able to start at the four for the Kings from day one.

8. Detroit Pistons - Dante Exum, Australia

Exum’s been the odd man out in terms of fit so far, but for all the needs Detroit has, Exum could be very useful for them. The Pistons’s guard depth is very questionable, and Exum can play both positions in the backcourt. He’s not a scorer, but with Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit has all the chucking it needs. Exum could be groomed as a replacement if Jennings continues to flounder and gets moved, and would add a nice distributing presence to help facilitate Detroit’s offense.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers - Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This is a horrible spot for the Cavs to be drafting, as they can’t really adequately address a need without reaching. Nurkic is a pick-and-roll monster with excellent defensive potential, and even though that would give them two foul-happy bigs with him and Tyler Zeller, he’s probably one of the better options for the Cavs.

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Nik Stauskas, Michigan

Philly needs shooting, and Stauskas is an excellent option for them to look into in that regard. He’s a solid all-around scorer that would pair well with Michael Carter-Williams on the offensive end, and MCW could definitely be used to bail Stauskas out defensively thanks to his length. Gary Harris would also be a nice option, but I like the offensive fit of Stauskas better.

11. Denver Nuggets - James Young, Kentucky

A combo guard/forward who’s an excellent scorer would be a nice fit for the Nuggets, who were without acceptable three-point shooting for most of the season thanks to injuries. Young has the versatility to play in combination with any of the Nuggets’ wings, and he’s a vast upgrade over Evan Fournier.

12. Orlando Magic - Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

With Wiggins on board, it’d be nice to see Orlando target a point guard to replace Jameer Nelson. Ennis dropping to 12 makes him an intriguing choice, as his pure point guard skill would help open up the Magic’s offense. I’m also intrigued to see how he’d fair developing under Jacque Vaughn, both a Popvich and John Stockton disciple. After seeing how he’s worked with Victor Oladipo as a potential point guard, I’m interested to see what he can do with a pure point guard prospect.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Doug McDermott, Creighton

Even if McDermott is more power forward than small forward, grabbing McDermott to bolster the team’s shooting ability solves a huge need. Even if I’m skeptical of pairing him and Kevin Love together on the court, he gives them enough options and would improve their bench drastically enough that he’s still the best pick.

14. Phoenix Suns - Dario Saric, Croatia

With three picks in the first round, and Saric still on the board, it’s a logic choice for the Suns. Saric could be a star in the league, and a coach like Jeff Hornacek would be able to get a lot out of him as a utility type. Plus, Phoenix has enough flexibility here that they could afford to leave Saric overseas for a year or two if his buyout is too messy.

15. Atlanta Hawks - Gary Harris, Michigan State

Harris’s fall ends here, as the Hawks have a need on the wing for a solid two-way player. Harris could help space the floor when Kyle Korver is sitting, and his defensive strengths match up well with what Atlanta wants to do on that end.

16. Chicago Bulls - Kyle Anderson, UCLA

Anderson’s an enticing guy for the Bulls to pick because he can play somewhat of a “point forward” role, and offers a lot of offensive flexibility for a team that desperately needs it. He’s definitely cerebral enough to thrive in the Bulls’ defensive system as well, despite a lack of athleticism.

17. Phoenix Suns - Zach Lavine, UCLA

I like the idea of an explosive bench scoring guard for Phoenix. Lavine could go anywhere from the late lottery to the early 2nd round, but the fit in Phoenix is probably the strongest of anyone in the middle of the round. He could come in and transition into the offensive role Gerald Green held this season, and eventually develop into a nice third ball-handler behind Dragic and Bledsoe.

18. Boston Celtics - Clint Capela, Switzerland

They need an upgrade over Brandon Bass as their third big, and if they can’t get Embiid or Randle up top, Capela instantly becomes a great target at 18. Capela’s finishing ability and rim protection potential would fit in nicely with Jared Sullinger, the power rebounder, and Kelly Olynyk, the floor stretcher, to give Boston a well-rounded frontcourt.

19. Chicago Bulls - Adreian Payne, Michigan State

Payne’s a well-rounded, versatile big that the Bulls could plug in behind Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah, and is the perfect excuse to amnesty Carlos Boozer.

20. Toronto Raptors - Jerami Grant, Syracuse

I’m simply in love with the idea of this pick for Toronto. They get a very athletic forward who could allow them to go super-big if he plays the 3 or small-ball if he plays the four. This is a great spot for him.

21. Memphis Grizzlies - Rodney Hood, Duke

I think he’s a lottery talent, but draft scouts must know something if he’s this far down the board for most people. Hood’s offensive abilities would improve the Memphis offense and they have enough of a defensive identity that he wouldn’t really hurt them on that end.

22. Dallas Mavericks - K.J. McDaniels, Clemson

The perfect guy to bolster their defense and insert into lineups between Monta Ellis and Shawn Marion.

23. Utah Jazz - Elfrid Payton, UL-Lafayette

Another pick late in the draft that just makes a ton of sense. Payton is a great value here behind Trey Burke and Alec Burks on their bench.

24. Charlotte Bobcats - Patric Young, Florida

If Josh McRoberts leaves, Young could be a very enticing option for the Bobcats to plug into their rotation as a backup forward.

25. Houston Rockets - T.J. Warren, N.C. State

They need forward help, and Warren’s slashing ability and overall scoring would be a nice addition for them.

26. Miami Heat - Cleanthony Early, Wichita State

I don’t think there’s a better candidate to join the Flying Death Machine than Early.

27. Phoenix Suns - Mitch McGary, Michigan

Another big to run the floor is nice, and McGary would benefit from the Phoenix medical druids.

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Isaiah Austin, Baylor

Probably not a first-round talent, but I’m intrigued by how he’d operate here.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia

Size on the wing is a pretty big need here, and Bogdanovic would offer some roster flexibility if he needs to be stashed.

30. San Antonio Spurs - Deonte Burton, Nevada

Hi, Patty Mills replacement.