The NBA Draft is on June 20, just two and a half weeks away. There seems to be less coverage on it than usual, which could be due to a number of factors. First, there’s no controversy over who will be picked at the top — Zion Williamson will go 1st overall, and Ja Morant and RJ Barrett will almost certainly go 2 and 3. Second, the NBA Finals are still raging, and it’s been a close, fun affair so far. Finally, the non-Zion draft class is one of the most unexciting group of prospects in years. There’s very little to get hyped on, or for fans to really work themselves into a lather. Thus, there seems to be a paucity of mock drafts.
Since our last update almost two weeks ago, many of the top sites (The Ringer, The Athletic, Sports Illustrated) have not changed their mock drafts, while some (CBS Sports, Bleacher Report) are still only doing the first round. Therefore, there’s not a ton to go on for the Clippers, who pick 48th and 56th. However, the dutiful duo of Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz over at ESPN did release a new mock today, prompting this update. A couple other semi-reputable mock drafts that have been recently adjusted are included as well.
ESPN: Updated June 3
48th - Jalen Lecque, PG from Brewster Academy (committed to play NC State, didn’t play)
56th - Jalen McDaniels, SF/PF from San Diego State (sophomore)
I don’t know too much about Lecque, just that he was a 5 star recruit who didn’t want to play college basketball, and was confident enough in his high school tape to get him drafted. The more interesting bit is that the Clippers keep getting linked to non-college players (Darius Bazley and Brian Bowen as well) who took alternate routes to go pro. Just something to keep an eye on. McDaniels is a big forward with impressive college production in a decent conference, but took a step back in many advanced stats as a sophomore. Still, his size, mobility, and production make him an intriguing flier this late in the draft.
Net Scouts: Updated May 31
48th - Sagaba Konate, PF from West Virginia (junior)
56th - Joshua Obesie, SG from s.Oliver Wurzburg (Bundesliga league in Germany)
Tankathon: Updated May 30
48th - Ignas Brazdeikis, SG/SF from Michigan (freshman)
56th - Simi Shittu, PF/C from Vanderbilt (freshman)
It’s interesting, if not totally surprising, that none of the players listed above were included in the previous mock draft roundup. This late into the draft, there’s far less intel on who teams like, and also far greater variability in who will be available, so the teams themselves have to have more contingencies. Basically, while it might be good to at least look up the players above, especially the ESPN guys (they called Jerome Robinson a week before the draft, for what it’s worth), this still doesn’t mean much three weeks out.