NBA Mock Draft 3.0

  1. Houston Rockets: Cade Cunningham, F/G – Oklahoma State

    The race for Cade is winding down and the Rockets are currently on top. Cunningham is a transcendent talent that can do it all. The Rockets may have lost James Harden, but they get a guy in Cunningham who has that kind of ceiling to be on that level.

  2. Detroit Pistons: Jalen Suggs, G – Gonzaga

    It was tough choosing between Suggs and Mobley here at #2, but with the development of Isaiah Stewart going really well so far, I went with Suggs here. He fits next to anyone in the backcourt and would give the Pistons a nice 1-2 punch with Killian Hayes. Both Suggs and Hayes can take turns being the primary ball-handler for Detroit.

  3. Orlando Magic: Evan Mobley, C – USC

    Another year, another Center for the Orlando Magic. Fortunately, Mobley has the highest ability of all the Big Men drafted in previous years. Mobley can do it all his elite defense, elite athleticism, great rebounding, etc. If he can continue to build on his ability to hit open 3’s consistently, Mobley can become the best player from this draft.

  4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jalen Green, SG – G-League

    OKC has done a wonderful job of stockpiling assets for their future and it’s now time to start building a team that can win now. One thing that the Thunder lack is a guy who can go and get a bucket at any time, and drafting someone like Green would fill that void immediately. Green has a complete offensive arsenal who can shoot, drive, and possesses elite athleticism. He needs to build some strength to be a more effective defender in the NBA, but for now he has all the tools to contribute right away at a high level.

  5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonathan Kuminga, F – G-League

    Kuminga is another player who opted to play in the Pros over College. So far, it has not worked out as well as most thought. He has shown the elite athleticism and defensive ability that was coveted out of high school but his offensive ability leaves a lot to be desired. To be fair, Kuminga did re-classify and is very young and won’t turn 19 until October 6th of this year. The Cavs are in an interesting position with a lot of young talent but just can’t seem to put it together. There are also questions about Kevin Love and if he will ever see the floor for Cleveland again and not to mention, Larry Nance is a likely trade candidate this offseason. Kuminga comes into Cleveland to give the Cavs a very athletic starting 4 with a ton of upside.

  6. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota): Jalen Johnson, F – Duke

    There was a lot of negativity surrounding Johnson and his decision to opt-out of the season halfway through, but he had every right to do so. Uncertainty around the status of Duke’s season after a COVID-19 outbreak as well as another issue: not being paid to play due to being in College.

    Despite all of that there is no denying Jalen’s ability to play basketball. He can drive it, bring the ball up the floor, shoot the 3 and rebound the ball which are all a perfect in the Warriors offense.

  7. Toronto Raptors: Davion Mitchell, PG – Baylor

    Nobody raised their draft stock more than Davion Mitchell. From being a fringe 1st-Round player to a for-sure lottery pick, Mitchell is a guy who can do it all and showed it during Baylor’s championship run. A lockdown defender, great shooter and ability to pass the ball and run the offense, Mitchell can come in play major minutes for the Raptors right away. He could even start depending on what the Raptors do with pending free-agent Kyle Lowry.

  8. Orlando Magic (via Chicago): Keon Johnson, G – Tennessee

    Keon Johnson is a very explosive player who showed a ton of ability, especially on defense. Although he isn’t a good shooter, Johnson still has a ton to show for with his athleticism, drives to the basket and of course on defense. It’ll be interesting to see how he will fit next to Markelle Fultz in the backcourt, but the talent and upside is there.

  9. Sacramento Kings: Scottie Barnes, F – Florida State

    A 5-star recruit out of high school, Scottie Barnes was one of the most sought-after players in the country. After a somewhat lackluster season with the Seminoles, he still goes in the lottery to the Kings. A ton of upside and a great defender, Barnes is sort of similar to current Kings F Harrison Barnes.

  10. New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Giddey, G – Australia

    Giddey is the first international player off the draft board going to the Pelicans. He is someone who can do it all and is similar to pending free agent Lonzo Ball in terms of length and his ability to pass, rebound, defend, etc.

  11. Charlotte Hornets: Alperen Sengun, C – Turkey

    The Hornets have been lacking an impact big man for years and Sengun is someone who dominated the Turkish season at just 18. Sengun has a very polished game for his age and has even drawn comparisons to Pau Gasol.

  12. San Antonio Spurs: Franz Wagner, F – Michigan

    Wagner is one of the better defenders in the nation with the ability to guard 1-4 and is very good at driving to the rim. He is a really streaky shooter and can improve in that area to really reach his potential but with him going to the Spurs and being coached by Popovich, his potential is through the roof.

  13. Indiana Pacers: Corey Kispert, G/F – Gonzaga

    You can never have enough 3-and-D players and Kispert has plenty of that to go around. He is almost automatic from 3-point range and is a perfect replacement for Doug McDermott, who is set to be a free agent after this season.

  14. Golden State Warriors: Moses Moody, SG – Arkansas

    Moody had a really bad tournament and saw his stock take quite a tumble. Still, he showed a ton of ability and is great fit as a shooter and slasher next to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. He definitely needs work on his ability off the dribble and adding some strength to his slight frame.

  15. Washington Wizards: James Bouknight, G – UConn

    Bouknight is a bucket-getting Guard who likely fits best off the bench as a 6th-man, which would really help the Wizards when Beal and Westbrook go to the bench.

  16. Boston Celtics: Kai Jones, C – Texas

    A high upside player who didn’t start many games for the Longhorns, Jones can defend, be a rim-runner and hit the open 3 when he gets the opportunity. Boston desperately needs a big-man and Jones is the guy for them at 16.

  17. Memphis Grizzlies: Isaiah Jackson, C/F – Kentucky

    Jackson is another high-riser in this draft after a really good last month to end his season. He has really good length (7’5 Wingspan) and is an elite athlete who shows a ton of promise on the defensive end and gives Memphis a much-needed Center off the bench.

  18. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami): Usman Garuba, C – Spain

    The Thunder can go a lot of different ways here but go with Garuba who is most assuredly a developmental player. He’s been playing pro ball in Spain for the past 3 months and just turned 19 this past March. It’ll be interesting to see what OKC does with him but he has a lot of upside.

  19. New York Knicks: Ayo Dosunmu, G – Illinois

    It’s a mystery to me why Dosunmu doesn’t get more buzz around the league but he fits really well in the new Knicks culture as a hard-working player that goes all out any time he’s on the floor. He is a great defender and athlete, he improved dramatically as a 3-point shooter, and is a good passer who can run an offense.

  20. Atlanta Hawks: Tre Mann, G – Florida

    Tre Mann is someone who can run an offense and shoot the ball lights out from 3. It’ll be nice for the Hawks to get someone who can play either Guard position off the bench.

  21. New York Knicks (via Dallas): Cam Thomas, G – LSU

    Thomas has the ability to light up the box score as an elite scorer who can do it all on offense. He will fit well in Madison Square Garden as he can go off and catch fire at any given moment.

  22. Los Angeles Lakers: Jared Butler, G – Baylor

    Butler was the MOP (Most Outstanding Player) of the NCAA Tournament while helping lead Baylor to the National Championship. Butler does not have a lot places he needs to improve at but is a high-floor player that can help a contender out right away. He can play both Guard spots and shoot the 3 really and is a lights-out defender as displayed throughout his college career.

  23. Houston Rockets (via Portland): Ziaire Williams, F – Stanford

    Williams just has too much talent for a team like Houston to pass up here at 22. He can play the 2-4 but will need to improve his shooting. Other than that, Williams is an elite defender and athlete with an ability to drive to the basket with ease and is also an underrated passer from the Wing spot.

  24. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee): Greg Brown, F – Texas

    The Rockets cannot pass up the chance of getting Greg Brown and having potentially the most athletic rotation in basketball with Brown, Ziaire Williams, Christian Wood and Cade Cunningham. Brown has shown promise this past season as an athletic rim-runner and defender with tons of potential.

  25. Los Angeles Clippers: Sharife Cooper, PG – Auburn

    The Clippers got the facilitator they badly needed in Rajon Rondo at the Trade Deadline but he is older and they don’t have anyone else who can be that guy consistently. In comes Cooper who averaged 21 & 8 at Point Guard for Auburn. He isn’t the greatest shooter but learning under Rondo at other aspects of his game for a year can’t hurt.

  26. Denver Nuggets: Chris Duarte, G – Oregon

    Duarte is a steal at 26 for Denver and can fit in easily to their rotation. He’s a really good 3 and D player but doesn’t have a ton of room to grow as a player. Duarte gives the Nuggets some insurance at the Wing spot with Aaron Gordon set to be a free agent after the 2021-2022 season.

  27. Brooklyn Nets: Brandon Boston Jr, G/F – Kentucky

    Out of High School, B.J. Boston was expected to be a high lottery pick. After a disappointing Freshman season, he finds himself at the back-end of the First Round but he might have ended up better off going to a winning situation rather than a losing one.

  28. Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Christopher, G – Arizona State

    Another big-time recruit last year, Christopher is a highly athletic, slashing Guard that is at his best at the mid-range and driving to the basket. He will need to work on his outside shot to maximize his potential but will need a year or two for that to show improvement.

  29. Phoenix Suns: Miles McBride, PG – West Virginia

    McBride is a sneaky good prospect who can do it all, but his only problem is that he doesn’t have a high ceiling. He does have a really high floor and is a very nice player to play behind CP3 in his last year before Free Agency.

  30. Utah Jazz: Jaden Springer, G – Tennessee

    Jaden Springer is an outstanding defender and scorer with the ability to knock down open 3’s. He’s at his best off the ball and slashing to the basket, but can also be a primary ball-handler too.

Top 3 Remaining Needs and Options

Now that we’re post-draft and past the meat of free agency, most team-needs have been filled. There are still a few spots where Arizona could use more help and, fortunately, there are still some veteran options available.

Side note: Julio Jones would be fun, but you’re not going to find a WR on this list.

3. DT – The expensive signing of Jordan Phillips last year left Arizona with their hands tied at the position this offseason. With a massive dead cap hit of $14.5mil, they couldn’t cut Phillips. And no one is trading for that contract, so Arizona’s left overpaying and hoping he can stay healthy and and play better.

The good news is Arizona still has $13.5mil available in salary, and a veteran free agent signed at this point isn’t going to break the bank. An experienced vet like Geno Atkins could help set the Cardinals defensive line over the top. The problem with Geno is he’s now 33 years old and hasn’t been able to stay healthy the last couple years. If Keim wanted to go younger he should look at Sheldon Richardson. Both Atkins and Richardson play that penetrating interior defense line role well, but Richardson is 3 years younger and has played in all 16 games the past 3 years. Or Keim could just go with who he knows and sign Vet Corey Peters back for another year.

2. CB – 2 of 3 starting cornerback positions are set. Of course it would be nice if Robert Alford could lock down the 3rd spot but he’s now 32 and hasn’t played since 2018. Cardinals drafted two young corners they’re excited about in Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan but you can’t expect any Day 3 rookie to come in and start from Day 1.

Steven Nelson has been rumored to many teams including Arizona. Still in his prime at 28 years old, Nelson has missed just 2 games over the past 3 years combined, accumulating 7 interceptions, 32 pass deflections, 177 tackles, and 4 tackles for loss in that span. To have willing tacklers at all 3 starting CB spots would be a game changer for this defense.

It’s also possible Keim goes the familiarity route and eventually brings back Dre Kirkpatrick or Jonathan Joseph for depth and experience.

1. TE – Arizona might be the thinnest at this position of any team in the league. Maxx Williams is underutilized in the pass game and is one of the best run-blocking tight ends in the league, but after him the only tight end with any experience is Darrell Daniels (who doubled his career starts last year with eight).

Undrafted tight end Bruno Labelle’s game is reminiscent of Maxx Williams. He’s an extremely effective run-blocker and was a consistent, yet underutilized, pass-catcher at Cincinnati. Additionally, undrafted Austrian Bernhard Seikovits has impressive athleticism for his size and seems to have the right mindset to succeed. However, a large learning curve has to be expected with undrafted rookies.

Cards were rumored to have interest in top Free Agents like Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, but after missing out on all the top free agents, letting Kyler’s main pass-catching tight end walk and not drafting a replacement… a Keim-Time trade feels imminent…

A tight end like Zach Ertz could be amazing for Kyler, who loved his big pass-catching TEs at Oklahoma. Ertz had a down year after missing the first six weeks with an ankle injury. There are rumors the Eagles could cut him to save $8.5mil, which could also be a reason he’d be fairly cheap in a trade.

If Keim can’t pull-off one of his infamous steals, there’s still a few decent Free Agents left with starting experience. At 29 years old, Trey Burton could be a solid addition. A bit stuck behind Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox on the depth chart, Burton had 28 catches for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns in just 4 starts last year. Jesse James is an even younger option (27) and arguably the most well-rounded tight end available.

According to Sharpe Football Stats, Kliff ran his offense out of “12 Personnel” (1 RB, 2 TEs) 30% of the time last season. In 2019, he used 2-3 TE formations 25% of the time. While that number could go down next year, it’s hard to imagine it changing drastically. Which leads one to believe another tight end will be added.

With the release of QB Cole McDonald, the Cardinals have a spot available on the 90-man roster. Look for the Cardinals to potentially fill that spot with one of these three positions.

Give me your thoughts @Cardinals_ATB where you think AZ’s biggest needs remain and who you would like to see added to the roster.

Hot Take Thursday

Hello! In this article I will go and look through 5 hot takes that twitter users have sent me and I will look into them, saying whether I agree or disagree and why. Let’s get started

1. Chandler Jones is winning come back player of the year

No, but top 5 for sure

Look, I love watching myself some Chandler Jones. The man is a very underrated pass rusher and he has been for years, including being snubbed from the top ten by everyone’s least favorite PFF. However, there’s two players who I see being above him for that award even if Chandler Jones goes on a tear. In a league where a lot of the awards are QB oriented and after seeing how gruesome the injury was it’ll be incredibly hard not to give this award to Dak if he has even just a solid regular season and leads Dallas to an NFC Least crown. Another player that I see winning it way before Chandler is Derwin James. After missing two seasons coming off a dominant rookie year, if he returns to that form, no matter how good Chandler is, they will recognize Derwin more. He’ll get more recognition from voters f he has an amazing season from Chandler. Now do I agree with this take? No. However, this is highly in the realm of possibility, especially if Chandler replicates his 19.5 sack performance from 2019. Moderately hot.

Grade: 3.5/5

2. Zaven Collins will be a bust.

Probably not, honestly depends on how Vance uses him in the scheme.

I’ve been more optimistic about the 6’4 linebacker from Tulsa than some others, if you put him in the middle next to Simmons, if used properly by Vance, will be a force to be reckoned with in a few years. That’s the issue however, Vance does have his moments but as we watched with Simmons, showed his levels of incompetence, however, I believe that if he’s used incorrectly after this season, Vance will be fired and have someone who knows how to use the duo correctly. With amount of IQ that Zaven has along with the football skills and athleticism, there’s a slim chance he’ll bust, at the worst mediocre.

Grade: 1.5/5

3. We will go 6-11 this year and will clean house in the coaching staff

https://twitter.com/wachisback/status/1397976802010681345

No way we go 6-11, could see a coaching staff revamp however if we miss the playoffs.

Now, I could see us having a 7-10 to 9-8 record but I don’t know how we can be substantially worse, even with Kliff, when we upgraded at every position. Now, if we miss the playoffs however, this does have ground to it. Not only would the coaching staff be fired but we may look to cut some veterans on the team and restart the rebuild… again. I think we will make the playoffs but from a logical standpoint, this take makes a lot of logical sense. 6-11 just seems to low.

Grade: 4/5

4. Chase Edmonds will have 1500 scrimmage yards.

At first I went no, but on second thought….

At first, my initial thoughts were: “Oh god, that’s nearly impossible, there’s 0% chance he hits that milestone!”, but then the more I thought about it, the more I began to 2nd guess myself. Edmonds, as the secondary back, had 850 total scrimmage yards while backing up Kenyan Drake for the entire season. While I’m firm of the belief that Edmonds probably isn’t a workhorse running back, with almost double the touches projected next year, he should be able to reach that goal. If we took Drake’s 239 carries and went to apply that to Chase’s YPC, his rushing yards would be 1.1k total, which would already put him in that 1500 total including receiving yards. While I don’t know if his YPC will stay at that 4.6 as the new “#1” running back, with the amount of touches he will get next year, he should at least be around that vicinity, and if he does that, that just adds another dynamic to this offense.

Grade: 4.5/5

5. Conner 10 TDs

If used the way I believe he will be intended, absolutely.

Conner, while definitely not great, nor a top back, can be used amazing in goal line situations (If Kliff gets his act together and doesn’t make a 1-2 punch). Here are a few of his redzone touchdowns that demonstrate both his physicality, and knack for getting into the endzone.

All three of those plays, while the second one being super easy, is exactly the way Kliff and Arizona should use James, goal line, physical back who will give us that one to two yards whether it be in the endzone or in a fourth-and-short situation. If he’s used in that way, it’ll be super easy for him to hit that ten-touchdown mark. Now please don’t mess this up, Kliff.

Grade: 10 touchdowns/5

And those are our takes for today! I had a lot of fun making this article and thinking to myself about all these hot takes coming from our fanbase. Can’t wait to see this team play come September. If we all don’t die by then.

Summer Scouting: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Treylon Burks of the Arkansas Razorbacks is one of the many wide receivers getting hyped up as a first round guy. He possesses not only excellent athleticism but size as well. Arkansas has him listed at 6-foot-3, 225-pounds and he certainly looks the part. Most guys with his build are often viewed as an “X” or “Z” receiver, someone who can win at the line-of-scrimmage as well as down the field. However, this is not the role that Burks plays for the Razorbacks. He is oftentimes lined up in the slot (the “Y” receiver position) and is asked to win in space and use the space created by the offense to make plays with the ball in his hands. Due to this fact, his route tree is limited and he holds more of a gadget-type role within the offense. For him to be in that “WR1” conversation (like he has been talked about early on in the process), he will need to show the ability to win outside against press coverage, as well as expanding his route tree.

Pros:

  • Maintains speed through breaks.
  • Can be used creatively, been used in the backfield, on jet sweeps and such.
  • Stops on a dime.
  • RAC, requisite speed and can make people miss.
  • Contested catches, making snags over the middle.
  • Vertical Threat
  • Fluid mover for his size.
  • Not afraid to do the dirty work as a blocker.
  • Settles in soft spots of zone coverage, QB’s best friend.
  • Consistent hands, doesn’t have many drops on his tape.

Cons:

  • Very small route tree, simple routes as well.
  • Getting off contact, lets DBs hang too close, doesn’t hand fight much.
  • Doesn’t run routes with speed variance.
  • Lacks nuance and creativity in his routes.
  • Uses his body to help reel in catches.
  • Operates primarily on the slot, not very many reps v. press coverage.

2021 Season Statistics:

51 receptions, 820 receiving yards, 16.1 yards per reception, 7 touchdowns, 15 rushing attempts, and 75 yards in 9 games played

Preliminary Round Grade:

7.00 – Second Round Grade