Charlotte Hornets

Mock draft 2.0: Will Hornets choose a guard after trading for center Dwight Howard?

Hornets trade for Dwight Howard

Head Coach Steve Clifford and General Manager Rich Cho discuss the trade that acquired eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard Tuesday night.
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Head Coach Steve Clifford and General Manager Rich Cho discuss the trade that acquired eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard Tuesday night.

Mocking the first round of the NBA draft:

1. Philadelphia (from Brooklyn via Boston)

Markelle Fultz

College: Washington.

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 195

Pos.: Point guard.

Comment: The 76ers have long needed to nail down the point guard spot. Fultz will add star power to a franchise that has tried its fans’ patience with “the process” for years.

2. L.A. Lakers

Lonzo Ball

College: UCLA.

Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 190.

Pos.: Point guard.

Comment: He has a beautiful feel for the angles of the game, plus size at the point. A Southern California star for a Lakers fan base that loves Showtime.

3. Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)

Jayson Tatum

College: Duke

Ht.: 6-8. Wt.: 200.

Pos.: Small forward

Comment: Tatum might have the most potential in this draft. Celtics could also go with Kansas’ Josh Jackson.

4. Phoenix

De’Aaron Fox

College: Kentucky.

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 187.

Pos.: Point guard.

Comment: A great competitor game in and game out. Suns have plenty of guards, but this would be a value pick on a young, rebuilding team.

5. Sacramento (from Philadelphia)

Josh Jackson

College: Kansas.

Ht.: 6-8. Wt.: 200.

Pos.: Small forward.

Comment: The Kings will eventually need an alternative to replace Rudy Gay at this position. Jackson is solid on offense and defense, but like most one-and-dones, he’ll need patience to develop.

6. Orlando

Jonathan Isaac

College: Florida State.

Ht.: 6-11. Wt.: 210.

Pos.: Small forward/power forward.

Comment: His ability to play multiple front-court positions is a plus. The Magic has made over its basketball operation after a disappointing season.

7. Minnesota

Lauri Markkanen

College: Arizona

Ht.: 7-0 Wt.: 225

Pos.: Power forward (possibly some center)

Comment: This pick is a wild card because the T’Wolves have so much young talent. A wing defender would fit, but is it too early to draft Donovan Mitchell or Justin Jackson?

8. New York

Frank Ntilikina

Pro affiliation: French league.

Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 170.

Pos.: Point guard.

Comment: Phil Jackson, now running the Knicks’ basketball operation, always preferred big guards when he was coaching the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.

9. Dallas

Dennis Smith Jr.

College: N.C. State.

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200.

Pos.: Point guard.

Comment: He’s a great natural talent. The question is how good Smith will he be in the organizing/facilitating responsibilities that come with playing point guard.

10. Sacramento (from New Orleans)

Malik Monk

College: Kentucky.

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200.

Pos.: Shooting guard.

Comment: He has a gift for scoring in bunches. The question about Monk is his relative lack of size for a wing player. Hiding him defensively could be a challenge.

11. Charlotte

Donovan Mitchell

College: Louisville.

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 210.

Pos.: Shooting guard/point guard.

Comment: A long-armed defender. Other possibilities could be Duke’s Luke Kennard or Gonzaga’s Zach Collins.

12. Detroit

Justin Jackson

College: North Carolina.

Ht.: 6-8. Wt.: 200.

Pos.: Small forward.

Comment: Coach Stan Van Gundy would be enamored of Jackson’s ability to impact a game offensively and defensively. He steadily improved in his time in Chapel Hill.

13. Denver

Luke Kennard

College: Duke.

Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 196.

Pos.: Shooting guard.

Comment: Kennard is highly skilled offensively, with the ability to create shots in a variety of ways. He will be challenged to defend the array of great scorers at shooting guard in the NBA.

14. Miami

Zach Collins

College: Gonzaga.

Ht.: 7-0. Wt.: 232.

Pos.: Power forward/center.

Comment: A reserve on Gonzaga’s national championship team, Collins has big-time athletic gifts for his size. But he figures to be more a long-term project than a quick-impact pick.

15. Portland

Bam Adebayo

College: Kentucky.

Ht.: 6-10 Wt.: 250.

Pos.: Center.

Comment: He appears to be a riser in this NBA draft. The Trail Blazers have a history of being willing to bet on long-term potential and to allow time for players to develop.

16. Chicago

Terrance Ferguson

Pro affiliation: Australia.

Ht.: 6-7. Wt.: 185.

Pos.: Shooting guard/small forward.

Comment: Ferguson chose to sign with a pro team in Australia, rather than pursue eligibility to play college basketball. He has 3-point range and some defensive ability. He needs more muscle and bulk to compete in the NBA.

17. Milwaukee

John Collins

College: Wake Forest.

Ht.: 6-10. Wt.: 225

Pos.: Power forward.

Comment: Collins is coming off a breakthrough sophomore season in which he averaged 19.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 62 percent shooting from the field. Collins should be a solid low-post scorer.

18. Indiana

Harry Giles

College: Duke.

Ht.: 6-10. Wt.: 232.

Pos.: Center/power forward.

Comment: Giles did little in his one college season (3.9 points per game and 3.8 rebounds). Despite being an elite recruit, he averaged fewer than 12 minutes for the Blue Devils. That was mostly about knee injuries. He’s a high risk/high reward candidate.

19. Atlanta

Jarrett Allen

College: Texas.

Ht.: 6-10. Wt.: 234.

Pos.: Center.

Comment: Allen thrived the second half of his one season with the Longhorns, thrusting him into this draft. His incredible reach (a 7-5 wingspan, as measured at the NBA Combine) compensates for so-so height for an NBA center.

20. Portland (from Memphis through Denver and Cleveland)

OG Anunoby

College: Indiana.

Ht.: 6-7. Wt.: 232.

Pos.: Small forward (possibly power forward).

Comment: The Trail Blazers are draft-pick rich this spring, so they can chase depth without particular concern for any one position in the first round.

21. Oklahoma City

T. J. Leaf

College: UCLA.

Ht.: 6-10. Wt.: 222.

Pos.: Power forward.

Comment: The son of a former Israeli pro player, Leaf is a versatile scorer-shooter who must get stronger to hold down the power forward position in the NBA.

22. Brooklyn (from Washington)

Justin Patton

College: Creighton.

Ht.: 6-11. Wt.: 229.

Pos.: Center.

Comment: Patton was a classic late bloomer, drawing limited attention in high school. He projects as a strong rim-protector in the NBA, averaging more than two shots blocked last season and possessing a 7-2 wingspan.

23. Toronto (from LA Clippers through Milwaukee)

Isaiah Hartenstein

Pro affiliation: Lithuanian league.

Ht.: 7-0 Wt.: 225.

Pos.: Power forward/center.

Comment: While he was born in Oregon, Hartenstein, of German descent, has played professionally in Europe. A relatively high skill level for a big man.

24. Utah

Ivan Rabb

College: California.

Ht.: 6-11. Wt.: 220.

Pos.: Power forward.

Comment: A good shooter (54 percent from the field and 40 percent from the college 3-point line), Rabb would add depth to a Jazz team on the rise.

25. Orlando (from Toronto)

Ike Anigbogu

College: UCLA.

Ht.: 6-10 Wt.: 250.

Pos.: Center/power forward.

Comment: There isn’t much data on Anigbogu, in that he averaged just 13 minutes in his only college season with the Bruins. So this defines drafting on potential.

26. Portland (from Cleveland)

Jordan Bell

College: Oregon.

Ht.: 6-8. Wt.: 225.

Pos.: Power forward.

Comment: A good shotblocker for his size. Bell’s offense is almost entirely at the rim. He’d need to improve considerably to stretch the floor with 3-point shooting, as so many NBA power forwards now do.

27. L.A. Lakers (from Boston via Brooklyn)

Tyler Lydon

College: Syracuse.

Ht.: 6-9 Wt.: 215.

Pos.: Power forward.

Comment: A good shooter, shot 39 percent from the 3-point line and 83 percent from the foul line for the Orangemen last season.

28. L.A. Lakers (from Houston)

Anzejs Pasecniks

Pro affiliation: Latvian pro.

Ht.: 7-2. Wt.: 229.

Pos.: Center.

Comment: The European pro system leans on experience over potential, so he didn’t play much last season for Gran Canaria.

29. San Antonio

Tony Bradley

College: North Carolina.

Ht.: 6-10. Wt.: 248.

Pos.: Center.

Comment: On the fringe of the first round, Bradley chose to stay in this draft rather than return to Chapel Hill for a chance to help the Tar Heels defend their national championship.

30. Utah (from Golden State)

Semi Ojeleye

College: Southern Methodist.

Ht.: 6-7. Wt.: 241.

Pos.: Small forward.

Comment: He has a nice jump shot, making 42 percent of his 3-point attempts for the Mustangs last season.

31. Charlotte (from Brooklyn via Atlanta)

Kyle Kuzma

College: Utah

Ht.: 6-9 Wt.: 221.

Pos.: Power forward.

Comment: Good ballhandling skills for his position, both as a dribbler and passer.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell