With the draft less than two weeks away, more clarity is emerging about the top of the lottery, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. The Pistons are reportedly listening to offers involving the No. 1 selection, but league sources tell O’Connor the most likely scenario is that they will keep the pick and take Cade Cunningham. Even if a trade does happen, teams around the league expect Cunningham to be taken first.
The Rockets are leaning toward Jalen Green with the second pick, sources tell O’Connor. Green’s elite athleticism and ability to create his own shot could eventually make him the best player in the draft, O’Connor adds, and rival teams are preparing for him to go to Houston.
Evan Mobley, who ranks higher than Green on many teams’ draft boards, appears to be a good fit for the Cavaliers at No. 3. They may consider a guard if Collin Sexton is traded by draft night, but Mobley makes sense with the current roster. Jalen Suggs appears headed to the Raptors with the fourth pick and would be a young replacement for Kyle Lowry if he leaves in free agency.
O’Connor cites league sources who believe the Magic like Scottie Barnes with the fifth pick, while the Thunder at No. 6 will decide between James Bouknight and Barnes if he’s still on the board. Jonathan Kuminga, who was considered a top five selection early on, isn’t getting much interest from either Orlando or Oklahoma City, O’Connor adds.
There’s more on the draft:
- Many scouts and executives believe Barnes will be a top five pick, per Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Sources tell Wassmerman that the Magic are a good bet to take Barnes, but the Thunder will nab him if Orlando passes. Rival teams also believe the Raptors will consider him with the fourth pick if they’re determined to keep Lowry.
- Baylor point guard Davion Mitchell held an individual workout for the Warriors on Thursday, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Moses Moody, Jalen Johnson and Kai Jones also worked out for the team, but they were in a group session that was held after Mitchell’s workout and interview. Slater examines the arguments for and against drafting Mitchell, who is a strong defender and improved greatly as a three-point shooter last season.
- Kuminga is among the prospects who have received a Green Room invitation for draft night, Wasserman tweets. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Jones (Twitter link) and Australian guard Josh Giddey (Twitter link) have also been invited to join the Green Room, which is reserved for prospects who are expected to be chosen early.
20 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Top Picks, Barnes, Mitchell, Green Room”
Yeah apparently rumors out of Cavs camp are saying exactly what Arthur just said. Mobley is emerging as the Cavs main target if Cunningham/Green is gone. When you watch scouting videos of his (“Hoop Intellect” on YouTube has a great breakdown) PF is where Mobley could play his career and thrive. He has great shooting potential, great defensive switching potential, can actually handle the ball and play-make extremely well for his height, and his 2.9 blocks to 1.8 fouls ratio is just incredible to me. Let’s pull the trigger Cavs!
Mobley reminds me so much of a future Bosh.
Agreed but I think he has the potential to be a better defender too.
Love hoop intellect too. Keandre’s analysis lives up to the channel’s name.
Suggs to Toronto is such a good fit even if Lowry is there for another year or two. He is the perfect guy to replace him. I really like the ceiling and potential of the top 3 guys, but Suggs is still my favorite player in the draft.
Agreed, so excited he’s viewed as a lock at #4.
It is not indicated Ujiri actually prefers him. He might, but he is not the type to take someone just because he’s next in line. He could trade down for a couple Ujiri-special picks.
However Suggs is a great reward for tanking last year. They could let Lowry leave.
Taking Green over Mobley will be a total disaster. Mobley looks like future KG. Green might end up being Dion Waiters
I see Bosh more than KG for Mobley but I don’t not see it either.
I dont dislike your comment. Even if he is Bosh – thats very very good. Bosh would be an amazing center in today’s NBA
I mean, Bosh is a hall of famer and should be. You take that at 3.
Green is much more athletic than Waiters. I truly think it was Dion’s attitude that tripped him up.
Kuminga? Falling? I can’t remember the last time a guy with his profile (he’s a true combo F in skill set) fell in weeks leading up to the draft. In fact, I can’t remember a recent draft where any such guy didn’t rise in the final weeks.
I don’t know enough about this player to suggest he could be a steal past #6. It’s as likely that he’s not really falling (just mock drafts are catching up) or that he’s falling for a reason, and teams should stay clear. I haven’t seen him or Green play very much. Their HS class didn’t have HS all star games, and neither played in college. I find their G-league games close to unwatchable, but not due to them specifically.
Kuminga has bust written all over him to me.
The one that stands out that I do remember falling was Michael Porter Jr., but had injury concerns. Kuminga is falling because of his shooting % which is usually something teams overlook. But honestly I’m surprised as you are. If the Magic don’t pick him with their 5th or 8th pick, and the Warriors pass, the Kings will definitely draft him at #9. I hate saying this and going off of them being a not-so-great franchise since I’m a fan of one lol, but I don’t think he would want to go there to develop.
Think it’s more of a Barnes is rising type deal IMO –
Ive had Barnes 5 all along and think it ends up that way
I hear ya on the combo forward thing but I think Kumingas shooting and ft% are kinda knocking him down a small peg –
DXC… I can tell you sooo many teams/fans sleepin’ on Kuminga will regret it, anywhere out of the top 2/3 he will be a steal as a matter of fact!
DET, HOU, CLE, TOR, ORL, OKC, GSW… all of them could do with a player like him!
I really want the Rockets to take Mobley in this draft. The others are guards and I feel like Houston Rockets have plenty of Guards on the roster. Yao Ming (outside of Dwight Howard) is the last “big man” this organization has seen. Rockets should go back to having the “big man” especially with teams going smaller. Mobley can be defensively sound defending the parameters to the paint. No one really drives to the paint anymore but having a big guy like Mobley, keeps the paint secure. Get some additional defensive help to protect against the parameters, Rockets would look like the 90s Rockets.
That’s like a total redo, and heavily relies on one draftee.
Utah is catching crap for that plan, not that they should, but Fertita would have to commit to extra years and a change.
Mobley is a Center. Needs girth to reach his potential. He’s yrs away from making big impact. Cavs would be dumb to take him. They could trade the pick to Raptors or Magic. Both would love Mobley as their future Center. Allen is ready to make impact now. Suggs fits them, they could get him plus a pick. Rockets blowing smoke. They will take Mobley. Plenty of stories in Houston about Wood and his attitude. All over sports radio. Rockets would be smart to move him now. Sell high. Mobley is a future star at center. Rockets want Cade. Give me #2 pick , #23 pick, and next yrs #1. That’ll do it for me.