The First Mock Draft of 2025!

  • By Kyle Kappe, Day 196, 2024

This is a mock draft between three owners; Jailbirds, Blizzards, and the Lightning. We alternated every three picks and the order wasn’t random, we had to make sure we did not have our own pick. This mock draft was done in about 16 hours, so the information might be a little rushed and once declarations are made, we will go back and re-adjust it as needed.

1. Rockets) - Jamar Walcutt - C - Kentucky: Jamar Walcutt is a cut above the rest. Even though the Rockets have Qwan Songalia, he should be the pick here as he projects to be a generational defender. Triston Lane likely fits better but you don’t want to be the guy who passes up someone like Walcutt. Walcutt will fit nicely with Zion Jeffries as the front court of the future in Austin. - Austin

2. Cyclones) - Triston Lane - SG/SF - Arizona: At pick number two the Hurricanes will have Lane fall into their laps and they couldn't ask for a better opportunity. After the failures of Cameron Nix and then moving on to Quinton Rice, The Arizona 6'9 Athletic wing will give them certainty at a position they have toyed around with all last season. If they keep Rice, Lane will slot into small forward quite nicely. - Billy

3. Vipers) Austin McConnell - PG - Florida: The presence of Tyler Davis kind of complicates the pick, but McConnell fits into the Vipers style of play. If you look at who is surrounding McConnell at Florida, it isn’t much, not a single teammate on the top 100 list. He’s a defensive leader who should make everyone else around him better and he can be mentored by Davis or made Davis a bit more expendable, though he will still be under contract for two more years. I’m not sure who else RKG would take here once Lane was off the board. - Kyle

4. Lightning) - Bamba Diouf - PG - UNC: I think the Lightning wish McConnell fell here, but they are happy to be able to get Diouf as a consolation prize. The current starting PG in Houston, Darryl Caldbeck, was a nice find but is not a starting PG in the JBL. Diouf can step in immediately and become the second best player on the team. Diouf has great size and playmaking abilities, as well as passing the eye test offensively. Diouf + Allen will make a nice back court pairing and foundation to build around. - Austin

5. Stars) - Marcus Price - SF/PF - Louisville: If McConnell and Diouf are off the board at pick 5 then the Price is right for Nashville, and if everything goes the Arizona product will bring some defense to the wing rotation. Price is a flexible player who can play the 3 and 4 in between Colton Gregory and Deon Hellums forming a pretty tough combination all over the court. - Billy

6. Predators) - Dominic Lockhart - PF - USC: Marquise Davis is a nice presence at the PF spot, but he’s not a solution there. Stackhouse needs a better front court teammate and while Bishop and Farrior were brought in as potential solutions, Lockhart’s defensive prowess should be more than enough to take over the starting spot. Nate Duncan was a slight consideration here, but I didn’t think too hard over it once Price was off the board. - Kyle

7.Crusaders) - Pape Diop - SF - Duke: The Crusaders could use a PF or Center to pair with last years pick Kenyon Fuller. What they don’t need is a SF, but Diop is one of the best guys available and appears to have the body to play some PF. At 6’11” with a 7’ wingspan he’s got the length and can bulk up from his 225 weight. I considered going Duncan because a stretch 4 would work well in Boston, but Diop can develop into a better stretch 4 than Duncan over the course of his career. - Austin

8. Colonels) - Nicolas Acosta - SF - Michigan: This is a tough one but a player like Nicolas Acosta will be hard for the Colonels to look over if he is available at pick number 8 (they same pick they had last season). Already storming through the CJBL with ease, the only question is where to fit the Michigan product in this Colonels rotation? He has a little bit to learn to make the transition but I like the flexibility of Acosta in the Colonels system. - Billy

9. Blizzards) - Nate Duncan - PF/SF - Kansas: I felt like the Blizzards needed the best player to fill in a variety of roles and Duncan gives more size than Wallace or Mobley at the SF and can also play the 4. The Blizz can afford to develop him slowly as he is bound to be a little bit raw coming out of college. He won’t be taking Galloway’s job any time soon, but he does give the position a little more offense. I also considered Henriquez for the spot, but I’m guessing he’ll still be there at 13 if they want him. - Kyle

10. Mustangs) - Adam Vanderberg - SG - Gonzaga: This is another pick of best player available. I’ll be shocked if Vanderberg actually falls this far and DI would be ecstatic to find him here. Vanderberg would be an excellent 6th man for the Mustangs or starter if they do not bring back JaDAnte Hicks. If Vanderberg was 3-4” taller I think he’d be a lock for the top 5, so the talent is definitely there. He looks to be able to score in bunches and is a good piece with the Messiah. - Austin

11. Barons) - Aiden McDyess - SF/PF - Villanova: The Barons pick up Aiden McDyess here, another versatile type who can play both power and small forward positions. He's still developing his game, but he should be an upgrade on Devearl Stoudamire or swing across the two positions from the bench. He will add some much needed defense to a Barons team that already has a pretty good offense so he will plug in nicely. - Billy

12. Devils) - Chris Dillinger - C - Butler: Dillinger isn’t that much different than Arirgozoh and Maitland, but they both split time starting, which means they probably aren’t doing to enough to distinguish themselves in the role. Dillinger is a raw prospect and the second best center in this draft and good value here. It should not be hard to find new homes for Arirgozoh and Maitland either. I considered Nick Butterfield here because he went to USC. - Kyle

13. Blizzards) - Kyle Henriquez - SF/SG - UNC: Minnesota has players who are coming into their own and could use some specialized role players. Henriquez will never be a super star but I think he can be a solid defensive stopper on the wing, which is always valuable. I also love the thought of him being mentored by Donnell Wallace. - Austin

14. Scorpions) - Antoine Murray - PG - New Mexico: The Scorpions are a tough read right now with a new GM that is going through a few changes, it's hard to predict just what they have in store for next season. With the late season acquisition of Ashanti Brooks, it seems like they might be seeking more talent at the point guard position and if that is the case, it will be a perfect landing spot of New Mexico point guard Antoine Murray. Putting Murray alongside Francis would be fun to watch on offense. - Billy

15. Hurricanes) - Deon Bell - SF/SG - Duke: There are probably better players that fit among the Canes, but Deon Bell is the best player available at this spot and I think a better player than Demarr Wilson, long term. There is also no reason why Bell can’t rotate with both Wilson and Bentley. Tyler Davis would be a good fit for the Canes if they wanted to go that way if they don’t feel like they like Loyola enough. My other thought was taking Evan Meade here. - Kyle

16. Renegades) - Josh Potter - SG/PG - Kansas: The Regengades are another team that are just one or two pieces away from contending and a backup C or PG are the largest needs. Potter is a combo guard who can truly play both positions. Wilkinson is getting old and there’s a hole at backup PG in New York so he will be able to get from the jump. He has good size, playmaking ability, and solid potential. - Austin

17. Drones) - Marcus Collins - SG - Cincinnati: The slide is over for the guy with poor measurables but a heap of talent in Cincinnati's Marcus Collins. The Drones had an excellent season, so it's hard to see them changing too much and I feel like they need to take some "safe risks" perhaps to take that next step. Collins might not be that full time starter but he can be that spark type player who comes out and gets the offense moving. Nothing to lose with this pick. - Billy

18. Warriors) - Ronshad Fox - SG/PG - UCLA: One of the easiest picks to make, Thomas (29) and Wingate (30) are both on expiring contracts. Bringing back both, one, or neither are all options, so taking Fox kind of makes it easier and while he projects as more of a SG, there is flexibility. He has a lot of upside and has risen on the top 100 list all year. Evan Meade was also under consideration here, but Fox’s flexibility was enough to tip the scale. - Kyle

19. Kings) - Dallas Kabengele - SF/PF - Marquette: To me this seems like a Kings pick, not in the analytical sense but that Dallas scouts well and looks to have the ability to be used in many ways. Kabengele (Can’t wait for RKG to pronounce that 4 times in a row in different ways) is an all around player with no stats that jump out at you. He could slide in as a backup forward if Thybulle gets a large offer in the offseason. - Austin

20. Lumberjacks) - Spencer Gellineau - Stanford:
The Lumberjacks are in the midst of playoffs and just lost a big man, but their rotation looks pretty good there and they don't really need anything at the moment. I think at this stage they grab someone who is a hard worker but with upside and that player is Spencer Gellineau out of Stanford. He's a player who won't come in and turn heads but might turn into a pretty reliable role player with solid intangibles. - Billy

21. Vipers) - Nikos Koutsoloukas - SF/SG - Michigan State: Taking style into consideration, Kout is a defensive minded wing that can compliment Greely well in the pace RKG is utilizing in Pittsburgh. He probably won’t score enough to really be a full time starter in the current setup, but at the 21st selection, getting value works well and I think he should be a long time player in the rotation. Had they not take McConnell, I think Meade would have been a good choice here. - Kyle

22, Vipers) - Davin Whiting - C - Cincinnati: The Vipers need homeruns and not safe picks. Whiting is just that. He projects as a raw center with great defensive potential and could be so much more. The Vipers have time to wait for him and can give him minutes behind Treyvon Miller. Once he develops he can likely be auctioned off to the highest bidder or fit besides Miller if he can go back to playing some PF. - Austin

23. Scorpions) - Ezra Kiris - SF/PF - Syracuse: The Scorpions don't have a lot of needs right now so they might be pretty pumped to nab someone like Ezra Kiris, a versatile role player with great size who can be a good bench type behind Brooks and Pierce. Dejuan Brooks was just traded to the Scorpions and has the potential to work out but behind him Murray is upset with his minutes so it might be time to move on and add a less needy rook. - Billy

24. Vultures) - Courtney Parsons - PF/C - UConn: I wasn’t sure where to go so I went with the undersized post player. Sprinkle is nice at Center and might not ever fear Parsons, but he’s a nice stretch post player who also gives a different look than Banks does. Most of the wings are gone by now, but Howard would have been a sneaky pick here, but after taking Stith, I don’t think it really matters. - Kyle

25. Tritons) - Evan Meade - PG - Texas A&M: Meade was the guy I wanted to promise a draft pick to last year. I preferred him over DJ Gordon by a very large margin. He has not improved after deciding to return for his Sophomore season, but he still has an excellent skillset. The Tritons have Jack Donlon, but he’s not necessarily a solid JBL starter. Meade would be able to get his feet wet then take over starting duties in Oakland in a short period of time. His size, athleticism, and defense give you an impression of a very high upside player. - Austin

26. Crusaders) - Avery Morrison - C - Kansas State: Crusaders picked up Diop earlier in this mock so not really many more pressing needs on this roster, but could use some depth at the Center position. Avery Morrison out of Kansas state seems like a ready now JBL backup who could nearly start straight away if anything were to happen to the duo of Ilic and Funk. - Billy

27. Jailbirds) - Dennis Howard - SF/SG - UCLA: Jailbirds probably look wing and Howard has some nice upside, so they can baby him along if they need to. He looks like he can both score and defend, so it’s a great pick at 27. Xavier Fox was also under consideration as far as wings go. - Kyle

28. Cyclones) - Travon Holland - C - Memphis: Miami needs to replace their front court after shipping our Kelvin Black. Holland gives the Cyclones an elite athlete + defender as insurance to Jarnell Doaks. If Doaks doesn’t work out after next year Holland will be able to step in and perform at least one one end of the ball without question. - Austin

29. Colonels) - Axel Frazier - SG - Alabama: It's getting harder at the end of the first round to find roster changing talent, so looking for back up players with upside is not a bad tactic here. Trendon Knox won't be displaced on this roster, but a player like Alabama's Axel Frasier has the ability to provide relief at the shooting guard position. - Billy

30. Huskies) - Vince Collier - SG - North Carolina: Has very nice measurables. He looks more valuable on the defensive end, but if he can work on his outside shot, he could be a productive 3 and D kind of player for the already loaded Huskies. It really just depends on where Matt wants to go if not Collier, but the powerhouse North Carolina program develops good SG’s and while he wasn’t quite like his predecessor, Collier should be a JBL player for years to come. - Kyle