Fireballs GM’s Mock Draft 2.0
- By Jron Magcale, Day 163, 2025
LOS ANGELES -
Fireballs GM’s Mock Draft 2.0
The second edition of the Fireballs GMs mock draft is here, new and improved! With criticism taken into account, we hope this is more accurate than the last one. The draft order is accurate to the end of day 156, with tiebreakers taken into account. We decided to switch up the order of who picked first. Without further delay, our second mock draft of the year:
1. Hurricanes — Mitchell Butler Jr - PG - North Carolina (1.0: #1, Hurricanes)
Jron - Hurricanes already have a solid PG in Sergio Loyola and I would most likely go after a trade to address a need and get future assets here. But in this case we'll go with the best player available in MBJ and then figure out what move would be next. 'Canes already have solid PG and SG in Loyola and Deron Bentley and Butler although can play both guard positions would be an odd pick but this can be an asset the 'Canes can dangle if they are committed to both Loyola and Bentley or move of them and make room for the consensus #1 prospect.
2. Stars — Jae Lawson - SF/PF - Oregon (1.0: #16, Cyclones)
Calvin - Admittedly, we had Lawson way too low in our last mock, but not this time. With Pace LaGarde currently starting at SF and his contract expiring after this year, Lawson makes sense for the Stars as their three for the future. He’s hitting 51.4% of his threes (2.6 on 5.1 attempts per game) with an effective field goal of 62.6%. Add that to a 7’0 frame with a 7’5 wingspan and you have a potential franchise player that could dominate on offence. His ability to play both forward spots is a plus and makes him an obvious choice at #2.
3. Colonels — Malique Farmer - PF - Arizona (1.0: #2, Thunder)
Jron - Colonels needs a center and we don't think that they are sold on Dillinger this early. We go for best player available again and if Farmer falls in their lap then that is a good problem to have. They maybe forced to move Akele for a center or make Farmer available to get what they need and fetch more if they like Akele that much at the 4, it is hard to replace his playmaking skills at that position but Farmer's a natural PF with size and athleticism. Either way he will be an asset.
4. Thunder (Cyclones) — Michel Saint-Jean - PG - Michigan State (1.0: #11, Jailbirds)
Calvin - With Farmer and Lawson off the board, the Thunder instead turn their attention to PG and take Saint-Jean. While considering Bloom, the Thunder want to quickly retool their roster and return to contention sooner rather than later with Phifer not getting any younger. Bloom may end up being the better player, but so little is known about him and the Thunder aren’t really in a position to take a gamble and wait on a project like Bloom. While Saint-Jean will still need time to develop, especially as a rookie PG, he will contribute to the team’s success quicker and is therefore the logical selection here. With no real PFs as the answer here to replace Ainsley Tucker, they look to upgrade their weakest starter in Zach Lynch. While providing them with solid if unspectacular minutes, Lynch doesn’t have the offensive tools to really add that dynamic element to their offence. MSJ is knocking down 47.2% of his threes (3.6 of 7.7) and can create his own offence when needed. But he isn’t a shoot-first point, as his playmaking may actually be his best asset. Feeding Walcutt the ball in the post or driving and kicking out to Phifer and Rowland could make this Thunder team scary again quickly.
5. Colonels (Lightning) — Chris Dillinger - C - Butler (1.0: #4, Stars)
Jron - For the 5th pick it will probably a good reach for a Dillinger which will address a need but the question is if that is what they look for considering their timeline? A frontcourt of Dillinger and Farmer can be intriguing but if you factor development and the urgency of the Colonels to be a factor in the East, you may want to get someone who is proven in the center position but for this exercise we'll address a need.
6. Barons — Tyson Rodgers - SF/SG - Kansas State (1.0: #12, Lightning)
Calvin - The Barons need wing depth and address both positions with one player, taking the versatile Rodgers. He’s a balanced player without a real weakness (maybe FT shooting, hitting only 67.4%), but has a propensity to steal the ball (2.5 SPG). He possesses a polished yet quiet offensive game and has shown a willingness to compete on defence. He may be the most balanced player in the draft and maybe the most boring, but the Barons could use some stability after last years draft debacle. He could provide a stout perimeter defence with fellow wing Adam Vanderberg, the result of the famous gardening incident.
7. Crusaders — Trevon Cage - C - Arizona State (1.0: #6, Crusaders)
Jron - Crusaders is in the similar situation as Colonels and the team needs a big man that can contribute right away. Is that guy Trevon Cage? I think not but as far as addressing a need it fits. Franchise cornerstone Devon Harrell is not happy and might want proven commodities around him rather another developmental project and at 7th pick they won't find it in this draft class.
8. Scorpions (Tritons) — Adonis Gatling - PF - North Carolina (1.0: #3, Colonels)
Calvin - With the Scorpions seemingly having their backcourt duo of the future in PG Antoine Murray and PG/SG Ronshad Fox, they turn their attention to the frontcourt and take the defensive stalwart that is Gatling. Averaging exactly 3 blocks per game this season, Gatling would provide the Scorpions some stability at the four, something they’ve been lacking since the trade deadline when they traded almost their entire team, including PF/C Ryan Pierce. With not much post defence or blocking ability left on the team, Gatling fills both roles as the Scorpions begin to slowly shape their future in Michael’s vision.
9. Renegades — Vacha Alston - SF - Villanova (1.0: #10, Renegades)
Jron - Former franchise player Jerome Bradley is on the decline and they need someone to replace him, at the 9th pick if Vacha Alston is still available they can get him and hopes he develops into a wing that can blend in with the young core of the rebuilding Renegades. Alston is talented enough to make an impact and young enough to develop, bonus points if they can keep Bradley to mentor.
10. Jailbirds (Vipers) — Ricky Jackson Jr - SG - Wake Forest (1.0: #8, Scorpions)
Calvin - Jackson Jr’s slide ends here, as the Jailbirds select him to be Jason Cheaney’s understudy. He’s ranked as high as #2 by ESPN and #4 by both JD and DE, making this possibly the steal of the draft. RJJ is a defensive-minded two, racking up almost 3 steals per game. But he can still hit threes, connecting on 35.9% this year which could actually increase with some development in the JBL (especially with mentorship from Cheaney). He has good size at 6’7 with a 6’10 wingspan, contributing to his defensive focus. With an above average basketball IQ, RJJ is set up for success in the pros from the start and finds himself in a favourable situation with the Jailbirds.
11. Dragons (Rockets) — Keiron Bloom - PG - Galesburg (HS) (1.0: — )
Jron - If HS phenom Keiron Bloom falls outside the top 10 and into the Dragons lap then that is a good situation for the young kid who can very well learn from one of the best PGs in the league today in Jevon Novak. The Dragons is deep enough to stash the kid and develop and also goes with the timeline of their veteran PG's decline in a few years he can take the keys of the Castle from the star PG.
12. Lightning (Scorpions) — Jarrell Ford - SF - Texas (1.0: #5, Barons)
Calvin - Marcus Price has been the main reason the Lightning surprisingly own the 8th best defence in the league, but the last ranked offence needs to improve if this team is to become competitive. Enter Ford, hitting on 47.4% of his threes (2.4 of 5.1) while contributing 25.1 points per game. He can create his own offence when needed and has shown the ability to knock down the long ball. His 6’7 frame with 6’7 wingspan might be a turn off for some teams, the Lightning have the luxury of having an elite defensive forward next to him in Price, offsetting that defensive loss while allowing Ford to focus on the offensive side. Price would slide over to the four to make room for Ford and the Lightning would have more of an offensive punch while still retaining the signature defensive identity they are crafting.
13. Forfeit (Thunder)
The Thunder forfeit this pick due to some cap shenanigans.
14. Predators — Vince Collier - SG - North Carolina (1.0: #30, Kings)
Calvin - Another player we had too low in our last mock, Collier rises all the way to #14 as another defensive wing in the mold of RJJ. Collier is one of the best pure athletes in this draft and has the size to show for it (6’6, 6’10). He relies on his uber athleticism to contribute on defence at a high level but make no mistake, he’s no slouch on offence and can knock down shots when he needs to. Possibly his most important and impressive skills is his innate ability to start fast breaks and help teammates score quickly. He often translates lockdown defence to running on offence, which should help the Predators 18th ranked pace. With questions surrounding SG Terrell Sanford’s future with the team, Collier provides depth on the wing.
15. Devils — Quentin Brookhart - SG - West Virginia (1.0: #9, Dragons)
Jron - For years the Devils has been in need of another scorer to take the pressure off of Taquan Slattery, enter Brookhart who has lit up the CJBL with his scoring prowess. The undersized SG can help by stretching the floor and give Slatts the room to work with and if double-teamed can kick out to Brookhart who is a legit threat in the perimeter. Kid averages 28.4 ppg in college shooting 48% FG and 43% 3FG, he can be an asset.
16. Vipers (Mustangs) — Andre Bender - PG - Kentucky (1.0: #7, Colonels)
Calvin - The PG position has long been in flux for the Vipers, from the very overpaid Tyler Davis to the tiny Vince Stallings to the rotting corpse of Christian Vickery. In an effort to change that narrative and provide stability at the position, the Vipers take Bender. Unlike the aforementioned Stallings, Bender has ideal size at 6’4 with an excellent wingspan of 6’10 and uses that size to run an offence efficiently. He’s averaging 41.8% from deep (2.2 of 5.3) and has a promising eFG of 58.3%. He distributes the ball well and has displayed an above average basketball IQ. With no one a reliable outside threat on the Vipers, Bender can create his own offence and shoot from deep. He’ll also need to feed Rashaad Haslem in the post (provided he’s not dead) for this offence to work and as his playmaking is sneakily good, this shouldn’t be an issue.
17. Cyclones (Warriors) — Joseph Turner - C - Michigan State (1.0: — )
Jron - This is more of a depth pick for the Cyclones looking at what they have they seems to favor a need in the frontcourt and Turner is one of the best defenders in college basketball and he doesn't demand the ball which doesn't take anything away from the Cyclones core. This is a good pick that fills a need and doesn't mess up the Cyclones plans.
18. Mustangs (Jailbirds) — Denzel Graves - PG - Oklahoma (1.0: #18, Vultures)
Calvin - Like the division rival Vipers, the PG position for the Mustangs has been in similar disarray. The team, rather inexplicably, traded away Stephan Hood and brought in the nearly three times as expensive Tyler Davis only to receive very similar play. With Davis clearly not the long term answer, the Mustangs look to Graves in hopes he can lead them in the future. Sitting behind Davis for a year would most likely do him some good, and help him improve his already talented outside shot (47.6%, 3.3 of 7.0). Graves biggest strength is indeed his three point shot making him an ideal replacement for Davis, but he also averages 6.7 assists per game, showing a talent for distributing the ball to his teammates as Graves doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. Feeding Josiah Robinson and letting him go to work is extremely important, as the entire Mustangs offence runs through the Messiah. Graves fits well with what the Mustangs are trying to do as a team.
19. Vultures — Bo Anderson - PF/SF - Duke (1.0: #15, Devils)
Jron - I would pick a PG here but went on to fill an important depth in the Vultures rotation and that is the forward position. Bo is a solid defensive combo forward that can contribute right away and play a role. The kid averaged 16.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.1 apg and 2.6 bpg which is solid, the kid can also potentially stretch the floor with his decent outside shot but will be tasked to fill in at the PF and SF positions in Phoenix.
20. Drones — Jack Dawkins - SF - George Washington (1.0: #17, Vipers)
Calvin - With Anderson off the board one pick too early and no other PFs worth taking in this slot, the Drones instead turn their attention to SF and select Dawkins. With Lucas Rush (30) and Devan Carroll (29) hitting the ends of their peaks, some youth is needed at the forward positions. Dawkins can learn from both veterans and better his game for when it’s his turn to take over. He rebounds well for the position (6.1 RPG) and provides many offensive tools. His outside shot may be the best among them, but definitely needs time to develop and a situation where he has mentors and that is the case with the Drones. He sees the floor well and that figures to translate to the pros rather nicely.
21. Thunder (Blizzards) — Donta Contrell - PF - Memphis (1.0: #26, Vultures)
Jron - The Thunder picks a PG early and now we will address another need which the PF position at this point of the draft we are thinning of impact players and Contrell is a player that would be best playing a role. Contrell ain't no Ainsley Tucker but he defend inside and can clean the glass, he is versatile to the point that he is a decent playmaker for his position and Seattle is known to be big on players who are versatile, this is a good situation for Contrell.
22. Vipers (Skyhawks) — Deron Eleby - PF - Georgia Tech (1.0: #23, Vipers)
Calvin - With the Vipers second pick they once again turn to Eleby, selecting him one spot higher than our last mock. This pick just makes too much sense and RKG himself said he approved of the pick. That’s enough for us to mock him here again. He provides elite rebounding and post defence and will certainly upgrade the 12th ranked defence, potentially to a top five spot with Rashaad Haslem manning the five. While not providing much on offence, he doesn’t need to with Haslem having elite inside scoring (if he’s not unsettled).
23. Scorpions (Knights) — Sheldon Granger - SG - Arkansas (1.0: — )
Jron - We feel like the wing position is a need that the Scorpions needs to address, it's not about who is starting or building with but a player that can play a role in the rotation and provide decent minutes. Sheldon Granger has the length and can knock down outside shots which is something the Scorpions would want to add on their arsenal. An athletic raw wing that can be effective if you put him on a role that exercises his strengths.
24. Hurricanes (Fireballs) — Damien Jensen - SG - Gonzaga (1.0: #13, Predators)
Calvin - After taking MBJ #1 overall, the Hurricanes double down on young guards and set up what could be their backcourt of the future by selecting Jensen. He is added to an up-and-coming two guard rotation currently consisting of Deron Bentley and Jalan Howard. With Jensen, its all about the deep ball as he may possess the best three point shot of any player in this draft (47.1%, 3.8 of 8.0). He doesn’t add much on defence and will need to improve closer to average to not be a microwave scorer off the bench, but his shot is promising and may be able to overshadow any doubts of his potential as a positive player.
25. Lightning (Dragons) — Deji Ali - PG - Miami (FL) (1.0: #24, Hurricanes)
Jron - This late in the draft you would really just hope to get decent depth at the positions that you are strong with. Ali is a player that can step right in and provide the same energy and impact that A-Mac provides but on a smaller scale, Ali is close to A-Mac's size and is a known outside shooter and solid playmaker. Because of his size he can get minutes from the SG position as well and that bodes well in the Lightning's system.
26. Vultures (Jaguars) — Axel Frazier - SG - Alabama (1.0: #20, Drones)
Calvin - With Sasha Vidmar likely gone after this year and Demetrius Stith able to play SG or SF, the Vultures take Frazier, moving Stith to SF. Frazier rebounds well for the position (5.9 RPG) and is almost automatic from the charity stripe (86.8%). At 6’8, he possess a freakish wingspan of 7’4 which could lead to improvements on defence with a concerted effort to improve on that side of the ball. He projects to be a spot-up shooter and with Rasheem Fisher set to run the point for years to come, this could be an ideal landing spot for his talents.
27. Forfeit (Bullets)
The Bullets forfeit this pick due to some cap shenanigans.
28. Forfeit (Huskies)
The Huskies forfeit this pick due to some cap shenanigans.
29. Tritons (Lumberjacks) — CJ Williams - SG/SF - Kentucky (1.0: #22, Scorpions)
Jron - The Tritons isn't short on wings per se but at this stage it is hard to pass on a player like CJ who has solid potential and is similar to the skill set of their wings, a combo wing with size like Grant Hayes and can pretty much contribute in all areas like Kai Navigato getting a player like Williams would most likely give the Tritons the versatility to make moves to address needs. He can be a good insurance at the SG position as well behind Francis.
30. Kings — Antwon Rivers - PG - Kansas (1.0: #19, Mustangs)
Calvin - The Kings are the favourites leading into the playoffs and possess elite to very good players at four positions, with PG/SG Eli Custer the only exception. While Custer isn’t terrible, an upgrade is certainly possible even this late in the draft. He was taken #30 in 2023, so maybe taking a PG at that exact same draft slot three years later will work out better. Rivers already looks to be a better shooter, hitting a ridiculous 54.3% from deep (3.5 of 6.4) for an insane eFG of 68.6%. His playmaking is also strong which is important for a team with marksmans Detrez Owens and Victor Olojakpoke. If he can effectively distribute to the team’s leading scorers and become a spot-up shooter when needed, this Kings team could be scary for a long time.
Notable Undrafted Players (average ranking across all 3 rankings)
- Antoine Bolden - SF - Arkansas (23.7)
- Isaac Brown - C - Ohio State (24.0)
- RaMond Jordan - C - Arkansas (27.7)
- Denny Singletary - C - Wisconsin (28.0)
- Montraz Cape - PG - Michigan (29.3)
Subtractions from Mock 1.0:
- Montraz Cape - PG - Michigan (#21, Thunder)
- MarJon Barnes - PG - Connecticut (#25, Tritons)
- Isaac Brown - C - Ohio State (#27, Lightning)
- RaMond Jordan - C - Arkansas (#28, Huskies)
- Alvin Kennedy - PG - Ohio State (#29, Bullets)
And there you have it, another mock draft finished. We will likely post at least one more closer to the draft. Once again, any and all criticism is welcome.