2023 JBL Mock Draft - Part 2
- By Andrew Taylor, Day 207, 2022
2023 Mock Draft – Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of the 2023 JBL Mock Draft. In Part 2 we will be looking at the back half of the first round with picks 15-30. As in the first part in this mock draft the Bullets GM Bedouin is making the odd numbered selections while the Scorpions GM RKG is making the even numbered picks.
15. Detroit Mustangs
C Derrick Malone (Arkansas) – Given the ongoing scuttlebutt that the Mustangs may part ways with Reggie Dawkins this offseason to free up the cap space required to pursue their Big 3 dreams the team will be pleased to find a quality center available this deep into the draft. Although not the offensive player Dawkins is Malone is a strong defensive prospect down low and is a steal at 15 given that two of the scouting services have him ranked inside the top 10.
16. St. Louis Skyhawks
PG Darius Whiteside (Cincinnati) - The Skyhawks fell from the playoffs to the lottery in 2022 in no small part due to their decision to trade PG Jevon Novak to the Denver Dragons. While St. Louis tried a variety of different point guards signed to low risk deals in free agency, no player really stuck. Fortunately, this draft is loaded with point guards and the Skyhawks should have their pick over several prospects. Whiteside might be the most athletic PG in the class and he has great size at 6’6”. His relatively low usage (23.4%) should fit in well with what the Skyhawks seem to want out of the position, a traditional distributing PG who will help C/PF Mark Hunter reach his full potential. PG Matt Mueller or PG Deron Jameson may also get a look here.
17. Atlanta Devils
C/PF Jarell Harrison (Arkansas) – Although the team may be needing a new backup PG given Cedric Brisby’s advanced age we anticipate that the team will ultimately elect to draft a versatile big who can serve as the third big behind Slattery and Spencer. Doing so would allow the team to explore trade avenues for Roy Ellington, who the team may no longer be able to afford, which could allow the team to strengthen their guard or wing rotations. After the run of big men taken from pick 10-15 Harrison is the last remaining stud big in the draft pool and if he goes off the board earlier than anticipated then the team may be forced to go in a different direction.
18. New Orleans Hurricanes
SF Dejuan Brooks (Michigan State) - While the Canes made a savvy veteran pickup in PG/SG Hilton Phillips at the trade deadline and still have SG/SF Deron Bentley developing, both players seem better fit to play at the 2 and not the 3. Especially with a need to have a pure scorer on the team, SF DeJuan Brooks seems to be a nice fit for New Orleans here. Brooks was the leading scorer on a Spartans team considered the best team in the CJBL before an injury to a key player took them off track. Brooks also has the ability to shoot from beyond the arc, which is significant because the Canes finished dead last in 3 pointers made and attempted last season. Brooks gives New Orleans an added dimensions to balance their team. SF Demarr Wilson or SF Lorenzen Townes could also get a look here.
19. Portland Lumberjacks
PG Matt Mueller (USC) – It’s not that Jax LaRose is necessarily terrible, it’s just that the Lumberjacks are definitively terrible whenever he’s on the court. For that reason we anticipate that the ‘Jacks will be looking to use this selection to upgrade their backup PG position. They’ll be thrilled to find a player like Mueller this late in the draft. Though he isn’t as offensively gifted as the flashy Hawk, Mueller has fantastic size for a PG and will be a steady hand for the second unit.
20. Portland Lumberjacks
SG/SF Javon Noble (Arkansas) - After getting a PG of the future with their first of back to back picks, the Jacks build their wing depth by taking Noble from the Razorbacks. SG/SF Lorenzo Charles is primarily an offensive player, so Noble would add nice balance to the wing rotation. Noble will also help the Jacks improve their ability to create turnovers, as the Jacks finished dead last in steals in 2022. SG Kareem Teague might also be a nice fit here for similar reasons.
21. Oakland Tritons
SF Lorenzen Townes (Texas) – The Tritons have a clear hole at the SF position, unless they slide Ivory and Zeke down a spot, and will most likely be looking to address that with this pick. At 6’8 Towns has nice height and a strong offensive game that will make the Tritons even stronger on that side of the ball. And he’s not a bad defender so the team won’t lose any ground there.
22. Cincinnati Kings
PG Deron Jameson (Georgetown) - The Kings are loaded in their frontcourt and wing, so frankly, the only place where they could have minutes available would be at guard. PG Christian Vickery is 32 and he could use a young understudy. PG Tyson Ferguson looks primarily to be a backup. Jameson is the last of the 1st round point guards, and he projects to be a great perimeter defender with good athleticism. He very well could become a starter. Nevertheless, we think it most likely that the Kings will aggressively try to trade this pick because they are overflowing with young talent and would like to defer it into 2024.
23. Phoenix Vultures
C Marko Dujmovic (Texas A&M) – With pretty much all of their frontcourt depth getting ready for the retirement home, not to mention a general lack of height, this seems like a good time for the Vultures to add some young tall timber. And if you’re looking for tall you can’t go any further than the 7’3 Dujmovic who gained considerable attention after RKG hyped him up. A super strong defensive talent Dujmovic should hopefully help the Vults bring up their defensive ranking from 14th , which could push them into contention if their offense retains its current lofty ranking.
24. Kansas City Knights
PG Tyreke Key (Arkansas) - The Knights would love to see one of Mueller, Whiteside or Jameson fall here, but in this exercise, all are gone. With PG Curtis Price likely to be gone via free agency or retirement, point guard is clearly the biggest need. Key is a bit of a reach, and as he is a senior, it is questionable how much growth he has, but he has decent size at 6’2” and he appears to be a good defensive player. I could see Kansas City trying to make a small trade up to land one of the 3 aforementioned point guards. Alternatively, the Knights would have use for SF DeMarr Wilson as a potential replacement for free agent wing Travis McWilliams.
25. St. Louis Skyhawks
PF Trent Buchanan (Cincinnati) – After using their first selections to add talent to their wing rotation and draft their next starting point guard we anticipate that the Skyhawks will use this pick to fill the hole created when the team sent veteran Marcus Wright to the Jailbirds before this year’s trade deadline. Fishback would also get some consideration but we anticipate that the athleticism of Buchanan will win out.
26. Mexico City Jaguars
SF Demarr Wilson (Kentucky) - This is a steal for the Jaguars at this point, as Wilson is the consensus 21.7 overall pick on the board. Mexico City used to be loaded with wings, but that ended with the trades of Lorenzo Charles, Kai Navigato and Reggie Burke. As such, Wilson is a nice scoring wing available this late and would be a nice value off the bench if the Jaguars can also resign SF/SG Antonio Vega this offseason.
27. Atlanta Devils
PG Ramil Collins (Arizona) – After taking a big man with their first selection the Devils will most likely be looking for a replacement for Brisby as backup point guard with this pick. However, after the Knights take Key it’s a decent drop down to Collins as the next best available PG. Collins has decent size at 6’3 but he’s not likely to ever become a starter.
28. Miami Cyclones
SG Kareem Teague (Kansas) - The Cyclones lose essentially their entire bench this year in free agency, so this is a very important pick for depth. Fortunately, Teague is 6’8”, so he could potentially play SG, SF or PF as a Swiss Army knife. He’s also a great 3-point shooter, hitting over 43.3% of his shots from beyond the arc this season. At only 18, Teague could have more room to grow as he develops, so this projects to be a very nice pick at this spot.
29. Phoenix Vultures
SG Justin Chauca (Marquette) – Having taken a big with their first selection we anticipate that the Vultures will look to add to their wing rotation with this selection. Chauca is solid on both sides of the ball and would be a clear upgrade on Derrick Posey. And as a bonus he’s 6’7, practically a giant alongside their undersized starting wings.
30. Las Vegas Scorpions
C Quante Coleman (Texas) - Even after going frontcourt with the 13th pick, it is not out of the realm that the Scorpions could double up if Wesley “Tank” Sherman opts out of his contract in 2024. Coleman hits all the marks that the Scorpions look for in their frontcourt players: athleticism and defense. He should be a nice reserve for the team this year and down the road.