RKG’s Last Minute, Most Likely Dead Wrong 2023 Mock Draft
- By Michael Miller, Day 1, 2023
1. Mexico City Jaguars: SF Juwan Hughes (Louisville) - A strong argument can be laid out for PG Isaiah Evans with this selection, but ultimately, the allure of pairing a wing like J-Train with Adams and Hooker will prove too strong. Expect the Jaguars to try and sign L-Train for his final season to mentor his son.
2. Baltimore Bullets: PG Isiah Evans (North Carolina) - My bet is Baltimore really wants Hughes but settling for Evans is much better than a consolation prize. There may not be a better shooting duo in the league than Evans and SG/SF Reggie Goodwin.
3. Minneapolis Blizzards: C Markese Walton (Georgetown) - Recent news coming out of Minnesota suggests that the Blizzards may make a somewhat unconventional pick and pass on SG/SF Donovan Mobley with the 3rd overall pick. Walton is perhaps the 3rd best scorer in this draft behind Evans and Hughes, and would allow Donovan Galloway to move to PF which could be a better position for him long-term.
4. Boston Crusaders: SG Raefael Williams II (Duke) - The sense is that the Crusaders will go for the best wing available, and with Mobley slipping, Boston can choose between any of the big 3. Ultimately, I believe they will go with RW2 because he is the better offensive player of the 3, and would pair well with the defensive skills of PG Devon Harrell.
5. Charlotte Drones: SG/SF Donovan Mobley (Connecticut) - After trading down from the first overall pick, it seems likely that the Drones will take one of the top 3 wings or PF Omari Kanga. They are fortunate when Mobley, perhaps the 3rd best draft prospect, slips to them at the 5th overall pick. He can be a key piece as a supreme athlete and well-rounded player.
6. New York Renegades: PF/C Omari Kanga (Memphis) - Although PG is a bigger need and we had Keyon Barber mocked here in the first mock draft, Kanga is the best pure PF available in the draft with great upside. It does not appear likely that other teams upcoming in the lottery will go PG, so it may be a safe risk here.
7. Austin Rockets: SF Zayveon West (Duke) - West is the best player left on the board at the point by far, and the Rockets pretty much need everything with a full scale rebuild their way. Keyon Barber may also be a target to replace the trades Rubin Wingfield.
8. Nashville Stars: PF Zion Jeffries (Ohio State) - The Stars have been relatively quiet this offseason, so it is a mystery as to what they will do and who they will pick. Based on the remaining players on the board, Jeffries makes a lot of sense as an athletic shooter to pair with their first round pick of last year, C/PF Brandon Weir, who is a tall, defense-first player.
9. Dallas Predators: PG Keyon Barber (Louisville) - The Predators are overjoyed that the best pure PG in the draft falls to them at 9th overall. He can be paired with SG/PG Jermaine Wade and help balance out the offense quite a bit. The Predators would also be happy to see Zion Jeffries and may consider PF JJ Cooper to pair with C/PF DeAndre Stackhouse.
10. Detroit Mustangs: C Qwan Songalia (Memphis) - As discussed on our most recent podcast, it seems likely that Detroit moved up from #15 to #10 to take a frontcourt player as C Reggie Dawkins is a free agent and may need to be renounced as the Mustangs chase after SF Dontay Sowder. Songalia would be a Top 5 pick in most drafts, so he is an absolute steal here.
11. New York Renegades: PG Darius Whiteside (Cincinnati) - The Rens miss out on Barber, but Whiteside is a pretty good talent in his own right. He is athletic and has nice measurables, so he would be a nice pair with their second first round pick last year, SG Marcus Dunn.
12. Baltimore Bullets: C Derrick Malone (Arkansas) - The only big glaring hole left on the Bullets is in the frontcourt next to Dozier and Malone is a perfect compliment to him. Do not rule out a trade down here as well, especially as SG/SF Dominique Harmon continues to fall.
13. Las Vegas Scorpions: PF JJ Cooper (Villanova) - Frankly, if Cooper had played at Podunk State, he would get a long look here as his athletic potential and defensive ability fits the mold of how Vegas has built their team. The fact that he went to Villanova, the best college that ever existed, is icing on the cake.
14. Charlotte Drones: Dashawn Hawkins (Connecticut) - The Drones pair two Huskies instrumental in winning the CJBL Championship. C Khalen Anthony is not a great rebounder and a better offensive player, so adding Hawkins as an elite defensive center makes a ton of sense. PF JJ Cooper would likely not fall beyond this pick.
15. Baltimore Bullets: SG/PG Jordan Timberlake (Kentucky) - The Bullets would likely consider taking JT at #10 if there, but with Evans going #2, it makes sense they would solve their frontcourt issues first. JT is just too talented to pass up here, and Baltimore likes players who can play multiple positions. JT has the size and skills to play any position from PG to PF.
16. Austin Rockets: C/PF Jarrell Harrison (Arkansas) - With Harrison, the Rockets would have an elite pair of defensive players in which to rebuild their team. Harrison has great measurables and led the CJBL in defensive efficiency last year. His ability to play two frontcourt positions is also quite attractive.
17. Atlanta Devils: PG Matt Mueller (USC) - The Devils need a backup point guard and Mueller is the best player on the board at this point. He also has nice size, which would be a nice change up from PG Marques Thomas (who is only 6’2”).
18. New Orleans Hurricanes: SG/SF Dominique Harmon (USC) - The Trojan Slide stops here as Harmon, who is a lottery pick, is taken by the Canes at 18th overall. He is a nice wing to pair with Deron Bentley and will have a year of tutoring under Hilton Phillips. He also pairs well with young PG Sergio Loyola.
19. Portland Lumberjacks: C Marko Dujmovic (Texas A&M) - The gigantic center with the huge wingspan is a little bit of a gamble at 19, but Portland is in a position to gamble with C Akieem Martin a free agent. He also has nice size to fit with swing forward PF/SF Jarvis McSwine.
20. St. Louis Skyhawks: PG Deron Jamison (Georgetown) - Although the Skyhawks did just acquire PG Rubin Wingfield from the Rockets, they have no depth behind him and it may be a good idea to get a young PG now for Wingfield to mentor for a few seasons. Jamison is the last clear PG with a first round grade, so it is a nice fit here.
21. Oakland Tritons: SG/SF Javon Noble (Arkansas) - The Tritons need to keep focusing on improving their defense, and Noble is one of the better defensive wings available in this class. The fact that he can play two positions adds to his value.
22. Cincinnati Kings: PF Trent Buchanan (Cincinnati) - The Kings are shopping this pick around the league, and I would expect another team will be drafting in this spot. While reserve PG is the biggest need on this team, there are simply no players at the position with taking. Buchanan is an athletic frontcourt player with experience and a nice hedge in case PF Richard Benson decides to leave in free agency.
23. Oakland Tritons: Lorenzen Townes (Texas) - The Tritons double their pleasure and their fun by doubling up on wings. Townes is nice value here and he projects to be a pretty good scorer which would be nice balance next to Noble. Townes also may have the size to play small ball 4 in some rotations.
24. Kansas City Knights: SG Justin Chauca (Marquette) - With Aaron Honeycutt rumored to be on the block, the Knights may be looking for a wing with scoring potential. Justin has nice athleticism and, at only 17, could have a higher ceiling than some of the players taken in front of him.
25. Los Angeles Fireballs: SG Kareem Teague (Kansas) - A lights out 3 point shooter with defensive potential, he’s a great potential replacement for iMac and a compliment to Garrett Cue (if he is not traded). Wing is the most likely target here, and Eddie Clemons or Derek Ingram could also be targets.
26. Mexico City Jaguars: PF/C Justin Moore (North Carolina) - Khalil Hooker is the only frontcourt player under contract, so Mexico City desperately needs depth and players who could start. Moore fits the bill, as he can play two positions and has some experience so he may be able to start right away.
27. Atlanta Devils: C Quante Coleman (Texas) - With PF Roy Ellington possible out the door in free agency, I would anticipate the Devils will try to acquire depth in the front court to replace him. Coleman was an unsung player on a stellar Longhorns’ defense and could potentially play at the 4 or the 5 positions.
28. Miami Cyclones: SG Eddie Clemons (Syracuse) - With most of their depth expected to leave in free agency, the Cyclones need help everywhere. Presuming they keep this pick, and do not trade down for more second round picks, Clemons is the best player available. He likes to shoot from beyond the arc, so he seems like a nice fit next to PG Josh Gamble.
29. Phoenix Vultures: SF Gage Merritt (Memphis) - The Vults are highly likely to resign Drayton Banks this offseason, but they still need more size at the wing and frontcourt positions. Merritt, at 7’1, has amazing size for a wing and would pair well with 6’6” SF Sasha Vidmar
30. Las Vegas Scorpions: PG Ramil Collins (Arizona) PG Mehdy Brown is the only guard under contract, so the Scorpions need depth here. Collins is the best PG left on the board at this moment and has some experience suggesting he may be able to step right in and take significant minutes.