You’ve been reading mock draft reports from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express all year. As the draft draws nearer, he’s taking his talents to “The Vertical,” Adrian Wojnarowski’s NBA outfit.
Givony’s mock drafts all year have simply been determined by “Best Player Available,” not taking into account the needs of the teams. We still will not know the draft order until Tuesday night’s lottery, but Version II of The Vertical’s mock draft is based on the best lottery probabilities.
Where they fall with Givony’s Insider Info:
6. Jamal Murray to New Orleans
The Pelicans’ backcourt is unsettled at the moment, with a dozen different players earning a starting nod at one point or another over the course of the season. Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday have all struggled with injuries and none is under contract past next season, which means New Orleans will look at all of the top guards available. Murray was one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball despite being a freshman.
9. Skal Labissiere to Toronto
The Raptors look fairly set at almost every position except power forward and will likely consider Labissiere, who offers some of the shooting range and rim-protection they currently lack. Once he bulks up, he can also spend some minutes at center, which could be handy with backup Bismack Biyombo likely in line for a significant raise on the free-agent market
20. Tyler Ulis to Indiana
The Pacers are looking to “score more points” next season, according to team president Larry Bird, and part of that initiative likely starts at point guard. Incumbent George Hill is a tremendous defender and perimeter shooter, but he is not the most creative ball-handler or distributor. That could lead the team to look at a player like Ulis, at least in a backup role. He was the engine of one of the most efficient offenses in college basketball last season.
If things fall this way, it would be spectacular. Jamal Murray with the Unibrow; Skal with Patrick Patterson; Tyler Ulis on the team located closest to the state of Kentucky.
Hopefully this Givony guy knows what the hell he’s talking about.