The draft is coming up! That means all the big boards and mock drafts you could ever want, all coming with absolute certainty from complete non-experts. If you wanted even more speculation centered on absolutely nothing, you've come to the right place!
Matt and Marc have been swapping e-mails for a few weeks and making our picks for all of the NBA teams. They laughed, we cried, and Matt absolutely picked Devin Booker instead of Marc. Here are the final ten picks and the explanations behind them.
Last ten picks! Let's do this! I am super ready for everyone to proclaim that I overvalued another ten players. Starting with...
21. Dallas Mavericks - Robert Upshaw
For a Western Conference playoff team, the Mavs are horrifically talent-depleted. They need help just about everywhere, and with most of my favorites off the board, it’s time for another curve ball. Carlisle has consistently helped head cases play to their potential, and Upshaw is a lottery talent who has only slipped this far because of off-court concerns. If they can help him to sort out his issues, they’ve got the apparent to Tyson Chandler (9’5 reach!!) on a cheap contract and under team control for many years.
I just can't see a team gambling on Upshaw in the first round, although I very much hope that there's one particular team willing to gamble on him in the 2nd round.
22. Chicago Bulls - Rashad Vaughn
Vaughn was somebody I really liked coming into the season, and it didn't seem like many agreed with me. His stock has been on the rise quite a bit in the last couple weeks though, and I really like him as a bench scorer for a team that may actually need a backup shooting guard now that Jimmy Butler won't be playing 46 minutes a game.
Agreed that Vaughn had been underrated for much of the year, and it seems like others are coming around on him now.
23. Portland Trail Blazers - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
We’ve reached the point in the draft where I’d rather not have to guarantee a contract to any of these players. RHJ will pretty clearly be a good defender, but he needs to be a great one to carve out a spot in the NBA given his historically poor shooting. I think it’s worth it for Portland to invest in that effort, though, given how poor Lillard’s defense is. No matter what, they’re going to need the other 4 players on their team to compensate for his defensive inability, and RHJ is a good place to start.
I still like quite a few guys at this point in the draft. I see a lot of solid role player types down here.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers - RJ Hunter
I would be kinda surprised if Cleveland uses this pick rather than trading it, but if they use it, I'd imagine they'd want somebody they can plug and play rather quickly, and for me Hunter fits the bill perfectly. One thing this playoffs showed is that Cleveland needs some depth, and Hunter would be a versatile bench player who can do a lot of things they need, including shooting and adding length defensively. Also, he'd be good insurance in case they don't re-sign JR Smith, which is something they probably shouldn't do.
Yeah, there are players who will have careers left, and one or two second rounders I’d be excited to take flyers on, but we’ve exhausted most of the players I see as being strong starters.
25. Memphis Grizzlies - Tyus Jones
I think Jones is a nice backup option for Conley. Hollinger clearly still has a large say in their front office, and Jones is also a numbers favorite (I hate calling it analytics, as that oversimplifies the term to me). If there were ever a situation in which you could hide his subpar defense, playing alongside Marc Gasol and Tony Allen is it, too.
God, I am so happy I get to make this pick.
26. San Antonio Spurs - Montrezl Harrell
THE MOST SPURS PICK. Somebody with a defined skill (in Montrezl's case, athleticism and offensive rebounding) that they can mold into a star. And when Montrezl is a star, I will have told you so, I will have told all of you so. The only thing that would make this more of a Spurs pick is if Montrezl was from a different country.
Oh boy. I’m happy for you, Matt. Because if it were up to me, Montrezl would probably go in the mid-40’s. So not a fan. (Editor's note: Matt's and Marc's stances have been re-emphasized through the following exchange.)
@RealMattCarey I don't think we've spent enough time discussing the fact that he has zero NBA skills. ZERO. NBA. SKILLS.— Marc Whittington (@MWhittington13) June 24, 2015
27. Los Angeles Lakers - Andrew Harrison
That’s right, I just made Harrison a first round pick! Just know that I’m picking him as a 2-guard, not a point. As an off-ball player, he’s got a good handle and great passing. He gets to the hoop, and he’s young. He may have been drastically overrated coming into school (and still thinks he is that good in his own brain), but with Kobe to knock him down a few pegs, perhaps it won’t be an issue.
Either that, or the Lakers will become a straight-up chucking contest between Swaggy P, Black Mamba, and Harrison, while Randle and Okafor pray for an entry pass. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out, though?
Marc, if you're gonna pick a Harrison over Montrezl Harrell, you may really be (pauses for effect) a blind guy. (winks at camera, applause sign flashes)
28. Boston Celtics - Chris McCullough
Upside, upside, upside. At this point in the draft (which I don't like nearly as much as I did like four picks ago) you might as well take a gamble on a raw prospect like McCullough and see if one-armed basketball coach Brad Stevens can mold him into an interesting player.
Last pick for me.
29. Brooklyn Nets - Jerian Grant
Feels like a very "Nets-y" pick. I bet Billy King thinks Grant has an awesome upside, but doesn’t realize that he plays no defense and will be 23 already at the start of next season. Like Harrison, I like Grant as a weak side wing, rather than a primary initiator at this level. He won’t do anything to stop, or even slow, their inevitable slide, but Billy’s got to at least draft someone, right?
You know nothing about Billy King if you think he has to draft someone. We haven't had a straight selling of a first round pick in a few years, but this could be the one. Gotta pay that luxury tax bill somehow, plus, I'm sure in Billy's twisted world, there's nobody that can help them after the top 3 again.
Let's wrap this sucker up with the champions of the world.
30. Golden State Warriors - Justin Anderson
This is really the perfect situation for the Warriors. What do you get for a team that has everything? You get them yet another 3-and-D wing who can guard multiple positions and fits into their small ball lineup like a glove. I don't know that Anderson will ever actually get minutes for the Warriors, but I don't know that anybody they could pick at 30 (or, quite frankly, at like 12) that would get minutes on that loaded roster.
Marc, it has been a pleasure undertaking this task with you, even though you hate everyone I love and you picked a Harrison in the first round. The draft is one day away. Let's get nuts.
Likewise, Matt. I'm pumped for tomorrow. It's going to be awesome!