With only two months remaining in the college hoops season, it’s becoming clear who the top pro prospects are for this year’s draft.
Ever since his 47-point outburst vs North Carolina, Malik Monk has been viewed as one of the top NBA prospects, and that’s not changed since. In Chad Ford’s latest mock draft at ESPN, Monk went No. 4 to the 76ers, where he’d hopefully get to team up with former Kentucky Wildcats star Nerlens Noel.
4. Philadelphia 76ers -Malik Monk
Falling to No. 4, paired with the Lakers moving up to No. 2, is a bit of a worse-case scenario for the Sixers when it comes to the draft lottery. But this draft is so loaded, it won't stop them from landing another major building block.
Monk makes a lot of sense for the Sixers. Ben Simmons can play the point, so what they need is a dynamic scorer and shooter to pair with him. Monk is the most electric scorer to come into the draft in some time. He can be streaky, but when he gets going he's difficult to stop. He should be able to instantly transform the Sixers' offense.
Odds of winning lottery: 11.9 percent
Projected record: 27-55
While Ford remains high on Monk, he’s not as high on De’Aaron Fox anymore. Fox fell to the No. 11 spot in Ford’s latest mock draft. Making it worse was he lands with the Knicks, arguably the spot’s most dysfunctional franchise right now.
11. New York Knicks De'Aaron Fox
The depth of the draft remains ridiculous. Fox is having a terrific season for the Wildcats, he might be the fastest player in the draft and he can't crack the top 10.
The good news for Fox is that I think he'd be a great fit in New York. Both Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings are free agents this summer. At some point the Knicks are going to have to transition from Carmelo Anthony's team to Kristaps Porzingis's team. Landing Fox would be a great way to start that transition.
Odds of winning lottery: 0.8 percent
Projected record: 35-47
But Fox isn’t the only Wildcat who’s stock is dropping. After being projected as high as the top 10 at times this season, Bam Adebayo is no longer viewed as a first-round prospect in Ford’s eyes.
It’s the first time that Bam didn’t crack the first round of any major mock draft, but it’s not exactly surprising either. He’s struggled to find any consistency in college, so why should people think he’ll do so in the NBA?
That said, I think Bam has a ton of potential as a power forward in the NBA. Part of his struggles has been him having to play center in college as UK is devoid of quality big men.
Not having a big center like Willie Cauley-Stein, Nerlens Noel or DeMarcus Cousins to play next to has hurt his development since he’ll never play center in the pros.
Here’s how the entire draft lottery played out:
1. Philadelphia 76ers* - Markelle Fultz
3. Phoenix Suns - Josh Jackson
4. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers)* - Malik Monk
5. Orlando Magic - Dennis Smith
6. New Orleans Pelicans - Jonathan Isaac
7. Sacramento Kings - Jayson Tatum
8. Minnesota Timberwolves - Lauri Markkanen
9. Dallas Mavericks - Frank Ntilikina
10. Miami Heat - Harry Giles
11. New York Knicks - De'Aaron Fox
12. Denver Nuggets - Miles Bridges
13. Milwaukee Bucks - Justin Patton
14. Detroit Pistons - Terrance Ferguson