It is widely suspected that former Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham will be the first overall selection, but there is some good news regarding two former Kentucky Wildcats in post lottery mock drafts.
ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony released his latest mock draft shortly after the conclusion of the draft lottery. For the two Kentucky players that were selected, Givony has Isaiah Jackson as his first one off the board at 11th overall to the Charlotte Hornets. This is no big surprise at all to see Jackson going this early, but it does make for quite an interesting landing spot.
If this selection comes true, not only could Jackson possibly team up with Malik Monk, PJ Washington and Nick Richards, but he will be another key piece as the Hornets push for the playoffs next season.
Here is what Givony had to say regarding the pick:
“The Hornets will likely be in the market for a starting-caliber center to build around long term, and Jackson could very well pique their interest. Jackson is an elite shot-blocker who dropped strong glimpses of offensive potential, which gives him significant upside.”
At the NBA level playing center is where Jackson’s career will allow him to play for many years to come. If he can develop some more touch on his jumper, he fits exactly the type of role all NBA franchises are looking for.
For the other player Givony has being selected, Brandon Boston Jr. goes 36th overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Everyone knows Boston struggled for Kentucky this season, but this fit could be beneficial for him in the long run. The Thunder are in no hurry to rush this rebuild that they are in. Already having a star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and not to mention the plethora of draft capital they have for the coming years, Boston will have the ability to work through the growing pains he may have at the professional level.
Givony’s mock draft does not feature either of the two other Wildcats with their names in the draft in Olivier Sarr and Davion Mintz. Sarr will most likely play professionally elsewhere than the NBA, but for Mintz, the option of returning to Lexington for next season is still on the table.
Here’s how the top 10 picks of this mock played out.
1. Detroit Pistons - Cade Cunningham
2. Houston Rockets - Jalen Green
3. Cleveland Cavaliers - Evan Mobley
4. Toronto Raptors - Jalen Suggs
5. Orlando Magic - Jonathan Kuminga
6. Oklahoma City Thunder - Scottie Barnes
7. Golden State Warriors - Davion Mitchell
8. Orlando Magic - Keon Johnson
9. Sacramento Kings - Franz Wagner
10. New Orleans Pelicans - Corey Kispert