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We’re down to nine days.

The June 22 NBA Draft is closing in. Teams are narrowing their choices, scheduling final workouts.

The Suns have the No. 4 pick. Most experts expect them to choose from a group that includes Kansas small forward Josh Jackson, Duke small forward Jayson Tatum, Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac and Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox.

How might the first round unfold?

azcentral sports’ Doug Haller offers his latest mock draft.

1. Boston Celtics

Markelle Fultz, PG, 6-4, 195 pounds,19 years old, Washington. 

Fultz’s talent is unquestioned, but his will to win remains a concern. The Huskies last season won nine games, two coming in a down Pac-12. In a recent conversation with reporters, Boston GM Danny Ainge compared Fultz to a talented quarterback on a bad football team. He also said NBA teams start scouting top prospects long before college, going back to AAU and USA Basketball. At the same time, a scout told Seth Davis that even Fultz’s AAU teams didn’t win that much.

2. Los Angeles Lakers 

Lonzo Ball, PG, 6-6, 190, 19, UCLA

According to reports, the Lakers are not in love with Ball. The Orange County Register reported that some team officials were unimpressed with the point guard’s conditioning during a recent workout. Smoke screen? Perhaps. Either way, it’s still hard to see Magic passing on the pass-first point guard, so for now I’m leaving him here.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

De’Aaron Fox, PG 6-4, 171, 19, Kentucky

I’ve had Fox in this spot in my last two editions. Regardless of Philly’s needs, he’s not moving. How impressive has the Kentucky guard been in workouts? ESPN’s Chad Ford reports that Sacramento might be willing to trade the No. 5 and 10 picks to move up and grab Fox.   

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4. Phoenix Suns 

Josh Jackson, SF, 6-8, 203, 20, Kansas

If the Suns are serious about defensive improvement, Jackson makes the most sense. His defensive potential is well documented but he’s also a skilled finisher and passer, someone who could contribute from Day 1. Two questions: How concerned is Phoenix about Jackson’s off-court issues? And does Jackson already have an agreement with a team to go earlier?

5. Sacramento Kings

Jayson Tatum, SF, 6-8, 204, 19, Duke

There’s a surprise or two in every draft and I would not be shocked if this year’s involves Tatum. A skilled scorer, the Duke freshman’s offensive potential trumps his defensive concerns. Most mocks have him fifth or sixth, but don’t be surprised if Tatum goes earlier. 

6. Orlando Magic

Lauri Markkanen, PF, 7-0, 225, 19, Arizona

This could come down to Markkanen or Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac. Given the Magic finished 29th this season in 3-point percentage, it makes sense for them to side with the shooter, perhaps the best in the draft. In his only year in Tucson, Markkanen shot 54.5 percent from 2-point range, 42.3 from 3 and 83.5 from the foul line. That type of touch at this size doesn’t come around often.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Jonathan Isaac, SF, 6-11, 205, 19, Florida State

Isaac has a lot to offer. He’s one of the few lottery picks with position versatility, someone who could guard multiple positions. A late bloomer who was a guard in high school, he also feels comfortable on the perimeter and has a nice shooting touch. Years from now, everyone could look back and think, ‘How did this guy go so low?’ 

MORE: A look at GM Ryan McDonough’s first-round picks

8. New York Knicks

Dennis Smith, PG, 6-3, 195, North Carolina State

Give Smith credit. Unlike many top draft candidates — whose agents insist they work out alone — the North Carolina State freshman recently worked out for the Lakers without restriction. If the Suns decide the point guards in this draft are too good to pass up, Smith could become an option at No. 4.

9. Dallas Mavericks

Frank Ntilikina, PG, 6-5, 170, 18, Strasbourg International

The Dallas Morning News reported Mavs owner Mark Cuban last week visited with Ntilikina in Italy. The Knicks also have reported interest. The French product has size and the potential to impact the game on both ends. 

10. Sacramento Kings

Malik Monk, SG, 6-3, 197, 19, Kentucky.

With the Kings reportedly trying to trade up, I’m not sure how this plays out, but this is where I think Monk comes off the board. The Kentucky guard is a pure scorer, capable of putting up points in bunches, but his upside may not be as high as those listed above.

11. Charlotte Hornets

Luke Kennard, SG, 6-6, 202, 20, Duke

After a recent workout in Detroit, Kennard was asked for an NBA comparison. His answer: San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, Golden State’s Klay Thompson and Utah’s Rodney Hood. That’s lofty company. The Duke guard — who’s more scorer than shooter — has helped himself during workouts.

12. Detroit Pistons

Donovan Mitchell, SG, 6-3, 210, Louisville

You could make an argument that no one has helped himself more this past month than Mitchell. A combo guard, Mitchell’s defensive potential has drawn comparisons to Boston’s Avery Bradley and Oklahoma City’s Victor Oladipo. reported that the Knicks may even consider Mitchell at No. 8.

13. Denver Nuggets

O.G. Anunoby, SF, 6-8, 215, 19, Indiana

Anunoby’s sophomore season was cut short because of an ACL injury. When healthy, he’s a versatile defender capable of guarding multiple positions. In other words, he’s someone many teams, including the Nuggets, should covet.

NBA DRAFT: What can Suns fans expect with a top-5 pick?

14. Miami Heat

Zach Collins, PF, 6-10, 232, 19, Gonzaga

The first one-and-done player in Gonzaga history, Collins got better as last season progressed, playing his best in the Glendale Final Four. He has all the big man qualities. High motor. Rebounds in traffic. Protects the rim. And a shooting touch that should improve once he gets to the NBA.

15. Portland Trail Blazers

T.J. Leaf, PF, 6-10, 220, 20, UCLA

Leaf this week worked out solo for Utah. Entering the draft, the Jazz have the 24th and 30th picks but I’m not sure the UCLA freshman will still be around. I have Leaf higher than most because of his offensive skills — his 65.2 effective field-goal percentage last season ranked 14th nationally — and toughness.


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16. Chicago Bulls

John Collins, PF, 6-10, 225, 19, Wake Forest

I’ve moved around Collins like a yo-yo, but he fits here. As Sam Vecenie — who writes for The Sporting News and other publications — recently pointed out, Collins is the same age as many one-and-done prospects, yet he played two years in college. That’s an advantage. As a Wake Forest sophomore, Collins was among college basketball’s biggest surprises and his skills — rebounding, soft shooting touch — might translate sooner than expected.

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Justin Patton, C, 7-0, 226, 19, Creighton.

I dropped Patton a few spots but still have the Creighton center higher than most. Reason: He runs the court, shoots with touch and protects the rim. While It’s fair to question the big man’s maturity (Patton red-shirted his first year at Creighton in part because of his lack of conditioning and discipline), his upside is tough to ignore.

18. Indiana Pacers

Terrance Ferguson, SG,  6-7, 186, 19, Adelaide

After a recent workout in Charlotte, Ferguson told reporters that his pro experience in Australia has him more prepared than many of the college players in this draft. Perhaps. Ferguson is known for his shooting and athletic ability, but his draft position may hinge on how NBA teams view his defense.

19. Atlanta Hawks

Harry Giles, PF, 6-11, 222, 19, Duke

A year ago, Giles was the top-ranked player coming out of high school, but because of knee issues, his freshman season didn’t turn out as planned. In 26 games, he averaged just 3.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 11.5 minutes. A healthy Giles is a top prospect. Problem is, he’s had three knee surgeries since 2013. He’s a risk, but one worth taking here.


20. Portland Trail Blazers

Bam Adebayo, C, 6-10, 250, 19, Kentucky

While the NBA trends toward versatile, long-range shooting big men, Adebayo is an old-school post player. An advantage: He already has NBA size and athletic ability. And he might be versatile enough to slow guards in pick-and-roll situations. Disadvantage: His offensive game is limited.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

Justin Jackson, SF, 6-8, 193, 22, North Carolina

What does Jackson try to show in workouts? “I love to score the ball,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That is probably my No. 1 strength. In these workouts, for me for a little bit, I can show that I can play in a pick-and-roll system. We don’t do that much at North Carolina. I can show that I can come off that and make the right reads and be patient with what is going on in the play.”

22. Brooklyn Nets

Jarrett Allen, C, 6-10, 224, 19, Texas

Most have Allen higher, but the guess here is he slides. The NBA is trending toward big men who can shoot from the perimeter and although Allen shows a decent touch, he’s not there yet. Showing he can defend the pick-and-roll and protect the rim would help.

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23. Toronto Raptors

Caleb Swanigan, PF, 6-9, 247, 21, Purdue

After a recent workout in Devner, Swanigan explained to reporters what he will bring to the NBA: “A lot of charisma and things that make you want to watch an NBA team. Playing hard and just bringing grit to basketball. Sometimes, shots aren’t going and you’re not going to play well, but nobody wants to watch a team that’s uninspired and doesn’t compete, so that’s what I want to bring to a team.”

24. Utah Jazz

D.J. Wilson, PF, 6-10, 240, 21, Michigan.

According to a report, the Jazz have promised Wilson they’d take him in the first round, which was enough to slot him here.  He’s intriguing. In addition to his size, Wilson has a 7-3 wingspan, which led to 57 blocks last season, the most at Michigan in nine years. Biggest concern: He’s not ready physically.

25. Orlando Magic

Ike Anigbogu, C, 6-10, 230, UCLA

Anigbogu – who could be the third first-rounder from UCLA – averaged only 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds. In 29 games, he scored in double figures only once. He never grabbed more than nine rebounds. At the same time, his rim protection and potential likely will make him a first-round selection.

MORE: Booker takes 11-year-old fan to New York for NBA draft lottery

26. Portland Trail Blazers

Anzejs Pasecniks, C, 7-2, 229, Latvia

With three first-round picks, Portland can afford to take a chance and develop.  

27. Brooklyn Nets

Jordan Bell, PF, 6-9, 215, 22, Oregon

After a recent workout, a Philadelphia executive said Bell has Dennis Rodman qualities. That might not be far off. A gifted shot blocker, Bell was last season’s Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also a fierce rebounder and underrated passer, which gives him the ability to affect the game without scoring, a rare quality.

28. Los Angeles Lakers

Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF, 6-7, 235, 22, SMU.

Physically, Ojeleye, who began his career at Duke, is NBA ready. He also has the defensive versatility and shooting range that make him an attractive option.

MORE: Suns’ picks may not bring quick end to playoff drought. Can fans live with that

29. San Antonio Spurs

Josh Hart, SG, 6-6, 204, 22, Villanova

Hart could be this season’s Malcolm Brogdon – a player who slips past everyone simply because the draft has become so much about potential. The reality here is Hart can play, which is reflected by his trophy case. Last season Hart was both the Big East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He should be a rotation player for many years.

30. Utah Jazz

Tyler Lydon, SF/PF, 6-10, 225, 22, Syracuse.

Lydon’s skills are not secret: His size and shooting touch allow him to stretch the floor. He was a 40-percent 3-point shooter in two college seasons. Although his defense is a concern, last season’s 8.65 rebounding average ranked fifth in the ACC. 

NBA MOCK DRAFTS: Gem for Suns in second round?


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Contact Doug Haller at 602-444-4949 or at [email protected]. Follow him at