NBA mock draft 5.0 – Best available player edition
By Kohl Rast
Kevin Knox has been one of the higher end forwards in the draft since the beginning, but there is a significant gap between the Bridges and him, in my opinion. Knox was a solid player with Kentucky who really showed that he can be an effective defender and player going forward. He received votes from three of the staff writers.
Knox would add a nice wing defender to the Clippers who could use the addition on that end. He is a good scorer but needs to work on his jumper a little bit before it is NBA ready. When that time comes, Knox could be a great steal of this draft with his size and abilities. I think the Clippers will like this pick at number 13.
Last but not least, the Denver Nuggets select Zhaire Smith out of Texas Tech with the final lottery pick in this mock draft. Zhaire Smith is a versatile wing who has a ton of upside going forward on both ends of the court. Smith received only one vote but was the highest one-vote player in the mock draft.
Smith would be a nice replacement for Wilson Chandler in the Nuggets offense and should instantly be better on the defensive end of the court. He is incredibly explosive and versatile as a player but needs a lot of work on the offensive end. He is a great value pick for what he could be, but will need growth before becoming a star. With the offensive power of Denver, he should fit in nicely.
Next: Are trade rumors a sign of the talent level in the draft?
Others receiving votes: Robert Williams (Texas A&M), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Kentucky), Khyri Thomas (Creighton), and Troy Brown Jr. (Oregon).