7. Miami – Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga. In three seasons, has morphed into one of the best players in the country. He’s already made more three-pointers (6) than he did all of last year (5). Could he be a hybrid between Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis in the NBA?
8. Washington – Kevin Porter, SG, USC. The Wizards won’t be able to unload John Wall and that nightmare contract, but Bradley Beal could be dealt. If so, they could get his replacement in the 2019 draft. Porter is an explosive athlete who has opened a ton of NBA eyes in the first few weeks of the season. Shot-making, Harden-imitatation moves, and explosive dunks will get people talking. It’s early, and he wasn’t in our Top 50 this summer, but he looks like a 1-and-done.
9. Utah – Ja Morant, G, Murray State. As a sinewy 6-foot-3 freshman, he had one 20-point game. He’s got three in the first month of this season. Unranked by 247 and ESPN out of high school, Morant has rising up draft boards. This is a good read on his skill set. Would be formidable next to Donovan Mitchell.
10. Houston – Sekou Doumbouya, SF, France. Had him higher in the 2018 summer mock draft, and probably am underrating him here because I’m watching college players nightly. Only 17, he turns 18 in December. He’s at least a year away from contributing, something the Rockets would value, though it’s unlikely Houston stays this bad.
11. San Antonio – Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G/F, Virginia Tech. Sophomore wing from Canada is going to be angling for All-ACC honors if he keeps up this hot start (18.5 ppg). Watch the shot-making, passing, and athletic ability in his 25-7-3 effort in a win over Purdue. The Spurs have no perimeter defense or 3-point shooting. Alexander-Walker provides both.
12. New Orleans – Quentin Grimes, SG, Kansas. Such a challenging pick here because of the Anthony Davis situation. If the Pelicans don’t make the playoffs, why would he sign the extension? Grimes is a shooting 40 percent from deep (9-of-22), something the Pelicans have struggled to find. He’s playing behind experienced players, so we haven’t seen nearly the best of Grimes.
13. Boston (via Sacramento) – Bol Bol, C, Oregon. Most intriguing prospect because what do you do with a 7-foot-2 toothpick who has unicorn skills? Is he the next Kristaps Porzingis? Could he be in three years?
14. Minnesota – Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State. There’s a need at shooting, but unfortunately there isn’t much at this spot in the draft. Dort, who is from Quebec, is more of a slasher than a shooter, though he has shot it well from deep so far (13-of-39). This feels high for a guy who wasn’t on our Top 50 list, but again, it’s early.