11. Minnesota T Wolves
De’Andre Hunter: Forward – Virginia
The slide for De’Andre Hunter finally ends, as the Minnesota Timberwolves and their defensive minded coach Tom Thibodeau, select him with the number 11 pick in our mock draft. Hunter helped lead Virginia to the NCAA Tournament Championship this past season. Hunter was a great college defender, shutting down NBA prospect Jarred Culver in the championship game. He was once a center in high school, who has made the transition to forward. He improved his three-point shooting five percentage points from his freshman season, though he’s not a high volume shooter from outside. He is a good cutter though.
De’Andre Hunter’s biggest weakness is his inability to create his own shot, as well as create for teammates. He struggles to beat defenders off the dribble and to crest space for jumpshots in one on one situations. He’s not an explosive, quick twitch athlete. This has caused NBA experts to question if Hunter can defend quick NBA wings, and he doesn’t project as a defender that can switch onto point guards. This is important for the Atlanta Hawks, as they need a wing defender to help mask Trae Young’s weaknesses. That’s why I believe Atlanta will pass on him. Though he shut down Jarred Culver, he had a difficult time defending projected number three pick R.J. Barrett. Barrett who was often inefficient, shot 56 percent and averaged 28 points, in two matchups against Hunter and Virginia. Despite his great wingspan, Hunter doesn’t produce blocks or steals at a high rate. He’s simply a good on ball defender and shooter. If he is quick enough, he should be a good three and d starting wing. If not he loses value as a small ball power forward.
2018 Stats: Pts:15.2 REB:5.1 APG:2 STL:0.6 BLK:0.6 FG%:52.0 2P%:55.0 3P%:43.8 FT%:78.3
Red Team Scouting provides us with the following YouTube video breaking down the game of De’Andre Hunter:
12. Charlotte Hornets
Brandon Clarke: Power Forward – Gonzaga
Height:6’8 Weight:207 Age:22.8
Wingspan:6’8 Standing Reach:8’6
The Charlotte Hornets badly need rim protection, as Marvin Williams tied for the team lead in blocks per game with 0.8. In fact Marvin Williams led the squad in total blocks with 61. The next closest man was Miles Bridges with 49. Yes I am referring to that Marvin Williams, the former Atlanta Hawks forward.
Having shot blocking woes that severe, the Hornets have ever reason to select a shot blocker in this year’s draft. Brandon Clarke is the top shot blocker in this class and is the ideal fit for Charlotte, with pick 12 in the Atl All Day NBA Mock Draft. The junior power forward from Gonzaga averaged an incredible 4.5 blocks per 40 minutes. At the power forward position, he immediately becomes one of the quickest players in the NBA. Clarke has next level hops, with the ability to sky into the air and throw down lobs. His athletic ability and quickness allow him to switch on perimeter players in the pick and roll with ease. He is also passes well out of the post. Brandon is also very good in transition and on the offensive boards.
Brandon Clarke is able to make some mid range jumpers, but must improve his mechanics. He’s not a good three-point shooter at all. He also needs to improve his free throw shooting, though the fact that he improved 12 percent from the previous season, brings hope that he will. The biggest concern with Clarke is his size. Physically he has the same build as DeMarre Caroll, the former Atlanta Hawks defensive stopper. He has a wingspan that barley is more than his height. This hindered him on the defensive backboards in college. Will that size also hinder him from being an effective shot blocker against much longer, more talented NBA players? ESPN has his number 12 on their best available players list, so this seems like a likely spot for him.
2018 Stats: Pts:16.9 REB:8.6 APG:1.9 STL:1.2 BLK:3.2 FG%:68.7 2P%:70.5 3P%:26.7 FT%:69.4
The following YouTube video by NBA Draft Junkies shows us the offensive strengths of Brandon Clarke: