4. Houston Rockets snag Justin Edwards
Houston barely hangs onto their selection in this mock. The Rockets want to improve and push for the postseason. The additions of Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, and Jeff Green should be impactful on their young talent, but the Western Conference is loaded. They will likely be back in the lottery and hoping to keep their pick.
Edwards is a 6’8 wing with number one pick upside. He can get buckets, handle the ball, make plays, and defend multiple positions. Every team wants versatile wings who can do multiple things on the floor. Edwards fits that profile and projects to be Kentucky’s best player this season.
5. Detroit Pistons choose Stephon Castle
It is a crucial season in Detroit. New head coach Monty Williams has a history of getting the best out of his players, but who is a long-term answer for the Pistons? They have ten players under 25 years old on their roster. With just 80 wins in the last four seasons combined, it is time to finally start moving in the right direction.
With Jaden Ivey coming off the bench, Detroit needs a starting point guard. Castle could give the Pistons a massive backcourt. He is 6’6 and one of the top passers in this class. Castle is playing for the defending champion UConn Huskies, and they need him to be their top playmaker. Expect the 18-year-old to run with the opportunity and cement himself as a top selection.
6. Charlotte Hornets select Alex Sarr
The Hornets are one of the toughest teams to figure out this season. They were 43-39 in 2022 but lost in the Play-In Tournament. Last season was a massive disappointment and LaMelo Ball struggled to stay on the floor. Charlotte won just 27 games but got Brandon Miller with the number two pick. The Hornets need top-end talent and must go best player available.
Sarr is climbing draft boards after an impressive summer where he helped France take second at the under-19 World Cup and stood out in Las Vegas as his Perth Wildcats faced the G League Ignite. The 7’1 big man has shown some ball-handling and shooting chops. He could be a difference-maker on both ends of the floor and is the massive upside prospect that the Hornets desire.