The National Basketball Association draft is upon us and dozens of young basketball prospects will fulfill their professional dreams. Here’s how the lottery selections would pan out if NBA teams chose between the gifted players that starred at the five local schools this past winter.
Welcome to the Bizarro Basketball Draft…
1. Boston Celtics: Ahmod Privott- G- Middletown: Privott has a unique skillset that could help put the contending Celtics over the top in the East. The Middletown prospect has a well-rounded game with no holes and has the ability to play inside and out on offense. He’s stout enough to defend multiple positions and he’ll enter Boston with a ton of game experience. His ability to play with pace will fit Brad Steven’s offense like a glove.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Jared Simmons- G- Newington: The pride of Newington is a dynamic playmaker that will blend perfectly with the Lakers budding roster. Simmons has an explosive first step, which allows him to relentlessly attack the bucket and he’s also a willing passer. He thrives as an off-ball defender, turning defense into offense, and his up-tempo style could bring Showtime back to La La Land.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: Alex Sikorski- G- Rocky Hill: Sikorski is an impressive athlete that can shoot from all angles with a picturesque jumper. The Sixers needs wing players and Sikorski is quick enough to play guard and long enough to defend stretch forwards. Rocky Hill’s own has underrated court vision with active hands on the defensive end.
4. Phoenix Suns: Michael Mozzicato- F- Wethersfield: Phoenix has several young pieces in place, but needs more consistent perimeter scoring and Mozzicato can fill that need with his ability to shoot and put the ball on the floor. He’s a rangy athlete that plays with desire and confidence.
5. Sacramento Kings: Tyshaun James- F- Middletown: James has the leadership qualities to repair an organization and roster that has been gutted. Has a quarterback’s mentality on the perimeter and has deceptive strength down low. Has a lot of Scottie Pippen in his game, which the fans in Sacramento will enjoy.
6. Orlando Magic: Noah Budzik- G- Cromwell: A rhythm shooter with unlimited range. Orlando has an athletic roster, but is lacking a knock down shooter and Budzik has the sweetest stroke in the draft. Cromwell’s court general is comfortable with the ball in his hands and not afraid to take it to the cup. He’s also a scrappy defender despite his lack of size.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Matt McKinnon- F- Newington: The T-Wolves are lacking someone that is willing to bang down low and McKinnon fits the bill. A solidly-framed athlete that is an automatic double-double and possesses a great touch around the basket. Very coachable kid, who coach Thibs will love.
8. New York Knicks: DeAaron Lawrence- G- Middletown: Lawrence will love playing under the bright light of MSG. Combines next-level athleticism with a deadly accurate shot from beyond the arc. He’s a competitor that will not back down from a challenge and plays with a tremendous amount of confidence.
9. Dallas Mavericks: Jimmy Sullivan- F- Wethersfield: The Mavs lack consistency and Sullivan is a do-it-all forward that is impressive on both ends of the floor. He’s got the size to play on the block, but has a high-release and the ability to bury shots down from the outside. His long wingspan allows him to protect the rim and deflect passes.
10. Sacramento Kings: William White- G- Rocky Hill: White will add another explosive athlete to Sacramento’s lineup. The Kings are lacking spot-up shooters and that’s what White does best, possessing deep range and a beautiful rainbow shot. A fierce competitor with a football mentality who will not be pushed around.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Reese Reyes- F- Cromwell: The Hornets keep knocking on the postseason door and now add another fundamentally sound player to the mix. Reyes is known for his ability to defend on the block, but is a savvy offensive player that has a knack for generating points and is an underrated passer.
12. Detroit Pistons: Dan Tonna- C/F- Rocky Hill: Tonna will add brute strength to an already physical frontcourt in Detroit. An enforcer in the middle that makes players think twice about taking it to the bucket. Also an emotional leader that works hard on both ends and battled back from an injury this past season.
13. Denver Nuggets: Nicholas Arcata- G- Wethersfield: Court general with great vision. Arcata will bolster a talented lineup in Denver with his versatility and ability to push the tempo. Elite lateral quickness will allow him to check quicker guards and he’s not afraid to crash the glass.
14. Miami Heat: Sean Melaven- F- Cromwell: Melaven is the consummate worker, who does all the little things. Erik Spoelstra will love his willingness to chase offensive boards and take charges. Should be a Udonis Haslem-type and a solid contributor for years to come.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin