I will leave the real mock drafting to The Vertical’s Jonathan Givony. This is mock mock drafting, and it is an entirely non-serious look at the NBA draft in which I ranked potential lottery picks by the weirdest known facts about them. From gummy bear addictions to a love for “Edward Scissorhands,” here goes.
1. Justin Jackson, North Carolina junior small forward
“If he could go back in time, he’d want to witness the birth of Jesus Christ,” which is wild, because witnessing childbirth at the exact moment B.C. turned to A.D. would not be on my list of top wishes.
And “if he could live in any city in the world, it would be: Cincinnati, Ohio,” which, again, wild stuff, especially for a Texas guy, because the birthplace of Nick and Drew Lachey isn’t the hottest of spots.
Jackson was also majoring in exercise in North Carolina. This is an excellent major at North Carolina.
2. Josh Jackson, Kansas freshman small forward
His mom’s name is Apples Jones, which is the best of all names. She sounds like a hip bass guitarist. Based solely on Jackson’s answers to these three questions, he’s every bit as cool as his mom’s name:
• If he could drive anything, it would be: something that is safe and runs well.
• Best player ever faced: everybody he faces.
• This right-hander wears No. 11 because: it’s sweet.
3. Donovan Mitchell, Louisville sophomore shooting guard
He is legit addicted to gummy bears.
“I’ll be in my room watching film,” he told the Courier-Journal. “I don’t know if you have that feeling where you see something and you want it in your hand? But it’s definitely a tough thing.”
Again, that is a quote about gummy bears. There’s also this from the same story: “In trimming 18 pounds from his freshman physique, the newly svelte 195-pound Mitchell has reduced his pizza intake from almost daily to special occasions. He is eating less and more prudently, chewing longer, scaling back on chicken fingers and sweet potatoes and filling up on water.”
We are all Donovan Mitchell.
4. Jarrett Allen, Texas freshman center
He is an international man of mystery, based on these three facts from his USA Basketball bio:
• Favorite movies: “The Lego Movie,” “iRobot,” “Up,” “Spirited Away” and “(My Neighbor) Totoro”.
• Favorite basketball player of all time: Dwight Howard when he played for the Orlando Magic.
• Last book read for pleasure: “Metro 2033” by Dmitry Glukhovsky.
“When he played for the Orlando Magic” is an incredible clarifier when naming Dwight Howard as your favorite basketball player. And anybody who lists a Russian post-apocalyptic science fiction novel as the last book they’ve read and lists “iRobot” and four cartoons, including two Japanese anime films, as their favorite movies of all-time is really just somebody you want telling stories in the locker room.
5. Lonzo Ball, UCLA freshman point guard
(Also, on Ball’s USA Basketball bio, he lists Bernie Pischon as the most impressive person he’s ever met, “because he’s so successful.” Who is Bernie Pischon? In an internet search of his name, only one item comes up: Ball’s USA Basketball bio. I sincerely hope he meant to say Bronson Pinchot.)
6. Ike Anigbogu, UCLA freshman center
He once delivered a college speech on “Edward Scissorhands” and later told The Players’ Tribune, “The thing about Edward Scissorhands is that it sneaks up on you. It’s set up like an average romance movie, but it’s not your average romance. You get the whole variety of human emotions. It’s not just a girl and a guy who fall in love, it’s a Beauty and the Beast type of thing, where the characters are forced to look beyond just appearances and look inside themselves.” He’s the Gene Siskel of this draft.
He also once chilled in a park with a kangaroo:
7. Jayson Tatum, Duke freshman small forward
His favorite food is St. Louis-style pizza, which, as defined by Wikipedia, has “a very thin cracker like crust made without yeast, the common (but not universal) use of Provel processed cheese, and pizzas cut into squares or rectangles instead of wedges.” So, it’s more cheese and crackers than pizza.
Jayson Tatum says his No. 1 pick in the food draft would be St. Louis-style pizza. Never knew that was even a thing.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 21, 2017
8. Bam Adebayo, Kentucky freshman center
His only superstition: Never put a hat on a bed, which apparently is a thing some people believe will prevent them from ever getting married or, through static electricity, deliver evil spirits from your hair.
His NBA goal off the court is to “get more sleep,” his favorite movie is “Step Brothers,” favorite food is macaroni and cheese and favorite TV show is “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and the most impressive person he’s ever met is Penny Hardaway, because he’s a “smooth individual,” so he’s your best friend.
9. T.J. Leaf, UCLA freshman power forward
He has a dog named Rusty, cats named Misty and Toby, loves the song “If I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars, he wears No. 22 because he likes Rudy Gay, and three of his favorite things involve fishing …
• Favorite non-sports magazine: Sport Fishing.
• Away from the court, enjoys: fishing and hanging out with friends.
• Most people don’t know: he is really good at fishing.
… all of which would give me great pause as an NBA general manager.
10. Zach Collins, Gonzaga freshman power forward
He is a terrible singer:
Pitch perfect tried to sign me but I was like I'm to busy https://t.co/GkyQ60SBSi
— Zach Collins (@zcollins_33) October 8, 2013
But an incredible dancer:
Collins might be the first-ever Vine star to be drafted in the lottery. His feed was very good. #RIPVine
11. Justin Patton, Creighton redshirt freshman center
According to his college bio, his nickname is Big Muddy, his favorite song is Sam Hunt’s country bro-country anthem “House Party,” his favorite book is American classic “The Great Gatsby,” his favorite movie is American classic and Kevin Hart/Ice Cube vehicle “Ride Along,” and his dream date is Nia Long, otherwise known as Will Smith’s girlfriend on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” all of which seems extremely random and awesome and just might make Patton the most eclectic player in the draft.
12. De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky freshman point guard
His nickname is “Swipa,” as in the extremely annoying Swiper the Fox from “Dora the Explorer.” Also:
Wait. DeAaron Fox's dad's name is Aaron? So he named his son "from the Aaron"? That. Is. AWESOME
— Larry Beyince (@DragonflyJonez) June 21, 2017
13. Malik Monk, Kentucky freshman guard
His favorite hobby is riding four-wheelers, and if he could drive anything, it would be a helicopter. Either seems like a great way for a rookie to show up for games. (Plus, his nickname really is “Malik Monk, God of Dunk,” because I bestowed it on him in 2014, so he has a special place in my heart.)
14. Lauri Markkanen, Arizona freshman power forward
He is constantly doing “Borat” impressions. Like, a lot. He also only discovered buffalo wings and the extent of ice cream flavors over the past year. In case you were wondering, Markkanen is Finnish.
As I spoke to Chance Comanche ab the different personalities on Arizona, Lauri Markkanen chimed in with a timely (Borat voice) "Very Nice!"
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) March 10, 2017
15. Jonathan Isaac, Florida State freshman forward
The Celtics bluntly asked Jonathan Isaac in Las Vegas if he did drugs. "I just started laughing."
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 21, 2017
16. Frank Ntilikina, Strasbourg (France) point guard
He learned English by listening to American rap lyrics, which might make for an interesting vocabulary, and he has a pretty perfect nickname for a Frenchman, courtesy of Jason Concepcion:
Shouts to my dude Frankie Nicotine. Can't wait to see you running point for the Knicks.
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) May 17, 2017
17. OG Anunoby, Indiana sophomore small forward
One of his closest friends at Indiana, teammate Troy Williams, told The Indianapolis Star, “It’s one of the first things I learned about OG when he got here. The man is weird.” And then didn’t qualify it at all, which is sort of terrifying. Also, he’s British, his name is OG, and his brother Chigbo is a 6-foot-4, 324-pound defensive lineman in the NFL. None of those things is that weird. Those are just cool facts.
18. Dennis Smith Jr., N.C. State freshman point guard
19. Luke Kennard, Duke sophomore shooting guard
“His hidden talent is that he can juggle,” which is the exact hidden talent you’d expect from a sophomore from Duke named Luke Kennard. And his favorite pregame snack is Snickers. Again.
20. Markelle Fultz, Washington freshman point guard
He loves BMX biking, thought he invented “Trust the Process,” FaceTimes his mom every night and earned the nickname “Grandpa,” because he made sure his Huskies teammates were home by midnight. These are all very much not exciting strange-but-true facts about a likely No. 1 pick.
21. John Collins, Wake Forest sophomore power forward
His name is John Collins. Seriously, I could not find even a single mildly interesting factoid about John Collins, outside of the fact he enjoys “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” GIFs, which makes him A-OK in my book.
— John Collins (@jcollins20_) March 5, 2017
Let’s hope John Collins wears the weirdest of all suits on NBA draft night. Enjoy the show, everyone.
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