Mocking the Mock: 5 worst and most interesting fits from ESPN’s latest NBA Mock Draft

The latest ESPN NBA Mock Draft is live. Here are the best and worst fits from the experts.

Zach Edey, Tyler Wahl, Purdue
Zach Edey, Tyler Wahl, Purdue / John Fisher/GettyImages
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Worst fit: Zach Edey to the Kings at No. 13

With all due respect to the ESPN gurus... what?

The Sacramento Kings' frontcourt is centered on the prodigious offerings of Domantas Sabonis in the five spot. While there's a strong case for adding more complementary rim protection, ideally at the four spot, the case for adding a post-bound center in the lottery is nonexistant. This would be a classic misuse of resources from a Kings team that has gotten much better on that front in recent years

Zach Edey is the best player in college basketball, bar none. His analytics profile is off the charts — .319 WS/40, 14.8 BPM, 37.1 PER — and he is a one-man wrecking crew against amateur defenses. At 7-foot-4 and almost 300 pounds, Edey's blend of strength, nimble footwork, and soft touch on the block is absolutely mesmerizing. He would be the No. 1 pick a couple decades ago.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to find a clean fit for Edey in today's NBA. The league has gone away from centers who accrue a high usage rate by posting up. Even Joel Embiid had to embrace his face-up game and work more on the perimeter. Edey's improvement as a passer, combined with slight hints of shooting range, make him worth a first-round pick based on sheer collegiate dominance alone. It's hard to find players putting up his numbers at any level. I'm not convinced he's a lottery pick, though, and he's especially not a lottery pick for a team with Sabonis in the middle. Burning the 13th pick on a pure backup center is bad process.

Edey will be able to protect the rim. He casts a formidable shadow and deters a lot of shot attempts in the paint. On the flip side, he's not particularly graceful in space. NBA teams will spread the floor and force Edey to leave the comfort of the low block. How he handles the increased speed and athleticism of NBA offenses at that point is yet to be seen.

Edey has earned the right to try breaking the mold. That said, it just shouldn't be happening in Sacramento. It's hard to imagine him and Sabonis ever coexisting on the court defensively.