He's done his homework, looking at each squad's needs and talking to team executives. But, as with any year, there's still a lot of uncertainty remaining. According to Ford, "most teams admitted to still considering four to five players at their draft position."
Some of Ford's selections were particularly intriguing or surprising, so let's examine those picks and determine how well they might turn out for the selecting teams.
Before continuing, here's the full mock, which you can also find in its original form here:
|Chad Ford Mock Draft 7.0|
|1||Minnesota Timberwolves||Karl-Anthony Towns, F/C, Kentucky|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke|
|3||Philadelphia 76ers||Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia|
|4||New York Knicks||D'Angelo Russell, G, Ohio State|
|5||Orlando Magic||Mario Hezonja, G/F, Croatia|
|6||Sacramento Kings||Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China|
|7||Denver Nuggets||Justise Winslow, G/F, Duke|
|8||Detroit Pistons||Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin|
|9||Charlotte Hornets||Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky|
|10||Miami Heat||Stanley Johnson, G/F, Arizona|
|11||Indiana Pacers||Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky|
|12||Utah Jazz||Myles Turner, F/C, Texas|
|13||Phoenix Suns||Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin|
|14||Oklahoma City Thunder||Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State|
|15||Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn)||Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas|
|16||Boston Celtics||Kelly Oubre, G/F, Kansas|
|17||Milwaukee Bucks||Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky|
|18||Houston Rockets (via New Orleans)||Tyus Jones, PG, Duke|
|19||Washington Wizards||Kevon Looney, F, UCLA|
|20||Toronto Raptors||Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, G/F, Arizona|
|21||Dallas Mavericks||Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame|
|22||Chicago Bulls||Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV|
|23||Portland Trail Blazers||R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State|
|24||Cleveland Cavaliers||Delon Wright, PG, Utah|
|25||Memphis Grizzlies||Justin Anderson, G/F, Virginia|
|26||San Antonio Spurs||Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville|
|27||Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston)||Joseph Young, G, Oregon|
|28||Boston Celtics (via Clippers)||Jarell Martin, F, LSU|
|29||Brooklyn Nets (via Atlanta)||Chris McCullough, F, Syracuse|
|30||Golden State Warriors||Anthony Brown, G/F, Stanford|
|31||Minnesota Timberwolves||Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville|
|32||Houston Rockets (via New York)||Guillermo Hernangomez, C, Spain|
|33||Boston Celtics (via Philadelphia via Miami)||Robert Upshaw, C, Washington|
|34||Los Angeles Lakers||Cedi Osman, F, Turkey|
|35||Philadelphia 76ers (via Orlando)||Olivier Hanlan, G, Boston College|
|36||Minnesota Timberwolves (via Sacramento via Houston)||Mouhammadou Jaiteh, F/C, France|
|37||Philadelphia 76ers (via Denver via Houston, Portland and Minnesota)||Vince Hunter, F, UTEP|
|38||Detroit Pistons||Rakeem Christmas, F/C, Syracuse|
|39||Charlotte Hornets||Tyler Harvey, G, Eastern Washington|
|40||Miami Heat||Dakari Johnson, C, Kentucky|
|41||Brooklyn Nets||Christian Wood, F/C, UNLV|
|42||Utah Jazz||Pat Connaughton, G/F, Notre Dame|
|43||Indiana Pacers||Larry Nance F, Wyoming|
|44||Phoenix Suns||Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas|
|45||Boston Celtics||Nikola Milutinov, C, Serbia|
|46||Milwaukee Bucks||Norm Powell, SG, UCLA|
|47||Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans via Washington and Clippers)||Josh Richardson, SG, Tennessee|
|48||Oklahoma City Thunder||Arturas Gudaitis, C, Lithuania|
|49||Washington Wizards||Richaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green|
|50||Atlanta Hawks (via Toronto)||Michael Frazier II, SG, Florida|
|51||Orlando Magic (via Chicago)||Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU|
|52||Dallas Mavericks||Guillem Vives, PG, Spain|
|53||Cleveland Cavaliers (via Portland via Chicago and Denver)||Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky|
|54||Utah Jazz (via Cleveland)||Jonathan Holmes, F, Texas|
|55||San Antonio Spurs||Aaron White, PF, Iowa|
|56||New Orleans Pelicans (via Memphis)||Alan Williams, PF, UC Santa Barbara|
|57||Denver Nuggets (via Clippers)||Quinn Cook, PG, Duke|
|58||Philadelphia 76ers (via Houston)||Ziga Dimec, C, Slovenia|
|59||Atlanta Hawks||J.P. Tokoto, SF, UNC|
|60||Philadelphia 76ers (via Golden State via Indiana)||Daniel Diez, SF, Spain|
Philadelphia 76ers select Kristaps Porzingis at No. 3
So you're a general manager, and three young big men (Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric) are your team's most exciting prospects for the future. Isaiah Canaan is also the best point guard on your roster.
Why wouldn't you pull the trigger on another big man (Porzingis) with your No. 3 pick? (sarcasm)
Porzingis has been flying up draft boards in recent weeks as he's impressed in workouts and teams continue to watch his impressive European highlights. He's 7'0", has a nice jump shot and is very athletic for someone his size. He might be a top-three prospect in this draft class.
But should the Sixers draft him third? I don't think so.
D'Angelo Russell is a fantastic all-around player with the size (6'5" in shoes) and skill to immediately start in the NBA either as a point or shooting guard, two positions the Sixers desperately need help at.
The Ohio State standout just turned 19 in February, so his upside could be intriguing as well. Even with Embiid's health a question mark, Philadelphia has too many potential post studs to go after another in the Latvian big man Thursday.
Also, I'm just going to leave this here.
Detroit Pistons select Sam Dekker at No. 8
The Pistons selecting Dekker at No. 8 is the dictionary definition of a reach.
NBADraft.net has him going 14th, DraftExpress slots him at 16th and Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projects him to go 22nd. His skill set is well-rounded, but none of his attributes is particularly impressive.
So why would Ford have him so much higher?
As he pointed out in his mock, "[Dekker] had a terrific workout [for Detroit] Saturday, shot the lights out and is more NBA-ready than several of the wings."
However, one of the knocks on Dekker is his streaky shooting, so one workout shouldn't be enough to convince the Pistons that the Wisconsin forward can turn into Kyle Korver from behind the arc.
|Sam Dekker's Inconsistent Three-Point Shooting|
|Six games before NCAA tournament||2||17||11.8|
|NCAA tournament (first five games)||15||30||50.0|
|National championship game||0||6||0.0|
If Dekker were guaranteed to become a great NBA three-point shooter, this might be a good pick. But that's no guarantee.
Miami Heat select Stanley Johnson at No. 10
This pick would be more intriguing than surprising.
Johnson has been linked to Miami in several other mock drafts, but this fit is just too good to be true if the Arizona freshman falls to No. 10. B/R's Dan Favale projects small forward as the Heat's biggest positional need and also noted the team is planning to play faster, per the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.
Well, guess what? Johnson is a 6'7", 242-pound small forward who is best in transition. Perfect.
If Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng all return, Johnson could start his career in a low-pressure bench role and capitalize on his massive potential through the tutelage of the Heat's aging stars.