Welcome back to the NBA Expansion Draft scenario series on kawntent sports. This is my mock draft with the guys we protected from the previous posts in this series. The following players are available to be drafted, one per section (team). Wes Matthews is listed as a Buck while he is a Hawk currently in real life, but I did not bother to switch that over as it shouldn’t affect the draft. I’m not aware of any other incorrect players here.
Wesley Matthews Malik Beasley
Blake Griffin Oshae Brissett Luke Kornet Justin Champagnie
Jaden Springer Danuel House Max McClung Montrezl Harrell
Ricky Rubio Georges Niang Danny Green
Isaiah Roby DaQuan Jeffries Evan Fournier Miles McBride
Ben Simmons Dennis Smith Jr Lonnie Walker IV
Josh Richardson Thomas Bryant Duncan Robinson Haywood Highsmith
Patty Mills Garrison Mathews Bruno Fernando
Chris Boucher DJ Wilson Thaddeus Young Otto Porter Jr
Lonzo Ball Torrey Craig Jevon Carter Carlik Jones Matt Thomas
Buddy Hield Daniel Theis TJ McConnell Aaron Nesmith Jordan Nwora
Johnny Davis Landry Shamet Danilo Gallinari Kendrick Nunn
Gary Harris Joe Ingles Devin Cannady Chuma Okeke Caleb Houstan
Gordon Hayward JT Thor Bryce McGowens
Marcus Sasser Joe Harris Marvin Bagley James Wiseman
Justin Holiday DeAndre Jordan Vlatko Cancar
Xavier Tillman Josh Christopher Luke Kennard David Roddy Derrick Rose John Konchar
Trey Lyles Alex Len
Keita Bates-Diop Chimezie Metu
Amir Coffey Marcus Morris Kobe Brown BJ Boston Mason Plumlee Jason Preston
Cory Joseph Dario Saric Trayce Jackson-Davis
Taurean Prince Jaxson Hayes
Josh Minott Nickiell Alexander-Walker Jordan McLaughlin
Jonas Valanciunas Kira Lewis Jr Cody Zeller
Victor Oladipo Usman Garuba Davis Bertans TyTy Washington Isaiah Joe Aaron Wiggins
Tim Hardaway Jr JaVale McGee Richaun Holmes
Collin Sexton Simone Fontecchio
Jerami Grant Jabari Walker
Dillon Brooks Aaron Holiday
Doug McDermott Reggie Bullock Devonte Graham Khem Birch Cedi Osman Julian Champagnie
The Seattle Lumberjacks will be picking first, the Las Vegas Sand second and third, Seattle fourth, and this pattern will repeat until each team is full (10 players). With that, let’s get into the draft!
With the 1st pick in the 2023 Expansion Draft, the Seattle Lumberjacks select Jerami Grant!
Grant is clearly the best player available and he only went unprotected because of his gargantuan contract. He’s been the best player on a team before, albeit a terrible one in Detroit. But, the Lumberjacks will want to start off bad anyway to get their shot at top prospects in 2024 and 2025. Grant is a really solid scorer who’s not a liability anywhere, and should be a decent foundation for a franchise and help them not get blown out every game.
With the 2nd pick in the 2023 Expansion Draft, the Las Vegas Sand select Ben Simmons!
I am of the belief that the only way to get Simmons his confidence back is to give him his own team and the keys to the offense. An expansion team is the perfect opportunity for this, and the Sand get a great distributor and defender who can play the Magic Johnson role for them.
With the 3rd pick in the 2023 Expansion Draft, the Las Vegas Sand select Buddy Hield!
Buddy Hield is going to be paired with Ben Simmons and will be set up for lots of great looks from behind the arc. He will get Simmons to have crazy assist numbers and will probably have a career high in points per game I wouldn’t be surprised if Hield averaged close to 25 on this team.
With the 4th pick in the 2023 Expansion Draft, the Seattle Lumberjacks select Victor Oladipo!
The Lumberjacks give Oladipo a new chance to be a star of a team, which he hasn’t had since he was a member of the Pacers. Oladipo will have his chance to shine again and prove he is still a great NBA player. And the Lumberjacks will benefit from his resurgence as a top scorer and solid defender.
With the 5th pick in the 2023 Expansion Draft, the Seattle Lumberjacks select Aaron Holiday!
With Simmons and McConnell off the board because of the Sand, the Lumberjacks select the best point guard available in Aaron Holiday. He’s a solid passer and not a liability anywhere on the court, making this a solid pick for Seattle.
With the 6th pick in the 2023 Expansion Draft, the Las Vegas Sand select Haywood Highsmith!
Highsmith has proven to be a solid rotational piece for a contending Miami Heat squad, and will be sorely missed. But he brings playoff experience to this squad and should help out as a solid offensive and defensive player.
Now that each team has picked three players, the rest of the draft will no longer contain explanations, but I will be applying similar logic to the picks.
7 (LV): Chris Boucher 8 (SEA): Xavier Tillman 9 (SEA): Marvin Bagley III 10 (LV): Gordon Hayward 11 (LV): Justin Holiday 12 (SEA): Collin Sexton 13 (SEA): Jonas Valancunias 14 (LV): Taurean Prince 15 (LV): Trayce Jackson-Davis 16 (SEA): Torrey Craig 17 (SEA): Tim Hardaway Jr 18 (LV): Nickiell Alexander-Walker 19 (LV): Amir Coffey 20 (SEA): Patty Mills
PG: Aaron Holiday
SG: Victor Oladipo
SF: Jerami Grant
PF: Xavier Tillman
C: Jonas Valancunias
Collin Sexton, Tim Hardaway Jr, Torrey Craig, Marvin Bagley III
Las Vegas Sand
PG: Ben Simmons
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Haywood Highsmith
PF: Gordon Hayward
C: Chris Boucher
Justin Holiday, Taurean Prince, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Nickiell Alexander-Walker, Amir Coffey
Feel free to make your own drafts based off this scenario, I already made the unprotected players list for you so it makes your draft that extra step easier. Let me know your thoughts in the comments: should someone have been picked who wasn’t? Was there an expansion draft “bust” who won’t fit in with his new team? Tell me what you’re thinking!