NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Full first-round predictions a week before the lottery

Evan Mobley - Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Mobley - Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /
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NBA Mock Draft, Jalen Johnson
NBA Mock Draft, Jalen Johnson – Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Jalen Johnson. player. 84. Duke. 9. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. SF

NBA Mock Draft 9th Pick: Sacramento Kings

Last year’s gigantic steal of Tyrese Haliburton in the NBA Draft was a much-needed patchwork to cover up the Sacramento Kings’ draft blunders in previous seasons. While they missed the postseason once more (no one’s surprised anymore), their draft steal streak may extend to two this summer.

Duke’s Jalen Johnson possesses tremendous upside as a playmaking forward. His court vision is more mature than his peers at his position, a la Draymond Green. More importantly, he is active and versatile on defense, an area where Sacramento needs a boatload of help to save their disastrous defense, which ranked as the worst in NBA history this season.

With Richaun Holmes’ impending free agency, as well as Marvin Bagley’s continuous hazy upside, Johnson will be more than enough to give the team some cushion in the frontcourt. Think of Aaron Gordon, but with better passing.