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21. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Nuggets): Landers Nolley II (Virginia Tech, SF, Freshman)
Ruled ineligible last season, Nolley hasn’t wasted any time this year, averaging 18.6 points while shooting 49.1 percent from three. He won’t win any athletic tests, but for a 6’7″ wing, his shooting, tough shot-making and passing should be enough to draw first-round interest if he keeps producing through ACC play.
22. Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa (Memphis, PF, Freshman)
Achiuwa has used his 6’9″, 225-pound size and athleticism to score in transition and off offensive rebounds and cuts. He has also flashed his defensive potential, which is fueled by quick feet and length. However, he is definitely a project, as he lacks skills for creation and perimeter shot-making.
23. Houston Rockets: Tre Jones (Duke, PG, Sophomore)
Teams should already have a good feel for Jones, who is now in his second year running Duke’s offense. A reputable defender and passer, he has come out more aggressive this year looking for his shot. The results have been mixed, but either way, teams will see a backup who makes good decisions, pressures the ball and plays hard.
24. Dallas Mavericks: Zeke Nnaji (Arizona, C, Freshman)
Shooting 71.8 percent, Nnaji has quickly put himself on the NBA radar by executing off post moves, second-chance opportunities, transition and timely cuts. Teams will want to see more flashes of shooting, but his 81.5 percent free-throw mark has been encouraging.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Isaiah Stewart (Washington, C, Freshman)
An enforcer around the basket, the 250-pound Stewart continues to plow through contract for low-post buckets and offensive rebounds, just as he did in high school. His physical presence and motor create a high perceived floor. Limited athleticism, no scoring versatility and suspect defensive quickness make Stewart more of a Plan B option for non-lottery teams.
26. Brooklyn Nets (via 76ers): Jordan Nwora (Louisville, SF/PF, Junior)
Nwora is up to 21.6 points per game, and his three-ball is suddenly connecting at a 46.0 percent clip. The improved shooting should start to result in more NBA interest while he works as lead scorer for the nation’s No. 1 team.
27. Miami Heat: Jahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech, SG, Freshman)
A leg injury has cost Ramsey some games, but his shot-making and athleticism for transition and defense have jumped out early. It doesn’t appear he’ll offer much playmaking, so it will be key for his shooting to remain hot once he returns to the lineup.
28. Boston Celtics: Aaron Henry (Michigan State, SG, Sophomore)
The eye test on Henry looks more convincing than the numbers. He isn’t a high-level creator, which limits him in Michigan State’s offense. But the 6’6″ guard is hitting open shots, capitalizing on driving lanes and making impact defensive plays. This late, teams will overlook Henry’s production for his fit.
29. Boston Celtics (via Bucks): Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt, SF, Sophomore)
Improved shooting has helped Nesmith transform into a lead scorer from a spot-up role player. He’s making 51.5 percent of his 8.5 three-point attempts per game, and though he’s bound to cool off, the 6’6″ wing is sure to draw first-round looks for his versatile shot-making skills and defensive tools.
30. Los Angeles Lakers: Devin Vassell (Florida State, SG/SF, Sophomore)
An athletic 6’6″ wing, Vassell shoots 44.8 percent from three and often makes high-IQ defensive reads. He won’t be on every team’s first-round board, but one could view Vassell as a fit for his three-and-D role player potential.
The order of this mock is based on the NBA standings heading into Monday, Dec. 9.