Cunningham missed the Cowboys’ win over Iowa State on Monday night, his second game on the bench for the Cowboys. But that didn’t stop Ham from making the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2020 the No. 1 overall pick, sending Cunningham to the Detroit Pistons. Cunningham was one of four Big 12 players who appeared in Ham’s mock draft. He is also a Wooden Award Top 15 selection.
The NBA Draft order will be finalized at the end of the NBA Finals.
Ham’s logic for Cunningham going No. 1? Simple:
Cunningham is a big, strong, physical lead guard that has stardom written all over him. He can score at all three levels, including in the post where he has the size and strength to power through contact. … He can instantly change the fortunes of a franchise.
READ MORE: HCS Big 12 Power Rankings for Jan. 25
From there, Ham kept Texas freshman Greg Brown close to home, as he had the San Antonio Spurs taking him at No. 14 overall. Brown was the No. 9 recruit in the Class of 2020 and many expect Brown, like Cunningham, will leave college after this season to pursue the NBA.
Ham wrote that Brown has ‘all the tools’ for the NBA.
Two selections after that Ham has the New York Knicks taking Texas forward Kai Jones, who has recently appeared in several NBA Mock Drafts. The sophomore, who is 6-foot-11, is getting attention because, as Ham puts it, he’s ‘Super long. Super athletic. Super raw.’
NBA teams don’t mind taking a chance on players as raw as Jones if they have the height go with it. That’s part of the reason former Longhorn Jaxson Hayes ended up as a lottery pick two years ago.
Wrapping up the Big 12 players in this mock draft was Baylor guard Jared Butler, who is considered a candidate for the Wooden Award and the Cousy Award. Ham had the Utah Jazz taking Butler at No. 29 overall, indicating that Utah would be interested in a game ‘that translates to the next level.’
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