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The NBA draft is finally here after a 146-day delay. Teams are still scrambling to pinpoint the best prospects to draft while coming off the shortest offseason in NBA history. With all the uncertainty at the top of the draft, there could be numerous trades. Yahoo Sports takes a look at the best pick if a team decides to keep it and trade options for all 14 teams in the lottery.
Here is the latest movement and Yahoo Sports’ projected first round:
(Draft order is from Tankathon.)
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 225
Last season: Georgia: 19.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.8 apg
Trade options: Keep Edwards or TRADE DOWN to No. 6 (Atlanta Hawks)
Edwards isn’t the clear-cut No. 1 pick, but he is the safest pick at this point. There’s some risk that comes with taking LaMelo Ball, and Minnesota can plug in Edwards right away alongside D'Angelo Russell. The Timberwolves were also one of the worst teams defensively last season, and Edwards is an elite defender with his athleticism and 6-foot-10 wingspan.
If the front office wanted to explore trading the pick to a team still within the top 10, the Hawks would be the obvious choice. Edwards is from Atlanta, he played one year at Georgia and Trae Young was even spotted cheering from courtside at the Kentucky vs. Georgia game last season. Young and Edwards would be one of the best up-and-coming backcourts in the Eastern Conference.
Ht./Wt.: 7-1, 240
Last season: Memphis: 19.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg (three games)
Trade options: Draft Wiseman or TRADE DOWN for Deni Avdija or Obi Toppin
Wiseman was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school and showed off his impressive athleticism in three games at Memphis. Even with the uncertainty of how his game has progressed in the year he’s been off the court, it will be hard not to take him at No. 2. Free-agent big-man options are limited, and Wiseman is their best bet in guarding players like Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic.
The Warriors have a ton of options with the No. 2 pick and if they want to trade down to a team that wants Ball or Wiseman, there’s still some value picking up 6-foot-9 wings Avdija or Toppin.
3. Charlotte Hornets: G LaMelo Ball
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 180
Last season: Illawarra Hawks (National Basketball League): 17 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 7 apg
Trade options: Keep Ball or TRADE UP for Anthony Edwards
Ball reportedly worked out for the Warriors, Hornets and Pistons last week and could be the star Charlotte is looking for. Devonte’ Graham had a great season last year and Ball could be the complementary piece the Hornets need. Both players are ball-dominant but keep in mind Ball played the two-guard alongside older brother Lonzo his entire career growing up.
Edwards could also be a nice addition with Graham in the backcourt and the missing piece for some consistent outside shooting. He didn’t shoot extremely well at Georgia but has one of the highest releases out of anyone in the draft and with a little bit of work, his shot should start to fall.
4. Chicago Bulls: F Deni Avdija
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 215
Last season: Maccabi Tel Aviv (EuroLeague): 8.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Trade options: Keep Avdija or TRADE DOWN to No. 7 or No. 8 for Tyrese Haliburton or Patrick Williams
The Bulls have had three lottery picks in the last three years and nothing seems to be translating to the court yet. Avdija can play multiple positions and is very versatile on defense, thanks to his size and length. Avdija is the right pick if the Bulls are looking to add some size at the wing position and a player who can help the team win in the East.
Coby White was selected No. 7 overall last year and if the Bulls are looking for someone to play alongside White in the backcourt, Haliburton is a good option. White was a great 3-point shooter in high school and college and with Haliburton’s playmaking ability, it could free up White on the wing. Williams is another great option at the back half of the top 10. The 6-foot-8 forward is a little more on the raw side and would need a couple of years of development before he started seeing consistent minutes.
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 245
Last season: USC: 16.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg
Trade Options: Keep Okongwu or TRADE UP for James Wiseman
Okongwu is the best defensive player in this draft, recording 67 blocks in his one season at USC and averaging 2.7 blocks per game. He became one of the best defensive bigs in the pick-and-roll and has won at every stage of his career so far. The Cavaliers have taken two point guards in the last two drafts and could use some size in the post. It comes down to preference on the block, and if they wanted size, trading up for Wiseman would be the best option.
6. Atlanta Hawks: F Obi Toppin
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220
Last season: Dayton: 20 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Trade options: Keep Toppin or TRADE UP for Anthony Edwards
Toppin was one of the most exciting players in college basketball last year as well as one of the most consistent. At 22 years old, he is one of the older players in this draft, but Toppin has great size and athleticism and can help a struggling Hawks team. If the Hawks were to trade up for any player, it would be Edwards.
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185
Last season: Iowa State: 15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.9 apg
Trade options: Keep Haliburton or TRADE UP for LaMelo Ball
Haliburton has a high basketball IQ and does extremely well reading the defense off the pick-and-roll. He’s an excellent passer in the open court and showcased that in his two years at Iowa State.
LaVar Ball came out and said that he would like to see LaMelo in either New York or Detroit — where the elder Ball’s wife, Tina, is from. Whether the Pistons ran with this information and took a hard look at Ball in the weeks leading up to the draft is still not known.
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 225
Last season: Florida State: 9.2 ppg, 4 rpg
Trade options: Keep Williams or TRADE UP for LaMelo Ball.
The Knicks are a young team and could benefit from taking a raw player like Williams and waiting a couple years to see how he develops at the NBA level. Despite coming off the bench at Florida State, Williams has extreme upside due to his 7-foot wingspan.
The Knicks trading up for Ball would be the most Knicks thing ever and in an unpredictable draft year, it could totally happen.
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 225
Last season: Auburn: 12.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2 apg
Trade options: Keep Okoro or TRADE UP for Onyeka Okongwu
The Wizards were 25-47 last season and the second-worst defensive team in the NBA. Okoro is an elite defender who can defend positions 1-4 and is one of the most athletic wings in this draft class. He needs to develop his outside shooting a little more but Okoro will see early minutes this season, thanks to his defense.
Okongwu gets the slight edge as the best defender in the draft, so if the Wizards want him, they’d most likely have to trade up.
10. Phoenix Suns: G Killian Hayes
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 176
Last season: Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany): 12 ppg, 5.6 apg
Trade options: Keep Hayes or TRADE DOWN for Tyrese Maxey
Hayes could be an intriguing addition to Devin Booker and Chris Paul in the backcourt for the Suns. He’s a left-hand dominant point guard who has been working on developing his right hand during this extended break leading into the draft. “A lot of people think I can only go left and finish left but I’ve really focused on getting more fluid with my right hand,” Hayes told Yahoo Sports. “It’s been something my trainer and I have worked on these last few months and it’s paying off. I feel confident going both ways now.”
Kentucky fans would love to see Booker team up with another Wildcat, and Maxey could fit perfectly in Phoenix.
11. San Antonio Spurs: G Devin Vassell
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 180
Last season: Florida State: 12.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Trade options: Keep Vassell or TRADE UP for Isaac Okoro.
Vassell is the best 3-and-D guard in this draft and one of the most consistent shooters in the draft, making 49% from the field and 42% from the 3-point line. He switches on screens extremely well on defense and can easily challenge shots, thanks to his 6-foot-10 wingspan. Vassell would be a nice addition to Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker.
If the Spurs are looking for more size at the wing position to join DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay, then it could be worth trading up for Okoro.
12. Sacramento Kings: F Saddiq Bey
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 216
Last season: Villanova: 16.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg
Trade options: Take Bey or TRADE UP for Patrick Williams.
Villanova has produced solid pros the last few years, and Bey is no exception. He is a great outside shooter for his size and excellent in pick-and-pop situations. De’Aaron Fox is blossoming as one of the best point guards in the West, and Bey could be a great addition to the Kings offense.
If the Kings value a high ceiling over an older, experienced player, they could trade up for Williams.
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 213
Last season: Vanderbilt: 23 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Trade options: Keep Nesmith or TRADE DOWN for Malachi Flynn.
Nesmith is the best shooter in this draft class. Nesmith shot an impressive 52.2% from three and 51.2% from the field at Vanderbilt during his sophomore year. He averaged 23 points per game and ranked in the 99 percentile in overall offense efficiency, according to Synergy Sports.
JJ Redick is entering his 16th season and the Pelicans could use a young shooter to develop once Redick’s career is over. If Nesmith isn’t available, Flynn is another possible option. He’s a huge sleeper in this draft and has drawn comparisons to Fred VanVleet and Seth Curry.
14. Boston Celtics: G Cole Anthony
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 190
Last season: North Carolina: 18.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4 apg
Trade options: Keep Anthony or TRADE UP for Hayes.
Anthony is the son of former NBA player Greg Anthony and didn’t have a great year at North Carolina but has a lot to offer a team late in the lottery. Kemba Walker isn’t getting any younger and adding Anthony to the young guards they brought in last year like Romeo Langford and Tremont Waters could be a good thing.
Hayes has a little more upside than Anthony and might be worth trading up for to land a piece that could play alongside Jayson Tatum down the road.
15. Orlando Magic: G Kira Lewis Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 165
Last season: Alabama: 18.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.2 apg
16. Houston Rockets (via Portland Trailblazers): G Tyrese Maxey
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 198
Last season: Kentucky: 14 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): F Precious Achiuwa
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 225
Last season: Memphis: 15.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg
18. Dallas Mavericks: C Aleksej Pokusevski
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 201
Last season: Olympiacos (Greece): 10.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): G R.J. Hampton
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185
Last season: NZ Breakers (National Basketball League): 8.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
20. Miami Heat: F Jaden McDaniels
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 200
Last season: Washington: 13 ppg, 5.8 rpg
21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): G Malachi Flynn
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 185
Last season: San Diego State: 17.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.1 apg
22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): G Josh Green
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 210
Last season: Arizona: 12 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.6 apg
23. Utah Jazz: G Theo Maledon
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 198
Last season: ASVEL (France): 6.6 ppg, 3.3 apg
24. New Orleans Pelicans (via Indiana Pacers): F Jalen Smith
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 225
Last season: Maryland: 15.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): F Isaiah Stewart
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 250
Last season: Washington: 17 ppg, 8.8 rpg
26. Boston Celtics: G Tyler Bey
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 220
Last season: Colorado: 13.8 ppg, 9 rpg
27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): G Tyrell Terry
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 160
Last season: Stanford: 14.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 apg
28. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Los Angeles Lakers): G Jahmi’us Ramsey
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 195
Last season: Texas Tech: 15 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.2 apg
29. Toronto Raptors: G Desmond Bane
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 215
Last season: TCU: 16.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.9 apg
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): F Vernon Carey Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 270
Last season: Duke: 17.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg
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