1. Philadelphia (from Boston via Brooklyn): PG Markelle Fultz
Most teams consider Fultz to be the most talented prospect in the draft. The Maryland native will have the luxury of being able to develop alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in what appears to be one of the best young cores in the NBA .
2. L.A. Lakers: PG Lonzo Ball
The Lakers were on pins and needles for the third straight year on lottery night because this pick would have been conveyed to Philadelphia if it fell outside of the top three. They instead find themselves in position to select a player at a position of need who is widely considered to be the second-best prospect in the draft.
3. Boston (from Philadelphia): SF Josh Jackson
Jackson is perhaps the top two-way wing in the draft. His strong shooting late in the year for Kansas offered a glimpse into his offensive upside and could make him a fit for the Celtics.
4. Phoenix: SF Jayson Tatum
The Suns have a talented combo guard on a friendly contract in Eric Bledsoe, which is good because they are on the outside looking when it comes to elite prospects at that position. With Devin Booker emerging as a great building block, pairing him on the wing with a talented one-on-one scorer like Tatum looks like a promising fit.
5. Sacramento: PG De’Aaron Fox
The Kings were perhaps the biggest winners on draft night, jumping up to the No. 5 pick where they’ll be in position to nab one of the draft’s top prospects. Fox, who has as much upside as almost any player in the draft, would also fill a position of need. Possessing great size and speed, Fox would be a great addition – on and off the floor – for a team hitting the reset button on the rebuilding process.
6. Orlando: PG/SG Malik Monk
The Magic were one of the worst offensive teams in the league this season because of their lack of shooting. Perhaps the most explosive scorer in the NCAA last season, Monk seems like a good fit for an Orlando franchise looking for direction.
7. Minnesota: SF/PF Jonathan Isaac
The Timberwolves are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and might not be all that interested in adding another teenager. Barring a trade, however, someone like Isaac could be a good fit with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. He can guard multiple positions, stretch the floor and plays an unselfish brand of basketball that should mesh well with the roster and coaching staff.
8. New York: PG Dennis Smith
North Carolina State
Regardless of whether Derrick Rose stays in New York, the Knicks could absolutely benefit from adding their point guard of the future. Smith might not be a prototypical fit in the triangle – and he has some question marks after a very uneven season at N.C. State – but he brings star power to a team that desperately needs firepower on the perimeter.
9. Dallas: PF Lauri Markkanen
Missing out on the top tier of point-guard talent, the Mavs could start to think about finding a long-term replacement for Dirk Nowitzki. A tremendously efficient and versatile jump-shooting 7-footer from Finland, Markkanen isn’t the same caliber of one-on-one scorer as the future Hall of Famer, but coach Rick Carlisle should have no trouble putting Markkanen’s talents to use.
10. Sacramento: PF Zach Collins
This pick is highly dependent on how things shake out at No. 5, but the Kings figure to take a swing at the top prospect remaining. Many scouts believe Collins is a clear-cut top-10 or top-11 pick. Collins was the best player for Gonzaga’s first run to the national title game. He should be a good fit with Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein because of his combination of perimeter shooting and shot-blocking.
11. Charlotte: PG Frank Ntilikina
With Kemba Walker’s emergence, the Hornets could look to address a number of positions. But drafting a big, young, versatile, developmental combo guard who has made strides as a shooter and could play shooting guard alongside Walker could be appealing. Ntilikina is a multi-positional defender who is best suited playing alongside a scoring guard who can ease some of the shot-creation load.
12. Detroit: SG Donovan Mitchell
Ht./Wt.: 6-3/ 210
A long and athletic combo guard who could grow into a versatile asset on both ends of the floor, Mitchell seems like a strong candidate to provide valuable depth to a Pistons roster that struggled offensively and defensively for long stretches last season. Mitchell could also help the team improve from a chemistry standpoint.
13. Denver: SF OG Anunoby
Ht./Wt.: 6-8/ 215
With two first-round picks, the Nuggets can afford to take a shot on Anunoby, who continues to rehab from a season-ending knee injury. Small forward is in flux for Denver, and Anunoby’s length, defensive versatility and ability to make spot-up jumpers could work here as the franchise begins to build around centerpiece Nikola Jokic.
14. Miami: SF Justin Jackson
Ht./Wt.: 6-8/ 193
Miami’s late-season winning streak took the franchise out of contention for the impressive crop of potential star guards available. Jackson, a crafty scorer with a strong feel for the game who is perhaps the most improved jump shooter in the draft, could provide a nice contrast to combo forward Justise Winslow.
15. Portland: C Ike Anigbogu
Portland will likely be in the market for a big man this summer because it doesn’t have much size inside other than trade-deadline acquisition Jusuf Nurkic. Anigbogu brings energy as a defender and rebounder, and represents a nice gamble at this stage in the draft. He’s a young, ultra-athletic big man with the same intimidating physical dimensions as Alonzo Mourning when he was coming out of Georgetown.
16. Chicago: SG Luke Kennard
Ht./Wt.: 6-6/ 202
The Bulls were near the bottom of the league in 3-pointers made this season, which could lead them to look at Kennard, one of the best shooters in college basketball. Kennard is not just a spot-up shooter, he’s also adept at making pull-up jumpers, as well as coming off screens, finding the open man and using his high skill level in the pick-and-roll.
17. Milwaukee: C Jarrett Allen
The Bucks don’t have a great deal of depth at center, and with Greg Monroe on an expiring contract, the team could look to add some size. Allen is a project, but has size, athleticism and lob-catching ability.
18. Indiana: PF John Collins
Ht./Wt.: 6-10/ 225
Indiana found a gem in Myles Turner and could continue the youth movement in their frontcourt. Collins was one of the most prolific per-minute scorers and rebounders in college basketball last season and is also one of the youngest players in the draft, giving him plenty of upside.
19. Atlanta: C Justin Patton
With Paul Millsap entering free agency and Dwight Howard a veteran of 13 seasons, the Hawks may look at their frontcourt as an area they’ll need to address. Patton may be a bit of a project with only one year of collegiate experience, but he’s a promising offensive talent with length and athleticism who could grow into a productive modern NBA big man.
20. Portland: PF Ivan Rabb
If depth is Portland’s biggest priority, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Blazers select two big men with contrasting styles. Rabb rebounds, has a high basketball IQ and likes to operate inside the paint. A fairly polished player, he figures to provide immediate value in a hustle role once his body improves and could contribute even more as his skills evolve.
21. Oklahoma City: SF Rodions Kurucs
Barcelona II (Spanish-LEB Gold)
Oklahoma City struggled to make shots consistently this season and didn’t get enough out of its forwards offensively. Kurucs may not offer an immediate solution to what ails the Thunder, but he has great size for the small-forward position to go along with outstanding scoring instincts.
22. Brooklyn (from Boston): PF Isaiah Hartenstein
Zalgiris Kaunas (Turkish Airlines Euroleague)
The Nets are clearly embracing the pace-and-space era. Hartenstein has impressive physical attributes for a 7-footer, but is also a solid passer comfortable at operating on the perimeter. He has room to improve as a shooter, but could be a nice fit in a system that can make the most of his versatility as his game matures.
23. Toronto (from L.A. Clippers): PF T.J. Leaf
Ht./Wt.: 6-10/ 220
The Raptors spent much of the season searching for consistent production at power forward, where a rotating cast had been used. Their best option, Patrick Patterson, has an expiring contract, which could lead them to bolster the spot with Leaf.
24. Utah: PF/C Jonathan Jeanne
Ht./Wt.: 7-2/ 195
Nancy (France-ProA League)
With two first-round picks and plenty of young players under contract, the Jazz may look to add a European player with upside whom they can develop in the NBA Development League. Jeanne is a few years away from being ready for the NBA, but has great height and length to go along with solid instincts on both ends of the floor. Developing behind Rudy Gobert would be somewhat of a dream scenario for him.
25. Orlando (from L.A. Clippers): SG Terrance Ferguson
Adelaide, South Australia (National Basketball League)
One player isn’t going to turnaround Orlando’s shooting woes, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Magic select backcourt players with their two first-round picks. Ferguson has excellent size, explosive leaping ability and range on his jump shot. As his frame fills out, he could potentially see some minutes at small forward as well.
26. Portland (from Cleveland): SF/PF Tyler Lydon
Ht./Wt.: 6-10/ 205
The Trail Blazers have had success using a variety of combo forwards and may look to increase their depth at that spot with one of the better shooting forwards available. Lydon’s high basketball IQ, shooting stroke and ability to play multiple positions could be the right fit here.
27. Brooklyn (via Washington): C Anzejs Pasecniks
Ht./Wt.: 7-2/ 229
Gran Canaria (EuroCup)
With two first-round picks and plenty of room for depth, the Nets could take a flier on Pasecniks, who was perhaps the most improved young player in all of Europe this season. The Latvian big man’s size, skill level, potential as a shooter and rapid improvement this season could be a very smart gamble.
28. L.A. Lakers (via Houston): PF Harry Giles
Ht./Wt.: 6-11/ 222
The Lakers could use some frontcourt depth and may not hesitate to take a flyer on Giles, who was once considered one of the top prospects in this class before suffering multiple knee injuries. At this stage in the draft, he could emerge as a steal if he’s able to rediscover the athleticism and productivity that made him such a coveted prospect.
29. San Antonio: PG Jawun Evans
Ht./Wt.: 6-1/ 177
Losing Tony Parker to a ruptured quad in the second round of the NBA playoffs could lead the Spurs to add some depth at point guard in a draft loaded with talent at that spot. Evans ranked as the most prolific passer in college basketball in virtually every metric and has quite a bit to offer with his pick-and-roll prowess, midrange shot-making ability and quick hands defensively.
30. Utah (from Golden State): PF D.J. Wilson
Ht./Wt.: 6-10/ 240
The Jazz may look to roll the dice here. Wilson has a terrific physical profile with a strong frame and long arms to go along with a versatile offensive game and good defensive potential. He hasn’t put it all together to make an impact consistently, but he could grow into a solid role player down the line.
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