By SAMEER KUMAR
1. Philadelphia 76ers – Washington Freshman PG Markelle Fultz
23.2 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game
Fultz is the clear cut pick #1 pick in this year’s draft. A core of Fultz, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid (assuming he stays healthy) and Dario Saric will be dynamic for years to come. The Upper Marlboro, MD native’s ability to shoot the three and handle the ball will complement Simmons’s game very well.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – UCLA Freshman PG Lonzo Ball
19.7 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, 7.6 assists per game
With the departure of D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers appear to be leaning towards Ball here. His passing ability will open up good looks for many of his teammates and his ability to play fast will be a great fit in coach Luke Walton‘s system.
3. Boston Celtics – Duke Freshman SF Jayson Tatum
16.8 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per game
Assuming the Celtics keep the pick, expect the Celtics to go with a forward here. Tatum’s scoring and playmaking abilities would give the Celtics another threat and take the pressure off of Isaiah Thomas.
4. Phoenix Suns – Kansas Freshman SF Josh Jackson
16.3 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game, 3.0 assists per game
If the Suns elect to keep Eric Bledsoe, then they should go with Jackson. The Suns need a versatile forward who can attack the rim and defend multiple positions, and Jackson is just that. The biggest question mark is his jumper, but if he can get that to go in addition to his current abilities, then the Suns will get themselves one heck of a player. If they elect to trade Bledsoe, then De’Aaron Fox will be a possibility.
5. Sacramento Kings – Kentucky Freshman PG De’Aaron Fox
16.7 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, 4.6 assists per game
The Kings desperately need a franchise PG, and Fox would be exactly that. His quickness with the ball should create some nice looks for him down in the paint as well as some points in transition. His 3-point shooting is definitely concerning, but that’s something that can be improved. Fox’s hard-nosed defense, however, shouldn’t be ignored.
6. Orlando Magic – Kentucky Freshman SG Malik Monk
19.8 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, 2.3 assists per game
The Magic need shooting desperately, as they ranked 25th in threes last season and 29th in three-point percentage. Enter Malik Monk, who drilled 39.7% of his three-point shots last season.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Florida State Freshman SF/PF Jonathan Isaac
12.0 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game
Isaac is a tweener who would fit very well alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Towns and Wiggins have struggled defensively early on in their careers, but Isaac would fit in nicely and take on the bulk of the defensive load. A core of Isaac, Towns, Wiggins and Zach LaVine would have the Minnesota fanbase pumped up for years to come; especially when Towns develops into a superstar.
8. New York Knicks – Strasbourg PG Frank Ntilikina
5.3 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game
As long as Phil Jackson is there, he’s going to try running the triangle offense. Ntilikina’s size, length, defense and shooting ability makes him a fit for that offense. It should be noted that Kristaps Porzingis is on the trading block, so the Knicks may look at Lauri Markkanen here as well assuming Porzingis is dealt and the Knicks still have this pick. With Phil Jackson running the show, you never know what’s going to happen.
9. Dallas Mavericks – NC State Freshman PG Dennis Smith
18.1 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, 6.2 assists per game
The Mavs have cycled through many different point guards since Jason Kidd left the team in 2012. Great explosiveness who could be the long-term solution at the PG position in Dallas and help jumpstart the rebuild post Dirk Nowitzki.
10. Sacramento Kings – Arizona Freshman PF Lauri Markkanen
15.6 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game, 0.9 assists per game
Markkanen shot 42.3 percent from deep for Arizona. His 3-point ability should slot in very well next to Willie Cauley-Stein.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Louisville Sophomore SG Donovan Mitchell
15.6 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game
An explosive and versatile guard, he should complement Kemba Walker very well. He will have the ability to defend the other team’s best player, space out the floor and become a secondary playmaker.
12. Detroit Pistons – Gonzaga Freshman PF/C Zach Collins
10.0 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, 0.4 assists per game
Shooting 47.6 percent from deep in his lone season for the Zags, Collins should come to the Motor City and work well with Andre Drummond. The Pistons really need shooting, and they lack a stretch big man who can help free up the paint for Drummond, so Collins seems like a good fit.
13. Denver Nuggets – Indiana Sophomore SF OG Anunoby
11.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 1.4 assists per game
Danilo Gallinari is expected to walk this offseason, so this will leave a gaping hole at the SF position. Anunoby would potentially be drafted earlier if it wasn’t for his injury, but the Nuggets need a solid defender to round out their lineup, as they already have an abundance of scorers on their roster.
14. Miami Heat – UCLA Freshman PF T.J. Leaf
16.3 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game
The Heat are searching for another big man, and Leaf would be a good fit with Hassan Whiteside. Leaf’s ability to stretch the floor and hit the three would diversify the Heat offense.
15. Portland Trail Blazers – Wake Forest Sophomore PF John Collins
19.2 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game, 0.5 assists per game
Collins has potential to be a good stretch forward in the NBA, and slotting him next to Jusuf Nurkic can really open up the Blazers’ offense.
16. Chicago Bulls – Texas Freshman C Jarrett Allen
13.4 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists per game
The center position is a position of need for the Bulls, and Allen can bring some of the physicality and toughness that Joakim Noah used to bring.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Creighton Freshman C Justin Patton
12.9 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game
The Bucks have a plethora of guys who can score in the paint, so adding Patton could help take the pressure off those bigs defensively and on the glass.
18. Indiana Pacers – North Carolina Junior SF Justin Jackson
18.4 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game
The Pacers will need a SF to replace Paul George, who is more than likely bolting the franchise who drafted him in 2010. Jackson is a dramatically improved 3-point shooter, so his scoring can definitely help alleviate the loss of PG-13.
19. Atlanta Hawks – UCLA Freshman C Ike Anigbogu
4.7 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, 0.2 assists per game
With the departure of Dwight Howard, the Hawks need a center. Still just 18 years old, he brings great energy and great defense. Offensive game needs work, but he should be able to replace the defense and rebounding prowess that Howard brought to the table.
20. Portland Trail Blazers – Duke Sophomore SG Luke Kennard
19.5 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game
The Blazers could use another shooter. Since the Blazers own three first round picks, this pick could very well be moved. However, Kennard would be a great value get here. Might be the best shooter in the draft, and could very well be drafted higher than here.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Michigan Freshman PF D.J. Wilson
11.0 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game
22. Brooklyn Nets – Duke Freshman C Harry Giles
3.9 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 0.3 assists per game
With the loss of Brook Lopez, Brooklyn needs a center to replace the production of the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. Giles has a ton of potential if he can put his injury history behind him, and with the Nets lacking draft picks until 2019, they need to take a chance on the player with the highest upside available.
23. Toronto Raptors – Kentucky Freshman PF/C Bam Adebayo
13.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists per game
Adebayo would be a suitable replacement for Bismack Biyombo, who was a high energy player off the bench. Could spell major minutes at the center position over Jonas Valanciunas down the stretch when good defense is needed.
24. Utah Jazz – SMU Junior SF/PF Semi Ojeleye
19.0 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game
The Jazz could lose Gordon Hayward and/or Joe Ingles in free agency, but adding Ojeleye could help them overcome the loss of either as he brings some toughness to the table as well as the ability to shoot the three.
25. Orlando Magic – Gran Canaria C Anzejs Pasecniks
7.8 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game, 0.3 rebounds per game
It’s time for the Magic to move on from Nikola Vucevic. Pasecniks brings a similar skillset to the table while being considerably younger.
26. Portland Trail Blazers – Zalgiris PF/C Isaiah Harkenstein
1.0 points per game, 0.8 rebounds per game, 0.2 assists per game
If the Blazers keep all their pick, they may turn to Harkenstein and keep him overseas as a stash until he’s ready to come over. Brings size and many skills that fit in today’s NBA.
27. Los Angeles Lakers – Colorado Senior PG/SG Derrick White
18.3 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, 4.3 assists per game
A combo guard who can spell Lonzo Ball and/or Jordan Clarkson at either guard position and keep a fast paced style of play going while either Ball or Clarkson sit. Quick style of play would work in coach Luke Walton‘s system.
28. Los Angeles Lakers – Utah Junior PF Kyle Kuzma
16.3 points per game, 9.0 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game
Brings athleticism, versatility and floor stretching ability that will translate very well in today’s NBA as a big man. Would work well in coach Luke Walton’s system as well.
29. San Antonio Spurs – California Sophomore PF/C Ivan Rabb
14.0 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game
The Spurs need a young big in the worst way. LaMarcus Aldridge has seen a decline in his game, and David Lee isn’t necessarily getting younger. Rabb brings strong rim protection and rebounding as a player who was once considered a lottery pick. Needs to polish his offensive skills, but there is definitely promise.
30. Utah Jazz – Duke Freshman PG Frank Jackson
10.9 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists per game