1. Boston Celtics – Markelle Fultz (PG/Washington)
There is a really good chance that Boston will trade this pick in order to land someone like Jimmy Butler or Paul George, but if they stand pat, the pick will likely be Fultz, especially with LaVar Ball doing everything he can to ensure that his son winds up on the Lakers. Washington was terrible this year, but you really can’t blame Fultz, who averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. He has a reliable jumper and rebounds well for someone his size.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball (PG/UCLA)
I actually really hope that I am wrong with this pick, given how Ball’s dad has refused to allow Ball to work out for any team but the Lakers, but it seems like a destined selection. If the Lakers do select Ball, it will be interesting to see whether or not they trade D’Angelo Russell.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Josh Jackson (SF/Kansas)
Jackson may be the best wing defender in this draft and would be another young talented player for the 76ers. The concern, however, is if the team can keep him out of trouble, something he has found his was into a few times at Kansas.
4. Phoenix Suns – Jayson Tatum (SF/Duke)
With Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker set in the backcourt, I don’t think Phoenix goes De’Aaron Fox here. Instead, they can go for a wing player. Tatum’s three-pointer isn’t there yet, but it’s something that scouts believe can be developed.
5. Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox (PG/Kentucky)
Sacramento would prefer either Tatum or Jackson here, especially since Rudy Gay will likely be gone, but Fox comes with a high ceiling and wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. He does, however, need to improve from beyond the arc.
6. Orlando Magic – Malik Monk (PG/Kentucky)
One of the most athletic players in this draft, Monk can hit it from downtown or take it to the rim. Orlando is in desperate need for a three-point shooter after finishing 29th in three-point percentage at a 32.8 percent clip.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Lauri Markkanen (PF/Arizona)
Markkanen, a 7’0″ Finnish product has drawn comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki. Putting him together with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins could make Minnesota a dangerous team.
8. New York Knicks – Dennis Smith (PG/NC State)
With Derrick Rose entering free agency, Ron Baker is currently penciled in as the Knicks starting point guard. I don’t expect that to remain the case after the draft.
9. Dallas Mavericks – Frank Ntilikina (PG/Strasbourg, France)
Another point guard in a draft heavy at the position. Ntilikina is another high-ceiling player and fills a huge need for the Mavericks.
10. Sacramento Kings – Jonathan Isaac (SF/Florida State)
Sacramento got their point guard with their top pick, now they can target their replacement for Rudy Gay. Isaac has great athleticism, but needs to bulk up a bit.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Zach Collins (C/Gonzaga)
Unless someone significant slides, I like Collins for the Hornets. He came off of the bench as the sixth man for Gonzaga, but he comes with a low floor and high ceiling.
12. Detroit Pistons – Donovan Mitchell (SG/Louisville)
Detroit has been connected to the raw Mitchell, who at 6’3″ is undersized for a shooting guard, but he owns a 6’10” wingspan.
13. Denver Nuggets – Jarrett Allen (C/Texas)
Denver already had Nikola Jokic, but they need an insurance option in case they lose Mason Plumlee in free agency.
14. Miami Heat – Bam Adebayo (PF/Kentucky)
Miami needs help alongsside Hassan Whiteside. Adebayo is very physical in the paint, but his overall game needs some polish as he is raw.
15. Portland Trail Blazers – T.J. Leaf (PF/UCLA)
Leaf is a stretch four who shoots 46.6 percent from beyond the arc. Big men who can shoot threes are slowly becoming a necessity in the NBA.
16. Chicago Bulls – OG Anunoby (SF/Indiana)
A potential replacement plan for the Bulls if they ultimately decide to get rid of Jimmy Butler. A knee injury ended his sophomore season early, which is why he has dropped a bit.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – John Collins (PF/Wake Forest)
With Jabari Parker again going down with a knee injury, Milwaukee needs to add some insurance at forward.
18. Indiana Pacers – Justin Patton (C/Creighton)
Adding the 7’0″ Patton would immediately make him the tallest person on the Pacers and add a building block Myles Turner.
19. Atlanta Hawks – Harry Giles (PF/Duke)
Paul Millsap can opt out of his contract, so Atlanta may need to find a replacement.
20. Portland Trail Blazers – Terrance Ferguson (SG/Adelaide, Australia)
Portland needs some depth at guard. Ferguson originally committed to Alabama and Arizona before deciding to play overseas.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Luke Kennard (SG/Duke)
The Thunder are in dire need for guys who can hit it from downtown after ending last season as the worst team from beyond the arc. Kennard shot 43.8 percent from three-point range last year.
22. Brooklyn Nets – Jonathan Jeanne (C/SLUC Nancy, France)
A 7’2″ with a 7’6″ wingspan, Jeanne is oozing with potential. The downside for a bad Brooklyn Nets team is that he will need time to develop, but he will have ample opportunities on this roster.
23. Toronto Raptors – Ivan Rabb (PF/California)
Serge Ibaka was acquired last summer, but he is a free agent in 2017. Here is a contingency plan in case he doesn’t return.
24. Utah Jazz – Ike Anigbogu (PF/C/UCLA)
Anigbogu only played 13.0 minutes per game last season and is an incredibly raw prospect who will need a year or two to develop.
25. Orlando Magic – Isaiah Hartenstein (PF/Zalgiris, Lithuania)
Orlando is big on draft-and-stash and with two first rounders, they will likely use one of the picks to do so. Hartemstein has some skill, but he needs to bulk up.
26. Portland Trail Blazers – Rodions Kurucs (SF/FC Barcelona, Spain)
Armed with three first round picks, the Trail Blazers can afford to draft-and-stash with one of the selections.
27. Brooklyn Nets – Caleb Swanigan (PF/Purdue)
Swanigan did nothing but produce for Purdue last year, averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game while shooting 44.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Nets are desperate for talent and need to go for the best available player.
28. Los Angeles Lakers – D.J. Wilson (PF/Michigan)
The Lakers took a point guard with their top pick, so now they can look to add some front court depth. Wilson would slide in nicely behind Julius Randle.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Semi Ojeleye (SF/PF/SMU)
San Antonio has an aging front court and both Pau Gasol and David Lee can become free agents this offseason. An injection of youth is needed in San Antonio.
30. Utah Jazz – Fran Jackson (PG/Duke)
Utah adds an insurance policy in case they lose George Hill. Jackson can stroke it from deep and provide a spark on offense.