-Do not draft offense first and/or unathletic big men
-Always gamble on wings over any other position, especially late
-A good point guard is very conducive to success and most times lead a time
1. Phoenix- Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Slovenia
This would be soooooooo fun. The Suns would get an elite ball handler, something they desperately need and a backcourt mate with Devin Booker to lead a great offense for years to come.
2. Sacramento- Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
I really don’t want Doncic to go the Kings, both because I think De’Aaron Fox would take a lot of Luka’s touches and while Vlade Divac has improved as a GM, I strongly believe he is never going to build a championship team. Besides, Ayton would be a fun pairing with Fox.
3. Atlanta- Mo Bamba, C, Texas
Mo Bamba can be the best defensive player in the league, and would anchor a Lloyd Pierce unit that will shut down opponents.
4. Memphis- Marvin Bagley, PF/C, Duke
I like Jaren Jackson Jr. more than Bagley for the future, but in the short term, Bagley will come in and instantly rebound and dunk over most of the league’s big men. I doubt J.B. Bickerstaff as the coaching answer for the Grizzlies, but in three years when Gasol and assumedly Bickerstaff are gone, Bagley can be built around, hopefully in a switching system.
5. Dallas- Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State
Jaren Jackson Jr. is a modern big man that can shoot and defend the rim, someone who is ideal for Rick Carlisle. Dennis Smith will have someone to set picks for him that can both pop and roll, making this a hard team to defend.
6. Orlando- Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
The Magic have needed a point guard since they drafted Elfrid Payton. Trae Young has huge upside and will get the best out of the promising Jonathan Isaac. Depending on what happens with Aaron Gordon, Young may or may not have an athletic four to throw lobs to.
7. Chicago- Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF, Missouri
The Bulls desperately need a wing, and if Porter does not fall, they can draft Mikal Bridges. Not a lot of people know about Porter due to him playing only a couple of games at Missouri, but he should be able to provide shooting and scoring next to Kris Dunn.
8. Cleveland (from Brooklyn)- Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
Even if Lebron does not leave, the Cavs need a point guard in the worst way. Jose Calderon is a free agent and Jordan Clarkson, with his expensive contract, needs to be on the bench. Sexton is a great athlete that shot well at his year in Alabama, he is a competitor that can complement Lebron or lead the pending long rebuild.
9. New York- Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Villanova
Bridges is going to be a great role player, something that is very valuable in the NBA. The Knicks could go with a point guard here, but with Gilgeous-Alexander being the only option, they could decide to trade for one or wait it out one more year.
10. Philadelphia (from Lakers)- Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State
The Sixers have max cap space (and presumably a new GM), which will lure a star starter to Philadelphia, completing their starting lineup, so they do not need anything besides bench depth. Bridges is a big, athletic wing who can shoot, a commodity the Sixers can capitalize on.
11. Charlotte- Zhaire Smith, SG/SF, Texas Tech
Smith is a defensive stopper who can play next to (maybe) Kemba or (hopefully) a rebounding Malik Monk.
12. LA Clippers (from Detroit)- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
13. LA Clippers- Wendell Carter Jr., C, Duke
A 1-5 pairing with limited athleticism, but enough ability and length to get by on defense and a lot of skill on offense
14. Denver- Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
Walker is super talented and was hindering by a knee issue his year at Miami. I think this a steal and a great fit.
15. Washington- Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M
Ian Mahinmi has not panned out, but Bob Williams can be groomed into a rim-protecting starter behind Marcin Gortat.
16. Phoenix (from Miami)- Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky
Knox is tall, long, and can shoot. He can eventually play small ball 4, something Phoenix could use if Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss continue to disappoint.
17. Milwaukee- De’Anthony Melton, PG, USC
Melton has reportedly reworked his shot for workouts and has the length that Milwaukee loves. I think he can rise in the draft, and this could be his ceiling.
18. San Antonio- Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova
Donte has a killer, confident attitude and a sweet stroke. This is a little high for him, but he’s just such a Spur.
19. Atlanta (from Minnesota)- Jalen Brunson, PG, Villanova
Brunson will need to rework his offense a bit from college, but his a gritty bulldog that I could see being a mid tier starter at the point eventually for the Hawks. I think Pierce will want to instill a tough, but high character culture, and this is a way to start that.
20. Minnesota (from Oklahoma City)- Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton
A defensive player who can become on of Tom Thibodeau’s favorites eventually.
21. Utah- Troy Brown, PG/SF, Oregon
Utah will take a gamble on a wing with great vision here, betting on his defensive upside.
22. Chicago (from New Orleans)- Anfernee Simons, SG, USA
I know nothing other than this guy can score and play the 1 or 2 in the league. He will need some developing
23. Indiana- Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane
Frazier can defend at least three positions well and his shooting should come along with time.
24. Portland- Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia and Herzegovina
A pure shooter for the Portland, who could use a spark like Musa.
25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland)- Mitchell Robinson, C, USA
The Lakers will buy into Robinson as a project, he did not play at Western Kentucky last year, but is known to be a long and athletic projected rim protector
26. Philadelphia- Jacob Evans, SF, Cincinnati
Philadelphia will try and trade this pick, but if they do not, a wing is always a great gamble.
27. Boston- Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland
Boston has plenty of talent, if someone gets hurt on the wing and Marcus Smart leaves, Huerter can come in and knock down threes.
28. Golden State- Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State
Keita was a great college player, and the Warriors probably could slot him into the Swaggy P role, but KBD is better defensively.
29. Brooklyn (from Toronto)- Chandler Hutchinson, SF/PF, Boise State
Brooklyn could use a 3-4 wing, as their current roster is lacking in that department. Plus Hutchinson can bring some immediate scoring.
30. Atlanta (from Houston via LA Clippers)- Shake Milton, PG/SG, SMU
Milton bombed the combine a bit, but is a great scorer and can distribute to go along with some length. His fall will stop here, and the Hawks get a backcourt partner for Brunson.