1. Orlando Magic
The Pick: F. Jabari Smith (Auburn)
Analysis: There is some debate between Smith and Holmgren, but it feels like Orlando is leaning more towards Smith. He put together a really good workout on the combine and seems like the choice for the Magic.
2. Thunder from Oklahoma City
The Pick: F. Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
Analysis: Holmgren gives Oklahoma City tremendous athleticism and ball handling for a big. He can play multiple spots on the floor and can really shoot it. Potential selection for a franchise change here for OKC.
3. Houston missiles
The Election: F. Paolo Banchero (Duke)
Analysis: It has been widely reported that Banchero is expected to land in Houston. This will give Houston an intriguing forecourt with Banchero and Alperen Sengun.
4. Kings of Sacramento
The Pick: F. Keegan Murray (Iowa)
Analysis: This pick is likely to be traded by Sacramento. If so, Jaden Ivey is the likely target, but for now they’re avoiding taking a guard in Ivey or risking Shaedon Sharp. Murray is ready to contribute now.
5. Detroit piston
The Pick: G Jaden Ivey (Purdue)
Analysis: The Pistons could use a solid point guard to pair with Cade Cunningham in backfield. Ivey fits perfectly as an athletic rim pressure protector.
6. Indiana Pacers
The Choice: G. Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
Analysis: In sixth place, Davis is probably the last “safe” pick in the top ten. It’s a well-rounded wing that’s ready to do its bit and requires little maintenance. The Pacers have that choice to make, and Davis makes the most sense here.
7. Portland Trailblazer
The Choice: C. Jalen Duren (Memphis)
Analysis: Similar to Sacramento at #4, the Trail Blazers are a candidate to swap this pick. For now we’ll be connecting them to Jalen Duren, which will give them some reassurance in case Jusuf Nurkic goes free.
8. New Orleans Pelicans
The Choice: G Benedict Mathurin (Arizona)
Analysis: Explosive offensive playmaker who can take over a game at any time. Mathurin is a good marksman who has shown he can play both with and without the ball.
9.San Antonio Spurs
The Choice: G. Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky)
Analysis: Some worrying reports about Sharpe’s hiring could see him slip out of the top five and slip straight to Spurs in 9th place. Another factor is that he’s not as “NBA Ready” as you would like. The three teams in front of the Spurs are in “win-now” mode and don’t want to take any risks.
10. Washington Wizards
The Choice: G Dyson Daniels (G-League Ignite)
Analysis: Daniels is without a doubt the best defenseman in the draft. Washington desperately needs to get better defensively and find a good guard. This kills two birds with one stone.
11.New York Knicks
The Pick: F. Jeremy Sochan (Baylor)
Analysis: Versatile defender who fits well with New York’s system and defensive mindset. With Julius Randle potentially on the move, Sochan comes into play.
12. Thunder from Oklahoma City
The Choice: FAJ Griffin (Duke)
Analysis: High risk, high reward here with Griffin. The Thunder needs marksmen and Griffin could end up being one of the better marksmen in this class if he maximizes his potential and stays healthy.
13. Charlotte Hornet
The Choice: C Mark Williams (Duke)
Analysis: Williams has the longest stance in recent draft history at 9ft 9in – beating Rudy Gobert. He fills an obvious need and has shown some shooting potential as well. Low maintenance, doesn’t need the ball and does few things well
14th Cleveland Cavaliers
The Pick: G Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)
Analysis: The Cavaliers, keen to shoot, could pick Ochai, who’s ready to play. It is a two-way wing that fits into a switching system.
15. Charlotte Hornet
The Pick: F. Tari Eason (LSU)
Analysis: Athletic and tall, highly motorized and massive hands (size of Kawhi Leonard). Switchy Defense First Guy with the potential to shoot it with a high clip (FT% and 3pt%). Potentially a Gerald Wallace comp, but I don’t like the feel of it.
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The Pick: F EJ Liddell (Ohio State)
Analysis: Likely to trade considering Atlanta is looking for immediate help. Liddell is NBA ready and could replace Gallinari minutes and cover a trade from John Collins – a good defensive player.
17. Houston missiles
The pick: F Ousmane Dieng (France)
Analysis: Dieng slips out of the lottery here. Very high potential player, elite height and length, but below average athlete. He’s more of a long-term investment and given Houston’s history with international players, it makes sense.
The Pick: G Malachi Branham (Ohio State)
Analysis: Poor chord in Chicago and with LaVine potentially leaving, Branham fits as a need and up pick.
19. Minnesota Timber Wolves
The Pick: G Jaden Hardy (G-League Ignite)
Analysis: Type guard Jamal Murray. Why is that important? Well, the new President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly, is from Denver. DeAngelo Russell and Pat Beverly aren’t long-term answers at point guard for Minnesota.
20.San Antonio Spurs
The Choice: G. Kendall Brown (Baylor)
Analysis: Brown is a good size and athletic for a wing. He has shown flashes of emotion, he just needs the right development situation and where could he develop better than in San Antonio?
21. Denver Nuggets
The Pick: G. Jalen Williams (South Carolina)
Analysis: Fill in the role of Gary Harris. The Nuggets need a defensively focused shooting guard with some size and athleticism. Also a good tailor.
22. Memphis Grizzlies
The election: F. Nikola Jovic (Serbia)
Analysis: Elite shooter and passer who helps clear the ground for Ja Morant. Discreet rim protection and defense.
23. Brooklyn Networks
The Pick: G TyTy Washington (Kentucky)
Analysis: Best plays by better players. He’s a bit older and more mature despite being a real novice. The Nets could use a little more ball handling behind Kyrie.
24. Milwaukee Bucks
The Choice: G. Blake Wesley (Notre Dame)
Analysis: The Bucks lack depth and Wesley has the potential to be a solid two-way player, a good athlete.
25.San Antonio Spurs
The Pick: G Pat Baldwin Jr. (UW-Milwaukee)
Analysis: Similar player to Davis Bertans who found success in San Antonio. Not much of an athlete, but that’s not essential in this system.
26. Dallas Mavericks
The Choice: C. Walker Kessler (Auburn)
Analysis: The Mavs need rim protection behind Luka and Brunson. Kessler also has the potential to shoot it.
27. Miami Heat
The Election: G. Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee)
Analysis: Miami needs point guard help as Lowry gets older. He would fit alongside the current core of the Heat and competes well on defense for his size.
28. Warrior of the Golden State
The Pick: F. Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest)
Analysis: Very intellectual player who fits right into Golden State’s system and could be used as a replacement for Draymond Green. Pairs well with other young guys James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
29. Miami Heat
The Pick: G. Marjon Beauchamp (G-League Ignite)
Analysis: Doesn’t need the ball, great work ethic, older prospect who is more physically ready, perfect role player.
30. Thunder from Oklahoma City
The Election: F. Caleb Houston (Michigan)
Analysis: Houston chose not to participate but reportedly walked away with Thunder promising he would be drafted.
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