In what figures to be a deep draft, there is not much suspense at the top. Zion Williamson looks to be at the top of everyone’s draft board with three more Duke Blue Devils also landing in the first round. Heading into March this is how I can see things shaking up.
1. Phoenix Zion Williamson PF Duke
The Suns top need is a point guard, but Williamson seems to be the consensus top pick as of now. His athleticism is off the charts and has proven to be a very efficient player. He is going to be too hard for any franchise to pass on. If he can get his perimeter game to add to his explosion on the court, he is going to be even harder to guard. In Phoenix, Williamson would bring toughness and an element missing from their team.
2. New York R.J. Barrett SG/SF Duke
The Knicks are all in on Zion. However with they cannot secure the number 1 pick, RJ Barrett will be a nice consolation prize. Barrett is going to be a good addition right away. He has improved in multiple areas in his lone season at Duke and his versatility would be a great fit in New York.
3. Cleveland Cam Reddish SF Duke
The Cavaliers are desperate to make a splash in this draft to match with rookie Collin Sexton. Reddish would excel playing next to Sexton, shooting and scoring from the wing. He has struggled at times during his Freshman season, but also has shown flashes of why he is going to get drafted high.
4. Chicago Ja Morant PG Murray State
The Bulls would be thrilled in Morant landed in their laps. Morant is more than the high flyer in the highlights. He has been a state filler for Murray State this season and would be a perfect fit in Chicago. The Bulls believe they are a point guard away from from getting to the playoffs.
5. Atlanta DeAndre Hunter SF Virginia
Hunter is a gifted defender who keeps improving his offense. The Hawks don’t seem interested in keeping small forward Taurean Prince and could upgrade at that position with Hunter. Adding some toughness to the front court alongside John Collins with the sharp shooting back court could get the Hawks heading in the right direction.
6. Memphis Jarrett Culver SG Texas Tech
The Grizzlies are in a full rebuild and Culver would be a good start. Culver is a do everything wing who could give them some stability at the shooting guard spot.
7. Washington Darius Garland PG Vanderbilt
With John Wall set to miss all of next season, taking Garland would be a possibility. Garland had a knee injury that shortened his Freshman season but in his short time he proved he is a top notch point guard. The Wizards may roll the dice here.
8. New Orleans Romeo Langford SG Indiana
The Pelicans could have a different roster by the draft and could look to add some young talent. Langford has the tools to become a solid NBA player.
9. Atlanta(from Dallas) Bol Bol C Oregon
After grabbing Hunter with their first pick, they can get an anchor on their defense here. Bol is a terrific shot blocker and be a nice fit for them here. On offense Bol can stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting.
10. Orlando Keldon Johnson SG Kentucky
The Orlando Magic finally look to be heading in the right direction. Johnson has a great body and his game keeps improving. They would love for him to fall here.
11. Miami Nassir Little SF North Carolina
Little has not had the Freshman season he was hoping but he is crazy talented. He has how flashes and just seems like a good fit in Miami.
12. Minnesota Rui Hachimura SF Gonzaga
Hachimura has become a solid player for Gonzaga. He is not a great three point shooter but his mid range game is so good. He could be a versatile player off the Wolves bench.
13. L.A. Lakers Nickeill Alexander-Walker SG Virginia Tech
He is a defensive minded guard who is a good playmaker off the ball. The Lakers could use some shooting coming off the bench, but I think Alexander-Walker will be too hard to pass on.
14. Boston(from Sacramento) Sekou Doumbouya SF/PF France
With the first of three first rounders, the Celtics gamble on the French project. Doumbouya can be brought along slowly and could develop into a surprise contributor in a few years.
15. Detroit Tre Jones PG Duke
The Pistons have struggled with consistency from the point guard position. Jones is the unsung hero on this Duke team and is seeing his stock rise.
16. Charlotte Luka Simanec PF Croatia
Hornets hope the Croatian big man can become a rotation player. He has played internationally for a while and the Hornets can gamble here.
17. Brooklyn Jaxon Hayes C Texas
The Nets will look to add depth here. Hayes looks like a project, but well worth the gamble.
18. Boston(from L.A. Clippers) Kevin Porter Jr. SG USC
The Celtics will just look to get best available player right here. Porter has seen his stock rise even not starting and injuries slowing him down. I could see Boston jumping on him here.
19. San Antonio Coby White PG/SG North Carolina
Right here San Antonio could take the versatile White. White has stood out for the Tar Heels this season and has been big surprise. The Spurs have struggled with the point guard position all season.
20. Utah Daniel Gafford C Arkansas
With Derrick Favors likely leaving, the Jazz could use some depth behind Rudy Gobert. Gafford can come in right away and give quality minutes.
21. Cleveland(from Houston) Charles Bassey C Western Kentucky
The Cavs don’t have much size. Bassey is young, but has tons of upside, too much to pass on here.
22. Portland KZ Okpala SF/PF Stanford
The Blazers have had trouble with consistency at either forward spot. Okpala has established himself as a good scorer from the outside as well as in the paint.
23. Philadelphia Louis King SF Oregon
This is higher than most, but since returning from injury he has been great. He is a solid wing who will score at the next level. Philadelphia would be happy to grab him here.
24. Boston Jontay Porter C Missouri
Porter has been out with a torn ACL all season. Before the injury Porter looked the part of a top player. With three first round picks and a roster of talent, the Celtics can take chances.
25. Oklahoma City Grant Williams PF Tennessee
Williams has become a force this season. But it’s his versatility that has his stock on the rise. I can see Williams having a long professional career.
26. Indiana Bruno Fernando PF/C Maryland
The Pacers can go for some size here. Fernando can score and should help Indiana on the bench.
27. Brooklyn(from Denver) Ashton Hagans PG Kentucky
Hagans is seeing his stock continue to rise. He is a stud defender who just gets better running the offense. He would be a big time stall here.
28. Golden State Brandon Clarke SF Gonzaga
Clarke is very under rated and the kind the Warriors draft. Golden State has been drafting gems late in the draft for years.
29. San Antonio(from Toronto) Jalen Smith PF Maryland
Smith is getting attention and may not be here. If he is though, he can play behind LaMarcus Aldridge until he is ready.
30. Milwaukee Markus Howard PG Marquette
The Bucks take a flyer on a player who plays college ball in the same stadium. Howard is a prolific scorer who could turn into a Jason Terry type at the next level.