1.Phoenix Suns- C Deandre Ayton, Arizona
If it were any other team here the pick very well could be Luka Doncic. Bu the Suns already have some talented wings in Devin Booker and TJ Warren. What the Suns lack is defense and who better to anchor the defense then 7-foot Deandre Ayton. Ayton is an athletic beast with a jump shot and passing skills who has a similar skill set to Joel Embid. The Suns swing for the fences and come up big winners.
NBA Comparison: Joel Embid/David Robinson
2.Sacramento Kings- PF Marvin Bagley III, Duke
The kings could take Luka here, but they already have a young rising point guard in De’Arron Fox entering his second year and Buddy Hield at SG. They drafted Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissier in years past, but neither are those guys will be stars. Bagley is a high-motor rebounding machine who is long and athletic. He has a very good post game and ability to hit outside shot, his only real question is on the defensive side.
NBA Comparison: LaMarcus Aldridge/Derrick Coleman
3.Atlanta Hawks- PF Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
Jackson is as raw as it gets for a pick this high in the draft. He is an athletic freak with a 7’5 wingspan who blocked 3 shots per game in just 21.8 minutes which is nearly 6 per 40. He will be a project but given Atlanta won’t be good anytime soon the pick makes some sense although Trae Young here wouldn’t shock me either.
NBA Comparison: Serge Ibaka
4.Memphis Grizzlies- G Luka Doncic, Slovenia
The Grizzlies should be thrilled if Doncic falls to them at four, he is a well-rounded player already at 19. A capable 3-point shooter, facilitator, ball-handler and defender Doncic can play multiple positions. He could be seen as a point forward and would instantly make the Grizz better and give them a solid trio to go with Conley and Gasol.
NBA Comparison: Hedo Turkoglu
5.Dallas Mavericks- C Mo Bamba, Texas
I bet the Mavs are hoping Doncic falls to them here at five but if he doesn’t they will finally get their center and rim protector. Bamba has the longest wingspan ever recorded at the combine at 7”10 and might have one of the highest ceilings in this draft. He is a shot blocking machine in the making and an outstanding finisher.
NBA Comparison: Rudy Gobert
6.Orlando Magic- PG Trae Young, Oklahoma
After trading away Elfrid Payton last year the Magic have a need for a PG. The Magic have a lot of needs and could go in many different directions but Young would bring excitement to an area where basketball is an afterthought in Florida. Young is dynamic, a great shooter and passer but is very slight of frame and a turnover machine. High risk-high reward
NBA Comparison: Steph Curry
7.Chicago Bulls- SF Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
It’s no secret the Bulls are in rebuild-mode post D-Wade and Jimmy Butler. They have a ton of talent with Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and Lauri Markannen already and Porter would be a perfect wing to compliment Markannen. Porter is long, quick, athletic, pure shooter, you name it. He might be a top two player in this draft but missed off the year due to injury and that is the main concern with him falling this far and possibly further.
NBA Comparison: Kevin Durant/Tracy McGrady
8.Cleveland Cavaliers- PG Colin Sexton, Alabama
To me, this is the Cavs last attempt to keep LeBron James. It’s possible they could trade this pick, however, if they don’t it will probably be Sexton or Young, (if still on the board). LeBron has shown public support for both and apparently wants Sexton, who is a dynamic talent who can attack the rim with both speed and ferocity. He seems to have an “it” factor about him similar to Donovan Mitchell from last year.
NBA Comparison: Donovan Mitchell/Eric Bledose
9.New York Knicks- F Kevin Knox, Kentucky
In a perfect world, the Knicks would love for MPJ to fall here at 9 but not too sure that will happen even with his injury concerns. It was previously thought that Bridges would be a great fit for New York but more and more it looks like Knox. The Knicks have been working him out and he has been impressive. Knox still has some ways to go with his game but has a great floater and ability to score the ball at 6’9. Both him and Bridges are good fits for New York, but Knox’s higher superstar potential might entice the Knicks more.
NBA Comparison: Tobias Harris
10.Philadelphia 76er’s- C Wendell Carter, Duke
Carter is an underrated athlete who can run the floor even at 6’10 250lbs. Has a very long wingspan at 7’4 and is a very good two-way player active on both ends. Carter can come off the bench for the Sixers or start at PF. He also gives them insurance on Joel Embid who we know has notoriously had trouble staying healthy. Carter can also stretch the floor which will help his game offensively.
NBA Comparison: Al Horford
11.Charlotte Hornets- SF Mikal Bridges, Villanova
The Hornets need help in a bunch of ways. They have some bad contracts on the books and two limited wing players. Adding a player with versatility and a winning pedigree in Mikal Bridges is something any team can use. But for Charlotte, it will be more valuable than most.
NBA Comparison: Otto Porter
12.LA Clippers- SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER, Kentucky
The Clippers use the first of their back to back picks to add a must needed point guard of the future to replace Chris Paul and bring back Lob City. Gilgeous-Alexander falls right into their lap here as some people think he could go as high as 6 to Orlando. He might be a little more of a project than Young or Sexton but he could end up having the best career of the three. He’s a two way guard who’s great in the pick and roll and good finisher around the rim. All things that go well with the Clippers style of play.
NBA Comparison: Ron Harper
13.LA Clippers- SG Lonny Walker IV, Miami
With the second pick, the Clippers grab someone to help out Gilgeous-Alexander recreate Lob City. Lonny Walker’s upside could be as high as any guard in this draft. He is an athletic capable defender and a versatile shooter and shot maker. He’s a great shooter off the dribble and can be a high flyer in transition and a playmaker in the pick and roll playing on or off the ball.
NBA Comparison: Victor Oladipo
14. Denver Nuggets- SF Miles Bridges, Michigan State
The Nuggets really are a perfect fit for Bridges. The thin air in Denver always has them building athletic teams that thrive in the open floor. Two things that Bridges will bring to the table immediately. He’s a solid defender with the athleticism to defend modern NBA wings and power forwards. With Jamal Murray and Gary Harris set in the backcourt and Jokic up front along with a slew of PF, a scoring athletic wing is a perfect need for the Nuggets. Bridges is a slasher who’s best playing off the ball and spotting up while he can develop more of an ability to create his own shot off the dribble.
NBA Comparison: Jae Crowder
15. Washington Wizards- PF/C Robert Williams, Texas A&M
Washington needs help up front and in Williams, they get a player who projected in the top ten last season before deciding to go back to college. Yes, a fight flyer athletic defensive force. Will fit well in the modern game, similar to Clint Capella. He’ll be a good fit on the Wizards front line being able to play both the four and the five. The only question with Williams is his worth ethic and engagement, if he can become fully invested he will be one of the best players in this draft.
NBA Comparison: Clint Capella
16. Phoenix Suns- PG/SG Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
An athletic freak, Smith can step into this Suns backcourt and make an immediate impact. He can play both on and off the ball and should be able to make a solid backcourt in Phoenix with Booker and Knight. His best asset is his ability to defend which the Suns could desperately use as they were last in defensive efficiency and points per game.
NBA Comparison: Avery Bradley
17. Milwaukee Bucks- SG, Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
If I told you there was any chance Donte went this high before the NCAA tournament you would have said I was taking something. DiVincenzo went off in the national championship game for 35 points showcasing his offensive and defensive abilities. DiVincenzo is an elite athlete with a 42’ vertical and can defend multiple positions. His main weakness is lack of scouting on him and his inability to make free throws for his position (72%). He will be a huge upgrade over Tony Snell and be a better version on both sides of the ball.
NBA Comparison: Eric Gordon
18. San Antonio Spurs- SG, Troy Brown, Oregon
With Kawhi Leonard looking like he will be heading out of town, the Spurs want a young similarly built player for them to mold into hopefully a new Kawhi Leonard. He’s an unselfish versatile player who once upon a time played point guard. So, his ball handling skills are there. Brown being taken in at such an early age by San Antonio could help Pop shape him into the exact type of player he likes.
NBA Comparison: Steve Smith
19. Atlanta Hawks- SG, Jerome Robinson, Boston College
The Hawks need talent and they won’t find a much more talented then Jerome Robinson at this point in the draft. Robinson is a scoring machine putting up 20.7ppg on 48.5% shooting last year at Boston College. He’s very versatile offensively with the ability to score both on and off the ball and can finish with both hands. His issues are his slight frame and the fact that he wasn’t much of a defender at the college level, however, the Hawks get a much-needed scorer for the future.
NBA Comparison: CJ McCollum
20. Minnesota Timberwolves- SG/ SF, Chandler Hutchinson, Boise State
Hutchinson is a very complete NBA-ready player who should help out the Timberwolves from day one. Let’s face it he’s a huge upgrade over Jamaal Crawford at this point in his career. Hutchinson has a 7’1 wingspan and is a capable defender but needs to add weight at barely 200 pounds.
NBA Comparison: Tayshaun Prince
21. Utah Jazz- PF Omari Spellman Villanova
Spellman is coming to the league at the perfect time, a stretch-4 with girth and defensive toughness. Spellman will fit in great under Coach Snyder on both ends and provide versatility off the bench. Will complement the paint dominant Rudy Gobert very well and give Mitchell more room to work within the lane.
NBA Comparison: Markief Morris
22. Chicago Bulls- SF, Dzana Musa, Cedevita
If Luka Doncic isn’t in this draft, Must would be getting a lot more attention. He’s a versatile scorer who flat out gets the ball in the bucket. He just turned 19 and has to gain some weight, but could be a very intriguing prospect for a Bulls team that has some time to wait before they’re contending for championships.
NBA Comparison: Bojan Bogdanovic
23. Indiana Pacers- Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA
Holiday averaged over 20 points per game in college and is the best ball handler in this draft. He possesses high basketball IQ and is an underrated passer. Taking a young point guard here to fill in the backcourt with Oladipo makes sense here. The Pacers don’t have a successor in place for when Darren Collison’s contract expires next summer.
NBA Comparison: Lindsey Hunter
24. Portland Trail Blazers – Mitchell Robinson, High School
Portland could use some athleticism upfront which Robinson provides, but his impact won’t be needed immediately. There are players in front of him that will give him time to develop. Although Dame’s future might be rocky, I would take the high potential high school product over another guard at this spot if I’m the Blazers.
NBA Comparison: JaVale McGee
25. LA Lakers – SG Gary Trent Jr., Duke
There is so much uncertainty going into the Draft for the Lakers, they could have Lebron, PG, Kawhi any combination of the above. They also might not have a combination of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram so it’s smart they take a guard here. Trent has good size for a 2 guard at 6”6 215lbs as well as good instincts for the game. He could be more efficient and is a so-so athlete for the NBA, however, is not afraid to take the big shot. Trent and Josh Hart could be important pieces of the bench for the Lakers next year.
NBA Comparison: Wes Matthews
26. Philadelphia 76er’s- F, Kevin Huerter, Maryland
Regardless of whether they get LeBron or not the 6er’s will sure want to add more shooters with the fate of JJ Reddick up in the air. Huerter has a silky smooth 3-point stroke who should be a reliable outlet for Ben Simmons at the wing. Huerter doesn’t have great length and doesn’t project to be a great defender but he’s a smart player and is a better athlete then you would think.
NBA Comparison: Sam Dekker
27. Boston Celtics- C Moritz Wagner, Michigan
The Celtics have a surplus of guards and wings it seems like with the likes of Irving, Rozier, Smart, Tatum, Brown, Hayward, and Morris to name a few. What they don’t have is a center of noteworthiness, just Aaron Banes. Wagner has some real solid post moves and a pretty jumper facing up. Similar to a Kelly O, not a great rebounder but serviceable for his size will give the Celtics some depth at the center position and be a solid role player.
NBA Comparison: Kelly Olynk
28. Golden State Warriors- SG Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech
Do the Warriors have any needs? They really don’t. But if there is an area they could bolster its either at center or another wing with Iggy’s age and injury concerns. Okogie is a great athlete with exceptional length (7’1 wingspan). He can score and will be a long body that gets in the passing lanes for Steve Kerr. May not see much playing time next year depending on McCaw and Iggy.
NBA Comparison: Iman Shumpert
29. Brooklyn Nets- PG Jalen Brunson, Villanova
Even though Brooklyn has Spencer Dinwiddie who had a breakout year, you can never have too many guards and smart ones. Jalen Brunson is just that and a two-time national champion. The National Player of the year is well-rounded with the ability to break the defense down and light it up from deep. His most underrated part of his game is in the post where his footwork and strength remind me a lot of Chauncey Billups. Nets get a very good player and leader in Brunson at the end of the first.
NBA Comparison: Chauncey Billups
30. Atlanta Hawks- SF Melvin Frazier, Tulane
The Hawks are in grab as much talent as possible mode. At this point in the draft you might have to sacrifice nab readiness for that potential of talent. The Hawks aren’t going to be contending any time soon. This is their 3rd pick in the first round, so they haver the luxury of taking a couple of risks in the name of potentially high ceilings. Frazier is a tremendous athletic with great length. Has improved every year in college, especially with theres point shooting going form the high 20’s to almost 39% his final year. At this spot, he’s worth the flyer.
NBA Comparison: Gerald Green