1.Timberwolves- Lamelo Ball, PG
The Timberwolves make a splash and grab the most box-office player on the board. Not only will he fill seats in Minnesota, the 6’8” point guard joins a team with two all-stars where they’ll hope his elite passing can elevate this team to the playoffs. If he can figure out his jump shot he’ll be the perfect star to jump start the talent in Minnesota and make them relevant again.
2.Warriors- James Wiseman, C
They shouldn’t trade this pick and they won’t, as long as this guy is still on the board. Wiseman is a 7’1” athletic freak with endless potential on both ends of the floor. This should be a no-brainer for the Warriors, as a lineup of Steph, Klay, Wiggins, Draymond, and Wiseman immediately thrusts them back into title contention, featuring the best center this team has had since the dynasty began.
3.Hornets- Anthony Edwards, SG/PG
The Hornets grab a guy at three who easily could be the first pick in this draft. Edwards is a strong guard with limitless range who can settle into a scoring role on a team with two solid point guards in Rozier and Graham. There are questions about his shot selection, but he has superstar potential and Jordan won’t let him slip by.
4.Bulls- Deni Avidja, SF
The Bulls need help on the wing, and they grab potentially the most intriguing one in the draft. The 6’9” prospect from Israel is only 19 and has three years of professional basketball under his belt already. He possesses an NBA-ready skillset with a lengthy build which will allow him to slide into a playmaking role next to Lavine to open up a Bulls offense desperate for a spark.
5.Cavs- Obi Toppin, PF/SF
The Cavs get a steal at five with the College Player of the Year. Toppin can step in and start right away, suddenly making this Cavs team sort of exciting. Garland, Porter, and Sexton are an exciting guard trio, and Toppin is a dynamic threat on both ends, something they’ve missed from their forwards since Lebron left. He’ll play next to Love and Drummond for now, but he’s the eventual replacement to take Love’s workload when he inevitably leaves.
6.Hawks- Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG
After the top five players are off the board things are up in the air. With no clear-cut option here, the Hawks grab Haliburton, a big combo guard with great shot-making ability. With averages of 40% from deep and 50% overall for his college career, Haliburton could end up being a great running mate for Trae Young, seeing that he’d immediately become the next best creator on the team.
7.Pistons- Killian Hayes, PG
The Pistons are in desperate need of guard help, or anything exciting honestly. Hayes is a 6’5” point guard with a jump shot and facilitating ability that will allow him to compete right away. He probably won’t change much for this team, it has a lot of work to do, but securing a young point guard is never a bad thing, and Hayes could help get Blake going in Detroit.
8.Knicks- Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C
Yes, the Knicks add another power forward. After another hilariously disappointing lottery for the Knicks, there’s no more star power left on the board to give this franchise a jolt. Okongwu is the best player left available, and even though the Knicks added a plethora of bigs last offseason, this is a team that cannot draft for need. They’ll let Randle walk in a year anyways, which opens up the opportunity for an Okongwu-Robinson frontcourt that could grow into a defensive force. Okongwu is undersized at 6’9” but possesses the athleticism to an elite rim protector and to hold his own on the perimeter. New York doesn’t get its flashy superstar this time around, but they get it right with an athletic, versatile big tailor made for the small-ball era of the NBA.
9.Wizards- Isaac Okoro, SF/SG
An absolute linebacker of a wing, Okoro stands at 6’6”, 225 lbs. He’s the best defender in the draft, and he’ll be able to draw the assignment of the other team’s best player every night while Wall and Beal do their thing. There are serious questions about his jumper, but he has great energy offensively and on the glass, and his size and athleticism are undeniable. Regardless of whether he develops a jump-shot, Okoro will be in the league for a long time due to his defense, and if that shot comes around the Wizards may have come across a late-lottery star.
10.Suns- Cole Anthony, PG
The young talent on the Suns finally clicked in the bubble, and although they came up short, they look like they’ll be competing for the playoffs for years to come. Anthony disappointed at UNC, partially due to battling injuries, but coming into the season had a top-5 grade, so the Suns gamble and hope they can develop his talent. If Anthony returns to form, this becomes an absolute steal for a team that’s an exciting point guard away from keeping up with the offensive powerhouses out west.