1. Philadelphia 76ers (via Boston via Brooklyn) – Markelle Fultz G – Washington
The Sixers traded up for the top pick to take one guy and one guy only. It’s a no-brainer that they’re going with Fultz here. Trusting the process has finally gotten them a high-upside guard.
2. Los Angeles Lakers – Josh Jackson F – Kansas
The Lakers have seemingly cooled on Lonzo Ball over the past few weeks, and a PG would really be a weird fit next to Clarkson and Russell. Chad Ford calls Jackson the best two-way player in the draft, and he’d be a great piece to continue to build in anticipation of Paul George.
3. Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum F – Duke
Tatum is regarded by some to be the most talented player in this draft. Tatum should be able to have an impact instantly, which is huge for a team like the Celtics. He won’t be needed to start from the start, but will be extremely valuable off the bench. (All this is assuming the Celtics keep this pick, which I don’t think will happen.)
4. Phoenix Suns – Lonzo Ball G – UCLA
There was talk of the Suns trying to trade up to get Ball, but that doesn’t seem like it’ll be necessary. Ball may be the surest bet of this draft, and hopefully the Phoenix media can deal with his dad better than the LA media would.
5. Sacramento Kings (via Philadelphia) – De’Aaron Fox G – Kentucky
The Kings have a lot of needs, but PG is number 1. Fox did a lot in a high-powered Kentucky offense, and that should translate well to the NBA. While he’s far from the level of Fultz and Ball, he’d be one of the best point guards in plenty of recent drafts.
6. Orlando Magic – Jonathan Isaac F – Florida State
Keeping the Florida boy at home, Isaac doesn’t project to be an All-NBA guy, but really who does? He can be a great secondary or tertiary piece for a team who is severely lacking on big man talent.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves – Lauri Markkanen F – Arizona
He’s big and white and he can shoot, but unfortunately that probably doesn’t mean he’s the next Dirk. That said, he can be a solid piece for a Wolves team that’s on the rise.
8. New York Knicks – Frank Ntilikina G – France
If the Triangle is here to stay, then Freaky Frank could be the guy. He’s a plus, plus defender, has great length, and doesn’t necessarily need to dominate the ball to be effective. The Knicks are very much in flux, but in a PG heavy draft, they’re going to get a solid piece to replace Derrick Rose.
9. Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Smith G – NC State
In earlier mocks, I had Smith going as high as #4 to the Suns. He’s a majorly talented point guard who can have an instant impact for a team in need. The Mavericks weren’t far from being good last year, and their guard play was one of the glaring weak points.
10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans) – John Collins F – Wake Forest
This may be viewed as a bit of a reach, but Collins is a highly-talented guy. He’s been very impressive in most of his pre-draft workouts, and with the Kings taking a guard with their earlier pick, it’s likely they take a big man here.
11. Charlotte Hornets – Malik Monk G – Kentucky
This could be a huge steal for Charlotte at this position. It’s hard to not compare Monk to Devin Booker, but even if he doesn’t reach that level, he proved he can light up the score sheet in a major way. That’s huge for a team with a solid defense but lacking offense.
12. Detroit Pistons – Luke Kennard G – Duke
Detroit will be dismayed that Monk didn’t fall one more spot, but you can’t go wrong taking the best shooter in the draft, especially as a team without much floor spacing.
13. Denver Nuggets – Zach Collins C – Gonzaga
Collins put up ridiculous per-40 stats last season, and would serve as a good development project. With the glut of talent Denver has across the board, he doesn’t necessarily fill a need, but could still provide a fair bit of value to a team that will surely be gunning for the playoffs.
14. Miami Heat – OG Anunoby F – Indiana
I’ve heard some analysts say Anunoby has the highest upside in the draft. While that may be a bit of a stretch, he does have an insane amount of talent for how raw he is. This could be a steal for the Heat.
15. Portland Trail Blazers – Jarrett Allen C – Texas
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blazers trade down to get more cost-controlled picks, but Allen would be a great addition to their frontcourt rotation. His massive 7’5½” wingspan will have teams salivating with comparisons to Myles Turner. That’s going to help Allen’s stock a fair bit.
16. Chicago Bulls – Justin Jackson F – North Carolina
There may not have been a player in the NCAA tournament who boosted their stock more than Justin Jackson did. While the Bulls have holes at essentially every position, they’re in desperate need of someone to stretch the floor. Jackson can be that guy, while also proving competent on the defensive end.
17. Milwaukee Bucks – Ike Anigbogu C – UCLA
Length, length, length. That’s what the Bucks are all about. They got a steal last year with Brogdon, and they’ll be hoping for more of the same as the very-raw Anigbogu develops.
18. Indiana Pacers – TJ Leaf F – UCLA
The Pacers may have trouble knowing where this team is going to go until Paul George is traded, but Leaf is a skilled shooter and could work well alongside Turner.
19. Atlanta Hawks – Harry Giles F – Duke
Giles could end up being the steal of the draft, but it’s hard to have confidence in someone who has the injury history he has. He’s as talented as anyone, but if he can’t stay healthy, the outlook isn’t great.
20. Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis) – Isaiah Hartenstein F – Germany
In this big man portion of the draft, the Blazers might be looking for a guy they can draft and stash. Hartenstein started the season much higher on most draft boards, so there’s hope the talent can rule out and he’ll bounce back up.
21. Oklahoma City – Donovan Mitchell G – Louisville
The future of Andre Roberson is still up in the air, so drafting a guard makes sense. Even if Roberson does stay in OKC, you can’t go wrong with one of the best athletes in the draft at 21.
22. Brooklyn Nets (via Washington) – Edrice Adebayo F – Kentucky
The Nets need a whole lot of everything, and going with a Coach Cal guy is almost always a safe bet. Not everyone is high on Adebayo, but he may be the best defender available at this point.
23. Toronto Raptors (via LA Clippers) – Jonah Bolden C – Australia
My pick for sleeper of the draft, Bolden has been on the rise, but not enough to slide into the lottery. His successful NBA season in Serbia should set him up well for a transition to the NBA.
24. Utah Jazz – Semi Ojeleye F – SMU
One of the best shooters in the draft, Ojeleye shot 42% from beyond the arc last year. As a 6’7″ guy, he may be more of a 2/3 player than a 3/4, but the Jazz should be looking to deepen their rotation after an exciting 2016-17.
25. Orlando Magic (via Toronto Raptors) – Tony Bradley C – North Carolina
The Magic still have needs at just about every position, and while they have plenty of talent in the front court, a pick in the late 20s is going to be used for seeking out a high-upside guy. Bradley could be just that.
26. Portland Trail Blazers (via Cleveland Cavaliers) – Terrance Ferguson G – Australia
With their third pick of the first round, the Blazers can take a bit of a risk here. Ferguson could be an explosive scorer off the bench, and hopefully provide a nice option next to the powerful backcourt in Portland, even if he isn’t providing much for the next year or so.
27. Brooklyn Nets (via Boston) – Derrick White G – Colorado
The Nets still need a bit of everything, and White was one of the most effective collegiate guards last year. He can do a bit of everything, and should be a solid addition to the backcourt rotation, providing some flexibility if the oft-injured Jeremy Lin goes down again (or leaves Brooklyn).
28. Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston) – Jordan Bell F – Oregon
Bell is one of the best defensive prospects in the draft, and while he’s likely not going to be much more than a role player in the NBA, he’s the sort of piece that could be used to start to prepare for an era where the Lakers are winning again.
29. San Antonio Spurs – Josh Hart G – Villanova
Hart does everything pretty well, and that sort of solid player is what the Spurs have consistently gobbled up at this point in the draft. He could be a competent backup at either guard position.
30. Utah Jazz (via San Antonio) – Anzejs Pasecniks C – Latvia
If the Jazz are going to be competitive this season, they’re only going to have so much room for young players. A draft and stash option and the best player available can both be served by Pasecniks.