The NBA Draft is just under a week away. Teams and NBA hopefuls are making final preparations for the big night. So, who is your team going to draft?
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky, C: Towns is an athletic big that will fit in well with the Wolves high-octane offense. At the very least, he should evolve into a dominating defensive player.
2. Los Angeles Lakers — Kristaps Porzingis, Latvia, PF: Supposedly, the Lakers weren’t thrilled by Jahlil Okafor or D’Angelo Russell during their individual workouts. As a result, Los Angeles has started to become fond of Porzingis, and could be intrigued enough to select him second overall.
3. Philadelphia 76ers — Emmanuel Mudiay, China, PG: Sam Hinke was the only GM to scout Mudiay overseas. Philadelphia needs a point guard, the choice should be obvious.
4. New York Knicks — Jahlil Okafor, Duke, C: The Knicks need depth at just about every position. Okafor is the best player on the board. Phil Jackson will gladly select the Duke product with the fourth pick.
5. Orlando Magic — Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, C : Orlando needs depth behind Nikola Vucevic. Cauley-Stein gives the team a legitimate backup/running mate to Vucevic, and solidifies a dominating front court.
6. Sacramento Kings — D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State, PG: Regardless if Sacramento trades the pick, D’Angelo Russell is the best player remaining. If the Kings stay the course, picking up a franchise point guard is on the off season wishlist for Sacramento.
7. Denver Nuggets — Justise Winslow, Duke, SF: Some have compared Winslow to fellow Nugget, Wilson Chandler. Denver might be able to grab his successor with the seventh pick.
8. Detroit Pistons — Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin, PF/C: Kaminsky is the perfect complement to Andre Drummond, a big man that can stretch the floor. Kaminsky is going to fill the void left by the departing Greg Monroe.
9. Charlotte Hornets — Trevor Booker, Kentucky, SG: Booker will likely start for the Hornets by mid-season. A quality three-point shooter that can create his own shot. Could Kemba Walker finally have the elite backcourt running mate he has yearned for?
10. Miami Heat — Mario Hezonja, Barcelona, SG/SF: Miami may wish to ease Hezonja into its starting small forward, as Luol Deng has been fighting injuries and declining play for the past few seasons.
11. Indiana Pacers — Trey Lyles, Kentucky, PF: Lyles is going to be the Pacers starting power forward for years to come. He will have no problem talking over for the aging David West when the time comes.
12. Utah Jazz — Stanley Johnson, Arizona, SF: Johnson will provide a huge spark off the Utah bench. His presence at small forward will allow Gordon Hayward the opportunity for more time at shooting guard.
13. Phoenix Suns — Cameron Payne, Murray State, PG: Phoenix can never have enough guards on its roster. Payne is an explosive athlete and will be able to slide right into coach Jeff Hornacek’s Hugh energy offense.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder — Myles Turner, Texas, C: Turner is still a raw prospect, and still hasn’t tapped into his immense potential. However, OKC will be able to groom him along slowly, and will be rewarded handsomely by the results.
15. Atlanta Hawks — Bobby Portis, Arkansas, PF: Portis is one of the drafts most athletic big men. He is a sensational rebounder, especially on the offensive end. Atlanta needed an athletic offensive rebounder to match Tristan Thompson’s play. Portis might be the answer to that.
16. Boston Celtics — Kelly Oubre, Kansas, SF: Oubre is an athletic freak that has drawn comparisons to former Celtic, Gerald Green.
17. Milwaukee Bucks — Kevon Looney, UCLA, PF: Milwaukee needs depth at the frontcourt. Looney will either step right into the Bucks starting lineup, or will be a valuable sixth man for years to come.
18. Houston Rockets — Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, PG: Houston needs to find a solid two-way point guard. Grant has a very good defensive background, but most importantly he can score.
19. Washington Wizards — Sam Dekker, Wisconsin, SF: Dekker will eventually become the Wizards starting small forward. As of right now only Otto Porter stands in his way.
20. Toronto Raptors — Rashad Vaughn, UNLV, SG: Toronto would love to add another big man, but the opportunity to grab the highly-touted Vaughn might be too good to pass up.
21. Dallas Mavericks — Tyus Jones, Duke, PG: Dallas is looking for a point guard, but not just any point guard, a leader on the court. Jones proved during Duke’s title run that he indeed is capable of motivating his team.
22. Chicago Bulls — R.J. Hunter, Georgia State, SG: Hunter was the NCAA Tournament darling, and he will now have the task of replacing Jimmy Butler. (If he does indeed choose to not re-sign with Chicago.)
23. Portland Trail Blazers — Justin Anderson, Virginia, SG: Anderson has drawn comparisons to fellow Trail Blazers star, Nic Batum. His defense and ability to hit the open three are highly-sought after amongst NBA scouts.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona, SF: If Cleveland does keep the 24th pick expect them to take the best player available. Which at this point in the draft happens to be Hollis-Jefferson.
25. Memphis Grizzles — Montrezl Harrell, Louisville, PF: The Grizzles need to start preparing for a future without Marc Gasol and Zac Randolph. Harrell can develop into a solid contributor for Memphis, but it will take some time.
26. San Antonio Spurs — Guillermo Hernangomez, Spain, C: It’s a forgone conclusion that the Spurs will likely draft international, as they have an extensive history of doing so. Hernangomez could be brought along slowly, but he has the potential to be a key factor in the Spurs rotation.
27. Los Angeles Lakers — Joseph Young, Oregon, PG: Joseph Young, Swaggy P and Kobe Bryant on the same team? It might work if Byron Scott employs Young’s play-making abilities over his desire to shoot the ball.
28. Boston Celtics — Terry Rozier, Louisville, PG: Rozier is a change of pace from current Celtics point guard, Isaiah Thomas. Rozier can create for his teammates, so don’t be surprised to see Brad Stevens play him and Thomas together.
29. Brooklyn Nets — Jarell Martin, LSU, PF: Martin is a physical, athletic big man. He would be a nice spark for the Nets off the bench, and could even see starting time alongside Brook Lopez.
30. Golden State Warriors — Christian Wood, UNLV, PF: What does Golden State really need? Wood has the most upside of any player remaining in the draft. It could be time to ship David Lee out of Oakland.