There is only one week remaining until the NBA Draft, and still, teams are in the midst of conducting workouts, talking trades and, in the case of the Sixers, looking for a new head honcho on top of the basketball decision-making chain.
With that in mind, let’s look at how the draft is shaping up…
1. Suns — Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona
Ayton worked out for the Suns and, afterward, declared himself the No. 1 pick. Phoenix has covered its bases and worked out the likes of Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Mo Bamba, and it’s possible the Suns could trade down. But if they stay put, Ayton is likely the guy.
2. Kings — Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Slovenia
Doncic is still participating in the ACB playoffs for Real Madrid, and he’s suffered a bit of the out-of-sight-out-of-mind syndrome in the run-up to the draft. The Kings worked out Bagley and are said to have eyes for Michael Porter Jr. But Doncic is the kind of polished backcourt star the team needs.
3. Hawks — Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke
The Hawks will be in position to take Bagley, a guy they’ve liked all year, or Doncic if the Kings pass on him. Like just about every team in the top five, they’re willing to trade down and are said to like Trae Young. They’ve looked at Bamba, Porter and Jackson with this pick, too.
4. Grizzlies — Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Michigan State
The Grizzlies will likely land either Jackson or Bagley here, but have looked at Doncic, Porter and Bamba, too. The depth-starved Grizzlies would be willing to deal the pick for multiple assets.
5. Mavericks — Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri
We’ll learn something about the Mavericks’ offseason plan on draft day, when they could have the opportunity to add a center like Bamba or Wendell Carter. If they pass on that chance in favor of, say, Porter (whom they liked during his pro day in Chicago), their intention to land either DeMarcus Cousins or (gulp!) DeAndre Jordan will be obvious.
Porter will be the wild card of the draft — some scouts feel he could slide into the late lottery.
6. Magic — Mo Bamba, C, Texas
The Magic would be perfectly happy adding Trae Young, the kind of offensive focal point the team badly needs, but they’re enamored of the potential for Bamba to be a game-changing patroller of the paint. Tough choice, but they just hired defensive-minded Steve Clifford as coach. Bamba it is.
7. Bulls — Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma
The rumor slipped out of Chicago that the team is not exactly thrilled with Kris Dunn, who played well in the second half of the season, which means they’re either paving the way for Young to be the pick here, or they’re executing a smokescreen to entice a team that likes Young to make a deal for this pick.
8. Cavs (from Nets) — Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama
There’s some hope that Porter will fall to No. 8, and for a team like the Cavs — in for an excruciating four weeks as they await LeBron James’ decision — taking a risk on Porter following his back surgery would be ideal. If Porter is gone, the Cavs likely will choose between Sexton and Carter.
9. Knicks — Wendell Carter, C, Duke
The Knicks could make a play to move up for Trae Young, and they like Lonnie Walker IV, but if they can land a guy who can play alongside Kristaps Porzingis with this pick, they’ll go for it. Offensively, they’d be quite a tandem. Defensively… that would be a question mark.
10. 76ers (via Lakers) — Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami
The Sixers have picks No. 10 and 26, and could move up in the draft, though that might not be enough to get them into the top six. Villanova’s Mikal Bridges seems to be the consensus pick, but Walker has been impressive in workouts.
11. Hornets — Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova
The Hornets will have options, and they’ll consider big guy Robert Williams as well as forwards like Kevin Knox, Mikal Bridges and Miles Bridges. The team needs production on the wing, though, and if the Hornets’ goal is to get to the playoffs as quickly as possible, Bridges is the most polished of their choices.
12. Clippers (via Pistons) — Kevin Knox, SF/PF, Kentucky
Scouts rank Knox all over the board, from around No. 7 on down to the late teens. He has a high upside, and could be part of the Clippers rebuilding/reshuffling. Of course, there’s talk that the Clippers could package No. 12 and 13 to move up or to obtain an established player.
13. Clippers — Robert Williams, C, Texas A&M
The Clippers like Williams’ defensive potential in the middle, and they’re sure they’re going to lose DeAndre Jordan sooner or later. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Miles Bridges make some sense here, too.
14. Nuggets — Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State
Even with Will Barton’s free agency, the Nuggets have solid backcourt players, though they’re still looking at point-guard options who could play with Jamal Murray. They could nab Gilgeous-Alexander with this pick. They’re short on wings, though, and Bridges is too athletic to pass here.
15. Wizards — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Kentucky
This would be a drop for Gilgeous-Alexander, but it might be a great fit. The Wizards are very short on depth, and while they’d like to see Robert Williams fall here, Gilgeous-Alexander gives the team a combo guard who can play alongside either John Wall or Bradley Beal off the bench.
16. Suns (via Heat) — Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech
Smith is an excellent athlete who thrived in Texas Tech’s blitzing defensive scheme and could land in the late lottery. The Suns would like to tab a point guard with this pick (Aaron Holiday, perhaps), but Phoenix is the lowest team for which Smith worked out, and this is surely his floor. The Suns would gamble on his upside.
17. Bucks — Troy Brown, PG/SG, Oregon
Brown is a 6-7.75 combo guard with a 6-10.25 wingspan who is a very good playmaker for his size and a capable scorer in the lane. He was a disappointment as a freshman, but has done well in workouts, including one this week with the Bucks, who will also be considering risky big guys like Mo Wagner and Mitchell Robinson.
18. Spurs — Josh Okogie, SG/SF, Georgia Tech
Okogie is 6-4.5 with a 7-0 wingspan, the kind of versatile defensive wing the Spurs covet. He’s a good perimeter shooter and will have had two workouts with the Spurs ahead of the draft.
19. Hawks (via Timberwolves) — Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky (sort of)
Reports that the Lakers have made a promise to Robinson with the No. 25 pick are overstated. Sure, the Lakers might like Robinson, who has not done workouts, but there’s no guarantee another team won’t take a gamble on him.
The Hawks are starved for talent and willing to make that gamble. Robinson is a lottery talent, but he has not played in a year after he raised eyebrows by committing to Western Kentucky, then bolted the school last fall.
20. Timberwolves (via Thunder) — Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Ohio State
Bates-Diop is a combo forward with some size — he measured 6-8.5 at the combine with a wingspan of 7-3.25 — and was the Big 10 Player of the Year this season, when he averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds. The Wolves badly need perimeter shooting, and they could dangle this pick in a trade as a means to get it.
21. Jazz — Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton
Thomas is an excellent defensive guard who shot 40.6 percent from the 3-point line in college. The Jazz have frontcourt questions, but those will likely be left to free agency, not the draft.
22. Bulls (via Pelicans) — Chandler Hutchinson, SF, Boise State
Hutchinson is a good scorer and rebounder who can stretch the floor. He’s been quiet on the workout front, leading some to believe he’s already been given a first-round promise.
23. Pacers — Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA
This would be a slip for Holiday, who could go as high as No. 15 to Washington. But the Pacers are looking to develop a long-term answer at point guard (Darren Collison has one year left on his current contract), and Holiday could be a steal.
24. Trail Blazers — Mo Wagner, PF/C, Michigan
The Blazers could use a frontcourt shooter who can create space for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Wagner has that capability. They could gamble on Dzanan Musa here, too, though Musa’s defensive reputation — it’s not good — might be a hindrance.
25. Lakers (via Cavs) — Jacob Evans, SG/SF, Cincinnati
Evans is a tough defender who can shoot from the perimeter and has a pretty good shot at landing in the first round. The Lakers can take some risks here, but Evans is a good fit with their roster.
26. 76ers — Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College
Robinson shot 40.9 percent from the 3-point line as a junior, when he led the ACC in scoring. The Sixers need help on the perimeter, and could well lose shooting guard J.J. Redick this offseason.
27. Celtics — Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova
DiVincenzo figures to go late in the first round, and his all-around game makes a good fit with Boston. The Celtics have explored moving up in this draft, but have yet to find a deal.
28. Warriors — Elie Okobo, PG, France
Okobo has drawn interest from teams in the teens, but he is raw and a bit of a risk. He’d be a worthy choice for the Warriors, who have a very good developmental record.
29. Nets (via Raptors) — Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky
The Nets have an eye on Okobo, but they have long liked the athleticism and upside of Diallo, a Queens native who probably would have wound up in Brooklyn had he stayed in the draft last year.
30. Hawks (via Rockets) — Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy
Simons did not make it to college after reclassifying and going to prep school, instead taking his chances on his prospects now. He is undersized for a combo guard, but is a good, quick scorer who would be worth a risk for the rebuilding Hawks.
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